Six Flags New England
May 29, 2002
My sister and I entered the park around 12:30 pm and quickly realized that I should have taken my pocket knife off of my key chain and left it in the car because the security guard at the gate found it. He was polite and professional, placed it in a locked case, gave me a receipt, and told me to pick it up when I left. No problem: I actually felt good knowing that they are doing their job. They also searched my sister's belt-bag.
We walked around a bit, taking in the nice theming and atmosphere of SFNE, and we ran into a guy with a megaphone trying to get people to go into the Rockville Gymnasium theatre for a magic show. We entered and enjoyed the show. It wasn't quite David Copperfield, but it was pretty good. We especially were impressed wth the "snowy" finale (but I'm kind of a sucker for sappy stories and flashy theatrics)
Onward we went toward Batman: The Dark Knight, but first we noticed that there was only a short line for the log flume so we took that in. The line is usually extremely slow so we took advantage of the light crowd and had fun getting moderately splashed. It's actually the least exciting log flume I have ridden so I would suggest skipping it if there is any appreciable line.
We finally made it to Batman: The Dark Knight and after taking a few moments to observe the layout, we made our way to the end of the line, which was actually quite short. The ride was slightly rougher than other B&M coasters I have ridden, but it was still quite smooth compared to coasters overall. We sat mid-train and the floorless effect was completely lost on us. I think the floorless idea is great for marketing a ride and enjoyable for the few people who sit in the front seats, but in general I think it is a non-feature. The twists and loops came in rapid fire succession and the coaster created an exciting sense of disorientation. By the way, the ride is nicely landscaped and adequately, although not overly, themed to Batman. It's too bad they couldn't incorporate this somehow into the Superheroes section of the park or create a unique theme to suit it's location.
I was extremely disappointed that Collossus, the giant Ferris Wheel, was not operating. I have a fascination with Ferris Wheels and this is one of the largest on the East coast. I kept looking at it from throughout the park hoping to see it running, but that wasn't to happen.
We then had lunch which consisted of an over-priced and over-greased jumbo slice of pizza, fries, and Pepsi. It was ample food to share, so it cost us $5 each. Wow, that's $10 for greasy carnaval food! And Six Flags hoped that we would each spend that on lunch? They're crazy.
Poison Ivy's Tangled Train was next and we were impressed with the wildness of our back seat ride. From there we caught The Batman Thrill Spectacular which was quite good, and then it was time for Superman: Ride of Steel. After a ten minute wait we boarded the blue train and headed up the giant lift hill. That first drop is incredible and the mist-filled tunnels are a great effect. The rest of the ride is pure fun and adventure except for the first helix which was much more intense than I remembered. I actually started to "brown out" this time during that helix.
We did some browsing at the shops on Main Street and headed across the park to Blizzard River. I had been looking forward to this for a while as Blizzard River is one of my favorite raft rides. It moves swiftly with good "rapids" and it doesn't guarantee to drench riders from head to toe. I'm more comfortable when my shoes don't slosh, I guess. Again, I was extremely disappointed to find it closed. I asked a nearby employee if it had been running at all that day and she said no. I held out little hope that it would open and moved on to the Cyclone.
My sister and I relaxed on a bench for a while and watched the Cyclone as it made it's way through its swaying, paint-peeling structure. We boarded and found it to be a bit tamer than last year. We thought it was just as enjoyable, still wild, but not nearly as jolting and potentially painful.
The Thunderbolt was also running extremely well. It felt faster and more intense this year, and other riders seemed to enjoy it as well.
We finished the day with some more relaxing rides such as Shipwreck Falls chute the shoot, Houdini: The Great Escape, Stampede bumper cars, the Skyride (with a round trip because noone was in line at the other end), and finally the Wave Swinger and the Antique Carousel. Houdini is one of my favorite attractions because it is unique, kind of corny, and just good old-fashioned fun. We were the only riders on Houdini and Shipwreck Falls, and by this time the park was nearly empty.
Before exiting the park we spoke with an employee at Guest Relations and politely expressed our disappointment that Blizzard River and Colossus were closed for the day along with several flat rides such as Double Trouble, Chaos, Spider, Rodeo, and half of Island Kingdom, the waterpark). She was polite and accommodated us in a way in which I felt was fair considering that we had a good day despite our disappointments.
I collected my pocket knife from the security guard who was also courteous and professional and we exited the park.
We were fortunate to be able to ride many of the rides without waiting in lengthy lines, but from what I have read on this and other sites, SFNE has been running one train on many of their coasters even during busier spring weekends creating long lines. This is unacceptable and I don't know of any other park chain that would purposely operate that way. SFNE also must do something about their frequent and widespread ride closures. During each visit we seem to run into this problem, and it is unfair to charge people full admission prices (whether or not you have some kind of discount coupon, etc.) and not make a concerted effort to operate the park at its full potential. Again, I have not visited a park from another company that so consistently operates this way.
Overall it was an enjoyable getaway from our usual work, and a nice way for two siblings to spend some time together. Great themeing both visually and musically and an apparently mature and responsible security staff throughout the park added to our visit. The general park staff also seemed well trained, capable, and pleasant.
Plan your visit to SFNE before the summer crowds take over. Just check before you go to see if your favorite attractions will be operating, though.
*** This post was edited by gardener14 on 5/31/2002. ***
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