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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread


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^ You're entirely right about maintenance schedules, though we've seen parks change things around due to demand from previous Holiday events. Hershey added a second train on Wildcat this year for Christmas, Dollywood added a second train on Thunderhead and Great Adventure added a second one on Batman. I would be surprised if they shuffle things around on a few rides next year.

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now if only Prozach can get his TR done sometime before March.

Haha. It's first on the list. Today is my first day off since Thursday, and unfortunately with the weather as warm as it is, the Subaru holds first priority. Wash/wax/clay bar/seal for the winter. fml

 

I plan on getting the TR up by tomorrow.

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We were there on Thursday as well and never waited more than 10 min for anything and that was front seat on all coasters so not sure how anyone thought it was busy, but maybe we were just lucky.

 

Thought it was a great job for the first year and look forward to them expanding things as I assume they will. The only thing I thought needed some immediate improvement was the smores package. Half a Hershey bar for 2 smores is pretty scanty but that is a pretty minor issue. Overall, thought it was a great event to add to the yearly calendar.

 

HWFan, we were getting off of Thunder as you were boarding (knew it was you from pics you posted) I would have stopped to introduce myself but we were being swept along by the crowd and didn't want to hold up the proceedings.

 

I agree with the poster that said the employees seemed to be enjoying themselves!

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Very happy to read that management from Great America were there to take a gander at the event. Looking forward to my damn winter rides on Batman already.

Maybe dont read much in to that. Chicago does typically have more colder days, more winter precipitation to contend with and higher winds. And it has already been said visits aren't out of the ordinary.

 

But the park would be gorgeous.

 

Your Batman might not be quite the impossible machine though. It is a bit shorter.

 

Edit: The Tinseltone trio is a duo tonight.

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Trip Report Thursday, 12/22/2016

 

Oh, December. A time for cold weather. A time for ice hockey. A time for doing snow drifts in an empty parking lot in the Subaru. And a time for... roller coasters???

 

It had been at least four years, and several more for Emily, since we had last walked through the front gates of Six Flags St. Louis. Most people know my reasons for not going to our park, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride roller coasters this late in the year. We got to the park just before two. Driving through the gates was weird, since it had been so long since my last visit, and I had never even pondered being in the park, or any park, this time of year in this type of cold. All of this made me very excited as we paid for our parking and proceeded to find a spot. We parked our car in the first row and I was pumped! I started thinking about Batman, American Thunder, and some of the other rides that it had been so long since I had ridden, despite their location within an hour from my house. I was actually very much looking forward this. The very long break and the special event built anticipation that I hadn't had from this park since my early teens.

 

We waited a few minutes for rope drop and we were only among 20-30 people. We headed to Justice League, my arch nemesis, first. I was actually looking forward to trying it out, but it was closed and remained closed throughout the day. Instead, we decided to hop on Mr. Freeze. I told myself not to think about the ride I used to love and just enjoy it for what it was. We hopped right on an empty train and 'reverse blasted' through the tunnel. By the time we hit the top spike looking straight down I realized how much I was enjoying my ride. When it was over, both Emily and I looked at each other and agreed that we really enjoyed the ride. God knows I didn't enjoy it as much as I used to, but I definitely liked it more than Flight of Fear, another Premier launched coaster I really enjoy.

 

The park was still dead for the next several hours of daylight. We enjoyed walking around and texting updates to Josh. We got an early ride on American Thunder. Despite the train crawling early in the day, it was still really fun. As I was all bundled up, I laughed at the hilarious pace the train crawled from the break run to the station. We eventually got a cold ride on mine train and headed toward Batman. As others have said, it still hauls a$$ in the cold and we really enjoyed our couple rides throughout the day, including one front seat ride, which was the longest wait of the day at about ten minutes.

 

Most of the rides were station waits, with the park filling up at night. Even then, we had one more walk-on ride on Freeze and our ten minute front row wait on Batman. My only gripe is the beer man situation. We stopped at the chicken bbq shack/whatever it's called by mine train around 4 in anticipation of snagging our first beer. We were told by staff that no one was working who was over 21, so they had us go to Mooseburger... where they weren't serving beer. Mooseburger then referred us to Johnny Rockets, where the cashier rang us out. Then, we waited ten minutes, before they figured out they also didn't have anyone over 21 to serve us. No apology, no politeness, just "here's your refund." uhg. Whatever. We eventually made our way to the JB'S smokehouse and got a nice cold tasty 312. I guess I could also gripe that food lines were at least 30 minutes when we were hungry later in the night, but it was expected. As a result,we weighed our options and chose not to eat until we got home.

 

At five, we met up with Josh, who is the first technical "Coaster Enthusiast" I have ever met. Josh took us to the light show in front of the Palace and it was really impressive. Like Josh, I also appreciated the short six minute length of the show, as opposed to something that lingers on. After that, Josh explained some of the ins and outs of the event and park, as he showed us around the park. Two of the most impressive areas were in Bugs Bunny National Park, with the Candy Cane Forrest. That, and the area around Mine Train stretching toward Aqua Twist was really impressive. After about an hour, Josh went back to work. However, he texted me later on and asked if we wanted one last ride on American Thunder at eight. With me working all weekend and having to be up at 430, I was hesitant, but it didn't take much time for me to make up my mind and I gave him a big Hell yes! Josh was nice enough to give us some exit passes and we hopped right on near the back of the train. The crest over the lift hill and drop were awesome, as it provided a really great view of the lights and rest of the park. It was a great last ride of the year and the train was hauling a$$ after the bearings had a chance to warm up. We walked out of the exit and Josh briefly introduced us to Pete, who in turn introduced us to the Great America Manager and another SF exec (my memory sucks). Of note, Josh introduced as "coaster enthusiasts" which definitely made me feel a little nerdy, haha. But, it was neat to meet the big boss! At that point, Josh wanted to head over to JL one last time to see if it was open, but we were out of luck.

 

We parted our ways and thanked Josh for an awesome night. We enjoyed talking with him. He's got a lot of great knowledge and he has a lot of enthusiasm about the park. Emily and I quickly headed for the gate, as it was now past 830 and we had an hour drive home, but not before quickly running over to American Thunder. I wanted Emily to get one last ride on it, since she was too bashful to take advantage of the exit pass, but the line seemed pretty long and I knew I was already going to be tired for work the next day.

 

That said, the park left us wanting more of its offerings, which I think is a really good thing. I forgot about our decent collection of rides, including the Train, Mine Train, Superman, Freeze, American Thunder, Batman, Ferris Wheel,Screaming Eagle, etc. We agreed that it would be really nice to come back next year on our park strategy used the past few years of taking it easy, having a few beers, taking in the views, and meandering from ride to ride as we please. As shocking as it is, we're planning on being season pass holders next year for at least one trip to the park on a summer weekday, another return trip to Holiday in the Park, and a visit to Great America or two.

 

I'll leave more comments about the lights and event in general for the following pictures. Sorry for the low quality pictures from my Amazon Fire phone:

 

Celebrating our 50 minute drive to the park, as opposed to our usual 4+ hour drive or hopping on a plane. What better way to celebrate a cold day than with Starbucks?

 

Holy Crap! We're at a park and we didn't even have to stop for gas!

 

Here was our parking spot. We got to the park around 145 and the parking lot was sparse.

 

Well, I suppose I have no right to complain too much about JL not being open, since I sure as hell complained when it was announced as our new addition.

 

Speaking of complaining... We actually rode this three times throughout the day. I really learned to appreciate looking back at how instantaneous the station disappears on the launch. I enjoy coaster sounds and I really missed the great sounds this coaster makes, including it's loud growl, the warning siren, and the charging of the LIMS. I missed the "cla-clunk cla-clunk cla-clunk" of the train returning to the station, and the "whooosh" of air through the tunnel on the brake run. Yes. I have a new appreciation for Freeze along with a return of the things I used to love. I now officially appreciate this ride.

 

Emily and I hopped on American Thunder and after that she insisted we did the cars. She likes driving me around while I lounge in the back. I warned her that our moon cars had changed since their earlier glory, but she still wanted to ride. When we made the final turn into the station she looked back at me puzzled and stated "Wow, you were right." We still enjoyed it and we only waited a few minutes for a ride.

 

This was about our best view from the moon cars.

 

We made several attempts and this was the least terrible out of all of them. Cool little photo area, though. It lit up at night.

 

This area was really well done and it differed from the other areas in the park, focusing mostly on blue and white.

 

Beer man may have originally disappointed us, but Batman did not. Had there not been countless more made, this layout would be much more appreciated. I am still very appreciative of it, no matter where I ride it. I grayed out a little on the first drop.

 

We weren't expecting mine train to open up, so this was a nice little surprise. We had a nice, clunky, cold, laughter filled ride through the woods. I just kept commenting about how weird it felt to be riding coasters in December.

 

Rando picture. You can see how empty the park was early on. The winter lighting really added to the interesting feeling of being at a park this time of year.

 

This area was nice.

 

We went on a cold ride on the train from this station to the next. We were pretty chilly, despite multiple layers, so we opted no to complete the circuit. I really like this train, though. The layout is interesting and provides for some good views of the park. Emily commented that she barely remembered anything about the train from her past visits and she was pleasantly surprised. She used it as an opportunity to dog on KI's train, which she loves to do. Haters gonna hate.

 

As per the norm, Emily insists that train rides mean train selfies, so here was our attempt.

 

After a few fails, and an irritated bride, we finally found beer man. Prices were steep, but I didn't mind. We also ended up taking home a couple of the glasses.

 

Bundled up, freezing my a$$ off, riding roller coasters, and enjoying myself at Six Flags St. Louis in December. WTF just happened? On a side note, I really like JB's setting. We didn't get any food, but it looked OK. At one point after we initially parted ways with Josh, we were sitting against a heater, drinking beer, watching the Blues game, and listening to roller coasters. I think THAT was the moment we decided to get season passes. What a bizarre world.

 

We wanted to try one of these, but we only had a few beers during our visit. I thought the offering was cool. I wish I didn't have to work the following day... and all Christmas weekend.

 

Closing out our visit with Josh. He agreed that my sarcasm on the internet translates much better in person and I got him to admit that I'm not an asshole, which is nice! haha. Speaking of which... he also said my HW TR sucked, because it had too much text and too little pictures. Who's the asshole now, pal! (joking)

 

If you look closely, you can see the snow flake projections on the ground. I'm a 'less is more' kind of guy, so I really like this area.

 

Not only did we ride once, but we looped around for a double lap! Emily was not pleased, until I agreed we could wait for the front. Her preferred seat on most coasters is the front row, which I'm kind of starting to come around to.

 

What helped make everything awesome was how the trees had no leaves. It really made the park feel compact and you could see the lights near the Palace from so many places in the park. It added to the "this doesn't feel right" mentality.

 

Ferris wheel was looking nice. Had we worn even more layers, we would have ridden it. However, we were starting to get pretty cold at this point and we decided we didn't want to ride 'refrigerator the ride.'

 

The picture is blurry, but as people of faith, we really appreciated the Nativity scene. It wasn't an 'in your face' type of setup at all, and it was really well done. Emily was giving major props to SF for doing this.

 

Going forward, you'll have to endure mostly blurry phone pictures, but I tried to capture the abundance of lights.

 

This was a nice view walking up the hill, past Thunder River.

 

You'll also have to endure many selfies! Since I was only off Wed and Thurs this week, this was one of the few holiday days we had during the season to spend together, which also made this trip special. It was nice to kick back before a 12 hour day three day work filled weekend.

 

This was one of the only shots I got of the tree in the distance, as we were running out of time. It was a neat multi-colored tree with each of the branches a different color.

 

In the north pole area looking toward the Palace.

 

Lights everywhere!

 

The area near Mine Train was glowing with green lights.

 

This was also an awesome area of the park. The candy cane trees were really neat and the green and red lights on the ol' Larson looper looked fantastic.

 

Minty!

 

The tree really lit up the entire area.

 

The Ferris wheel looked great.

 

So bright!

 

A nice family offered to take our picture in exchange for taking a picture of their family. The people at this event were very friendly. Unruly teens were replaced with families.

 

Looking down toward aqua twist. I can't remember how many hundreds of trees Josh said there were in the park, but they were well done.

 

Here was the wharf area with fire pits and smores. We wanted to try the smores, but we ran out of time. This day really flew by.

 

Freeze! On our last night of the ride I looked at Emily and in my best Arnold voice I said "Chill," just milliseconds before the launch. Damn you beer man.

 

You can see the green tree from here.

 

Looking toward the main entrance. Complete side note: I also forgot to mention Big Spin was open. I wanted a ride on this, but again... time.

 

The front entrance was very tastefully done.

 

The park looked really charming at night.

 

blurrrrr

 

A quick shot of the trees out front.

 

The picture back toward the entrance doesn't do it justice, but the old school light posts with the red and green light bulbs looked really classy.

 

We walked away and rejoiced at how much fun we had and how fast the day flew by. We were freezing our butts off and I had to work at six, but we didn't want to leave. Strangely enough, we agreed that along with our trip to Sea World Orlando and Carowinds, this was one of the funner times we'd had at a park this year. I'm not saying that Batman and Freeze come close to our rides on Millennium Force in the summer, but we really enjoyed ourselves. The short drive, our limited time at the park, the special event, meeting up with Josh, and Emily and my last day of the Christmas season together, really wrapped this up into a completely pleasant and memorable visits. Well done Six Flags St. Louis. I'm glad I took so much time off so that I could appreciate the park again.

 

Ride Counts:

Mr. Freeze: 3x

American Thunder: 2x

Batman: 2x

Moon Cars: 1x

Train: 1/2 circuit

Mine Train: 1x

Beer Man: 3x!

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That really is glowing praise considering the feelings you originally had about the park

 

I would like to see a renewed focus on lighting all year though, and not just keep it to Fright Fest and Holiday In The Park. It really does make a huge difference, I'm sure everyone that has attended would agree.

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Nice TR! I'm extremely jealous of your wait times. My wife, brother and sister were there from 530-9pm. Waied 40 mins for 1 train operation Batman, 32 for 1 train operation of Thunder, Freeze was short wait...walked right on, no wait for Xcalibur, 20ish for Panda, and then walk on at Mine Train. Skipped Ninja for obvious reasons. I, too, really enjoyed the park and the excellent lighting. We really had a nice time. It's probably going to be this event next year until my return. The lighting and darkness really helped mask some of the "holes" the park has during summer operation. Cool you met Josh, he seems to be a very shining light on a park that really needs some help. I enjoy his updates!

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Great write-up!

 

I visited yesterday evening from dusk til close with a group of family and had a blast, despite the lines.

 

American Thunder and Batman each took around 30-40 minutes. We got on Colossus and the view was fantastic with the whole park alight. I particularly liked the Candy Cane Forest.

 

We wound up riding the Ninja several times as it was walk-on.

 

It was a great end to 2016!

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^ Great pic! That area of the park, especially with the multi-colored tree, is one of my favorites. I'd like to see lights like that over the midway during the summer too. It's not a huge addition, but it would add a lot to that area.

 

...Cool you met Josh, he seems to be a very shining light on a park that really needs some help. I enjoy his updates!

Thanks for the extremely generous compliment. One thing that I love about the park in the past few years is how, each year, it needs less & less help, as you put it. The senior leadership team at corporate, who are steering the company to make it stronger than it's ever been (record year after record year), really deserve some credit for the great things like HIP. Besides them, there are dozens of passionate people at the park who work hard and have a huge impact on the park & its success.

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Unrelated to the current discussion, but does SFSTL usually open for spring break? I'm planning on visiting another Six Flags park during spreak break next year (For me, it's March 24th-March 31st) and STL is the closest option.

 

EDIT: Looked at it incorrectly, my break is actually March 24th - April 4th

Edited by RollingCoasting
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Can anyone post the dining plan times for HiTP?

was just there today -

 

as best I remember -

 

Lunch 2:30 - 4:30

Dinner 5:00 - 8:00

snack 2:30 - 8:00

 

don't quote me but that is what I thought I remembered - it should be close

 

Kevin

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