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SFOG1991

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Everything posted by SFOG1991

  1. I was at the park for an event this past Saturday and just want to fill everyone in on some news relating to the park. All of this information came directly from Dale Kaetzel (Park President) and/or the park's marketing manager. Holiday In The Park this year will include 7 additional rides and additional areas of the park, which basically means the entire park will be open for Holiday In The Park! Dale also confirmed that the first year of HITP was a huge success and that the park will continue to celebrate HITP every season going forward (He was very confident about this). The intention of Hurricane Harbor was vastly to expand the park's capacity and cut down on lines and crowds in the dry park. There are plans to expand Hurricane Harbor but it is not confirmed that this will happen next year. However, he did make it sound like there were plans to expand in multiple phases, so the next expansion shouldn't be the last we see. Dale feels passionately that a park should not have a second entrance, and that our park will not invest in a back entrance like it used to have. There are no immediate plans for the area where the Thomas Town train is sitting abandoned, but he feels that the kids play area is vital for small children and mothers that want to take a break, so expect this to stick around and nothing to change in this area in the near future. The old dolphin show arena/dive show arena/abandoned arena (whatever you want to call it) could never have dolphins again due to its size and serves no other use so expect this to be removed and replaced likely with an expansion of the kids area. It is in the plans but there is no confirmation of what year. The parks 50th anniversary is on their radar so maybe expect something exciting to happen in 2017. We may see Great American Scream Machine run backwards again in the near future. That was just suggested though, not confirmed as a "plan". MonStore is completely gone sadly because Jelly Belly sells a lot better than custom merchandise for Monster Mansion (I was sad to hear this because I love internal merchandise and thought the store was absolutely great with the history of the ride and the option to purchase on ride photos). There will not be any Mindbender merchandise sold in the park for the same reason that Monstore is gone. Batman should be able to convert from backwards back to forwards during the weekdays that the park is closed, so it shouldn't have any downtime the following weekend, but things do happen. Fright Fest will be "bigger, better and scarier" than ever again this year. Also, the basically just pull from their boneyard for Fright Fest props. There are many boneyards behind the park. Tons of stuff! It was very clear that Dale was very aware of what is going on in the park. He even brought up the fact that Batman Backwards has had mixed reviews from guests and enthusiasts even for being unpleasantly disorienting. The new flat rides coming to Gotham City are being brought in because the park is aware they needed more flat rides. They are also aware that Joker Chaos Coaster isn't actually a coaster. The park was absolutely PACKED on Saturday (Goliath's line filled the entire queue except for the uncovered section of switchbacks that are never used. Longest line I have seen since opening day of Goliath in 2006), DDD queue was full and spilling onto the midway. Ninja is reopened with only one trains, the other train isn't anywhere to be found, and that line was full as well. 2-3 hour lines throughout the park but operations were EXTREMELY effiencient and the employees are across the board extremely friendly and aware of what they are doing. They seemed more in charge and on top of things than ever. Trains usually were not stacking, and if they did, it was brief. The lines were completely due to the fact that the park was packed. Both parking lots were nearly completely full.
  2. ^That is so sad to see. I was still holding out hope that somehow the park would return. I always wanted to go... It seemed like a perfect classic small park with everything I would hope for in a park of it's kind.
  3. I wish Dejavu never left.. I know the one at Magic Mountain had its occasional hiccups, but it never seemed to be plagued with the problems that the one in SFOG and SFGAM were plagued with. The one at SFOG was almost never running for most of its life at the park, but during its final 2 years of operation, it was open basically every single time I visited the park, and most days it was open first thing in the morning. I would run straight there to get front row! Absolutely loved that ride. I wish the world had more GIBs.
  4. I just want to jump in and say I absolutely love Ninja now. It used to be so rough a few years ago but now I find it to only be slightly rough and a genuinely unique and intense ride. I don't know if it is just because of the Arrow trains it received or what but I really love the ride now and would be really sad to see it go. I don't think the park has any coaster that should be removed. I would much rather see them add to their coaster count and they have the space. The abandoned Thomas Town train, boring go karts, and very back of the parking lot needs to be the site of a new large coaster investment (RIP Déjàvu)
  5. Phoenix I find it hard to believe that anyone who has been on both would pick Twister, but it is a matter of opinion. I feel like Twister isn't given enough credit since Phoenix is so great, but if Twister was at most parks it would be by far the best woodie there and a standout attraction.
  6. While they are fairs/carnivals by definition before they are amusement parks, there is a gray area in my opinion. I consider the Washington State Fair to be an amusement park in a way, because I would consider Stricker's Grove an amusement park even though it has had more limited operations in the past, and I consider parks that have rides primarily through fair ride company leases to still be amusement parks due to their permanent location and structures. The North Georgia State Fair now has a permanent chair lift and a permanent roller coaster, so while it may be a fair it stands out as more than a standard fair to me. Still, by definition really there is a solid distinction between the two.
  7. I believe the first or second weekend in May is the last weekend for it.. It leaves very early May I wanna say it's May 10th May 10th is what I recall as well. Really happy to hear about Mindbender being back to two trains. Despite its glory, knowing how quickly a good crew can churn through people with two train ops makes waiting for one train that much more painful! The crew at Mindbender has usually been the best in the park since the one train operations began. If they keep that up with the two train operations, I will definitely be spending a lot of time riding it over and over!
  8. I never really had much of an opinion on this until I rode a Zamperla Giant Discovery (Black Widow at Kennywood). That ride blows all of the others I've been on away. Black Widow is ridiculously better than MaXair (which was previously my favorite). I do really want to try SpinCycle (Maxi Dance Party 360) at Silverwood.
  9. I stood in line last week with one train stuck on the lift hill and the other stuck halfway into the station, so I can literally guarantee to you that there were two on the track. If I had known physical proof was needed, I would've gotten you a picture of both from that spot. It is not that I don't believe you, I just find it generally hard to believe and just really really odd considering it appeared nothing has changed since they lost the 2nd train last July, and come opening weekend it appeared to be the exact same situation as it has been for some 6 months, then suddenly all is normal and well. I am extremely excited to hear this news though!!! Yeah and all is well in under a week because I was there last weekend and it was still apart.. Now this weekend there are two trains.. I find it odd as well They might have purchased a train from another park and the second train that went down last year is now a part train If that's the case MOVE it.. Haha it looks like a junk yard with the train guts just laying there lol I would really love to know the answer. Are you saying there are 2 trains on the track and a 3rd in pieces between the maintenance shed and the loop? If so, the third train exists and is more put together than I thought (and was repainted along with the other 2 a few years back) or they bought a used train at some point. If the train that was on the ground is gone, I assume it was the 2nd of just 2 trains left and they somehow slapped it back together between opening weekend and the next weekend after seemingly not touching it since late last summer. I am still so confused by this... Genuinely excited though.
  10. I'll be able to let you know Sunday!! I will likely be there Sunday as well! I still can't fully believe Mindbender is back to 2 trains but if it is and if the park is as dead as it usually is on Easter Sunday I will be marathoning that masterpiece of a coaster!
  11. I stood in line last week with one train stuck on the lift hill and the other stuck halfway into the station, so I can literally guarantee to you that there were two on the track. If I had known physical proof was needed, I would've gotten you a picture of both from that spot. It is not that I don't believe you, I just find it generally hard to believe and just really really odd considering it appeared nothing has changed since they lost the 2nd train last July, and come opening weekend it appeared to be the exact same situation as it has been for some 6 months, then suddenly all is normal and well. I am extremely excited to hear this news though!!!
  12. I agree. I am pretty certain the one we saw in pieces (exactly where it has been since last season) is one of just 2 trains that exist at this point. I would love to hear that the ride has two train operation but it seems hard to believe. Can anyone else help to confirm if it is back to 2 train operations?
  13. They do not just provide a perception of safety. That statement would only make sense if they were turned off and being used as a prop of sorts. Anyways I am not saying they are necessary I am mostly just noting that the park went from having high safety standards upon entry to having almost none. The real point of my post was that I simply found the old entrance to be much nicer looking. I do love the bridge with Fury passing over and under it though. Edit: I've physically seen knives confiscated at park entrances before and maybe you haven't, but it isn't like there is a news report every time someone has a weapon confiscated.
  14. Exactly. That has to be new one, someone complaining about the lack of metal detectors/bag check at an entrance. Definitely not a new one as I've heard the same from many other people. I doubt I'm the only person who likes to know they are safe. Metal detectors and bag checks don't mean a long inefficient line.
  15. I never said that and I've never had a problem with getting through Carowinds old entrance and even if I did, they could've easily added to it. It is less safe as well and you can't really argue that no metal detectors and not checking bags is more safe than having metal detectors and bag checks. Just because nothing bad has happened yet doesn't mean nothing bad can happen. Every type of incident has a first. Regardless it is just my opinion that the new entrance is bland, generic and ugly while the old one was unique and more attractive. I really enjoy the park but that's just how I feel about it and a lot of recent Cedar Fair structures.
  16. I completely agree. I thought the old entrance was beautiful, unique and fitting. The new entrance is extremely generic and boring. The amount of gray is painful. Also, while the new entry process is more open and fast, it also didn't feel safe. Metal detectors are very important for public safety and with such an open entrance people were just strolling through with bags completely unchecked. I saw this dozens of times in a matter of minutes. People were complaining about it on their Facebook as well. So basically in the end I see no positives to their new entrance other than capacity, but that is something that could've been resolved while keeping their original entrance.
  17. Season Pass holders to SFMM buy their passes for two reasons: 1. rides. 2. cost. I don't think the majority of their season pass holders will care about a refurbished bathroom or fresh coats of paint. While it doesn't make an immediate impact, customer service/ambience/cleanliness are very important for any park. It is a slippery slope. SFOG had a major change in their clientele and by 2005 the atmosphere at the park was just very unappealing. They managed to turn it back into an environment that appeals to a wider audience in recent years in my opinion. This does make a difference as I knew a lot of people who wouldn't go to the park anymore. Six Flags America and Kings Dominion are a good example of 2 parks to compare on that level.
  18. Yes, Mark Shapiro spoke with the AJC in Atlanta during the construction of Goliath in late 2005 and pretty much made the statement "No more Goliaths" and no park in the chain has invested as much since. While that decision makes perfect sense considering what the company has been through, I do wish they selectively allowed for larger investments one park at a time.
  19. Mind Bender has been running just one train since I believe late July of last summer. The train is in pieces between the maintenance building and the first loop and seems to have not been moved since being placed there, which makes me wonder how much longer it will be that way. I mean 8 months is a long time for one train operations and you would think they could have pretty much any issue fixed by now. I really hope they are actually working on it... Georgia Cyclone has the topper track from the first drop through the bottom of the second drop as you mentioned. I was a bit skeptical at first but hopestly topper track is AMAZING on the ride. Sadly they never continued that job but they did retrack the third drop with new wood, and retracked a few other small parts along the course. It is running MUCH better than it has in previous years. The front seat isn't even rough now and the front of the last car is only a bit rough and the airtime is great. GASM was running great in my opinion in 2012/2013, but last year was pretty bad. It has become rough and that masks the floater airtime. Luckily the did retrack the first half of the return stretch but it needs more work honestly. Ninja is also a much more enjoyable ride than it was a few years ago. The Arrow trains helped a lot and the ride has just become consistently smoother. I actually really enjoy it now. The slight headbanging doesn't bother me whereas a few years ago it was awful. Also, a heads up for your visit, operation opening weekend were terrible compared to previous years. Extremely slow dispatches on most rides, Ninja is completely closed, Mind Bender is 1 train, Batman Backwards has been 1 train or non-operational, DDD has just 2 of 4 cars running, GASM had 1 train when I was there, Monster Mansion was closed, the water rides don't look like they have been prepped at all so who knows if they will be open. The park has been getting progressively better with operations in 2013 and 2014 so I was really disappointed to see how poor the operations are starting off this season. Scream Machine was up to two trains on Sunday, Scorcher was also up to two trains on Sunday, from one on Saturday.. All the parks that have ran Batman backwards have ran two trains right?? I saw the other train in the transfer shed, and it looked to be turned in their backwards but it was hard to tell because I was in the back/front of the train. Log Jamboree was open, they usually open Thunder River and Splashwater around spring break, if you get a chance go to where the pay cannons are and look out on an empty thunder River, I think it's neat looking all drained. I did see the second Batman train and it was backwards, so their intention at least is to run 2 trains. Thunder River does look cool empty. When it is running it is probably the most realistic rapids ride I have seen. In the summer when a thunder storm rolls in they actually drain it for the storm then refill it (at least I have seen that). The process is really impressive! Very fast.
  20. It is disappointing because operations were honestly pretty good last year. They really had everything together for Fright Fest and Holiday In The Park was pretty good as well. I hope it improves. I expected it to be better than opening day last year since their hiring process seems to have improved but I guess not. You will be fine since you will be there for 3 days! I think you'll be impressed with Cyclone's improvement, even if it doesn't compare to when it first opened. I'll be at the event on April 11th (I assume you mean Spring Fling) as well with my boyfriend. The ERT will be a great time to get night rides on Mind Bender and avoid the usual 1 train operations line.
  21. Mind Bender has been running just one train since I believe late July of last summer. The train is in pieces between the maintenance building and the first loop and seems to have not been moved since being placed there, which makes me wonder how much longer it will be that way. I mean 8 months is a long time for one train operations and you would think they could have pretty much any issue fixed by now. I really hope they are actually working on it... Georgia Cyclone has the topper track from the first drop through the bottom of the second drop as you mentioned. I was a bit skeptical at first but hopestly topper track is AMAZING on the ride. Sadly they never continued that job but they did retrack the third drop with new wood, and retracked a few other small parts along the course. It is running MUCH better than it has in previous years. The front seat isn't even rough now and the front of the last car is only a bit rough and the airtime is great. GASM was running great in my opinion in 2012/2013, but last year was pretty bad. It has become rough and that masks the floater airtime. Luckily the did retrack the first half of the return stretch but it needs more work honestly. Ninja is also a much more enjoyable ride than it was a few years ago. The Arrow trains helped a lot and the ride has just become consistently smoother. I actually really enjoy it now. The slight headbanging doesn't bother me whereas a few years ago it was awful. Also, a heads up for your visit, operation opening weekend were terrible compared to previous years. Extremely slow dispatches on most rides, Ninja is completely closed, Mind Bender is 1 train, Batman Backwards has been 1 train or non-operational, DDD has just 2 of 4 cars running, GASM had 1 train when I was there, Monster Mansion was closed, the water rides don't look like they have been prepped at all so who knows if they will be open. The park has been getting progressively better with operations in 2013 and 2014 so I was really disappointed to see how poor the operations are starting off this season.
  22. I was there on Saturday and was a bit disappointed not to see much of any new trackwork or paint on Georgia Cyclone. I think they did some trackwork on the final turn into the brakes, but that may have been from last year. Regardless, I rode in the front of the train as well as the front of the last car. The ride is competely comfortable in the front row now other than some shuffling in the turns. The front of the back car was as wild as ever but definitely the most comfortable it has been in years. Great American Scream Machine was running pretty well. It didn't seem to be delivering as much on airtime as previous years. They did retrack the first half of the return stretch after the turnaround which was overdue and really makes the roughest section of the ride now on par with the rest. They were only running one train on Saturday regardless of the long line. I really wish they continued with the topper track for Cyclone but it is still running well with the new wood. GASM could really use some work to make for a smoother experience because when it is bumpy you don't feel the floater airtime.
  23. Their schedule is up now and they are open daily 2 and a half weeks before Memorial Day. I have visited before, and I am assuming on a weekday before Memorial Day will be pretty light in terms of crowds. As for Justice League, I am not sure but it seems like Six Flags usually debuts their new rides on Memorial Day weekend so you may be out of luck. It is a really nice park in the chain. Their operations are spotty but you should have a great time still! NTaG is amazing.
  24. 50 degrees is too high! B:TR at SFSL operates at well below that temp. I'm not saying 30 is good, but 50 isn't the number. I'd heard that 42 degrees (give or take a few) is the minimum temperature that most B&Ms can operate in, but I could be wrong. Goliath, Batman, Scorcher, and Superman at Six Flags Over Georgia were operating last October at around 34 degrees. Also, Goliath and Dare Devil Dive were open until 1am that evening for a season pass ERT event and it was pushing 32 degrees at that point. Goliath had its trim brake off, so it does run slower in those temps (however that did make the half after the trim faster than usual) but it was running 95% like normal. I was shocked they were all running near the freezing point. Especially since when I called the park it was 42, and they told me the coasters don't run under 50 degrees however that they were running at that moment even though it was clearly 42. I questioned the phone rep on that and she couldn't seem to understand why it made no sense. Typical Six Flags I guess I think it just depends on the park and how they want to operate the ride, I am sure B&M has some standard or suggestion though.
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