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crikett's Achievements


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  1. I made it out to the first two nights of Winterfest at CGA... and wow! It was crowded! It does seem like a lot of people are now visiting since the park was in the news and has an expiration date (2027 seems to be the target mentioned in the most recent Cedar Fair financial reports). I've been going to the park since I was a child when it opened, and I can't ever recall the kind of traffic backups that were surrounding the park to start Winterfest. In prior years when I've gone on Black Friday, there is usually very light attendance. The park looks great, and I noticed along with repainting most of the cars on the Barney Oldfield Speedway, they also have some new cars with four seats (these were off to the side and not yet in service).
  2. First, just in case anyone is interested, there is a petition at Change.org to "save Great America." Yes, probably no impact, but... https://www.change.org/p/save-california-s-great-america Second, thoughts about this after having sat on it for awhile. I am a bit bewildered about what the plan is for this. Prologis is a company that develops warehouse space. Clearly, the land here couldn't be aimed for that, so are they looking to branch out into something new? If so, it is a rather expensive endeavor, though one where they could partner with someone that has such experience. Or are they looking to sit on it with a plan to sell it off to someone else in the coming years? Either one fits with the 11 year time line, given that they will need to work with the city to get any development plan approved, or to find another buyer. Some members of the City Council sound quite angry about it, and have supposedly said no development that isn't an amusement park would be approved... but back to that. Is there actually a chance, that like last time, something happens? There are possible scenarios that can be imagined... another park operator steps in and buys it, or the city works something out to take over the land again (probably swapping out other land to bring the park back under city ownership, tech millionaire/billionaire with childhood memories steps in), etc. Though really, they are probably all pretty far fetched. Possible, but unlikely. But thinking about these things, it occurs that there could actually be other operators interested. The fact that the sale wasn't rumored kind of suggests that Cedar Faire never discussed this with others in the industry. They likely wanted to keep it from the city or anyone that could interfere with the deal closing, and thus worked in circles where no rumors would echo. If Great America is gone, it would be safe to say there will never be another park in the SF Bay Area. So it could be attractive to other operators... though, probably not at the prices already involved. The slim chance of something happening would probably be if the City Council actually is resolute, and continues to be, about not approving development plans. But in reality, this is probably why that time frame is there. Even if the current council members are against any change, the likelyhood of that remaining constant over the next decade are pretty slim. And even if that happened, and Prologis was willing to just wait it out after Cedar Fair moved out... yeah, hard to imagine. So, while I can imagine and speculate about crazy scenarios where the park gets saved, I think the best case scenario would be that part of it gets saved - think Orleans Place and the entry plaza buildings remain in place as a dining/shopping area connected to the new development. And though still unlikely, I suppose if Gold Striker were simply left, it is imaginable that the Carousel, it, and maybe the Star Tower could remain as something that would operate on 49er game days or such? Though, it would probably be the Carousel and that alone under such a scenario, as the confluence of the operating cost and nature/history of the attraction would make that possible. I feel quite sad over the potential (99.9999% certain) loss. But when Cedar Fair bought the land, this was a possibility that immediately crossed my mind. The most hopeful aspect is that, given comments from the City, it seems unlikely that any change will happen in the two year time frame... I would guess that it will take a year or two for Prologis to smooth things over with the city and actually start to agree on a development plan, and then finding a partner and figuring out the development time line. And that could be another problem, if construction gets back to pre-pandemic levels in the area; Apple, Cisco, Google, etc, all had multi-year delays in developments just waiting for crews to be available, due to projects already underway. There are a few large sites in the Bay Area where development has been approved, but getting city approval on specifics and projects started have gone well over a decade! If there is an actual "real" hope with a future for Great America, it would really be with changing tides in the future. Still incredibly unlikely, but something that is at least nice to imagine whilst stepping through those stages of grief!
  3. Just as an FYI, while 11 years is the max for for the lease, it is said as "up to" in most reports because Prologis can cancel the lease at any time (which then makes it two more years).
  4. I've been debating this question as I am more than ready to get out and spend some time at local parks again. My son has passed the 36" mark during the last few months downtime, so his first coaster ride is in front of him! And just having a chance to go and do something on a day off would be pretty great. But, that said. I also have elderly people in my immediate family, and have been taking great efforts to stay clear of risks for their sake as well as mine (alhough we are all in pretty good health overall). So, that said, I think I will probably wind up visiting places when they re-open, but not on day 1. I want to see reports of what they are doing as far as both the practicality of their plans to mitigate possible exposure, as well as diligence in keeping up those processes. I also want to see a lack of cases traced back to the park, as well as the general County Health stats on the outbreak not suddenly picking up after we get to the point of being opened up enough to reopen amusement parks. So somewhere in the 2-3 weeks after opening seems like it could be time, but will wait and see how things go (even as part of me is jumping at the thought of parks being re-opened and potentially uncrowded).
  5. It seems like I may be one of the few people to have had a really enjoyable day at La Ronde! It was an overcast day with a bit of drizzle a few days after the Canadian Grand Prix. This was a few years before Six Flags took over operations at the park; so yeah, it was a while back. But at the time, while a few of the major attractions that might top the list today were not there, I quite enjoyed Le Monstre (really enjoyed both, though found one track a bit rougher than the other), and operations were just fine (everything was open and running, and it was all a walk on). That said, all this means is that there is a remote possibility of having a good time. I do not doubt that Le Monstre has aged terribly, or that operations are terrible even if that wasn't my experience. And even with those new attractions, I cannot say there is anything exceptional about the park. Montreal though is certainly worth a visit! It is a terrific city with much to see. And while June can be rough... I was there during the Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival, but it may have only made it better! Also, not sure if this is still happening, but the International Fireworks competition used to happen around that time as well, which meant you would have spectacular displays (launched from La Ronde) just about every night.
  6. I've had a similar feeling over the last few years, as more and more exhibits went empty and things seemed to be headed towards either a much smaller number of animals, or none at all. However, one of the last Park Surveys I had was focused entirely around animals, possible new exhibits, and potential new animal experiences. Of course, none of this means any of this will happen, but it does mean that Six Flags hasn't made the decision to phase out animals or remove them, and is actively thinking about some expansion in this area. The reality is probably that things will continue along the current trend, but they are at least aware that Discovery Kingdom is unique in what they currently have, and there is at least potential interest in maintaining or even expanding that aspect.
  7. NOTE! I am NOT attacking you personally... This is the problem with the OP asking a medical question about a subjective force. The idea that you would tell someone with a concussion to ride the Arrow 4D over the wild mouse is terrifying to me!!! This is why I noted that the comments were subjective to me... I certainly found the mouse to be "rougher" than the 4d coaster in this case, though I would not actually recommend riding either as far as a medical recommendation. It is a less than wise person that would take my recommendation on anything, let alone something where I am certainly not an expert. All that said, your calling out the point for emphasis is a good thing that probably cannot be repeated enough, as I certainly did not want anything in my post to come off as terrifying to anyone!
  8. While it has been a couple years since I visited, I’ll add the following comments in hopes they might help (though with that already mentioned caveat that this is purely subjective). Fujiyama - This was the only coaster during my visit that I was able to get multiple rides on, and I didn’t find any to be at all rough. Perhaps similar to Goliath at Magic Mountain? Eejanaika - As has been said, this seems much smoother than X2, but I know seating position on X2 can certainly influence how rough of a ride you get. While it is a fun ride, this is probably one to be avoided if you are concerned about how rough a ride is, as it seems certain to have the potential for such. Takabisha - my recollection is that is was extremely smooth, and probably the one that would be the least of my worries if I was wanting to avoid anything “rough.” Of course, thinking back to that ride and the wait for it, it seems possible that Fuji Q’s speed of operations, and even a moderate crowd could keep you from riding some of the coasters at all! Do-Dodonpa - the ride itself has obviously changed since I rode it, though when I did ride it the ride was smooth. Fast. But smooth. The only other coaster I rode there was the Mad Mouse… which was quite rough and probably to be avoided given your concerns.
  9. This last weekend (Sunday to be specific) seemed like a good time to head out to the Haunt. Unlike previous year’s had heard next to nothing about what was going on there. And, in this instance, wound up going with a rather large group of family and friends (13 in all, including my 17 month old and my friend’s 8 year old). While I plan to always be in the main place well ahead of opening, the large group and much more of a crowd than I expected on a Sunday meant it was just after the 7pm opening when we got in. Neither Goldstriker nor Railblazer were operating when the Haunt started… though the later worked out well with our delayed entry. We had planned to head there first, since even if crowds were light, the low capacity would probably make this problematic. Just after being told it was closed, but would open at some point, they started cycling trains… and waiting it out turned out to the be the right thing, as 10 minutes later everyone in our group that wanted to was able to try it out. It was the first time I had rode it after dark, and I can’t say the experience seemed that different. Still a wild ride, and one that was enthusiastically received by those riding it for the first time. By the end of the night we’d make it on Goldstriker a couple times (I think the darkness definitely adds something here), Flight Deck, and a few others. Given the heavier than expected attendance, and just sticking with picking out lines when they weren’t too bad, this was pretty good. Took a similar approach to the mazes… though ultimately wasn’t able to make it through Corn Stalkers or the Wax Museum (both of which have been enjoyable in previous years). The only all-new maze was the Tooth Fairy, which had some creepily cool costumes and similar atmosphere. It replaces Toy Factory, although I think I may still have the Toy Factory song stuck in my head from last year (though surprisingly missed it when I approached that area of the park). Masacre Manor returned in slightly different form this year… it is still running “backwards” as it did last year (likely to accommodate Railblazer’s construction), but was done without any lights other than small flashlights that are handed out as you enter the maze. Was a nice way to change things up, though a shame as this maze has always been one with lots of nice details to see. Zombie High is still fun. I don’t get scared, and rarely am even started by the performers, but the mascot character here did give me my first startle of any kind in years! It is always fun to see the character on the bungie scare people too (similar set up appeared in a few of the other mazes where I hadn’t seen them in previous editions). Chaos House was a new edition last year, and was more disorienting that I recalled (or maybe just that I did it at the very end of the night?)… nothing that I would think is even remotely scary here (if you find these things scary), but quite trippy! Roadkill Roadhouse was much as it was last year, though a little better lit (still among the darker mazes), and Backwoods was back as well (and some great sets, though personally wind up a bit sad when I think of Pictorium being gone). Jester Town and the Fairy Tale themed scare zones returned, with the one near the Demon having a Londish/Jack The Ripper sort of theme. All in all, Cedar Fair seems to put a lot in to getting their special events together and the effort shows. And while this event certainly wasn’t one designed for kids, my tiny one seemed to have much fun wandering around and not knowing things were supposed to be scary (although, it is not like anyone tried to scare him, even if he was oblivious to any such attempts). My friend got his 8 year old a “no Boo” necklace (a light up necklace that signals to performers not to try and scare you), and she took in her first real roller coasters (a couple rides on Grizzly and Pyscho Mouse). All in all, a pretty fun evening, and likely my only visit to the Haunt this year (though will be back for Winterfest before too long).
  10. I visited the park each of the last two Saturdays, for two very different, and rather brief trips. A week ago, it was a visit in the early evening to check out the Taste Or Orleans festival. While I had thought, "just maybe," to getting a ride on something, the reality was everything was about an hour wait (with Railblazer being 2 hours). However the food was surpassingly good, and the ambience of the festival, and the bands was quite nice. This has grown into a nice annual event for the park, and though it was inconvenient for my visit, it was nice to see things so crowded. While the previous visit was made with the idea of no rides being likely, this last Saturday was really all about finally getting to try out Railblazer. And it turned out great! As the prior arrival found a full parking lot and a short search for parking, this Saturday's early arrival found a parking lot with 3 other cars as my wife and I arrived about 15 minutes ahead of the early opening for pass holders - and a quick aside, if you have a pass and have not used this time, it happens every Saturday over the summer. The scheduled plan for the day was that both Gold Striker and Railblazer (and a few other smaller rides would be open), however, when things opened at 9am, Gold Striker was not open. At the time there was no other info (though it looked like they were running Patriot with the idea of opening it, so it didn't bode well for an early opening for Gold Striker). But that was a minor point, since this trip was really about trying out Railblazer... and on that point, it was a chance to ride it, and then re-ride and re-ride, before finally deciding enough rides had been had! Took a ride on Patriot (since my wife hadn't tried it since the train change/re-branding), and then stopped by Gold Striker. As I mentioned. it wasn't opened with the park, and I had noticed earlier that one of the trains seemed to be stuck on the lift hill. But as the park itself was just opening, a line was starting to form, and they were running empty trains... as the line was short, we figured it might be worth waiting a few minutes in case it opened. And it did. In my prior experience, this is sometimes rougher in the morning, though it did seem a bit rougher than I expected (seems to be echoed by others). Nothing too bad, just a noticeable difference from where it has been. Some take aways from these visits: As I noted, the Taste of Orleans was a lot of fun. Great America is definitely good at these "special events," and in my experience they've all mostly proved worth checking out. The park looks great, with the new paving and upgraded restrooms being standout points. As others have wondered, what is going on with White Water Falls? With the log ride being gone, I would think having this up mid-summer would be a priority? Railblazer is a lot of fun! And a real attraction: on my first visit seeing it (with the two hour wait), there were crowds gathered around it just watching it. It is without a doubt a big hit for the park and providing a good amount of "buzz." Railblazer's operations were great. Even in the early morning with a crowd of less than 20, the ride ops were hustling to keep the trains rolling out. With the overall low capacity, it was nice to see them doing everything they could to mitigate that weakness. And again, Railblazer is intense and a lot of fun! The back was definitely my favorite spot. With another major coaster seemingly on the horizon, Great America will have spent this decade making quite a transformation to their coaster collection (with Flight Deck being their best at the start, and looking to round out a top four with the next arrival). While the new trains don't make Patriot a fantastic coaster, they do make it ridable. And, in the same way that Grizzly offers a tamer wooden coaster experience compared to Gold Striker, Patriot seems to fill a similar role for Flight Deck (or even Railblazer). With Gold Striker getting rougher, I would wonder if 2021 might a target date that could see it closed for some re-tracking? Just random speculation here, but if there is a new coaster coming that year for 2020, then closing it early in 2020 and/or opening it late in 2021 would seem to be an option? I'm really hoping this ride never descends to what happened with Ghost Rider!
  11. I first went to Great America (Santa Clara) as a child, and all of this brings back great memories. In hindsight, the park in those early years really had so many things you just don't see today (trolleys and bands and whatnot). Anyway, a few points to add and consider: Turn Of The Century. In 1976, this was my first REAL coaster, and those bunny hills were amazing. Though I have often wondered if the fact they ejected me so forcefully had as much to do with the hills themselves, or with the fact that my child self was much smaller and more easily forced from my seat. I don't suppose there is anyone here that rode it as an adult sized person or knew of someone that did ride it and experience this? In any case though, the ride experience was much better than the Demon. However, the change to the Demon was quite a big deal, and based on advertising and hype, the addition of the loops was based entirely on how new inversions still were, and how marketable. Though, as with all things, if this also wound up reducing maintenance cost, that surely would have been a plus that would've made such a decision easier. I feel lucky that I got to ride both versions of this so many times (I fondly recall literally running out of the station exit on TOtC and running all the way back to the entry on quiet days, and riding over and over with my friends). Sadly, my height has made the Demon extremely uncomfortable (the restraints push me down in the most painful way), so I probably will not partake again, but still some wonderful memories. Sky Whirl was a pretty iconic ride, though not a personal favorite. I don't ever recall there being issues with reliability (it seemed to be always running). Triple Play was easily my favorite flat ride... and in an interesting connection with TOtC: One of those visits when my best friend and I were probably very cute kids, the way older adult seeming girl that was the ride op in Triple Play (probably all of 18 years or so?) told us to tell the ride op on TOtC we could ride whenever we wanted. Well, obviously, in hindsight, the guy running TOtC probably had a crush on the girl, and indeed, invoking her name did grant my friend and I special riding privileges for that day! On a last note, like everyone else, I dearly miss the Whizzer. As with the ejector experience on TOtC, I imagine the experience would not be nearly as wonderful as it is in my memory, but that and Yankee Clipper are definitely missed.
  12. Anyone heard anything about yesterday and today regarding The Joker? I called yesterday, and was told it was down, and then the same thing this morning - though they added some additional information this morning, noting that what had kept breaking was now being replaced... though they had no ETA on when it would be open. So anyone heard anything else, or seen anything at the park?
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