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Trip Report 08/27/2016

08/30/16 at 09:13pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #1
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So we arrived around 11:00am on Saturday. Lines were minimal for entry and parking ample. We began the day picking up our PhotoPass ($14.95, still too high). We figured we would probably only hit this park once so made the investment. It gave us park entry photos and ride photos on ROAR, Superman and Apocalypse. Park was clean and the crowds light.

Started our day off with two rides on Apocalypse (3 total rides for the day). It was a bit awkward at first, but it reminded me a lot of a Dominator clone, only shorter. For the first standup I've ridden, I didn't see it being too bad. It does jar a bit through the turns and has an audible grind on the track. Standard B&M fun. Rode front row, then back row.

Next moved on to Jokers Jinx. I found this one to be much more enjoyable than Flight of Fear. Seemed much smoother IMO. Only problem is it went down 2 times while we were in line. I'm not sure the problem, but I wonder if it overheats while the employees take their sweet time loading and unloading riders. This is truly a problem throughout the park as other have stated previously. The other thing is they thought it funny to just launch the train and not announce it. I can see this causing some injuries and don't find it funny. Ride was row 11.

So next up, we headed to Superman Ride of Steel. This is the top ride in the park. Once again walked all the way up onto the platform. Wait time maybe ten minutes (2 trains). Only one train on track. Other looked to be under maintenance and in pieces on side track. Loved the airtime on this one and the double helix. I'm a pretty big fan of Intamin apparently. It's no i305 but it's up there as far as fun. Only got two rides on it, one of which SHOULD have been VR (5:00-10:00) but again, slow ride Ops and 5:15 = no VR. It was so hot we didn't want to wait an hour again for it. Ride was row 2.

Next up was Batwing. This ride was spectacular. My first flyer. Wife not so keen on it. I rode it 3 times total. First drop was surprising with the full weight into the harness feeling. I wasn't expecting to be that exposed I guess. Thought it would be tighter. I was fully off the seat, even forcing my restraints tighter in the station. Rides 2 and 3 were no hands and it's truly a different ride. Ride front row, but don't ink it matters so much on this ride as you look down more. The unfortunate thing is it's Vekoma and I sure hope it doesn't become a Mind Eraser type ride over time (we'll get to that later.)

Next we moved out into the park again from Gotham City in order to find some water. It was super hot and nothing back around Superman or Batwing we could refill with ice water. So we headed over to Wild One. We hopped in row 2 for this one. It was much more enjoyable than I was expecting, except that awkward curved airtime hill that nearly took out my ribs on the right side. For a 100 year old coaster, I liked it. Fairly smooth and fast.

Then onto Ragin' Cajun, because why not? It reminded me of Primeval Whirl down in Florida. These things are fun, but just not a multi-rider. The violent turns on it hurt a little more than I'd like too. Kind of jarring and the bar is a bit awkward as you slide around. Still okay and I got a credit for it.

Moving on, we headed to ROAR. This one is certainly fun. My wife is a big fan of wood coasters apparently. This one reminded me of a little less angry Grizzly. Rode it 3 times. Front row, back row and row 3. Definitely fun in the front. You really get the speed push on the hills. Again, slow load times here and safety checks. Op couldn't even count the number of riders one time. Tried three times and then just dispatched the train when she couldn't get it right. Not sure what she was doing.

Now we headed off to the remote corner of the park that is Mind Eraser. It was weird walking all that way with only one flat ride in the vicinity. It's like they tossed it in the woods and forgot about it (which wouldn't be a bad thing!). This thing is a monstrosity. Vekoma should be ashamed to have made this ride. I don't know if it's always been this horrible, but it's in serious need of some tuning up. We did ride back row first run, then row 3 second time. It didn't make a difference. This ride is worthy of being sold for scrap. Did it come from another park or was it made for SFA? The seats and headrest padding make you bash your ears too much. The rattling and shaking seem possible of producing grey matter. It was just terrible. Two rides and we were done. No reason to return to that corner of the park.

Then we headed back around for more rides on the above.. ROAR (ride 3), Apocalypse (ride 3), Superman (ride 2), Batwing (ride 2&3) and Jokers Jinx (ride 2). Then I finally got over to Bourbon Street Fireball. I thought this was a fun ride. Not what I expected. I usually hate the idea of these things, like Berserker, but I decided to give it a go. You really can get some hang time up there. My wife HATED it. Doesn't like that upside down pausing. I may just have to give Berserker a go now at KD if it's like this.

Then as we were finishing up, we hit one more ride on Wild One in the front row. That was a great finisher. We were beat from the 90+ degrees all day that never seemed to let up. We did take our Hersheypark souvenir cup into the park and they filled it with ice water without question, which is nice. On our way out, wanted a picture frame, but no specific SFA frames to be found, only Six Flags. And the JellyBelly store frustrated me too. The store cashier would not tell me how much the jelly beans were. I tried explaining to her that I wanted to use the bags and she kept pointing me to the $12 tin. I was asking for price per pound and it was like I was speaking Latin or something. My wife tried to ask too and it was still more of the same. She kept saying she wouldn't know the price unless she weighed it. So I gave up. Didn't need them anyway. We got some Coldstone Creamery and then ended the day around 7:30.

All in all, safety was not a problem. Park was relatively clean. I did notice the deteriorating wood building trim around the park. They really do need to paint the rides as well. Joker was rusting pretty bad on the rails, Superman is fading and Wild One is peeling. It's definitely not a big park. Easily done in a day or half-day when it's slow. Crowds were light too. If you go expecting the worst like the reviews you read, you'll be pleasantly surprised. I didn't see any employees that were rude or unhelpful. Some just need to pay a little more attention, like the ride photo people. We received an incorrect photo on ROAR and one of the Apocalypse ones I was off the end of the photo because of the overlay. Also, the photographer at the front gate took a lot of pictures, none of which were spectacular. Some out of focus, bad lighting with sun flare, awkward positioning, etc. I'll salvage one or two with Lightroom editing. If it were more than $14.95, I wouldn't have been happy.

So if you're on the fence about SFA, go when it's a slow crowd day and have fun. It turned out better then expected, mostly because my expectations were low. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
Thanks given by:  Nicole, Zachary, Unagi, UncleDuncan, horsesboy, MAZ, Jesy, Pretzel Kaiser, netdvn
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08/30/16 at 10:55pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #2
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Quote:Now we headed off to the remote corner of the park that is Mind Eraser. It was weird walking all that way with only one flat ride in the vicinity. It's like they tossed it in the woods and forgot about it (which wouldn't be a bad thing!). This thing is a monstrosity. Vekoma should be ashamed to have made this ride. I don't know if it's always been this horrible, but it's in serious need of some tuning up. We did ride back row first run, then row 3 second time. It didn't make a difference. This ride is worthy of being sold for scrap. Did it come from another park or was it made for SFA? The seats and headrest padding make you bash your ears too much. The rattling and shaking seem possible of producing grey matter. It was just terrible. Two rides and we were done. No reason to return to that corner of the park.

The good ole Vekoma SLC - to me this means Shitty Looping Crap, not suspended looping coaster.

I've been on a few of this particular model and they all suck.  

How did the ground underneath Mind Eraser look? The last time I rode it, there was so much trash underneath the ride that it looked like a landfill.
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08/30/16 at 11:30pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016 (Latest Edit: 08/30/16 at 11:30pm by strycker.)
Post: #3
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(08/30/16 10:55pm)Unagi Wrote:  
Quote:Now we headed off to the remote corner of the park that is Mind Eraser. It was weird walking all that way with only one flat ride in the vicinity. It's like they tossed it in the woods and forgot about it (which wouldn't be a bad thing!). This thing is a monstrosity. Vekoma should be ashamed to have made this ride. I don't know if it's always been this horrible, but it's in serious need of some tuning up. We did ride back row first run, then row 3 second time. It didn't make a difference. This ride is worthy of being sold for scrap. Did it come from another park or was it made for SFA? The seats and headrest padding make you bash your ears too much. The rattling and shaking seem possible of producing grey matter. It was just terrible. Two rides and we were done. No reason to return to that corner of the park.

The good ole Vekoma SLC - to me this means Shitty Looping Crap, not suspended looping coaster.

I've been on a few of this particular model and they all suck.  

How did the ground underneath Mind Eraser look?  The last time I rode it, there was so much trash underneath the ride that it looked like a landfill.

From what I remember it looked fairly clean. The catch nets had some trash in them and even someone's shoe. Bet that was a fun rest of the day. Someone's cell phone fell out during one of our rides and smashed on one of the concrete piers below. Other than that I only remember a hat or two on the ground below. Maybe they cleaned it up. That corner of the park is nice though with the woods and all. Much better than the area of Batwing.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
Thanks given by:  horsesboy
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08/31/16 at 01:21pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #4
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After looking up Mind Eraser, I had no idea it was 21 years old! Built in 1995. That thing should be overhauled or scrapped. As much as I like inverts, I don't think this one is worth the roughness of the ride. Maybe upkeep over the years has been little to none.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
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08/31/16 at 02:20pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #5
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To be fair, I didn't find it unbearable at all. Apocalypse was horrid for me. As a stand up though, it could have something to do with me being 6'1. As a side note I found SFGAdv Green Lantern to be very smooth.

Hello, my name is Chris, today is my birthday.

2010 Coaster Count:
Alpengeist: 34 | Apollo's Chariot: 66 | Griffon: 21 | Loch Ness Monster: 26 | Total: 147
Thanks given by:  Zachary
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08/31/16 at 02:40pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #6
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(08/31/16 02:20pm)Fur Dozy Wrote:  To be fair, I didn't find it unbearable at all. Apocalypse was horrid for me. As a stand up though, it could have something to do with me being 6'1. As a side note I found SFGAdv Green Lantern to be very smooth.

I'm 6'1 as well and had just the opposite experiance. The head rest on Mind Eraser was awkward in my opinion. It was like wearing blinders and smashed my ears on every turn. Maybe I have a big head? But on Apocalypse, I could anticipate the maneuvers and adjust head positions for the turns and not bash my head into the side of the restraints.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
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08/31/16 at 02:43pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016 (Latest Edit: 08/31/16 at 02:45pm by Nicole.)
Post: #7
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All stand-ups are horrid. Period.

Roar, however, is a fantastic woodie.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  Pretzel Kaiser, strycker, Fur Dozy
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08/31/16 at 04:09pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #8
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(08/31/16 02:43pm)Nicole Wrote:  All stand-ups are horrid.  Period.

Roar, however, is a fantastic woodie.

As I remember both woodies there were rough and provided little airtime(This was before I got to ride the king of airtime: El Toro). I feel as if my next trip to DC deserves a revisit.

Hello, my name is Chris, today is my birthday.

2010 Coaster Count:
Alpengeist: 34 | Apollo's Chariot: 66 | Griffon: 21 | Loch Ness Monster: 26 | Total: 147
Thanks given by:  Nicole
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08/31/16 at 04:36pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #9
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We really did enjoy ROAR. Didn't find anything about it rough really. I haven't forgotten my HP write up either, just not enough time in the day unfortunately for everything right now. Will get to that soon too. It was definitely a better park than SFA and we got a great deal too.

2015: Apollo's Chariot - Griffon - Alpengeist - Verbolten - Loch Ness Monster - Tempesto - The Hulk - Rip Ride Rockit - The Mummy - Escape from Gringotts
2016: Intimidator 305 Dominator Volcano Grizzly Rebel Yell Anaconda Ricochet
Thanks given by:  Zachary
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08/31/16 at 05:21pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016 (Latest Edit: 08/31/16 at 05:22pm by Unagi.)
Post: #10
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(08/30/16 11:30pm)strycker Wrote:  From what I remember it looked fairly clean. The catch nets had some trash in them and even someone's shoe.  Bet that was a fun rest of the day.  Someone's cell phone fell out during one of our rides and smashed on one of the concrete piers below.  Other than that I only remember a hat or two on the ground below.  Maybe they cleaned it up.  That corner of the park is nice though with the woods and all.  Much better than the area of Batwing.

Well it sounds a lot cleaner than what it use to be (I haven't been in a few years). The grassy area under the ride literally had tons of trash all over it - everything from shoes, hats, flip flops, cups, etc. It was shockingly filthy. What's ironic is that this park gets such a bad rap for being ghetto, yet out of all the parks in the Six Flags chain, SFA is the most valuable because of its location in the DC metro area. The property value of that park in PG County is astronomical compared to the other locations.
Thanks given by:  Nicole
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08/31/16 at 09:15pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #11
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For what it worth, SFA was much nicer, more charming, more pleasant, better staffed with more polite and more effective/efficient ride ops than SFoG, during my visits this year. Also, better than Caro and KI.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  Unagi, netdvn
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09/01/16 at 12:46am in Trip Report 08/27/2016 (Latest Edit: 09/01/16 at 12:49am by Shane.)
Post: #12
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ROAR does not get enough credit. SFA has two really great wood coasters.

As bad as Mind Eraser is, it does not come close to how awful the SLC at LaRonde is. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying any SLC is good, but its so crazy how widely the ride experience varies from SLC clone to SLC clone. They are all virtually the same layout but the SLC at Canada's Wonderland was more than tolerable while LaRonde's makes Mind Erase feel like a B&M. LaRonde's SLC is seriously the worse Roller Coaster I have ever ridden in my life. Something I've noticed with every single SLC has an awful headslam on the turn into the station.

Anyway, I'm so glad when a new person experiences SFA. It's a must do for anyone who's a KD/BGW fan.

Waking up fresh every mornin'; Openin' up for you; Waitin' for your laughter; With so much new to do! Busch—Gardens! Busch—Gardens! Come to Busch Gardens and come to life! Come to Busch Gardens and come—to life!
Contact Me: Private Message | Email | Twitter | Coaster Count
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09/01/16 at 08:34pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #13
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(08/31/16 09:15pm)Nicole Wrote:  For what it worth, SFA was much nicer, more charming, more pleasant, better staffed with more polite and more effective/efficient ride ops than SFoG, during my visits this year.  Also, better than Caro and KI.

That's unfortunate about your SFoG visit. I haven't been there in ages but the times I had gone I always had a great time.
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09/01/16 at 08:43pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #14
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Not to totally derail this thread, but it sounds like your visit was the exception Nicole.

Hello, my name is Chris, today is my birthday.

2010 Coaster Count:
Alpengeist: 34 | Apollo's Chariot: 66 | Griffon: 21 | Loch Ness Monster: 26 | Total: 147
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09/01/16 at 08:48pm in Trip Report 08/27/2016
Post: #15
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Maybe I need to do a trip report. It was one of the worst experiences I've ever had in a park.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  Zimmy
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