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Six Flags America (SFA) Discussion Thread

p. 337 - New Six Flags Hallowfest information!

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^The extra restraints added over the years (ankle restraints, metal bars, maybe more stuff) have been complained about by many people, and I suppose for some people it makes the ride much less enjoyable. It probably has something to do with body shape and size, and some how my extremely tall and skinny legs are not effected! Either that or I just really don't notice throughout the ride as I'm too busy enjoying the speed and airtime, and preparing for some rattling! Funny that there are many, many restraints that destroy otherwise great rides for me, but the new (and probably unneeded) restraints on some of the Intamin megas aren't one of them. I actually didn't like Ka, because of the rattle, waits, breakdowns, and short layout, but primarily for the rattle! I kind of expect a ride with more of a twisted layout like Superman to be a little more rattly than a stupid out and back, one-element gimmick like Kingda Ka.

 

Any park can attract idiotic guests, but I will agree on average SFA's are some of the worst.

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Well I was there this past Sunday; temperatures were about 45 degrees which kept the crowds minimal. Everything (except for Ragin Cajun) was one train operations. Early in the season, I was surpr

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I'm tall and skinny, and I had no problems either. It's a little more restrictive than it was before the change, but not by much. I think people just like to complain.

 

I've been to SFA something like 50+ times since 2000, and I've had a ride break down while I was on it twice over those 50 visits. Once on Roar's lift for around 15 minutes, and once on Superman's lift for around 10 minutes. Considering I've ridden a coaster there maybe 300 times, I think 2 breakdowns isn't all that bad. Certainly not much if at all worse than any other park I've frequented.

 

I think all the problems people mention would be a bigger deal if the lines weren't so consistently short. I'd rather have slow operators and wait 10 minutes to get on a world class ride like Superman, than fast operators on an equally high quality ride elsewhere and wait an hour. I know I don't go to parks to get greeted by operators...I can talk to friendly people anywhere else. I go to parks to enjoy rides, and it's a heck of a lot easier to do that when you only have to wait 10 minutes, regardless of the conditions. And with that said, in all my visits I've maybe two or three times found operators doing something that didn't make sense or could make people upset. No they're not the best, but no they don't have to be. Maybe it's just me though.

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After work today I swung by SFA to get some rides and see what is different. I was actually a bit surprised by how much had changed since I was last at the park in early May.

 

I first went to Wild One - no line for the back car. Gave a great, smooth ride with ample airtime as always.

 

I noticed SROS was down from the other end of the park so I went to Roar instead of Gotham. Waited one train for the front, gave a nice ride with some pops of airtime, not too rough at all in the front.

 

I next made my way to Jokers Jinx. Jokers Jinx has had a load of changes made this season. First, the line is now being stopped so only 1-2 trains worth of guests are allowed to wait for a certain row. The good news is this seems to entirely stop guests from cutting in line, which was always a major problem with this ride as it was so easy to jump over/under the last bar of the crowded station. The other change was audio being added to the ride's station, this audio seems to give the ride a bit of a "theme". The idea is you are being taken to Arkham (sp?) asylum to join the jokers gang. There's some audio of the joker and his cronies talking (including the famous line "Why so serious?" of course), some music, and a voice over telling guests all the rules and to buy a season pass in a gotham city/Joker themed way. Not a bad idea, I just wish it maybe had more music to help make it a bit longer or something as it was a touch annoying after hearing it for the 10th time while waiting in line. As a side note I have to give SFARegular props, as the whole Asylum tie in thing was something he mentioned a while back as an idea for the ride... Not quite the enclosed building and full on theming he wanted to see, but its a start...

 

After this I made my way through Thomas Town, I have to give the park some credit as this is the nicest looking area of the park added since becoming a SF park imho. Its a bit under-grown in terms of plants what with being young and all, but with time it will look very nice I think. The details in theming and the added touch to make everything look pretty nice stands out when compared to the lackluster Gotham City...

 

I arrived at SROS, which was still down, but sporadically testing. I figured I would wait it out. So I stood by the station and observed the op telling everyone that the ride was closed and them asking the typical GP "how long?" "why" "whens it opening" "is it closed all day" "is that other ride open?" "why is this ride always broken?" type questions. In any case, after about 10-15 minutes it opened and I walked on the front row. Fantastic ride, smooth, fast, tons of airtime. I ran around and jumped on the back with a one train wait. Fast and with good airtime... But very shaky, almost violently so. Definitely a front seat ride.

 

Next it was onto Batwing. They were using the seemingly rarely used side of the station with the underground line leading to it. The line was short, but as you know Batwing with its one train and slow operating procedures it took a little while (about 15 minutes). I got to ride in the front seat and had a fantastic out of control ride. I love the vekoma flyers.

 

It was hot, I was tired, so now I'm here to share with you some pictures from the day.

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Hypocrite!!! Seriously, the guy was typing out a text on his phone for a while. I can tell you that if this guy saw a kid working rides/games/etc. doing the same thing they would be punished. Good leadership and work ethic starts from the top, be an example and such.

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This fence is new (since May). Not sure if that could be a sign of something.

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The Wii thing is now a Coke refreshment room with some vending machines and chairs.

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These are the restaurants added this season, a Johnny Rockets and Mexican food joint.

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Hadn't seen this yet, new height sticks? They have all the ride logos on them so one stick can work for any ride.

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XBox doing some advertising in Gotham City next to Riddle Me This.

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Thomas Town really gives you some nice new views of Superman's lift and drop.

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This is what Joker's line looks like now, notice the line being stopped.

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I'm sorry, but it's just not normal when one person experiences three breakdowns in one day. I understand all rides break down, but 3 times in a day has never happened to me in 4 or 5 years of coaster enthusiasm or my whole lifetime of going to amusement parks.

 

I work at SFNE and rides break down all the time. I don't think there's any reason to point SFA out more than any other park. Certain rides are just more likely to go down throughout the day than others. Some of these downtimes ares quite common. What matters is the time in which a park responds to their downtimes. I know for one that Skull Mountain is just one of those rides that will undoubtable go down at some point during the day. You just had the luck of bad timing and were on the rides when they went down. I know that some parks do offer guest exit passes in exchange for their inconvenience.

 

The Washington D.C. area is HUMID and its heat index causes conditions to be oppressive so guest are always going to be flock to the water park. Especially if they water park is open during limited hours. I'm sure once the water park closes those guest whom aren't tired will then flock to the dry park to get in their rides for the day. This has always been the case at the two parks I've worked at SFNE and SFGAM.

 

Capitalize, you post made me happy. I am glad to have read your report. That Supervisor in the picture should definitely be dealt as he sets the example. If the park has leadership like him it will hinder progressing the work ethic of the team members to where it needs to be.

 

Have their been any markings found anywhere?

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Hey, cool TR Capitalize, thanks for that. I've always thought SFA was highly underrated, and it has never given me as bad a day as some other parks have given me; even 2 of my trips to CP.

 

Question on Superman, did you ride in the back of the red or blue train? Red has been the predominant train used this year and it's been running rougher than I've ever felt it in the back (and yes...thats what she said). Its definately running fast, but rough. Blue is typically pretty smooth. Was S:ROS on 1 or 2 train operation?

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Capitalize, you post made me happy. I am glad to have read your report. That Supervisor in the picture should definitely be dealt as he sets the example. If the park has leadership like him it will hinder progressing the work ethic of the team members to where it needs to be.

 

Have their been any markings found anywhere?

 

I have to say I was fairly disappointed to see a higher up at the park doing what is considered a major "no-no" as an amusement park employee (or really any customer based job such as retail), it mostly rubbed me the wrong way because when I worked at the park I recall countless employees being reprimanded severely for similar actions.

 

I didn't see any markings, but I wasn't looking particularly hard, I'm hoping to make a few more trips before the end of the season so I'll keep my eyes peeled and keep at least my cell phone's camera charged and ready if I see any more updates.

 

Hey, cool TR Capitalize, thanks for that. I've always thought SFA was highly underrated, and it has never given me as bad a day as some other parks have given me; even 2 of my trips to CP.

 

Question on Superman, did you ride in the back of the red or blue train? Red has been the predominant train used this year and it's been running rougher than I've ever felt it in the back (and yes...thats what she said). Its definately running fast, but rough. Blue is typically pretty smooth. Was S:ROS on 1 or 2 train operation?

 

Thanks!

 

I believe both of my rides were on the blue train. Surprisingly/thankfully SROS was on 2 train operation, I was expecting them to pull a train off before re-opening the ride, but they kept both open.

 

 

Also on a random side note, the op at Jokers Jinx today was very good. Had lots of energy and engaged guests as well as inform them. I really hope SFA can get more ops like him, they make a big difference. I forgot to mention, Joker was on one train operation but the purple train was on the transfer track, so I don't know if they run both on the weekends. Quite frankly two train operation barely makes a difference on Joker since the ride completes its circuit just as the other train is boarding guests typically because its such a short ride so I don't rally care either way.

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Visited the park Saturday, had a pretty great time. A few notes:

 

-Batwing was running not One(1), but Two(2), yes 2 trains! That was the first time I have ever seen that happen.

-In a tradeoff, Superman: Ride of Steel was only running one train.

-Penguin's Blizzard River's Crew was doing an awful job handling the boats. Yes, they were dispatched fairly quickly, but there was black water that was up to my ankles, it was pretty disgusting.

-The park insists on leaving "Pirates os the..." "Skull Mountain" and "Renegade Rapids" closed until mid-late afternoon for some bizarre reason. This leads to the Blizzard River line being incredibly long in the morning, and almost non-existent in the evening.

-In a rather amusing not, the Railroad arms, or whatever you call them, broke. So in addition to a terrible ringing noise for about ten minutes, I saw a park employee on one side, telling people to cross over the tracks anyways as it was broken. The employee on the other side told them to go back, and that they should not cross until the arms go up.

-I had "V.I.P. Skip the Line Passes" which enabled myself to skip the line for any ride(s) twice. I did SROS twice, and took the back row. The park employees were cool with it, however, a man complained about how I was "line jumping" and insisted a Ride-Op explain to him what a "Flash Pass" was.

 

Finally, we had another interesting note, while waiting for Superman, a "scene" errupted where a woman accused another of line jumping. The woman who line jumped, had no clue about roller coasters, and insisted that she jumped because the rest of the line was waiting for the front. The two and their parties started screaming profanities across the station.

 

The ride-op immediatly called Park Security, who got there about 3-4 minutes later. Park Security tried to calm the pair down and resolve the issue, but had little success. Finally, about a good 2-3 minutes later, local police arrived. In the end:

-Everyone involved in the fiasco was kicked out of the line, and ejected by Park Security

-The woman who was doing most of the screaming and cursing, the one who had line jumped, was lead from the park by local police.

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Hey, at least something was done about it. From what I have gathered, there are very many cases where nothing happens to those who skip the line at this park.

 

-Gary

 

Well what can you expect?The locals aren't afraid of some rent a cops that the park has hired to provide security....now KD on the othhand employs state police to help patrol the park & they've done an outstanding job of busting the troublemakers this year for the most part.I was in the park last month over by 305 when along come a couple officers escorting what must've been about ten guests from the area with a couple more officers & KD security staff bringing up the rear,which is something you don't see at SFA.

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Hey, at least something was done about it. From what I have gathered, there are very many cases where nothing happens to those who skip the line at this park.

 

-Gary

 

Well what can you expect?The locals aren't afraid of some rent a cops that the park has hired to provide security....now KD on the othhand employs state police to help patrol the park & they've done an outstanding job of busting the troublemakers this year for the most part.I was in the park last month over by 305 when along come a couple officers escorting what must've been about ten guests from the area with a couple more officers & KD security staff bringing up the rear,which is something you don't see at SFA.

Which you know because you haven't been back to the park since 2006, right? Seriously, we get it. You don't care for the park and until they build a massive new attraction you won't be coming back.

 

I've never felt line cutting is a big problem, frankly because there's rarely ever much of a line for any ride. Other Six Flags parks and FoF at KD have always been worse in my experiences.

 

 

Good to hear security took care of the problem. Very good to hear Batwing was running two trains. I can't even recall the last time I remember seeing that happen, its been at least a couple seasons.

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I visited last Friday (8/13), and it was my first visit ever to SFA, as well as to any Six Flags park in general. I just have to say, I didn't really enjoy it. Batwing and S:ROS are pretty much the ONLY two rides that make me want to come back, and they're still not that good. I found that the park was very rundown; paint was peeling from almost every building and ride, and it just wasn't a "pretty" park. However, the staff was very friendly; we did not have a problem with that. On several rides they were giving high-fives and all. The biggest problem I had with the staff was their terrible operations. We waited nearly 45 minutes for Batwing (which was only running one train) and the line wasn't very long. They had a very small switchback just at the entrance and that was it. They were only dispatching trains once every 7 minutes or so. But anyway, quick ride reviews:

 

Batwing - Despite the long wait, it was my favorite ride at SFA. My first ever flying coaster! I would love to see one at KD or BGW.

S:ROS - Amazing airtime, but really short. Also surprisingly fast.

Joker's Jinx - More intense than FoF, but I still prefer FoF.

The Wild One - Painful. Perhaps the roughest coaster I've ever ridden.

Roar - It was alright, not as bad as it looks.

Mind Eraser - CLOSED It would've been my first SLC.

Renegade Rapids - What a waste of time. You don't even get wet! It's more of a quick and (somewhat) relaxing ride.

Shipwreck Falls - One of the best water rides I've ever ridden, actually. We got SOAKED. And I mean, not the kind of soaked where you dry off in an hour or so, we were truly drenched. After the seven hour ride back (thanks to traffic), I was still pretty wet.

 

My other big complaint about the park was the food. We ate at Johnny Rocket's.... UGH. It was just plain bad (and a very overpriced $55!). We got two burgers, chicken fingers, two sodas, and a milkshake. How that comes out to $55 I do not know (especially when it's terrible food).

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Maybe you rode in the back. I always ride in the front, and like the other guy, it's also one of the smoothest tracking non-Intamin woodies I've ever been on. Roar is infinitely rougher...like, factually. I don't think there's any possible argument for that one haha.

 

Was it the jerk in the little hill after the turnaround or something? The strong laterals on the helix? I don't get it lol...I ride Roar a couple times per visit at least, and enjoy it, but there's really no comparison.

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^^ I did ride in the back. It was the whole ride that I found to be so bad, especially the death helix at the end. The double down was pretty cool though, I have to admit.

 

^ I only wanted to ride it because I need the credit and I've never ridden an SLC (or a boomerang, for that matter).

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Oh, to me the back isn't too bad for roughness, but it's not nearly as good as the front in almost every way. The airtime is lacking back there because of the shaping on a lot of the hills, plus it's not quite as smooth. Still tracks a lot better back there than Roar does even in front, but the shaping I guess could be described as creating more jolts than Roar's continuous jackhammering.

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Hey, at least something was done about it. From what I have gathered, there are very many cases where nothing happens to those who skip the line at this park.

 

-Gary

 

Well what can you expect?The locals aren't afraid of some rent a cops that the park has hired to provide security....now KD on the othhand employs state police to help patrol the park & they've done an outstanding job of busting the troublemakers this year for the most part.I was in the park last month over by 305 when along come a couple officers escorting what must've been about ten guests from the area with a couple more officers & KD security staff bringing up the rear,which is something you don't see at SFA.

Which you know because you haven't been back to the park since 2006, right? Seriously, we get it. You don't care for the park and until they build a massive new attraction you won't be coming back.

 

I've never felt line cutting is a big problem, frankly because there's rarely ever much of a line for any ride. Other Six Flags parks and FoF at KD have always been worse in my experiences.

 

 

Good to hear security took care of the problem. Very good to hear Batwing was running two trains. I can't even recall the last time I remember seeing that happen, its been at least a couple seasons.

 

My last season was 2007,not 2206 thanks you & no I don't "hate" the park per se but really hate the way corporate is running things there.It's not just the lack of new rides that gets me but rather the operations & the loose articles "procedure" that I'm not fond of.

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When I rode Wild One back in May, I sat in the back every time I rode and it was smoother than most of the wooden coasters I've been on, including Roar, which was terrible. Stupid PTCs.

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I visited last Friday (8/13), and it was my first visit ever to SFA, as well as to any Six Flags park in general. I just have to say, I didn't really enjoy it. Batwing and S:ROS are pretty much the ONLY two rides that make me want to come back, and they're still not that good. I found that the park was very rundown; paint was peeling from almost every building and ride, and it just wasn't a "pretty" park. However, the staff was very friendly; we did not have a problem with that. On several rides they were giving high-fives and all. The biggest problem I had with the staff was their terrible operations. We waited nearly 45 minutes for Batwing (which was only running one train) and the line wasn't very long. They had a very small switchback just at the entrance and that was it. They were only dispatching trains once every 7 minutes or so. But anyway, quick ride reviews:

 

Batwing - Despite the long wait, it was my favorite ride at SFA. My first ever flying coaster! I would love to see one at KD or BGW.

S:ROS - Amazing airtime, but really short. Also surprisingly fast.

Joker's Jinx - More intense than FoF, but I still prefer FoF.

The Wild One - Painful. Perhaps the roughest coaster I've ever ridden.

Roar - It was alright, not as bad as it looks.

Mind Eraser - CLOSED It would've been my first SLC.

Renegade Rapids - What a waste of time. You don't even get wet! It's more of a quick and (somewhat) relaxing ride.

Shipwreck Falls - One of the best water rides I've ever ridden, actually. We got SOAKED. And I mean, not the kind of soaked where you dry off in an hour or so, we were truly drenched. After the seven hour ride back (thanks to traffic), I was still pretty wet.

 

My other big complaint about the park was the food. We ate at Johnny Rocket's.... UGH. It was just plain bad (and a very overpriced $55!). We got two burgers, chicken fingers, two sodas, and a milkshake. How that comes out to $55 I do not know (especially when it's terrible food).

 

 

 

I mostly agree with you. I live about 45-50 min from the park and used to get a season pass every year. This was the first year I did not in 6 years. The park is falling apart. They put a lot of pride into the water park and neglect the dry side it appears. The park it self is pitiful. They have taken so many rides out over the years and have not put a majoy ride back in years! The last coaster they built is Batwing. The operations have always been terrible with employees acting like they could care less about their job or the happiness of the guest. They are very slow with checking restraints and are more worried about what is going on in each other personal lives or flirting with guest.

 

I will disagree and state Wild One is really smooth. Also pls keep in mind I have not been to the park this year and I have heard it is a different atmosphere with the employees acting like they have sense.

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The employees are doing a lot better this year. The Penguin's Blizzard River crew was doing a BAD job handling the boats, and as a result, the bottoms were filled w/ 1-2 feet of water, black water.

 

But Superman was very fast to dispatch. Batwing takes a lot longer to check because of the design of the restraints.

 

They are improving. Is it up to par with some of the other parks in the area? No, it's not even close at this point. But the point is they are starting to move in the right direction, and that is a positive.

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