The 6 best SF "no touch " parks

Friday, July 14, 2006 4:42 PM
Saw this info over at Screamscape. Basically the following is the list of the "no touch" parks that will serve as the example for the rest of the chain.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Georgia, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags New England and The Great Escape.

I'm not really that familiar with each of these parks individually, so what is it about these parks make them the ideal models for the chain?

Of the ones listed, only Great America cracked the top 25 for attendance, but they do have HH included in admission. Is this a change in policy for other parks that also have HH's next door?

Fiesta Texas apparently has the best shows in the chain, so that makes sense on that level.

The Great Escape I figure is because of the indoor waterpark/hotel and that to me should be the future of the chain.

SFOT and SFOG are pretty heavy coaster parks as well, so what is their difference?

Suprised that SFGADV is not a no touch park, as it has the most potential with all their land available, along with being #1 in the chain for attendance.

Thoughts on what the no touch parks have that the other parks would benefit from?

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Friday, July 14, 2006 4:46 PM
I think Great Adventure still has issues of crowd control, security and ride reliability (Kingda Ka) that keep it from achieving "no touch" status. It also needs more family rides, it does have plenty of kiddie rides though.
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Friday, July 14, 2006 4:46 PM
Well SFOT & SFOG are off limits in terms of selling due to the partnership that actually owns the two parks if by "no touch" Shapiro means that they're safe from being closed down or sold off.
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Friday, July 14, 2006 4:50 PM
What is the situation for Six Flags St. Louis? Why wasn't this park included in the list? This was the third of the Six Flags parks that was actually built by the chain rather than taken over. Is it possible that they are keeping open a possible sale to Busch if they show interest in having a hometown park?
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Friday, July 14, 2006 4:54 PM
"While giving interviews about the future of Fiesta Texas, Mark Shapiro made a short list of what he called “No Touch” parks, the six best parks in the chain right now that will serve as an example for the rest to follow. The list included: Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Georgia, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags New England and The Great Escape."

That's the quote from Screamscape. I don't think the "no touch" term is referring to potential park sales, or whatever.

If the quote on Screamscape is accurate than we need to be looking at what these parks exemplify in the chain, not some sort of potential sale, or whatever.

Anybody got a link to the entire interview?

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Friday, July 14, 2006 5:41 PM
The one I dont get is SFNE, the rest of the parks mentioned I think are definatly the best run in the chain, but SFNE was (except for their superhero coasters) a mixed bag for me (park operations, type of rides, etc.)
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Friday, July 14, 2006 6:04 PM
Here's the article:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/stories/MYSA071406.1C.SixFlags.11667b2.html

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Friday, July 14, 2006 6:06 PM
I actually think that SFNE is one of the best run smaller parks in the chain. Even before Shapiro and Snyder took the helm I saw management at that park enforce no smoking bans in the children's area and making sure guest followed the policy of having shirts and shoes on outside of the water park area among other things. We've always had a nice time at SFNE.
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Friday, July 14, 2006 6:10 PM
From looking at SFNE from a distance (i.e. the web), it looks to be a fairly well-rounded park. It has a decent amount of rollercoasters, definitely a good flat ride collection, some decent non-waterpark water rides, and a nice waterpark.

It basically has all the offerings of a Six Flags park that Shapiro is looking for. And remember, it has that spinning coaster :) *** Edited 7/14/2006 10:11:16 PM UTC by rablat5***

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Friday, July 14, 2006 6:47 PM
I've been to four out of the six (SFOT, SFFT, SFNE and SFGAm), and I can see why those four parks made the list. Six Flags Over Texas is a really nice park with quite a bit of diversity in its coaster collection. There are two kiddie coasters (although, is the mini minetrain really a kiddy ride? hmmm....), a minetrain, hyper, two woodies, Schwarzkopf, the best in-the-dark coaster I've ridden (outside of Space Mountain), Boomerang (ok, so you can't win them all), and even their Batman doesn't have the usual 'worst looking part of town' themeing that the others do.

Fiesta Texas is magnificent with the rock quarry in the background. Again, the themeing is good, and there are lots of flat rides. True, it doesn't have the greatest coaster collection compared to the others, but what it does have is pretty good. All except for the Rattler. They really need to work on that piece of crap. If they would just take out the triple-layer up and down section, you'd have a winner on your hands as the rest of the ride rocks. The minetrain should be dupicated at parks that don't have them, as anyone whose been on Roadrunner Express can tell you, it's truly 'the' best minetrain.

Six Flags New England won my friend and I over from the start. As we were walking through the park, we discovered were all the themeing went at SFA--it all went to SFNE. And then once we got a look at Hurricane Harbor in 04', that was really depressing, because we didn't have one yet at SFA, and still to this day SFNE has way more than SFA does. True, there were a few flats closed, but nothing that would spoil the day (portable Top Spin, Vekoma Hawk 48-like ride). The one thing NE didn't have though was a real solid woodie (sorry if that sounds bad:)), although Thunderbolt was pretty cool for an old woodie.

Out of the four SFGAm was the park that had me scratching my head the whole time (figuratively) because it just didn't feel or look like a Six Flags. I think the moment that sealed the deal for me that once again SFA had gotten robbed in the appearance category is when we came upon V2 aka Vertical Velocity. When you see the patio that looks at the ride, when you look at the body of water (very clear and a greenish blue) that sits underneath both of the spikes, I just went "Yup, here's the money that's gone missing at SFA." When I heard they were building a HH, and saw pictures, it never looked very big. Well we get there, and it's the entire length of the Southwest Territory! (for those who don't know what that means, picture that Viper and Raging Bull are in a straight line and you've got the length of the HH). Had American Eagle's helices not been in the way, they probably would've built more!

So, anyway, I totally agree with the parks chosen as models for the other parks. Let's hope we see something physical done next year towards that goal.

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Friday, July 14, 2006 6:58 PM
^I guess it just must have been the day I was there but it seemed like more then half the flats werent operating and there was a whole lot of one train operations.
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Friday, July 14, 2006 8:42 PM
SFNE is on the list because, for starters, it has one of the best water parks in the world, and it also has one of the best flat ride collections in the world.

Not that it gets very much credit for either. Actually, I might go out on a limb and say the park has *the* best collection of flats I've ever seen, personally. Can't really think of a park that has better.

Let's see -

Catapult (S&S Skyswatter thingy)
Tomahawk (excellent HUSS frisbee)
Nightwing (HUSS Fly Away)
Twister (HUSS Top Spin)
Time Warp (Vekoma Air Jumper)
Double Trouble (Chance Inverter Thingy)
Kontiki (Cool Himalaya type ride - kinda hidden away, bet a lot of people don't even realize it's there)
Buzzsaw (AWSOME HUSS flying carpet)
Carousel
Houdini (Vekoma Haunted Swing)
New England Skyway
Route 66 Antique Cars
Scrambler
Spider (never runs)
Bumper Cars
Tea Cups
Wave Swinger
Rodeo (Huss Breakdance)
+the pretty good water rides and Scream!

Good lord, once you start listing them it really is quite amazing. *** Edited 7/15/2006 12:52:04 AM UTC by matt.*** *** Edited 7/15/2006 12:54:01 AM UTC by matt.***

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Friday, July 14, 2006 8:44 PM
I recall in a washington post article earlier this year when Shapiro was touring SFA he stated that if things go well that it'd become a no touch park...well from what I've seen thus far this season the place has quite a long way to go to get there.

Sure things are a little bit improved over last year with the new signage & all but they really need to get some rides up to capacity & replace the flats that were removed recently....I believe that if they really work at it the park has the potential to make the last,but only if they're willing to put forth the effort needed to do so.

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Friday, July 14, 2006 9:24 PM

matt. said:
SFNE is on the list because, for starters, it has one of the best water parks in the world, and it also has one of the best flat ride collections in the world.

So why was the old half of the park closed went I went in the middle of June?

Haha but besides that, I totally agree with everything you said. The only problem I've seen there is the occasional outbreak of line jumping, and sometimes I'll get annoyed by the sheer numbers that the park gets. Meaning I think the park is a bit small for the crowds it attracts.

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Friday, July 14, 2006 9:39 PM
What's the old half of the park?

Agreed that the biggest problem right now is capacity. Problem solved in the water park for the most part, now on to the rest of the park. A good problem to have. *** Edited 7/15/2006 1:40:34 AM UTC by matt.***

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Friday, July 14, 2006 11:03 PM

matt. said:SFNE is on the list because, for starters, it has one of the best water parks in the world, and it also has one of the best flat ride collections in the world. Not that it gets very much credit for either. Actually, I might go out on a limb and say the park has *the* best collection of flats I've ever seen, personally. Can't really think of a park that has better.

Why's it *untouchable* though? INCOME, and potential income. ;)

As far as flat collections, I'd have put either PCW and/or Puyallup slightly above....but I haven't been back since you all got "The Swatter"...LOVE that ride!

bill, never saw Kontiki....and if I had known the Flying Carpet ran a good program, I'd have been ON it... :)

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Friday, July 14, 2006 11:13 PM
http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/7109/sfnemap05largeii4.jpg *** Edited 7/15/2006 3:14:10 AM UTC by eurpomir84***
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Friday, July 14, 2006 11:26 PM
Oh, ok, I thought you were referring to the entire park.

PS, no idea on an answer for you, might be staffing issues but maybe some folks more in touch with the park would be able to tell you.

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Friday, July 14, 2006 11:47 PM
Kontiki is a Chance Alpine Bobs with different themeing. Compare it to any old Alpine Bobs and you'll see what I mean. It is someone hidden by the Tornado and the theater.
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Saturday, July 15, 2006 7:29 AM
Yeah, the only reason I even *saw* Kontiki was because I was looking to see if there was an alternate entrance to the theatre. I think Shapiro is dead on in his assesment. You cant sell oG and oT due to the management/partnership issues. SFFT has a great location, rep in the community, and world-class (family) shows. GE has the year round indoor waterpark and still has (portions of) the "storyland" legacy.

SFNE has the right infrastructure to be a great park. It's themed well and has tons of family rides. It has the potential to attract tons of people, but is not quite accessible enough to be a Boston-area babysitter. And SFGAm, is huge, well run, *no* competition, and has hung onto the Marriott-era charm.

And I agree, SFA has great potential as there are many families in this area with disposable income. The park is going to always have "unsupervised teens" though, as you dont need a car to get to the park - you can just take Metro (same with SFGAdv and hopping a Peter Pan). Thus, there is an extra 'security' cost that must be paid to play. But if they can work that out - and I believe they can (tons of teens hang out at Pentagon City Mall, but Arlington County police dont stand for any mess) - and inprove operations, I think more people from the area would visit SFA rather than drive all the way down to Doswell (PKD).

But only time will tell. :)

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