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Photo TR: Derek rides El Toro


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So originally I was planning on heading down to ride El Toro the week I got back from the UK. Unfortunately, the weather interfered with my plans. I hadn't seen my friend, Bret, for a while and I had some stuff for him from England, so I figured "why not go down over July 4th, I'm sure he'll have a BBQ." Sure enough, he agreed. On the way down I decided to ride El Toro after getting out of work early. Here's the way it went down yesterday:

 

Got to the park around 5:45...El Toro closed, in fact its been closed all day, but they're sending test trains out. I decided I'd wait around until around 7, as that was the time I told Bret I'd be planning on arriving. Talked to some people who were hanging out waiting for the ride to open and with my knowledge of test runs, we had some fun while we waited. Sure enough, around 6:20 they decide its ok to open the ride, they just need security there. So, finally at like 6:30 Security shows up and we get to actually go in the queue. I'm on the second train out of the day, back row.

 

Fastforward to today: Got to the park just before opening, made the running of the bulls to El Toro....El Toro closed AGAIN. No, it didn't suffer any breakdowns (until Kingda KA AGAIN) but they haven't begun testing it yet. Finally after an hour of morning testing, the ride opens and I'm on the 3rd train out in the 2nd row. Now I'm sorry, but on a holiday, a park shouldn't be testing the brand new ride AFTER the park opens. If they're going to be like that, why not be more like BGW or some other parks that only open certain sections early. I'm pretty certain it didn't require any major testings, as it conveniently opened exactly at 11:00. Oh, also briefly saw ParkTrips and Larrygator while waiting for the ride to open. Hi guys!

 

Now, onto the ride itself. El Toro is a great coaster, better than Colossos at Heide Park, but not quite as good as Balder (or Voyage IMO). Its got lots of ejector airtime, especially the hill going over Rolling Thunder, but it also has a few dead hills, mainly the two after the turn around. The twister section is a lot of fun though, running around the infield of RT, and the cable lift is really cool, certainly fast too! The trains feel really secure, still with stadium seating, just an extra bar by the shoulders and U-bars instead of T-bars. (mmmm....bar)

 

The worst part of the ride though is operations and the station. First, the station, in which a security guard counts like 36 or 40 people at a time to go into the station. They're not assigned a row, they just go wherever they want. When another train goes out, they send another 40 people up. After my ride this morning, the next train had 3 rows empty because the people in the station were waiting for other rows. Really stupid. The station is also extremely small, the same size as Vipers was, only now you load on one side, and unload on the other. The queue gates allow like 3 trains worth of people to wait, with plenty of room to get by, but the unload side is like single file.

 

Operations are really poor, 5 minute dispatches (and that's being generous). Buckle your seatbelt and DON'T touch the lapbar. The ride ops then come, tighten the seatbelt so you can barely breathe, then slam the lapbar as far into your gut as possible. Don't worry, no one will fall off this ride, all fatalities will be the result of internal bleeding. They check one car at a time, and once the car passes inspection, the lead says "car 1 clear" and they can move onto the next. At least today they had 4 ops checking instead of 2. That helped speed up things a little, but even still, after the ride opened and we got off, the line was already spilling into the midway. (and why isn't the bridge opened??)

 

In all, El Toro is an amazing coaster, I'm glad they finally built an Intamin woodie in the states. Once the season dies down, I may go back for more rides, hopefully operations will improve too. I hope lots of parks now take a look at El Toro and we start seeing these things pop up at other parks around the country, because it really is a great ride...too bad the park its at doesn't really know what to do with it.

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Now onto the pictures from today, I didn't take any yesterday because I wasn't sure on the policy about loose articles.

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On the way out, don't forget to stop and get your souvenir corn and watermelons!

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But Balder still delivers more air, and on every hill, where El Toro has a few hills where you need to sit in certain seats to experience the air.

ElToroJuly422.jpg.4c46e9db01cb9ba7de5a393bc2964a9a.jpg

And the turnaround is better than Colossos's

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The first couple of hills have LOADS of air

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The area doesn't look THAT different than it used to. Except now there is sand everywhere, so eventually some punks will probably get annoyed in line and start throwing sand at riders

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The ride is massive

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Hooray, its finally opened!

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The park got wise and grabbed a test seat (as our "lovely" Jersey models show). Green light means you can ride, red light means you need to join Bally Total Fitness first

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"Eventually we'll let people on"

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"Probably, but that'd mean we'd have to come in early. So we'll do our block checks for the next hour"

ElToroJuly405.jpg.6cd41e1620b0ac286bc3e907c1caf2b1.jpg

So here we are. "Hey, wouldn't it be a GREAT idea to have your newest coaster open WITH the park?!"

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Yup, smoke free, though people milling around waiting for El Toro to open still smoked and security didn't seem to care

ElToroJuly402.jpg.b254f187fad18fc398601631dcef235c.jpg

Oh goodie, nice sea of humanity trying to get thru the entry gates and metal detectors (why doesn't the park do the metal detectors back closer to the parking lot?)

ElToroJuly425.jpg.d5528ed1cbe8f8d4693d10361efcac21.jpg

Yup, its the anniversary for the chain, even though the old SF died years ago

ElToroJuly428.jpg.00ce3021580a425a2ba5532e6465c1b4.jpg

Here we are, heed the warning signs!

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Your very lucky to be able to ride this coaster.

 

I've been on Colossos at Heide Park and found it to be an amaing ride with everywhere.

 

What is the difference...?

 

Can Someone post a POV of this ride asap...?

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Great TR!

Those test seats were weird...usually they're just placed outside the ride for people to see if they're comfy...that's pretty cool that they say if you can ride or not...unless it turns out you can't ride...

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Great review! Hopefully you'll enjoy it a little more with more rides on it. It sucks about the slow moving line and dispatch times, as usually with 2 trains dispatches are only 2-3min.

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Thanx for the review! I'm so curious about this coaster! I loved Colossos, high speeds with great airtime! Although it doesn't give you that real woody feeling, it's very nice! Well, i'm just hoping to do this coaster once!

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Good TR Derek. Glad tyou've still got the energy to tackle more, more MORE of the same, heh heh.

 

And you got the other shirt for Balder I saw. Guess I wasn't thinking (chose the other with the list AND OURS at #14, whodathunkit?), when really all that matters is the name and the 70', hmm?

 

Glad you enjoyed El Toro.

 

No bull, huh? (har har)

 

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It's a shame such a great coaster is being wasted in such a poor park, we can only hope Snyder isn't full of hot air when it came to improving park experience. The coasters at GAdv and MM always get me in but the park experience always makes me happy to leave.

 

Thanks for the TR, it looks like the consensus on El Toro is a big thumbs up. We all might come over next year and try and get a ride on it.

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The park is looking really nice lately. Even today while the park was opened there were landscapers out planting flowers, trimming bushes, etc.

 

If anything at the park is still lacking, its operations (and the fact that they can't get the rides opened with the park). I'll let them slide on KK being down because it was struck by lightning (though if you think about it, wouldn't the park be smart enough to put in a lightning rod, seeing how you've got a 456 foot tall giant metal "rod" in the ride?? I know both back on opening day and again today, my friend Bret had to pretty much train the operators of the kiddie rides his son was on. The one op didn't know you had to be UNDER 54 inches to ride one of the kiddie rides, he thought you had to be OVER it. Another op never checked if Conner was buckled in before starting the ride, and a final op argued with Bret about which type of train car his son could ride in, 1 was for those under a certain height (which is where Conner falls), but she wanted him to sit elsewhere. Eventually Bret trained her properly, but she said "sorry, I don't normally operate this ride." Its rotating rides like this which ends up causing accidents (much like the Disney Parade dude who died a few years ago).

 

Still, the security guards, exiting people, operators, etc were all telling people to have a great day, some even sounded enthused, unlike the staff at SFMM. If there is anything that will always make SFGAd seem like a rough park, its the clientelle it attracts, which is exactly what Shapiro is trying to get away from. Hopefully in the next couple of years the new management will be making some progress with the changes they desire (unlike the Premier days).

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It's a shame such a great coaster is being wasted in such a poor park, we can only hope Snyder isn't full of hot air when it came to improving park experience. The coasters at GAdv and MM always get me in but the park experience always makes me happy to leave.

 

Thanks for the TR, it looks like the consensus on El Toro is a big thumbs up. We all might come over next year and try and get a ride on it.

 

Poor park? I really enjoy the Gadv hate-hype machine.....blah blah blah. It's not the best park ever, but when it's running full force it's a great park with a nice selection of coasters. Yea it's been hit or miss the last few years, but we have to blame more the bigger corporation (Premier, etc..) for the lack of funds for employees, employee morals, management, etc....I think the park is heading in the right direction with the new owners and you can tell from the minute you enter the park in the morning. Something as little as a kids dance show creates such a positive vibe. With the great setting of a ton of trees and being on a lake, the park was something going for it. The addition of GREAT flower spots and such have made the park even better looking then ever before!

 

It's just like in the music scene, people don't even listen or give a band more then one chance and write them off.

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The park is looking really nice lately. Even today while the park was opened there were landscapers out planting flowers, trimming bushes, etc.

 

If anything at the park is still lacking, its operations (and the fact that they can't get the rides opened with the park). I'll let them slide on KK being down because it was struck by lightning (though if you think about it, wouldn't the park be smart enough to put in a lightning rod, seeing how you've got a 456 foot tall giant metal "rod" in the ride?? I know both back on opening day and again today, my friend Bret had to pretty much train the operators of the kiddie rides his son was on. The one op didn't know you had to be UNDER 54 inches to ride one of the kiddie rides, he thought you had to be OVER it. Another op never checked if Conner was buckled in before starting the ride, and a final op argued with Bret about which type of train car his son could ride in, 1 was for those under a certain height (which is where Conner falls), but she wanted him to sit elsewhere. Eventually Bret trained her properly, but she said "sorry, I don't normally operate this ride." Its rotating rides like this which ends up causing accidents (much like the Disney Parade dude who died a few years ago).

 

Still, the security guards, exiting people, operators, etc were all telling people to have a great day, some even sounded enthused, unlike the staff at SFMM. If there is anything that will always make SFGAd seem like a rough park, its the clientelle it attracts, which is exactly what Shapiro is trying to get away from. Hopefully in the next couple of years the new management will be making some progress with the changes they desire (unlike the Premier days).

 

Supposedly KK, Toro, GASM and S:UF all got hit by lightning 2 days ago due to a HUGE storm (amusementpics.com has some pics of some of the lightning).

 

GADV is a very good park. My only gripes is the addition of KK (great ride, but I have had some terrible experiences with it) and the demolition of our best flat rides.

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^ you mean Spinmeister?

 

 

I don,t understand why you could hate Gadv we have a lot of unique rides.Like he had the first Floorless Coaster, the noly side by side LIM coasters, KingDa Ka speaks for itself, The 3rd tallest, and fastest woody. It's a very nice park.

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my personal quick notes from the day:

 

* nice to see you Derek even though I couldn't come over.. you know damn well Rolling Thunder > you

* El Toro is fucking insane. The first half is just un-freaking-real culminating in the suprise of a lifetime - the hill over RT's first drop. However, after that it is a bit of a letdown. Still pretty good, but it just is hard to compete with the spectacular first half. I'd say right now I'd put it at #2

* Ka was down. I almost care. But one of the employees told us that it got struck by lightnng 28 times so I hope at least by the 5th strike they realized they need a rod up there.

* Nitro ran very well (trimless too ) I would say that it is very close with Goliath and will probably be one of 3 coasters I will rank as my #1 steel in Mitch's poll.

* Ops for me were pretty good to start but they started to slack later in the day. ET was barely stacking for our first ride, which, though itis pathetic to think of it like this, was an accomplishment from what I had heard.

* Medusa was a walk on. LOL, no problem here

* They turned the SCHWARZKOPF enteprise into a smoking area. That kills me on so many levels, I wanted to cry.

* Chiller wasn't running. Apparently it had an accident, who knew??

* Park wasn't bad crowds-wise, and I enjoyed our day.

 

- Joe, Voyage what??

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.

 

* They turned the SCHWARZKOPF enteprise into a smoking area. That kills me on so many levels, I wanted to cry.

- Joe, Voyage what??

 

I was sooooo mad when i figured out they turned it into a smoking area. We want a Giant Frisbee! [/rant mode]

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coasterguy618 wrote:

You obviously havent been to GADv in the last year.

 

I went there on the Friday before the Labour Day in 2005 and I had an awful day. For a weekday the lines were bad (I went the same day the year before and the lines were much better), KK was down, Nitro was 20 minutes even during Season Pass holder ERT and just plain ridiculous after that. I really went to ride KK, if I had known it was down I would have gone back to SFNE which I enjoyed the day before. I was on the first NJ Transit bus back to NYC that day.

 

Next time I'm in New York, I'll probably have to allow a window of three days so I get a shot at KK and El Toro, because I live 12,000 miles from GAdv I really want to get some good rides when I do go.

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