July 3, 2003

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    I had heard a lot of bad things about Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, but that did not deter me from taking a Cedar Point employee trip there.  It would be my second Six Flags park and there would be a lot of firsts there.  Iíd ride my first Vekoma boomerang, my first Vekoma SLC, my first flying coaster, my first CCI with steel supports and Gerstlauer trains, and my first Intamin impulse coaster with one twist.

    Some of my co-workers took a trip or two to SFWOA and when they came back, all they did was complain.  They said the employees were mean, they tried to pick fights with the CP employees, and the park was extremely dirty.  I was not looking at this trip with an open mind, but that all changed once I got there.  Plus I was going to meet Bryan Wood and itís always good to hang out with another coaster enthusiast.

    Mean employees?  No.  I entered the gate and was greeted by smiling ticket people and enthusiastic picture-takers.  We walked by and went straight to X-Flight.  This is one cool looking coaster.  Watching it cycle is awesome.  The dual stations are a nice concept and the way the track flips to allow the dual stations is awesome.

    I was with my friend, Tim Vines, and a co-worker, Tom.  Tim Vines and Tom had never ridden a flying coaster, either.  We went to the front row and only waited about 20 minutes.  The loading time is a little slow, but the park was empty so that didnít matter.

    The employees in the station were nice and they talked to us.  I had to put my camera away for some reason.  It was strapped to my belt and inside a camera bag, but I guess the restraints would make it uncomfortable or something.  Either way, I took it off and handed it to an employee in the station.  He placed it on the floor and we started buckling our restraints.

    The restraints on X-Flight are big and heavy.  There are two giant shoulder harnesses and those buckle together.  A lap bar-like leg rest is pushed down by an employee.  I donít know why people think you may be able to fall out of these things.  Thereís simply no way.

    We tilted back in the station and exited to stare the sun right in the face.  The climb up the lift hill is all right, but it would be better if the lift was steeper.  That way we could get a better view of the park.

    The flip at the top of the lift is awesome!  I loved it!  The Gs at the bottom of the drop are intense and the high banked turn afterwards is great.  The loop is one of the strangest sensations on a coaster I have experienced.  Diving out of the top of it is so much fun.  The Gs are intense entering and exiting it.  We flip over once more, turn right, and enter the two barrel rolls.  The helix is next and we get great forces in the second half.  A little bit of flying time is after the helix and we flip over into the brakes.  X-Flight gets a 7.5/10.

    My coaster count was climbing. 

    Superman: Ultimate Escape was next.  I snapped some pictures of the great looking towers.  The towers on this coaster sway way more than Wicked Twister and the train comes much closer to the end of the spike than Wicked Twister does.

    The ride was a walk-on and we went to the back row.  Itís all about the back row on this ride!  The launches are fun but the trip up the back spike is the best.  Straight vertical drops are awesome but what really adds to this ride and makes it better than Wicked Twister is the holding brake.  Intamin must have been smoking something when they came up with this.

    I was expecting it, but it still caught be off guard.  Once it catches, you fall straight down and into the restraint.  That is the coolest sensation on the coaster.  We ended up riding it six times that day, five in the back seat.  The front row is cool since you fly to the top of the tower, but the back has the straight drop with the aide of the holding brake.  The front row gives you an unobstructed view of the back drop, but itís not 170 feet in the air!  S:UE gets an 8/10.

    My 80th coaster and third floorless coaster was next.  Batman: Knight Flight has the largest vertical loop I have ever seen!  The trains crawl through the top of it which looked like it would offer some great hang time.

    One funny thing I noticed about the footers is that they have footers.  Thatís right.  I was told they are like that because the coaster is built on wetlands, so itís some environmental thing.  You just have to see them.  I find it amusing.

    We went to the front row and only waited two or three trains to get on.  There are only two ride hosts in the station so loading is a little slow, but it didnít matter today.  The drop out of the station is very cool.  The lift hill is quiet and you get great views of the lake and the rest of the park.

    We hang down the beginning of the drop and then soar down it!  Itís incredibly steep and the loop offers great Gs.  I said it would have great hang time.  Boy was I ever right!  Exiting it you see how high up you were.  The next element is an overbanked turn very low to the ground.  It is taken at a very high speed and pulls some nice forces.  There are some good head choppers in it too.

    Next is another overbanked turn, but this oneís way up in the air!  We drop down and prepare to enter the cobra roll.  There is a set of trim brakes before the cobra roll, but they arenít on.  Who said Six Flags over trims their rides?

    The cobra roll is big and offers a nice sensation and is taken pretty fast.  A turn to the left and a pop of airtime into the midcourse brakes follow.  The brakes arenít on very high at all and the dive out of them is incredible.  In the back seat there is really good airtime.  We twist into the set of interlocking corkscrews and enter an intense helix.  A rise to the right with another pop of airtime ends our ride.  Batman: Knight Flight is my second favorite floorless coaster.  Kraken still takes the top spot.  B:KF gets an 8/10.

    After Batman, we headed to Serial Thriller, my first Vekoma hang and bang.  I waited two trains for the front seat and hopped on.  The restraints are extremely padded, which is a good thing.  This coaster was rough!  The first drop was OK and there were some really nice forces entering the first inversion, then it was just rough and banged us around the rest of the ride.  I didnít enjoy it much.  It did offer some nice foot choppers but the ride was still lame.  5/10.

    On to the largest kiddy coaster I have ever seen, Roadrunner Express.  Itís a large Tivoli model with extremely long trains.  They are so long, the back car crests the top of the lift as the first car hits the bottom of the drop.  This ride was pretty fun and they let us go twice.  It has some lateral Gs in the back seat and some really high banked turns in places.  There are a few close calls with supports, but they have some heavy padding on them to prevent pain if youíre dumb enough to reach out and touch them.  After our second cycle, we got out and headed to Double Loop and Villain.  Roadrunner Express gets a 6.5/10.

    Tim Vines didnít want to ride Double Loop since heís tall and Arrow horse collars hurt him.  I hopped on with my co-worker in the front seat after about a five minute wait.  They were only cycling one train.  They didnít need the second one since the park was empty!

    Double Loop was decent.  It wasnít very rough and it had good G forces.  There were three spots of nice airtime.  The best airtime was in the hill before the helix.  It was so intense there, my leg slammed into the top of the fiberglass front of the train!  Double Loop is a classic Arrow coaster.  The restraints have to be locked and unlocked manually too!  Itís fun, but better coasters have been made since.  6/10.

    Up next was my third CCI coaster, my first with steel supports, and my first with Gerstlauer trains: Villain.  I went to the back row and waited one train.  They were running both trains.

    The trains look pretty cool but the ride is a different story.  I guess I was spoiled by Legend and Raven because those PTCs track very well and give smooth rides.  Villain was a little rough and jerked around in some turns.  The airtime was pretty good and it had my first trick track.  The bad thing was I didnít even notice the trick track.  Itís not banked high enough and you just donít feel it for some reason.

    The ride flies through the course and has some good airtime but I was a little let down.  I did like the double up into the brakes since I had never been on a double up before.  If only Six Flags didnít shoot for those Gerstlauers.  7/10.

    Now it was time to meet Bryan.  We went to the entrance of Superman and met him.  Heís a great guy and very enthusiastic.  We shared coaster experiences and hopped on Mind Eraser, the Vekoma Boomerang.

    Blah.  Itís not that good.  It was a little rough, but I braced myself.  The lift hill seems pretty steep and you go up it really slowly.  The backwards trip was OK.  The loop felt really weird and the cobra roll was shaky.  For my first boomerang, I was not impressed.  At least it was a walk on.  4.5/10.

    We went to Big Dipper, the ACE Coaster Classic next.  I rode in 1.3 since Bryan told me it is the ejector seat on Miller coasters.  On the top of every single hill we were ejected from the seat.  Buzz bars are the coolest restraints ever!  I was practically standing up on every hill!  The seats are as comfortable as a leather couch.  Big Dipper is definitely in my top ten wooden coasters.  I wish they were running both trains since the station was getting crowded.  It wasnít a long wait Ė maybe six to eight minutes Ė but two-train operation would get rid of some of the chaos in the station.  I rode it twice.  The second time was in the front row.  The airtime is just as good there!  9/10.

    We headed for another ride or two on Batman.  The back row in this ride is incredible!  We rode it six times that day.  The back row vibrates a bit in the corkscrews, but it does not take away from this spectacular ride.

    Raging Wolf Bobs was next.  Bryan told me that The Gravity Group has been working on improving the ride.  They are supporting it more, retracking sections, and unbanking some turns.  It has Gerstlauer trains and Bryan says they run better than the trailered PTC trains it used to run.  The first half of the ride feels like a Summers coaster.  It shakes around a lot but isnít terribly rough.  The second half of the ride has been retracked by The Gravity Group and, BOY!  You can really tell the difference.  Itís literally night and day, my friends.  The first part of the ride shakes around and once you hit the retracked half, the ride is smooth as glass.  Even the sound the coaster makes changes.  It sounds like a little B&M roar.  It is the strangest thing I have ever experienced on a woodie.  This will be one awesome ride after The Gravity Group takes care of it!

    The first half gets a 4/10.  The second half gets a 7/10.  That averages to 5.5/10.

    We headed over to the animal/Sea World side of the park and just hung out.  We rode the Yo-Yo and pirate ship (I believe itís called Bounty).  The pirate ship had an operator that Bryan said was a little psycho, and my co-worker had a Millennium Force shirt on and an X at SFMM hat on.  The ďpsychoĒ employee pointed to his shirt and scoffed, ďwhatís that?Ē  My friend showed him his hat and the ďpsychoĒ flinched big-time.  It was really weird.

    Both rides are fun.  Wave Swinger at Cedar Point has more of a dip to it than Yo-Yo, but that doesnít matter.

    We walked back on the walkway and saw a boat on the water with fireworks on it.  They must have been setting up for the 4th.

    We rode Superman again in the back row, giving us six rides.  It was a walk on!  I rode it once in the front seat earlier.  That was pretty cool but the back seat is where itís at.  I do like having nothing in front of my when the holding brake kicks in, but a pure vertical drop for 170-something feet canít be beat!

    I wanted to get another ride on Big Dipper, but that would be cutting it close to the time our bus departure time.  I got in the station but opted to leave.  On the way out I snapped some pictures of Villain and X-Flight.  Theyíre so pretty.

    All in all, I had a great time.  I love spending days at parks with coaster enthusiasts and Bryan is a very cool guy and a lot of fun.  I liked this park and it has some great rides.  The park was not dirty and ďickyĒ as some of my Cedar Point co-workers put it when they visited it and the employees were not jerks.  A ride host on X-Flight had a good time and was smiling when he saw us on our second ride.  I think Cedar Point employees are very biased and judge the harshest stuff.  I loved it, but I also looked at it with an open mind.  It has good coasters, I am a coaster enthusiast, and thatís what I love.  SFWOA may not be as good as Cedar Point, but thereís no need to compare.  It has great coasters and thatís what Iím here for.

    SFWOA gets an 8/10 for rides and a 7/10 for the park.  Iíd love to make another trip to it.

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