SFDL: Huge Crowds For Fright Fest

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Saturday, October 30, 2004 3:36 PM
It was getting close to Halloween and I knew I wanted to take a trip to SFDL for Fright Fest. The real reason my friend and I wanted to go to the park was not for the rides, but for the actual Fright Fest. We had already been to the park in September and had our SFDL fix but we had actually gone to Fright Fest LAST year at the park and enjoyed it. The only problem was that a lot of rides were closed. When we went this September though, most everything was open. However, like I said before, we didn’t really want to go for the rides. We wanted to experience Fright Fest.

We arrived at SFDL a little after 3. To our surprise, there were a TON of cars in the parking lot. It was busy during Fright Fest last year but nothing like this. After paying $7 for parking (don’t get me started), we walked into the park with our Great Escape season passes. Like I said, the park was pretty crowded. It made for a nice atmosphere though. The Fright Fest theme wasn’t AMAZING but it was pretty darn good.

As we expected, the park was only running at half capacity. Both Predator and Mind Eraser were closed. I assume they needed a lot of their employees to dress up for Fright Fest. It’s not that I wanted to ride these coasters but with the amount of people who were there, it would have been nice if those rides were open.

The first thing we did was walk back to Brutal Planet. The haunted theme in this area was very good. There were tombstones EVERYWHERE. We walked up to the ticket booth and paid $3 for the haunted house. I had forgotten that you had to pay separately for this. They should really make this free.

This wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I’m such a wimp when it comes to scary things. I jump at anything. This attraction did nothing for me. I was kind of disappointed I paid money for it. I’m sure it’s a LOT better in the dark though.

After Brutal Planet we headed up the hill and walked on the lake side of The Predator. One thing I noticed that really upset me was the group of kids in front of us. There were two girls and two boys with an older man. The man was one of the kids father because I heard one of the girls call him “dad”. Anyway, two of the kids couldn’t have been over the age of 13. What did they do? They whip out cigarettes and start smoking! It’s not that they were smoking that bothered me. We’ve had MANY discussions on this site about park smoking. It’s the fact that they were definitely too young and their “dad” just let them do it! It was horrible. Ok my rant is over. On to the rides.

We walked over to The Boomerang and got in line. There was actually a pretty long line for this ride. We had to wait about 4 or 5 cycles before we got on. There was an annoying girl on one of the trains who was screaming from the minute they were pulled backwards out of the station till the time they hit the brakes. It was BEYOND obnoxious.

Boomerang:

What can I say; I’ve always enjoyed these rides. So what if they’re cloned everywhere? It gets some of the GP out of the lines for the other coasters. This specific Boomerang was pretty good. We sat in the back seat so our backwards ride was VERY intense. The ride was a little rough in the cobra roll but nothing too bad.

Ride Rating: 0 (-5 to +5)

After Boomerang we headed over to S:ROS. Once again I was apprehensive about riding this ride. I was able to ride numerous times last time but that was because the ride op’s helped me get in each time except for the last. The last time they made me do it myself. See what happened in this TR here.

I was afraid if they made me do it myself I wouldn’t be able to ride. It’s weird because all I need is a tiny push. I can get the seatbelt on fine but when I pull down the T-bar, I can’t get the belt to buckle. It’s always SO close too. All I need is another centimeter but the way I’m positioned in the seat, I can’t do it. Anyway, on to the ride.

There was a HUGE line for this ride. We waited over 30 minutes before we arrived in the station. By the time we had done that, the entire queue was filled. I guess I really can’t express how many people were in the park. When we finally got to the station, I saw one person have to get off Superman and two people were having a lot of trouble. The funny thing was that the kid who had to get off was much smaller than the two people who COULD ride. He was average size but he was pretty tall. I suspect his long legs may have given him trouble with the T-bar.

I was so nervous but the time had come. I had to get on. The seatbelt was fine. I’ve never really had trouble with that. The T-bar was giving me the usual trouble. Once again, it was SO close. I was really struggling. All I needed was the ride op to push down on it for me but of course, he couldn’t help. Of course I had gained the attention of almost every person in the queue. You know what though? I wasn’t embarrassed. It’s almost as if the people in the queue were rooting me on. I know that sounds stupid but it’s just how I felt. It had been several moments and I was ready to give up. All of sudden… “click”. I was in! I exhaled and oddly enough, so did many of the people in the station. What an interesting situation. It’s just too bad that I could comfortably ride this ride last year without ANY problems and now, with the new restraints well… you know how that goes.

Superman: Ride of Steel:

It was cold and boy could you tell. The ride was shuffling a lot around the course. Something that was odd was the fact that the misters were on. It was FREEZING! The first drop was great, as was the first helix and third hill. The rest of the ride, including the bunny hops, was just “ok”. At least the park was running two trains.

Ride Rating: +4

Well it was time to leave. As we were exiting the park we saw HEARDS of people waiting to get in. There was a massive line at the ticket booth. I’m glad we went early. Fright Fest seems to be a VERY successful event at the park this year.

Overall Park Rating: +1

*** Edited 10/30/2004 7:38:46 PM UTC by rentzy17***

+0
Saturday, October 30, 2004 4:53 PM
As far as Superman Goes, I'm glad you got to ride. I know the park is sub-par but Superman in some regards makes up for it. How they operate it, usually 1 train, lucky for you 2, fog on when its 40 but not when its 80, no covers over the queue lines, and the only thing that is generally good are the fast ops. The operators a few weeks ago were flying but there were only 2 when they could really use like 6 checking restraints.

Brutal Planet. I love haunted houses, I really do. I work at one. And although the one I work at doesn't have the thousands of dollars hydraulic props, it's 100X scarier. Although I love rock music, involving it with a haunted house doesn't work for me. There was some cool props but the actors just stood there, and it was more weird than scary. I prefer the tradition haunted house.

I think stuff like this at the haunted house attractions I work at are much scarier than a bunch of fog and hydraulic props, maybe it's just me. I like walking in dark rooms where it's dead quiet and having someone jump out. It's all about surprise and it's all just a game, which is executed poorly in Brutal Planet.

http://www.creepycamp.com/SeanceRoom.html
http://www.creepycamp.com/BabysittersWanted.html
http://www.creepycamp.com/ABChucky.html

Stuff like that I find scarier.

As far as SFDL goes, I really think they need a new ride as well as a better operations department. They are MUCH more busy now than in the summer, and yet they can't find 3 people to run predator to help cut down the lines on Superman.

I think it seems crowded because so much of the park is roped off, I mean the Mind Eraser area and the water park offer alot to do and now they are packed in one area.

+0
Sunday, October 31, 2004 12:54 PM
You only waited 30 minutes for supes?man last night it took us an hour & 50 minutes to get on at SFA...at least it was warm out though & we got the last ride of the season in the front seat.

Sounds like SFDL was really packed yesterday as well,SFA was empty in the morning(due to the overcast conditions) but by late afternoon & certainly be nightfall the park was flat out packed with all the coaster queues filled to the max & then some.

That should send a strong message to corporate that both parks have the potential to draw large scale crowds(if something is offered to them)& are worthy of more large scale investments to keep the crowds satisfied & help provide more things for them to do during their visit.

+0

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