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    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015

    I posted a few weeks ago asking for advice for my trip to SFGAm, Cedar Point, SFGAdv, and Hersheypark. So I figured I would post an update to give everyone my thoughts after visiting all the parks.

    SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA - Friday, May 15th

    Great weather. Cloudy in the morning with a light mist, and it cleared up around noon and was sunny and in the high 70s. Every coaster was running multiple trains and the only other guests at the park were local school kids. Wait for most of the rides was never any longer than 20-30 minutes.

    Goliath is as amazing as I remembered and is definitely my favorite ride in the park behind Raging Bull. It looks like Batman was repainted recently as it looked better than it did last year. Vertical Velocity was closed for the day with no signs of maintenance being done. I wonder what's going on there? X-Flight is definitely more intense than I remember (a lot of positive vertical Gs), and Viper is becoming passable for me.

    All-in-all a great day. Ride count for the day was:

    • Rading Bull - 2
    • X-Flight - 2
    • Goliath - 2
    • Batman - 1
    • Superman: Ultimate Flight - 1
    • Viper - 1

    Total: 9 rides

    CEDAR POINT - Sunday, May 17th (Twilight Pass) & Monday, May 18th (Fast Lane Pass)

    AMAZING WEATHER. The forecast for the two weeks leading up to our stay was predicting thunderstorms and 80% chance of rain for both days, but it cleared up and stayed clear upon arrival. We arrived at Hotel Breakers around 3:30 on Sunday, noticed the weather clearing up, and decided to get into the park and enjoy a few hours before our long day of ride-cramming with our Fast Lane Plus passes.

    SUNDAY, MAY 17TH (5 PM to 8 PM)

    Windseeker was the first ride we had as we entered from the beach entrance. This ride terrified me. It was moderately windy when we rode it. As peaceful as the ride actually is, the wind and tiny bucket seats combined the experience into a terrifying few minutes. Great views though.

    Wicked Twister was closed, which really bummed me out. Especially after missing a chance to ride Vertical Velocity at SFGAm. Odd that both Intamin impulse coasters on my trip were down for my visits. I was really looking forward to experiencing the back seat on Wicked Twister, and was crushed that I was not able to do so on this trip.

    Next we took a ride on maxAir. This was my first frisbee ride, and I found it to be pretty enjoyable. Not as good as Xtreme Swing at Valleyfair (SkyHawk at Cedar Point), but still a great flat ride. I wish more parks had these, as they provide great rider capacity and are a nice alternative to roller coasters.

    Next, we rode GateKeeper in the front seat. What an awesome ride. I know it's considered to be a force-less ride, but I loved it. Lots of floater air in the front seat, and again GREAT views of the beach and entry way. What a beautiful ride too. The paint scheme and location are absolutely perfect. Kudos to Cedar Point on this. They were running 3 trains, and with the light park traffic, we were able to get on in a matter of about 5-10 minutes.

    Raptor followed and was a front-seat WALK-ON. Great ride. Compared to Batman, I think it's a superior experience. A little rough though, and could really use a paint job. The lift was COVERED in bird shit, which I found to be pretty humorous.

    Rougarou was next, and was not as great as I was expecting it to be. It was my first floorless experience, and was one of the few rides we only rode once. It's pretty, and the theming is really cool, but the ride itself just wasn't as thrilling or interesting as I was hoping it would be. This is likely due to the fact that the layout and elements were originally designed for a stand-up train. The only element I really loved was the twisting turn after the MCBR that provides a bit of negative G's while shifting from right-to-left. Hadn't felt that before on a ride.

    Next, we rode Maverick. Holy shit what a ride. POVs and off-ride footage just do NOT do this ride any sort of justice. One of the MOST intense rides I have ever been on. And the new restraints are absolutely fantastic. I had my arms up the entire first ride (front-seat) and did not feel any discomfort during the ride. Every element is perfect, the airtime is insane, and the second launch is such a highlight for me. I could spend all day riding this.

    Finally, we hit up Magnum XL-200. Another "holy shit" moment. Only rode this once, and for good reason (the airtime and thigh bruising). Beautiful ride, love the out-and-back along the coast, but the airtime was just a bit much. Enjoyable, and made me laugh, but a bit crazy. Would only ever give it a single shake per visit, but now I know what everyone has been raving about all these years!

    All-in-all, 7 rides in a 3 hour span is pretty awesome, and worked as a great introduction to the park.

    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015

    MONDAY, MAY 18TH (9 AM to 8 PM)

    We stayed at Hotel Breakers Sunday night, which made it possible for us to take advantage of hour-early entry. We first hit GateKeeper then headed for what I have been looking forward to all trip:

    Millennium Force was a walk-on with early-entry. For our first ride, we took the front seat. What-a-fucking-ride. I don't think I can describe it. POVs give the impression there is little to no airtime, and the layout looks rather simple. Shit was I wrong. Airtime on every hill, great forces in the over banked turns, and the speed does not let up. Also, the fact that there is no MCBR on this ride makes it all the more likable. Easily my favorite at the park, with Maverick in a close close close second.

    We headed to Top Thrill Dragster next, but the ride was closed for maintenance reasons (no surprise). The queue operator provided guests with two options: wait in the makeshift queue for when (and if) the ride opens for the day, or head to another attraction and check back later. We chose the latter, and I am glad we did. The ride would not open until later in the day (around 2 PM), so waiting would have been a huge waste of time. In the meantime, we got in 4 rides on Maverick, another 2 on Millennium Force, and a ride on GateKeeper and maxAir (Fast Lane passes are the shit - totally worth the $120).

    We returned to Top Thrill Dragster around 1 PM, and I saw that a train was out on the launch block. Upon closer look, I noticed that the train had one sole occupant: Monty Jasper. I knew what this meant, and told my sister we should get ready to get in line. A queue had started to form outside of the entrance, and we snuck up to get right by the FLP entrance. The ride opened shortly after and we all rushed through the queue. We got right into the station, and immediately got in line for the front seat (which was about a 4-5 train cycle wait). We watched as train after trained launched, and the anxiety of what was to come started to rise. Unfortunately, as we were next in line to ride, TTD was shut down again due to a mechanical issue (go figure).

    We watch as every mechanic in town shows up. They all walk the station inspecting the trains, and determine that the green train is the issue. We watch as they take the green train to the transfer track and out of operation to work on it. Once this is done, the ride is re-opened. After about an hour wait, we finally get seated for our ride. The train rolls out to the launch block, the thunder of the dragster engine starts, the yellow lights appear, and then suddenly.... the lights turn off, the engine sound cuts out, and then... nothing. We sit out on the launch block for about 10 minutes, only to realize we will be returning to the station. We are asked to get out of the trains, re-enter the queue, and wait once more for another ride closure due to "mechanical reasons".

    This time, the mechanics determine that the red train (the one we boarded) also needed to be taken out of rotation for maintenance. This time around, we wait for both trains to be fixed and returned to rotation before the ride is re-opened. We re-board, and finally get to ride.

    I have to say, Top Thrill Dragster is one unique experience. First ride I have ever blacked out on (the launch - could have been due to the wait, the heat, and the lack of hydration since entering the queue). I do not remember the view from the top, but DO remember getting airtime over the ENTIRE top hat (which I was not expecting, and it scared the shit out of me). The spiral on the descent was incredible, and the speed entering the breaks was awesome. Awesome ride.

    After this, we spent the rest of the day circling the park and hitting more rides on GateKeeper, Millennium Force, Maverick, and maxAir.

    Ride count for the day-and-a-half visit was:

    • GateKeeper - 4
    • Rougarou - 1
    • Raptor - 1
    • Millenium Force - 5
    • Maverick - 5
    • Top Thrill Dragster - 2
    • Magnum XL 200 - 1
    • maxAir - 3
    • Gemini - 1
    • Windseeker - 1
    • Pipe Scream - 1

    Total: 25 rides

    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015

    SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE - Thursday, May 21st

    Man, I don't know where to start. The weather sucked (rain and in the lower 60s), it was a school visit day (took us 45 minutes to get into the park at open due to the inefficient bag-check system Six Flags uses), and KingDa Ka was closed the entire day. To make matters worse, this park has to be the most poorly designed park I have ever visited. It is such a pain to get from one ride to the next, and the stupid paths you have to take to get to El Toro and Kingda Ka make it a HUGE waste of time if the queues are too long, or the rides are closed.

    Anyways, this is the park I was least looking forward to, and had the lowest expectations for. With Kingda Ka closed for the day, we decided to focus on a few rides, then GTFO and spend the evening in Philadelphia.

    First ride was El Toro in the front seat. This ride kicked ass. I love the speed of the lift, and I loved how the first drop (and it's steepness) is only revealed to you as you are speeding up the lift. The countless "holy shit, look at the drop" comments you can hear from fellow passengers had me grinning. Also, that feeling of realizing the inevitable was pretty powerful on this ride. Few roller coasters provide that "no turning back now" feeling like this one does. The airtime was insane, and the speed at which this ride enters and exits the elements is fantastic. We got two rides in total, with the second ride further back in the train. Front seat was my preferred seat, and was a lot smoother.

    Next was Bizarro. Again, I hate the way this park is laid out and feel like some of the rides are just placed wherever they can fit. Bizarro was stuffed in the back corner and felt like an abandoned after-thought. That being said, the ride was a walk-on for the front seat, and was awesome. I loved this ride way more than Rougarou, and found the layout to be far better.

    Next was Nitro. We decided to skip Superman (since we already rode it at SFGAm), and the line for Green Lantern was absurd. It was raining lightly at this point, and the temperature was falling, so we wanted to get our ride on Nitro in before the weather became unreasonable. I really really wish we had better weather for this, and more time, as Nitro was easily one of the best rides of the trip. Additionally, the view as you head out into the woods was fantastic. The drop was great, the forces were there, and it was just a solid ride.

    Finally, we decided to hit up The Dark Knight Coaster as it was indoors, and offered one final ride for the day without too long of a wait. The theming was nice, and the ride itself was pretty fun. The best part of it was riding in the back seat in the dark with little to no idea when the first drop was coming. After that, it was just a standard "wild mouse" experience.

    Six Flags Great Adventure was by far my least favorite park I have ever been to, but I am sure a great deal of that sentiment stems from the weather, and rather large crowds of annoying New Jersey school kids.

    Ride count for the day was:

    • El Toro - 2
    • Nitro - 1
    • Bizzaro - 1
    • Dark Knight Coaster - 1

    Total: 5 rides

    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015

    HERSHEYPARK - Friday, May 22nd

    I wish I had provided myself a little more foresight, as this day was a bit insane. First, it was the Friday OF Memorial Day weekend (oops). Second, and to make matters worse, there were school groups attending, as well as a bunch of teams for some local high school sports tournament. Needless to say, the park was PACKED. It took forever to park, we had to walk a few miles to get to the park, and the wait for each ride was anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. We only got in four rides.

    First up was SkyRush. I really, really, really do not get the fuss over this ride. The drop did nothing for me, the airtime was intense (but nothing near El Toro or Maverick), and the restraints felt fine. The only thing truly terrifying about this was the lift hill speed and poor expectations set by the coaster community. I sat in the front right wing seat, and never felt like I was going to be ejected from the ride. To make matters worse, the ride was rough as hell. With the wait time of 2 hours to ride, I looked at my sister and laughed telling her, "Once is enough." Whatever. Not worth the fuss people give it (whether that be positive or negative).

    Next up was Great Bear. Fucking. Awesome. Best invert of the trip by far. Smoother than Raptor, better layout than Batman, and the drop was fun. I loved the leg choppers and the interaction this ride had with the river, the people on the pathways, and its own supports. This was easily my favorite ride at Hershey.

    After Great Bear, we hit up Storm Runner. I was looking forward to this as I had such a great first experience with Maverick and figured the experience would be similar due to the style of the ride and the trains. I would first like to say that I now know why Maverick had its restraints changed. How any of you ever enjoyed Maverick with the old restraints is beyond me. What a terrible design choice by Intamin. Hard plastic OTSRs? Terrible. Anyway, I enjoyed the ride. Nice pop of air time over the first hill, and leading into the in-air spiral. Not worth a second ride with long wait times, but the ride was fun.

    Finally, we hit Fahrenheit. Fun ride. Terrible restraints. Love the inversions and the pop of airtime on the final hill... but again, not worth a second ride given the hour and a half long wait.

    Sadly, Hershey gets a bad review from me strictly due to how little I got to ride partnered with the absurd amount of time I spent in line. I will say that, out of all the parks, Hershey had the worst station efficiency of any park. And, even worse, the station designs for rides like SkyRush makes absolutely NO sense.

    Ride count for the final day of my trip was:

    • SkyRush - 1
    • Great Bear - 1
    • Stormrunner - 1
    • Fahrenheit - 1

    Total: 4 rides

    Thus concludes my rushed and poorly written review. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything!

    All in all a great trip the whole way through.

    • CommentAuthorBrawly
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015
    Good on ya riding Maverick 5 times. Best ride there is.
    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2015

    It truly is the most unique and satisfying rollercoaster experiences I have ever had. The ONLY gripe I have is that the crotch bump in the mold of the seat hurts by ass after a few rides. But I guess that's one way to simulate riding a horse :P

    Don't be offended by this, as I really don't care but I think you've manage to have the exact opposite opinion as me. lol

    Anyway glad you enjoyed Maverick.
    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2015

    What opinions differ?

    My ride on Skyrush this year was terrible too. Somehow it must really not running well. I had the same thing where it was moderate ejector air over every hill and limited laterals. In years past, the hype was definitely warranted. The entire ride was out of control and the restraints were definitely painful. Or maybe we both hit it on bad days.
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2015
    Glad you had such a great experience in CP, and I'm sorry to hear that SFgAdv and Hershey weren't that good. My opionion on Maverick and MF is almost exactly like yours. A shame you didn't get to ride Kingda Ka, as I even liked it more than TTD last August. We seem to really have had a ton of luck and had nearly all coasters running on our entire 4 week trip except for a boomerang and The lost Coaster in Indiana Beach. Only thing I can not understand is your opinion on Skyrush. My expectations were limited because I heard mixed reviews before, but I absolutely loved it and it got better with each one of ou 8 rides. The First Drop in the back is one of the most intense drops I can remember. I'm sorry you couldn't really enjoy it :/ I really liked Great bear too, though. The Layout is really something special. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed your trip in general despite the weather and wait times on those days!
    • CommentAuthorDecept
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2015 edited
    @ devilsrule911: It was by far the roughest ride I experienced on the trip. Maybe it's a wing seat thing, maybe it's the trains, who knows. I didn't enjoy it.

    @ zampano: I still had a fun time for the entire trip. And it was nice to see the two parks. The weather at SFGAdv and the crowds at Hershey were what bummed me out. The good thing is that I got exactly what I wanted out of the trip, which was a hell of a time at Cedar Point.