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Arthur_Seaton

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  1. Glad to hear that they opted for this in the end. It seems like it'd make a big difference.
  2. A great addition and a spot-on location. A quarry-wall drop would have looked cool from an observer's perspective, but these rides look great free-standing as a central attraction as well. Excellent choice for this particular park.
  3. It's always been kind of the opposite for me. As someone who lived in the area for a couple of decades, I always loved SFMM and never understood the criticism it'd get. I currently living close(ish) to one of the most celebrated (SFFT) and I just don't get the appeal of that one at all. Don't get me wrong, I still visit now and again to marathon iRat and Superman, but different strokes I guess. I've only been to about five or six or the chain's parks, but SFMM is way, way at the top of the list for me. Fantastic report, Condor — particularly your writing style! I love Goliath and Füll Thröttle — always have, and Ninja is one of the park's standouts IMO. Conversely, I dislike X2 (very obviously a prototype!) and I'm not a fan of Tatsu either (the flying position feels awkward to me). I think West Coasters Racers is kind of terrible, but I also don't think I'm really the target audience for that one. Keep these reports coming as they're top-shelf and a blast to read!
  4. Nah, not a big fan of that one. I'll ride if there's no line but I don't find it particularly fun.
  5. The water park was closed from what I could tell — which was surprising given the heat / grossness. And thanks for the DDD tips. I had no idea that the planes had programs and just jumped on one at random; I didn't even watch it run first. The one I was in flipped like crazy for a solid minute and then just turned upside for like 10 seconds while the ride slowed down. Not great!
  6. I’m back in Texas again so I took a drive down to the park today, my first time back post-vaccine. The weather was gross — hot, gloomy, greasy — so I figured that’d minimize crowds. Indeed, the park wasn’t that busy but lines still grew a couple of hours after opening. A number of rides remained closed all day; quite a few more opened late or struggled to stay open. The parking kiosks were handing out employment flyers to everyone who entered, so I couldn’t help but wonder of the lax ops are due to staffing issues? Anyhow, I rode the usual stuff. I mainly go to Fiesta to ride iRat and Superman. I like a few of the other rides (like Joker), but those two are the main draw for me and I squeezed in a couple of early back-to-back spins before the the lines started to fill. I also wanted to check out the new (to me) flat, even though I had a hunch it wouldn’t be my thing. It looks cool and it’ll be a big hit with the crowds, but it’s quite the puke machine — a one-and-done affair for me. The main rotation isn’t the issue as it moves quite slow, but I found the looping unpleasant and nauseating. Combine that with the fact that it suspends you upside down for awkwardly-long moments. For this rider, it was neither thrilling nor fun, and perhaps a bit more worse than I’d anticipated. The GP will love it, though. Aside from that, a standard muggy day at the park but with reduced ops. iRat can do no wrong in my eyes, and I could marathon it with ease if given the chance. Superman can get a bit rattly / crunchy, but the two drops off the cliff make it worthwhile.
  7. I grew up close to Lightwater Valley and rode that coaster a lot when it first opened as The Rat. Now I live in Austin, so it's kind of funny that it'll be down the street from me once more. Granted, what made The Rat stand out was the subterranean queue and whatnot. But still, nostalgia . . .
  8. Space Mountain at Disneyland for me. Granted, it's mostly just a bunch of sharp right turns, but they get more and more intense as they go.
  9. Not controversial at all, in my opinion. I think Iron Rattler is a significantly-better ride than Wonder Woman, but I'm one of the outliers not particularly enamored by RMC's more chaotic, implacable designs. Out of the handful I've ridden, I still think New Texas Giant and Iron Rattler are the standouts. I'll ride Wonder Woman if there's no line, but I don't find it to be a particularly enjoyable or thrilling ride. And yes, I visited a few weeks ago and the place was slammed with next-to-no social distancing (on or off rides) and little mask compliance. It's possible to keep a distance through certain areas of the parks, but not if you plan on actually riding anything. It was disappointing to see, but not entirely unexpected. I ended up leaving after a couple of hours.
  10. I did see your pics! It looks like the young women you're sharing a flume ride with would benefit from hearing that message a little louder It was really only the Wonder Woman crew who were announcing the mask mandate today, and it didn't have a great deal of impact for anyone in that queue or on the ride.
  11. To be honest, that's what came to mind while I was there: they're doing the best they can. I'm assuming they've had to scale back to a skeleton crew, and that was perceptible on rides like iRat that appeared to be running trains with just two ride ops, one of which was both checking restraints and manning the controls. Given the circumstances, I couldn't help but think how challenging it must be to work under those conditions, with that kind of a crowd. It was disappointing to see employees with masks worn incorrectly, and I suspect that an increased security presence might prompt a little more pressure to uphold the rules. But I think it really comes down to the fact that peoples' experience of the pandemic and their response to it is all over the map.
  12. ^^ It was today, Bert — from about 11:15am to 2:00pm. The mask business was bad. I'm over getting bent out of shape about such things, but I did get a few stealth-creeper snapshots to send to friends. I'm not posting them here because, in a couple of cases, the masks were emblazoned with political messages and, well, not worn on the face. I did get a few general panos of rope drop / super-spreader pens as well. I must say, though, I stopped by the outlets on my way back to Austin, and it was the same business there, mask-wise.
  13. I visited the park today — my first time back to this or any park since quarantine. My expectations were low, and the visit was more of a reconnaissance mission to assess how SFFT is handling restrictions. The trip was predicated on the clause that if I sensed guests were being too reckless or park protections seemed sketchy, I'd bail. I did indeed end up bailing after just two hours, but that was really because the park was more crowded than I find tolerable in or out of quarantine. I try to keep in mind that folks' experience and concerns about safety varies, and that perhaps not everyone will be as cautious as I've been since lockdown. I’d say that I felt relatively safe in the park — largely due to the open areas — but there were a few moments that raised concern. One of these moments was a rope-drop, which I didn't anticipate having to contend with and I'm not sure is a wise idea for the park to encourage such a thing. I signed up for an 11:15am registration slot only to find that the main sections of the park didn't actually open until 12:00pm. In the 45 minutes it took to access the splinter pathways, the various plaza areas grew increasingly packed with folks not social distancing at all and many who'd apparently ditched their face masks upon entering. Once open, I legged it over to iRat and had maybe 30 or so people in front of me. There was no distancing at all in the queue line, and no distancing on the train (or any of the rides I went on). In fact, when I boarded, a total stranger with their mask in their pocket plopped right down next to me. They do have plexiglass screens in some stations now, but I’m not sure what good that’d do. Over the course of two hours, I got one ride each on iRat, Superman, Wonder Woman, Fireball, Pandemonium, Poltergeist, and Goliath. This was my first time on Fireball as it’s never looked that appealing, and I don’t fancy riding face-to-face with strangers on it. Since there was no-one in line, I jumped on for no other reason than to check a box. It’s what I expected: basically the equivalent of being pushed slowly around a loop in a janky shopping cart. I ventured back round to try and score some more rides on iRat and Superman (the park’s best rides, in my opinion, and examples of RMC and B&M’s best as well), but the lines were now seemingly long. By this point, more and more people were flooding in, so I decided that was enough and time to head out. On my way out, I noticed that the Fast Pass building by Boomerang had developed a line well beyond the barricades, so I assume that was a sign of a busy day. From what I could tell, the rides were operating well — all running good amounts of trains. In terms of social distancing, the experience wasn’t great. Guests were not paying much attention to markers when waiting for rides, and the rope-drop business was akin to attending an outdoor concert. Although it did seem like the ops were trying to minimize the amount of people on the platforms, there was no separation on the rides themselves whatsoever. In terms of face coverings, despite what the website says, they’re not required. Plenty of guests were boarding rides and chatting with employees with masks below their nose or off altogether. The Wonder Woman crew seemed a little more diligent about this, but I even saw employees in the carnival stands by Superman with their masks off, too. From a purely observational standpoint, I’d say that about 50% of guests were wearing adequate face coverings. The other 50% were either wearing them below the nose, around the chin, or dangling from an ear. There were, sadly, more than a few who appeared to take this to a performative level as though wanting to make a statement. Again, my reasons for leaving were really because the park was too busy. Even with seemingly-solid operations, the lines were more than I prefer to deal with. As noted, social distancing was poor, and guests’ willingness to show conscientiousness was as bad as can be expected. Having said that, I do think that it’d be possible for someone concerned about their health and/or the wellbeing of others to still visit and potentially work around these issues. For me, I’d rather return on a quieter day.
  14. They have a number of veggie options, one of which is at the Full Throttle Sports Bar (or whatever it's called). Ultimately, it's still all theme park food, but they do have a better selection of "healthy" food than some of the other parks I've visited.
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