Six Flags over Georgia | Photos |
March 5, 2010
Not long after I’d moved to North Carolina I had an idea: I could go to Atlanta for opening weekend of Six Flags over Georgia! Since my first and last visit was rained out and gloomy over 2 days at the park, and there were lots of things I didn’t get to do, I hoped I would have a nice warm day with minimal lines. Unfortunately the weekend before I planned on going I was very sick. I had planned to make reservations that weekend but got so sick that I ended up second guessing my decision to go. When Monday came I was still sick. Then Tuesday. Then Wednesday. But by Wednesday evening I started feeling some better, so I made reservations on Orbitz. On my last visit in March of 2009 I ended up staying in Marietta at a Ramada Limited. It was clean, convenient, and close to the highway, so I decided I would try for Marietta again. I found a similar room, same ratings as last year, for about $10 cheaper in Marietta so I booked it at a total cost of around $80 for 2 nights.
Friday came and after work I rushed home to get my stuff and head out. Traffic thru Charlotte was awful and put me behind schedule. All of my driving was at nite and this gave me a terrible headache as the lights bothered me due to so much traffic. Around midnight, though, I had finally arrived in Marietta. Eventually I saw the hotel and my GPS told me to turn right, which was impossible as there was only a wall and no exit. I had trouble trying to get to the place, so eventually I called and the lady guided me to the entrance, which was up and off a side street across the bridge I’d kept going under. I should have turned left, then right, but the GPS didn’t say anything about turning left. I checked in rather quickly because I wanted to get to the room. So far motel looked nice so I was happy.
After parking around back I got my stuff out of the trunk, locked up and walked towards the stairs. Then I heard a man start coughing, which startled me. He watched me as I walked up the stairs and then started yelling incoherently at me. I didn’t like this at all, so I rushed to my room. I opened the door…and immediately wished I wasn’t staying there. It was dirty. It was really nasty. I closed and bolted the door shut. I was not happy. People started walking by my door loudly talking and stopping right outside of my door. I felt unsafe. I didn’t want to sleep in the bed, but had no real choice. After about 30 minutes, I got on my phone and used Hotwire to get a better room for the next night, which ended up being at the Atlanta Hilton in downtown for $71. I knew I’d be losing my money for the 2nd nite here, but I didn’t care. I didn’t get much sleep and as soon as morning came I packed up, checked out, and left. I’d never stay there again.
Six Flags was about 20 minutes away from the hotel. I checked out and told them I wouldn’t be back for the second nite, then headed out. The park was supposed to open at 10 AM, which means the rides usually open about 30 minutes later. I was meeting Dawn and Russ and got a call from Dawn on the way to the park. The ride to Six Flags was fairly easy and quick. Once I got off on the exit I paid to park at separate parking lot which was $5 more than Six Flags charges, but right outside the front gate. I walked over to buy a season pass which was only $4 more than a day ticket and then got in line to get it processed. This took about an hour total because everyone there was buying a pass on opening day. There weren’t a lot of people there, but most everyone who was there was in this line.
During this whole time the rides weren’t running that any of us could see. I talked to Dawn and let her know I was almost done and that I’d be there shortly. After getting my pass I headed over to the entrance of the park. Everyone up until this point had been more than friendly. The morning was beautiful, and walking into the main plaza of the park there were balloons everywhere. I spotted the Palmers quickly and after saying hi and taking a quick picture we headed to Goliath as it had just opened. We got to the entrance as everyone else had run to Goliath too. We waited for about 40 minutes, which is much more bearable with 2 other people to talk to, before finally getting on in the middle of the train. After a quick lap bar check and a double high five, something that would be had plenty through out the day, we were off.
Goliath–I enjoyed Goliath on my previous visit. It had no real ejector airtime, but very good sustained floating airtime. The first drop was so much better than I remembered. It felt like a really big drop this time, and I didn’t remember it feeling like that last time. The floater air over the first few hills was great and the helix has some nice sustained lateral forces. I really wish the trim brake after the helix wasn’t there because I think the rest of the ride would be insane, but you can’t always get what you want. The last few hills and the overbanked turn deliver a nice pleasant feeling of floating. On the last 3 bunny hops we noticed a cell phone go flying up about 2 rows ahead of us. As it came down it hit one of the girls in that row in the head before flying up again, then back down. When it flew up a third time, a girl on the end of the row caught it. We were in amazement that it was caught and everyone was laughing and talking about it. Then there was the last wonderfully evil hop before the brake run.
Sadly Goliath ran only one train, but the ride delivered very well. I almost purchased the on ride picture because we all had a look of astonishment on our faces due to the cell phone incident, but I passed. We walked over to Gotham City next. This was still the best Gotham City of any Six Flags park I’d been to. As we came around the corner Batman The Ride’s new paint job stood out. Dawn didn’t care for it, but I liked the 2 toned blues. We headed directly for Mind Bender. My last and only ride was okay, but nothing to write home about. I was hoping for a better ride this time.
Mind Bender–We got on near the back of the train after about a 20 minute wait. Again, only 1 train operation, but the wait really wasn’t bad. The other train was still disassembled, which we saw going up the lift hill. Mind Bender was much better this time. Again, the first drop was better than I remembered. The first loop was good. There were some very nice pops of light ejector air on some of the hills. Mind Bender was in a nice setting in the park and makes good use of its location. It was running better this time than list time and I was much happier with it. Even the horizontal loop was much more fun. So another coaster moves up in my rankings due to a much improved ride.
I needed a restroom stop so we walked over to the restrooms in Gotham. Then we went to grab a bite to eat. The original plan was Johnny Rocket’s across the park. We got in and the staff, while friendly and hollering Hello to everyone that walked in with their little spiel, weren’t moving fast. We waited for a while and eventually decided to go elsewhere. Russ suggested the BBQ joint over by the USA section of the park. Theme park food is over priced, but the pulled pork BBQ, fries, and potato salad were actually not bad. We sat and ate and talked and what not for a bit. Once we were done we headed to the back of the park to go ride Great American Scream Machine.
Once we arrived at the entrance, however, we were informed that the ride was closed to the public. A local radio station was holding a marathon on the coaster. We went over to their booth and Dawn and I played their Plinko game. I got a shirt, she got a tote bag. Since the Palmers had to leave to pick up Dawn’s mom at the airport, we headed to Superman Ultimate Flight for a final ride before they left. Once we got there, though, the line was about an hour long, and they didn’t have that kind of time to wait. We walked back down by Ninja and Dawn and Russ decided to call it a day. I planned to walk out with them to put my hoodie in the car and get my 4GB memory card, but when I walked by the Sky Buckets, I decided I’d hop on to the other side of the park. We all hugged and said good bye and I headed over to the Buckets.
This is one of those rides that I’ve started riding when I get a chance at parks. They’ve started to disappear so I try to get on them when I can. This one is actually useful as it goes from one side to the other quickly. When I got off of the ride I walked around that part of the park as Acrophobia stared down at me, taunting me. I didn’t ride it on my last visit. Drop towers scare me and this one is even scarier. But I knew if I didn’t do it then, I wouldn’t. The line wasn’t very long, so I hopped in.
Acrophobia-I like the signs in the queue showing height comparisons. After about 3 cycles I was sitting in my seat. The seats were different than I had imagined after hearing about the ride. Once we started to lift off, we started rotating around for a nice view of the park and Atlanta. At the top I closed my eyes. The gondola stopped rotating and the tower shook a tad. The operator went through his spiel the seats having already leaned forward. Soon we were falling. I like the falling part, but the ascent is what really scares me. Still, I was glad I rode.
I walked over to Cyclone, which had opened at this point, but the line was the same length it was when last I rode. They were only running one train, and the last time I waited almost an hour. The ride isn’t worth that kind of wait to me so I skipped and put it off until later. Being close to the front gate, I opted to run out to the Xterra and do what I had to do as my Camera’s internal memory was full and I was getting hot with a Hoodie and my jacket. My car was in the front of the private lot, which was just across the street from the park entrance, so it was ultra convenient. I was back in the park in about 10 minutes.
The mine train wasn’t opened yet and I wanted to ride. I took some pictures and then headed to the train. The train ride takes you all around the park, but I only rode to the stop in the back of the park. As we were riding you could clearly see the backstage areas, and even they had balloons and a festive atmosphere. The conductor mentioned that when we passed by employees, they weren’t waiving at the trains, they were smiling and waiving at us personally, and to remember to return the courtesy. That was a nice touch, and something that was prevalent through out the day. After I got off the train I remembered that I wanted to ride Monster Mansion so I headed over there next.
Monster Mansion-The façade is very well done. It really does look like an old mansion in the middle of the park. The line wasn’t very long, so in about 15 minutes I was sitting at the back of the boat and on my way. This is a very well done dark ride, one of my favorites. I liked the quirkiness of the whole ride, riding thru the first scene and seeing a dining room set set up in the water. The music was fun, the animatronics were done well. I like that there is a story and so many fun scenes. Then the scary scenes start. The face on the mist effect was really cool. The marsh scenes were really fun and spooky looking. This is a well rounded dark ride, with fun, light hearted scenes and a few scary scenes thrown in the mix. Some of the animatronics were rather huge, too.
I walked over to see if the mine train had opened up, but it had not yet so I walked back to Gotham City to ride Batman. Six Flags over Georgia is a very nice park with plenty of shade, and even though it has a slightly hilly terrain it isn’t hard to get around. I took some pictures here and there and eventually made it to the newly painted Batman. The wait was about twenty minutes with one train running.
Batman The Ride-While I was in line, someone in front of me got a call from someone in their party who said that Great American Scream Machine had opened to the public, so I now had a plan for after this ride. Soon I was sitting on the train ready to go. This is still my favorite Batman clone. The first drop was really good today, and the rapid succession of loop/Zero G roll/loop is intense, but fun. The twists and turns at the far end are so close together and pull strong forces. Even the corkscrews on Batman are fun. I don’t like a lot of inversions, but Batman is a great layout.
I booked it over to the Cotton States section of the park in hopes of a ride on Scream Machine. I got over there and the attendant told me that the Marathon was still going on, so the wait could be a little long. I didn’t care and got in line anyway. It was maybe a 20-30 minute wait tops before I was sitting on a train.
Great American Scream Machine-I really like this old woody. It had been running all day for the marathon since early morning, and it was running WELL. I didn’t feel any rough spots like I did last time. The first drop was good, the second was fun. Not a lot of air for the next hill, but the short hill before the turn around had nice ejector air. Every hill on the return trip delivered. It wasn’t major ejector air, but it was a lot of fun. I really like this classic wooden coaster.
I decided that since Ninja was so close I’d hop over and get in line. I really didn’t like the ride much on my last visit because the trains are uncomfortable and the ride shakes. But there was literally no line to ride, so I figured I might as well give it a courtesy ride.
Ninja-I think I said it before and I’m saying it again, I’m never riding this coaster again. The layout isn’t bad but the trains are terrible. The first drop rattled, the 2 inversions that followed rattled, the turns and swoops rattled, the corkscrews rattled. Even the jump to the brake run was uncomfortable. Ninja isn’t any fun and I don’t have any plans to get back in line again.
I have to remember that there is a reason for it not having a line. I walked over and got in line for Superman Ultimate Flight next, but once I got up to the end of the line and saw that it was about an hour wait, I promptly turned around and left. This was one of the coasters that really needed 2 train operations on opening weekend. It’s a fun ride, but not fun enough to wait that long with a closing time of 7PM. I walked up on the hill to get a picture of the carousel and rocking tug. I wanted to ride the cars, but they require 2 people and I was by myself. Going off the other side of the hill, I noticed that Canyon Blaster was running and I needed the credit so I made my way over to get my ride on.
Wile E. Coyote’s Canyon Blaster-This kiddie coaster was closed on my last visit and it looked like a lot of fun so I was bummed that I missed it. It had been closed all day, so I figured I wouldn’t get the chance to ride yet again, but thankfully there wasn’t a very long line when it did open, about 2 hours before the park’s closing. It’s actually rather fast for such a family ride, but it’s well done and uses the terrain and buildings that it rolls around.
I walked over by the mine train once more and it was running one train and I figured there may be a wait. I should have ridden, but opted not to. I passed by Cyclone again, and the line was still as long as it had been. So since I’d gotten my credit and all, I walked around the long way over to Goliath. I stopped and watched the beginning of Mr. Six’s Dance Party while waiting to take a picture of Goliath coming down the first hill before heading over to the entrance. I sat closer to the back this time, and again, the ride was just outstanding.
By the time I got on, it was getting pretty dark and the park was closing. After I was done I walked around a bit more and then headed to the front. The staff around the park was friendly and helpful all day and everyone at the exits and on the rides were high fiving guests and spieling, which made for a nice atmosphere. The day was cool but bright and beautiful. I’m glad I was able to get back and now that I have a season pass and live much closer to the park, I’m sure I’ll be back soon.
I left Austell and headed to downtown Atlanta. I made my way to the Hilton for my 2nd nite. After checking in and having my car parked (yay Valet parking!) I headed up to my room on the 23rd floor. I was hungry, but since I didn’t expect to be staying at the Hilton, I hadn’t brought any close that I felt were suitable for any of their restaurants, so I did the next best thing, I ordered room service: Pizza, a bread plate, and ginger ale. My 2nd evening was much nicer than the first, and I promised myself that the next time I take a weekend trip to Atlanta, I’ll just go ahead and book the 4 star room first. I’d planned to go to Turner Field and maybe the aquarium on Sunday but when I woke up I just wanted to head home. I packed up and headed out to pick the car up.
The ride home was rather uneventful, save for my stopping in South Carolina for a nap. In the end I was home by 5PM. Atlanta has quickly become one of my favorite cities. Next time I head down I’m going to spend time in the city proper for a few days instead of just Six Flags, but now that I’m so much closer, getting there is much easier than before.