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Six Flags America (SFA) Discussion Thread

p. 337 - New Six Flags Hallowfest information!

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I can't compare it to previous seasons, but comparing it to other parks I've been to, the operations here suck. The ride ops were horrible and had no professionalism at all. If the employees were trained better, I might have liked this park, but they just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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In my one visit there, I ran into some of the worst operations I have encountered yet. One train operation on most coasters while the park was fairly crowded, very apathetic ride hosts, and so on. I understand that operating rides may not always be the best job in the world, as I lived it for two seasons at Cedar Point, but with any job that a person has, they should put forth an effort to provide a good service for the customers.

 

Much like the fact that I HATE my job at Lowes Foods, but I am still going to try and do a good job for the customers that come in, whether it is checking them out quickly, or helping them find a particular item.

 

I have had a season pass since '06, but I am not sure that I will renew it. If I do, I would probably do it with the intent of visiting other SF Parks.

 

I will third Erik in that they need to fix the operations at the park more than adding a new coaster. Improved operations would be enough to make me want to go back, but right now, I am not in any hurry to return yet.

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To be fair, there were some that were putting forth the effort, but the number of those who were just there, eating on the job or using their cell phones, seemed to out number those that were honestly trying.

 

I do think they have great coasters, but when the person at the controls and the two other ride hosts are talking to each other while people are in their seats waiting for the hosts to check lap bars and dispatch the train, even the best coaster seems a tad less fun.

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Having made three trips to SFA during the 2008 season, I can say, without question, that it was the single WORST year in their history, period.

 

The first trip, to get 'processed' I spent nearly three hours in line, just to be told that they couldn't enter my mailing address into the system- as it would not recognize my zip code. I had to use somebody else's address.

 

The second trip was, in all of my years of going to SFA/AW/WW or any other park I've been to, the -worst- excuse for a park's operations in my life. We're talking PURE trash. NOTHING could have made a bad day any worse than having SFA Staff throw trash at me based upon my looks; or finding out that all the rides were 'out of order' due to power problems- yet- EVERY food booth, shop and game was FULLY powered for you to spend money. Seeing staff standing around with 'Oh, we're sorry, you can go shop' emotions on their face was a true DISGRACE. I have -never- been so angry at a park before in my life- and I made it quite clear to managment through SIX letters to various channels- of which I've not heard ONE PEEP of an apology or even a response.

 

The third trip, this fall, was the best of the three- and even that 'good' experience was WORSE than what I would expect at a travelling carnival.

 

I used to thing SFA had some good potential behind it, and had the ability to be a great place. I'm beginning to think that unless they put some real managment in place and to train staff better, the future is going to be bleak at best. If they don't make those changes, move the rides to other worthy SF parks, sell the land and make some good use out of it, as without changes, the park is DOOMED.

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^I would be offended if I worked in the rides dept. but I work in games so..umm yeah. lol.

I worked in rides, but I normally received compliments from guests for being the only employee to talk to them and be friendly, and I received an award for being the most helpful. So I don't feel bad. I know I felt some of the people in the other divisions did a less then satisfactory job most the time...

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Operations, IMHO, were much better than in years past. I first visited the park in 2005. I remember how exciting Hurricane Mountain was, not because its a good slide, but because it was open, with absolutely no lifeguard/attendant at the top. We just walked on, and hoped that there was actually a splash pool at the bottom. Needless to say, we survived. Note, there was a lifeguard sleeping at the bottom of the slide.

 

So, 2008 was much better than that. I think that some days, the park hit it right. But mostly, the park seemed plagued with staffing problems. Its hard to motivate an employee who has been working double shifts with only one day off during the week. Even during the summer, they had maintenance and other various out of park positions working at ride hosts. Not to mention the lack of supervisors. I believe several departments were very short on supervisors and leads throughout the summer.

 

2009 needs to be the park's renaissance. There's a new park president (former GM of Gadv), a new GM, and a new Director of Ops (formerly Director of Ops @ Great Escape). Hopefully the new team can send a strong message anc develop a plan of action with the full time staff.

 

I'm optimistic that the new team can make a difference, and can't wait to see the changes take place.

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The first trip, to get 'processed' I spent nearly three hours in line, just to be told that they couldn't enter my mailing address into the system- as it would not recognize my zip code. I had to use somebody else's address.

Thats not necessarily the parks fault that the line was long for season passes, and that when you got to the front your zip code was not recognized. The line is nobodies fault really, and so is the zip code.

 

The second trip was, in all of my years of going to SFA/AW/WW or any other park I've been to, the -worst- excuse for a park's operations in my life. We're talking PURE trash. NOTHING could have made a bad day any worse than having SFA Staff throw trash at me based upon my looks; or finding out that all the rides were 'out of order' due to power problems- yet- EVERY food booth, shop and game was FULLY powered for you to spend money. Seeing staff standing around with 'Oh, we're sorry, you can go shop' emotions on their face was a true DISGRACE. I have -never- been so angry at a park before in my life- and I made it quite clear to managment through SIX letters to various channels- of which I've not heard ONE PEEP of an apology or even a response.

Now this is in fact the parks fault. Some of the employees at the park, or anywhere for that matter, are not always on their A-game. Even sometimes during my short 2 1/2 job, I got irritated by a guest. But throwing trash is unheard of. And I've never heard that staff throw trash at a guest, EVER. And as for the cellphones, REPORT IT! As a SFA employee, if you have your phone in the park while working, even if your not using it, calls for INSTANT TERMINATION, which means goodbye job lol. And even though I did not throw trash at you, or am I in the park management staff that replies to letters, but I apologize for your troubles and hope you come back one day and I'll make your day at the park frickin sweet! lol

 

The third trip, this fall, was the best of the three- and even that 'good' experience was WORSE than what I would expect at a travelling carnival.

Well in the fall, I was working by then and if you came to any of my games, then I know you wouldn't have said that. I like to crack jokes and sing on the mic. And I always get compliments on my customer service, even if a guest is a complete @$$ to me, I always have a smile!

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Lol I know it was training, but it was funny because the ops were so crappy that day, which was this August during the TPR East Coast trip. Each one of the ops had their own kiddie coaster car to load...and it still took forever.

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I've been to SFA only twice.. once in 2000 and again in 2003.

 

I know that SFA was one of the possible "sell for land" parks Shapiro was looking at, but with the real estate market, Im not sure if he still thinks that way. Its all going to depend on whether or not attendance and in-park revenus will continue to make the park profitable enough to keep.

 

The fact that they've added to the waterpark is good, but if you notice, the rides being removed lately have been the extremely high cost and unreliable rides. (Invertigo, Choas, Rotoshake and Drop Tower - if that has indeed been removed)

 

My question is, is how much longer will they decide to keep pumping money into The Sea Coaster and Batwing?

 

TOD is still there & if it weren't for the LOUSY maintenance budget the park gets then two face might never have become so problematic to the point that they have to yank it.

 

Let's face it,SFA is one of the least cared about parks in the chain & Shapiro has learned from CF's example with GL.....gradually yank one ride after another(without replacement) & then what few people still patronize the park will stop coming alltogether & they'll finally have the excuse they need to shut it down & relocate the remaining rides to their other parks.

 

I'd much rather have Burke & CO. back in charge than the current ownership the chain has,at least then MAYBE the park would've gotten a new ride or two by now for the ride side that is.

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First off let me say that the new Park President you Guys have gotten is an amazing guy (former Assiant GM at Great Adventure). He knows what he is doing when it comes to turning aroud lackluster operations (he was a big help GADV), he is one of the nicest and coolest guy to talk to. Secondly, i do not see the park getting to much new until the Operation of the park is turned around (since this was a key point of Mr. Shapiro when he took over). Next For the people who say if Gary Story and Burke were in charge SFA would get a new attration, please remember this is the reason SFI is in soo much trouble. Old management bought park and did huge expansion to parks who did not prove them self (attendence or operation wise), this is the one problem SFI has had since premier parks took control (which is what caused the huge debt). Finally, IMO if the parks operation does improve, than they could see new rides and additions. If it does not improve and the real state market improves then SFA is going to be on the chopping block and most likly dismentled. Only time will tell what happens

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The first trip, to get 'processed' I spent nearly three hours in line, just to be told that they couldn't enter my mailing address into the system- as it would not recognize my zip code. I had to use somebody else's address.

Thats not necessarily the parks fault that the line was long for season passes, and that when you got to the front your zip code was not recognized. The line is nobodies fault really, and so is the zip code.

 

No, the line is entirely the park's fault. If they want people to buy passes, there is NO excuse for a three hour line. They should have more employees processing passes, train their employees so that they can process them faster, improve their software so it doesn't hold things up, and find ways to streamline the process (for example, SFNE has employees monitoring the line handing out clipboards so that people can fill out the forms while waiting). If the computer doesn't recognize a legitimate ZIP code, the park should fix the program -- it's absolutely their problem.

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The first trip, to get 'processed' I spent nearly three hours in line, just to be told that they couldn't enter my mailing address into the system- as it would not recognize my zip code. I had to use somebody else's address.

Thats not necessarily the parks fault that the line was long for season passes, and that when you got to the front your zip code was not recognized. The line is nobodies fault really, and so is the zip code.

 

The second trip was, in all of my years of going to SFA/AW/WW or any other park I've been to, the -worst- excuse for a park's operations in my life. We're talking PURE trash. NOTHING could have made a bad day any worse than having SFA Staff throw trash at me based upon my looks; or finding out that all the rides were 'out of order' due to power problems- yet- EVERY food booth, shop and game was FULLY powered for you to spend money. Seeing staff standing around with 'Oh, we're sorry, you can go shop' emotions on their face was a true DISGRACE. I have -never- been so angry at a park before in my life- and I made it quite clear to managment through SIX letters to various channels- of which I've not heard ONE PEEP of an apology or even a response.

Now this is in fact the parks fault. Some of the employees at the park, or anywhere for that matter, are not always on their A-game. Even sometimes during my short 2 1/2 job, I got irritated by a guest. But throwing trash is unheard of. And I've never heard that staff throw trash at a guest, EVER. And as for the cellphones, REPORT IT! As a SFA employee, if you have your phone in the park while working, even if your not using it, calls for INSTANT TERMINATION, which means goodbye job lol. And even though I did not throw trash at you, or am I in the park management staff that replies to letters, but I apologize for your troubles and hope you come back one day and I'll make your day at the park frickin sweet! lol

 

The third trip, this fall, was the best of the three- and even that 'good' experience was WORSE than what I would expect at a travelling carnival.

Well in the fall, I was working by then and if you came to any of my games, then I know you wouldn't have said that. I like to crack jokes and sing on the mic. And I always get compliments on my customer service, even if a guest is a complete @$$ to me, I always have a smile!

 

On the cell phones, I remember one lead in my division got busted using his phone while op'ing Two Face, no more operating coasters for him, only attending.

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First off let me say that the new Park President you Guys have gotten is an amazing guy (former Assiant GM at Great Adventure). He knows what he is doing when it comes to turning aroud lackluster operations (he was a big help GADV), he is one of the nicest and coolest guy to talk to. Secondly, i do not see the park getting to much new until the Operation of the park is turned around (since this was a key point of Mr. Shapiro when he took over). Next For the people who say if Gary Story and Burke were in charge SFA would get a new attration, please remember this is the reason SFI is in soo much trouble. Old management bought park and did huge expansion to parks who did not prove them self (attendence or operation wise), this is the one problem SFI has had since premier parks took control (which is what caused the huge debt). Finally, IMO if the parks operation does improve, than they could see new rides and additions. If it does not improve and the real state market improves then SFA is going to be on the chopping block and most likly dismentled. Only time will tell what happens

 

These parks were doing fine with the expansions/additions they recieved under premier prior to the SF aqqusition & rebranding in 99 & started off under the new brand alright for the first few seasons,it's only when the focus on cap ex became soley on one or at most 3 parks per season that the chain really began to go downhill & without new rides attandance at parks like SFWOA & SFA gradually began to decline.

 

It really doesn't matter which park in the chain a reassigned GM formerly worked at when corporate management in NYC doesn't give them the budget they need for maintenance,operations & cap ex for new rides so long as the company keeps treating the park(or parks) the way they have been since around 2002/2003.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OMG!

 

According to my "sources" Six Flags America is getting ready to announce a HUGE announcement sometime soon. The article from the park's Facebook page mentioned that "If you thought the concerts we have are big - just wait - because this is even BIGGER!"

I wonder what this announcement could be! But lets try not to get our hopes way up there. Most likely we are just getting something Entertainment related. Not a Terminator Coaster lls

 

So guys what do you think about this? Do you think its just a big way of announcing the performers for the STNCS or something totally different?

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What could it be? Hmm... well, more than anything else, I'd love to see SFA get a nice big speed slide. Something along the lines of Wahoo Racer like SfSTL is getting, or possibly a tall body slide tower with one of those big, nearly vertical drops... SFA's waterpark lacks both of those slide types and either one would really help complete the waterpak... just my thought...

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I think they are finally going to put up Ultra Twister. It would be cool to see that up & running again.

 

Not gonna happen aince they've already cannibalized UT for usable parts for other rides,the compressor for instance is being used on Roar's brake system.

 

I think they'll announce "concrete slab: the ride" which will be located on the site vacated by two face in SWT over anything else.They could get a THBS clone though in that area too.

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