On the other hand, I though KBF and DCA were GREAT parks...but that's another topic..
For those visiting LA, SFMM is a no-brainer. Just go with extremely low expectations and you'll have a great time. IMHO they have some top-notch coasters including X, Goliath, Riddler, Batman, and Ninja.
While I can't speak for all those living in LA I can speak on behalf of Bass and myself: we'd much rather spend a day at Knotts then SFMM, and we'd much rather go to the dentist and have our teeth pulled than go to SFMM. Heck, I'd even prefer to spend a day at Knotts with all coasters closed than SFMM with all 16 coasters open!
But don't let our negative opinion influence your decision, especially if you don't live close enough to the park to visit often.
Magic Mountain is just as fun as Knott's is. It's only those that enter the park gates with a nose to find and pick out all the stereotypical flaws assigned to Six Flags parks do you really see it and force yourself unconciously to have a bad time. I never see the "trash problem" that everyone else here as seen, I rarely see "rude employees." Sure, some employees just do their job and don't make a habit of conversing with guests waiting in line, but what the hell, I have my own friends to talk with in line. Just because they don't enthusiastically recite the coaster's statistics over the P.A. doesn't make them rude.
We caught it on a good day. I don't ever expect to go to the park and have 14 coasters open ever again. Yes, that's right, 14 coasters were actually running.
Like I said... I don't expect it again.
I don't go to parks looking for the bad. That's a sure way to ruin your day and its something I always caution others about. Neither SFMM nor KNF is perfect and both have gone thru a lot of changes.
My opinion of SFMM comes from 33 years of experience. I've visited the park at least once a year since it opened, but when I got my first season pass in 1988 I started going much more often...sometimes as often as monthly. My opinion of Knotts comes from 39 years of experience, also visiting from as little as once a year to monthly. FYI, I am an annual passholder at SFMM, KBF, Disneyland/DCA, and Universal but I'll contain this discussion to only SFMM and Knotts.
It is my OPINION, based on actual EXPERIENCE, that when you compare each park's total ride selection, ambience, food, and employees the park that offers the better, more well-rounded experience is Knotts.
If you only want to compare the coaster line-up SFMM has Knotts beat in the numbers department. I'll save the debate over which park offers the better QUALITY coasters for some other time as everyone has different likes and dislikes and I doubt you'll ever find any universal agreement.
Until my experiences at SFMM improve I will continue to voice my opinion that Knotts is the better park ;)
*** Edited 10/19/2004 8:33:25 AM UTC by Mamoosh***
Anyway, it was the off season, X had just opened for season pass holders (yup, I got my one ride, luckily), and the only coasters that were closed for the whole day were Ninja and of course, Flashback. I even got a ride on Deja Vu on the only Deja Vu I've yet to encounter which I think is pretty hilarious considering that some people have visted all three and only had maybe a handful of rides.
I also thought that many sections of the park were really beautiful, I loved the shaded areas on the mountain itself, and I found the food to be unique and tasty, although this may be because this was the first west coast park I had ever been to. Granted, the food at KBF and Disneyland was better.
So...you know. Go in with an open mind, you may have a very good time, like I did. It may be a long shot but there are still SOME people out there that have had good days at the park in the past 4 or 5 years, although it seems to be getting rarer and rarer.
I'm not anti-SF or anything so I wasn't looking for problems with the park... the problems found us! Even during the week, the crowds were ridiculous, yet there was one train operation on two of the most popular coasters- Batman and Riddler's Revenge. X, while running two trains throughout the day, is extremely slow to load and dispatch... don't be fooled by a line that looks to be short. And the majority of employees were not overly friendly as they were at Disney and Knotts. Bathrooms were rather dirty, food was downright lousy... you've heard it all but it's worth repeating because I found it all to be true.
For a park with 16 coasters, I can think of ONE that I'd go back to ride- Riddler's Revenge. Scream and Batman were fun but I can ride them in NJ- RR is the one B&M at the park that SFGAdv doesn't have. Goliath, Goldrusher and Ninja were all mediocre while rides like Viper, Revolution (thanks to the OTSR's), Colossus, Psyclone and even X were dreadful experiences. I know I'm pretty much alone with my hatred of X, but regardless of what you think of that coaster, it can't really be argued that the others are bad. Either way you look at it, it's a lot like Cedar Point: A lot of rides but very few that I'd travel to ride.
Knott's, while smaller and having fewer rides, is a much more satisfying experience, Great atmosphere, great rides and great employees made for a much more enjoyable day.
Heck, Ghostrider alone is a reason to go, but that's just the wood coaster nut in me talking.
ZERO new flat rides since 1988? Does anyone else think that's insane given amount of awesome new [and "extreme"] flat rides that have been introduced in that time? What are people who don't love coasters supposed to do all day at SFMM? Bench:The Ride?
Again, Knotts is far from perfect and has made some decisions I have not been happy about. But of the two we're discussing I still its a park I feel offers the best WHOLE theme park experience.
mOOSH [returning to the Mountain soon to give it another try]
Eight flat rides? Wow. I thought it was more than that, but then again, we didn't ride any of them because we were too busy fighting the lines for the coasters and none of them were very unique and worth waiting for. If they had something new, like a Zamperla Power Surge or Hawk, I probably would have taken some time away from coasters to ride them and walked away from SFMM with a better impression of the park.
Knott's seems to be adding new flat rides every year. Ditto for Dorney. Maybe WoF too (I don't usually keep track of what goes on there). Why don't other companies do that? Or, more importantly, why doesn't Cedar Fair do that with their Sandusky park?
ZERO new flat rides since 1988? Does anyone else think that's insane given amount of awesome new [and "extreme"] flat rides that have been introduced in that time?
What's even better is that SFMM is often given as an example (along with SFGAdv and SFGAm) of a "spoiled" SF park when people try to whine about their "home" Six Flags park being neglected.
My only trip to SFMM was in Feb of 2003 - all 16 coasters we running (most even ran multiple trains that day, including X), the park was nice enough, and the ops were average SF fare. Not bad, but not great. I think it's the potential there that frustrates so many.
I also think this was just before (or just at the start of) the steep decline in quality and service that gets reported so often anymore.
What's funny is when I first really started frequenting enthusiast sites/message boards there seemed to be a lot of comparisons made between SFMM and CP - even beyond the most coasters thing. Anymore you rarely hear anyone mention both parks in the same breath.
I doubt a drastic change in attitudes that's so complete and widespread is just "hating because it's cool" - I think things at SF as a whole have taken a steep dive the past few years and SFMM sounds to me like one of the saddest examples.
For a park that used to be mentioned among the best of the best to go to one of the most negatively spoken of is odd to say the least.
EDIT - Duh! Scream was being built when we visited - that should be "all 15 coasters were running"
*** Edited 10/19/2004 4:03:58 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
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