Frontier City - July 21, 2021
It had been roughly a year since my last visit to any park. Up until now, my most recent park visits were Adventureland and Mt. Olympus (which I might make trip report reflecting back on my experiences there if I can gather enough pics to make a decent TR). That trip was at the very end of July into early august of 2020. I would've had more park trips in the Fall and Winter of 2020 as well as some in Spring of 2021, but luck was absolutely NOT on my side as it seemed freak ice storms, floods, and other complications seemed to arise right before my trips. But thankfully, I was able to pull this visit off without any problems! Even though Frontier City is my home park (still a 2.5 hr drive from me, though), it was still very exciting to be back in the park after such a long time away from any park, despite having visited here way too many times to count.
Frontier City has an interesting history as it has been passed around by different owner and operators like a game of hot potato. The park has gone from being an independent park, to being owned and by quite a few different companies, large and small, as well as being acquired by Six Flags, sold, then reacquired by Six Flags once again. Unfortunately, after Six Flags dropped the park the first time, it saw many operational complications and the quality of the park tanked. Thankfully, after some changes in management in the early 2010s the quality of the park improved greatly through different refurbishment projects around the park, steps to improve guest experience, and greatly improved ride operations. In 2018, we saw six flags purchase the operating rights to the park. Many locals, including myself were concerned that the park may return to the dreadful state it was in the first time Six Flags got their hands on the park. Luckily, the exact opposite has happened. Six Flags has poured so much time, energy, and resources into improving the park. From investing in park infrastructure, adding more food options, and even adding theming, it has done so much to increase the quality of the park. However, it is by no means a perfectly operated park. They still have things that need adressed, but nothing that will drastically impact your experience in the park. Enough with the general information about the park, lets get into my visit!.
I arrived roughly an hour after the park opened. No wait to get into the parking lot this time. That was a good sight to see after hearing from some friends that the line to get into the parking lot has been absurd this season.
Guests arriving into the park are greeted by a view of one of the park's best investments of all time. No, not Diamondback. The shade structure that was recently added to Diamondback's station. No more roasting in the scorching Oklahoma sun while waiting to ride!
However, we were also greeted by very broken Diamondback. Not an uncommon sight the last few seasons. If it says anything about its reliability, despite Frontier City being my home park, it has been over 3 years since I have been able to ride Diamondback. It's either completely closed all day, or it will open for a short span of time either in the morning or evening, and proceed to close for the day after just a few cycles. The thing makes Lightning Rod seem reliable.
I'm not too pressed about missing out on it again. I just can't enjoy Arrows like this in the way other enthusiasts do. I'd much rather spend my time riding the incredible and smooth Schwarzkopf looper on the other side of the park. Though, if you've traveled to the park specifically to get this credit, I can totally understand the frustration of missing out on it.
Alright, let's head into the park! First stop, like in many parks, is security. It's worth noting that they're still using the walkthrough bag scanning / metal detector machines they installed last year for covid. But any large bags will still get checked by hand.
Right off the bat, you will start to notice surprisingly high quality landscaping and attention to detail. This right here is one of the park's strengths. What they may lack in ride and coasters, they make up for with presentation. And boy are they good at it. Well, for the most part... There are some parts of the park that look pretty drab, but they're few and far between.
If you need to purchase tickets, you'll head to the small building in the front. If not, you'll head towards the large entrance building which also doubles as the park's main giftshop.
Inside this building is also the entrance to Diamondback. Thanks to the terrain of the park and the positioning of the coaster, you'll only have to walk up some ramps and two flights of stairs as opposed to the long climb up other Arrow Shuttle Loops.
After exiting the giftshop, you'll enter the park's beautifully themed and landscaped Mainstreet area.
If you head straight, you'll see the entrance to Fort Frontier. This is home to two restaurants, some smaller shops, an arcade, one of the park's stages, and access to the main theatre of the park. I didn't see any shows this visit, but Frontier City's shows are very high quality with some cool set designs and impressive talent. My personal favorite show is the Gunfighter show the park runs regularly throughout the day. I'll speak more on that in a bit.
Looking back towards the main entrance
If you head to the right, you'll find the park's Sally dark ride, Quickdraw, Mystery River Log Flume, and the park's zipline attraction which uniquely runs directly over Mainstreet. It was the last addition to the park before Six Flags came in. It used to cost only a few bucks to ride, but I'm certain the price has likely increased.
Quickdraw may have an impressive facade, but the immersion and detail does not continue inside the ride. Though, it was one of the earlier Sally designs, so I can understand why it may be of lesser quality.
Some new theming adjacent to Quickdraw, likely covering some maintenance / infrastructure stuff.
Mystery River Log Flume is one of my personal favorite flumes. It's also sporting a refurbished and redesigned dark ride section for this season. Capacity is really poor on this ride as they only seem to be loading 4 logs. Though, I personally feel it's worth the wait for the theming alone.
This flume features two drops and some interesting pseudo-rapids sections.
Another angle of the final and largest drop.
If you head the left in Mainstreet, you'll come across Timber Town, the first attraction Six Flags has added. It features some cute theming, and some awesome play structures for children. If I was still kid, I'd likely love this area with all the things you can explore and climb. This area is also home to the park's newest coaster, Frankie's Mine Train. It is a standard Zamperla kiddie coaster. And yes... adults can ride.
It wouldn't be a Six Flags without a Super Loop...
At least its sorta themed.
Adjacent to Brain Drain is the park's Member Lounge. This is also where you pick up your member skip-the-line passes.
Steel Lasso is the park's Vekoma suspended family coaster. It was added in 2008 and remains the park's only major coaster that wasn't relocated here. It used to be the only original coaster here until Frankie's Mine Train opened, replacing Wild Kitty which came from Elitch Gardens.
It's a fun and enjoyable ride. It serves its purpose of being a great family coaster. Though, it did have the longest line in the park due to some pretty slow operations. It would usually go 5-10 minutes between dispatches. Even though there weren't more than a few thousand people in the park, that was still enough to create a pretty lengthy wait.
I will say, it is a very well presented ride!
The real star of the show here is Silver Bullet. Aside from being an excellent ride, it has some pretty interesting history to it. It debuted in Germany as the very first transportable looping coaster made by Schwarzkopf. This is evident from the sharper transitions and differences in profiling compared to other Looping Star layouts. It was also the only Schwarzkopf transportable looper to run the 1st generation Looping Speedracer trains. It's the last remaining operating Looping Speedracer train now that Revolution at SFMM and Sooperdooperlooper at Hershey Park have had their trains replaced. Little bit of history for ya.
Silver Bullet was running incredible this visit. It was butter smooth (I mean, its a Schwarzkopf, so that's expected) and running faster than I've ever experienced it running. I don't believe it ever closed for maintenance issues this visit either. It's good to see that as it's had some struggles the last few seasons.
It still remains one of my all time favorite looping coasters.
Though, aesthetically, the ride is not doing well. You can see patches of practically every color scheme the ride has had since day 1 of being on the German fair circuit. The trains are in poor condition as most of the lap bars are completely wrapped in duct tape, some of the headrests are completely broken, a lot of the grab bars are bent, and there are a lot of cracks in the fiberglass. It would be sad to see these historic trains go, but I personally would like to see Six Flags add their custom Schwarzkopf trains to this ride. That would also add the second train this ride so desperately needs for busier days.
But even in its current state, it still remains a super photogenic ride.
Wildcat is the park's wooden coaster and seems to be the crowd favorite coaster.
A little bit about the history of the ride...
Wildcat has undergone a major refurbishment for this season. This has brought the ability to now run two trains. This is the new red train in action.
Despite the higher crowd level, Wildcat was still running just one train. Here's the old blue train, sitting in the maintenance bay all sad and lonely, wanting to be a part of the fun.
Though, going by appearances, you wouldn't be able to tell there was a major investment made to the ride as a lot of the ride looks pretty dilapidated.
But the ride runs a lot better than it looks. There may be no airtime or exciting drops on the ride, it still is a fun ride. Though, the turnaround section offers some pretty violent laterals. I don't know how those 6 seater PTC cars handle that element so well. Also, the ride's very forested setting makes for an excellent night ride. Though, the park isn't open after dark very often.
Oh and they show you all the wooden coasters you'd much rather be riding while you're waiting in the station.
Working our way from Wildcat to Renegade Rapids. The buildings straight ahead and slightly to the right are on the backside of the Gunfighter Show. This is one of the park's most iconic and popular attractions. It runs regularly throughout the day and has a different script in the evening closer to closing. It features lots of guest interaction, some SDC like comedy, impressive stunts, fire, explosions, and a splashy finale that will soak any audience members not underneath the roof of the seating area.
More new theming.
Continuing from Wildcat, you'll come to Renegade Rapids, their Hopkins rapids ride.
Aside from the concrete trough and theming, it has essentially been completely rebuilt over the last few years.
It features some rather well themed sections and a small drop towards the end of the ride that will likely drench one unlucky rider in each boat. There are some water features added this season after said drop that will ensure the ones spared by the drop will still get plenty wet.
They used to have gravestones in here throwing shade at all of the park's previous owners and making fun of their failures. Not surprisingly, Six Flags quickly removed them.
One of the prettiest parts of the park.
Best ride sign for some bumper cars?
This building used to house a Pinfari coaster, but now it's often used for fright fest.
Two closed flat rides. Not entirely sure if its staffing or mechanical. Gunslinger is a Zamperla Power Surge after all, so it's likely down due to mechanical issues. I'm not used to seeing sidewinder closed, however.
Well that concludes my trip report of my recent visit to Frontier City. Overall, I do enjoy this park a lot. It sets itself apart from the other Six Flags parks which is something I can greatly appreciate. I was afraid it would lose its identity after Six Flags reacquired the park. But that's not the case. Its a gorgeous park, extremely clean, and the employees are some of the most friendly and efficient out of the Six Flags parks I've been too. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit it if it weren't my home park, but if you find yourself near the park sometime, I'd encourage you to check it out. You can experience most of the park in just a few hours given it's not absurdly busy.