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w00dland's SFGAm Return

Let us know how your day at the park was.
Postby w00dland on October 1st, 2015, 9:59 am
I don't post too much anymore, mainly because I haven't been going to SFGAm very often over the past few years. See the thing is whenever I go to the park, I usually can only stand it for a few hours before I get really frustrated and want to leave due to the long lines and really poor service from Admissions to F&B and rides.

That being said - this Saturday my wife and I are going to do our best to enjoy a day at our home park. We're buying flash passes, going to watch the great FF shows and go into the park with an open mind. Basically, we're going to try and do the park justice by acting like first time visitors. The weather looks phenomenal and I haven't been on Goliath yet this year, so I'm apprehensively excited.

Will SFGAm impress? Or can a platinum flash pass not even save the day? Stay tuned to find out.
Top 5 wood-5-Goliath 4-Ravine Flyer II 3-Phoenix 2-Voyage 1-El Toro
Top 5 Steel- 5-Magnum XL - 200 4-Skyrush 3-Superman - The Ride 2-Maverick 1-X2
Coaster Count: 385

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Postby w00dland on October 6th, 2015, 1:56 pm
Saturday was actually quite a bit of fun!

We made it into the park around 11:30AM and went straight for our Flash Passes. This is the first time I've ever used a Flash Pass at SFGAm and I've been going regularly for 12 years now, so it was pretty nice being those people who got the skip the line and stay on twice for once!

I'm not going to go into horrible detail of all our rides in order or anything, I'm just going to give the highlights.

We decided to take a lap around the park and started at the Whizzer. I hadn't been on this in over a year and I always forget just how much I really love this ride. It's unique and always delivers a stellar experience - there's a reason it always gets on the Golden Ticket Awards despite being an old family coaster.

Next we hit up Rue le Morgue - bummed out that the music was way quieter than the past and had a pretty miserable ride op who seemed to hate everyone, but luckily that was the only bad Six Flags customer service experience of the day, which is way less than we typically see.

Candy Trail!?!? Still got some chocolate left over from that! Awesome addition.

TDK, Batman and V2 were pretty typical. V2 was operating the slowest I've ever seen. Waited 30 minutes on a three train wait for the back row. This actually ended up being our longest wait of the day which is kind of sad. Still surprised they never repaired the back spike, it was a big crowd pleaser I always thought.

Had my first run on Goliath this year - still a great ride, still needs to be about twice as long to be elite. Crew was kicking ass though.

Skipped American Eagle since my wife isn't a huge fan, did a double ride in the front row of X-Flight (we did a lot of double rides, and it was pretty great. I felt bad, but satisfied when coming back into the station each time). Met a really great F&B Employee named Bernie at the Beer stand, and that's rare because usually its tough to even coax a smile out of those guys.

I got a dining pass this year and it was one of the worst decisions I've ever made. On each of my visits to the park the lines for lunch and dinner usually rival Goliath in length and the quality is just never worth it. For example, we were in the park the whole day but chose to leave and have a proper sit down meal in the middle of the day. All we ended up getting in the park was a Pretzel as a "Snack" (No Churros? Seriously?) and some beer later in the night.

Raging Bull was allergic to us the entire day. We had a double ride in the back row in the early afternoon, but the next three times we tried to ride (three!) the ride went down, twice for weather and once for mechanical. I love Bull in the fall - trims are usually really light so you manage a couple extra airtime moments from the back row. They were doing the millionth rider celebration later that afternoon as well - I thought these normally happened earlier in the year?

Ride crews in general were actually pretty good throughout the day, granted most of them had 1-2 leads operating but stacking was pretty minimal and all coasters were using all available trains save for Superman which went down to 1 after a lot of downtime.

After we came back from lunch/dinner the park was getting dark and the rain started coming down. We went over to JBs for a beer (the line for food was out the door!) and people watched the 16 year old girls getting scared in Southwest Territory while sipping on an IPA - bringing in a full bar was the best decision SFGAm ever made.

Only got in a few rides during the rain - X-Flight, Viper (!!!) and Batman. Then we went over to watch Love at First Fright. I've seen this show so many times over the years (it's the only show I bother watching anymore) and I swear some of those actors have been in it forever. Once we got out of there the rain had stopped and the park had seriously emptied out (around (9:15). What were once queues of 60-90 minutes for most rides at 5PM had diminished into practically nothing which was great! Can't even remember how many rides we got, but suffice it to say we hit Goliath, Viper, Whizzer, Superman, and Batman before we took off for the night.

Gotta hand it to SFGAm for not ruining my day this time around. Granted, the Flash Pass probably did 90% of that work, but Fright Fest looked great this year. Nox is a huge dude, and while he's no Mayor Slayer he's definitely an intimidating character. Didn't do any houses because rip off, but enjoyed the scares as I always do.

I'll probably be back for closing day on the 1st.
Top 5 wood-5-Goliath 4-Ravine Flyer II 3-Phoenix 2-Voyage 1-El Toro
Top 5 Steel- 5-Magnum XL - 200 4-Skyrush 3-Superman - The Ride 2-Maverick 1-X2
Coaster Count: 385

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Posts: 4628
Joined: January 29th, 2004, 2:36 pm
Location: Winter Haven, FL

Postby Dan The Coaster Man on October 6th, 2015, 7:24 pm
Glad to hear your trip was more enjoyable this time around! I was there Saturday too, I only managed 3 rides.

Funny thing, Raging Bull had its millionth rider on October 4th last year (I was there that day) which technically was the same day this year, the second Saturday of Fright Fest. So I guess ridership hasn't gone up or down between this year and last. Although years before last year I would've expected the millionth rider to be much earlier in the year, but Goliath wasn't around. I don't know though, because I wasn't really into coasters before 2013.
Dan The Coaster Man

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Location: Joliet, Illinois

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