SFGAdv 8/1 ...A bit crowded for a Monday

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 1:32 PM
Let me preface by saying I hadn't heard anything that Kingda Ka might potentially have been open this day so I just had my expectations reaffirmed when the "Kingda Ka will be closed today" signs came into view in the entrance plaza. That being said, it was still very crowded for a Monday, and the park was operating with the most inefficiency I had seen in quite some time. All this talk about improving efficiency this season...I haven't seen any real proof yet (4th trip so far this season).

We arrived at the park at 11:30 and it was already pretty crowded. However, it didn't get any more crowded than it was at 11:30 for the rest of the day and the crowds even started to dwindle from 3:30 on until we left (at about 5:30). Next time we're going to try to show up at 5:00 and leave at closing, since Six Flags doesn't have any "Starlight" deal equivalent to some Cedar Fair parks that would cause extra guests to come in at that time.

Musik Express (No wait)

This is a pretty tame Himalaya if you ask me. You don't get the belly flop feeling at all, even coming down from the larger hill in the back. Hadn't been on it in a while and decided to take advantage of the empty queue.

Nitro (50 minutes + 15 extra for front row)

Here's where I first noticed the major ineffiency of the park. I watched each train coming out of the station and 95% of the trains had no less than six empty seats. That's 6/36...the line could be reduced more than 15% just by filling those gaps. These weren't all single seats either, occasionally there would be two or even three next to each other empty. Once we got into the station, I realized that only two trains were running. Nitro is a long coaster and definitely warrants running three trains on a moderately crowded summer day. The trains weren't stacking at all, and the station was waiting empty for around 20 seconds after each train departed. Throw in that extra train and the line could probably have been cut at least another 10%. Ironically, I heard word from one of the ride ops that the CEO of Six Flags was at Great Adventure on that day. You'd think they'd be trying harder...

Considering Nitro is my favorite coaster thus far, however, all was forgiven after riding. I'd definitely wait longer than an hour for a front row seat on a coaster like this, so I was happy.

Granny's (20 minute wait)

Granny's had a longer line than some rides we went on. Waited a ridiculously long time to get food (at least 20 minutes). The food was being dished out as fast as possible but Six Flags was definitely understaffed for the day. The opposite side of the kitchen was unstaffed so only one serving area was open. Took a disappointing amount of time to get out of there.

Buccaneer (No wait)

Nearly all of the flats in Six Flags had no wait so we decided to take advantage of a few, considering we typically just hit the coasters. Got in the back row on one side for this ride. Gotta love the feeling.

Fantasy Fling (No wait)

I had never been on this before thinking it would make me sick. It didn't even come close to making me sick...it was actually a lot of fun. If you are feeling queazy though, don't try to focus on something that isn't on the ride platform...it'll make you sick really fast.

Skull Mountain (15 minutes)

Probably the most wildly inefficient loading station of any roller coaster anywhere. The station was literally a mob scene...some little girl ran in front of me and got into my row as I was about to board. I pointed out to her mother, sitting in the row in front of me, that she had just cut me and she didn't even respond. Wouldn't have cared so much if I wasn't trying to keep my party in separate rows together... Unrelated to that, I don't understand what the rock music that plays inside the dark room has to do with the ride. They need some better effects...maybe fog and strobe, or something. It's getting old fast.

My party split here...the rest of them wanted to go see the Spongebob 3-D show which I absolutely hate and have been forced to sit through upwards of five times, so I headed over to...

Great American Scream Machine (5 minute wait)

Even on the most crowded days, I don't remember a time in the past five years or so where I ever had to wait more than 10 minutes for this ride. There's no particularly incredible element of it, but it's definitely fun as a whole. I've been on it too many times to count though, so maybe I'm just tired of it.

After I got off I had some waiting to do for the rest of my party, and it was a hot day, so I found a spot in the shade and watched some test launches of Kingda Ka. They were launching consistently once every minute and a half or so, and I got to see about 15 rides launch. Trains were consistently clearing the tower at the same speed, none even close to rolling back. As far as I could tell, the test launches were taking place with just empty seats (no dummies), though I wasn't close enough to be sure. After Spongebob let out, we headed over to Medusa.

Medusa (35 minute wait)

2/3 of the switchback queue area on Medusa was filled so I knew it would be a reasonably long wait. This is definitely an uncomfortable line to wait on in the hot sun, and they don't have any coverings for shade like the new ones on the Superman and Nitro switchback queue areas. Once again, inefficiency. Ride ops were yelling at guests from the other side of the station that rows 2 through 5 (yes four out of eight rows) were not filling with people. Granted the front row queue is poorly designated and probably confuses guests into thinking the rows near the front are filled, but it would have been much simpler to have someone assisting with loading the rides on the entrance side of the station. This would explain why some trains were leaving with entirely empty rows.

We passed up Rolling Thunder, Chiller (easily 75 mins from the line I saw), Batman (45 minutes), and Superman (90 minutes, at least). In fact, I haven't been on Chiller in quite a long time. They really need to get both sides of the ride going at the same time...the ride can't possibly take more than 500-600 riders per hour with only one side open. That's not even half of a typical major coaster. All of us were season passholders (and Six Flags GAdv veterans) so we weren't disappointed with our time there.

We'll be heading back soon as soon as KK reopens. Got a taste of it early this season, but one ride wasn't enough! *** Edited 8/3/2005 5:35:07 PM UTC by JoQuo711***

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Wednesday, August 3, 2005 3:35 PM
Sounds like my typical experience there, it saddens me that such a collection of awesome rides are run so poorly. The ride ops yelling at guests about the rows towards the front is one of those things would be taken care of if they would staff their rides like other major parks.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2005 3:45 PM

JoQuo711 said:

My party split here...the rest of them wanted to go see the Spongebob 3-D show which I absolutely hate and have been forced to sit through upwards of five times...


Say WHAT?!?!?

Get off my planet. NOW. No one's allowed to dislike Spongebob. :)

-CO

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Wednesday, August 3, 2005 4:19 PM
You waited 15 minutes for Skull Mountain on a Monday? Wow, it must have been crowded! Were they running 2 trains?
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Wednesday, August 3, 2005 4:32 PM

CoastaPlaya said:

Say WHAT?!?!?

Get off my planet. NOW. No one's allowed to dislike Spongebob.

-CO


Heh...it's not that I hate him..I just don't love him either. And it isn't a particularly good 3-D show/ride simulator. I much preferred the Escape from Dino-Island show they used to have.


Pale Rider said:
You waited 15 minutes for Skull Mountain on a Monday? Wow, it must have been crowded! Were they running 2 trains?

Yes, they were running two trains. I would say the place had average weekend crowds...only it was a Monday. It was pretty strange. Though I have heard horror stories that it was incredibly crowded the weekend before (7/30-7/31).

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Thursday, August 4, 2005 8:20 PM
The funny thing about the music express is that they don't play music. It and the swings could kick it up a bit faster and run a bit longer.
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