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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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I just returned from a great afternoon spent at the park with Dave Roemer. Unfortunately I was unable to take any pictures due to A) some of the props sitting inside the building are licensed by WB and B) when a park spends ungodly amounts of money on new additions, I think that it's best to respect their wishes to release pictures first. However, I have some information that I am allowed to share, without losing my job of course.

 

1. The amount of painting work that is going on at the park is amazing. A lot of signage, like the big Shazam! sign over the queue entrance, has been completely repainted and looks brand new. The Palace Theater refurbishment is going well, with the molding-type decorative elements being replaced with a vinyl duplicate. You can't tell the difference from the ground, and it'll make sure it looks great for years to come.

 

2. One thing that is really great is that the upper management has been really focusing on a bunch of 'little' things that can really make a family's visit extra special. While a lot of the details are still being worked out for these things, another way that they are focusing on the details to help with the bigger picture includes little thematic elements. One example is the giant concrete wall towards the end of Thunder River. If they were to put the rock work back on it, the cost would be a few hundred thousand dollars. Instead of doing that, the great painting team came up with this huge industrial-type logo for a fake dam/water company. Then by just adding a rusted-looking pipe at the top spewing water, it will really look like a dam. I honestly think it's cooler than the rock work would be.

 

3. Okay, I know this is what you really want to hear about: JLBM. Honestly, it blows me away seeing it for myself. The outside has gotten farther since the last posted pics (including the removal of the Scooby-Doo queue sign/elements). The main hall that you enter into is absolutely huge. The concrete ride platform, including ADA approved ramps are all built, but I would say that the main hall has the farthest to go still. However, it is the easiest part to finish. I got to roll through the ride twice, and I can't say enough how amazing it is, in my opinion. I was lucky enough to ride Spiderman at IOA, Transformers at USO, and Transformers at USH three or four times each in 2014, and even though the ride vehicles may be a bit smaller, the scale of the attraction and screens seem to be the same. I also got to meet the lighting designer for the ride, who told me, in the most 'no big deal' way possible, that he was also the head lighting designer for the two Disney castles in the US, all of IOA besides the Harry Potter stuff and same with the USO park. Some of the state of the art LED lighting is already installed and working.

 

The entire ride was stuffed with all kinds of huge crates and wrapped-up set pieces. Once the base level painting is finished here really soon, they will begin putting up the background sets before the arrival of the bigger pieces like the Joker. I was able to see a few unwrapped set-pieces that looked top notch, in terms of quality. As it's been a big thing on here, I made sure to ask Dave the following question: "A lot of the online enthusiast community especially has expressed concerns about the maintenance of this type of ride, after things in the past like parts of the Scooby-Doo ride. What is the plan to keep the ride at top notch quality?" To paraphrase, this ride is such a big flippin' deal for SFSL & SF as a company, there is a heavy commitment to keeping it looking great. Also, with the ride expected to be such a big draw for the park, they have financial reasons to keep it looking great. Finally, the Scooby ride system & components were lucky to have lasted that long as the ride pretty much cannibalized itself slowly, due to it's original design, over 40 years ago. Also, the maintenance of this ride will be more streamlined thanks to the fancy system that self-diagnoses any issues.

 

4. In conclusion, overall the park is looking at a fantastic season coming up this year with tons of additions like expanded seating at JB's Smokehouse, very much improved admissions systems & front mall, and infrastructure overall. Ameren also replaced their old power line that caused the power outages last season, and even to be extra prepared, the park invested in a huge back-up generator for the water park. This means that in the event of a power outage, the filter/pump houses won't flood, which is why the water park took a lot longer to reopen after an outage compared to the rest of the park. Besides the great park management who has been behind all of this great stuff, Jim Reid-Anderson, the CEO of Six Flags, and his team deserve some credit for their focus on spending to refurbish & improve things in the park.

 

Hopefully I'll see some of you at the park this season, and I can't wait for you to see the new changes/improvements for yourself in just three weeks.

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Thanks for the report! JLBM is my most anticiped non-coaster ride in 2015 for sure.

 

The only concern I would have - but seeing all the efforts put into this I'm confident - is that if ever they'll use the squinching technic for their medias. You know, when the film distort itself as the vehicule goes by, to emulate a 3D environment.

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Thanks for the report! JLBM is my most anticiped non-coaster ride in 2015 for sure.

 

The only concern I would have - but seeing all the efforts put into this I'm confident - is that if ever they'll use the squinching technic for their medias. You know, when the film distort itself as the vehicule goes by, to emulate a 3D environment.

While I unfortunately don't know enough to say for sure in terms of what 3D technic will be used, I know that when they brought Real-D 3D, the top 3D company, on board, they chose to make the quality like that of the Transformers rides. I think that they'll probably need to have that type of distortion or else it would make it really hard to shoot targets on the screen.

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Any idea of when the surprises that haven't yet been announced for Justice League will be revealed?

 

Who knows, maybe it will remain a secret till the ride's opening day.

 

wouldn't that be one of the best ways to do it? Don't actually advertise and have it be a jaw-dropping, OMG! moment that you HAVE to see.

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I'm for sure loving the all season sports bottle! Also new 1 snack with each visit when you have the season dining pass!

A lot of people think that leaving suggestions at Guest Relations or taking a survey at the front of the park is worth their time, but I alone processed a couple dozen Season Dining Pass suggestions that included things like getting a snack or adding an all-season free refillable mug. Similarly, if you leave a compliment for an employee or park attribute at Guest Relations (try to remember the name if possible), Dave Roemer will personally read it. He reads 100% of all compliments and at least 75% of the complaints. Dave also writes nice little thank you notes, which are delivered to those team members, in addition to the list of exemplary team members being posted in HR, the employee cafe, and read over the PA during the morning announcements before the parking lot opens.

 

Even though the computer system gets your comment straight to the desktop of that department's top dog, the comments are frequently looked at by a plethora of people that make up our management team. They even have a daily meeting with all the top people, and going through the comments is actually a big part of the meeting's agenda. So yea....if you don't mind, it'd be cool if you gave us feedback so we can keep getting better.

 

If that soda includes Coke Freestyle, I would just stay in there all day.

Well make sure to bring your sunscreen, because there'll be more machines again for this year as the park continues to upgrade their dining facilities.

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So I tweeted to Six Flags St Louis to check if everything is on schedule and the opening hasn't been pushed to summer like certain things have at other Six Flags parks (Twisted Colossus, etc)

 

I think one ride that is the most ready and will be ready the fastest will be Wicked Cyclone At Six Flags New England and probably those lame Larson Mega Loops

 

But it's great to hear it's still opening late spring!

Screenshot_2015-03-21-09-00-51-1.png.970fedf1348e26fb5a5e85602c06d6cd.png

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So I tweeted to Six Flags St Louis to check if everything is on schedule and the opening hasn't been pushed to summer like certain things have at other Six Flags parks (Twisted Colossus, etc)

 

But it's great to hear it's still opening late spring!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but summer doesn't technically start until June 21st. I always thought it was interesting how parks (especially Disney and Universal) would always say that certain things were going to be offered starting in the late spring, which most people consider summer as starting Memorial Day weekend, but then whatever it was wouldn't start until almost the end of June.

 

While opening by that memorial weekend is probably still the goal, saying 'Late Spring' is great terminology for covering for any kind of unexpected delay.

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I was just kind of thinking is it a good thing or a bad ting that the same/similar ride is being installed at two parks at once. I would assume there is one main team/person involved in troubleshooting various elements of the ride. Do you think one park's ride will be open before the other? I would guess one ride would be ready before the other but both would open on the same day as not to spoil the "surprises".

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I was just kind of thinking is it a good thing or a bad ting that the same/similar ride is being installed at two parks at once. I would assume there is one main team/person involved in troubleshooting various elements of the ride. Do you think one park's ride will be open before the other? I would guess one ride would be ready before the other but both would open on the same day as not to spoil the "surprises".

In my opinion, it is really a good thing. Let's really simplify it and just consider the ride's video that will appear on the different screens throughout the ride. Creating top notch, custom, 3D video by contracting the top companies in the industry is extremely(!) expensive. Here is a paraphrasing of what Dave Roemer told me regarding the subject:

 

"First off, when you look at the demographics of the people who visit our park, the vast, vast majority of them have never and will never visit Six Flags Over Texas. Most have never even experienced any of the Universal parks. Six Flags St. Louis is their vehicle by which to experience the world of theme parks. While some people don't like the [cloning of rides in the SF chain], if you have an attraction that is very popular in a certain region, you can then make the most of your [new ride budget] by purchasing multiple units of a ride to install in different regions, especially where the ride is unique to that region. Also, you don't have to wait and hope for a good response to the ride. The ride has proven its popularity already, so [it's basically a very safe bet that your Guests will love it].

 

With JLBM, the total cost of producing the 3D film alone is [you would be surprised at just how much of the ride's budget consists of this movie]. By opening the ride at two parks, both in different regions, in the same year, SFSL and SFOT are able to 'split' the cost of producing the film. While the actual layout of the attraction itself will be a bit different at each park, just due to the physical building that houses it, the story will be the same."

 

Now this next statement is completely, 100%, non-insider-information-based and is just me thinking-out-loud as a coaster enthusiast. Given the information above, even if SFOT opened today, 99.99% of SFSL park Guests wouldn't really have anything spoiled for them. Besides, you really want to create a ride that even if you have a crystal-clear POV video, it should still make you want to actually experience the attraction first hand for yourself. Now because some of the 'surprises' that I know of at least are first's and technologically advanced/experimental, if one of the effects ends up not working or needs some more work before it can really be implemented successfully, it's better to not mention the specific surprises in advance. Just my two cents.

 

And finally, I just wanted to say, I hated the Transformers movies. I only made it halfway through the first movie (I must say that watching it in a very loud MRI machine made the fight scenes extra intense) before I just didn't feel like watching anymore. That being said, the Transformers rides are frickin' amazing! A good ride that uses an existing IP is designed so that you don't have to care about that IP whatsoever beforehand. It's all about putting you in the middle of the action in an exciting way that is simple enough so that anyone riding knows whats going on, just with the basic background info explained in the queue/pre-show or beginning of the ride.

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4. In conclusion, overall the park is looking at a fantastic season coming up this year with tons of additions like expanded seating at JB's Smokehouse, very much improved admissions systems & front mall, and infrastructure overall. Ameren also replaced their old power line that caused the power outages last season, and even to be extra prepared, the park invested in a huge back-up generator for the water park. This means that in the event of a power outage, the filter/pump houses won't flood, which is why the water park took a lot longer to reopen after an outage compared to the rest of the park. Besides the great park management who has been behind all of this great stuff, Jim Reid-Anderson, the CEO of Six Flags, and his team deserve some credit for their focus on spending to refurbish & improve things in the park.

.

 

This brings me the most happiness lol, the bashing SFSTL was taking for Amerens bad transport plant on social media was crazy. I guess people truly believed six flags generates its own grid.

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