Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

A numb, but fun season finale
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Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby RollingCoasting » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:23 am

I went to SFGAm yesterday (November 19th) for the final day of the season. It's hard to believe how fast it went by, feels like just yesterday we were still waiting for pictures of the Joker construction… All good things must come to an end I guess...

It was weird driving to the park and seeing the fall foliage decorating the sides of the interstate. Quite a nice view. I arrived at the park a half hour after opening. As soon as I saw that the front parking lot was half empty I knew it was going to be a great day. When I entered the park I noticed most rides hadn’t even begun testing yet due to the extremely cold temperatures. (Low 30’s for most of the day)

Decided to start my day with a quick lap on Batman: The Ride, however it still hadn’t completed it’s morning test runs so I joined a group of maybe 25-30 people waiting outside the queue line. It eventually opened after about 10 minutes with 1 train and I made it on the second cycle of the day, first one of the day in the back row since the people in the previous train were p*ssies :lol:

After this I made my way into Yukon Territory to ride Little Dipper. Yes, you read that correctly. For some reason (Prior to 2017) I had never ridden all of the park’s coasters in a single season (Even though I’ve been going here since the early 2000’s) so I wasn’t missing my chance again. It was pretty awkward being the only one either not younger than 6 or a parent/grandparent in the station, but it was totally worth it. For what it’s worth, it seemed to be running a bit “better” than in 2016 (Actually felt a small pop of airtime at one point) but it’s still a kiddie coaster so… :P

I was in the middle of walking to Goliath when I saw that it was stuck at the top of the lift hill. Waited for about 5 minutes before giving up, instead making my way over to Revolution. Satisfyingly, the previous cycle was being unloaded as I entered the queue line, scoring my first walk-on of the day. I’m not sure why but it felt more intense than usual, spinning quite a bit faster too. Some dumb tweens refused to put their phone away (Christ…) prompting the ride op to have to shout at them multiple times over the loudspeaker. Was pretty entertaining 8)

I noticed Goliath had opened back up so I ran over there. To my surprise it was running both trains (The other was removed later in the day though) so I was able to get on very quickly, even got to sit in the front row. At this point I started to regret not wearing gloves because my hands were cold as f*ck. I’m legitimately surprised I didn’t get frostbite or some shit because my hands were turning bright red. :lol:

American Eagle was my next stop. Unsurprisingly, the blue side was closed but even with limited capacity the ride was a walk-on. Nothing too noteworthy as I plopped down in a random seat, but the ride was still fun.

Wanting to do one more ride before lunch, I hopped in line for X-Flight right-wing. Continuing the trend of no lines, it was a station wait. It was only running 1 train and I waited for front row so it actually took about 25 minutes, but it was well worth the wait.

Since I have a dining pass I didn’t see any reason to waste money on the Last Call Passport thing, so I just had lunch at Andre’s Corndogs in the food court. Very underrated place I’d say. One of my favorite meals in the park.

After I ate, I walked over to Demon for 2 quick rides, 1 in the back and 1 in the 3rd to last row. It’s funny, before 2017 I really hated Demon and refused to ride it (Due to a god-awfully rough ride I had on it a few years ago), but I did over 20 laps on it this year. I guess when you’re tall enough to the point when your ears are completely above the harness, Arrow loopers can actually be pretty fun rides. Makes me kind of wish Ninja didn’t spite me on my trip to SFSTL earlier this year.

For some reason I was craving a ride on Ricochet (Park’s Huss Swing-Around) so I went over there next. I always forget how fun this ride is, the swings provide some nice force. If it weren’t for the meh capacity I’d ride it a lot more often.

I ended up doing a mini flat-ride spree, riding both River Rocker and Giant Drop back-to-back. It was quite the rush dropping nearly 200 ft. in 30° weather, I honestly could not feel a thing as we fell to the ground.

There was no way I was going to let the season end without a final ride on Raging Bull so I went there next. Not exactly sure what happened but as soon as I entered the line (Which looked to be about 5 minutes), it stopped moving. I saw some cycling going on so maybe this is when the 2nd train was added, I don’t know. After it opened back up the line went by pretty quickly, and by a stroke of luck I noticed there was an empty seat in the back row on the next train. Score!

Next was repiV, which was still going even though it was originally supposed to end August 20th (haha) Don’t get me wrong though, it was giving awesome rides as usual. Frustratingly, it only had 1 train going but with these low crowds the wait was only about 25 minutes.

On my way to Whizzer, I remembered The Lobster was open again so I made a small detour over to it. This was my 3rd ride on it this year (Got 2 on Halloween) and I have to say, the program it’s currently running is world’s better than the one they had on it after the stupid 2012 rehab. I honestly think it went from being an average ride to one of the best flats in the park. Highly recommend riding it if you visit this park!

As I expected, Whizzer had absolutely no line. Every single row in the station was empty with the exception of the back. I jumped into the very front row and sat back for a nice, final lap on Whizzer for the year. It wasn’t quite dark out yet but it was still cool seeing the sunset from atop the lift hill.

Since I’d already done 2 of the 3 open rides in Hometown Square, I figured I’d finish that off with a ride on Triple Play. Don’t think I ever noticed how cool of a lighting package this ride has. Really stands out despite being situated in a rather desolate corner of the park. You can actually notice it all the from by the Joker’s queue. Pretty neat.

Having not been on the Columbia Carousel at all this year, I felt obligated to take a ride on both the upper and lower decks. Looking towards the parking lot, I noticed that everybody seemed to be leaving, so I excitedly went over to Orleans Place after my rides. Sure enough, the midway was deserted, prompting me to get in line for Superman. It was another ride only running 1 train but it was only a single cycle wait for the back row.

After my ride I went over to Superman’s neighbor, The Dark Knight. I was honestly kind of shocked to see an empty line here. You’d think everyone would be at one of the only indoor rides in the park, right? :lol: I also noticed that the “Face screen” in the queue line seemed to be broken, as it usually is at the end of the season. (See pictures below)

Walking through Mardi Gras I decided to ride The Joker next. It never usually gets a line anyway, but it was pretty nice seeing it was also a walk-on. I actually hadn’t been on it since late August so I was excited to take a ride. I somehow got a “Half” zen-ride (Was the only one on the green side :P) which was pretty cool. It’s not my favorite coaster at the park, but I’d say it’s worth a ride when the line is <20 minutes.

Since I could only do 1 ride earlier, I went back to Batman for a mini-marathon. The ride has really grown on me this year. I normally only do a handful of rides on it seasonally, but I did 30 this year, making it my most ridden ride of the year. Easily the park’s most intense coaster and never gets old. My 3rd favorite ride at the park without a doubt. Finished off with a ride in the front row. :)

Next was Whirligig, the park’s chairswings, followed by a ride on Vertical Velocity. Walked right up to a completely empty station (Except for the front). Another ride I’ve really began to enjoy this year. Very happy the rumors of it’s removal were complete bullsh*t.

With only an hour left until the park closed at 8, I entered County Fair and went straight to Goliath. Only had to wait 5 minutes and I got the back row. If only it were like that every time I visited the park :lol:. A guy from the single rider line was put in my row and actually asked if I was an enthusiast. (And no, not because I smell like sh*t or whatever like is usually stereotyped here, lol) We started up a conversation about Steel Vengeance and other RMCs, really made the wait fun. I unfortunately didn’t catch the guy’s name but if anyone on here was riding Goliath around 7 PM and engaged in the aforementioned conversation with me, hi :D

Knowing I could up my ride count a bit, I went back over to Eagle for 3 more laps. The blue side still hadn’t opened, but that wasn’t very unexpected. It really is nice when you don’t even have to get up off your seat for 3 rides straight. The ride was absolutely flying over the airtime hills too.

With half an hour left, I got in line for X-Flight, this time taking on the left wing. I actually noticed that I would’ve been the only one on that right wing had I gone that way, but I didn’t even care because the station was once again completely empty sans the front row. Had a quick conversation with a ride attendant while waiting for the train to arrive. The employees were pretty friendly tonight, much better than on Halloween when they all looked like they wanted to kill themselves. :lol:

I had about 20 minutes left after I got off. I contemplated a re-ride but decided against it in favor of a quick ride on Fiddler’s Fling (Schwarzkopf Calypso) before getting on Goliath for the last ride of the year. Welp, turns out I made the wrong decision as I had JUST missed the last cycle of the night for Fling. No idea why they closed it 20 minutes early, but oh well…

I had 15 minutes to kill so I just loitered inside Goliath’s queue waiting for the rope-off. 3 crappy pop songs later the park finally played the closing announcements/Carousel Song, signaling that the park was now closed for the night/season. I somehow hit yet another lucky strike and was greeted with no line for the front row of the last train of the year, and my 33rd ride of the day. I’ve gotten the first/last ride of the day on various rides pretty frequently before, but this was especially nice since it’d be the last time the ride would run for 5 months. It was absolutely freezing throughout the whole ride but damn was it fun.

There was literally nobody left on the midways as I walked out, pretty weird feeling. I took one last look at the old King Chaos site before walking out the gates, probably until April 2018. I have to say, 2017 just might’ve have been my favorite season going to SFGAm. (Previous favorite was 2013) As others have said, operations improved significantly, and the park as whole just seemed a lot nicer than the past 3 seasons. It’s kind of funny - I feel like whenever we get “Mediocre” additions (IgNight in 2013 and Joker in 2017) the seasons seem to be better then we get actually great stuff (Goliath and Justice League)

Some highlights of my season include:

Made multiple visits to Hurricane Harbor, and really started to enjoy it
Got on the last cycle ever for King Chaos
Visited 2 new parks (Six Flags St. Louis and Mt. Olympus) and got 12 new credits
19 Total Visits
Nearly 270 total rides at SFGAm this year
Met a bunch of other enthusiasts
30 rides on Batman: The Ride

A few downsides too, of course:

Did not ride GASR or Yankee Clipper
One of the only seasons where I didn’t visit on a Monday

And now, pictures:

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Entering the park for the last time of the year is always pretty sad

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Still think the park should've dyed the water to look like beer :P

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Last Call: Fail Festival

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Who doesn't love empty midways?

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One last look at King Chaos before it's put in storage at Six Flags America :wink:

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Future home of the park's 16th and loopiest roller coaster :lol:

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Joker was not open with the park

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Batman was testing empty trains

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First one in the back row!

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Goliath stuck at the top of the lift

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Uh.. why is there a minion above the fan?

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In line for X-Frezeee. Never visit a park in November without wearing gloves...

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Cold autumn day at the park

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Front row.. w00t

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Demon shot, because why not?

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The lighting looks oddly cool in this picture

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One of the park's hidden secrets

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Bull time!

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repiV, from afar

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Yep, it's November...

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Viper's infamously huge station

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Glad to have The Lobster back at the park, although I do still miss The Orbit :/

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Everyone bundled up for the cold

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One last spin on Whizzer

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So many choices!

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Such a unique coaster

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Triple Play's lighting package Part 1

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Part 2

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And part 3, since I failed at getting all 3 gondolas in 1 shot :lol:

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Very nice lights

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All merchandise was 50% off

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My first ride on Columbia all year

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Awful shot but you get the gist..

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About to ride the Man of Steel!

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Ah, station waits

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Well?

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Hmm

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..That's a new one..... :lol:

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Click "End Now" to take TDK out of it's misery!

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Balloons shot

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The Joker's cool lighting

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No line!

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Outside Goliath's station, a few minutes before closing
(This picture was actually taken about 2 1/2 hours after the previous one as my phone battery was running low...)

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Getting ready for the last ride of the season!

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Awesome way to end the season

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Camp Cartoon, looking all empty

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Probably not going to be seeing this next year... :lol:

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The booths did look interesting, to be fair

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...And that's a wrap

Thanks for Reading - RC
Last edited by RollingCoasting on Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:33 pm.
Top 5: 1. Hades 360 2. Raging Bull 3. Goliath(GAm) 4. Mr. Freeze:Reverse Blast(STL) 5.Batman: The Ride(GAm)

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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby coasterbill » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:45 am

Nice report! Despite the fact that they got screwed by some bad weather for this fall event, I firmly believe that Holiday in the Park is in Great America's future.

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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby 9Armgeddon4 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:13 am

^ Hopefully in 2019.
Great Report RC. It was nice to meet you unofficially again.

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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby Superbatboy » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:19 pm

Nice report, love the title
1.Skyrush 2.El Toro 3.Fury 325 4.Maverick 5.New Texas Giant 6.Wicked Cyclone 7.Twisted Colossus 8.Superman:TR 9.Millennium Force 10.Apollo's Chariot

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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby RollingCoasting » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:28 pm

Thanks guys. I agree that the park could probably put on a nice HITP event if they tried, it'd be really interesting to see what they would do with decorations and such given the charm of the park.
Top 5: 1. Hades 360 2. Raging Bull 3. Goliath(GAm) 4. Mr. Freeze:Reverse Blast(STL) 5.Batman: The Ride(GAm)

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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby larrygator » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:42 pm

I have always been a fan of your park's classic flat ride line-up. It's nice to see it appreciated by a local.
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Re: Photo TR: Contracting Hypothermia at SFGAm! (11/19/2017)

Postby RollingCoasting » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:59 pm

Oh definitely. Really nice that after 41 years, the park has managed to hang on to most of it's classics. The complete restoration of The Lobster shows that SFGAm really cares about their original rides, too. I do have to say though, with King Chaos and Orbit now gone the park is lacking *a bit* in high-thrill flats. Hopefully the addition of Hurricane Force (Or whatever they're going to name it now) is only the beginning of a plethora of new thrill rides for the park. : )
Top 5: 1. Hades 360 2. Raging Bull 3. Goliath(GAm) 4. Mr. Freeze:Reverse Blast(STL) 5.Batman: The Ride(GAm)


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