SFMM - 6/25 My honest take

Associated parks:

I'm in LA for a week on business and budgeted a day for Disneyland, but didn't for SFMM.....I was there in 99, and despite having not been there since 99, didn't feel like dealing with it. But, with last week's news, and hearing confirmation on many things from non-coaster sources I trust, I felt that a quick visit would be a good idea.

Let me start by saying I like Shapiro. Despite being skeptical at first, I think he is a great man for the job. I think he understands the problems and wants to fix them.....he's just inherited masive hurdles from the last 10+ years.

My colleague and I flew out of New Orleans and landed in Orange County at 11am. Despite us being up since 4am, I convinced him to make the trek up there. Afer we paid the stupid parking and expensive tickets, we headed off for our goal of riding 4 or 5 coasters. The sign out front listed 11 rides closed, including 3 coasters....2 of which I wanted to ride for credit (Psyclone and Deja Vu).

Interested in Shapiro's family goals we decided to count the number of traditional family units we saw....the criteria was mom and dad with children under 12.....so far we weren't seing any, but I'll tell that number later.

First stop: X One hour wait. The ride I give an A.....it wasn't my cup of tea because it was so freaking rough, but I appreciate what it is. The ride crew: A dismal F. They were'nt even trying. Their energy level was that of a tortise. Strike one for operations.

Next stop: Tatsu. 2 hour wait. The ride I give an A+. What a killer coaster. I was very neutral about the previous flyers, but this was was amazing. The pretzel loop made the Superman Pretzels seem gentle....WOW! Great use of terrain, butter smooth, etc. The crew and operations: A pathetic F-. The line should have taken 20 minutes if run well. There were two trains and two stations...I didn't know it was possible to stack in that situation, but they found a way. Train one would come back to station one, tain 2 would come back to station 2, and it would be 3-5 minutes until train one left again. I think the whole crew and communally taken some horse tranquilizers before work or someting...I can't really explain their lethargic motions any other way.

Nex stop Goliath: The ride was fun, I liked it, and their crew was alive! Good job guys! You get a B+

Last stop: Scream. I'm not into the ride, and it had some weird shaking. The placement and "landscaping" were pathetic. Looking down on an old parking lot covered with litter wasn't very enjoyable. The crew was acceptable: They get a B-

Cleanliness: The park gets a C-.....I've seen way worse, but it wasn't quite acceptable for me. The worst was the HUGE piles of rotten garbage at picnic areas with dozens of seagulls picking through.

Family atmosphere: Our final tally of families we saw in our short stay was 4. It was like there were no little kids in the park. We even passsed in front of Bugs Bunny World. I can see Shapiro's worry about the crowds here. I'm not saying we walked around fearing for our lives, but it was definately not a family atmosphere (especially compared to Disney the next day).

In the end, SFMM has some amazing coasters and tons of posibillity. However they have serious poblems in many areas that will take a long time to properly correct. I don't know what the future holds for this park, but it will be interesting to see.

Coming next: My Disney TR with details about Pirates.

Edit: Spelling *** Edited 6/27/2006 5:17:38 PM UTC by Peabody***

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Eleven rides closed! That is far too many. I've never experienced a park with more than 2 or three all day ride closures. Then again, I haven't been to a SF park since 2000.

Sometimes a closure can work to your favor. I went to PKD back in 1996 and found at the entrance that the new coaster, Flight of Fear was closed. All right. I was there mainly for the wooden coasters and Anaconda. In any event, the park wasn't too crowded, possably because of this. The coaster waits were generally around 15 minutes and I got on all of them except FOF, riding several of them 2 or 3 times. Later FOF opened. It was an hour wait when I got to it but I got my ride in on it. Total for the day: 8 credits, 14 coaster rides plus several other rides.

Arthur Bahl

As a local I've been meaning to get there to ride Tatsu, but I just don't want to deal with the hassles during a day at this park. I'm sure at some point I will, but after reading reports like this I can't help but think, 'why bother?'

I'd be more inclined to make the 2000 mile trip to Holiday World then the hour drive to this park.

Wow--sounds like a fairly bad day as you put it. 11 rides closed? Dang--was there anything to ride except coasters and kiddie rides?

When I went a couple of weeks ago, they were running all the coasters except for Flashback, and that was fairly expected. The crew on X was kinda lousy and apathetic. I really like the ride, though, and I didn't experience a lot of roughness like some people might say (though I did ride in the front).

I noticed some problems and that some work needed to be done, but your TR sounds even worse--ouch. If it truly is this bad, then I don't know how long SFMM will last. SF is notorious for bad operations almost ever since the Premier takeover, and this park sounds like it needs a severe kick in the pants.

rablat: Was the Tatsu operation as pathetic when you where there? They almost made the X crew look good by comparison.

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Hmm....I wouldn't say pathetic, but I wouldn't say quick, either. Tatsu was the first coaster I rode that day, and I was on the first train out of station 2.

When I went to ride it as the last coaster of the day, I queued for station 2 (side closest to Samurai Summit) and the line wasn't even to the steps--it started near the track crossover in front of the station. The line took a while, though, as basically by that point you're dealing with 1-train operation, since they're only running 1 train out of each station.

For as major of a coaster, the crew on X was fairly lame. Apathetic seemed to be a defining characteristic for some of SFMM's employees that day, specifically on X and the 2 flume rides.

Besides needing some major improvements in operations, that park could use a double shot in the arm for maintenance, as well. I'm glad certain parks still take care of some of their older rides, but SFMM seems to neglect some of theirs.

SFoGswim's avatar

rablat5 said:
Wow--sounds like a fairly bad day as you put it. 11 rides closed? Dang--was there anything to ride except coasters and kiddie rides?
Why does anyone go to Magic Mountain for something other than coasters?

Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
Lord Gonchar's avatar

SFoGswim said:
Why does anyone go to Magic Mountain for something other than coasters?

Shapiro's thoughts exactly. ;)

They should just sell the park. They will get no families there.

John Moore

rollergator's avatar
^ LOL, I think that's one thing EVERYONE can agree on. Snyder and Shapiro just have the power to "make it happen"... ;)

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