First Visit Six Flags America!!

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Thursday, July 8, 2004 4:35 PM
First let me say that, unbelievably, with this park only 30 miles from my front door, I have finally visited for the first time. I always believed the stories that I have heard, such as rowdy kids, indefferent staff, and the like, and felt that places like HersheyPark were better suited to my tastes. But after getting some half-price coupons in the mail (and some encouragement from some people on this site) I finally made the trip with my teenage nieces and 1 nephew on Wednesday...and was more than pleasantly surprized.

What we didn't find was people! This was the most barren park of visitors I have ever seen. (which may explain the half-off promo). And this is mid-summer. We actually saw more people after closing in CP last year than at mid-day here. Almost every ride was a walk-on or close to it...most we had to wait was a couple of cycles...and this with only 1 train running in most cases. The shows (we saw 2) played to about 1/5th capacity, and 1 of these was during a storm. And the guests were pretty well behaved, for the most part.

What we did find was the unexpected high quality of the coasters! Superman we expected to be boffo, and it was. I would compare this to Millennium Force without the 300ft initial drop...the rest of it was just as intense, if not more so. And essentially a walk-on both times we rode it. We're going to go back just to ride this!!

As far as Mind Eraser, it was OK but I have experienced better rides of this type (Alpengiest, Raptor) and Jokers Jinx and Two Face were great fun. Batwing may have been the 2nd most outrageous ride I've ever been on (next to TTD) and the concept is cool, but I just never felt comfortable on it (might be due to the fact I tip the scales at 235!)

The biggest surprize of the day was Wild One...this is one of the best woodies I've ever ridden. Tremendous air-time, and our second ride seemed like it was breakneck-fast!! Roar was fun, but I was expecting it to be more intense.

Now for the negatives. A couple of thunderstorms, one of which was pretty severe (turned out it caused major damage in the Baltimore area) ate into our ride time. Of course this was not the parks' fault. What is the parks' fault is the seeming lack of attention to detail. Broken seats abounded on a lot of the rides, more than I've seen in any other park. You really had to pay attention to what gate you chose..you didn't want to find yourself with 2 riders and 1 good seat. Half the light bulbs on the top of the carousel were burned out...bet you wouldn't see that at Disney! The landscaping had a general unkempt look in some areas, especially Gotham City...the vast spaces between and around some of the rides could have used the once-over with the weed-wacker. And the ride-ops, in some cases, shall we say, seemed to be just going thru the motions. On our first trip thru Wild One, they didn't even say anything, except to yell at some kid running on the platform. The ops in the Gotham City section were, while not Cedar Point-like, much more energetic,

They need to add at least one more ride to the park..a coaster along the lines of Trailblazer at HersheyPark that sub-teens would not be afraid to ride. The coasters at the park now were just too intimidating to my 11 year old nephew...they need something to "gently" introduce kids that age to coastering.

All in all, a fun day and I will visit again sometime!!

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Thursday, July 8, 2004 4:50 PM
I will agree that the missing link at SFA is a junior coaster, or mine-train. Even a wild-mouse would be welcome.
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Thursday, July 8, 2004 6:47 PM
I visited the park for the first time a few months ago after visiting Hershey. I was VERY impressed and thought the park was underrated. I had a great time and although SROS was down at the time I had a BLAST!

Joker's was amazing!

-Tina

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Friday, July 9, 2004 8:05 AM
I was at the park a couple of weeks ago and had the same issue with broken seats. Sorry to hear they haven't been fixed yet.

I agree with micrip and I-Fan, the park really needs to add a junior coaster. I would love to see a Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster added (perhaps themed to Catwoman), but I wouldn't mind any of I-Fan's suggestions either.

The light crowd was probably due to the long fourth of July weekend. I visited Kings Dominion a couple of years ago on the 5th of July and didn't experience more than a one or two train wait on most of the coasters.

If you want to try the park on a weekend, avoid big events like the concerts by the wave pool. Usually, Sunday mornings are a good time to go (the exception being on big event days).

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Friday, July 9, 2004 8:35 AM
SFA was a fun park, i was there in may, and i am planning on returning to in august or september. Jokers Jinx was a definite surprise the first time i rode it... but after 4 rides in a day i kinda got to the point where it was not as fun. Reason for the need for the return is S:ROS was closed due to the redesign of the restraints. Batwings restraints do scare people I know my friend who weighs 250+ was not too thriled with the Batwing ones after riding S:UF at SFGAdv. Batwing with those restraints would be awesomely fun. Wild One has hit the top of my current wooden roller coasters. That coaster may be old but it kicks. But I fear it gonna fall after I visit some more parks.
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Friday, July 9, 2004 10:34 AM
You wanna talk about big crowds at SFA? man was it packed when I was there back on june 12th....due in part to their ever popular praise in the park event.

Sorry you had such a rough time dealing with the weather,there was some major flooding in Baltimore yesterday evening with plenty of rescue attempts being broadcast live on the local news,but at least the weather will be nice throughout the weekend...just in time for my trip to PKD tomorrow.

About the comment saying SFA needs a good junior coaster:while I agree they need one for the love of humanity it shouldn't be from vekoma let alone a junior invert when they already have two inverts elsewhere in the park....a spinning mouse by Mauer Shone wouldn't be bad though.

We should be seeing something good coming to the park next year,they need something big & new to draw guests in what with all the attractions being planned at the nearby parks they compete with next season,I've heard it'll be a steel looper so a junior coaster will have to wait a while.

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Friday, July 9, 2004 2:16 PM
Glad to hear you enjoyed your first visit, micrip. I remember that you had mentioned your hesitation towards visiting SFA a few months ago.

I haven't visited this year because, well, I opted to buy a Paramount season pass this year for the first time since SFA opened as a Six Flags park, and PKD has a nicer atmosphere. I may buy a SF season pass when they get a new coaster, but I've been kind of burnt out on the park lately. S:RoS is killer, though. From your TR, it sounds like not much has improved regarding customer service, unfortunately. Not that I was expecting miracles or anything.

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Friday, July 9, 2004 2:53 PM
I was pleasently surprised by SFA after all the stories I read about it. I have yet to be there on a busy day so I am sure my opinion would change after waiting for SM with those slow ride ops.

The park suffers from poor planning though, they just tossed those two coasters into the back of the park without any thought to future expansion. They seriously need a path from the back section to the frontier section.

Also, the way sm's first turn is built into the ground you would think they would have put it in a tunnel. Would that not enhance the ride coming from the first hill into a long tunnel?

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Friday, July 9, 2004 3:13 PM
Unfortunately Wild One kind of designed the look of the park. When it was Wild World/Adventure World, that's where the park stopped. Everything was crammed in up to that "line". I don't think the positioning of Joker's Jinx is bad, nor is S:ROS, but Batwing is a whole other story. It's way too far beyond everything else to justify its location. And of course, it's been four years and still no bathroom!
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Friday, July 9, 2004 3:26 PM
Even with Wild One they can still put a path connecting the back of the park to the front so there is more than one way there.

SFGAdv is the same freaking way. I had such a hard time finding the way to Medusa because of the GASM midway and all those games that you have to go AROUND to get there. Then all of the other coasters back there cause the same problem. Its so bizare. It seems like every time they build a new coaster they think it will be the last one ever and dont put any thought into it's placement. Six Flags should invest in Roller Coaster Tycoon...

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Friday, July 9, 2004 3:58 PM
I've heard those stories about all park expansion stopping at Wild one's turnaround but the funny thing is this.

If you actually look at the placement of the coyote creek section of the park you'll find that the location for Mind eraser in particular is well past WO's turnaround & most of that section was already developed back in the wild world days....Mind eraser was the last major attraction added to that section back in 95 with the rodeo(Huss breakdance) being added in 99.

Also the location for S:ROS is actually in the center of the park property meaning there's still ample room for expansion but I do agree that the last couple of coasters(Batwing & S:ROS) were kinda thrown in there in a haphazard manner with little to no thoughts on future ride installations.

That makes it all the more difficult to add new coasters & even flats because the county has such strict building regulations regarding the park mainly due in part to the fact that they are bordered by housing developments to the north & west(that's why JJ is closed in october)& as for a tunnel on S:ROS's drop that would've been nice but due to fire code regulations the county won't allow it without adding sprinklers so the park at this point wouldn't bother with adding one at this time.

The same thing happened with JJ,notice the rings on the MCBR after the 3rd inversion? originally there was supposed to be a tarp or something on it to form a tunnel but SFA decided against it due to the extra mods needed to add a sprinkler system in case of fire.

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Friday, July 9, 2004 7:01 PM
We did think it was a bit strange that Batwing was so far beyond everything else. Once you pass Jokers Jinx, the whole area just has an unfinished look about it. Concrete paths that just stop in the middle of nowhere, unpaved roads all over, and vast acres of empty space surrounding Superman. Maybe there are plans in place for expansion into that area..maybe not.

Is it possible that Six Flags doesn't own all the acreage back there? Considering the high price of land in this area, it hardly seems logical that they would waste any space that they own.

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Friday, July 9, 2004 8:46 PM
SFA owns all that land, they are pretty much pressed right up to their eastern border, but they have as far west as the high tension wires, as far south as Rt 214, and about another 1/2" a mile north of Batwing. All that empty land comes from two different sources, the first being the origin of the park. The first use of the land was for a drive through animal safari like the one at SFGAdv though nowhere near as big or impressive. Most of thier newest coasters have been positioned into this land in such a way that they have to remove as few trees as possible to build the ride. The only current exception was PBR which they removed quite a few trees for to build. Possibly they realized it was better to remove some trees than to just build according to where's already clear. They also have a few large open clear spots on their property where a farm used to be. One being in the far south west corner of the property and the other being just north of the third parking lot.

As for the lack of tunnel over the trenched drop on Superman, the county has a strict rule that any inclosed space MUST have a fire sprinkler system. My guess is that it is just in a location to far from any water supply to make a tunnel worth building.

As for a wild mouse, lets hope its a spinning one. With both PKD and Hershey having standard wild mouse coasters, it seems only logical that SFA should get something different if they were to get a wild mouse. Other than that, finally good to hear some positive remarks about my homepark. Seems everyone in years past could only bash the park, but we're finally getting some respectiable remarks for a park that is actually pretty decent. Now, if only we could resolve some of those staff issues, that would improve the park SO much!

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Saturday, July 10, 2004 10:32 PM
people bash SFA all of the time, but from what I can tell, it seems the park has gotten better. But alot of the problems are the fact that its right outside of D.C. & Baltimore, 2 of the rougher cities on the east coast. This isn't SFI's fault, though. I loved my last visit there and hope to go back soon, Superman, Roar!, and Wild One were superb. I liked every coaster, but those were my 3 faves.
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Sunday, July 11, 2004 12:38 PM
It may not be their fault, but that doesn't make me want to visit the park again. :P

Oh yeah, except for S:RoS. ;) Wait....I do want to go back and ride S:RoS.

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