Sunday, June 10, 2001 9:36 AM
My family and I made our second ever visit to this park last Sunday, 06-02. St. Louis is an easy (no traffic) 6 hour drive from our home via I-64 in Eastern Kentucky. SFSTL is one of the cleanest parks I've experienced. It is very pleasant in its atmosphere and feel. We arrived 20 minutes prior to the park opening. The clouds were ominous and the forecast was for thunderstorms all day. I was very pleased to see that the parking was nearly empty upon our arrival.
We had arrived in St. Louis the day before. We stayed in a very clean and nice 3 star AAA LaQuinta Inn and Suites in Westport. They had a special $49.00 Springback rate. I would recommend this hotel to anyone coming to this park. It's about 20 minutes away from the park but kind of in between everything in St. Louis.
Our children, Chris (12) and Crayton (9) were still a little sedated from our previous nights venture to the 38 Special/Charlie Daniels concert at Riverport. This may have been due to their inhalation of too much second hand smoke drifting up from the lawn area of the concert.
We only planned on staying at this park untill 3:00 p.m. due to wanting to get back to the hotel to eat and rest before getting to the Reds/Cardinals game early enough to get one of the bobble head dolls. (Special promotion on this night in Busch Stadium) Our (MY) main objective for this park was to try out "Boss" for the first time. Upon entering the park there was a fairly large crowd gathered at the chain to the left of the entry plaza. I knew they would be running for Boss as soon as the chain fell. I knew my 37 year-old legs couldn't out run these people and I also knew there was no way in #$%# my less than enthusiastic enthusiast spouse Lisa was going to race anyone to get on a coaster. We vered to the right and there was another chain in which only a couple of people were standing. As soon as we arrived this chain was removed. As we proceded, at Lisa's pace I appealed for her to "hurry so we can beat the mob at the other chain!" As we vered left and made our way towards the Boss it was clear that they had let our chain down first. As I looked back over my shoulder I could see the mob of people approaching from the other entry. Despite our greatest efforts at speed walking we were passed by many of the younger legged park patrons. We still managed to get in the line to the Boss with only a three train wait.
I had read some negative reviews of the Boss during it's initial season. I had also read how reprofiling had improved the ride this season. The que's for this ride are long, but provide some great views of this beautiful yellow pine coaster. We were able to see Mr. Rodriquez on his (I think the sign said his 34th day of his 100 day marathon) enter the first train, seat 3.1 with his foam rubber padding. Crayton and I got on seat 2.2 and Lisa and Chris got 2.1. The Boss was a ride that has been greatly underestimated by many. Don't judge this coaster unless you've ridden after last winters reprofiling. It has great speed, little shifting and a super helix. It also has some decend negative G air, which I really liked. It reminded me of a smaller version of the Beast but much smoother. This was one of the best non-out and back woodies that I've ridden. After Chris and I shook hand with Mr. Rodriquez (I can't recall his first name, Ricky(?) and wished him good luck, the rains began. The rains would continue for our entire stay at this park, but they kept the crowd down and we just put on our UK (Kentucky Wildcat) ponchos and went on.
The best thing about the rain, however, was that it made the "Screamin' Eagle" fly. The Eagle was a virtual walk on. It flew through the trims which were either turned off or too wet to slow the train. And get this. They were running two trains despite the fact that there was no one in line. The Eagle was fantastic. We rode several straight times except for Lisa who rode once. This ride was very fast on the wet track. It was almost scary in a delightful way. Terrific Air time!
The Rest of the park:
Chris loved the "Rainbow" type ride over the train station. He rode about 10 times. We all rode the mine train, Lisa loved this ride but I found it more jarring than either the Boss or Eagle. Lisa's problem, and she won't listen to me LOL, is that she grips the lap bar so tight that is causes her to jar too much on the bigger coasters. I really like this parks mine train. I think it was originally a twin coaster with its mate having moved to Dollywood and then removed for the Tennessee Toronado. I read a post somewhere that it has been purchased by Magic Springs in Arkansas.
The Bumper cars were very slow and boring. After Knoebel's last summer, I guess that it will be hard to find any bumper cars that can match up but these were horrible.
We rode the train which has an authentic steam locomotive. It circles the park and give a good overview of some of the history of the different rides.
We ate in the log cabin McDonald's and while the prices were a bit higher than a non-park McDonald's, the food was terrific and the rustic atmosphere was really a nice touch.
The rains forced the shut down of Ninja which we had planned on ridding and Batman and Mr. Freeze which we hadn't planned on ridding. I don't care at all for shuttles or inverteds. I've rode them but my motion sensitivity has forced me to limit these rides as well as most spinning flat rides.
Didn't purchase any shirts at this park. I would have liked to have gotten a Boss shirt but all I could find was the "I Rode the Boss" shirt which while cute was not what this 37 year old wants to wear out in public. I really feel that SIX FLAGS could improve all of there shirt designs as I always have difficulty in finding any shirts I like at their parks.
We ended up leaving this park at about 1:45. We were able to do everything we wanted to do at this park in a very short amount of time due to the lack of crowds.
With Boss and the Eagle this park now has a very formidable one-two woody punch. The Boss in my opinion has elevated SFSTL to the status of a very desirable park destination, at least for our family.