SF:StL 5/25 Great Visit! (long)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:06 PM
The second stop on my Memorial Day weekend swing to Missouri was Six Flags: StLouis. After having tackled WOF the day before (another trip report), I was ready to see how SF stacked up. My wife and I arrived there around 9:30, and the first thing I noticed was the pretty setting for the park. Nestled up against a large hill (mountain?), and thoroughly wooded, it was very asthetic.

Well, after parking, we headed for the park entrance. The anthem was playing just as we walked up, so it wasn't long until we moved through the metal detectors and towards the park gates. I still wonder why Six Flags has seen fit to install those metal detectors in all their parks, but Cedar Fair has not? I believe Paramount also has metal detectors. Not that I'm complaining though. I like it that the entrance to the CF parks is so hassle free. Those metal detectors really clog up the lines at SF parks.

At any rate, we have SF SPs so we could skip the ticket booths and head straight for the gates. We got in a small line that had just formed, and didn't have to wait too long until they started letting us through. First however, we were serenaded by a song and dance routine by the Looney Tunes characters who were on the other side of the gates. That was rather interesting, and really helped to foster a family image for the park right from the get go. And after my very un-family experience at the last SF park I went to (SFGAdv), that was nice to see.

After we were let in the park, we headed towards the DC Comics section of the park. We were stopped with a large group by a security guard who hearded us together at the corner until his watch said 10:00. I say his watch, because I think everybody else's including mine read 10:00 before his. He was pretty cool though, talking with the guests and telling jokes. His jokes were admittedly bad, but at least he was being friendly. Finally we were allowed to head back into the park, after being reminded to walk in an orderly fashion. My wife and I did that... until we were around the bend! ;-)

First stop of the day was Mr. Freeze, which was the ride I had been most anticipating riding. I really like launch coasters, and like the backwards element of the Batman & Robin: The Chiller. Plus, the straight up shot was neat looking. We wove through the lengthly queues, and onto the island formed by the Thunder River. While it wasn't dreary like it was at WOF the day before, it was still a little chilly out, so we knew we wouldn't be riding that ride.

Back to Mr. Freeze. We were able to walk right into the station, and secure the first seat of the second car. We were going to be on the first ride of the day! Not having ever rode the ride before, I wasn't sure quite what to expect, and was thinking the gate in front of us must open before we launch. But then we slid away from the queues, and in front of a long blast tunnel. So that's how it goes! I thought that was a pretty neat feature, and really helps to keep things moving so they can have two train operation.

Within moments, we rocketed down the tunnel, past the flashing lights, and out into the sunlight. Straight up we went, and over, and then straight down. Next came an overbanked turn, and we headed up the vertical spike. Coming back down was great, and doing the ride in reverse was quite a blast, not being able to see what was coming. We got off the ride energized, and ready for the day, keyed up by the thrilling experience. My wife hadn't even know what kind of ride it was until we were on the ride and shifted into launch position, so it really caught her by surprise! We both wanted to get right back on, and we did, riding in the front this time, which was even better. That first ride of the day, turned out to be the last time we rode any ride in any seat other than the front. It was a great day, with minimal waits.

We rode Mr. Freeze one more time later in the day, and they were operating both trains this time. We chose to go down the left side lane, which was a good choice as it was much shorter. The ride was great once again, and was my favorite ride there.

Here's a rundown of the rest of the rides, and the approximate order in which we rode them:

Scooby Doo Ghostblasters:

My wife is a big Scooby Doo fan, and we missed getting on this ride when we were in SF:FT, so we wanted to be sure and ride it today. The wait wasn't long, under 10 mins., and we were on our boats in no time. The ride was fun, and I liked the element of being on water, which really made it different than MIB and Buzz Lightyear. It was much less of a challenge then those, especially MIB, but still fun nonetheless. At the end I felt bad for totally wasting my wife in points, and for all the times I stole things on her side. Oh well! ;-)

Xcalibur:

From the time we saw this ride spinning high over the trees while walking towards Mr. Freeze, we were eager to ride this new attraction. As I mentioned in my WOF trip report, my wife and I both like flats, and she especially does. So this just looked ultra cool! The line wasn't too bad, we only had to wait one cycle to ride, and it was between 10 and 15 mins. The ride is hard to describe in words, but it was really wild. From the strong G's it pulls while still on the ground, to the view from 113 ft. above the people in the queues below, it was a great experience, and an intense ride. However, after getting off, my wife felt a little disoriented, and like her head had been tossed into a washer. It was certainly a powerful ride, and one time was enough.

The Boss:

Making our way to the back of the park, it was time to challenge this behemoth woodie. As we began the ascent up through the lengthy line queue, we noticed to exciting layout of the coaster all around us. Once again, I really appreciated the beauty of the park, and the woodsy setting that just seemed to engulf this back part of the park. We pretty much walked up into the station, and got in line for the front. In no time, we were strapped in, and heading out of the station. Total wait time was maybe 15 mins. at most. I didn't have any idea what to expect from this ride, other than that it was fairly new, and the layout looked impressive from what I could see. Well, I was really blown away by the sheer speed that I felt while whipping over the more than 5,000 feet of track. It sure felt like the fastest woodie I've ever been on, and was a tremendous rush sitting in the front. However, I had my hands up the whole ride, and was really jerked around quite a bit. That aspect took away from some of my ability to enjoy the ride, and I determined to try and correct that with my second ride.

That ride didn't come until later in the day, in the mid-afternoon when we were winding down our visit. We made it back to the immense, wooded lair of The Boss, and found a longer wait than our first time. It was backed up to the wooden bridge over the Go-Karts, and ended up being about a 20 min wait for the front seat. The sun was now out, and it was quite hot just standing out on that raised wooden bridge. As we started up the lift hill again, I formulated my plan of attack this time around: capitalize and enjoy the speed, but still get good airtime over hills with my hands up. I did this by having my arms up whenever I went over a hill, and then grabbing the metal rails that formed the front of the train whenever the ride was speeding through the rest of the course. I normally never hold on, but in this instance, it was a benefit. The ride was awesome riding it this way, as there was very little jerking around, and great speed and airtime. My wife, who hadn't really liked the ride the first time around, also enjoyed it more this second time. In the end I thought it was a great woodie, and definitely the fastest I've ever been on.

Screamin' Eagle:

I wasn't sure what to expect when getting onto this old wooden classic. Some of these old woodies are good, others are not so good. At any rate, we piled into the front seat, and away we went. To make a long story short, let me just say wow! That was a great old woodie, and one of the best wooden coasters I've ridden. My wife also really loved it, and it was her fav. ride at the park. Combined with The Boss, and then TimberWolf the day before at WOF, I had now rode three of my favorite wooden coasters all in the matter of a couple days. The only one I would still rank above them is the great Shivering Timbers, and Rebel Yell backwards is also a great ride. But I was really impressed with the quality of the wooden coasters during my visit to Missouri.

Back to the Screamin' Eagle. It was a great out and back "L" shaped coaster, which gave lots of airtime and also had very good speed. It was just a very enjoyable wooden coaster, and enjoyable coaster period. We immediately rode the ride again after the first time, front seat once again. Both times the ride was basicaly walk on. We came back later and hit the ride a third time, last thing before we left the park. That time, the wait was more like 10 mins., but still not bad, and once again a great ride in the front. So the Screamin' Eagle would have to go down as the most pleasant surprise of the day.

River King Mine Train:

Not a great ride, but not a bad mine train coaster. Definitely better than the Mine Ride at CP, as much as I hate to diss my former favorite coaster (many years ago I assure you! ;-). The last drop into the tunnel was a nice surprise and sealed the deal in making the coaster enjoyable. Wait time was between 5 and 10 minutes, and once again the front was the seat of choice.

Ninja:

In my last trip report about WOF, I went into a little perspective on these kind of steel coasters, how there were only a few that were really anything anymore. This is not one of them. Easily the worst coaster in the park, though not as rough as TGASM at SF:GAdv thankfully. Our wait was maybe 5 mins., so at least we didn't wait long. OE at WOF definitely was better in our opinion.

Batman - The Ride:

There's not a whole lot to say about this coaster, as it is a very common and cloned SF coaster. I do have to say however, that the line queue and station setup was nicer than the other two Batman's I've ridden, in GA and GAdv. Those seemed so crowded and dingy, while the extensive queue in the tree lined and grassy area at StL was quite nice. Even the birds were chirping so sweetly! ;-) The ride itself seemed a little different than the others, but I could be wrong. It was a nice ride, although I still rank the Batmans behind Alpengeist, Raptor, Montu, and DD in the inverted category. The wait was the longest of our day, and was still only 25 mins. for the front.

Other rides we rode:

Ice Mountain Splash, Shazaam!, Joker Inc., Highland Fling, Rush Street Flyer, and I rode Tom's Twister.

We had a great day at the park, and it seemed very leisurely and relaxed. We were able to ride everything we wanted as much as we wanted and in the front every time. Longest wait was 25 mins., and the park was very nicely arranged. I would say this is probably my favorite SF park in terms of atmosphere and environment (that I've visited), although SF:FT comes close just for the sheer uniqueness of being built in an old gravel pit. It was a very enjoyable visit, and as we left at 4:30 for the 8hr. trip back home, we were very pleased with both of our days in Missouri, and glad we made the long drive out.

+0
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:55 PM
Your feeling was right, the SFStL Batman is different from all the others. It's a mirror image.
------------------
Cake or Death?
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...