Wednesday, April 1, 2009

California's Great America, Part II

...and now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Let's pick up with realizing that our assigned lunch had started. (there were 9,000 Lockheed employees and families there, so they staggered lunches in two different locations), so we planned to head over there. As many theme parks do, Great America also had those carts that sail above the park from one end to the other. On one side of the park, it was called Delta Flyers, and on the other it was Eagle's Flight. We got in line for Delta Flyers, since it would give us a good view of the park, plus it would put us off very close to lunch. We waited in line about fifteen minutes, and there were less than twenty people left in front of us. The ride moves pretty quick, since they load up to four p
eople every thirty seconds or so. But, there were technical difficulties (again) and the ride stopped. Tons of people were stuck in mid-air. While a bunch of people quickly turned around and left (we thought maybe it would be a quick problem like our previous ride had been), we stuck around another few minutes. Then, in a very unprofessional fashion, those at the front of the line shouted out that the workers said it would be a while and that we should all get out of line. There was a worker right there, and he did nothing to correct the situation. Well, we had to get to lunch so we headed out on foot.

We arrived at lunch just in time to see Kit and Andrew leave. They saved us space at a table though, which turned out to be good, as it was rather crowded. It was typical picnic food - hot dogs, bbq chicken, ziti, potato salad, salad, rolls. Coke fountains provided refreshing beverages, and there were ice cream sandwiches and push pops for dessert. The chicken was actually quite delicious (the sauce was good and thick). At the suggestion of others, we headed to Flight Deck, a typical suspension steel coaster. We waited in line for almost an hour, but spirits were high, so it was no big deal. When we got near the front of the line, there was actually a worker directing traffic. She asked if we wanted front or back... we said either. When she responded with "pick" we asked which was better. The confusion lie in that she was referring to the front half or the back half of the train, while we were thinking front or back ROW, since Busch Gardens has this option in place on several of their coasters. We go with the back half, as the line was shorter, and actually got on the next train. Again it became clear that the workers didn't know what to do in all situations, as the woman on the end of our row couldn't get her vertical strap buckled, and they told her to get off. She was not larger than the maximum for the ride, she just needed a strap extender, which is a typical option on coasters of this type. The ride was okay. Kinda slow, about a two-minute ride I'd guess, but a few interesting turns, and quite a corkscrew at one point.

We gave the Star Tower a shot, and it was the only ride of the day that we did twice. It's pretty much your standard "observation deck" ride, where you ride in a slow-spinning room high up, then get a couple panoramic views of the park, then you head down again. It was during this that we really realized how strange this park really is. The Disney properties in Orlando are so far set apart from anything else that you really are in a different "world." Same with Universal. Busch is a little different, but this place was strange. There are major roads and buildings and corporations RIGHT THERE.

Here are some pics of the park to tide you over!

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