Photo TR: Derek rides El Toro

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Photo TR: Derek rides El Toro

Postby DerekRx » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:16 pm

So originally I was planning on heading down to ride El Toro the week I got back from the UK. Unfortunately, the weather interfered with my plans. I hadn't seen my friend, Bret, for a while and I had some stuff for him from England, so I figured "why not go down over July 4th, I'm sure he'll have a BBQ." Sure enough, he agreed. On the way down I decided to ride El Toro after getting out of work early. Here's the way it went down yesterday:

Got to the park around 5:45...El Toro closed, in fact its been closed all day, but they're sending test trains out. I decided I'd wait around until around 7, as that was the time I told Bret I'd be planning on arriving. Talked to some people who were hanging out waiting for the ride to open and with my knowledge of test runs, we had some fun while we waited. Sure enough, around 6:20 they decide its ok to open the ride, they just need security there. So, finally at like 6:30 Security shows up and we get to actually go in the queue. I'm on the second train out of the day, back row.

Fastforward to today: Got to the park just before opening, made the running of the bulls to El Toro....El Toro closed AGAIN. No, it didn't suffer any breakdowns (until Kingda KA AGAIN) but they haven't begun testing it yet. Finally after an hour of morning testing, the ride opens and I'm on the 3rd train out in the 2nd row. Now I'm sorry, but on a holiday, a park shouldn't be testing the brand new ride AFTER the park opens. If they're going to be like that, why not be more like BGW or some other parks that only open certain sections early. I'm pretty certain it didn't require any major testings, as it conveniently opened exactly at 11:00. Oh, also briefly saw ParkTrips and Larrygator while waiting for the ride to open. Hi guys!

Now, onto the ride itself. El Toro is a great coaster, better than Colossos at Heide Park, but not quite as good as Balder (or Voyage IMO). Its got lots of ejector airtime, especially the hill going over Rolling Thunder, but it also has a few dead hills, mainly the two after the turn around. The twister section is a lot of fun though, running around the infield of RT, and the cable lift is really cool, certainly fast too! The trains feel really secure, still with stadium seating, just an extra bar by the shoulders and U-bars instead of T-bars. (

The worst part of the ride though is operations and the station. First, the station, in which a security guard counts like 36 or 40 people at a time to go into the station. They're not assigned a row, they just go wherever they want. When another train goes out, they send another 40 people up. After my ride this morning, the next train had 3 rows empty because the people in the station were waiting for other rows. Really stupid. The station is also extremely small, the same size as Vipers was, only now you load on one side, and unload on the other. The queue gates allow like 3 trains worth of people to wait, with plenty of room to get by, but the unload side is like single file.

Operations are really poor, 5 minute dispatches (and that's being generous). Buckle your seatbelt and DON'T touch the lapbar. The ride ops then come, tighten the seatbelt so you can barely breathe, then slam the lapbar as far into your gut as possible. Don't worry, no one will fall off this ride, all fatalities will be the result of internal bleeding. They check one car at a time, and once the car passes inspection, the lead says "car 1 clear" and they can move onto the next. At least today they had 4 ops checking instead of 2. That helped speed up things a little, but even still, after the ride opened and we got off, the line was already spilling into the midway. (and why isn't the bridge opened??)

In all, El Toro is an amazing coaster, I'm glad they finally built an Intamin woodie in the states. Once the season dies down, I may go back for more rides, hopefully operations will improve too. I hope lots of parks now take a look at El Toro and we start seeing these things pop up at other parks around the country, because it really is a great ride...too bad the park its at doesn't really know what to do with it. :(
All clear....

Dispatch, enjoy your ride.


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Postby DerekRx » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:28 pm

Now onto the pictures from today, I didn't take any yesterday because I wasn't sure on the policy about loose articles.
Here we are, heed the warning signs!
Yup, its the anniversary for the chain, even though the old SF died years ago
Oh goodie, nice sea of humanity trying to get thru the entry gates and metal detectors (why doesn't the park do the metal detectors back closer to the parking lot?)
Yup, smoke free, though people milling around waiting for El Toro to open still smoked and security didn't seem to care
So here we are. "Hey, wouldn't it be a GREAT idea to have your newest coaster open WITH the park?!"
"Probably, but that'd mean we'd have to come in early. So we'll do our block checks for the next hour"
"Eventually we'll let people on"
The park got wise and grabbed a test seat (as our "lovely" Jersey models show). Green light means you can ride, red light means you need to join Bally Total Fitness first
Hooray, its finally opened!
The ride is massive
The area doesn't look THAT different than it used to. Except now there is sand everywhere, so eventually some punks will probably get annoyed in line and start throwing sand at riders
The first couple of hills have LOADS of air
And the turnaround is better than Colossos's
But Balder still delivers more air, and on every hill, where El Toro has a few hills where you need to sit in certain seats to experience the air.
On the way out, don't forget to stop and get your souvenir corn and watermelons!
All clear....

Dispatch, enjoy your ride.


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Postby verticalzero » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:30 pm

Your very lucky to be able to ride this coaster.

I've been on Colossos at Heide Park and found it to be an amaing ride with :airtime: everywhere.

What is the difference...?

Can Someone post a POV of this ride asap...?
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Postby obeygiant » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:15 pm

Great TR!
Those test seats were weird...usually they're just placed outside the ride for people to see if they're comfy...that's pretty cool that they say if you can ride or not...unless it turns out you can't ride...

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Postby Nitro1118 » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:44 pm

Great review! Hopefully you'll enjoy it a little more with more rides on it. It sucks about the slow moving line and dispatch times, as usually with 2 trains dispatches are only 2-3min.

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Postby Homer » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:53 pm

LOL, Jersey Fresh veggies. So fresh, it glows...
-My butt has touched 112 roller coasters, how unfortunate.

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Postby coasterchi » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:03 pm

Thanx for the review! I'm so curious about this coaster! I loved Colossos, high speeds with great airtime! Although it doesn't give you that real woody feeling, it's very nice! Well, i'm just hoping to do this coaster once!

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Postby IwantRevenge » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:11 pm

Last time I was there me and my friend were making fun of the produse outside.

What seat did you ride it from. The back is usually the best.

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Postby Nrthwnd » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:36 pm

Good TR Derek. Glad tyou've still got the energy to tackle more, more MORE of the same, heh heh.

And you got the other shirt for Balder I saw. Guess I wasn't thinking (chose the other with the list AND OURS at #14, whodathunkit?), when really all that matters is the name and the 70', hmm? <grin>

Glad you enjoyed El Toro.

No bull, huh? (har har)


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Postby downunder » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:50 pm

It's a shame such a great coaster is being wasted in such a poor park, we can only hope Snyder isn't full of hot air when it came to improving park experience. The coasters at GAdv and MM always get me in but the park experience always makes me happy to leave.

Thanks for the TR, it looks like the consensus on El Toro is a big thumbs up. We all might come over next year and try and get a ride on it.


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