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PTR: SFGAm 6/3/09


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EDIT: Sorry about the photo sizes....I just copied and pasted this from a different site, figuring it would come out downsized. (I didn't want to reattach all the files...) If I should fix these let me know.

 

So...I went to Six Flags Great America for the first time in a few years on the third. The drive up there was supposed to take 3 hours max, but it ended up taking over four because of Chicago traffic and large amounts of major highways being rebuilt. Typical. It was kinda chilly (The high was in the upper 50s) and there was a strong north wind, so the water park was closed. This meant slightly longer lines, but it actually seemed to add some thrill to all the rides, which all felt more forceful than I had remembered. Hm.

 

 

 

The first signs of the park! Raging Bull isn't really visible from far away because of all the development and trees, so it just pops out of nowhere.

 

Here's a not so good sign...there were a bunch of little junior high kids running around the park screaming for the first few hours we were there. Luckily it started clearing up at around 2. (Exact quote: "OMG WE'RE AT SIX FLAGS!!!! WE'RE AT SIX FLAGS!!!! *Scream*")

 

Raging Bull and Viper look sexy together.

 

Superman from the parking lot.

 

I kind of wish Shockwave was still in this spot, but at least Superman is an okay ride.

 

1...2...3...4...5...6...

 

7?

 

Apparently SFGAm is being marketed as the "World's Cleanest Theme Park" this year. Trash cans with this rhyme on them were everywhere. (They lost the rhyming vibe on line three...)

 

Yes, I mean EVERYWHERE. (How many trash cans do you count in this picture?)

 

That's right, there are 15 trash cans! [:O]

 

Raging Bull looked sexy with its new paint job.

 

 

Too bad the ride is killed by this......

 

Giant Drop broke down right when we got in line, and was down for the rest of the day. It still looked cool though?

 

Iron Wolf was running really well and was my favorite ride of the day. It totally kicked Mantis's ass. It's also probably the closest I'll ever get to riding an Intamin standup. [:(]

 

Leaving the loop.

 

Batman was a lot better than I had remembered it, and was running pretty well.

 

As much as I think CP is overrated, V2 wasn't as good as Wicked Twister. It was still really fun though.

 

Demon was also running well. However it's never been all that great to me, besides the vertical loops. I love how the train lurches through those things.

 

American Eagle is very secluded, and the park is really neglecting it. They were only running one side at a time, the whole thing needs to be painted and holy crap do they need to retrack that thing. The first three valleys had just enough jackhammering to be fun, but when you're going 10 miles per hour into an extremely drawn-out helix and it's painful, something really needs to be done.

 

Superman needed some paint also.

 

I tried to get a shot of the Chicago skyline from the car on the way back, but I kinda failed. Oh well.

 

As for the coasters of today:

 

Raging Bull: 7.75

The first drop is really fun, but the rest of the ride is completely killed by those trims. There's some good airtime in the back, but as soon as you hit the first hill you just feel like you're dragging through the layout and that SF is ripping you off to save a few dollars on replacement parts. Bleh. The new paint looked pretty sexy, though.

 

Viper: 7.25/10

Viper was just overall a fun ride. There was airtime in a few places, some minor roughness (the good kind), and lats on a few of the turns. On a different note, the park REALLY needs to hire a person to only let a certain amount of people into the loading area at a time. The entire loading area was packed full of people in no order at all, so you basically had to barge your way through to get on the ride.

 

Whizzer: 6.75/10

Wheeeeee. That's about it. Most of the ride was more fun than thrilling. I've always been a big fan of those low-to-ground Schwarzkopf turns, though. Lesson learned from this ride: your shoulder does NOT appreciate it when you try to reach out and touch the grass then hit a Schwarzkopf transition.

 

Demon: 6.25/10

The two loops are fun, but the straight sections are a waste. There is a massive pop of airtime going over the first drop in the back, and the horrible Arrow transition into the corkscrews was (painfully) awesome. It was too short for my likings though.

 

V2: 8.25/10

I love impulse coasters. While this one didn't have the twisting back spike, there was some free-fall and then the front spike covered the twistiness. I also got to witness two junior high girls have literal panic attacks and come back the the station crying. Woo? You decide.

 

American Eagle - Red: 7/10

As mentioned, the park needs to retrack and repaint this. It was still fun though, offering some mild jackhammering and some light airtime. The first drop could have been MUCH better though, and the racing aspect would have added some fun to the ride.

 

Iron Wolf: 8.75/10

The pacing on Iron Wolf is amazing. It's non-stop flying through the trees it was build around and weaving through itself. There was also a minute amount of headbanging for a standup ride, and I actually had some added fun trying to keep my ears from being crushed.

 

Spacely's Sprocket Rockets: 3/10

Yeah, I'm a credit whore. [lol] This ride provided what was probably the best on-ride photo of me ever.

 

Ragin' Cajun: 3.25/10

Ow. This was not fun. It looked fun, but it wasn't. The ride ops struck up conversation about the fact that the team of the jersey I was wearing lost a game in the last 5 seconds a few days earlier. Our car didn't spin at all. There are now bruises on my thighs. Not a fun ride. If you're going to build a spinner, make it a Gersty or a Maurer Sohne.

 

Batman: The Ride: 8.25/10

I actually like this Batman more than the later clone at SFSTL. There are some bonus near-ground sweeps, and it's just as forceful as it's Dolly down south. Fun ride, minute head-banging.

 

Superman Ultimate Flight: 8/10

This is another of those "wheeeeee" rides. There was more force this time on the valley of the first drop, due to some roughness. I lovelovelove the bizarre forces of the pretzel loop. It goes from 1g to airtime, to being pinned on your back, to airtime, to a banked turn. I kinda wish the rest of the ride was as forceful as that, but it does what it was meant to do. (By that I mean giving you the feeling you are flying.) One bad note: I lost 32 cents in change. [:(]

 

Dark Night: 3.5/10

SF fail. This was such a waste of money. The whole thing was based off of theming. In the Q, you are forced to watch some 10-minute video clip that is basically taken from the movie, even if there is no wait. The only fun part of the ride was the smoothness of the hairpin turns, which made me think that it might be ok after all. I was wrong. After the hairpin turns, there was just as much pain and lameness as Ragin' Cajun. Available GCI>regular wild mouse coasters>rare steak>electrical burns>Dark Night.

 

Thanks for a great day SFGAm, and even though you made a horrible horrible decision on which ride to install for this year, it was a good visit.

 

EDIT: If you want any of these photos in full size, PM me and I'll send them to you. (I don't have PRO Flickr yet.)

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The first three valleys had just enough jackhammering to be fun...

 

Huh, I wasn't aware there could be "just enough" jackhammering for it to be fun. in my book, any amount of jackhammering is not enjoyable.

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As mentioned, the park needs to retrack and repaint this. It was still fun though, offering some mild jackhammering and some light airtime. The first drop could have been MUCH better though, and the racing aspect would have added some fun to the ride.

 

That's interesting. We had some really smooth rides on the Red side opening weekend this year. Do you remember what side you were on? Also I don't see how a 147 foot drop into woodwork could be "MUCH better," especially considering its the tallest, fastest, longest racing woodie in the world so I don't think there's much room for improvement.

 

EDIT: Ahh, I see you mentioned you rode the Red side. That's interesting I found it much smoother than in previous years. I think they did some retracking before the 2008 season.

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Interesting trip report... Although your incorrect spelling of the Dark Knight makes me question your thoughts on the ride.

 

Hmm yes he missed putting the K on a title that's a play on words...therefore his opinion is invalid.

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That's interesting. We had some really smooth rides on the Red side opening weekend this year. Do you remember what side you were on? Also I don't see how a 147 foot drop into woodwork could be "MUCH better," especially considering its the tallest, fastest, longest racing woodie in the world so I don't think there's much room for improvement.

 

Most of the ride has been retracked. It's not difficult to tell. The only part I find rough is the helix.

 

And for the trim on Raging Bull, it's computer controlled and it's always been there. Last visit it didn't even go off. Depends on the time, the weight, and the weather I guess.

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I know there is always comments about excessive use of trash cans, but I can understand their reasoning. At my work, there quite a few trash cans around, and people still leave trash just laying around. Now how hard is it to just walk a few feet and put it where it belongs?

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I actually don't mind a lot of trash cans. More trash cans usually means fewer overflowing trash cans, so it can't be that bad.

 

Good TR. Lots of nice pictures, that's one park I would really like to visit soon. I'm honestly surprised I haven't been yet, given I've been to Chicago several times.

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Awesome pics

 

Man SF really IS trying to copy the CF of 1999-2005, right down to the excessive use of trash cans...

 

Did you get to ride Bucaneer Battle?

No, all the annoying schoolkids I mentioned were basically hogging that, plus it was really cold so getting all wet didn't sound too fun. It looked somewhat interesting though, so I may ride it if I get up there next summer.

 

I know there is always comments about excessive use of trash cans, but I can understand their reasoning. At my work, there quite a few trash cans around, and people still leave trash just laying around. Now how hard is it to just walk a few feet and put it where it belongs?
Yeah, I have to admit that all the excess trashcans did their job...there was almost no litter in sight. There were also some "handymen" (go RCT) walking around with those little sweep-scooper things, probably another attempt at actually being what they were marketing themselves as.
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It's an important and popular fact that the only time you get a trimless ride on Bull is when the train is going slow enough that the trims don't need to slow it down. So any trimless ride is therefore, by definition, no better than any "normal" ride.

 

The trims are there, have always been there, will always be there and are not under park control. Everyone needs to accept that, and move on.

 

Cameron.

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^I had a lot of trimless rides on Bull last year and a few this year. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times the trims have had a significant effect on my rides the past two season. (I've ridden it probably 25+ times in the time frame). It is a great ride when the trims are off, and even when they are on, it is still a good ride.

 

As for Dark Knight, sorry you didn't like it, but I don't think your the target audience with it. You're review was actually the first time I've heard a negative review on the pre-show, and it seemed like you were complaining just to complain IMO. You have to accept it for what it is, a family coaster, and not expect it to be a Raging Bull in a box.

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^I had a lot of trimless rides on Bull last year and a few this year. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times the trims have had a significant effect on my rides the past two season. (I've ridden it probably 25+ times in the time frame). It is a great ride when the trims are off, and even when they are on, it is still a good ride.

 

As for Dark Knight, sorry you didn't like it, but I don't think your the target audience with it. You're review was actually the first time I've heard a negative review on the pre-show, and it seemed like you were complaining just to complain IMO. You have to accept it for what it is, a family coaster, and not expect it to be a Raging Bull in a box.

I know it was supposed to be more of a family coaster, but I'm giving my opinion from an enthusiast's point of view as I wasn't reviewing it for a family-oriented site. And I'm sure the video is ok for longer queues, but there was literally no wait the whole day so all it did was waste time and provoke the more immature adults in line to mock it. I didn't expect it to be anything more than Ragin' Cajun with lights, and that's exactly what it was. That's why I thought it was a waste of money. (And actually I would have preferred it to be an Iron Wolf-in-a-box if anything, but you see my point. )

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^I had a lot of trimless rides on Bull last year and a few this year. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times the trims have had a significant effect on my rides the past two season. (I've ridden it probably 25+ times in the time frame). It is a great ride when the trims are off, and even when they are on, it is still a good ride.

 

As for Dark Knight, sorry you didn't like it, but I don't think your the target audience with it. You're review was actually the first time I've heard a negative review on the pre-show, and it seemed like you were complaining just to complain IMO. You have to accept it for what it is, a family coaster, and not expect it to be a Raging Bull in a box.

I know it was supposed to be more of a family coaster, but I'm giving my opinion from an enthusiast's point of view as I wasn't reviewing it for a family-oriented site. And I'm sure the video is ok for longer queues, but there was literally no wait the whole day so all it did was waste time and provoke the more immature adults in line to mock it. I didn't expect it to be anything more than Ragin' Cajun with lights, and that's exactly what it was. That's why I thought it was a waste of money. (And actually I would have preferred it to be an Iron Wolf-in-a-box if anything, but you see my point. )

 

TDK had no lines!? Shit, I remember seeing 2 1/2 hour to 3 hour lines last year on that thing!!! Everybody and their mother had to get a ride on that thing last year, now it's meh, TDK next!!!

 

Iron Wolf in a box!? LOL, ouch....

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I quite enjoyed the theming and pre-show of Dark Knight (at SFGAdv), but found the build up to be much better than the lame standard wild mouse in (sort of) darkness. It would've been better as a Spinning Mouse (ala Exterminator at Kennywood).

 

-Mr. Bebe

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I was just out at the park yesterday, The bull is not killed by the trims, its still a great ride, its always been a favorite, and still is. Iron Wolf was a head banging experience like you wouldn't believe, you must have gotten it on a good day.

 

no line whatsoever on TDK for us either, walked in and walked all the way to the door of the ride. it was fine for a wild mouse type coaster, but I would have been mad had we had to wait a long time for it. think they should have not gone with the batman/joker theme, and maybe just turned it into a spooky ride, something along those lines, in total darkness.

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I know it was supposed to be more of a family coaster, but I'm giving my opinion from an enthusiast's point of view as I wasn't reviewing it for a family-oriented site.

 

I'm an enthusiast, and I enjoy The Dark Knight. Are you speaking for me? It is what it is. It's a family coaster, that was marketed incorrectly. Or at least the general public took the press to literally, thinking that a "thrilling ride" meant, "thrill ride." I lean toward the latter.

 

TDK had no lines!? poo-poo, I remember seeing 2 1/2 hour to 3 hour lines last year on that thing!!! Everybody and their mother had to get a ride on that thing last year, now it's meh, TDK next!!!

 

SFGAm has made improvements to loading/unloading. I don't think you'll see lines like that this year.

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SFGAm has made improvements to loading/unloading. I don't think you'll see lines like that this year.

 

True statement! The same day Superman ws 1 hour 15 minutes wait and V2 was 1 hour and half and Raging Bull was 1 hours 45. TDK was only 8 minute way, including preshow is a total of 13 minutes.

 

P.S Has anyone noticed American Eagle being really popular this year and having long lines?

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