Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great America Weekend Getaway

A week before my first final this month, we went to our local theme park. Basically, I drive pass this park whenever I go to school. It's in the same road with my out-of-campus school building. Yes, it is that close!

Although Great America is so close with where we live, I never have any intention to visit the park. Why? Because I  heard people say that Great America is almost the same with Six Flags... which means its main attractions are roller coasters / thrill rides. And ... you guys know about my low roller-coaster tolerance right? That's why I thought I won't enjoy Great America. 

So what brought me to Great America then? The answer is really simple ... my husband had company outing there. The company paid for almost everything: parking, lunch, and entry tickets for two. Yes, I'm scared of the rides, but I won't say no to free stuff =P

We arrived there not too early that Saturday (that kinda show how eager I was). I think it was close to 11AM. When we're finally inside the park, we really didn't know what to do. I didn't make any preparation. No itinerary, no must-go-rides list. For a while we were just staring at the park map. Then we decided we could just walk around and see the rides. If we find an interesting ride, then we can just line up. Not long after that, I saw this one ride!

Celebration Swings

We had a local theme park in Jakarta called Dufan. That local park had this exact same ride. We actually have our pre-wedding photo sessions in that park, and we took one picture in front of this ride. This ride made me feel nostalgic =) My husband likes the ride. He said it was very relaxing.

It looks the same right?

After riding the swings, my husband somehow convinced me to try one of the roller coasters. He said, "let's take this as a preparation for Disney World and Universal Orlando." I agreed on the idea although I wasn't sure if I really have the guts to ride Great America's roller coasters. We looked around, and saw a part of this roller coaster. 

We couldn't see the ride's entrance so we decided to circle the track. I actually wanted to see the full picture of the roller coaster in order to decide whether I'm brave enough to ride it or not =P Turns out, that roller coaster is called Vortex. It is rated 5, which means aggressive thrill, on the park map. People ride the roller coaster standing! Gosh, off course we didn't ride Vortex. Instead, I lured my husband to ride this gondola. This way we could see the whole park without having to exhaust our self.

The Eagle's Flight

Btw, before I forget, there was a moment of confusion early in the beginning. We saw people walked with park map but I remember clearly there was no information booth near the park entrance.  Later we found out that the park maps could be obtained in front of restrooms. Anyway, after we arrived at the other part of the park, we saw this mini roller coaster. I feel that this is the right roller coaster to test my gut =P

The roller coaster was quite fun. It didn't look that fast but when we rode, I actually felt a little bit scared. It was quite high and sometimes during turns, I felt like we're being thrown out of the track. Just like its name, the vehicle - which seats four people - looks like a mouse. What I didn't like about the ride ... was the line. We waited for more than 45 minutes. Overall the ride is not bad. We were laughing out of excitement when it ended. Since lunch was at 2PM, we felt that we could take two more rides. So off we went to Tiki Twirl!

Tiki Twirl's Entrance

Posing while waiting
I saw this ride and was intrigued. I felt that it might be fun, but I was kinda scared too. Anyway, I forced myself to man up and just took the ride. We waited for another 45 long minutes. It was worth it! Overall, me and my husband agreed that this is the best ride in Great America (for us). I was laughing pretty hard throughout the ride. 

The ride is quite unique. Basically people sit facing outward on that round plate. The plate spins and also moves up and down on a W-shaped track. So the track has two high points and two low points. You can see from their face that Tiki Twirl is really awesome! =)

After Tiki Twirl we went to this mini roller coaster called Berserker. We chose this ride just because the line was short. We waited for around ten minutes. It was just OK. Nothing special.

The Berserker

When we finished with Berserker, it was already ten minutes past two. So we hurried to the picnic grove where the lunch meeting was. The lunch theme was American. We ate hot dogs, burgers, and chips. They had open bar too. However, the main attraction was the temporary tattoo booth. We were too late for the tattoo. When we went there, the tattoo artist said she was done for the day =(

After lunch, we went to Grizzly with my husband's colleagues. Grizzly is a wooden roller coaster. I know for sure (from playing roller coaster tycoon) that wooden roller coaster's track doesn't have upside-down twist. So it's pretty save according to my standard. We were just about to line up when people told us that the roller coaster was broken. So we said good bye to my husband's colleagues and continued to explore the park. We arrived at Planet Snoopy, which is kid's area of the park. Here, we spotted another roller coaster. Knowing that this was supposed to be kids' roller coaster, I told my husband I don't mind riding in the front seat =P 

The queuing line has Snoopy's comic strips. So cute. The wait was not too bad. We waited for less than 10 minutes. We did get the front seat and I didn't regret choosing it. It was really fun! Like its name, Woodstock Express, the rides was super express. I think the whole ride experience is only less than a minutes. Definitely not worth it if the line is long. But when there's minimal line, go for it! 

Woodstock Express

After the mini roller coaster, I felt that I wanted to ride some headliner attraction next. We heard one of my husband's colleagues mentioned about Rip Roaring Rapids.Yes, we would be wet ... but looking at the park map, it seemed that GA has a few wet thrill rides. So, since we're already wet, I assumed we could ride all the wet rides. Furthermore, we did bring some fresh shirts and pants for change. However, when we were heading there, we spotted this ride!

H.M.B Endeavor

Ah, this was another ride that we have back there in the Indonesian local theme park. For the sake of memory, I insisted on riding this. This ride was located near the GA water park. 

In front of the entrance there was this cool lighthouse. The line was pretty bad considering that this was just a small attraction (not roller coasters). I think we waited for almost 30 minutes. While I was waiting, I noticed something strange. How come people who are done with the ride seem scared? So I put more attention on the next group of people. After that, I just realized that this might not be the same exact old ride that I like. Btw, on the queuing line, there was a canopy (so we didn't have the full view of the ride until we were about to ride). I saw the boat swings really hard. At times, I couldn't see the whole boat because my sight was blocked by the canopy. That means the ship swung almost 90 degree or maybe more. One time the ship swung to the right ... and after 15 seconds or so ... it appeared on my left! OMG ... This ship actually swings 360 degree!


I forced myself to ride just because we were next in line. However, I didn't enjoy the ride at all. It was too aggressive for my taste. You know what's worse? When the ship was upside down, it froze for 5 seconds or so... I actually could feel I was hanging upside down and my life depended solely on the safety belt and restrainer. Moral of the story: watch the ride first before deciding to line up =P

Next, we rode Orbitz and we didn't like it. Basically we rode on a car / ship (don't really remember) type of vehicle on the edge of a round plate which spins really fast. One vehicle could seat two people. FYI, somehow there is no safety belt on this ride. I got a little bit dizzy after but I was okay again after a minutes or so. Not the same case with my husband. He got a little bit nauseated (and cranky =P) after the ride, and to my surprise, it lasted almost 2 hours. After this we finally went to Rip Roaring Rapids. I was disappointed with the ride. There was no thrill / fun parts at all throughout the ride. Personally, I felt that the whole point of the ride was just to make passengers wet. We didn't take any picture on these two rides, partly because we were so wet! We tried to follow our original intention, which was to ride all the wet attractions after that, but we failed. The wet thrill rides' location are dispersed. We didn't feel like walking all around the park because it was so windy that day. So we changed clothes and rested. I wanted to ride Centrifuge ... but looking at my husband ... I knew it wasn't possible. Maybe next time. It isn't fun to ride alone right?

After resting and snacking, we were finally ready to continue our day in the park. We went back to the wooden roller coaster, Grizzly, and fortunately it was up and running again. The wait was pretty bad. We waited in line for almost one hour. However, the ride itself was fun. I think it was worth the wait. My husband was smiling again after the ride =)

The main entrance

Grizzly is quite big so it's kinda hard to get the full picture of the ride

When we finished with Grizzly, it was almost 7PM. So we thought we had enough rides for the day. Well, we finally decided we could take one more ride before we go home since we would have to walk all the way to the entrance of the park anyway (Grizzly is located almost at the back of the park). We tried to line up for Tiki Twirl, since it was overall my favorite ride in GA, but the line was very long. I didn't want to stand for another 45 minutes. Besides, we were pretty hungry too. 

I asked my husband if he want to ride the pumpkin patch. But he said no =P I guess it was too childish for him. I thought the ride was cute =) However, we rode the mini roller coaster, Woodstock Express, one more time. This second time the wait was exactly 10 minutes. We didn't get the first seat again though... 

On our way to the front entrance ... we saw another headliner attraction. This time is an inverted roller coaster called flight deck. Hmm, my husband said I should try this roller coaster to test whether I'm brave enough for Universal Island of Adventure's Dueling Dragon. I was hesitating but finally decided to man up. 

The line was okay. We waited for around 25 minutes. Btw, for those who don't know, an inverted roller coaster is:

" a roller coaster in which the train runs under the track with the seats directly attached to the wheel carriage. This latter attribute is what sets it apart from the older suspended coaster, which runs under the track, but "swings" via a pivoting bar attached to the wheel carriage. Inverted coasters are notable for their "reversed" orientation compared to a traditional roller coaster, with the passengers' legs, rather than arms, exposed." 
[taken from wikipedia:]

So ... it was fun but in a scary way. LOL. I think this was the fastest roller coaster plus the scariest ride that we rode that day. It was still better than the Endeavor though, because at least I could enjoy Flight Deck a little bit. The roller coaster was too fast until I couldn't scream. I was also worried about losing my sport shoes on the ride since it was pretty windy up there. 

I tried to capture the vehicle, but since it moved so fast, the result is always blurred. That's the last ride for the day. Besides rides, GA has fun booths like these:

So that's our whole day in GA. Overall, the park exceeds my expectation. Well, it was just a local park for me, and of course not comparable to branded parks like Disney, Universal, or even Six Flags. For a local park, it's not bad. Especially if you also consider the low entry ticket price in comparison to branded parks. I also noticed that they have a pretty strict safety measures on their rides which is a great plus for me.  

I might be back just for Tiki Twirl. Seriously. I loveeee that ride. 

So does my husband's strategy really work? Will I be brave enough to ride Dueling Dragons, The Incredible Hulk, The Mummy, Dinosaur, and Tower of Terror since I'm successfully conquered Flight Deck? I'm not sure *LOL*. We'll see when we get there. Can you believe in two days I will be going to Orlando, Florida?? =D So excited!


  1. game booth yang ngelewatin tangga buat nyebrang buat dapetin boneka itu susah banget lho. ada sama persis di legoland. mesti balance banget itu, kalo gak pasti keputer jatoh. :D

  2. Iya ko .. aku sempet nonton bentar. Ternyata tangganya itu kaya geter2 gt deh. Btw nulis long post itu cape banget ya ko ternyata hahaha