As I’m guessing there will be many SFA Fright Fest Trip Reports, there usually are, I figured it would be better to put them all in one place than to clutter up the board. Anyways, here’s my TR from the first day of Fright Fest 2005.
October 7th, 2005
From about a week ago, I was bound and determined to go to SFA for the first day of Fright Fest come Hell or high water. Well as it turned out, SFA provided the hell in the form of their wonderfully ghoulish decorations for Fright Fest (at least better than in years past), and Mother Nature provided the high water in the form of a torrential downpour. Keep in mind that the entire month of September we had 0.11” of rain, but we had over ten times that amount of rain in one day by the time I pulled into the parking lot around 4:15 pm. As I strolled through the rain, park employees looked at me with questioning eyes as they asked themselves “who would come to the park when it’s raining like this?” Well, I would! I’ve been to other parks in the rain, and as long as I have my waterproof windbreaker to keep most of me dry, I don’t mind a little rain (or in this case, a pretty heavy downpour).
Anyways, so I can stop talking about the weather, I’ll just say that it rained the entire time I was at the park. Sometimes it was light, and sometimes it was heavy, but there was never any thunder or lightning to shut down the rides. As I waited, they cued up the main gate music, though the only song I heard before they opened the gate was the song “This is Halloween” from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Needless to say, VERY few other people showed up at the gate by the time the gates opened.
I was slightly pessimistic as I walked down Main Street figuring almost nothing would be open. Turned out I was wrong, VERY wrong. The park pretty much had everything open that would usually be open. Only a few down rides: RR (been closed since Mid-Sept for some reason), IE (open and closed all year), KC (been closed pretty much all year), TSC (which had the water running, but never tested, probably because they didn’t plan on opening it with so few guests in the park), and PBR (where the station was decorated, but otherwise the ride looked to be starting the end of year close).
The Fright Fest themeing seemed to be on par with last year, or possibly SLIGHTLY improved. They added a few more ghoulish statues to the bridge to enter the park, a werewolf stands guard on the IE loading platform, the “Gotham” in the Gotham City entrance sign is covered with a tattered cloth that reads “Transylvania,” the winged beasts that used to hang under Shipwreck Falls now hang over the entrance to “Transylvania” City, the person about to be burned at the stake is now where the Batmobile usually is, the area around PBR has a cemetery and much of the area is covered in webs, and all of that circus stuff that they used to put in GC is no where to be found. They have a lot of potted flowers in fall colors around the entrance to the park, which really adds a nice touch, and Loony Toon’s Spooky Town has a LOT more along the kiddie hay ride trail.
So the first place I headed was Superman. They cycled the trains a few times, then I rode… and rode, and rode some more. I stayed in the front seat for about five cycles until someone finally arrived in the queue, and of course they wanted to ride in the front, so I gave up my seat in hopes of riding Batwing a few times. Otherwise, I could have moved to the back and never left the train the entire time I was at the park. Anyways, I went over to Batwing, loaded on the first public train (no one had ridden yet despite my many cycles on the Ride of Steel). Anyways, just my luck, the train starts to dispatch and stops with just the zero car out of the station. The computer consol reads “DC Motor Failure.” So, I wait, and wait. Mind you I’m the only one on the train and the coaster had cycled just fine all the while I was on Superman. I’m sure if I hadn’t been on the ride, they would have just threw in the towel and waited to fix the ride until later, but in the current situation, the mechanics scrambled to the ride, put the station motors in reverse, and backed the train back into the station. From there, they released the restraints while the train was still in the down position (the second time I’ve needed to exit the train while it was reclined since the ride opened a few years ago). I kept hoping the ride would reopen as I really haven’t had the opportunity to ride Batwing that much this year due to the long lines and badly timed break downs, but to my disappointment, I never saw it reopen.
From there I milled around. Joker’s Jinx was next which seemed to run REALLY fast in the rain. It was a lot of fun because they had the lights on and you could really see the rain. It was fun watching the rain seem to fall up or sideways as you made your way through the convoluted course of the ride. Upon exiting the ride, I took a moment to look at some of the props along the “Midnight Express” train ride. The biggest thing of interest was a graveyard set up-along the tracks. Among the tombstones was one that simply said “SFAW,” a modest grave in respect for the most recent fallen SF park. However, there were several other tombstones in the cemetery, most with simply initials. I thought I saw one that said “RIP HC” but as I really didn’t get a good look, it might have said “RIP KC” as an indication that Krypton Comet (the troubled Chance Chaos), will be on its way out. There were several other graves here that those visiting the park may wish to check out. They were all new this year and could give some clues as to what SFA or the rest of the SF nation has in store for 2006.
From there, I rode Wild One once and Two Face once. BTW, Two Face had an AMAZINGLY good crew despite the weather. It looks like the “Shortcut” between Gotham City and SWT will not be used this year, but TOD was running all three sides again, which is a good sign on its own. Surprisingly, all the shows performed as usual, or at least would have if people had been there. The Great Escape show performed to an empty theater for it’s first run of the year, but I guess it was good practice. Joe Ramano started his show, but with no one there, he went out to the front of the theater and just performed street magic for those few guests that were there. I didn’t go to any of the “Halloween” attractions (shows, haunted houses, the Midnight Express, or the like), so I really can’t comment on that. But if you didn’t mind the rain, it was a great day to be at the park. I overheard that they were talking about closing the park at 7pm, but since I left at about 6:45, I’m not sure if they closed early or not. I’m assuming they did because as I left the main entrance, they told me that there were a grand total of 32 guests in the entire park.
Other than that, the biggest news is about Python, the old Arrow Shuttle Looper that used to be where TF is now but has sat back in the lot near Batwing for the last few years. Well, to cut to the chase, it’s GONE, or at least moved to elsewhere on the property. Ride Superman, look back over your right shoulder and all you’ll see now is a big square dirt plot where the track pieces to Python sat for so long. There was a backhoe there that I’m guessing they were using to move around the pieces. Of note, the ground did look like it had been cleared in the area (there was much more grass when the pieces were there), but that could just be a result of the machinery moving over the area. I wouldn’t get my hopes up about a new ride back there, as it just wouldn’t make sense. The currently cleared area is too small for anything but a flat ride or a wild mouse or something, but why would they put it way back there? Just doesn’t make any sense. My guess is that they moved/removed Python because they realized that it couldn’t be rebuilt and/or because SFA will most likely serve as a storage facility for rides from SFAW that don’t immediately find homes in 2006 and they were just getting ready for the pieces to ship before the ground froze over. Nothing to get too excited about.
Anyways, that’s about it. I guess I had quite a lot to say considering I was only there for 1.75 hrs, but I’m sure there’s SOMEONE out there that wanted to know all of that. I’m going to try and go next weekend, and as long as it isn’t raining, I’ll take some pictures for those of you who can’t get to the park this year. *** Edited 10/10/2005 1:58:25 AM UTC by Coaster Lover***
Regarding why would they put a ride all of the way in the back where the parts for Python are. Let's ask this question, why would they build Batwing way in the back where it currently stands? Ride placement hasn't always been the best at this park so it wouldn't surprise me to see a new ride pop up where Python shed it's skin.
The spot behind TOD would serve as a much better location IMO & there's always the remote chance that python could simply be reconstructed elsewhere in the park but I don't see that as a likely outcome,what we know for certain is that plans are in the works to expand HH in either 06 or 07 thanks to the pdf CL provided us with.
Ok, let me start by saying out of all the Six Flags Fright Fest's I've been to, SFA's is possibly the worst of them all. But I still did have an Excellent visit in terms of rides, employees, food, and all that good stuff.
We arrived at about 4, we brough some friends so we had to buy them some tickets because they didn't have season passes. It was very wierd, it was like it was almost a Sin coming to SFA. They were like ewww SFA when I mentioned it to them on Thursday. Anywho, we found a coupon on the ground for two for the price of one. We took that, got them on for 40 bucks.
We headed straight for Two Face. We have no clue why, but we always head there first, lol. We waited about 20 minutes. We all faced each other, it was sooo fun. lol again, I blacked out one the trip back like we were talking about later in the fourm's about how vekoma boomerang's have 5 + G's. After that we headed over to Superman. The line was in the first 2 switch backs. But surprisingly the wait was only 15 minutes. The crew was doing an excelent job. Kudos to the SM:ROS crew. This ride never gets boring, I could ride it over and over...oh so much fun.
After that we went to go ride Joker's Jinx. This was the longest wait of the day for a COASTER. It was about 30 minutes. The crew was going fast, but the line was acually out down the stars and into the first 3 switchbacks. Man this ride too is so fun. I love the sound of the LIM's launching a train. While on the brake run we watched the Dead Micheal Jackson rehearse his dancing with his dead friends. I told my brother to cover his eyes, he might come get you in your sleep! LOL My friends were dying. LOL anywho.
After that we rode Riddle Me This. Those old Round Ups are surprisingly really fun. But what toally killed the ride was the teenagers next to me saying, I LIKE IT UP THE BUTT, cussing multiple times, and the wierdest things like "You all up in my Tea when you dont even know my Flava'"...OMG I was like SHUT UP. The operater got so pissed at them, they were messin around with her too. She went on and on about how there were kids on ride, and they needed to respect that, Kudos to the RMT ride op.
Hmm, after that, we went over to wait for The Midnight Express. This was the longest wait of the trip. One hour. And what sucked. This ride totally blew, it sucked. The best part was the music they played on the train. And the only impressing part was when they made a man dissapear after they lit him on fire in a box. The only scary part was when unexpectedly fire shoots our from the middle of a field. It totally sucked. I would highly suggest not to wait for it if you're going anytime the rest of this season.
After that, we really wanted to get scared seeing that that ride didn't do a thing. We walked over to the haunted house over by Roar. Well seeing that Roar had no line as usual we decided ok. WOW Roar at night is really fun. The ride has been getting better. Just the last turn is what kills you. The drop also gets me every time, so much airtime on it. When we got off, I went and asked a woman how long she had been waiting for the Haunted House, she told me 1 hour! She wasn't even half way through the line. So we skipped that of course.
We decided that since none of us have ever ridden Superman in the dark, we would go do it. WOW its amazing, pitch black way out there in the fields. This ride is even better at night. The line was even longer at night, about 4 switchbacks in. But then all of a sudden when we got off, they wern't even in the switchbacks. Weird.
After that, we headed over to Tower of Doom, only 2 of us wanted to ride. We rode, good ride as usual. But I still think it should have been taller. We headed over to Wild One which had no line at all, like 2 people waiting in the station. Went up the ramp, then the ops said it was closed. I was like, hmmm "Is it closed, or do you just not want to let us get on?!" Yeah that as the rudest of the ride op's all day. We still had 30 minutes in the park till it closed.
After that, we went on Falling Star. Those rides are acually pretty fun. Lots of air time. Considering we only had 15 minutes left in the park. We headed out. The parking lot was a mess. Note to self, don't get a black woman mad in her car. LoL I think I heard about ever cuss word in the English Dictionary, and not to mention my ears went almost deaf by the horn. LOL amazingly we made it over to Montgomery County in less then 20 minutes.
Overall, I give today a 8/10. I'm sorry SFA, but you need more Scarer's in the Midways (we only saw about 2, and there make up SUCKED major.) And you need better scare rides. Other then that, it was a great visit to SFA.
As for the ride ops, some of the best of the year. They had halloween type music playing in Superman's station which really added to the experience. Both Superman and Roar were getting trains out with little to no stacking. I was VERY impressed with their speed. Every so often someone would have a problem causing stacking, but for the most part, they were really doing a fantastic job. Batwing had two trains by the end of the night, but just one station. TSC ran for quite a while without any major problems, so that was a plus.
But the real news of the night was the crowds. Just crazy amounts of people. There were about a hundred cars or so all the way out in the third lot by the time I left.
As for Fright Fest itself, a few surprises, a few let downs. They have a new food stand set up in front of the Looney Tunes Theater where they have large grills cooking up all sorts of good eats. I got a foot long hotdog, baked beans, and a HUGE bag of chips for like $6. Really good eats, too bad the drink cost another $3. On that, you can get any souviner bottle and get free refills, so if you're going to be there all day, that's the way to go.
As for the Midnight Express, ya, not scary, more mesmorizing I guess. The flames are for the Harry Potter section. They play the HP theme music, have a guy dressed in a big robe, and when he raises his arms, the fire flairs up. Pretty cool. They also had a man on a horseback carrying around a head. Ya, it was a real horse, so that was cool. The MJ Thriller dance at the end was awesome. They do the whole dance with all the right dance moves, good for a laugh, but not a scare. The best Midnight Express was a few years ago when they had Freddy vs. Jason, that was just awesome... this years was pretty dry, but okay for ALL ages, mildly scary at best.
As for the character actors, same as usual. The Grim Reaper on the stilts is probably the best they have, but from there, they just don't have enough. I guess they use all their extra staff to stock the two haunted houses and Midnight Express.
Did hear some interesting information about 2006/2007 beyond what we know about the waterpark. Seems at least one of those rumors floating around may be right. More on that as I get more info.
Suprised to hear the supes crew actually making an attempt at speedy dispatches,knowing my luck when I go next week they'll probably have a slow crew working the ride....they probably know I'm coming so do that just to annoy me.It's also suprising to hear that you hadn't ridden it at night before Colin,usually when it gets dark everyone in their mother heads for supes.
Now what isn't suprising to me at all is the problems you said you had in the lot on the way home....no offense but what is it with the vast majority of peeps who visit the park? when coming home on my last trip I noticed several groups of cars repeatedly pulling off the road on 214 just so the others in their "convoy" could catch up....this was a common occurance all the way to the exit to get on the highway.
Also I've always wanted to know what Brutal Planet is. We never go because I says it's an extra fee to get in. So what is it? I'm guessing the fee is the Souvenier Cups you get. Saw tons of people with them.
And yeah coasterlove5 the lines BURSTED with people after dark, it was amazing. I've never seen so many people in the park.
So how about those rumors. It know about the waterpark expansion. Whats BEYOND the waterpark...anything about a flat or a coaster?
*** Edited 10/16/2005 6:37:11 PM UTC by Colin Fisher***
I'm probably going to the Planning Board Office this Friday with coasterguts to look at Detailed Site Plans. If I can find the evidence to support these rumors, I'll let you know, otherwise, I'll keep my lips sealed and my fingers crossed.
Found this on the PGC Planning Board Office
Urban Design Section Items (Inquiries call 301-952-3470)
4B DRAFT RESOLUTIONS - JUNE 23, 2005
PGCPB NO. 05-147 - DSP-05017 - BELTON SUBDIVISION
PGCPB NO. 05-148 - DSP-05014 - LARGO PARK
PGCPB NO. 05-149 - DSP-87048/41 - SIX FLAGS AMERICA
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: APPROVAL
Interesting? Someone tell me what it all meens. Or is this all from Tornado and Bahama Blast?
*** Edited 10/16/2005 8:31:53 PM UTC by Colin Fisher***
As for going to the PB Office. that's not going to happen this Friday as I said, ubt next weekend instead, so you'll just have to wait. If the park decides to post some hints like they did last year, I'll do my best to expand on them, but as they havn't posted any hints yet, I have nothing to expand upon until I get more info.
On a different, but related note, I can assure you that one thing new WILL come to SFA in 2006 other than what I have already mentioned. They're scheduled for delevery in November. They're not from Astroworld, they are brand new, and I'll leave it at that to keep you squirming.
Coaster Lover said:
They're scheduled for delevery in November. They're not from Astroworld, they are brand new, and I'll leave it at that to keep you squirming.
You just LOVE tortureing us don't you. :p
Man, it seams like everything happens in November for me. I get my lisence back :p . The New Harry Potter movie comes out that I have to take my brother to :\ . And now, seems like were getting something special for SFA.
*** Edited 10/16/2005 11:13:37 PM UTC by Colin Fisher***
There may be more, but if you know what you're looking for, you should be able to find the connection. Just don't try that hard to find it, it's really not that huge...
Colin:SFA didn't require a hearing for tornado & Bahama Blast & if they did we would've seen it on the planning board agenda this time last year...now as for waiting only 30 minutes for supes with the switchbacks open that's nothing.
I had to stand in line for a good 3 hours in the rain just to ride the thing my very first time memorial day 2000,the line stretched clear past the superman logo & railroad crossing! was worth the wait but that rain sure did hurt.
Colin...you might want to look at one of my posts in the SFA 2006/2007 plans revealed thread to get a hint on possible,but yet to be confirmed rides that might be in the future for the park.
But I'm guessing this is the doccument you were lookiing for specifically:
Notice that it came out June 3, 2005
BATWING FAN SFA said:
Let me guess a much needed bathroom over by Batwing?
Well, with the clue's they gave us. I just looked at SFFT's map, and they have bathroom's planted all over that park. Same with Magic Mountain.
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