While not my normal m.o. of a detailed written trip report, I hear that some folks like photos with their TRs. Well, here ya go!
The primary feature of this park is its proximity to my living room sofa. (Just about 10 miles) But, with some out-of-town first-timers wanting to make a visit, we figured we'd play along and make our first trip to the park in three years.
This being late in the season, plus the fact that this park is absolutely dreadful about adding major attractions, meant light crowds, and light enthusiasm as well.
In reality, it's a perfectly pleasant park. Even if it screams 1976, the older areas of the park are actually quite beautiful. Gotta love being able to ride a classic skyride.
With the park's marquee Invertigo closed (more on that later), the main draw defaulted to Flight Deck, the 1993 B&M inverted.
No question that what this ride does, it does well. But at a scant 2000+ feet, it really only feels like half a coaster.
It's got the great and forceful elements an intense inverted should, just not nearly enough of them. I scoff at your mere three inversions!
Making a loop around the park, we were sure to hit some of the flat rides. This Chance offering looks much more overwhelming than it actually feels.
The new-for-2009 attraction (if you can believe it), is a Huss TopSpin.
The ride is pretty much what you'd expect, but the smoke and fire elements were a nice surprise, especially considering it was an empty park in the low season.
Making our way to the back of the park, we find a rare Arrow Wild Mouse, and one of the biggest ride marquees you'll ever encounter.
After you ponder whether the coaster is worth such an entrance, you'll actually get treated to a solid ride.
The trick track and some tight banked turns almost make this version stand out among its peers.
I'm not sure which is more disappointing, the uncomfortable ride experience, or the overzealous attempt at themeing and immersion. Not a favorite.
Definitely a favorite. Great views of Silicon Valley (can't quite see our place) plus a gut-wrenching drop and no crowds meant re-rides aplenty.
I'm hard pressed to find a coaster that offers LESS thrill with MORE roughness. Not quite as painful as the next coaster down, but almost entirely pointless.
That's an awful lot of wood. (Coincidentally, the ride experience is also awful.)
Fortunately, I cautioned our friends in advance, so they were well prepared, and are still willing to talk to me.
The high-profile passenger-stranding lift incident has left Invertigo silent for a while now, knocking out one of the few highlights the park has to offer. Lame.
If only Demon were so well-hidden that we forgot to ride it.
What looks like a classic coaster surrounded by lush foliage is actually one of the most unpleasant rides I've come across.
Rough, jerky, and jarring all at once, it's much more pleasant to sneak a peek than to actually ride it.
Things are only slightly better over at Vortex. B&M's third coaster has not aged nearly as well as its Inverted counterpart on the other side of the park.
While not quite as painful as Demon, this standup offers its share of ear abuse. Take off those earrings, folks.
One big reason we're stuck with outdated attractions are cranky neighbors who fight the park every time they try to add something new. Thanks to them there's no GCI coming anytime soon. Jerks.
What's left is an odd mix of Marriott themeing, Paramount rides, and Cedar Fair operations. And, with the ongoing real estate issues, don't expect any improvements anytime soon.
Fortunately, it's not a bad place to spend the day, especially if you can make it back home in about 10 minutes.