1. Park employees were very friendly and enthusiastic, from the parking attendants to the ride ops. It wasn't bad before, but this was excellent.
2. The park was quite clean, especially the bathrooms. Again, it wasn't bad before, but its even better now.
3. Got inside the park at opening (10 o'clock), and all the rides were operating, including Deja Vu. In my many visits to the park in years' past I had never seen Deja Vu operating, with people on it, right as the park opened.
3. All rides of any significance operated all day at full capacity. Even American Eagle was running four trains and was a total walk-on. (It was also running faster than I remember-- got two great rides).
4. Most coaster coaster lines were 10 minutes or less, and a few were a complete walk-on. The longest wait was Deja Vu at 30 minutes (including a five minute breakdown).
5. Everything in the water park was a walk-on.
5. Where have the people gone? This park used to be packed in the second week of August. Maybe this is why...
6. Operating hours have been reduced to 10-9 from 10-10 in the second week of August. This is new under the Shapiro regime. Not a good trend.
7. Also new under Shapiro is that '80s and '90's pop music now permeates the park (save Southwest Territory) instead of the old themed music. In one sense I cringe because its another step away from the old Marriott days, but as someone who really enjoyed the likes of Genesis, Huey Lewis, and George Michael, I grew to really like it by the end of the day.
8. Deja Vu ran well all day. Riding this at night, in the back, is an electrifying coaster experience. It should have fast pass, though.
9. Superman seems to be losing its luster with the GP. We almost walked straight into the station at 6 pm.
10. The parade at night is a nice touch.
11. It cost $30.67 for three moderately-sized pieces of pizza and three small cokes.
12. The no-smoking policy seemed to improve the environment. The park just felt cleaner because of it.
13. In conclusion...it was a great day. The park was well-run, clean, and friendly. Everything was open and easy to get on quickly. I got 13 coaster rides and did most everything in the waterpark. There was plenty to do for the 8 year-old, especially a pretty good collection of flats. With the exception of the high prices and the reduced operating hours, the gripes against most Six Flags parks do not hold true here. Still, I'd like to see Shapiro continue the tradition of adding a major attraction every two years. Without the buzz of an exciting attraction every few years I would suspect that interest in a theme park would begin to wane, even at a well-run park.
It would be all right if SFFT and SFSL stayed as well but I would really like to see Busch acquire these parks. SFFT could become Busch Gardens Latin America (BGLA) and SFSL could become Busch Gardens USA (BGUSA) with American theming.
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