GCS Posted July 6, 2009 Share Posted July 6, 2009 So I made may first ever journey to SFGADV (and first SF park ever) on 7/3/09. We left Richmond, VA around 6:45pm on Thursday and the trip should have taken 5 hours took 7, what a nightmare!! Anyway we finally made it to Holiday Inn in East Windsor around 2am. Exhausted and beat to a pulp we crashed immediately (myself, my sister, her husband, and their oldest son (11)). Hotel -- nice clean hotel, no problems, no complaints other than no Complimentary breakfast but the rate was only about $80 a night so I won't complain. Friday AM we got up and headed out at about 9:15 or so. Stopped at WAWA near the park for some breakfast sandwiches. This place was out of control nuts and took us 30+ mins to get food and get out of the parking lot. We ate in the car and headed on to the park. After turning over my online parking receipt to a super nice attendant we were parked and walking to the main gate. We arrive at the main gate around 10:15am to find it ridiculously packed up front. We waited in line for about 15 mins not realizing we didn't need to (we had printed online tickets and could have just gone on around and walked into the park vs. standing at the ticket line (ooops my bad)). First stop in the park FLASH PASS pick up. I had already paid for it online and just had to watch the video and pick it up. ***SIDE BAR -- the Flash Pass IMHO is completely worth it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the matter but if you are heading to the a park once and most likely only once this is the only way to handle a big park. Yes it is costly but it made the day very enjoyable and more fun than we would have had without it. So on to the rides and the day ... Weather -- beautiful 70 degree day. Not too hot, not too cold. We got whacked by a couple rainstorms twice in the day (more on that later) but they were pretty short and did not hurt the day much. Park -- pretty busy up until about 1pm and then it was PACKED!! Park was very clean and tidy (except the Bathroom by the end of the day) and staff was nice, polite, and friendly. No complaints about the park at all. With Flash Pass in hand we hit the park .. First stop Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train (no reservation needed it so we reserved Dark Knight while we hit this) -- ehhh what can I say about the ride .. it's there, we rode, didn't ride again --- 1 Ride total. Next Dark Knight -- 10 min wait via Gold Flash Pass so we walked right in after we got to it. Nice themeing, nice decor, nice preshow, so-so ride. Heh it's a glorified Wild Mauss and not a great one either. As before it's there, we rode, didn't ride again --- 1 Ride total. Next Batman: The Ride -- 10 min wait via FP so again we walked right on. Nice solid invert, very enjoyable, very rerideable and a nice starter to the "big coasters" in the park. Rode this a second time late at night in the dark and was just as much fun. I would rate this third behind Montu and Talon as far as B&M Inverts - 7 out 10 --- 2 Rides total. Next NITRO!! - 15 min wait via FP. Main wait line was already packed back to a 90 min wait (according to the sign). We hoped on the ride in the 2nd car from the back and off we went. This ride was excellent excellent air time on the 1st and 3rd hill (the one after the left turn) and all the "bunny hop" hills after the MCBR were air time pleasers as well. Great freakin' ride and easily moved to being my #1 B&M Hyper. Ride Ops were kickin' a$$ and taking names. 3 train op and they were rocking all day. They always had 1 train on the course, 1 headed up the lift hill and one loading. Only hold ups were when folks did not fit in the ride. We got 3 rides during the day and 1 in the pitch black night (which kicked a$$!!). 9 out of 10 --- 4 Rides total. Next up Skull Mountain - 15 min wait via FP. Main wait line was 60 mins. Ehhh what can I say about the ride .. it's there, we rode, didn't ride again --- 1 Ride total. Next up the Sky Ride to the other side of the park -- hey it's a sky ride what do ya wanna know ... Next Bizarro - 20 min wait via FP. Main wait line was 90+ mins. Themeing -- gotta say I really like the Bizarro theme a lot. Love the look, love the idea, and overall it just worked for me. First ride was midtrain. Tons of fun on this ride, no pain, no roughness, no rattles, nothing but fun for me. Soundtrack was hard to hear (i.e. dialog) but having it playing for the ride did add to the experience. I did like the logo tunnel and the flame throwers as well. Just 100% enjoyable. Again ride Ops were kickin' a$$ and taking names. 3 train op and they were rocking all day. They always had 1 train on the course, 1 headed up the lift hill and one loading. Only hold ups were when folks did not fit in the ride. Ops delivering the ride message were into their speeches and got the crowds pumped before and after their ride. I would rate this as 2nd in the floorless line behind Kraken and Dominator 3rd. We rode 3 more times varying between front and back. 8.0 out of 10 --- 4 total rides. Next EL TORO!!!!! - 20 min wait via FP. Main wait line 90+ mins. I'll start the review by saying HOLY F@$&*%G S%@T that was freaking phenomenal!!!!!! I now know what all you guys have been talking about for so long. This ride was fast, smooth, had ejector air and was just out and out blast to ride. The speed is right on and the ride is on the edge of being completely out of control. The best part is she is super smooth!! We rode near the front and the back and in the middle -- there is no bad seat on this ride. I cannot say enough about this ride, clearly the #1 woodie for me ... by a long shot. Again Ride Ops were kickin' a$$ and taking names. 2 train op and they were rocking all day. They were loading and dispatching as fast as possible - couldn't have been faster. Only hold ups were when folks did not fit in the ride. Ops delivering the ride message got the crowds pumped before and after their ride (not that it was necessary LOL!). You gotta love a ride that has riders clapping and cheering on the way out and on the way in ... you know you have something special when that happens. 10 out of 10 --- 5 Total rides (1 at night). **Side note -- one of our rides was in a massive downpour. Wow what an experience. The rain hit our faces so hard you had to close your eyes and hold up a hand for protection. Truly a crazy moment. Next Rolling Thunder - 10 min wait via FP (40 min regular wait). Decent old woodie, nothing special but nothing bad either. 6 out of 10 --- 1 total ride on side 1 only. This was our only bad ride experience as side 2 was brokedown when we got on the ride and then on our ride (coming into the station) side 1 brokedown. We got stuck waiting under the storage area to come into the station to unload for more than 30 mins. They refused to let us off for the longest time saying they had to bring us into the station. After much delay maintenance guys came and let us all out and walked us down the planks where we had to then waste a bunch of time filling out an incident report. When all was said and done it cost us an hour!! Next was GASM -- 10 min wait via FP (60 min regular wait). OUCH!! That was no fun. It didn't leave me bruised and battered but it just wasn't enjoyable. 4 out of 10 --- 1 total ride Next was Superman: Ultimate Flight -- 30 min wait via FP (90 min regular wait). Wait time was bad because the ride went down in order to add a second train. This was my first flyer and what a crazy experience it was, very weird. There is not much I can say about the ride as I have no real basis for comparison. It was not painful or bad in any way it was just weird. I did enjoy the ride a fair bit and I look forward to my next flyer. 7 out of 10 -- 2 rides total We also rode the rapids ride and the log flume -- we got absolutely soaked on both. Overall we had a great time at the park. No issues or problems to report. Park was clean, staff was great and we have some great memories. Would love to go back when Ka is running but I had ridden dragster before so I wasn't completely destroyed about not riding it (my nephew was really bummed though). I say kudos to SFGADV for a great job especially considering how ridiculously busy the park was that day. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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