I’ve heard some good and bad stories about Six Flags America. What I didn’t hear is that someone was shot outside the gates of the park the night before I arrived.
I was looking forward to riding Superman:Ride of Steel, which would be my first time on one of the three coasters.
I got there with plenty of time to spare. I made my way throught the line for people with no bags, and the guard said we don’t allow people with Chicago White Sox hats on. Hey, we are still in first!
I watched the show they do in the front of the park right before park opening at 1030. It was actually pretty good. They had the Looney Toon characters dancing, but the CD player kept skipping during “Living in America.” Then they had a kid flip the switch to open the park. What was cool, was at that same second they had confetti streamers and the Wave Swinger went up.
I grabbed a set of fastpasses and was on my way. I thought going to Superman first would be a good idea, but I soon saw it was not running. The train was sitting halfway up the lift hill. I had heard it opens up later, so I wasn’t alarmed.
I walked right onto Jokers Jinx. I had just rode Flight of Fear the day before, so I knew what to expect. Once again, thank you for the new lap bars. I can only imagine the head banging this generated with the OTSR’s. I really liked the entrance and queue area, being a Batman fan.
I decided to run back over to Two Face. Not sure what this is doing in an area the park themed after the Southwest Territory, but oh well. I’ve been on the Invertigo at PKI and Déjà vu at SFGAm, so I knew what to expect. This was a walk on for the front….or is it back row? The ride wasn’t too rough for a coaster made by Vekoma. The ride ops were kinda funny, saying don’t worry if you lose your cell phone because Radio Shack had a good deal going. For the most part, the ride ops were pretty good all day, minus two times.
I rode the Wild One twice back to back. A nice wood coaster with some good airtime, and head choppers. It was much better than I anticipated.
I then walked on to the Tower of Doom. I didn’t think it would be much of a ride being only 140 feet, but there was something about the smaller size, and shorter breaking area, that actually makes you seem like you are falling farther than some of the larger drop towers. That, or the fact that ride op didn’t check my restraint. At least I was smart enough to check my self.
By now the heat was starting to build, which made the rest of the park seem empty, as I guess everyone was checking out the new waterpark. I made the trek over to Batwing.
They really need to put a few more things in this area. I mean, if those two rides are not working, which they were not for a while, it seems like you walk a mile and do nothing! From Jokers Jinz on down, nothing was open for a while in this area of the park. There is nothing else there save the one gift shop outside Superman! All I know, is if I treated the peeps like this in RCT, they would be looking for the exit, if they could find it!
Anyway, Batwing was another walk on. Just like X Flight, I enjoyed this ride. I really like how they flip you from laying down to looking up more than once, unlike the Superman flyers. What I don’t like is being stuck in the break run for two minutes, with the sun beating down on me!
I stoped by Panda Express for Orange Chicken and air conditioning. The orange chicken got an 8…the air got a 10!
Roar was another walk on. Not a bad ride. I rode once in the front and once in the back. They could really turn the volume down on the country music playing in the station. Sure, it fits the theme of the ride, but my ears started to hurt! After the bad experience with the Hurler at PKI the day before, it was nice to have a ride on a good wooden coaster.
I took a deep breath and made my way to the Mind Eraser. My third Vekoma SLC credit. Crew was a little slow here, as there was always some stacking going on. I got a ride with a ten year old kid who kept going “This is awesome” until we got stuck in the break run. Then he was like “Get me off!” Funny…that is what I was saying during the ride. Needless to say, I only rode this puppy once.
I stopped for some dippin dots and watched the southwestern stunt show. They put it on in a theater where you can watch and hear from the midway area. The show was actually funny and enjoyable.
I saw Superman testing, so I went to the gate. This ride wont open until 5. 5?!?! It was only 1 ! I checked out the Batman stunt show instead. It was ok, except its painful obvious that the Commissioner Gordon character is just the Bruce Wayne guy with a HUGE fedora hat on his head.
I decided to check back with Superman. They were working on the second train in the break run. I decided to check out Batwing again. There was a line, so I used a fastpass for another ride. I did the same with Jokers Jinx. I was holding on to the rest of my fastpasses in hopes of some Superman rides.
Earlier I had passed the Typhoon Sea Coaster and saw it had no water in it. I passed it again and saw water in it and boats running. I’m not usually a water ride fan, but this ride sounded like it was different. I got in line and waited…and waited…in the BURNING sun. After about half a year…or hour…I forget, I made it into the station area and found out why the line was so long. For one….there were only what seemed to be four or five boats running, and two…..the crew. There were three crew members, one unload, one load and one at the controls. Well, the one load didn’t want to check lap bars, so she started yelling at the unload guy if he checked them. Well this went back and forth until the boat almost left the station. Wow! Anyway, the ride was different, the backward drop was good, and the big drop didn’t get me drenched, which was fine by me. The themeing looks old and needs a little TLC, but overall was good. It could really use some more boats and better crew maybe? I
made it back to superman and saw they had taken the second train off, and a line started to form. I got in line and within a few minutes they opened the ride with one train operation. There were quite a few people being turned away because they couldn’t fit, which didn’t do much to help an already slow moving line.
I was finally on and bolted in. From the second I pulled down the restraint, I was uncomfortable. I knew being taller that it wouldn’t be very nice. Why couldn’t they have looked at the retro-fit restraints they did on Jokers Jinx? That would probably have been better.
Anyway, I was on my way. First drop was great, still out of my seat! I loved all the hills except the one twisting hill near the end. I wish I could have rode it with the original restraints, but so is life. I used my fastpass to get in three more rides.
I noticed the train had a lot of graffiti on it. I mean, a lot! People had to time to scratch all kinds of messages on this thing! How does that happen? Having done everything I came to do, I took off at about 6 for the long trip back home. Overall, this park needs some more work.
Anything they can do to help the layout in the Gotham City area would be good. As for the three parks in the area, if I was a local, this would defiantly be on the bottom of parks to visit. I didn’t check out the new water park, but I’m sure it will be a big hit. *** Edited 6/18/2005 12:53:50 AM UTC by ChiDan1972***
Batwing with two train operation and Superman with two train operation and 5 ops. 5 you might ask for superman? 2 for each side of one half of the train, and one for controls. NOW that is what I call efficiant ride ops. Also a day without a Two Face and/or Joker's Jinx break down also signals for a good day. The water park dosn't really have problems unless a lifeguard shortage. Usually this year, they have kept there act together, you simply caught them on one of there bad days. And yes they do have good days as some might not think they have.
*** Edited 6/18/2005 1:08:09 AM UTC by Colin Fisher***
I don't think the park was all that bad, just still needs some work.
I thought the shooting was the Sunday evening you were in the park? *** Edited 6/18/2005 2:31:37 AM UTC by coasterguts***
As for the three parks in the area, if I was a local, this would defiantly be on the bottom of parks to visit.
Yeah that will be the same way for me, but I don't have time to travel long distances to PKD and BGW. Probably IYO, but IMO 2 hrs? Give me a break. I only visit PKD once every 2 or 3 yrs.
As for SFA, yeah we might not have much, but you have to work with what you got. SFA is ONLY 131 acres, but I enjoy coming to park. Its better to have a park than no park near you at all. Plus this park this has a great coaster collection. I wouldn't even trade this park for SFDL (no offense to anyone if this is your homepark). The only thing that needs to be fixed is the layout of our park. It's the Worst!!!! If were not No. 1, were defiantly on the top 5 worst layouts.
SFA is even trying to run all their rides, not to even parks like SFMM not running all their coasters and rides. A flagship park and year round park like that should be making more money than SFGAdv... if you agree. Well back on topic...
SFA does need to start growing in the main park, but as Guts said, the waterpark has always been the biggest attraction at the park. Why? This park started out as a waterpark. I'm glad the waterpark got a makeover, now its time to really EXpand the main park, more than 131 acres PLEASE?!?!
Colin Fisher said:
Is 131 acres not a lot? lol I have no perception of park sizes, just the rides in them. But I did read that SFA acaully owns a little more then 500 acres, but ofcourse only uses that 131. And they are also selling some of the land (probably for more houseing units, which equals complaints to the park about noise???
Exactly!!!! From the 2004 Six Flags Inc. Annual Report... Six Flags America
We own a site of 515 acres, with 131 acres currently used for park operations. The remaining 384 acres, which are zoned for entertainment and recreational uses, provide us with ample expansion opportunity, as well as the potential to develop complementary operations. We may also determine to dispose of some of the additional acreage not necessary for park's operations.
As far as it goes selling some of the parks land as been an issue since last year, but the park still has alot of land. Not to even mention nothing really going on in the Nantucket area.
Yeah but I can agree with you. This park does need something original that other parks don't have. A custom coaster! We'll we use to have Roar, till it was cloned and now at SFMW. I would like a good major flat addition to the park, which is also lacking. I'm sure since the waterpark got a makeover the mainpark will start getting what it needs in the coming years.
I was at the park today. The water park was packed, wall to wall people. There are reasons why the green asphalt was painted to look like concrete and the wave pool was painted blue, but the paint is already beginning to peel off. I look for SFA to continue expanding HH next season, replacing the bottom of the wave pool and all of the asphalt in the water park next season along with a futher expansion of the water park. Just a hunch and an early prediction.
Don't get your hopes up for another coaster any time soon. First, they need to get Superman working correctly, the blue train still shimmies like crazy (I suspect the additional equipment to check the position of the lap restraint has something to do with the extra vibration in these trains), Batwing only half works but their working on getting it up to capacity. They were running both sides of the station today but it was done for a while between noon and 1 while I was in that area of the park. Once they get these star attractions running it will be time for another coaster. Besides, with the existing coasters having at the most a 20 minute wait (exception Batwing at times) another coaster isn't needed at this time. If the main park gets anything new next season, look for flat rides. Of course it's possible if the Spinning Coaster (i.e. Pandomonium at SFNE) is next years Tornado then SFA might get one of them. But not a major custom coaster or park expansion.
I don't get the attitude about Roar. It was built at Adventure World first, so that means that we have the original. I'm also told that there are differences between the two, mostly towards the end. So to me, that means there are two custom coasters at SFA. The whole "We must have an original layout" complaints don't make a whole lot of sense, when if the ride works well, it'll probably get cloned down the road anyway.
SFCritic, sorry you feel there aren't enough flats, but I think the park is doing fine in a head-to-head competition between the local parks, as well as, some of the biggest parks in the nation. Some of the original Six Flags also have very few flat rides. If you were to strictly count rides that can be ridden without a parent, SFA holds up very well against HP, SFGadv., BGW, and PKD.
I count 11 flats: 1) The Rodeo 2) Tilt-a-Whirl 3) The Octopus 4) High Seas, 5) Iron Eagle, 6) Twister, 7) Falling Star, 8) Alpine Bobs 9) Riddle Me This 10) Krypton Comet, 11) The Flying Carousel
Coasterguts, like I have said, next year is going to be the year for the park. I would look for major roller coasters (take notice the s). This year, water park. 2006-roller coasters. ;)
Ok, I was with you when you said one coaster for next year, but two! the last time that happened to a Six Flags Park, if I remember correctly, was in 2001 when SFGAm got Deja Vu and V2. Mabe one coaster for next year, but definently not two!
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