SFA-Last Day of the Season-VERY Crowded (10/31)

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, October 31, 2004 11:29 PM
So I decided to make my way to SFA’s closing day today. I figured, “hey, there’s a Redskins game today just up the beltway, it’s a season pass holder day, the only real way you could even know the park was open was by getting the email or hearing from other season pass holder…the way everything adds up, the park should be empty.” Well, maybe it was the fact that it was in the 70’s today (warm enough for t-shirts, maybe shorts, but no jackets or anything), maybe it was the fact that season pass holders could bring in non-season pass holders for a reduced fee, or maybe it was the fact that most people just realized that it was Halloween and a park celebrating Fright Fest would be open on the 31st anyways, but SFA was PACKED. So packed, in fact, that by the time I left at 3:40pm (the park closed at 6pm, the Redskins game ended around 5pm), there was easily somewhere between 100-200 guests still waiting to get in or getting tickets, dozens of cars driving around the parking lot looking for spaces, and just as many cars waiting to get into the lot. In fact, when I left, I decided to see just how full the lot was. The main lot, COMPLETELY FULL, not a single space at all, the second lot, just as packed, had to go all the way out to the third lot where there were easily close to one hundred cars already and still filling.

Inside the parks things were just as crazy. Wild One’s queue was completely full at one point in the day and was at least half full most of the rest of the day. Batwing’s queue was consistently filling half of it’s main queue all day and with only one train running, lines were well over an hour and slow moving. Superman even filled the first row of its main queue before I left. Joker’s Jinx, which was running on the last day of the season for probably the first time in a few years, even began to spill over into the main queue several times throughout the day. Mind Eraser filled about half of its queue while I was there as well. Remember though, I left by 3:40, so lines could EASILY have gotten much longer by the time the park closed.

Throughout the park they had all sorts end of year deals. Probably the best was the drink deal they had at the front of the park. You could buy one Fright Fest Souvenir bottle for $10 (tax included). With it, you got a wristband that gave you free refills all day. But the deal gets better. It was buy one get one free, so for $10, you got 2 Souvenir bottles and two wrist bands for free refills all day. I had thought of trying to find someone who was only looking to buy one so we could split the deal and only pay $5 each, but I gave up trying as there was quite a hectic mob around the few employees selling the cups on Main Street. As for other deals, well all the merchandise was on sale for 35% off, unfortunately I really didn’t see any “must have” merchandise, even with the discount.

As for the rides, Tower of Doom was running all three sides all day. Superman was running both trains with little problem most of the day. The Jinx seemed to be running fine. PBR and Wild One both opened about an hour late but ran pretty good the rest of the day. ROAR had a pretty big hiccup midway through the day that closed the ride for at least an hour or so. Other than that…there was pretty much standard operation. All the water rides (except for PBR) were closed as expected and all the flats had lines much longer than normal, many filling up at least a row or two in their main queue where they usually are walk-on rides.

Not much else to say. The ops were no faster or slower than normal. Roar’s final turn is just as rough as it’s been this season. Two Face didn’t open (durr) and Iron Eagle was down as well (Interestingly enough, it was closed with the car at the top of the arc and upside down). Still no work on the water park or any ride pieces to be seen anywhere. They did have the “Shortcut” between Wild One and Gotham City open during the day so I did get some nice pictures from back there. I think that’s it.

So it’s now officially the off-season for SFA and the next big thing is the 2005 announcement. Now just have to be patient and wait for that…

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Monday, November 1, 2004 12:35 AM
Tower of Doom ran all 3 sides? WOW! That's pretty cool.
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Monday, November 1, 2004 7:45 AM
The park was pretty crowded when I got their after the Redskins game. Got my 2005 Season Pass. Even got my picture taken with no line! I did walk back to Superman around 4:30 or so and decided not to wait in what looked like at least an hour long line. Joker's Jinx has a line that was at the minimum coming out of the station and down the steps, at times almost out on the midway. We just decided to skip the rides, showed my wife the "Real" Hall Manor since she has never seen the house up close, then went and saw the last performance of the year for the stunt show. What a performance it was. I hope they all come back next year, but I have some doubts the whole cast will be back. Kathleen is at least a double threat (we know she can sing, act and do stunts) and maybe a triple threat (I suspect she can dance as well but have never seen her dancing). We left the park at 5:45. But, yeah, I've never seen SFA this crowded before. It makes me wonder what this park is going to be like, when they begin to approach the 2 mil and 2.5 mil per year mark. They really need to step up the staffing before then and now is a good time to get started.
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Monday, November 1, 2004 11:43 AM
I went on saturday & by evening it was just as crowded....& yes TOD was running all three sides.

Was alpine bobs open at all? on saturday it was closed all day :(,I would've enjoyed just one more spin on the bobs for the season but I guess it'll have to wait til next year.

Hopefully Roar will get some much needed TLC for 05....it's getting almost to the point where it's un ridable for me & is catching up fast to PKD's Hurler as the woodie I'd most prefer to avoid riding,new trains & some track work would certainly solve that problem,of course I didn't see any activity going on with the waterpark so now we just gotta sit tight & wait for the official announcement to be made.

One last thing:did anyone try midnight express this season? we did saturday night & thought it was actually pretty good although the "chase scene" over by Supes for some reason was not as good as there were no screams when we went through that section,the next scene over by JJ made up for it with all the wrecked cars,fog & various degrees of lighting however.

Can't believe the 04 season is now officially behind us....at least we'll have some construction,both at SFA & PKD to keep us occupied during the long cold winter...see ya at the park again next April.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 11:59 AM
Plenty of construction to watch over the winter:

SFGAdv
HP
SFA
PKD
BGW
DP

All getting new attractions in '05

edit: Added DP per Coaster Lover's suggestion below. hmmmm... Should I purchase a season pass to CF? *** Edited 11/1/2004 5:22:48 PM UTC by coasterguts***

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Monday, November 1, 2004 12:16 PM
Batwing Fan, Alpine Bobs was open while I was at the park on Sunday. Also, I did try the midnight express, and was highly disappointed. I thought the Freddy vs. Jason theme they had last year was MUCH better. Last years theme had a nice little story line that was nicely developed throughout the ride with a nice ending whith the beheading at the end of the ride. This years was much more random and really didn't build up any suspense. I'd take 2003's Midnight Express over the 2004 Midnight Express ANY day.

Coasterguts, can't forget Hydra at DP, then again, that coaster could be pretty much completed by the time winter officially starts...

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Monday, November 1, 2004 1:29 PM

coasterguts said:
The park was pretty crowded when I got their after the Redskins game. I've never seen SFA this crowded before. It makes me wonder what this park is going to be like, when they begin to approach the 2 mil and 2.5 mil per year mark.

If you weren't there Saturday, you missed the "BUSY" day! only about 8,000 were in the park on Sunday, over twice that amount were in the park Saturday.

SAM

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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:16 PM
Sam, over 16,000 on Saturday?!? Wow...crazy. Do you know off hand the park single day attendance record? I thought I had heard somewhere that on opening day back in 1999 (first year as SFA) they did over 20,000. Is that true? *** Edited 11/1/2004 7:17:08 PM UTC by Coaster Lover***
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Monday, November 1, 2004 7:04 PM

Coaster Lover said:
Sam, over 16,000 on Saturday?!? Wow...crazy. Do you know off hand the park single day attendance record? I thought I had heard somewhere that on opening day back in 1999 (first year as SFA) they did over 20,000. Is that true?

If it is, they probably beat it Saturday!

With the waterrpark open the capacity is close to 30,000, I doubt it's ever been to that extreme, but they've gotten close on occasion.

SAM

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Monday, November 1, 2004 9:00 PM
If I'm not mistaken they actually have maxed out on attendance once or twice in the past ( just prior to becoming SF) & a few fights broke out as a result.

That was right around the time the metal detectors were added to the front gate,which was due in part to those fights in particular.

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