I got into town at around 4 PM, got my flash sale season pass processed lickety-split, and dove right in. It was fairly crowded but I got a few of the coasters in. I also met up with fellow coaster-er boldikus and he got to play the "no spoilers" guy a few times as I experienced certain coasters for the first time. He technically already spoiled what one of those "firsts" was, but I encourage you to jump ahead to my full day, which was Sunday.
So, let's just skip the pleasantries and move onto the coasters! Let's count them out...
The only other Euro Fighter I've ridden is Mystery Mine and, let's be real, it doesn't count because it's so different. I enjoy Fahrenheit at Hersheypark because it's fun and wacky and loopy, well, Dare Devil Dive is even wackier. The inversions are taken so fast and they're so oddly-shaped. Overhead lap bars make the ride really fun! Though, I really don't understand why they don't use the back half of the station platform for unloading. I feel like it could shave some time off of the wait, which, in all honesty, wasn't even that long.
I realize that there are better flying coasters than Manta, but Manta has really spoiled me. Superman Ultimate Flight was kind of boring. It's got some great interactions with the hillside but it just made me want to go to SeaWorld and ride Manta again!
Interesting things to note with Superman - probably because it's effectively the genesis of the B&M flying coaster, the operators have to come up with a T-shaped key and lock your harness in place. I know Manta does it automatically. Another thing is that the operators actually instruct you that your articles such as phones and keys should go with you during the ride! They were also only running one station but the crew was working fast.
Behold, my least favorite coaster. Worse than Thunderhawk at Dorney Park. Worse than Rolling Thunder when it was still open. Great American Scream Machine is the roughest coaster I've ever ridden, thanks equally in part to terrible, shaky trains and track that looks like a wild bear came through and tore everything up. Any airtime that this coaster has is drowned out by the repeated shaking headaches that you receive while riding. When you think that the worst coaster of your life is about to end, you see what appears to be a brake run that's too short to slow you down. Never fear, because this machine will make you scream in agony when it actually does slow you down to zero, throwing your entire body forward and then slamming it back against the seat. All this, and more, if the price is right.
Seriously, it's bad. Apparently it used to have traditional three-bench trains and it was actually okay? I'm really curious about how much money was saved by putting Georgia Cyclone's trains on Great American Scream Machine instead of continuing to maintain the originals.
Also, the row I was sitting in had two different types of lap bars. Because of course it did.
The original plan was to snag a ride on Blue Hawk before it threatened to rain, but one of the trains had a problem and had to be transferred off. I caught a glimpse of the team doing the job, and it was really cool to see!
Next best thing, Justice League. I kind of liked it! The ride motion was good and the guns actually worked. The 3D effect is a little weird though. When you are in the screen-based scenes, the characters don't look like full-sized people, they look like action figures that you would hold in your hand. It was very weird, and I realize it's apples and oranges to compare these but Toy Story Mania's 3D effect is so much better. I did, however, really enjoy the "high-speed" sections of the ride at the end. The motion was fluid and they were really exciting, but there was kind of too much going on at once.
Oh, what's that, Blue Hawk's back up? I'm coming for you, Vekoma Death Machine!
I actually really like Blue Hawk! Yes, it's an old Vekoma, so some transitions are super-jerky, and the lift hill is too slow, and you sort of just crawl over the top. BUT... The layout is really good and non-traditional for a looping coaster, and there are so many good head-choppers. I'm actually surprised that this layout only got built once, it feels almost exactly like their suspended looping coaster design. It's nowhere even close to amazing but I'd say it's at least worth a spin. In fact, if I could erase my ride on Great American Scream Machine and replace it with another lap on Blue Hawk, that would be fine.
Now let's knock the family coasters out of the way...
Maybe it's because I was on some stupid mission to ride every coaster in the park at least once, but it was very silly of me to wait so long for Joker Funhouse Coaster. Never again. Dahlonega Mine Train was pretty fun and wonky. Discount Big Thunder Mountain, if you will. That drop at the end was really surprising, it's just like all of a sudden the coaster decides to pretend it's the most intense mine train in human history before being like, "ha ha just kidding".
Monster Mansion is a dark ride. That exists.
It's all super-happy weirdo monster fun times and then all of a sudden you make a left turn and it's the creepiest thing in history. I have never seen a dark ride undergo that large of a tonal shift in that short of an amount of time. It's actually a little discomforting, especially when the "super happy fun time" angle is the only side of this ride that guests - and their children - see before they board and go in. To make matters worse it also follows the dark ride trope of having a truck horn be blown in your face to startle you. Yeah, also one and done.
Batman is getting pretty close to reaching classic status and it's so good. Having skipped out on it when I visited Six Flags Great Adventure in 2012, I was eager to give this one a spin and it did not disappoint. It absolutely never lets up and now I get what makes old B&M inverted coasters like Nemesis and Flight Deck so well-regarded in our little circle here. I was greying out all over the place and it was glorious.
It should also be noted that I would consider Batman as being the only themed coaster in the entire park. Sure, Superman has comic cut-outs in the queue and Dahlonega Mine Train is cool and rustic but from my perspective, Batman is the only one that tries to get you into some form of a story from the moment you enter the queue. It's so much better than sticking a DC character's name on a new flat ride.
Speaking of classics, Mind Bender is a really freaking good one. Those two loops (and the marketing-speak "third" one) are properly intense and have such a good kick to them. It has the most beautiful setting in the park to boot. It's unfortunate that a large park can't successfully market a coaster that doesn't have anything crazier than a few vertical loops anymore. I love you Sooperdooperlooper, but Mind Bender is best Schwarzkopf.
...though Jetline and Lisebergbanan might be better. I'll find out soon enough.
Goliath is great. That is all.
Okay, fine, it's great, but how great? Better than Nitro and Apollo's Chariot but not quite as good as Mako. I love how Goliath goes over and around the park pathways and the nearby entrance roadways. The downward spiral is wicked intense and awesome, and the airtime hill run as it heads back toward the park is incredible. I really just like Mako more - but only slightly - because the airtime is stronger throughout and it lives in a park that also cares about the queue and theming. It's not a matter of "good or bad", it's a matter of "better or best".
That being said - kudos to the crew running Goliath Sunday late afternoon. They were on point and the operator at the control booth with the microphone was really entertaining. Very little stacking.
I skipped out on Green Lantern at Great Adventure as well, so this was my first standing coaster, and honestly, it could be a lot worse. The layout is so much fun and just a tiny bit aggressive, and the more exposed standing position makes it feel unique compared to other similar looping coasters. For a two-train coaster it's also nice and long, and the way the track just wraps all over itself is really a testament to how good the team at Stengel really is. Protip, it is possible to ride a standing coaster sitting down. It's not the most comfortable position but again, it could be worse.
Okay, that's all the coasters in the park, right? It's not like I'm obviously stalling to get you to read my entire trip report or anything...
As many of you know, I am very careful about how I place my words, especially when I try to understand something that I personally don't have experience with. Rocky Mountain coasters are some of those things. As a huge fan of traditional (and new-school) wooden coasters, I've always looked at Rocky Mountain's work with a light touch of skepticism. Even as all of us have sung the praises within the halls of the Church of RMC, I've sat in the very back, twiddling my thumbs, watching, listening, thinking. Are those coasters really that good?
While I'm not ready to become a weekly worshiper at the church just yet, after riding Twisted Cyclone, I can confirm the hype is most certainly real.
Twisted Cyclone just flows. There are no dead zones, and there's very little repetition. Every element is fun in every seat. You get sweet airtime over the wave turn in the front, and you get yanked around the rolls in the back. The airtime is intense and aggressive. The coaster looks great. It rides smooth as glass. The only thing even remotely bad about this coaster is not that it's too short, but that it's over too quickly. It makes you want more. So, naturally, you get back in line. Again. And again.
The best part? It's made for that sort of repeat riding. The airtime is crazy intense but the valleys are not. There's nothing to make you grey out, nothing to give you a headache. It's all just...incredibly amazing fun, and that makes it a coaster to remember.
Finally, the usual stray thoughts:
- In a total of twelve hours across a day and a half, I rode Twisted Cyclone six times, Mind Bender, Batman, Goliath and Georgia Scorcher twice each, and every other coaster plus Justice League and Monster Mansion once each. I didn't use a Flash Pass.
- The park's layout is bad. Superman, Blue Hawk and Scream Machine don't get enough ridership because they're just so far away from everything else.
- Yes, Acrophobia was still down. Stop asking.
- The awkward park layout is made more awkward when you see there are exactly three DC Comics themed areas, all at different ends of the park. Gotham City, DC Super Friends, and whatever area Superman and Justice League are in. This means that certain characters, such as Superman, Batman, and The Joker, have multiple rides named after them. It's really weird.
- Georgia Scorcher -looks- like it should be the worst coaster in history based on the condition of its paint. And it's at the very front of the park no less! It's the first thing that people see up close as they walk in!
- They moved Goliath's sign onto the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo building but didn't remove the old entrance gateway.
- $14 for a single-patty cheeseburger and french fries / onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings. No drink. Ridiculous.
- Joker Chaos Coaster is not a coaster. But Joker Funhouse Coaster is.
- Nice meeting yah, boldikus.
Thanks for reading!