Friday, January 9, 2004 2:00 AM
I was excited to hear last year that SFMW, one of my home parks, would be getting a new coaster. Eveyone raved about Texas Tornado, so I was thrilled SFMW was getting a great addition...until I rode it. The ride lagged a lot, and after the double loop, it wasn't exciting at all, very bumpy as well. Was it ajust a bad day for the ride? Did the modifications kill the famous ride? Am I just crazy, or does anyone else who has ridden fell the same way?
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Friday, January 9, 2004 2:19 AM
Zonga; you'll either love it or hate it. Most of the people I know who's ridden it (all of them only once due to excessive downtime) have a love-hate thing going with Zonga. We all love the loops and the g-forces associated with them. The first drop is also a major plus if a bit short. But after those things, the ride is a bit dull. Maybe it has to do to the reworked loops and slightly shortened drop; both done supposedly to reduce the g-forces. Not having ridden it before this was done, I can't say for sure. But as for it being bumpy/rough/jolting; I didn't feel that it was that bad. The ride travelled in Germany; ran for a short while and then sat idle in Texas... so that's quite a bit of use (sans the idle time) right there.

In other words, the ride isn't all that bad. But it isn't all that good either. If I had to rate it on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being the low end) I'd give Zonga a 6. It's a good addition to SFMW's line up, but I'm still waiting for something great.

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Friday, January 9, 2004 5:29 AM
Well, when I rode it back in Germany, it hurt my neck, but it sure wasn't a dull ride. In Germany, at the time though ('86) to have a coaster invert 4 times was a big sensation in itself - no matter how "dull" it may have been concerning its pacing otherwise. Every inversion was sure to create the "Oh my god I'm going to die!!" - effect.
I don't know how that ride experience would feel today, now that were accustomed to trusting in all kinds of floaty inversion craziness without having the feeling of impending death.

Maybe Zonga/Thriller HAS been butchered by those modifications - but maybe there was no way of rescueing this thing -Maybe Schwarzkopf, even though having been a coaster god, was not unfallible after all.

*** Edited 1/10/2004 10:32:31 AM UTC by superman***

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Friday, January 9, 2004 2:14 PM
I think the real change that sucks the life out of the ride is the dropping of one car from the train. It crawls into every MCBR.
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Friday, January 9, 2004 3:20 PM
I don't know about modifications, I just know that those OTSRs are the most efficient form of torture in America today! I banged my head on the freakin chain pull, let alone through the entire ride so bad that I was woozy and sick when I got off the ride. Perhaps its just a side effect of the moving of the coaster all around, but I don't buy that one. On that scale of 1-10, I give Zonga a 0.25, and that's all parts, loops, Gs, speed, etc.
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Friday, January 9, 2004 4:56 PM
I'm also in the love/hate category. Being a die hard Schwarzkopf fanboy, I was ecstatic when I first heard Thriller was coming to my homepark. After riding the remodified ride, wasn't so ecstatic, but it still has a few classic Schwarzkopf moments which make worth riding at least once per visit.

The painful horsecollars are indeed horrible and really distract from the enjoyment of the ride. As far as the pacing, don't understand why each block brake is used for trims which bring the train to an almost complete dead stop on each and every one. If there was a way they could use another less painful restraint (I know it'll never happen due to the clearance issues), and turn off all the block/trim brakes, it could still be a great ride.

But the Schwarzkopf fanboy in me would have rather it stayed in Europe untouched so I could hopefully one day experience what many had claimed was one of the most intense steel loopers in existance. Bummer.

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