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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > KD/SFA 9/10-11

KD/SFA 9/10-11

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
9/12/11 at
1:54:12 PM

Still no home computer, and I'm in recuperation mode today (Happy Birthday, right?) but I wanted to get some thoughts down about a pretty good weekend.

Aside from the usual I-95 traffic through Northern and Central Virginia, it was an uneventful, if long, drive down to VA Friday. I did something different this time and stayed in Fredericksburg instead of Ashland. Had a real good burger at Steak and Shake Friday night.

I was gonna be joined by my friend Debby, her son Zach (12) and husband Danny. They have SP's for KD, although only Zach goes on rides. Debby was able to use her pass to get me a ticket for 29.99. They picked me up at the motel following a dynamite breakfast at Golden Corral. We got to the park at opening, and Zach and I took two excellent-as-always rides on Dominator in the back. I could already tell the day was gonna be hotter than I hoped. Crowd was very light, so that helped. Volcano was posted as down all day, I forgot about Shockwave, and skipped Avalanche due to a longer than expected line, even with the light crowd. The four rides Zach and I got on Intimidator 305 were great, and it remains my #1 steel. That said, that trim on the third hill takes a lot out of the ride. Little gray-out on the turn at the bottom of the drop, but I've had worse. Rebel Yell was running better than in April. Two rides on Hurler were not as bad as usual. My first rides on Grizzly in what seems like ages were good, and the pop of air in the tunnel remains one of my favorite wood coaster moments. I rode Flight of Fear and Anaconda by myself. Took a second seat ride on the former, and it was one of the better rides I've had on it. The latter gets worse every time, and probably is near the end of its useful life. To top it off, it took two attendants to get me out when the OTSR wouldn't give. Since I had not driven, I was not in control this day. I probably would have stayed longer, but Deb and Dan suggested splitting around 4:30, although we got sidetracked watching a carnival style dunk booth near Anaconda. I certainly would have enjoyed the dunking the sitter finally got after many, many misses. I got my last rides on El Dorado, which will be removed to accomodate Windseeker, and the SpongeBob simulator, which will become a movie tied into the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit for next year. I got that info from a park worker named Heather,who also validated the prediction I'd made to Zach earlier..that the dinosaurs will be in the woods around Grizzly. The other side of the Action Theater, opposite where SpongeBob now resides, will become a dino-themed maze, also according to Heather (we had a nice chat.)

Before dropping me back at the Motel 6, we went to Golden Corral for dinner. Awesome. My last experience at GC (in Albany) was disappointing, but not this one. New England chowdah, hush puppies, fried shrimp and freshly pan seared shrimp and scallops were the highlights, but suffice to say I had my fill...and then some. Good finish to a good day.

Sunday (9/11) morning, I went to church in what appeared to be
a converted warehouse/factory, St. Jude's in Fredericksburg, a stone's throw from the motel. I hit the road for about twenty miles and pulled into a Waffle House for a highly anticipated breakfast of my favorite bacon/egg/cheese biscuits. They were slightly under par, though.

I pulled into SF America's parking lot exactly at 10:30 opening. I had planned a random act of kindness of inviting someone to use my Bring-A-Friend To Another Six Flags for Half-Price coupon, but saw no candidates and headed in. For the second time this season, I was NOT charged for parking at SFA. Yet I was charged at Great Escape. Inconsistency Rulz! I headed straight for Superman, and got 8 rides on my #2 steel coaster without leaving the station. Thing was, it didn't feel like it was running as fast as usual, especially on the second hill and second helix. I was gonna chalk it up to being early in the day, but I think it was more the fact that I'd rode Intimidator within the past 24 hours, and Supes just isn't quite at that level of speed and intensity. I left the station after the eighth ride to hike to Batwing, only to find an employee telling potential riders it was down. It had been running with riders while I was on Supes, so I hoped it was a temporary thing. I took four more laps on Superman, then left the area. A ride on Jokers Jinx and Blizzard River were blah. Then I hit the Wild One. I think this coaster needs to move into my Top Ten woodies. I got six rides, leaving the station once. Various spots, very consistent throughout, felt pretty out of control, unexpected airtime. There's even misters at a couple points..that might be new. Later, I hit Roar for two. Middle seat was lousy, front much better. Wild One is by FAR the better of the two woodies.

Avter going out to my car to get my souvenir cup..again,
it was hotter than hoped for and I needed drinks..I cme back in to get the one coaster I had not ever been on, the Great Chase junior coaster. Before I went to the parking lot, I asked four different employees where it was and if it was running. I got a combination of blank stares, "I don't know," and "Here? At Six Flags?" None had a clue, so I stopped at Guest Relations. First woman I asked joins the chorus of the others, and asks her manager. She was finally able to tell me where it was. I asked if it was one I could ride without a kid as long as I fit, and she actually answered in these words: "Yes, you can definitely get the credit." So I guess it can be pretty difficult to hide the fact one is an enthusiast sometimes. Anyhow, I did ride it upon re-entering the park, albeit with an unattached seat belt (wouldn't fit, but the lap bar locked, so the op let me ride anyway.)

Time to see if Batwing had reopened. It had, but was testing again with empty trains as I joined the line, which was at the bottom of the stairs. After about a half-hour in a very strong sun I got on. Some of you (especially DarkWing Duck) may remember, I was removed from the ride in April, due to the restraint not locking properly. I was in, but someone else in my row..larger than me..was removed at the same time, and I've always been convinced it was HIM that prevented us from riding, not me. Yesterday validated that opinion (maybe) as I fit perfectly..very comfortably, actually. I enjoyed my ride, as I much prefer Vekoma flyers to their B&M counterparts.

I knew I wasn't going to stay late, anticipating the long drive home. I also didn't want to run into traffic from the Redskins game nearby. So I decided one last ride on Superman, then I'd split. Glad I did. I swear, I thought my seatbelt was going to snap..that's how far out of my seat I was on the third hill. Best ride of the day..no contest. I had walked as far as Jinx' entrance when I realized I'd forgotten my cup. I walked cack with every intention of riding a 14th time, getting my cup from the rack, and leaving. But just as I would have boarded the incoming train, it got stuck on the brake run, and here came the orange fluorescent vests. I collected my bottle and left.

I made up my mind as i was leaving that if I reached Exit 7A on the Jersy Pike before 7pm (a long shot, considering the way I USUALLY drive) I was gonna stop at GAdv for a couple of Toro/Nitro circuits to finish off my 46th year on the planet, and buy my pass for 2012. I was making excellent time, and reached that area about 6:45. But right at that moment it began raining heavily. Didn't last long, but since the park was closing at 8, I figured if the rides HAD shut down, they might not bother re-opening them before 8. Well, I expect to be there next Sunday...Donna and I are gonna try it again.

Thanks for reading, guys and gals.

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/12/11 3:58:01 PM

Volcano was posted as
> down all day,

I would have been PISSED - that was my favorite coaster there. I don't care what anyone says about it - it was FUN!

I forgot about Shockwave, and skipped
> Avalanche due to a longer than expected line, even with the
> light crowd. The four rides Zach and I got on Intimidator
> 305 were great, and it remains my #1 steel. That said, that
> trim on the third hill takes a lot out of the ride. Little
> gray-out on the turn at the bottom of the drop, but I've
> had worse.

I want to know what it's like to gray-out! I have never experienced that and I'm just curious to know how it feels....

>Rebel Yell was running better than in April.

I thought it ran spectacular when I was there end of June too

Two
> rides on Hurler were not as bad as usual. My first rides on
> Grizzly in what seems like ages were good, and the pop of
> air in the tunnel remains one of my favorite wood coaster
> moments.

Pops of air?! I had to hold on for my life on that car accident of a coaster! Pops of air are what happens on Nitro - that was more like getting tossed like a rag doll.

I rode Flight of Fear and Anaconda by myself. Took
> a second seat ride on the former, and it was one of the
> better rides I've had on it. The latter gets worse every
> time, and probably is near the end of its useful life. To
> top it off, it took two attendants to get me out when the
> OTSR wouldn't give.

That was hands down the WORST Arrow Looper I've ever been on. I wouldn't ride it again. While some can be a bit uncomfortable in spots, they always have some elements that make it worth the ride. Not Anaconda.

Then I hit the
> Wild One. I think this coaster needs to move into my Top
> Ten woodies. I got six rides, leaving the station once.
> Various spots, very consistent throughout, felt pretty out
> of control, unexpected airtime. There's even misters at a
> couple points..that might be new.

I really liked that coaster, more than I thought I would. They had the mist sprayers on when I was there as well.

> Avter going out to my car to get my souvenir cup..again,
> it was hotter than hoped for and I needed drinks..I cme
> back in to get the one coaster I had not ever been on, the
> Great Chase junior coaster. Before I went to the parking
> lot, I asked four different employees where it was and if
> it was running. I got a combination of blank stares,
> "I don't know," and "Here? At Six
> Flags?" None had a clue, so I stopped at Guest
> Relations. First woman I asked joins the chorus of the
> others, and asks her manager. She was finally able to tell
> me where it was. I asked if it was one I could ride without
> a kid as long as I fit, and she actually answered in these
> words: "Yes, you can definitely get the credit."

LMAO! See what happens when adults ride kiddie coasters?! :~)

Glad you had a good time and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Jen

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by alpengeistno3 at 9/12/11 6:44:34 PM

Happy Birthday, Mike!!

So, after riding FOF and Joker's Jinx in two consecutive days, which did you prefer? Just curious since there was a debate about that awhile ago.

Paul

PS to Jen,
Great Chase IS a kiddie coaster!!

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/12/11 8:02:31 PM

Great TR Mike. That air time hill on Grizzly right before the tunnel is my favorite part also. 13 rides on Superman ROS sounds awesome. I'm glad you had fun.

> I want to know what it's like to gray-out! I have never
> experienced that and I'm just curious to know how it
> feels....

When I visited SF Over Texas it was 109°. When I rode Titan, in the front seat, and came to the helix I got extremely light headed. My vision was extremely distorted and I thought I was going to pass out. Even after the ride was over I was very dizzy and had to concentrate just to walk a strait line. At first I thought it was the heat or lack of fluids in me. I got something to eat and drink and went back and rode it 2 more times both in the back seat. That dizziness and distortion was even worse. Once I figured out the g forces where the reason for this rather than a hydration issue, it was awesome. When I rode I305 in it's original configuration I experienced that same sensation on the turn following the first drop. These are the only 2 coasters that have caused me to gray out. On Nitro's helix when you feel those positive g forces and feel a little dizzy, that is the first stage of graying out, but due to lack of speed and duration you never feel that full effect. It's an awesome feeling. I know you like that wee feeling and that rush of a launch. Graying out is even a more extreme feeling than that.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/12/11 8:22:54 PM

When I visited SF Over Texas it was 109°. When I rode
> Titan, in the front seat, and came to the helix I got
> extremely light headed. My vision was extremely distorted
> and I thought I was going to pass out. Even after the ride
> was over I was very dizzy and had to concentrate just to
> walk a strait line. At first I thought it was the heat or
> lack of fluids in me. I got something to eat and drink and
> went back and rode it 2 more times both in the back seat.
> That dizziness and distortion was even worse. Once I
> figured out the g forces where the reason for this rather
> than a hydration issue, it was awesome. When I rode I305 in
> it's original configuration I experienced that same
> sensation on the turn following the first drop. These are
> the only 2 coasters that have caused me to gray out. On
> Nitro's helix when you feel those positive g forces and
> feel a little dizzy, that is the first stage of graying
> out, but due to lack of speed and duration you never feel
> that full effect. It's an awesome feeling. I know you like
> that wee feeling and that rush of a launch. Graying out is
> even a more extreme feeling than that.

So is graying out mostly experienced with positive G's? From what you said, after it happens it still affects you once you're off the ride, how long did that last for? I just think it would be wild to experience but I wouldn't want anything that would ruin my day at a park. And I do live for the "wee" and the launch! The most I've ever gotten was occasional vertigo, which is usually brought on by a spinning ride like the Rotor, Round-up, or some simulator rides like Houdini so I just avoid them now but I always carry some Meclizine with me just in case.

Jen

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 9/12/11 8:58:21 PM

Nice TR! I'm glad to hear that I-305 is so much better now. I haven't ridden it since it had those trims on the drop and I look forward to riding it this October. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Volcano won't be down when I go because I'm going with a friend who is nuts about that coaster.

As for the greying out, I've had it happen (but not on I-305, as I only rode it when it had the trims on the first drop) on a couple of coasters, namely Goliath at SFMM and what was then Top Gun at CGA (guess it's Flight Deck now, anyway I mean the B&M invert at that park). I also had it happen on rare occasions on Batman at SFMM (SFMM was my home park for several years in the late 90's), but usually only when it was really hot and I needed something to drink. I think that might have also been the case when I was at CGA, as I've never had a B&M invert do that to me before. I've ridden Raptor many times since then so I have to chalk those B&M invert experiences up to dehydration.
But Goliath did it to me most all the time, in the helix at the end. I think it was due not so much to the maximum G's but how long they are sustained. I think the helix pulls something like 4.2 Gs (don't know where I read/heard that, but for some reason that figure sticks in my head) but it's a double helix and it takes several seconds to go thru.

What happened to me was everything would basically get a little dim, kind of like someone dimming a bright light in a room. Sometimes I'd see spots and my vision would get grainy, and feel light-headed. I'll have to see if it happens to me when I ride I-305 this fall.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/12/11 9:20:46 PM

Graying out is caused by positive g forces. Long durations at high speeds is what causes it. As for the affects after the ride it is similar to the way you feel after you get off The Round Up or any other ride that spins at a high rate of speed. It usually wears off in about 5 minutes or less. I never rode Titan or I305 in consecutive circuits, therefore that graying out had time to wear off. If you were to ride say 5 or 6 times without getting off it probably would cause a problem. The day I was at SF Over Texas someone passed out on Titan. Last year at Kings Dominion some one passed out on I305 just before we arrived. It can have a negative effect on some people. For me it really enhances the ride experience. I305 probably wouldn't be my #1 steel coaster if it wasn't for that feeling and Titan wouldn't be my #7 favorite steel coaster. Some people can handle g forces better than others. You won't know exactly how it will affect you until you experience it.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/11 12:07:58 PM

> Happy Birthday, Mike!!

> So, after riding FOF and Joker's Jinx in two consecutive
> days, which did you prefer? Just curious since there was a
> debate about that awhile ago.

Prefer FOF..always have, despite the brake.

> Paul

> PS to Jen,
> Great Chase IS a kiddie coaster!!

Agreed..no debate on this one.

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/11 12:13:24 PM

> I forgot about Shockwave, and skipped
> Avalanche due to a longer than expected line, even with the
> light crowd. The four rides Zach and I got on Intimidator
> 305 were great, and it remains my #1 steel. That said, that
> trim on the third hill takes a lot out of the ride. Little
> gray-out on the turn at the bottom of the drop, but I've
> had worse.

> I want to know what it's like to gray-out! I have never
> experienced that and I'm just curious to know how it
> feels....

I can't really describe it..it's a weird feeling. I don't feel dizzy, but everything just kinda goes fuzzy wirh my vision. Happens to me on most trips through Nitro's helix, too. On Intimidator, the feeling is gone by the time I hit that awesome airtime at the top of that first hill following the turn in question.

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/13/11 12:16:06 PM

> PS to Jen,
> Great Chase IS a kiddie coaster!!

> Agreed..no debate on this one.

> Mike
>

LOL! I somehow missed Paul's post on that one.

I keep picturing something like an SNL skit where they show Mike in the crowd before a park opens, looking all shady, eying children with their parents pulling them closer and then the rope drops and he steals a kid, runs through a park with security chasing him. Then he hides and when the coast is clear he forces the child on a kiddie coaster for a credit and drops the kid off at lost and found after the ride!

Jen

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/11 12:22:27 PM

> I keep picturing something like an SNL skit where they show
> Mike in the crowd before a park opens, looking all shady,
> eying children with their parents pulling them closer and
> then the rope drops and he steals a kid, runs through a
> park with security chasing him. Then he hides and when the
> coast is clear he forces the child on a kiddie coaster for
> a credit and drops the kid off at lost and found after the
> ride!

> Jen

Actually, that sounds pretty good. I'd see it more suited to MAD-TV than SNL, though. Go ahead and write it up. I'll star, you can be the mom looking for her "lost" kid. Any amateur filmmakers on here that might be interested in putting this on youtube? :)

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by squirrels at 9/13/11 4:15:36 PM

> Graying out is caused by positive g forces. Long durations
> at high speeds is what causes it. As for the affects after
> the ride it is similar to the way you feel after you get
> off The Round Up or any other ride that spins at a high
> rate of speed. It usually wears off in about 5 minutes or
> less. I never rode Titan or I305 in consecutive circuits,
> therefore that graying out had time to wear off. If you
> were to ride say 5 or 6 times without getting off it
> probably would cause a problem. The day I was at SF Over
> Texas someone passed out on Titan. Last year at Kings
> Dominion some one passed out on I305 just before we
> arrived. It can have a negative effect on some people. For
> me it really enhances the ride experience. I305 probably
> wouldn't be my #1 steel coaster if it wasn't for that
> feeling and Titan wouldn't be my #7 favorite steel coaster.
> Some people can handle g forces better than others. You
> won't know exactly how it will affect you until you
> experience it.

A little gray-out increases the thrill-factor of the ride...as long as it doesn't last too long. I-305 got me once on the first turn...started noticing it midway through the turn, recognized what it was, and just rode it out. Just as it sets in, you hit the first airtime-hill and the negative Gs from that get the blood back to your brain in a hurry. :)

Only other ride I've ever had gray-out on was Batman: The Ride at 6F-Gadv. There's one turn on there somewhere that's quite a doozy. That whole ride is particularly intense for a B&M invert. Personally, I really enjoyed it...it did a number on the rest of my party though.

OP...you didn't hit Dominator at KD? Awesome B&M floorless.

Volcano seems to have a lot of down-time. Then again, it seems like all "launched" coasters, be they LIM, LSM, hydraulic, pneumatic whatever...all seem to suffer from down-time more than the ol' lift-hill numbers.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/11 4:30:33 PM

> Only other ride I've ever had gray-out on was Batman: The
> Ride at 6F-Gadv. There's one turn on there somewhere that's
> quite a doozy. That whole ride is particularly intense for
> a B&M invert. Personally, I really enjoyed it...it did a
> number on the rest of my party though.

I get that on that ride too..coming out of the first loop into the first corkscrew. I also greyed out on my rides on Tennessee Tornado back in '08. So, there's at least four rides that do that to me.

> OP...you didn't hit Dominator at KD? Awesome B&M floorless.

Read again..two rides to start the day on my favorite floorless. Second favorite ride in the park for me.

Mike, the OP

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by squirrels at 9/13/11 5:23:10 PM

> Only other ride I've ever had gray-out on was Batman: The
> Ride at 6F-Gadv. There's one turn on there somewhere that's
> quite a doozy. That whole ride is particularly intense for
> a B&M invert. Personally, I really enjoyed it...it did a
> number on the rest of my party though.

> I get that on that ride too..coming out of the first loop
> into the first corkscrew. I also greyed out on my rides on
> Tennessee Tornado back in '08. So, there's at least four
> rides that do that to me.

> OP...you didn't hit Dominator at KD? Awesome B&M floorless.

> Read again..two rides to start the day on my favorite
> floorless. Second favorite ride in the park for me.

> Mike, the OP

LOL...sorry Mike, I missed it. My brain must've gone into skim mode.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/13/11 5:37:51 PM

> LOL...sorry Mike, I missed it. My brain must've gone into
> skim mode.

No worries..my reports have affected people that way before...and will again.

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by alpengeistno3 at 9/13/11 6:44:03 PM

> Prefer FOF..always have, despite the brake.

My feelings too. Something seems missing on JJ by it being completely outside. Even with no mid-course brake.

Paul

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by squirrels at 9/14/11 9:35:37 AM

> LOL...sorry Mike, I missed it. My brain must've gone into
> skim mode.

> No worries..my reports have affected people that way
> before...and will again.

> Mike

I think a couple more paragraphs would fix that for you. ;)

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by KevinReid KevinReid Profile at 9/14/11 11:41:36 AM

Great TR. This is how far removed I am from the coaster scene. I didn't know what KD stood for. LOL!

Regards,
Kevin Reid

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/14/11 12:05:33 PM

> Great TR. This is how far removed I am from the coaster
> scene. I didn't know what KD stood for. LOL!

> Regards,
> Kevin Reid

Well, that's what I get for ass-u-ming.

Mike

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 9/14/11 7:35:28 PM

Great TR, I enjoy trs of KD. Much as I love BGW, KD is my favorite park in that area mainly due to the large volume of rides there and variety.

Re: KD/SFA 9/10-11 by MarathonRunner MarathonRunner Profile at 10/16/11 7:10:31 PM

Just me, but I still like MF better than Intimidator. However, I haven't ridden it since the reprofile.

I really like Superman with it's awesome airtime. I have never felt like it was riding slow, but the last time I rode it, I felt like the lift was slightly slower. I like Superman so much due to the negative Gs (which I prefer to Intimidator's positive Gs).

My fave at KD is still Volcano. I would like to disagree about Anaconda. The first hill into the tunnel is awesome as is the first loop. The middle section is rough, but the corkscrew section is still nice.

Finally, nice shoutout for Wild One. I keep saying it - that is one of the most underated coasters ever. Plus, it is the one truly unique SFA coaster.

MarathonRunner