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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

P. 476: Cedar Fair sells park land, CGA to close within the next 11 years

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I'm gonna be honest, I think I like it better than apoc! Soon much floater airtime on this thing, and just amazing pacing throughout. It's super fast, and after a ride in front, back, and middle it gives a slightly different experience in each. The middle felt the fastest. Best woodie in California (and I've rode them all).

 

Is it better than flight deck? How do you answer that? It's apples and oranges.

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Just got back at 7:45. Rode Gold Striker 5 times. Very, very fast compared to old grandpa Grizzly. & Gold Striker is LOUD. It will almost blow off your ears! Going up the lift & the station fly by are the loudest & the rest of the ride is loud you can barely hear yourself scream. They need to ditch the tunnel no point in having it. & Tone down the noise. Angry Gumball this is so funny around 7:00 I was waiting for your seat. & You were right across from me when I was in line when you were taking pictures of the lift hill when you were standing just past the exit. I sat in rows 8, 7, & 6. I wanted to sit in front but they wouldn't let me. Why couldn't we sit in front? Yes I saw the camera people on the loading platform & there was a crane with camera crew. But they didn't bother me. I was focused on the ride. Snacks were small cups of soda, potato chips, cookies. Not sure what else.

Edited by #1rollercoasterfan
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The tunnel is not dark at all. Were they letting anybody sit in the front or was that just for actors? I will ride at least one more time to get the front row after Gold Striker is officially open. Pops of air I didn't seem to experience any since I sat in the middle of the train.

Edited by #1rollercoasterfan
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Honestly it's not that dark but at this point I can care less. Lots of head choppers can be seen. I will write up a full review tonight or tomorrow, more than just saying "It's great, ride it now."

 

A few fellow TPRers got the front. Personally my favorite rows were 5 and 12.

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Here's my review:

 

I've ridden 3 GCIs, Roar West, Wodan, and Gold Striker. I thought this ride was going to be "just another GCI" when looking at the POV footage. Well, let me tell you all that this ride...this ride is absof**kinglutely NOT "just another GCI"! I expected there not to be that much airtime, some nice floater here and there, not very strong forces, but excellent pacing. Excellent pacing is only ONE of Gold Striker's traits.

 

This ride is FAST, out of control, very smooth, filled with airtime (floater/ejector "floatector" airtime), and has some surprising Gs in the turns! The front is the best for the view, the middle I found to be the most intense force-wise, and the back had the best airtime. I counted 13 moments of airtime, each varying in intensity depending on where you sit. If you are in the back, your A$$ will be out of the seat a LOT.

 

To conclude, Gold Striker is just balls out insane. There is no letup whatsoever all the way to the brake run, and even there it still has a good amount of power. It'll only get crazier and crazier as it breaks in throughout the season. It has firmly cemented itself in my #1 woodie spot, sorry Giant Dipper, you're still awesome but not to the degree that Gold Striker is awesome. Can't wait to hit it up again on Thursday!

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WOW it's sure fast the whole ride! You don't even get a chance to catch your breath! The way it flies by the station is insanely fast! WEE! Just wish it weren't so loud. I'd say it is one of my top coasters. Way to go CF. The couple lanterns in the line area weren't lit up. I'm sure they will be eventually. I never experienced the very back or the front. I will get to another time though. Can't wait for many more rides on it this year. Should have come in 09 I agree. Stupid neighbors fault.

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WOW it's sure fast the whole ride! You don't even get a chance to catch your breath! The way it flies by the station is insanely fast! WEE! Just wish it weren't so loud. I'd say it is one of my top coasters. Way to go CF. The couple lanterns in the line area weren't lit up. I'm sure they will be eventually. I never experienced the very back or the front. I will get to another time though. Can't wait for many more rides on it this year. Should have come in 09 I agree. Stupid neighbors fault.

 

It's a wooden coaster, not a Toyota Prius...of course it's going to be loud. The lift is also parallel with the station so that adds to the noise.

It is insanely fast. I have also ridden every wooden coaster in California, and although this is my new favorite, I still prefer the drop on Apocalypse to this one. The rest of the layout however, kicks ass!

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I will join the chorus of praise for Gold Striker, the ride is absolutely awesome. From looking at the layout and watching the POV, I was not expecting much. The ride caught me completely off guard. Fast, smooth, relentless pacing, and significant airtime. Blue Fire Guy was right behind me while counting instances of airtime, he quite accurately counted 13 moments during the ride. Gold Striker is, without a doubt, the best woodie in California. I also rank it as my #2 coaster, second only to El Toro at SFGAdv. I don't normally go to CGA, as I live much closer to SFDK. However, I would definitely go back to ride that again...especially in the back. Well done, GCI, well done.

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This ride is FAST, out of control, very smooth, filled with airtime (floater/ejector "floatector" airtime), and has some surprising Gs in the turns! The front is the best for the view, the middle I found to be the most intense force-wise, and the back had the best airtime. I counted 13 moments of airtime, each varying in intensity depending on where you sit. If you are in the back, your A$$ will be out of the seat a LOT.

Can't sum it up any better than that. I got eight rides in on rows 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, and 12..row 6 was my favorite. This is definitely the first time that I've found the middle to be the best ride! Row 12 was a trip, out of my seat all the way down the first drop. Absolutely loved it. Wish I could come back Weds and Thurs.

 

On that note - the CGA staff that were there said that anyone who wants to come ride can just show up Weds or Thurs from 5-8pm no sign up or confirmation is necessary, they'll let anyone in. "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend (it)."

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I liked it loud.... and the roar as it is coming out of the tunnel is sweet!

 

Its a wood coaster, its gonna be loud, as it should be, nothing wrong with that. If the noise bothers you then bring hearing protection.

 

I still can't get over the speed it has and how it keeps up this speed until the end. Amazing!

 

I got 8 rides in, once in the back (insane air on the drop) and the rest in the middle and closer to the front... still I was out of my seat many times..... didn't matter where I sat.

 

Thank you GCI and CGA..... this coaster rocks!

 

I like how the line goes under a part of the track after it comes out of the tunnel so the train roars by over your head and the line and station flyby is really cool. Easily the best ride there now and its so strange its like it does not belong here.... but there it is!

 

I kept saying this was hard to believe it was real and now that I have ridden it I can believe its real and a great ride too.

 

That area of the park now has a nice roar to it that was much needed.

Edited by Tmcdllr
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Here's how the shoot worked for those who wonder: You can think of it as though the park was open and all CGA had was Gold Striker. We'd get in line and just ride like normal...no 'hurry up and wait.' The longest I waited was 30 minutes and after that much of the crowds disappeared, leaving only 5 minute waits. Did I say the crew (though they were managers) were pretty fast? Here's hope that the operations will really be this quick when the ride officially opens!

 

I got in about 9 laps today...not bad at all, considering for 3 hours...when I did SFMM for about 6 hours I only got on 7 rides. The talk about noise...I love standing at the entrance and hearing the thunderous rumble as the train comes hurling down the tunnel. Yes, it really goes as fast as it's sounding! It can be quite intimidating and you can hear it at the park entrance...Love it, can hear it calling out to me as I'm getting in the park!

 

Ok...so my review/opinion on Gold Striker! Let's just say the ride does not let up or give you a moment to breathe until you smoothly hit the brake run. Initially I felt like my opinion would be biased due to it being a local coaster....this was when we only had the animation to go off of. Going to be honest, the animation did not look that much/looked very tame but on the flipside I was grateful that we were getting something...and thinking it is just another GCI creation but...is it? Let's take a look!

 

When you pull out of the station, the beginning 'taster' as I like to call it (pre lift turns) provide some nice moments of laterals/gentle body slams. I'm going to be honest here...as soon as we got the all-clear and dispatched, I just got these chills running through my body. I couldn't believe that the day had come and I'd be riding a new world class coaster in my home park. Very surreal but felt really good! After climbing up the loud-ish lift (no complaints here) you begin your descent into the tunnel. While it is not pitch black, it can be somewhat dark in there. You can see the beams overhead and it looks like you're going to smack them...hand choppers!

 

Coming down, you get a gentle bit of 'twisty airtime' followed by shooting out of the tunnel like a rocket, and taking on a nice mix of laterals and positives followed by a nice quick directional change providing the first major body slam! The flyby does not deliver painful airtime but it is sustained and your butt gently comes out of the seat and comes back down just in time for a series of 3 tracks from over head. The last track crossing over (as you head into the first turnaround) looks like you're going to hit it. And this is where the ride then exceeded my expectations! Coming into the turnaround you get a nice moment of "float-jector air" (gentle ejector airtime) followed by another burst of air coming out. Another burst of sideways airtime is to be had before heading into the so-called Prudential Turn (2nd turnaround)...in which that heavily banked turn provides some nice positives and laterals! Coming out of it you get yet another burst of air, followed by yet another as it's kind of a double-down. You kind of get the theme here, air coming into and out of turnarounds, with sudden drop and humps between. In the end, as Blue Fire Guy said, "It's not just another GCI."

 

The funkiest part of the ride is the double up into the second to last turnaround. On my 2nd ride, I was seated in Row 5 with Blue Fire Guy. It was our first time riding with hands up (we were instructed/told when it was ok and not ok to raise hands...had to keep them down when they were actually rolling the camera) and this is where what I call "Body Slam: The Ride" comes in. The quick transitions and strong lats can send you flying into your fellow rider but at one point into the above mentioned double up, my head went slamming into BFG's shoulder (I thought it slammed into his head at first). Didn't hurt but definitely felt the slam! So in the end the ride's definitely worth checking out! Personally, I think it's going to be a huge hit overall, but definitely a shining star for CGA...it may have won over Flight Deck as far as my favorite ride in the park. Gold Striker firmly planted it's spot on my #1 wooden coaster.

 

I highly recommend you try it at least once or twice. Try it in different rows, see what you like. I took in like 3 rides on Row 11, 1 on row 5, 2 on row 12, 2 on 10, one 7, and 8. If I had to pick, row 5 and row 12 were my favorites. But every row still provides a rather fun, relentless ride! As far as other rows I'll find out tomorrow how the front is...just watching for that floating gold dust that's still hanging about. As said, we counted about 13 moments that our butts ...14 if you want to count coming down the drop. It's mild but it's there!

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Well, the day has come! Finally getting in line for Gold Striker!

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Yay, test runs! I spy a sexy red train going up the lift!

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Get ready to....TAKE THE TUNNEL!!!

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Train comes blasting out right here! Be ready for some nice float-jector air!

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Coming into the turn here, your butt again leaves the seat briefly. Surprised me quite a bit to be honest!

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And coming into this turn as well, another quick burst!

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Sadly, there was lots of this going on tonight...Liking the themed signs though!

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Train passes overhead into the station...

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You also get some nice photo ops right here, that is if you and your camera are quick enough to get the shot!

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Forceful...'nuff said!

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Yup the train hauls @$$ through this section!

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First riders for the promo shoot! (I was the first rider in Train B, which was the next cycle)

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Our minds are blown!

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This thing is nucking futs!

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TAKE THE TUNNEL!!11!! (that is before it gets gum-ified and vandalized by idiot GP)

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Another train full of happy riders!

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ZOOOOOOOOOM!!!

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And 'tis time to call it a night! Thank you Roger Ross for taking the photo!

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And good night CGA, see you tomorrow!

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BlueFireGuy and everyone pretty much summed it up, just simply wow! Non stop action from start to finish, plenty great pops of airtime, laterals, amazingly insane head chopper after the fly, and an awesome double up toward the end! I can honestly say it is my new favorite ride in the park!

 

Regarding the tunnel, it was quick and it's actually not 100% enclosed as the bottom sides are not covered fully with slight openings. You can hear a loud rumble as it comes down the drop and then a huge boom of noise as it exits the tunnel coming from the parking lot making it hard to resist! Also waiting in the queue line was an experience in itself seeing the trains screeching by. It is so loud we had to keep stopping any conversation we were having. Kudos GCI & CGA, you have a winner!

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