Six Flags America - October 25 and 26

Monday, October 27, 2014 5:29 PM

[URL][IMG]With roller coaster season in the Northeast about to end, I decided to borrow my dad’s car and take a trip to Six Flags America, a park I’d never visited. From comments about this park on CB and a recent episode of violence, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but things could not possibly have gone any better.

First of all, getting into the park is a two-in-one deal. At other Six Flags parks I have had to first go through a metal detector and then go through a second queue to have my season pass scanned. At this one the metal detector and pass scanning are done at the same time. Secondly, I was greeted by a team member who said that if there was anything I needed, just ask. Thirdly, this park is very good value compared to other Six Flags parks. My gold FlashPass – I decided that I was going to need one in order to make the most of my visit – cost only $35 as opposed to the $65 I would have had to pay at my home park, Great Adventure. Also, I was delighted to discover that in lieu of the bulky devices in use at other Six Flags parks I’ve visited, SFA uses a simple wristband that can be scanned throughout the park to reserve rides. What an improvement!

It was a given that my first rides of the day would be on Superman, as there’s nothing I like better than long drops. And I did think that the first drop was pretty spectacular. I started out in the front row, which offered some nice hangtime, but then switched to the back and remained there b/c the airtime was so much better. All in all, I liked this ride a lot but of of all the Intamin hypers/megas/ gigas I’ve ridden, this is the first one that didn’t completely blow me away, for two reasons: 1) I thought that the helixes were too long; and 2) I found the restraints uncomfortable. The lap bars are connected to a metal pole with a sort of T-bar that has plastic pads designed to rest against the shins. These are hard plastic and they hurt at moments of airtime, so I tried to keep my legs as far away from them as possible.

Never a fan of unconventional riding positions, I was skeptical about Batwing but because it’s easily accessible from Superman’s exit, I decided to get it over with. This is where the FlashPass came in handy, as there was a line and only one train running. I wanted to get a photo of myself on the train tilted backwards – just to prove to my non coaster enthusiast friends that I would do something this crazy - so asked someone who was waiting in line to take one and email it to me; he was happy to oblige. So there I was, ready for dispatch and so heavily restrained that I might as well have been in a suit of armor except that the chest restraints were soft plastic. OK, lie back and relax; maybe take a nap. Anyway, much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this ride for both the elements and the novelty. The highlights of the ride for me were the vertical loop and consecutive in-line twists. My first Flying Dutchman and the only Vekoma coaster I’ve ridden that I actually liked. Reride! (I've been having an awful time trying to insert photos so will try to share the link: http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a521/bobbie1137/batwing1_zpsbce04d8c.jpg

Next up was Joker’s Jinx. The launch was a blast and one of the ride ops was a real tease, telling the riders that he was going to count backwards from 20 but of course we never got to zero; the train took off somewhere inbetween. I thought that this was not only a really fun ride but exceptionally smooth and the final inversion was awesome. So this coaster never made it higher than 115 in Mitch Hawker’s steel coaster poll. So what? I like it.

I had a feeling that Roar was going to be better than Wild One so decided to tackle it next. I was not disappointed. This coaster seemed to have a lot of momentum and surprisingly, was not especially rough for a woodie. I liked it so much that I stayed in my back seat for several consecutive rides.

Wild One was, in a word, meh. It didn’t have much to recommend it and was rougher than Roar.

I didn’t do Mind Eraser b/c I’d ridden that at Six Flags New England and thought it was a ride from hell. And I didn’t do Apocalypse b/c I don’t do standup coasters. Nor did I hang around for Fright Fest events. I returned to the park the next day for a couple of hours for repeat rides on Superman, Batwing, Joker’s Jinx and Roar (no Flash Pass needed that early in the day) before embarking on the three-hour drive back to Pennsylvania. Six Flags America is a nice, clean, well-run little park and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit it. [/URL]

Last edited by Bobbie1951, Monday, October 27, 2014 7:10 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 7:07 PM

Nice TR. I also find the helices on S:RoS to be a lot of wasted track. I mean, at least on SFNE's one of them is slight inclined and they're both 360 as opposed to 540. Still, both SFA's and DL's S:RoS clones are great rides.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:33 PM

I have never been to SF America yet, I always wondered if it was worth driving past SF Great Adventure. Thanks for your first hand opinions, I might have to reconsider next season.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 2:03 PM

ApolloAndy said:

Nice TR. I also find the helices on S:RoS to be a lot of wasted track. I mean, at least on SFNE's one of them is slight inclined and they're both 360 as opposed to 540. Still, both SFA's and DL's S:RoS clones are great rides.

you get some awesome air entering and exiting both helix's in bizarro's spaghetti bowl.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 2:48 PM

You only get air entering the first if you ride in front. Otherwise, it's just kind a of swooping dive.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3:33 PM

You should try Apocalypse even though I've never ridden it i heard that if you are not a guy it doesn't hurt. ;)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 5:42 PM

Nice report, Bobbie.

But you know I'm going to say something about your shirt, right?...
:-)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 10:44 AM

I really enjoyed Wild One. I much preferred it over Roar actually, and I got a ton of airtime from the back seat. However, Roar is a nice ride. Pretty smooth for wood, good duration, pretty comfy seats...it doesn't really rank for me, but I enjoy it.

Mind Eraser in the front is damn near enjoyable. Anywhere else? Yeah, not so much.

I too enjoy the Vekoma flyer (for a flyer). I don't enjoy the restraints though. I feel very unsafe and like I'm sliding out of the bottom. It is more an exercise in terror to ride that.

You're totally right about Superman's restraints. Blech! They hurt, and I can completely understand where someone could easily get tossed if they just happened to sit slightly incorrectly.

I disliked SFA my first visit due to the lame ops and disorganization of the park. My last trip (this summer) was a totally different animal. I had a stellar half-day there and would go back in a heartbeat. The staff was enthusiastic, friendly, helpful, and pleasant. The park was very clean and well-maintained, and there were no more random roller coaster parts sitting in a field. Six Flags Really made some minor but much-needed improvements in the past few years.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:19 PM

I have a new personal coasterBuzz policy to not comment about a SF park. I will not do it. I just wanted to comment on the Batman Flyer...

I agree with Bunky's description. I feel the same way. Vekoma Flyers are the only kind of coaster that truly terrifies me. I love the layout and I really like the idea of a track that can ride above and below the track, but the restraints do not feel safe to me. I know that they really are safe, but while I am on the rides, some kind of phobia takes over and I can't convence myself that I am safe.

I often try to get over the fear by just riding them when they are available. It never seems to work. The ride seems to last forever, and I am so happy to get beck to the station.

Nice TR, by the way. The park is looking good from when I used to go. I wish you could figure out how to get more photos on here, because adding photos to a TR is the awesome new future of CoasterBuzz. It should be a requirement! ;)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 1:10 PM

I always thought Wild One was a close second to Superman as the best coaster in the park (haven't ridden the latter with the dumb new restraints, though).

Batwing's restraints didn't make me feel unsafe; it's the riding position that's uncomfortable, and that along with the complete underwhelming nature of the flyer makes it a below-average experience.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:10 PM

Over the years, I've heard MANY comments from old-timers about how Wild One was "completely butchered"in the move to MD. As good as it runs *as is*, I can't fathom what a great ride it must have once been. I love it!

Read many reports about Roar having gotten rough over the last few years -been so long now I have only vague memories of what was once a very highly-regarded ride (by me at least).

As for Superman - I stopped asking for Intamin chain-lift hypers after begging for them for a decade or so...if someone else wants to pick up the torch, I'll gladly pass it.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:49 PM

Wild One and SROS always competed for my favorite ride at the park back when I lived in the area and spent most of my free time there. Wild One had multiple moments of solid airtime, a great finale with loads of laterals, was super smooth especially considering its age, and best of all never had much, if any, wait. I loved that ride.

SROS is worth riding multiple times if only for the epic third hill. Easily among the best moments of airtime of any ride out there I've been on. Its unfortunate incidents involving other Intamin hypers resulted in them installing less comfortable restraints, I still think its a great ride, though.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:53 PM

On the subject of photos, this may have been due to one of the many irregularities of my home PC but when I clicked on insert image I got no option for inserting an image. The only option that came up was insert image url and b/c the pix came right off my camera, the only way to get an URL was to take an extra step and upload them onto Photobucket. This is probably not the way it was supposed to work.

I agree that Wild One offers a lot of airtime - the train was really hopping over the bunny hills! - but it didn't do much for me b/c I've reached the age (63, yikes!) at which I can no longer tolerate being bounced around that much.

Roar reminded me of another GCI coaster I like, Thunderhead.

As to the restraints on Batwing, I have rarely felt so secure. I could feel them pressing on my chest while the train was loading but once it got going I didn't notice them. Whether the riding position is uncomfortable is I think dependent upon the height of the rider. I didn't find it uncomfortable but a guy with whom I rode Superman did. A tall person with long legs is more likely to find it uncomfortable due to the position of the knees.

Thanks again for the car, Dad!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 4:59 PM

rollergator said:

Over the years, I've heard MANY comments from old-timers about how Wild One was "completely butchered"in the move to MD. As good as it runs *as is*, I can't fathom what a great ride it must have once been. I love it!

Never visited Paragon, so I have no idea if it was butchered in the move, but I do know it was butchered over the years sometime during the transition from Wild World to Six Flags (drops and turnaround reprofiled and such). As good as it is now, it was insane back in '86.*

(*February and a special number)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 8:59 PM

Capitalize said:

Its unfortunate incidents involving other Intamin hypers resulted in them installing less comfortable restraints, I still think its a great ride, though.

IIRC, SFA's ejected a rider as well. (And if I really recall correctly, he walked away from the incident).

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Friday, October 31, 2014 1:57 AM

Capitalize said:

SROS is worth riding multiple times if only for the epic third hill. Easily among the best moments of airtime of any ride out there I've been on.

Just wanted to second this.

You ride SROS at SFA for THE airtime hill.

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Friday, October 31, 2014 6:01 AM

Roar is definitely more vibrate-y than Lightning Racer (I haven't ridden a lot of GCI work, but LR is one of the smoothest woodies I've ridden, so I use it as my base for comparison, especially between other GCIs), but it has gotten some track work from what I remember, and it still remains decent as a result. I actually thought while riding it, "huh...Six Flags maintains this one pretty well". Definitely a pleasant surprise.

Last edited by bunky666, Friday, October 31, 2014 6:02 AM
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Friday, October 31, 2014 9:45 AM

I have ridden both Roars, SFA in 2012 and SF Discovery Kingdom in 2005. Roar SFDK is far superior with it's Millennium Flyer trains over Roar SFA and it's PTC trains. IMO the trains make all the difference.

Can anyone think of another pair of clones that have difference trains?

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Friday, October 31, 2014 11:31 AM

Well, there are a couple of Boomerangs and SLCs that updated their trains...

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Friday, October 31, 2014 2:14 PM

I love Wild One. Awesome coaster. The first drop gets steeper after it begins...

Inserting photos... I think you need a place to link it to, like Photobucket. That's what I do. I don't know how you would make it work without doing it that way.

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