Thursday, September 02, 2010

More Flags, More Fun

I had the pleasure of taking my kids to the local Six Flags, a ginormous amusement park in the area during vacation this week, and we had an absolute raging blast. Although I keep getting older and my life continues to build up more old-sounding things like two kids in full-day school, well more than a decade practicing in my field and more than my share of gray hair on the sides, I have to admit I still love a good roller coaster. And it's important to me that my girls don't grow up to be pussies when it comes to a good thrill ride. I mean, who wants to hang out with someone who's afraid to ride a roller coaster when they're a teenager? Just like I want my girls to learn how to throw a baseball and a football, I want them to learn not to be afraid to test their limits in relatively safe, controlled environments like an amusement park.

In our case, we had incredible luck that I imagine was not intended when Six Flags decided to add a huge new water park called Hurricane Harbor right on the adjacent property about a decade ago. We had hand-picked the day to head out to the park well in advance, assuming that right up against the end of August was likely to be a bit cooler and thus attract a bit fewer visitors than might otherwise be heading out to 6 Flags right before school starts up again. But then of course, the day arrived at it turned out to be well over 95 degrees and far and away the hottest day of the entire month of August in NYC metro. Not only did that make slogging through the day with a few young kids a lot harder, but we figured we were really going to be in for it when we showed up at the park to lines roughly ten million people deep for all the big rides. Instead, however, what we found upon our early morning arrival was significant traffic buildup even before opening for the water park on this top-ten hottest day of the summer, but next to nobody fool enough to spend the day outside at the main park on roller coasters in what my car said was 101 degrees in the shade during the peak mid-afternoon temperatures.

What ensued was literally the most fun two or three hours in my childrens' entire lives up to this point. I immediately took the group to the log flume, an old standby that I knew would be sure to please this group of girls (my two and an old friend of theirs also from nyc) who had never before really even ridden a real roller coaster or ever felt that feeling of their stomach rising up to their throats as the bottom falls away beneath you. And again, thanks to the attraction of Hurricane Harbor right next door, there was absolutely no line. So much so, that when we were done with our first run, the attendants didn't even make us get out of our faux log before just letting us ride right on again. We did the log flume maybe 5 or 6 times in rapid succession at the childrens' insistence, then the runaway mine train which the girls were all just tall enough to ride on with a parent, which was the first real coaster these kids had ever been on. It was so rough and fast that I was feeling awful all the way through, knowing the kids would be upset by it, and I was particularly concerned about my four-year-old, who is timid and reserved as it is and seems much less of a badass if you know her than her older sister. But I have to tell you, my girl K is absolutely fearless. These girls loved the coaster more than I could have ever imagined, and again with no lines, we were able to take advantage and re-ride as much as the girls wanted before moving on to the regular standards like the carousel, the tea cups, and of course the flying swings that I used to love to ride at Six Flags when I was a kid. By the time we hit the Buccaneer and Skull Mountain (a relatively new indoor-in-the-dark roller coaster), the kids were hot and thirsty and tired and actually didn't even put up a fight leaving, and we closed the books on what was like I said without a doubt one of the most amazing and consciousness-altering days of the girls' young lives thus far. Score one for the amusement park in being able to provide an unmatched day of fun and wonder for young, impressionable minds.

Seriously though, can somebody tell me why they would ever bother continuing to make new roller coasters anymore now that they've got this?

I mean, the coaster actually goes straight up, and then turns straight down for a 90 degree plunge directly to the ground. When I was a kid we always used to debate whether the Loch Ness Monster at Kings Dominion or that ride at Busch Gardens had the steepest drop in the world, but at this point we're kind of at straight-up 90 degrees here so it's hard to beat that. Although actually this new Kingda Ka ride at Six Flags is even more than 90 degrees, as if you're up close you can see that it actually plunges ever so slightly in towards the inside at the very beginning of that sickening drop, such that it's actually something more like 91 or 92 degrees. I mean, you're plunging even steeper than straight down. And did I mention it's also the tallest and the fastest roller coaster in the world today?

One sure sign I am indeed getting old: I am not sure I'll be taking the girls on this one once they achieve the 54 inches required to risk one's life on this thing. Straight down maybe, but I just don't think I see the point of suffering a 470-foot high drop of more than 90 degrees, do you?

Labels: , ,


Blogger SirFWALGMan said...


9:48 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Congrats on the win last night. I haven't seen any bloggers post about the suckout, so I can't be the POS like I claimed I would be, by commenting first.

Again, congrats.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

"The" suckout. Lolololololololol.

10:30 PM  
Blogger DuggleBogey said...

The Loch Ness Monster is at Busch Gardens.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I mean, the coaster actually goes straight up, and then turns straight down for a 90 degree plunge directly to the ground.

I rode on one called White Lightning at Carowinds near Charlotte NC. I swore if I got off, I'd never get back on it. Yeah, I'm in the pussy category.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...


Am I missing something or wouldn't a 92 degree drop be the same as an 88 degree drop?

Secondly I hate being forced to agree with waffles don't let it happen again!

5:38 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

You are most definitely missing something. Think what it's like to go down say a 70 degree drop on a roller coaster. Now think of what an 80 degree drop would be like, almost straight down. Now thing about a 90 degree drop, straight vertical down. Now imagine a 92 degree drop, actually curving inwards. You're saying that feels the same as an 88 degree drop or just less than all the way straight down?

To illustrate the point, are you saying a 45 degree drop (a barely steep decline at all) would feel the same as a 135 degree drop, which would leave you suspended diagonally upside-down in midair with the track above you?

For me those two feel very different amounts of fuckedupedness.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

speed of 92 angle would be equal to speed of 88 angle.

Difference is whether you are being held in by pressure into seat or pressure into harness.

Everyone has a different point for things that make them uneasy. For my wife and daughter it is the coasters that hang under the track where feet dangle.

For me it is where you are closed in to a cage (6 Flags over Georgia has a ride that triggers claustrophobia).

12:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home