Six Flags America
Labor Day was fast approaching and I didn’t have any plans for trips or to hit any new parks! Then my little brother ended up joining the military and got stationed in Virginia. Sensing an opportunity to hit a new park, I planned a trip out to visit him with a stop at Six Flags America on Saturday. After a series of not fun flights on American (I had credit I had to use, otherwise I would’ve flown Delta or United), I made my way to DC And the next day I was off to SFA. I arrived at the park a few minutes after opening. After seeing the crowds at the gate and anticipating a busy Saturday, I headed to grab my Flash Pass before dropping off my backpack in a locker and heading to my first coaster of the day.
It’s a kiddy coaster
As I was walking back to Batwing I noticed that Wild One was stuck on its lift. I didn’t know it at the time but this would end up being a pretty foreshadowing event for the rest of my day at the park.
My first real stop of the day was heading back to Batwing since I know how sketchy these types of rides are with respect to their line and breakdown history. And this was the last Flying Dutchman I needed to complete the US set! I made my way to it and walked onto the back row. Wow! I don’t remember too much about Firehawk and even less about Nighthawk but I found Batwing to be way more intense than I remember. Going through some of the turns and inversions in the flying position found me pulled against the restraints and the loop felt like a mini pretzel loop with my back getting pushed against the seat. With these rides getting rarer and this ride in particular, seemingly always down, I’m very glad that I got a chance to ride it!
Superman - Ride of Steel
And the next ride was my most anticipated in the park and the park’s headliner: Superman! I was lucky enough to beat the crowd onto this one as well and walked into the middle row. I was glad to see T bar restraints on the ride even if they were accompanied by the shin guard restrains. The ride was enjoyable! The first drop gave some good air and there was some other great airtime moments throughout the course. I didn’t mind the long straight sections of track for the same reason that I don’t understand the hate on Millennium Force: it’s supposed to let you feel the speed and I think it does it well. The helixes, on the other hand, I could do without. But this ride is definitely the crown jewel of an underrated coaster selection.
What a weird mouse! This is my first Reverchon mouse after riding tons of Zamperla mice. There were no seat dividers and since I was riding by myself, I found myself sliding all over the seats during the lateral bits of the ride. This actually added an interesting twist to the ride with me seeing if I could use my weight to either slow and increase the spinning. The final verdict: tbd. But overall an interesting little coaster.
Actually I thought the whole Mardi Gras area was pretty cool. The rides all seem to fit in pretty well together (well, minus Wild One which seems kinda just plopped into the area) and the bar had some very good drinks at it.
Since I was in the area, the next coaster up was Wild One. Luckily, the coaster had just reopened when I walked by the area so I was able to get a row quickly before the rest of the crowd showed up. No one talks about this ride and I don’t understand why. Sure, it’s a touch rough but it gave an awesome amount of airtime! Plus it’s really cool to travel through the old log flume structure. I guess the drop is too integrated with the structure to take down? Because it still stands even if the ride no longer does.
After getting denied from my first ride on this coaster because of a breakdown I finally got on after Wild One. These Premier spaghetti bowl rides are always fun! This one features a forceful launch and some disorienting inversions. The thing that surprised me with this ride was just how fast the ride gets at the end. But overall my favorite part of the ride has to be how loud the ride gets at the end. I don’t know if there’s a better sound at a theme park than a Premier coaster roaring and Jinx gets really loud at the end! I’m glad I rode it once but these models never do enough for me to make me want to ride them again.
After riding Firebird, I decided to stop for lunch. On the way I noticed that Roar was unfortunately down with one of the trains stuck on the brake run with riders in the front seat and maintenance surrounding them. Never a good sign considering that Roar was one of the last credits I needed to get. But nothing I could do about it then. I used the Six Flags app to order a cheesesteak from a local shop. It was a really smooth process so big props to Six Flags for it. The cheesesteak was pretty tasty and I was ready to finish up the credits after eating!
What kind of a park is it where the SLC has a long line, especially one at the back of the park? Well SFA is apparently. When I made my way over to Mind Eraser, I was a greeted to probably a 30-45 minute line. Luckily I had my Flash Pass and was able to skip all of it and got a front row ride. So I rode T3 last week which is pretty widely hailed as the worst SLC but I humbly offer this ride as the worst SLC I’ve ever ridden. It was slow with a good amount of head banging and even worse shuffling. Actually I’d rather ride T3 5 times than this ride once.
After Mind Eraser, I headed over to Roar which was listed as open on the Flash Pass. Well, that wasn’t the case. I was greeted with an empty station, maintenance at the control panel and an empty train stuck at the top of the lift hill. I waited for around 30 minutes with no activity. When I was right about to give up and go grab my camera, they sent the train from the top of the lift. Another 10 minutes passed and the maintenance workers climbed to the top of the lift and transferred a train off of the track. Another 10 minutes after and they finally sent a train! Another couple of cycles later and we were open again! I hopped right into the station and grabbed a front row ride on the second train.
This ride is really underrated! You always hear that this ride is rough but I didn’t find that to be the case. The track was pretty smooth in the front seat and I actually found that there was a good amount of airtime throughout the course. It’s not as good as Mystic or Gold Striker but I like it more than either of the GCIs I’ve ridden the past couple of weeks, American Thunder or Kentucky Rumbler. It’s another great coaster in SFAs lineup!
After Roar, I went to get my camera and did my usual lap around the park and got some pictures. Funnily enough, as I was walking back from Batwing, I saw a couple of park guests getting cuffed and put in police cars with a couple more (in their group?) getting merely escorted out by security. Makes me wonder what the guys that got arrested did since they seemed pretty resigned to their fate, not struggling or arguing. Maybe a fight in the queue?
I made my way out of the park a couple of minutes after closing. So what are my thoughts about this park? Well, like I mentioned, I came in with the lowest expectations. SFA constantly gets mocked with only really a couple of defenders. So I went in expecting awful rides with awful operations and a generally ugly and nasty park but instead I thought pretty much the opposite. The ride collection probably needs one more top end coaster to go along with Superman but other than that I think it has a pretty diverse collection. The ops weren’t bad (actually the ops were very friendly) and the park was fairly well themed outside of a couple of weird additions (Mind Eraser in the Western section?). My only issue with the park was that every ride seemed to go down at some point during the day, with me personally being affected by downtime on Jinx, Wild One and Roar. I suppose it makes sense given the handful of problematic coaster types that make up part of this park’s collection (Premier spaghetti bowl, Flying Dutchman). Controversial opinion time: I liked this park more than Holiday World. I could definitely see myself coming back here before a large addition but hopefully a couple of years down the road, this park will get its top of the line ride it needs!