Well We woke up extra early in Branson for the 3 ½ hour drive to Six Flags, it was a wonderfully chilly overcast day not to mention the endless fog that was engulfing the world. It was already a down day, drizzle, drizzle then fog.
So we arrived to the park about 11 o’clock and I knew it wouldn’t be as crowded as it had been back in 2001 because it was cold and rainy. Oh well, I just hoped that the coasters would be running well. I decided that I had to go back to this park because in 2001 I was blown away by both Boss and Screamin’ Eagle, so I was pretty anxious to ride some of my favorite woodies. Anyways it took about ½ an hour for us to get our cheap Season passes aty a smooth $49.99 a piece.
After we received them we were off, we headed back to the Boss. I could see it poking through the trees and it looked to have a 2-train operation. Once we got into the line and out into the clearing, I noticed that the line wasn’t completely all the way around the station, and with the 2 train operation the wait should only be about 15 minutes max. The problem is, it broke down 5 minutes into waiting, so we left to go ride Screamin’ Eagle.
Well walking half way across the park we came to the entrance of Screamin’ Eagle, by this time I was really disappointed in the way they have kept the park, it was very trashy and the rides look like a toll is being taken for lack their of maintenance. We got their and I began praying that Screamin’ Eagle would still kick as much butt as it had before.
Well we got in line for this monster, and you just hafta love the eagle made of pebbles, but the line up to the station is very thin, dirty and claustrophobic. And just by listening to Screamin’ Eagle is sounding very shaky. It was only running one train, and the marginal length line managed to be about 30 minutes in length, hmm…
Well we hopped into the train, and it is a regular PTC with individual lap bars and head rests, I was surprised that it didn’t have seat belts but that didn’t make a difference in my mind. They checked it quickly and we were off on a Screamin’ Good Ride, or so I hoped.
Up the lift you get a view of…. Well the tidal wave ride and some of Freeze and Batman. Once you reach the top you make a nice swooping turnaround that sets you up for the steep first drop. Then swooping turnaround was surprisingly rough, and I then realized this would be silky smooth.
The first drop is fun and energetic it gets up speed nicely although the coaster seems to scream take car of me! The set of drops offer some good floater airtime but nothing more than that, the main plus to this ride is that it is in the back of the park where there is no lack of trees. You get to the first turn and the turns are shockingly forceful, and fun, and the drops off of them in the back can give some decent airtime. You now are completely lost in the forest only occasionally getting a gap in the trees to see the CCI thriller The Boss. Another turnaround sets you up for another very steep long drop giving you some very good airtime in the back, but still not great airtime. You turn and drop once more and then roar into the brake run.
I originally thought that this was a wooden coaster king, but the lack of love from SF makes it a shaky ride without a whole lot of airtime to it. I was very very disappointed by it, and it gets kneed in the nuts out of my top ten. I would give it an 8/10, now but if it was retracked and new trains added it would be a very good ride, but now it isn’t.
After our disappointing ride on the eagle, we noticed the beastly Boss was opening. We hiked back to the coaster, and got back in line at the same length, but something changed! They now only have one train on this 5000’+ coaster.
Well I do realize that there was some sort of technical problem with the boss, but the fact that they can only run one train on this behemoth is scary, in all technicality they could actually easy run 3 trains since it has 5 block segments. It is still misfortunate that one train that holds 24 people is run on this; from opening of gates to opening of gates is about five minutes. That means this day the hourly capacity was a whopping 288 people. Thank god there were only about 150 people in the line. Anyways after a decent wait we were finally able to climb into the back seat for our first ride on this monster. Anyways we climbed the rather lengthy lift, until we got to the nice swooping turn, and the huge double down drop. In the back you get some great floating but at the bottom the realization that this was going to be a rough ride hit me. The leveling out going a strong 50 m.p.h is thrilling going into the structure, but it is still bumpy. You then get a pop of air going down again and turning sharply, roughly and painfully to the right. You then go over another bunny hop that gives great air in the front, at the bottom of this funky double up is yet again rough and you get set up for a nice curving turn that gives some great laterals but is still very rough.After this turn you plunge into the 100’ plus drop setting you up for one of the most violent, intense and horrifying turns on a coaster, it is taken at such a high speed and is banked so little that it gives some intense laterals, but this is probably the roughest part of the ride. You then climb into the Boss’s “scenic turn” and to the DROP, well the brakes scrub off a good deal of speed and the drop in the back is only okay, and yet again at the bottom it is really rough.
You go into the swoop turn, which almost stops at the top but gathers its speed very nicely and then gives some great airtime in the back when exiting, at least the roughness has stopped, oh wait a minute it hasn’t. You drops and the turns to the helix are okay, they are CCI powerful but nothing mind-blowing, and that helix is one of the best out there, but the problem is that it is really rough like the rest of the ride. I love this coaster but the non-existing TLC from Six Flags makes me angry. It is just so powerful and thrilling that after a smooth 3 years it needs retracking badly, not to mention a nice 7 car PTC that way the airtime is better in the back. With the 7 cars PTC it would probably wear the track even more than the evil Gestlauer trains, but it would be such a better ride for that time. If Six Flags actually loved their wooden coasters like their steel coasters they have 2 coasters that could dominate the coaster polls, but since they don’t the coasters don’t get the love they deserve and need. I give it an 8 as is, and wish I had known not to ride In the wheel seats, but even the other 2 Gerstlauer train coasters I have been on were not 1/3 as brutal as The Boss in the wheel seats. This is a great ride but SFSTL needs to love it like it should be. Well After our brutal ride on Boss, we walked up front for some smooth steelies, oh wait a minute, their one smooth steelie Batman. To our delight it was a walk on, and this was to be my moms first inverted coaster.
Batman: The Ride: Mirror Imaging.
Well I had been on these twice before but wasn’t blown away, but then my mom and I rode it and I was very much surprised by it. This coaster is the one with the best capacity the, people are very efficient and the trains keep a going.
The drop Is ultra fun and super smooth, when you blast through the first loop you feel the vertical g’s pushing down on you, this is one powerful little coaster. After the first loop you fly into the inline twist is without a doubt the best part of the ride, and man was it fun with some great airtime, you are thrown to your harnesses.
There is a left handed turn and then after a nice swoop turn you dive back into Batman and get flipped twice by two flat spins separated by a turn. Then another intense and energetic turns sets you up for the brake run that you come roaring into.
This like most B&M’s is really fun and smooth; it is thrilling without having to be taller than 105’. Gotta love the ultra intense layout and the great variety of elements, it manages to thrill in such a small area and that deserves serious applause. I give it an 8 out of 10.
Well after this we decided to eat before hitting some other rides. We got a nice discount because of the season pass, and we got a freaking butt load of fries with that. It was decent food but not great, I don’t remember the name but it is right across from Batman so at least you get a good view.
Well after eating we hit the engineering genius that is Vekoma Team, on Ninja.
Ninja: The Black and Blue Bruiser (Oh, I mean the Blackbelt of all coasters).Well there was no line, so my mom and I took the back car to get a little air on the first drop; We took the front of the back car so I could get more leg room, Well you climb the 110’ lift getting a decent view of the giant ferris wheel and surrounding ride, and you are able to see almost all of the River King Mine Train. Well the first drop is fun, and the loop is okay but the butterfly doesn’t give me head banging but more knee banging on the front of the car, that did kind of suck. The head chopper created by the chain is kick butt and the turn afterward is pretty forceful but a tad rough. The MCBR comes up and then a nice drop and turn to the right sets you up for the corks, which of course are fun, but yet again a tad more kneed banging, then an energetic helix and you roar into the brake run.
Ninja isn’t a masterpiece but I have been on a lot worse, it has some very fun moments and the layout is pretty compact and fun, but the occasional roughness can be a bit of a tamper. Gotta love vekoma for this one. After ninja we ran to River King Mine Train and enjoyed a vigorous ride on it.River King Mine Train Well a fabulous mine train by the superb Arrow Dynamics, hmm I can’t wait. Who couldn’t love a triple lift mine train that hugs the ground? The helixes are intense sometimes but a lit rough since Arrow doesn’t know what a transition is, they go from one element to the other.
The one plus to this ride is the kick but finale drop into a pitch black tunnel, you get some decent air and it seems so much bigger than it actually is. This is a fun ride but has no theming and seems a tad lame.
After this went back to The Boss and I waited about 40 minutes for the back of the first car, another wheel seat. Man I wished I had known that Gerstlauer’s were this bad on wheel seats. But I will say that the airtime is a lot better in the front. You get about 4 moments of good airtime, it was just as rough but is still fun. After this I rode Screamin’ Eagle again and the airtime was just as good even in the middle, that is a definite plus to this ride. Now it looks like the line for Freeze had vaporized so I was jazzed to ride a Premier with lap bars, yay!Mr. Freeze It was starting to cloud over even worse so I decided to hit Mr. Freeze and then we would go. I walked through the line got to the indoor part and walked all the way to the station. OMG it was almost a walk on, wait a minute, it was a walk on for me, thanks to some people that wanted to ride with their friends I was able to hop into the next train in the second to front seat YAY!
Well It was just plain odd going onto a looping coaster with an inversion other than a vertical loop with no shoulder harnesses. So I pulled down the lap bar and buckled the belt. I was surprisingly nervous because I remember when Freeze had the shoulder harnesses, and Premier Engineering excellence turned out to be a high priced, high speed torture device.
They checked the restraints, and it slid over to the launch tube. After a few seconds we were off, the launch is only ok, not nearly as much fun as the Schwarzkopf launchers, and not as powerful and intense as Speed: The Ride. It is cool launching out of the tunnel at seventy and going straight into the top hat, which gets my vote for the strangest, and most disorienting inversion out there. You kind of hang at the top of it and that is freaky with only a lap bar holding you to it.
You literally fall out of the top hat clipping right along going into the overbank which gives some, lateral g’s pushing you to one side. And next is the most intense part of the ride, the transition from overbank to vertical tower pulls some serious g’s and if you aren’t hanging on, like I wasn’t it kind of crunches your back, it doesn’t hurt but I was leaning forward a tad.
The vertical tower is okay, the kick from the extra set of LIMS is nice, and the falling is great. The overbank and top hat are the same except for backwards, but I have to say coming out of the top hat backwards is horrifying, it feels like your going to fall out. Man this ride went from sucky as hell with the over the shoulder harness, to a great ride.
I give it an 8 out of ten, because Premier’s real masterpiece is shoehorned into the Vegas strip, this is good but not nearly as good.
Six Flags Over Mid America oh wait a minute Six Flags St. Louis, was very dirty and I was very disappointed by it. It has 4 very good rides but nothing extraordinary like other Six Flags. If it was cleaner and Love was showed to the Woodies, it would be a good park, now it is probably the worst I’ve been to.
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