Heading to the park Saturday for my annual visit. Does your Fright Fest tend to draw the masses like Great Adventure's does? Trying to decide if I need to budget a little extra for a potential flash pass purchase.
Genx24 wrote:Heading to the park Saturday for my annual visit. Does your Fright Fest tend to draw the masses like Great Adventure's does? Trying to decide if I need to budget a little extra for a potential flash pass purchase.
Fright Fest gets crowded but it's nothing like Great Adventure. Flash Pass would be beneficial for re-rides but you'll have no problem riding everything in a day without one, especially not this early in the event.
I was at the park today with a few friends. Overall it was a great visit and probably my last one of the year until Holiday in the Park. The park was more crowded than anticipated with lines fot the coasters ranging around 30-60 minutes all day (Superman, Goliath, and Wicked Cyclone were the 3 closer to 60).
The Halloween theming had some new animatronics along the midway that I don't recall seeing in past years along with several scare actors. I skipped the mazes per usual since I'd prefer to use the evening hours to rack up rides in the darkness. I did watch the zany Celtic magic show and it was entertaining. Very odd, but entertaining.
One of the many animatronics along the midway.
Daniel GreenWolf knew how to put on a good show.
Wicked Cyclone was outstanding as always. I love the relentlessness of the ride's airtime. Pandemonium was very cool with its Zombie Coaster lighting package at night.
I got the green side on Joker so I got several flips (3-4 I believe). Mind Eraser is still an enjoyable SLC thanks to those upgraded trains removing headbanging for the non vertically challenged (my 5'1" friend had head-banging against the vest). Then I got the smoothest ride on Batman I can remember. It's still the worst floorless I've been on, but it has a great zero-G roll and the corkscrews weren't shaking my head at all.
I'm still shocked and thankful SFNE got the new trains for Mind Eraser. It made a dumpster fire into a fun, ridable coaster.
SkyScreamer was also a highlight. We had to wait almost 45 minutes for it, but we thought it was worth it for experience it going backwards at night. It feels very wrong going in reverse on a chairswing, which is why it's such a cool experience.
The North End looked amazing at night.
I also got my last Superman rides in for the year. We got a ride in back early in the day and finished with one of the last rides of the day in the very front. Even though I think Wicked Cyclone is the better overall coaster, I prefer Superman in the very front row. Any other seat, Wicked Cyclone is superior. Thankfully the park does let you wait for the front on Superman, which is why I almost always finish with it.
Superman is already a great coaster, but few things beat it in the very front row at night.
Goliath also had a lot of downtime (I know, shocker). I saw a worker on top of the station track in the early afternoon and they began testing the ride around 5. Within an hour it opened and the line was already filling the shed. I guess everyone else wanted to play the game of Russian Roulette for the front seat. I don't hate Goliath, but I won't wait more than 20 minutes for it.
^^-- hey I've been there, seeing trip reports do make my journey seem a little more worthwhile. My problem was RMC... Once the possibility of riding one was revealed, all the more reasonable options just didn't cut it. Dollywood would have been substantially easier for me to get to, Google notwithstanding, but Lightning Rod reliability and maybe a couple other reasons so SFNE it was. On a budget so helltrip, RMC or bust!
So how was it? Actually, I ended up thinking Superman is a better ride than Wicked Cyclone but then it ought to be, it's a lot bigger. WC impressed me with the number and variety of elements. The elements are small though, I saw an interview with Schilke where he called it "choppy" and I am hoping to find some others somewhat less so. The stall was cool, although getting back out from the inversion was a little awkward, still this coaster is only a little painful on the harder airtime pops and a little uncomfortable on the 3 reverse banks, fun though. The corkscrews were a little slow but among the smoothest I've ridden with a nice hang. What it didn't get me was a wild, crazy "now that's what it's all about" wooden coaster ride; it's its own thing. So while I wasn't blown away, this RMC thing definitely warrants further investigation. It does seem that riding one over and over would reveal multiple layers of interest, they're very involved.
Superman has perhaps a the best variety of really strong ejector air anywhere, but I found it a bit painful especially after having already ridden WC that night not to mention Thunderbolt. I have to hold on and reduce leg forces to enjoy it and can't do much hands in the air. El Toro does a better job of sustaining the air with its big hills and slightly less force. Skyrush does a better job of full-on assault. Superman seems to lumber a little towards the end with its huge long trains although the forces are still strong. I didn't like it quite as much as those others but it is still really close for a ride built more or less the same time as SFA's Superman. It also somehow, even with all the forceful hills, avoids seeming to throw you forward against the restraints recovering from the hills like SFA's or even the later hills of Apollo's. I really like the headchopper at the end under a hill and the mister with colored light was intense at night. Great coaster.
On to a more sequential report...
When I finally reached the park sometime around 6 PM Sunday, stunned by traffic and tolls, I found it crowded, at least by my standards. Possibly some effect of the bad forecast for the next day. Waited in Superman line long enough to estimate it at 40+ min. Checked out Mind Eraser's line. Waited in Batman The Dark Knight Coaster line until realizing it wasn't moving. Only on exiting did I find out it was down. I was getting pretty disgusted by then and just wanted to ride something so went back and waited 15 min. for Mind Eraser. OK but not really good. I even got front row due to the train with one closed seat. Went to Wicked Cyclone maybe 30 min. wait and wasn't that impressed on that first ride, maybe I wasn't into it yet. In some ways I thought Thunderbolt, which I rode next, was as good. Weird bursts of violent air almost like Woodstock Express adult-sized, with buzzbars and seat belts, though not much longer either.
They had an ERT event Sunday night for ICEE's 50th year and at this point I realized I still hadn't found anywhere to buy one among the Snow Cones, Slush Puppies and endless regular drink machines. Finally I found 2 places and both were out of armbands, hey I was even starting to think an ICEE sounded good. In the end it was maybe alright I didn't get to do this, I was tired and was thinking of using the extra time to get something to eat, but it would have been a lot better just to not try than to use my limited time try to find the things and it still not work out.
By this point it was 27 min. left to close, it was time to head to Superman and I managed to squeeze in 2 rides towards the back. Great, slightly chilly night rides. This one was more priority Sun. night due to chance of rain the next day so finally some success.
By this point I had long ago realized I was going to have to hope for the best on the weather Monday morning to experience more than a fraction of this park (I considered Flash Pass but with my late arrival those would have been some expensive extra rides -- it doesn't really work with my 2 day split evening-morning plan). This trip originally included going to Knoebels on the return leg. After grabbing a box of Taco Bell I checked the aviation forecast back at the Motel 6. Rain starting late near me (Hartford) and quitting early at Knoebels, almost miraculous ... but all day and night almost everywhere else. Knoebels looks like it's in a mountainous area and traveling on wet roads and at night scared me. Plus I was already tired to the bone. So this is where I made my decision to cut that, although in retrospect I probably should have gone for it, even it meant stopping somewhere another night.
Returning at 10:00 Monday morning to the park, I found it almost unrecognizably noncrowded! But rides don't open 'til 10:30. Superman was having issues so at first a I stayed nearby and tried Gotham City Gauntlet. Seems like Hershey's mouse layout but the turns are hit violently, sort of cool sort of not. Also it seemed the back row was behind the axle so it felt like fishtailing around the turns. I did 2 more rides on Mind Eraser, no headbanging due to nothing to bang on, except against the headrest behind your head because it's jerky. Not that exciting though and SFNE makes you walk around on every ride, boo. Then a ride front and back on Batman. This is different among floorlesses in that it only has 7 car trains and no MCBR or Cobra Roll. It does have the zero-G but still it greatly lacks the speed and size of Dominator. Then took one lap on Joker 4D, purple side, before it got crowded. Flipped me 3 times and every time I was facing the ground there was big G forces towards the ground, producing an unintelligible grunt from me. Like some other rides, more funny than fun, but short enough to enjoy.
By then Superman was running, but only 1 train, so I took one ride 2nd row and headed to the other side of the park. If anything, second row was even more forceful than the back.
On to Wicked Cyclone, I rode 3 times in a row and started feeling sick. I don't know if there's anything sickening particularly about it or just everything catching up with me. Stopped for bacon ranch cheddar fries -- forgot about the BBQ fries as I noticed later. Then rode Pandemonium despite it being "spinning" but I watched it and isn't wasn't bad. It doesn't really spin, more like it will start spinning slowly left and then go around a left turn to match. So you get the topsy-turvy feeling of randomness without much spinning, brilliant! Also my first Gerstlauer maybe ("Gerstlaver" on the plaque?). Rode WC again and then Goliath was back up for maybe the second time all weekend. This ride is intense, especially loud, in its own way. No headbanging but some hard bumps. I noticed the catch car is like a coaster car on its own track above the main ones. What a complex beast. Fun but one and done. Then rode WC twice more and it was 2:30 and decided to head out. Skipped Flashback what with feeling sick some, tired, time.
Long trip back, but at least I took the Zee bridge rather than glancing by NYC. This trip was kind of worth it but had a bad ratio of fun vs. work. I think learned my limits on traveling, about this distance or traffic but not both. I appreciated my local park more again afterwords too!
^ Yeah Wicked Cyclone is like a bucking bronco. That's why I love it though. The amount of intense little airtime hills packed into that layout is truly impressive. Then you have the antithesis, the sprawling Intamin megacoaster just a short walk away.
As amazing as both are Superman has always been the one I've preferred. The combination of sustained ejector and smaller pops of ejector while mixing still mixing in big forces is just awesome to me. its layout is about as close to perfection as you can get. It doesn't have the extreme airtime of something like El Toro (while Supermans airtime is still insane) but the variety really is what makes it so good. On WindexCyanide after the hill that comes right after the second inversion the ride is just kinda meh for me. Superman kicks A$$ the whole way through so that's why I prefer it.
Top 10 coasters 1. El Toro 2. Steel Vengeance 3. Superman the Ride 4. Maverick 5. Millennium Force 6. Storm Chaser 7. Boulder Dash 8. Wicked Cyclone 9. Fury 325 10. Diamondback
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