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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1)

TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1)

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
4/23/13 at
9:53:09 AM

Back on March 23rd, I opened my coaster season at SF America in MD, Opening Day. After Jen, Judy, Paul and I made the decision not to go to GrAdv that day, it seemed like a reasonable alternative. I didn't do a trip report from that day due to my comp being on the fritz. But, aside from the company of Judy, Paul, and Laura (later)...and a few terrific rides on Wild One...the day was pretty disastrous. The ride down took over 6 hours (normally about 4.5) due to major construction and lane merging on Rt. 95 in Delaware. I got there at 11:15, met Judy and Paul, and hopped on Roar as my first of the season. It's a headach-inducer, although not quite as much so as Apocalypse and Mind Eraser. Hated both of those (those were my first laps on Apocalypse in its new home.) Superman..which as many of you know is my #2 steel coaster..never opened, testing with water dummies all day. Batwing, which I like, was mostly down all day, coming alive at times, but not while the three of us were waiting on the platform. I left at 5-ish feeling like I wasted the entire day..again, except for hanging with good people and the Wild One rides.

Happily, this past Saturday was much better. The ride down was easier, taking an hour less than last time, and this included a long-ish stop for breakfast (Dennys..Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast, part of their Baconalia! event.) I called Paul from the Dennys lot before I left. He was at the car dealer, and we made plans to meet at noon-ish by Superman's entrance. When I arrived about 11:15, my phone had lost its charge and I couldn't call him. So I figured I'd head in and walked to Superman. No sign of Paul yet. So I went on Supes. It was pretty much a walk-on. But at SFA that means a ten minute wait with the slow dispatches and wanna-be-DJ ride ops. I had no trouble fitting in the next-to-last seat. I barely recognized my old friend. The drop felt like nothing and felt a hundred feet shorter. I got no airtime, and the ride felt sluggish almost all the way through the course. I was ready to drop it to #3 or 4 on my list. But I had to try my accustomed (i.e, back) seat. The difference was night and day. Crazy air, especially late, felt out of control, only sluggishness was on the back end of the second helix. Superman retains its spot for me.

Still no Paul, so I walked over to Jokers Jinx and took a ride. I've come to like it a little more than I did. It's one of those few rides where you FEEL like you're going faster at the end than earlier. It's also relatively smooth for its type.

When I walked back over to Superman, Paul was on a bench. He wasn't gonna try to get on Superman, and Batwing wasn't up. Paul said his senses of sight and smell told him Batwing was being painted.

We walked to Wild one and got three laps, all excellent..running as well as ever. I was loath to ride Apocalypse, and I did not. Didn't even go near Mind Eraser. Skipped Roar. Walked back to Batwing, which Paul had seen in motion. But the maintenance crews were hanging around the station, they loaded and unloaded once or twice, cycled a few times, and all the while Paul wants to sing his "Crapwing" song. I wasn't letting him. Because of people leaving the line, we got on as soon as it re-opened, in the back. I enjoyed it, which is par for the course after my initial ride, which I've described on here in the past. It's still very disorienting to me, and I don't feel as safe on it as I do on B&M's Supermen, but that's part of what I like. It doesn't feel cookie-cutter to me, and I get a kick out of it. I allowed Paul to do ONE rendition of his song...but only after we were off the train.

Didn't get to ride Jinx with Paul, as it went down and was cycling empties anytime we did see it moving.

It was a short stay, which was always my intent. It was good to hang with Paul again, even if for a short time. He walked with me to the gate, but he was gonna stay for a time. I left around 3. I had reservations at Motel 6 in Fredericksburg, and had a thought of going to Mass at 5pm Saturday instead of Sunday morning. The church is a converted warehouse less than a 5 minute drive from the Motel 6.

I got to the motel a bit after 4. Gave my name and said I had a reservation. They found my reservation, "But we don't have a room for you." Excuse me? Paul had told me a pretty severe storm came through the area Friday night. The front desk clerk informed me that the roof had collapsed in several places, was unstable in others, and water was leaking into many rooms. So what to do, what to do? I went to a fleabag motel across the road, and that looked (and smelled)really bad. So I went to church, then stopped at a coupla nicer motels (Days Inn, Super 8, Comfort Inn) in the same neighborhood. They all wanted more than I was willing to spend...minimum $70 per night, and I needed it for Saturday AND Sunday) So I hit 95 and stopped at a couple more motels at succeeding exits. I was trying to stay close to 95 and to Fredericksburg so, A, Debbie could still pick me up Sunday and B, we could still go to Golden Corral after the park Sunday. But the prices were still not what I could do. So I made the trek South to Ashland, where I always used to stay at a Motel 6 and got a room there. I had a late supper at Captain D's, then called Debbie. I told her of my travails, and we were both disappointed we wouldn't be able go to the Corral. However, she was willing to drive the extra few miles to pick me up there.

More to come...stay tooned!

Mike

* This post was modified at 4/23/13 10:16:20 AM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by KevinReid KevinReid Profile at 4/23/13 12:08:41 PM
Looking forward to Part II.

Regards,
Kevin Reid

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 4/23/13 7:12:49 PM
Sounds like you are hitting some damn roadblocks! It seems like your spirits are up and I didn't see any mention of you feeling bad walking, which is always a good thing :)

Hope it gets even better as the trip goes on!

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/23/13 7:40:45 PM
mugen828 said:

Sounds like you are hitting some damn roadblocks! It seems like your spirits are up and I didn't see any mention of you feeling bad walking, which is always a good thing :)


Hope it gets even better as the trip goes on!

Well, my legs and feet are sore, and I was a little dehydrated, but as long as I rest occasionally and slow my pace as I've been doing, I'm okay.

* This post was modified at 4/23/13 7:45:05 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by alpengeistno3 at 4/24/13 3:20:49 AM
Nice succinct TR, Mike. It certainly wasn't a bad 2 days at SFA, but far from worth the trip, if it was the only place you were going.

beastmaster said:

Supes. It was pretty much a walk-on. But at SFA that means a ten minute wait with the slow dispatches and wanna-be-DJ ride ops. I had no trouble fitting in the next-to-last seat. I barely recognized my old friend. The drop felt like nothing and felt a hundred feet shorter. I got no airtime, and the ride felt sluggish almost all the way through the course. I was ready to drop it to #3 or 4 on my list. But I had to try my accustomed (i.e, back) seat. The difference was night and day. Crazy air, especially late, felt out of control, only sluggishness was on the back end of the second helix. Superman retains its spot for me.

Supes is notoriously sluggish in the morning hours, very much like El Toro can be early. While I agree that car 8 and 9 can be worlds apart in the air department, I'm surprised you found that much difference so soon (the ride really hits its stride after 4 or 5 hrs of runtime.)

beastmaster said:

Still no Paul, so I walked over to Jokers Jinx and took a ride. I've come to like it a little more than I did. It's one of those few rides where you FEEL like you're going faster at the end than earlier. It's also relatively smooth for its type.

Good thing you did. JJ only opened for 1 or 2 cycles after you left. (after alot of cycling) I think whatever that fault was on the brake run required more extensive work than they were prepared to provide during operating hours.

beastmaster said:

When I walked back over to Superman, Paul was on a bench. He wasn't gonna try to get on Superman, and Batwing wasn't up. Paul said his senses of sight and smell told him Batwing was being painted.

Batwing's supports are indeed being painted black. Guess SFA must have looked at Great Bear and said that black paint was the way to go. Joker's Jinx is starting to get painted too (right now the bases of all the supports have fresh paint) My question is, what is the point of having an off season if you are going to do all your construction/maintenance in the spring? (I still have yet to see any vertical construction of the new water slides and they are supposed to be OPEN next month?!?!)

beastmaster said:

We walked to Wild one and got three laps, all excellent..running as well as ever. I was loath to ride Apocalypse, and I did not. Didn't even go near Mind Eraser. Skipped Roar.

After you left, I hit all your "favorites". ME is still a mess of an SLC. (and 2 maintenance guys were assembling the 2nd train on the brake run...with a hammer! Once again, the park is closed to the public 5 days out of the week and they feel like they need to do their maintenance during operating hours?!?! Admirable if they are rushing, but so tacky!)

Roar is still a mess, but I didn't feel like it had the potholes and shakes that it had from opening day. Maybe they did some work to it since we initially rode? I'm noticing a theme here, so I won't say that "off-season" thing, yet again (oops, did I say that out loud? :)

After 2 more rides, I have finally figured out to beat the beatings from Apocalypse in the back row. Still, the mile long walk through the queue line and the otherwise lackluster ride really is not worth all the effort. I don't understand SFA's and Gradv's need to create a huge queue for a ride that you have to stand up on?!?! At least CP and SFOG has a short cut built in for when there is no line (which in the case of Georgia and Mantis after the initial rush, was most of the time.)

beastmaster said:

Walked back to Batwing, which Paul had seen in motion. But the maintenance crews were hanging around the station, they loaded and unloaded once or twice, cycled a few times, and all the while Paul wants to sing his "Crapwing" song. I wasn't letting him. Because of people leaving the line, we got on as soon as it re-opened, in the back. I enjoyed it, which is par for the course after my initial ride, which I've described on here in the past. It's still very disorienting to me, and I don't feel as safe on it as I do on B&M's Supermen, but that's part of what I like. It doesn't feel cookie-cutter to me, and I get a kick out of it. I allowed Paul to do ONE rendition of his song...but only after we were off the train.

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, Na...CRAPWING!!!! Seriously, you are lucky we got that one ride. At least soon it will look good when its not working.

beastmaster said:

Didn't get to ride Jinx with Paul, as it went down and was cycling empties anytime we did see it moving.

Well, I have my name. Joker's Junk. Now if I can just get a song for it.

The whole hotel thing sounds like a total mess. Good thing you left early to take care of that or you would have been REALLY tired for Sunday.

beastmaster said:

More to come...stay tooned!

Looking forward to. Thanks for the 1st part!!

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/24/13 6:15:33 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

Batwing's supports are indeed being painted black. Guess SFA must have looked at Great Bear and said that black paint was the way to go. Joker's Jinx is starting to get painted too (right now the bases of all the supports have fresh paint) My question is, what is the point of having an off season if you are going to do all your construction/maintenance in the spring? (I still have yet to see any vertical construction of the new water slides and they are supposed to be OPEN next month?!?!)

I will volunteer to personally help paint both Nitro and Rolling Thunder during the season if they let me! And a little CLR or Lime Away with a Brillo pad under the rust ridden Nitro sign wouldn't hurt either. :-)

It really doesn't make any sense though...

Jen

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by alpengeistno3 at 4/24/13 11:53:58 PM
GoYanks34 said:


It really doesn't make any sense though...

Jen

The shape that Gradv has Nitro in doesn't make sense to me. Actually, the ride itself looks pretty good considering I think they painted it once after KK went in, right? The state of the entrance signs and the station is just disgusting. As one of the top revenue earning Six Flags, you would think they would have enough pride to say "Hey, maintenance! Fix that damn sign!!"

Paul

* This post was modified at 4/24/13 11:55:51 PM *

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 4/25/13 5:21:08 PM
Yeah....Nitro is one of the top steel coasters In the world.It should get lots more love than it gets from Six Flags.
Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 4/28/13 9:49:46 PM
Hey Mike. Just re-read your TR as I am thinking about my first trip to SFA this summer.


You said Roar was rough. Is it still running PTCs? I rode Roar West last year, and although I found it dull, it was very smooth with MFs.

Also, how is Apocalypse running? I loved it at Great America (and I admit I love standups) I found it pretty smooth for a standie.

Thanks! Oh, and I loved Firehawk, so I know I will love Batman.

- Pat-P

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/28/13 10:09:48 PM
LoneStar said:

Hey Mike. Just re-read your TR as I am thinking about my first trip to SFA this summer.



You said Roar was rough. Is it still running PTCs? I rode Roar West last year, and although I found it dull, it was very smooth with MFs.

Also, how is Apocalypse running? I loved it at Great America (and I admit I love standups) I found it pretty smooth for a standie.

Thanks! Oh, and I loved Firehawk, so I know I will love Batman.

- Pat-P

I'm assuming you meant Batwing, LOL!

Jen

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/29/13 5:54:08 AM
LoneStar said:

Hey Mike. Just re-read your TR as I am thinking about my first trip to SFA this summer.



You said Roar was rough. Is it still running PTCs? I rode Roar West last year, and although I found it dull, it was very smooth with MFs.

Also, how is Apocalypse running? I loved it at Great America (and I admit I love standups) I found it pretty smooth for a standie.

Thanks! Oh, and I loved Firehawk, so I know I will love Batman.

- Pat-P

I dunno enough about manufacturers to know whether they're PTCs or not, but I think they are. Definitely not MFs.

If you liked Iron Wolf in Chi-Town, you'll be a happy camper in MD. Me, not so much. But remember, I'm not a fan of stand-ups. I will say this; The things I do to make Green Lantern rideable for me do not work on Apocalypse.

BATMAN?? BATMAN?? THEY DON'T HAVE NO STINKIN' BATMAN!! :)

(Cue Paul's song...)

Mike

* This post was modified at 4/29/13 1:09:50 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 4/29/13 1:04:41 PM
Hey, in my elderly age it's tough keeping up with all the Batman-themed roller coasters. It's like an old man with 16 grandkids - I keep calling them by different names until I get one right!

- Pat-O

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 4/29/13 1:09:58 PM
LoneStar said:

Hey, in my elderly age it's tough keeping up with all the Batman-themed roller coasters. It's like an old man with 16 grandkids - I keep calling them by different names until I get one right!


- Pat-O

LOL - that's OK I have no idea who Ron Wolf is in Mike's post, :-)

Jen

Re: TR: 4/20-21 Six Flags America/Kings Dominion (Part 1) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/29/13 1:16:19 PM
GoYanks34 said:

LoneStar said:

Hey, in my elderly age it's tough keeping up with all the Batman-themed roller coasters. It's like an old man with 16 grandkids - I keep calling them by different names until I get one right!


- Pat-O

LOL - that's OK I have no idea who Ron Wolf is in Mike's post, :-)

Jen

That's hysterical..I fixed that EIGHT SECONDS before you posted!

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...