A Tour Guides Adventure: Sept 11th, 2016

So my buddy Imri visited both Cedar Point and Dorney this summer and really enjoyed himself at both, since he knows I'm into parks and coasters so we've been talking a bit and I convinced him to buy a season pass during Six Flags recent flash sale. So cheap its ridiculous not to buy one. As we were talking over the last week we got a group of mutual friends together to make plans to hit up the park Sunday and go wild. I was particularly excited since it was a group that hadn't all hung out together in a couple years. When it almost seemed to fall apart, babysitters came through at the last minute and we made it happen. It was fun acting as the tour guide for the group showing them around since most of them hadn't been to the park since the 90s.

We were up and out of Philly early and after breakfast on the road, got to the park right at 10:30, and I knew it would be light based on the fact that we had no wait at the tolls and got a decent parking spot. This was reinforced by the fact that we got through security in 5 minutes and the main gate in another 5 minutes (and we processed mine and buddies 2017 passes). It was a BAFF day, and turned out the park was moderately busy but with some strategy we had a great relaxing day, stayed from open til close, got to ride a ton, imbibed appropriately and had some surprisingly decent Six Flags food (to say nothing of how long we waited for it!)

Of course when we got out of the car, Ka was testing and everyone had their eyes on it. Once we got to the fountain all eyes were on me to decided where we should go so of course I took them through the arcade shortcut and over to Toro (which I also saw testing from the lot) - and as we are walking up we see maintenance climbing the first camelback!  Not a good sign. The attendant at the entrance of course wouldn't give us an estimate but I had fears it might be a while so I thought screw it let's go get Ka out of the way, and we headed over there. 

Luckily it had just opened and there was a 10 minute wait - maybe 20 for the front, but we took the 2nd, 3rd & 4th rows, and crap this thing is insane first thing in the morning. Well, always is but first ride of the day seriously WTF. Anyone else feel like Ka's launch is not a steady increase in speed, but more like there are multiple yanks as you travel down the launch track? I don't remember Dragster feeling like this but its been really pronounced on my last couple of Ka rides. It's a little unpleasant.

Anyways, the entire crew LOVED IT and wanted to ride again but I convinced them to not waste time and go for Zumanjaro since we were nearby and we could get it out of the way as there probably wasn't a wait - and I was right. Complete walkon. Much of the group was freaked out, even after riding Ka a few minutes earlier, but after we dropped everyone raved about it. Love this ride. 

At this point we saw Toro cycling empty trains and could hear the operator talking over the PA in the station so I checked to see if Safari Discoveries was open and it was! So with a quick peek at the tigers and otters, we were back at the Bull to a station wait. Another hit. Everyone loved it. We walked around and got another ride with a now 10 minute wait (queue filled in quickly). It was now a little before noon but its 5 o'clock somewhere so we decided after two laps on The Bull to pop over to Macho Nacho and grab some shandys. Place was dead and bartender was a little sluggish but wasn't slammed so didnt take us long to get served and were seated enjoying our brews next to the best wooden coaster ever. Nice breeze flowing, catching up, great time. And yes one beer turned into two.

What a better time to get twisted? We headed into Frontier and hit Bizarro which had a station wait. Front row, great ride. Bathroom break and tried to hit up Runaway Mine Train but it had a good 15-20 minute wait, however the Skyway was only a 5 minute wait so we jumped on it to head over toward the east side of the park. 

At this point I was using the app to check wait times and Batman said 5 minutes while Nitro said an hour. I have been reluctant to rely on the app for wait times but it was very accurate all day yesterday.

Lately I've been hearing Batman was running rough but that's horseshit. Smooth as butter and intense as ever. Nice that the air conditioning is working in the tunnel and they added funky disco lights to the giant fan (even tho that wasnt on).

After Batman the group was getting hangry so we went looking at a few places around there, and even with my many attempts to convince everyone to go to Panda Express (or back to Macho Nacho) we wound up going the Primo next to Johnny Rockets across from Coldstone in front of Batman. I had never eaten there and after wait about 30 minutes for 3 groups of people in front of us to order and get their food I saw they had pre-made Grilled Chicken Caesar salads and grabbed one mostly out of fear of waiting 10 more minutes for anything else. My first salad at Six Flags lol. Honestly, it was pretty good. Also, it sat well with me which is most important. The pizza from this place looked absolutely foul. Buddy got fries and they were good, another got a chicken parm sandwich which was also good. 

The app still said Nitro was an hour but since we had all just eaten we waited for it anyway while yapping and digesting our food. The line was out into the switchbacks but with all three trains running the wait was about 40 minutes. Not too bad. Back seat ride and pretty great. Not my favorite lap ever but still a good time. Something about it felt a little sluggish. Everyone else loved it and wanted to ride again but no way was I waiting another 40 minutes.

Since I hadn't been to the park since May, my personal goal for the day was to get my first lap on Joker, so with some convincing (some of our group thought it might make them sick) we headed that way and since we're geniuses stopped for a beer (ok 2 beers) at my favorite, Liberty Pub. Empty as always, summer shandy on tap. (They also had Fat Tire, Modelo, and I think Heineken). I love this place.

App all day had been saying Joker was an hour, and after our beers we got in line and waited about 30 minutes total - the line went back into the first two rows of switchbacks. Its fun to watch so the wait was not bad at all. The green side seems to flip a lot more than the purple. We asked for the green side and the attendant said yes - so I wound up sitting facing backwards coming off the lift. As mentioned last night we got two flips, the first of which scared the living sh*t out of me, as we came slamming into the restraints head first toward the ground. Fun, but jarring. Also I did notice - not so much on the ride but while loading - that the vests jab into my collar bones. Uncomfortable but not so much while riding, its hard to focus on that when I'm being thrown all over the place. My general assessment: super fun ride, great addition to our lineup but VERY short, felt like it was over as soon as it began. Would definitely ride again to try different seats/sides, but would not wait more than 15 minutes for it. I liked it a lot though! 

The whole group had wanted to try Superman, and since I enjoy a lap on it occasionally and love to take first time riders on, we checked the app and it was down from an hour wait it had most of the day to 20 minutes. We headed that way and waited just about that. Fun as always but the general consensus from the group was what I expected - very unique, loop was crazy, rest of the ride is meh. Was nice to not have to wait to long, smart to save it for later.

And yes in case you are wondering, even though they all thought it "looks so cool", "looks fun!", etc I convinced the entire group Green Lantern was a bad idea and that if they wanted to ride it, I'd go get a lap on Toro while they did so. We did come to our first disagreement of the day on what to do next so three of us went to Toro for a PHENOMENAL sunset ride (15 minute wait), which the other half went to check out Ka - an hour wait, they skipped and did Parachutes instead. 

Have to shout out the Toro crew - they were ripping through trains in the morning and still killing it for our evening ride. Trains dispatching as the previous was hitting the brakes. The guy running the thing was super into it and making us laugh while boarding, and the crew was literally running up and down the train checking restraints. Love to see that kind of hustle!!

We met back up at Macho Nacho for beer o'clock! It was busier than earlier but we still got our beers and sat at the bar as it got dark out and we noticed on the app Skyscreamer (which the group had been marveling at all day) was only 20 minutes so we chugged the last drops of our brews and hauled A$$ over there for a great (but suddenly freezing) night ride. The temperature dropped really quick and with the light sunburn I got it felt like it was winter up there. Another big hit with everyone, they loved it.

With an hour left and the skies dark we checked the app for Nitro wait times since Nitro is the best night ride in the park and it was down to 20 minutes. It was more like 10. The group wanted a front row ride but not enough seats for all of us so I bee-lined for the back and rode separately from them. Another just average ride on it - I really love Nitro but both my laps yesterday were kinda meh, I really don't know why. El Toro more than made up for it - that thing was running like a dream.

Overall a great day. Crowds were totally manageable and the weather was GREAT! Very relaxing, we got to ride a ton, taking nice long beer breaks and going at a non-hurried pace. My only complaints were the food service at this park is a joke at dining plan places. I cant imagine if they had serious crowds yesterday. Nitro crew sucked on both of our rides - dilly dallying, talking, very lazy and uninterested. Little bummed I didn't get to take them on RMT or Skull Mountain but we hit all the big dogs and generally everyone seemed to have a great day, repeatedly thanking me for being the tour guide and optimizing our time with the app, and my experience with the park. It was also nice to be back after taking the summer off. We all decided we're doing another trip with the same group for Holiday In The Park, can't wait!

Didn't take many pictures at all - just kinda forgot and wasnt planning on doing a report but here's a handful I did take.

Ride totals:

Kingda Ka x1
Zumanjaro x1
El Toro x3
Bizarro x1
Skyway x1
Batman x1
Nitro x2
Joker x1
Superman x1
Skyscreamer x1

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