TR: SFNE & The Lake (6/24 & 6/25)

TR: SFNE & The Lake (6/24 & 6/25)

Post by Colin » Sun, 01 Jul 2001 13:49:19


I know there's been a gamut (is that a word?) of TR's from the
numerous people who've headed to the NE region in the past couple of
weeks but, as always, I feel obligated to give my take even if it
sounds like a broken record in many regards...

First off, the drive from MI is nothing if not...severe. Flying would
be ten times faster but also ten times more expensive (particularly
when you factor in the money you save when you stay, eat, and shop in
Canada on the way through) Since I was on holiday with my parents we
made a two-dayer of the drive each way and in retrospect doing
anything else would have been completely insane...New York is a *huge*
state to drive all the way across...

Anyway, on Sunday we made it into Agawam around 7 PM, I was originally
intending to hit the park for about 1/2 the next day but since we were
there with plenty of time to spare I decided to head into the park for
the remainder of the evening to cut down the amount of time I'd have
to spend the next day and make our day at the Lake more relaxed (my
parents, who aren't die-hard enthusiasts weren't intending to go into
SFNE with me but were going into the Lake...)

SFNE's intial view and gate were both pretty nicely done, much better
looking than I would have expected from a park that from all reports,
was a complete hole before it was bought out. My pass was quickly
scanned and I was heading toward Superman with a religious zeal! The
layout of the park made it easy to get around but going straight to
the ROS was a little awkward from the main gate since you had to
squeeze through a narrow walkway that also has the entrance to
Thunderbolt and some flats on it, no big deal this evening but it did
get jammed up something fierce the next morning. Anyhoo, the DC Comics
area in the back of the park just screamed out "SWEET" to me as I
stood at the top of the steps leading down into it. Superman is a
visual feast of track that ***s your senses...twisting track is
everywhere with the CT River serving as the backdrop. I entered the
line to the ROS (relatively short, maybe 40 minutes for the front
seat...) and just soaked up the atmosphere of the ride waiting to get
on. The line itself has some decent theming with a huge comic board
story of Superman's origin in the first building (which I didn't get a
chance to read until the longer lines developed the next morning) and
a nicely designed station with the huge logo on the front of it.
Inside the station you have an informative board on the back wall that
lists the ride designer, it's top speed, height and other little
tidbits of info. The ride ops seemed pretty decent and got big
positive marks from me for *pulling up* on the lap restraints instead
of *pushing down*. This had been my only complaint about the Intamin
trains to this point (that you can't avoid being stapled if an op
wants to...) and excellent operations allowed me to enjoy the ride to
it's fullest. (incidentally, a non-stapled Intamin train is by far the
best IMO since the lap bars *never move down of their own accord* and
provide very comfortable airtime to me at least.)  As for the ride
itself? Wow! As I said, my first circuit was in the front and the
hangtime on the first drop was delicious as I saw the swirling
mist-filled tunnel waiting for me, but it didn't wait long. The
airtime, even in the front seat was power packed and in the back it
was ungodly crazy. I completely agree with other posters who've said
the greatness of the ride is it's uniqueness, instead of just having a
cookie cutter run of bunny hops to finish it has the complete twister
package with helices, another mist-filled tunnel *and* airtime. This
is *the* Steel coaster in my book and about as good as the style gets
IMHO.  Over the evening and next day I got 5 or 6 rides on the
masterpiece and would have gladly spent all day on it if time wasn't
involved, I definitely plan to come back here next time I'm anywhere
near the area on the merits of this coaster by itself!

But wait, there's more!

The park could honestly get a 5 star rating from me on Superman alone
but there were also some other rides worth mentioning to the fellow
coaster-starved internet personages....

Flashback: Normally I'd just say, Boomerang, blah, blah, blah,
Headbang, blah, blah, blah, same-o, etc, etc. But Flashback got a few
extra points from me for causing gray out entering the cobra roll in
reverse (in the back seat) and thus, is the first Boomerang that I've
actually walked back onto again immediately. I'm assuming the heat of
the day had something to do with it but I couldn't pass up getting the
grey on a boomerang of all things...the station also had some decent
techno beat going which added a little to the experience. The cars
themselves also had unusual head padding which made it a little easier
to hold yourself still and avoid the ear bashing. Overall, it was a
standard boomerang but I liked it more than the others.

Mine Eraser: Unlike Flashback this didn't shatter my previous
impressions...the definition of a Vekoma SLC to me is "Pain". The
layouts of these rides always look fun and wicked but always result in
ear-banging, head-ache-causing pain for me. The best part about the
ride was the nice view of Superman's first drop and hills from the
station. I took one ride on the middle of the train for the credit and
it was by far enough.

Thunderbolt: Earlier reports had mentioned the slow loading of the
coaster and they were right on the money. I can't personally complain
much because my wait was only 3 trains (granted, it took about 20
minutes but that isn't unreasonable to me...) but I can imagine it
could get *really* annoying, *really* quickly if it was much longer.
The ride seemed to be inadequately staffed and the girl (yes,
singular) who was checking the lap bars was off in space somewhere and
walking veeeeery slooooowly. The ride was a pretty fun little piece of
work but nothing to write home about. The airtime was decent but with
fixed position lap bars I expect a little bit more than it delivered.
Not bad, but not particularly memorable either.

However, the Riverside Cyclone certainly was! I'd hear conflicting
reports about the quality of the ride since the reprofile...some
people seemed to still love it and some people felt the Mona Lisa had
just had a mustache drawn onto it with a crayon so I really had no
idea what to expect. My first ride was just at dusk in the front seat
of the back car and the tight layout immediately appealed to me. For
people not familar with the first drop it's a rather small and curving
drop to the right...god knows you wouldn't be able to tell from the
back! The train started giving a nice little drag of air down and then
you could literally feel it drop underneath you, yanking you hard into
the lap bar as it navigated it the rest of the way! This crazy
sensation of the train falling out from under you happened twice more
during the ride and every time it had an accompanying slamming sound
which added greatly to the effect. The airtime on this thing is
awesome and some of the turns are monster, one is even what I woud
term Legend-esque in it's intensity factor. That SF allows a coaster
to run like this is remarkable to me, it's not particularly rough but
it's definitely an extreme ride to say the least! If I were still
rating coasters (other than saying Legend is the best, period *g*) I
think this'd easily crack into the standings rather high on the list.
I honestly can't believe that the ride actually ran more vicious in
years past as it's a gem as it stands. Remarkably the lines for this
were tiny throughout the night so I got in something like 7 rides in
less than an hour...an easily top tier woodie and a blast all the way!

That was pretty much it for SFNE, overall I was impressed with the
park though the Thunderbolt ride ops definitely needed some support
and motivation. The place seemed clean, the landscaping/theming was
nice and the rides were fun...two hands up!

The next day we headed to the Lake after leaving Agawam around noon
thirty...the trip down was short and easy and we were soon at the
tunnel to America's Oldest Amu***t Park. To say the Lake is isolated
would be like saying Tim Horton's are a common sight in Canada...it
doesn't begin to tell the story. The Lake is actually inside Bristol
(for the most part) but the park is surrounded by trees and driving up
you wouldn't be able to tell that Boulder Dash exists (except by the
screams!) from the moutain ride (which for the uninformed is a
ski-lift style ride which goes up and back down the mountain and takes
about a half an hour) you can get a sense of how empty the region
around the park is save a couple of small housing devopments and the
main street in Bristol. Once you're in the park it seems like it could
be in the middle of the woods in Maine, completely out there.

The sign at the gate informed us that Zoomerang (their Boomerang)
would be closed for the day which didn't really bother or surprise me
since I'd just been on Flashback earlier that day and knew that it'd
gotten stuck recently.

The park has a very small layout but it's easy to get around and seems
to work well, circling the park we came to the entrance to Boulder
Dash first so I couldn't resist making it my 75th...first ride was in
the front and a blur! I can best liken the ride to a more out and
backish version of the Raven with some very nice visuals thrown in.
It's by far the most scenic and beautiful coaster I've ever been on
with the rock faces and stones everywhere on the course and the lush
greeness dominated your view. in the front the ride delivered speed,
in the back it started turning on the airtime...not *** ejector air
or Superman-esque floaty air but air nonetheless and the ride only
improved during the day. I fell in love with the whole style and
ambiance of the ride and wish that more parks would build terrain
rides like this...at night it transformed further into a ...

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TR: SFNE & The Lake (6/24 & 6/25)

Post by Kyle Mack » Mon, 02 Jul 2001 12:27:46

Nice trip repot. I am glad you enjoyed your day. If you ere there on the 25th
then I was working(I work at the Lake, like everyone already knows). I worked
on Boulder Dash, Wildcat, and Musik Express. I am just glad that you had a
great time. Later.

Dropped and Dashed
  Over 200 Times