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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to explore the core of Six Flags STL's Entertainment Department and Operations with a behind the scenes tour. With approval from the HR Department, they a

I don't even know how to say this because I just can't even believe it... It is with heavy heart to say that Josh (HWFan) passed away today after a lengthy battle. This young man was such an amazing p

The Saturday before last, Eve took her first trip to a park. (7 months old) We were only there for a couple hours. Long enough to watch the big rides cycle. The park looked fine. The area around JB's

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Pretty disappointed so far. None of the lighting near Moon cars and American Thunder is active. Entire strands don't work at the entrance. And I've not been anywhere else yet.

 

Neither train bridge on that side of the park is decorated whatsoever.

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We also went tonight, in addition to some lights being out in strands or listed sections not being lit up at all, is it just St Louis or has every park started upcharging for regular dining pass menu items? We usually get macho nacho and this time it was a 2 dollar upcharge a piece for burritos. SFoG didn’t do this just 3 or so weeks ago at Frightfest: I understand the upcharge for things like the buffet, but regular menu items should be included in the dining plan. I know 12 dollars for 6 burritos isn’t much, but it is nickel and diming and adds up over visits.

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We also went tonight, in addition to some lights being out in strands or listed sections not being lit up at all, is it just St Louis or has every park started upcharging for regular dining pass menu items? We usually get macho nacho and this time it was a 2 dollar upcharge a piece for burritos. SFoG didn’t do this just 3 or so weeks ago at Frightfest: I understand the upcharge for things like the buffet, but regular menu items should be included in the dining plan. I know 12 dollars for 6 burritos isn’t much, but it is nickel and diming and adds up over visits.

SFSL has had certain items that were previously included on the dinning pass as upcharges all season. It's not ideal. Meanwhile they don't do an upcharge that I really enjoyed at Great America ($1 per patty extra on burgers).

 

 

Here's a highly abbreviated report since I didn't get to the back of the park. In addition to the lighting being incomplete in DC Comics & the Moon-Log Flume area of 1904 World's Fair it was also very incomplete in Studio Backlot - although that train bridge is decorated, but not yet fully lit. All of the Christmas trees are in place but some appear to still need lit and the nativity by Thunder River isn't done. The large gels aren't in place to color the floodlights on the Colossus legs. All of this stuff was done for last year's opening weekend. I don't think I saw the character on stilts last year. Also we checked out the petting zoo and camel rides - not great but hey they're there. $5 to feed the animals. $15 for a camel ride and pic IIRC. They also turned off the Freeze tower floodlights last year - not sure if I prefer it lit or unlit for the event.

 

 

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We also went tonight, in addition to some lights being out in strands or listed sections not being lit up at all, is it just St Louis or has every park started upcharging for regular dining pass menu items? We usually get macho nacho and this time it was a 2 dollar upcharge a piece for burritos. SFoG didn’t do this just 3 or so weeks ago at Frightfest: I understand the upcharge for things like the buffet, but regular menu items should be included in the dining plan. I know 12 dollars for 6 burritos isn’t much, but it is nickel and diming and adds up over visits.

 

Yeah, it's been like that all year. This was the first year they charged extra for the burrito.

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I don't want to sound like a broken record. But La Ronde has a horrible reputation in the chain for bad park operations. Our new president is from there and there have been glaring issues all year. I don't exactly want to blame him, but this quite a collection to be a coincidence...

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Hmmmmm.........hope they get the issues with non working lights fixed soon, it is still early in the holiday season, but that is a pretty basic element to a Christmas event to have not working. I think we will wait and go closer to Christmas. Of course I have the usual friends who are wanting to bogart my bff hitp tickets

 

I usually do my best to cheerlead for SFSTL, remind everyone that we are essentially a small regional park, not in a vacation destination and that in the grand scheme of things not having a hypercoaster near you is certainly not the end of the world. All of which is true. However, I do have to say that my son and I made a quick trip to Carowinds the last weekend of October. A park in a similar sized city that is not a particular vacation destination (although it is in a warmer climate and close to the Blue Ridge, so nearer vacation spots than us) and their Halloween event blew us away. I've been to lots of other parks but not for a special holiday event. I'm sure just the experience of a new to us event versus the event we had been to several years in a row played a part BUT.......their haunted houses were just outstanding and the atmosphere of the whole park blew SFSTl out of the water. It was really fun. While it had it pros and cons like anything else, I cannot deny it was of a higher quality than our park.

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Kim, have you ever been to KI's Haunt? I personally found it even a stop above CW, which is why KI is pretty well known for its haunt.

 

 

No, we will have to add that one to our list. Easy enough drive to get there. I really want to go to Universal's HHN, we may do that one next year if I can work it into a quick weekend.

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We went Saturday at open and everything was walk on or brief station wait for about 2 hours. At about 4pm it started getting crowded and as we left at 5pm the park was packed with a steady stream of cars still coming in. I'm sure it was nuts on Saturday night with the weather being what it was. While it was a good time enjoying warm temps and riding rides in the daytime, I will never wrap my head around the food ops at this park and how poorly they operate.

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Went on Saturday - got in around 3PM, left around 8PM:

 

-Rode Mr. Freeze first thing when we got in, waited about 20 minutes. Wait was closer to an hour when we left.

 

-Train is sloooooooow. The whole loop from the main station and back again probably took 45 minutes.

 

-Batman was a walk-on when we got there around 6:30 PM. Batman is also Batman.

 

-Food waits are indeed crazy, whether during "meal time" or not. We waited about 20 minutes for pretzels the size of Rhode Island. That wasn't ideal, but our intent was not to eat at the park anyways since we don't have dining plans.

 

-Waited about 15 minutes for American Thunder. I'm not that damn big, but the belts on this thing are super tight for two people.

 

-Justice League was having all sorts of issues, but I can say the screens look better than the other three of these I rode this year. Literally no one in the single rider line.

 

-It is dark on the mine train! Extremely so!

 

As far as the lighting being subpar or whatever - I had just been at SDC for two days. Anything was an improvement over nothing, and both are improvements in turn over a park that usually was closed at this time of year. I got to ride bad ass stuff. Call me simple or whatever, but I'm just pumped this is a thing and that I always seem to get free mug cakes when I leave.

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Glad you had a good visit, Dirk.

 

As far as the lights on Mine Train go, it's better that the limited resources are spent on the overall atmosphere versus one ride. It probably wouldn't take much work, but there are other time and money investments into the overall experience that will pay off more and every little bit counts. I agree, it would be nice. But, after reading reports of less lights and defective lights strands I would have them pour every bit of effort where it's really needed.

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Oh come on now, don't be ridiculous. Other than the water slide debacle, what seriously was any different this year from any other year? I dare say if you expected more than what they delivered this year, you forgot which park you were in. It's been fine. Some stuff has even improved, like they've had more than one beer man open on Saturdays.

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Oh come on now, don't be ridiculous. Other than the water slide debacle, what seriously was any different this year from any other year? I dare say if you expected more than what they delivered this year, you forgot which park you were in. It's been fine. Some stuff has even improved, like they've had more than one beer man open on Saturdays.

Multiple rides weren't ready for opening day. One ride had a mid season upgrade planned instead of off-season upgrades. Fright Fest's haunted houses were no better than the previous season if not downgrades. Food service is actually worse including the removal of free dining pass options (and the Fresh Cafe barely opened all year). Holiday in the Park was ready to go on opening weekend last year - it wasn't this year, in fact fewer lights are active than opening weekend for the first HITP.

 

Everything beyond ride operations has been noticeably worse than last season. I'm not expecting Disney World here - I'm expecting SFSL to be at least as good as the previous year. And it isn't.

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If we could not start with the #thankspete thing with Phil, that would be great.

Yeah seriously.

 

This is a Six Flags park. You get awesome rides, games attendants with bullhorns turned up way too loud, a waterpark that's at capacity every day, and stupidly long lines for mediocre food. Just understand that, and go and have a Six Flags day.

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My only complaint about Phil is that he just doesn't spend nearly as much time in the park as other presidents have in the past. I get that he has work to do up in his office up the hill, but he should at least try and make an effort to walk around his park occasionally and see how it's going. Now I know others on here that work at the park might disagree, but this season at least to me and the vast majority of my coworkers has been an absolute sh*t show. The fact that Holiday in the Park was as ready as it was for opening weekend was a miracle, and the idea that management is OK with full product not being available from opening day is quite sad. Just my 2 cents watching from the inside out.

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Good morning everyone! This is my first post on here, but have been reading for years, and enjoy the news, rumors, and banter that happens between everyone!

 

Figured I would do a trip report as a first post! My wife and I went to HITP on Sunday the 25th. I think the threat of weather kept everyone away for the day, but that didn't stop us! We both have the Diamond Elite Membership, and the premium dining plan, so we try to take advantage of the perks whenever we can. Parking was a breeze today in the preferred lot, and we parked about as close as we could get to the metal detectors without being illegal.

 

Shopping - We decided to go to the main stores at the front of the park and look for some deals at the end of the year. Not really much available for the holidays, but we did get a nice wreath HITP ornament for the low price of $3 with the membership discount.

 

Colossus - Its about time we finally got to ride this thing! We rode it in late March when the park first opened for the season, and it has been down ever since. Not sure what it is, but its just a nice, fun, relaxing ride that has great views of everything! Almost all of the park holiday lights were already on because of the cloudy conditions, so that made for a picturesque ride. The ride operators were friendly and told us they finally got all of the parts and programing done for the continuous ride cycle. He also said that right before the ride was set to open... it was struck by lightning, and it damaged a few circuits. We are just happy its finally open!

 

Lunch - JB's was a pretty popular option for lunch, as it was inside and out of the elements. We decided to try the "Thanksgiving Sandwich" special. It was turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce on a pretzel bun. It was actually really good, and we paired it with a salad as we thought we would tempt our fate with E. Coli from a theme park! (Didn't happen) We also got some chicken fingers and sidewinder fries. Everything was fresh and hot, and was actually brought out in a very reasonable amount of time! Job well done on this trip!

 

Petting Zoo - Down in the pavilion area there are a couple areas that are tarped off and now have farm animals in them. One of the areas we saw had goats, mini horses, lamas, alpacas, sheep... and I think water buffalo type guy. If you want to feed them, a cup of food was $5, but just petting and looking was free. Another pavilion had the camels, and camel rides available. I was not sure of the price of the rides or the picture, but I know it does cost an extra fee. We had a good time, and the animals looked clean, healthy, and well taken care of.

 

The Majesty Of Christmas - A very well done show! Apparently its the same as last year, but the sound and lighting was done well, and all of the live animals added a nice touch to the story. If you go, its a good show to see to warm up, and get out of the elements.

 

Spinsanity - A staple of our ride times each visit we go. Always a fun flat ride, and we rode it about 3 times consecutively as there was no line. Also, the area around the ride smelled like a fresh cut pine forest because of all of the lighted Christmas trees in the area!

 

The Tinseltones - Another good show at the Empire theater! All 3 girls did a nice job, and the songs and comedy were very nice. My wife even got a bit teary eyed at one song. It was either the song, or I stepped on her foot again. Well worth your time to see it!

 

The Storm - Apparently while we were watching the show, a sever storm blew through the area. That's probably why the show was getting more crowded as the show was going on. The storm probably only lasted about 10 minutes, but there was a bit of wind damage around the park. As we exited the theater, it looked like Panda Express... errr, chop stix got a bit more damage than the demo crews were doing. They were picking up pieces of the roof and siding that had come loose from the storm. The gentlemen who were cleaning were very nice, and asked everyone passing by if the were alright, and if they needed anything! As we were walking up the hill to the mine train... Woooooooooooo (Not Rick Flair), the tornado sirens start going off. I think since the storm passed, nobody really cared and nobody took cover. About 5 minutes after the sirens end, there is finally an announcement over the PA about sever weather in the area. I think this is an issue the park should look into for better communication with the guests. This put the park into storm mode 5, or whatever its called, so everything was shut down for about a half hour.

 

Fire Pits - Since nothing was working, we decided to find a fire pit and do the free Smores kit with our membership. Well, there were no fire pits going, and nobody working any of the Smores stands. I understand that a storm just came through, and fires may have went out... But this was a missed opportunity. The weather turned windy and colder, and would have been perfect for a fire! With everything on weather lockdown, the only thing to do would have been smores, and it could have made a good profit! Of well, will have to try again next time.

 

Pandemonium - Well, I think the weather delay got most people out of the park, so we rode this about 4 times consecutively. Its amazing how different the rides are from which side you are facing on the lift hill. We both had a great time, and the ride ops were all in a good mood. It was at this time we were told the park would be closing early at 6:30.

 

The Train - We decided to do the loop on the train. It would be really nice if they could put up more lights around the park where the train goes. Many areas are dark and bare, and just a bit of holiday lights could make things look so much better. As it was getting windy, wet, and cold, the Tommy G. was having a hard time getting up the hills, so we got the final rides before it was back to the shack for the train.

 

JLBFM - We got to this just as it was re-opening, and got to ride it a couple times consecutively. How can you not like this ride, as its a different ride every time... as not all of the effect work the same way twice! :) We both still like this ride, and always make a point of riding at least once when we go!

 

American Thunder - As we made our way to the front of the park as it was getting late, we rode American Thunder a couple of times. This ride is much more fun in the dark! It seemed like that section of the park may have had some light issues, so it was extremely dark for the rides. Some of the holiday themed lights seemed to be either off or damaged, so that added to the "spookyness" that only HITP can give! ;)

 

Dinner - We decided to grab dinner before we left, because well, we could and it was included. 1904 classics.. Nope, closed! (On a side note, they are offering soups and chili in bread bowls as a HITP special... when open) Macho Nacho... Nope, closed! Colonnades Grill... Nope, closed! I really think they were just trying to get people out of the park as quickly as possible as it was closing in a half hour.

 

Snack - We were determined to at least get something... SO FIRST CONE IT IS! They have a special peppermint ice cream for HITP, and it was very good. Nothing like a waffle cone as you leave to make me happy. No lines, so we were in and out very quickly!

 

All in all, we had a fun time at the park as we usually do. I think this was out 10th time at SFSTL for the year, and we probably have a few more times to go before 2019 hits. We know what to expect when we come here, so we can be disappointed that some things are not great, but we know that they could be much worse too! We went to SF in Chicago and had a great time, as well as SF in Atlanta, and enjoyed walking that beast of a park! Every park is different, but we enjoy all of the things that make them unique!

 

Here is just a few snapshots from when I remembered to take pics... Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Nice little tree and welcome to the park

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Yeah... They looked good, and I am not saying we made some of them at home.. Who am I kidding, we made 2 of the 3 at home!

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View from the train looking at the Palace Theater

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DC Comics Plaza in front of Mr. Freeze. Looked good with all of the blue theming in the area

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More lit up trees in front of the Palace Theater

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Fireball.. Not working for HITP, but the lights looked nice in an otherwise dark back of the park.

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The front lit up at night. It does look nice and inviting when the sun goes down.

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