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Photo TR: Great Escape 7/20 and 7/21/13


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This past weekend, I spent two days at the Great Escape. Despite being a Six Flags property, the park still maintains a good deal of its original charm and is a very nice park to visit. While the Comet may be the park's only exceptional coaster, the rest of the park has a good collection of flats and some decent coasters. Then the water park is one of my favorites anywhere.

 

On Saturday, the park wasn't that busy. The forecast originally called for bad thunderstorms, but both the storms and the crowds stayed away. My longest waits were related to capacity and loading rather than lines. I waited about 20 minutes for Blizzard.

 

But the worst wait was 30 minutes for the new Cliffhanger water slide when there was just 15 people ahead of me. An aqua pod speed slide, the employee at the top of the slide would weigh every rider and then spend a minute explaining the proper riding position and safety. I understand the importance for rider safety, but I think a poster or audio would greatly expedite the loading process because the expected hourly capacity at this rate would be just 30 riders. The slide itself was amazing and a major thrill. The drop was incredibly suspenseful and intense and most importantly, it was surprisingly smooth and comfortable.

 

On Sunday, lines were considerably longer as the weather was beautiful. I didn't have too much time in the park since I had to get on the road by the early afternoon, but I was able to get several rides in on the Comet, which is still one of my favorite coasters anywhere. The coaster has impeccable pacing. Every hill provides air-time and the ride also mixes in some very strong laterals, especially on the first and final turnarounds.

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I think I'm at the Great Escape.

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Sasquatch is a pretty good S&S tower that gives some great views of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains and Lake George. I prefer the drop side myself for the better views and thrills.

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The Comet is easily the park's star attraction and is what really put the Great Escape on the map for coaster enthusiasts.

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The first drop really packs a wallop. Unlike most coasters where the lift slows down as the train approaches the apex, the Comet's train speeds up. I don't know of any other coaster that does that.

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The Comet's turnarounds provide some really strong laterals.

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There is air-time on every hill.

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Even during the final hills, the Comet is still flying through the course.

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Despite being the park's most popular attraction, it has some of the shortest waits in the entire park thanks to speedy two-train operations.

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The Alpine Bobsled is one of three remaining Intamin bobsleds.

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I was happy to grab two rides on the Bobsled. It doesn't operate past 6 PM and has a really low capacity.

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Oh Canada!

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The best photos of the Bobsled can be grabbed in its queue line.

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During two of the turns, the Bobsled momentarily left the track which was really unexpected and thrilling.

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Great Escape is home to my favorite Boomerang.

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It's glass-smooth from start to finish while maintaining its trademark intensity.

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The Steamin' Demon is the first coaster one sees when they approach the Great Escape.

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I enjoy Canobie's Corkscrew; however, this Arrow was considerably rougher.

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The first drop provides the trademark Arrow ejector air and the following loop is quite forceful.

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But the ride goes downhill from there.

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The corkscrews were filled with jackhammering and were very uncomfortable.

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Oops, I almost forgot the ride's sign.

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Splashwater Kingdom, the park's attached water park, is one of my favorites. They have a great collection of slides, highlighted by the Alpine Freefall slide complex which opened last year.

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Cliffhanger was outstanding. It was my first drop pod water slide. Unlike most rides, I was genuinely afraid before my first ride on this one.

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New for 2013 is the Screamin' Eagles.

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It has a very nice location next to a stream.

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The range of movement on these scooters was excellent. While I wasn't able to snap them, I saw one or two people snap them.

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Huss Condors are relatively rare, but I really enjoy them. This one isn't as fast as the others I've been on, but the views at the top of this one are superior.

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I've never been on the park's Sky Ride, but it travels through a good portion of the front of the park.

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The park's Grand Carousel is a modern, fiberglass carousel but it looks really nice.

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While the pumpkin coach no longer runs, the castle still adds a nice feel to the park.

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This is the only picture of Canyon Blaster that I got. In past years I've found it boring, but this year they reversed the back three cars and it made a major difference. It's far more enjoyable now.

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Ah, based on your description, they must not have been running the intense program on Condor. They started it a year or two ago and usually run it. Weird they weren't. The cycle usually goes at a medium speed up and down the tower and then when it reaches the top, the arms stop and just the cars spin at top speed to the point where you're almost graying out. Other than that, Nice TR!

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I always thought that was a beautiful complex.

Proslide skyboxes are insanely awesome, and this one looks pretty tall.

 

The Kraken-racer mat slide is probably my most wanted water slide to try.

How is it? Is it as good as it looks?

 

Which would you prefer of it and a regular mat racer with bumps?

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Cliffhanger is 65ft. despite its 60ft. height listing. I too agree skyboxes are awesome. I was actually scared to try Cliffhanger last year.

 

As for Twisted Racer (mat racer) I think I was expecting more. It's very short (obviously to be expected) but still very fun. The 1st portion is pitch black and somewhat disorienting and the drop into the finish line provides a nice almost weightless feeling. I prefer a Twisted Racer style slide over the regular bump one just because of the dark section.

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Ah, based on your description, they must not have been running the intense program on Condor. They started it a year or two ago and usually run it. Weird they weren't. The cycle usually goes at a medium speed up and down the tower and then when it reaches the top, the arms stop and just the cars spin at top speed to the point where you're almost graying out. Other than that, Nice TR!

 

That describes the cycle that I got on Hersheypark's Flying Falcon. Condor didn't stop at the top when I rode it.

 

I always thought that was a beautiful complex.

Proslide skyboxes are insanely awesome, and this one looks pretty tall.

 

The Kraken-racer mat slide is probably my most wanted water slide to try.

How is it? Is it as good as it looks?

 

Which would you prefer of it and a regular mat racer with bumps?

 

I personally prefer the mat racer with bumps the whole way down. The enclosed and twisted section is fun, but I prefer the bumps the whole way down, especially since more speed is built up. I did see two people on the outside lane gain enough speed that their mat flipped upside down when exiting the enclosed section.

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I did see two people on the outside lane gain enough speed that their mat flipped upside down when exiting the enclosed section.

 

Funny you should mention that. My brother was on the outside lane last year and upon exiting the enclosed section, he almost did the same. He said it was scary and he went up the wall pretty far.

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I visited Great Escape at the end of June and the park was great as always. I've never stepped off of a Condor feeling sick before but this one did it! I never knew that they could be run with such intensity. I also really loved Blizzard... they ran that scrambler with a lot of intensity as well. The only thing that was disappointing was the Musik Express... without any music.

 

Ah, based on your description, they must not have been running the intense program on Condor. They started it a year or two ago and usually run it. Weird they weren't. The cycle usually goes at a medium speed up and down the tower and then when it reaches the top, the arms stop and just the cars spin at top speed to the point where you're almost graying out. Other than that, Nice TR!
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I visited Great Escape at the end of June and the park was great as always. I've never stepped off of a Condor feeling sick before but this one did it! I never knew that they could be run with such intensity. I also really loved Blizzard... they ran that scrambler with a lot of intensity as well. The only thing that was disappointing was the Musik Express... without any music.

 

Blizzard was amazing! I've never been on a faster scrambler and I really liked how the park moved it back indoors. The Cannonball Express himalaya was playing music this weekend so maybe you just caught it on a bad day.

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^Yeah Cannonball Express usually runs with music. Sadly, it only runs forward. Six Flags took out the backwards control option of the control panel so it can only run forward now.

 

Also, here's a video of Condor's intense program, which unfortunately you didn't get to experience. It doesn't look bad from the ground but once you're on it you get the full experience.

 

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That looks exactly like the Flying Falcon's cycle at Hershey and I loved it. It's too bad a lot of himalayas no longer run backwards. I rode Cannonball Express before Six Flags bought the park and remember it going backwards.

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This must be the "Program 6" on Condor's then. A guy who used to run the Condor at the Great Escape explained all the different programs and everything once and he mention Program 6 as being the best one, but they only ran it occasionally because every 1 out of 10 times, Program 6 would make the ride stall and they would have to manually lower the gondolas down the tower. Maybe they fixed the issues with Program 6 or something.

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This must be the "Program 6" on Condor's then. A guy who used to run the Condor at the Great Escape explained all the different programs and everything once and he mention Program 6 as being the best one, but they only ran it occasionally because every 1 out of 10 times, Program 6 would make the ride stall and they would have to manually lower the gondolas down the tower. Maybe they fixed the issues with Program 6 or something.

 

I was at the park Sunday with my friends and the first ride we went on was the Condor and I'm pretty sure they were running program 6 because the ride has never gone that fast when I rode it. It was around 10am or so when we got on. We were all just like "WTF this is going so fast" at the top lol. I had to close my eyes for a second cause I got so dizzy haha. Loved the ride though that was insane!

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