Six Flags America = Six Thumbs Down !

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Monday, August 20, 2001 12:54 PM
 Last Saturday (8-18-01), my family and I went to Six Flags America.  I was really excited about going, but never had a park experience like this before.  Please note that the following review contains my own opinions and comments.  We're from Pennsylvania and happened to be in the area for the weekend so a trip to SFA was planned.  After  paying the rather expensive $9.00 to park our car we headed for the gate.  I used my own scale to rate different characteristics at SFA.  With a "1" being poor, and a "5" being excellent.  So here it goes:

- ATTRACTIONS = 3+ The rides at SFA are really cool...when you're on them and not in line !  I highly enjoyed Superman-Ride of Steel, and "ROAR"  I did not get a chance to ride "Batwing" because it wasn't working at the time.  However, lines were rather long for most attractions (as was expected for a Saturday).  A lot of other attractions were also closed for whatever reasons.

- STAFF = 2- The staff at SFA seemed very slow, unhappy, unfriendly, rude, and careless.  Nobody wanted to work there it seemed, and the park appeared to be under-staffed.  Lines were long also because it took the operators *forever* to load, check the restraints, and dispatch.  We waited for 10 mins on ROAR inside the station, while the other train sat on the break run.  Also, the employees don't seem to switch working stations.  The same operator that worked on "Iron Eagle" was there the whole day, or from what I could tell seemed to be the whole day.  So of course the staff is going to get tired ! SFA should switch them around more often so they don't get bored, as is standard in other parks.  On "Mind Eraser" the operators don't even talk about safety before dispactching the train, only give a simple "Goodbye."  The staff didn't seem to be trained how to communicate well with the guests. 

- CLEANLINESS = 1- Of all the parks I've been to, SFA ranks the lowest as far as cleanliness goes.  It was *disgusting*.  The station on "The Joker's Jinx" was a disaster zone with cups, and even beer bottles on the sides.  While in line for "The Mind Eraser" I looked over the edge and saw what appeared to be a landfill.  Cups, paper, and other debris was literally piled so much that I couldn't even see the ground at one point.  Where is the EPA on this one?  The bathrooms were also unkept.  Granted, the park seems to have to cope with a large ammount of guests (since it's in such a prime location) but why don't they hire more people then to clean up the park at least?  Perhaps they were under-staffed or something, but the ammount of trash was shocking for an amusement park.

- FOOD =3.5+ The little food that I did taste was good, just  expensive as usual.

- OVERALL = 3.0- I'll be honest, when I was on the attractions I had a good time, but a poor staff, unclean park (which is supposed to reflect upon how well they take care of their rides), and some other "bugs" made the stay uncomfortable.  I did feel the park was over-rated.  Perhaps we just came on a bad day ! They have lots of great rides, and a great location, just need to work on some issues...especially the appearance. 

You gotta love the signs "HUSS Maschinenfabrik, BREMEN, W. Germany" and "Made By Zamperla"

Monday, August 20, 2001 12:59 PM
You should see all of the gum behind the Mind Eraser station at SFEG.

"Duff Man Says... Ohhhhh Yaaaaa!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)

Monday, August 20, 2001 1:40 PM
I'll have to take a closer look at the "landfill" by Mind Eraser as I've never really noticed that. As for the "safety spiels", I've seen times on Joker's Jinx where they say NOTHING, not even the ubiquitous "Clear?". Granted the cat looked up and they gave the hand signals, but it was kinda strange nevertheless.

As for the 'rotations', they have rotated during the year, but they were likely REALLY short staffed that day (not an excuse, just a reason).

But as for rating the park as "average" overall, I wholehartedly agree. I LOVE the rides, but some of the other stuff could be better.
--who ran into one of the Two Face "Femi-nazis" on Mind Eraser Saturday (8-18)

Monday, August 20, 2001 3:18 PM
Wow, I feel like I slipped over to the dark side (I'm a season pass holder and I'm there once a week), but I have to agree with the above report after my visit yesterday. I agree that many of the employees just don't seem to care. One guy on S:ROS kept socializing with the control op every time the train came back into the station, instead of helping people get situated and checking lapbars. The other guy was no better and he sat on the train's nose every time the train came into the station. It was taking 3-4 minutes to dispatch trains. Normally, the park isn't that trashy, but yesterday it looked like a landfill in some areas. I did however see one person cleaning in Gotham City and that area didn't look too bad. What it all boils down to is what everyone else has been saying; they have some great rides, but it's all going to waste with the ride operations and lack of rides being open. The sad thing is that the closed rides work! They just don't have anybody to work them. It they can't get decent help from the community, then maybe it's time they look into hiring foreign exchange students like Hersheypark and Great Adventure. Things have got to improve, and in a big way. I'm supposed to take my friend and his kids there on Friday, and I think I'm changing my mind.
Monday, August 20, 2001 4:35 PM
Yikes, I hope I haven't started something with my 8/14 trip report! SFA can be such a great park, with lots of potential to be a major player. It seems, however, that it always has a steep downturn in quality near the end of the season, moreso than other parks. Hiring foreign students would be a great idea. They'd probably work a lot harder than most of the local kids anyway.

Joshua Wilcox
Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001 6:00 PM
Actually SFA already does employ some exchange students that work in the park during the season. The park does seem to suffer from a lack of employees near the end of the season. I guess this is because some of the college kids go back to school near the end of August.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001 8:59 AM
Hey I-Fan, let's put it this way. You know I'm @ SFA about once a week. I'm also a pass holder to PKD. My parents (also park fiends) are coming out this weekend and guess what park I'm taking them too..that's right! HERSHEYPARK! I'm just not up to subjecting mes parents to what will amount to a crap shoot @ SFA.

Sad aint it?

"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01

Wednesday, August 22, 2001 12:31 PM
Okay... now this has got me thinking....

My wife and I have off on Friday and were were planning on going to a park.

The three possibilities are Hersheypark, Knoebels, and Six Flags America.

We both love Hershey and have already been there this year... this is also a 40 minute drive so we could do that some evening (what few evenings remain)... we are also planning on going there for Hersheypark in the Dark (with limited rides running)

I love Knoebels, and have not been there this season... but there are a few weekends left for Knoebels and this park never gets that crowded (compared to other larger parks).

Neither of us have been to Six Flags America, and I am looking forward to experiencing some new coasters (especially Superman, Roar, and Wild One).

With those three things kept in mind, we were seriously considering Six Flags America. However, in light of this report, I am not sure now. Perhaps another Hershey trip (followed by Knoebels on one of the few remaining weekends).

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

Wednesday, August 22, 2001 1:08 PM
If you have never been to Six Flags America, then I would recommend going.  It might not be the greatest park in America, but I have been there twice this year and enjoyed myself both times.  The coasters are truly fantastic though, especially S:ROS, Roar, and Batwing and I would go for those rides alone.
Joe Cernelli
Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Wednesday, August 22, 2001 1:31 PM
If you are talking about THIS Friday, then I actually *do* suggest SFA. Why? This will be one of the few days left that SFA is open late. You do NOT want to miss the chance to ride S:ROS in the complete dark! Only Beast and Raven are better night rides (well The Legend is better than anything night or day, but I digress). Batwing in the dark aint bad either. But S:ROS at night rules. Heck, if my parents were going to be in town *I* would go just for the night rides.

Who am I kidding? I *still* might :)
--who thinks he still has some bring a friend free coupons around...

Thursday, August 23, 2001 7:20 AM
SFA is the worst park I have ever been to! I mean, have you seen the Mind Eraser queue line? The ride ops are slow, the whole park is dirty, and every trash can is full! I went when Batwing wasn't open yet but I have been on X-Flight. S:RoS was the only thing that attracted me, and maybe Roar.

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