A theme park gift under $10? Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Let me just state right off that I already had low expectations for this excursion, but was hopeful that some of the changes being made at other SF parks had made it to SFSTL. The results were a mixed bag. I will start with the positive stuff and work backwards to the negative.
Evel Knievel – this brand new GCI wooden coaster is excellent. While short and compact, Evel is relentless and fun. We rode it several times during the visit, and everyone agreed it was the best ride in the park. This coaster rivals The Raven at Holiday World, but is not on par with The Voyage (also at HW), which remains the best wooden coaster I have ever ridden. Still, a great ride, one that made the whole day a worthwhile excursion.
The Ninja – this custom-built Vekoma MK-1200 was a lot of fun. Sure, you have to brace yourself before the jarring turns or risk breaking your neck, but I love loops, and the Ninja sports three of them. Short, fast, and fun, this was my second favorite ride of the day.
Batman The Ride – a typical B&M inverted coaster (which is a good thing!), this ride is not as good as the Patriot at Worlds of Fun or Alpengeist at BGE, but it is a fun ride, and worth several visits.
Mr. Freeze – a Premier Rides launched coaster that loops and climbs, then does it all in reverse. 55 seconds of adrenalin rush. It is a fun ride, but short and filled with unrealized potential. It is better than a Boomerang, but still just a variation on that all-too-short theme.
The Boss – a CCI wooden coaster that is long and fast. It is also old, jerky, and painful. It is worth a visit, but keep your Doan’s Back Ache medicine handy.
Tony Hawk’s Big Spin – a typical Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster with a slight twist: instead of a picture at the end of the ride, this coaster sports an on-ride video camera that captures your entire trip and can be purchased once completed. The videos were somewhat neat, but we skipped the purchase. The ride itself is fun, but standard.
Screamin’ Eagle – an old school wooden coaster that races through the terrain quickly and painfully. The ride is so old and unkempt that most adult riders will require an appointment with a chiropractor after a single ride. I highly recommended this ride at night. Please note: this is the only coaster that is not a Flashpass attraction, so the waits can be long during the peak touring times of a busy day.
River King Mine Train – the oldest coaster in the park is an Arrow runaway mine train. Somewhat boring during the day, this steel coaster comes alive at night when the drop through the tunnel becomes a pitch-black descent. This mine train ride is simple, mediocre fun for the whole family.
Xcalibur – This Bussink Evolution ride is a pretty intense midway experience. However, it is not a Flashpass attraction and the line moves slower than any midway line I have ever experienced. At five minutes per cycle (load, ride, unload), this ride will suck the life out of your amusement park visit. Honestly, on a busy day, if you have Flashpass, ride this attraction first thing, and then ride your Flashpass attractions. Xcalibur is worth a ride, but not if the wait is more than about 10 minutes.
Flashpass – I purchased a basic Flashpass for the whole party for $95 bucks. I know it was a lot of dough, but since our park tickets were free, it seemed like a good trade off. Additionally, the park was insanely crowded the day we visited and without some sort of fastpass system, we would have been miserable with waiting. In fact, due to less than stellar loading and unloading practices, I consider Flashpass completely necessary at SFSTL, and somewhat nice, if you can foot the bill. It is not a replacement for Disney’s free fastpass system, but it is no more expensive than what is offered at Universal. The big problem with Flashpass at SFSTL is that there are just a handful of attractions in the system. On the other hand, there are only a handful of attractions worth riding at SFSTL, so it evens out, I guess. Moreover, it is fun laughing at the plebeians waiting in line while you take their seat in the front row.
The Staff – For the most part, SFSTL employees were decent folk. Some were very energetic and outgoing, some less so, but for the most part our experience with the park staff was a positive one. I dropped the staff into the mediocre category because many of the ride operators (Mr. Freeze and Batman especially) were oblivious to the height requirements on their rides. My 53” son rode Mr. Freeze (54” requirement) without question, and could have ridden Batman (54” requirement) but I did not want to take too many chances. Furthermore, my 48” son could have ridden Mr. Freeze as well, but I tried to be a somewhat responsible parent. No one was checking. SFSTL needs to be careful. Don’t they have enough lawsuits pending right now?
Midway Attractions - After the coasters, there is not much else to do at SFSTL. The park is filled with basic midway experiences and carnival rides. As I stated in my Adventureland trip report, I generally regard midway rides with the kind of contempt most people reserve for socially transmitted diseases, so I was not very happy with the ride selection once I completed my coaster tour.
Sneak Entrances – There are ways to sneak on to some of the major rides at SFSTL, without Flashpass and without a wait. I will not go into details, but even with Flashpass we utilized these short cuts on both Batman and River King several times to bypass very long lines. SFSTL needs to tighten up their line security a bit if they want people to purchase Flashpasses.
Kiddie Area – The kiddie section of the park was quite obviously an afterthought. Situated along a short, windy path, Bugs Bunny National Park is not really a section at all, just a series of mall food court caliber rides sandwiched between Britannia and Gateway to the West. I left my 5-year-old daughter at home for a reason: there is almost nothing for the under 42” crowd to do at SFSTL.
Insect Problem – Not sure if there is anything SFSTL can do about this, but they have a major problem with wasps and bees at this park. Xcalibur, the River King Mine Train, and all the little roadside sugar stands were the biggest offenders. At the roadside stands, big white buckets with red syrup at the bottom were used to attract the pests away from the buyers/sellers, but I am thinking some other form of repellent can be used. Maybe not. Either way, dodging wasps while careening down a steep drop is not the kind of intense fun I am after!
The Whole Park – SFSTL was without a doubt the ugliest, dirtiest amusement park I have ever visited. There were weeds growing everywhere. Even the grounds around the brand new Evel Knievel coaster were sprouting weeds. Mr. Freeze sits in an area of the park that should be called Weed Island. In the line for the Boss, you walk past a roof covered with years and years of gum that litter-prone visitors have spit out as if marking their territory. There was trash everywhere, except in the trashcans. Every ride, building, and sign needed a fresh coat of paint. All the decorations were washed out and bland from the lack of maintenance and upkeep. The areas around the bathrooms reeked of urine. The rides themselves (with the exception of the new coaster) were in dire need of upkeep. For those rides that had indoor queue areas, cobwebs were the featured theme. The park walkways were congested and cramped. Rides were placed willy-nilly with no thought to aesthetics or theme. Tony Hawk, The Boss, and the pay-extra Go Carts are in Britannia. Batman and the Joker are nowhere near DC Comics Plaza yet, Scooby-Doo sits right in the middle of that area. The Ninja is in the Studio Backlot. Evel Knievel is listed on the park map as being part of the 1904 World’s Fair section (which makes no sense), but honestly, it is part of DC Comics plaza (which also makes no sense). There is no rhyme or reason to SFSTL, no theme, no thought for ride placement, they just stick a ride where there is room…and often where there is no room. Worst of all, no one working at the park seems to care. The entire time I was there, I only saw one employee with a broom and dustpan, and she was not sweeping, just walking. The only thing that would indicate that the mgmt team even recognizes there is a problem is the fact that every employee sports a bright green/yellow T-Shirt that boldly states, “Please keep the park clean. My family comes here too!” I am sorry to say it, but SFSTL is the trash bin of the theme park universe.
Halloween Additions – SFSTL is a pathetic park for Halloween fun. There is one Haunted House and it costs and extra $5 if you want to visit. There is also a Haunted Hayride and a Haunted Train ride, both underwhelming at best. There were a few Halloween shows, but I did not take time to visit. The one Halloween parade I saw was so short I missed half of it when I had to blink to get the weed pollen out of my eyes. The only thing scary about SFSTL is the tragic lack of upkeep and attention to theme.
Restaurants – I did not eat at SFSTL. In fact, I would not eat at SFSTL. The park restaurants were all disasters. In every case, the restaurants looked like McDonald’s after a Saturday lunch rush – but without the one frantic worker trying to keep things clean. Specifically, in the Villains Cafe, not one table in the restaurant was clean. Same thing at Panda Express. Prices too were out of control, even for an amusement park - $50 for a Papa John’s pizza, bread sticks, and a side salad. We left the park to eat at a local Steak n Shake. Not great, but $35 fed five of us, including dessert and tip. Not a lot of better options in Eureka, MO, but almost anything is better then the dining options in the park. Abysmal.
I hate to end my report on such a down note, because overall we had a decent time on the rides we visited (coasters, mainly). However, I would not visit SFSTL again unless there was some new addition (like Evel Knievel this season) that prompted the excursion. After visiting SFSTL, my appreciation for my local park, World’s of Fun, has grown, and my love of Disney, Universal, and Busch with their attention to detail, theming, and cleanliness has reached lunatic proportion.
SFSTL, as I have stated many times before, is a pit. Nevertheless, underneath all that garbage are a few fun rides. With some TLC, elbow grease, and a fistful of cash, SFSTL can be saved. There is a decent park under all that trash. Six Flags mgmt just needs to find it, spruce it up, and make it lovable again. It will take some doing, but it can be done.
Otherwise, sell off the good rides, and close the place down.
SFSTL is definitely one of the worst parks our nation has. But like you said, it makes you really appreciate the ones who try to make it an enjoyable expereince. Thank you Disney and Universal.
As for the midway rides, SDC is not too bad, and it makes up for them with excellent theming, good shows, great food, and top notch customer service. However, Celebration City (SDC's sister park in Branson) is filled to the brim with midway attractions and only a couple of real good rides. Too bad too, cause Celebration City's wooden coaster, Ozark Wildcat, is excellent.
The good thing about SFGA is it appears to have enough coasters (12?) to make up for all the midway attractions I loathe. Even with Flashpass, 12 coasters will take a chunk out of your day. I would love to spend a couple days at SFGA. Maybe when the kids are older/taller....
The good iron ride parks (SFGA, SFMM, Cedar Point, etc), up the coaster count so much that you forget how lame the midway rides are because you are too busy riding coasters! Smart move!
Anyone have some HGH for sale so I can hurry up and grow my kids???!!!
And, as much as I want to enjoy my kids' youth, I am anxious to have at least one 54" child in the family!
Next year...next year....!
P.S. you may not like the park and think it needs closed but most people love it i have went there since i was little and i would cry if it closed
When I went to SFSTL last October, the place was a pit. Frankly, it was the dirtiest park I have ever visited, and I have visited a lot of parks over the course of my 40 years on this planet. Paint was peeling from every building and ride, there were weeds everywhere, and the trash cans were all full to the brim with no employees around to empty them. The restaurants were a horrifying mess, and the bathrooms unusable. The customer service was mediocre at best, the face characters a joke, and the line management non-existent.
I have read a few updates about some painting that is going on at SFSTL as well as some other clean up efforts. However, it will take a concerted effort and long term commitment to improve things... and a new paint job on Mr. Freeze is just not enough. But I hope things do improve. Cleaning up that park is almost a safety issue at this point.
I know the Six Flags Company is slowly improving things at all their parks, and I know the process is arduous and expensive, but significant progress must be made before I will set foot in SFSTL again. Both Worlds of Fun (in KC) and Silver Dollar City (in Branson) are much better options for clean and safe theme park thrills right now.
If you really want the park to stay open and improve, you should make sure that you are communicating with the customer service folks at the park. If you see an issue like I have described in my report, you should let someone know. Things will never improve unless people like you take action.
If you want to save your park, then you are going to have to get involved.
Good luck. Let me know when you think it is safe enough to return without getting a tetanus shot first!
On that last road trip, my daughter and I also stopped at Great America after SFSTL. Like I've always believed, if you love coasters as much as we do, you can overlook the rest of the parks' short comings. Is GA where they have that beautiful double carousel, one on top of the other? It's got to be a one of a kind.
Great Adventure had to be the worst park I've ever been in, but thank goodness, they're turning it around. With all the gangs and trouble that came with the them, more and more people(myself included)stopped going. GA was also the first park I have ever had to go through a metal detector to enter the park. That should tell you something about the patronage. To many times you went to go on a coaster, only to find out it was broken. The place was filthy too. I haven't been back in about 5 years, but things are looking up from what I've read.
James, sad to say, I've never been to your home park WOF. But from the way you talk it up. I'd like to add it to my final trip out west. I've taken my wife out to California to ride coasters, then my daughter on the above said trip. I'd like to plan a final one with my grandson in maybe 4 or 5 years, as long as these old bones of mine don't break on a coaster before then. I looked at the link on TPI for WOF and found out its a great park, don't know how it slipped under the radar on my last trip west and back, all 10,000 miles by car, with just me driving. Again, sorry about that JR thing on the other thread. Just call me Bob :)
Just to be clear, though, my home park, Worlds of Fun, is no hidden gem. It is a decent stop for about four hours (just enough time to ride all the good rides). When I compare it to SFSTL it seems like a much better park than it is, but WOF is still just a standard iron ride park propped up by a few above average coasters. Definitely do not plan a vacation around it! ;)
One thing I will say about WOF - they do a pretty good job of keeping locals happy: the park is clean, it is safe, the service is above average, their Halloween festivities are excellent, and the prices are on par with what you would expect. However, there are far too many standard midway experiences, no theming to speak of, no real good places to eat, and the water park, Oceans of Fun, is a separate admission ticket (unless you have a Cedar Fair Gold or Platinum Pass).
Still, it is not a bad stop on the way to somewhere else, and it is a much better/cleaner park than SFSTL or Adventureland (another iron ride park within three to four hours of KC in Altoona, Iowa). The Mamba is an excellent hyper-coaster (still one of the longest in the nation), the Patriot is a very good inverted B&M, Timber Wolf is a fun, but painful old woodie, Spinning Dragons is a nice family coaster (like Tony Hawk at SFSTL), and The Prowler is going to be another in a long line of GCI masterpieces. So if you like coasters, there are five of them worth your time at WOF.
FWIW, an even better option than WOF is Silver Dollar City, which is about 3 1/2 hours South of KC in Branson. If you have not visited SDC, it is definitely a place worth taking a couple days to enjoy.
That last trip took 36 days, lots of planning, and lots and lots of the green stuff and nearly 6 years to save it all up. And I don't know how much more this old, really old butt of mine can take driving around this beautiful country. I do love to drive, so like Don, the planning stage begins. You'll be a big help when I plan next year's trip, along with the other TPI members. WOF will definitely be on my trip west. Thanks James :)
I have been to SFSTL several times over the years, including the October visit last year that spawned this report. The problem is that other than a few of the coasters (EK, Ninja, Batman, and maybe Mr. Freeze) there is nothing at SFSTL that inspires me to drive the 4 hours to make a visit. It is just not a destination park (like SDC) and offers little to differentiate itself from other run-of-the-mill iron ride parks like nearby Worlds of Fun.
However, I have relatives in O'Fallon who I visit at least once a year (this year we went to the St Louis Zoo, the Arch, and the Cahokia Mounds - all awesome destinations worthy of your time), but next year I will probably return to the park to update my review. While a few things (like the lousy food) will probably not improve, perhaps some of the maintenance/cleanliness issues have been corrected?
Heck, maybe I can combine a visit to SFSTL with a jaunt over to Holiday World to check out their new water coaster next year!
Click on this link for my trip report from last year: Halloween Haunt.
For what its worth. Age is nothing when your meeting friends. I don't have any issue with meeting the people whom I discuss parks with on here.
"As for Xcalibur, if you followed the links I provided and looked at my review, I wrote: "This Bussink Evolution ride is a pretty intense midway experience...Xcalibur is worth a ride, but not if the wait is more than about 10 minutes." If there is little or no wait, then definitely ride it.
As for Superman, once you ride the Tower of Terror, all other drop rides will be blah.
As for the coasters at SFSTL, I rank them in this order:
1) EK (back gets the whip, front gets the view)
2) Ninja (can be bone jarring, so brace yourself, but I like the view from the front)
3) Batman (standard B&M invert - front row is by far the best because of the view)
4) Freeze (the ride is way too short - but I like the front)
5) Tony Hawk (put all the weight on one side to get some spinning action)
6) Boss (painful - sit in the middle to avoid injury)
7) Screamin' Eagle (VERY painful - but fun at night - ride in the middle to avoid paralysis)
8) River King Mine Train (good family fun, ride in front)."
I am just going to go through what he said and give my opinion.
Xcalibur- It is a pretty long cycle, so I would wait more than 10 minutes for the ride after you have hit every coaster. Its not good enough to warrant a trip before hitting each coaster.
Log Flume: Neither is themed, but if the second track is open, I would take a ride. This track ventures further back into the wooded area and comes back for a relatively small finale.
Thunder River Raft Ride: Will get you wet, but nothing special
Superman: TOP - It seems tall for a drop ride, but I guess it could be passed on if you have ridden other drop towers. I have personally never ridden it as whenever I have been there it has been broken down, long waits, or there are coasters I would rather ride.
Coasters (I rank by quality, so I cannot understand how Ninja would be in front of Batman or Mr. Freeze). In terms of uniqueness- then I could see why (but EK is apparently a clone as well), but here are my rankings by quality-
1) EK (back is better, especially on the first drop)
2)Mr. Freeze (I enjoy this ride alot more than James seems to, as the spike is great)
3)Batman: The Ride (fun but short)
4) Boss (intensity in first half of the ride makes up for the unnecessary pain in the second half.) I also have not ridden this since 2008 season.
5)Tony Hawk- (fun little ride, would be great if it was longer)
6) Mine Train (classic, does what its supposed to)
7)Ninja- (Headbanging has gotten less since brakes were added before the corkscrews, still beware of the final helix).
8)Screaming Eagle- (I have not rode this in 2009, and I heard some retracking was done. In 2008 and before, this was as bad as James makes it sound).
Waterpark: The speed slides and tornado slide are both fun. There is no water coaster to warrant a visit if you have time constraints.
James, one last thing I wanted to point out and question. You probably realize this, but the Boss really is not old, as it opened in 2000. It is just rough. Some say this is because of the Gerstlauer trains. Would this really make a difference for the whole ride?
Also, my dad and I will probably drive up to KC for Worlds of Fun before the season ends. Do think it would be reasonable to drive up on a Sunday, hit the park, and make it back by 10:00-11:00? I realize this would be sacrificing a night ride on the Prowler... but it seems my only option for this year. I am really looking forward to World's of Fun for my first ride on a hyper-coaster. Though I have ridden 42 coasters at 13 parks, I have never ridden a hyper. I know you have given advice on World's of Fun in your posts, but what specifically, about Mamba should I know? Which seat is the best to ride? Thanks
Mr. Freeze is simply too short. It is fun while it lasts, but clocking in at about 50 seconds of ride time, it does not justify any wait longer than about 10 - 15 minutes. If it had a few more elements, and a little more length, it would be awesome. Oh, by the way, remember to pull a few weeds while you are waiting in line for Freeze... if you don't no one else will! ;)
You're right about the Boss being relatively new, but SFSTL has not done a very good job of upkeep on any of their rides (except for the recent paint job of Freeze), so the Boss rides and looks older than it should. Whether it has something to do with the trains or not, I do not know. Regardless, once you ride EK a few times, the Boss is even worse.
Screamin' Eagle is old, and when I rode it last year (before the retracking) it was without a doubt the most painful wooden coaster I've ridden. Even worse than Timber Wolf at WoF. But, ride it at night, after the crowds die down, for the best experience. Just brace yourself or suffer the consequences.
Also, I cannot stress enough that as far as flat rides go, Xcalibur is one of the more intense. I like it, I really do. Sadly, it takes FOR-E-VER to load, ride, and unload, which drives me nuts. Most of the problem is due to slow-moving ride operators, but even with a good one, this attraction eats up a lot of touring time. If you get a Flashpass, Eli, ride this one early, before the crowds gather, then go back to your Flashpass rides.
Jake, I can accomplish everything I want to accomplish at Worlds of Fun in less than two hours on an average Sunday morning. Because honestly, other than Mamba, Patriot, and Prowler, everything else is very mediocre and skip-able. However, missing a night ride on Prowler is like eating cake without frosting. Anyway, if you are seriously planning a trip to WoF, let me know and I will give you all the advice you ever wanted! For starters, check out these two links, then let me know what other questions you have:
WoF Main Listing
WoF 2009 Updates.
Anyway, like I said, the flashpass doesn't have very many of the good rides... Like you said, you don't really enjoy Freeze unless it has a short line, right? Well is it flashpass? Or is their site right? It doesn't have american eagle, tony hawk, OR even evel knievel! And no xcrabular or whatever!
EK is not listed as FP, but it has a FP machine, and is usually included, despite the signage. I don't promise that it will work, but it did when I went last year.
If you get the regular FP, it is pretty much the same as waiting in the regular line, you just don't have to stand there. So if the line for Freeze is mismanaged and long (as it usually is), then you will still have a long wait.
I am currently working on my TR for the last 6 visits I took to SFSTL. The weed problem you speak of is no longer a problem at Mr. Freeze. In fact that problem at the queue lines has been taken care of through out the park.
See, if we don't voice our displeasure, nothing will ever change!
Kudos to SFSTL for listening to their customers and doing something about a major issue in the park!
I will hit SFSTL next season and see if it lives up to the hype. Maybe some of Shapiro's mandates are finally making it to the middle of America!
SFSTL is still a sucky park, but at least it will be a clean, sucky park according to these recent reports! ;)
Batman: The Ride
River King Mine Train
However, EK has a FP "box", and when I was there last year, it was in use as well - even though it was not listed anywhere on the web site or inside the park as a FP ride. I'm not saying it will be in use when you are there, but it worked for me.
Ben, any word from the guy who has actually visited this year?
Yes, EK does have the FP box. However, until 2 weeks ago I never experienced more than a ten minute wait. Last time I had like a 20 or 25 minute wait. Not bad all things considered.
Like James said. Once your there and you have hit a few rides you can make the assessment for yourself about whether or not to still purchase.
I have never seen a reason to purchase the pass at SFSTL. SFGrAm, yes. But not SFSTL.
No matter what you decide, I don't want to read a single line in your trip report about how much you like that slop served at Panda Express! Save that kind of commentary for people with no taste buds!! ;)
James, I'll reserve a WHOLE PARAGRAPH for Panda express! ;) Yeah, I know "PE" isn't that great, but it's WAY better at the crap they attempt to make at my school that they call "orange chicken". (I love orange chicken, but only when it's actually good.)
Ok, I'm still not sure about a flash pass, but as you guys say, just see how it is. Still, I would like to bring the cash into the park that day, so I actually have a CHOICE.
I am deleting my WoF Touring Plan immediately!
I decided that I am just going to do a park report and incorporate my experiences in it.
BTW, Eli, I saw your note in the Park Reviews for SFSTL that Tony Hawk no longer has the on-ride video option. Interesting. Ben, have you heard why they got rid of it? I presume it was because no one was buying?
Also, Eli, from your reviews I think we are pretty much in agreement about most of the coasters, though you were a little more enamored with Freeze and Boss than I was, and you liked Ninja less than me.
Question: did you end up getting Flashpass, or was the park not crowded? Also, what was your overall assessment of the park compared to Dorney, or Busch, or Kings Dominion, or Hershey? How does it rate comparatively in your opinion?
Yeah, I guess the boss retracking really payed off! But about mr. freeze, do you agree on the launch? That it's fast, but not much of an initial start? And I usually don't like Arrow coasters too much, so that might have given me a bad view. Well, it's half arrow half vekoma... and I think early vekoma sucked, too. Their flying dutchmen coasters were some of their only good coasters before the went bankrupt.
The park was a lot less crowded than expected, so I didn't need a flashpass. The only thing I had to do was know where the crowd goes. Here's my theory: As people start entering the park, from about 10:30-2:00, the close attractions to the entrance start to get crowded. As the day goes on, like maybe 1:00-5:00, everyone is pushed to the back of the park, so attractions like EK and Batman have a super small crowd (which is how I got 13 rides on batman in a row ;)...) As the day closes out, people start coming back towards the front. I noticed as I was leaving around 5:30, EK had a 45 minute wait! wow... Anyway, my longest waits were 35 minutes for my second ride on THBS, and 45 minutes for my second time on the Boss (my front ride, which was totally worth it) because they were bringing on the third train to the track, and 45 minutes for my first on Batman.
I'd say this was about as good as dorney (especially crowd wise), no where close to BGE ;), close to KD, and a little far from hershey. EK just couldn't match Lightning racer :D
Hope you see some part of how my trip went
Close to KD and on par with Dorney- I feel proud someone would say that about SFSTL.
Did you check out Hurricane Harbor?
I have never been to Dorney, but since it looks a lot like Worlds of Fun, I would tend to agree that is is probably on the same level as SFSTL. I have been to Kings Dominion, and I think it is quite a bit better than SFSTL, but mainly because it has more (and better) coasters. Busch Gardens is in a league with Disney and Universal, so no Six Flags park even comes close. And the last time I went to Hersheypark I was about 8 years old (30+ years ago), so I have no real memory of the event. Although, I view Hersheypark as a destination, and SFSTL as a stop on the way to a destination.
Eli, was the park fairly clean? And where did you end up eating?
And, Jake, SFSTL has a parade? ;)
And my dad said he was not feeling to well right now... it could jeopardize the WOF trip tomorrow. I hope not though.
Jake, no problem. It actually wasn't a bad park at all. And decently sized. not very small, but not too big to ruin the day, or whatever. Like SFOG is huge, but SFGAdv, SFGAm, and SFMM are all the biggest SF parks, and I think SFOG or Fiesta texas or something is number 4. No, I didn't check out Hurricane harbor. I don't know if you've seen in other threads, but I only check out waterparks when I have an extra day or something, when that water park is with an amusement park. Don't get me wrong, I love waterparks, but theme parks are just much more important to me. Like when I went to Williamsburg in '07, I wanted to go to Watercountry USA, but I wouldn't sacrafise ANY of my day from BGE to go over there.
James, I see why you don't like Mr. Freeze too much. I understand that. I put it as 8/10, when you probably did 5 or 6/10, correct? And I'd say that it's launch is BARELY more thrilling than BSC's (backlot stunt coaster) launch. Joker's jinx's (poltergeist) launch is more than 10 mph slower, but its launch is much more thrilling (still, not that great), and a lot louder. If you can ever take a trip to philley or wherever, go to Hershey! Try it! You'll like stormrunner alot more than mr. freeze, but it's only 34 seconds long. I timed it ;) Yeah, it was pretty clean. I saw some little plants sticking barely out into the que on mr. freeze, but no "weeds". Yes, I ate at panda express. :D yeah, i know, not the best food.
Jake, yeah, it's my home park. Just like with you guys, you always think lesser of your home park. Like superman RoS is an amazing ride there, but I feel like it's not that great because I've ridden it over 100 times, actually maybe way over. It feels more fun when I'm riding it with a friend that's never ridden it. Same with batwing. But besides that, my park sucks, especially because SFA wanted to save money when they bought roar, so they bought PTC trains, not GCI's, so now it's amazingly rough. I could definately tell the difference of roughness between the 3 years I've gone. With Wild one, it's weird, because in '07, it was cool, but rough. Last year, it was really fun. Now, it's not as rough as '07, but rougher than last year. Still enjoyable, but still not the best ride. I don't even ride Mind Eraser any more. I stopped last year. :P
Hope this helps, guys. I might shorten my trip report I'm writing! :D (I haven't started up yet)
Steve, looking forward to your report... the only parade I ever saw at SFSTL was a Halloween parade and it was Gawd-awful.
Honestly, Eli, the Tower of Terror rendered all other "elevators rides" obsolete.
And Eli, consider this the 16th time: DHS' Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the greatest "drop/launch" space shot ride in the world. XOXOXOX!
(but yeah, you totally should)
1) I always considered the Ninja to have three loops (standard, corkscrew, and sidewinder), however, the corkscrew actually is a double corkscrew, so the Ninja has four, not three, "loops." My review should read as follows: The Ninja...I love inversions, and the Ninja sports four of them.
2) Technically the "top hat" element on Mr. Freeze is an "inversion", but not a "loop". In my report I called it a loop. My bad.
Anyway, it is my belief that it is always better to be right than it is to be correct, but now I am both! ;)
Now, we can OFFICIALLY retire this TIRED, OLD THREAD!
BTW- Eli I am expecting a full SFGADV trip report by the time I go on Oct 16. jk (:
And yes, I'll have one! And you're going on a friday? Is it open fridays?
The reason I posted the WOF TR in peices was because I knew if I wrote it all at once, I would lose focus and by the end my park overview would have been complete crap. Plus, it was easy, spend 20 min per day writing instead of 2 hours writing on a single day. I understand though.
...18 more posts until this thread is finally retired...
...it has been fun, but I am tired of having to defend a 12 month old trip report, especially when I have just finally begun to come to terms on how bad that trip actually was!
James, since you post alot, you could give an empty threat that if anyone posted again, they would be kicked out of TPI.
Or we could get a real threat from Mr. Niles (:
Even easier, you could "lock" the thread, if that has ever happened, as I know it does on other sites.
On an unrelated note... the rides from the now closed Celebration City (in Branson) are being moved to the various Herschend parks across the nation. So far it has been confirmed that Wild Adventures (WA) is getting Jack Rabbit and some flats. Additionally, rumors abound that while the trains for the Ozark Wildcat were moved to WA, the coaster itself is headed to SDC (it must be a real pain in the a$$ to move a wooden coaster). We'll have to wait and see what else happens, but at least Herschend is not going to just let all those paid-for midway rides go to waste...
Honestly, though, I would drive four hours and stay the night just to visit the Saint Louis Zoo. That place is awesome. Too bad they won't build an Expedition Everest-like coaster and a Kilimanjaro Safari-type attraction at the zoo, then it would be PERFECT! ;)
Plus the kiddie rides and Tony Hawk coaster should all be indoors to minimize the noise for the animals. As long as the GCI woodie does most of its work in the woods, away from the animals, it could benefit from the natural surroundings.
And a white water raft ride wouldn't hurt. $5 mil?
And some sort of omnimover ride with animal animatronics would be huge. Not sure at all on the cost.
Maybe about $40 - $50 mil, and the STL Zoo becomes a zoo destination second only to Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Its amazing that with this provision the Zoo isi as good as it is. Additionally, The forest next to and surrounding the western part of the zoo is a protected national forest within the confines of Forest Park. Its' Kennedy National Forest.
In the Midwest, the STL Zoo is tremendous, and the KC Zoo is on the rise. I would actually rate the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska a little higher than STL, but when they are that good, it is really just splitting hairs.
One thing that does kind of irk me is the notion that the STL Zoo is free. Ben was right when he wrote that "admission is free", but pretty much everything else costs money. If you choose to park in one of the provided parking lots you get dinged for $11 bucks. If you want to visit the kid's section of the zoo (after the first hour that the park is open) it costs. The rides cost, of course, and both the Sea Lion show (which is top notch) and the 3D movie cost as well. Don't get me wrong, the STL Zoo is very reasonably priced (the Safari Pass is a really good deal, especially if your local zoo participates in a reciprocal program and you are a season pass holder), and there are ways to experience most of the zoo completely free, but it is definitely not free if you want to experience everything it has to offer during a day long excursion.
So yes, at the Zoo you pay for extras, the sea lion show, train ride, 3-D movie, Childrens' Zoo, and the Sting Ray exhibit. Not to mention the Concessions and souvenirs; which are not a necessity of a visit. And of course parking (you could park in the zoo lot(s) or better yet take the bus from the metro-link line). However, there are over 400 species of animals that are on display for free and the free areas could take you over 3 hours to visit.
At the science center you do have to pay for the Omnimax Movie Theatre, Planetarium Space Show, Discovery Room (specialized Toddler area), or a special exhibition. The gift shops, parking, or concessions. Or you could just visit the over 750 FREE exhibits which could take you up to 5 hours.
At the History Museum or the Art Museum you only pay extra for the special exhibitions. But the galleries which each respectively have over 1000 items on display are FREE and could take you 4-6 hours each.
I challenge you James or any other person who visits this site to find a museum or zoo that offers free admission and doesn't provide extras at an additional cost(s) to cover their operating costs.
Thank you all for playing. =)
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort