Mini TR, Wahoo River photos coming soon!Note: I should be posting my photos of Wahoo River after I'm done writing this mini-TR
Headed down to the park today, pretty hot but not unbearable. The park was even more crowded than on memorial day! We had to park in a branch of the parking lot I didn't even know existed, and then walk to the park along the road which could really use a proper sidewalk. There was a tram but it was only running a single car and wouldn't have saved us anytime due to how poor it's capacity was. The line to get in was super long, probably took ~30min of waiting in line just to get in. Luckily, that was the worst part of the visit. Lines were reasonable in the dry park, but Hurricane Harbor was slammed. Turned out today was a bring a friend day, which explains much of the crowds.
The first thing I did was head into Hurricane Harbor to check up on Wahoo River, which was open! More on that after this mini TR. As mentioned in the captions of the last photo, I didn't ride anything in the waterpark due to massive crowds.
Once in the dry park, I headed over to Superman for a back seat ride, since I had never taken one and was curious what it was like. The ride went down briefly while I was in line and most people left, so I decided to wait it out at the station hoping that it'd reopen soon. My patience was rewarded, and I got to walk onto the back row for a ride. I was hoping to marathon it while the line remained short but alas, it returned to it's original length by the time my ride was over.
I found the back row had two main differences from most of the other rows:
1). The back row provides some nice air on the drop that most of the other rows lack, which I always like.
2). The 4 main ejector hills give their air mostly on the way down instead of throughout the whole crest of the hill, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different.
Overall the back row is fun and worth a ride if you have the time, but the front row is still by far the best seat on this ride.
After S:ROS, I decided to give the Penguin water ride a try, since I had never rode before, some people had told me that you don't get too wet, and the line looked short. While in line, I debated whether or not to change from my sneakers into my crocs (I brought them in case I decided to do any water rides). I ultimately decided to put the crocs on, which was a good choice since the raft for penguin had accumulated a couple inches of water at the bottom. While I didn't have to wait too long for my ride, the operations were very bad for this ride when I was there. The ride itself was a bit weird. When going up the conveyor belts, if you had your feet on the ground, you could feel every individual roller on the belt. I did get decently wet on the ride, mostly because the twisty parts at the beginning pour many drops of water on the riders, though the drops feel more like they're from leaking pipes than planned sprays, but I didn't actually look at the source. tl;dr for the below paragraph: Penguin went down for 5-10 min leaving lots of riders in the area behind the station. Several people got off despite it being against the rules, but to be fair the employees did little to enforce the rules and at least one op mistakenly told people they were allowed to hop off.
While we were waiting to get back in the station, the ride went down, and we had to wait 5-10min to get back into the station. While it was down, the other group in the raft asked the operator closest to them if they could just get out, and climb into the station. After some verbal exchanges between the group and the two ops, the op closest to our raft said that they could hop out. Unsurprisingly to me, it turned out that there had been some sort of miscommunication between the two ops. The op in the back of the station shouted to the group and the other op that they weren't supposed to be allowed to get out, but it was too late - the group was right next to the station, and it didn't make sense for them to turn around and head back to the raft since they were so close. Another group in a raft behind us asked to get out since one of them needed to go to the bathroom. I forget whether an employee told them explicitly if they had permission to get out, but after some talking with employees they got out, and climbed over the fence into the queue. No employee made any effort to stop them despite the fact that at least one watched the whole thing if I remember correctly.
After the weird experience that was Penguin, I went to Wonder Woman to dry my feet off. This was actually my first time riding it despite visiting the park several times with it open, as every other time either the line was too long, or it was too cold for my to want to ride it. While dispatches were quite slow (Loading/Unloading + Ride cycle = ~7 min), one of the ride ops made did great job of making sure every ride was sent with all 32 seats filled, counting and grouping people in line while the ride was running and announcing to all the riders that he wanted every seat filled. I'll be sure to mention him in the SF satisfaction survey! The ride itself is quite fun, and pretty relaxing if you're not freaked out by the heights. It offers great views of the park (even if the park isn't super pretty), and was worth the ~20 min wait to ride for the first time and dry my feet off from Penguin. I actually felt the blood pull to my toes a bit on the ascent up. Side note: does anyone have good tips to avoid the feeling of blood pulling to one's feet on rides where your feet dangle? I've had the same problem on some B&M's.
Getting off Wonder Woman, I met up with the rest of my family. (Note: I forgot to mention that I was visiting with my family since I can't drive. My Mom and sisters spent the beginning of the trip at the wave pool while my dad spent his whole time in the dry park. My dad and I met up after I finished looking at Wahoo and spent the rest of the day together.) We headed back to superman for my sister and I to grab a front row ride (My sister's 1st front row ride on this coaster). We wound up waiting a bit longer than anticipated because it turned out that there were more people in front of us than we thought, and a couple with flash pass took the front row before we could get on, but it was definitely worth it (my sister who is gp also agreed that the front was worth the wait).
After S:ROS I grabbed a ride on Joker around the middle, which was good fun, and gave me my fix for coaster launches. I chose the middle as I'd ridden front and back multiple times each and wanted to try out the middle just because. With only 45 min left before we wanted to leave, I took a ride on Wild One (2nd to back, underrated ride with solid air unless on a wheel seat), and then we rode Zydeco Zinger, a Falling Star, to finish the day. The ride is pleasant and generally relaxing. When at it was at top speed, I felt mild uplift forces at the peak and a bit of tingling in my stomach. A little surprise with this ride was that my other sister spotted a toad sitting inside the ride's support structure, which was neat.
Heading out of the park, a pair of employees were handing out free packs of Haribo gummy bears, which was a nice surprise!
Overall this was probably the least pleasant visit to SFA I've had over my past 5 visits (including this one) due to high crowds, but I still had a nice time in the end, and enjoyed getting to ride some great rides!
Wahoo River photos coming very soon!Final Note: If anything I wrote in this TR was confusing to anyone, or if I made any significant grammar mistakes, don't hesitate to ask me about it!