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So over the course of this past week, I was fortunate enough to get to BOTH Bizarros.

 

Last Saturday, a friend I knew borrowed a car from an upperclassmen to do some shopping for a show, and was kind and conniving enough to sneak us to Six Flags and drop us off while she did her business.

 

The weather was beautiful, and the crowds were moderate. We didn't wait longer than 40 minutes on anything, including front seat on Bizarro. Oh yeah, and this was the first time I've ever worn flip flops to a park. Except for the fact that I no longer had skin in between my first and second toes, it went pretty well.

 

I'm not really sure I'm completely 100% on board with the whole Bizarro thing. Am I going to slam it? No no, not in the least. But to me, I really respect the fact that six flags is trying to fix up and retheme some of their rides, and I'm all for new paint jobs and makeovers and more landscaping, and a well executed love fest toward specific coasters that seem to be neglected. And Medusa certainly was neglected.

 

But spending millions of dollars to retheme the ride to try and add a story line that frankly, you can easily pass through the line without even beginning to understand, seems a bit unnecessary to me. Not bad, just unnecessary. I don't need flame throwers, I don't need mist, I don't need an upside down horse. The paint job looked nice, and the ride did feel slightly smoother, which I really appreciate, and I'm glad they put some love into that area. But maybe it was just a little much for me.

 

I suppose I'm more of a landscaping guy than a mist tunnel flame thrower cardboard cutout type of guy, and that's fine. I did enjoy the ride experience just a little more than I previously remember, so I really am not complaining.

 

I wasn't the biggest fan of the onboard sound system however. I thought the yelling and explosions and stuff you heard going up the lift hill were unnecessary, and to be honest, nobody in our group even noticed that there was a soundtrack over the course of the ride, while it was in motion. And then, on the brakerun, the Bizarro chants were a little much too. Also, with the noise, it is impossible to carry on conversation with your friends and those you ride with.

 

I guess, at a park like Disney, where I'm expecting a story line and completely immersive theming, all this is fine. But here, I don't really need it. Just give me a good solid ride and an overarching theme, more like an ambiance, and that's more than enough. Some fire and an on board soundtrack really won't do much more for the ride, for me at least.

 

The one thing I did really like, though, was the corkscrew over the long cylinder tube mist thing, so that you got misted when you were upside down. That was neat.

 

Oh, and one other thing, we rode at night, expecting to get more out of the lighting and flame and stuff, and it didn't do much for me. No more than in the daytime. I would actually say I had a better ride in the day than at night.

 

The rest of the day was excellent. We managed

Nitro - 4

Bizarro - 2

Mine train - 1

GASM - 1

Rolling Thunder - 1

El Toro - 6

 

And I think that's it.

Overall though, this was the best experience I've had at a six flags park, in regards to what Six Flags has done with the place, in a very long time. So thank you Six Flags, it was an amazing day, ride operations were superb, and the ending fireworks show while El Toro was still running was something I will never forget.

 

 

SFNE

 

Spur of the moment, I took the train up to my friend's house in New York, who was already home, having finished early, and from there we drove up to SFNE the next morning, coming back that night to crash at his place.

It was an amazing time.

 

Being a Tuesday, the park was just about empty. We managed to get in 39 rides that day, even with them closing at 6, and had a great time.

 

The problem I have with Bizarro at SFNE, is that there was no point for it. It was already the number one coaster in the world, it was already an iconic testament to the force and power that associated the name Superman to the world's most intense, enjoyable steel coaster experience, why change it?

 

I just for the life of my can't understand why you would take the world's best coaster, and paint it purple. This is where the fire and mist really started to look like gimmicks. You don't need them since you have such a good coaster, and having them almost takes away from the main attraction, since they almost act as if they're covering up something, trying to throw every last cover and concealer on the ride, so that it appears even better, when it doesn't need it, and ends up looking slightly overdone.

 

It's like if you have the world's most beautiful natural face, and then go and smother an inch of make up on it. There's just no need for it.

 

Superman is such an iconic figure too. Surely, if anyone deserves to be associated with the world's best steel coaster, it's superman, the man of steel. But who is Bizarro? Honestly, I still can't fully tell you. I mean, I know he's the alternate universe version of superman or whatever, but that doesn't mean anything to me, you know?

 

That being said, the queue area looked very nice. Once again, the fire didn't do too much for me, although as the day wore on, and the shots of mist left you colder and colder, the heat was very welcome.

 

Three shots of mist is overkill in my opinion. And this time I noticed, with the onboard sound system and how it curved in slightly around your head, it almost started to get in the way of your shoulders when you put your hands up. Also, the sound was up wayyyyy too loud, and I heard more than just my friend and I relieved when the train with the non-working sound system pulled in for us to board.

 

It was so loud you couldn't hear anything the person next to you shouted at you up the lift hill or in the breaks. I don't know, it's just not necessary for me to enjoy the ride.

 

The ride itself however... it took a while to warm up, but once it did, it was great. I think by the end of the summer it will be back to number 1 material. If I had ridden every coaster in the world, I'm not sure I would have put this at the top of the list, but I could tell that it had what it took. The first ride of the day wasn't good at all, however, and left it needing to prove itself, which it did, over time. It was slow, and cumbersome, shifty all over the place, and just kind of sluggish and lumpy in general. It wasn't til the third ride that we felt it, and in the afternoon, it was giving much better rides.

 

The front provided just as much airtime as the back, and I enjoyed both equally. Even the second seat (which had no line ever since they included the first to rows in the same line for the front, so everybody was always waiting for the front, and unable to reach the second row from the main station area, if you follow me) provided as good a ride as the second to last. So it was a toss up, and it was nice, having more options, then always having to sit near the back to get the better ride.

 

I am a rather tall person. 6'3", pushing 6'4", and with extremely long legs, I had a rough time fitting in these seats with the restraints. There was virtually NO leg room, and the way the lap bar worked, it came more at you than down, so that it would get stuck on my thighs, and never make itself to my waist. So all of the rides I rode I had the restraint jammed way down into the middle of my thighs, and I wasn't the biggest fan of that. I just fit much better in the B&M restraints.

 

I also don't like that they do everything in their power to give you as little room as possible. I'm the kid who loves keeping their lap bar up as high as you can manage, to maximize the effects of the airtime, and these intamin restraints don't let me get away with that. But that's just a rather minor detail. But getting stapled in ride after ride wasn't the most comfortable experience.

 

Enough criticism. The ride was spectacular, really, I really enjoyed it. The first drop gave a great pop, even if it didn't sustain it all the way down, and that first hill in the front was glorious, even if it came out a bit shallow. The turn around was nice and forceful, and the two main hills after that were AMAZING!!! From there it was positive and lateral Gs, with short explicit pops of ejector airtime spaced throughout, and those last two hills were wonderful.

 

Bizarro was a great ride, and I'm so excited I finally was able to get that one under my belt.

 

As far as the rest of the park goes, Batman Dark Knight was fun, if not small. Gotta love those barrel rolls. I really enjoy the floorless design.

 

Minderaser was fairly excruciating, Pandemonium is a surprisingly fun ride, Flashback was awful, the kids coasters were fine, Thunderbolt was pretty fun after it warmed up, and it's really nice to be able to appreciate the history there. Also, I loved that you could feel the track shift beneath you as you rode, especially coming over the top of the lift. Awesome.

 

I. Loved. Cyclone. I haven't ridden a ride with that much character... ever. The first drop somehow gave the biggest surprise kick of airtime ever, and from there it just ripped around that first turn and dove to the bottom, soaring majestically up, thumping you along as the track swayed feet to each side. It was wonderful. I loved the pacing, loved the drops, didn't mind the enormous shuffle at all, loved everything about it. It had an incredibly unique layout, and although it shuffled horribly, there are ways to ride without feeling it, and when you do that, it just adds personality to the ride. It was wonderfully intense, and a great showcase of the innovation of early classic wooden roller coasters.

 

Ride counts for the day were as follows.

Bizarro - 12

Batman DK - 8

Cyclone - 7

Pandemonium - 4

Thunderbolt - 4

Minderaser, catwoman's whip, Great Chase, Flashback - 1

 

All around, an amazing day, and an amazing trip. Thanks for reading, here are some pictures.

 

Okay, so we'll start with a lot of really necessary pictures of Nitro, and then move on to the Bizarros from there.

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Ah yes. Classic shot.

Again thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.

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This turned pretty interesting

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I like this.

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Some first drop action. Again, I don't have the patience to wait for trains, I apologize

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Wonderful

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A pretty heavy juxtaposition of quality in this picture...

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Joyous

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The butt of the train

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The awnings look nice

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Through the fire and flames

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Cyclone in the background. That first drop was amazing.

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Pandemonium was a lot of fun. Especially when Dave and I sat on the same side across from empty seats.

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There's me in the back there, in the white shirt. LOVED this ride.

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It was like the Batman the Ride of floorless coasters. Please excuse this awful picture.

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Dark Knight was nice.

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See, this is a beautiful picture. Other times it just looks really... girly.

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What a lovely station

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Some nice positive Gs on this turn here, into that nice pop there.

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Sometimes it looks great. Sometimes the purple just seems really unnatural.

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Cool logo...

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First drop glory.

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again... Not much into the whole waiting thing when I can actually ride it. My apologies.

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Yeah... I'm really not a very patient person. There should be a train there.

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In traditional six flags style, nothing opened for about a half hour.

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Ho yeah. Good stuff right there.

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Lovely shot, really. Cept that stupid pole...

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Loved the classic Thunderbolt signage

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Time for some SFNE action!!! The park was just about empty. Excellent

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Well, at least Marlene liked GASM...

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El Toro dance party? Always necessary

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Karen, you up to ride Rolling Thunder?

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This is a terrible picture, but I felt obligated to include it since Bizarro's all new and all...

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Horse butt. Solid

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Best part of the ride.

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GREAT shot. Too bad you noticed them more on the ground than on the ride. Also, all three of my friends here were HUGE environmentalists, and cringed every time these went off.

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That's Bizarre...

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I don't mind this paint job at all, really. I thought I would, but it's beginning to grow on me. I LOVED the old Medusa yellow though, before it faded.

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Some cobra roll action

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And here we are, Bizarro. Floorless barrel rolls are the best. Almost as good as inverted barrel rolls

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Had to introduce the other two the joyous pleasure that reside in the mine train.

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It really is a beautiful lift hill

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More chins, more fun.

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It was good to get some Nitro back in our systems

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oh yeah.

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Possibly the most depressing picture of Batman I've ever seen

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Gotta love a good barrel roll

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Get some train action in there.

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Proooobably the best looking group of people IVE ever seen

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This turned out nice, considering it's a picture of essentially nothing.

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Batman looked beautiful. I've been on it enough at home though, and the rest of us had ridden it as well, so we didn't wait for it today.

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We were, well... IIII was really excited to ride Nitro, especially since it wasn't open the last time I was here.

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Nitro was running beautifully today.

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I. Loved. Cyclone. I haven't ridden a ride with that much character... ever. The first drop somehow gave the biggest surprise kick of airtime ever, and from there it just ripped around that first turn and dove to the bottom, soaring majestically up, thumping you along as the track swayed feet to each side. It was wonderful. I loved the pacing, loved the drops, didn't mind the enormous shuffle at all, loved everything about it. It had an incredibly unique layout, and although it shuffled horribly, there are ways to ride without feeling it, and when you do that, it just adds personality to the ride. It was wonderfully intense, and a great showcase of the innovation of early classic wooden roller coasters.

 

I agree! I couldn't believe the airtime the first time I rode it. And just think how great it was before the brakes and track modifications.

 

Sucks about Bizarro's leg room. I'm 6-4, and sure hope to fit on those trains. I thought they were similar trains to El Toro's, and I fit on those fine.

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^^^ hmmm. Theming wise between the two, I'd say they are pretty similar. SFNE's queue beats SFGAdv's by a mile, though. Superman's got the two tunnels, which helps alot, but those were already there. Medusa has the huge tube over and under the two corkscrews with mist coming off, which I liked alot. The yellow faux-tunnel triangle cut out mist tunnel things were more effective on Medusa than on Superman. And I thought the fire placement works better on the immelmann than on the helix. But really, the theming was very similar between the two. It was weird with them being so closely themed, since the styles of rides are entirely different.

 

^^ haha thanks a lot. It's funny you mention it though, the really good shots are taken by my friend Dave, who just happens to already be making a living off of his photography skills at the age of 19. I guess I forgot to mention that. A few of these, especially the good ones, courtesy of Dave Heinz.

 

^ I would have LOVED to ride this back in the day. And yeah, I mean, you'll fit, but especially if you have long legs, it won't be the most comfortable ride of your life. I fit on El Toro a little better than I fit on Bizarro SFNE

 

Thanks everyone for the comments so far!

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I still think they need to bulldoze cyclone and build a Balder clone. I really don't like "pacing" on coasters. I want it fast and intense the whole way through. The turnarounds on Cyclone are soooooooo slow it just bores me to death. The ride is just - drop, jackhammering, climb and creep through a turn around. The one "good" turn is just to painful. I like laterals, but not to the extent that I can feel my ribcage breaking every time it smashes against the side of the train.

 

Looks like you picked a great day to visit the park. I would have been there myself if only my friends weren't so lame....

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Ok, those are some nice pictures.

I do have a question for you, does the sound system make it re-rideable, or does it ruin it?

Also, I love that shot of Bizzaro at SFNE when you said you missed the train. Thats just a lot of intamin track!

 

I also noticed that you like taking group shots

-Matthew K.

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I really don't like "pacing" on coasters. I want it fast and intense the whole way through.

 

Pacing just refers to the speed elements are taken in. All coasters have a pace, you just prefer coasters that feel like they have fast pacing.

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Very nice shots. I really am starting to like the new colors on Medusa-Bizarro. Superman-Bizarro, not so much. I think it's just too much purple.

 

One thing I'm wondering is if they plan on putting a Bizarro logo on the front of the SFNE trains. As they are now, they just look bare. Hopefully they'll add a logo to finish off the trains.

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^from what I could tell they were identical, but to be honest I didn't listen during the Medusa soundtrack while the ride was actually in motion. So over the course of the rides, I'm not entirely sure, but the lift hill and endings were identical.

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