SFGAm Fright Fest 10/9/04

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 1:46 AM
Took my 11 year old nephew with me today - all in all we had a good time, but I have a few gripes with the park management, which I will let them know on Monday when I call.

Park was packed! But when it is a 70 degree, clear and sunny October day, you have to expect that.

Well, obviously, the park didn't...they only had two trains running on Raging Bull until 6:30pm when they FINALLY added the third train despite having 1.5-2hr lines all day.

My other gripe is that they "over-sold" the Fastlane passes. Every time I went through hometown square, they had a line of people to buy them until somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 when they finally shut the sales down.

Why do I say over-sold??? Because the fast-pass lines took 20-30 minutes to get to the merge point on both Superman and RB all day! For Raging Bull, the FL line started at the first turn past the photo booth all day.

My question/theory is that they created a "false demand" for them by not having a three-train operation on RB all day....There were LOTS of FL users who were quite upset that they bought these to avoid the lines and still had quite a lengthy line to contend with anyhow.

OK...on to the good stuff...

Themeing was great as usual at GAm. Lots of "ghouls" as it became mid-afternoon into evening. Lots of the same "actors" as last year.

The Mausoleum of Terror was pretty good - from what I heard from others was that it was not as scary as last year...I don't have a point of reference so I can't say. But, I can't complain my nephew and I got in for only $7 instead of $14 because of his good eyesight. He spotted an unused ticket on the ground that someone had dropped in line...it was from noone in line near us...we checked before keeping it for ourselves.

THe PT Scarum freak show was not as good as last year...none of the acts were back from last year, but the one good thing is that they moved the show to the new picnic pavillion and built an elevated stage so everyone could see better. The stage this year was about 4ft off the ground.

All in all, we had a good time, so that's what matters most. Just was a little peeved over the FastLane issue and only two trains on RB for most of the day, despite looong lines.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 3:11 AM
Yea, that is too bad about Raging Bull, but I don't believe that they were doing it to just get people to buy Fast Lane Passes. But I do agree that they sell to many of them. It pisses a lot of people off, the fast lane system. I wonder if the fast lane, since they started using it, if that is turning away people so they won't come back to the park.

You did choose a very nice day for Fright Fest, even though I kind of expect to it to be cold and chilly for the event.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 12:26 PM
I was there yesteday too with a group of my friends from Milwaukee. I expected it to be crowded since it was a beautiful day. Everything moved relatively quickly, except for Raging Bull. I couldn't believe they were only running two trains. I was at the base of the stairs when they put on the third train. The people waiting for fast pass were also very rude..not so much as the two lines merged, but as we tried to exit the ride - some of them would not move out of the way of people exiting at all.

Before noon, there were hardly lines at all in at least half the park - no wait for King Chaos, Revolution, or Eagle. Barely a wait for Ragin Cajun and Iron Wolf.

Does anyone know why they are shutting down Deja Vu around 4PM these days? This was the second time I've been to the park this year and they did it on both days, even though it ran fine up until that point.

A couple other notes of interest:

-A guy we talked to in the Waterpark Preview area said that they gained 500 parking spaces by repaving the overflow lot and plan on doing the same with the main lot and gaining a whole bunch more.
-The ride ops (specifically Batman and Deja Vu) were really cracking down on smoking in line - I was very happy about that.
-Finally, Shockwave is finally saying goodbye. There is a rather large pile (maybe 20 feet high?) of cut up pieces of blue track. Many pieces are still sitting on the hillside, but the mangled ledgers and rails were a very sad sight for me. What I wouldn't give for a genuine Shockwave ledger in my dorm room...=) *** Edited 10/10/2004 4:27:41 PM UTC by Mr Doom***

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 1:12 PM
SF knew the park would be packed due to the weather, so it was a intentional act to only run 2 trains on RB, and if not to sell FL tickets what other reason would they have???
Is it true they have no Elvira show this year and just the lousy Stargate show??
And why cant the park offer just "one" free maze/haunted houses for the guests??
Is there any non SF park that doesnt at least offer a house or maze to the guests without gouging them??

Actions of running coasters at less then capacity and offering no free mazes/houses is just another example of why SF is 2.1 billion in debt. and suffers very bad word of mouth from the guests!! *** Edited 10/10/2004 5:17:09 PM UTC by Bob O***

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 6:59 PM
The last time that I was at SFGAM Fright Fest they had a Hypnotist show. Is that stil there? I am going the 16th and 17th and would love to see that show again.
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Sunday, October 10, 2004 10:44 PM
We were there yesterday too. No Supertition this year. It was our niece and nephew's 1st time to the park yesterday too and for her first coaster she chose SUF! She loved it! Went thru Necro a few times and thought it was great. We did the MOT too and my fiance's little girl was fine all thru it until Leatherface, lol. She came out screaming and was yelling she lost her shoe..lol. Leatherface came out with her shoe. I was in histerics laughing so dang hard. After we came out of MOT, there were a couple of zombie twins and my fience was calling her name, and one of the twins was chasing her already and the other twin asked who she was and we told him and he went after her at the same time. Needless to say I had a riot of a great time! I thought JPM and Six flags did a great job this year! *** Edited 10/11/2004 2:45:28 AM UTC by stoogemanmoe***
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Sunday, October 10, 2004 10:45 PM
The hypnotist show is still going.
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Sunday, October 10, 2004 11:01 PM
The name of the show is called Susan Rosen: Mistress of Mesmorism and, yes, it is still there. Also, I heard that the reason DejaVu closed early was due to staffing and the need to have the 3rd train for Raging Bull. The park didn't leave the 3rd train off just to sell more Fastlane tickets. If that was the case, then you would rarely see 3 train op on the ride(Which it usually has on busy days.)

Another reason(Which was not the case) that the 3rd train was not running could have been that it was not safe to be put into operation.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004 11:16 PM
Staffing must have been better today (10/10) as I was there and RB was running 3 trains from the time I got there (11:00am) till close.

Also, Deja-Vu operated from opening all the way till close. Got the last train out at about 8:45 (park closed at 8).

George, while I can understand that you would be irritated with RB and 2 trains until early evening, you know that isn't the norm.

Attendance for FF this weekend was very high which is good for the park.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 6:02 AM
Chitown - it is and it isn't. I can remember many trips where RB was only running 2 trainsfor half the day even when the lines were long (1.5 hrs + ). And when they finally added the 3rd, it was usually no later than 3 or 4pm.

I was more ticked off by how many of the FLs they sold. The signs out front say "Quantities Limited" - what the hell was Saturday's limit because I have NEVER seen the FL lines that long - not even on a July Saturday...

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Monday, October 11, 2004 1:45 PM
I have also been at the park numeous times when RB has only run 2 trains with the lines extending thru-out the first que building.
While it doesnt happen all the time, it does happen often.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 2:52 PM
I was there on Sunday and I have to say that I have never been to the park on a busier Sunday, even during the height of summer. Bull was running three trains all day, but I have seen during the season that that is the exception rather than the rule. Normally they only run two trains and have an hour to two hour line instead of throwing that third train on and getting the lines down an extra 15 to 20 minutes.

As a side note, it seems that they have changed the program on King Chaos. There are some more intense flips in it, however, it is a shorter cycle time. Still, I like it better than the program they were using at the beginning of the year.

As for the Fright Fest stuff, I remember there being more spooks out in the carousel area. They now have them pushed back into Orleans and Mardi Gras. They also didn't seem to do as many surprise attacks as they used to do. I really liked the evil clown with the mega phone in the Mardi Gras area. The Scooby Doo train ride was awesome. I hadn't done the train ride in past years, but if this is what I was missing, I'm sorry I didn't do it earlier. This was also the first year I did the Terror Twister and I pretty much suffered from anticipointment on that one.

BTW, how many people noticed they are playing the old Demon theme up at the front of the park in it's glorious entirety?

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Monday, October 11, 2004 2:56 PM
I noticed the Demon song, Bob, in fact I used that as an opportunity to tell my nephew about the Demon transformation. He got a kick out of it...
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Monday, October 11, 2004 4:10 PM
Actually, when I meant not the norm, I was referring to leaving RB with only 2 trains until 6:30pm as George stated. When the park is crowded, they usually add the 3rd train around noon or 1.

I was given the reason for the late 3rd train and closing of Deja-Vu early on Saturday due to staffing.

You can't blame them for that. This late in the season they have lost alot of employees.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 5:54 PM
All summer long this year Raging Bull started off with 3 trains on. Towards the end of the summer when staffing started to be a problem Bull started with 2 again and added a third one at noon around if needed.

Them adding a train to Bull that late in the day is very odd, which leads me to believe they didn't have enough staff to run Bull with 3 until after shut Vu down early (which they have been doing when they are short on staff)...or it was down for maintence.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 7:08 PM
I was there both Saturday and Sunday and was very impressed overall. I haven't been to Fright Fest for about 3 years and it was much improved over 3 years ago. The overall theming and extra touches throughout the park are great!

A couple other notes I didn't see covered-

Blood River was down Saturday but was back running Sunday, however they didn't have any rafts running with skeletons on them as they have in the past.

I know they're corny but check out Manny B's show on the Mardi Gras stage if you get the chance.

As someone else said...the program King Chaos is running now is much better. It now does four complete flips in the first part of the ride.

King Kong on the Sky Trek Tower with the fake fire and the searchlights is a great effect. From the right angle the fire looks very realistic.

I heard the same thing others have said about RB running two trains. They were very short-staffed the first part of the day on Saturday and there are those pesky "child labor law" regulations since school is on.

It was very entertaining watching the characters scaring and chasing people in the Mardi Gras area. I thought they weren't supposed to intentionally scare little kids but I saw that happen a couple times in Orleans Place. One mother was really upset with a girl in a black cape for scaring her kid.

I don't know if they sold any more Fastlane Passes than usual but keep in mind there were a couple less rides available to use them on also.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:23 AM
Raging Bull ran 2 and then 3 trains later in the day this Columbus Day. The park wasn't overly crowded and DejaVu ran all day. Also, the park was very understaffed. I saw workers from maintenance, marketing, and even supervisors working the rides. Also, Iron Wolf(Werewolf) had an awesome crew around noon. They were actually running the ride without stacking!(Everytime!)
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