My girlfriend and I made a quick trip out to northern California last week and spent Friday at CGA. It was a lot of fun. I hadn't been to this park in about 20 years and she had never been, so there was plenty of new stuff for us. We got there right at opening and hit Gold Striker first. We could see that it wasn't going to be empty so we got Fast Lane after our first ride and it was so worth it. We were able to get 6 rides on Gold Striker, 5 on Flight Deck, 16 on Railblazer, and also ride a few other things. It was also useful on our two trips on the sky ride.
We even left the park for 3-4 hours during the hottest part of the day to check in to our hotel and relax and get some dinner.
Speaking of the hotel, have any of you ever stayed in the Avatar Hotel? It's right down the street from the park and isn't affiliated with the park or Cedar Fair from what I could tell, but we had this picture of Top Thrill Dragster above our bed.
While I think the park looks nice and we had a great time, I couldn't help but notice the lack of trees especially compared to SFDK, which we visited the day before. Anyway, on to the rides!Railblazer
(x16) - This ride is absolutely insane. The back has some of the strongest airtime I've ever felt on any ride anywhere. The only complaints I have are that it's too short and the restraints can get a bit painful if you ride it a lot. After we had ridden it 8 or 9 times my collar bones started to hurt and I have bruises there now. My girlfriend's shoulders were fine but the restraints hurt her thighs a bit after a number of rides. But it was minor enough that we were still able to ride it again and again. The front seat is awesome for the view, the back seat is awesome for the airtime on the first drop. We were able to sit in just about every seat and it's awesome in every seat. I really hope that more parks get these rides. It's fun to watch too. We would just sit/stand and watch it, almost in disbelief that a ride like this exists. It looks even faster in person than in off-ride videos I've seen.
Side note - Fast Lane helped us the most here. The line was almost to the entrance for a good part of the day (they were saying 90 minutes) but we never waited more than 10 minutes. They were also using the Fast Lane line for single riders as well, but taking Fast Lane before the single riders. They tried to have single riders stand to one side of the line and Fast Lane to the other, but it didn't always work. If that's a long term plan, it would help if they painted something on the concrete so people know.
I do want to point out one more thing about Railblazer without it raising a huge issue (hopefully). You can feel almost every single track connection throughout the course. You can even see that they've tried to grind down a lot of the connections, I assume to make it smoother. The ride is super smooth aside from the track connections. And even those aren't too bad except on the very last turn before going up into the brake run. Has anyone else noticed this? Is it the same on Wonder Woman?Gold Striker
(x6) - We didn't think Gold Striker was too rough. The turn at the bottom of the first hill was pretty bumpy but the rest of it was fine. It feels like an out of control wooden coaster. It did seem smoother in the evening, but that could have just been our perception or where we were sitting. Back seat all the way for me on this one. It was a lot of fun but not my favorite GCI.Flight Deck
(x5) - I wish we could have ridden this ride more, but it was closed for a good part of the day. Luckily it was open in the evening because we rode it twice in the early afternoon and 3 times around 8:30, and it seemed like it was absolutely hauling in the evening. It blew us away and the only reason we walked away was to get some night rides on Railblazer before closing. Otherwise we would have gone a few more times. I almost want to go back for this more than any other ride because we didn't quite get our fill. Patriot
(x1) - I rode this as Vortex and thought it sucked then. As Patriot it's just kind of boring.The Grizzly
(x1) - Slowest ride ops in the park. This thing takes forever. The ride itself was fine, and it was really smooth.Demon
(x1) - Demon is pretty fun and wasn't nearly as painful as some of the others, like Corkscrew at CP. I really like classic Arrow coasters, but there were just more interesting things to do in the park than ride this. Plus we got stuck on the brake run for about 15 minutes and didn't feel like going back.Drop Tower
(x1) - The last time I was here Drop Zone was the newest ride (I think) and it was awesome. I prefer the Intamin drop towers to the S&S towers so I try to ride them at least once any time I visit a park that has one.
Here are a few crappy pictures I took with my cell phone.
Overall, I like this park quite a bit. Railblazer ride ops were flying, props to them. Ride ops on most other rides were average or slow. Given its proximity to me compared to other parks, I can see myself wanting to come back again. Especially when they add a couple more things.