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I miss all the Intamin Ag 1st Gen Free Falls!


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I went on the Edge 1 time at CGA in 1995. Almost went on Freefall at SFMM in 1999-was waiting in line but the line was too long. Yes when your at the top rolling out to the edge that's the scariest part. Here's a great pic of me in front of Freefall in line @ SFMM 7/17/99. Wish I went on it! But didn't since I had very limited time there & my main focus was getting in all the coasters.

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I rode Demon Drop at Dorney over the summer and absolutely loved it! I found it scarier than Acrophobia at my home park! I don't know why people say that this ride is bumpy or other ones are, I didn't feel anything bumpy.. But I do hope that Intamin can possibly put these back on the market as they are spectacular!

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I've been on two of them; Demon Drop at Cedar Point (2001) and Freefall at SFoG (2002). I enjoyed both of them, and didn't find them particularly rough, although I knew to lean forward a bit at the transfer off the brake run to reduce its impact. It's pretty easy to see why their numbers have dwindled though, given that they take up more space and are far more mechanically complex then current stuff from Intamin, S&S, and the numerous smaller companies that make drop towers now.

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I thought Demon Drop at Dorney Park was fairly exciting, but not amazing. I was a bit apprehensive before riding and while going up the lift, and the drop was a fun scare, but it wasn't much more intense than a standard tower, if at all.

 

Oddly, I have a book that actually considers this to be a roller coaster. It's even officially listed as part of Cedar Point's coaster collection. Thankfully for my sanity and reputation, I have declined to count it as a credit.

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The only 1st generation freefall I have been on is Demon Drop at Dorney Park. I loved the crazy lift and excellent drop, but the part where these rides flatten out is quite painful on my back, and the transition back down to the station is jarring. I still wish there were more around though, because I feel they are a different experience than newer drop towers.

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I absolutely love these things. To me, the First Generation Freefalls seem like more of a ride "experience" than any of the newer towers. While the 2nd and 3rd Gen towers just take you up and down, these things take you back, up, forward, drop you down, lay you on your back, and then take you into reverse again...and the drop seems way more intense/breathtaking.

 

What I don't understand is why the shoulder harnesses on older Intamin rides are shaped so that they dig into your chest and stomach (see 1st Gen Freefalls and Looping Starships). Those restraints are SO uncomfortable and it seems like just a slight alteration of them could make the ride experience much more enjoyable than it already is.

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^Speaking of scary, my dad pretty much scarred me for life on my first one. When I was 8 he told me I had to hit a button to release the parachute on our way down or we wouldn't stop. Fun times.

 

 

Did you stop riding coasters after that remark?

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  • 2 years later...
My favorite thing about the these rides were the guaranteed downtimes everyday!

 

This.

 

I remember riding FreeFall at SFOG before they removed it. I would always sit a penny on my lap to watch it float as we dropped and the run out (on your back section) would always freak me out because you always wondered if it would stop or keep on going right off the track and into the MindBender.

 

But yes, the old age of these 1st gen free falls meant frequent breakdown's every single day. During my time as an employee at SFOG, FreeFall had signal 2's (radio codes for ride breakdowns with guests onboard) at least 3 times a day, mainly cars loaded at the top of the shaft or in the reversing drive. Still, it was a great ride. I think Intamin should revamp that idea and make them at least 200 feet. With today's technology I'm sure the breakdowns would be close to inexistent.

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At SFMM, Freefall had different braking profiles depending on the weather to ensure it didn't over travel or undershoot the return area. Every morning it would still be in the cold weather profile (since it was actually cold when they did their morning cycles) and would go down every time a certain car cycled until they adjusted the profile. Loved it. I won't talk about all the other ways we knew how to break the ride...

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Personally I like the sketchiness about these rides. Intamin 1st generation freefalls have a sense of danger to them. Even though newer freefall towers are extremely scary, the Intamin 1st generation freefalls had a different type of "scary" than the new towers do, which I liked a lot.

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I've never been on an Intamin 1st Gen Freefall; I was a couple years late for the one at SFMM. They look pretty sketchy though (in the good way)!

 

Oh, and I don't know if this is important, but it has really been bugging me that there is an apostrophe on the word "Free Fall" in the title of this thread when "Free Fall" is plural. I have no intention of back-seat moderating, but I just thought that I would point this out.

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Oh, and I don't know if this is important, but it has really been bugging me that there is an apostrophe on the word "Free Fall" in the title of this thread when "Free Fall" is plural. I have no intention of back-seat moderating, but I just thought that I would point this out.

 

Thank you for pointing that out. I fixed it right after I amended your signature that was too long and violated TPR's ToS.

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I do miss Demon Drop at Cedar Point (and hope to ride it again at Dorney some day). If I recall, it used to count down from 10, and go on 3... For a kid that was afraid of heights, it was a good compromise with being tall but enclosed enough that I wasn't panicking.

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For all the riding I've done, I've managed to miss these most of the time, although the downtime others have mentioned was almost a charming part of the experience.

 

On one trip with friends, we got on Demon Drop at Cedar Point, and it was the first free fall like this any of us had rode. We had already been on the newer creations, but the old ones had eluded us. All of us agreed that the experience was *far* scarier than the newer ones, I think because you go down something you didn't go up, and you end the ride on your back which seems more "wrong" than landing on a newer drop ride.

 

The day after Demon Drop, we tried riding Mr Hyde's at Six Flags Ohio. The paint job on that ride looked outstanding. We waited in the relatively short line and as we were about to ride one of us joked, "Are you ready to go over the Edge and survive?" at which point the ride immediately broke down. We waited, but after a bit were told to leave and come back, and the queue was cleared. Thinking we'd have less of a chance to ride it than anything else at SFO, as soon as we saw it cycling, we came back. Got seated on the ride, the same person who had joked about it being the edge said, "Now it's time to ride the Edge" at which point again immediately the ride broke. We were unloaded from the shaft going up, and the ride was closed the rest of the day.

 

I wish I had got to experience Magic Mountains intertwined with Riddler's. Although it would make it seem shorter, I think the interaction sure looked neat.

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I've done two of these. Freefall @ SFMM (R.I.P) and Hollywood Tower at Movieland Studios in Italy. I must admit. I really like these rides. Something about creeping up to the edge and then dropping just makes it much more fun. Its a bummer that these are all disappearing.

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