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Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2

frontrow frontrow Profile

Posted:
7/26/12 at
1:08:25 PM

Our hotel was 70 miles from Six Flags America. The volume of traffic I encountered on the way down had me scratching my head of how long it would take to get to the park. I decided to get on the road at 8:30. The traffic was heavy, but was moving at fast, steady pace. I pulled into the parking lot at 9:45, but the park didn't open until 10:30. We had 45 minutes to wait, but I'd rather be early than late. Right from the start, Six Flags attempt for a friendly staff was noticeable. Several employees were asking us questions and making small talk. All of them actually seemed happy; no one was faking it. These people really like interacting with the guests. At 10:00 more employees came out along with Sylvester and Bugs Bunny. Music started to play and they were all dancing and having a good time, trying to get guests to join in. They even did the limbo. Being that we were being entertained that 30 minutes flew by. At 10:30 we showed our season passes and entered the park.

We headed straight for Superman. My only visit to this park was in 2000, so this was my kids first visit. On that day the park was crowded. We waited more than a hour for Superman, and rode it towards the back. This visit would be different. We climbed in the back seat for our first ride. The ride was just like I remembered it. Very good, but not a top 10 coaster. We rode the front seat and the very back seat again, both were really good rides. Now later in the day, we came back to Superman. The temperature did heat up and there was about a 4 train wait, with only running one train. Once again we climbed in the back seat, went up the lift hill, then gravity took over. One word, wow! Ejector Air from the first drop to the last bunny hop. I now see why some of you have this coaster ranked so high. It made my top 10. We grabbed 2 more back seat rides for a total of 6 rides. Again those rides were awesome. For me this was the best coaster of the trip. Now they were running the blue train and I only sat in the very front seat or the very back seat, but I found that the seat belts are different lengths. On one seat I fit, but couldn't fit in the seat next to me. Just something to add in case one of you try to ride and can't fit. Try the seat next to you, the belt may be longer.

Our second coaster of the day was Batwing. This would be the only coaster I would add at the park. I really like the B&M flyers, but I really don't care for the Vekomas. We sat in row 5. The ride was better than one in Carowinds, but I liked Fire Hawk at Kings Island better. The ride was a little jerky, but not rough. This ended up being our only ride. Even though it was a walk on, one ride was all we needed.

Next up was Jokers Jinx. There was about a 4 train wait. We grabbed the front seat. I don't know why, but I like the outdoor versions of this ride a lot more than the indoor versions. The one at Six Flags Fiesta Texas is probably the best one. Now that these coasters have a lap bar, they are very enjoyable. My daughter loved this ride and so did I. The launch is good, the inversions are well done, and there's a very forceful series of turns near the end. This was my third favorite coaster at the park. We grabbed another front seat ride later on in the day.

Next up was the new Apocalypse. Now I rode this in Six Flags Great American as Iron Wolf, so I knew what to expect. The ride looks great. The new paint and some decent theming makes this coaster look like a new ride.There is even a fire element during the ride. After admiring the new look, I thought this coaster may have gotten better. We walked onto row 5. This thing beat the crap out of me. My son actually loved this ride. We waited about 10 minutes for front seat. Now the front is not that bad. It's actually a decent ride, except for one brutal part.

Next we headed over to Roar, the GCI wooden twister. This coaster has such a great layout. Last time I visited the park I rode Roar 3 times. It was a little rough then, but very rideable. Now 12 years later, I had a feeling it got worse. We walked on it. My kids took the front seat and I sat in the second seat. It was really rough. My daughter loves Wildcat at Hershey, but didn't like Roar. I don't know if New trains or retracking would help, but they should do something. This is a coaster that has such a great layout. If they could find a way to make it smooth, this would be a great ride. That one ride is all we wanted.

We then headed over to the other wooden coaster, The Wild One. This was also a walk on. My kids took the front seat and I grabbed the second seat. This is my second favorite coaster in the park. This thing is filled with air time and an injector lateral. We grabbed the back seat and the back was even better. I wouldn't say it's smooth, but to rough by any means. Aggressive is probably the best way to describe how it moves through the track. We grabbed the back seat 2 more times for a total of 4 rides.

The only adult coaster left was Mind Eraser. It's a Vekoma invert. We walked on to the second row. It has the head banging that all Vekoma inverts have. One ride was enough. The kids then did the Raging Rapids ride and Ship Wreck Falls. I decided to sit out on the water rides. The kids also rode the kiddie coaster, The Great Chase.

Being that we didn't ride any flats the day before at Busch Garden, we decided to take advantage of Six Flags America's nice collection of flat rides. We rode the flying carousel, which are swings. We rode the Tea Cups. We rode High Seas, which is a swinging pirate ship, and The Pirates Flight, which is a balloon ride only the cars are in a shape of pirate ship The most unique flat was Rodeo. The cars are shaped like Bulls and the ride spins in Tilt a Wirl/ tea cup fashion. It's a very fun ride. We also rode Falling Star. It's Carpet ride like Ali Buba at Waldameer or 1000 Naughts at Knoebles. There was a young couple with a baby in a stroller at the exit. They had to take turns riding, and there were no single riders allowed on the ride. Being that there 3 of us, I agreed to ride with each of them. I rode with the wife first. Then I rode with the husband. As soon as the ride reached max velocity, this guy bear hugged me and started screaming and laughing. I was safety bar. My kids and I were laughing so hard over this guys reaction. This is why I love parks. You have strangers enjoying themselves together and having a great time.

It was 6:30 and time to head home. We had a great time and got home safely at 10:30. It's another trip we will all remember. Thanks for reading.
Ken

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/26/12 2:58:19 PM
Glad you had a good day, Ken. Superman has moved into my #2 steel spot. I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma. I consider Wild One a very under-rated coaster. I absolutely LOOOVE Rodeo. I'm just bothered by the NO SINGLE RIDERS rule. I haven't been this season, but I assume that's still in effect. Did you ride with them, with someone else, or by yourself? If the latter, please tell me what you said to the attendant or how much you bribed him to get a solo ride.

I was on Iron Wolf at SFGAm in 2007. Didn't like it at all. The fact it replaced my favorite flume ride at SFA is another strike against it for me. If I make it down there, I'm sure I'll take a spin, though.

* This post was modified at 7/26/12 3:02:18 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/26/12 4:28:44 PM
On Rodeo, there was another group of 3. I was paired up with a teenage kid. Both Rodeo and Falling Star require a partner, no single riders. I did miss the huge Skull with the waterfall in the eye. Apocalypse does look good though. They did a good job with the appearance aspect.
Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by rossrich66 rossrich66 Profile at 7/26/12 9:22:58 PM
frontrow said:

Our second coaster of the day was Batwing. This would be the only coaster I would add at the park. I really like the B&M flyers, but I really don't care for the Vekomas. We sat in row 5. The ride was better than one in Carowinds, but I liked Fire Hawk at Kings Island better. The ride was a little jerky, but not rough. This ended up being our only ride. Even though it was a walk on, one ride was all we needed.

Next up was the new Apocalypse. Now I rode this in Six Flags Great American as Iron Wolf, so I knew what to expect. The ride looks great. The new paint and some decent theming makes this coaster look like a new ride.There is even a fire element during the ride. After admiring the new look, I thought this coaster may have gotten better. We walked onto row 5. This thing beat the crap out of me. My son actually loved this ride. We waited about 10 minutes for front seat. Now the front is not that bad. It's actually a decent ride, except for one brutal part.

Next we headed over to Roar, the GCI wooden twister. This coaster has such a great layout. Last time I visited the park I rode Roar 3 times. It was a little rough then, but very rideable. Now 12 years later, I had a feeling it got worse. We walked on it. My kids took the front seat and I sat in the second seat. It was really rough. My daughter loves Wildcat at Hershey, but didn't like Roar. I don't know if New trains or retracking would help, but they should do something. This is a coaster that has such a great layout. If they could find a way to make it smooth, this would be a great ride. That one ride is all we wanted.




Nice Trip Report

With regard to Batwing...I agree, I've been on the Carowinds ride when it was Stealth at CA Great America and thought it was just ok...but then I've been on Tatsu at SFMM and that ride is frickn amazing if not downright terrifying (I understand the Superman versions at other SF parks don't rate as high as Tatsu and some don't like them at all).

Too bad about Apocalypse, but is like I said in my
KD TR about Shockwave, it seems like all stand-up coasters don't age well. Vortex at CA Great America is essentially a shorter version of Iron Wolf/Apocalypse and after riding it a few years back, I will never ride it again.

That's also too bad about Roar. Its West Coast counterpart at SFDK seems to have held up just fine over the years. Yes, its gotten rougher, but still a great ride.

* This post was modified at 7/26/12 9:31:09 PM *

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by rossrich66 rossrich66 Profile at 7/26/12 9:41:16 PM
beastmaster said:

I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma.

Curious to know if you've ridden Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mtn? If not, you should definitely check it out! I haven't ridden the Superman ones and I've heard they are not nearly as good.

For me, Tastu is one of the most insanely intense coasters I've been on...and may be the only one that truly makes me scream from fright (I know sounds crazy...right?)

I've only ridden Stealth at CA Great America before it was moved and I thought it was just ok.

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 7/26/12 10:01:26 PM
Nice TR Ken! Glad you and your kids had a great time. I really liked SFA. I agree with you with Superman and Wild One - Loved them! I thought it was just me hating Roar because I hate overbanked woodies in general but perhaps it wasn't since you mentioned the roughness. Mind Eraser was brutal and I believe actually did erase some of my mind with the brain damage I incurred from all the banging. I was in a rush the day I went and didn't get to ride any flats except the drop tower (I'll never pass one of those babies up!). Maybe next year I'll go back and spend a whole day so I can really enjoy it.

I wish you could make it up here for one of our trips!

Jen

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 7/26/12 10:52:24 PM
rossrich66 said:

beastmaster said:

I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma.

Curious to know if you've ridden Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mtn? If not, you should definitely check it out! I haven't ridden the Superman ones and I've heard they are not nearly as good.

For me, Tastu is one of the most insanely intense coasters I've been on...and may be the only one that truly makes me scream from fright (I know sounds crazy...right?)

I've only ridden Stealth at CA Great America before it was moved and I thought it was just ok.


I'd love to ride Tatsu some of these years, but I'll settle with Manta. Manta is a big step up over S:UF at SFGAdv. I've yet to ride the vekoma flyers, so I can't say how they compare to B&M flyers.

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/27/12 8:21:17 AM
rossrich66 said:

beastmaster said:

I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma.

Curious to know if you've ridden Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mtn? If not, you should definitely check it out! I haven't ridden the Superman ones and I've heard they are not nearly as good.

For me, Tastu is one of the most insanely intense coasters I've been on...and may be the only one that truly makes me scream from fright (I know sounds crazy...right?)

I've only ridden Stealth at CA Great America before it was moved and I thought it was just ok.

I have not ridden Tatsu or Manta. I have ridden all 3 Superman UF. Southern California is my dream vacation. Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to go there. My wife's sister now lives out there. Just last week my wife and I sat down and did the math for a May 2013 trip. We figure we would need about $5,000 for a 6 day trip. What it comes down to is how much our income tax return is. I will eventually get out there.

Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by drachen drachen Profile at 7/27/12 8:45:12 AM
I'm glad that you got to go, and I'm glad to hear that Superman is still kickin' butt. I LOVE that ride.

I think SFA is an underrated park. It's gotten better in recent years. And it has 5 above average to great coasters in ROAR!, Joker's Jinx, Batwing, and especially Wild One and Superman. I try to get there once a year, just for those last two rides.

Apocalypse LOOKS great, but I've been told it still rides horribly. I rode it in Chicago, and I couldn't believe it was a B&M. Honestly, I'm still surprised that it was relocated, especially since nothing replaced its footprint at Great America.

Regarding the flyers, count me in with Mike - I like the Vekoma version much better than the B&M Supermen. I haven't been to California and Florida since 2005, so Tatsu and Manta remain un-ridden for me. My opinion on the Vekoma's may change when I get to Magic Mountain and Sea World again. In the meantime, I actually like the Vekoma ride...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/27/12 9:05:21 AM
I think Six Flags America is good park. My daughter really liked it. Superman and Wild One alone make it worth a visit. The staff was extremely friendly, the park was clean, and it has a nice collection of flats and coasters. If the park focused on making some of coasters smoother, like Roar, Mind Eraser, and Apocalypse, it could be a great park. Jokers Jinx and Batwing are solid coasters also. All in all Six Flags America is a park that every enthusiast would enjoy.
Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/27/12 9:10:34 AM
rossrich66 said:

beastmaster said:

I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma.

Curious to know if you've ridden Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mtn? If not, you should definitely check it out! I haven't ridden the Superman ones and I've heard they are not nearly as good.

For me, Tastu is one of the most insanely intense coasters I've been on...and may be the only one that truly makes me scream from fright (I know sounds crazy...right?)

I've only ridden Stealth at CA Great America before it was moved and I thought it was just ok.

No, I haven't been to Magic Mountain, so no Tatsu for me. And the last time I was at Sea World in 1977, nobody was thinking roller coasters. I'm not sure if I've been on all the S:UFs, but I've been on at GAdv, SFGam, and SFOG..I think that covers them. I also rode Batwing, and FireHawk/X-Flight at both of its homes. I skipped Borg at Carowinds on my first visit due to 95 degree heat and a long, unshaded line. On my second visit, Nighthawk was on an extended rehab and closed. If I get selected for JEOPARDY! and manage to get to CA, SFMM is a no-brainer. I'd love to ride the aforementioned Tatsu, X, and Apocalypse.

Mike

* This post was modified at 7/27/12 9:10:58 AM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Busch Gardens/ Six Flags America TR: part 2 by rossrich66 rossrich66 Profile at 7/28/12 10:43:57 PM
beastmaster said:

rossrich66 said:

beastmaster said:

I'm the opposite of you when it comes to B&M flyers vs. Vekoma.

Curious to know if you've ridden Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mtn? If not, you should definitely check it out! I haven't ridden the Superman ones and I've heard they are not nearly as good.

For me, Tastu is one of the most insanely intense coasters I've been on...and may be the only one that truly makes me scream from fright (I know sounds crazy...right?)

I've only ridden Stealth at CA Great America before it was moved and I thought it was just ok.

No, I haven't been to Magic Mountain, so no Tatsu for me. And the last time I was at Sea World in 1977, nobody was thinking roller coasters. I'm not sure if I've been on all the S:UFs, but I've been on at GAdv, SFGam, and SFOG..I think that covers them. I also rode Batwing, and FireHawk/X-Flight at both of its homes. I skipped Borg at Carowinds on my first visit due to 95 degree heat and a long, unshaded line. On my second visit, Nighthawk was on an extended rehab and closed. If I get selected for JEOPARDY! and manage to get to CA, SFMM is a no-brainer. I'd love to ride the aforementioned Tatsu, X, and Apocalypse.

Mike

I hope you get selected for JEOPARDY! And I hope you make it to California regardless to ride Tatsu, X2 and Apocalypse. All of them are "worth the price of admission". And I think once you rode Tastu, I'm confident you'd definitely have a change of opinion about which "Flyer" you prefer (B&M v Vekoma).