I went to SFAm on Saturday for the first time Sat. and was verry dissapointed... The park was very dirty. Just about every roller coaster needed a paint job. I was also dissapointed about the ride selection... I got to ride 3 new rides ... don't get me wrong.. I will still go. I hope that they get a good update when 2005 come around!
What was Dirty? I just don't get this constant comment about SFA! Please explain...........
It's also not the park's fault that they have coasters similar to what you've been on before.
I was actually pleasantly surprised with SFA on my visit (it's been two years). My biggest beef with that park was the amount of drinking fountains. The park seemed to be clean. It helped that there was hardly anybody there. (I liked it better then SFGrAdv, actually.)
I think what it comes down to is the type of people that the park attracts. They don't care. If a trashcan is full they'll throw it on the ground beside it. You go out in the parking lot, and there are food bags all over the place.
I have seen park sweeps on several occasions all gathered together hanging out in a bathroom. So its not just the people that visit the park, but the employees as well that don't care.
They have made some good improvements I am not denying that. I am just stating what I have observed on my recent visits. I'll continue to buy my season pass there because its cheaper then SFGr8Adv. I'll visit about 2 or 3 times a season.
1. Parts of the park were filthy, like the bathrooms and some of the rides ques.
2. One train operations on most of the coasters.
3. Garabage cans that are overflowing.
4. I have felt that in many ways that KK, SFWOA, SFA, SFDL are run in the same general way. Most of the time these parks have a history of being a little more on the dirty side, along with probaly one train operations, dirty bathrooms, garabage cans that could have been emptied probaly the night before, along with wondering to yourself way park Mang. still has jobs.
Now I don't know if it was just this particular day, but this is just a small sample of what I saw, and have seen at these particular parks.
As for being dissapointed in the coaster selction, why even bother going. When ever I get to go to a new park for the first time I try to find out eferything abou the park before I go. That way I know what to except atleast from a ride stand point. Like this past year when I went to SFDL I knew that they had an SLC, a boomerang, arrow looper, some king of woodie, and an intamin hyper. I can't say I have ever been dissapointed in a coaster selection because I had an understanding before I even attended the park. However I can say that I have been dissapointed I parks based on how they were generaly operated, and that is a complete different story.
1. SFA needs a paint job across the board. Pretty much every one of their coasters could use a fresh coat dispite most of them being less than 5 years old. They have however spent the last few years repainting MANY of their flat rides so I'd guess it's only a matter of time before the coasters get their paint job too.
2. Sometimes the bathroom floors may be a little muddy, but that's about it. I have NEVER experianced any bathrooms at SFA that we're "filthy" or anything less than what you would expect from a theme park bathroom, and I'm not just saying that because it's my home park. There was even a point in 2003 where they had bathroom attendants outside of every bathroom making sure they were kept clean. What other parks out there do you know that do that?
3. There may be one trashcan overflowing, but that's one in the whole park, and it's probably one in the line where it isn't easily accessible. If you've seen otherwise, than I can assure you you were at the park on a day that is an exception and not the norm.
As for the ride selection issue, as far as flats go, we have a Spinning Rapids Ride, a Rotoshake, a round-up, and a reversing log flume...ALL VERY rare in the US. For coasters being clones...Mind Eraser, I'll give you that one because it's an SLC...but Wild One is original, Roar is original (and don't say it's a clone because SFA's came before SFMW and to say SFA's is a clone is like saying Medusa at SFGAdv is a clone because they made Scream at SFMM as it's mirror). Batwing, Superman, and TwoFace are clones, sure, but look how far their clone is. Believe me, 95% (and that could be generous) of the people that go to SFA have never been to SFDL, GL, or PKI so what does it matter that these rides are clones? Most of the GP is clueless to that fact. Joker's Jinx is the only one that is questionable considering how close it is to FOF at PKD, but the fact that it is outside makes it different enough for most people. So, it might not be the prime place for enthusiasts to go, but it's just fine for the gp, and clone or not, Superman is a great ride.
As for single train op, I'll agree with Batwing, but that coaster was a problem since day one. With Batwing it's not so much running one train because they don't have the staff, it's running one train so if something happens to the first train they have a back up to run while they repair the first. All the rest have both trains on the track 95% of the time, and while they may only load one train, they only do this when the lines are short. I've seen them go from only loading one train to loading both trains when the station filled up many times. It's just a lot of the time the wait times are under 10 minutes even with just one train loading.
The only other thing I can think of is that people are afraid of the public that visits SFA. Well, PG County is 75% African American, so it only seems obvious that A LOT of the people that would go to SFA would be black and I really think that makes a lot of people out there uncomfortable...I'll be honest, the first few times I went to SFA I felt that way. It's just something you get used to in the area. It's liek going to SFGAdv, if you live near New York you are accustom to how New Yorkers act and you don't notice it when you're at the park. SFA is the same way...just have to get used to the locals and know how to interact. Too many line jumpers? Jut put your arm on either hand rail, they won't go around you, and if they try to, just say something to them and 99% of the time they stop in their tracks. The ride ops are usually pretty good about watching for line jumpers in the station too.
I'm not trying to say SFA doesn't have ANY problems at all, far from it, and I'd even go as far to say as that all the other local parks are cleaner and better run (but look at the compitition-HP, PKD, BGW), but I seem to find a LOT of what is said about SFA is HIGHLY exagerated. SFA may not be at the level that it's compitition is at, but it's ALWAYS getting better. I mean, in comparision, last time I was at PKD all of the wooden coasters ran one train all day resulting in 20-30 minutes of VERY slow moving lines and when I was at Hershey the amount of trash floating in the stream and water ride pools was just disgusting. Every park has it's bad day...
I just was disappointed the park as a hole!
I just got back from deployment last week so I wanted to go to a new park!
First off I did do my homework on this park... I knew that of the 7 or so coasters there they only had 3 different "free forms" coasters!
When I got there I rode Superman" ROS first! (mind you I lived in CT for 8 months, and Albany NY for 6 months... so I was spoiled be S:ROS at SFNE) So I expected more with this S:ROS! IT was very flat... not much air time at all! So I was dissapointed. ALso need paint job BAD!
Next Batwing... a lot of time has been spent looking into the best ride capacity on Vekoma flyers... and @ CL during Coaster Con. I was talking to on of the PR people and she said that it is more efficient to rum one train... SO I expected that when I went! So no real complaints with this one! (with the exception of SLOW load time ~5 mins)!
Joker's Jinx’s - Dirty, Dirty, Dirty! I know it was the end of the season but this dirt was everywhere... from on the platform to on the rails! Just made me cringe! I guess since this is the first time I have seen the ride in the day time... with natural light.. It may have something to do with it! The only thing different with this one and PKI's and PKD's in the mid course brake run and no unload station. I did enjoy seeing it in the light though! There was ALOT of dirt and rust on the Low points of the ride! Another reason I was disappointed! Another coaster with slow load time though! Ride ops hanging out at the control station finishing their conversation before they loaded the train
Roar!.... Verry good... loved the surprises with latt. g's and overall good wooden... and good ride ops! (all were happy to be there)
Mind Eraser... what can I say SLC... another coaster that need a paint job bad! Rust on the rails of the transfer track.. This is the only one I remember right off the top of my head!
Face/off (lol) was down for maintenance! I know that this isn't the real name... but it is close enough! lol
Wild one... WOW.... GREAT!!!! Loved it! Slow load time... but the coaster made up for it!...looks like it could use a paint job too.
While on Wild one and on the break run I look over at the Go-cart and saw an employee laying down on the mid course stand they have on the go-carts, while people were racing! They passed right by him before he got up!
Dirty... trash a lot of places... not picked up! I watch 3 employees walked right by it! Then I walk up there pick some of it up!
Landscaping!.. I know it was Halloween but looked bad... need a good touch up! True my "true" home park is PKI, and I live in Williamsburg, VA... so I go to BGW a lot! I guess I am comparing to those parks. But I have been to 25 other parks and this was one of the worst jobs I've seen... Not the worst but up there!
In closing I will return! I am NOT talking crap about the park... I just hope they give a good make over the winter!
This is my home park and in all fairness the landscaping at SFA is usally at it's peak in late July / early August. I have't been to the park in a few weeks so I'm not sure what it looks like now, but I know back then it was begininng to look pretty bad.
I don't know about the overflowing trash cans, but I have seen the one in the que for Superman overflowing this summer months. Mostly the next morning before the ride opens. So this doesn't surprise me. Last year, Hall Manor's que was a total garbage dump a couple of times and I hunted down a manager and complained about the trash in Gotham City around the Boardwalk Fries stand once this year and if I could have found a manager on another occasion I would have complained about the trash in the que for Two Face. If CPisMyHome is around, he was with me that day and saw the trash I'm talking about.
I'm not sure who complained about the bathrooms, but I find SFA's bathrooms more acceptable than the bathrooms at PKD or BGW which I have found trashed on several occasions. I also noticed SFA has apparently contracted out the cleaning of their bathrooms to a private contractor (Control, I believe).
I agree with you on the painting of Joker's Jinx and Mind Eraser. I would also point out a paint job needs to be done on Batwing. Not sure why these coasters need a paint job so bad but the rust on Joker's Jinx is disheartening. I've never seen Flight of Fear in the daylight, so I have no idea what that coaster looks like or if it's even painted.
So, yes, SFA at times has a problem with keeping things clean. However, there have been plenty of times that I have walked into the park and was surprised at how clean it was.
I'm glad you are at least planning on going back. Some people swear off the park with one bad experience and won't go back. *** Edited 10/13/2004 4:31:59 PM UTC by coasterguts***
Coaster Lover said:
Every park has it's bad day...
Well, like Coaster lover said Evey park has it bad day.. and I agre with you coasterguts about the bathrooms.. I won't be going back this year... but I will go back next year!
I think people see that rides need painted and buildings need painted, and they feel they are dirty. I felt that way about SFGAm when I went, but then realized that the park was clean, it just needs a face lift. SFKK even more, though there were parts of SFKK that looked run down, though still, not the whole park being dirty.
And remember, the park only has 1 origional coaster, but when you have Roar!, Supes, Batwing(I like Veko Flyers), JJ, and 2Face, what more do you want? All good coaters, and I even like SLCs.
You obviously haven't been to SFGAm this year because pretty much anything that needed a paintjob, got it.
Deja Vu is still in its' camoflage paint mode, V2 looks silly with it's two-tone structure (Dark Blue new vertical support and pale old blue original supports), Iron Wolf is faded from its original maroon to a faded rust color (theming? ;) ), Eagle is sorely needing paint in many areas...and that is just the coasters....
Dirty... trash a lot of places... not picked up! I watch 3 employees walked right by it! Then I walk up there pick some of it up!
I have to say that when I was at SFAm this summer, I did not notice the park being that dirty. The ground could have used a good pressure washing, but there was not an abundant amount of trash lying around. My problem with that park was not the cleanliness or the rides, but rather the staff. It will be quite a long time before I subject myself to that again.
The above quote though does not surprise me about almost any SF park. We are not talking about Holiday World here, or the trash brigade at CP.
When a park or a chain learns that rides alone are not what keep customers coming back, a park gets cleaned up, painted, ops are trained better, and the satisfaction level of the guests increases.
And I agree with redman, that at SFGAm, that American Eagle looks really horrible. It's pretty from afar, but up close, it is an eyesore.
KK was just as mentioned earlier, trash gathered around the bottoms of the cans because they never get emptied, (and this was not a one time experience for me). And really rude employees on two of my trips there, and all kinds of ride closings.
SFWoA was dirty on the wildlife side, that side has always been pretty neglected to me though. Wild rides side was cleaner outside, but the 50's themed restaurant near the front was disgusting, esp. the dead insect collections on the window sills.
When I was there this past Labor Day though, now that it's under CF, all those problems were non-existent...for me anyway! However, both parks have really good coaster/ride line-up's.
The 2nd worst ops on any of the parks coasters has got to be supes,lately they've been loading whole trains full of fastlaners at a time instead of just two at a time(to an assigned seat) but other than that there's nothing really bad about the park save for the need for paint on a handful of rides& a re-tracking I believe is desperately in order for Roar.
This past weekend was quite an exception on Batwing as by mid to late afternoon they had two trains going & of course next season will bring a much needed improvement to the waterpark....lord knows after 20 years of existance it can sure use the much needed facelift.
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