Six Flags America - 8/14/01

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, August 14, 2001 4:56 PM
Okay, I'm going to do this a little bit differently than a normal trip report. I'll break it all down into Pros and Cons.

Pros:
1) Fastpass... worked great, not to mention it's free at SFA
2) THERE IS NO NUMBER TWO

Cons:
1) We arrived there at 9:30 for the Passholder's Prime Time on Batwing. We hussle back to the ride only to find out that it's TESTING for the first 40 minutes. This should all be done prior to allowing guests to get in line. Only managed to get 2 rides from an hours wait. While that is better than normal operating hours, it's certainly not what you would expect from a so called Prime Time.
2) Superman: Ride of Steel was down the WHOLE day! This is totally unexcusable to have your premiere coaster shut down. If the closing is related to the SFNE accident, then why the heck can't you run one train? If the brakes mess up, nothing bad happens! It's just poor judgement and thinking. The Superman closing leads me to my next point...
3) Unusually long lines. When you're best ride closes, the people go somewhere else. For a Tuesday, the park was absolutely jammed. Mind Eraser, a usual walkon, was 45+ minutes. The line filled the queue and was heading back down the ramp to the ride. Wild One's queue was full as well. Two Face was an hour and a half. Crazy.
3) At about 12:00, I heard somebody say that Batwing was closed for a while. I had already gotten my fill of that for the day so it wasn't much of a deal until I realized that the lines were getting LONGER. We found ourselves moving from coaster to coaster and after looking at the lines, deciding it just wasn't worth the hour. I think it opened again at around 5:30... not sure. The fact remains, you simply CANNOT have both of your top coaster out of service.
4) Park Staff enthusiasm and professionalism was also a big disappointment. I don't usually complain about this, but I feel it is necessary. At every ride, the ride ops just looked like they would rather be anywhere but there. One op on Mind Eraser was just so deadpan it was unbelievable! I was at the exit using my fastpass ticket and he just opened the gate, took our ticket, and held up five fingers. Held up five fingers? Now, imagine if you were part of the general public who doesn't know that five fingers means sit in row five! Five fingers, is that the time I'm going to ride? Is it the number of cycles I have to wait? I'm begging, please at least speak what you are trying to communicate!
5) Food and customer service? I found neither. I went to one of the indoor restaurants that sells pizza. I picked up a plate of pizza (cold, cardboardy, and 75% tomato sauce) and proceded to get a soda.

- Soda machine #1: no ice.
- Soda machine #2: no ice.
- Soda machine #3: no ice.
- Soda machine #4: no ice.

I'm just getting started. When my dad goes to pay for it, the lady working there is unable to work the register. When the "manager" comes out to help us, he says he doesn't have some card needed to make it work. So, he goes to get one from a different restaurant. Meanwhile, I got back to the ice machines, try all four again. On #4, I get one little sliver of ice. Wahoo. There was this other lady who was rather angry at the whole situation as well. She got my friend a fresh, hot slice of pizza (after waiting like 7 minutes for it).

::end rant::

Now, I know there will be some who blast me for this trip report. There will be some who say "Stop complaining, you spoiled little punk." To those people, I say this: I love my homepark! 99% of the time, I never let this stuff bother me. Today was just such a difference than the norm. I write this with the knowledge that SFA can, has been, and will be better than it was today.

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Joshua Wilcox
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The preceding statement is false.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2001 6:21 PM
Some of the ride's due close from other parks accident, can't help that.

But seem to me they had a crapy managment...
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Tuesday, August 14, 2001 6:43 PM
You were right behind me in line today on Batwing this morning. I was wearing the Phantom's Revenge t-shirt, and I heard you complaining while in line. Why don't you talk to other enthusiasts, or two other Coasterbuzz members:)? If you had stuck around you would've seen a rare sight on Batwing-two-train operation, which I'm sure was added because of the crowds and Superman's closure. The line just kept moving. It was almost like being at Cedar Point. There was barely any stacking either. With a full queue the wait was only 50 minutes, and I got to ride in the other station. Let's see, so I got 3 rides on Batwing on a very heavy day. One of the waits was under 10 minutes, the second around 20 minutes, and the third in under 50 minutes. I wouldn't call that bad at all. (Batwing did go back to one-train operation later in the day:(). I also rode Roar 2x, Joker's Jinx 2x, The Rodeo, Typhoon Seacoaster and Renegade Rapids, by 6pm, including a 45-minute lunch break off premises. Sure it was crowded, and yes it sucks to have a major attraction down. I've read TR's and I've heard of people who went to PKD only to find Hypersonic down for the whole day. That's called life. You and I picked one of the last weeks in August, and on a nice day to boot, to go to a themepark. You should expect crowds like this. Everyone was warned at the ticket booth and also on the closed-attraction sign that Superman wouldn't be open. I did see people working on it today. They maybe making modifications that will make it a safer ride for all of us. Who knows? And Apollo 15, if you're going to insult someone, make sure you spell it right. The word is "crappy".

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Batwing-Bow Down *** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 8/14/2001. ***
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Tuesday, August 14, 2001 6:55 PM
Yeah, that was me! Nice to meet you, dude. If I see you next time I go, I'll be sure to say hi. I probably would have stuck around Batwing a little longer except that I was with A) a non enthusiast, and B) my dad, who thinks Batwing is a little hard on him. As far as Superman goes, at that point I wasn't complaining, just explaining. The complaining came after having to see it lifeless on the horizon all day long. Also, notice that I didn't mention Roar in my list of long lines? ;)

The fact of the matter is, it can be done better.

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Joshua Wilcox
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Tuesday, August 14, 2001 7:07 PM
See edit. Sorry, my browser times out, so I typed my response in two sections. It's a shame we didn't get to talk. I thought you might have been an enthusiast and also Joshua, but when you didn't talk to me about my shirt, I figured you weren't an enthusiast. Coaster t-shirts are like gang colors. How else are you going to recognize someone? I could see where I'd be frustrated with the lack of ice. I'm glad me and GoWithGravity (new buzz member) ate off the premises then today. Everyone went through Superman being down last year when the chain broke twice. We survived and we had no Batwing either back then! We'll all get through this just fine. Remember there are two more months of riding left:)

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Batwing-Bow Down
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Tuesday, August 14, 2001 7:54 PM
I guess I'm a little shy when it comes to striking up conversations. I did it twice at Kings Dominion and both times, people had just bought the shirt but weren't really enthusiasts. Anyway, I was still chatting when you guys got called up the stairs. ;)

I also thought about them working on Superman's brakes. I checked back a couple times to see what the deal was. Not once were they working on the brakes/station. Just the blue train.
To be honest, the main reason I'm a bit peeved is that my friend (who isn't an enthusiast) came with me and had been looking forward to Superman and Batwing for a while. He was first disappointed with Batwing (crazy kid), then finds out that Superman isn't running. That sorta set the tone for the day. Toss in the crazy lines for the other coasters, the poor service, unenthusiastic ride ops, and it's just a mediocre day at best.

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Joshua Wilcox
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The preceding statement is false.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 6:26 AM
Well if you had read my reports under the S:ROS accident thread started by Raven-Phile, I told every one that S:ROS was down and out. And as for running one train, sure, you wouldnt have a collision if the brakes failed, but I'd hate to barrel through the station into that small radius curve if ya know what I mean!

Anyway, you are correct in saying that the operations there are "suspect". I mean, if you "KNOW" one of your star attractions is going to be down all day, then you should be doing everything possible to get everything else running. When I went on Saturday (S:ROS closed) Batwing only ran one train in the morning and late evening (dont know about the middle of the day I left and went to work). On Sunday, I went in the late afternoon and BOTH S:ROS AND BATWING WERE CLOSED! Inexcuseable! Again, I like the park, but there needs to be a complete overhaul in operations. I'll be an SFBrat until I die, but even *I* can admitt when thing aint right...
lata,
jeremy
--who is happy that at least Arrow seems to be doing well...
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 9:24 AM
The only thing I'm pissed about is that I didn't stay to see two train operation on Batwing. Missed it AGAIN!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 9:50 AM
While I have some complaints about Six Flags, my visit to SFA ended on a surprisingly positive note. We got in line for S:RoS 10 minutes before closing time. It had been down for 45 minutes. The queue only had about 100 people in it. I asked a ride op if they expected to run it and he said yes. We waited but really didn't expect to get to ride. Twenty-five minutes later (15 minutes after closing time) they announced they would run one train for those who had waited (most had left). How cool!

One action above and beyond the call of duty like this one neutralizes at least 5 complaints in my book!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 12:31 PM
Mr. Airhead - I rarely do this, but just thought I'd comment on your report, as it was particularly well-written. Sorry to hear of your less-than-perfect day, but it did make for interesting reading (others take note - proper grammar, syntax and spelling are not always a waste of time ...).
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 4:03 PM
The reason SFA was so crowded on 14 Aug 01 was the fact that it was the Washington Post's annual picnic. Usually a mid week visit isn't that crowded. Sorry to hear you had a bad day. I usually find the park staff helpful and friendly. We have season passes and visit once or twice a week.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 7:24 PM
Well judging by your track record Rescue131,you must be a regular visitor to SFA.You visit on average once or twice a week? Man if only I were that lucky I'm only able to go only once a month and am a season pass holder as well.Is SFA your home park by any chance? It is my home park.It's nice to hear a few good compliments about the park.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2001 9:52 PM
Yes, I did see one or two Washington Post t-shirts. That would explain it. I mentioned to several people that the park was extra crowded though, and no one metioned that they were there with the Post. I just think it was a bad combination. Well, all those people hopefully mean that we'll get another attraction next year, and hopefully not anything by Vekoma (except for the Madhouse). (I love Batwing, but hate the breakdowns:(

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Batwing-Bow Down
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 11:28 AM
I couldn't agree more.
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 12:44 PM
I went to SFA when it was closed to the public thanks to my parents knowning the CEO's of a company that was investing in the SF chain. I was so excited that there was only going to be 1000 people there and the whole park would be open. I was a little dissapointed when I got there because some of the park wasn't open. That didn't matter because S:ROS was open as well as Batwing and others, right? Wrong. Batwing was closed and S:ROS broke down upon our arrival. I was so dissapointed. We did get to ride Roar about 8 times in an hour but that didn't make up for it. This wasn't meant to be a trip report, just another example on the unreliability of the two main attractions at SFA.
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 12:59 PM
You bring up a good point, though. The Roar crew has done an amazing job every time I've been there. As Intamin Fan pointed out, even during the heaviest days like the one I went on, they kept the lines really short. The rest of the park should takes some serious notes.

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Joshua Wilcox
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The preceding statement is false.
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 3:44 PM

Intamin Fan said:
[Well, all those people hopefully mean that we'll get another attraction next year, and hopefully not anything by Vekoma (except for the Madhouse). (I love Batwing, but hate the breakdowns:(
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Batwing-Bow Down"

Rob do you know what I was sayin in the SROS line eralyer this year! Vekoma = BIG DOWN TIME! ;)
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Cameron Willis
Dr. Doolittle 2: "So young, so angry. Damn that rap music!"
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 3:54 PM
Batwing Fan SFA, Yes, this is my home park, and I'm proud of it. We all know there are problems from time to time, but all in all it's a great park. I also hope that more rides are added for next year. There is so much potential for the park. *** This post was edited by Rescue131 on 8/16/2001. ***
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Thursday, August 16, 2001 9:23 PM
Well Cameron, Superman hasn't been doing very well either this year. I've been there many days when it's gotten stuck on the lift etc. Explain that one. I will defend Batwing though by saying that I've ridden it everyday I've been at the park since it opened (I'm there once a week). And Hypersonic XLC has been as equally prone to breakdowns. Welcome to the modern world of coasters. As the parks keep building more and more complex rides, this will be our future.

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Batwing-Bow Down
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Friday, August 17, 2001 7:36 AM
I too hope for more rides next season. preferably another coaster.And yes there is great potential for the park as long as they keep adding more great rides like they have in recent years.
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