Six Flags New Orleans 10/31

Associated parks:
None

Monday, November 3, 2003 6:49 PM
I decided to try my chances at Six Flags New Orleans to check out how the first Halloween operation of the park's history turned out. I arrived at opening a few minutes before 5 PM. I noticed the parking lot was practically empty and parked right at the entrance. I've never seen the parking lot this empty and was sort of bummed that crowds weren't looking decent for Halloween. Also understaffing due to Halloween was very much present and several rides were down due to that fact rather than any mechanical problems.

I went over to Mega Zeph first and continued to ride it over and over with about 2 other people without even getting up. Since Jocco's Mardi Gras Madness literally had no line I decided to take a look how bad this ride has been mistreated over the past few years. This used to be a really nice and uniquely themed Sally dark ride, but neglect has taken its toll on it and it really shows. After that I decided to get my weekly beating on Jester. Once you learn how to ride this coaster it's not so bad. I didn't even notice the bad transition coming out of the corkscrew! I must be getting immune to it. I decided to check out Batman about an hour after I arrived.

Once I arrived at the station, I could not believe my eyes. The volume of cars entering the park completely engulfed the parking booths' capacity and cars lined all the way down the entry road. From the ride I saw that cars also lined the main road that goes to the park from the interstate. Additionally, cars were backed up all the way past the interstate exit. I knew the park was going to get extremely crowded so I decided to get in line for Batman again and ride in the front row before it became too bad. I started talking to a supervisor who was running the ride and started talking to him about how attendance was really turning around and how they should call maintenance to throw on the second train. He expressed how shocked he was at this major increase in crowds and said they should be adding a second train within the next few minutes.

After that I decided to check out the Magic Show in the Orpheum Theater. I could see the entrance turnstiles and ticket booths were absolutely swamped with people in the entrance. I just made it into the theater which was just filling up to its capacity and only standing room was available. However, I managed to find some seats. The show was absolutely breathtaking. There were all sorts of awesome lighting effects and mindbending magic performances. No, this isn't your usual pulling a bunny from a hat show. This was a fast paced show with all sorts of Vegas style illusions and stunts. The entertainment department really went all out on this show. It's hands down the best show the park has ever featured.

After I left the show the midways were absolutely crammed with people. I checked out Mega Zeph and noticed the line looked extremely long plus the ride was doomed to one train operation since train number two had mechanical problems. The line for it must have exceeded 90 minutes. I wanted to ride Batman one last time and noticed the line was going past the switchbacks, but the ride was indeed in two train operation. I hopped in line and waited about 45 minutes.

I'm very surprised at this type of transformation. Why even Zydeco Scream had a full queue... Overall the park was very festive for Fright Fest and I thought it was funny how many rideops were in costume. The weekend following Halloween also had very high crowds which encourages me to see how well the park can do. It has been a bumpy season for Six Flags New Orleans, but they pulled through. Hopefully next year will bring more overall improvements (and possibly a new ride). It has been a very fun season.

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