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The Official West Coast Bash 2012 Update Thread!


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^Same here, we upgraded to annual passes for only $2 each! We will DEFINITELY be going to Knott's many times this year, as we're only 45 minutes away. Knott's yesterday was actually my first time there in 8 years, despite being local. I'd rather be at SFMM over Knott's if I could only go to one on a normal day, but it was very clear that Knott's put more effort into pleasing everyone. Not only that, but it was just a more fun day in general.

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First, a massive thanks to Robb And Elissa for getting these events and setup. Had a wonderful time at SFMM and KBF this weekend. Overall, both events were great, but the Knott's event really stood out.

 

As someone who's been coming to WCB since 2009, it's clear that Jay Thomas had lots to do with why the event was excellent. It was always great to see the park president and hear first hand about the changes coming to the parks. When Bonnie came in, she has never attended WCB, and I think that they were very dismissive of the event this year. While their were some pluses (like the coupon sheet), there was no attempt to wow us like last year. However, I think that SFMM doesn't feel that they need to wow the fanatics anymore, because they are doing well - they've come out of their down period - the park looks great, makes tons of money, and maybe they feel that they don't need the word of mouth, because we'll come for the thrills. The truth is, we were spoiled. They were operating a whole park of coasters for about 800 people the last few years, and it was over the top. So I feel disappointed this year? I still had a wonderful time, but yes, I did. Knowing this, I will set my WCB expectations lapbar a few clicks lower for next year. As always, thanks to Tim and Neil for the presentation and insight into the new Drop of Doom.

 

Knott's knocked it out of the park again though. In addition to a free T-shirt, we also had an amazing lunch, some fun morning ERT (Log Ride ERT!) and a great day. Tours were outstanding! I got some personal time with the Montezuma's launch cable, saw some boiling tires, got to sit in the B&M suspended maintenance ball, and got to ask some nerdy train questions in the Roundhouse. The group photo was fun with Snoopy (and his WCB shirt!), and the Stuntsman. Lunch was wonderful (Mrs. Knotts Fried Chicken!) and solving the night ERT problem was classy. In addition, they gave us a FULL VALUE ticket, enabling us to upgrade to Season Passes for only $2! Again, amazing day. The Q&A with Jeff was a blast (MiceChat shoutouts, woo! ), and I enjoyed the insight from Raffi (sad he didn't get the

reference), the Haunt presentation, and some ride ops insights.

 

Overall, it's clear that Jennifer and her team at Knott's did an AMAZING job!

 

It's clear that Knott's was the best, and beat the rest this WCB, but both events were enjoyable. Thanks again to everyone involved, as I know how difficult this can be!

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We only attended the SFMM day this year and despite the scaled back nighttime ERT we had a blast!! Morning ERT was awesome, the best for us for the last 3 years. It was great seeing Corey and Danielle as always, and it was cool just getting a chance to shake Robb's hand and thank him for organizing this event from Orlando this year.

 

The park was not crowded at all during the day this year and it did not rain so nothing could stop us from riding all we wanted. We did not need a Flashpass. Station waits for most of the coasters with the only waits more than 15 minutes were Riddlers (due to single train operation), Tatsu, Goliath and X2, and we had ERT on all of those. Regarding evening ERT: with Revolution and Viper having station waits all day nobody really cared to use ERT to ride them, making X2 and Tatsu the focal points. When night ERT started pretty much everyone attending WCB was at those two coasters, which made it feel not so much like ERT at all. I hear that the crowds thinned out by the last half hour or so but we were pretty wiped out by around 9pm, and left the park very happy with the day. It's hard to ride the two most intense coasters at the park over and over again when you've been up since 4:30am. Does anyone else find it harder and harder to make it through that pretzel loop?

 

I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with Colossus and Gold Rusher (which for some reason I couldn't stop calling "Ghost Rider"). Nighttime rides on those two classic coasters were among the funnest rides of the day. I also have to say that lunch was pretty bad. On the order of dog food.

 

Besides lunch, the only other minor disappointment of the day was that when Neil got up to address us in the morning before letting us in the park he hinted at "lots of surprises". The only surprises I was aware of were the Scream/Riddler's switcheroo for morning ERT, being let into the park three minutes early, and the fact that about 11 people were going to get a tour of the new haunt mazes. If they had opened just one surprise coaster for evening ERT I would not have been disappointed, but they didn't. I guess I have been spoiled by past WCBs.

 

All in all, the good outweighed the bad, and we will board the Alvey train every time. We love Magic Mountain and we love Theme Park Review, and West Coast Bash is very special to us - we'll be there next year for sure!!!

 

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My 101st credit!

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I only attended SFMM, but here are my thoughts:

 

This is just speculation on my part, but does anyone else think that maybe SFMM offered less this year because of finances? Unless I missed something, Six Flags did just come out of debt. I'm no expert, nor am I proclaiming to be, but if finances played a role, I can see why the food and ERT wasn't as impressive as it's been in years past (such as only having to staff 4 attractions for nighttime ERT over 16-17 and serving a different, probably cheaper lunch). I think I remember someone at Q&A in 2011 asking why the event price increased, and the response was that SFMM had been doing WCB at a financial loss for a while, and so the increased price was necessary so they could at least break even. Maybe they opted to water down this year's offerings in favor of a price increase? If it is true that finances was the cause, then I'm thankful that there even was an event considering that it would be easy for them to just say "No"!

 

If I'm completely wrong (which I know is very likely), then I'll just say that while the offerings this year weren't as extensive as they could have been, it was still a lot of fun! I did enjoy Neil and Tim's presentation (they're always really entertaining!), and of course I enjoyed ERT (X2, Tatsu, and Green Lantern specifically). It would have been nice if there had been backstage tours and more attractions open during ERT, but I'm not complaining. I'll take a scaled back event over no event at all. I do think that Jay played a role in making previous years impressive simply by attending and participating, so it would be nice if Bonnie could possibly attend next year (at least for the presentation portion if not anything else). And if backstage tours are offered next year, can we get tours of X2 and Superman? Just a suggestion.

 

So again, although I obviously don't know why SFMM didn't offer as much this year, and although I'd like to see things like more attractions for ERT next year, I'm glad I got to attend this year and I will continue to come back! I do think it's important to give honest feedback so that the parks will get a feel for how they did and how they can improve, but I also think we should appreciate that they do West Coast Bash for us each year.

 

With that said, thanks again to Robb, Elissa, the rest of the TPR staff, and everyone at SFMM for putting on this year's event! Although I didn't get to attend on Sunday, thank you to Knott's as well for participating in West Coast Bash- hopefully I will make it to both parks in 2013!

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First, a massive thanks to Robb And Elissa for getting these events and setup. Had a wonderful time at SFMM and KBF this weekend. Overall, both events were great, but the Knott's event really stood out.

 

As someone who's been coming to WCB since 2009, it's clear that Jay Thomas had lots to do with why the event was excellent. It was always great to see the park president and hear first hand about the changes coming to the parks. When Bonnie came in, she has never attended WCB, and I think that they were very dismissive of the event this year. While their were some pluses (like the coupon sheet), there was no attempt to wow us like last year. However, I think that SFMM doesn't feel that they need to wow the fanatics anymore, because they are doing well - they've come out of their down period - the park looks great, makes tons of money, and maybe they feel that they don't need the word of mouth, because we'll come for the thrills. The truth is, we were spoiled. They were operating a whole park of coasters for about 800 people the last few years, and it was over the top. So I feel disappointed this year? I still had a wonderful time, but yes, I did. Knowing this, I will set my WCB expectations lapbar a few clicks lower for next year. As always, thanks to Tim and Neil for the presentation and insight into the new Drop of Doom.

 

Knott's knocked it out of the park again though. In addition to a free T-shirt, we also had an amazing lunch, some fun morning ERT (Log Ride ERT!) and a great day. Tours were outstanding! I got some personal time with the Montezuma's launch cable, saw some boiling tires, got to sit in the B&M suspended maintenance ball, and got to ask some nerdy train questions in the Roundhouse. The group photo was fun with Snoopy (and his WCB shirt!), and the Stuntsman. Lunch was wonderful (Mrs. Knotts Fried Chicken!) and solving the night ERT problem was classy. In addition, they gave us a FULL VALUE ticket, enabling us to upgrade to Season Passes for only $2! Again, amazing day. The Q&A with Jeff was a blast (MiceChat shoutouts, woo! ), and I enjoyed the insight from Raffi (sad he didn't get the

reference), the Haunt presentation, and some ride ops insights.

 

Overall, it's clear that Jennifer and her team at Knott's did an AMAZING job!

 

It's clear that Knott's was the best, and beat the rest this WCB, but both events were enjoyable. Thanks again to everyone involved, as I know how difficult this can be!

 

Is it really a two dollar upgrade for season passes with the Knott's tickets? If so I will do this next year as that is an absolutely amazing deal! Anyway, I overall agree with this "summary" of the days. I liked the SFMM day was fun, but the Knott's day was AMAZING!

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Reading these WCB updates always makes me jealous. I live on the East Coast and have been to Knott's but never Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is obviously a must-visit for me in the future. If WCB was anything like East Coast Bash at King's Dominion last year, I'm sure it was an excellent time.

 

I bet a lot of the park enthusiasm is based exclusively on what the management thinks of groups like us. I know KD's John Pagel was out all day and did an excellent job with the presentation, tours, etc. during East Coast Bash. He was incredibly personable and I admired his enthusiasm, especially since he had tolerated a lot of (ridiculous/idiotic/unnecessary) s**t over Intimidator's trims/restraints/OMG why didn't you paint it green from "enthusiasts" during the early months of that season. I would think a more corporate-minded manager might not be as enthused about mingling with the crowd.

 

I'd also consider Knott's a more "homey" park; Magic Mountain just seems so massive that it must be harder to get things organized for an intimate event. But I'd kill for some X2/Tatsu/Goliath ERT.

 

I didn't see much mentioned, but was anything interesting said about Lex Luther? How long will construction be, etc.? I know the preview video has the cars dropping alongside the Superman trains flying up the tower, which could be quite a joust. I guess the operation of each ride does not affect the other at all?

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I can't do anything more than echo what everybody else has said on the last few pages.

 

First off, a HUGE thanks to Robb, Elissa and the entire TPR Crew for making this event possible. I know how much work it takes to plan events like this, and with a recent move to Orlando, other trips and "Where in the World", I know it must have been exceptionally hard this year.

 

So thanks!!!!

 

SFMM Day: Had an absolute great time. Even in previous years during ERT, we never really would ride over and over and over again. So the couple of rides we had on Goliath, Colossus and Batman were enough as well as the one ride on Riddlers.

 

After we saw that GL wasn't allowing unbalanced rides, and we didn't see any train flip at all, we skipped the ride to get food.

 

The picnic was just that, a picnic. Any picnic that any group would get. I wasn't so bothered with it to be honest, it's just what was on the menu.

 

The Q&A was a lot of fun yet again, but it just had something missing. WATER!!! In previous years they would have water for us all. While this is probably a cost-cutting move, it really was those little things that made the event so good.

 

And of course it was disappointing that no extra ERT was announced at the Q&A and you could pretty much tell how deflated everybody was to have ERT on what essentially was 2 coasters (other than "pity" rides on Viper and Revolution). I would have been happy with 1 other non-looping coaster added like Ninja or Apocalypse. Not all of us can ride X2/Tatsu multiple times anymore.

 

But overall, a great day that was more about the great people of TPR than the actual park.

 

Knott's Day:

 

Just OMFG Amazing. Right from check-in you could tell this was going to be a completely different "event". And it wasn't just because the park was giving us free stuff and awesome tours. It was just the vibe of park management who were fully on-board.

 

We even got some "Extra Tour Time" as we got to see one of the Mechanics changing a wheel on Monte and he was more than happy to talk with us about how much he loves his job and that he's one of the lucky people. It's guys like this that make all the difference, and that we don't normally get to see. So thank you Mr. Monte Mechanic!!!

 

The rest of the day was great from amazing food, TPR Quest, the Q&A, Brook's Haunt Presentation and then of course night ERT.

 

I know there were some complications with the extended hours, but honestly, the park went ABOVE and BEYOND for us. We wouldn't have received the same courtesy from SFMM the night before. So while we didn't get traditional "ERT", I didn't have any problems waiting a couple of trains for Xcelerator. Had absolutely no wait for Monte/Silver Bullet and was even able to ride GR one last time so we could get our picture. That wouldn't have been possible on the regular ERT.

 

Overall, a fantastic weekend, can't wait for next years event!!!!

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I have to agree that SFMM was disappointing compared to last year. No tours, below mediocre food, and only 4 coasters for nighttime ERT. I certainly understand not having everything open like last year but at least having the larger rides like Apocalypse in addition to the others not offered in the morning would have been a nice touch. The event just seemed to lack energy and enthusiasm from the park this year and as a result, even the Q&A was not the least bit interesting other than the information on LL construction and the Tatsu train info. I know it does cost them money to put on this event for us but hopefully they realize that an enjoyable enthusiast event means that we are more likely to recommend the park to family and friends and that we are more likely to come back as normal guests. I can't speak for everyone but I would be more than willing to pay a little more for this event if it meant we got more perks. On the plus side, they did extend ERT on X2 until 10:15 to make up for the lines and morning ERT was great as well. Don't get my wrong, I had a very fun time but last year was much better in terms of tours and ERT.

 

Knotts on the other hand was a blast. My group including jakeryan9, highroller, lilkingjr1, Josh and 3 others essentially took over Monte for the last hour and had a blast. The only way they got us to leave was to turn off the station lights! Dare I say that Ghostrider was actually enjoyable this year? My 3 rides in the morning can't compare to the night ride I took in the very last row. It made the 1.5 hr wait worth every minute! The tours were great, especially Monte and Silver Bullet. I'm already looking forward to next year's event.

 

Thanks to Robb and Elissa for planning this event. It must be more difficult for you two now that you're in Orlando.

 

BTW Robb, thanks for the hilarious donkey conversation on Tatsu. That's by far the weirdest and funniest thing I've ever discussed on a coaster.

Edited by jab123
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I'm thinking it may be a question about a future West Coast Trip.

LOL! Oh, you're right! He was saying "TAKING" ... as in "are we taking any future West Coast Trips?"

 

The answer would be yes. Just not too sure when.

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First off, THANKS SO MUCH AGAIN for the amazing weekend, Robb, Elissa, and everyone at TPR, SFMM and Knotts who worked so hard to make all this cool stuff happen. Stellar weekend.

 

I think most of what I would say has already been said, but for emphasis: Magic Mountain didn't quite bring their "A game" this year, in terms of backstage tours, ERT, etc. However, it was a beautiful day, lunch was great, the presentations were pretty cool (I'm intrigued by Lex Luthor, so that really made the day for me) and the hang with great people is what it's really all about, anyway (again, for me). And if we hadn't had such unprecedented night ERT in the past, I don't think it would be such a big deal that we "only" had four coasters open at night this year.

 

But Knotts just killed it, with three incredible tours (kicking myself HARD for not doing the Silver Bullet tour), and plenty of ERT. Had to leave early Sunday night, with work on Monday, but I don't feel like I missed much. One night ride on Xcelerator was enough to send me home quite happy.

 

EDIT: Went back and realized that not too many people were impressed with the SFMM lunch... I guess I was just really, really hungry.

 

Also, GhostRider was not awful! Winning!

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Guess I'll go ahead a chime in. Like everyone else, a special thank you to Robb/Elissa for organizing the weekend, I know they tried really hard to get us additional coasters for evening ERT at SFMM but the park was willing to play ball.

 

On that note compared to past WCB's I found SFMM to not be as enthusiastic towards our group as in years past. The breakfast was nice as always, morning ERT had no problems though I had wished they would have added Riddler and kept Scream on the lineup. Lunch quite honestly was not something I was looking forward to, sure we must expect normal park food but I don't consider a half frozen hot dog bun to be normal. Robb as usual made fun of us which is always a treat but park management seemed anti social except to pass out index cards for questions. Speaking of Q&A, I became quite bored. Mainly because a good portion of the questions were dodged. In the end, friends and TPR made up for any disappointments, a major one being that Apoc was not on the ERT lineup. It's easily the best woodie in California and a top one on my list.

 

In contrast Knotts was warm and welcoming with the maintenance staff proud to show off their rides and talk about how they operate and what is needed to maintain them. How cool was it that we are the only group in the parks history to ever be able to sit in the B&M maintenance ball? Lunch was awesome as per usual, can't beat fresh cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, Mrs. Knotts chicken, and fresh pie. Quest had is usual craziness and although the park decided to extend park hours which covered up our ERT, they more than made up for it with the front of line passes.

 

Bottom line, I would return again just for Knotts.

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A big thanks to Robb and Elissa for such a great weekend! I am grateful for what SFMM brought to the table, but was floored by what Knott's did!

 

ERT on Lucy's Tugboat next year? Lines for some of those Camp Snoopy rides can get kinda long...

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Lines for some of those Camp Snoopy rides can get kinda long...

 

Tell me about it! KT loved Gr8 Sk8 and between the lines, ops, and break downs it took some effort to get on it!

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OK, since we weren't able to do the photo contest prizes at SFMM, here are they.... Going to just post first names and/or descriptions of who I thought you were. If you are a winner, drop me an email with your name, contact information, and T-Shirt size to robbalvey@themeparkreview.com

 

Jimmy - You took a TON of photos (like over 100) and texted me until my phone nearly exploded!

Alicia - Your name is on my list, and I think it's because you sent me some cool pics.

Lauren - same as Alicia

Gregg - There must be a reason why you won something, and I'm too jetlagged to remember...Oh, wait, no! I remember! You wore "the hat", and that deserves a prize.

The dude in the Mr. Six Mask - Because it was just damn funny and your pics were GREAT!

Kyle - You brought me a coffee. Thanks!

Cassandra - you were the first person to check in on FB that morning!

 

That's the list of people! Drop me an email ASAP!

 

--Robb

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Hey, hey! All the customary gushy thanks to the TPR crew for the tremendous job. WCB is a true highlight of the year, something like the kick-off to another stupendous season.

 

Knott's. Epic. Sensational. The ultimate in welcoming and warm - they seemed to enjoy having us as their guests. It was a wonderful experience, and the pride they show in the park (which is looking F I N E fine and getting better)... It was a joy to be there. Amazing food, over the top tours, excellent presentation, and they tolerate TPR insanity (best TPR quest ever!). I can't thank them enough. The day was so much fun, next year we'll probably skip Magic Mt. I don't want anything getting in the way of the premiere, unquestioned, simply the best event in Southern California.

 

Magic Mt. What can I say? I love the park. It's still making progress. Apocalyspse is in great form, and Tatsu and X-2 are the top thrills in the state. But for my small group, we're coming to the point where we'd be better off visiting on a regular operational day, springing for a QuikQueue, and eating our meals out of the park or at Mooseburger Lodge. For us, Magic is hitting the point where the WCB day isn't a great value. I know - heresy! Let me explain.

 

We loved two things most at prior Magic Mt bashes: TPR craziness and all you can stand X-2, Tatsu, and Apoc. Other than the cool people, TPR wasn't in full force at Magic this year. Maybe we just missed it, but I don't think so. Some of it has to do with the ERT setup.

 

I've always thought it foolish of the park to offer night ERT on every coaster. The ridership didn't merit it. On the other hand, the new setup with the right side of the park open in the AM left us hungry for more. Those rides are easy to get when the park opens. Other than GL, they don't need ERT.

 

Before anyone flames on, we understand the priority on Green Lantern, and wouldn't have done it any differently if the choice had been ours to make. However, with that side of the park done before opening, there wasn't much left to do but wait for night ERT. 'Cause I'm not sticking out long lines if I can walk on later. Speaking of... the ERT on Tatsu and X-2 didn't get cranking until roughly 9 for Tatsu and 9:20 or so for X-2. It was the same last year (if not worse). So, to get what we most value about the day, we stuck it out to the end - and that means we weren't exactly minty fresh the next morning for Knott's.

 

This is already a novel, but there's more to say and I wouldn't say it if I didn't care. I sorely missed Apoc ERT. We made the best of it, opening and closing the park at GCI's sexy beast. It left us hungry. Apoc was destroying in the dark!

 

Lunch was mediocre. My picky kid ate corn, chips and cheap fake ice cream and that's it. McDonalds could do better. As always, Tim and Neal were entertaining, but otherwise, it might as well have been a standard park day: no photo walks or backstage tours, no TPR games, just a nice Q&A. With Lex Luthor opening soon, I'd guess the morning ERT is likely set for the right side of the park next year. If that's the case, we'll probably pass and save ourselves for Knott's - unless we hear TPR will be in full force and the park is offering tours. Now if they open some kind of mega monster world beater - ERT on that will get us back.

 

Did I mention how much we loved Knott's?

Edited by PAL
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I just have to go ahead and put in my thanks to the ever growing pile and say that you guys did a great job setting up a brilliant event. I do have to say that while SFMM was awesome it was a little underwhelming while Knott's was in my opinion not only better than SFMM but better by a few orders of magnitude because of the incredibly welcoming staff, hilarious Q & A session, and the great variety of things to do during the day besides ride coasters.

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This is already a novel, but there's more to say and I wouldn't say it if I didn't care. I sorely missed Apoc ERT. We made the best of it, opening and closing the park at GCI's sexy beast. It left us hungry. Apoc was destroying in the dark!

I do want to put it out there that there were emails exchanged where I specifically asked for Apocalypse to be added to the night ERT line-up, among other things. While I personally didn't mind not having "All Coaster ERT" this year, I felt that another 2-3 coasters would have dramatically increased the offering for night ERT. I had put in a request for Apocalypse, Riddler's, and Green Lantern for night ERT. Apoc and Riddler's as they weren't on either ERT schedule, and Green Lantern as it was the "new coaster", I figured people may want to have as much opportunity to ride it as possible. (Had no idea the single rider line would be opening that day.)

 

I also asked about other things, like the water challenge that had been done at SFOG and SFDK, any kind of backstage tour, even if it was standing in a dirt lot like we have done before, and if there were any "re-themes" that could be done to any of the rides as they were done in the past.

 

While the park DID honor my request of having a season passholder price this year, which we did not have last year, I too felt that the night ERT line-up just didn't quite stack up to years past, and I most certainly voiced my concern.

 

On the other hand, Knott's not only said yes to everything I suggested (double the Xcel ERT, all the tours, etc) they kept throwing in ideas of their own to make the event even better! In fact, there were even a few ideas that we simply couldn't do this year, and I'm hoping we can put into the event next year.

 

I hear that everyone did have a great time at SFMM, but I hope for next year's WCB, they listen to what the group wants, and can do their best to accommodate. After all, we brought well over 500 people to the park, the majority of them being full price, non-season passholders, and I don't think that adding one or two more coasters for the evening was too much to ask for.

 

Let's hope for a better WCB in 2013! And to those of you who didn't go to Knott's this year, I hope you make that a priority for next year!

 

--Robb

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