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 Review of Griffon @ Busch Gardens Williamsburg
4 Rating Posted by: hrrytraver on 5/17/2007 1:52:00 AM
seeing griffons strange, wide, stubby trains twisting out of enormous, blue immelmans and surfing up and around the girly, loopy cursive of the compact layout is kind of like going to see swan lake at the bolshoy theatre in moscow only to find that the usual well-endowed adonis protagonist has been swapped out for a little fat kid who somehow seems to execute the demanding choreography with graceful perfection...a visually wrong scene but hell - the job is done and done well. when i first saw photos of dive machines i figured, "ok, goofy trains, probably not very efficient physics...but the point being that EVERYBODY on there gets a good view of the dive...its form over function". but then they started putting LAYOUTS on these things and i started seeing photos of those trains - which remind me of the arrangement and capacity of some of the smaller cineplex box theatres ive been in - twirling all over the place and doing loops and such. those are some zany visionaries over at b+m...what a daft idea come to fruition! anyhow i did indeed get to ride this coaster on a warm late spring day while its shiny tracks that didnt even have a bit of wheel-wear were gleaming in the sun. i found it to be a very fun, if truncated ride experience. it does everything it needs to do beautifully, but it has a simple psychology - its barely a roller coaster and more a thrill experience. first the praise - the drops are the heart and purpose of this ride and they are indeed breathtaking. from the holding break atop the first drop, to the simulated suicide of either front row end-seat, the drops are pulse pounding fun. the first drop feels extremely fast - wailing though a deep ditch at its bottom. meanwhile, the two immelman loops are nothing to sneeze at. they compliment the drops by contrasting the free-falling negative Gs with some smooth, pushy positive Gs. the hop into the splashdown lifts you up and the sensation of returning to your seat with nothing under your feet but water is cool. i give props to busch gardens for making this ride look as if it always sat there. it fits into its spot perfectly and the station and bridge look fantastic. there is a very nice rustic norse-looking chandelier over the loading platform. they even seemed to spare every tree they possibly could. every effort was made to make this beautiful ride beautiful. but yknow, its a wham bam thank you maam kind of coaster. the adrenalin is teased out of you with zero foreplay and after that it seemed to only study one or two pages out of the 200 pages of the kama sutra. it made me feel a little dissatisfied, but thats not to say that whats there isnt beautiful...it is. but a good lover is more than beautiful, he/she knows the mind of their partner and capitalizes on intimate knowledge of their how their minds work. a great or even above average coaster can treat your mind to a trip out of this world and into another. a good design incorporates a sophisticated insight into the mind of its riders. griffon cannot offer that sense of journey with its simple drop, loop, drop, loop format. it simply cant. sooooooooooooo....i might find myself waxing whimsical over a nice long hyper coaster before i close my eyes and dream of griffon. this type coaster seems doomed to be short by its very design - trains such as they use put more weight on far fewer wheels, creating more than normal friction - and friction is one of the main speed killers on a coaster. then consider there is essentially a human sail ten people wide providing wind resistance. for a 200+ foot lift, there isnt a hell of a lot of track on griffon. compare that to magnum - which has similar potential energy at the top of its own 200ft- makes magnum seem epic. griffon by contrast basically peters out. while i enjoyed the final light air-burp into the brake run, its obvious the ride couldnt do a whole lot more with its kinetic energy. alas... it will<

Review Comments

fergusonat on 5/17/2007 2:15:52 PM said:
Despite the DMs obvious physical limitations, I think BGE crammed some nice forces into Griffon...ah well, a 7 is a great score from a woodie-purist
hrrytraver on 5/18/2007 10:15:43 AM said:
the forces on griffon are definitely nice, but theyre also kind of "nice", if yknow what i mean. regarding the no doubt "hurtful" *7*, im trying to not get stuck in "8-ville" with my ratings. because i had a blast on griffon i want to give it an "8". but - i think ratings are where we can go beyond the subjective present-tense moment and stand back to compare said ride with all of our other rides. thus...a "7" is most correct for me. still, an awesome coaster. the outside seats are unique fun.
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