Six Flags America Opening Day 4-12-03

Associated parks:
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Saturday, April 12, 2003 7:20 PM
Six Flags America

Opening Day

April 12, 2003

Yet another park's opening day approached and I found myself wondering if I really wanted to go. Sure, three hours is nothing. So I hop in the car and head down for a day of fun at Six Flags America.

I got to the park at about 10 AM, getting a great parking spot right up by the front gate. It had been raining on the way down, but as I got close to Bowie the clouds cleared out and the sun started to shine. It stayed that way the whole day, making for some excellent photography whether.

The gates were open, but they were not letting people past the bridge into the main part of the park yet. So I got in, grabbed my free hat, and sort of checked out the shops until they started letting folks into the rest of the park.
10:30 rolls around and the park is open. I head straight for Superman: Ride of Steel, looking forward to my second hyper of the season (I've already had the pleasure of riding Nitro). Get up to the station and in line for a middle seat, like it matters, and am ready to ride out with the first train of the day, when I hear the mumbled words of "technical difficulty." OK, it won't take long, right? Wrong. 11:15, I finally leave line and head to Batwing, which I have been watching with people on it for half an hour now.

Batwing had a nice short line, but, I am almost defeated again, as after getting halfway through the line the trains break down. Man, not a great start today. Not to worry, the downtime was only about five minutes, and it was good to go.

What a great ride. It is just an amazing feeling to fly over the ground, seeming in mid air. The restraints on the ride are surprisingly comfortable, the the train creaks and rattles a bit, which is a bit disconcerting. But the ride experience overall is incredible, which I repeat twice more on this day.

As I was on the platform waiting for Batwing, Jeremy calls and says he is at the front gate, and asks where to meet him. So after the ride, I was on the very next train, I head up to the gate and meet up with him by the fountain. Cool, a riding partner. We head towards Gotham City, but fist stop for a ride on Wild One and Two Face.
Two Face was closed, and with good reason, there was no train. must be out for repair, I don't know.

I still contend that Wild One is a disappointing ride. It just doesn't seem to be that great. I feel there is little air, and the layout looks like yet another Six Flags abused coaster, with trims and clear reprofiling. I wish I could have ridden it in its original form, because I feel it now offers little. That seems to be just me though. Maybe I am spoiled by the Phoenix.

Joker's Jinx is now running with a short five minute wait. This is a fun ride. I actually like it better then the enclosed Flight of Fear rides, because you can see all of those head choppers coming, and it has no midcourse brake run to slow the pacing. I was also happy because this was a credit I had yet to get, putting me at 99, right in line to make Superman: Ultimate Flight number 100 when it opens on Thursday.

SFA's Superman was now up and running, but with only the red train. Oh well, the line was still short, and the ride was flying. Airtime all over the course, particularly on that third hill. Wow, you think you are never going to come down on the one. We take two circuits on it, and another ride on Batwing. We also notice why the blue train is not running, there are not restraints on it! That would make for one heck of a ride, huh?

Time for some more coastering of the wooden style, so off the Roar we head. We run into Sam and his merry band of Coaster Zombies (I am one too) and guess what, Roar is down. Not my day. Oh well, to Mind Eraser we go.

Before Mind Eraser we hitch a ride on the Rodeo Stampede. I like these wild flat rides, but our ride turned out to be a bit dull. The ride op seemed to be not the normal op, he was filling in, you could tell since he was reading what to say off of a sheet of paper, and he did not know that you have to vary the ride speed to get some good spinning out of these rides. Our cow never really got going, so the ride was boring.

Anyway, Mind Eraser. This hang and bang really isn't all that bad, a bit of banging, but the restraints were well padded, so it was not too painful. I do love the foot choppers on the ride's compact layout.

We get off, and find that Roar is up and running again. Woohoo. I think Roar is the better wood in the park, fast and furious, it offers some great nonstop pacing. The only thing that are at a stop are the ride ops. They were agonizingly slow. They took their good old time checking restraints and making sure everyone was good and stapled into the ride. They need to work on some turnover here.

After Roar we roamed the park taking in some flats and getting a few more rides on S:ROS. The park was in fair shape, but could have used some sprucing up, particularly over by the Batwing station, where there was some trash that looked like it was there all winter. Also, that area NEEDS a restroom. It is a long walk to the closest one, and I was not the only one that thought this, I heard others comment the same thing. Also, they need to work on souvenirs, there were no good pins and no postcards to be had at all. The superhero stuff is nice, but I would have liked to have been able to buy some park specific merchandise.

All in all, a good day, and well worth the ride. Next week, a longer drive, Six Flags New England opens.

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"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 5:01 AM
great report, parks had glitches, and a few employees who were being more cautious than speedy, but ya know what? I think 'd rather have them cautious now than make a mistake and put people in a possibly bad situaton.

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never met a coaster I didn't ride (except Junior Geminii) :(

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 5:16 AM

Post a TR when you go to SFNE(I live an Hour away:0)
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Member of RCT InSomniAcS
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Sunday, April 13, 2003 9:20 AM
Man, your all over the place. I saw on the meeting calander you will be there for Knoebels opening day. I'll be there too. Nice TR anyway.

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-Sean Newman
*** This post was edited by SFgadvMAN 4/13/2003 1:20:59 PM ***

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:16 AM
Black7 and I had an excellent day indeed. It wasn't really that crowded, only the major attractions had any form of a line, because they ran one train.

Our main complain is that they had five months to get everything cleaned up, and have 2 trains running, but they still didn't have it. I thought a park would want to do a good job opening day to get a good start for the season, but I'm sure they'll do better later.

It was nice going with someone else who was a coaster enthusiast, since we basically talked about coasters! I found the flats at the park to be run under-par. Clementon Park in NJ runs them wonderfully. We didn't really get any air-time on the Pirate Ship or Falling Star. Clementon's, you'd get plenty of airtime. Our stupid bull on Rodeo got stuck in the same motion, and we kept going past the base to the ride. But thats okay, because we were there for the coasters.

Superman is my new favorite. It used to be Batwing, but Superman seemed to be too much fun for me to resist. I was all smiles after every trip, just ask Black7. Especially after my first one, it was just so excellent. I can't wait to try Nitro, I'm sure that'll be Superman!

It was funfilled day, and I can't wait to head back! Thanks for letting me bum with you Black7! You're a life saver! ;) I hope I wasn't too annoying! ;)
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Drop Oup at PKD in 2003!
OoOoOo...Rolley Coaster!

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 1:57 PM

RCTfan said:

Our main complain is that they had five months to get everything cleaned up, and have 2 trains running, but they still didn't have it. I thought a park would want to do a good job opening day to get a good start for the season, but I'm sure they'll do better later.
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I always find it interesting that even on non busy days, folks complain about 1 train operations.

SFA sends trains out for rehabbing, I'm sure there was some kind of misierpreted

never met a coaster I didn't ride (except Junior Geminii) :(

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 3:48 PM
Even with one train operation lines were not at all bad. But I do agree that with the long off season those things should be ready to go. I do, however, understand that things happen.

What really dissappointed me was the condition of some parts of the park. For instance, the tunnel to the opposite station on Batwing still had graffiti on the walls. That should have been washed off in the off season. The sidewalks sould have been sweeped and power washed, and you could plainly see they weren't. It is these simple things that make a park shine in my eyes.

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"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

+0
Sunday, April 13, 2003 6:05 PM
It took SFNE 11 months to get a second train. Granted, it was because it needed to be completely replaced, but does it really take *that* long?

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"faster, cheaper, and more often" that's somebody's new sig -UpsideDawnGrrrl
My shirt in my photo seems to be for "Aging Bull"

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 6:23 PM
Here are my thoughts that I posted at another site.

Superman was running better than ever! You got airtime on every hill except the second one, unless you were close to the front. Ever the little lump before the first helix provided air. This is now my favorite. I took 4 spins on this awesome coaster.

Batwing was running well also. The verticle loop is just intense. Its hard to hold out your arms during the loop. The double barrel roll is also intense. I always feel like I'm going to start drooling all over. Excellent ride!

Joker Jinx was actually running! I heard it had some problems, but I didn't see any while I was around. This was the first time I've ever ridden it because other times it would break down while I was in line. I enjoyed it much more than Flight of Fear! The headchoppers are visible, so it brings some sense of urgency to put down the hands. Also, I got some hangtime in the cobra roll and sidewinder. Also, the mid-course breaks were out. Excellent ride!

Roar was closed for a bit, but not long. This is my favorite woodie. This ride just packs a serious punch. The speed is constant during the ride, and really throws you around. Enjoyed this too much. Too bad the operators were the staplers. The girl tightened my seatbelt as hard as she could and pushed down my lap bar. But, they did a recheck, so I did the evil slouch to prevent her from doing that again. Still a good ride.

Wild One just wasn't running too good. It was my favorite, but this year, it didn't run up to par. Not as much airtime as the usual, but still was plenty to satisfy me to be a great ride.

Mind Eraser wasn't so bad. The headbanging didn't hurt really, but there was some, but gentle. Wasn't bad, not as bad as people say it is.

Two-Face was closed for the day, no train was in sight anywhere near or on the ride.

Overall, it was a nice day. They could've ran 2 trains on Superman, if they had the restraints on the blue train. Batwing didn't really need another train because the line was short, but it was slow because of the people running the ride. The dispatch times were horrendous. But, still a good day. Glad to ride Superman so much, love that ride. Airtime all the way!

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Drop Oup at PKD in 2003!
OoOoOo...Rolley Coaster!

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 7:21 PM
The park was running even better on Sunday. I'll try to do a trip report tomorrow.
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Sunday, April 13, 2003 7:39 PM
I was there today & it was a good day for the most part with the exception being Mind Eraser.

My friend & I queued up for it & we were two trains away from riding when they had to E-stop the ride,it turns out that someone didn't have a lap belt on & the reason for it was because they were to big to fit properly into the ride.

Needless to say they had to take him & everyone else off the ride the hard way which took forever & they had to close down half of coyote creek just to do it!

I'll post a full TR tomorrow,other than the Mind Eraser incident everything else was great,decent dispatch times on most rides despite the lack of passengers in the station,even S:ROS ran fast( as far as loading & dispatching) with only 1 train & Batwing didn't break down at all today. :)

BTW: PBR (Penquin's Blizzard River,not Pabst blue ribbon) seems to be coming along nicely,most of the slide parts are up but a lot of work needs to be done on the station,lift & splash pool. It's gonna be a while before this thing opens & Shipwreck falls was open today as well.

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Monday, April 14, 2003 10:40 AM
We managed to miss the Mind Eraser incident. What time of day did it occur?
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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 6:50 PM
Around 2 pm or so.
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