SFA Fright Fest (10/2/04)-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Saturday, October 2, 2004 11:23 PM
SFA Fright Fest (10/2/04)-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

-Typhoon Sea Coaster: for a ride that hardly ever seems up, and even more importantly a ride that was listed to be closed for the day, I was amazed to see the ride open today at noon with the rest of the park. I was even more amazed that the ride stayed open until 7 that night (they always close it at dusk) with only about a half hour of down time around 5pm. They only had four boats running and with it being an eight minute ride and them typically putting six people in a boat (they hold eight), the capacity was an abysmal 180 pph, but considering there never really was a line out of the station, and you usually only had to wait one or two boats, the limited capacity really didn’t seem a problem. Hopefully they’re FINALLY starting to get to bugs out of this ride and will be able to get at least 8-10 boats on the ride next year (the ride is designed for 16 boats…one every 30 seconds).

-Iron Eagle was also up and running very well all day. Sure it was missing some decorative parts, but it was up and running all day, they even had it running so the lights turned off during parts of the ride at night.

-Shipwreck Falls, Renegade Rapids, Penguins Blizzard River, and even Joker’s Jinx were all up and running…typically all of these rides close sometime during Fright Fest, but I’m guessing they were all open because of how nice the weather was (about 70* all day).

-In fact, the ONLY rides that were down all day were Two Face (won’t open until next year, waiting for replacement piece) and the Great Race (antique cars), which they had converted into a kiddie hayride. They had a small tractor pulling two wagons around the Great Race track that was decorated with lights and such for the kids. All other rides were up all day with few breakdowns at full or nearly full capacity. The only rides I noticed no running at full capacity were TOD (running 2 sides), Batwing (running one train), PBR (running four rafts), and Renegade Rapids (running two rafts). And the interesting thing is, the rides not running at full capacity were just fine because their capacity seemed to fit the number of people waiting for the ride, with Batwing being the only exception.

-They REALLY had a lot more dressed staff walking around the park this year. One of my favorites is a Grim Reaper like guy walking around on stilts, though his robe is so long, you really don’t even see the stilts. A lot of really good makeup.

-Probably the most interesting thing is, after dark, they have an area of the park that has NEVER been open to the public before (I think), open. You know where the “Real” haunted house is at SFA? The “Real” Hall Manor? Back behind Wild One, on that hill behind the Batman Stunt Show, there is a house back in the woods. The National Historic Preservation Organization protects the house and apparently there is a grave plot near the house. On one of the grave stones is the name “Eleanor Hall’ and some dates from the 1800s that confirm she died young. Apparently she haunts the park…believe what you may. Either way, this year, SFA has cleared out ALL of the shrubs and weeds and what not in front of the house and has mowed the grass down the hill towards Wild One. So where am I going with this? There is a maintenance path that goes from the right side of the Batman Stunt Show, around past the house and connects back over by Wild One’s exit. This year, they open that path after dark. They have it highlighted by two archways of lights at either end. On the hill in front of the house they have various tombstones, along the path way are two horses, and inside the house, they have two large spotlights shining through the open front door. They also have characters walking around the area as zombies, but getting the chance to see this house so close is really cool and I’m glad SFA has finally incorporated it’s “Real” Haunted House into the Fright Fest lineup. Don’t miss the opportunity if you’re in the park after dark.

-They have one of the parks makeup artists inside the park by ROAR doing professional makeup on park guests. Some of the more impressive jobs I saw was a guest who looked like he ha just sprouted horns and a guest tat looked like they had a piece of metal stuck in their cheek. Very realistic looking with the use of fake blood and what not. Had to take a second look several times.

The Bad:

-The hayride that they had back by Batwing is gone this year and it’s not that it’s just going to open later this month. There is NOTHING back there. In a way it’s good because it makes Batwing that much darker, but it’s a bummer that it’s out of the Fright Fest line-up this year

-The Midnight Express wasn’t nearly as good as last year. Last year I was impressed by the overall story the ride seemed to have, this year everything was pretty random and not too scary. They used a lot of the lights that they had used on the hayride in years past on the train, but in many places, it seemed like there was almost too much fog. Overall, I wasn’t really too impressed with the Midnight Express. It was MUCH better last year.

-For the most part, ride ops were pretty good tonight…except when it came to my night rides on Wild One and Batwing. I have no problem with the ride ops having a little fun, but they need to be professional about it and it can’t affect loading which it did on both rides at night.

The Ugly

-The show in Coyote Creek is good, but it’s got a lot of ways from being great. A lot of dead time, a lot of parts where there’s almost too much going on, just not as good of flow as the shows in years past. Parts where there’s almost too much dialogue for too long with no action. Still pretty good for the second night of Fright Fest for a new show created just for this year.

-What’s up with the themeing in Gotham City?!? I know it’s supposed to be some sort of circus thing, but the clown trashcans and the colored flags just aren’t doing it. It also seems the park has gone a little overboard with the fish netting all around the park. I mean, it looks good, but they could use do much more. What ever happened to SFWoA’s Fright Fest themeing? Did that stay with the park in the selling or did it stay with Six Flags? I’d love to see some of their themeing come to SFA.

Random Notes:
-2005 Season Passes ($49.99) and Parking Passes ($30.00) are now on sale. The season passes are yellow (silver for premium pass holders) and has a picture of Mr. Six in the upper left corner riding Colossus (SFMM). Your picture is still in the bottom right.

-Fright Fest T-shirts are on sale, one of which has Mr. Six in his Fright Fest outfit as seen on the web page.

-Yes, TOD has red filters over the lights at the top of the tower for Fright Fest.

-No, there is ABSOLUTLY no sign of any construction or anything along those lines. Believe me, I checked.

Any other questions just ask in a reply…

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 6:49 AM
I have noticed that SFA Fright Fest usually takes a couple of weeks to kick in to full steam ahead. I think you will find the stunt show much better by mid-October.

On the fog... It was a foggy evening out. I had dinner on the bay last night and fog was coming in off the bay.

On Hall Manor. Cool, Glad to see they finally opened that area up. I wish they would rehabilitate that old house so Eleanor could play it in. LOL!

I'm going to try and make it out next weekend.

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 8:52 AM
I was in the park opening nite (got the VERY 1st 2005 SFA season pass!) things were looking good, and it appears "again" Like SFA is prepared to have another great Fright Fest!

The Magic Show with Joe Romano is again very good, the final illusion leave you thinking "what the hell?!?!?!"

See ya there!

SAM

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 9:43 AM
I've been trying to see the Magic Show for a couple of years and can never seem to catch it. Hope to next weekend.

Coaster Lover, Did you figure out where the Kiddie Haunted House is at? That's a new in '05 Fright Fest attraction.

Wow! Season Parking passes went up to $30 this year. They were only $20 last. *** Edited 10/3/2004 1:45:27 PM UTC by coasterguts*** *** Edited 10/3/2004 1:46:10 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 10:01 AM
What *exactly* is Typhoon Sea Coaster like? I never hear very much about it.

Anyways, good TR. It seems SFA is working well, for the most part.

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 10:45 AM
Interesting news to hear they've opened the real Hall manor area as part of the FF attractions & I'm kinda dissapointed to hear the haunted hayride as of the present time is no more.

It makes you wonder if something may be going on back there & that's why the attraction was not set up this year,or more than likely they just got tired of running it....the halloween lights display just isn't as good as the original "scary" version from years past.

Still they may have the haunted hayride up & running by next weekend,this is after all the first weekend of the month & it is an SF park after all so we should know by now how slow they tend to be....however when I was there last time I could swear I saw them setting the halloween lights up in the usual area near Batwing.

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 11:57 AM
coasterguts: It doesn't really seem like a haunted house, but back in Movie Town, they have a path open between The Great Chase and Circus of the Stars (the kiddie bumper cars). It leads into "Spooky Town" where they have a lot of the kids attractions set up. Thats where they're loading kids onto the kids hayride (which uses the Great Race track) and they also a have a huge inflatable pumpkin you can go inside that they might consider the kids haunted house. Then again the press release states the pumpkin and the kids haunted house as seperate attractions, so I'm not really sure where the kids haunted house is. Sam, do you know?

coasterwiz: Typhoon Sea Coaster is an Intamin reversing log flume. It was also one of the first attempts to cross a log flume with a coaster, but the coaster like section fairly limited. The flume starts off like a regular flume, but when you get to te top of the first lift, they turn the boat around on a large turntable, you go down the first drop backwards and over a bunny hop directly after the first drop (this is really the only thing that makes it a Sea COASTER). The gets turned forward again and the ride goes on. The last drop is one of the largest on a log flume. There are two others out there, but I'm pretty sure SFA's is the only one in the States. The others are in Movieworld parks.

BATWING FAN SFA: I really wouldn't be too optomistic about the hayride back by Batwing appearing later in fright fest. Like I said, most of the props are used elsewhere in the park. The two large arches of lights are now on either end of the path that leads around by the "real" Hall Manor and most of the ret of the lights are used on the train. The hurse is also back on the path by the "real" Hall Manor. Also, the press release says nothing of the haunted hayride...and I really don't think that's going to change. If nothing else, it makes Batwing lines shorter. Last night by about 8:30 Batwing was only a one or two train wait.


Ohh, ment to mention this too, the water wheel was going back in Coyote Creek. A nice little touch considering I had only seen it going once or twice before in the dozens of times I have been to SFA... *** Edited 10/3/2004 3:59:21 PM UTC by Coaster Lover***

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Sunday, October 3, 2004 2:57 PM

coasterguts said: Wow! Season Parking passes went up to $30 this year. They were only $20 last. quote]

Last year parking passes were $30 for one, and $40 for two. This year the Pass is $30 for one and $45 for two. the second pass went up, the price for a single pass remains the same.

SAM


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Sunday, October 3, 2004 4:18 PM
Sam- I have to disagree, I don't think they were $30 last season. My wife and I paid $30 for two parking passes. If you paid $30 for one, then I must have gotten lucky and the park made a mistake.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 8:38 AM

coasterguts said:
Sam- I have to disagree, I don't think they were $30 last season. My wife and I paid $30 for two parking passes. If you paid $30 for one, then I must have gotten lucky and the park made a mistake.

You got a bargain! The parking pass has been 30 for 1 and 40 for 2 since 1999 (and maybe before that)

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 4:08 PM
I think the reason why they chose not to do the hayride this year is due to the lack of safety fencing around Batwing & Superman,even though the route goes nowhere near the active track.

Season parking passes were indeed $30.00 for 04,they've been at that price for the last few years now.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 4:34 PM
There is a safety fence around Batwing and Superman got a big safety fencet his year. Want pictures?

I'll give them to you anyway:

http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery1089.htm?Picture=6

I also know I didn't pay more than $30 for two parking permits for the 2004 season.


*** Edited 10/5/2004 8:36:24 PM UTC by coasterguts*** *** Edited 10/5/2004 8:37:11 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 4:46 PM
Not to mention that that short fence was replaced by a large 6' tall fence. In fact all coasters and flats this year that had questionable areas or fences that were low got tall fences...around Batwing (ride and queue), around Superman (ride and queue), around PBR, around TSC...around the rides are a LOT safer this year...
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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 9:37 PM
I know about the new fencing that has gone up around several rides in the past couple of months,however last time I looked the only new section of fencing is on S:ROS's first drop & behind the 1st helix....I just assumed that safety might've been a concern regarding the hayride seeing as it follows the maintenance road of these two attractions.

Have they actually completed installing fencing around all low lying portions of Supe's track yet?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 9:46 PM
Yes, and they replaced the short fence around Batwing with a 6' tall fence and they raised the height of the fence in Batwing's and Superman's queue and they added a 6' tall fence around the splash down pool of PBR and they added a 6' fence around TSC on the ROAR side. LOTS of new fences in places people may have considered questionable before.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2004 11:07 AM
I couldn't get RCDB to load last night due in part to that spyware crap which infected the PC last week....I kept getting "action cancelled" error messages on every site I tried to access after this one.

Watch it probably happen yet again today,as for SF I heard that they've given up on trying to sell SFGRAM's SW & are gonna scrap it,which is yet another bad move on their part as there are a few SF parks that can easily house this ride & would be happy to get it.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2004 11:42 AM
batwing you don't want that ride if it is anything like the copy of it at SFGadv... Talk about pain that is the height of pain.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2004 7:13 PM
I agree with you to an extent about SW but still why scrap the ride when they can give it to another park & cut down on expenses in the process?now I'm not saying they should ship it to SFA but SFNO might be another good candidate due to the space the ride requires but if it did end up at SFA(which it won't of course) I wouldn't be complaining.

At least the forecast for saturday is looking good so I'll probably make it to the park this time,hopefully JJ might still be open but I doubt it.

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