Six Flags St Louis
August of 2020 was/is a busy month for me. I’m finally back to living by myself, my friends are moving out of my area and I work remotely and will do so for the foreseeable future and as such I feel comfortable taking the risk of traveling. So I booked 5 weekends in a row of traveling. The second of which (the first was a quick trip to visit my parents in Colorado with a day at Glenwood Caverns) was a trip out to St Louis to go to one of the last large Six Flags parks I haven’t been to.
So I took a red eye from SFO to ATL and then ATL up to STL. I made it into STL at 10:30am and by the time I picked up my rental car, dropped off my stuff at the hotel and drove to SFStL it was around 11:30am. I’ve driven by the park before but never went in and it was good to see the park’s skyline again. As I was driving in I saw Batman, Ninja and American Thunder operating but worryingly, no Mr Freeze. Freeze was the ride I was most looking forward to riding but it didn’t appear on the closed for the day list which was a good sign. Naturally I headed straight back to it. As I was walking up to the ride I was thrilled to see empty trains testing but the worker at the front of the line told me that it had been struck by lightning earlier in the week and may or may not open for the day. That was a big time yikes for me but on the plus side, they were cycling trains which was a good sign. I kept moving and just kept watching for trains.
My second most anticipated ride at the park was without a doubt, this GCI. You never really heard a ton about it versus some of the more high profile GCIs and I was curious about it. So it was definitely a good ride. It was fairly fast with a good mix of laterals and airtime. It just never really felt exceptional compared to some of the other top GCIs in the states and that I’ve ridden (thinking primarily of Gold Striker and Renegade). Luckily it was not very rough while still retaining a little of that woodie bite. I sat in the front seat and am curious to see what a back seat ride is like. But I definitely plan on getting on the ride again.
After walking by and getting denied for Mr Freeze again I headed over to the 2nd of the park’s wooden coasters: The Boss. This ride looks soooo cool. It sits lurking in the back of the park with only it’s lift, MCBR and finale out in the open. After waiting around 15 minutes, I got on. The ride is rough, like painfully so. Not quite as bad as Son of Beast but not terribly far off. But the course is so cool! I love the massive drops and sitting in the back row, I got some decent airtime over them. But the roughness took away so much from the ride and the complete stop we came to on the MCBR didn’t help at all. I know it’s a basic enthusiast thing to call for RMC Boss (and that would be awesome) but I would much rather have GCI come in and give the ride the Ghost Rider treatment. The coaster has so much potential and I know that GCI could come in and make it great again!
It was open when I walked by so I figured I’d knock it off the list. Well, it’s a Gerstlauer spinner, you know how they go. I liked this one more than the ones at SFOT or SFFT since it seemed like the queue was under the coaster which gave it a unique set of views of the ride.
After Pandemonium I figured it was hot enough and I was sweating enough where I needed to take a drink break badly. So I got a couple of bottles of water and sat down by the Mr Freeze entrance. After sitting there for 15 minutes (and starting on this TR) I heard someone come down from the ride and give the all clear to open. So I tossed my iPad in my bag and hustled in line.
I ended up getting on the third train of the day and picked the back (front of the reversed train) row. Wow, this ride still packs quite a punch. The launch is forceful and the inverted top hat gives great hang time. But the turnaround is really the start, pummeling you with positive Gs. The reverse lift is as cool as ever although it’s always better in the front (back of the reversed train) which I’ll have to do later. I prefer SFOTs for one reason: the Mr Freeze animatronic in the station that SFSTL is missing, what’s up with that??? Plus SFOT’s has a little bit more other theming that puts it over the top for me. It’s such a shame that this park doesn’t get cool, big rides like Mr Freeze anymore.
After Mr Freeze, I walked around the back of the park looking for Screamin Eagle. After finding it, I didn’t see any lockers and didn’t know at the time that there were bins available so I walked around trying to find some lockers. After a surprisingly long trek, I ended up finding a set of lockers near Batman. But since Batman was down at that point, I decided to head to the next nearest coaster before heading to Eagle, that being Ninja.
This ride’s reputation precedes it as a rough ride. What else would you expect from a half Arrow half Vekoma. Well I was willing to bite the bullet and give it a shot. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! It was reasonably smooth for an Arrow looper and the layout was interesting enough. My only issue with it was undoubtedly the sidewinder. In that element, there was a notable and painful shuffle. Take that element out and you would have a surprisingly decent ride!
River King Mine Train
Next up in my list was River King Mine Train. This ride was very cool! I love that there were 3 lifts which gave a pretty long ride. It reminded me a ton of SFOT’s mine train but I’ll take SFOT’s over this one if only for that final scene and drop.
And the award for most surprising coaster of the park goes to Screamin Eagle! I got into line expecting a run of the mill out and back wooden coaster but couldn’t have been more wrong. Funny enough, whereas most of the other rides had 5 or 10 minute waits, one of the oldest coasters in the park had the longest wait times at around 45 minutes. I ended up getting a front row ride and wow! Even sitting in the front, I was able to get a surprising amount of airtime. And it was fast too, I didn’t realize until reading the ACE plaque in the station that it was the tallest and fastest coaster in the world at one point. I was really hoping to come back around and get a back row ride to see what the airtime would be like there but I never ended up doing it since the lines stayed as long as they were unfortunately. But no worries, I’ll make sure to sit there the next time I come to the park!
So I don’t really count relocated credits as new ones. I’ve ridden this ride at SFOT but for whatever reason I still decided to get on it here. And what can I say, it’s a Boomerang! It wasn’t particularly rough, nor particularly smooth. The one thing that I did notice was that the little catch car doesn’t have a little face on it anymore. At SFOT when I went in 2007, it had a face on it and apparently was named Sparky. Small little detail that I was sad to see missing!
And to round out SFStl’s collection I rode Batman. First, wow, that’s the longest queue I think I’ve ever seen. I’m really curious what’s the most it’s ever been filled. Was it completely full on opening day? Did it spill out onto the queue? But just like I’ve experienced at SFOT, you inevitably stop in the metal tunnel which tends to bake in the sun. And that was definitely happening today. But once I got to the station, I was treated to a classic Batman ride. It’s not the longest ride but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in intensity. And this one felt extra intense for whatever reason.
At this point, I walked around SFStl and got the pictures I needed. The next day I ended up coming to the park again before my flight left to go back home but I didn’t ride anything. Overall the park is a good one but will need a new addition to get me to come back out. The park also strangely seems to be missing a true kid’s coaster. As the layout is right now, kids have to start with the mine train instead of having a dedicated coaster. So if I had to guess, I’d wager that a kid’s area refurb might be in the cards for the park. But after that, I’d love to see the much discussed Boss refurb. That ride refurb/RMC would definitely get me back out to St Louis!