SFA 2005 Improvements/Changes (And a 4/10 TR)

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Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:04 PM
Well, after two days of being at the park, I’ve noticed a lot of improvements and changes made around the park. Granted some were confirmed or noted by other people, but I have seen all these changes for myself. Please feel free to add or amend this list:

-New Paint Jobs on: Mind Eraser (Yellow Track, Orange Supports, Red Train repainted as the Yellow Train, Teal train repainted as the Orange Train), One of the two trains on Oak Grove Express, Hollywood Café, Joker’s Jinx, Pirate’s Flight (at least the boats SEEM to appear repainted) and the lockers near Around the World in 80 days (at least the name on the building was repainted).
-New tent cover on the top of the Carousel
-Rebuilt bridge into Coyote Creek (Unconfirmed, but it looks new)
-New/Well Refurbished Batmobile in the middle of Gotham City
-New Funhouse Mirrors and New sign in front of Joker’s Jinx
-Live attendant booth for Sonoco Speedway Tickets
-Removal of the redundancy belt on Superman (the belt that goes from the lap-bar to the side of the seat)
-New system on Superman that allows them to release the lap-bars in individual cars instead of having to open all the restraints when there is a problem
-Removal of the seatbelts on PBR
-New Stickers on the PBR rafts reminding people to stay seated and to hold onto the handles at all time
-Raised concrete flume walls on the splashdown pool on PBR to prevent waves from spilling over the wall
-Removal of many of the signs in Nantucket
-The round planter in front of the Grand Theater was filled in with concrete to make (what appears to be) a small stage
-Chic-fil-a in Skull Island

All this in addition to three new shows and all of the Hurricane Harbor new stuff.

The day started out great: very sunny, not a cloud in the sky. I got to the park early, as usual, and waited for the park to open. Once again they brought out the “big switch” for the opening ceremony. Once again they played the national anthem and did the countdown for the park opening. It’s very cute.

After that, we ran back toward Superman. It was testing, but it seemed to be running too slow. After about two hours of waiting, we saw them pull the coaster onto the transfer track to replace a wheel. We left the line and decided to go ride Batwing. There was about a one train or two train wait and it was running fine all day. It’s about the same (ride wise) as last year. They were running one train and had a second on the transfer track. One was really all that was needed all day; the line was never too long. After that ride we went back to Superman. They had the wheel changed, but now the coaster was stopping with one car still out of the station. Seemed like a malfunctioning proxy sensor. I’m sure the ride mechanics were quite frustrated by this time. About an hour later they were testing fairly thoroughly. Finally by about 3:45 they were in final tests and were allowing the employees to ride. At exactly 4pm today, the ride opened to the public. I was in the very first train, in the very first seat. CoasterGuts and I agreed it seemed to be a little slow through the top of the second helix, but otherwise it was the same great ride as always. It had another hiccup around 4:30ish, but was reopen again shortly after 5pm when I got a second ride. Not sure what happened after then, but please read my improvements above to read the several big things they did to Superman. Only the blue train was running, but considering the improvements they are doing to the trains, it’s no surprise that both trains aren’t back yet.

Joker’s Jinx was up and down all day today, but when it went down (which it did frequently) it was only down for 15-20 minutes or so. The ride mechanics seemed to be having a very busy day between Superman, Joker’s Jinx, and all the other temperamental rides. Wild One and Roar both ran fine all day. I really didn’t get into Coyote Creek, so I can’t comment on Mind Eraser because I really wasn’t paying attention to it most of the day, but it seemed to be running fine when I went over to take pictures.

I must admit, the ride ops were quite good! They were moving at a reasonable pace, but more importantly, they were being safe. I was frequently reminded to store my loose articles in the box when the ride attendants saw my camera bag. When the ride was prepped to depart, ALL of the employees were in their designated location (on the exit side they were behind the gate, and on the loading side they were on their painted circle. Superman even had 6 people on the ride (one in the booth, 4 in the station, and one at the entrance checking heights). If I had any complaint, it would be the stapling I got on Joker’s Jinx, but otherwise they were just pressing down on the restraints enough to make sure you were safely secure. They were also very friendly and very aware of everything going on. They were very good (especially by SF standards). At the same time, they were having fun when not directly on a ride. There were a couple employees doing double dutch jump rope in front of Joker’s Jinx and encouraging guests to join in. Yesterday, A few were juggling the balls for one of the games in the same area. It’s not only keeping the employees from being bored, but it’s entertaining to the guests… a win-win situation! Bravo SFA in this respect! I’d love to see this kept up all year.

As far as down rides, Two Face was down (still) but there were people working on it. Iron Eagle was down, but it was testing throughout the day and seemed to be running well. Shipwreck Falls was surprisingly down all day, surprisingly because it is one of those rides you never see down. Whatever it was, it must have been pretty serious to close the ride for the day. They did keep the water on the drop flowing to add to the atmosphere of the area. TSC was still closed, but that ride seems to open usually in May every year.

If I had to guess, now that Superman has had a chance to run for a while with full loads of guests, I’d think that you’ll see Superman run A LOT more reliably next weekend. My guess is that Two Face will also be up very soon. It looks very near to being ready to go. If not next weekend, then the weekend after I’d be willing to guess that Two Face will be back up. I’d say Mind Eraser has at least a week of painting left and Joker’s Jinx has a good two weeks left, but when they’re done, they WILL look VERY nice. As far as the second trains on the coasters, the lines weren’t too bad today despite the great weather, so I really can’t complain.

I’d say if yesterday was graded a “D” today would easily be up to a “C+”. It wasn’t perfect, but most all of what I could see that was wrong was rides being broken down or opening late, and all that was really out of the parks hands. I’m very happy that Superman opened today (better late than never) and I thought the employees were noticeably better than last year (let’s keep it up all year this time). I took several pics of the work being done on Hurricane Harbor as well as other places around the park, but I’ll give you all the link to those later. *** Edited 4/11/2005 2:39:24 AM UTC by Coaster Lover***

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Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:24 PM
First, before I say anything else. I want to thank the ride mechanics and employees on Superman for working extremely hard the passed couple of days to get Superman running. In observing them work for six hours on that ride to day, it literally would start running and another problem would turn up. I'm sure it was extremely frustrating but they never gave up and I appreicate the hard work they put into getting it running today.

Just one improvement Coaster Lover missed on Superman. They also removed the belt that connects the t-bar restraint to the side buckle. Even though it's still on the test seat, it's not on the trains in the station.

Other than that, I had a lot of fun waiting in line (when's the last time you heard someone say that) for Superman to open today. I had a lot of good conversations with various people today. It made waiting bearable and go by a lot quicker.

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Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:40 PM
The restraints remain essentially the same, it's just the second belt is no longer on the ride.
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Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:29 PM
Dispite most of the rides not operating during opening weekend at SFA, im glad that the park is making alot of changes this year. Not just SFA but SFI. All I really been hearing was good reports (great employees, scenery, new food shops, new paint, etc). SF keep up the good work!!!

I thing that really bothers me. TSC; the skull that you go through at the end of the ride his a discolor and it look nasty. I hope they refurbish that part of the ride bcuz i will refuse to look at it. Another thing about TSC, last year did they play sounds in the tunnels and is the scenery in the tunnels moving (pirates, etc.)?

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Monday, April 11, 2005 7:18 AM
I'm not sure about the sounds, but I know the scenery doesn't move. I believe they added some light effects. I noticed a few things in Skulls Island that needs some work. I noticed Highs Seas is really in need of a paint job (probably more so than Mind Eraser). I'm sure TSC is one of the rides that will eventually get a paint job. Most of all, I would like to see water coming out of the eye again, like in this picture:

http://www.joyrides.com/sfa/typhoon_sea_coaster.htm


*** Edited 4/11/2005 1:38:34 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Monday, April 11, 2005 1:32 PM
TSC is the MOST negected ride at SFA! Why do I say that, because everytime I go that ride is never open. It's sad to see one of the best water ride in the park isn't operating (I don't know if its the best now because I never ridden PBR). I haven't had a season pass since 2000, but i've heard it opens when it feels like it. Another thing Less Boats. Some of the boats are behind Wild One making the line very long. About half of my friends have never been on the ride before in their LIVES due to the ride never being open. I explain to them its a water coaster and it goes backwards. Hopefully they can ride it in 2005.

When this ride first opened in 1997 along with Skull Island, it was SENSATIONAL along with Crocodile Cal's Outback Beach House! I do remember back then that some of the scenery in the tunnels did move (ex. the pirate with the big boulder and some pirates moving back and forth making pirate sounds). The best part of the ride that catches you is when you fall backwords. It was and still is the best water ride at Adventure World.

I just hope in 2005 this ride will open all the time I do agree that I would also like to see the water come out the eye again because with out it, the skull looks dead. I would like to see Skull Island expand cause its too small.

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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:01 PM
I did get a ride on Typhoon Sea Coaster last season and I think the pirate sounds were in the tunnels. That pic with the water coming out of the eye is definitely something I would like to see returned. Penguin's Blizzard River has nothing on TSC for fun. Penguins Blizzard River is a lazy river with a little more speed. The backwards drop on TSC shocked me even though I knew it was coming. TSC is one of the top 5 rides in SFA in my opinion. Superman:Ride Of Steel, Batwing, Iron Eagle, Typhoon Sea Coaster and Wild One are what I list as the 5 best. Only 2 of those got expletives out of me, Typhoon Sea Coaster got it on the backwards drop and Iron Eagle for the whole effect. I got off Iron Eagle with a WTF happened there?
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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:03 PM
In my experience, TSC usually opens on or just after Memorial Day. Also, if the ride is going to open, it usually opens around noon and closes at dusk (as is posted on the sign near the ride). I actually had rode the ride about 10 times last season (4 times were right in a row because the ride had just opened for the day and no one was really getting in line, so I just asked if I could stay on; might as well ride it as much as I could while it was open). A couple of thise times were even during Fright Fest.

The parks website says that TSC can run 16 boats, I think I've seen about 8 boats on at a time. However, every season, it seems that the ride is slowly getting more and more boats and is open longer and longer. I'm certain I've seen new sensors around the ride and I'm pretty sure they have been tinkering with the lift hill speed. I'd guess part of the problem is timing. It takes a set amount of time for those boats to turn on the turntable and if a boat reaches the top of the lift while a boat is still in the turntable, it shuts the whole lift down.

TSC is one of my favorite rides in the park, but it needs some work. For starters, they need to fix the capicity and the reliability. Make sure the ride is open as much as any other log flume and make sure there are always at least 2-3 boats in the station at any one time. After that, everything else would just add to the ride. What keeps the ride from running after dusk? If it's lighting, add the lighting to the right places. Inside the tunnels could use a nice rehab, contact Sally Dark Rides and have it done right. How nice would it be to see a large Pirate Ship in that long outside portion of the ride before the final lift? Possibly add a soundtrack to the ride, even if it is just some simple pirate music. Eitherway, they need to get the ride running more reliably first, then themeing second.

Maybe use this year to improve the reliability, then, as next year will probably be an off year, use the limited funds to refurbish the themeing on the ride and make it one of the best log flumes in the north east!

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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:08 PM

SF Critic said:
It was and still is the best water ride at Adventure World.


One minor correction, the park has been Six Flags since 1999. It doesn't have much competition among water "thrill" rides at the park.

Just because the ride isn't open yet doesn't necessarily mean it's not going to open this season. Granted in 2003 it didn't open until August but last year it was open by Memorial Day weekend. It seems the park has added several more mechanics this year, they were everywhere. I'm sure one of their top priorities after getting the coasters and Iron Eagle up and running is to get TSC up and running. With more mechanics, maybe they will be able to add more boats this season. They had a staff standing around the ride all weekend so I'm sure staff training has begun. *** Edited 4/11/2005 6:09:21 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:31 PM
Also to note, there were about two or three boats in the station (thought the flume was never filled while I was there), so it is possible that the ride has already begun testing during the weekdays. Maybe this is just where they store these three boats, but it seems odd that they would be in the flume from last season. I know when they have more boats on the circut, they store the extras on the lifts and in the station when the flume is drained, but if only three boats are on the circut right now for testing, it would make sense to store them all in the station. Let's just hope that TSC has a better year this year.

I've also heard that one of the improvements on Superman that basically ALLOWED them to remove the redundancy belt from the lap bar to the side of the seat was a sensor that can tell the ride ops if the restraints are down far enough.

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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:32 PM
Opps, I forgot to edit that out (Adventure World). Well I didn't go for the opening season. Im just saying during the previous seasons since it became SF this ride open whenever it wanted. Sometimes it didn't even open till 3-4 p.m. TSC just tells us the park may open on time, but i can open whenever I fell like it during the day.

I do agree with Coaster Lover that TSC can go under some rehab and add theming in the water on the outside of the ride, because its too plain. Also the big boat in the water which use to be a show in Skull Island, why did they get rid of it? I hardly pay attention to shows but this year I WILL!

Another question, we all know that Warner Bros., Looney Tunes, and Cartoon Network are with SF, but i hardly hear that people even see them greet guests (like disney, paramount, and Cedar fair cartoons greet). Are they out this year greeting people who ever went opening season?

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Monday, April 11, 2005 2:54 PM
Yes, Bugs, Porky, Daffy and Sylvester were out front of the park before flipping the big switch and interacting with the guests. If you ask Sylvester where Tweety is, he rubs his tummy. I guess that will last until it freaks some kid out and then he will be told to stop. Last season, I saw them periodically throughout the day in Loone Tunes MovieTowne and usually around 3 or 4:00 in front of the Main Street Theater.

Anybody else like to see a Batman & Sylvester and Tweety Stunt Show? Where Batman saves Tweety from the claws of Sylvester? LOL! :)

By the way, the Pirate's Ship is still in front of the Skull in Skull Island, it's now used for r/c boats. No show occurs on the Pirate's Ship anymore.

*** Edited 4/11/2005 6:58:50 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Monday, April 11, 2005 3:39 PM
Sylvester rubs his tummy.... LOL! They might not be the only cartoon character we might see. Maybe a few years down the road we will start seeing Cartoon Network characters since they own the rights to them. I already seen in Gotham City Scooby Doo stuff animals. Flipping the big switch? Sounds like the commercial with Mr. Six? Well whatever to satisfy customers SF is prolly doing a good job now.

Adding to Coaster Lover, I also don't think there will be a off year for SFA next year, but I could be wrong (I don't know all the facts).

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Monday, April 11, 2005 6:46 PM
http://www.sfafans.org/SFA%20Opening%20Day/index.html

There's the pics taken between me and coasterguts from opening weekend. Enjoy... and thanks for posting/hosting the pics coasterguts.

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Monday, April 11, 2005 7:26 PM
This link will work a little better and glad I could help Coaster Lover. *** Edited 4/11/2005 11:26:56 PM UTC by coasterguts***
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Monday, April 11, 2005 8:33 PM
Is this SFA? OMG! ME is a decade old but it looks like a spankin new coaster. Hopefully they will put up a new sign for the ride. Im also glad to see Two Face being worked on. Hollywood Cafe looks like it could be at Universal Studios. Another thing that i see is water cannons for river rapids. Thank God they brought those back. They've been gone since 1998. I also like the stage for entertainment instead of it being plants there last time.

Im enjoying ALL the new improvements at SFA. We'll thats just the beginning. I can't wait to see the new Hurricane Harbor!

Wow this park is really catching my eye. Can't wait to get my season pass by this weekend hopefully. *** Edited 4/12/2005 12:59:10 AM UTC by SF Critic***

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Monday, April 11, 2005 9:07 PM
It's not perfect, but it's improving. It's baby steps in the right direction. I think the park is finially starting to realize that what brings people to the park is not always new rides, but is usually customer service and satisfaction. They are realizing that if the park looks new, and the rides are fully functioning, and everything is staffed fully and with nice people, that can have a bigger impact than any new rollercoaster.
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Monday, April 11, 2005 10:32 PM

SF Critic said:
TSC is the MOST negected ride at SFA! Why do I say that, because everytime I go that ride is never open. It's sad to see one of the best water ride in the park isn't operating (I don't know if its the best now because I never ridden PBR). I haven't had a season pass since 2000, but i've heard it opens when it feels like it. Another thing Less Boats. Some of the boats are behind Wild One making the line very long. About half of my friends have never been on the ride before in their LIVES due to the ride never being open. I explain to them its a water coaster and it goes backwards. Hopefully they can ride it in 2005.

]


The first thing I'll say is that you meant "Fewer" boats. My parents constantly get on me and others for that infraction. If you can count it, it's fewer. If you're comparing things, then it's less than/more than. Wow, I feel better now.

Typhoon Sea Coaster is anything but neglected. They tried really hard in 2003 to get it running (see comment above about its late opening). I think what did get neglected though, was some of the moving props, and the soundtrack, but that happened sevaral years before 2003. I really like the warehouse portion of the ride when you're going up the first lift. It's very well themed. It's the second half of the ride after the second turntable that looks like they ran out of money, since it's only a bunch of concrete channels and nothing else.

The most I've ever seen run successfully was eight boats on Memorial Day of 2002. There wasn't a hiccup the whole time I was there that I was aware of. I think if you eliminated the second (and third if possible) turntables, it would be a much more reliable ride. The way that things are now, it takes a large crew to operate, because you need three people in the station, and then one at each turntable. At over seven minutes (approximately), it's a great ride. *** Edited 4/12/2005 2:34:31 AM UTC by Intamin Fan***

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005 7:53 AM

SF Critic said:
Another thing that i see is water cannons for river rapids.

The Water Canons have been on Renegade Rapids for several years now. They work on and off. This past weekened they were off. Saturday they had black tape over them but the tape was removed by Sunday and the water canons still weren't working. I deposited .50 in two seperate ones and neither one of them spewed water. Also, the change machine by the water canons has been removed.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005 11:04 AM

Intamin Fan said:
The first thing I'll say is that you meant "Fewer" boats. My parents constantly get on me and others for that infraction. If you can count it, it's fewer. If you're comparing things, then it's less than/more than. Wow, I feel better now.

]


  1. I believe someone has mention this to me before.
  2. I haven't been to the regular season since 2000 (only once in 2001 and Fright Fest 2004).
  3. Things have changed since I've been there.

I-Fan I can see your saying that in 2003 the park really tried to get the ride operating but since the previous years, it hardly operated. I even have friends tell me that the ride never opens or it opened real LATE. I agree with everything else you say, but comparing less/more boats to the ride doesn't explain why the ride isn't operating. Really that is no excuse.

I can also understand that this ride takes a large crew to operate also (i've seen that from the beginning), but i've never seen an accident at the turntable either so I don't think they need employees there all the time if they are working properly. Now if they start running 16 boats again, then have a large crew, but 8 boats they are spread out while the ride is operating.

Im not trying to get into an arguement or anything, I just feel that TSC is neglected at most times. I also mentioned at the top that it is the best water ride at SFA. The theming is awesome but they do need more after the 2nd turntable. I just hope that this ride really have a good 2005 season.

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