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Six Flags America (SFA) Discussion Thread

p. 337 - New Six Flags Hallowfest information!

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The way some people write about SFA makes it seem as if that park is the same as it was in the early/mid 2000s (back then I too had my horror stories). Such just simply isn't the case anymore. Yes, I do not agree that the park should run one train but at the same time, I understand why they lean more towards doing it than not. I'm sure they have a strict budget to try and stay within especially for maintenance. What I do not approve is them not running two trains if the line is getting over the 30 min mark (they can improve on that). However, from the reports I have read over the last few years it has been rare that the park has been that busy that the lines are even close to an hour long. I don't know about others, but I sure as hell will not complain about a 15 min wait with one train. There were many times when the park 1.5 hrs away, Kings Dominion, runs its signature coaster, i305, with one train!

 

SFA's lines simply are never that long where I feel the need to complain... However.... I understand the gripes some are voicing especially when you compare the park to others which are of similar size, similar attendance and with the same model rides..... Therefore I understand when someone may visit Batwing and wonder why it's running one train when others run two... however Carowinds and KI are larger parks In my opinion which therein may lie the answer.

 

I have noticed via trip reports that the park has put an effort towards improving their midways and landscaping. The stamped concrete in the Apocalypse area, the new signs on the path to Batwing, the new paint in LTMT, the new props in Whistlestop. However... I think Gotham needs trees (the whole park needs more TREES)... and i mean some big shade trees! It's like a desert back there in gotham. I look forward to the Mardis Gras area... the park is addressing one of my biggest grips for years which concerned the former Two Face area. Glad to see the progress finally being made..... long overdue!

 

I too hope that they open the dead end from Mardis Gras and allow guest to continue on into Gotham. At the same time, I don't think they could close the dead end from Coyote Creek or Skull Island to Gotham or Whistlestop unless some new expansion takes place back there. Only time will tell. However I am loving the direction the park is heading in. Will love it even more if they finally add a bathroom towards the rear of Gotham.

 

I am not one to comment on the food operations as I don't really focus on my food experience at parks so I have no comment on that aside from I'm sure many six flags parks in general can improve in that area... but with rides and atmosphere I definitely see significant improvements at SFA.

 

Overall like I said before, I take the park for what it is... I enjoy myself when at the park because I allow myself to. Any criticisms I have at the park I have leverage them against other parks... again for example I don't single SFA for one train because I know KD has done it as well with their signature coaster. There's no point in pretending to visit SFA as if you didn't know the ride line up before hand... so don't go in and expect i305 or a 300 ft drop tower because your not going to get that... but what you will get is a decent diverse collection of coasters (and while many are clones that we gripe about today, at the time that they were installed they were pretty innovative). I agree SFA needs a new signature coaster!..... but for now... I am just happy that we are reporting that they are getting a new coaster. It took 10 years!!!!!! ....and now but they are adding their 2nd coaster in 3 years. Who would've thought the day would come. SFA will now have more coasters than they have ever had had in their park history (unless you count skull mountain/typhoon sea coaster as a coaster).

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SFA will always hold a place in my heart because Wild One was #200 for me. With that being said, we found SFA was our least favorite of the 6 Six Flags parks we have been to so far. It wasn't just operations, but maintenance, setting, etc. We also found little shade in the park.

 

Just out of curiosity, what 6 have you been to so far? And which of them is your favorite?

 

First of all, I should be clear that we're not Six Flags haters. We have consistently found their employees, especially those who interact with the public like ride ops/retail to be less than enthusiastic about their work. Here's the six parks we've been to ranked according to our experiences with our favorite being listed first:

 

1) Six Flags Great Adventure

2) Six Flags Over Georgia

3) Six Flags Over Texas

4) Six Flags Fiesta Texas

5) Six Flags Magic Mountain

6) Six Flags America

 

My goal wasn't to bash SFA as we always make the best day of anywhere we go. It is a decent park. It probably doesn't help that we spent 1 day at Knoebels, then 1 1/2 days at Hershey, before we went to SFA.

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Here are my thoughts on SFA: It's my home park and I'm glad to see it improving. For 2015 , SFA should get a new signature attraction , taller than superman , maybe a RMC woodie ? In the next couple of years they should 1. Expand coyote creek or remove minderaser for a B&M inver or wingrider . 2. Make roar a hybrid woodie , taller , faster , and steeper with inversions. 3. Fix up Gotham city and add some flat rides next to batwing. 4. Maybe turn superman into bizarro? . ( I also think apocalypse doesn't have enough fire and I wish it was a floor less instead )

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Welcome to the forums. Personally I'd like to see them fix up what they have before they add new large-scale attractions but I think we'd all be thrilled if even half of those things you suggested happened (minus maybe the Bizarro thing).

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What I do not approve is them not running two trains if the line is getting over the 30 min mark (they can improve on that). However, from the reports I have read over the last few years it has been rare that the park has been that busy that the lines are even close to an hour long.

I've been to SFA twice, and the first time I went, Superman had about an hour wait with only one train running. That made me mad. There should be no excuse when there is another train just sitting there doing nothing. However the second time I went, everything was pretty much a walk on, with the longest wait being about 10 min. There was 1 train on everything that entire day. That I am fine with. It was the 1st day that was unacceptable. I wonder how many trains they will run Ragin Cajun with. Surely not just 1! Right? Its a wild mouse, it should be at least 3.

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What I do not approve is them not running two trains if the line is getting over the 30 min mark (they can improve on that). However, from the reports I have read over the last few years it has been rare that the park has been that busy that the lines are even close to an hour long.

I've been to SFA twice, and the first time I went, Superman had about an hour wait with only one train running. That made me mad. There should be no excuse when there is another train just sitting there doing nothing. However the second time I went, everything was pretty much a walk on, with the longest wait being about 10 min. There was 1 train on everything that entire day. That I am fine with. It was the 1st day that was unacceptable. I wonder how many trains they will run Ragin Cajun with. Surely not just 1! Right? Its a wild mouse, it should be at least 3.

 

There is a chance that the train may have some mechanical issue. I was there once with only 1 Superman train running and later in the day the maintanence men were working under the train on the transfer track.

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What I do not approve is them not running two trains if the line is getting over the 30 min mark (they can improve on that). However, from the reports I have read over the last few years it has been rare that the park has been that busy that the lines are even close to an hour long.

I've been to SFA twice, and the first time I went, Superman had about an hour wait with only one train running. That made me mad. There should be no excuse when there is another train just sitting there doing nothing. However the second time I went, everything was pretty much a walk on, with the longest wait being about 10 min. There was 1 train on everything that entire day. That I am fine with. It was the 1st day that was unacceptable. I wonder how many trains they will run Ragin Cajun with. Surely not just 1! Right? Its a wild mouse, it should be at least 3.

 

There is a chance that the train may have some mechanical issue. I was there once with only 1 Superman train running and later in the day the maintanence men were working under the train on the transfer track.

 

Ditto, I was going to say.... that sounds more like a maintenance/mechanical thing... ( if the train was out for some issue it would atleast save face if we saw them out there working on it.... it always seems to me as a guest that the park has problems with their superman and batwing trains all the time).... Granted those trains are how old now? SFNE got new trains on their Intamin Hyper I'd expect its time for Superman to get new ones too. Has Millennium Force got new trains (or new chasis atleast).... I'm curious how long trains are supposed to last for?

 

SFA will always hold a place in my heart because Wild One was #200 for me. With that being said, we found SFA was our least favorite of the 6 Six Flags parks we have been to so far. It wasn't just operations, but maintenance, setting, etc. We also found little shade in the park.

 

Just out of curiosity, what 6 have you been to so far? And which of them is your favorite?

 

First of all, I should be clear that we're not Six Flags haters. We have consistently found their employees, especially those who interact with the public like ride ops/retail to be less than enthusiastic about their work. Here's the six parks we've been to ranked according to our experiences with our favorite being listed first:

 

1) Six Flags Great Adventure

2) Six Flags Over Georgia

3) Six Flags Over Texas

4) Six Flags Fiesta Texas

5) Six Flags Magic Mountain

6) Six Flags America

 

My goal wasn't to bash SFA as we always make the best day of anywhere we go. It is a decent park. It probably doesn't help that we spent 1 day at Knoebels, then 1 1/2 days at Hershey, before we went to SFA.

 

Interesting because from my visits

I'd rank ride operators/food/retail

 

1). Six Flags Great America

2). Six Flags Great Adventure

3). Six Flags America (slight behind SFGAdv because their ops are faster)

4). Six Flags New England

5). Six Flags Over Texas

6). Six Flags Over Georgia

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You're sipping the Six Flags America Kool Aid if you think running 1 train on every coaster all the time puts them only slightly behind Great Adventure (according to your note in parenthesis).

 

I'm not saying Great Adventure is exactly Cedar Point or Knoebels in terms of efficiency, but they always run every train on all of their coasters (except for Kingda Ka where they run 3) and do it with minimal stacking (except for on Bizarro... they're awful). The Kingda Ka crews and the Nitro crews for example are much better than anything you'll ever find at SFA. Pretty much every crew at Great Adventure minus the Bizarro crew is.

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^ and again... you are comparing a park that pulls in 40,000+ guest in a day to a park that is lucky to hit 10,000. Two different sized parks, two different budgets (of course Great Adventure runs all its trains (it better!) ... but a more fair comparison would be comparing Great Adventure to SFMM which unforunately does run one train on its coasters and does pull the same kind of attendance as SFGAdv).... I am talking about ride ops... the ride operators at SFA (from what I can gather based on the comments made at the Ace event) don't control if they can add a train or not... that appears to be managements decision.

 

Not drinking any SFA Kool aid... why must someone be considered delusional because they don't dislike the park like you. I too certainly prefer Great Adventure for completely different reasons... but i was looking at what happens on the platform with what they are given. I find Great Adventure super fast and efficient. However, they don't interact with me as a guest like the folks at SFA (and I enjoy that interaction, especially when the line is only but 15 mins long). For me it's not only about the hustle and bustle... I enjoy the occasion high five and guest engagement when appropriate and given the opportunity. Speed on the platform is one factor but not the only lens from which you should judge.

Edited by vacoaster09
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^ and again... you are comparing a park that pulls in 40,000+ guest in a day to a park that is lucky to hit 10,000.

 

I wasn't going to compare them at all, you're the one who compared them.

 

3). Six Flags America (slight behind SFGAdv because their ops are faster)

 

Out of curiosity, how often do you get to the other parks in your area? Kings Dominion, Great Adventure, BGW, Hershey...

 

Six Flags America is horrible compared to all of those parks, and at none of those parks would running one train on every coaster be considered acceptable. Sure KD has been known to run one on i305 but it doesn't happen often.

 

All of those parks are maintained better, have better crews, have better food, have better atmosphere and have better rides (I'm predicting you're going to try to argue this point with BGW which I completely disagree with but I guess that one could be considered debatable if you ignore theming and any rides that aren't coasters).

 

Last year when I went to SFA (only because I needed the Roar credit but we also rode Superman while we were there) Superman was running one train and they were taking forever to dispatch that one train. I waited 40 minutes for the front seat and there were only 9 people ahead of me waiting for it. This would never happen in a million years at any of those parks.

 

You're making excuses for this park like it's a family owned park in the middle of nowhere. It's a Six Flags park in a ridiculously populated area right near in NFL football stadium in the capital of the United States.

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However, during Fright Fest the lines can get to an hour or more for the more popular coasters. This place gets extremely crowded for Fright Fest.

 

Which is when I was there. It was a KD trip and we stopped at SFA on the way back. We waited until the end of of the season because we were waiting for I305 to re-open.

 

Every coaster was running 1 train.

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Coasterbill...I go to Great Adventure and KD every year (usually multiple times).

 

Again I actually listed Great Adventure above SFA so not sure where we are disagreeing on the park being better. You are bringing up better rides and that's not the topic of discussion. Im not debating what park has better rides. I was talking about ride operators (aside from how many trains are available to run on a given day (I know when I went to SFA during fright fest I asked and was told that the other train was having issues, at the same time they had two trains on JJ)... I only brought the trains up as to highlight that when the parks you listed do it, its OK, but when SFA does it's like an abomination lol. I have had lackluster attendants and operators at i305 and Volcano, (especially volcano my goodness they were playing around on the mic and talking to each other on the phones all the while ignoring the guest and not checking our seats in timely manner. At Windseeker one of the operators said to the other out loud "I will smack the black off of you" and everyone in the queue and myself Gasped. At Great Adventure the line to superman was disgustingly dirty and operators had no life (they were fast though but by being fast they neglected other aspects of guest experience)... my visits/experiences at KD and SFGAdv are just as inconsistent as my visits to SFA. However overall, my experience on the ride platforms have not been bad at all.

 

You point out your front row experience at Superman was 40 mins long... and im sure that was unbearable for you... were the other rows just as bad? Or was it just the front row... and were the 9 people ahead of you single riders or all doubles (did they allow flash pass rides to get on that row). Also was the front row wait 40 mins for all of the rides at the park or just superman... It just seems like your are shaming the entire park for a longer than normal FRONT ROW wait at one ride due to one train. I remember my front wait for i305 being pretty long too when they ran one train. However, I can't slam the entire park and put so much energy into trying to make it sound worst than it is. I enjoy KD, SFGAdv, Hershey, but give SFA credit where it is due... I too was shocked by my own impressions because i expected my visits to Great Adventure and KD to be far superior but they weren't. By no way am i making excuses for SFA... but I am pointing out inconsistencies/ over-generalizations in your criticisms of the park (i.e. its ok if one park does it but not for SFA, all parks are better than SFA, etc..). I think we agree on more than we disagree (better rides, maintenance) however regards to ride operations my experience/impression of the park has not been as bad as yours since the early and mid 2000s (pre 2010). To each his/her own.

 

What I do not approve is them not running two trains if the line is getting over the 30 min mark (they can improve on that). However, from the reports I have read over the last few years it has been rare that the park has been that busy that the lines are even close to an hour long.

I've been to SFA twice, and the first time I went, Superman had about an hour wait with only one train running. That made me mad. There should be no excuse when there is another train just sitting there doing nothing. However the second time I went, everything was pretty much a walk on, with the longest wait being about 10 min. There was 1 train on everything that entire day. That I am fine with. It was the 1st day that was unacceptable. I wonder how many trains they will run Ragin Cajun with. Surely not just 1! Right? Its a wild mouse, it should be at least 3.

 

Now on this.... I think they can run 5 or so. If they dare run one car on this ride... I will loose all faith in humanity lol! I agree at least 3 or 4.

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It just seems like your are shaming the entire park for a longer than normal FRONT ROW wait at one ride due to one train. I remember my front wait for i305 being pretty long too when they ran one train.

 

Not at all, I'm just pointing out an example of why I can't stand this park. I've posted a lot of other reasons over the last year or two.

 

You say that I don't bash other parks for running one train but I absolutely do, I bash SFNE when they do it all the time (though they never do it as much as SFA). In the case of KD or Great Adventure, they only do it when it's the beginning of the season, the park is totally dead (and even in this case... rarely) or there's something wrong with the other trains. By saying that I don't criticize them when they do it you're implying that both parks do it frequently, but that's not true and you know it. Six Flags America almost always runs one train on every single coaster. If they run 2 it's usually on Mind Eraser and Wild One but not the major attractions (I like Wild One but it's not exactly a marquee attraction for most people).

 

I've never seen Great Adventure run one train on any coaster besides Batman and El Toro when there was a train having an issue or it was opening weekend and the other train wasn't ready yet but since the park is always dead then it's not a big deal. I've NEVER in probably 50+ visits seen less than 2 trains on Nitro, Bizarro, Kingda Ka, Superman, Green Lantern or Skull Mountain and I've only seen it on Batman once.

 

And I'm not worried about the wait time for the front seat... I've waited an hour for the front of Top Thrill Dragster and have no complaints. I was annoyed because there was practically nobody in line and the wait was still a really long wait. Even the other rows were still a 20 minute 3-4 train wait. That's ridiculous.

 

I should know better than to argue with you because I know you'll never admit to this parks flaws. Is it improving? Maybe... but they have a long way to go before they belong in the same conversation as any other corporate theme park in the region.

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It just seems like your are shaming the entire park for a longer than normal FRONT ROW wait at one ride due to one train. I remember my front wait for i305 being pretty long too when they ran one train.

 

In the case of KD or Great Adventure, they only do it when it's the beginning of the season, the park is totally dead (and even in this case... rarely) or there's something wrong with the other trains. By saying that I don't criticize them when they do it you're implying that both parks do it frequently, but that's not true and you know it. Six Flags America almost always runs one train on every single coaster. If they run 2 it's usually on Mind Eraser and Wild One but not the major attractions (I like Wild One but it's not exactly a marquee attraction for most people).

 

My visits to these parks were not in the beginning of the season... I only go late summer (June, July, August) and fright fest (October). Not much of an April/May visitor. So this doesn't only have at the beginning of the season. How do you that SFAs trains were not due to mechanical reasons like you excused the other parks for (you just provided a key example to my point about your criticisms).

 

 

I should know better than to argue with you because I know you'll never admit to this parks flaws. Is it improving? Maybe... but they have a long way to go before they belong in the same conversation as any other corporate theme park in the region.

 

There is no argument here. But there you go with another overstatement/over-generalization... Since the beginning of this SFA thread I have been highly critical of the park. Just not as overbearing as you are. I am not afraid to give the park its due diligence in both good and bad...

 

Correction "is it improving?" Answer YES!

 

Do they have a ways to go.... YES (again no argument there...I've even said that plenty of times over the past years in this very thread). Didn't know there was an argument to begin with.

 

 

Back to Ragin' Cajun:

I wonder if Six Flags may paint the concrete pad in the same fashion that they did for The Joker at Six Flags Mexico. I think the painted concrete definitely helped ease the portable ride look to the coaster.

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How do you that SFAs trains were not due to mechanical reasons like you excused the other parks for (you just provided a key example to my point about your criticisms).

 

Because it was every single coaster in the park. If every single coaster in the park is down to one working train DURING FRIGHT FEST then there is a serious problem with maintenance at that park. Oh and also because the operations manager came right out and said this

 

we generally only run one at a time to ensure that every one is full.

 

 

I love that it's an arrow POS.

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^^ I wouldn't expect them to paint the pad. For one thing SF usually does not go above and beyond for theming and appearance, and also this is SFA. That in itself answers the question.

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Well just saying even SFM surprised me and others on the forum last year with the level level that put into theming "The Joker" ... so I was just wondering (not necessarily hoping.... there's a difference!) could a similar treatment be coming for this ride, specifically with regards to the concrete base. Six Flags as a company showed that were capable so who knows if they will keep up that trend in 2014... or will they flop like they did with Full Throttle's theme (which looks like they ran out of money).

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I never noticed that Joker got a painted concrete pad - that looks really good! We haven't gotten any details on this ride, so as much as it'll probably just be plopped down I don't think it's really fair to discount a solid idea that Six Flags has clearly gone for with a relocation just last year.

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I give it a 5% chance they paint the Ragin' Cajun pad. It wasn't painted at SFGam, and isn't a heavily themed coaster like the Joker. Given it hasn't even gone vertical yet, it's probably past the time frame of painting the pad. I can only hope they use the front/entrance facade used at SFGam, it looked pretty cool.

On another topic, just out of curiosity, I've been hearing lately about how horrible SFA's operations are. I waited about an hour the last Saturday for 2013 FF for Batwing with one train operation

My question is: How far from estimated capacities is SFA? Batwing I would assume around est. 1200/hour, but with one train ops at SFA were probably pulling far from that.

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I give it a 5% chance they paint the Ragin' Cajun pad. It wasn't painted at SFGam, and isn't a heavily themed coaster like the Joker. Given it hasn't even gone vertical yet, it's probably past the time frame of painting the pad. I can only hope they use the front/entrance facade used at SFGam, it looked pretty cool.

On another topic, just out of curiosity, I've been hearing lately about how horrible SFA's operations are. I waited about an hour the last Saturday for 2013 FF for Batwing with one train operation

My question is: How far from estimated capacities is SFA? Batwing I would assume around est. 1200/hour, but with one train ops at SFA were probably pulling far from that.

 

With regard to Big Spin when it was at SFDK, the pad was not painted either so just because it wasn't painted at SFGAm doesn't mean it won't be. I think it was a brilliant idea on behalf of six flags because it made the ride look less Carnival-ish/Portable. The painting of the pad happened after the ride was fully erected (not before)... See here

 

As you see the pad had not been painted yet... that is because the painted the steel base foundation supports to blend in with the concrete pad.

 

I agree that I hope they use the same facade that was used at SFGAm!

 

I don't know if I would go by the RCDB (as those are likely directly from the Manufactuer)... those capacities are likely theoretical numbers that don't account for people who have take their shoes off or place their belongs on the side, it also probably doesn't account for the folks who have trouble fitting into the ride's complex restraints.

 

Having visited both KI and Carowinds in addition to SFA those lines for Nighthawk and Firehawk are pretty long and slow moving too... even with two trains... and the trains almost always stack. When I was at KI they weren't using both stations ......just running two out of the same station which caused blood to rush to your head as your faced the sun on the brake run. I don't expect much change in the dispatch times from any of the parks unless they procure the new trains from Vekoma (if that's even possible).

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