Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby boldikus » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:29 am

Finally getting caught up here, and some great updates!

Canobie Coaster wrote:Can I also take a moment to discuss the musical selections in the park as a whole. It’s clear the park has a sizable pool of Christmas songs to pick from. This is a contrast to Fright Fest when it seems like you hear just Monster Mash, Thriller, and Ghostbusters on repeat.

However, it seemed like Florin Street Band’s “My Favorite Time of Year” came on every other song. I don’t recall hearing any other song twice, but this dang song kept repeating itself. To be honest, it isn’t a bad song. It was just being played to death like It’s a Small World.


Dude. Feliz Navidad. Feliz fu*kin Navidad. How did you not notice it? Every single time I have been there over the last 4 seasons all I hear is that godforsaken song. Like 30 times throughout the day. Not that I liked it to begin with but I hate that stupid song now thanks to Six Flags. :lol:

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:57 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:. The view was pretty lackluster. That is, unless you like highways or Kias.

What, not Volvos? Man, that theming sucks.

Great report of a park I knew very oittle about.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:20 pm

coasterbill wrote:Great report! Holiday in the Park is easily my favorite time to visit Great Adventure (which sounds insane with Kingda Ka, El Toro, Safari, Zumanjaro and Bizarro closed). It's absurd that it's a thing and it's even more absurd that people actually show up for it.


Thanks! It's definitely the nicest time of the year to visit because of the shorter ride lines and how well decorated the park is. However, I can't say it's my favorite time to visit simply because I do love El Toro.

boldikus wrote:Finally getting caught up here, and some great updates!

Canobie Coaster wrote:Can I also take a moment to discuss the musical selections in the park as a whole. It’s clear the park has a sizable pool of Christmas songs to pick from. This is a contrast to Fright Fest when it seems like you hear just Monster Mash, Thriller, and Ghostbusters on repeat.

However, it seemed like Florin Street Band’s “My Favorite Time of Year” came on every other song. I don’t recall hearing any other song twice, but this dang song kept repeating itself. To be honest, it isn’t a bad song. It was just being played to death like It’s a Small World.


Dude. Feliz Navidad. Feliz fu*kin Navidad. How did you not notice it? Every single time I have been there over the last 4 seasons all I hear is that godforsaken song. Like 30 times throughout the day. Not that I liked it to begin with but I hate that stupid song now thanks to Six Flags. :lol:


Thanks! I probably heard Feliz Navidad but it was no more or less frequent than how often I hear it on the radio. My Favorite Time of the Year is the song that was torturing my ears.

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:
Canobie Coaster wrote:. The view was pretty lackluster. That is, unless you like highways or Kias.

What, not Volvos? Man, that theming sucks.

Great report of a park I knew very oittle about.


Thanks! There were some Volvos on the highway. I'm sure of it. :lol:
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:20 am

California’s Great America

When I spent a summer in the Bay Area, California’s Great America was the park I visited the most. For one, it was the easiest to reach thanks to the park’s proximity to the Amtrak station. Second, it was the most well-rounded. From the rides to the landscaping to the operations, everything was above average.

For that reason, CGA was the park I was most anticipating in my long weekend trip to San Francisco. As an added bonus, we would be visiting during WinterFest. Once we passed through the gate, we felt transported to a winter wonderland.

CGA already has one of the most picturesque entrances thanks to that double decker carousel. Now place a skating rink in front of the carousel and a massive tree behind it. Add in thousands of multi-colored lights and live Christmas music and you have ever base covered. But CGA goes even further by adding Santa’s freaking sleigh and reindeer atop the tunnel on Gold Striker’s first drop. Just wow!

Entrance.jpg
Now that's an entrance!

Santa's Sleigh (Close).jpg
My jaw hit the ground when I saw Santa atop Gold Striker.


We planned to hit RailBlazer first, but we couldn’t pass up a walk-on at Gold Striker. We asked for the back and our request was granted. I love GCI layouts. And Gold Striker has one of the best. What I don’t love about GCIs are how they age. Gold Striker rode like a dream in 2014. It was a very aggressive wooden coaster. For that reason, I was fearful it would tear itself apart.

Gold Striker definitely isn’t glass smooth anymore. In fact, it had a strong rattle throughout. I already had a headache going in due to a cold, but my headache got no worse. Unfortunately the shaking was a bit much for my girlfriend coming off of a cross-country flight.

I find most GCI drops to be throwaways, but Gold Striker’s is fantastic. I know the sheds were added due to cranky neighbors, but they significantly enhance the drop. It feels like you’re plunging into a black hole and the drop offers fantastic floater air. From that point onward, Gold Striker does not slow down.

The first 2-3 hills offer sustained floater and all subsequent hills offer quick pops of air. The coaster is exceptionally well paced. I’ve ridden Gold Striker quite a bit and I still don’t have that layout memorized. I hope it doesn’t get any rougher, but as of now it’s still a great wooden coaster. 8.5 out of 10

Gold Striker Layout.jpg
Gold Striker is a beautiful mess of track.


We planned to hit RailBlazer next, but we were sucked into two shows. To put it mildly, not everyone at a theme park would win American Idol. However, the singers at CGA were incredible. They had excellent vocal range. We caught the show by the big tree (I think Cool Yule Christmas) and whatever one was by the gazebo near Patriot.

Christmas Tree.jpg
People were rockin' around the Christmas tree.


It’s no secret that I loved SFFT’s Wonder Woman. That was one of the most relentless and best paced coasters I have ever ridden. For that reason, I was ecstatic to have a chance to ride a mirror image. All we wanted for Christmas was a walk-on, and while we didn’t get that, it was only 15 minutes.

We requested the back two rows and my girlfriend was a bit freaked out by the inline seating, but she ended up loving RailBlazer. I did find RailBlazer a bit bumpier than Wonder Woman, but it was equally as intense. I call BS on RailBlazer’s top speed of 52 mph. RailBlazer feels way faster. For this reason, I don’t notice the rockwork while riding. You’re simply traveling too fast!

The ejector air on the first drop, dive loop, s-hill, and turnaround drop is unreal. It’s some of the most powerful air out there. On most coasters, it feels like you’re thrown in the air. On RailBlazer, it feels like the train drops out from under you and you’re left suspended in mid-air like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

I’m scared to think how long RailBlazer’s line got in the summer. On a day when everything else was a walk-on, RailBlazer’s queue hovered around 15-30 minutes. Outside of capacity, these Raptors are perfect coasters. 9.5 out of 10

RailBlazer Drop.jpg
These Raptors feel like they were ripped right out of a cartoon.


I was intrigued to try Patriot. I’ve had a rough past with B&M stand-ups. However, Vortex admittedly wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t good, but it lacked the Gs and rapid transitions to reach the special levels of suck of their others.

Is Patriot an upgrade? For sure. It’s completely devoid of forces outside of a snappy corkscrew, but it’s now perfectly reridable. I only got one ride up front, but I can’t recall a single instance where it bashed my head against the OSTR. I think Patriot was Cedar Fair’s plan to take Hydra out of the running as the worst floorless. :lol: 6 out of 10

Patriot Corkscrew.jpg
They say you can’t polish a turd, but CGA tried with Patriot.


The one show we weren’t going to miss was It’s Christmas Snoopy. We’re both Peanuts Fans and this seemed to be the signature show of the event. Much to our amazement, we walked in 5 minutes before the show and found front-row seats!

For the most part, it was a beautiful ice skating show to familiar Christmas songs. I was particularly impressed by how much skating Snoopy did. It cannot be easy maneuvering around in that big costume! The other skaters performed more daring stunts, including a few tandem lifts that were quite impressive.

There were some WTF moments of the show though. Four in particular standout.

1) At one point Snoopy bent over, presented his booty to the audience, and shook it for all to see.
2) Snoopy sat on a throne while a scantily clad woman lying on the armchair stroked him.
3) The Christmas tunes were broken up by Aaron Carter’s “I Want Candy” at one point.
4) The actors chucked snow and iceballs into the audience at one point. The former makes sense, but I saw one child get drilled in the eye with an iceball and start crying. I’m glad the parents weren’t busy recording the moment on their iPhone or anything…

Ultimately, I really enjoyed the show even if it did have some weird parts.

Snoopy Twirl.jpg
I was surprised how many tricks Snoopy did. It can't be easy in that costume!

Plugging In.jpg
Snoopy turned on his doghouse.

Snoopy the Pimp.jpg
And then got turned on himself.

Creepy Characters.jpg
I think Snoopy would be good friends with the Joker. Just a hunch.


Instead of completing the loop, we backtracked past the tree to reach Flight Deck. It may be one of the oldest B&M inverts and if it weren’t so short, I think people would call it one of the best. This is one intense coaster.

When you feel the yank down the first drop, you know you’re on an old-school B&M. The vertical loop was pretty darn forceful and that’s followed by a crazy upwards helix guaranteed to make your legs go numb. That’s followed by a quick dive and a furious zero-G roll before the finale.

As much as people hate Silver Bullet, the consensus seems to be that the finale is awesome. Flight Deck has a better version of that finale. You dip over the water, whip through an aggressive corkscrew, and haul through another leg-numbing turn. 8.5 out of 10

Flight Deck Zero-G (Night).jpg
I feel the need...the need for speed.


Six Flags has often renamed their flats for the holidays. An example of this would be SFNE renaming their Tea Cups the Terror Twist for Fright Fest and Gingerbread Twist for Holiday in the Park. CGA took the same approach with a few rides of their own. The most notable was the 12 Days of Christmas Antique Car ride. Unfortunately I had to chop this one out due to time constraints.

I did ride the rethemed Flying Eagles. I forget the holiday name, but each tub had wraps of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. I remembered being able to snap these in 2014, but the top speed felt a little too slow on this December night. The ride did have good movement and I came *this* close to snapping just as the ride ended. 7 out of 10

Flying Eagles WinterFest.jpg
When I think of ride wraps, I think of those tacky advertisements at Six Flags. Now this is how you use a wrap.


North Pole was the retheme for the Skytower. The park could have gotten away with offering the usual ride experience, but they added a holiday narration. But to be perfectly honest, I tuned out the narration and focused on my birds eye view of the park’s impressive Christmas lights. There was one negative though; the windows were really dirty and gave my camera fits. 8 out of 10

Park Overview.jpg
From the North Pole, I felt like Santa. I could see everything.


My girlfriend is a carousel aficionado, so there was no question we’d be riding Carousel Columbia. Maybe it was because of the Christmas music being pumped through the park, but the carousel was missing its own music. The only other carousel I’ve seen do this is the B&B Caroussell on Coney Island. That combined with the rickety horses makes this carousel more beautiful to look at than ride. 5 out of 10

With 30 minutes left, we decided to head back to RailBlazer. As I approached the ride, I was thinking to myself that had been a very long time since the last dispatch. Sure enough, the RMC clocked out early and was down for the remainder of the night.

It was a bummer not being able to finish with RailBlazer, the park’s new star attraction, but Gold Striker was a worthy consolation. RailBlazer closing allowed me to get a front row and second back row ride on Gold Striker. It’s a coin flip if I prefer the front or back. The front has more consistent air start to finish but the back has some superior moments at the start.

Gold Striker Turnaround (Night).jpg
This wasn't how I planned to end my night, but it worked.


There was one issue with our visit- the park’s operating hours. For WinterFest, CGA is only open 5-10. It was quickly apparent that five hours is not enough time to experience everything. And we visited on a day when lines were basically nonexistent. With extra time, we would have watched more shows.

California’s Great America should be honored to have a coaster as great as RailBlazer. When you combine that with Gold Striker and Flight Deck, you have a strong top three. And if they get that long-rumored B&M hyper, you can bet I’ll be back to ride it and reride my favorites.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby coasterbill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:29 am

Great report! This park needs to rip the band-aid off and go year-round. :lol:

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:40 am

Thanks! I agree 100%. The weather is perfectly fine and I think Discovery Kingdom does it anyway.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby CaptainUnknown » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:09 pm

Canobie Coaster wrote:...we’d be riding Carousel Columbia. Maybe it was because of the Christmas music being pumped through the park, but the carousel was missing its own music. The only other carousel I’ve seen do this is the B&B Caroussell on Coney Island.


This past summer, I was one of the operators at Valleyfair's Carousel. The music on the carousel is on a set timer. It'll turn on by itself at the beginning of the day and will turn itself off at night. One night, I was the closing operator and the music shut itself off mid-cycle. And I still had a queue waiting to ride. The area was dead silent. It was the creepiest moment of my life when the music went dead. And the park willingly did this during a Christmas event!?
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:13 am

It wasn't dead silent since the park had audio playing well past closing along the midways, but it was still odd not having the music radiate from the Carousel.

Dead silent carousels feel like a zombie apocalypse, so maybe they should be used during Halloween events. :lol:
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:11 am

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

My girlfriend hates Six Flags New England. Merely suggesting we stop there when we literally pass it on the highway elicits a groan. She'd even take Story Land or Santa's Village over SFNE.
I never thought I’d see the day where she’d take SFNE over another park, but that was until our visit to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. They earned it.

*If you want positivity, please skip to the part where we ride Joker. If you want to see what kind of Six Flags day we had, please enjoy the next few paragraphs.*

Six Flags was firing on all cylinders. They left no area untouched. Parking was chaos. Customer service was poor. Food lines took forever. Rides were breaking down. Dispatches were horrifically bad. And the park was extremely dark, which is terrifying considering we visited during Holiday in the Park.

Closed Rides.jpg
I realize it's HITP, but not all of these rides were supposed to be closed.


Our experience began with a Diamond Elite parking reservation. The employee scanned it and told us to follow the signs. To that I say, what signs? The parking lot was so dark, that the signage was illegible. After a lap around the lot, we thought we found the preferred lot (no sign of course), but it was coned off on all sides with no employee in sight. We cut our losses and parked way back in the black abyss.

There was no semblance of organization by the shuttle bus, so we hiked a mile to the main entrance. In retrospect, visiting California’s Great America was unfair to SFDK. The former was a winter wonderland. From the moment we entered Great America, we were dazzled by the glistening lights and live shows. Meanwhile SFDK had a single dude playing a banjo, some lights, and many areas of darkness.

Park Entrance.jpg
CGA really spoiled me the night before.

Candy Cane Lane.jpg
Candy Cane Lane (or whatever they called it) was the best of the park's lights.


Our first stop was the Flash Pass booth. My favorite benefit of the Diamond Elite membership is the two skip-the-line passes per visit. Our exchange went something like this:

Employee- Hi, what ride would you like?
Me- Two for Joker please.
Employee- Joker is running one train.
Me- These passes will be super helpful then.
Employee- Sorry, you cannot get them for Joker since it’s running one train.

It was a bummer Joker was off-limits essentially because the line was too long. But based on that logic, how many other rides were restricted? Anyone familiar with SFDK knows just how many of their coasters run with just one train. So did that mean I couldn’t use it on Superman either?

Logically Superman or Wonder Woman were the next best options, but we picked their only coaster running two trains, Medusa. I strongly doubted Medusa would have a line, but it was one of the few rides we cared to go on. I like Superman, but I ride Phobia all the time so I felt comfortable skipping it.

With one train on Joker, I figured it’d be a miserable wait. So we decided to get some Flags Famous Chicken Strips to help speed up the queue. We beat a large crowd to the food stand and noticed a second line open. Like any reasonable people would do, several of us jumped over there.

“This is for drinks only.”

We were pretty mad since there was no sign stating that and the other line now stretched a good 15-20 people deep. So we decided we'd just eat later.

Vacant Food Stand.jpg
At least this food stand had no line...or anything.


By this point, we were just chuckling at everything that was going wrong. The only thing that could make it worse would be if Joker was closed.

Son of a biscuit. The clown was down.

We figured it'd be a good time to ride Harley Quinn but it was also down. I'm guessing Joker and Harley were getting busy in one of the animal exhibits. At least Wonder Woman was nearby too...but of course that was down too. I guess she wanted to make it a menage a trois. Superman was being morally responsible and cycling trains like a champ but it was several switchbacks deep.

If we only rode one ride tonight, we sure as heck was going to make sure it was Joker. So we bit the bullet and entered the queue. Usually you can't do that during a ride breakdown but there was no employee to stop people. There was only a sign warning us about the one train operations. The fact they have one made suggests this is a semi-regular occurrence.

Joker One Train.jpg
How often does Joker run one train if they have this sign handy?


Within five minutes, we heard an announcement the coaster reopened. It wasn’t for another ten minutes until we saw a train dispatched. We only had to wait 6-7 trains, but it took an hour with how glacially slow they were sending out trains.

While Joker’s crew was painstakingly slow, they were friendly and enthusiastic. Before each ride, they were pumping riders up. But best of all, they were allowing you to wait for specific rows. I had heard Joker had a strict assigned seating policy, so I was excited I could wait an extra train for the back.

Saying Joker rolls out of the station would be an understatement; this think has a mini launch. It has enough speed that the largest hill on the pre-lift actually offers a pop of real, genuine airtime. But that’s just the appetizer for the craziness that’s to follow.

The twisted drop offered the usual RMC first drop ejector air plus vicious laterals. This is my favorite RMC drop outside of Iron Rattler and the Raptors. That’s followed by something called a step-up under flip that’s the child of a zero-G roll and a turnaround. It didn't offer as much hangtime as I expected, but it sure beats a regular overbank.

Joker’s stall is the highlight of the ride. Further, it’s one of the best stalls anywhere. It’s similar to Goliath’s stall in the fact that it lasts forever. And for the entire duration, you are suspended in mid-air all while coming perilously close to Roar’s old structure.

The rest of the ride was a frenzy of powerful airtime hills, a great zero-G roll, and some turns. Admittedly Joker didn’t feel as fast as other RMCs, but it offered plenty of action. Joker is often called the worst RMC. Granted the worst RMC is still a world-class ride, but Joker was better than several of their coasters like Wicked Cyclone, Medusa, and Goliath. 9.5 out of 10

Joker Turn.jpg
I love the two-tone rails and Joker bust on the train.


We arrived at the park pretty late (we have no regrets stopping at Muir Woods) and Joker’s lengthy queue gobbled up a huge chunk of time, so we only had 90 minutes left. We intended to go ride Medusa, but we got distracted.

Anyone who has been to Northern California knows that garlic fries are like crack to the area. Admittedly I was skeptical getting them at Six Flags. I figured they would dump a bunch of garlic powder on their generic fries, but these were thicker, crispier fries than usual with fresh garlic. They were really good!

We ended up eating the fries at the dolphin show. Through a stroke of luck, the show started as we walked by the stadium. It would have been an absolute shame to skip all the animals. That really is what makes Discovery Kingdom unique among the Six Flags parks.

The aquatic exhibits and shows seem like a budget SeaWorld. As much as I love dolphins, I haven’t seen an awesome show with them yet. SFDK had some loose Christmas overlay where the dolphins had to retrieve ornaments from the water. If that sounds boring, it was. Fortunately the ending delivered. They turned the dolphins loose much like that stupid lateral play against the Patriots a few weeks ago. :cry:

Drench! Celebrate Jump.jpg
It wouldn't be a dolphin show without jumps.

Dolphin Pool.jpg
I wonder what Apollo did to get on the naughty list.


With an hour left, we could delay Medusa no further. Our skip passes were laughably unnecessary. While I secretly do take joy bypassing a lengthy queue with skip-the-line passes, Medusa’s short queue allowed us to ride twice in a span of 15 minutes- once in the front and once in the back.

If Superman Krypton Coaster didn't exist, Medusa would be king of the floorless coasters. Firstly, I want to know why more B&M loopers don’t have straight drops. Medusa’s has some fantastic floater air, much like SDC’s Wildfire. The first two inversions (vertical loop & dive loop) aren’t forceful, but they offer sweet hangtime as you exit them.

The back half of the ride has the snappier inversions. The snappiest of all is the zero-G roll. But the sea serpent (aka the screwed up cobra roll) and corkscrews are no slouches either. And by riding at night, the fact that the coaster is built on an old parking lot is less obvious. 8.5 out of 10

Medusa Entrance.jpg
I'll take Mexico's Medusa, but I'll take this one over any floorless coaster.


I had delayed it long enough. It was time to try the Skywarp. I heard awful things about Harley Quinn and warned my girlfriend accordingly. Without any hesitation she sat this one out and questioned my sanity.

“Why do you even want to ride it then?”
“I have to see if it’s really as bad as everyone says.”

And it’s not as bad as everyone says. It’s worse. It’s far worse. I expected a slightly bumpy and boring ride. Instead I thought it was going to kill me. When the train started shaking violently on the initial launch, I knew I was porked.

Harley Quinn was like riding a Super Loop that tracked as well as the back row of Mean Streak. When you mix in a neck-chopping transition on the Immelmann (while still being vibrated), this ride reaches a special level of suck. I really hope Skyline can improve the tracking on future models because it’s horrific here.

I really hope this counts as a coaster and makes it into the TPR Coaster Poll. I think it’s a worthy contender for the worst coaster in the world. That’s saying something considering it exists in the same park as Kong. 1 out of 10

Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster.jpg
I can still feel the pain and hear the deafening roar from this photo.


It was 10 minutes to close. While we maybe could have snuck on Superman, we weren’t going to risk missing a final ride on Joker. Plus we figured there’d be enough people behind us that we could wait an extra train for the front. And that proved to be true.

After a 40 minute wait, we boarded the second to last train of the night. Joker was still a ton of fun up front, but the airtime was markedly weaker. When we returned to the station, the last train only had five people queuing.

“I’m feeling a little holiday cheer right now. If no one is waiting for your row and you would like to, you may ride again.”

That was awesome the operators would do that! What wasn’t awesome was the fact that of course someone was waiting for the front row. Thankfully the ride ops let us fill in empty seats. We needed to split up, but both of us rode towards the back of the train. Back to back rides on Joker was a fantastic way to end a visit filled with frustrations.

Joker Entrance.jpg
Back to back rides left a good taste in our mouth as we left.


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom may be the most unique Six Flags park. In many ways, it feels like two parks in one. The front half has two clusters of coasters. Meanwhile the back half is basically a hybrid zoo/aquarium.

While I liked the park more than my girlfriend, it is undoubtedly one of the weakest Six Flags parks. Joker finally gives the park the airtime machine it badly needed, but the operations and customer service need to improve. SFDK really needs to look at CGA as an example.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby xVicesAndVirtues » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:24 pm

I really wonder what the deal is with Joker. I visited the park in June and it was pretty much the same story; down at opening for the first 40 minutes or so, then when it finally did open, it was one-train operations the rest of the day.

And I honestly think you’re being as nice as anyone could possibly be about this sh*tstain of a Six Flags park. Customer service was so horrible when I visited, from me being flat-out denied the diamond member ticket discount to food service employees having no clue and taking their sweet a$$ time with only a handful of people in line,

I said something to this effect in my Photo TR: it had been 10 years since my prior visit and I hope it’s at least 10 more before I go back.

Your girlfriend is correct, SFNE blows this park away every day of the week.

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