April 3rd and 4th, 2006
Being the consummate coaster enthusiast, I decided to head off to SFoG during it's first two days of being open to the public in 2006 in an attempt to ride Goliath. I drove down on Monday evening, and attempted to get my season pass voucher activated. I arrived at about 8:00pm, assuming that the pass processng center was open until park close. Of course not, it was just open until 7:00! So no Goliath credit for me on Monday! Boo.
Goliath's helix at sunset. This was taken just before I was turned away from getting my pass processed :-(
I was staying with my friend Joe on Monday night, but had arrived really early, so did some shopping to kill some time.
While shopping, I found this. Now, if you are relying on your douche to give you "sweet love," you have bigger problems than that not-so-fresh feeling!
Eventually he got off work, I found his house, and hit the hay, with only about 3 hours to sleep before getting up for the morning ERT!
So we both got up at 7:00, had breakfast and headed out to the park, getting there about 20 minutes til 9:00. Since I had some time, I got my season pass voucher processed, and my picture looks so much better than last year's tapering head one! I ran into our friend Anthony outside the gate, so we all headed off for Goliath together.
Ok, I'm back for a second try, bright and early on Tuesday morning.
We got there in time to be on the third train of the day, but the opening was delayed by about 10 minutes. Then once it opened, they sent one train of people successfully, then on the second train, the restraints in row 9 didn't work right...
...so they had to pull it off the track. Once they took off the train, cycled the remaining train and all, it was 9:40 before a second train of people went out! Then of course, as soon as they loaded the train, someone said it was their birthday and the crew made everyone sing Happy Birthday.
Finally after 45 minutes of waiting (oh, I forgot to mention that we passed a sign on the way in that said it was 44 degrees! And I was wearing shorts with no jacket!!) we finally got to ride the third train of the day.
I LOVE IT!!!
And what can I say but oh...my...GOD...this ride kicks SOOOO much booty! I absolutely loved it, and I think it is just what this park needed to round out it's collection. The only ride I am able to compare it to is S:RoS at SFNE because there was just *so* much airtime. That is the only other coaster that I have ridden that falls into the same class as Goliath. I also think it has the best first drop of any coaster I've ridden, including S:RoS and Millenium Force. I loved how the airtime was like floater air meets ejector air...floater as you crest the top of the hill, then as you head down the other side, wham, it throws you out of your seat! There was not a dull spot on the entire ride...it was just airtime, airtime, airtime, helix, more airtime, more airtime. I truly love this coaster...I'm so glad that it's close to me so I can ride it often!
Goliath heads through the USA area of the park
Goliath as seen through a tree
After our first ride, we noticed that the line was enormous, but that we still had about five minutes left of season passholder ERT, so we ran back around and got in line again. By the way, the onride photos on this ride really suck. I can't imagine that I'd ever humor getting one. After the second ride, they were letting the GP in, but with the one train operations, my guess is the line was at least two hours long. Insane.
As we walked, we passed Monster Plantation, so since there was no line, we got our own boat when we rode. I think if they gave this ride a little TLC it wold be a nice ride, but as is...hmm. I don't dislike it, but I can't say that I like it either! It smells weird, and looks so dirty, but if they would just replace all the fur and clothing on the AAs, and get better lighting, I'd like it a lot more.
We headed back to the Cotton States area next, where we caught a ride on Superman: Ultimate Flight with a one train wait.
Sadly, the more coasters I've ridden, the less this coaster impresses me any more. It's still in my top 10, but I don't think it's holding onto that co-#1 spot anymore. After Superman, we rode Great American Scream Machine with no wait. This one was actually tracking a lot worse than it was last October, but I am going to chalk it up to the cold weather. I still think it's a fantastic coaster, even if it was rougher than usual.
We find yet another typo in the Superman area! "Alternative arrangement for storage of you valuables." Love it.
The guys were thinking about food at this point, so we walked to a Mexican place, but then decided to get chicken at the Plantation House instead. Of course, once we got there, it was still closed since it was still fairly early. Having nothing else to do in the area, I suggested riding the sky buckets. This ended up being a bit counter productive since it deposited us right where we had been previously.
We decided to check out Gotham City at this point to see what the wait for Mindbender was. Well, turns out that it was only running one train...
...and the queue through the trees was almost completely full...at least an hour wait, maybe more! No thanks...it's a great coaster, but I'm not waiting that long for it. We also checked Batman, and it was a very hefty wait as well.
We ran into "Black Dude Green Lantern" on the way out...
...as well as Wonder Woman (it goes without saying that the guys liked her!)
Fortunately for me, we also ran into Batman on the way out! Rowr!
Admitting defeat, we went back near the Plantation House, and decided to do Dahlonega Mine Train before having lunch. The line didn't look too long, but it ended up being over half an hour. Ugh...half an hour for a fairly crappy mine train.
While waiting in line for Dahlonega Mine Train, Joe kept being asked to skip ahead of people so others could ride together, and ended up being three trains ahead of me and Anthony!
He seemed to enjoy it though. It also seems as though he bored the girl in front of him to tears, and made the kid behind him sick! Geez Joe!
We went ahead and stopped for lunch at that point since both of them needed to leave shortly after lunch time. We all got chicken strips and fries. None of the chicken strips were hot, but I thought the fries were great for theme park fries. I also noticed two very small things that I was very impressed with while there. First, the ketchup was cold. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but to go to the trouble of installing refrigerated bins for your ketchup packets so your customers can have cold ketchup...I was very impressed!
Also, when I sat down, I noticed that basically every table had a set of salt and pepper shakers on it. Those are two things that are not gonna make or break my day, but I love the fact that thought was put into the little details like that.
After lunch, we all headed towards the entrance. They were both gonna head out for the day, but I was planning on hanging around and seeing about getting on a couple of more rides. I bid them both farewell and headed up to Georgia Scorcher...where I found every bit of the queue completely full! Holy $#!t! I don't know how long the wait was, but it was *way* too long to wait for that coaster.
At that point, I decided to cut my losses and head for home. The park was just getting too crowded to do much of anything! Plus I was dead tired from not getting enough sleep the night before. So I headed out to the car, stopping for gas almost immediately before heading home. The drive was uneventful and I got home around 4:00 or so.
Overall, I had a nice time, but I wish the lines had been shorter! Good company always enhances a day, so it was nice to have some good coaster chat with fellow geeks :-) And I'm very, very glad that Goliath is there...such a wonderful addition to an already great park!
Back to Julie's 2006 travels
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