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Everything posted by Lotologist492

  1. Awesome advice! I plan on arriving at open and staying through the operating day so I should be able to punch nearly everything out. (And yes - I plan on spending some time in the water park too!) Thanks!
  2. Planning my first visit to this park on Monday, July 18th. Should I expect a crowd? I will likely purchase FL+ anyway to make sure I get to ride everything. My visit to this park will follow on the heels of my first ever visit to Kings Island last summer. That park did not disappoint. How does KD stack up against KI? Orion @KI was amazing but it sounds like I-305 might just surpass that. I have already read the great advice on hotels earlier in this thread. Looking forward to reading some pro-tips and adding another park to my list!
  3. Same issue here at SFoG. Same reason given too: customers were taking too much (condiments or napkins). Geez...its not like the park is not making money off the food at the park prices. (I have a dining pass for the remainder of 2022 so it is just an annoyance for me.) I even remarked "all guests are being punished because of the actions of a few". I do hope this is temporary.
  4. Having visited SFGA a few years ago, a few observations about the Cyborg (and its twin Harley Quinn at this park), the ride was more eye candy than thrill. In 2018 the ride at SFGA was brand new yet it never had a real waiting line. (I made this same observation here last year.) Another huge issue with these ABC Tourbillons: it is nowhere near plus-size friendly. Anyone even slightly on the larger size might not be able to ride. In fact, on my visit, about a third of the guests on our ride cycle had to exit without riding. This issue along with a mediocre ride experience makes it no wonder this ride appears to be on the way out.
  5. My home park being Over Georgia, SFStl was the first different SF park I ever visited. This was in 1998. I have since been back a half dozen times over the years, including 2019. I have enjoyed every visit I have made to this park. The rides are decent and the terrain of this park is amazing. Some on this list are so busy complaining about what they don't have that they fail to appreciate what they do. And we have not even seen what the new corporate has planned for the chain. As for St Louis, I have enjoyed my visits to the city. I have not yet been able to go up in the Arch as it was always insanely busy with several hours' wait but ... someday. I understand St Louis has its share of problems, but then so does Atlanta, as do most major cities. So take your pick...glass half full or half empty, just sayin'
  6. It really depends on the weather. I have seen Thunder River open on opening weekend but only once. Most years they wait until spring break week.
  7. I can see the chain removing HiTP where it is not performing well but I suspect these parks would still have a lights event (with no rides). This could also apply to Darien Lake which never had the chance to add Holiday to their calendar, although they had a drive-through event. I did find it odd this park initially advertised HiTP with only a few rides open, but then added most of the other rides similar to last year, which would suggest the new corporate management team had already been thinking about future plans. If these four parks do indeed remove Holiday in the Park, it will be the first time since 1991 that any SF park had 'Holiday' and then had it taken away. The last time this happened was at SF Over Georgia. That park introduced HitP in 1989 and it lasted for two seasons. Admittedly, the event only had three sections of the park open and a very short list of rides, plus a snow hill and a skating rink. Mother Nature played a big role: 1989 was the coldest December in decades; the bitter cold kept attendance low. 1990 saw a record rainiest December, which also kept attendance down. Finally, after two years, SF gave up on Georgia. Twenty four years later, it returned. Hopefully these parks will still have a lights event.
  8. I would find this very difficult to believe given the push for membership and season pass sales. The whole point of adding Holiday nearly chain-wide - as well as a few parks going to year round ops - is to give perceived value to having (and keeping) memberships and season passes.
  9. Holiday in the Park opening weekend is now done and I have to say it looks like the park really upped the ante this year! A few notables: The North Pole and Rejoice! sections have swapped places, which appears to be a really nice move. Santa's workshop (where you get photos with Santa and 'mail' your letters to him) is now located at the top of Peachtree Hill, in the former Sky Buckets location. Incidentally, this was the location for the "Holiday Haunt" during Fright Fest, so excellent planning on their part! This area has a lot more space than the Rabun Gap train station did, and also has an arts & crafts area for the kids. The theming was great and the cast members did a fantastic job. Meanwhile, Rejoice! new location makes use of the area in front of the Rabun Gap, and really fits the area well. There is no indoor Christmas show this year, but there are four outdoor stage shows, at the Dare Devil Stage as well as a stage setup outside the Crystal Pistol. From what I heard, there is some renovations taking place inside the theater. The outdoor shows are very entertaining. The entrance plaza tree has been replaced with another tree which is part of a light and music show which runs continuously and is quite visually stunning. Speaking of light shows, the light tunnel between the Georgia (Peppermint Plaza) and USA (Retro Christmas USA) sections has returned! The Strutters Restaurant is open and is now Mrs. Claus' Kitchen and features bread bowls and pasta. All the old Strutters signage appears to have been permanently removed which would indicate a new restaurant is on the way for next season. Nearly all rides were open, including the children's section. The only closed major rides were Scream Machine (which is undergoing a re-tracking now), Blue Hawk, and Sky Screamer. These were the same rides closed in 2019. The east parking lot is being completely re-surfaced. This may sound like a mundane project but it was badly needed. At least now I won't feel like I am driving up to a dead mall. The train ride "North Pole Express" has been replaced with a new experience, "Christmas Around the World". On our visit, Mindbender was running great, with minimal brake runs, not quite like the old trains but not a dead stop either. I am looking forward to returning sometime during this week and many more times. Cheers Peachtree Hill makes for a good North Pole Rejoice! in its new location. This was the former location of the North Pole section last year. Now all the white has turned purple! The former Sky Buckets location at the top of the hill is now Santa's workshop! The former Strutters restaurant now serves comfort food under the watchful eye of Mrs. Claus! Scenery along the railroad tracks Screampunk Christmas is back!
  10. Nashville comes to mind. They lost Opryland in the 1990s and nothing has come in to replace it. From there it is a haul to Dollywood, Kentucky Kingdom, or even the small Lake Winnepesaukah near Chattanooga.
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. The new look is fantastic! It is much easier to read and looks modern. Cheers!
  22. 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!
  23. 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....
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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