bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

8/2 SFFT visit. Riding the Joker for a Commercial shoot
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:08 am

appel wrote:Hi Bert,
thanks for posting regular updates of your park visits.
We will visit Fiesta Texas in August and we are wondering if Wonder Woman has reopened?
The website still says temporarily closed, but https://queue-times.com/parks/39 lists it as open.
When I contacted Six Flags via Email regarding the status of Bug's Rapids earlier, they told me that it is open, despite their website saying temporarily closed. So I assume they don't update the website too often?
Any info from you appreciated.
Thank you.
Greetings from Germany, Boris.


Hi Boris,

report above is from last week, and both Bugs & Wonder Woman were operating (although at very low capacity for Wonder Woman).

Yeah, they don't keep the website updated too often - if you read back to earlier reports, you'll see I've been there when Train was operating even tho website says down. same thing with Gully Washer (rafts).

I'd expect as one of the marquee rides, Wonder Woman will be operating, even if it's 1 train operations.

the only rides that was "hard down" (as in not operating at ALL), last Friday was: Wave Runner (Scrambler). .and that's been down for a while, so it must be a parts issue.

the website says Spinsanity is also down, but I don't believe that, as a friend who just went told me they rode it.

the good news is that you'll be here in August, so Joker & DC Supervillain Swing will be open by then.

recommendation: it is HOT in Texas in August. . .Like really, really hot - especially for those not used to the heat. so:

- wear light colored clothing
- be sure to wear a hat
- make sure to put on sunscreen.
- drink a lot of water thruout the day (you don't have to buy bottled water unless you want to, most food locations will give you a big cup of water free, just by asking. . . I'd recommend Sangerfest Halle, which is a "food court" style service, so lots of options to ask for water if lines are long, AND the dining area is inside/covered and air conditioned)
- try to take in a show or two in the "big" theaters (Zaragoza & Rockville High) as those two are indoor theaters

Fiesta has a great waterpark, but be advised it will be packed on a hot day. if you like waterparks tho, bring along a suit (they offer storage to put your stuff in for $$ but reasonable). . you can easily spend 4+ hours in the waterpark. I've noticed the big slide complex towards the main park (closest to Roadrunner Express) hasn't been operating this season thus far. Either they are going to remove it, or they just haven't had the staffing to open it yet. But even if this slide tower is down, there are lots of other waterslides in the Whitewater Bay area).

have fun.

but yeah, i wouldn't worry too much about the website saying a ride is down. . since they don't seem to update it super often.
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:24 pm

so I spent Sat. at SFFT participating in Coasting for Kids in the morning, and did a separate TR for that:

https://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=76951


but I didn't want to taint that TR with the worst food that I have EVER gotten at a Six Flags Park (and yes, when they emailed me the anonymous survey, I told them all about my food experience).

honestly, they should have been ashamed to serve it to me.

basically, after singing the praises of Chop Six for several visits (in particular the pre-made Asian Salad, which is likely the healthiest thing offered at the park, at only ~950 calories), I made the decision that I would go to Chop Six to make use of my meal plan.

I wasn't that hungry, as had gotten a nice meal at the morning event, and had gotten an Oreo Shake (snack credit) at Johnny Rockets around 1pm. So I had planned to get the Salad, and if I wasn't that hungry, would just make use of the way it's packaged to bring the remainder home with me.
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the line was not SHORT, but it was not *massive* - as everything else over in CrackAxle was. Bubba's had a line that stretched all the way into the walkway, as did Totally Kickin Chicken, and the bar was even crowded to overflowing.

in thinking about it, I think it's because Iron Rattler is doing 1-train operations, so lots of folks were hanging out in this area waiting for people who were in line to ride IR. Ended up meaning a lot of folks sticking around this section of the park.

so the line didn't look too bad - but note, this was close to 3pm, and the line took me at least 35 minutes to get thru. With 3 registers open. Really pretty inexcusable. |

and then when I finally got up to the window, and ordered the Asian Salad, I was told they were "out"

Ok.. well, it was close to 3:30, so I had to use my dining plan for lunch by then, or lose it. So went for the only thing that was kind of healthy as an option: Beef and Broccoli (at least it's a veg)
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This is what I got.

it's so. . . BROWN. And kind of looks like someone puked on the plate, and then a bit of mold started growing on it, as it had no big chunks of Broccoli (tho a couple of tiny pieces) - but rather it looked was sprinkled with a broccoli dust, after they had pulverized a few stems in a blender.

not at all appetizing, and the guy at the window looked ashamed to give it to me. (he didn't offer me any other option tho, and really, there isn't any other "healthy-ish" option.

*and* he had already scanned my card, so the lunch credit was applied.

I took it hoping it would taste better than it looked (also taking several packs of Soy Sauce, Sriracha, and Sweet and Sour), and headed to a table to eat.

it was VILE. I mean, truly vile, and nasty. The Beef did not appear to be stir-fried, but rather boiled. and boiled to death too, it was stringy and chewy at the same time. Absolutely disgusting.

the Lo Mein had zero flavor, and also was overcooked.

took two bites of the beef, and then dumped all my "sauces" on the Lo-Mein to give it SOME flavor and just ate some of that, before dumping the plate in the trash.

greatly disappointed, and SFFT should be embarrassed to be serving ANYTHING of this low quality (at least it was "free" for me, the plate would have cost $15.99 for someone not on the dining plan.

oh..and it gave me horrific sewer farts for about 5 hours after, even tho i didn't eat much of it.

if ChopSix has the salad? I recommend it. Otherwise? avoid, avoid, avoid.
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all in all tho, was a *great* day, and I had a hell of a good time on the rides, for a great cause.

here's a shot of me on Wonder Woman Golden Lasso (taken by the station agent, since there was no one else in queue for it during our ERT).

Shows a good pic of the restraint system and how one sits on this coaster.
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby Nrthwnd » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:35 pm

^ Since we have so many good Asian eating spots around where we live, I would hesitate to get any Asian food in any park, my own included, as well as during the PNE. But that's just me. You said you'd had their salad before... sorry to hear it went so wrong for you...

...Except for spending an awesome day at the park for The Kids! :smile:
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:15 pm

^ yeah.. that it had been really good every other time I'd gone there, compounded the feelings of disgust :p
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:22 pm

so Tuesday of last week, Six Flags Fiesta Texas posted to social media that they were seeking participants for a commercial shoot for the new Joker: Carnival of Chaos pendulum ride on Friday 8/2.


as I:

1) Live in Austin
2) was just at the park on 7/20 participating in Coasting for Kids
&
3) it was on a Friday during the day from 9am-4pm

i noted the post, but decided to pass on it.. . besides, I'm a 52 year old guy who would be coming to the park solo. They certainly wanted younger folks having fun riding, so there was no way they were gonna pick me.

but by an hour later, I had talked myself into at least applying - as I would be kicking myself for not at least TRYING to get in on the shoot. I love SFFT, and it would be an opportunity to ride Joker, multiple times, without the ride being open to the general public. So I went ahead and sent in an application (age, and picture), and figured I likely won't hear back by Thurs 5 pm when they said they would be notifying those chosen.

I drove into work on Thurs (since I work from home 4 days a week), and on a whim, stopped an filled up my gas tank - just in case. . . . but at 5pm hadn't heard anything. oh well.

so close to 6, just as i was getting ready to post that, "oh well, the old fart didn't get chosen. . so I guess I'll go have Sushi for lunch as a consolation tomorrow". . I got the email with instructions on where and when to be the next morning.

i was shocked, but over the moon.

LOL. .and then realized that I had just committed to driving from far North Austin, down to San Antonio, on a Friday, during rush hour, to be there between 8:30 - 9am. oy.

I took the time off work, promising that I'd log in Friday night to catch up with anything I missed, and Friday morning got up at 6am, to head out by 6:20. I just missed the Austin rush hour, as made it to the South side of town, just as traffic was starting to stack coming into Austin from that direction - and then since I exit loop 1604, well before Downtown San Antonio, I didn't really hit any traffic there either. Oh, it was a bit slow going, but no stand-still traffic.
So I was on 1604, and close to SFFT by 8am, still a bit too early.

So I pulled over into a Wal Mart and wandered the aisles for 30 minutes (this was Friday morning, so wasn't aware of what was about to happen in El Paso, and I'd be lying if I said that doesn't make me nervous to go into a Wal Mart now :( ). . . anyways, I didn't buy anything, but successfully filled some time, and got to SFFT by 8:45.

check in at the front gates was a breeze, they checked us off a list, had us hold up our Releases we had signed and took a picture (so they can tie the names to the faces), and led us back to the Johnny Rockets next to Joker - where the park had the whole area cordoned off, with security guards at the train tracks, by the games near Superman, and by the Kidzopolis exit to the walkway).

they told us we had one more group coming, and then would get started, but meanwhile, everyone relax, have some snacks and let's have fun!

NOTE: there are spoiler pics of the Joker Queue Funhouse below. . skip past them if you don't wanna know!
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being led back over to Joker area.

even tho just did similar for Coasting for Kids, this is still SUCH an odd feeling to be in the park when it's so dead. Unlike C4K, there really weren't any ride ops around either, since we were there so early.

Turned out that, of course, they had gone to an agency to supply some specific folks for close ups, and filming thru the funhouse, etc. . . so those of us who had applied were really filler folks for background. But that's no concern for me, it's still a great experience, and I got to ride! So I wasn't disappointed or upset in the least!
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Sitting in a chair at Johnny Rockets, eating a muffin while waiting to begin the day, it really is spooky how empty the park is.

LOVED it.

they supplied us a table of light snacks: Yogurts, Power Bars, Donuts, muffins, lots of sliced fruits, PBJ Snakables, and bottled water, juices, and access to the fountain at Johnny Rockets (for sodas or Blue Powerade).

it was explained that typically they would supply a more filling food table, but since we were going to be filming on spinning rides (yep, Supervillain Swings was included too), they wanted to err on the side of caution.

which really gave me a laugh. I mean, they are correct!

spoiler: we only had one "protein spill" during filming (way less than they were expecting), and HYSTERICALLY, the ride pad for Joker has hoses set up in all four corners! LOL.. .

so the park is prepared for vomit . .tho really don't know why the Texas parks (in particular) seem to put the spinning rides next to a Johnny Rockets (true of Catwoman at SFOT, and Spinsanity on the boardwalk at Fiesta, and now Joker). LOL
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looking back, I loved this view of Superman, with the 2nd train on the brake run. . all ready to go once the park opens to the public (in about an hour - earlier than the general public - for Platinum/Diamond members apparently, which I was surprised to see. There were way more folks in the park early than I was expecting, so I guess SF is selling a lot of Platinum/Diamond memberships)
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ok, I'll get in the pic too.

that fence behind me is where we went thru to queue for the Joker, so we went in just after the funhouse.
although the filmed some folks in the funhouse, pretty sure they were just the folks from the Agency.

no worries tho, we all go a chance to go thru before the ride was opened to the public, so got to experience it :)
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and it's started testing to get ready for us.

I asked about taking pictures and was told it was fine, but please do not post anything to social media during the event. (it's 3 days later now, so I'm not breaking any requests by posting now)

Joker really does swing quite high, and really fast.
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haven't seen the funhouse queue actually open before this. wow. .it looks really, really great on the outside.

and the giant hand on the left? it waves! (it was struggling a little bit during our time here, and maintenance was out working on it. . but hey, they *are* in "technical rehearsal" still.
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Joker is just beautiful to look at. You can see it running from all over the park, as well as from loop 1604.

it's gonna be a huge draw to the park.
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so once we had everyone ready, they were prepared to start filming. They were going to start with some shots of DC Supervillain Swings, and so chose folks that had on the brighter colored shirts to go over to that.

we got on the ride, and the cameraman came out and set up to get his shots, and we got revved to go. . . and the operator pushed the button - and the ride buzzed a really slow buzz like it was releasing a giant fart. . . and then nothing.

we looked at each other, and laughed that at least our group of 10 or so seats was in the shade of the ride top, and we watches as maintenance came out and started working on the controls.

they evacuated us all from the ride and into the walkway, while maintenance went into the "toolbox" center of the ride, and before long, it was up and cycling! They cycled it a couple of times, then got us all back on the ride (approx. where we were sitting before), and we did 3 cycles on it while they filmed from various locations around the ride.

I'm not sure if it's faster than I remember, but man did I miss this ride and loved getting to ride it again.

i did notice that some of the folks (next to me in the outer seats) were commenting that the seats were a little tight, but I sat in a "middle row" seat, and I was super comfortable. When I went back to ride much later in the afternoon, I did choose an outer seat - and it was noticeably more snug than the seat I had been in earlier in the day.

So I dunno if that's consistent thruout the seats, or I just happened to end up in one that was snug, but based on what the ladies had been saying earlier? if you're a larger rider, or not good with small spaces? go for the middle row (or possibly inside row) of seats.

While they were working on the Swings, the other half of the group had loaded on to Joker, and we got to hear lots of laughs and whoops as it ran it's cycle. There weren't a lot of hands up on Joker (we all had our hands up on the swings :) ), but that's more due to the restraints on Joker. . . it's a bit hard to do more than "Jazz Hands" while riding.

both rides are hits tho. . a lot of fun.
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After our rides on DC SuperVillain Swings, they swapped the groups out, and moved us over to Joker.

they did a great job on the queue, with a lot of it covered - greatly appreciated in the hot Texas Sun

this is the view from the left bull-pen.

(while waiting for our turn to load, I did notice a typo on the ride "rules" sign, and although I did point it out to those around me, I didn't want to mention it to the Park folks, as how can you mention something like that and not come across as an ass? Especially when they were letting me participate in this fun experience).
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standing in line, you get some STUNNING views of the ride swinging, although as we didn't go thru the main queue, I didn't get any shots of the carriage swinging directly over me in line.

(as you'll see in a later pic, once it opened? it immediately started pulling a hella line, so didn't ride again once we wrapped ~3pm).
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the park is open to guests at this point, tho they were stopped prior to Joker due to the filming. But Skyscreamer and Superman had steady cycles full of happy guests.
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a shot of the funhouse (darker red/white stripes) from the ride seat, showing the covered parts of the queue that SFFT added before one gets to the funhouse.
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Sitting in the ride, and with permission of the ride op (since I had on shorts with zippered pockets, so I could slide my phone right in and zip it up securely).

the best seat for Hangtime/airtime, seems to be the ones near the Six Flags Fiesta Texas Logo on the Stalk (I believe ~seats 24 / 4). . just FYI.
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angling the pic the other direction to capture Scream in the background.
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everyone was unloaded after 3 cycles, so they could take care of the aforementioned "protein spill" so was able to get this great pic of the ride while they were cleaning up.
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even able to step out into the ride pad, and take a pic facing up.

I know the sun is bright, but I loved how this pic came out.
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back into the bullpen, as they were about to cycle the ride, to "air dry" after washing down some seats. . :p
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and who happened by, while we were watching the ride cycle?

why Park President Mr. Jeffrey Siebert - who is *always* happy to stop and take a picture.
(and I think he remembered me from a prior pic, as he said "you want another one?" when I asked him.

someone offered to take the pic for us, but I'm a photo ninja (LOL), and was able to get this great shot - even tho we're a bit "red" from the awning. . but look at that, the Joker sign right between us.
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after a couple more rides, it was time to take a break as we waited for the Drone operator to show up, so they could get shots from overhead of both rides running.

I stepped out of the last cycle with riders before the break, so I could get some pics with "legs" on it.
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dang, this thing swings so high!

What do I think of it?

while I don't know that I would call it a "thrilling" ride, It's for sure a thrill ride.
I think I was expecting a little more forces from the spin, like a Frisbee, but this ride doesn't do that. The carriage DOES turn, but it rotates rather slowly (I think to make sure all riders get a chance to be close to the "money" seats).

So Joker isn't really about the G's from the spin of the carriage. .it's a pendulum ride. It's all about the height of the swing, and the velocity of the swing.

You absolutely FLY thru the center of the ride, at an impressive speed (that kept a smile on my face the whole time each swing), and when you hit the apex?

Holeee Crap. .. if you're on the "top" side of the carriage at the apex? INCREDIBLE floater air
If you're in the "bottom" side of the carriage at the apex? really great hang time.

they've got a hit on their hands, it's really really good. . just don't go expecting a frisbee, it doesn't have those forces.
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during the break in filming, Director Ron McKenzie walked by, and so I went to say hello and thank him again for leading us on the Cliff Walk tour during Coasting for Kids a couple of weeks ago.

he was kind enough to pose for a pic (and posed for a couple of other people too), and we chatted for a few moments. . and then I quietly mentioned to him the typo I had noticed in the Joker queue.
I apologized in advance and said I didn't intend at all to come across as a jerk (and I hoped that I didn't), but that in my job I have to be very detail oriented, and it was making me crazy because once I noticed it it was all I could see. He asked me details, and I showed him the closeup pic I had taken and he was pretty stunned. He even said to me, "we must have had over 600 people look at that, and no one had caught it!"

he thanked me for mentioning it to him, and actually a couple of hours later, he found me and told me that he had reported the issue to the signage group and that they had already made plans to correct, and thanked me again for telling him. So I'm glad I said something to him, even if it made me feel like an ass to even bring it up.
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the Drone operator showed up after the break, and we divided into groups again with my group going to Joker first this time. While seated in the ride waiting to start up again (and with the same operator's OK), I saw that from the ride pad, you like up almost exactly perfect with Superman's Corkscrews to get some great pictures!

I actually could have moved to the left and lined up exactly with a view down the center, but I was already secured in the seat when the train came so had to take the pic I could get
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Wheeeeee!
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after 3 cycles, I need a little break (it's pretty intense, especially in the heat), so I stepped off into the bullpen to let others who were waiting to ride. From the bullpen you still get some great shots of Supes, just not as great an angle.

the pics still came out good tho.
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After sitting out a cycle (I had volunteered to go over to Supervillian Swings if they needed any riders over there, but they didn't pull any of us from the Joker bullpen, so I guess they did not), we all got back on Joker for 2 final rides.

just before the 2nd ride, the gentleman who had organized the shoot, came and told us that we were done and thanked us for participating. and that after our ride, we should feel free to take advantage of a walkthru of the Funhouse, before they opened the ride to the public.

after our walkthru they would gift us as a thank you for participating 2 tickets to SFFT (good for the rest of the year - so I'll be bringing some non-passholder friends with me to FrightFest!), as well as a meal voucher to get a big meal to eat now that we had finished filming.

we all thanked him, and got ready for a final ride on Joker (fantastic as all the others had been), and then exited, and joined the rest of those shoot participants in the queue who were waiting to go thru - since folks go thru in groups of 5-6.
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soon.. I get to go in soon!
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at the front of the queue, so able to get this pic, which funnily enough? managed to catch it *almost* lined up anyways, as the "disc" behind Joker's head spins, so the colors don't often line up.
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as can be seen in this pic, where I'm doing my best Joker Grin impression.

the funhouse experience is tied to the Villains that are on the banners in front of the joker ride:
Penguin, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and Man-Bat .. and Joker himself of course.
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this is the wonderful Op who was at the front door of the funhouse. I wanted a pic with her, as she did me a solid:

so there was this very, very sweet guy from California. He was so nice, but . .yeah, he was one of *those* enthusiasts.

I wasn't around him much, until the break on Joker for cleaning the protein spill, and then I guess he liked chatting with me, because he was right there next to me for the next couple of hours (tho he didn't sit next to me on Joker - he wanted to, but when he went to put his hat in a cubby, some ladies sat in the seats next to me so he had to be down a few seats -- but the moment we took a break in the bullpen again, he was back next to me.

again, a sweet, soul. But he literally went thru every park in the United States asking if I've been (i think he heard me talking about Cedar Point with someone is what started the line of questioning).

this is pretty much how it went:

"Have you been to ______ "
yes or no from me
"was it good?"
yes, or no
"is it "ejector air" or "floater air" ?" (tho he seemed to have a lot of trouble distinguishing the two, asking if Joker was Ejector or Floater multiple times (to the amusement of some of those also in the conversation with us)
occasionally there was a question about a specific ride, but if I said a specific ride was good, he said he hated it. every time.

He asked me my favorite ride at SFOT, and I said "Shockwave"
"oh, I hate that one, my favorite was Judge Roy Scream"

(no, really).

he was visiting from LA, and said his favorite ride at Magic Mountain is the one that looks like Batman, but hasn't run in a while. I was stunned, and said "Green Lantern?". .and he got all excited and said "YES! it's sooooo good"

I told him he was seriously the *only* person I had ever interacted with who liked that ride, and that it's been sitting closed for over a year now for a reason.

eventually, I asked him why he was asking me, if he doesn't have the same taste as me (ie: he hates every ride I've said I enjoy up to that point). . and even said to him, maybe view my opinion as a movie critic? if I hate it, you'll like it?


again, he was such a kind soul, but it was a bit wearying. . . so when we got our last two rides on Joker and got into the funhouse queue, it was a little bit of a relief. Didn't see him at first, but he made his way up the queue, and before I even realized it, right by my side was "have you been to Cedar Point?"

Was polite to him, again, a kind soul (I know I keep saying it. .but he really was , even tho exasperating), but I really did not want to experience the funhouse the whole time answering questions about coasters/parks.

so when we got up to the front, the OP motioned for us to join the 5 folks in front of us into the room, and I motioned to her in regards to me, the "no no no" signal. She wasnt' quite sure what i was doing, but closed the doors on the group with him in it, leaving me the 1st person in the next group to go (and how I got the pic making Joker face). . so of course, I thanked her for giving me a polite exit from that conversation, and asked her to be in a picture with me.

the woman is a saint! LOL.
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The funhouse is AMAZING -- they basically built a haunt. You go thru in small groups and there are gimmicks in many of them.

this first room is super cool (literally) as it's Mr. Freeze's lab. They close the doors behind you, and you're faces with the cold, small, blue room. there's no exit either, just a small room.

this pic is looking thru the glass at the tubes.
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sounds start coming thru the speakers overhead (which are frozen!), and a claxon starts blaring.

then the floor drops. a good few inches.

and more than once.
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and Mr Freeze appears thru the glass on the other side of the lab.

he says some things to you, but didn't really catch it, and then the wall to the left of you slides open, and you proceed down the hallway
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which is STUNNING. . it looks so much longer than it is (that's a reflective surface at the end there).

two colored (Two-face?) LED lights that chase and move behind plexiglass on all sides of the room.
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Impressive as hell!
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after the "light" hallways, you take a left into Poison Ivy's lair - a greenhouse overgrown with plants.
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watch out for the ceiling, her "pets" are up there. . .and think I saw one or two of them snapping. .but didn't stop long enough to look
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Just after Ivy's room, is a grate int he floor that you can look down into the sewers (know who lives down there? Killer Croc). Not sure if there's anything down there other than just the pipes? Wondering if eyes appear ? if so, that would be a cool gimmick, but didn't see anything. regardless it's great.

and then you're into another hall, this one in black and white checkered pattern (this one might also be Two-face inspired?).
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a left down a hallway filled with Funhouse Mirrors, and overhead? Penguin's Umbrellas.

Don't get too comfortable looking at yourself in those mirrors, either, as villains lurk within!

I saw multiple villains popping up on multiple mirrors.
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such as Poison Ivy here, who I managed to time just right to get in the frame when she appeared (eventually, after a bunch of pics of myself in the mirror. .LOL)
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take another left, and you have the man himself, popping out of a giant Jack in the Box.

he talks to you, and taunts you. . .
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and then sprays you with laughing gas!

this is SO freaking cool!
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then you go thru a hallway full of vinyl "flaps" (if i had to guess, to represent Man-Bat's wings? he's the only one I didn't really see represented in the funhouse), into this final room.

I cut off the picture, but that sign there says "Don't Touch" with an arrow pointing to a button.

when you, of course, push the button, it sets off a giant blast from that air-horn on the top of the joker's cannister there.

very neat final room, with Joker's outfit, squirting flower, a pie, giant dynamite bomb, and a target.

they did SUCH an amazing job on this funhouse. .I hope they are able to keep up with the effects to keep it in this great a shape.

KUDOS to SFFT for such a stunning mid-queue set piece.

after this room, you exit to the left, and you're back in the shorter queue, that brings you to the covered bull pen area to load the ride.
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we had finished up just before 3, and they gave us our tickets and a meal voucher to thank us for participating.

as a Gold Season Pass Holder with basic Dining plan, they serve until 3:30 for lunch. So I pocketed the meal voucher (also good all season, so can use it when I bring along a friend), and power walked to the front gates so I could activate my Season Pass and make use of my dining plan.

by the time i got there and back to Los Festivales, it was about 3:20, and since only had 10 minutes I didn't want to chance getting stuck in line for Totally Kicken Chicken or ChopSix, so took the left to Sangerfest Halle and hopped in the line that had no one in it.

so yeah, I ended up with the TOTALLY healthy, Chimichanga, covered in cheese and a corn pico sauce.

ok, ok, I know it wasn't healthy, but it was good (if slightly dry, even with all that cheese sauce). at least I still drank water with it!

and I was able to get in before the 3:30 lunch cut off, so got to make use of my dining plan.

unfortunately, I didn't have a great experience on the dining plan later that evening when I wanted to use my snack option for the waffle sundae from the stand by Wonder Woman - that had been promoted as now being a part of dining plan -- only to find out (after waiting in the line to get it), that they didn't have any waffle bowls. so I ended up with just a cup of Pineapple soft serve with some sundae toppings on it (but since the cuts aren't really made to hold toppings, it came out messy as hell, dripping everywhere). I triple napkined it, and went to the tables by Rockville High, but had to abandon that quickly as there are a lot of bees over there (the sweetness from spilled ice cream, and that Blue Powerade. .the bees LOVE that blue powerade).

it was good, but way too messy for me, as I don't like being sticky. . so 1 and done for me, unless there are waffle bowls available in the future.
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wouldn't be a trip to SFFT without a stop at the Carousel. And was able to secure a ride on the White Rabbit this time.

hey, it makes me happy.
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after eating a late lunch, and riding the Carousel. . I went out to the car to drop off the magazine I had brought to read during downtime at the shoot (which I had ended up not needing, since spent what little downtime there was, chatting with other folks who were there), and to take the opportunity to call home to talk to the Spouse.

on the way back into the park (no reason to leave San Antonio at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, traffic leaving the area would be brutal, as would traffic by Austin, so decided to stay and see some shows), I browsed in the Superhero shop. Noticing a lot of Flash merch front and center. . wondering if maybe the 2020 announcement will be DC Comics/Flash themed.. .who knows.

but spotted this really cool thing, that made my holiday gift wish list.
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a little pricey, but so, so cool.
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the new 3-Point challenge game they are putting by Batman is coming along really nicely (not that I'm eager for another game that gives those basketballs as a prize, there are already enough of them bouncing around the concrete while trying to walk!). But yeah, this is coming along well.

while over here, I also grabbed an almost walk on ride on Poltergeist. I wasn't even sure it was open, as I hadn't been over in this area of the park, but there was no chain, and was able to go all the way into the station, and then just a 1 train wait for row 3.

I've not ridden towards the front of the Poltergeist train in many years, preferring the back or towards the back, but since there was only one person in the line 3 queue, that's where i went.

very, very shaky. almost violently shaky, which really surprised me. Someone said on a facebook page, that one of the Poltergeist trains is rougher than the other. They were only running one Train on Friday, so maybe this was the rougher train?

I mean a rough ride on Poltergeist is still a great ride, but it was pretty rough.

I do want to point out tho? first time I've ridden this that I can recall, that there were NO walks. The funky seatbelts on the restraints are just as short as every. . but not one person had to walk from the train loading as I walked up. And not one person walked from us when we loaded the same train after.

I was astonished.
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it was about 4:40, and after getting shaken all about on Poltergeist, I decided that i WILL see "Detention at Rockville High" before it closed this past weekend.

added bonus, the theater is air conditioned, and the long benches are padded. so I made my way in, and sat in 3rd row, center stage.

I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting in the row in front of me (as she seemed to be part of a local group - there were several of them there, all with refillable cups, and they were talking like they come to the the park very often), so I asked her if she's seen this show (of course) and if it was decent?

she told me that it's good, and just think of the Breakfast Club movie, if I've seen it, and I'll enjoy the show.
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She was pretty spot on.. tho with a twist.

the show is basically "the Breakfast Club" if it were a Production on a Carnival Cruise Ship.

that's not necessarily a BAD thing, as I love cheesy goodness shows.. . the plot left a lot to be desired (it's basically no plot, just lots of 80's songs.. and it coasts on the idea that the audience has seen "the Breakfast Club" and therefore knows who these characters are, and how they relate to each other -- you know, instead of actually having character development?

But regardless, the show was enjoyable, made even better by the very strong voices of several of the cast members. In particular the man playing the Teacher/Principal? VERY good voice, and a standout in the show.

Certainly something I will go back and see again (or a variation on it) if they bring it back next Summer. . or if any of the cast end up in the Frightfest or Holiday in the Park shows.
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the cast had a ball performing, and it showed.
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there's even a big set change, when they go from the front of the school, to inside the library for the back 2/3rds of the show.
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it's pretty impressive for a locally produced Theme Park Show, and way more enjoyable than it had any need to be.

but yeah, expect Cruise Ship level entertainment and you'll (like me) be pleasantly surprised.
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after eating my messy ice cream, and washing up, I took a spin on Hustler (tho didnt' spin my ball very much, it had been a long day with a lot of spinning, and I was starting to feel it, even with the AC break from the show). Besides, Hustler is a lot of fun, even if you're not spinning much.

It was starting to get close to 6:30pm when I decided to head back over to Joker/Supervillian Swings to maybe take another ride on it. . . yeah, that wasn't gonna happen.

the line was spilling out of the queue, and into the overflow stanchions. I decided not to be greedy, after all, i had already ridden it 8-9 times earlier that day, multiple times without even having to vacate my seat.

besides, directly across from it, with barely any line? DC Supervillian Swings. . so that's where I went.
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the line was empty enough, I was able to stop and take lots of pictures of the queue.
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and the signage within. . . and here again, SFFT did a spectacular job with the queue.

ok, yes, it's no where NEAR as immersive (or exciting) as the Joker just across the way from it. And yes, it's just a bunch of painted wood. . .

but they are explaining and giving background on EVERY villain on the swing ride.

that impresses me, and I think a Kudos are in order for it. good job.
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the pics I had seen of the ride only showed the white lights, but what i hadn't realized is that there are blue LEDs too, and when the ride starts, not only do the lights turn blue (giving the ride a cool dark hue), but also the soundtrack music started.

oddly, although all the blue lights are on, in my pic it looks like 1/2 are burned out. They aren't all are burning bright blue (and this is the 2nd pic I took, since I thought that I had just caught it weird in the 1st one when the lights looked out. . but nope, this one did it too). weird.
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after DC SVS, I cut thru Spassburg and headed over to the boardwalk for a ride on Wave Runner (1 cycle wait), and tho I was wanting to, my head said no to spinning on Pandemonium or Spinsanity - both of which had short lines. or Fireball, which seemed to be back up and running. I don't like Disc-O, so no sadness about skipping Hurricane Force 5.

but Pirates of the Deep Sea was a walk on, so I took my time going thru the queue, and looking around, and saw things I never noticed - such as the skull at the top of the waterfall in the queue. Really neat.
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and the projected moon on the wall above the pirate animatronic in the queue.
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almost all the guns on the ride are now the Scooby Doo guns, and even with those, the gun on the right didn't seem to be working.

So after the first room, I switched to the left gun, and was able to rack up a decent score . .tho would have been higher if I had started with the left gun :)

"Good Job Me Hearty!"
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after this I made my way to the front of the park to catch the evening performance of "V!BE" (I think it was around this time when I sat to watch the performance), before heading back over to the Carousel for one last ride.

i considered taking a spin on the train, but then realized it was getting close to 8pm and I still had to not only drive back to Austin, but still had to log into work to cover anything i had missed during my day at the park. So i bypassed the train, meaning that in a full day at the park (granted from 8:45 am until ~3 I was over by Joker only) I never even went by Crackaxle Canyon, or past Skyscreamer. So I can't even tell you if Iron Rattler, Gully Washer, or Roadrunner Express were operating on Friday.

I really wanted to stay for the fireworks, but with having to log into work? there was simply no way, as that meant I wouldn't get back home until closer to Midnight, so I sadly decided to skip them - at least i had gotten to see them on a prior visit this season - and headed home after a great day.

I really appreciated the experience and am so glad I got to participate in the filming.

and closing out the TR with pics taken by Richard Schwartz from the top of the Canyon Wall lookout while we were filming. He posted them online, and told us we could share them, so giving him credit.
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pic by Richard Schwartz

you can actually make me out in this pic. . LOL. . top center, red shirt, dark shorts!
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pic by Richard Schwartz

can make me out in this pic too!
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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pic by Richard Schwartz
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:24 pm

found a fun selfie I had sent to my Spouse that I forgot to post (his response was . . . oh, hell no!. . LOL)

at least the sun isn't so bright in this one.
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:03 pm

LOL. .and they released the ride footage from last Friday on SFFT's website & on YouTube.

On Joker, I spot my red shirt & feet sticking up at the top of the swing from the camera on top of the canyon at :40 second mark.

and at :47 second mark I go by, hands up like I'm flying on the Super-Villain Swings.

Not exactly super-stardom, but I see me! I be famous-ish. :P

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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby thrillseeker4552 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:27 pm

Nice report! I love all the theming they included with the ride. Six Flags seems to go a little above and beyond for their Joker rides.

Also, we have all had encounters with enthusiasts like that. Most are cool, some are a little weird, and then others are just obnoxious. I just always try to be polite (like you were) regardless and hope we get split up. That's one of the main reason I avoid enthusiast events and even don't own too much coaster merchandise. I would SO much rather enjoy a day at the park with my "GP" family and friends than other enthusiasts. I just don't have fun around other (crazy) enthusiasts. All of the questioning, explaining, "have you ridden this?" and "have you been here?" questions. It's just exhausting. Glad to see you still had a good time though and didn't let that ruin your day!
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:10 pm

thrillseeker4552 wrote:Nice report! I love all the theming they included with the ride. Six Flags seems to go a little above and beyond for their Joker rides.

Also, we have all had encounters with enthusiasts like that. Most are cool, some are a little weird, and then others are just obnoxious. I just always try to be polite (like you were) regardless and hope we get split up. That's one of the main reason I avoid enthusiast events and even don't own too much coaster merchandise. I would SO much rather enjoy a day at the park with my "GP" family and friends than other enthusiasts. I just don't have fun around other (crazy) enthusiasts. All of the questioning, explaining, "have you ridden this?" and "have you been here?" questions. It's just exhausting. Glad to see you still had a good time though and didn't let that ruin your day!


thanks. Just now saw you responded . . sorry, been tied up with work.
SFFT has really been doing some stellar work lately with the theming around the rides/queues.

Pirates of the Deep Sea queue is damn impressive too.

Oh, *I* can be that enthusiast, especially if alone by myself in line. . but i try not to be :)

I was as nice as I could be to him and patiently answered questions, but yeah - i really, REALLY appreciated the ride op splitting us up at the funhouse :)
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