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Everything posted by ryder

  1. Yes, because literally everyone in SoCal has been traveling to those parks during a pandemic. Oh, wait-- Plus, a lot of people (include many here at this board) had serious doubts SFMM could make this work at all, especially as literally the first park in SoCal to open in over a year (even beating Disneyland).
  2. I was also there on Saturday, and I'll add that basically nothing had lines at all for about the first 2 hours of the park opening. My advice is, if possible, get there early (we arrived at 10am for a 10:30 park opening, and was already greeted with a logjam of about 50 cars waiting to get in), and leave early, around 1 or 2pm. Which also allows you to skip having to eat lunch in the park and suffer the food lines. But yeah, if you don't have Flash Pass/Membership FOL passes after about 1pm, you're not going to get on much other than flat rides. And even the line to get a Flash Pass/FOL at 2pm was insanely long. At this point, I don't see any reason to even come after 2-3pm, unless you just want to walk around, or it's a weekday in the off-season. Especially since the rides are still pretty temperamental and go down often. On a side note, if you did continue your membership payments during the pandemic, you can go to either the Membership desk or Guest Relations, and they can give you the new upgraded Diamond Elite VIP card, which is spiffy. Gets you FOUR ride passes, which came in super handy (although you can still not get them for Superman, X2, WCR, or Crazanity). We used them to still get on to TC, FT, and Goliath with no wait when they all had huge standby lines (we opted not to use the last pass, as it was getting late--we gave it away). Also FYI, you can still use your old Diamond Elite card to get the four passes if you qualify... the new card is just for looks. We got our four passes before we did the exchange for the new card.
  3. While I'm not going until tomorrow, I do have Diamond Elite Membership (I kept my payments going the whole time, so it's still active), and I noticed that for my Preferred Parking reservation, the code for it now seems to be tied directly to my pass, when in the past, it was a separate barcode. So this could be something they're working on. I'm not too surprised at the good Covid signage and availability of hand sanitizer everywhere... we got to visit SFDK back in the original brief window when they could open as a zoo back in July 2020, and they were set up the same even by then. They even had the touchless temperature and bags check already set up, too. And they are great! And at the same time as SFDK last summer, food ordering was still an issue. I remember it took me 30 minutes to get one slice of pizza with only two people in front of me in line. Food is just not SF's strong suit, and I don't know if it ever will be. I think there's a reason they never went the food festival route during the pandemic. But it does sound that overall, things went pretty well. Of course it's not going to be perfect... I'm sure even Disney will have problems when they reopen. Heck, Disney will likely have problems even before they reopen, because we all know their reservation system will crash. The number of problems I'm hearing about SFMM are within acceptable limits of a park that's been closed for a year, needs to restaff and retrain, and figure out completely new systems and rules for Covid. It can't be easy.
  4. I could imagine it being like the old Disney Fastpass rules... you can't go earlier than your time, but anytime later is fine. I'm not going until April 3... wanted to give them a couple days to work the kinks out
  5. They just announced they will be opening with rides on April 16. Secret Life of Pets will be open immediately. Likely that Minions, Simpsons, and Special Effects show will not be open, but most of the other attractions should be with queue modifications (like FJ and other rides like Mummy will only use the outdoor queue, and will pulse guests inside).
  6. I always had doubted if those donuts were any good, but I finally got one of the pink ones, and it was surprisingly good. Only catch, it can go stale in a day or two, so don't delay.
  7. I've already got my tickets for opening weekend! It'll be interesting to see if all the rides will be open, or if some will be shut down due to staffing issues or ride rotation programs.
  8. FWIW, they've taken down all those references... though strangely, if you have a membership that includes parking, you can obtain a parking pass for April 3 onward. But the rest of the site has taken down all the "April 1" reopening date and returned to "Spring 2021", and you are currently unable to reserve a park ticket. Just membership parking.
  9. I'm with you that I worry about 1) that we won't get to/stay in red tier, especially with new variants going around, 2) that LA/OC may put in their own guidance that will supersede the state and make things tougher, and that 3) the situation is very fluid. I'm not necessarily expecting parks to be open right away on April 1 either. That said, I've always felt that SFMM will have an easier time in regards to Covid rules, because nearly all their rides and queues are outdoors to begin with (except JL, of course). Knott's is also in the same boat. It's really Disney and Universal that are left more in a lurch, as many more of their attractions are indoors. I can also imagine that once parks do open, it doesn't necessarily mean all their attractions will be open. I can especially see SFMM doing a ride rotation operation to safe on staffing costs... and sadly, I wouldn't be able to blame them.
  10. ^From just two events? And it's not like there's really all that much of an alternative. Six Flags isn't exactly known for their food, so I don't think a food event is in their cards. In any case, I do think one key difference is this is a daytime event. Even though I'm not a car person, it'll just be nice to see the park in daylight. Oh, and I did get my email for members, lol
  11. A saw an email from a passholder who did already pay, and they were told they'll be able to redeem 2 free park passes once the park reopens. Also, when I looked, it seems they also lowered the price. It's now only $49 per car, as long as you have 4 people or less in the car. If you have more than 4, then the price does go up.
  12. I'm so not a car show person either... but I do definitely think there's an audience for this. Like, whenever I do the Universal Studios Tour, one of the areas that gets the most attention for pictures is the part where they show cars from movies. People eat it up, for reasons beyond me. Also, keep in mind that West Coast Customs is SoCal based.... their headquarters are right in Burbank. So there's likely a stronger fan base for it here. Which is probably a big reason this wouldn't work so well at any other SF park. While it's not an event I'm really interested in, and probably not many on this board, it isn't even trying to appeal to a coaster crowd. This is a totally different audience. And while I don't think it'll be as popular as their HitP event (which can appeal to a very broad base), I think it'll likely find a decent draw. This didn't come out of nowhere. SFMM sent out a survey last year about other possible Drive Thru events, and this was one of the options they listed. I suspect it got enough positive response on that survey to warrant making it happen.
  13. Yup. Most SoCal Holiday Drive Thru events are $60-$100 per car. Stranger Things Drive Thru? About $130-$200 per car. The new Drive Thru Electric Mile EDM and light experience? $80-$140 per car. Another newly announced Candy Themed Drive Thru called "Sugar Rush" (seriously... I wish I could make this stuff up)... tickets start at $75 per car. That $20 a person they were charging for HitP was a relative bargain for this area (unless you had more than four people in a car, I suppose). It was way cheaper that most of our comparative Drive Thru events. And I'd estimate the SFMM Drive Thru to be about 10-15 minutes longer than the other ones (except Stranger Things, which takes about an hour), so in a way, it still works out cheaper than the other Drive Thru events, since it lasts longer for the same price.
  14. I didn't think it was. I know some recent drone footage showed some of the roof being removed, but I thought it was more for repairs. I mean, their app is really unreliable, and probably even more so now since it's basically useless until the park reopens. Even in the off chance it is being removed, I think the ride not appearing on the app is incidental.
  15. I think it's being overly optimistic, given all the problems the vaccine rollout in CA has had.
  16. Yup, right where Hurricane Harbor is now. There also used to be the Mountain Express right at the front of the park as well, a Schwatzkopf Wildcat. Loved it as a kid in the late 70's.
  17. ^Same. Didn't that park close long before the Chaos even came out?
  18. While I haven't been on it in a while, Canyon Blaster really is a pretty great Arrow ride. Hopefully it's not too rough by now. I'm curious to know how many Chaos rides do still remain in the US. Does Adventuredome still have an Inverter?
  19. If I recall correctly, the OC Board of Education wanted all the students to return to school as normal. Even months and months into the pandemic, when it was pretty clear it wasn't really a safe option. Lots in OC government do not exactly have a great track record here. Knott's and Disney do better about enforcement, as it's private property and they actually (well, Knott's more than Disney) enforce the rules. Go to a mall down the street and you'd likely see a fair share with improperly worn (below nose) or maskless.
  20. My guess is summer the earliest. While the vaccine is slowly being rolled out, the new cases of Covid in CA are insanely high. LA County alone has over 10 million people, which is more than all but ten states in the US. It's almost equal to the entire state of North Carolina. California is nearly12% of the entire population of the US. Severe outbreaks here affect a lot of people and can spread really fast because of our extreme population density. I'd gamble that most people in CA at least know of a few people that have been diagnosed. I can think of 3 people right away that have it just in my own social circles. It's really out of control. According to the NYT Covid tracker pages, we now are averaging 30,000 new cases a DAY, with a total now of 1.5 million. That is more than the entire population of Hawaii (and about 10 other states). It's going to take a while before we get this under control in CA.
  21. We went in July of this year when the park just had the zoo portion open, and we noted that VooDoo was still standing there, and that there was still no visible progress on the spinning mouse. Didn't really look at the theater area at all, not a real priority for me.
  22. It goes up the later in the year you go. They announced a while ago that it'll go up to $30 by the end of the run.
  23. I went. You have to make the reservation at the website first. When you get there, they scan your reservation, as well as scan any other passholders/members that may be in the car as well. This all happens at the parking gate, which is why that can back up a lot. It took us less than 10 minutes, but we also had one of the earliest reservation times. I've heard the line to check in can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes, so plan ahead just in case. No bathrooms are open in the park, but there are a few portapotties before and after the main drive (the first in the RV parking area/Dog House, the exit ones are in the premium parking area). Masks are required if you have your windows down, which I recommend, as you can hear their music better and interact a bit with the live entertainment more.
  24. Despite the few who are complaining about the "high" price, it seems to be the cheapest option for a holiday drive through in SoCal by far... and based on what I'm seeing from many people on twitter, I haven't seen one person who hasn't liked it yet. It's been getting rave reviews. The only issue I've heard at all is sometimes the line to get in gets a bit clogged, because people don't understand how reservations work, or that non-passholders/members in the same car as a member/passholder still have to pay. But as for the event itself, nothing but good things.
  25. As far as I can see, it's literally the cheapest Drive Thru holiday experience in SoCal. The next lowest price I know of is the one at Raging Waters at $30 a car (which still screws you if you're alone, but admittedly is a better deal if you do have a group--however, it definitely doesn't look as good as what SFMM is offering, it seems to be literally a switchback queue in a parking lot). After that, prices jump up to $55-$100+. This is actually a bargain price, comparatively. As I said before, WonderLAnd So Cal is charging $70 per car. It seems the average SoCal price for Drive Through events is about $60 per car, and many charge more if extra people are in the car. And I also did the Stranger Things drive through, and at the low end, it was $79 a car, If you had five people or more n a car for their VIP experience, it's $329. Heck, even Drive in movie theaters In LA typically are charging $20 a person, and if it's in a special location, it's often $60 or more. Like, I just can't comprehend those of you who are saying $20 a person is expensive. Read the room in SoCal.
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