Friday, July 29, 2011

A Western View - An Eastern View: Part 1

Today’s A Western View, along with the next two, are going to be a little different in that we will actually be taking “An Eastern View” of things and checking out some of the awesome parks the east coast has to offer. Fresh off my first trip to the Washington DC area, I’m eager to share with all of you what my trip was like. With the temperatures still in the high 90’s low 100’s feeling even hotter with the humidity, why not spend some time with NPN and enjoy these great parks in the AC?

First stop was a half-day Six Flags America. Due to the things I heard about the park, it wasn’t hard to decide to only spend half of the day there (I spent the other half checking out Washington, DC). Turns out I thoroughly enjoyed the park!

The park’s entrance is great. It fits the American Colonial theme and stands out as a grand portal into an immersive world of fun.

Inside the park, there is actually a decent collection of roller coasters. The big 3 are in the Gotham City section of the park. They are Batwing, a Vekoma Flying Dutchman; Jokers Jinx, a Premier LIM coaster; and of course Superman: Ride of Steel, an Intamin Hyper Coaster and the star ride of the park.

Superman had a little Intamin rattle going on but was a great ride nonetheless.

It had been a while since I’d ridden a Vekoma Flying Dutchman. My last ride on Stealth was in 2003 before it headed east so it had been 8 years since I’d been on one of these bad boys. I remember Stealth being a bit violent in it’s final year but was happy to find Batwing to be both forceful and fun!

When I went back for photos, the ride was experiencing some downtime but I was able to snap some pictures of a few empty test runs.

Jokers Jinx was my first outdoor coaster of its type. I was very happy that this one wasn’t heavily trimmed in the middle like the Flight of Fear coasters making the end very intense.

Wild One had to be my biggest surprise of the park. Why doesn’t this thing get more attention than it does?

With great lateral forces and decent airtime, it is seriously a great ride!

Roar at SFDK was the first ride I ever learned to operate so it has a special place in my heart, and though the east coast version was a great start, I feel like the west coast version is the more dominant of the two.

The park’s Intamin drop tower, Tower of Doom is a short 140ft tower with only 3 gondolas. That being said, it gave a great little drop!

Finally we end with Mind Eraser. Because of SLC’s reputation across the board I can’t blame the park for this one, but sometimes as a coaster enthusiast I have to ask myself, is the credit worth it?
Now, lets do a quick recap of my day at the park.
Best Ride: Superman: Ride of Steel – With great speed, forceful helixes and quality airtime, this is a hard ride to beat at the park.
Best Crew: Batwing – Very friendly team operating at a quick pace. They seemed to generally care about the guests experience.
Most Amusing Oddity of the Park: Superman’s location in “Gotham City.” - With a land completely themed towards Batman, it’s ironic the park placed a ride themed to the man of steel within it.
Highlight of the Day: The crowds – the heat was so much that what little crowd there was, they all headed to Hurricane Harbor leaving the park basically empty and little to no lines at all.

Next Friday we'll check out Kings Dominion. Hope to see you then!