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Posts posted by DBJ

  1. SFMM had a pretty good year after Lex opened. I am hoping that gives the upper management the encouragement to pursue other non-coaster attractions for the future. If SFNE loses Twister, SFMM certainly can use that. Generally though, I don't think the park needs traditional flat rides. What has been killing it in the local market have been the dark rides like RSR and Transformers. If they could tap into part of that trend, I think it would help overall. Part of Full Throttle's expense is the improvements to the infrastructure, with the new supposed high energy area around the coaster installation. Hope after Full Throttle opens, they still keep working towards improving the area. I was encouraged a few years back with the work done around Batman, and hope to see that push continue.

  2. I think they can improve upon Carsland quite a bit. RSR, is stunning, but quite a bit of that is the themed scenery. The actual high speed section could be improved if the cars were actual roller coaster trains. Love to see RSR as a multi launcher coaster with a long layout. DHS could use a new coaster experience. Luigis tires to me would work well with the trackless ride vehicles. The air hockey version is just ok. Maters flat is passable, although I feel it woud work better if guests could rotate the vehicle like a teacup as you go through the mild whip motion of the ride.

  3. It looks great! The POV is very nice. One can only hope they continue this direction in the future. Would love to see this kind of attention to detail applied to some of the other attractions. It would be great if they were able to do show scenes like this for the stagecoach and railroad routes. I hope in the very near future, the boardwalk gains some shade structure for the two flats that fit the boardwalk theme. On a hot day, might be a tad toasty standing in those lines.

  4. For parents, there are a few options. But the less intense rides are the remaining water rides (3), Collosuss, Goldrusher, Apocalypse, Superman. There are 6 flats, classic fairground style. Depending on the tolerance for spinning, some options there. Goliath might be pushing it because of the helix. I don't consider Lex to be intense, very smooth and comfortable experience really, unless the guest is afraid of heights.

  5. If you are not pressed for time, and do not want to eat lunch in the park, several decent chain restaraunts very close by. Red Lobster (Old Road), quite a few options off the Old Road down towards the Wal Mart, or towards the mall. If eating in the park, passholders get a discount, and there is a 5% Discover card discount on everything including parking.


    Don't think it will be crowded, probably don't need to spend the dough on the Flashpass. Should be a great day to go.

  6. My survey was focused on Iron Man and Hot Wheels. I always tell them that the park shouldn't think of family rides only in the context of carnival style flats that are meant for small children and exclude adults. So in every survey, I write in the comments that they need to not focus on carnival rides as the only family attractions available for the park. It really is bizarre / unfortunate, that they don't study Legoland, Disney, and Universal in how to add "family" attractions that actually do have mass appeal. Also, I always tell them to focus on bringing in new attractions to Hurricane Harbor. Imo, if they added some infrastructure to make it convenient for guests to park hop between the parks in a single day, it would make the park more unique compared to the LA/OC parks.

  7. I also thought that Haunt has been improving over the past few years. Saw them to continue to experiment with new shows at least. The one at Mystery Lodge was new to me, and I thought turned out quite well. Even if Timber isn't used for the holiday seasons, there is always the Calico mine for a Haunt or Christmas overlay. Probably better for visitors to see the make-over for a couple of years before going in with seasonal decor. Didn't they skip an overlay for Haunt on Calico last year? Maybe that will come back for this year.

  8. Personally, I would look at the park map. The coasters at least have some variety to them. I would list R. Rapids and Lex Drop of Doom as two very solid attractions for adults. I imagine you would not book a trip for this park's (or any park's spinner) flat ride selection, and the ones at MM are mostly for the kids. Yes, the negatives are there but I would not say the park "sucks". It is not a hideous looking place by any stretch of the imagination. There are definately signs of older buildings that can be spruced up, and the bathrooms still need attention. In my life, I have never based travel decisions on the quality of the toilets.


    The food is ok, and mostly typical mall food court level. The ride op experience can and does fluctuate wildy between attractions. There is no real "entertainment" aspect that I would recommend, like theatrical, parade or concert presentations. For adults, it pretty much is a coaster park with 3 water rides and a drop tower. With the amount of coasters though, easy to occupy a full day there.


    I would pair it with Universal Studios, as it is the nearest park to SFMM, and they currently have one of the best dark rides with Transformers, on the west coast. It is a heavy show park, so a good compliment to SFMM's coaster only focus.

  9. I am going there Sunday, became an AP passholder this year after 5 year break. Here are my observations.


    1.) First thing in the am, get that R. Racers fastpass. I am talking like park opening. Almost everyone will be heading that way at park opening. The FP machine is on the way into Carsland, and it is not obvious in a crowd, although you will see a herd of people clustering around them. Depending on where you are in that herd, say for example you are within the 1st grouping, you may want to opt to go straight into the standby line and skip FP. Also, RR and Carsland looks unreal at night. Easily the best looking area of both parks at night. TOT is also the other attraction that sells out FP, at least it did on Good Friday.


    2.) WOC - should be your 2nd primary FP, if it the night show you want to see over whatever is happening at DL. After early morning Carsland, swing by and snag CA Screamin FP or TSMM, on the way down to GRR, where the FP machine is for WOC. The blue grouping on the FP is good viewing. The other WOC options are the picnic reservations and or the Carthay Circle viewing area (you get reserved tickets after eating there), both offer great views. If you are near the lagoon during WOC, high odds you will get wet. When we saw the show, we were in the Carthay reserved area, and it was not crowded, despite it being spring break.


    3.) GRR is a very solid rafting, good for a hot day. And Goofy's coaster is an ok wild mouse. Little Mermaid, man that line moves fast. Don't really have to plan around that being busy. You also might enjoy the Mad Tea Party in DCA.


    4.) Dole Whip is in Adventureland. Not sure if there is another location between the two parks.


    5.) My group enjoyed the kayaking on the river. It is one of those only at DL kind of experiences.

  10. I had lunch at the Carthay Circle in DCA on this past Good Friday holiday. The interior is quite stunning. The food is amazing. I had the pasta stuffed with short ribs. One of the best entrees I have ever had at the resort. The fried biscuits appetizer. These are lightly fried cheese filled bisuits, with a bit of jalepeno inside. Also, fantastic. For dessert, warm pear pie, with salted caramel ice cream. The waitress was fantatastic. We ate on the balcony overlooking the main part of BV street. Very nice to be out of the spring break crowds. It is expensive relative to the other food in DCA. There is a minor price break with the AP. I would not eat there every time at DCA, but for special occasions, it is great. But it does come with it's own Carthay Circle WOC reserved ticket / viewing area. That came in very handy later that night.

  11. I remember the Adventure's Club back from when I saw it in 1991. Never felt the urge to return to it. I also enjoyed just mostly walking around and looking at the decor.


    When they first built DCA, I always though that the Paradise Pier would have made a great addition to DD. Capture the amusement pier concept for the DD shopping district.


    The new direction sounds pleasant enough, and the concept art is quite nice of Disney Springs. Hopefully the springs have a bit of a show element to them at night.

  12. So that probably means that HP isn't until 2016? I suppose with Transformers being still so popular, there isn't a huge rush to drop in DM into the T2 building asap. I was in the park Sat, not much visible in the former Wild West stage area. It sure does leave quite a big gap in the upper lot. I hope the space is used for an actual attraction, and not just left blank except for maze space during HHN.

  13. The flash passes are worth it on a busy day. If you are hitting the park on a weekend during spring break, I would allow room in the budget to go for the gold flash pass just in case. If you have the option to be at the park during the a weekday in March, that is a better option than say Saturday. Luckily, you do not have to buy them upon entering the park, so you can be a bit flexible in when or if you purchase it based on crowd levels.


    Looks like the coasters question was covered pretty well. I would not expect Superman to be open in March though, be great if it was, but with Yolo being built, one never knows.


    If you are traveling with a Discover card, that shaves off 5'% of the all the prices (parking, food, etc.), and there is a Discover card member's entrance, to get you in earlier. This being SFMM, not sure how well they operate the discover card member entrance consistently however.


    Food wise, well, SFMM isn't really known for great food. I would eat a better breakfast in the a.m., and snack at SFMM at best, and then eat a later dinner. But, if you have to eat a full meal at the park, Panda Express is similar to the food court staple that people know and love. JB's and Johhny Rockets are "ok" choices, a tad high priced at JB's for what you get. The only sit-down with any ambience is Mooseburger Lodge. I would pass on all the pizza in the park, have yet to experience any of them that was good. Cold Stone is a good ice cream option. The funnel cakes, well, better make sure you get one freshly made. I did get served on that was pre-done, and it was not good. I chose not to risk my life on trying the sushi, but there is a station for it in Food Etc. If you can find it, the Dole Whips are pretty good.

  14. Imo, if the tracks are all going to be replaced, new trains, etc., they are almost building a new coaster. So why not take the best elements of Grizzly over in Hong King, and incorporate them into a new Big Thunder? Rethink the entire attraction space and not recreate what was there before, but to take it to an unexpected level, even if it meant a 2 yr construction time table.

  15. I would think of Full Throttle more as a reaction to the local marketplace. Essentially, they have gone with a Montezuma's Revenge style coaster found at Knott's Berry Farm. A powered launch into a loop, and that's pretty much it for the wow factor for both rides. Similar to how Lex gives them a taller drop tower ride than Knott's Supreme Scream. Or the former Deja Vu vs. Knott's Boomerang. SFMM didn't have a mouse style coaster yet like KNott's and DCA, so there you go, Green Lantern brought in. And with the rumored addition / makeover of the plaza surrounding Full Throttle, their own version of DCA's Mad Tea Party. I would expect SFMM's version also to focus on increasing food/bev/retail sales, similar to DCA's. Imo, they are looking at what has worked for Knott's, Disney, etc., and attempting to duplicate that success. It's a way to manage the risk of building something that no one wants, like the former poorly executed Thomas Town.

  16. A wood coaster certainly would go a lot farther in creating the classic "boardwalk" theme than a basic wild mouse they are intent on installing. I will not miss Boomerang at all. It is just too much of a headbanger to be enjoyable. I hope Knott's does have a vision plan for the area. So far the boardwalk theme pretty much looks like it is just going to expressed via wood fencing and possibly some new shrubbery. If they pull out Boomerang, relocate the ballroom, relocate Hammerhead, they do creae a decent sized plot of land for a wood shuttle coaster or something similar in scale.

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