Wednesday, July 11, 2001 5:47 AM
First trip ever to SF St Louis. 2 goals here, The Boss and Mr Freeze. Arrived late saturday night, up early Sunday. Man it was already 90 degrees at 9 o'clock and would hit 99 by midday. Heat probably helped keep crowd down, and put a lot of people in the water park, so ride lines were insanely short for a weekend day.
Main gate opened exactly at 9:30, season pass holders could go to Hurricane Harbor at 9:00. Only the very front area of 1904 Worlds Fair was open until 10:00, when the ropes were left down and a security guard WALKED the crowd back to the Boss. Employee at the Boss says its down until around 12:00 so off to Mr Freeze which is testing. Employee there says 15 minutes til it opens, but then comes back and says it will be another 30. So off to Screamin Eagle. Sign says Illinois section opens at 11:00. So off to River King Mine train, not open yet. Ninja and Batman only 2 rides operating for first hour. A little frustrating, but light crowds throughout the day made up for it.
1904 Worlds Fair. Mainly shops and food, themed to turn of the century. Colossus giant ferris wheel and train station are the rides.
Looney Toons area--Kiddie rides.
DC Comics Plaza--themed to DC Comics, home of Mr Freeze, scrambler themed to Shazam (with lightning painted on it and on tarps above the arms of the ride. High capacity log flume with 2 courses.
Gateway to the West--1800's town. Rapids ride which surrounds Mr Freeze, Tom's Twister rotor ride.
Britannia--tudor themed, the Boss, Highland Fling themed schwarzkopf enterprise, painted yellow with crests on the roof tops.
Illinois-themed to Old Chicago, built at bottom of the hillside, so some terrain to negotiate. Nice. Screamin Eagle, Rush Street flyer rainbow themed to a trolley, Water St Cab Co bumper cars, Riverview Racer yo yo and shoot the chutes ride.
Choteau's Market--frontier fort theme. River King Mine Train sits here. There appears to be a crazy barrel ride SBNO.
Warner Bros Backlot--Batman inverted coaster, Ninja, and pirate painted green and themed to Joker. Ride op had several cute names for it, flying pickle, ect.
Batman The Ride. I am not a big fan of inverteds, but rode it because it was open first. Short ride, intense. First three inversion elements are consecutive straight out of the drop. Loop-zero roll-loop. Other 2 inversion have pacing between them. 1 ride.
Ninja. Not bad for Vekoma ride. Loop, sidewinder which leads directly under the lift chain for a headchopper. Brake run then 2 corkscrews and a helix. Headbanging was minimal, escpecially considering the tightness of the turns. 1 ride.
River King Mine Train. Very nice and smooth Arrow mine train with 3 small lift hills. Run after first hill has 2 nice helixes and is best part of the ride. 2nd run has helix as drop, and a bunny hop with a brake on it, then runs back up about halfway to 3rd lift. 3rd hill is only about 15 feet, drops into a tunnel. A VERY hot tunnel on this near 100 degree day. As was the enclosed station. Ride was closed around 2:00 or 3:00, i would guess because of the heat. 3 rides.
Screamin Eagle. Out and back L shaped coaster. Runs very fast with minimal braking. Flys into final brake run and comes to a sudden halt. Rides rough, not great airtime. 2 seat cars on the train like Mean Streak. The speed is good, but the roughness takes as much away from the ride. 2 rides. Beautiful location as it is built on a hillside.
The Boss. Another rough ride, sort of love/hate for me.. First ride was almost unbearable. SOB rides like a cadillac compared to this coaster. The ride is filled with continual shaking vibrations, not big bumps or jolts, which are worse IMO. Hated the first ride, but always give another chance. Second ride and after that, rode with back not hitting the seat and holding on tight, which seemed to help a lot. Love the first "double drop". It's a drop, then a long inclined flat run into a small drop. The flat run is great, you really feel the speed. Also love the hill into the turnaround after the brake run, very steep up into it. Helix was a disappointment, too much vibration going on to enjoy it. 6 rides. Max wait time was about 20 minutes down to 10 minutes at end of the day. Also built at bottom of the hill, beautiful coaster.
Mr Freeze--this is the star at this park. Absolutely love this ride, every element. The launch, the top hat, the overbanked turn and the vertical climb. The 2 train tracking was a great innovation for shuttle coasters. Max wait time with both side running was only about 10 mintues. Closed one side toward the end of the day and wait stacked up to about 30 minutes.
The intial launch is very intense. Screen says 71 mph max launch. Into the top hat, where the train slows at the top. Awesome! Back down at full speed throught the overbanked turn then up the best element of the ride, the vertical tower. LIMs on the tower give a gentle boost to nearly the top, giving a longer effect of being vertical in the sky. Must ride at least one time in the front, seeing the end of the track is spectacular. One of my favorite coaster experiences. Would be even nicer with Flight of Fear lap bar treatment, although maybe not capable of it because of the pause through the top hat. Top Hat backwards is just like everyone describes. Wonderful feeling of being sucked up into it. Ride is best when sun goes down, as all of the elements put the sun in your face. 7 rides.
This park is built in one of the more beautiful locations for a park i have seen. Well out of the city of St Louis, and away from the urban crunch that most parks are victim to. Sitting at the bottom of the foothills is best aspect. They should have built a train ride up the hillside like Dollywood. Lots of trees, and lots of water spouts throughout the park were operating to cool patrons off. Ride lineup is short, and only Mr Freeze would warrant a return trip.
Now off to Chicago.
Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:32 AM
Hey super7, good to see you made it, hope you had a good time. Kind of a bummer, everything being broke at opening. I don’t know if this is common or not – I haven’t made it to the park at opening time in two years (I have trouble getting up that early on the weekends…)
I was there that evening, and the heat was still practically unbearable… does make for nice, short lines though….
The Eagle did seem to be running quite sluggishly that day – don’t know why… maybe the heat? Normally it gives a fair amount of air – especially in the back.
The Boss is also hit and miss – sometimes it’s rough, sometimes it’s not. Did you say hi to Richard (the world record guy?) He always looks so bored…
Good luck with the rest of your trip.