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Six Flags Over Texas (SFOT) Discussion Thread

P.. 420: Pirates of Speelunker Cave announced for 2022!

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From what I've seen, Shockwave is sorely under-appreciated by the GP. I've not been there in mid-season madness, but every time I've been to the park so far, it's waiting line was decidedly shorter than all the other coasters.

 

Similarly, the local GP overrate the Runaway Mountain (the dark coaster in a warehouse) --- It's fun, but not 2-hour wait fun. To me anyway.

 

There are two other factors at work here:

[1] Shockwave is at the end of a LONG dead-end walk, so it's not "on the way" to any other major rides. Most of the folks have ridden it lots of times since it's one of the oldest coasters.

[2] Runaway Mountain is air-conditioned. This puts it in the same category with water rides that aren't that great but that have 2 hr lines in the heat of summer.

 

 

Aahh...This is indeed true. Good points!

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Not to mention hiding a line has a huge impact. Many poeple are ignorant of how long the wait is inside, or how slow it will move.

 

Lines will rarely extend far out of the main entrance. It doesn't really matter where you put the ride sign, folks will see the "full queue", and walk away. Pooh at WDW was an awesome example of this last time I was there. They were redoing the line, so the standby was a 15 foot straight shot in. It used to have a cattle area. However, the line still ended at the entrance, even though the standby wait time was probably one tenth of what it used to be.

 

Sometimes, stupid people come in handy.

 

-RO

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Not to beat a dead horse here, but I can't resist.

 

FOR ALL OF THE BOLT PLATE NAY SAYERS I GIVE YOU THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE WHICH YOU SEEK

 

That's all I needed, that shot makes this NAYSAYER, much more comfortable. Until I saw this picture I could not accurately visualize the space between the wheel and the bolt plate.

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A bunch of random replies from throughout the thread:

 

EDIT: According to coasterforce NTG is getting Bizarro/SFNE's fire effects.

 

Am I the only one who thinks fire effects on a coaster with wooden supports is a bad idea?

 

I'm happy to hear that Texas Giant is getting such awesome reviews (thanks Jakizle for all of the details). I'm trying to resist the urge to find a cheap flight on kayak.com..

 

Good luck on that! Prices to Dallas have been extraordinarily high all year. At least, they have been from Boston, but I've looked at other cities, too. I've was trying to book my flights for the ACE Con for most of the year, and prices kept going up and up. The only way I got a decent price last week was because flights to Houston went down, and I was able to get a decently priced (but not cheap, by any means!) open jaw trip into Dallas and out of Houston. The prices went back up that night, then dropped the next day (just in time for me to change my flight!), then went back up and have stayed there. Right now, the cheapest RT flights from Boston to Dallas around the time I'm going in June are around $460! (Disclaimer: there's actually ONE trip I could take on Sun Country for $400, but that requires ridiculous layovers of 8 and 12 hours on Minneapolis! Maybe if I hadn't just been to Valleyfair last year....)

 

Although it seems like flights just about everywhere are going through the roof, probably due to the instability in the Middle East and its effects on gas prices.

 

Good luck to those of you who haven't booked your trips for this year!

 

The perfect example of bad theming is Bizarro SFNE. That transformation practically ruined the ride for me. It had a great theme before hand.

 

They actually completely changed the soundtrack from what it was during media day. There was an actual storyline that made sense, if you really paid attention. The problem is that you had to read the signs in the line that told the story of the Bizarro transformation to really understand what was going on. And you had to listen to the whole soundtrack to really understand it. And I doubt many people are paying attention to what some scientists, Lois Lane and Bizarro are saying when riding on one of the top coasters in the world!

 

But I'll agree that the cardboard cutouts look really cheap and embarrassing!

 

As for the changes, let's be honest, they only did it to try to get free publicity for what was going to be an expensive upgrade in the trains, due to extensive problems, especially with the braking. (It was down all the time!) If you're spending a million on new trains, and can add another 30-50 thousand on theming and try to pretend it's a new ride, at least you can partially justify the expense to the stockholders.

 

^ I don't think anyone said there was a change in the loose article policy, only that they could now be left in the station instead of mandatory fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. I'm guessing the insurance companies dictate the "loose articles on ride" policies, anyway.

 

You know, I think I'm the only one who actually liked and understood Six Flags' no loose articles in the station policy.

 

For those who didn't know why it was done, Mark Shapiro gave us an explanation at the banquet at the ACE Convention in 2008 when he was directly asked about it. He seemed like he was being really frank with us about this and like he'd struggled with the issue. It didn't seem like he was giving corporate-speak excuses to try to cover for trying to get an extra buck out of everyone. He gave us three reasons for the change, all of which actually make sense to me:

 

1) Occasionally things get stolen, and then the victims are angry and blame Six Flags, even if it wasn't their fault. No amount of "leave at your own risk" signage is going to mollify a pissed guest who just lost their wallet or phone, or even their hat or glasses.

 

2) Having people getting in and out of the trains on both sides creates a confusing mess for both guest and ride operators and creates a possible safety situation. (Not to mention occasional fights in the station over seats!) People often trip over each other and over items left in the station.

 

For those who don't know, the confusion in the station is one of the causes of the accident that ejected and killed a man on SFNE's Superman. In all of the confusion in the station and then trying to get a handicapped man into the seat when he was having trouble fitting, the ride ops mistakenly let him ride with the lapbar up too high due to his unusual build. That doesn't excuse anything, but the more confusing things are in the station, the more likely that things will go wrong.

 

3) It slows down dispatches and dramatically lowers throughput. Having people get into the train, then walk through it, then find a place for their objects, and sometimes then moving them elsewhere, and sometimes going through their things first, then getting back in, THEN finally restraining themselves -- all before the ride ops can even start checking restraints -- all dramatically slows down dispatches. And when they don't let people past the gates until the other side is clear, it slows the process even further, as people go fumbling for their stuff, rather than just getting out of the station. (And that doens't even count all the people who actually stop to text or check messages while a whole trainload of people are waiting!)

 

I don't know about you, but I'd rather occasionally pay a dollar to check a camera or hat (or not bring it) and get on the ride 30-60 minutes earlier. Tell the truth. How many times have we all sat in the station waiting for people putting their items on the other side? I can't count the times. And it's needlessly wasted time. I definitely noticed the speedier dispatches after the policy was enacted.

 

But Shapiro's gone now, and it looks like their going back to the old ways, unfortunately. Plus, you can sell more souvenir cups when you let people leave them in the station.

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Being that it's a Hybrid roller coaster, why don't we just keep it in that category? Isn't it the first hybrid? What is California Screamin'?

 

Define hybrid.

 

TGG builds a lot of wooden-tracked rides that have steel support structures. The Coney Cyclone has both. I think Psyclone has entirely steel-railed track now. Arrow Mine Trains (fundamentally the same trains as their hyper coasters) have wooden supports for tubular steel rails. There was that... thing in Ohio that had PVC track supported by steel rails.

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While it most definitely is a steel coaster, I will say this...It didn't feel like a wood coaster. It didn't feel like a steel coaster. It really did, to me, feel like something completely new. I'm just not sure how to describe it.

 

Anyways, I'm about to pass out after getting no sleep, driving around 500 miles, and doing the shoot all day. I'll post my review when I wake up, I promise

 

Have you ridden Hi-Miler?

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With the wheel design of the new trains, are they somewhat "locked" to the track to prevent the sideways and up and down shuffle that you get with a traditional wood train?

 

That shuffle is a bug, not a feature. The original Miller trailered car patent didn't shuffle.

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^Ah, so I had it backwards. Well, as long as the majority of the track is still wood I would still consider it to be a wooden coaster.

It's a tough call, especially if an entire coaster was re-tracked with that system. I think I'd want to still call it a wooden coaster just to piss off the wood coaster aficionados who will claim it's no longer a wood coaster, you know, the same people who want to make the claim that El Toro isn't a wood coaster either.

 

These people clearly have issues!

 

I've never understood the pre-fab wooden track claim. You can argue if you want that it's not wood, but I don't understand at all the argument that it's steel.

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EDIT: According to coasterforce NTG is getting Bizarro/SFNE's fire effects.

 

Am I the only one who thinks fire effects on a coaster with wooden supports is a bad idea?

 

Apocalypse, all wood, has fire. I don't think it would be a problem at all.

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EDIT: According to coasterforce NTG is getting Bizarro/SFNE's fire effects.

 

Am I the only one who thinks fire effects on a coaster with wooden supports is a bad idea?

 

Apocalypse, all wood, has fire. I don't think it would be a problem at all.

 

 

Oh that reminds me. When we were out there for the commercial shoot, we met one of the PR guys in charge of the Facebook page, and whatnot. I specifically asked him about the concrete footers that had been poured in the infield of the NTG, saying I had heard rumors of it being an oil derrick or something related.

 

He, of course, (as I expected, but still...) said he didn't know anything one way or the other about it.

 

For what it's worth.

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Sweet that people are going to act like No Lo-Q is going to throw a wrench in their plans.

 

I have to come a long way (12,000 miles) and I have a limited window, plus I may never get back to SFOT, Lo-Q helps maximise the limited time I have at the park, so it's preferable if they had it for NTG, but not the end of the world. I'll still get a q-bot and get all the rides on it out of the way and hit NTG early and late perhaps (I'll keep an eye on TR's for the best strategy there).

 

Now let's see what projects will spring up for RM now that I think it's confirmed that the re-profile on TG was a success.

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You know, I think I'm the only one who actually liked and understood Six Flags' no loose articles in the station policy.

 

 

Those are all good reasons, and I didn't mind the lockers themselves. It was the fact that A.) they cost a buck, and B.) you had to get one for every ride, every time. This basically turned the park into a pay-per-ride affair. Considering admission is over $50 (if you pay at the gate) and the cost of everything else in the park, it just seemed like they could find another way to do the lockers without charging people for every use. Why not just make it a dollar deposit and you get a refund if you return within a few hours?

 

It doesn't matter how logical all the reasons behind the lockers were, the implementation was terrible in terms of forcing people to pay for them. Customers were outraged, and I personally heard it numerous times. Of course their outrage was typically misplaced toward the entrance employee rather than customer service...

 

And just to play devil's advocate, for every ride that used these storage devices, they had to have an employee standing at the queue's entrance at all times just to look for loose articles. Let's think about how capacity would have increased had that employee been operating the ride, whether it means adding another train (I know Titan could only run 3 trains if it had an additional employee) or just assisting in lap bars and height checks. I'd argue that would have improved capacity more than ride lockers ever did.

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To all the people concerned about the lack of Flash Pass on the new Giant, don't forget they also offer the VIP tours. Sure, they're $250 a person, but it does include admission, food, drinks, and front-of-the-line privileges. I'd assume they'd still do it for the Giant.

 

So if you're coming a long way to visit and want to be absolutely sure to fit everything in, they might be worth it for you.

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^While I can easily afford it, I'm a bit leery about VIP tours. It s***s me up the wall while a tour guide just ambles along and puts you on everything once. I just want to ride the good stuff as many times as possible, I wish they had a VIP option that didn't involve a tour guide, and was basically an all day exit pass.

 

I did VIP tours at HHN and HOS in Florida, and they sucked, I did more in an hour after opening at HHN than the VIP tour did in 6 hours on a similarly busy night (I went two nights). Not sure if the regular park VIP tours are the same or if you tell them what you want to do and walk straight on.

 

Rant over, I think it's been said before, but maybe Mitch could include NTG on the steel poll given the poll is a little later this year.

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^While I can easily afford it, I'm a bit leery about VIP tours. It s***s me up the wall while a tour guide just ambles along and puts you on everything once. I just want to ride the good stuff as many times as possible, I wish they had a VIP option that didn't involve a tour guide, and was basically an all day exit pass.

 

I did VIP tours at HHN and HOS in Florida, and they sucked, I did more in an hour after opening at HHN than the VIP tour did in 6 hours on a similarly busy night (I went two nights). Not sure if the regular park VIP tours are the same or if you tell them what you want to do and walk straight on.

 

Yeah, that would by my concern as well. Maybe you could negotiate with the park that you'd prefer to have all the VIP perks without the guide? For the price they may be accommodating.

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^It shouldn't be that big a deal. I get into DFW 1.50pm Sat 23rd, so I'll probably have from about 4.00pm at the park which I'll use to get my season pass processed, get orientated, and maybe score a few credits - I'll probably go the Rangers game that night.

 

Sunday and Monday I have full days, though I'll duck out maybe Sunday to do the Texas Stadium tour and check out Arlington, I also want to do the SCAD tower. And Tuesday, I'll probably have a couple hours at the park before I have to head to DFW. I'm thinking Monday will be the best day to have an open to close day at the park, and I'll probably get a q-bot that day.

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There are good points and bad points to Flash Pass, but one of the reasons that I hate them is that I can't tell how long the line will be (if I don't have a Flash Pass). If there's no FP on a ride, I can look at the length of the queue and think, "OK, that's about a half hour, I'll ride it," or "that's over an hour, I'll do it another time."

 

If FP is available for that ride, I may think that the queue will be a half hour, but by the time all the FP folks filter in at the front of the line, the wait has doubled (or worse, depending on the park's handling of FP).

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Jake... how does the flying carpet compare to the original version? I'm guessing that it's not quite as wild as before, since you didn't specifically mention it in your detailed ride report. Does it at least finish things up with a bang, even if maybe not being the best part of the ride anymore?

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I really want to go back to SFOT and go ride the new version. Boy, this is so much better than that crappy original version.

 

Back up a bit... the ORIGINAL version was freaking AWESOME.

The later version, after the addition of trims, the removal of the double-up, and many years of wear and tear, was nearly unridable.

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Jake... how does the flying carpet compare to the original version? I'm guessing that it's not quite as wild as before, since you didn't specifically mention it in your detailed ride report. Does it at least finish things up with a bang, even if maybe not being the best part of the ride anymore?

 

The first time I rode Tx Giant was September 2008 (When Ike canceled Coasterthon) so I never got to experience the original "flying carpet." This part of the ride is the weaker part of the ride but this is just relative to the EXTREME first portion. While it is no where near as fast and sustained, the hills are still sharp at the top and give you great pops of air, and it atleast finished with the last 3 hills into the brakes. The tunnels also really did help to make this section a lot more fun and seem faster.

 

-Jake

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Just got back from the park now. (Stayed at the park until closing at 10, and then a 4 1/2 hour ride back to Houston with a 1 hour stop at Buc-ee's, I get home at freaking 4 AM.) They were testing the ride intermittently all day, unfortunately I didn't get pictures, but there were no signs of the teal or black trains anywhere.

 

Whats concerning me more is that when we took the train from TG to Boomtown, we noticed that Shockwave was closed and actually missing pieces of track! I suspect this is due to some extreme form of maintenance, but can someone confirm? Again, no pictures, as I couldn't get the camera from my dad's girlfriend fast enough.

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