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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia

TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia

Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile

Posted:
8/8/13 at
12:39:25 PM

This was nearly a coasterless year for me. Financial woes and other issues got in the way, and the only way I could get in some rides was if someone else paid my way. The only ray of hope was the annual family (my parents, brother, and I) vacation, but even that was in Jeopardy. Fortunately, my parents decided we could afford a trip to Georgia, where we could get free lodging at my Uncle’s restored mill house near the old Habersham Mill near Demorest. We spent the majority of the week geocaching and exploring the area, but the main attraction for me was going to Six Flags Over Georgia on Thursday. The mill house is about 1.5 hoursfrom the park, which involves a LOVELY (and by lovely, I mean hell-on-earth) drive through Atlanta.

The drive was stressful to say the least, but we made it to the park at about 10am (park opened at 10:30). After paying the outrageous $20 parking price, we found a spot a couple rows back from preferred parking. Due to how parking is at SFOG, it was still a very long walk (they run trams, but we didn’t take them.) Unfortunately, every one of us had to pee, and Mom’s bathroom had a long line, so we didn’t get in the gates until after the park opened. But, that gave me some time to take pictures of Goliath testing and Georgia Scorcher giving its first rides.

When we got in, we headed straight back to Superman: Ultimate Flight. On the way back, there were less and less people until it felt like we were the only ones in the park, meaning the GP was following their usual pattern of riding everything up front, which could only mean good news for us. Sure enough, we walked right on S:UF. I’ve always liked how SFOG’s version was nice and close to the ground, which provides some nice visuals that SFGAm’s lacks (the only other S:UF I’ve been on.) It was a great ride, but the first drop did nothing for me for some reason. Love that pretzel loop though.

We then headed to Great American Scream Machine. Another walk-on. The tried and true strategy of starting at the back of the park was working nicely. The ride was running smoother than I remembered, but it still had a slight bit of jackhammering at the bottom of some hills. It was a nice ride and had some good pops of air. I did find it to be running a little sluggish though. I love its setting over the water. GASM is one beautiful coaster.

Next, we headed to the infamous Ninja. Yet another walk-on. I’ve heard pretty much nothing but horrible things about this ride from the enthusiast community. The first time I went to SFOG, I was still scared of coasters, but my dad rode it and loved it. The last time I went (2006) it was closed as it was getting painted. So, regardless of whether or not it was the pain machine I heard about, I was determined to ride it if I got the chance. Well, although I might be shunned, I have to admit that I enjoyed it. It was quite rough, but not intolerable, at least to me. Another beautiful SFOG over-the-water coaster, Ninja has great visuals throughout that tight knot of track. Though far from anything I would consider a top coaster, it’s not too bad.

Sky Screamer was up next. We had to wait a couple cycles for this one. This is the first of the Funtime Star Flyers I’ve been on. I much preferred it to Holiday World’s Sparkler (the seats are WAY more comfortable) and I like it just a hair more than Windseekers, mainly because the ride lasts longer. It’s an incredibly relaxing ride with fantastic views, and it’s a great way to cool off.

We chose this time to head out to the parking lot to eat lunch (we packed our own lunch since we’re pinching our pennies.) It’s much less convenient than eating in the park, but I’d say it’s worth it to not eat food costing 3 times what it’s worth, even if it is just ham and cheese sandwiches.

After lunch, we headed over to Georgia Cyclone. I could definitely tell where it has been retracked. The retracking made what used to be an excessively rough ride into a perfectly acceptable ride. There were a few rough spots, but they weren't too bad. Some nice airtime was there too. SFOG’s woodies have definitely improved in my eyes. It’s good to see they are taking care of them. Oh, and by the way, squirrels need to watch where they are going around GC. We came within inches of squashing one of them on our way to the lift hill. That was a first for me.

We decided it was time to do a couple things that Mom would do with us, so we headed to the Crystal Pistol Music Hall to watch iLuminate. It was a strange show with some cool effects, but mostly just strange. Still, it wasn’t a bad show.

Next up was Dahlonega Mine Train. There was some lady with four kids with her and another lady, and she was annoyingly trying to arrange the line so that they could all ride together, screwing up others who were trying to ride together. We always try to ride together, but if we end up on different trains, it’s not a big deal. Because of this lady though, we had to wait for two trains after the one my parents were on. Again, it wasn’t a big deal, but just a little annoying. If you are so worried about your kids riding alone, maybe they aren’t ready to ride yet. Anyway, the ride was pleasant, if a little jarring (something pretty much all mine trains do…) It’s a nice long ride, with a great tunnel finale. One of the better mine trains I’ve been on.

Monster Mansion was next on the agenda. For some reason, I thought this was a shoot-em-up ride, but I was mistaken. Not sure why I thought that, but whatever. The ride was cute, but kinda cheesy. I enjoyed when the monsters were supposed to be scary, but the rest was just okay to me. I guess I prefer interactive dark rides more.

Now was the time for Goliath. The longest wait of the day was here, which was probably around 45 minutes. It would have been shorter if they didn’t have to clean up a protein spill. Another thing that increased our wait one train was a group of Flash Pass users taking advantage of their re-ride benefit (I still think that rule is incredibly stupid.) The ride was amazing. I got near-ejector air on every single hill (in the front row, believe it or not!) I have to say that this is my favorite of the three B&M hypers I’ve ridden. The layout is near perfect in my eyes, the helix is powerful, and even though it decreases capacity, I really like the fact that it doesn’t have a MCBR. Friggin’ excellent ride.

Goliath is a hard act to follow, but next up was Dare Devil Dive, the newest coaster at SFOG, and one I was pretty interested in riding. One thing that struck me about DDD while waiting in line was how quiet it is. Apart from the loud start to the lift, the thing doesn’t make a sound. Probably the quietest roller coaster I’ve ever come across. Personally, I prefer when coasters roar, but that is of little consequence when the ride experience is good, and in this case, it is. DDD is a great ride. There are many “I’m gonna dump you out of your seat” moments on this ride, which are amplified because of just having a lap bar. This ride is just plain fun, and glass-smooth. I wish every coaster with inversions just had lap bars. It adds so much to the experience.

We were all getting a little hot in the Georgia sun, so we decided this would be a good time to take a break and get some ice cream and then take a ride on Thunder River. The overpriced ice cream shop had good ice cream and fresh-off-the-iron waffle cones. Dad wanted a shake though, and they had to get some milk from the back, and then couldn’t get the machine to work for a while, so my mom, brother, and I were already half-finished with our cones when dad finally got to start. While we were eating, I noticed that the clouds behind Goliath looked menacing. We took a restroom break outside of Thunder River’s entrance, and before all of us had finished our business, the clouds opened up. It poured for about an hour while we sought shelter in the phone booths (that don’t have phones anymore) outside the restroom.

Eventually, the sky cleared up and we headed over to Mind Bender, deciding that, because we only had 1.5 hours until the park closed at 8, we would sacrifice Thunder River. There was a huge, deep puddle in front of Mind Bender’s station, but we waded through and only had to wait a couple minutes for the ride to reopen. Mind Bender is one fantastic ride. There just really aren’t any faults I can find with this ride (other than the lack of leg room in the seats.) Anton Schwarzkopf sure knew his stuff. I’m not sure there has ever been a roller coaster company past or present that makes better vertical loops. They are placed perfectly, and very forceful. They just did this coaster right. Love it!

It was getting pretty close to closing time, and I had decided (when it started downpouring) that if we had to sacrifice one of the remaining coasters, it would be Batman. I wanted to make sure we got all of the coasters unique to SFOG. So, because of that, we headed over to Georgia Scorcher for the last coaster of the day. The loading/unloading process was long and dragged out, like most stand-ups. The ride ops were making it worse though. They were locking the seats before people could even get into them, causing even more of the usual unlocking of individual seats so people could get into the proper position. It was annoying, to say the least. Anyway, Georgia Scorcher is a great stand-up. Much smoother than some others I’ve been on, but still has those quick transitions that are nice and forceful. The only thing I wish was that it was a little bit longer.

So it was time to call it a day and head back to the mill house and relieve the dog, who, thankfully, can go a long, long time between bathroom breaks. It was an fantastic day at the park. SFOG doesn’t have very many high-capacity coasters, but they were, for the most part, running efficiently on Thursday. I’ve always thought of SFOG as one of the more beautiful SF parks. It has plenty of trees, cool water features, and great settings for many of their coasters. It’s still a Six Flags though, so you have to deal with the ad-whoring (please please PLEASE take those ads off the coaster trains!!!,) their ridiculous parking prices, the astronomical food prices, and their sometimes slow operations. Though it’s not my favorite park, it is certainly a great one, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return again. It was almost a coasterless year, but I instead got two new credits, Ninja (#103) and Dare Devil Dive (#104,) and rode a couple of my favorite roller coasters in existence. Only time will tell if I can snag any other coaster trips before the year is out.

You can see the pictures I took in the album linked to below. (Just FYI, this TR is also posted on Thrillnetwork.com)

My Pictures

Re: TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/8/13 11:22:46 PM
Great report. We are scheduled to be there on Sunday. I hope crowds aren't too bad. I just may use your strategy. I was thinking about hitting Dare Devil Dive first, then Goliath, and then to Superman, GASM, and Ninja. How long was the wait for Dare Devil Dive midday?
Re: TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia by Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile at 8/8/13 11:40:44 PM
The wait wasn't too bad. I think we waited about a half hour. But, the park wasn't very crowded, and it was a Thursday with rain chances, so YMMV.
Re: TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/9/13 8:44:21 AM
Thanks for the nice TR Josh. I'm glad that yall were able to get out and enjoy SFOG, making 2013 a coaster riding year for you, and adding some credits to boot. I loved DDD's forceful heartline at the end; Yeah those trains are quiet as a mouse, but those station loudspeakers in the ear weren't for me LOL. I agree that Goliath is excellent. Ninja's nice setting over the water is about the only good thing that I can say about it.

I wish when I went last year that it would've had manageable crowds, like your trip; When I went last year late September, and it was freaking packed! I had to wait atleast two hours for DDD, and I also rode Goliath, and Acrophobia. I wanted to ride other coasters, but I've ridden everything before, and it was just too crowded everywhere. Mindbenders line was dang near out the entrance.

This year could have a coaster riding hiatus for me, as I'm feeling some preliminary sick symptoms (nothing too bad though) and I gained a crap load of weight; Nothing that's 'walk of shame, out the coaster exit' worthy, but I better start working out while I'm ahead. If all the stars line up for me, I'll try to hit up some Penn parks late in the season. Again, thanks for the TR Josh.

Re: TR: A Coasterless Year Averted at Six Flags Over Georgia by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/9/13 9:17:49 PM
Overbanked said:

This year could have a coaster riding hiatus for me, as I'm feeling some preliminary sick symptoms (nothing too bad though) and I gained a crap load of weight; Nothing that's 'walk of shame, out the coaster exit' worthy, but I better start working out while I'm ahead. If all the stars line up for me, I'll try to hit up some Penn parks late in the season. Again, thanks for the TR Josh.

Hope you feel better, Chris. If you do make it up to the Keystone State, let me know..maybe we can meet up.

Mike

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