Ninja

Six Flags, Cedar, Disney

11 posts in this topic

Hey guys, Just got back from a month spent travelling around the States. Had an awesome time and even managed to convert my girlfriend into a coaster enthusiast! I'll do one trip report a day because I cant be bothered typing :) First stop on my journey was Chicago so naturally I headed straight up the highway in my PT Cruiser rental to Six Flags Great America. The park hours were 10am-6pm and was the last weekday of the season (and still summer holidays) so it was pretty packed. We arrived around 1pm because my girlfriend spotted Gurnee Mills Mall so we HAD to do some shopping. Lining up for my ticket a nice lady approached me and offered to get me in for free. I was stoked, instantly saved $50 and all I had to do was pay another $40 for a season pass. Good start to the holiday! First ride I went on was Viper. It was a half hour wait and the ride didn't look that interesting but I was pleasantly surprised with some good airtime. Next up was my first ever 200+ foot coaster and first ever B&M, Raging Bull. The line was huge and I thought I would be waiting for hours but they were running 3 trains so the line moved very quickly and we were on in less than 25 minutes. When the ride finished I realised why people rate B&Ms so highly. Everything is quality- From the seats to the lap bars to the smooth as silk ride. Rode that one more time then went for some lunch. Then it was off to Iron Wolf. The line was huge for that but I decided I would wait because I had never been on a stand-up before. An hour had passed and we were still in line but the station was in sight, then all of a sudden a huge crunching sound. Then the dreaded announcement over the PA. 'Iron Wolf has encountered a technical malfunction and will be closing'. Great, an hour wasted. Vertical Velocity was next then on to American Eagle with only the Blue Side running. After we got off that I realised it was 5pm so had to make some quick decisions. I haven't heard one good report about Dark Knight so didnt bother with that and decided on Superman Ultimate Flight. On the way around had another quick ride on Raging Bull (couldnt get enough of that) as it was walk-on then joined the massive que for Superman. Whilst in line underneath the ride you had to dodge the spit as the train whizzed by. It was about 6pm when just as I was walking up the station stairs another horrible clunking noise came from one of the trains then the ride just grinded to a halt. I couldnt believe my luck! I had to wait for about another 45 minutes for them to fix it but finally got on around 7pm. The pretzel loop was an interesting experience- feeling your stomach pressed against your spine! Overall I was impressed by the park even with the breakdowns but wish I had more time as I missed a few rides. Its a nice clean park and everytime I would pull out the park map someone would rush over and give me directions. Next report... 2 days at Cedar Point staying at the infamous Bon Air section of Hotel Breakers!

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Was Cedar Point packed? Hell yeah!...well the first day anyway. We arrived at around 3.00pm to check into Hotel Breakers. It was hot as hell and they don't have any AC in the lobby. The whole place reminded me of a giant fibro house. We ended up getting a room at the very end of the corridor so you couldn't hear the thumping of feet on the wooden floors as people walked past which was good. The room wasnt too bad, I feared it would be worse but didn't care as I wasnt there for the accommodation! Now on to the park. It was the Sunday of the Labor Day long weekend which marks the end of their school holidays so you can imagine how crowded it was. First ride was Corkscrew, then Raptor. The line up for Raptor was nearly 2 hours. I saw Top Thrill going so we decided to take that on. Once again another 2 hour wait before we even got to the station. I chose the back row as it was the shortest wait. The people in front got on their train then disaster happened. They wheeled the first train back and unloaded the riders. Damn it! We were so close!...another breakdown. I couldnt believe it and started blaming my girlfriend for being a ride jinx! We decided to stick it out and wait while they fixed it. 45 minutes later we were 420 feet up with big grins. Mantis was next - my first stand up. I must have locked in the harness the wrong way because it was pain all the way! It was getting late so decided to head back stopping at Magnum XL. I had no idea how savage this ride was going to be. The cute little trains look so innocent. Next day up early for the one hour of ERT. Ran straight for Maverick and there was only about 20 people there. Stoked! After that we ran around like crazy people trying to get on every ride possible while the park was empty. Got to Mean Streak and there was one other person there. Yes thats correct 1. It was like a ghost town. I've got to say Mean Streak is a very disappointing coaster. It looks huge and menacing but I found it slow, boring and extremely painful. After the ERT the park never filled up. I asked an employee why it was so dead, considering it was a public holiday and they told me most people are from out of town and head home on Sunday to get ready for the start of school. It was like a dream - a perfect day, an empty park and all rides operational! Ended up riding pretty much everything in the park including crap rides like Disaster Transport. All were walk-ons except Maverick, Millenium and TTD which had 10- 15 minute waits. Highlights of the day: The complete lack of people :) My GF getting hit by a seagull on the first loop of Raptor then straight after getting stung by a bee on MaxAir in full flight. What are the odds... The pepperoni pizza Millenium Force was much better than I had been lead to believe Next stop on the tour - Six Flags Great Adventure...

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Glad you had a good second day at Cedar Point, I've been there when there was no wait for anything and that's just gold. I went to Great America last year, luckily we had gold q-bots because it would have been awful otherwise for lines. You really dodged a bullet on Iron Wolf, that coaster is terrible and rough. I had another awesome coaster tour in August, so it's really cool to read your reports, it really brings back memories.

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Ok, now to what ended up being my favourite park on the trip - Six Flags Great Adventure! It was Sunday 7th September and we arrived to yet another empty car park. All of those nightmares I was having about waiting for hours and hours and forking out big dollars for Fast Passes were a waste of time. First ride was the Great American Scream Machine. Ahh yes.. got to love Arrow pain!! After that I saw Kingda Ka was sending up trains so we headed to that. They were running both stations so it was only about a 5 minute wait. I chose the very last row so I could make a direct comparison with TTD. We sat at the launch for about a minute then whoooshhhh!!! we were flying down the track. As it got up to speed the train was shaking so much my vision was blurred. Much more rougher than TTD, which made the ride way more intense. It also felt alot higher when descending down the spiral. Even with the OTSRs - Kingda Ka ftw! Next up we rode Medusa front row, Batman front row and Nitro back row. All walk-ons :) Once again brushed the Dark Knight as there was a 25 minute wait. I refuse to queue for a wild mouse in a near empty park filled with world class coasters. El Toro still hadn't started running yet and I was getting worried that they wouldnt even open it. I kept an eye on the lift hill and then I saw the fantastic sight of an empty train flying up the lift hill. Ran over and there was a 10 - 15 minute wait. Headed straight for the back row for maximum airtime. The best way to describe this ride is 'WOW'. The first drop is ridiculous then the next hill feels like the train is going to launch off and land somewhere near Nitro! The pace just never lets up. Just a perfect ride. Had some lunch then had a quick ride on the log flume. Its a great view from that part of the park with El Toro running down the side if the lake. I ended up getting some great photos. At about 4pm I realised I had to get back to Manhattan so we needed to leave unfortunately, but on the way out we decided to take on Kingda Ka front row. The station was near empty so we jumped straight into the 'blue' train. As it lined up my heart was pounding as I stared straight up at the 460 foot tower. It's so tall the very top of the top hat is out of your vision when looking straight ahead! The brake fins dropped and then 5 seconds later launch time! By the time we were half way down the launch straight the skin on my face was flapping with wind force! wow!!Last time that happened was when I was doing 200kph on my motorbike with no helmet! So much smoother in the front than the back row. Then as we krept over the top hat the unimpeded veiw straight down was insane! Wow, just wow... 50 times better in the front. Ive done some crazy things in my life and Kingda ka front row is definately up there! What a way to finish the day at such an awesome park. Next stop - Six Flags Magic Mountain to take on X2!...

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To finish my U.S tour I headed to L.A for Magic Mountain and the Disney parks. On the Sunday I went to Magic Mountain. Got there early and waited at the gates ready for the mad dash to X2. This was my first trip there ever, so I had no idea where I was going, just followed everyone else who was running. Had to line up for about 10 minutes. Whilst in line they show you extreme sports on plasmas and play some pump up music. First thing I noticed was how loud the chain lift is. Its near deafening! We got the second last row on the left and rolled around the corner for the long ride up the lift hill. The on-ride speakers sound pretty good and the first song starts playing 'It Had To Be You' as you roll out of the station. On the way up the hill it changes to Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' which really gets you pumped then just as you reach the top and just before you drop Aerosmiths 'Love In An Elevator' kicks in. 'Going Down'!!! I had heard stories of how rough this ride used to be but it was fairly smooth, although it did get a bit rough towards the end. Not quite Vekoma SLC rough, but rough. The flame effects were a nice touch. You sure can feel the heat! It felt like we part of a giant shishkebab getting flame grilled. Overall it's an amazing ride. I wish I had ridden X so I could compare the two. The park was pretty empty and stayed that way all day. Most rides were walk on except X2, Deja Vu and Superman. Got to ride everything at least once. Highlights of the day: Empty park yet again X2 (outside last row seats are the best) Greying out on Goliath's 'helix from hell' Falling asleep gliding through the trees on Tatsu front row. Wow that thing is smooth... Deja Vu didn't break down The queue for Superman through the ice cave is fantastic on a hot day Final park/s on the tour Disneyland and DCA...

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Greying out on Goliath's 'helix from hell'
What are you serious :o was it that bad?
Falling asleep gliding through the trees on Tatsu front row. Wow that thing is smooth...
I don't belive you :huh:

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^Yep, Goliath's double helix is that bad. I had read stories about it but thought they had slowed it down. There's a mid-course brake run just before you dive down into it which slows the train down almost to a stop, but I still 'greyed out' - so did my girlfriend sitting next to me and so did the dude in front of us who ended up puking in the bamboo garden :lol: . Was a pretty insane experience gradually losing your vision until there is only grey. Was kind of like turning down a dimmer switch. Another half second and I would have been out cold! Oh, and I may be exaggerating slightly about Tatsu :P but I found it very relaxing gliding around. Smoothest coaster I've ever ridden.

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^Yep, Goliath's double helix is that bad. I had read stories about it but thought they had slowed it down. There's a mid-course brake run just before you dive down into it which slows the train down almost to a stop, but I still 'greyed out' - so did my girlfriend sitting next to me and so did the dude in front of us who ended up puking in the bamboo garden :lol: . Was a pretty insane experience gradually losing your vision until there is only grey. Was kind of like turning down a dimmer switch. Another half second and I would have been out cold!
Isn't that really bad, to have guests regually greying/blacking out on one of the parks rollercoasters? Seriously thats a design issue, I take it it is from to much G-force. How was the ride before and after the grey out fun, scary, exhilirating?

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Grey-outs are fairly common coasters with high sustained g-forces. Granted it's not a pleasant feeling but it's not inherently medically dangerous. It's a long way from losing consciousness or even blacking out, which requires far greater prolonged g-force exposure than any coaster can provide. Normally it comes down to dehydration and tiredness more than anything else, both of which are fairly common in a day at a theme park. That helix on Goliath is definitely up there... can't think of any coasters off the top of my head, yet I found its sister Titan at Six Flags Over Texas wasn't nearly as forceful through the helix. Thunderbolt at Dreamworld used to be pretty bad, owing to its large circular loops.

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I have found that I occasionally grey out on coasters as well. It had only happened to me once or twice ever, but recently I noticed it can happen to me a bit. I put it down to getting old (I turned 30 last month), but am not sure. It doesn't seem to have any detrimental effect so I don't intend to stop riding coasters. The last time I greyed out was at Knott's this July. I had a day on my own in Anaheim and with no way of getting to Magic Mountain decided to spend the day there. When I arrived everything was a walk on so I rode coasters non stop for the first few hours, and had no problems, but by the end of the day I had started greying out on a few of the different coasters, all of which I had ridden multiple times without a problem. I decided to call it quits when I greyed out on Xcellerator (which doesn't even have an inversion), and put it down to too much of a good thing at once. At the start of the day I got to stay on both Silver Bullet and Xcellerator for several rides in a row and didn't have a problem at all. The only other instance I've had of this used to be the odd moment on The Demon (I know, sad right), always in the cobra roll, but only when going backwards (again, may have something to do with how frequently we used to ride it). So, I don't know if that means I'm not quite right (there are other, more worrying signs of that :) ), just old, or should just stick to Disneyland next time (I don't intend to)...

Edited by strop

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