Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thoughts from 2014 Opening Weekend

Dodging the rain on opening day Saturday, I went to the second day of CGA's Opening Weekend celebration on Sunday. I was able to grab a backpack for being one of the first 2,500 guests for the day. Thanks CGA!

I've already listed most of the new-for-2014 details in my previous post, so here are some thoughts from Opening Weekend:

- Fun TV is now in the queues for most rides. Here, the TVs play music videos, show the weather and present park trivia, with surprisingly few ads. I have mixed feelings about this new addition to the park. While it works well in some lines (Grizzly), it absolutely kills the themeing in Gold Striker's and Tiki Twirl's queues. Especially Gold Striker; gone is the themed music, replaced with poppy radio music. However, the themed music is still in the station, but that's the only place where you can hear it.

- Flight Deck's new paint job looks great. Wish they replaced the faded-out posters of the fighter jets, but one thing at a time I suppose.

- Grizzly's station has a new color scheme. Once you see it, you can't help but think CGA is a little too excited for the 49ers moving in next door. The retracked portion of Grizzly is pretty smooth. A bit odd that the facade for the Haunt maze Zombie High is still up, making Grizzly look like it's got a new post-apocalyptic theme.

- Drop Tower was running all six cabins in the morning for the first time in two seasons. An hour or so later, it was down to four.

- Demon's queue has opened up due to the park cutting down some trees around the loops and adding new landscaping during the off season. Looks much improved. Also, Demon now has its own voiceover track that welcomes you to the ride and tells you to check your seatbelt.

- Land clearing has begun next to Delirium, and the foundation for a new Haunt structure is beginning to take shape.

- Being early in the season, operations were a bit off. Surprisingly, Grizzly had quicker dispatches than Gold Striker.

- A new entrance is being built into the Picnic Pavilion from the parking lot.

- Season pass processing got an overhaul. Instead of writing your information on a card, you now enter it into a computer. Afterward, you wait your turn to take a photo. For me, it was easy and quick. But for some reason, the line to get to that point doubled in time from previous seasons. It took a good 40 minutes to get through half of Triple Play's former queue, which is where season pass processing overflow goes.

- Has Gold Striker gotten faster? Maybe it's been awhile since I last rode it, but it sure seemed more forceful (in a good way). Rode it twice for a total of 44.

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