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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13

Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13

drachen drachen Profile

Posted:
3/25/13 at
12:29:31 AM

I made my first visit of the season today, with my second coming on Tuesday if the weather holds up. In order to go to SFGAdv in two days, I needed to process my Six Flags America season pass. I opted for the Gold Pass this year, as it includes free parking at all Six Flags parks.

I got to the park around 2:30 PM. The plan was simply to process my pass and ride whatever coasters were open – hoping for a couple of laps on Superman and Wild One. I wanted to be in and out of the park in two hours.

No photos today. It was overcast, and I didn't plan on staying too long.

Here are my not-so quick thoughts on the day…

- The season pass line was long, but the wait was bearable… They had Looney Tunes cartoons playing on the TV’s inside the processing building. Classic.

- It was COLD! Phone temperature said low 40’s. But it was windy too. Mix that in with some speedy roller coasters, and it felt a little extra brisk.

- Crowds were minimal, as expected.

- I was pleasantly surprised to see trains running on every coaster as I began to walk through the park. It looked like my plan would come to fruition.

- Mind Eraser – Pass. It does look pretty sharp though. In fact, four (Mind Eraser, Apocalypse, Superman, and ROAR!) of the park’s coasters look really sharp. Wild One, Joker’s Jinx, and especially Batwing could use a coat of paint.

- First coaster ride of the day, and of my season, was ROAR! – a ride that I actually like a good bit. I walked right on to the front seat. It ran pretty good, with a lot of new wood spotted throughout the ride.

- Cold ears and Apocalypse are NOT a good combination – my second coaster of the day. I had a really good back “seat” ride on it last year. I tried the front again (center) (where I first rode it as Iron Wolf). It was fun, but the front definitely boxes your ears more than the back does. Once was enough on this cold day.

- After I loaded Apocalypse, and the restraints were locked, this chubby kid in a Six Flags America jacket came up to join me with his friend. My initial thought was, “Are you kidding me? An employee is holding up the ride to get on?” 10 minutes and two seats later – no joke – he’s admits defeat. “But I fit last year” he said. Yeah well, we’ve all put on a few pounds. Quit holding up the ride…

- Clever banner hanging on the side of Wild One. It’s a Snickers sign that reads “If you’re having trouble finding the wooden roller coaster, you’re probably hungry.” Classic.

- I head over to Joker’s Jinx – which I haven’t ridden in a few years. I walked right up to the back row’s queue. The ride breaks down – off to Superman. But I will say that the young male ride attendant in the back of the station was very pleasant. I wish I would have gotten his name.

- Guess who came up the Joker’s Jinx exit ramp as I was waiting? That’s right – the chubby kid. I now realize that he is of special needs – perhaps some high functioning autism, if I had to guess. My annoyance turned into compassion. I got a kick out of how he repeatedly told the ride op that he wanted the front seat, showing him his bracelet each time.

- I notice Superman is closed – testing with water dummies in the front. I suspect there were temperature/speed/loading concerns. I’ll come back later.

- The Penguin raft ride WAS open, though. What?! Are these people crazy? I almost gave it a ride...

- Batwing? Again – I haven’t ridden in years. My thought is, I’ve never ridden one in the front row. Perhaps today is my day. I head down the long Batman path and notice a group of three waiting for the front. Score. My plan is to join them – next train out.

- Guess who comes up the exit ramp… Yep. The special needs kid – pointing to his bracelet, claiming the front seat. I now have an odd blend of compassion and annoyance.

- He takes the front seat, with his aide. Wait a minute – 4 minus 2 = 2 empty seats! I got dibs… Sorry group of three, I’m riding now.

- I did "sit" next to my new friend. We made some nice conversation before the ride took off. Upon the ride taking off though, the kid started swearing like a sailor. Apparently he hates Batwing...

- Flyers are generally uncomfortable. On B&M’s the discomfort is at the end, when you’re stuck in the prone position, waiting to enter the station. On Vekoma’s it is certainly when you initially recline, and even worse when you hit the brakes and return to the station on your back, head down.

- The ride itself is fun, I think. The visuals in the front are pretty sweet. I would have enjoyed it even more had I not been so worried about my phone falling out of my pocket.

- Superman – still closed. I guess it’s not in the cards for today. Bummer. I love that ride.

- Joker's Jinx is running once again. I repeat the routine - to the back row I go. Guess who comes up the exit showing his bracelet, calling the front seat again? You got it. I had to laugh this time, since we were close now. The poor guy couldn't fit anyway, and took the walk of shame. He saw me, and took a moment to explain the situation - not even a hint of embarrassment. Off he went to the next ride.

- Joker's Jinx is a great ride. Very smooth, fast, and fun - with more head-choppers than any coaster out there. I think these rides are better in the front though, and I think I like this version better than the indoor ones.

- The turn-table for the old flume (Sea Coaster or otherwise) is still standing, oddly enough. Why? The nice kid at Joker’s Jinx thinks that perhaps it’s part of a new ride the park is building there (impossible, of course).

- I head over to Wild One. The queue is completely empty. But the station is empty too. Where’s the train? It’s not rolling on the track. It’s not on the lift. It’s not entering the station. Oh, there it is… It’s stuck on the brake run, with riders in it, and ride attendants attending them. Oh, there’s some maintenance guys walking around. Great – my other favorite ride in the park, and I’m not going to get to ride it.

- I’m nicely asked to leave the station so they can evacuate – whatever that means. I guess I wasn’t allowed to watch and wait. I’m going home.

It was certainly nice to ride a few rides again, even though I didn’t get to ride the coasters I really wanted to ride. My season pass voucher book has a couple “bring people free” coupons in it. I’ve never been to Six Flags America twice in one season, but maybe this is the year.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
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Re: Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13 by alpengeistno3 at 3/25/13 10:04:02 PM
Great TR, Drachen. You pretty much summed up our day on Saturday. The most reliable (and painful) ride of the day was Apocalypse, followed by Mind Eraser and then Roar. Everything else had mechanical problems, with only Supes failing to make an appearance due to the cold (but they did seem to try all day until around 4ish.)


drachen said:

- It was COLD! Phone temperature said low 40’s. But it was windy too. Mix that in with some speedy roller coasters, and it felt a little extra brisk.

I'm guessing it was not as cold for us. It may have gotten up to 50 at one point.

drachen said:

- Crowds were minimal, as expected.

Likewise. Apocalypse had a line at opening, but it quickly dwindled to nothing by noon.

drachen said:

- Mind Eraser – Pass. It does look pretty sharp though. In fact, four (Mind Eraser, Apocalypse, Superman, and ROAR!) of the park’s coasters look really sharp. Wild One, Joker’s Jinx, and especially Batwing could use a coat of paint.

I STRONGLY second the paint sentiment for Batwing. It is amazing how SFA has found its current state to be acceptable with the huge patches of white and rust stains all over the support columns. IT'S BEEN 12 YEARS!!!!

drachen said:

- First coaster ride of the day, and of my season, was ROAR! – a ride that I actually like a good bit. I walked right on to the front seat. It ran pretty good, with a lot of new wood spotted throughout the ride.

I love GCI's, even Roar with the PTC's. Give me the "rough and tumble" back, though.

drachen said:

- Cold ears and Apocalypse are NOT a good combination – my second coaster of the day. I had a really good back “seat” ride on it last year. I tried the front again (center) (where I first rode it as Iron Wolf). It was fun, but the front definitely boxes your ears more than the back does. Once was enough on this cold day.

I found it quite the opposite. I can manage the boxing in the front (I am just bored). The back, that shot coming into and out of the corkscrew is just unavoidable. I sat in the middle of row 6 and still got pounded. While I am happy SFA finally got their B&M standup, Apocalypse is just too boring to be worth the pounding and the 1/2 mile queue (because you really buy Flash Pass to bypass the walk due to the lack of any kind of wait). It's a shame it is one of the most reliable rides in the park!

drachen said:

- Clever banner hanging on the side of Wild One. It’s a Snickers sign that reads “If you’re having trouble finding the wooden roller coaster, you’re probably hungry.” Classic.

And ironic considering how difficult it would be for a 1st time visitor to find Wild One's entrance from the vantage point of looking at that sign.

drachen said:

- The Penguin raft ride WAS open, though. What?! Are these people crazy? I almost gave it a ride...

I said the same thing when Judy and Mike went on it. So what if you hardly get wet? It's still in a pool of water in near 40 degree temps!! (and they were taking at least 5 minutes to load 2 boats with no seatbelts or restraints to check. WTH?!?! This was actually the longest wait of the day.

drachen said:

- Batwing? Again – I haven’t ridden in years. My thought is, I’ve never ridden one in the front row. Perhaps today is my day. I head down the long Batman path and notice a group of three waiting for the front. Score. My plan is to join them – next train out.

*snip*

- I did "sit" next to my new friend. We made some nice conversation before the ride took off. Upon the ride taking off though, the kid started swearing like a sailor. Apparently he hates Batwing...

- Flyers are generally uncomfortable. On B&M’s the discomfort is at the end, when you’re stuck in the prone position, waiting to enter the station. On Vekoma’s it is certainly when you initially recline, and even worse when you hit the brakes and return to the station on your back, head down.

- The ride itself is fun, I think. The visuals in the front are pretty sweet. I would have enjoyed it even more had I not been so worried about my phone falling out of my pocket.

Na na na na na na na na na...CRAP WING!!!!!!! It was broken when we 1st came upon it. Laura had to go back after Mike and Judy left. We actually got 2 rides (yes, it ACTUALLY ran continuously long enough for that!)

drachen said:

- Superman – still closed. I guess it’s not in the cards for today. Bummer. I love that ride.

We remarked, with Batwing and Supes down at the time, the villains were running Gotham!!

drachen said:

- Joker's Jinx is a great ride. Very smooth, fast, and fun - with more head-choppers than any coaster out there. I think these rides are better in the front though, and I think I like this version better than the indoor ones.

The outdoor versions do run better than the indoor ones thanks to the block brake and the rougher transitions, but I am still partial to the indoor ones. JJ lacks "bite" (same reason I prefer Wildcat to Lightning Racer.)

drachen said:

- The turn-table for the old flume (Sea Coaster or otherwise) is still standing, oddly enough. Why? The nice kid at Joker’s Jinx thinks that perhaps it’s part of a new ride the park is building there (impossible, of course).

During our Apocalypse construction tour, they told us that parts of the tower and skull wall were too integrated into Wild One's structure to be taken out last year. Apparently, they have decided to not bother at all now.

drachen said:

- I head over to Wild One. The queue is completely empty. But the station is empty too. Where’s the train? It’s not rolling on the track. It’s not on the lift. It’s not entering the station. Oh, there it is… It’s stuck on the brake run, with riders in it, and ride attendants attending them. Oh, there’s some maintenance guys walking around. Great – my other favorite ride in the park, and I’m not going to get to ride it.

Same problem Saturday. It looked to be an E-Stop to me since the train was stopped at the front of the brake run rather than its usual parking position at the end. They were able to clear it and get the ride reopened by the time we got back.

drachen said:

It was certainly nice to ride a few rides again, even though I didn’t get to ride the coasters I really wanted to ride. My season pass voucher book has a couple “bring people free” coupons in it. I’ve never been to Six Flags America twice in one season, but maybe this is the year.

Let me know. I have my pass and I am only 35 mins away.

Paul

Re: Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 3/25/13 11:41:35 PM
I just thank God I didn't try and make that drive with you guys on Sat - I would have been miserable! Roar and Mind Eraser are 2 coasters at the bottom of my list and I heard Apocalypse was pretty bad. Mike said even the drop tower was down. Not cool SFA, not cool at all.

Jen

Re: Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13 by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 3/26/13 2:18:48 PM
It's my understanding that the final turntable from Seacoaster was left because of the themeing that is incorporated from Apocalypse.

Now, I haven't been to SFA since the addition of Apocalypse, as I am still quite angry with the park over a certain situation, but I may get a season pass this year.

I haven't been to SFA since 2010.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13 by Fatsoccerguy191 Fatsoccerguy191 Profile at 3/26/13 5:11:11 PM
Nice TR. I was there opening day as well. SFA made some nice improvements during the off-season. They got rid of their locker policy and installed cubbies in each coaster's station for riders to store their belongings for free. they even have a slide door with it which they shut to prevent theft. I also noticed pieces to Mind Eraser's orange train were sitting under the station. They might have done something to it during the off-season because the sound of the lift hill changed also. I think I also saw the autistic kid you were talking about. I didn't really noticed he was intellectually disabled as well. I felt really bad for him. I also noticed that the bottom of some of Joker's Jinx's supports looked like they had fresh paint on them. I think that might indicate Joker's Jinx might be getting a paint job throughout the season.
Re: Not-So-Quick Thoughts on Six Flags America - 3/24/13 by antikythera antikythera Profile at 6/24/13 4:26:02 PM
Just thought I'd chime in since I go to SFA at least once a month to get my coaster fix when I don't want to travel far.

Some observations I've seen over the past few months (and yesterday):

- Jokers Jinx is chipping badly. There are some good rusted holes on the supports. Not sure how this passes inspection but I'm not an engineer.

- Superman is becoming fine with age. I've ridden many a hyper and giga now, but I still appreciate Superman for it's smooth ride, especially that third airtime hill. They don't seem to be running the second train as much and I don't know why. Lines could be crazy short if they would put the second train on the damn track. It's just as frustrating as Kings Dominion not running the second train for Rebel Yell. I only was able to get four rides in yesterday when I could have easily gotten double that (I understand it was a Sunday but still).

- Batwing's supports have since been painted and they look fantastic. The coaster itself still runs a bit rough. On a side note, I think I might have mentioned this before but I believe I was sitting next to you when you were with the chubby kid although I had no idea it was you. I was at the park that day as well getting my pass renewed. Small world.

- Roar has grown on me as well. It's rough but I like the sheer speed of it especially going through the tunnel. This ride actually kind of scares me due to the PTC trains seemingly coming off the track on the up hills. Never get that feeling with Wildcat due to the MF trains. Either way, it's been closed a few times this season, including yesterday. The train was halfway up the lift hill, just sitting there.

- Mind Eraser seems to be struggling these days. That lift hill never sounds right.

- Wild One seems to fluctuate on how well it's running. At the beginning of the season, it was running smooth, especially the front. Yesterday, it wasn't as fun. It got stuck on the brake run before I got on (as it always does), so I'm not sure if that contributed to it.

- Apocalypse. I have nothing but hatred for this coaster. It was closed yesterday. Not sure what was going on but it didn't bother me.

- Tower of Doom is becoming surprisingly fun, even for being such a short freefall ride. That view looking toward the train station is gorgeous though. You can see all seven coasters shimmering in the sun. Very colorful.

- They really need to do something with that Two Face station. When coming back into the brake run on Wild One, it looks terrible. It's rotten, weed infested and somewhat dilapidated. They should at least put up a wall or something. Makes the park look ghetto.

- Caught a few glimpses of the season's new shows. The show they do in the wild west area of the park hasn't changed much. I feel like it's the same plot each year, with just new actors and updated pop culture references. The block party dance show they put on over by the ice cream stand (they were giving away free sundae upgrades yesterday) and train station was embarrassingly cheesy. At least they are trying to keep the kids and families entertained.

* This post was modified at 6/24/13 4:29:19 PM *