SFStL---Saturday, April 4th

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009 1:04 AM

SFStL-Saturday, April 4th
Last Friday, my dad drove a friend and myself four hours westward to Eureka, MO. It was pretty much a last minute trip just to fill my coaster cravings, but it turned out to be one of the best I've had in a long time.

Friday night, we caught a showing of Adventureland (which all three of us found to be GREAT...), and then headed into Eureka to find a hotel. Thanks to some lodging suggestions, we found the Days Inn to be the best deal around. It was about 2 miles (or less) from the park, and had a great recreation area in the center of it with a large pool, sauna, and arcade. Though it's a bit old, it was a nice place to stay with a great price---$53 for a 2-double bed room.

We awoke early on Saturday morning, because the continental breakfast stopped serving at 9am. The park didn't open till 10:30, so we chilled in the room for about an hour before heading out to what would be a great day at Six Flags St. Louis.

Dad dropped us off near the front gate (SFStL has a very convenient drop-off/pick-up system) and headed for any local Antique Malls he could find. Jacob and I walked to the metal detectors and then through the ticket booths. It was about 10 after 10, and the park announced that they would be opening the front area of the park at 10:15, and then the rest of the park as scheduled at 10:30am. In the meantime, I participated in a survey that employees were conducting all throughout the crowd of people waiting to get into the park.

At 10:30, the park 'opened', and everyone ran off in various directions. I had been advised to hit Mr. Freeze first, so that is what we headed for...except when we got there, the ride was closed. Testing hadn't even begun, so we took off to THBS...guess what? Closed. We walked around the corner to The Boss, and yes, it wasn't ready, either.

Patience was starting to run thin, but after looking around I saw that nothing in the park was running, and Ninja's train was even stuck on the lift. At least the sun was shining, and the air was warm, so we just planted ourselves out in front of Tony Hawk's Big Spin, and waited there until the coaster opened 15 minutes later. This ended up being a good decision, as for the rest of the day, this little coaster retained the longest line in the park.

Ride Reviews
Tony Hawk's Big Spin- This was my first Gerstlauer spinning coaster, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. There was much more airtime than I expected, the layout was fun, and the spinning aspect was much more disorienting than it appeared. The restraints were comfortable, as well. My only complaint about the ride was a rough jolt heading down onto the 'ramp'...and I'm sure it wasn't a one-time thing, because while walking under the ride at a later point, I heard a girl yell, "Ouch!" at that particular spot. Overall though, the ride was smooth, fun, and pretty much the perfect family coaster. 7/10

Rush Street Flyer- I've always been a Falling Star fan, and this was no exception. Though it was fun, the ride definitely could run a better program, and really needs a fresh coat of paint. I'm glad Six Flags has kept this classic ride, though, and I hope they continue to run it consistently. 5.5/10

Superman: Tower of Power- Wow...I had completely forgotten how fun Intamin Freefalls are, considering this is the first I have experienced since the incident at SFKK. Even after 5 rides, I couldn't get enough of this insane attraction. I also liked how each car would drop at a different time...very fun and suspenseful. 8/10

Screamin' Eagle- When I rode the Eagle back in 1998, I instantly fell in love with it. I'm glad to report that that love carries on in 2009! This is a great classic woodie with great airtime and a nice out-and-back layout. John Allen was a true genius. 8/10

Xcalibur- Well this is definitely a great looking ride with high capacity, and it fits in well with the park. I'm not the biggest fan of it, however, and Jacob practically had to drag me on it a second time. Frankly, I find the cycle just boring, and a waste of time. The spinning lasts forever, and while the trip around is fun, it is over way too quickly. Maybe a second trip over the top would make it better, but Xcalibur just isn't my cup of tea. 5/10

Mr. Freeze- This is, IMO, the best ride in the park. After 4 rides on it, Freeze will most likely crack my Top Ten. I highly suggest the front seat, but the ride is insane no matter where you sit. The launch is powerful, the inverted top-hat is an incredible inversion, and the weightlessness provided on the vertical spike is unreal...amazing. Oh, and why have I never heard anything about the INTENSE positive G's experienced during the backwards run? A solid 10/10...great coaster.

Scooby Doo Ghostblasters- I love dark rides, and this one was top-notch. The theming around the ride is nice as well. Watch out for the daisy! ;) 7/10

Evel Knievel- Hands down the best GCI around...I couldn't believe the amount of airtime and constant speed this ride delivered. I think it will definitely move up on polls as more people experience it. I recommend the back seat for an incredible ride. Does anyone know where the 2nd train is? (Nowhere to be found on Saturday.) 8/10

Log Flume- Though small, this was a really good log flume. The speed throughout the entire ride was solid, and there were some good, unexpected splashes throughout the course. I suggest sitting in the front for a drier ride, and the back if you feel like getting soaked. 7/10

The Boss- As we walked into the station of The Boss, I warned Jacob of how horrible it was going to be. I have never heard anything good about this coaster, and I was prepared for the worst...we got in line for the 2nd to last row, because if I was going to get the crap beat out of me, I at least wanted to get some air out of it. We boarded the train, pulled down our lapbars, and were dispatched. When we hit the final break run, I was shocked...

That coaster was AMAZING! Incredible layout, great airtime, best first-drop on a woodie I've seen in a long time, nice speed, and pretty smooth. I can't believe so many people dog on this awesome wooden coaster. The Boss falls into my most underrated coasters of all time. Maybe I caught it on a good day, but after many rides, it quickly sky-rocketed near the top of my Top Ten Wooden list. 9/10

Batman: The Ride- Solid B&M invert. Though it didn't seem quite as good as SFOG's, I really enjoyed the ride, and probably would've given it more than 2 laps if you didn't have to walk a mile just to get to the station. 8.5/10

Ninja- I am a very lucky person. I have a tall upper body and neck, so Vekoma and Arrow OTSR's fit comfortably just above my shoulders. I no longer experience head-banging on classic loopers, so I actually enjoyed the Ninja. Yes, it was rough, but the overall layout is fun, and the first drop provided a great pop of air when sitting near the back of the train. We rode 3 times in a row without changing seats. 6/10

Thunder River- Jacob is really into rapids ride, and since it was nice out, I agreed to ride. Of course, I got drenched, and he didn't get wet at all. Nonetheless, the ride was full of unexpected surprises, and many consistent rapids to soak riders. I'm sure it would've been a fun ride...if I hadn't spent the whole time squirming to dodge the water flowing into my side of the boat. 5.5/10

River King Mine Train- I had ridden RKMT back in '98, but busted my lip on it, so I didn't enjoy it very much then. However, I gave it another chance on Saturday and found it to be a fun Arrow mine train with a great surprise ending...just make sure to sit in the back car. 6/10

Overall, I think SFStL has a very solid collection of rides. It's collection of woodies is one of the best, and some of the larger steel coasters are very memorable. I also really enjoyed the flats and water rides, and can't wait to see what the park adds to its line-up in the future.


Food
We only ate once while at Six Flags, and that was at the Panda Express in the Backlot section of the park. (They were advertising the heck out of the orange chicken...) I got a 2-entree plate for $9.99, and then a regular sized fountain drink for $3.49. The food was good, but prices were a bit insane. I highly suggest the orange and mandarin chicken if you feel like paying $15 bucks for meal.

I also had a frozen lemonade from a stand over by Xcalibur. It was $4.25 for the smallest size, and while small, that was enough to hold me over until after the park closed.


Overall Experience


As a whole, I have nothing to complain about regarding Six Flags St. Louis. Though the park wasn't very crowded, most coasters were running with 2-train operations (even Mr. Freeze...for about 15 minutes), and employees actually seemed to care about their jobs. The landscaping looked nice, the ride selection is good, and there was something to do for everyone there. I was really impressed, and will definitely try to get back to the park as soon as possible.

Last edited by DantheCoasterman, Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:41 PM
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Friday, April 10, 2009 4:03 AM

Sounds like a decent park and a BEAUTIFUL day. What is most interesting to me though is their collection of woodies. You don't see that many woodies in the current coaster climate.

Excellent trip report! You made me want to check it out! :)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009 7:41 PM

SFSTl is definitely a great park that isn't to big and not that small either. Last time I was there they put in Tony Hawk so I haven't experienced EK yet but this park has a decent lineup of coasters and rides.

I wish Shapiro would put the Scooby Ghostblasters in all of the SF parks. They are great attractions that everyone can enjoy.

I have stayed at that Days Inn Fundome. It's definitely the best value in the area.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 9:22 PM

Great TR!

I really liked the way you organized it and set up the review. Very easy on the eyes, and very well written.

I wish Shapiro would put the Scooby Ghostblasters in all of the SF parks. They are great attractions that everyone can enjoy.

I KNOW! I've wondered that as well. I want to say it's the closest kind of Disney-eque attraction any Six Flags park has to date.

Last edited by kRaXLeRidAh, Sunday, April 12, 2009 9:23 PM
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Monday, April 13, 2009 8:21 PM

Thanks, everyone!

Yes, the Scooby Doo dark ride is definitely a gem...much better than SFOG's Monster Plantation, IMO. ;)

Does anyone know estimated costs of recent dark rides? With the family-friendly approach that Shapiro has taken lately, it does make you wonder why more of these great attractions haven't popped up at more Six Flags parks.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 8:56 PM

Ghostwood Estates at Kennywood cost about $2 million:

http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/news/stories/20071210_02.shtml

That's a relatively inexpensive investment, even compared to building a new woodie.

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Monday, April 13, 2009 10:52 PM

Half-related to the OP - Does anyone else, as you age, find that your coaster-withdraw symptoms kind of disappear? Maybe it's because I take a winter/spring/both vacation to Florida, but each off-season seems to matter less and less to me.

I'm just wondering if it's just me, or if any others are gettin' old and feeling the same?

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Monday, April 13, 2009 11:22 PM

^I agree. It's tough in the off season, don't get me wrong, but nothing like when I was younger.

Great trip report. I agree with your thoughts on Mr. Freeze - best ride in the park by far! Front seat is the place to be. Evil Knievel is the only GCI I've been on, so I can't compare it to any others, but it's definitely my favorite woodie in the park. And yes, you did catch the Boss on a good day. Typically, its a decent ride during April and May, and gets progressively worse through the season. If they could stick a pair of PTCs on that ride, I could probably ride it all day (at least in the spring). As far as underrated coasters go, Screamin Eagle is at the top of my list. It was my first wooden coaster, and it still runs like it did back in the day. A back seat ride is absolutely phenomenal.

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