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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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13 minutes ago, Danrarbc said:

The park literally got a brand new entrance plaza last year.

 

That definitely wasn't cheap.

No, the park invested nothing 2020-2021. I just googled the average price of a new entrance plaza and it is only 200 grand, doesn’t count.

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15 minutes ago, CP_RULES said:

No, the park invested nothing 2020-2021. I just googled the average price of a new entrance plaza and it is only 200 grand, doesn’t count.

Better throw a </sarcasm> tag on there; in this thread these jokers are likely to take you seriously.

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1 hour ago, liltrekkie said:

Magic mountain and fiesta Texas don't need new ones to draw in crowds either. Yet here we are. They wouldn't be putting coasters in there back to back if they didn't draw in more crowds than normal. They seemed to have noticed something to equate them to drop yet another coaster in each park again.

You're also missing my point, you seem to be assuming major investment equals coaster. And no, a coaster is just one of the major investment ideas.

Magic Mountain and Fiesta Texas are *both* year round parks. . who don't draw huge crowds on "off" months - which is why they've started doing "events" thruout the year (including food/beer festivals, Mardi Gras, etc) to try to keep folks coming year round.

Magic Mountain and Fiesta Texas also are BOTH parks with competition nearby (SeaWorld San Antonio is literally 14 minutes from Fiesta Texas), and MM has Disney (~1 hour), Knotts (~1:30), & Universal (less than 30 minutes away).

your argument (such as it is) is not looking at the reality of the situation.

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11 hours ago, liltrekkie said:

People stopped coming to the park because it was looking so run down. Now that they are sprucing up the place, the crowds are returning.

  

11 hours ago, liltrekkie said:

 

They've added no attractions in the park for 2020 or 2021, all they did was spruce up the place, and yet, the crowds have came anyway.

You're doing a great job of making arguments against yourself.

Again, if you're fighting for a new coaster, you've used the exact opposite strategy you should, by visiting nearly twenty times per year. I acted. You've talked.

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Fine then, enjoy getting the bare minimum from the chain. I guess you all are used to it by now. It's obvious that's all you people care about anyway. So I'll shut up here for pushing for more and let you enjoy getting the bare minimum. Happy riding there.

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12 minutes ago, liltrekkie said:

Fine then, enjoy getting the bare minimum from the chain. I guess you all are used to it by now. It's obvious that's all you people care about anyway. So I'll shut up here for pushing for more and let you enjoy getting the bare minimum. Happy riding there.

No one is happy with what we are getting. We are realistic about what we can get. We don’t want you to shut up, we want you to realize you should be happy with what you have. “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” let’s hope they don’t pave SFStL and put up a parking lot.

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Personally, I think the park is doing a great job. The park looks better than it did 5 or so years ago. Like, so much better! And I know its subjective, but I believe we now have the most attractive entrance of all of the SF parks. Sometimes, you just have to appreciate things a little more. Would I be ecstatic if we were to receive a brand new hyper? Absolutely! Is it going to happen? Absolutely not. Would I be ecstatic if we were to receive even more landscaping and building refurbishments? Absolutely! Is it likely to happen? Absolutely! I had to adjust to the reality of what SFStL is, and once I did, I saw everything from a different perspective. I love coming to this park! And although I'm not a fan of flat rides, I love when they add them. Because it is a nice investment in the park! It is expansion. It is care for the park. And dont even get me started on the Carousel project! 

 

I may sound stupid, I'm not necessarily good at putting my thoughts into text. But I hope it makes sense, and perhaps enlightens some folks.

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10 hours ago, Vonni said:

Personally, I think the park is doing a great job. The park looks better than it did 5 or so years ago. Like, so much better! And I know its subjective, but I believe we now have the most attractive entrance of all of the SF parks. Sometimes, you just have to appreciate things a little more. Would I be ecstatic if we were to receive a brand new hyper? Absolutely! Is it going to happen? Absolutely not. Would I be ecstatic if we were to receive even more landscaping and building refurbishments? Absolutely! Is it likely to happen? Absolutely! I had to adjust to the reality of what SFStL is, and once I did, I saw everything from a different perspective. I love coming to this park! And although I'm not a fan of flat rides, I love when they add them. Because it is a nice investment in the park! It is expansion. It is care for the park. And dont even get me started on the Carousel project! 

 

I may sound stupid, I'm not necessarily good at putting my thoughts into text. But I hope it makes sense, and perhaps enlightens some folks.

The carousel refurbishment is a great example of what most have been saying here.   A park that is 'hated' doesn't have that kind of time, effort, and money put into a ride that would be quicker, easier, and cheaper to just replace.

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A short trip report and on topic with the most recent postings. I was at the park last night with a friend who is about as opposite an enthusiast as anyone could possibly be. She won't ride anything but the very slowest of rides, too scared to go into a haunted house, and made the ultimate rookie mistake of telling one of the actors in a scare zone "don't scare me now, I'm old" (she is in her early 60's not exactly decrepit) which of course ensured he dogged her the entire way through the zone. She knows nothing of coaster wars, ride ops, when we last got a "good" ride, etc, etc. In fact she lives less than 3 miles from the park, drives by it regularly and had NEVER even been inside it. But before you write her off it might be useful to entertain a different perspective.

She is a longtime friend who due to some recent minor personal issues just really needed a night out and to do something different. So we grabbed dinner at Joe Boccardi's in Eureka, used my member benefits of free preferred parking and a free anytime ticket and went for a stroll around the park partly because she was curious and partly to get out of her comfort zone and see the Halloween decorations. 

Note we did not get in line for the parking booths until about 6:45. Took us a solid 45 min to park, get through security, entry and officially enter the park. All the parking lot toll booth workers were doing both sides of their booths so really only about half of the booths were open. After parking the line for security started at the drop off area, wound past preferred parking almost to the entrance of that lot, and back up to security. And then a good 10-15 minutes to get through the entrance gate. Now to the unpracticed eye it looked like the entire population of St Louis county was there BUT when you realized that all those people were being funneled through 2 of the walk through security scanners and you really looked around the park it was clear that while crowded it was nothing abnormal for FF. 

The paths were walkable. We rode the train which was a walk on. Line for JL was not even out of the building. I saw no extraordinarily long lines as compared to any other FF I have attended. Including food venues or any of the haunted houses, which I would have liked to have gone in but my friends are all scaredy cats and the boy is working everyday of FF, lol. That was with Batman not even opening until after 8, Eagle down of course, no more Superman, no more Go Karts, no more cars, no Dragon's wing, no water rides, no carousel, Colossus down, Spinsanity down.......so not the best availability for the crowd to disperse. 

She noticed nothing about lines cause they were not important to her. She did notice the arch with the roller coaster on it in the entry plaza and thought it looked cool. She was very interested in the carousel refurb due to being a someone who owns horses and having grown up in Cleveland and going to CP, Euclid Park, and Luna Park in her youth. She did spend money on a drink at the Blood Bank, thoroughly enjoyed all the decorations, and bought a shirt in the studio store because she is really into vintage movies and stuff.

What is my point?

  1. Despite me getting her in for free, my friend spent money on high mark up items and the ride line up meant nothing to her. She now wants to come back in the summer to hang out at the water park and see the summer landscaping and see the carousel whenever it is finished. She will NEVER ride a roller coaster; or anything more extreme than the train, carousel, MAYBE JL, but she will spend money on food and merch.
  2. She has no kids and won't be a frequent attendee, just saying for every super enthusiast there is probably someone like her and/or grandparents that are just hanging out and enjoying the park with no consideration to what rides are available.
  3. While the park was certainly crowded and FF has always been the big money maker for SFSTL it was not unusually crowded. The optics made it seem way worse than the reality.
  4. While this was certainly a massive improvement over last years pseudo FF, in my opinion it was still only about 75-80% of what true FF normally is. The shortage of staff was very apparent and it impacted the number of attractions and the atmosphere. Don't get me wrong I think the park did the best they could with the staff available. Certainly better to have less attractions and have them properly staffed than the alternative.

 

The work the park is doing may be boring or inconsequential to some but it's like putting a new roof on your house or new tires on your car. Necessary to keep everything in good working order, but not much to show off for your money. Infrastructure has to be dealt with and is usually way more money than anyone realizes. Yes, we have all agreed we would love that new coaster BUT you cannot compare SFSTL to parks that are open year round or are in more tourist centric areas. It is a very nice regional park with some true gems that enthusiasts can appreciate but mostly set up for the local populace that views it as just a regular local hang out. I mean its real operating calendar is only about 7 months or so. HITP is a fun Christmas attraction but is rather limited on ride availability and always iffy on possible weather closures.

Sure keep lobbying for great new rides/attractions but let's be happy they are taking measures to keep the park operational and classy looking for the future.

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I notice on the SFSTL site that HITP is being called "Holiday in the Park Lights."  And it no longer lists the rides that will be open during it.  Things could change between now and then, but maybe the number of open rides will be scaled back a lot this year during it?

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33 minutes ago, kdjs said:

I notice on the SFSTL site that HITP is being called "Holiday in the Park Lights."  And it no longer lists the rides that will be open during it.  Things could change between now and then, but maybe the number of open rides will be scaled back a lot this year during it?

SFGAm will not have any coasters for HITP this season so I wouldn't be surprised if they are being taken away at SFStL 😕

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Real bummer if true.

I'll be calling to see if I can pause my membership or something if this comes to pass. If I wanted to only see lights in a theme park I'd go to Worlds of Fun. The near full ride collection being open is Six Flags' signature winter trait.

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I did not expect it, but I'm not surprised by it. The lack of staff now will only get worse by the time HITP begins. Its unfortunate, but understandable. I dont like this new normal 😔

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Hmmm, that's interesting. I'll see what I can find out. I know they usually do not open anything outside the train tracks. The exception to that being SkyScreamer is sometimes open but the boy told me it would not be this year and he works that ride. They may limit it to mostly kids/family rides, which would be too bad since MT, Panda, Batman, Thunder, Freeze and Ninja are usually open out of the coaster line up. The area around Thunder is usually not decorated that well and kind of dead with no flume during HITP. Since the cars are gone now too I could see them just not opening Thunder and closing off that whole section. Although that will make for a long, dark train section. It is unusual as well that they are not open the first couple of weekends in November, in the past they called those "fall weekends" and were open 12-6. 

Here's to hoping that all the parks can solve their staffing woes for next year 😒

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There is precedent for the park not being open the two weekend between Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park. This was what they did the first year for HITP. Yeah it's a reduction but I suspect the numbers just weren't great for it anyway.

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I can see Six Flags Saint Louis doing something similar to Cedar Fair's Winterfests this year. Luckily for me, it won't matter this year with a toddler. My only thrill ride at the park this year has been one ride on Screamin' Eagle.

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3 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I can see Six Flags Saint Louis doing something similar to Cedar Fair's Winterfests this year. Luckily for me, it won't matter this year with a toddler. My only thrill ride at the park this year has been one ride on Screamin' Eagle.

 

You got me beat. I have'nt even been to the park this year, and I have a membership lol!

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5 hours ago, prozach626 said:

I can see Six Flags Saint Louis doing something similar to Cedar Fair's Winterfests this year. Luckily for me, it won't matter this year with a toddler. My only thrill ride at the park this year has been one ride on Screamin' Eagle.

They're going to have to step things up in every other respect if they want to compete with Winterfest head to head. Even at the most basic level of just looking at operating hours Cedar Fair provides more time after dark. And their parks celebrate New Years by actually being open when the new year hits.

HITP is not as good as a seasonal event all by itself - but it's never mattered to me because Six Flags was dedicated to keeping those rides running. I can't go to Kings Island and ride Banshee or Diamondback during the winter - but I can certainly go to Great Adventure and ride Batman and Nitro (well maybe not this year - we'll see).

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10 hours ago, Danrarbc said:

They're going to have to step things up in every other respect if they want to compete with Winterfest head to head.

Why would they need to compete with Winterfest?

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On 10/25/2021 at 10:04 PM, Danrarbc said:

There is precedent for the park not being open the two weekend between Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park. This was what they did the first year for HITP. Yeah it's a reduction but I suspect the numbers just weren't great for it anyway.

That and staffing and those weekends are probably not big moneymakers and they are still in the mode of trying to recoup last year's losses. I get it.

So I did find out for HITP that the ride ops in the SkyScreamer/MT area of the park have been told a definite no on SS (not unusual it is sometimes open but being on the wrong side of the tracks not always), yes on Bugs rides and a maybe for MT (which would be unusual and a bummer) They did post availability for the ride ops on the employee page for all of HITP.  So I suspect that they will use the next week or so while closed to look at staffing, crunch numbers, yada, yada, yada........and then decide which rides to open during HITP. 

They did make a change in hours, most days are now 3-9 instead of 2-8, with a few Fri night 5-10 on days when school is still in session. That makes total sense, same amount of staffed hours, more of it after dark for the lights. The web site now says this, "Enjoy family rides at Holiday In The Park Lights and some select thrill rides while our other rides hibernate until next Spring", under the rides portion of HITP which would seem to support the idea that they are just not sure what will be open yet.

All in all I suspect like FF it will be still be a somewhat neutered event but they will do the best they can with what staff they have. I mean WOF has a few more weekends and no holiday offering, HW is done after today and it was never as big as SDC anyway, so it is what it is. Hopefully the weather holds out and our Christmas wish will be for better staffing next year.

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A little additional info after the boy got home from work. Ride ops were told MT is a definite no as well and he knows Batman is a definite yes. And of course everything outside the tracks will be closed. Nothing else confirmed, other than all Bugs rides open as stated above.

If I had to guess I think Thunder could be on the no list due to the fact that with cars gone and flume out of season that part of the park is pretty dead anyway. They also don't tend to decorate much over there and Thunder tends to do a really really slow crawl on the brake run when cold. I would think Freeze, Shazam, and JL would be safe due to traffic at the bar of JB's and the Christmas tree that is usually in DC plaza as well as the tunnels usually being decorated. But all of that is total speculation on my part, not based on any rumors or anything.

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According to the website, here is what will be open:

  • American Thunder
  • BATMAN the Ride
  • Bugs Bunny National Park Train Station
  • Bugs Bunny Ranger Pilots
  • Elmer Fudd Weather Balloons
  • Foghorn National Park Railway
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • Taz Twisters
  • Tommy G. Robertson Railroad
  • Yosemite Sam Tugboat Tailspin

https://www.sixflags.com/stlouis/events/holiday-in-the-park-lights/rides#things-to-do

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