Considering the coaster has only been open for two days, and neither of them a weekend, it's far too early to say they "ditched" anything. SDC often runs fewer trains if they can get away with it, and their one train operations are great, so it's really not a problem. It has to be super busy for them to run both trains on Thunderation or all 3 on Powder Keg. So hearing that they ran two trains yesterday seems legit, and especially that they found a faster way to load/unload with only two trains. That's totally the sort of thing they do.
So I went to ride Time Traveler on opening day. I was also part of the smaller media event/tour they had going on and got to grab up close photos and video of the first riders on the coaster down in the valley itself. I have to give a shout out and a special thanks to the SDC staff for being so gracious and accommodating for doing this and for providing us brunch as well. Also got to meet and do some shooting with a bunch of big names in the coaster/amusements community, including the senior staff with MACK rides, and the owners of TPR, GTA, and RCDB. Got a couple rides on Time Traveler itself shortly afterward which I will give a review on in just a moment.
And to those of you reading this who were there, it was awesome meeting all of you!
In short, with my first impressions with Time Traveler: It was really cool! Definitely a very unique coaster experience combining elements from several proven coaster types into something totally new and different! I really love the train design too and the lighting effects on the cars themselves is very nice! It is no secret I was very apprehensive to the announcement of this type of coaster being built as I loathe spinning teacup type rides... but this is doable for me! The first drop gives you some real hang time with somewhat forceful swinging/pivoting in the first three cars but the back car is where you wanna be as it has a very forceful pull when you drop. Dropping backwards is crazy! The cars barely rotated or twirled throughout the ride with the exception of a couple places, one being during the barrel roll and then towards the end at the final overbanked turn as you hit the break run. I must say it is really weird going thru the vertical loop sideways which is what you will often find yourself doing. Going thru the elements to me is best described as surfing or swinging thru them. Also the launches themselves (particularly the final one) is very forceful, I dare say as forceful as Powderkeg. It is a really fun and interesting experience if you find yourself facing backwards when you experience the launches too. I also had no issues with the seats or the restraints themselves with me weighing 220lbs. These are the best coaster seats I have ever ridden in considering this is my first MACK coaster. I really wished Wildfire could get them.
As for the critiques on Time Traveler, the most apparent one is the the ride coming to a complete stop for about 5 seconds at the first launch. Really kills the pacing. To me this needs to be deleted or remedied by adding a simple show building with at least some lights and smoke to help with the theme of "going thru time" on the ride. I felt this was a sorely missed opportunity. Another is (with the exception of the back car on the first drop) there is little to no airtime on this coaster from my personal experience, but this is "coaster enthusiast' type of nitpicking so I can let this one go since the other elements are really awesome to experience as every ride on it is different due to being pivoted in different directions at different times. And finally the overall theming is okay and it is great where it is used (the spinning cogs and multicolor lighting the main loading bay is brilliant and I will post up images of the building queue in another post) but my final critique is the majority of the building is quite simple and barren on theming inside and out. As I said they did a very good job on the loading station level and somewhat on the 2nd floor but overall it feels rushed and unfinished down on the lower levels and outside. Maybe I was just going in expecting another Wildfire type of station building (which is still SDC's best themed station building to date) but you can be the judge for yourself when you visit. I will give them a benefit of a doubt that they haven't finished it yet and they didn't want to say or imply anything to indicate that. Maybe improvements and additions will come next season?
Overall though despite all that, I really liked the coaster for what it is. It definitely has its forceful moments with the drop, the vertical loop, and the launches. My recommendation is to not go in expecting another Wildfire or Outlaw Run, it is it's own unique experience and it is family/kid friendly. It is a very smooth and comfortable riding coaster as well. One of the best I have ridden in terms of comfort. I am looking forward to using my season pass a lot for re-experiencing this coaster thru the rest of the season.
Last edited by sdcfan88 on Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:13 am.
And here are the photos of the queue line and inside the station building. This is the majority of what you will see. There is also no onride photo but a section where they photograph riders passing thru the queue like they do at the Train Station. This could be a big problem on very busy days. Also note that Trailblazer Passes (including season and super passes) are only valid one ride per day on Time Traveler. Everything else is okay and pretty much unlimited.
And here are photos of the new area and the reconfigured restaurants and shopping area.
The Time Traveler signage really imposes itself over the ThuNderaTion entrance hidden in the background. Again this is a nitpick, but I was really hoping they were gonna rebuild the archway when they redesigned the area and bring back the mine carts versus the simple TNT sign on two wooden poles.
Overall, I really am loving the redesigned area and I am glad they managed to save the majority of the landscaping and mature trees that littered this area.
I’m with you about the theming on the ride. The load station looks insane, second level looks great, but the first floor is just a huge cattle pen with little to no theming. But I’m sure that first floor is more of an extension queue than anything else. I do feel they should’ve done a little more with the stop on the launch or not do it at all. The least they could’ve done was add some themed audio instead of just “ready for launch”. But hey, that’s just nit picky and stuff and most people won’t care about that.
I have been reading stuff about the ride across social media and there seems to be something that keeps getting brought up. Lots of people have been saying the restraints are *extremely* restrictive / unfriendly for large riders. I have not experienced them yet, but they sound worse than Outlaw Run’s lap bar. I always thought this style of Mack lap bars was large rider friendly. I’d understand them being about the same as Outlaw Run’s lap bar but if they are as worse as people are making them out to be, that’s one really restrictive lap bar. There are quite a few people who argue the opposite about the lap bar as well, saying that they’re more accommodating than Outlaw Run (I keep bringing Outlaw Run up just because it’s one of the only rides at SDC that isn’t really large rider friendly). Some people also have mentioned that the test seat is a lot more “forgiving” than the actual seats on the ride. But maybe the fact that the lap bars supposedly can’t be pushed down while locked is contributing to the issue. Either way, I’ll be checking it out tomorrow. Hopefully the 40 lbs I’ve lost since I was last at SDC will at least get me close to riding.
The parks actually do have their own cinnamon bread recipes actually. From what I remember, DW's is bigger and has more brown sugar, whereas SDC's is a little bit more dense and has more cinnamon and glaze with primarily white sugar. It's been awhile since I've had the DW stuff though, so my memory is fuzzy, but it was definitely different.
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