Wednesday, June 27, 2007 11:44 PM
I know how you all have been waiting by your computer screens with bated breath, desperately waiting for my TR for SFOT....Ok, so I exagerated a bit...ok, I made it all up. But I'm finally getting around to my last TR for my recent Texas trip. This time, we finally made or pilgrimage to the one that started it all--yes, I'm talking about Six Flags Over Texas.
While the park is a decent park that is fairly well-run as far as Six Flags parks are concerned, it's not the best one out there. It is, however, one of the better parks, as we've been told. Below are my usual random observations. I'll have my photos uploaded to the website soon--a whooping 39 for SFOT alone.
- First off, the entrance to the property and the parking lot are fairly unimpressive. The best part are the good views of Jodge Roy Scream and Titan. The parking lot looks like it could use some maintenance, and it would be nicer if they had a better setup, including running trams and having a more attractive entrance plaza. I haven't been to any SF parks that have a great tram system/setup. The best I've seen have been at the California parks, and even there, there's more to be desired. SF needs to take a look at Busch and Hershey for some good ideas.
- Once inside the gate, the main gate plaza seems pretty decent, though not huge. The fountain, carousel, and stage seem to work well, though.
- The park is very mature, which is nice. Also, the layout proves to be interesting for first-time explorers, though it may not be the most efficient layout. There are a lot of trees and meandering paths, and it's neat to explore and find out what's around the next bend.
- The original mine train was fun. It's cool to actually see some theming at work here. The mini mine train was neat for what it was, and you can get a good view of Mr. Freeze from here.
- Batman was just another Batman--just about always a good ride. Unfortunately, this is the only B&M inverted design Texas has, since Sea World has the same layout. It was cool to see a variation on the theming and queue layout. The ride was being run pretty inefficiently, however. The restraint checkers weren't moving especially fast.
- Mr. Freeze is amazing; this one made it onto my top steel list, knocking Batman: The Chiller off the list. The launch is good, the tophat is great, and that vertical spike rocks, as well. The scariest seats are the front--when going backwards through that tophat, you feel the Gs lessening right around the top, which feels like you're gonna fall into your lapbar. Plus, the view from the vertical spike is sweet. The station and queue have a cool layout and look. Fortunately, the line was pretty short most of the day. I definitely like the duel loading platforms--wonderful idea, Premier!
- Superman: Tower of Power is another good combo tower. I would give it the edge over the SFFT one, and they did a really good job with the install.
- Texas Giant=crap. What more can I say? At least it looks cool. Our 1 ride on it in the front seats was not good, so the back must be terrible.
- I liked Titan perhaps more than I expected. We weren't impressed with Goliath, but we did like this one. Good operations and short lines ensured that we got to ride this one a few times. That first helix made us grey out more than the second helix. The mid-course trims grab hard. That third hill has some nice extended floater air. Overall, a great ride. It didn't crack my top steel list, but it is a good, solid, smooth, fun ride.
- La Vibora was fun. This was only the 3rd bobsled coaster that I've ridden, but was a fun little machine this one is. We even got it to slighly "jump the track" if you will. Negatives include low capacity and the bumpiness before coming into each of the brake runs.
- Runaway Mountain was another fun little ride. I think I like this one better than Skull Mountain at SFGAdv. The theming was cool, and the ride had some nice quick direction changes and such. Main negative part here is the low capacity. The queue is nice, as well, with part of it looking like it's going through a bayou or something.
- Shockwave surprised me. I expected the usual Anton goodness, but I did not expect the airtime that this thing delivers! The location of the ride is kinda out of the way, but it's worth a trip back there for this one. It was only running one train, though, and I wish they would have been running 2.
- The original log flume is actually 2 separate flumes. I'm not sure which one is better, since they were only running 1 (the one closer to La Vibora and farther from the main flume entrance). It's not bad for it's age, but it doesn't get you very wet at all. But hey, it's historic! :)
- The little Yosimite Sam ride with the animatronic Looney Tunes gang was fun, and it was nice to see that they still have a ride like this here.
- Flashback was your standard boomerang.
- Judge Roy Scream looks nice, but it doesn't do much. I got maybe one instance of air, and the thing ride kinda like Rolling Thunder at SFGAdv, only with less screeching. I guess it should, though, since it's a Bill Cobb coaster, as well.
- Wildcatter was running. Why is this still here?
- I liked their version of the looping starship--the Acme Rockin' Rocket. What a fun idea for theming! I didn't ride it, but they did a good job with the theming.
- If I were to change one thing about this park, it might be their bathrooms. Some of the worst that we've seen at any Six Flags park. Not very large and dirty and/or smelly. Please, Six Flags, fix this! I don't know how bad it would be on a crowded day, but who would really want to find out?
- Food was your average Six Flags park food--not bad, but not exceptional.
- Employees seemed to be reasonably nice overall, but this is Texas I'm talking about. The real test would be SFMM, SFGAdv, and SFA employees :)
- The only ride that was closed the whole day that I remember was the Oil Derrick, which stinks, because I could have gotten some pics from up there. The reason posted was for high winds, but that seems to be bullcrap, because Superman was running, as well as the Texas Chute Out (parachute tower).
- It was great that the park stayed open until 11PM. I wish more parks would do this. They also had some live bands playing in the park at times, including the entrance plaza before we left for the evening.
- Someone should put some police out to direct traffic at the end of the night, since it took a while just to make it to Six Flags Drive from the parking lot.
Overall, SFOT is a good park with a good selection of rides. Both this park and SFFT seem to be pretty balanced in terms of their ride and show offerings, whereas parks like SFMM and SFGAdv seem to be kinda heavy on the thrills, though SFGAdv is fairly balanced now--they could just use some more flat rides.
The park is pretty well-run and reasonably clean (excluding the bathrooms). They had a lot of misting/water spraying, which is a good thing down there. I wish more parks up here had more of those types of things. I think that we like SFFT more overall, but this park is a good one and definitely worth a visit. They didn't seem to have the staffing issues that SFFT seemed to have, which is good. Keep up the good work here, just please fix the bathroom issues.
Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:16 AM
Pretty accurate report....although I notice you missed comment on the new Cirque show . We saw it and although it is the weakest Cirque performance I have ever seen , I did notice lots of teens in the crowd who were enjoying it . I expected a much larger crowd but probably a third of the park attendance was at the show ( 1500 maybe 2000 people ? ) . Too bad they didn't do a Cirque act as good as Anheuser Busch had in their parks . It doesn't appear people are spending much in the last hours and in fact seem to come into the theater early and camp out for seats . Most people staying in the park are getting rides in with the reduced lines . Oh well , at least it's something new to do .
Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:26 AM
Yea, we thought about seeing the show, and noticed people were lining up for it before it started, but we decided against seeing it. That's why I didn't report on it. We did get to see some shows at SFFT the day before, which were good, but they are known for their shows, anyway.
I never saw the Busch one, either, even though I've been getting a season pass to BGE for a few years now.
Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:57 AM
Texas Giant is much better in the back. IMO, it's not much rougher than the front, but it delivers some delicious airtime/lateral combos back there. How could you not know about all the airtime on Shock Wave? Have you been ignoring Gator all of these years? ;) Wildcatter is awesome. I hope it stays around for a while. I'll take that over an S&S tower any day,
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:48 AM
Acoustic Viscosity said:
Wildcatter is awesome. I hope it stays around for a while. I'll take that over an S&S tower any day,
Ew. Why would you even say such a thing? *Barfs*
Thursday, June 28, 2007 2:49 AM
Because old Intamin freefalls actually thrill me and S&S towers...well, they don't.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:31 AM
Acoustic Viscosity said: How could you not know about all the airtime on Shock Wave? Have you been ignoring Gator all of these years?
Perhaps I haven't been vocal enough? ;)
Honestly, even a few years away from my trip to Texas, I'd *still* take SFoT over any "big park" out there. Ride line-up alone, for me at least, is better than I can find anywhere else. Add in the "old school SF" touches, the nice landscaping, the friendly staff, etc., and it's basically on par with PCW - only with MUCH better coasters. :)
Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:09 AM
Haha--maybe you haven't been vocal enough, or maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention. :)
SFOT does have a good solid ride lineup. Not the best coaster lineup, but definitely not bad--probably better than any of the old Paramount parks in that respect, and definitely good for a SF park. Still, I would take SFGAdv or SFMM's lineups over SFOT for coasters, but as I said in the report, SFOT is more balanced in their offerings.
Adding in the other stuff, though, just makes the park even better. And yes, Shockwave is a gem :)
Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:41 AM
I still remember someone on our Texas trip saying that everyone is so nice in Texas because everyone is packing heat! Also, your chances of getting the "chair" in Texas are fairly high versus other states that are more compassionate, shall we say.
Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:11 PM
SFOT is a wonderful park. If you want to go to a SF park, go there, SFMM, or SFOG.
Saturday, June 30, 2007 11:43 AM
FYI -- the pictures are now up on my website if anyone would like to take a look.