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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Quick SFA Apocalypse TR

Quick SFA Apocalypse TR

alpengeistno3

Posted:
6/27/12 at
12:13:28 PM

Hey guys,
Well, for the 1st time in 3 years, I broke down and got a SFA Season Pass (I had originally planned to get a single day ticket to SFA and Gradv, but my discounts were only $4 less than the $65 asking price. It was a "deal I couldn't refuse."

I went ahead and added the $50 parking pass so I could get some return on the $17 they hit me for when we first arrived. The website says parking is only good for the park you purchased it for, but I have heard reports of it being accepted at Gradv, so I am going to try to give it a shot next week.

On to the business, it was around 2:30 on a Tuesday when I got in the park and it was pretty much dead. Not to say no one was there, the main parking lot was around 80% capacity, but the ride lines were non-existent. I walked on everything, almost including Batwing (we waited one train). I suppose most people were in the waterpark despite the relatively mild 70* temperature.

So, after my Roar ride, I went on Apocalypse. The queue is a pretty long walk in front of the former Typhoon Sea Coaster skull with downed planes, graffiti, etc (think Batman TR's walk). We finally get to the station to a near empty 1 train wait for the front row. And this was with only 1 train running!! My friend and I decided to go for the front row since I was skeptical of the "improvements" SFA has made to the coaster and she is a real whiner when it comes to rough rides. We sat with 2 guys who insisted riding on the ends. No problem (more on that later).

1st, the seats are the standard issue B&M stand-up version. Very unfriendly to us guys', you-know-what. Surprisingly, I had the least problem with these than any other Beemer I have ridden. (however, it did rip the inseam of my shorts on our 1st ride, so I got one hell of a wedgie trying to figure out why my leg seemed stuck!) The view of Roar is superb from the top, but it is short-lived as you drop into a vertical loop and a 180* precursor of the carousel turn used on the newer, larger stand-ups. The train then whips around a 180* helix surrounding the vertical loop, very reminiscent of the inclined loop, but this is completely flat (and banked) onto a straightaway that could have been a block brake (a "mock block", so to say). Next up is a dive into the only other inversion, a corkscrew, and a spaghetti bowl of turns similar to Mantis' after-the-block layout. The ride ends with a nice long brake run (and thanks to the one train operation) quick run back to the station.

Now, I have heard reports that said this ride is running better than it did at SFGrAm. I never got to ride it, so I can only qualify what I rode yesterday for the 1st time...IT SUCKS!!! My front seat ride in the middle seats was pretty lackluster, but the only place I hit my head was the snap coming out of the corkscrew (it feels like riding Batman in Stand-up position, very vicious.) It was in row 7 where I was punished. Coming into the 1st vertical loop, there is a slight bend in the track (almost like B&M thought about having it the train enter on the left, but changed their mind at the last second without redoing the arc of the drop. I was ping-ponged between the shoulder restraints mercilessly regardless of which end I sat on. There is a slight snap coming into the "mock block". The final corkscrew is absolutely brutal in the back seat (like I said, imagine that final corkscrew on Batman TR in a standing position). The rest of the twisted knot was bearable, I think there was one other nasty jolt as we were going into the final turn before heading back to the station.

The lines speak for themselves. By the end of the day, only the front 2 rows had any semblance of a line. Everyone in the back got off saying "this ride sucks" or some form that I would prefer to not repeat as it would need to be censored. I did get in the center of row 7 one time in the middle, it was not as bad as I described above, but the ride seriously degraded from the front. I am a person who can normally chew up any rough ride and laugh, but after my 2nd outside seat in the back, I was seeing stars. All you back seat riders, if you like your temples, you will sit in the middle 2 seats of the back row. I can only assume that sitting on the ends of the front row would yield similar results. My friend, only rode twice and she was done with the ride "forever" (in her own words.)

I can not think a better themed ride in the chain. Apocalypse was a total disaster and you are going to have to "stand up and fight" (the saying throughout the queue) to survive this mess of a ride. Come down to SFA and take "The Last Stand" -up you will ever want to ride!!

Paul

Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by drachen drachen Profile at 6/27/12 1:01:32 PM
I like your write-up, and I figured as much. I still need to get my SFA season pass processed. When I do, I will surely give Apocalypse a ride or two.

I already rode it was Iron Wolf in 2010. I got one front seat ride, and it too was a walk on. I thought is was rough up there, and I couldn't imagine what the back feels like. After hearing your description, I don't know whether to completely avoid the back, or take it as a challenge...

I'm still surprised to see this ride relocated. The ride still holds a monetary value to Six Flags, but I'm just surprised to see a ride that was technologically dated get a new home.

It's not like this is a temporary thing either. SFA now owns this ride, and it will be around for a number of years, whether people ride it or not.

Once relocating the ride was decided, they should have looked at B&M to alter the trains to have the new wing rider OTS restraints. Those look comfy and would certainly eliminate head banging.

It's not too late to do that for Apocalypse, but I'd imagine that there are a number of people already that have soured on the ride.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
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Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by ktujon ktujon Profile at 6/27/12 3:34:14 PM
nice you didn't have to wait long on the rides especially batwing!
I didn't have any problems on apocalypse other than it being a short ride.
unfortunately the parking pass is only valid at SFA which is why i didn't buy it, I actually went to Great Adventure the parking is $22 there. I think in order to save $$ on parking when I go back to SFA I might just take the metrobus there which is about a 20/30min ride from the Largo Town Center metro station though it only runs every 30min
Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/27/12 5:56:08 PM
Great TR Paul, a very entertaining read. Brought me back to my 2001 visit to Great America. I only rode it once, which was in the front seat. Six Flags America is on our 2012 agenda. When we ride Apocalypse, it will be in the front seat.
Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by alpengeistno3 at 6/27/12 11:50:56 PM
drachen said:

After hearing your description, I don't know whether to completely avoid the back, or take it as a challenge...

The back is rideable. Just don't sit on the end and you won't be punished. I was able to survive the ends, but 2 rides was all I could stand there. Other than the 1st drop and the pull out of the corkscrew, the rest of the ride is pretty equal in the front or the back (ironically, these are the two places you DON'T want any extra pull or speed).

drachen said:

I'm still surprised to see this ride relocated. The ride still holds a monetary value to Six Flags, but I'm just surprised to see a ride that was technologically dated get a new home.

Let's face it, SFA hasn't seen a new coaster in 11 years. It was an opportunity to get a coaster they have wanted for years (rumors of a stand-up have been going around ever since Batwing went in). Corporate would probably never get them one any other way. I think it was a good move by the park, as long as 1. it was cheaper than getting a new ride and 2. it may lead to a new ride (even a small one) in the future. Attendance did seem to be up, even if no one had any interest in riding the coasters.

drachen said:

Once relocating the ride was decided, they should have looked at B&M to alter the trains to have the new wing rider OTS restraints. Those look comfy and would certainly eliminate head banging.

Is this possible with a stand-up? I haven't seen the soft harnesses applied to one yet. It works for the flyers because they have 2 bars and shackles for the legs. I haven't a wing rider yet, but I would think they would be afraid to apply something so "flimsy" to a standing rider.


drachen said:

It's not too late to do that for Apocalypse, but I'd imagine that there are a number of people already that have soured on the ride.

New restraints would definitely change public perception of the ride. Six Flags looked at their other "successful" relocations over the last couple of years and thought they could "pull one over" on the SFA crowd. A bad ride is still a bad ride, no matter how much theming and paint you put on it. Nobody at SFA was stupid enough to not realize that.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Drachen. Hopefully you will have better luck than I did with "facing the Apocalypse."


Paul

* This post was modified at 6/28/12 12:00:32 AM *

Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by alpengeistno3 at 6/27/12 11:56:45 PM
ktujon said:

nice you didn't have to wait long on the rides especially batwing!
I didn't have any problems on apocalypse other than it being a short ride.
unfortunately the parking pass is only valid at SFA which is why i didn't buy it, I actually went to Great Adventure the parking is $22 there. I think in order to save $$ on parking when I go back to SFA I might just take the metrobus there which is about a 20/30min ride from the Largo Town Center metro station though it only runs every 30min

At the construction preview for Apocalypse, the park suits had said they were in discussions about creating a regional pass for certain parks that are close to each other. I have heard other enthusiasts say they were successful with using their passes for parking at other parks. The good thing is the passes are rather generic, no name for the park it was purchased at. I'm gambling that I will get an inattentive attendant who will glance at it, see "parking" and let me go. I already paid $17 to get in SFA, so I have little to lose if they screw me in Jersey.

Paul

Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by alpengeistno3 at 6/27/12 11:58:39 PM
frontrow said:

Great TR Paul, a very entertaining read. Brought me back to my 2001 visit to Great America. I only rode it once, which was in the front seat. Six Flags America is on our 2012 agenda. When we ride Apocalypse, it will be in the front seat.

Thanks!! I normally DESPISE the front of any Beemer, but in the case of Apocalypse, I highly recommend it.

Paul

Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by drachen drachen Profile at 6/28/12 12:36:20 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

drachen said:

Once relocating the ride was decided, they should have looked at B&M to alter the trains to have the new wing rider OTS restraints. Those look comfy and would certainly eliminate head banging.

Is this possible with a stand-up? I haven't seen the soft harnesses applied to one yet. It works for the flyers because they have 2 bars and shackles for the legs. I haven't a wing rider yet, but I would think they would be afraid to apply something so "flimsy" to a standing rider.

New restraints would definitely change public perception of the ride.

I think it's totally possible to add the wing rider restraints, perhaps only slightly elongated like most stand up restraints are.

The rigid handles of that restraint hold the soft straps snuggly against the rider. I think that can also be done on a stand up, and this ride needs it.

In fact, as we move forward, I think the industry is seeing a movement toward softer, more comfortable restraints. I don't know how many more new coasters we'll see with hard OTS restraints.

Intamin, B&M, and even Vekoma have this style of restraint now. Others like Gerstlauer and Premier are back to lap bars. Even Intamin has an imperfect (and needs work) design for OTS lap bars. This is a good thing for all of us.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Friend me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Quick SFA Apocalypse TR by alpengeistno3 at 6/28/12 9:24:19 AM
drachen said:

I think it's totally possible to add the wing rider restraints, perhaps only slightly elongated like most stand up restraints are.

The rigid handles of that restraint hold the soft straps snuggly against the rider. I think that can also be done on a stand up, and this ride needs it.

I was going to agree with you, until I just thought of something. The seats for a stand-ups are a lot closer together than the wing rider seats. Unless SFA is going to pay B&M to completely redesign the train to allow more space between the restraint units, there is no way they can add the same grab handles that the wing riders use. The middle seats are hard enough for the ops to reach as it is.

drachen said:

In fact, as we move forward, I think the industry is seeing a movement toward softer, more comfortable restraints. I don't know how many more new coasters we'll see with hard OTS restraints.

Totally true. GP and even a lot of enthusiasts are just not willing to put up with a ride that is painful to ride, no matter how thrilling. Skyrush and Apocalypse seem to be proof this. It is also why a lot of those old Arrows are coming down (the parts are available, but what is the point if "no one" wants to ride them?) A coaster that could get away with being innovative 20+ years ago just can't cut it now if people are taking a beating from it.

I think Hershey is working feverishly to put together a plan to correct the issues with Skyrush. I have a hard time believing SFA will do the same with Apocalypse. There is no way they are going to pay for the R&D at B&M for a redesigned train just for that ride (the larger stand-ups in the chain seem to be holding up fine, so no way Gradv or Magic Mountain would even consider such a drastic change.) There is a reason B&M hasn't built a stand-up in over 10 years ;)

Paul