Six Flags America First time!! 8/12/09

Monday, August 17, 2009 2:15 AM

This was my first ever trip to Six Flags America and my first park visit of the year. The plan was for me and my friend to visit this park and Great Adventure the next day. I am still planning on going to my home park of SFNE this year so it was worth getting the season passes. It costs 49.99 at America and 99.99 at Great Adventure for the same Season pass! ( minus the small differences in the coupon book) How ridiculous is that discrepancy!! So as any half intelligent person would do, we were going to America before Great Adventure for obvious reasons! My friend lives about 2 hours from SFA and 90 minutes from SFGADV so things worked out nicely, once I got down to his house the day before.

The arrival Wednesday 8/12/09.

We arrived at the park around 1pm. This park must have a small parking lot or something because it was full, or at least all the spots before the additional ones had to be used were full, but the park was absolutely dead! I haven’t seen a park of this size this dead since BG Tampa over ten years ago!

Roar 7/10
After processing the season passes, we heading for Roar first thing, and grabbed a front row seat with a short 10 minute wait or so. I was really looking forward to this ride especially after seeing some highlights of its sister in SFDK on TV. The ride was interesting. It was far more of a twister than I thought, and it produced all right airtime. I was thinking it will be better at night in the back row.

Another nice thing about this ride was that I wasn't forced to use a locker! So once we got off the ride, my friend and I wasted time by going to other rides only to find out that lockers are required for all the rest of the rides worth going on. So we walked back to the car and put all the loose belongings away. I really had my hopes up for a minute that SFA might be the one speical Six Flags Park that didn’t carry this disgusting policy, but I guess I was just being fooled while waiting in line for Roar.

By the time we got the season passes, went on Roar, and walked back and forth from the car 1.5 hours had passed and it was 2:30. I thought the park was closing at 10, but apparently it was 8; so we really only had 6 hours or so. Thank God the park was dead! The longest wait we had was probably no more than 25 minutes!

7/10 Tower of Doom
I liked it; it was fun and had no wait! The weightlessness feeling was short but fantastic. These rides don’t have to be 250 feet to be fun.

Wild One 6/10
This ride also had zero wait! I took a back seat ride. The back seat of this thing might be the most intense wooden coaster experience I’ve ever had, and yes that includes the dreaded Mean Streak.

Falling Star 5/10
It looked interesting from the station while waiting for Roar, but the ride was not nearly as fun as it looked. Almost felt more like an observation ride.

Tower of Doom 7/10
Why not one more ride; when there is a 1 minute wait!

Wild One 6/10
I think I may have waited 5 minutes for the front. The front was fun, and not nearly as intense as the back

My friend decided to pay 4 bucks and enter a food eating contest that apparently the park does everyday at 4 pm. He did well finishing in 2nd place after losing in the tiebreaker; I got there just in time after eating at subway.

Superman Ride of Steel 8.5/10

My home park is SFNE and its just one hour from my house. I've never been to Darien Lake before while this was my trip to SFA: so you all know what that means! I am well aware of all the glamour and fame the one in my home park gets and all the bashing the other two get. In fact, I bet a lot of you guys would probably think that I shouldn't even bother with this version. But I was interested and finally it was time for me to find out for myself just how unique the Massachusetts one was after being on it a billion times and never either of the other two. We had about a 20 minute wait for the back seat. The same seat I almost always sit on when back home. The first thing I noticed was the really small queue. It was nothing like the one at SFNE; maybe half the size with no theming and SFA is about the same size as SFNE too. That was a deduction in my book. I noticed a lot of laughter and screaming when the ride hit the breaks maybe 90% of the amount you get with the NE version so that got me excited.

Ok onto the ride.
First, for some reason I really liked how the coaster did a 180 before going up the lift hill. That was one of the few things that I really liked more about this version. The first drop was fun and exciting, but it completely pails in comparison to SFNE’s version with the underground tunnel. For the rest of the ride I was very impressed actually. Don’t get me wrong though, The SFNE is undoubtedly better, but this version has some tricks of its own up its sleeves. I was really impressed with the helixes. I found them to sustain the high G forces for longer than the SFNE version. The excessive use of flat track also was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It did not kill the ride like I thought it would, but it didn't help either. This ride also gave a lot of low to the ground speed elements that the SFNE version lacks a bit. On the other hand, the SFNE one has more airtime, better pacing, and just quite frankly has more to it. The SFA one seemed a bit short in comparison. . So once again a great ride, but not as good as the SFNE version.

Batwing 7.5/10 2x
We had a 25 minute wait for the front seat followed by a 10 minute wait for the back seat. I was really excited for this ride. I have been on SFGADV’s SUF a bunch, but this was Vekoma. There certainly seems to be a lot of pluses and minuses when comparing the Vekoma and B&M versions. First off, In terms of being comfortable, I hated the Vekoma restraints, B&M has them beet by a mile here. I honestly almost thought it was hard to breathe with the Vekoma restraints. Now as for the ride itself, I prefer this over SUF. I found going up the lift hill backwards a lot cooler. Batwing had really intense elements. I also felt like the downward forces while in the flying position were a lot stronger on Batwing. It felt a lot more vulnerable too. So overall, I loved the ride. I just wish the restrains didn’t constrict you the way they do. I definitely prefer the layout to the Vekoma version over the B&M; this coming from someone who has not been on Tatsu though.

Mind Eraser 4.5/10
This was a literal walk on for the back seat, but unfortunately it was easy to tell why. What a jerky ride! This ride wasn’t any better than the one at SFNE. Once was enough for it; just enough to get the credit.

Roar 7.5/10
We had about a 2 minute wait for the back seat this time. The ride definitely was better in the back and later on in the day, but still not quite what I was hoping for. If only I could have ridden this full train and after dark.

Jokers Jinx 7.5/10 2x

We first got a back seat ride with a zero minute wait, followed by a 10 minutewait for the front seat. There was a concert going on while we were in the park by Flo Rida that we did take a quick look at on the way to Jokers Jinx. We later found out that Flo Rida followed us to SFGADV the next day. It was easy to tell that the concert ended when the ride went from no wait to a 10 minute wait in no time.

Anyways,I knew when I came to this park that this was going to be the ride to best replace the Chiller. The ride has a similar launch and goes upside down with only a lap bar. I truly enjoyed this ride. It was nice to go upside and be worried free of banging my head. Now if only it could have replaced the backwards barrel roll on the Chiller. That was the single greatest inversion I’ve ever been on! Regardless this still was a super ride though!

Superman Ride of Steel 8.5/10
We ended the day with one more back seat ride on Ride of Steel. We had probably a 25 minute wait or so. And the only reason it was that long was because it broke down. It was just like the first ride absolutely awesome, and it was just one of those rides that I didn’t want to end! Looking back on it, I think I’m going to rank this ride just outside my top ten steel at #11. Kennywoods’ Phantoms Revenge has a very slight edge on this coaster in my book barely holding onto the #10 spot. SROS at SFNE is #5 on my steel list.

Overall
The part of the day that most surprised me was the lack of a crowd. There was a threat of rain, but it never came until we were literally inside the car leaving the park. I wonder how much business this park normally gets. I felt like 2 rides on each of the major coasters here with the exception of Mind Eraser was just enough to call it a full day. This park reminds me most of SFNE. The park was well kept, clean and all the employees were friendly especially the one at the eating contest. He was awesome! I loved it all! Thanks for reading.

Last edited by GIGAFORCE01, Monday, August 17, 2009 2:37 AM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:13 AM

I really have to ride the SFNE version of ROS (Bizarro, whatever). I truly enjoyed the SFA version. I mean, I know people don't care for this one, and it is hideously ugly out there in the helixes, but I got some EXCELLENT airtime on this, even close to the front seat.

Yeah, the parking at SFA is such a tiny lot. I've never seen such a small parking lot for an amusement park. Plus, I found it confusing. You could only go in some lanes, and then you could only exit from certain spots and...it just irritated me.

I liked SFA personally, but the condition of the rides kind of disturbed me. I was pretty harsh on the park, but if they could paint and refurbish some of their rides, this would be a really nice place to visit.

And Mind Eraser should be scrap metal. I wish that could have been smoother because it would have been really fun due to the intensity. Instead, it was just painful.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:24 AM

If the SFA parking lot irritated you wait until you go to SFNE. We have the worst parking lot that i've ever seen for a park. Its the only one that I'm aware of outside of disney where you basically walk a half a mile before you actually get to the park or take the tram, but even that can be annoying.

I never really thought about the conditions of the rides when I was there, but now that you mention it. They did seem like they needed a good paint job.,

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:22 PM

I made my first trip to SFA this past Saturday 8/15. I had pretty low expectations going in but I had a good time at SFA.

There were a few irritating things, Roar and JJ only running one train on a Saturday in August for one. I could have dealt with that as the lines weren't terrible (and nowhere near as bad as the lines at SFNE the weekend before) but they were seats roped off on the trains. On JJ the front seat was roped off, that was annoying. On Roar, 2 benches were roped off.

I didn't really notice the paint on the rides, but they definitely need to get rid of those slides near the balloon ferris wheel. That would easily be the prettiest section of the park without those slides there.

I enjoyed the rare flats, Rodeo, and the swining pirate ships. Definitely different than anything I've seen and Rodeo was a great ride with a really long cycle. I left with a gigantic smile on my face.

I also liked the monster that was themed to an Octupus with seashells. I didn't ride it but it looked very cute and the kids were loving it.

I also want to comment on Skull Mountain. This was my favorite ride at SFA. If CP really is building a water ride, this is the only thing I think could fill the void of a traditional log flume other than building an actual log flume. It was great fun, you get wet, but not drenched, there was the fun pirates stuff indoors and it even had extra dips. With the theming it reminded me of how much I miss the old Journey to the Center of the Earth mill chute at Dorney. This was more tame with the pirate theming, not all out creepy like the Tracy ride but it is the only modern ride I am unaware of that even closley resembles the mill chutes.

Overall, SFA employees were friendly and customer service was good. Operations were a little slow but not the worst I have ever seen. If you have given up on SFA, I would recommend giving it another try as it was a clean, safe, and friendly environment.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:53 PM

You said that the park was dead. From your discriptions, it sounded pretty busy compared to the day we went. S:RoS was maybe a 5 minute wait with re-rides available many times.

I hope you got your pass with parking. I know that I have parked more then the $45 it cost to add it on.

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Friday, August 21, 2009 11:43 PM

^ that's awesome. I hope this park gets enough business though.

bunky666 said:
I really have to ride the SFNE version of ROS (Bizarro, whatever). I truly enjoyed the SFA version. I mean, I know people don't care for this one, and it is hideously ugly out there in the helixes, but I got some EXCELLENT airtime on this, even close to the front seat.

Due to living an hour from it, I have ridden SFNE SROS a billion times and in every condition imaginable ( in the rain, after rain, freezing cold, hot summer, night, ect,ect,ect), and I can guarantee you that its the most complete coaster in the world. In other words it has the least flaws. There are absolutely zero dead spots on it. But( atleast in my book) the most complete coaster and the best coaster are not the same, just as in sports the best team is not always the most complete team.

I still think you'll like El Toro more even after you finally climb aboard THE SROS. But it really depends upon what your preferences are. El Toro is 45 seconds long from the top to the breaks and SROS is 75 seconds; that's a lot longer. I find El Toro to be far more intense. I always feel a lot more beat up after riding 45 seconds of Toro than I ever do after riding 75 seconds of SROS. As for airtime SROS has 8 or so hills of very good; just enough to get you completely out of your seat air time. On the other hand El Toro provides the 3 greatest air time hills in the world! On Toro it feels that if it wasn't for the lap bar, you could be the first person since the Apollo missions to reach the moon. So it really depends upon what your looking for; personally i'll take the 3 extreme air time hills of Toro over the 8 "good" ones of SROS anyday. Nothing BEATS THOSE 3 AIRTIME HILLS NOTHING!!!!!

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Monday, August 24, 2009 2:24 PM

I'm glad you had a great day. SFA is my home park, and I really do not like it. Yes, I can have a fun day there if I'm with good people, but operations-wise, I just think its awful. At least you found a day where the breakdowns weren't too bad, I was there 3 times this season and wasn't able to get on Batwing once.

I'm surprised you found the park staff friendly, I can only find them in certain places. Maybe I'm spoiled from CP, BGE, and KD which I think are all better parks, but I always find inattentive and rude park staff at SFA. We were waiting for the Skycoaster and an employee for the ride came out of nowhere and decided to ride!

Anyways, glad you had a good day. I think with any park, its really what you make out of it, and you did a great job of that =).

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:22 AM

My take on the S:RoSes (having ridden all three):

The SFA and SFDL versions have one ridiculous hill (the hill between the two helices) that is a bit better than any of the hills on SFNE. On the other hand, they have not much else that interests me (second hill - not interesting, helices - not interesting). SFNE has some great hills and the better setting and the more complete layout (with the tunnels etc.) I definitely give the nod to SFNE, but the one hill on the SFA/SFDL version is pretty ridiculous.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009 11:10 PM

I use too like SFA. when they where running the park good.

SFA has gone down hill. And I don't like the Flash Pass. They don't work at all. One time my buddy and I where waiting in line to ride Two-Face The Flip Side when it was in operation. And we were at the air gates waiting to ride. The ride operators lets a whole bunch of Flash Pass board and didn't like any one else board the train. And let it run half full. That's not a way to run a park or a ride. After we got to ride Two-Face The Flip Sid. We went to guest relation to make a complane on the way they were running Two-Face The Flip Side.

Another time my buddy and I where waiting in line to ride SROS. And they let the Flash Pass holders go to any row they want. There's is a special row where the Flash Pass holder should ride. And some of them road in the 1st row. And we where waiting in the 1st row to ride. So I am getting tired of SFA doing this. So I told my buddy that this was my very last time going to SFA. And I didn't get a season pass.

Now it's have been 2 years since I have stoped going to SFA.

Now we have 2010 Season Pass for Kings Dominion. Because they know how to run a park and they don't do any Flash Pass at all.

If SFA changes like getting rid of Flash Pass I will go back to SFA. And If not I will never step foot into SFA again.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009 7:38 AM

I returned for my annual torture of visiting that place the weekend of 8/23 and found the place actually got WORSE. Ride breakdowns were the norm all day long, including the waterpark speed slides that blew out the pump motor and were down for the whole day. Tony Hawk crew kicked everyone off the line 45 minutes before the park closed for no reason and we were already waiting twenty minutes for it - there was someone complaining about it at guest relations later and they had no idea it happened and could offer no explanation, so apparently the lazy staff took it upon themselves to close the ride knowing their ride operations guy was not around. The 'new' train ride was beyond embarassing - I can't even begin to describe the experience, you have to endure it yourself to even believe it. I predict the cash-strapped chain will close the place over the winter now that Shapiro could be on his way out - they probably only keep it open since he is local and gets his family in there for 'fun' (?)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009 10:09 PM

I agree that Shapiro should go. SFA needs some one who knows what they are doing. The way that SFA is running the park. You are not getting your money worth.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:07 PM

Who said that Shapiro may be on his way out? Did I miss an announcement or something? And I'm not sure what Shapiro has to do with SFA's daily operations. I don't think I even want to speak to the notion that SF is keeping SFA open because Shapiro is local and takes his family there for 'fun'? (Did I get you right?)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:22 PM

Didn't Shapiro just get a huge bonus for pulling the company through the bankruptcy thing?

The dude's gold - he's not going anywhere.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:33 PM

That's what I'm thinking.

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Friday, September 4, 2009 2:34 PM

I always hear so much hate for SFA, and on my my one trip there Jokers Jinx was down all day, and they had issue with S:ROS and Batwing, but I still had a good time. I don't expect BGE or Disney when I go to smaller parks. I guess having a park like Dorney nearby that is "OK" has made me realize that not every park needs to be Cedar Point, or be themed like BGE.

Anywho, I do wish they would at least put some more into a landscaping budget at SFA. The only thing that really bothered me is how barren many areas of the park are, especially the open field between Batman and Superman. Maybe its time for a Wonder Woman attraction somewhere as a mediator, as we all know Bruce and Clark don't have the greatest friendship...

*edited for proper usage of the English language*

Last edited by phoenixphan :-), Friday, September 4, 2009 2:36 PM
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Friday, September 4, 2009 3:28 PM

We had a great day at SFA too. It was late June so maybe the boredom of the job had not set in with the staff.

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