I have needed to make a return trip to Six Flags Americia for some time. My last visit was when it was still Adventure World. It was the year before the name change. The new ride was ROAR. It was a LONG time ago.
Why has it been so long? I was very busy durring the summers working at CP and IOA. I didn't have the opportunity to return...until now. I also had a fear that I would not have a good time. The scars I have from SFWOA have not healed as of yet. I have heard horror stories of long lines with one train opperation for some time now. I was willing to except the parks problems just this once and go for the few ride I was going to get. But was it really going to turn out the negitive way I was expecting?
Sunday, September 15th. I popped (yes popped) out of bed at 6 AM. I was very excited to go on this trip, even though I was going alone. My cousin decided at the last minute that he would not be joining me. I didn't care-I was looking forward to it too much to cancel the trip now.
After some Oreo's and Chocolate milk for breakfast, and some last minute car inspections, I started on my way to DC at 7AM from my home in Altoona, PA, home of the Leap The Dips. Trafic was pleasently minimal, as to be expected on a Sunday morning, up until I got close to Washington DC. Let's just say that I HATE DC traffic and leave it at that.
After missing the exit into Largo and backtracking, I entered the $9 parking lot at 10:45. The first face I saw at the park was one of a sad and bored girl takeing my money at the parking booth. I told her to cheer up, the season is almost over, and she gave me a little smile.
I parked very close to the main gate, only a few rows away. I was happy to see that the crowds were very small. The weatherman was predicting thunderstorms and keeping most everyone away from the park. I had a discount card that I got from AAA to get in for only about 24 bucks. I bought my ticket from another very sad and depressed girl and made my way into the park.
The entrance was beautiful. Fountians, brick walkways, benches, and trees covered this "main street" style starting point. It reminded me of other SF parks, but was nice nontheless. I quickly made my way to the back of the park to the very well hidden three big coasters.
Below is my opinions of the rides and attractions at SFA. I scale them from 1-10, 1 being the lowest possible and 10 being the highest possible.
Superman:Ride of Steel-(8)
This was my first and last ride of the day. I really like this ride. It reminded me of a junior MF. I love the turn after the first drop. It comes so close to the ground (you are actuially in a trench). When I saw it from the parking lot, it remended me a little of Steel Force at Dorney. It's hilices aren't as dull as I expected, although they DO burn off a lot of speed. Not the greatest hypercoaster in the world but still fits wonderfully at SFA.
A few not-so-bad negitive things to point out... The trains looked worn. Grafiti and chipped paint adorned both the red and blue train (Yes I saw them both). All day long I passed the same overflowing trash can in the queue. "Is anybody going to empty this?" Also the ride was just a little bumpy; not at all to the point of being uncomfortable, but still noticeable. The problems are so small that I still thought it was a great ride.
I finally got to ride a Vekoma Flyier! It was about what I expected. This ride is VERY intense! I lost my breath entering the verticle loop. Although I really liked Batwing, I couldn't ride it twice in a row. I found the harness very comfortable. Highlight for me was the last two spiraling inversions just before the helix.
I didn't really encounter anything negitive on this ride. The load time was lengthy which kept riders waiting on the before-the-station breaks a while, but it was not long enough to complain about.
I was excited to ride this as it would be the first Premier Spaghetti Bowl with lap bars only. I've done Pki's and Disney's WITH sholder collars and really liked them. I would have to say that I am VERY happy with the lapbars. They let you see all around you-and without all of the head banging. This ride was baby oil smooth. Also, I LOVED the theming around the station.
If I would have to complain about ANYTHING on this ride, it would be the lack of a building. I thought that it would be nice to see what a ride like this would be like outdoors. I have discovered that with it being uncovered, the illusion of speed is missing. I also have noticed that the attraction isn't as large as I had imagined. That is if I just HAD to complain about something on this ride.
I like woodys a lot, and this is by far one of my favorites! WO is an out and back with a hilix finale. It's gental swooping drops and crests on the out run are just to fool you for what the ride really has in store for you durring the return. The ride runs very smooth for a wooden coaster as well. The helix was supprisingly intense as the turn isn't as banked as much as you would think. Watch out for the unexpected head chopper as you go through Skull Mountian.
I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Wild One.
Two Face:Flip Side-(6)
Inverted Boomerang like at PKI. Fun, but no big deal. Where is the "Two Face" themeing? And why isn't this attraction in Gothem City? I think that it would be nice if the ride was painted two different colors, half and half, to resemble the character that the ride is named after.
Mind Eraser (Hang and Bang)-(5)
I have been on it's clone at SFWOA, and to me they are both the same. I had heard that this one was exceptionally smoother, of which I did not encounter. I liked the forest around the ride. It had a nice setting. What was this rides theme again? It's in Coyote Creek. I give Mind Eraser this Trip Reports "Whatever" award for being the most out of place and run down coaster at SFA.
I like woodys-err, I already said that, didn't I? This coaster is the second great coaster built by GCI. It reminds me a lot of GCI's first, Wildcat at HP. Even though WC hold a special place in my heart for being one of my favorite coasters, Roar dosn't even come close. In saying that, i still like ROAR a lot. I love the banked curves and drops. I like the multiple over/under layout. This coaster has some exceptionally great speed and headchoppers.
I did find it to be a little rough, but no more uncomfortable than WC. Aren't wooden Coasters supposed to be rough?
The Great Chase(3)
Yes I did ride it, ALONE. I looked like a dork but I did it just to say i did. It looked to be a very small Vekoma Roller Skater. It's lame layout consisted of a small lift, a small banked drop, a helix, and a sharp snap back into the station. Absoulutely NOTHING as great as Flying Unicorn or Woodstock's Express. It was so small and dull that They let it cycle 4 times before letting the kids off. The kids REALLY liked it anyway, so maybe it was a decent ride and I just couldn't see that.
The park had some decent flat rides as well. Their Octopus (Poly-P, I think)was a little different than I am used to. I really enjoyed it a lot. Also the Rodeo (Breakdance, I am assuming) was very intense. I rode a breakdance like this one at the Central FL State Fair last year , except that it was on an angle, and it gave me a headache. This one, however, did not. I did not ride Iron Eagle. I do not wish to be hung up-side-down for extended periods of time.
All in all I had a great day. I was very pleasently supprised to see that ALL of the rides (except for Typhoon Sea Coaster) were OPEN, and the coasters had TWO TRAIN OPPERATION. The only exception to this was when they had to take a train off of Batwing in the late afternoon due to a breakdown of some kind. That was no big deal though because the line never got over 10 minuts. Everything else had no more than one train wait. Most trains went out with empty seats.
The weather was cooperative. The thunderstorms that were predicted to hit DC didn't materialize. What little sprinkles we had were welcome durring the hot day. This kept the crowdes away so I could play.
The Employees were good, but not outstanding. None of them seemed to really care about their job. Most of them had a sad look on their face (but maybe they were upset that the season was almost over, or maybe not).
The ride opps were the best of this mediocre groupe. some where haveing fun on the spiel mic as if they were saying "I've only said this a thousand times and you people can't understand me anyways". I did notice a wonderful ride opp on Superman who was warning the 20 people in line not to line jump, which was kind of funny.
The only unexceptable employees were the four girls who where standing behind the counter to get french fries. They were loudly talking and cursing. I wanted to give them $4 for some fries but they didn't seem to care. Two of the girls even noticed me standing there and didn't acknoledge me.
After a minute or so of me trying to butt into their conversation to ask for some fries, I got mad and yelled, "HELLO...HELLO...I JUST WANT AN ORDER OF FRIES AND THEN I'LL LET YOU GET BACK TO YOUR CONVERSATION!" Even after saying that, they still where talking and slowly getting my fries. I've had better service at Burger King.
But that was the only time I saw the employees not doing their job.
I expected a much worse time at SFA than I got. I was a little disappointed in the Typhoon Sea Coaster not opperating, but that was just one out of every ride there. I had been lucky to get 2 rides on it durring my last visit. It's a fun ride but if it is never open, why don't they do something to fix it? If it is the turntables that are not working, than why not redesign it to only run frontwards (or backwards) and elimate the turntables alltogether? It's a great ride; it just needs some attention.
One thing that i noticed is that the park doesn't have very many rides for the whole family. I wanted to ride the train after I ate, but they wouldn't let me because it was reserved for the pic nic groups for transportation. Why didn't they have two trains running, one for pic nic people and one for the guests? I looked for another slow and relaxing ride to enjoy while my food was digesting but found nothing.
And now we are near the finale of a long and detailed TR written be dexter. If you have made it this far, I'm supprised.
Overall score for my entire visit...Drum roll please...
SFA-(9 out of 10)
I unfortunately will not be visiting this park on a reguliar basis because I simply can not stand traffic on DC's beltway. I got lost more then once coming home. But let me say that when I went to SFA, I had a BLAST!
(Thank you for reading)
But seriously folks, I respect the opinions of yall who don't like the thing, but if MF were human, I'd marry it.
How can Two face operate 2 trains? it's a shuttle coaster.
Anyhow glad you enjoyed your trip to the park,too bad you havn't been there since 98 because you sure did miss quite a lot during these past 4 years and hopefully the park will be improving even more for next season as well.
On the issue of Typhoon sea coaster,I'd love to see it run backwards from start to finish but that drop through the skull near the end is just too steep to permit safe operation in that manner,if they aren't gonna fix the capacity issues with the ride why not replace it with something else such as a new flat ride or even a small coaster? also on my last visit I rode great chase as well and I agree that it's not a great coaster at all,that thing gave me a real a** kicking when I rode it with my nephew that day.
One final question did you notice any signs of construction or even land work behind/adjacent to Batwing? word has it that a new coaster may be added next season in that area and I just want to find out how things are progressing as far as new rides are concerned,of course I'll be headed there in early october and hope to find something out by then regarding any new rides for next year.
Wow, I just wrote a lot and when I pushed the "submit reply" button, it all erased. Bummer.
Without donateing another 15 minuts on this reply, I'll give you the short version.
No 2 trains on 2 face. I wish they would fix TSC. That's all.
I hate it when my time is wasted.
Heck I wouldn't mind it too much if they just bulldozed TSC alltogether and put a couple of flats in skull island instead.
I heard some rather interesting news yesterday about a possible track sighting at the park,while stopped at the intersection on 214 at the entrance to SFA someone who drives by the park on a daily basis said he saw a flatbed tractor trailer along with three cars turn into the main parking lot of SFA,if this is true then it looks like something big is either on it's way into or out of the park,who know's we might be seeing parts for the 2003 coaster arriving soon. :-)
From all indications I've heard at the park we are getting a coaster of some sort next year.
Either a B&M floorless or impulse is fine with me,if it's an impulse I hope it's a double twisting version like Wicked Twister @ CP,of course if it's a B&M it'll most likely be a clone of B:TDK.
Either way 2003 looks to be a good year for SFA,or at least I hope it is. :-)
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