Aug. 19, 2013
I met with my friend Bryan at his house, and we headed to the park around noon. We started on Diamondback, which didn't have much of a wait at all. We went to the back seat and sat in the two outside seats. This coaster is spectacular. It's easily the best B&M hyper I've been on (Apollo's Chariot and Raging Bull are the others). The airtime is phenomenal. You're lifted out of your seat down every single drop.
Next we went to Beast. We walked straight up to the ramp leading to the station, and none of the switchbacks was open. We got on after a few minutes. No one was in the park, so the lines were short. I've ridden Beast several times, and my last few rides on it weren't too great. The magnetic brakes have long since taken the speed away, and it's gotten rougher. But this time was different. It felt like all 7,400 feet of it had been retracked. Even the parts where I expected it to really rattle around — the turn out of the long tunnel and the low turn before the second lift hill — were totally smooth. There was no bumping at all. The park put a lot of work into this coaster, and it paid off. Bryan said he had his best ride in 10 years, and I had to agree. Beast was fun again.
We went to Backlot Stunt Coaster and again were on the ride in maybe 10 minutes. It's a fun ride. It starts with a launch into a triple helix. That made both of us get tunnel vision. Nice G's. The rest of the ride is turns and hills and is enjoyable.
Next was Vortex, a classic Arrow multilooper. We got in the back seat and paid for it. The first drop is fun, but the transitions are a mess. The worst is probably the first turnaround. SLAM! Ouch. The loops are perfect, and the corkscrews are cool because they're so high up. It's still a fairly enjoyable ride if you brace yourself.
We went to Racer and rode the Blue side. This coaster felt like it needed a little bit of work, but it wasn't too bad. Both sides were running and racing. We went to Adventure Express after that. I really enjoy this coaster. Sure, it bumps you around like an Arrow should, but it's great. It uses the terrain very well and is fast paced. Then we got lunch at Skyline Chili. I got chili, fries and a cup of water; Bryan got two coney dogs and fries. This is good park food.
We walked to Flight Deck and got right on around the middle seats. Now that Big Bad Wolf is gone, this is probably my favorite suspended coaster. It gets faster as the layout goes on, thanks to the terrain. It even ends on a high note, pulling into the brakes with the car swinging beyond 90 degrees. We went to Delirium, mostly to get views of the work on Banshee, the inverted coaster for 2014. Pieces of track, supports and footers were there, and we could already kind of make out the layout. Delirium is just OK. There's only one swing at full speed, unlike MaXair at Cedar Point, which has at least three full swings.
Drop Tower, named like this is a Chinese amusement park, was next door, so we rode it. This is probably my favorite drop tower just because it's got such a long freefall. It's tall and offers great views, and the fall is fun. We made a stop at the Eiffel Tower to get pictures. We went to the upper deck, which I've only seen open once or twice before. The views up here are great. It was interesting seeing nothing where Son of Beast was. That coaster used to dominate such a large area of the park.
We got another ride on Diamondback. We rode Flight Deck again, then went to Windseeker. Bryan skipped it, but I rode. I rode the one at Cedar Point, and it was an interesting concept though not too thrilling. The breeze at the top was nice, and I liked the view at that end of the park.
We headed for another ride on Beast, but it went down when we were on the ramp to the station. We decided to wait, figuring it would be back up. One train was stopped on the lift hill for about 15 minutes. They finally got it moving again, but it didn't open. They said it didn't look good, so we left. I don't think it opened the rest of the time we were there. We went for one more ride on Diamondback, this time in the middle. The middle might actually be better than the back! The airtime is way more sustained here. We were shocked. You're lifted out of your seat before the top of each hill, and you stay out of it even on the way down. There were several seconds of sustained airtime throughout. The back seat is great, but I might be riding in the middle next time.
The sun was setting, so we called it a day. I had to head back to Fremont afterward and visit Cedar Point the next day, so leaving before the park closed was fine. No one was there, so we got all the rides we wanted. This park is lots of fun. I'm glad I got to visit after being away for three years. Hanging out with Bryan at parks is always fun. Diamondback's running great, as usual, and the middle seat was the surprise of the visit. I really enjoyed myself.