TR: Six Flags Worlds of Adventure- May 26, 2003

TR: Six Flags Worlds of Adventure- May 26, 2003

Post by LONN » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 03:56:22

The Place: Six Flags Worlds of Adventure
(http://SportToday.org/)
Date: May 26, 2003
Weather: A beautiful day, sunny and in the 70's
Reason I went: First visit and to ride the country's best Top Spin!

After getting a little lost going from the highway to Six Flags Worlds
of Adventure (for some reason I found getting to this park very
confusing and the roads poorly signed on both the part of Six Flags
and the municipality) I shelled out several dollars for privilege of
parking in this beautiful lot.  I got my ticket and headed directly
for X-Flight (Vekoma, 2001, Flying Dutchman).  I had hoped to get to
the park at opening, but my late arrival had allowed the line to
build.  As I had feared, this was a painful wait.  I waited about an
hour to board my second flying coaster and first Vekoma flyer.  I will
give props to the crew; they did a good job getting people on the one
train that was running.  The only problem I saw was that they hardly
ever pushed people to the rear of the station, which caused several
rows to go out with two or (every now and then) no people in the line.
 Considering there were three people on the crew (on dispatching and
two loading) they did a good job pushing getting people on and off the
ride.  The problem is nothing new- one train was sitting unused.  Is
this the park's fault or the manufacturer's fault- I don't know.  What
I do know is that the park should put some sort of sign up indicating
that even though the line is not long, it could take forever.  As for
the ride itself, it is ok.  Except for the laughable rattle I did not
find any large problems with the coaster and the two final in-line
twists were fun.  I think I am just burned out on the flying concept
and probably won't still love the B&M flyers once I get back on one.

I moved on to Superman Ultimate Escape (Intamin, 2000, impulse).
There was only a short wait (two trains for the front, walk-ons
everywhere else) so I got in line for the front.  The launch on these
things is still a blast, but the ride is still not as good as Wicked
Twister for me.  I found it interesting that there were not many
people in line for this ride and it seemed to stay that way for the
bulk of the day.  I found the ride's location a lot more ugly than my
first impulse at Six Flags Great America last year.  The Skyscraper
(Intamin Gyro Tower) and Mind Eraser (Vekoma Boomerang) were down due
to work being done on the new Whitewater West slide complex.

I plodded down the concrete-filled midway and noticed that the
well-themed Texas Tornado (Huss Top Spin) was down for the day.  How
depressing, it was the ride I was looking forward to the most.  With a
frown upon my face I took a spin on the park's other Vekoma
attraction, the Serial Thriller (Vekoma, 1998, SLC).  This was my
second SLC (all of my other S&M sessions were on SFKK's T2).  I will
say that unlike that horrid park SFWOA was running two trains and
running them superbly.  They only had two people on the platform (one
operating, one checking restraints) but they either stacked the train
for about 15-20 seconds or made interval.  This was not only amazingly
run for an SLC; it was probably one of the best-run coasters I have
come across.  The ride itself was ok; the usual SLC banging was there.
 As always, for me the problems were the seat smacking me in the small
of my back, not head banging.  The location above the water was neat,
it just smelled kind of rank.  Feeling a bit hungry I grabbed some
pepperoni pizza towards the front of the park.  The top was ok, but
the crust tasted a lot like cardboard and felt like it needed to be
cooked a lot more.

The carousel (Illions, 1918, Supreme Carousel) spun nearby so I
saddled up.  This ride was one of the best-run carousels I have seen
in the Six Flags chain.  The band organ was running, hidden behind a
giant fa?ade, and sounded quite good.  As others have mentioned, this
is one of the fastest carousels in the country (i.e., how they used to
spin) and I think demonstrates a how the carousels was more of an
exciting ride.  No, a carousel will never be a Top Scan, but running
it fast and fun makes people happy.  Even on a quiet day at the park I
saw a lot of people getting on the carousel.  The horses looked like
they could use a bit more care, but compared to the atrocious
attention carousels like the one at SFStL get this one didn't look
half-bad.

I took off and took a spin on the Roadrunner Express (Zierer, 2000,
Tivoli).  These are always fun coasters, especially the horn that
toots as the train leaves the station.  While I don't steal kids for a
ride I did let one ride with me because the op said he was too short
to ride alone, my good deed for the day was done.  The Double Loop
(Arrow, 1977, sit-down looper) had a short line with one train so I
waited a few cycles for the fourth-to-last seat.  The first drop was
pretty smooth with a slight yank to the bottom and the loops were
standard Arrow inversions.  The only roughness I found was a slam as
the train hit the bottom of the second drop and the awkward
transitions of the helix.

I moved down the midway and saw the Villain (CCI, 2000, double out &
back).  Again there was no line to speak of and I hopped in the back
seat.  The first drop was decent and the run out was a lot of fun.  I
particularly liked the pull off the first turn, the drop off the brake
and the turn through the structure.  Why did CCI bring back trick
track again?  The only trick is that it doesn't do anything exciting.
Another crappy coaster concept from Traver, gee, what a surprise.
Overall I found the coaster fun, but it left me wanting something.

Brian called at this time and I met him, Janice and William (in-tow in
a stroller) at the front gate.  We took a ride on the Americana (Huss,
1999, Ferris wheel).  According to Refreshinglook.com this is a Huss
wheel, something I did not know they made, but you learn something new
each day.  The ride offered a nice view of the area and some great
photo opportunities of X-Flight, Batman and Serial Thriller.  The wait
wasn't long so I don't understand why they were so adamant about
cramming people into the cars (it was the four of us on one side and
another couple on the other).

We cried at the dormant Top Spin, passed by Serial Thriller and
boarded Batman Knight Flight (B&M, 2000, floorless).  I had heard good
things about Batman and was looking forward to my first ride.  There
was hardly a line so Brian and I waited for the back.  The first drop
was good, one of the better turning drops I have experienced (i.e. an
improvement on Arrow's style).  The first loop was well done and the
high-speed turn over the entranceway was superb.  I liked the rise and
the horseshoe turn over the station, but the cobra roll was its
typically mediocre self.  The rise into the mid-course allowed for
some nice visuals and the drop off the brakes lifted me off the seat.
I enjoyed the flat spins and thought the helix at the end was one of
the best parts of the ride.  Overall Batman impressed me and might
crack the ole' top tier at year's end (it would be the first floorless
to do so).  To keep both parties happy I took a ride with Janice
towards the middle of the train.  The only thing that confused me was
why the Batman theme was randomly placed where it was, as it did not
fit the area, but I learned long ago not to question the motives of
superhero theming.

I wanted some more exciting Six Flags wood and we took a spin on the
Raging Wolf Bobs (Summers/Dinn, 1988, twister).  With the removal of
these trailered trains this leaves the Predator as the only train
running them in the U.S.  Hip-hip-hooray!  PTC makes great trains, but
those were definitely a mistake.  Janice told me that the difference
between the first half and the second half was unbelievable, but I had
a hard time believing her as the train tossed me around into the
fiberglass.  But, halfway through the ride it happened.  The train
stopped its side-to-side motion and everything smoothed out.  The
second half, while not exciting, was certainly fun.  If the first half
gets some work this year I think the coaster, while it does not do
much, could certainly be a nice family ride at SFWOA and might, for
the first time in years (if ever), run well.

We reversed directions and headed up to the Hay Baler (Chance or
Herschell, Flying Bobs).  This flat ride has a very nice theme inside
a barn, but it also had more modifications than I have seen on a
Flying Bobs, including a sheet of plastic on the bottom right-hand
side of the car.  The loading time seemed excruciating (especially
after experiencing rides like Farrow Show's Alpine Bobs last summer)
but we were finally off for a mid-speed bobs ride.  I walked around
again and took a spin with Janice.  While in the neighborhood Janice
and I took a mid-train ride on Villain and my opinion did not change
much.  Fun, but nothing earth shattering.

I was hungry so I got a Spicy Italian at Subway before we got in line
for the Big Dipper (Miller, 1926, out and back).  The park was only
running one train, but Brian and I still toughed it out for the front
seat.  As I handed my backpack to the op. he told me (as if I should
know) that he could not take my bag and that it had to go to the
unload area.  So, everyone waited while I trudged through the crowd
and back to the front of the train.  Finally our lapbar was lowered
and we were off.  The ride was fun, a great family coaster, but no
real butt-out-of-seat airtime to speak of.  I did like the way in
which the coaster curved to the left about one quarter of the way
through the course.  I found this area particularly ugly and devoid of
any trees or character.

Brian and Janice proposed a trip to the Wild Life side and it seemed
like it had more potential, so we crossed the lake.  I did notice the
waterpark before we hit the bridge.  It looked like the bulk of the
slides were pretty old, back form the mid-80's when everyone with the
ability to mold fiberglass was making slides.  I also saw the ships
that transport people to opposite sides of the lake (I wonder if one
ship is called the "Cleveland Steamer?" he he).  We saw the penguins
and then passed the Chance Wipeout and Huss Bee Bee before seeing the
Tiger Show.  It had finished clearing out and a "cheerful" employee
told us that we could not stand and watch the tigers leave the stage
area.  We ignored her and stared anyway.

We meandered through the park, finally ending up in the other rides
section with the Chance Yo Yo, Eli Bridge Scrambler, Eyerly Spider and
Zamperla Galleon 12.  With Guns N Roses providing a nice family
atmosphere Janice and I took a spin on the slow-loading and
short-cycling Yo Yo.  Not finding anything else too appealing (I guess
after spending the day at Kennywood on those well-run flats I was not
e***d) we headed back to the Wild Rides side of the park.  We got
two more rides in on Batman and headed over to Superman, which was
down due to maintenance.  The time for my flight was drawing near so
all of us headed out.

Conclusions: I did not like this park that much.  The interesting
thing is that it was not for the usual reasons; the coasters were well
staffed and run efficiently.  I guess for me it just seemed to have no
soul or character.  All of the rides were "just there" and the
theming, with the exception of Coyote Creek and the old Sea World
stuff, was an afterthought and sometimes non-existent (am I really
supposed to know that the area by the Mind Eraser and Dr. Doom is
called the 50's Midway?).  To be fair, I don't know how much of this
was Six Flags' fault and how much was the previous owner's, but all in
all I found it bland and pretty soulless.  The interesting thing is
that I think that this park has more potential than most any amu***t
property in the country.  Yet, they seem to have problems putting
everything together in one well-constructed package and selling that
concept to the public.  This visit was the first time in a long time
that I just did not care that I was at an amu***t park.  In part
because there seemed to be little-to-no amusing going on, both with
myself or the other guests visiting on this day.  I think the "Plain
Dealer" recently put it best, "It isn't quite in the same league as
Cedar Point and Paramount's Kings Island. But Six Flags Worlds of
Adventure, right in Cleveland's back yard, has its attractions."
Nothing seemed to strike me at this park and I don't see myself
heading back anytime soon, save for a SROS/SFNE clone.  My only regret
is that I did not stop at Memphis Kiddie Park for another visit on
this trip while I was in the area.

Adam