SFA 4/24/05 Extremely empty

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Monday, April 25, 2005 12:04 AM
I’m absolutely fried after working a pretty tough weekend, but still I decided to venture on down to SFA today. The first thing that was shocking that shouldn’t have been shocking was the parking price–$10. Yikes. I didn’t arrive until about 6pm, but had a very easy time parking in front of the entrance plaza. You see, it was cold, and generally miserable outside. The closed ride sign out in front said that S:ROS, Two-Face, and Krypton Comet, which were all rides I wanted to get on. There’s always next time.

After processing my season pass, I found out I could apply the parking price I paid today towards the total price of the parking pass–$30, so I went back out to the car to get my parking stub. I wanted to get all that stuff wrapped up before I rode anything. First up was Joker’s Jinx, which has white blotches all over. My hope is not only do they paint the supports and track, but also the tunnel, which was only partially painted when installed. Some of the insides of the station have also faded pretty badly. So it was a great ride, until we couldn’t get out of the LIM brake block. A ride supervisor showed up pretty quickly and asked everyone how they were doing. I know it’s protocol, but it’s kind of funny when it’s not hot outside and you’re just sitting going nowhere, except for you have a lapbar. The situation was quickly resolved luckily.

Next up was Batwing, where I hear a familiar voice “Rob”, and I turn around and it’s Paul, an enthusiast acquaintance of mine. I’m really into details, so the first thing I notice is that the logos leading up to the coaster haven’t gotten any better looking or worse looking. Someone needs to come in and return those back to their former look. The next shock was Batwing itself. It’s like someone had taken a Photoshop filter to the track and supports. It’s no longer deep yellow and dark purple anymore. Man I tell you, the person who comes up with paint that can last outside for longer than many of these new coasters have will strike it rich. To me though, Superman looked fine.

I rode Batwing in the backrow with Paul and the loop was reallllly slow, which meant we didn’t have a whole lot of momentum for the rest of the circuit. The helix which normally is a g-force crusher was wimpy and really slow. Paul decided to stay and ride it again, whereas I was a “One and done.” kind of person. I went back towards the front of the park unfortunately to make a visit to guest relations. To be fair to the park and its employees, I won’t reveal why. After that, I decided to check out the brand-spanking-new, ah whoops, I meant newly repainted Mind Eraser. Man, it looks great, and so did the train (don’t know where the other one was). It kills me everytime I have to pass the Breakdance and not be able to ride it because there’s no one else to ride it with, due to the single-rider policy. I’d have no problem being paired up with someone else, except there is no one else today. Paul’s a die-hard “stick to the rails” kind of guy, so I’d have no luck with him either. I see that Renegade Rapids is open. Only on a dare.

I took front seat on Mind Eraser, and yeah it’s still, uh..., well you know... Did I mention it has a great new paint job?:) I took another front-seat ride on Roar next (referred to as “the Roar” on the overhead announcement. Don’t you hate that? I know I do). I thought it tracked very well, and didn’t jackhammer around the last turn before the brakes. In front of me as I exited underneath the track I see a mirage–Typhoon Seacoaster is running, and then even better, it’s actually accepting riders! I got put in the first boat in the first row. There were two more people who came up after me, but it would have messed up the blocks, so I went solo. It’s a great way to chill out, until you hit the turntable reverse. That drop freaked me out bad today, and usually it doesn’t too badly. It felt like the whole boat was going to flip over by the time I got to the bottom of the drop, and also at the 2nd drop before the tunnel. The big drop didn’t get me too wet, except for the bottom of my khackis. When I stopped my watch, it said 8:13 for the entire course. Wow.

At some point, I’d love to see the closest parts to the midway of TS get some themeing. What I think would work would be to create a couple of more buildings to complete the fishing villiage. Then that way, the course would be mostly hidden (think Big Bad Wolf at BGW). As it is right now, it’s just a lot of white concrete and water.

I headed to the Southwest Territory next, and decided to see if Two-Face was running, and it wasn’t. So first I rode Tower of Doom which was cool, then rode front seat on Wild One, which was running great, and the trim was off before the helix. I then went back to Gotham City where I ran into Paul again on Joker’s Jinx. He asked me if I was going to stay for another ride, but I decided to hit Penguin’s Blizzard River instead. This may be common knowledge my now, but if not, the seatbelts have been taken out of the boats. Yeah! It was luck of the draw that I missed the big splash in the upper section.

I returned back to Joker’s Jinx to end off the night, where unfortunately a lot of employees were goofing off and wasting my time. A supervisor even came up while we were sitting there and she got into this discussion about the safety list that gets turned in every night with the control ride op. I think me and everyone else was thinking the same thing– “Can’t this wait until after 8pm?” The control op was playing ring tones over the p.a. system, one of the attendants wanted to dance to them, and to top it all off, an attendant attemped to board out of uniform by throwing on someone else’s shirt. It was only because someone spotted a ride supervisor that she quickly changed her mind. For those of you playing at home, this prompted my second visit to Guest Relations at the end of the night.

Bear in mind, at neither one of the times was I the angry customer at G.R., nor the coaster enthusiast who knows everything. In fact I was plainsclothed today. I explained things in a calm voice, and cooperated by filling out the paperwork. They were nice enough to issue a coupon the first time.

So you’re probably wondering what the general scorecard for the employees is. I thought most of the employees were very nice, and asked me how my day was going, which is kind of funny considering when I rode Typhoon Seacoaster , I had only been in the park for an hour or less. I think a lot of the horseplay and slow movement still persists. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest ideal to use the “It’s Playtime” slogan, because the employees wear the slogan on all their clothing and it kind of reinforces bad behavior in my opinion.

To wrap things up, the slide pieces for Bahama Blast have got to be seen in person. The pictures did not do them justice. It looks like you could drive a Mini-Cooper through the slide. The plot of land for Bahama Blast is fairly massive too from what I could see from one of the rides. Opening day is May 28th, which gives them plenty of time to get everything ready, or not depending on the weather. Hopefully, they’ll repaint the interactive playset also, as it’s looking pretty faded. I think it’s great that they put a picture of Joker’s Jinx on the front cover of the map instead of Ride of Steel, but I wish they hadn’t used an old photo featuring the shoulder harnesses. Oh well.

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Monday, April 25, 2005 11:33 AM

Intamin Fan said:


I returned back to Joker’s Jinx to end off the night, where unfortunately a lot of employees were goofing off and wasting my time. A supervisor even came up while we were sitting there and she got into this discussion about the safety list that gets turned in every night with the control ride op. I think me and everyone else was thinking the same thing– “Can’t this wait until after 8pm?” The control op was playing ring tones over the p.a. system, one of the attendants wanted to dance to them, and to top it all off, an attendant attemped to board out of uniform by throwing on someone else’s shirt. It was only because someone spotted a ride supervisor that she quickly changed her mind. For those of you playing at home, this prompted my second visit to Guest Relations at the end of the night.


Only the JJ ride employees were goofing off? Sounds logical!! These must have been teenagers if im not mistaken?

Well this is TOO early for employees to start goofing off now. I would have been in an outrage if I was there. Most likely I would have said something to them. It's Playtime slogans means its time to play for guests, not employees!!!!

I will personally (supposedly) go 2 SFA May 1. I hope to see a change in the SF chain.

!!!Batwing can we say NEW PAINT JOB 2006!!!

The whole Gotham City area needs to go under rehab. More trees, new indoor/outdoor restaurants, MORE flats, new and more scenery. *** Edited 4/25/2005 3:36:56 PM UTC by SF Critic***

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Monday, April 25, 2005 12:11 PM
I have seen managers at SFA, and SFGadv come into the station and do the exact thing you have explained, start going over something with them while people are in line. Have fun at your job, goof off, but dont waste everyone's time doing it.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:01 PM
I also busted one of the kids for a safety violation on Joker's Jinx that only I know because I worked the ride for exactly one evening. The rule (again which I won't reveal), is used to protect the worker. You see, not only do I care that I don't get hurt or another patron gets hurt, I also don't want to see some kid get hurt. And, I can say that because I'm twice or more their age. I honestly believe that safety starts with everyone. I complained about the exit gate on the Rodeo which would blow open during the ride. Well, last year they added a magnetic gate to it, as well as, the Octopus. All it would take would've been one little kid who was running away from their parent to get killed instantly by an artifical cow.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:46 PM
Why cant you tell us this rule. Why is it so Top Secret.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 2:37 PM
Can you at least tell us if guest relations treated you well?

Whenever I call up Darien Lake with a question or concern they always gave me a smart ass attitude.

For example, last summer I was there the day that Superman was stuck on the lift and everyone was evacuated. I called a few days later to see if it had reopened because I was going back and the lady acted as if it had never happened and treated me poorly.

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Monday, April 25, 2005 4:18 PM

Ride of Steel said:


For example, last summer I was there the day that Superman was stuck on the lift and everyone was evacuated. I called a few days later to see if it had reopened because I was going back and the lady acted as if it had never happened and treated me poorly.


OMG, are you forreal?

Dang, that is straight out cold. Ugh!!!! See thats why SFI is loosing money. Treatin their guest like $#\*!!! *** Edited 4/25/2005 8:18:39 PM UTC by SF Critic***

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Monday, April 25, 2005 10:40 PM
This park seems to be run pretty shoddy for such a large collection of rides and a central location to D.C. I know you said it was cold, but having Superman and 2face closed is a bit of a letdown. They really need to get it together.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 1:39 PM
The reason I don't want to reveal the rule is because it's part of their intellectual property (namely out of their safety manual for JJ), and therefore, I don't think it's right to display it here. I also heard several of the kids openly complaining about the hours they had to work to which I say "tough". I was up at 7:30am on Friday, and didn't see my bed until 11pm. In my opinion, employees should not be openly complaining to guests about their hours. If you want to gripe to each other "Man, it's really cold out here, I wish our shift wasn't so long", that's fine, just don't do it in earshot of other guests. And, don't use profanity either.

One of the employees even tried to convince some of the guests of how hard they were having it because we were having fun, meaning actually being able to ride, and they weren't. Meanwhile we were just sitting there for minutes on end, not going anywhere.

Another thing I just thought about yesterday was that employees aren't supposed to have cell phones in the park, unless they've changed the rules. As far as I know, it's pretty hard to play a ring tone without a cell phone, unless someone would like to enlighten me elsewise.

Oops, forgot to answer someone's question. Guest Relations was very nice, I just think the guy needed to get a little bit more familiar with the rides, so if I mention a ride component, he knows exactly what I'm talking about, without me going into a long explanation. *** Edited 4/26/2005 5:58:46 PM UTC by Intamin Fan***

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