Anyone have advice on SFOG?
Six Flags Over Georgia:
I was wondering if someone could tell me overall how the park is?
I am planning a trip to SFOG next spring, I was wondering if someone could tell me overall how the park is? What are the best roller coasters? I live in NC so I am a good 7hrs away, so is SFOG worth my gas? I've been going to Kings Dominion for the past 5 years and ready for something different, although Kings Dominion is my all time favorite park so far. Any advice guys on SFOG would be appreciated?
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
The last time I was there I swore it would be my last trip there. The staff is extremely rude, the trash in the park is unbelievable. Garbage cans over flowing, trash on the walkways, the restaurants aren't much better. The counters looked as if they hadn't seen a wash cloth since the 70's. The park is overrun by rude teenagers boardering on gangs. There is no respect for lines, if they want on, they walk right passed everyone and ignore anyone who tells them to stop. Food pricing is thru the roof for crap that isn't edible. Parking is outrageous. Oh and there was a shooting there a few months ago. All in all I say it is a terrible park that should be closed. I live in Georgia and am ashamed to how the park has turned. If I were you I would rethink the drive and the gas. Maybe you could save just a little more money and drive to Orlando. Islands of Adventure is well worth it if your a coaster fan. We go every year. Also, we love EPCOT. We hit it every year to. I can't tell you what to do, but in my opinion, I'd go somewhere else cleaner, friendlier, and more fun. Just my opinion.
From Tom C
Posted August 24, 2006 at 11:41 AM
I agree. SFOG is one of the most horrific parks I have been to in a long time. The last time I went, we went to Customer Diservice to get our money back...
First, parking was haphazard and expensive, second the people at the ticket window had no clue what they were doing. We finally got into the park, very dirty, very rude employees.
We were inline for Superman, and the ride broke. It was broken for about 30min b/f they made an anoucement, and they only annonced that they were haveing a slight delay. We figured that they would have told us that there was going to be a major delay if there was going to be one (like most themeparks do), but thrity min later we were still waiting, so we left the line.
The worst part of our day however came when we tried to have lunch. We made the mistake of eating at DeeJay's. You can read my review of the resturant on it's rating page. I won't re-hash it here other to say that I prefer to eat at locations that are sanitary, and it was not.
From steve lee
Posted August 24, 2006 at 5:22 PM
First off, I have to refute one of the previous poster's statements: there was a shooting at a BUS STOP near the park. Please don't make it sound like there was a shooting inside the park. That's just spreading misinformation, and this website has enough people taking care of that.
I'm a fan of SFOG. Is it the best park in the country? No, not by a long shot. But in my experience they do what they do well. The coaster selection is varied and the quality of the rides are exceptional nearly across the board (the exception for me is Ninja. I generally like Arrow megaloopers, but the compact layout puts the elements a little too close together for my comfort). The parking is $15. This was a chainwide thing for Six Flags (not counting parks where they aren't in charge of the lots, like SFKK), so be prepared for that. Also, make sure you're parking in the SIX FLAGS lot. There's a private parking lot just before you get to the park. They'll overcharge you, there's no security, and they'll pack far too many cars into the lot, making your exit difficult (and increasing your chances of getting dinged by someone else).
Atlanta has a large urban population. If that's an issue for you, I recommend not going to SFOG. I have yet to see a group there that seemed like they were a gang, although I did go the day of a large Christian gathering, and that was pretty close.
If you choose to go, I recommend scoring a QBot (FLASH PASS). It's an upcharge item, but it works very much like Disney's FASTPASS or Universal's EXPRESS PLUS system. If you want to be luxurious, splurge for the GOLD Qbot. Rather than reserving a time, it cuts the wait by at least 75 percent. With a standby time of 120 minutes for Goliath, I rode after waiting four minutes with a Gold Qbot. This service is NOT cheap, but it guarantees lots of repeat rides on the many coasters there.
And the coaster lineup is one of the best. Goliath is a very, very good coaster with severe airtime (almost ejector air). Superman: Ultimate Flight is the coaster that made me believe all Flyers didn't suck. Deja Vu is a maintenance nightmare, but when it's running it's a definite must-ride. Batman - the Ride is a clone, but it's easily one of the most intense inverts out there. Georgia Scorcher is a standup coaster. Sorry, I'm not a big fan of them. The woodies (Cyclone and GASM) are both very, very good (although they can't compete with woodies like Beast or the entire Holiday World lineup). Mindbender is a masterpiece.
Then there's Monster Plantation. I can't explain this ride, other than to say that it's the best awful dark ride I've ever been on. I love it, even though I think it's horrible. Like I said, I can't explain it.
If you're a King's Dominion fan, I think SFOG will certainly be a worthwhile destination.
I personally LOVE SFOG. It's tied for first as being my fave SF park. The other, so far, is SFFT. (Fiesta Texas). The only complaint I have is the hills having to walk up & down constantly so for ppl like me who have bad knees, or any other physical ailment like that, may have a difficult time. The first time I went was on a Sunday I believe. I either went Sun-Mon or Mon-Tues. It may've been Mon-Tues & so the wait in line wasn't so bad except for the water rides so I skipped them, also Batman line was the longest, the indoor scrambler ride line was short but was a long wait & of course Superman line looked long but I didn't ride it; the Scorcher was like 30 min wait, the Scorcher is tied for first as my fave coaster ever (tied with Flight of Fear, Loch Ness Monster, & Big Bad Wolf & UltraTwister). I think it's worth paying for the FAST PASS or FAST LANE where you can reserve a ride, on my second visit, I rented one. Ninja was ok but a lot of headbanging because it turns abruptly so much. DeJaVu was working this past summer--2005, on my second visit--but in 2004, it was closed so whatever was messed up must've been fixed I chickened out on that one though. Also, Acrophobia was working in 2005 as in 2004 it wasn't, chickened out on that one too. The Carousel is absolutely AMAZING. Although it may be viewed as a kiddie type ride, the horses are absolutely HUGE! Rumor has it that the legs had to be cut down so ppl could get on the horses! I believe it! It's absolutely the most or one of the most beautiful & elegant carousels of that type I've ever seen! Overall, the park is not only beautiful, it is nice & shady, has water misters here & there, most que lines have large fans blowing too--great idea plus they have benches under a canopy to rest on not to mention areas thru out the park on which to rest. The workers also keep the park VERY clean, the restrooms were pretty clean too. The train is a good idea as is the cable car ride to get from one side of the park to the other. Be careful though, I got seriously lost from the Carousel side of the park trying to get to the front gate to leave. I went around in circles like 3 times trying to get out, thank goodness the cable cars started up again! The ppl are very friendly just be sure to ask how to use the Q-BOT if you've never used one. I had trouble, finally a nice patron showed me how to reserve a ride. There are 2 other complaints I remembered, 1) the burger joint across from the scrambler ride was NOT clean by any means & flies everywhere & 2) on my second visit--2005--a large group of us were left standing in the parking lot at the trolly pickup for at least 20 minutes before we decided to walk to the gate--a VERY long walk BTW. There were only 2 trollys running that day & BOTH of them went to the very back of the lot to pick up ppl. That happened the entire time we were standing there. The first visit in 2004 it didn't happen that way at all. I'm going to write them a letter about that. All in all, I think you'll enjoy SFOG VERY much! I look forward to going every year that I visit Georgia for business. This past summer, 2005, I went on a Thursday w/a friend. My friend didn't want to get on any rides so I didn't really enjoy myself as much due to that but I think very much that you'll luv it & YES, to me, it's worth the drive! You can always fly in & rent a car too if you want to as an alternative to the drive.
Can someone explain to me exactly what this Qbot or gold pass is?
From steve lee
Posted August 25, 2006 at 9:18 AM
A Qbot is a virtual ride reservation system, a la FASTPASS at Disney. You rent a Qbot device (about the size of a McDonalds cheeseburger) that clips onto your belt loop. At the entrance to each of the major attractions, there's a device where you "scan" your Qbot. The computer goes to work and tells you at what time you can return and enter the loading station, bypassing the standby line.
Using a regular Qbot only saves you having to stand in line. If there's a half hour wait, your return time won't be for 30 minutes (but you won't have to wait in line). A GOLD Qbot, however, reduces the wait time by around 75 percent. So if the posted standby time is an hour, you're gonna be riding in 15 minutes.
Like FASTPASS, there are plenty of folks who will talk poorly of the system, saying that it really doesn't save time and is a waste. Like FASTPASS, a person who understands the system will have no problem taking advantage of it and maximizing their ride time.
They also offer a system where you can get FOTL for one attraction only, but I don't think it's really a great idea unless there's just one ride there you're really obsessed with.
The bad side to the Qbot (or, as they've renamed it, FLASH PASS) is that it is NOT cheap. A regular Qbot for one person costs $25 (add $15 for each additional person), while a Gold Qbot costs $50 (add $25 for each additional person). You can get coupons for the Qbot if you're a season passholder, but that's about it for discounted rates (when I got the Gold, I used a coupon and it ended up costing me $30. Was it worth it? Well, I never saw the standby line for Goliath dip under 90 minutes, so yeah - I'd say it was).
Hope that wasn't too confusing. You can learn more about the Flash Pass system at www.lo-qusa.com (hope it's okay to post that)
Is the Qbot worth getting during the week days?
From steve lee
Posted August 25, 2006 at 5:26 PM
That one I can't really answer. I only have hit the park on weekends. Probably not, though you may want to keep a little extra money in your budget just in case you get there and it's a madhouse.
So Steve, you sound like you know the park well, what ride in your opinion is your favorite? I personally like the launch coasters and inverted coasters, any coasters ther like that?
From steve lee
Posted August 25, 2006 at 7:25 PM
No launching coasters at SFOG, but I think the rest of the lineup is solid. If I had to rank a top five, it'd be like this:
1. Goliath (B&M hypercoaster) - airtime machine. The layout is a little kooky, but the design is rock solid. Every hill provides good airtime, with at least two coming close to ejector air.
2. Deja Vu (Vekoma inverted boomerang) - You've got a 50/50 chance of getting to ride this, as it is a mechanical nightmare to keep operational. When it is up and running, however, this ride is SICK.
3. Batman: The Ride (B&M invert) - yeah, it's the same coaster as every other Batman: The Ride at nearly every other SF park, but you can't blame them for adopting a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. This is a very intense invert with all the bells and whistles you should expect from B&M. Solid all around ride.
4. Superman - Ultimate Flight (B&M flyer) - prior to riding this, I had written off flying coasters as painful one-trick ponies. Then I hit the pretzel loop in S:UF and I understood what a flying coaster was supposed to be (this is kinda like how I didn't understand what a wooden coaster was supposed to be until I visited Holiday World). Great ride, far better than that poor POS flyer they have at Carowinds (and I say that with respect, as I know Stealth was the first flyer made).
5. Great American Scream Machine (PTC wood) - a very traditional out and back that has only gotten better with age (built in 73). Or maybe my tolerance for wood has gotten better with age. I dunno. Regardless, this sucker is a classic.
The rest of the lineup is pretty good as well (though I still take exception to Ninja. Just remember to keep your head against the back headrest and you should be fine. I made the mistake of turning my head right in the middle of a turn and bashed the side of my face against the shoulder restraint. My fault, not the rides)
I went to SFOG for the first time this summer, and kinda liked it. The park is not going to blow anyone away, but it's got a good collection of attractions. We went on a Thursday afternoon, and were able to knock out most of the major attractions in a little more than 5 hours.
Goliath is a good addition to the park, but it's not quite as good as Apollo's Chariot or Nitro. George Scorcher is probably one of the smoothest stand-up coasters in the country, and Mind Bender (an old Schwartzkopf looper) is possibly the best coaster in the park. The park also has three clones (Deja Vu, Batman, and Superman: Ultimate Flight).
I have heard that the crowds in this park can become unbearable, but if you go during the week or arrive at park opening on a Sunday, I think you would enjoy your visit.
I was thinking about going on a monday in mid may or the end of may, do you think I will be safe from the unbearable crowds?
That will def. help. It's swamped on weekend's...but if you've never been to Atlanta, don't forget about the traffic...Overall, I was disappointed with the park, but they do have some really fun rides. And I've always liked to way Batman: The Ride looks...although, I wouldn't list it as a "beautiful" ride...just a nest. By the way, King's Dominion is my home park, just so you know.
From steve lee
Posted August 26, 2006 at 11:36 AM
And also, if you've never been to Atlanta you should consider staying for a day or two. There's a LOT of really cool stuff to do in Atlanta. There's the Zoo, the aquarium (haven't seen it yet, but I've heard that it is quite impressive), shopping galore, excellent eats, and a lot of great venues for live music. I'd go so far to recommend checking out the concert schedules for the time you're looking at going. Rarely does a week pass without some great act being in town (and the coolest venue for seeing acts is definately the Tabernacle - it's a huge converted old church. Way cool).
Any other good rides or attractions besides the coasters?
From steve lee
Posted August 28, 2006 at 9:06 AM
Monster Plantation is an indoor dark ride with boats. It's quite awful, but it's remarkably charming at the same time.
Acrophobia is a decent drop ride (though nothing in comparison to PKD or PKI's Drop Zones). The trick here is that the seats slightly push you down towards the end so you're supposed to be looking straight down as it drops.
They have the standard flume and rapids rides, though I haven't ridden those (when I go, it's usually just a day trip and I don't want to spend three hours in the car sopping wet).
Honestly, I'd recommend checking out the SFOG page on this site. It lists all the different flat rides. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but I really just can't think of anything else right this second.
A thing I forgot to mention about the Flash Pass, they're not all the same prices at the offered parks. The Georgia SF park charges higher. I went to SF over texas just yesterday, the pass is $15 on Sunday-Thurs or Friday, $20 on Sat.(I'm not sure of the price on Fridays)Plus the wait time yesterday was only 10-12 min & we could immediatly re-ride with only 10-12 min wait for the re-ride. We had the regular pass too. The wait times, however, at SF Georgia were longer. I had only a 30 min wait for Scorcher but had about a 2 hr. wait time for Batman so if you want to reserve it, I'd do it as soon as you get the Flash Pass if you rent one, otherwise, if you wait like I did to reserve, you may get stuck waiting a while & then it won't be worth paying for it. To me, it's worth it to spend the money. Now that I know to reserve right away, perhaps my next visit won't have me waiting so long to ride. I also forgot to mention about the Mindbender coaster, It's designed by Swartzkopf, I REALLY don't like his coasters. They have a high G force rating but I can never keep my head back so I always get whiplash. Just a note of caution for you about that, keep your head back on it if you ride it. Also, on my last visit, I drove. I got mixed up on the roadways. Don't go towards downtown, that takes you away from the park. I was supposed to go towards the airport. I hope that tidbit helps.
No problem, I hope we helped ya out & hope you enjoy your visit.
From Mac May
Posted September 5, 2006 at 10:43 AM
I am planning a trip for October 21 of this year. I realize that this will put me at SFOG on a Saturday during Fright Fest, but I have no other travel options before next Spring. Should I expect huge crowds and go for the Flash Pass Gold?
Well if you have the xtra money I'd go for it. Even the regular Flash Pass is definitly worth getting but if you're wanting shorter wait times, then yes go for it.
I did not want to start a new thread if I didn't have to, and found this thread that kind of fit my question. I am thinking about taking a trip to SFOG sometime next week. The likeliest scenario is for me to take off next Thursday and Friday from work, and drive from NE Florida to a hotel nearby SFOG after work on Wednesday (any recommendations?.
I'm thinking one day would be good enough, and Thursday would be better than Friday. I am definently going with the Flash Gold pass, because I want to be comfortable and try to avoid the long lines if I can.
I was wondering if the Gold Flash pass had any limitations on it or whether I could use it to ride Goliath all day long if I wanted.
I was also hoping for general tips on what time the parking lots open and any suggestions for an attack plan tailored to fit the Flash Gold Pass, if any were needed. If it's an all day long privilege, then I would imagine my friend and I would be able to do whatever we wanted as far as an attack plan.
Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.
From steve lee
Posted July 16, 2007 at 3:45 PM
If you're getting the Gold Flashpass, there really isn't much strategery needed here. It'll cut your wait by around 75 percent, which won't necessarily mean you get back to back Goliath rides, but you shouldn't have terribly long waits.
Of course, Flashpass on Goliath just gets you into the station. You still have to select your row (which is much better than getting directed to a particular row. On Batman, FP users are stuck in the back. If you prefer the front, don't use the Flashpass).
The first time you're on the lift hill for Goliath, look back to the right and see if Deja Vu is running. If it is, head there immediately after getting off Goliath. There's no guarantee it'll be running all day, so get it while you can.
I have no clue what time the parking lot opens. That said, MAKE SURE you park in the real parking lot. There's a smallish lot before you get to the park that tries to trick people into parking there. You'll be a little closer to the front gate (maybe), but if anything happens to your car there, oh well (and I've heard reports of people getting out of the park and finding their car locked in the lot!)
Avoid eye contact with roving gangs (that's a joke, though some folks may argue otherwise).
If you're staying at a hotel off Exit 49, I recommend changing hotels immediately. No, really. There's a Wingate right by the park that is pretty nice, but I imagine their rates are pretty high at this point in the season (sorry i can't be more useful there - we usually daytrip to Atlanta).
That's all I got right at this moment.
Thanks for the tips. I'm still a little surprised that the flash passes run unlimited for the whole day, but I'm not complaining there.
I used the regular pass & Had an hour & a half wait for Batman on my first scan! I didn't think that was fair but I'm sure the Gold pass would be better to use. I know when I went the first 2 times in July, during the week it wasn't as crowded as the weekend. I went both on Sunday AND Monday & the longest wait on Monday was the indoor scrambler since there's only one machine in the building but I got there just as it opened & Didn't really have a long wait except Batman but that was on Sunday. Definitly get a flash pass though, you probably will be happy you did even if it don't seem that crowded, I don't like to waste my day standing in line even for 30 min. if I don't have to. But I would scan the rides first if you can, I think that was my mistake the last time I went. I just scanned as I went & I think that's why BTR had a long wait time. But yeah, I think you'd be happy w/the Gold. We've not used a Gold but used the regular one at SFOT & got back to back rides on the bobsled but it's not a popular new attraction so I can't really say about Goliath. Just try & see. Usually the second scan will make you wait a bit longer to make it fair for others w/scanners but I dunno about Gold passes. Have fun!
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