TR: SFA 7/31/04 (long)

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, July 31, 2004 10:35 PM
Trip Report
Six Flags America
Mitchellville, MD
July 31st, 2004

Weather: Partly Cloudy, highs in the low 90's


My wife and I decided yesterday we wanted to hit Six Flags America this weekend. She is studying for her masters and took summer classes this summer, so she hasn't had much of chance to go. Being the temperatures were expected in the low 90's with a slight chance of rain, we decided today would be a good day for her to go and hang by the pool while I ride some rides. Of course, the news wasn't pretty as we woke up this morning and heard there was at least a five mile backup trying to get through a construction zone at the BW Parkway. However, with some creative thinking and driving, we took a couple of back roads and ended up at the park at 10:30.

Upon our arrival, she decided she would take the beach bag and head to the wave pool so I could go through the bagless entry and starting riding the rides. My wife is great when it comes to these types of trips and it's one of the reasons why I love her so much. Unfortunately, the one time I decide to go through bagless entry, the park decides to use the staff elsewhere in the entry plaza. So I had to quickly scurry and find a line to get into the park. Fortunately, today, I noticed they had 13 lines open to get into the park. The most I believe I have ever seen at one time. So, not having bagless entry open wasn't such a big deal

Once through security, I headed stratight to Gotham City and Superman. Now this was my second trip to the park in a week (I went last Saturday as well) that I found Superman open, on time and running two trains. It's beginning to look like the park might have gotten the kinks worked out of Superman. With the removal of the last queue rail, getting in line has gotten much easier. I hope SF follows suit and does this with other rides in the park (starting with Wild One). However, while you might be able to get in line quicker, ride loading isn't any quicker than what it use to be. I don't think this is the fault of the park though. I think this the fault of the public not knowing how to ride a coaster. I waited in line for seat 2.1 (front row was a fine train wait) and it took personal five minutes to load the train. Not because they were slow, but because people were either to big to ride and wanted accept no for an answer, or they get in the train and sat on their seat belt. Each time this happens, the park must release the restraints and check them again starting from the front of the train. You can see the staff is under pressure to load the trains as quickly as possible, because of the disgust on their face if they have to start over again.

On this day, I was able to take a ride on both the red train and blue train. Last week, the red train was giving out awesome rides, this week, the red train was a little rougher. As you climb the 198 foot lift hill, I was able to take a look at the park and kind of admire how much it has grown since I worked their as a parking lot attendant when it was Wild World back in 1986. However, nothing ever prepares you for the fact you can't see the track for a second when you begin to descend the first hill, I had to admire the ever increasing algee invested storm water runoff ponds under the drop and before I knew it I was cresting the bend and heading up the second hill. At the bottom of the hill and covering pretty much the rest of Superman, the park has build a safety fence. However, this is actually an additional element to this ride that wasn't there before. For the first time, you can actually see the speed of this coaster. Since the addition of the new restraints, I also feel there is more air on the second hill and alot more air on the third hill. The one thing that I'm not liking about this coaster now adays is how rough it is becoming, especially in the helixes. But the bunny hops add defiently touch your sense of freight as Superman throws in one final one, two punch headng for the brake run. Of course it's alway fun talking with the people in the front row on the way up the lift and finding out they have never rode the ride before. When I get this information, I usually have a little fun going over the last bunny hill and screaming, "I sure hope the brakes work".

As we sat on the break run everyone was wondering if Batwing was open. It appeared it wasn't until we saw a group of people actually walk on to the ride. A walk on to Batwing has been rare this season since it has only being running one train. Last weekend, I noticed they were running two with one side open. However, today, Batwing was back to one train operation while I was in the park. Never the less, since the line for Superman wasn't out of the station, I decided to head for a second ride on it while everyone else headed to Batwing. I never rode Batwing, I decided a few weeks ago that I didn't like the way the harness felt on me so I was going to cut my riding down to once or twice a season unless with family or friends that wanted to ride. I realized on one trip while heading down the hill, towards the station and making the sharp curve to the rear of the coaster the only thing holding me in was the padded restraints over my should. Without those, I would be having a bad day at the park. My weight partially played into my decision to cut back but having to rely on the shoulder harness to hold my upper body in place kind of scared me a little bit. Okay... My final conclusion on Superman is the red train is giving the better rides and look for more air on the second and third hills.

After Superman, I headed to Joker's Jinx. What a difference one week makes. Last weekend and for the most part of July, I noticed several seats in the yellow train on Joker's Jinx was broken. Today, I'm happy to report all seats on both trains of Joker's Jinx were in working order. Joker's Jinx is easily my second favorite coaster in the park. The launch is great, but I really wish they would let the coaster accelerate all the way through and not trim the speed in the tunnel. I have riden Poltergeist at SFFT and noticed it doesn't have a trim. For that reason, Poltergeist will always be ranked above Joker's Jinx as far as I'm concerned. Kai was at the console this morning when I rode and he was having a good time with the guest. Which is something I noticed 1on several coasters today. The ride on Joker's Jinx seems to be improving, I also noticed it seems quieter than in years past. Before, I could always tell if it was running or not from elsewhere in the park. I was questioning whether it was running when I entered Gotham City this morning but was happy to see people entering the train when I walked past. For me the way this coaster accelerates smoothly into the cobra roll is absolutely great. However, nothing compares to coming down the coaster as it just gets faster and faster, of course the Jinx at the end makes a great treat. I will leaving you guessing as to what I'm talking about.

After Joker's Jinx, I headed over to Wild One. The crew on Wild One gets my crew of the day kudos. The console operator was Ray who was actually standing up in the booth and keeping an eye on things. He admonished a few people for going under the hand rails. Tried to keep people from blocking traffic while waiting for the front row. He even, made sure people were staying two steps away from the air gates. In the midst of doing all of that he even found time to explain how to get the lap bars to raise to the few people that were clueless as to how work them when getting out of the train. I even saw the ride attendants help a few people get out of the train. My ride today on Wild One was in the middle of the blue train. I also decided this would be the last time I would ride so far back. I received little air time. However, I know from past experience the coaster is giving great airtime and you really feel the speed from the front. As far as I'm concerned, Wild One is probably one of the best maintained wooden roller coaster I have riden. Especially when you put it up there with such classics as Rattler at SFFT, Texas Giant at SFOT.

My last coaster of the morning was Roar. I mentioned I was at the park last week. While at the park last week, I experience one of the most lathargic crews I have ever seen while at the park. This week, the crew was a 100% improvement. Why? It was a different crew. The operator at the console actually explained the directions and had some pep to his voice. The ride ops quickly checked the restraints. Since I gave me crew of the day kudos to the crew on Wild One, props go to the Roar Crew for being the most improved even if they were new to me. My ride on Roar was in the teal/green/blue train. I have rode Roar several times in the front but have since switched to being in the middle. I find the ride is a little smoother, the air time is better and the speed seems faster. However, the final turn before the brake run really needs some track work. It is still pretty rough.

After finishing Roar, I walked over to Coyote Creek. I was hoping to dump a few quarters into the water canons and squirt some people with water on Renegade Rapids, but found, as has been the case every trip I have made to the park this season the water canons were out of order and the change machine was out of service. Ugh! However, I did notice while Renegade Rapids was recently down. It was actually down for some refurbishment. The white plastic board opposite the water canons now is completely black. The weeds have been chopped away from the edge of the ride and the ride has NEW RAFTS!. Not only are the rafts new, they also have handle bars on them. Something I'm pretty sure wasn't on the ride at the beginning of the season.

Mind Eraser was it's usual dependable self with two trains running. While I didn't ride it, I'm sure it's still pretty rough. Iron Eagle is back to running full time again. Unfortunately, TOD is back to running two sides on a consistent basis. Typhoon Sea Coaster has been opening around 1:00 the past couple of weeks I have been at the park. In Paradise Island, the wave pool has been only running one wave down the middle so there is almost no waves in 2/3 of the pool. It has been this way for the better part of the month that I can remember. The water park is also playing XM Radio's '80s station. This made my wife happy since she likes to relieve her wild past. The park was clean for the most part, except for trash around the Skull Island food court. (sidebar....I realize the park employs people to pick up the trash, however, the guest at the park are the ones that put it there to begin with and as long as the guest want a trashy park, I can't fault the park for the problem).

In all, I had a good day at Six Flags America. One of the better ones this season. The park seems busier than last, especially since the third parking lot is being used around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Group Picnic busy seems to be pretty good this year.

If you have read this far, thanks for reading.

coasterguts

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Sunday, August 1, 2004 1:39 AM
Now, if only ALL the crews on ALL the rides could be consistantly good...
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Sunday, August 1, 2004 6:38 AM
I agree Coaster Lover. This season though the crew on Wild One has been the most consistent at doing a good job.
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Sunday, August 1, 2004 12:24 PM
So they've finished putting up the fencing around all low lying portions of superman's track? I wonder what other rides will be getting "corraled" during the remainder of the season.

About Wild one's station....I still think they do a much better job with throughput on the ride & that the station doesn't really need the queue mods like superman did,now if only the entrance were at the middle like on Roar it would really speed things up but of course the station entrance is where it is & can't easily be changed.

So far no word yet on any 05 attractions? I really doubt that we'll be seeing anything major what with SF giving SFGRADV a major coaster next year although I did send them an email about it & got a somewhat interesting & suprisingly fast reply.

I recieved an email from the marketing director for SFA & of course not suprisingly he said that at this point they are unable to offer any major info at this time...but that the park is constantly evaluating the quality of it's "products & services" & are always conducting research into making the best use of it's cap ex funding & that guest opinions recieved are highly valued in making these decisions.

I did of course mention that some parks (SFGRADV) have gotten now 2 coasters while in that same time frame SFA has gotten none,so he'll be sure to pass that sentiment along to management & planning.

As for 05 he went on to say that that "if & when any new attractions are planned for 2005 there will be an announcement on the official site"(no suprise there),as of now the park is still in the planning stages & hasn't decided 100% just yet on what if anything new is coming to the park next year.

Anyhow I'll be visiting next saturday & hopefully Batwing will be up to two trains (I doubt it though) & I'm also glad to hear JJ is finally back at full capacity as well. *** Edited 8/3/2004 12:16:27 AM UTC by BATWING FAN SFA***

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Sunday, August 1, 2004 4:30 PM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
So they've finished putting up the fencing around all low lying portions of superman's track? I wonder what other rides will be getting "corraled" during the remainder of the season.

That's interesting, seems there has been a chain-wide fencing going around for all low-lying track in addition to new red danger signs in all restricted zones.

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Sunday, August 1, 2004 5:31 PM
Cameraman,

Which park have you seen this at?

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Sunday, August 1, 2004 11:01 PM
Six Flags New Orleans and Six Flags Great Adventure. Who knows, there could be more.
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Monday, August 2, 2004 9:07 AM
regardless of whom the e-mail belongs to, it's wrong to post a persons e-mail without theeir specific permission. *** Edited 8/3/2004 2:18:32 AM UTC by Sam A. Marks***
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Monday, August 2, 2004 9:16 AM
Very Nice TR "guts" I was there Sunday and was happy to see that (contrary to what the haters might see) all rides were running.

Regarding the queue for wild one and jinx, they'll be worked on as they get the opportunity, patience is the key, as it is low priority.

The fences are going up completely surrounding superman. and I saw more fencing which apparently is being staged for adding. in addition, the exit queue for SROS is being heightened, I would suspect to stop idiots from jumping over and getting back in the entrance querue w/o going around the whole way.

Isn't it interestin that there's a fence around the far helix on superman, and sign that say keep out, in an area that nobody goes into? hmmmmm

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Monday, August 2, 2004 9:26 AM
Yeah... I found that interesting as well. The track is taller than the fence.
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Monday, August 2, 2004 11:10 AM
Excuse me, but when was Rattler ever considered a classic? It's one of the biggest pieces of crap I've ever ridden.
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Monday, August 2, 2004 12:22 PM
A bad attempt at sarcasm. I agree with you on Rattler, I rode Texas Giant last summer as well and thought it was pretty rough. If I'm not mistaken, I believe it has since been retracked or at least something has been done to smooth it out, but can't be positive.

Sam, I just saw the comment about the e-mail address, I agree, perhaps we should ask SFA if they would like to post Batwing Fan's e-mail address. I'm sure there a few people around here that would like to tell him a thing or two on how to improve himself. ;)

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Monday, August 2, 2004 3:29 PM
Oh come on now. People tell Batwing Fan how to improve himself all the time on here, and it's usually not too subtle:) We just have to get one B&M and he'll be happy.
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Monday, August 2, 2004 7:12 PM

BATWING FAN SFA said:


You can reach Chris at @sftp.com so you can do your part by providing information on how the park can provide a better,more exciting experience for their guests .


I would go as far as guaranteeing that Chris doesn't want his e-mail posted here, and I'll bet ya that BATWING FAN SFA has SCREWED any chance he has of being thought of as a "friend" of the park.

It's unthinking acts like this that make coaster enthusiasts everywhere look like FOOLS. I'm embarassed that I could even remotely be associated with BATWING FAN SFA.

Next time use that little thing on your shoulders for something other than bashing the restraints on Mind Eraser!

Chris, and SFA deserve a very serious and humble apology.

SAM *** Edited 8/3/2004 2:13:08 AM UTC by Sam A. Marks***

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Monday, August 2, 2004 8:21 PM
Sam I have since removed the link in my previous post as I had been asked.

Now I made a mistake in posting that contact information & I apologize for doing so,we all make mistakes from time to time & I originally assumed that said employee wouldn't mind but I guess they did,I made a mistake & have learned from it.

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Monday, August 2, 2004 9:08 PM
Sam,

May I suggest you edit your post and removed the link has well. I could guess the missing digit in the quote in 36 messages or less.

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Thursday, August 5, 2004 9:17 PM
This so kool, I was at six flags great Adventure last weekend and I saw some fences surrounding an area around superman ultimite flight and the paying booth for parking. I hope that SFA do get a new coaster. SFA is my hometown park and I live 10mins away but I never go there because its lame in respect to ride (but thats just me).

I will tell you this, if any "employee"(kiddies) tell you that SFA is getting a ride this early in the season it must be a lie. I myself was an employee, and I remember hearing other speculating about coasters for 2004, however they never got one. I would wait until october, that when some part begin to arrive, much like blizzard river.

Great job guys! Imma go to SFA just to peep! CYA


By the way coasterguts, are you the same guy from SFnews? that was the longest forum EVER on SFA, LOL *** Edited 8/6/2004 1:20:33 AM UTC by SFAmerica***

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Friday, August 6, 2004 12:15 PM
October? more like december to february.

We won't know until sometime around novemeber/december if anything has been submitted to the PG county planning board for approval & we won't get an announcement til sometime in february like usual.

Now of course they could just build one of the remaining rides on the 99 list,they are the runaway car ride,indoor dark ride,120ft tall ferris wheel & an as of now undetermined attraction....these 4 rides require no further action from the county to be built but any new ride not on the list(ie floorless coaster) would require county planning board approval prior to construction.

So far no requests for permits to build a new ride have been submitted by SFA to the county all the way through october(I looked at the long range agenda on the county's website)& they're running out of time.

Still the fencing does seem odd to be placed near the 1st helix & nowhere else in the layout,although I'm sure they'll probably have it up by frightfest around all lowlying portions of superman's course & they are for safety,not construction.

Although perhaps it could be so surveyers can safely be on the site doing field work for a new ride for next year but I'm having my doubts about any new ride coming now.

I think SFGRADV will be the only park to get a coaster,or any ride for that matter in 2005,even SFMM seems pretty quite rumor wise.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 9:02 PM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
October? more like december to february.


We won't know until sometime around novemeber/december if anything has been submitted to the PG county planning board for approval & we won't get an announcement til sometime in february like usual.

you don't know that is true!


Now of course they could just build one of the remaining rides on the 99 list,they are the runaway car ride,indoor dark ride,120ft tall ferris wheel & an as of now undetermined attraction....these 4 rides require no further action from the county to be built but any new ride not on the list(ie floorless coaster) would require county planning board approval prior to construction.

That is absolutely UNTRUE! why do you post things as truth, when they are not TRUE??????

the list of rides they submitted was simply to give the county an idea of what they might do in the future. They need FULL aproval for ANY coaster they install, even those on that proposed ride list.


So far no requests for permits to build a new ride have been submitted by SFA to the county all the way through october(I looked at the long range agenda on the county's website)& they're running out of time.

It takes 5 months average to build a coaster, what timepiece are you using???


Still the fencing does seem odd to be placed near the 1st helix & nowhere else in the layout,although I'm sure they'll probably have it up by frightfest around all lowlying portions of superman's course & they are for safety,not construction.

Once again you're posting your opinion as FACT! how do you know it's not for construction?


Although perhaps it could be so surveyers can safely be on the site doing field work for a new ride for next year but I'm having my doubts about any new ride coming now.

what mythical site are you reading now?


I think SFGRADV will be the only park to get a coaster,or any ride for that matter in 2005,even SFMM seems pretty quite rumor wise.


you would know about ALL the worlds coasters huh?


*** Edited 8/8/2004 1:05:39 AM UTC by Sam A. Marks*** *** Edited 8/8/2004 1:10:25 AM UTC by Sam A. Marks***
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Saturday, August 7, 2004 10:09 PM
Do we need to read every single thread out there now to be on patrol for assholishness? Be nice to each other for God's sake.
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Closed topic.

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