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Am I riding a different Thunderbolt than everyone else is? At this point I'm convinced that I must be.

I was thinking the same thing. It felt underrated in my opinion as its a classic coaster that hardly anyone talks about.

Yea I never had a painful ride on it. It's a fun little ride, but I usually skip it because it only runs one train and the wait is long. I really hope they redo the brakes so they can run two trains, but knowing Six Flags it will never happen.

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I've heard so many complaints of roughness but the coaster couldn't get any smoother... it's seriously one of the smoothest wood coasters around. Plus that holds true in every seat since we've been forced to sit in all of them thanks to the fact that there's no choice of seat. It's just a great little coaster. To each his own I guess but I just don't get it. lol

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Thunderbolt was really smooth for me, too. However, it was also very "meh". It was one of the rides I really wanted to get on again during my visit this year because I thought I enjoyed it in 2014, but I was very underwhelmed upon revisiting.

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Thunderbolt is fun, but not a standout ride. I'd give it a solid 6/10. If the line is at the station ramp, I make sure to ride it on the way by. But with the one train operation, that line moves painfully slow. At a smaller family park, I bet the ride would get more attention.

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My thought on it is that it's not going to break any top 10 lists and it really doesn't have any airtime but it's still a fun little gem of a coaster. It's one of the better rides in the park, probably my favorite after Batman, Wicked Cyclone and Superman Ride of Bizarro the Ride or whatever It's called this week.

 

I bash the crap out of this park because overall it's terribly run, they have terrible staff and they make terrible decisions but the one thing they do right (that I always thought was pretty uncharacteristic of them) is they've always taken great care of Thunderbolt and I do give them a lot of credit for that.

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I was coming back home from Philadelphia yesterday and my GPS was taking me past Springfield so I decided to stop in the park for the final 1.5 hours. I first want to say that the park's Halloween theming seemed much better than in past years for Fright Fest. There was a lot of fog spread throughout the midways and the park did a very good job lighting up the rides. There were also a lot of Halloween decorations spread throughout and there were a good number of employees trying to scare guests walking by.

 

I was able to get one ride on Wicked Cyclone and two on Bizarro. Once I got to the park, I went right for Wicked Cyclone. It was cycling trains through when I arrived, but opened up right as I got there. From what I overheard in line, the ride was down fairly often yesterday. I ended up waiting about 20 minutes. I got the blue train, car 3, row 2 and had what was my worst ride on the coaster. The ride was still jampacked with air-time even in a middle seat, but the whole seat was vibrating. I had heard people mention the vibrating in discussion boards, but it was the first time I personally experienced it and it was really annoying, especially since I had been recovering from shin splints. It seems that only the middle cars have this issue, but the park really needs to work on it since Wicked Cyclone was absolutely hauling and glass smooth on Media Day. I tried to ride again, but right before I got on the ride broke down again. One of the restraints was stuck closed.

 

By then it was 8:35 and I wasn't sure if it would reopen before closing, so I went over to Bizarro to find it a complete walk-on for every seat except the front. The front was just a 3 train wait. Bizarro was running really well. I loved not having the music blasting in my ears and night rides on this coaster are fantastic. I then got back in line for the back seat. There wasn't too much shuffling in the back, but it still is noticeable. I am hoping the Superman conversion can restore this ride to the glory years and I think removing the headrests should help with the shuffling.

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I'm planning to head up to SFNE this weekend mainly to ride WC. The weather forecast doesn't look that great. What is the parks weather policy with regards to rain? Will the coasters stay open as long as there are no thunder storms in the area? And how does the rain effect WC, if at all? Thanks for the help, we're really looking forward to our first RMC coaster.

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I was coming back home from Philadelphia yesterday and my GPS was taking me past Springfield so I decided to stop in the park for the final 1.5 hours. I first want to say that the park's Halloween theming seemed much better than in past years for Fright Fest. There was a lot of fog spread throughout the midways and the park did a very good job lighting up the rides. There were also a lot of Halloween decorations spread throughout and there were a good number of employees trying to scare guests walking by.

 

I was able to get one ride on Wicked Cyclone and two on Bizarro. Once I got to the park, I went right for Wicked Cyclone. It was cycling trains through when I arrived, but opened up right as I got there. From what I overheard in line, the ride was down fairly often yesterday. I ended up waiting about 20 minutes. I got the blue train, car 3, row 2 and had what was my worst ride on the coaster. The ride was still jampacked with air-time even in a middle seat, but the whole seat was vibrating. I had heard people mention the vibrating in discussion boards, but it was the first time I personally experienced it and it was really annoying, especially since I had been recovering from shin splints. It seems that only the middle cars have this issue, but the park really needs to work on it since Wicked Cyclone was absolutely hauling and glass smooth on Media Day. I tried to ride again, but right before I got on the ride broke down again. One of the restraints was stuck closed.

 

By then it was 8:35 and I wasn't sure if it would reopen before closing, so I went over to Bizarro to find it a complete walk-on for every seat except the front. The front was just a 3 train wait. Bizarro was running really well. I loved not having the music blasting in my ears and night rides on this coaster are fantastic. I then got back in line for the back seat. There wasn't too much shuffling in the back, but it still is noticeable. I am hoping the Superman conversion can restore this ride to the glory years and I think removing the headrests should help with the shuffling.

 

Out of the 5 or 6 rides I got on Wicked Cyclone, I did notice one of my rides had a serious vibration. I do believe it was on the blue train in one of the middle rows as well. It wasn't rough or uncomfortable, but definitely odd

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Out of the 5 or 6 rides I got on Wicked Cyclone, I did notice one of my rides had a serious vibration. I do believe it was on the blue train in one of the middle rows as well. It wasn't rough or uncomfortable, but definitely odd

 

If I didn't have shin splints, the vibration wouldn't have been a major issue. The front and back cars are still fantastic and it's definitely a top 10 coaster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had my first visit to SFNE yesterday (and also my first visit to a Six Flags park...) and was pleasantly surprised.

 

To start, it was Fright Fest, but my family and our exchange student are not ones to be scared, so we were out of the park by 6pm. We also only went on four of the coasters and none of the flat rides, but of the rides we did do, they were all much better than I had anticipated.

 

Thunderbolt was a really classic ride that did not feel old at all. I was surprised at how smooth it was for a wooden coaster of it's age. There weren't many forces on it, but it was still fun nonetheless. The only drag about it was that they were running one train, so the wait was around 40 minutes; a wait we could have spent somewhere else!

 

We headed over to Bizarro where they said the wait was 1 hr 30 min, but it was actually about 45 minutes. The line never came to a dead halt as we were always moving, and we sat mid train. The view of the river and the surrounding countryside in the fall was beautiful for the ride up the lift. The first drop was good, and everything up to the building fly by's was okay as well. The real highlight of this ride for me was the two airtime hills heading back along the course next to the lift. Man, those were AIRTIME hills! The rest of the ride was okay for me as I am not one for helixes, and the few airtime hills were mediocre compared to other hills that I have been on *cough* Skryush *cough*.

 

Batman was next for us as we opted out of Mind Eraser. We did not want any head-banging on this trip. Anyways, Batman was also another surprise. I expected your average, run-of-the-mill B&M coaster, but this was pretty forceful! The first drop offered some bizarre airtime, and the zero-g roll literally threw me out of my seat. This was short, but very sweet and every element was effective. I really enjoyed Batman.

 

Finally, we closed out our park tour on the new coaster for the park - Wicked Cyclone. My brother was really anxious to ride this one since it was an RMC makeover, and myself as well had never been on an RMC coaster. I was unfamiliar with the layout, the stats, everything (which is odd for me), so everything on this ride was a surprise.

 

WOW. RMC needs to expand into other parks as well! The first drop was incredible, great airtime, and FAST. The little bunny hills were total ejector air, and the inverted stall was the weirdest ride element I have been on. The outside airtime hill was explosive, and the trick-track hill before the final zero-g roll was amazing as well. I do have to say though, the final zero-g roll was the highlight of the ride for me because it was about three seconds of hang time out of the seat. I felt like I was just hanging there upside down laughing waiting for it to end. After that, the ride works it's way back to the station with less airtime than before, but it was an amazing ride nonetheless.

 

Wicked Cyclone was definitely the best coaster there, then Bizarro, Batman, etc. If you're going to the park, definitely do Wicked Cyclone first as that was our longest wait around 50 minutes; however, very worth it.

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I finally got a chance to ride in the back of the train today and can't understand how anyone can say it is a wilder ride in the front.

I completely agree. The back car on Wicked Cyclone is next-level compared to any other seat. The only "cool" thing that I found by sitting in the front car were the two barrel rolls.

 

Also, I felt like the coaster was far more sluggish during the summer when it was hot than it was when I went for Fright Fest.

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Aw man, you were there too, Larry? Maybe we bumped shoulders at some point on Monday.

 

My mini-TR (okay, maybe not so mini after all);

 

---

 

Decided to take my floating personal day from work Monday to make the trip up to SFNE, under the assumption that hey, not THAT many people have off for Columbus Day, how bad could it be?

 

Well... Just from seeing the mass of people all lined up at the gates in advance of opening, I quickly realized that if I didn't want to waste the 3-hour drive time, I'd have to invest in a Flash Pass to get on anything major. Seems as if it was a good purchase (and the fact that it's CONSIDERABLY cheaper than at GAdv helps ease the sticker shock a lot as well).

 

So after grabbing the Platinum pass and wristband, I hightail it over to Goliath just in time for the first ride of the day. I missed out on it during my first trip due to maintenance downtime, and wanted to make damn sure I got on it while it was running. Ended up in the very front seat, and WOW. What an experience! I didn't seem to have the same troubles that others have described with this ride; the seats and restraints were very comfortable and I didn't have any ear-bashing going on. That view from being pulled straight up 90 degrees face down definitely gets the adrenaline pumping. Even though the layout is familiar from the regular boomerang, the sheer size of it makes it way forceful. Used the Platinum reride and got a second ride in immediately. Long story short; I like it a lot, and it's easily my favorite Vekoma to date. 8.5/10

 

From there, swung over to Wicked Cyclone to get my first ride in. I love everything about this coaster, from the drastic drop to all the random ejector airtime hills to those crazy inversions. I need to get more RMCs under my belt, but for now, this is a very strong 9.5/10.

 

Rather than do an immediate reride on WC, I jumped over to the Sky Screamer to get that in before it got too late in the day. I'd been on this last time, and the wait without Flash Pass was unbearable due to its low capacity, but even with Flash Pass I felt like I ended up waiting longer than expected due to the ride ops miscounting the capacity. *shrug* Once it started running, I realized it was going backwards instead of forwards. This was really disconcerting and I didn't particularly enjoy it, mainly because I felt like I was going to fall out the back of my seat the entire time. Meh. Probably won't be doing this again the next time they decide to run it in reverse.

 

After that experience, I jumped back to Wicked Cyclone for another four rides in a row. Apparently within the span of the 20 or so minutes I spent on Sky Screamer, the WC trains had developed that howl and vibration that others have previously mentioned. It definitely wasn't there on the first ride of the day, but all of the rest had it, on both the blue and orange trains. It didn't really bother me much, but I can see how it can be mega annoying to some. In the span of these five rides, I had front row twice, last car twice, and once in the middle. DEFINITELY the best in the back, not even a question to me. Since you don't really get to pick your own seat you don't get much of a choice where you end up, but depending on how the guy at the gate feels, you can try to request certain rows and get lucky.

 

After I got my five in on WC, I started heading back in the opposite direction. Passed by Flashback, and it looked as if they were just starting a cycle, so I ran back over to Goliath and got in another pair of rides -- and again, ended up in the front row! Not complaining! Would like to try it in the back of the train next time for sure though. Then, once I got off that, I swung by Flashback again and saw it was a walk-on, so I hopped on for a couple of classic boomerang rides. It is what it is. A solid coaster but nothing mega exciting, and the old restraints mean it's not as comfortable as some others (ie Sidewinder at Hershey). Giving it a 6/10.

 

After those rides, I realized I had committed a cardinal sin in the morning, and it was coming back to bite me in the ass. Yep, I'm talking about too much coffee. Since I had miscalculated the opening time (my Six Flags app was still set on GAdv time, and they opened at 11 AM, whereas SFNE didn't open officially until noon), I ended up killing some time at a local Dunkin' Donuts, and had my second large iced coffee of the day. Oof. My stomach was starting to turn, so I made a beeline to grab a soft pretzel and bottled water. That seemed to do the trick for the time being. But lesson learned, body! I'll stick to one coffee from now on!

 

While I was "recuperating", I took in a bit of their Fright Fest entertainment with a brief street/stage show where they were going to, um, behead a witch. The performance lasted about 10 minutes and was about what you'd expect out of this type of entertainment; nothing too over the top, somewhat amusing, a decent diversion but nothing to really go out of your way to catch unless you're in the area.

 

When that performance wrapped up, I headed over to Thunderbolt. I do like my classic woodies, but compared to some of my favorite woodies like the Coney Island Cyclone or Phoenix, this one feels underwhelming. I don't consider it to be nearly as rough as others do, but at the same time, I don't really get any pops of air on any of the hills at all. It just... kinda does its thing and that's it. I can't help but feel the completely unnecessary seatbelt is to blame here for that, since it's way tight especially on larger guests. I managed to just get it latched after about a minute of fiddling with it, but on both rides, I noticed some folks weren't quite as lucky and had to take the walk of shame. I really feel that doing away with the belt would help a lot. I give this one a 5/10 with room for improvement.

 

Next up was a pair of rides on their S&S drop tower (named just "Scream", which is a little confusing when browsing the Tamagotchi looking for Sky Screamer... "Wait, is it this?"). You know what to expect out of these. Great views, and the sudden drop always provokes a yelp or laugh! But enough about the drop tower. By this time, it was close to 3 PM, and I wanted to get in as many rides on Bizarro as possible -- aside from hitting WC again and doing Goliath for the first time, hitting Bizarro again before the changeover to Superman was top of my list.

 

As for Bizarro itself? No major changes to report. Yes, the locker & test seat area received a subtle coat of paint, but aside from that, the only real progress so far has been 1) turning off all the on-ride music and 2) removing the giant Bizarro figure from the top of the first tunnel. (You can still see the outline of where they ripped him off. Wasn't about to attempt to get a picture of this though!) Otherwise, the ride is still the same as expected; one of the best hypers in existence. Only a slight bit of vibration on the final set of airtime hills, otherwise, no issues. I ended up doing ten rides in a row (well, five groups of two). 9.5/10 as well.

 

I had been keeping an eye on Batman: The Dark Knight all day, since repeated buzzing on the Tamagotchi kept reminding me that the ride was closed. No, wait, open. No, it's closed again. Nope, open. For real this time? Okay... made a reservation and started heading over, only to see an empty train stalled in the brake run and people wandering out of the queue. Finally, keeping a close eye on it, I saw them sending out another train full of people, and quick hopped in through the Flash Pass entrance to get on the next one. Ended up taking two in a row on the last row. I do love B&M floorless coasters, but this is the weakest of the three I've been on so far (compared to Dominator at KD and Bizarro at GAdv), mainly due to the more compact layout and quicker ride experience. Even still, it's got some great moments on it. That first loop is killer, and those rolls had me giggling like a little kid. Riding it twice in a row definitely helps, but like I said, it's my least favorite of the floorless coasters I've been on so far. Probably a 7/10.

 

By this time, I was getting ready to pack up and make the long drive back home, but I kept eyeing Mind Eraser, which I had a horrible experience with on my previous visit. I was determined to not let it beat me, so I hopped on (completely unnecessarily using the Flash Pass in this case, as it was a literal walk-on), and as soon as I pulled those OTSRs down I remembered how horribly my body fit inside them. Oof. But by tensing every single muscle in my body, keeping my head firmly pressed against the back of the headrest, and holding on for dear life, I managed to actually make it to the brake run without getting my head smacked around. So yay for that, huh? Still, I'd love to ride an SLC that actually has the new style of restraints, and maybe if I get a chance at Morey's next year I'll do so. For the time being, still my least favorite coaster to ride here, and I'm going to upgrade it from a 0/10 to a more generous 3/10. (Even still, I rode it twice, because dammit, I'm getting my money's worth out of that Platinum pass!)

 

I capped off the night with another pair of rides on Batman before making my way back to the front gates, walking through all the Fright Fest stuff that had been set up in the meanwhile and dodging costumed actors doing their best to frighten the teens (usually pretty successfully). I have to hand it to them, their actors are usually on point with the costumes and makeup, very impressive stuff. All in all, a pretty solid day and I definitely feel like I got a lot of use out of the Flash Pass.

 

Here's a few random photos from the phone to round out the TR:

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One, two, three, four, five... yep, six flags accounted for.

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Wacky waving inflatable flailing arm ghost men at the entrance!

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Goliath in a test run! Good to see it running.

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Bizarro is always impressive from this angle.

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Creepy Fright Fest displays are a great place to park your baby's stroller.

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I... I guess this Fright Fest area is themed as a 90's rave? Oh, wait, alien abduction? Same thing.

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I really wish they'd let you pick your seat but since they don't we never ride it any more.

Come to think of it... there are an AWFUL lot of coasters at this park where choosing your own seat is forbidden.

 

- Batman: The Dark Knight

- Flashback

- Goliath

- Thunderbolt

- Wicked Cyclone

 

Pretty much the only ones where you actually do get to pick a seat are Mind Eraser and Bizarro, considering that Pandemonium and Gotham City Gauntlet are both single-car affairs. Not sure about the kiddie coasters. Very strange, I can't remember such a high percentage of assigned seating at any other parks off the top of my head.

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Great report! Glad you managed to snag some front seat rides on Goliath. That's the only seat that's free of head banging... I really wish they'd let you pick your seat but since they don't we never ride it any more.

I wish I would've been assigned to the front. My first and only ride on Goliath was the very last row, and it was terrible. I didn't even bother coming back to the ride later considering there's two other coasters in the park I'd rather marathon instead.

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Both Goliath and Batman will let you wait a cycle and choose a seat if you ask.

 

... Sometimes. It depends on the ops (even though on Batman there's an obnoxious paint stripe all the way down the stairs and huge signs specifically saying that there's a front seat line). The ops generally pretend the signs and lines don't exist.

 

With Goliath I'm not willing to take the risk because if they assign you anything but row 1 then it's a horrendous ride and they generally pull from the Flash Pass line first so without a Flash Pass you have basically zero chance of getting that seat.

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