April 10, 2009

Screaming and Open Letters

The boys and I are roller coaster people, although I’m not as roller coastery as I used to be.

My inner ear is not what it was.

We rode a big roller coaster called, ‘The Great American Scream Machine’. It's an old fashioned coaster with no loops and looks rather benign.

We were standing in line when I looked at Mr. T, who is a screamer, “So, are you going to scream like a little girl the entire ride?”

He grinned and nodded.

Ringo observed this and said, “I’m sitting with Bones.”

Bones looked at me and said, “You don’t want to sit with me?”

I replied, “Oh sure I do, but Ringo doesn’t want to sit with T because he’s going to scream like a little girl…”

We got in our seats, T and I in front of Ringo and Bones… and we made our way up the first hill.

Click, click, click, T looked at me and said, ‘I’m a little nervous…” I nodded.

And I looked at Ringo and Bones behind us, and they had already started to grip the pads in front, I braced my feet as did T, and we grabbed on… and the car slowly pulled over the hump…

… and Mr. T and I screamed like little girls… the.ENTIRE.WAY.

The whole roller coaster.

We screamed from the first slope until the end, only pausing to take in air. Holy crap.

It stopped and T looked at me, eyes widened and said, “Oh.My.God.” I couldn’t quit laughing. The boys behind me were laughing.

I said, ‘Could you hear us screaming? I think I nearly peed my pants!”

Bones said, “I was too scared. I was too shocked to scream!”

Ringo said, “I was too busy praying and saying to myself, “Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move.””

Holy crap.

With that…

A letter to Six Flags Over Georgia:

Dear Management,

You need to take the Disney class on how to move large masses of people efficiently.

Your parking situation stinks. The free for all, was a disaster.

Your ticketing situation was a chaotic, confusing and frustrating. You had different lines for different things and no signage. People were looking to each other to figure out what they were supposed to be doing. Everyone was clueless.

The maps to your rides… are the worst. You need MORE signage within your park telling you where to go (the couple “You are HERE” signs were very helpful), but better maps would be far better.

It is impossible to tell at times what ‘section’ the ride is located in on your maps… Cotton, French, Spanish, as there are all these little colored numbered boxes and it is difficult to discern to which ride each little box belongs. I suggest you keep your rides numbered and your food and non-ride attractions lettered, so it’s easy to tell which box is with an actual RIDE. Too many things are clustered together and so it appears to be an odd dot to dot... once again, chaotic and confusing.

Also, your train… label somewhere that it has only two places to get off, so people don’t have the misconception that it makes several stops.

I am sure I’m not the only one who had great frustration.

We had an awful lot of fun on the rides we rode and the people who work for you were both helpful and fun. You have a lot that is right. I think without much effort you could get it mostly right and make people always WANT to come back. As of now, I'm on the fence.


Bou and her Family

P.S. Also $25 for a pizza that serves four is ridiculous.

Posted by Boudicca at April 10, 2009 04:47 PM

It's been quite a long time since I've found Six Flags and similar theme parks to be enjoyable. My inner ear locked up at about 30, so rollercoasters are now a no go. Plus, I hate the crowds and long lines. Now I can still deal with waterparks, if people can stand the sight of me in swimtrunks. I do extend the courtesy of at least keeping my shirt on at all times. Partly to cut down on the sunburn (I burn just thinking about it) and I realize my bod ain't as sexy looking as it was at 20 (if ever). But most standard themeparks are a thing of the past for me. Thank God the kids are all grown and no longer interested.

Posted by: diamond dave at April 10, 2009 10:27 PM

I have the same ear problem as Diamond Dave. However, one of my good friends is a roller coaster connoisseur, loves the things. He grew up in Cleveland close to Cedar Point. According to him, you need to get to Cedar Point toute suite. They have 4 of the top 6 roller coasters in the world there and it is right on the cleaned up shores of Lke Erie.

Posted by: dick at April 11, 2009 10:10 AM

Crap, $6.25 for a slice of pizza?? That is a crime. The best pizza place in my 'hood, Di Fara's, only charges $4 a slice and, as a pizza aficionado, I could tell you it is definitely worth it.

Coasters rule.

Posted by: Erica at April 11, 2009 06:57 PM

having grown up in orlando, always mocking the disney rape-prices... i was shocked when we moved to ga and started going to six flags. holy-fricking-overpriced, batman! $15 a day to park?! i was also shocked at how dirty everything always seemed. for charging more than disney, they should have been able to hire more custodial staff.

we had season passes each year we lived there and would go for a couple hours at a time to ride our favorites (superman, batman, scorcher...) and then leave. the great american scream machine would be a great ride if it weren't wooden. i've decided i hate wooden coasters as they make me hurt everywhere so i only rode that the first couple times we went.

Posted by: arcanai at April 13, 2009 08:24 AM