They walked us out the exit to the get processed where we should have been in the first place, but you can tell the park wasn't staffed to handle the crowds for season pass processing. They were emphasizing to guests that they could come back later or another day to have their passes processed. That shortened the line for us somewhat.
What should have been a 15-20 minute wait turned into a 45 minute wait due to the fact that the general population aren't as computer savvy as I thought they were. You have scan your pass receipt, and type in all your personal information(name, address, etc)for each pass purchased before you could have your picture taken and processed. Had I been smart I would have purchased my season passes online before getting to the park and would have gotten to skip the line.
Did they switch to that system this year? I didn't get Six Flags passes this season because I didn't plan on visiting any Six Flags park except Great Adventure, and I had a buy one get one coupon for admission there. When I renewed my season passes the few seasons before that I'd just reuse the same pictures and order them online. Never had to worry about the headache of getting them processed at the park. All I had to do was stop at guest relations, and pick up our coupon books.
Six Flags America is easily my least favorite Six Flags park that I have visited. Every time I go there I am let down by their poor operation, and today was no exception to the trend. Yes, they have improved in some areas, but not enough to make a trip there worth the time of my family.
The crowds were light, so I figured that we might have a pretty decent day. We went straight to Roar and got a backseat lap with one train wait. I like this coaster, and it seems to have improved since my visit last year for Frightfest.
We then went into Gotham City. We skipped over the Joker's Jinx because it wasn't worth the wait to us. The other rides in the area also had waits that weren't worth it, or they weren't running the ride at all. We were starting to get frustrated already, and had only been in the park about an hour by this point.
I wanted to ride Superman the most, and what would have been a 10 minute wait turned into the ride being closed(happens to me a lot whenever I want to ride.)We were the next to get on the back row, and I made a joke to my son, "Look they are running 2 trains, and actually dispatching them without the other train sitting on the brakes for several minutes." As soon as I said that a train got stuck on the lift hill. ;)
I overheard two maintenance guys talking that they don't think they had the sensor that was needed to reopen the ride. Then they were making jokes about the maintenance budget. ;)
Superman frustrates me. It is a pretty decent ride, but it never runs reliably like other Intamin hypers or gigas at other parks. I know if their budget would allow it would run pretty well. Why can't they give their parks the money to maintain their rides properly? I have a few answers, but it probably wouldn't make BATWINGSFA too happy so I'll keep them to myself. ;)
Batwing was also down, so we took it as a sign that we should just leave the park while the getting is good. On our way out I took my daughter to play in the Looney Tunes prop warehouse, and the family took a lap on the teacups.
Yes we hear in the forums by certain people how this park gets overlooked, and I agree that it does. In talking to the family we all agree that we don't ever have to go to the park again. We'd lose no sleep over it. If it wasn't for the season pass bargain we wouldn't have visited in the first place, and I don't think we're the only family visits the park for this reason.
We heard a NJ guy arguing at guest relations about why he shouldn't have to come back to the park to get his coupon book since he lives so far away. It was obvious that Great Adventure was his families home park, but he just wanted to score that great deal for his family like I did for mine.
$218 for 4 season passes is a bargain that can't be passed up when you live an hour and half from the park like I do. Dorney and Knoebels are also around that same distance from me, and of those three parks I'd hit the one that doesn't even offer season passes just because it's that much better of an experience for my family. I am sure you know what one would be second. ;)
*** Edited 10/15/2007 5:30:06 PM UTC by Coasterfantom2***
While it was nice to finally get to ride Skull Mountain/TSC, there are so many things wrong with this place that's it's just a joke. Among them:
--Wild One's trains severely need mantenance.
--Roar's trains need maintenance, and the coaster needs to be retracked.
--Two Face needs to run reliably or be taken out.
--Batwing needs to do the same.
--Superman needs to be fixed.
--Mind Eraser runs like crap and should have the new trains installed.
--The Nantucket area of the park is way too dead.
--The fright fest attraction lineup was overall the worst I've ever seen.
--Overall employee performance is still lackluster.
--The park and parking lot have a terrible layout.
--Superman & Wild One seem to also have station parking issues--especially Superman. They need to fix this line-up issue.
I could go on, but I'll stop. Basically, this park needs to get fixed or go away. It's been too long, and they've had time to work on this.
rablat5 has covered a good amount of what the problems are at the park. I don't really see them being able to improve their operation there too much. The biggest problem I noticed is that the park is not designed to handle big crowds, and to fix that problem it would be a major cap expense that I am sure that Six Flags isn't willing to invest in that park.
When you look at other major parks you see big expansive midways, and different areas that break the crowds up to make big crowds much more tolerable to handle. America by design has none of that. Most of their walkways are narrow, and weren't designed to handle the crowds that the park draws. I know from my experience at going at off peak times that even with lower crowds it gets really tight there in parts of the park. I would hate to be there in peak times when the park is really crowded.
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