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So how long until someone goes into an RA and their excuse (if they live to tell one) is 'but I saw it on that Alltell commercial!' ?
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So for those who are 'out of the loop,' ;-) I'm in California right now visiting the Demon. Got here Friday the 18th, leaving this Friday the 25th. Yesterday, we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain, a park the size of which puts Magic Springs to shame. (I still love MY park, though.)

We got up at the asscrack of dawn (or like 715, whatever) and planned to head out by 8. It was more like 820, but that's still not bad. It's a 2ish hour trip, and the park was supposed to open at 1030, so that would've been just about right.

But, being us, we had to get a tad 'misdirected' on the way. While on the 210 freeway, we were supposed to stay on 210 for a while, but we ended up on the 134 or something instead because for some reason, the 210 had an exit to the right that you had to take in order to stay ON the 210. So, yeah, misdirected. We pulled off and stopped so I could get a drink, and then Demon was tired so I took over driving. But first I took an Excedrin caus I had a headache. Great start to the day; both tired, me headachy, slightly lost... :-p

We didn't lose much time though, got there right around 1030. And found out the interwebs lied, as they were only open from 11-6, not 1030-630. >.> Hmph. First thing we did was go for Tatsu, the newest ride there, which is a flying coaster. You'll see what I mean when I post the pics below. We got up there, 2nd in line... and suddenly, they informed us that the ride was having 'minor technical difficulties.' From what I could gather watching/listening, it seems to me there was something up with the air pressure and/or wheels. Whatever it was, they took care of it and had it running again half an hourish later.

It's a pretty fun ride, but I was a bit uncomfortable with it because it doesn't have a regular redundant restraint. An operator at another ride, when I noted this, tried to assure me that 'it's got like 4 restraint systems in it, it's failsafe.' Well, sorry, but when ALL of your restraints rely on mechanical or electrical means, they are NOT failsafe. Something can happen. What I mean with a redundant restraint is a simple between the legs belt buckle, like a car seatbelt almost. You put that there and even if the mech fails, that will hold. So, while I enjoyed the ride, I'm not sure I'd go on it again as I was just not feeling secure.

ANYway. Contrary to the dream I had, Demon and I did sit in front. It's the way to go. ^_^

After Tatsu, we rode Revolution, an older ride there, built in '78 I believe. Still a good one. But it totally snagged some of my hair in the restraint, and that was not fun. Also, someone spit while we were going around the loop, and guess who got it? Fucking gross. Ugh.

After that, we headed for Goliath, and stopped for Churro's on the way, as having one was Demon's great goal for the day. In line here was whereI talked to the operator I mentioned above. He called himself the 'mother of Goliath,' and then realized the anatomical issues with this. So he asked if he could start over and I told him he could, so he went back and said he's the father of Goliath. We sat in the very back this time, because 'the last car is reserved for more experienced riders.' Well, more because the front had a longass line. But still. It was good. That might be my favorite ride there. Might be.

After that, we went over to Batman, another favorite. Then to Riddler's Revenged, which is unique because it's a standing coaster, so they strap you in standing up. And when we got off o that... I found that some raging asshat had stolen my sunglasses. Ohh, I was pissed. They were one of myfavorite pairs, and also the only pair I brought with me to CA. I'd almost bought a pair at te gas station we stopped at on the way, more out of concern over possibly losing them on the ride, but didn't do so. And yes, I wish I had. The rest of the time we were there, I was watching everyone we passed, because if I'd spotted my glasses on one of them, we would've been getting kicked out of the park. I was that mad. But I figure they were probably smart enough to shove them into a pocket or a backpack, and not actually wear them around. Fucker. So I was pissed, but tried to get over it a little bit later so it wouldn't ruin the day.

After Riddler's, we.... went back to Goliath. Rode that again, in the back again. Our 'father of Goliath' pal was still there, and he remembered us. So we rode and then it was almost 3... and we left. 4realz. We were there about 4 hours and then we left. So obviously, we are getting old and lame. :-p But seriously, we were both tired, Demon was coldish cause she left her jacket in the car, and my hip was feeling awful. I actually kinda think it's getting worse in general lately, but that's for some other time. So we headed out and went to Subway for lunch. My stomach felt funky the rest of the night. I'm not sure if it was their tuna in particular, or just the fact that I generally don't eat fish anymore, but it didn't sit right at all. We stopped at a store to check sunglasses, but they didn't have any that pass the Gabs Test, so I didnt buy any.

The drive back... sucked. Traffic like whoa. See, now that's California driving. Plus, it was rainy and overcast, so that added to it. Demon drove, I took random pictures, and we both rcked out to the CD I made. Which got old after hearing every song 7 or 8 times in the course of the day. But we got back around 7ish. I sorta wish we'd gone on a few more rides, because it's like we paid $60 and only hit 6 rides. :-\ But can't help the fact that neither of us were totally up to it, PLUS there were like 5 rides down, including 3 favorites: Deja Vu, X, Ninja. Had those been open, we wouldn't have missed them. And we got the one ride I said we had to, Tatsu. And the other awesome ones. So it's really not bad.

Now for a bit of bitching from someone 'in the know' on parks; aka, Gabsly RideNerdery: first thing, the shirts and signs all over the place saying 'please keep the park clean, because MY family comes here too!' Now, in theory, not really a bad thing. The problem is in the wording. It's implying that it's on YOU, the guest, to keep the park clean, for the benefit of 'MY' family. If it was worded just a bit diffrently, more like 'please help US keep our park clean,' it would be a great thing. But as it is, it's not good. And if I had to wear a shirt with that on the back, I'd feel like a first class jackass. Next is the ride stations; they almost all have their own music to go with the ride theme, which is great. However, that and the spiel needs to be turned down or off when the operators pick up the mic to speak to the guests. When the Tatsu ops were trying to update us on what was going on, no one could make out much because you just couldn't hear him over the music and spiel. And also on the intercoms, there was another thing: for some reason, instead of using phones/hand signals/radios, they kept picking up the microphones and talking to each other over the intercom. "Unlock them all, we have to get them off.'' That's NOT something you want a station full of guests to hear. It does not make them feel safe. They did that a lot during thr downtime, talking to each other over the station, and it's just not right, to my mind.

The big thing, I've already talked about: redundant restraints on Tatsu. The more I think about it, the less likely it is that I'll ride that again without a redundant system in place. Honestly, I know it has 3 trains so the time and money to install those buckles is probably more than they're willing to do. But in the end, it'd be worth it. There is no cost too great to ensure guest safety, because the moment those 'failsafe' restraints DO fail for the first time, it could be the end of not just this park, but the whole Six Flags chain. And no, I'm not exaggerating. One train on Tatsu holds about 48 people. That is a massive disaster if something goes wrong. If that happens, the ride is gone, and who's going to go back to the park where 48 people died? And being part of a chain, that rep hits every park IN the chain. It's about being proactive instead of reactive; fix the issue before it becomes an issue. Another thing: on Tatsu and Goliath, I noticed a hand signals cheat sheet posted in station for the ops to use. Those are the signals they use to communicate so they don't have to yell over the crowd/station sound/etc. Well, if your operators can't be bothered to remember 6 or 7 basic signals, why should I trust they'll be able to remember how to work a large ride? That just screams laziness to me.

...I know, don't I sound like a crapload of fun to go to a park with? :-p We'll move on to pictures now. 

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August 2010

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