SFoT - Opening Day

Sunday, March 4, 2012 12:25 PM

Hi everyone. Posting on Coasterbuzz is a ‘First time, long time’ for me.


Living in Houston, I do not have a major park in my area, which limits my park selection. After not being on a coaster for two years, my ‘Coaster A.D.D.’ was well in effect. So, I decided to drive all the way from IAH to DFW to visit SFoT on opening day. I’ll list my review in chronological order, commenting on the rides and operations.

Drive:

Driving from IAH to DFW took about four hours. The drive went by quickly, as the state of Texas recently increased the speed limit on I-45 to 75 M.P.H. in rural areas. The summer drought was very apparent from I-45, as many trees looked dead, or even burned, especially driving through the Sam Houston National Forest. I arrived at SFoT about 15 minutes past opening time, and arrived at the parking lot


Parking:


The approach to SFoT was clogged, as I had a few times of sitting on the highway exit ramp for a few minutes without moving. Traffic management through Arlington seems to be an issue only because SFoT’s lack of space up front. This seems to be only a casualty of design, and the combination of city and park employees were doing their best with the situation.
Paying for parking was sped up by employees manning the booths, and additional employees walking down the rows, taking care of ‘cash only’ visitors. I quickly pulled out 3 x $5, hung it out the window, and I was ready to blow past the parking booth. It was good to see these additional ‘parking lot foot soldiers’.

Season Pass Processing


First on my list was to get my pass processed. After being stopped by security due to my steel toe shoes, I went over to the back of Guest Relations, where the passes were being processed. I noticed that the group lead was doing a good job of keeping the process organized, and assisted in dividing the guests towards two separate buildings. This process took about 30 minutes.

In the early 90’s, I remember getting my pass processed at Kings Island, which seemed to take a few hours. Mentally preparing yourself for at least an hour, for processing, makes 30 minutes not seem so bad. Once I had my pass in hand, I took a lap around the park.

Judge Roy Scream


Ride - This would be my first rollercoaster in two years, and it wasn’t that bad. My first ride was in the front, and I noticed that the right running rail showed a good amount of new wood throughout the first hill and pullout. The ride was smooth, decent pops in the back, and had a few ‘hand chopper’ moments on the return.
Operations – 2 train, 2 crew. As a former CP ParkOps kid, I was amazed that SFoT would allow an employee to leave controls with an active panel. If I left the control panel while it was on, with keys in, I’d be done. But, regardless of how SFoT deals with running the floor with a control/restraint host combination, both employees seemed to be enjoying their jobs, at least on the first day.

Mini Mine Train


Ride – It’s a small mine train, which means nothing special. This train was loaded with families, and the kids seemed to enjoy riding a ‘big ride’. I remember one pop of air, but that’s it.
Operations – 1 train, 2 crew. Same control/restraint combo host deal as seen on ‘Judge Roy Scream’. Hopefully this is a temporary way for SFoT to deal with staffing. I do not know if this is normal, but not seeing somebody at controls on a ‘hot ride’ makes me nervous.

Mine Train


Ride – Wow, this ride has some length to it! The theming on the third lift hill, with the underwater drop was a nice touch. The ride also has a few good pops, included with some tight turns. I’d put this as a ‘better than average’ mine train.
Operations – 2 trains, 2 crew. One crew checking restraints, and he was working at a fast pace.

tNTG


Ride – I could ride this all day. If anyone out there is on the fence about visiting SFoT to ride tNTG, go! This ride looks intimidating, and runs like it’s out on control. I rode twice; once in front, once in back. I’d recommend the front for visuals, but the whip off the lifthill from the back is great. Overbanked turns, speed, head choppers, tunnels…. This ride has all the items required on a Coasterdork’s ™ list. In particular, the key moments are the double up, and the huge overbank. This ride does not stop, all the way through.
Operations – 2 trains, 3 crew. Employees were working well with the crowd, but were stacking. As the year progresses, I hope the crews can find ways to increase capacity by running a more efficient floor. I imagine that these issues are mostly due to staffing, as many schools and universities are still in session.

Titan


Ride – Titan is a good looking ride, but it was not what I was expecting, in a good way. Coming directly from tNTG, I was expecting Titan to be a ride that would try to ‘throw me out’. No, Titan tries to ‘keep you in’. The forces along the helixes (sp?) are fantastic, and I’ve never had to fight a ride quite like this one. Yes, the drop is fun, but this ride is all about the positive gravitational forces. I noticed that the MCBR stopped the train, but this is needed. We’d all come back to station passed out if the MCBR didn’t bite so hard.
Operations – 2 trains, 3 crew. Only multiple train ride that did not stack. A good thing to see is that SFoT was not flooding the station. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I like a good open station not jammed with guests. The crew was checking seats quickly, and were working well with the crowd.

Shockwave

Ride – I was not expecting much, but this ride is a hidden gem. The pop off the first hill, and almost every hill was filled with duration and forceful in places. Both loops provided a good amount of forces; stronger but obviously not at long as Titan. I hope SFoT holds onto this ride for a long while. I ended up riding this one three times.
Something extra I have noticed about this ride is how much the ride physically moves. Next time, while exiting the ride, stop on the exit stairway and watch the track as the train comes along. I’ve never seen a ride with so much wiggle.
Operations – 1 train, 3 crew. This crew was the most enthusiastic, and hopefully SFoT will use multiple trains in the future. Single train operation causes a slow line, especially when the chain is only creeping along.

Bugs Bunny Dark Boat Ride


Ride – I do not know the real name of this, but It’s a standard maintained old dark boat ride. A good relaxing ride, and the best part was the ‘hill’ near the end of the ride. I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed the little wussy hill that these dark boat rides have. I’m probably not the only one.
Operations – It’s a boat ride, you can’t screw this one up
I’m the type of person who doesn’t go to a park only for the coasters. To me, it’s the overall experience; ride presentation, the smells of wooden coasters, sounds, people, landscaping, thrill rides, but also the not so thrilling rides.

Batman – Down Mechanical

Flashback – Running, but skipped.

La Vibora – Running, but skipped. Too many days spent on CP’s Transport to be worth the time.

Mr. Freeze – Down. I was looking forward to riding this, and seeing the transfer track in operation. Next time, I hope.

Pandemonium – Running, but skipped

I enjoyed my time at SFoT, and it seems like this park has a good variance in its ride library. Employees were helpful and talkative, but this was the first day. Hopefully, SFoT is planning on bringing on additional employees to increase capacity. I would consider visiting again, but I plan on visiting SFFT next.


Thanks for reading, and again, get down here to ride tNTG.

Last edited by ARC-WE, Sunday, March 4, 2012 12:38 PM
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Sunday, March 4, 2012 12:26 PM

Cool story, bro.

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Monday, March 5, 2012 3:41 PM

One of my favorite Six Flags due to its heritage and coaster selection. La Vibora is a better ride than Disaster Transport, give it a shot next visit!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:03 PM

My home park. I do enjoy La Vibora, but it's line is soooo long. At least there's a single riders line for it now.

The Bugs Bunny Dark ride is called the gold rush adventure or something like that.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:11 PM

That's odd. I really can't see a single rider line being that helpful there (unless they force people to go 2 per seat, which would make for one really awkward and unenjoyable credit when I go there on the 14th).

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012 4:03 PM

Single riders on Vibora, *plus* NTG, Shockwave, Titan, and Runaway Mountain....wonder if there's a Tejas trip in store for 2012 somehow? Funny, the one thing SFoT is lacking....it's an adult wooden coaster (JRS being a little "family").

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Thursday, March 8, 2012 8:18 PM

ApolloAndy said:
My home park. I do enjoy La Vibora, but it's line is soooo long. At least there's a single riders line for it now.

Andy, I did not see any single rider lines. I'm going back this weekend, and I'll see if I can get on La Vibora. I also plan on hitting Runaway Mountain, Batman, and Mr. Freeze first, since I missed them last time. Hopefully SFoT runs the coasters in the rain.

A few days removed from opening weekend, I come to appreciate the variety of coasters at the park.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012 8:39 PM

Mr Freeze isn't expected to be open until May according to Screamscape and an SFOT ride operator.

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Friday, March 9, 2012 9:05 PM

2 trains stacking on nTG? Yikes, what has the world come to.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012 7:45 PM

The single riders line was up the exit. Matt (AV) and Clint (Tekno) probably remember better than I do since they're the ones that actually used it.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:12 PM

Actually we used the flash pass line but I think they're one and the same as there were single riders in the flash pass lane.

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