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Everything posted by GuruGuys

  1. Apparently the Chaos ride will be installed and even possibly open by next weekend! In other news, I was out there today and just when I thought about buying a single ticket ride I heard the announcement that they were removing one of the trains (which then would make it a 40-50 minutes wait). I also saw crew from Martin & Vleminckx back. I sure hope they eventually get this Bullet's problems solved. I was told that the Bullet will likely be closed Mon-Friday for the next several weeks. -GG
  2. I think the log flume was just a rumor floating around. While it would make great sense in the summer, Boardwalk is a year round park and not sure if they would want a dormant ride in the off season. Who knows though. -GG
  3. I think you are on the money there. Not sure if it was from a park or a traveling model being converted for permanent placement. -GG
  4. I visited the Kemah Boardwalk to ride the Bullet tonight and noticed the area in front of the main ticket booth was blocked off and the land was being worked on. With a little bit of prowling I discovered the area is being prepped for a Chance Chaos to be installed in the very near future. Kemah Boardwalk is basically a "Have a meal then ride the rides" type of place and most of the rides there are pretty easy on the stomach. This addition, however, makes me think they will have more results of 'stomach queasiness' to clean up than all their other rides combined -GG P.S. It had been over 4 weeks since I had ridden the Bullet, it was riding great, but I noticed a lot more track work had been done in that time.
  5. I am reposting my POV from my visit at Knott's Berry Farm a few weeks ago. After the replys in this thread alerted me to a possible violation of park rules I took the POV down then contacted the park for clarification. I received this response: So as I read it, as long as you don't sneak a device on a ride and the ride operators allow the device Knott's Berry Farm is OK with using it. Hopefully some of the other parks will provide similair clarification. Boomerang peacefully awaits unsuspecting victims. Close up of train paintjob. Another rider return shot, this one with a bit of train #2 sitting on the transfer track. The paint and decor on these trains are the best I've seen. It's nice to be able to see everyones reaction when the ride is finished. Too many coasters leave the riders out on the brake run out of sight and by the time they return everyone looks bored. The ride operators at Knott's were always happy, smiling and having a great time with the patrons and each other. Xcellerator from the Queue. Pictures like this are becoming harder to get at parks that require you to lock up your items before entering the queue. My camera told me it was love at first sight. The Jaguar queue was just as empty. Loop apex. Silver Bullet was the first inverted coaster my friend had ridden. First up was Silver Bullet. The queues were empty but they still had 5 ride ops loading the few riders very quickly. KnottsPOV.wmv POV of Silver Bullet (camera stapped on ankle), Jaguar, Supereme Scream (camera strapped around ankle), Xcellerator, Boomerang.
  6. Try Southern Star Amusement Says they will keep Mega Zeph, if I'm not reading it wrong "Rides of the past included" meaning included in the proposal? Who knows how serious these guys are however. It would be nice to see the park saved however. -GG
  7. What about the Deja Vu lines? Do they always make it where you can't choose which seat you want to be in? Is this common among this type of ride and why do they do it this way? -GG
  8. Not a problem. Not only did I not try to sneak it in, I asked a ride op at every ride if there would be a problem with it. In the case of Knott's it was more than just the ride ops. There were people that wore different colored shirts and had walkie talkies on. I asked one of them what the difference between the shirt colors and he said the people like him go from ride to ride and audit throughout the day. Even this guy was cool with it. At Kemah Boardwalk I have worn it with park management knowing and since it is a secure item they have no problem with it. Its moot at this point, and these rides have all been well filmed in the past anyway so its not like anyone is missing out on something. -GG
  9. No problem, I pulled it for you. It is a grey area. If they do not allow the device on the ride then the ride locker attendant will have to watch for them and ask for them to be removed. In addition, they will have to ask for watches and other secure devices that may take video to be removed as well. I imagine they will clarify policies for devices like this in the near future. -GG
  10. They didn't. All the POV footage is against park policy, and therefore illegal.. also against site policy I believe. Nice trip report though. I've already responded to this. On Xcellerator, at least three of the five ride ops directly asked me about it and one of them asked where they could buy one at. They all knew I was recording POV. It's not something I hide and bring out on the lift, it is clearly visible on my wrist at all times. If it is against park policy they need to retrain the ride ops. -GG
  11. ^^^ Thanks, I have a few other "Leg Point Of View" and "Arm Up Point of View" videos from some of the Texas parks but never edited them. It makes for some intersting angles for sure. I use one of these: Go Pro Digital Hero It straps on very securely like a watch. I have used it at both Six Flags parks in Texas, in California, Knotts, Seaworld San Antonio, and Kemah Boardwalk. I always ask the ride ops and make sure they see it before I use it. Many of the ride ops have conversations with me about it and ask where they can buy it (Circuit City among other places). I've had a couple of ride ops have to ask the ride lead if its OK, but I've never been refused. Its very small and straps on securely. The video it captures is decent for such a small device, it doesn't work well in low light and takes while to adjust when going into bright light. Because it straps on vertically when its on my leg I had to rotate the video to view it correctly which is why it is padded with black borders. At that orientation you get more view of track ahead of you in the frame instead of what is on the left and right which is kidna cool but you have a lot of wasted space on a widescreen display. -GG
  12. Yes, it took awhile, but it is a bit like a journal for myself and replaying the trip in my mind was quite fun. I really don't have many pictures, I was too caught up in riding I did put up the POV I did while at Knotts, I'll see about editing the SFMM POVS I have as well. Also, SFMM is really a classy organization, I have already been contacted about some of my criticism which they will adress. Kudos to them! -GG
  13. Preface First let me say that I'm a very new coaster enthusiast. This was really the first time I took a trip whose primary purpose was to ride coasters. I had not ridden a roller coaster in over 13 years until Boardwalk Bullet opened last August, since then I have only been to SFOT and SFFT, so my coaster count is very low and many of these thrills are totally new to me. I choose SFMM and Knotts because I have a friend that lives in the area who I could stay with and was also interested in going to the parks with me. He had not ridden a coaster in over a decade himself. I also choose SFMM because of the variety of different types of coasters it has. Perhaps this will make for a different view than many hard seeded coaster enthusiasts, or perhaps newer enthusiasts like me will get something out of it. Please excuse the lack of proper paragraphs, the text editor I used chewed it all up and it pasted wrong into TPR, I've tried to edit it back together properly. Knotts Berry Farm 4-22-2008 We drove from Burbank to Knotts in about 30 minutes. Upon arriving we found it a bit hard to find the entrance as the signs off the freeway led to a closed parking lot. Fortunately a local told us where the main lot was but also advised us to park for free in the residential neighborhood across the street from it. Sure enough there was street side parking available to non-residents everywhere. Having picked up a coupon from Burger King to get in for $28.99, this made the visit dirt cheap. Speaking of which, I was always under the impression this park was pretty ghetto. Even my friend from Burbank had the impression they were pretty trashy since they always catered to the lowest common denominator. I had also read posts about the park going downhill on TPR after Cedar Fair took over. Perhaps this caused me to underestimate this park going in. Most of the parking lot was empty and as we walked to the ticket booth was saw all the little shops and the 'Famous Ms. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant'. We used out coupons from Burger King, entered the park and grabbed a map. The park had just opened and it was pretty much a ghost town except for a few school field trips of kids around 9-11 years old. Silver Bullet The map guided us to the first ride, Silver Bullet, which was running with one train. The queue was pretty much empty. We walked up to the first row that had two others in line. Silver Bullet would be my second inverted coaster, Batman was my first. My friend had never been on this type of coaster before. We spoke with the two other folks in line and they agreed to let us have the outside seats. After the first ride my friend stated he was really surprised by the forces. I told him that he hasn't felt anything yet (knowing that Goliath and others awaited the next day), as I stated earlier this was his first coaster ride in over 10 years. We rode about 5-6 times without having to leave the queue area in a variety of seats. I enjoyed the ride, the helix at the end was my favorite part and it rode ultra smooth. The ride ops were very friendly and struck conversations with us each time we reloaded. We eventually agreed to go on to the next ride on the map which was... Jaguar I didn't know what to expect with this one as I've never heard anyone mention it. There was probably a reason for it as it was slow, a bit rough, and really did nothing at all. I know its a family coaster, but so its Roadrunner Express at SFFT and Runaway Mine Train at SFOT, and those are fun. I'm sure some of you will convince me that is not a good comparison as they are not the same type of ride but nevertheless it was no fun at all. We rode it once in the front, once in the back, and moved on to Scream. Scream Ok, this isn't a coaster, but I am very fond of these types of rides. My first drop tower was Sky Screamer at Astroworld, and I hope to make it to Cedar Point to ride one of the last remaining free falls again before they decide to close it. Otherwise I've been on Superman at SFOT and Scream which were both fun. I've also had some great experiences on some ghetto carnival drop towers. I wanted my friend to experience a drop tower for his first time so we rode Scream here. They were operating only one tower, which is all that was needed for the lack of crowd, and two maintenance guys were working on the tower next to us. They had the bottom of one of the pipes opened and were doing something inside it when we heard a loud clang sound like something dropped. The maintenance guys noticed everyone looked over and one of them said jokingly "Ah, just leave it in there, it will be fine!" We got a nice chuckle out of it. I asked the maintenance guy why they only shot down and he said it had something to do with the other drop tower in town which shoots you up? We got on the ride and it wasn't very fun at all , no real zero G as you are put into the shoulder bar right away. We were both disappointed and agreed the best thing about the ride as the view. We only rode once even though there as no line and we could have stayed on. Xcellerator Aside from Grezzed Lightnin at Astroworld, Mr. Freeze at SFOT was the only launch coaster I had been on. Greezed was probably my favorite at Astroworld when I was a kid, and Mr. Freeze was fun as my first ever ERT ride during an ACE event. The station only had a few people in line when we arrived. Since the first row was the longest, about a 3 ride wait, we decided to get in the back, which was empty. This is another coaster which I don't hear many people talk about, maybe because its been around awhile? For someone like me who hadn't ridden many launch coasters, I was not prepared for what was about to happen! The lights started counting down from red to yellow to green and the ride shot off. The launch was unreal, much better than the Mr. Freeze launch, and before we knew it we were ejected into the lap bar and remained there all the way over the hill. At the end of the hill we got an extra bit of boost before pulled down and into the rest of the ride. The rest of the ride is nothing special but I didn't care, the launch and hill would be the my new barometer for this type of ride. We rode this one at least 20 times throughout the day. The front seat provides the best floater all the way over the hill, while the back provides ejector into not as long of duration of floater air. This ride alone was worth the park visit for me. It was at Xcellerator where I made the conclusion that everything I had read and heard about Knotts being a 'lowest common denominator' park was untrue. They had 5 operators on this ride even though the park was pretty empty most of the day. The other rides (like Silver Bullet) had 4-5 ride ops. When I visited Six Flags Fiesta Texas a few weeks earlier on a Saturday, a day the park is much busier, they only had 2 ride ops on Superman even though it was running three trains. Furthermore, all the ride operators at Knotts were having fun every time we came back to ride, like playing games with the ride patrons asking them to "guess ride op Jerry's last name, it begins with X" while everyone in the station would come up with the most ridiculous suggestions. It is nice to see employees having fun at their jobs and it made the little time we had to wait to ride go by faster. Rip Tide I have not been on this type of ride before. SFOT has something similar but not exactly the same, but it was really boring. I decided to give it a try and was really impressed. The water theming and how they tease to about getting wet was fun, and the finale with 6 aggressive spins was just enough but not too much. The POV I was taking on this ride didn't work, so we rode once more to try again then both my Friend and I agreed that was all we could take. For a flat ride it was fun, but not something I am likely to ride twice in a row or wait a long time in line for. Boomerang Some of you may have seen my post on TPR about my first Vekoma Boomerang ride at SFOT and that it didn't live up to the rough and ouchie ride that I was groomed to expect. Well, this one did! I had already warned my friend of the reputation of this ride and he agreed it was unnecessarily rough. Furthermore, I got my first quadrupole ;vekoma; during the cobra roll which felt more like a going though a W shaped piece of track with 45 degree angles! We were in the second to last car (the same one I rode in at SFOT so I could compare) so we decided to ride in the front after that. The front is a bit easier on you at the beginning, but going backwards through the cobra roll is worse! Only two rides on the Boomerang and we are done.This ride had a bit of a line, about a two train wait (I know, thats not a line, but for this day it was). When in line I was telling my friend of the Vekoma reputation I have learned about from TPR and other enthusiasts. The ride op overheard me and joing in the conversation. She started talking about the Vekoma at SFMM and warned us of that one. She then started talking of other coasters and companies with us. Again, it was nice to have a ride op who conversed with us and this one actually a bit of enthusiasts herself. Ghostrider I didn't know what to expect of Ghostrider. To this point the only Wooden Coasters I have ridden are Texas Cyclone, Wildcat at Lake Compounce, Texas Giant, Rattler, and Boardwalk Bullet. I was expecting to rate this one solidly behind Boardwalk Bullet for the ones I had ridden, mainly because the others in Texas are so bad. We got in the front seat of the back car. My friend, who had only ridden Texas Cyclone in the past, was warned that the back seat is usually a bit rough. I had was prepared a bit after having ridden Giant and Rattler (and Boardwalk Bullet to an extent) for roughness, but I DIDN'T expect what I got from Ghostrider. WOW, this was BY FAR the roughest coaster I have ever been on. The drops ejected you hard into the lap bars, then down back into the seat with some nice added shimmy. OUCH, my friend and I both hurt a but when we got off. Nevertheless I convinced him that the front should be smoother. I was a bit worried about this, but to this date on every other woodie I have ridden there has been a big difference in the front. We got in line, about a 2 train wait (they were running two trains), then prepared for the worst. WOW, what a difference! This was a very fun coaster in the front car. Perhaps it was just the transition from back car to front, but it is my #2 woodie easily at this point, although it won't stay there long as I will be hitting El Toro in a few months When I got back to my friends place I looked it up on Mitch's coaster poll where it was #37 ranked, not too bad really, for some reason I thought it was ranked much worse. After Ghostrider we rode La Revolution and a then re-rode Xcellerator and Silver Bullet a lot more. We rode the upcharge sky swing ride, which really sucked and was way too short, We rode Xcellerator more then hit the gift shop so I could buy an Xcellerator Tee Shirt but they had none in XL size. We ended up spending about seven hours in the park, even though we had only budgeted four. Pros: Very Clean and extremely fun and friendly ride operators. No crowds and reride policy didn't require us to talk the queue. Very inexpensive. The Western part of the park near ghostrunner was nice to walk around. I can imagine my parents spending had they come at the shops there. Xcellerator! Cons: Not many coasters, two were under maintenance. Scream was a bore. Seem to cater to a younger audience. Conclusion I know Montezumas Revenge and Sidewinder would be down when I arrived a Knott's does a nice job if putting their ride status online, so I was not too disappointed by this. I would have loved to ride the Schwartzkopf looper and bring back memories of Greezed Lightning in my younger days, but that will have to wait for the next time I will be in Burbank. Speaking of which, I will go back to Knotts when I am visiting. Even though I am knew to this, and yes I have not seen the bigger better parks out there, I don't know why anyone would say this is not a good park. The few Six Flags parks I have been to don't even come close as far as the hospitality that we received from Knotts. Furthermore, it was dirt cheap to get in. As I said before, I had very low expectation coming in, and those expectations were far, far exceeded! Day Two Six Flags Magic Mountain - The real reason I came to SoCal! April 24, 2008 It took only 25 minutes to get to SFMM and we arrived minutes after the gate opened. I used my season pass and the "Get a Friend in Free" coupon that came with it so we paid nothing to enter or park. The previous day we ran into a Coaster Enthusiast and ACE member named Richard that told us to go to Tatsu first, so off to Tatsu it was. Tatsu After a bit of walking (I think it might have been faster and easier to take the orient express and walk down to the Tatsu Entrance in retrospect?) we arrived at the Tatsu entrance. I had my camera bag and told my friend we needed to put it in the locker to ride. I know this issue has been beat into the ground, but my friend, who I stated before doesn't do theme parks, was amazed that we had to pay to do this so its not just coaster enthusiasts that are complaining. My friend suggested we try to fit all my stuff in his big cargo pant pockets and somehow they were able to fit so we didn't have to use the lockers after all. The line to Tatsu was about 20 minutes and having been spoiled from the previous day this seemed like a long time. We decided to queue up for the first seat once we were allowed into the station. Three rides later we were on, seated on opposite ends of each other, and the Tatsu experience began. I noticed how comfortable the restraints were and was surprised. Most of your weight it balanced across different areas so not one area is taking on a lot of the pressure. We were lowered into flying position and off to the lift hill we went. It was then when I noticed was the amount of bubble gum stuck on the bottom of the lift hill. I was chewing a piece of gum myself and looking at all this chewed gum made me a bit sick and I wanted to spit mine out, but I didn't. This was a problem that seemed to persist on other rides throughout the park a well. Alas, we were on that part of track for a few seconds before working our way to the top of the hill. The view that appeared before my eyes was unlike any coaster experience I have had. Keep in mind, I am from South Texas, we do not have hills, our mountains, etc, so the experience was escalated for me. My Friend, who is a bit scared of heights, was silent at this part. We cleared the hill and off we went. The first ride went by very fast. I couldn't believe the force at which you were pushed away from the train. Then came what I soon would call the pinnacle of the ride, the loop! This element was awesome with the positive G's sustaining all the way around. Wow! We headed into the station and just before the brakes got some nice ejector as our butt popped up into the back of the seat. THIS was why I came to CA! We stopped on the brake run and sat for awhile while the train in front was unloaded. They were running two trains and using only one side of the station. It was when we sat here that I again noticed what had to be days, if not weeks, of bubble gum in various stages of deformation all over the area. It made me want to spit out my gum out, and I am sure encourages others to do the same, its really disgusting SFMM really need to take care of this, it seems like it would be very trivial to do. After about 4 minutes we were moved into the station and because there were lines, and we did not know how long the lines would get on the other coasters in the rest of the park as the day went on, we decided to move on and hit Tatsu again later. Superman The Escape On the way to Riddlers Revenger we decided to hit Superman. This coaster was the one that really captured my attention when it was built 12 years ago and I've always wanted to ride. We went into the station which was very dark and blacklit. The loading queue was unique to me as I've never seem this type where the doors open to the ride, until that point you can not see the trains and station. There was nobody in the queue which first made me wonder if it was even open. A few seconds later the doors opened and we were allowed in. We sat in the front of the car, the ride op checked our restraints and only seconds later we were off. The launch was on its way, at least I thought it was, but it felt more like a car just gaining speed. We reached the top and back in no time at all and looked at each other like nothing happened. I guess we were both spoiled by Xcellerator the day before. I was very very disappointed. Even with no lines, we decided not to ride again (fearing the lines might be building up on some of the other coasters, a fear which would later prove to be unnecessary). Superman proved to be the biggest disappointment of the trip, and by far the most annoying as the noise it made when you were near that end of the park was very aggravating. Riddlers Revenge My only stand up was Batman at Astroworld and I really don't remember much about it. My friend has never been on a stand up before. We made it to that area of the park and it was deserted. As we walked towards the station we saw the infamous ride lockers and one park employee looked bored out of her mind waiting to check the few patrons that were passing her by. We made our way into the queue and my friend mentioned the feeble attempt at theming. I told him that Six Flags really doesn't do that and he should expect Disney type theming. He pointed out the broken laser machines at the back of the ride queue and stated that at least what they did have could be working. It didn't bother me, nonetheless, I was there to ride coasters. Riddler's Revenge had only a few riders in line. We headed to the back seat since it was empty. The ride operator greeted us which was nice, something I had become accustomed to from the previous day at Knotts. One train later we were on our way. The only thing I remember about Batman at Astroworld it that is was a bit uncomfortable. I am now 5'8" and a heft 200lbs while my friend is 6'8" and the same weight. We both mentioned that although the restraints were all over, it was not uncomfortable at all. Off we went up the lift hill then, clank, it stopped and then rolled back an inch onto the anti rollbacks. We were only about 1/3 of the way up. I explained to my friend that it would probably start going again soon and not to worry. About 4 minutes later we were off! I didn't expect much out of this coaster, it seems to me that standing up would be the least ideal position to ride in, but Riddler's Revenge delivered. It was fast and furious. The elements were very close to each other without much dead time. We made our way back into the station and decided to get in the front seats. The ride operators said we had to walk to the queue since there were people in line there already (there was nobody else in line elsewhere however). The queue was easy to walk since the placement of the ride lockers allowed us to cut through and the employee there didn't mind. We were back up before the next ride was release. Our front seat ride was even better. The wind and view makes a world of difference on these types of coasters and the positive G's seemed more forceful. We decided that Riddler's Revenge would be on our list to ride more later. Batman I've been on several Batmans now in Texas but my friend had not been on one. Since this part of the park still looked empty we decided to go ahead and give it a ride. The station was empty so riding the front was no problem. It was at this point that I noticed the lack of customer interaction by the ride ops. The previous day at Knotts had been just the opposite. While entering Batman one ride op was sitting on the steps of the control panel and the others looked like zombies. There were only about 8 riders total on the ride in progress, so I know it must be a bit boring, but it was this empty at Knotts too. Regardless, we loaded up on the front car and off we went. We entered the station just as fast as we left and I was happy to see the big grin on my friends face. He said he really liked that and I went on to tell him about how many there are and the situation in Texas where they have one in neighboring parks just thirty minutes apart. It is a very fun ride for sure, and another one we decided to ride more later. Goliath I had been boasting to my friend about Goliath before we got there. It was another coaster I really wanted to ride as Titan is my favorite steel in Texas. I told my friend about the positive G's causing momentary vision loss on some people which he still fails to believe can happen. This ride had the longest lines of the day. This was partially due to a vomit cleanup which was going on as we entered the station. The ride ops here seemed to be enjoying their job. The lady on the main control panel was interacting with the customers, answering every ridiculous question we asked by saying "Oh Yeah" in the way the Kool Aid Man does. Everyone got a laugh and it made the twenty minute wait fly by. We decided to get in the back seat first. In my experience at SFOT I recall the back having the most positive G's and some decent floater on the airtime hill. I've heard some people say they like Titan better, and others say they like Goliath. I was interested to see what I thought. When the ride was over I was a bit disappointed. Although the ejector in the first drop seemed a bit more than on Titan, the positive G's during the loop on Tatsu were closer to what I felt on Titan, and while Goliath's single (helix?) did produce some positive G's it was nothing like Titan or Goliaths Positive G's. We decided to ride in the front to see if anything was different. We lost the ejector in the first drop by gained a bit of floater on the airtime hill. The positive G's on the helix started a bit sooner but were not as strong. My friend liked the ride but said it was the least fun to him out of all the coasters we had ridden (he won't even consider Superman, which he would have ranked lower, even lower than the Scream drop tower at Knotts he said). Two rides was all here and we put it on the back of the list to re-ride later if we had time and the park was not too full. Scream I told him a bit of Superman at SFFT, the other B&M floorless I had ridden. The line here had a one train wait. The ride ops here reminded me of the ones on Batman, not enjoying their work at all and we were never greeted or acknowledged. We loaded up to the front seats and within a minute were on our way. Scream was an mixed experience, it was a nice ride, but it always seemed like it was going a too slow. It was being trimmed hard and just seemed like it wasn't doing what the designers intended. Since there were no riders in the queue and the ride ops said we didn't have to walk the the entrance we rode 4 times in various seats. We both agreed at the end that this was now our least favorite ride of the day and we probably wouldn't be back to re-ride. Its nice and smooth, and the view in the front is fun, but it just doesn't do much. Colossus Ok, I've heard NOTHING but bad about this coaster. I heard that they sometimes ride one train backwards, so I thought I'd give it a chance and at least make it my first backwards riding coaster. The ride ops here seemed more awake at least but they didn't acknowledge us either. The customer service and interaction at Knotts was really starting to put SFMM to shame at this point. Unfortunately for me, they were not riding a train backwards today but there was no wait in the queue so we got in the second to last seat. We were not expecting to get violently jolted into the lap bar on the first and second drop, it really hurt for the very short amount of ejector air that it was. The rest of the ride was a mess. Slow turns, useless hills, and needless roughness. I guess if they were running two trains and they raced it would add a little excitement to the ride. We recalled how our front seat ride of Ghostrider the previous day gave us a much better opinion of the ride so we went in line to the front. At this point we didn't even ask the ride ops if it was OK to re-ride as they seemed less than interested in interacting with us. Obviously it wasn't a problem as we sat in the front and were off as the only two riders on the train. Unlike Ghostrider, however, a front seat ride would not salvage this ride. I don't have many wooden coaster credits but I will put this one dead last, way below Rattler even. Two rides were enough for us and off we went. Viper After viewing the park map we decided to ride Viper on the other side of the park. After a decent walk which went through a section I starting calling the "trash can parade" where there was a trash can placed every 15 feet for a long section and nothing else around, we arrived at Viper. This coaster was very unique looking. The nearby elevation changes and the loop way up at the top was interesting. We arrived at a near empty queue again and were pleasantly greeted by the ride op. The first thing I noticed were the restraints. They had every indication of an unpleasant ride. We waiting for the train to return and plumped down into the first seat. The over the shoulder restraints were huge, I wondered if they were even necessary on a ride like this. Our expectation began to sink pretty low for this one. We left the lift hill and into the first loop and quickly into the next loop. My friend screamed "not bad" and just as he did, bam, head slam! And another, and another, and ouch ouch ouch. What happened! The ride was over and were were both very displeased. It started out pretty fun, but ended with a lot of needless banging. Of course, because I try to get front and back car rides on every coaster I get on, we had to do the back now. Neither were looking forward to this but it had to be done. After noticing the wheels sat behind the very last seat I said it would be safe to actually sit in the very last seat, not the second to least that I often choose. This ride was different in that not even the first loops were pleasant, without the force of the back of the train forcing the front through the loops it felt like the train would not even make it through. It had so many unexpected bumps going into and out of elements, it reminded me of what had come to expect from Vekmoma. Two rides were more than enough here. Revolution The closest thing I had been on to being a terrain coaster was Astroworld mini mine train, the Serpent. I was looking forward to this aspect of the ride so we headed there next. This ride was the most empty of the day. We walked right on to a waiting front seat. Like our previous ride, Viper, I didn't like the over the shoulder restraints right away as they were lined up right at my ear level. I thought it was interesting it had a chain driving the train out of the station into the lift hill chain. The first drop was mostly harmless but after that the ride was torturous. My ears kept getting banged around ever few seconds. I tensed up as the loop approached but was pleasantly surprised it was not that bad, easily the best part of the ride. I was not able to enjoy the scenery as much a I would have liked. My friend, who is a bit taller than me, was also beat up pretty well. We decided, for the first time, not to ride the back car. Viper pretty much did us in, and the front of this one was taking it toll on us. It was time to head back to nice and comfy Tatsu before we continued on to the other coasters we hadn't hit. Tatsu - Re-riding and getting stuck on the lift When we arrived in the morning there as a line downstairs into the queue but now when we arrived there was no line at all, we were able to walk into a mostly empty queue with only a line for the front car. We decided to try the middle car, then the back after that. Both rides were fun, the back car delivered more forces and both had surprisingly good views, but we decided to wait a two three train wait for another ride in the front, the view there is unmatched! We started out of the station and hit the bottom of the lift then then, suddenly clunk, bang, stop. We came to a rest. A ride op ran out several seconds later to assure everyone nothing was wrong. Apparently some idiot jumped over the exit gate to retrieve an item they left behind and the ride op was forced to hit the e-stop. The ride op spent as much time needed answering any questions each car of the train had. I asked how they did evacs from the lift hill and if they have ever had to do one at the top. He said they have not done one from the top of the lift hill but several from the bottom of the lift hill (where we were at). Apparently they unload you from the flying position. I also took the time to ask him if the new ride locker policy is helping load times. He said it hasn't helped at all because everyone spends just as much tie getting shoes and/or arguing why they can't get an item they left behind. It took about twenty minutes before maintenance was able to reset the ride. We went up about 1/4 on the hill and came to another stop. The ride op ran back out and yelled that this was normal and part of the reset sequence. A minute later we were off. Now, I stated early how comfortable Tatsu restraints are. Let me revise that by saying they are when you are riding and forces are changing directions, but sitting stationary in the flying position becomes quite uncomfortable fast, especially if your are not pinned in by the restraints (I liked to leave it a little loose so I could move around in the seat). We had a nice ride and when we returned to the station the ride op told us to go downstairs and they would have something for us for our inconvenience. At the exit there was a manager and security officer writing out tickets that would get us to the front of the line any time of the day, a one time use instant flash pass. It was only good for today, so it wasn't of much use since there were no lines to begin with, but we took it anyway, and off to Deja Vu we went. Deja Vu This would be my first Giant Boomerang, and suspended at that. When we arrived in the queue there was a bit of a line. After waiting a few minutes and noticing nothing was happening the ride op announced technical difficulties and stated that we could wait of go ride something else. A few minutes later he made the same announcement and quite a few people started to get out of line and exit. Literally 30 seconds later, with a bit of embarrassing chuckle, the ride op announced the ride was now open again. A few people lost their spots but the people in line graciously let them get back to their original positions. It was then that I noticed that they were assigning seats on this ride. I have never experienced this. After riding Viper, Revolution, then getting a bit sore on Tatsu due to the e-stop, I wasn't too anxious on riding in the back of this one. As luck would have it when we got to the station the ride op that as assigning isle sent us to row 16, the very back. I asked if we could ride row one and he said we couldn't, we'd have to get back in line and try our luck. Why do they do this? Does this happen at all parks with Giant Boomerangs? It sucked nonetheless. We sighed a bit, told him we were just stuck on Tatsu for 20 minutes and didn't want to get beat up but that didn't seem to matter. He said the back is the best seat to ride anyway. To the right of us was a mother and young daughter, they realized then that they would be separated by the design of the train cars. They asked the ride op if they could ride together in a car, then the ride op started asking for volunteers, he found none. They decided to ride anyway. This added to the oddness of assigning seats. It seems like they could just limit the station to 4-6 people per line and if they want to switch lines they could. There is probably a solid reason for the reason they do it this way, but you guys will have to fill me in on it. Alas, we got in the back and off we went. The lift to the top was fast and quite fun when it let go. The day earlier I got my first quadruple . This time I got and Sextuple , it would now be my record. The cobra roll was not that bad and the loop was enjoyable. The drops were by far the best part of the ride, with the initial drop giving me just a tad bit of the feeling I remember on the free fall at Astroworld. Had they not had these horrible restraints, this one wouldn't have been that bad. Since we couldn't choose which seat to ride in we did not get in line to ride again. Ninja We headed off to Ninja but were advised it was down due to technical difficulties but would re-open soon. Gold Rusher I like mine trains. The one at SFFT is a blast. I was hoping this one would pack a little punch as well. The ride ops here were unresponsive and looked like the boredom of their job was getting to them. We were not greeted even though we were one of 4 riders there. Alas, they sent us out and up the lift hill after checking our restraints. About halfway up the hill on the left we approached the most sickening sight I had seen at the park. It was a pole that had what seemed to be an accumulation of about a 1/2 on used bubble gum covering a space of about 1 foot by 8 inches. It looked nasty, slimy and of course as I was still chewing my gum which made me want to hurl it out. Now, with Tatsu I can understand it might be a little bit more difficult to clean the gum up, but it should still be trivial and a daily part of their cleanup routine. With this ride, however, there is no excuse. It was apparent this was not a days worth of gum, or even a weekends, but it had been accumulating for a long time. Very nasty. At least with this one it was easy to look away, while in Tatsu you are hanging looking down at it everywhere. We continued up the lift and the coaster picked up some speed, went through some terrain and before we knew it another lift. This might have been one of the shorter sections on a mine train I recall before the second lift. It was a pleasant ride and I enjoyed the terrain. The end of the ride picked up speed and the helix delivered a nice bit of force for a family coaster. I am sure the little ones were happy it was over right afterwards, a good entry to coastering for them. We rode once more in the back seat and had a very similar ride. This is probably the worst of the few mine trains I have been on, but by no means a bad ride. Bumper Cars We decided to make the quick walk to the bumper cars. Got in line then saw you were forced to ride in circles, thought "What's the point of riding.", and moved on and decided to ride Riddler's Revenge and Batman some more. Riddler's Revenge - Reriding Still no lines except for the front. We got in the last row and off we went. Fun ride until we got back onto the brakes where we ended up standing for about 10 minutes. The problem was a rider in the train loading in front of us refused to throw away her brand new water bottle. The ride op kept telling her she would have to throw it away or not ride. She also had a bag in her hand which held a photo she bought from another ride. They kept arguing back and forth, the few riders on my train were obviously getting a bit angry at the situation. I was surprised the ride op didn't call security. Apparently they came to some agreement where the lady threw away the water but was able to hold the bag during the ride. When we were finally moved up and ready to unload I asked the ride op if the locker policy is working. This was twice I had been delayed to the policy (once on Tatsu earlier when a rider tried to recover an item they 'threw away'). He said that it didn't speed things up at all and he has been in the situation arguing with riders about the policy quite a few times. Fortunately it was not a busy day, but I can't imagine the tension the ride ops would be put under in this situation on a busy day. We re-rode about 7-8 times and decided to hit Batman again next. Batman Rerides Its the Batman you all know and love. The queues were totally empty and we did not have to walk them to re-ride. After a few rides one of the ride ops actually had a short conversation with me, these were the ride ops that earlier looked to be in zombie mode. We rode about 5 times and decided it was time to see if Ninja was operating. Ninja (a.k.a. the Ride after the walk of death) As I have stated before, I am from Houston and there are not many hills here at all. The shortest route on the map showed ninja to be right around the corner. In retrospect, we may have taken another route because we ended up taking the climb of death. My feet and ankles are not used to inclines and by the time we made it to the top of this hill and the entrance of Ninja, I as gasping for air and my calves were burning. Alas, we made it and there was no wait to get on Ninja in the front car. The ride reminded me of XLR8 at Astroworld. I remember how you would be flying right into a support pole and swing out of the way just in time. The ride ops here greeted us and were friendly. We took off in the front car and I noticed the nice terrain again. It was noticeably faster than I remember XLR8 which quite surprised me. Some of the turns had nice positive forces. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't give the illusion of being about to run into a pole or tree as much as I recalled XLR8 did. It was a fun ride, and we decided to ride in the back car, which wasn't nearly as good, mainly because of the view. Log Jammer By now we wanted to have nice ride cool ride so we headed to the log flume. There was no line and a bunch of empty logs floating around. The temperature wasn't bad so we decided to risk getting a bit wet after the ride op let us know that you do get wet on this flume. I have only been on the log flumes at Astroworld, SFFT, and SFOT. This one would probably rate somewhere along the lines of Astroworld's for me, I like SFFT and SFOT better. The best part about it is terrain and it moves along pretty fast all the way through. We came upon the second lift when I mentioned to my friend that they usually have a ride op sitting the the booth up there. When we got to the top we found the ride op, in a laying position looking up at us, not too impressive. The drop was nice, then the water slowed and we made our way to the big drop. Didn't get too wet but we were nailed by a couple of patrons with the water cannons, which got us much more wet than the drop. My friend had never seen these things so when we got out we spent a few quarters and waited (about 5 minutes because nobody was riding) to shoot it. It was fun and a bit of vengeance to get someone else wet. Tatsu - Finishing the day with ERT on our favorite SFMM coaster At this point the evening was winding down. It was about 5:20 so we headed to Tatsu. We decided to use our re-ride voucher and entered through the exit as we were instructed. The four people who were waiting to ride the front had to wait for us to ride first instead with a nearly empty train behind us. After that we had to change seats but were able to get on and stay on until the last ride of the evening without having to walk the queue. Tatsu is a great ride, I could ride it all day long. I am a bit sore on the area below my shoulders on my chest from the pressure on the restraints but soreness due to a great coaster is not a bad thing for me! And don't get me wrong, Tatsu is not uncomfortable, its just that we rode it so much, most riders would never experience this. During this session on Tatsu the ride ops were much more talkative, probably because they noticed us riding so much, but perhaps more so because they were getting of work soon. I kept noticing people leaving water, stuffed animals, etc on the floor. Apparently they were not enforcing the ride locker policy this late into the evening. We asked the ride operators how many rides were left then planned to get in line for the front car for the last ride of the day. We planned correctly, a group behind us in line for the front had to get in another car, and the day was finished on a high point. We even got to return into the opposite station which was not used today as they parked our train for the night. As we headed for the park exit my friend stated how eerie it was to be in an empty theme park as his previous experiences were always in packed parks. We hit the gift store that was still open and I bought a Tatsu shirt. It was a great day and end to my first 'mini' coaster trip. Pros: Nice Variety of Coasters. I loved the terrain, lots of trees and scenery, and for the most part very clean. No lines all day! Tatsu, Riddler's Revenge, Batman. Cons: Get rid of the Bubble Gum problem on Tatsu and on Gold Rusher, its disgusting and shouldn't be too hard to deal with. Disappointed by Superman, the noise it makes is horrendous. Colassus and Scream disappointing. Encourage the ride ops to have fun, or look like they are having fun. Knotts killed SFMM in this area and perhaps we were a bit spoiled by them. I don't expect ride ops to greet me personally, especially on busy days, but when you are the only two riders, or one of just a few, some interaction or acknowledgment that you exist would be nice. At the very least they shouldn't look like zombies doing their job. Some of the operators, like at Goliath and at Tatsu at the end of the day, were having fun and very nice. Ride Lockers - we didn't have to pay for them but, ironically, they actually slowed things down for us and were the cause of several delays. Very few flats. That darn steep hill we climbed to get back to Ninja Conclusion: I've read the park used to be bad and had a problems with gangs and stuff but I can't judge it on what it used to be, only what it is on my experience. That being said, it is by far the most scenic of the parks I have been to, and the variety of coasters makes it a great park for new enthusiasts to visit. The few problems I have it with should be easily remedied. I will be revisiting it anytime I am in the area and I am sure as I occur more coaster credits it will be fondly in my memory as one of the first parks I visited when starting this hobby. -GG P.S. I have some POV and pics I may post later, but I figure most people here have seen plenty of them already. If enough ask, I'll post the POV videos. And yes, the POV was taken with a camera that is worn like a watch, or strapped around my leg for suspended coasters. All the ride ops saw it and none had an issue at either park. Many of the asked where to get one for themselves.
  14. I was there all day Wednesday, didn't see it test that day. Park was empty, ERT on every coaster, I am sore on the top of my chest from all the Tatsu rides (and getting stuck on the lift for about 20 minutes didn't help either) but what a fun coaster!!! Full Trip report coming soon -GG
  15. 1) It makes little to no sense to have both a B&M invert and floorless in the same park, as they create the exact same riding experience 2) 105 foot coaster with a 90 foot drop...and you call it goliath? 3) no one is as big a fan of batman clones as I, (my fav. coaster at SFMM after X), but with SFOT a suitible drive away, it would have been more fitting to see a custom ride go in to this park xlnt Photo TR These points have been well covered in the official announcement thread for this ride. Initially I thought that your point 3 was the most effective (even more effective when you note that there is another Batman only 30 minutes away at Seaworld), but the more coasters I ride the more I start to respect Batman. I have a low coaster count, and was under the impression that Batman was the McDonalds of coasters, but after hitting Knotts and SFMM this week my opinions of changed. Batman was better than Silver Bullet and Scream, in my opinion, with Scream being very boring and Silver Bullet having a few good elements. Now in retrospect, I don't see it as that big of a deal to have Batmans at adjacent parks as it is a very good coaster and provides a good baseline for my coaster experiences. -GG
  16. Does anyone know if Goliath and Viper are operational now. I am in town and will hit SFMM either Tomorrow, Wednesday, or Thursday depending on which rides are operational. Perhaps there is a phone number I can call at SFMM to get this information? -GG
  17. The Boomerang at Fiesta Texas is the best one I've ever been on ... Must have been that mid day +100 degree heat wave I was in. I just wish this coaster was named Shockwave. It was only 70 degrees when I rode. I still have yet to experience the wrath of , I'm sure I'll get it on a future Boomerang. If they named Goliath Shockwave then everyone would be complaining that there are two Shockwaves in Texas instead of three Batman clones. -GG
  18. I'll be near SFMM next Monday through Thursday. I still haven't decided which day to visit the park on. Is there a web page that has daily ride status somewhere so I can tell which rides are operational before heading out there? -GG
  19. I thought and almost posted the exact same thing. It reminds me a lot of the Coaster Dynamix stuff. Yes, its to the left side as you enter the park, a very nice scene for patrons waiting to enter the park as the first drop is right there in front. Small Vid-Cap of Goliath From Outside of Park Entrance
  20. I had always skipped Boomerang at Fiesta Texas because of the long lines and the reputation Boomerangs have among coaster enthusiasts. When I visited Fiesta Texas a few weeks ago I took my first ride on a Boomerang (yes, I've never been on a Boomerang period). I was expecting the worst but was surprised that, even in the back seat, I didn't experience any slamming or head banging etc. It was actually a decent ride, and with no lines would have been easily re-ridable. I was told by Texcoaster that this Boomerang is one of the better ones and that the restraints are of a newer model, perhaps this makes a difference, but IMO the Boomerang at Fiesta Texas doesn't live up to the painful reputation that Boomerangs in general seem to have. The Rattler, on the other hand, is a totally different story altogether... Needlessly rough, slow and boring for 85% of the ride. -GG
  21. As well as the lack of any kind of kitchen services. You know what would be nice and *maybe* more feasible is some kind of coffee or beverage service, though. Like a slightly more glorified ODV cart or something. But really I couldn't see them adding anything more to the tower unless the bottom deck could be opened also. --Robb Reminds of of this crazy idea: Dinner In The Sky If a company thinks that is feasible, turning a view tower into a diner would be easy! -GG
  22. This depends on the day of the week and the time of day. Just avoid traveling between 4-6pm and you will be ok. Any of the popular internet mapping services will provide accurate directions to the Boardwalk, its pretty simple however: 610 East, pass I-45 ,Merge onto 225 East. Continue 225 East to 146 south, go South (turn right from 225) on FM 146. Stay on 146 until you get to Kemah, you'll cross over the bridge and see Kemah Boardwalk on the left, you can't miss it. It is about 30-40 minute trip with no traffic. If it is anything like this week it will be near perfect, mid 70's, very low humidity and nice breeze. Right now they forecast it will be a little warm when you first arrive (almost 90), but then drop to the low 70's after a front comes through (bringing storms for a day), but at a week off it could vary by a few days on when the front will hit. I'd plan on wearing shorts during the day and bring a light jacket at night just in case. Not as far as TPR related stuff goes. There is Schlitterbahn Galveston but it appears to be closed most of the week you get here as they transition from indoor to outdoor park. If you do the kiddie coaster credit whore thing there is a kiddie coaster at It'z on 290 north and another at Incredible Pizza, both about 45 minutes from your location. -GG
  23. The Bullet usually opens around noon-1pm and there isn't much of a line if one at all until about 5pm when it backs up to about 15 minutes or so. Around 7pm on it is anywhere from 20-40 minute wait until closing. On Sat they have to close the line to the Bullet at about 10:20 because they have to finish the last ride before 11am or risk being fined by the city for the noise ordinance. Sunday is similar but the peak is from about 4-8, overall it is not as busy as Sat, especially at the end of the night. -GG
  24. I have not been posting many updates about the Bullet lately so thought it was about time. First the bad news. The Bullet has undergone more track work and was closed the past week (Monday-Friday evening) to repair a part of track on the upper bay turn. It opened yesterday and ran all day today. About two weeks ago the Bullet was closed for a few days to repair a part of track after the first drop. Both parts appeared to have been repaired by putting a piece of plastic behind the guide rail. Apparently they are still having issues as both of these repairs were done on parts of the track that were completely replaced just a couple of months ago when it was down for winter maintenance. The good news is that they are now using some different kind of track lubricant. They had been using graphite and on the track but the train would run as slow as 88 seconds if they didn't put the stuff on every few days. This caused the train to really stall on the hills, especially when it was running with empty trains. With the new lubricate I have yet to see the bullet run higher than 68 seconds with a full train, and its been averaging 64-65 seconds with no stalling at all on any of the hills or turns. Its really flying into and through the water cooler turn, you can't even come close to counting clicks on the anti-rollbacks. While I've had faster rides on the Bullet, I've never experienced it ride this good for this long of a time. Hopefully the days of showing up to ride to find the train is going 80+ seconds are gone. I ran into CoasterJoe riding a few weeks ago and he really enjoyed the coaster. I ran into SKCfan tonight who was really beat up when he rode it in November before the winter repairs. He wouldn't ride in the back because of his experience in November but I coerced him into row 11. I think he was expecting a beating, but he didn't get it. He looked at me at the end of the ride and said "Wow, that didn't hurt." Heh. Thats a good thing. Row 1 is still the best seat on the train IMO, it gets all kinds of ejector air going into the hills and going up to the water cooler turns gives you a nice positive to negative G boost that until recently didn't happen (did I mention its now flying through this turn?). Stay away from rows 2-9 unless you just want a beating. Rows 10-12 are "rough but worth it" with row 11 being the least rough of those. They had rows 9-10 roped off tonight on so the lines were running a bit longer than normal at 30-40 minutes wait from 7-11pm. The weather was great and I ran into several coaster enthusiasts including a 77 year old ACE member (now the oldest Male ACE member) who flew from Florida to ride it this weekend. Like most people who have ridden it, he has mixed reactions about the Bullet. Insane first half, but really dies down at the end, and is a bit rougher than expected for a new coaster. If anyone plans on riding the Bullet during the weekday I highly suggest calling to see if it is running due to the amount of downtown it has has in the past few weeks. -GG
  25. In California I can see going awhile in line without much hydration since it is usually very pleasant temperature wise there. In Texas, however, it is unbelievably hot in the summer. We can no longer carry our park refillable refreshment bottle past the entrance of the queue if we plan to ride. Furthermore, its of no use filling before riding any 'ride locker' ride since the ice is just going to melt away while it sits in the locker. If the locker were not at the very beginning of the queue, it wouldn't be as much of an issue, but standing in line with nothing to drink for sometimes over an hour can even be dangerous in the summer here. Yeah, I know, we can just buy a water or soda and drink it before we get to the station but those ARE (unlike the lockers) terribly expensive and kind of negates the purpose for having a park refillable bottle in the first place. This may not be that big of a concern for most but it is my main beef with the lockers, not the price. Of lesser concern is that it makes it harder for me to takes pictures or video of the rides from angles in the queue or in the station, but understandably, I doubt they care much about that. -GG
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