Six Flags America 7/31

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 3:29 PM
I took a trip the past few days to Washington, D.C., and on Tuesday, decided to go to Six Flags America - without a car! You might think that would be impossible, but the D.C. area has a great public transit system. The hotel I was staying in was a block from the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro station. I went down the LONG escalators, which took several minutes to descend. I caught the Red Line train toward the city center, where I transferred to a Blue Line train towards Largo at Metro Center. On the platform, I ran into a young lady wearing one of those distinctive Six Flags employee shirts that say "...Because my family goes here too!" on the back, also headed where I was going.

Now in Largo, Marlyand at the end of the Blue Line, I wait for the metrobus, along with more SFA employees, and about 30 minutes later, I walk with many of them toward the park (and realizing I saved good money taking Metro because of the $15 parking fee). The front gate was playing the "We Like To Party!" song (the one in the Mr. Six commercials) along with "general announcements" and an ad for the Marines.

Going in was a breeze, and the main gate plaza was open all the way down to the end by the theater, where the opening show was going on, featuring Bugs and Daffy. This is a sign that Six Flags is serious about family entertainment and having a good time. They are also serious about not only cleanliness, but having a smoke free park. Right at the front gate, employees were wearing buttons about the policy - and an announcement made prior to the park officially opening saying that smoking outside of designated areas is cause for removal from the park. I'd like to see my home park, Kings Island, try this!

I last visited SFA in 2004, when Superman: Ride of Steel was closed due to the incident at SFNE, and Batwing broke down before I could ride. This time, Batwing was open, and S:ROS was almost ready. I grabbed a locker for my valuables next to ROS, and headed for Batwing, got the second train of the morning (1 train op), front row. It turned out to be good, even though I had ridden the relocated and repainted Firehawk two days earlier at KI.

Coming back from Batwing, S:ROS was now open, and I got on the next train, sitting in the first row of the next to-last car of the one train they were running. Wow, did this coaster ever make the trek to SFA worthwhile! This IMO has better air than Millennium Force, though MF's layout is more impressive. Next, I hit Joker's Jinx, without any wait, and got in the third car (2 train op.). I actually like this a bit more than Flight of Fear, because it's outdoors, and lacks the mid-course brake.

One ride I was hoping to do was the Typhoon Sea Coaster, and while the lifts were running, it was not open, possibly because of a stranded boat/malfunction. Walking past it, I headed for ROAR and the front seat, which delivered a fun, although a bit rough ride, as evidenced buy the passengers behind me. The SLC coaster was down, so I skipped that up. Instead, I did the third KI coaster clone, Two-Face, getting on an empty seat on the next available train, and while riding, thought that this coaster was smoother than Face/Off at KI.

Wild One was shut down briefly, so I headed for the drop tower (forget the name, it's an Intamin 2nd gen freefall, like the one at SFKK), and got on quickly. Before dropping, I could see out to Landover and FedEx Field. Wild One reopened as I got off, and I got in the first row of the last car. This old woodie actually true to its name, especially in the final helix!

Before heading back to the locker, and out of the park, I went on the Penguin's Blizzard River raft ride, which got me damp, as it was in the 90's that day. I should also note that when I asked for tap water in two occasions at concession stands, they happily gave it to me without hesitation or question. Compare that to an experience at KI two days earlier. The third time I needed water, I chose to buy a bottle of spring water on the way out of the park and to the metrobus stop. I like how SF parks sell real spring water rather than that Dasani/Aquafina stuff at Cedar Fair parks.

Overall, my experience at SFA was very diferent from 3 years ago, and it is a sign that the park, and the chain, is getting better. Cedar Fair could do a few things that their big competitor is now doing. Whether you choose to drive, or take transit, SFA is a worthwhile place to visit for coaster thrills and fun.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 3:43 PM
Nice that you had a good time, but from your TR, it sounds like they still haven't gotten certain things right. Why the 1 train op on their 2 newest coasters--Batwing and SROS? And why in the world are they still having trouble with that Seacoaster/Skull Mountain?

I'll also guess that the Tower of Doom was probably running its normal 2/3 cars, right?

Some things have improved, such as employee friendliness, but operations? This is still in serious need of work.

*** Edited 8/2/2007 7:44:13 PM UTC by rablat5***

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 3:59 PM
The report I read about Tuesday was attendance didn't really necessitate a need for two trains on Batwing and S:ROS. Everything was running with minimal lines.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 4:11 PM
If Wild One, Roar, Joker's Jinx, and Mind Eraser all run 2 trains, then I think that SROS and Batwing should run 2 trains--period. SROS is one of the most popular rides in the park, and Batwing is pretty popular, too.

If all coasters were running 1 train, and lines were still short, then that's ok.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 4:38 PM
Wild One always runs two trains if it can. I've only seen one train on the track bed in the five years I've been there.

Mind Eraser was down in both reports. I'm going to guess a motor problem, but that is a guess since one of the trains was stuck on the lift.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 6:29 PM
Wild One's transfer track is a pain to put a train on or take off of, so it's only used if they have something so wrong with a train they can't run it for awhile.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:47 PM
Did anyone hear about an accident on octopus involving a four year old falling from the ride? I've been hearing from a couple of folks that such an incident happened but havn't seen any news articles about it at all.
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