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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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Treated my next door neighbor to a night at the park last night for our weekly Mom's Neighborhood Happy Hour; Christmas edition. She does NOT do rides so it was a check out the Christmas stuff for a few hours visit. We were there about 4:45  to about 7:30 ish. It was not busy and judging by the lines/stations I could see I am sure most things were a walk on or at most a station wait. Everything that could be open was and everyone as usual was making the most of the less than normal experience. 

Christmas lights all looked good and the outdoor versions of shows are a good alternative to the real thing. Thankfully it has not been too cold to be uncomfortable as long as you dress sensibly. A little bittersweet with the amended activities and low crowds but I have felt that way all year at most parks. The entrance was very nicely done.

We did ride the train which was nicely decked out. No extra lights along the way that you couldn't see from walking around (which I think would be nice for next year) but a nice alternate perspective, Mrs. Claus reading "Twas the Night before Christmas", a couple of holiday sing alongs and a drive by wave from Santa as you pass the St Louis station. Boarding only at the Bugs station.

We did eat some of the "seasonal" foods at Mooseburger; soup bowl and loaded potato. Fairly decent relative to other theme park food.

The highlight and our personal hero of the night was the bartender at JB's that made us spiked hot chocolate. Rum for me and Kahlua for my friend. And the best part is he carded us and I do NOT want anyone to tell me that he has to card everyone.......we choose to believe in Christmas miracles.

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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 seemed to be far less of a shit show that it was during our most recent chance to take advantage of it last year. It was closed during our couple hour depressed visit earlier this year.


Here are some pictures, but unfortunately I have to make a disclaimer. Before I get jumped on and accused of being an anti-masker, they were taken off very briefly for a few pictures, only when safe and appropriate. I'm a rule follower by nature, so we were among most of the compliant guests. I hate that I have to say this.


First ever park picture.



First time watching a roller coaster cycle. I didn't remember quite how loud Batman was until I stood near the first drop with a child. Eve watched the train until it went out of view. She's a very calm and very attentive child, unlike her father.



First ever park beer. 😆😆



First ever "train selfie," which is kind of an inside joke between Emily and I.



First ride. Ever... Eve's 8-month-old cousin was also with us.


We were only at the park a couple hours. Our drive to-and-from was just as long, but the kid does great in the car. Eve was calm and observant during our visit. Emily had her first ever public diaper changing table experience, which she claimed wasn't easy under multiple layers of clothing. I would have hopped on a ride quickly with my brother-in-law, but lines looked painfully slow moving. I hate how American Thunder still cycles an empty train in between sanitizing. 


It was nice seeing Xcaliber running. I forgot how massive it is. The kids were wide-eyed watching it cycle. Eve seemed to be paying more attention to the details than her cousin, which made me happy. From time to time, Eve and I will watch roller coaster videos and walkthroughs in front of our television, so I almost wonder if she was ever-so-slightly more familiar with the sights and sounds. However, it's our first and last baby, so I don't know jack about their thought processes.


Who would have thought a park would have been so enjoyable for us without riding any rides other than the train? We bought season passes, so we'll be back next year. Hopefully Eve will be big enough to ride a couple of the kiddie rides with me.

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On 12/17/2020 at 3:06 PM, Danrarbc said:

Well there's only been a couple of subjects touched on recently.

Vehicular in nature perhaps?

Never mind....false alarm, I am still right ;-)

In other news I have some 6 or so tickets laying around. If someone wants them, message me and we can work out delivery details.

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5 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I hate how American Thunder still cycles an empty train in between sanitizing.

Have they gone back to this for HITP? They had stopped it and only ran an hourly sanitation cycle at some point during the summer.


On other matters assuming my assumption is correct I'd imagine the calculus of opening a park even for a couple weeks that hasn't been open since April (Discovery Kingdom) is a bit different than adding ~8-10 days with only a drive through to a park that's been open since June. For one of those parks ANY revenue is a positive move, for the other it's a lot of hassle for only a little possible gain - and the park is literally less than a mile from the best drive through in the area. For it to make sense such a call would have been better made in November.


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35 minutes ago, bossstl said:

Never mind....false alarm, I am still right ;-)

In other news I have some 6 or so tickets laying around. If someone wants them, message me and we can work out delivery details.

And were down to 2-3 tickets

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  • 2 weeks later...

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 allowed me to share some of the photos from our tour with everyone here. I hope you guys enjoy these and a HUGE thank you again to those that made this possible!


Old Glory Amphitheater: Once Holiday in the Park is removed from storage, many of the items are placed on the Old Glory stage for refurbishment, staging, and construction before being placed through out the park. This allows the crews a large open area to work, as well as forklift access to move storage crates to and from the main storage site.IMG-8216.thumb.jpg.5582c1ceb356a372149248393e329ff1.jpg.a298d65cc400fc600e86132b338a36de.jpg


Parade Tent: This is the old tent that stored the parade floats from the Glow in the Park Parade 2009-2010. In recent years as Fright Fest has grown, it has become one of the major storage sites for the large props the park uses. It is currently empty as the park in in the process of re-grading the gravel road and power washing the inside before placing Fright Fest back inside.IMG-8217.thumb.jpg.1607a9d14e63a55a254a3e6f72a7c2c0.jpg.a571910479117d7ebd7a0b16d3f71336.jpg


This new pole barn is primary storage for Holiday in the Park, not a whole lot to look at currently as everything from inside is out in the park.IMG-8218.thumb.jpg.6b4f2ac4702d50e15265572c56cd29c8.jpg.41d544096ce18e2b2c54634a14881582.jpg


Transfer House: This building use to be the transfer house for the second side of the Mine Train. Now it is used as primary storage for large set pieces from the Palace Theater including Love at First Fright, and The Majesty of Christmas. In addition, much of Fright Fest is also stored inside this building. transfer.thumb.jpg.1ba1c2d1aa9fba49e5ec088c686b34d1.jpg.3b414e1bb912b65bd8f5ff4e7341f7d9.jpg


Empire Theater: This shows about 35 out of about 70 fog machines that get placed around the park during Fright Fest. Some are used throughout the season for the theaters and shows as well. These are waiting their turn to be cleaned/fixed up before being packed away until August. The park uses about 700 gallons of fog and haze fluid during the course of Fright Fest, as well as bubble juice.IMG-8219.thumb.jpg.d5b9e408912d910a3bb068aa9f659ace.jpg.36ad06c5ba8dba98eaeefe4208898bc5.jpg


Palace Theater: With a capacity near 1,400 people, the Palace is one of the largest theaters found at a theme park, and is one of the larger theaters in St. Louis. The Palace is able to produce many very large scale shows, as well as other events throughout the season. This year due to Covid and St. Louis County restrictions, guests were not able to enjoy shows indoors. Instead the park was able to rework their shows, and still offer one of the only live entertainment options in the region by performing outdoors. On-stage performers were spread out at their own stations to prevent overcrowding in the dressing rooms to allow social distancing. Fun fact, the large curved white curtain on stage is the original "Austrian" curtain from when the park opened in 1971. After decades in storage, the Entertainment department cleaned, refurbished, and hung the curtain back up, and has been used again since 2015. It is motorized and can go up flat or with the contoured curve.IMG-8221.thumb.jpg.d1402ef80dd5159af7347ec78d70e701.jpg.6f986848a20f0b16337b8ba01930dc38.jpg


This is the spot booth at the Palace Theater. There are two large "Super Trooper" spot lights that are original to the theater. They have been upgraded to Xenon now as opposed to the carbon arc system of the past. To the left is the analog patch panel for theater lighting. Along with the newer digital dimmer system, this analog dimmer system controls power distribution to all theatrical lights in the theater. This panel is controlled by the lighting console. All shows are designed and programmed by in house designers and are then automated to the music so a single play button will start music and lights for a show.IMG-8220.thumb.jpg.80bf931e7cf0766dc976f550bec754fb.jpg.be3454cc9c7536be9bed64e85dc73d82.jpg


This is a storage location in the back of the Palace Theater, this is where most cables, cable converters, and splitters are kept. It is not too full at the moment as there are shows going on, and Palace is still wired up for shows at the moment. Once the theaters catwalks and electric fly systems are stripped in the off season, this room will be full.IMG-8226.thumb.jpg.a2c4ed1a924f690ac64d9a0b7fac3cc0.jpg.3ce805102303042df34336f441e2468e.jpg


This is the stage left wing of the Palace, just off stage. There are a few road cases with some of the theaters moving head automated lights. Also one of the spots that performers sign the wall. Six Flags has had many performers that have gone on to work on cruise ships, Broadway, and television, including Wayne Brady from Lets Make a Deal.IMG-8225.thumb.jpg.31cadcdd114c35d11d8efa980944c64b.jpg.1cc0062fcdef9585a3a924a2767bcf9e.jpg


The next two pictures are from the Palace Pit. This is located under the stage. Down here, all the theatrical lights for the Palace, and many of the lights used throughout the park that are used during Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park. There are two trap doors that can be used in shows, as well as to pass equipment through to the stage during setup phases. This is also where these lights are cleaned, maintained, and all lamps/bulbs, gels(colored high heat plastic for coloring lights), gobos(metal plates with patterns to project shapes and logos) are kept. There is a lot of empty shelves at the moment as the park is still open and lights are being used throughout.IMG-8224.thumb.jpg.57a1b736e971e6da68083b42da5bc140.jpg.f2f552cf3c171014ea155453276b56ad.jpgIMG-8223.thumb.jpg.20893f1d5c4ef6fced102087db7af81d.jpg.6ca4ecb75cb180c860200637cb8f421d.jpg


This is another room in the back of Palace where Holiday in the Park is maintained during operating days. Also even though the event wasn't over yet, the Entertainment department is already brainstorming on ideas to make HIP better next year. None of these are set in stone, but just wish list items and ideas.IMG-8222.thumb.jpg.462ac526f395a943fa6273e65be8d050.jpg.b428c8fcdfe72864ba74dacdd912780d.jpg


These last few pics are just some of the larger lighting displays the Entertainment Department put out this year, including Justice League light package, Palace light package, and then front mall and the Colossus legs.JLA.thumb.jpg.2a20577b26242fe346c99a48fba468ee.jpg.281fae6d6dbf738146af0f6ada64e3ac.jpgJLAAIR.thumb.jpg.68b349674d20d8c9cce0b083f1f469a6.jpg.53c8538e8033b992f5e5e6fd88d6c16c.jpgpalaceair.thumb.jpg.3d8c6f6156830dfc23058287669691ad.jpg.41a0ff1cccc1c7b9af83196d9fbd82af.jpgOuterFM.thumb.jpg.9c29c69104b15144b39e6528f91dfddf.jpg.102d64394b3acf6c5d12bd36f002d51b.jpgwheel.thumb.jpg.98621c13f5949e5b85e98d110aef6add.jpg.bd344f8f0169db5af97167633306972f.jpg

The park is always actively looking for ways to make things better, and there are a lot of great ideas coming in the future years! If you ever visit the park in the future and see any of the people from the Entertainment department, be sure to give them a big thank you for all the work they do!


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I really liked the subtle changes to lights at Justice League this year. And the relighting of American Thunder was very nice - it's so much better this way. Also I'm in love with the new entry plaza - it's so much more versatile with theming.

And if they're thinking on lighting up Log Flume as well I encourage it. And I assume MT is mine train - I've wanted holiday touches to that for years. Other parks dress up their mine trains.

I wonder what a green thought bubble could contain 🤔



It appears parks are still announcing operating season changes.Screenshot_20210106-023859.thumb.png.7e384bd3b114975989e5e67bc4a065ef.png

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On my various surveys this year I have mentioned that they use to have ghosts that light up in the MT train tunnel and suggested they bring it back as well as put some Christmas decorations in there and I see they specifically mention the tunnel on their board. Maybe they really do read those things 😃  !! 

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They are still being pretty conservative with their hours, but I guess that is to be expected.  Nothing during Spring break week and of course no May field trip days because none of the schools can do field trips this year. Hoping they can have a normal FF by the time that rolls around again. We have been told  at our district that they hope to be bringing in the vaccine for the teachers by the end of February.........so it's finally happening. True light at the end of the tunnel.

Curious how far into the summer the masks and reservations will go on. Not complaining about them, just wondering. I guess time will tell.

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Well that is extremely annoying and will only drag this on longer. I have a couple of friends in the medical field that have already gotten both shots with no side affects other than a sore arm. Most of the teachers in my school are planning on getting it, so I am hoping that is just your corner of the metro area and not indicative of the greater populace. I personally will knock people over if they get in my way to getting the vaccine.

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While this current thread of conversation is not quite theme park related, it does affect all large venues for the foreseeable future.

I am about 90% sure masks are gonna to be required at theme parks for the next 5 to 6 months at least. I say this because I work in the theme park and medical industrys and the trends are positive but not "mission accomplished" state yet.

On the vaccine side of things, I am fortunate and thankful that I am in a line of work that was offered a vaccine very early on. And I can tell you I have many co-workers that given the same chance have passed. And if you think about it, is a scary proposition, taking something that is new (mRNA) and not well vetted (trials in the 10s of thousands, with less then 4 months of long term data).

Sure there might be long term side effects of the vaccine, but thats a maybe. For certain, besides a very slight chance of death in a young healthy population, there are still heart, lung and mental side affects to covid that are common and should not be taken lightly.

Additionally getting enough people immunized for "herd immunity" is a logistical nightmare

*Gets off soap box*


Oh one last thing. There are some short term side affects that are popping up. Commonly first shot is fine, but the second shot has been causing flu like symptoms short term (24-36 hours) from people/coworkers I know. No cravings for human flesh or brains though. Myself I felt hungover for part of a day on shot one.





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That is super disappointing to hear about the 50th. I was really looking forward to it before the virus that shall not be named happened. Particularly after what a source told me the original plan was.

On a vaccine note, which totally affects all theme park operations., as well as all the rest of daily life, I guess I just look at it from an historical perspective since I am a history teacher. When you look at the numbers of people throughout time that have died or been disabled from infectious diseases versus the teeny tiny amount that have suffered any permanent ill effects from a vaccine (including G. Washington vaccinating his troops against smallpox which was a lot more dangerous then but still helped us win the American Revolution) it seems a no brainer to me.......but of course I do support that everyone has the right to make their own decision about their body.

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