TR: SFOG, June 19-20, 1999
Howdy all, this is our escapades of the Kelley familys trip to Atlanta
and SFOG this past weekend. The players are myself Carol, my husband
Rick (temporarily disabled due to knee surgery), my husbands brother
Joe, and my two boys, Matt age 11 and Kevin age 10. Were from
Huntsville, AL. Im a theme park junkie and have been going to SFOG on
and off since about 1969. Im also a major WDW nut. My boys are my
roller coaster buddies and Rick just kind of humors us all. Joe was
coming along with us to enjoy the weekend. He has been to Opryland
once and Six Flags once.
This trip chronicles our *entire* weekend and is written mainly for us
and will be somewhat off topic in places, but I post it here in its
entirety for continuity. (Plus Im too lazy to write a shortened
version in addition to this one. ;-) So sit back and enjoy the show!
INTRO and BACKGROUND
Back in April my husband and myself had been working a lot. Well one
Friday afternoon we both realized that we were all free for the
weekend, so we loaded the car and got out of town. As we were driving
down the road we decided Atlanta is where we would go. We checked into
a Sleep Inn in Douglasville and were planning to use some discount
coupons and go to Six Flags on Saturday. Because of our hasty packing,
we had forgot a few things and went by K-Mart on our way in to the park
and one of the employees mentioned really cheap season passes at Kroger
so we went to the nearest Kroger and found ourselves owners of SFOG
season passes. We spent all day Saturday and a few hours Sunday
enjoying and criticizing Six Flags. On our drive home, my husband
mentioned that his cousin was getting married on Friday, June 18th and
why dont we make a weekend of it, so that brings us to this weekend in
Ricks brother wanted to go to the wedding, so we invited him to go
with us and agreed to use our Season Pass discounts and freebies to get
him into Six Flags. We also put our boys in his hotel room and me and
Rick got a king room instead of being squished on a double bed in the
same room with our kids. :-) I made reservations once again at the
Sleep Inn in Douglasville. It is about 12 miles West of Six Flags just
off of I-20 and is really nice, new, and clean and is less expensive
than the two Sleep Inns that are closer to Six Flags. In addition,
there are a large selection of restaurants very close to the hotel.
Since our first trip, I had done some internet research and realized
Fathers Day weekend would have hordes of crowds and would not be a
good time to be at the park, but we decided to go for it anyway. Also,
since our first trip, Rick had knee surgery, but we figured he would be
well on his way to recovery by then, but it was not to be.
ON TO THE TRIP
Friday, June 18, 1999
We left Huntsville about noon central time and proceeded to Atlanta.
We got caught up in some really bad traffic on I-65, but still made it
to Douglasville in about 3 ? hours. We checked in, and got changed for
the wedding and headed out again. We followed the directions to get to
the wedding, but got horribly lost and finally made it to our
destination about an hour late. We did enjoy the reception, however,
and laughed and carried on with family and friends till about 11:00,
then proceeded back to the hotel. Heading back to the hotel, we of
course found a *much* quicker and easier way than the directions and
could have been there early had we known. :-)
Saturday, June 19, 1999
NOTE: There will be several of what I call *Rants* throughout the
report. Let me clarify that I really enjoy going to Six Flags because
the coasters are really awesome and its a fun place to go, but there
are so many little things that they could do better.
We got up about 8:00 Saturday morning and enjoyed our continental
breakfast at the hotel. It consisted of bagels, donuts, cereal, and
pastries, with milk, OJ, apple juice, coffee, butter, and assorted
jellies. We then proceeded to the park. We arrived at the park about
9:00. Rick dropped us off at the entrance and went to park the car. I
went to the ticket window and got Joe admission with our $12.00 off
coupon that came with our Season Passes. We then got in line at the
entrance cue and were let in about 9:30. We were accosted by the
picture taking folks and my son took a picture of her and she was
taking a picture of us. If I ever get it developed, Ill try and get
it scanned to be posted on the Internet. We then went over and waited
at the rope drop on the Georgia Scorcher side of the park and waited to
be let in. While we were waiting, Rick caught up with us and I
suggested he go ahead and rent a scooter for the day and meet us at the
exit of Scorcher. Rick is not a thrill ride type guy and especially
with his knee, I dont think he could handle most of the coasters
here. As the rope was removed, several people started running towards
Scorcher and a couple of folks fell.
RANT #1!! This could have been avoided by having the employees walk
holding the rope all the way to the entrance of Scorcher. This mad
dash stuff can hurt somebody and create lots of problems for Six
My boys beat Joe and myself to the entrance (where do kids get their
energy?) and were several people ahead of us in line. Once we got to
the end of the line however, the boys asked us to come up with them,
but I said no. Then the folks in behind them said it was OK and so did
the ride attendant so we did and got in line next to our boys. We were
gonna be on the first ride of the day!!! Woo Hoo!!!
RANT #2!!! We were standing there waiting to ride and the ride
operators started running empty trains!!! We had a very puzzled look
on our face? They replied morning safety checks. What the hey?
Yall have had all morning to do this, why wait until guests are
waiting to ride to perform your safety checks?
We *finally* boarded the ride and got harnessed up and off we went!!
We were about in the middle of the train. This really is an awesome
ride. Its zippy and smooth and has some great inversions and just a
fun ride overall. :-)
After we got off Scorcher, we met up with Rick and were planning on
going to Gotham City to enjoy Bat Man and the Mindbender. Whats this,
not open till 11:00? Its a busy promotional weekend with pleasant
weather and theyre still staggering the opening by a full hour?
Theyre nuts, but oh-well. We got in line for Free Fall instead and
waited to ride that. That was a rush and a fun little quick ride, but
reentry back into the unload area was very rough. Kevin had to go to
the restroom so instead of riding Free Fall he did that and then played
some games and won a plush that has a close resemblance to one certain
Silly Old Bear. He also won a basketball. He picked an Alabama ball.
Im gonna have to work harder on that boy and convince him that Auburn
is the better school :-)
By then Gotham City was open and we proceeded toward the Batman Line,
once again my boys ran much faster than I could and were quite a ways
ahead of us. We were not able to catch up with them this time.
RANT #3!!! Once again, they should have had three entrance lines, one
for Bat Man, one for Mind Bender and one for general Gotham City. They
can then walk folks to the entrance of mindbender and Bat Man and
nobody gets hurt.
As we wandered through the line at Bat Man, I had time to appreciate
the extra detail and effort to theming put into this attraction. It
really was neat. Another unexpected effect was with everyone walking
quickly through the switchbacks in the big warehouse it almost made me
dizzy to watch everyone walking back and forth.
Once we arrived at the front of the queue, we decided we wanted to ride
up front. It really was a marvelous experience going up the lift hill
then*** off the front with nothing in front of you but air.
Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! The outside loops are awesome and the heartline
corkscrew is just great!!!!
When we got off, we found Rick parked in the shade and decided it was
time for a break and some lunch. They all wanted burgers, but I
didnt, so we decided to eat at the Miners Cookhouse in***skillet.
Rick & Joe headed in search of Joe a refillable sports bottle and
headed toward the restaurant. The boys and myself headed out to the
car to drop off the basketball and plush and to get our Dee Jays Diner
Bottles from last trip. We all met up back at the restaurant and
everybody had burger meals with fries and I had the barbecue sandwich
and fries, plus gave them my coupon for a free cookie :-) Lunch was
pretty good and the cookie was really good. I split that with my
kids. During lunch we talked with another lady that had rented a
scooter and she told us about the handicapped exit wrist bands. We
didnt know about those. After lunch we watched the corny Wild West
Show and laughed. Those guys are great performers.
After the show, we went over to the Cotton States section and rode
Ninja and the Great American Scream Machine. Ninja could be a really
great ride except that it beats you to death. GASM was running great
and really gave a lot of airtime. Its an all around fun ride and has
been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. We watched a few idiots go
flying on Fearless Freeps and then headed toward Viper, but it didnt
appear to be running. While we were riding the coasters, Rick went
back up to Guest Services to see about getting an exit band.
RANT #4!!! As he was heading toward the front of the park on his buggy,
he overhead some employees say something to the effect that there was
nothing wrong with him, he was just riding the buggy cause he was
overweight. When he arrived at the Customer Service area, he mentioned
this to the manager and they were really apologetic about it and
refunded the cost of his scooter and gave him the exit pass without any
We met Rick at the old ...
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