Six Flags America (5/25/2002)

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, May 28, 2002 11:40 AM
Last summer my wife and I made our first trip to SFA. Our experience was less than pleasant. We found the park to be very dirty, the ride ops to be very slow, and (worst of all in my book) Superman:Ride of Steel and Mind Eraser closed down. This past Saturday, with my wife working (and in no hurry to return to SFA), I decided to make a trip there myself.

The most painful ride of the day was the one into the parking lot. $9 to park… ouch. Anyway, after parking relatively close to the entrance, and getting in the park very quickly (most people had stacked up at the gates nearest the lot, but the ones further away… on the left as you enter… were not lined up at all) I walked straight to Superman. This time it was up and running and I the first ride of the day was a walk on near the back. What a ride! The first drop gave me the “Oh my God, I’m going to die!” factor as the train plummeted 200+ feet. I found the air on this ride to be absolutely unbelievable.

After my first lap on S:RoS, it was on to BatWing. Last year I did not think much of this coaster. However, with a very small line with both sides of the station up and running (basically a walk on if you took the path under the track and loaded on the side of the station toward Superman), my opinion of this ride jumped up a few notches. Nice that the seats recline on the lift now too. Not only is it a better “experience”, it also speeds up loading. With my fear of heights, I even managed to let go and put my hands out like I was flying. This year the ride warranted a re-ride this year.

After two turns on Batwing, it was back to Superman again, this time for a front seat ride. The air was even wilder up there! Also, the view of ROAR when you hit the top of the lift hill of Superman is great. For my third ride I grabbed a seat in the middle. Still fun, but not near as much air.

I was not really enthused about Joker’s Jinx, but I did give it one ride to see what it was like with lap bars. Not near as uncomfortable as last year, but that was about all I can say about it. Not one of my favorites, and with only one train operation, it is a very slow wait.

Leaving Gotham City with a Pepsi and a corn dog (okay… not the best lunch, but easy to eat on the run), I headed over to Wild One. I don’t know what they did to this coaster over the off season… while it was good last year, it was really running up to its name this year! Some of the air was of the “ejector seat” kind and it felt like it was running twice fast as it really was. I did not remember the lateral forces in the ending helix to be that strong. However, the sky looked like there was rain moving in, so I decided not to wait for second ride here and I started walking toward ROAR.

Of all of the GCI creations that I have ridden (ROAR, Hershey’s Wildcat and Lightning Racer, BGT’s Gwasi), this is my least favorite. Not sure what it is. The layout looks like it has potential, but yet there seems to be something lacking. Hills that look like they should produce good air, don’t. Since I was in second seat from the front, I decided to do a re-ride on the second seat from the back. Still a lack luster ride.

Next up was Mind Eraser. Okay, so it is an SLC… one of those notorious Vekoma Hang and Bangs… I found it to be a fun ride. Back seat ride on this one. Last year I got right to the air gates when Mind Eraser broke down, so I did not ride it. If I remember correctly, I thought that it had those big and bulky OTSR’s (like Joker’s Jinx had last year). This year the rests seem to be in good condition and a little less bulky (and more comfortable).

Seeing that the rain had not come after all, it was back to Wild One for another go. Front seat this time and the air was incredible. (while waiting in line, everyone was watching emergency crews on the little go cart track. It looks like two had hit almost head on. No major injuries, but one woman was being helped away with a bandaged leg).

Then it was back to Superman for two more rides. First was an out of control ride in the next to last seat, then an absolutely crazy ride in the back seat…. AIR time galore! After a stop in the gift ship at the end of the exit of Superman (and buying a Superman T-Shirt), I headed toward the front of the park again. Typhoon Sea Coaster was actually open (it was closed last year and most of the day on this day). I thought about standing in line for it, but it was 4:00pm and I had a 2 hr drive to home, my wife would be getting home from work around 6pm, and I was getting a bit worn, so I headed toward the exit.

I did notice a few things this trip compared to last year. First, possibly because it was early in the season (last year we hit it in late August), or because they are taking better care, but the park was MUCH cleaner. While none went out of their way to be friendly, the employees were at least not rude (unlike last year) and they did seem to know what they were doing. They still stacked trains on every coaster that was running two, but at least they did move faster than last year. Also, to weigh in on an old SF rumor... SFA does not have a problem with single riders in the last seats of a coaster train... I got into back seat rides by myself (Mind Eraser and Superman).

All in all, SFA put in a better showing to me than it did last year.

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 5/28/2002. ***

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Tuesday, May 28, 2002 12:04 PM
I'm glad to hear you had a good time and got to expierence Batwing at two station operation,(for some reason it's always at single station operation when I'm there)as for JJ it will improve on capacity as soon as the purple train is up and running,from what I've heard the purple train is now there but just not assembled and on the track yet.As for staffing , your'e right about the staff being a bit more guest oriented compared to last year as well as the grounds being better maintained .Too bad you didn't find Roar to be all that exciting,I for one always enjoy it.The park has great potential, now if only SF will realize that and continue to make additional improvements,a B&M would be a great way to start.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2002 5:54 PM
You weren't imagining what was happening. Wait until you read my trip report on Memorial Day. By best suggestion for really enjoying Roar is to sit in the very last row. If you don't feel you're going to be forceably ejected from the ride, then you must be tied down with an anchor.
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2002, the year the Six Flags America bashing stops.

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 5/28/2002. ***

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Tuesday, May 28, 2002 6:26 PM
I can honestly say that I love six flags america. Who wouldn't, the lines are always in a reasonable length and since i live in BALTIMORE i can travel thier for a rush. Since i have been to basically all of the amusement parks on the east coast i can say that six flags america is amoungs the best!!!

Darian

*** This post was edited by Darian on 5/28/2002. ***

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Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:09 AM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
I've heard the purple train is now there but just not assembled and on the track yet

I can verify that. from the lift hill of Superman, I could see the purple train sitting in pieces and being worked on in the area behind JJ (it looked like a few boats from the Typhoon Sea Coaster were beign worked on there as well).

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Wednesday, May 29, 2002 1:27 PM
That was the same situation with JJ's yellow train back in late april, I hope they get it up & running by next saturday(june 8th) but I won't count on it.
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