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Everything posted by Lotologist492

  1. Great TR! This being my home park, I always enjoy the perspective from a first time visitor. I have long said this park has so much wasted potential. it has a decent collection of rides and a very scenic terrain (as you mentioned in your TR). I know this park suffers from a lack of leadership - although I cannot say for certain how much blame is on our park President or on lack of corporate support. Having been to eleven other SF parks plus KI and some smaller parks, I hate to admit our park is low on the list. (My favorite: SF Fiesta Texas!) I continue to hold out hope that things are changing for the better. SF got a new CEO almost two years ago and I suspect the pandemic year may have slowed potential progress and/or changes but I still hope. At the end of the day, it is not necessarily all about the rides for me. I go to theme parks to escape the everyday grind and have a little fun. I really abhor dealing with real-world problems inside any theme park, like rude service and long food lines. If our park could clean up, refresh the theming, properly train the staff, and provide that escape, they would not have to add any major attractions, and I would be very happy. I do hope you return for a visit and let us know in advance when you do!
  2. There are also two tiers of FL / FLP. The basic Fast lane allows you front of line access on a short list of major rides. FL Plus - the list is considerably longer and includes major rides like Orion and Mystic Timbers. I bought FLP last week on my first ever visit here and got rides in on all the major coasters (Beast was closed), including four rides on Orion. The investment was worth it. The day of fun starts right here! Amazing theming. Nightly fireworks show and party in this area was a nice bonus. The park is proud of Orion and it shows. There are banners advertising it all over the park. Plus the lighting package at night is amazing. Next summer I will visit sister park KD but I will definitely be back here again!
  3. Free Spins are actually a lot of fun. I have ridden four copies of them at SF parks and theming will really make a difference. After having visited KI for the first time a few weeks ago, I plan on visiting this park next summer.
  4. Looking to the regulars here for some tips....I plan on visiting this park for the first time on Monday, August 2nd. Are Monday crowds manageable here? As I will only have this one day available (I am in town for a convention) I am considering purchasing a fastpass+. This will also be my first ever visit to a Cedar Fair park. Naturally I will be hunting coaster credits but I want to see as much as possible what this park has to offer. I hear lots of good things about it. I am confident the quality will be a leap up from the Six Flags parks I am used to.
  5. After three long years we finally returned to this park (Our favorite SF park easily!) The weather helped keep the crowds down both days (Saturday it was raining until after lunchtime and Sunday just plain hot and humid). I was eager to try out the three attractions added since our last visit: Pirates, DDD, and Joker. The Pirates of the Deep Sea was heavily themed, entertaining, and a welcome break from the outside heat. I found Dare Devil Dive Flying Machines to be surprisingly fun for what it was but not something I would want to ride again and again. The theming was really cool though. There was a costumed 'character' greeting riders in the queue - I think he was supposed to be 'the inventor'. Curiously, this ride did not elevate to the top on every cycle but stayed low to the ground. I only observed the planes up in the air once. Lastly, The Joker Carnival of Chaos was as fun as I expected. I really like these pendulum rides. I did notice there was a sign near the queue entrance advertising the world record specifications of this ride, still referring to it with the discarded name "Wild Card". Poltergeist was down but we already had the credits from prior visits. Still missed riding it though. I really liked Hustler's new paint job. The bonus of the day was the Rock The Night Grand Finale fireworks and laser show. I remember seeing a similar show three years ago and this one did not disappoint. The Diamond / DE seating area was nice too. Ride ops and food service were excellent. We will be back! Great addition to the park! Awesome theming but lacks the re-rideability of many other rides here. This view never gets old! Signs like this were all over the park. Possibly a haunt overlay to Poltergeist queue? Another great finale! We will be back
  6. I just got home from visiting the park on the final day of the (now ceremonial) mask and reservation policies. Even though masks were still required, about half of guests were not wearing them. And there was no enforcement. This does not surprise me though as the park was closed all week and opened today with the very next day having the mandates lifted. Also of note, the temperature checking equipment at the front gate had already been removed; guests just walk through an empty building. In all likelihood, this area will be streamlined as the dedicated baggage check area. The park will also have to create new recorded policy announcements to reflect the change. (The existing recording still references the mandatory mask policy.) I am just happy I no longer have to remember to make reservations. Although I will probably avoid SFoG for a while with the summer crowds and quarantine-weary guests returning, I will likely be visiting nearby White Water a lot. And in two weeks, I will be traveling with friends to both Texas SF parks.
  7. Once you purchase a dining pass it is added to your pass instantly. There should be no need to set it up; you can begin using your DP immediately!
  8. I was at the park yesterday and today (13th/14th) and I have to admit I have not seen crowds this large since 2019. I am wondering if the reservation requirement is just window dressing at this point (to comply with state guidelines) and, judging by the crowded state of the park, if capacity limits are even being enforced. But the crowds were not unexpected: the weather was perfect and very warm for this time of the year, and many folks have pent up demand to finally get out after the winter as well as limitations related to COVID. A few observations: All major food and beverage locations have added at least one new distinctive option to their menu. (Miner's Cookhouse now offers a "Western Burger"; Prominade Pizzeria now has garlic knots and a caesar salad as side options - and the additional option to add a second side for an upcharge) just to name a couple. Unfortunately, this park still has no Asian or healthy eateries (think "Chop Six or Go Fresh). The large crowds really showed how understaffed the park is. Wait times for Flash Pass or Guest Relations were an hour each! Food lines were terrible too but the mobile app partially solved that. If they cannot figure out how to staff up the park, this summer will be dreadful. And speaking of the mobile app - it too was pushed to the limit. It was challenging to order food on the app as there were only a couple of eateries showing on the list and available time slots were as much as an hour later. I kept refreshing the app on my device and earlier time slots sometimes popped up. And the app would not allow me to 'check in' to rides to earn points. At the Freestyle location, it seems they are having a tough time deciding whether to allow self service or have attendants there to dispense beverages (like all of last season). Yesterday it was self service. Today they were dispensing drinks for the guests. This might simply be due to understaffing. The new Diamond Elite VIP upgrade sure came in handy with the four STL passes. The upgrade was automatic; getting the fancy new card at member services was easy. Nearly all rides were operating. Thunder River was closed. Mindbender is coming soon. Skybuckets are RIP. Rides like Justice League were now allowing more than one party per vehicle (but not per row). More rows on the train are now available. Many of the walkways were resurfaced in the short off season, most notably in the Piedmont/French section. Face Masks were being enforced but social distancing definitely not! Overall the park looked great. Everything looked clean. I plan on returning next weekend!
  9. Actually, the primary reason for considering year-round ops in a park like SFoG (or the already-year-round Texas SF parks for that matter) is that it is much easier to sell and retain memberships without any kind of 'off season'. The parks lose money on operating days in the winter with lower attendance but make up for it with an expanded membership (and season pass) base. It is no secret that SF considers members and pass holders to be their most valuable guests - they say it all the time. To be quite honest, I was a bit surprised this park did not take the leap to year-round this year. With attendance chain-wide in the tank and the membership base having shrunk by over a third (according to SF Q3 report), this could have been a way to make up for some of that. But I suspect the pandemic may have put the brakes on any such idea for now.
  10. Superman was open for Holiday in 2019. GASM and Blue Hawk were not. I think the decision to open those two (plus Sky Screamer) for HitP 2020 was a late decision as there were no Christmas decorations in that area. I am not sure where all the fuss is coning from but I for one think SFoG did an excellent job operating the park through the pandemic, including the Hallowfest and HitP seasons. Employees were friendlier - but there were certainly exceptions. Had it not been for the pandemic, we might have seen year-round weekend ops begin this year. Its coming sooner or later.
  11. The new look is fantastic! It is much easier to read and looks modern. Cheers!
  12. Visited "HALLOWFEST" today and I have to say I am quite impressed with what I saw. OK - so my expectations were not all that high but this is a pandemic and I am beyond grateful of the efforts put together by the park to be open. Although this is not a real 'Fright Fest' I still thoroughly enjoy it for what it is - a unique year. A few items of note: As of today, SFoG is CASH FREE. There are six machines across the park where you can convert cash to a card at no charge / no fees. These are VISA branded cards and can also be used outside the park wherever Visa is accepted. There are no true haunted houses but there are a number of scare zones which are actually really good. Perhaps the best one was "Zombie Zoo", a walk-through set up near the Dare Devil stage. Most of the props used appear to have been taken from ZX-1. There are several others as well. There is a new haunted railroad attraction: "Terror Tales from the Rails". The narration sounds like an imitation of the Warrens on a paranormal investigation but I have to admit I had a difficult time understanding what it was all about. There is no Dr. Fright Dead Man's Party this year but there are new shows at the Dare Devil Stage. "Nightmare Cirque" was pretty good. On a side note, with the heavy rain over the past couple days, the picnic pavilion area appears to have been partially flooded. The mud covered some of the walkways - plainly visible from the Sky Screamer ride. All-in-all - props to Six Flags for giving us some fall fun. I know many here like to throw rocks at SF - and for some its like a drug - but this year the chain has really stepped up in a big way. Photos below - enjoy! New decor (and sign package) to greet the brave... Less intense scares and more fall festival vibe this year This hill looks pretty much like last year - pretty cool! ..........and after dark this hill comes alive! This might be the scariest thing I saw all night - a recycled sign with the old text still visible. Enter if you dare.... Fall festival at night I really do like the cheerful look of the entrance sign this year. IMHO the best scare zone... Several character encounters - social distanced of course!
  13. I really liked the old Mindbender sign also. Even though the neon had been removed for many years, it was still cool. I do wonder - does the park send old signs like this to the scrapyard or do they give fans a chance to acquire them. I see a real opportunity for the park to raise money for a cause of their choosing - or just sell it....
  14. I enjoyed one of the last summer days and got to see New "Hallowfest" decor has been added as the park ramps up their prep for their Halloween season. With a scaled-back edition of Fright Fest, this year looks to be more of a fall festival vibe and less on the intense scares. If you have friends that do not visit the park during Fright Fest because of the scares, THIS is the year to talk them into a fall visit. Any scare actors roaming the park will not be able to get closer than six feet anyway! It is somewhat disappointing there will not be a genuine Fright Fest but I do understand the reasoning. On the other hand, this will be a unique year and I will still enjoy it. Now all we need is matching weather. The past four years we have had 80-90-degree weather into October. Enough of that! I plan on visiting on Hallowfest opening day, Friday Sep 18th. Entrance sign package is still the same but oddly enough the Christmas lights canopy has been installed already! Not many things say 'fall festival' as much as hay bales and pumpkins! The grand entrance sign is much more cheerful than in years' past
  15. Great Pics! This is one park I cannot wait to return to in the next year or two. If the Dare Devil Flying Machines is a success, I bet my next paycheck they will install a copy at SFoG in their new ScreamPunk District. They will need to pick another name since they already have a Dare Devil Dive Coaster.
  16. There is the former Schlitterbahn Kansas City - stigmatized by the worst accident in water park history. Cedar Fair passed up on a bargain offer to buy it along with the Schlitterbahn parks they did buy. If SW were to buy up this property they could give it a full Sesame Place makeover, making a radical transformation of a property many want to forget about. And it would no doubt be a bargain
  17. Bad news...no "Fright Fest" this year. Good news...The SF chain has created a temporary replacement event: "HALLOWFEST", to take place in the parks that are operating now, including here in GA. I looked at the calendar and the hours are more limited than years' past. The park closes at 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but is open until midnight on the Friday's they are open. I have already made reservations for a couple of the nights I know I will be attending. If anyone is planning on attending on Halloween - which falls on a Saturday this year - reserve it now. Of course everything is subject to change but it bears repeating - the pandemic is not their fault, but SF has really stepped up to make the best of a bad situation.
  18. I received an interesting survey over this past weekend. This go around, the survey was all about 'ticket bundles', or added perks that could be added to single day tickets. While the subject has little relevance to me as I am a member, I did find some of the 'perks' very interesting. There were ten rounds to the survey and in each round you had to select three add-ons out of a group of eight. Most common were tickets with included items such as on-ride photos, merchandise discounts, flash passes, premium parking, skip the line passes and so on. Among the most interesting were "premium Wi-Fi access", "Access to shop in private DC superheroes store", "Two hour self guided VIP tour" (self guided??), "Stay one hour past closing", and "Enter the park an hour early". What makes this interesting is the SF chain is clearly looking for innovative ways to bring in more cash, which will be of utmost importance in a COVID recovery world, plus knowing there are more avenues to explore for memberships as some of these perks could create a new top membership level. Someday, Diamond Elite members will be able to upgrade to Titanium Member.....
  19. SFoG just announced they will be extending daily operations through August 16th (excluding Thursdays). This is no doubt due to the delay of the Cobb County school year. At least it is some good news.......
  20. The two new rides for this year are both in Gotham so looks like they have the whole area closed due to that. It is planned to open on 6/29 with the two new rides with the exception of mindbender which won't be back until 2021. Mindbender is missing track right now due to the work going on. So looks like it is just a construction thing while they finish the two new rides. Probably are behind schedule due to covid and by keeping the whole area closed a week or two can get things finished quicker. The entire Gotham area is closed not just due to the two new ride additions, but the entire section is getting a badly needed facelift. Looking at the park map, that area will likely look very different than we remember. In fact, it might end up being the best themed area in the park.
  21. I have no doubt they are as I observed the "Clean Team" in light blue vests out and about all around the park cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and railings. They work their way around the park non-stop. If there are any cleanliness doubts, hand sinks and sanitizer stations are only steps away no matter where you are.
  22. I have not seen VIP reserved parking offered yet but to be quite honest, with the limited capacity you probably will not need it. Only the main (front) lot is in use and even without the preferred parking I was still close to the front. I did see single riders on coaster rows; they will only seat one party per row at a time. The lines were largely non existent so it should not be a big deal. I hope you have fun Saturday! Let us know how your day goes
  23. I had the same question on the bottle. Do I actually need the bottle or can they scan my membership or pass and see I have a plan that includes them and give me the cup? I'd rather not have to carrry it around all day and put it up on rides if I don't have to (have reservations saturday). And on a similar note - are they actually selling new bottles to people at this point? I am guessing the paper cups were used to minimize contact points. The attendant wore gloves, and just by having your member cup (or season bottle) the attendant knew you were entitled to free refills. The member drink cup is much easier to tote around the park than a flimsy cup so yes - I transferred my beverage. I did not see a scanning device being used so no - your member ID probably would not work. There was a register for those guests needing to purchase their drinks. Something I failed to mention in my above report is there is a new option for members to purchase a stainless steel metal member cup for $19.99. These cups do look nice and they are hot/cold so they can also be used for hot chocolate or your favorite warm beverage. From what I saw, season refill (and daily refill) cups were available and were being sold at dining locations.
  24. Myself and a buddy decided to be 'lab rats' today, visiting the first Six Flags branded park to open to guests (Frontier City is not a 'flagged' park so it does not count!). As advertised there were numerous changes both physical and procedural to park operations. Yes - masks were required - and I really did not mind wearing one given the circumstances. One of the very first things out of the box I noticed when pulling in to the parking lot is the grass and weeds growing everywhere. This is plain and simple a symptom of the park being shuttered for three months. But to be fair, the shopping mall near my home has the same grass and weeds in their lot - and they have been open for six weeks now. Parking was in the main lot only and an attendant guided everyone as to where to park. Vehicles were to occupy every other space. (I did not use VIP parking.) And now...I was on my way to the gate! Things looked very different at the entrance plaza. Part of the ticket booth area on the east plaza was converted into a screening area. Upon entering this area, attendants are making sure all who enter are wearing a mask. There was even a kiosk of masks available at the entrance, both disposable and cloth, for those who arrived sans face covering. There were no DC-themed ones available. (According to park management, cool masks featuring the likes of Joker, Batman, etc, will be available soon.) The next phase was the walk-thru, non-invasive temperature check. I did not even know my temp was being checked. Immediately past that was the metal detector screening. These are not your father's detectors either. These were really nice in that they screen as you walk meaning no more bag checks! From adversity, good things sometimes come, and this is definitely one of them. This will speed up entry now and into the future! (Plans are in the works to add a similar screening area to the west ticket plaza as well.) As I was leaving the detector area, whom else should I bump into than park President Dale K. himself! He was on hand thanking each and every guest for coming to the park. That was a nice touch. This would be the first of a few times I would chat with him throughout the day. I could tell he was happy to be back 'at the office!' Next stop was the actual gate entrance. They scanned my membership and I was in. They did not even need to see my reservation; perhaps it was linked to my pass. All these aforementioned steps took only 2-3 minutes; it was fast. Once inside the park, I was greeted by a ghost town...very few folks walking around. In fact it seemed there were more employees than guests roaming the park. With only 3 1/2 hours available, it was time to get started.... First stop was lunch. I needed to use my dining pass so we went to JB's. There was about a 5 minute wait. After that, we decided to head to Thunder River. It was hot and a water ride was just the thing. The line was not very long but the wait time was about 20 minutes. There was only one party per boat, no matter how many guests. Most boats had 2-4 riders. Basically, no one shared a boat with a stranger. The water gun area was not open, as expected, but the waterfall was on full blast. Next up was Pandemonium. We used diamond elite STL passes for this ride (we get three of these now with the additional added benefits). Seating was simple - every other seat occupied. We attempted to ride Goliath but a nearby passing storm scratched those plans. On coasters, every other row is closed and not in use. There are markers on the floor at the queue entrance to each row indicating which rows are in use and which ones were closed. The rows that are open seat single parties only. On B&M coasters, this means 1-4 guests. Again, no one is seated next to a stranger. This was the case on Scorcher. This was more of an exploratory visit; I did not plan on doing a great deal of riding today. Justice League was closed; we did not even go to Metropolis. Gotham City was still closed with a planned opening in a couple weeks. Mindbender was still missing track as it undergoes a full rehab and a 2021 grand reopening. I can't wait! There were attendants in the restrooms cleaning and cleaning; I have never seen the restrooms so spotless before. We visited the Freestyle machines a few times. If you have a member cup, thee attendant simply asks what beverage you would like and dispenses it into a paper cup. You can transfer to your member cup (or not). And BTW the Freestyle store near the Crystal Pistol received a full renovation. There were portable hand sinks and sanitizing stations scattered all over the park. (Pro-tip: to make the hand sink dispense water, there is a foot pump at the bottom!) Another surprise: mobile food ordering on the app is operational! I had additional opportunities to talk to park President Dale. I did ask specifically about masks and water rides. He stated masks were not required while on a water ride. And the wearing of them would not be required inside Hurricane Harbor when they open next week. Visitors to White Water will be required to wear a mask when they enter the park but once inside, they will not be mandatory. The wave pool and lazy river will have some operational changes but will be open. This was a most interesting visit to say the least. It became readily obvious from the outset the park personnel and staff have been absolutely busting their tails to keep this park clean. Park staff were very friendly and it appeared they were all just glad to be back. These are unprecedented times and the park President and his management team are in daily communication with the state health department and are determined to make this work. At no time during my visit did I feel unsafe. I really hope that everyone waiting to visit will reserve judgement until they see the park for themselves. I stated months ago that this is Six Flags' chance to rise to the occasion and from what I saw today, they have. Social distancing cars! New signage on the way to the front gate Do the SIX!!! All benches marked this way New welcome sign paying tribute to all heroes of these times Nice sign package in the entry area. Hand sanitizer too! Thunder River queue sign It seems like the park did some landscaping work waiting for guests to return. The bamboo forest got a trimming This row of seats on Goliath not in use Mindbender in hibernation, awaiting its triumphant return in '21
  25. Don't give up on DragonCon just yet. Governor Kemp just announced today more restrictions being lifted and relaxed. One lifted restriction in particular caught my attention: Live entertainment venues can resume effective July 1st (with guidelines) so there is still hope for Dr. Fright Dead Man's Party for Fright Fest. It is still June so who knows what may be permissible come Labor Day.
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