Thursday, May 21, 2009

Terminator Salvation: The Ride

What a busy day! It started early with me packing up the car this morning with all our belongings. Then I had to drive down to San Diego to pick up the keys to our new place. I spent the next several hours packing and moving, trying to get as much done as I could in a limited time. My time was limited because I got an invitation for an event that I couldn't pass up! Last night a friend of mine on & offered Sarah and I a chance to preview the all new Terminator Salvation: The Ride two days before it opens to the public! A radio station was giving away these special preview tickets for those who entered in on their website. My friend David and his parents all won tickets. The were nice enough to include Sarah and I as their guest. Sarah's boss let her leave work early and we were on the road before 2:30. Unfortunately traffic was terrible and we didn't get to the park until after 5:30! The event started at 6:00 when the park closed to the general public. We were worried that arriving so late to registration the line would be packed, but it actually only took a few minutes.

The tickets were for park admission and the wrist band is what got you on the rides! It kind of felt like we were back at West Coast Bash! The T-Shirts helped too...

Since so many Theme Park Review members won tickets Robb Alvey asked us to wear our site/event shirts to show our pride and to help identify each other. This was also a good time to buy a new shirt because Robb was selling them for only $5. I couldn't pass up the offer!

I met with him at the very short line for Terminator Salvation. We were all very shocked that the crowds were this low! We were expecting the place to be flooded with people. Luckily for us this meant more rides on Terminator Salvation: The Ride. The ride line is pretty neat looking, decorated with aged looking railings, barbwire, steel buildings, and vehicles used on the set of the actual movie!

After the line we entered a building and this is where the pre-show begins. The 1st room looks like some kind a bunker or base with radio and surveillance equipment and television monitors. It is very loud inside the building and it sounds like there is a war going on just outside. The pre-show begins with visual transmissions from a women in an unknown desert area. As the story moves along you find out she is at Six Flags Magic Mountain and the Terminator Machines are surrounding the place! Her mission is to protect a group of survivors (us) that are hiding out in an old Terminator factory.

Though I'm not that impressed with the acting in the pre-show, I think it totally did the trick for building excitement for what's to come!

The pre-show consist of 3 sections each adding to the story of the rollercoaster that awaits us. As the conflict gets out of hand it is important for us to escape using the "train" to get us out of this hot spot.

The station looks just like any generic station but with a section of track just above it. Just as you're standing there waiting to board, a train comes roaring through the station!

Trying to keep the excitement of the pre-show alive in the ride, mechanical type sounds and rhythm start playing from the on-ride audio on the train. The audio builds up the excitement while traveling up the lift hill. As you reach the top the "escape" begins. The ride is very quick and fast paced, rushing through lumber and twisted track! The ride changes direction and elevation quickly offering little bits of positive, negative and lateral G forces. In addition to flying by tons of disorienting supports and studs the train also rushes through two tunnels and the ride station!

Sarah and I were both extremely excited about Terminator Salvation: The Ride, and it did not let us down! I was really concerned about the ride being too short, and while yes it is a short ride, I think it packs a satisfying punch! After our first ride we jumped right back in-line and it started all over again. Although I was really impressed with the pre-show I really didn't want to see it on my second run. When we got to the station we were assigned to front row! So far it is my favorite seat on this coaster because it seems to pack more forces than in the middle. Another thing that makes the front seat greater than the others is the speaker position. The speakers up front are at a lower height than on the other cars making the audio a bit less "in your face."

After our second ride we didn't want to deal with the pre-show again. To keep the excitement going for us we attempted to get a ride on a coaster that Sarah and I have only been on once together! Back in 2007 when Sarah and I just started making regular trips to Six Flags Magic Mountain we got one great ride on my favorite coaster at the time Déjà Vu! Easily one of the most scariest rides in the park, my favorite seats were the outside seats in the very last row. Sarah and I have never been so afraid on a rollercoaster like we were then! Back then Déjà Vu was a must ride for me and I would never skip it on my visits to the park. Since Sarah and I have been together we have avoided the ride due to long lines and Sarah being afraid of the ride. My last ride on Déjà Vu was in October of 2007 with my buddy Joe. It was at that time I learned that there was a height cut off on the ride and I was too tall for it! I recently checked my height last week and for some reason I shrunk a bit! I'm now 75 and 3/4 inches, and quarter inch under the restriction.

As we walked through the line Sarah was way behind me trying to get out of riding it. I gave her a little bit of a guilt trip to get her on the ride. As we sat there waiting for the ride to start I could sense her fear so I tried to distract her. I told her we got to ride a brand new coaster and now an old favorite of mine, I'm now ready to get married. She smiled and seemed to lighten up. The ride was no where near as scary as we used to believe, but it still had it amazing forces and excitement, especially that backwards loop!

After that Sarah was hungry for some Pizza so we headed over to theWaterfront for Papa John's Pizza. We ordered our food and I went to get out my Xtreme Play Pass for the discount and I realized my card is missing! The last time I used it was in April so I have no idea how long it's been missing. We sat down and ate our (paid too much) pizza while talking to David's parents about Ohio trips, Cedar Fair prices, and all things coasters, and some things not. The big birds collected up their little ones from their home in The Movie District to come beg us for food!

We talked for a while but now it was time to ride again! We headed back to Terminator Salvation: The Ride for a night ride! We still would have like to skip the pre-show, but it sure beats just sitting in any regular line! We boarded near the middle of the train and got one exciting night ride in. The fire effect blasting out of the vehicle below totally lit up the area!

The audio was so loud on the train my ears ears rang for the rest of the night. Sarah also things she got a migraine from the audio level. We kept hearing that X2 was a walk on so we had to check it out and take advantage of it! When we got to the coaster we found out that it wasn't running and having troubles so we headed back up to Tatsu! Tatsu was about a two train wait but only because they were only operating one train. We waited for front to take advantage of the ultimate night ride!

My favorite rides on Tatsu are always at night, and tonight was no exception. The ride was fast, forceful, and buttery smooth. After that Sarah's migraine started to kick in so we skipped a second Déjà Vu ride and headed to X2 to end the night.

The gate looked kind of haunting with no one present!

X2 was still down but we decided to wait it out. I think we waited about 20 minutes before it started operating again. When we first got in the station there were a few groups waiting, but when it was go time there was only 6 people still waiting. Sarah was laying down on a bench in the station during the wait. When it was time to go, she told me to go alone. I rode X2 near the front of the train on the inside seat (a first for me.) The ride was great, but I know it could be better, so my next ride was on the outside towards the middle of the train. Much more intense than in the front of the train, and more my style too. In between rides I would go to the bench and tell Sarah just one more time, and I would re-board the same train. My last ride on X2 and for the night was as close as I could get to my favorite seat. I sat in the second to last row on the outside seat. It was by far the best X2 ride of the night. This was the first time I've been on X2 with the fog present during the ride. It defiantly adds some excitement to the ride, especially at the end of the Outside Raven Turn.

The event was now over and it was time to leave! As we were down the hill on Magic Mountain Parkway waiting at a light, Sarah tried to take some headache medicine. I don't know what she did, but she almost puked! I asked her to open her door, but she said she is fine and it's gone, but then it happened again! She seemed kind of helpless so I reached over and opened her door. She totally puked a few good ones out the side of the car. We pulled into the gas station to the right so I could buy her some water. Even though she got sick, She still had a great time! She was dying to ride a new coaster and we have David and his parent's to thank for that! So Thank You. Thank You. Thank you! Are Credit Counts are now: 45 - Me, and 44 - Sarah!

Sorry the pictures aren't that great, I was more excited to ride than to blog!

Next Trips are Cedar Point 6/5, and Kings Island 6/6! Thanks for reading and have fun!

Today's Ride Rankings

04. Tatsu
03. Déjà Vu
02. X2
01. Terminator Salvation: The Ride

This is kind of a tough one... X2 is clearly the better ride, but it wasn't that great riding it alone. Terminator Salvation: The Ride was really great and it takes the cake because my first ride on it was by far the most exciting part of the day!

Found Coins: 9 Pennies

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