It does seem like Six Flags likes to retheme rough coasters when they get new trains. Look at what they did with Blue Hawk. It’s probably so people know it’s better than it was and hopefully will get more riders.
SFNE's first holiday in the park was pretty cool. Even though not the whole park is open I recommend it. I really liked how each section had a different scent to it. I was happy they opened after thanksgiving so I could ride some rollercoasters before heading back to school and dealing with finals. The crowds weren't bad at first with everything being a walk on, as the night went on the crowds got worse but most rides did not have more than a 20 minute wait as people were spending most of the time on the midway so its kinda hard to navigate around the park. Longest line I saw was thunderbolt at one point for 45 minutes. Restaurants and shows also had a very long line. All coasters unfortunately only had 1 train running (besides joker) and I believe they will stay like that for the rest of HITP. That being said I think the new loading techniques have made a huge difference with trains being dispatched asap. Hopefully it gets passed through out the chain and stays like that. And my theory for mind eraser after it gets re-themed is that they will change the south end of the park into Gotham city. The park also made minor updates to trains through out the park with some new handles and foam and some new foam on OTSR.
In the mind eraser station they got new light fixtures and fans. As well as heat lamps in the station to stay warm. If you look on the grass theres pieces of metal that looks like it could be RMC track or joker track. Anyone have any idea of what it is?
On the kids safari they put out the penguins from blizzard river. Also got my last rides in on buzzsaw, definitely going to miss this ride.
All rides except Goliath are open in the jingle bell junction
Flashback was open which wasn't supposed too that was a nice surprise. Although rough wasn't too much head banging
Around now crowds started to pick up
Heres the midway with the most lights... and most of the crowd
Rockville decked out, I recommend going to the shows early as the line for it went all the way to scream and security had to cut off the line since they were at capacity, can definitely see the park adding a bigger theater or arena in the future.
looking at the south end
polar playland had some nice lights
such as this, the car ride here had a lot of themeing I suggest you ride it even if you're not a kid
a look at the Harley Quinn site with riddler errrrr Mind Eraser in the background. And btw I find Mind Eraser actually enjoyable now.
Scream in hibernation
At least they found a use for the old sky ride supports
the kids whip has been removed and looks like something is going on there
Also a nice walkthrough area in bugs bunny area
There were fire pits through out the park to keep you warm. you can also buy s'mores to make for only... $8
While waiting for thunderbolt the ride op accidentally hit the e-stop so we had to wait for maintenance to come and reset it... However when that happened the last trim was turned off and we got some good air time on the last 2 hills. Also anyone know if the second train is a train repainted from the cyclone?
heat lamps keeping the floor mechanisms warm
Thats it for holiday in the park at SFNE. can't wait for the actual season so I can ride superman and Wicked Cyclone.
Six Flags New England may have received a new coaster in 2017 (and a good one too), but I was most looking forward to Holiday in the Park. If New Jersey was any indication, I knew the lights would be spectacular, but that wasn’t the primary source of my excitement. Rather it was the fact that there would now be bonafide thrill rides open in New England in the cold December months.
New Englanders know cold like Floridians know heat. If activities are open, we will show up even in cold weather. Yes there are the crazed Patriots fans bare-chested even in sub-zero temps, but a majority of us are reasonable. We’ll dress like we’re going skiing with hand-warmers in one hand and a warm Dunkin beverage in the other.
Until Six Flags announced Holiday in the Park, the season for thrill seekers in New England ended at Halloween. In the past I’ve been so coaster deprived that I’ve visited Fun World (think Jeepers with better arcade games) and Santa’s Village leading up to Christmas. Admittedly the latter is a very fun theme park, but the biggest adrenalin rush there is trying to beat the Elfabet before park closing.
It was a bummer seeing Superman and Wicked Cyclone down for the season. There’s no sugar coating that. But the fact that I had 6 (or 7 if you count Fireball) other coasters available in late November-December more than makes up for this fact. At this time last year, none of those coasters were operating. If the event is successful, I’m hopeful the park can add one or two of their big kahunas in future years.
No Superman until 2018.
But at least the park has their best coaster operating.
Back to the event, I was at the park opening to close yesterday. The temperature hovered just above 40 degrees when I arrived at 2. The lot wasn’t nearly as crowded as a summer day, but the park was far from empty. Every ride was a walk-on, but the lines for food stands and shows reminded me that the event was reasonably well attended.
Walking down Main Street, it was apparent the park spared no expense on holiday decorations. Buddy the Elf would have been filling the park with snow if you catch my drift. I couldn’t wait for sundown, so the park would be illuminated with the technicolor glow of their proclaimed millions of lights.
Since all of the coaster were running one train outside of the Joker, I decided to start with the four good operational coasters. I had no intentions of riding the kiddie coaster again. And then Flashback was surprisingly open even though it wasn’t listed on the park’s website. However, it was closed for the evening by the time I reached it.
I started with Thunderbolt and I believe I was on the second train of the day. I could tell it was running a bit sluggish in the colder temperatures, but I figured it would warm up as the day progressed. It still had one or two tiny pops of air and is pretty smooth despite being almost 80 years old.
I then made my way over to Mind Eraser. Until this year, a ride on Mind Eraser should have been reserved as punishment for all the naughty boys and girls in lieu of coal. Coal is bad for the environment; Mind Eraser was just bad for your skull. But with the new trains, Mind Eraser is actually enjoyable. It doesn’t track the best, but the lack of headbanging allowed me to enjoy the chaotic, fast-paced layout.
The old trains made the SLC like a fruitcake, a gift that just kept on delivering one blow to the head after another. With the new trains, it's actually a fun ride.
Batman is probably one of the weaker B&M floorless coasters out there due to its length, but I always make sure to ride it since it rarely has a wait exceeding 15 minutes. In the summer, the coaster has assigned seating. I’m not sure if it was due to low crowds or not having the staff available for a grouper (could have been both), but there was choice seating. Because of this, I took every opportunity to grab the front. I’ve been on this coaster dozens of times, but I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve ridden in the front.
The front is definitely the best seat on this coaster. The added rush of the crisp wind certainly helped, but the floorless effect is lost on every row outside of the front. The ride is relentlessly paced and is really the floorless analogous to Batman the Ride. The final corkscrews are a bit of a headbanger if you aren’t prepared, but the rest of the ride is perfectly smooth.
I swear the midways got busier as the day went on...
A B&M in late November/December, sign me up!
Batman's zero-G roll is still one of the best out there.
Who would have thought a B&M could be more of a headbanger than a SLC? With Mind Eraser's new trains, that's the case. And Batman isn't even that bad.
The highlight of the event for me was the Joker. I’m actually a really big fan of these free fly coasters. They are often overshadowed by 2-3 other coasters in their respective parks, but on this day it was the park’s best operating attraction. I racked up 15 rides, mostly in a marathon at the end of the night.
During these rides, I tried every possible seat. It has been known that the green side gives a wilder ride and my rides further affirmed this. But one thing I realized is that it’s possible to influence flips and induce a wilder ride. If you ride in a relaxed state, you’ll probably get 1-2 flips on purple and 3-4 on green. But then I found there’s some technique to this ride.
After a few rides, I tried throwing myself into the flips and I was able to get 7-8 flips on a few rides. I found it easiest to force the flips riding backwards on the green side. The key is to really lunge into the backflip on the second hump. If you can complete that flip, the ride kept flipping until the second level. On my failed attempts, the car stalled upside down for a few seconds which was a thrill in its own right.
If you throw your weight into the flips, you can get some insanely wild rides on Joker.
Enough of the coasters we’re all familiar with. I want to highlight some of the changes for Holiday in the Park. After the lights, I think the most noteworthy addition is a Circ du Soleil style show called Frost. I wasn’t a big fan of the music selection (there were some weird dubstep Christmas songs and some songs with no affiliation whatsoever to holidays), but the acrobatic feats were spectacular.
There was pole dancing (the acrobatic kind, not the type you’d find in Springfield), balancing, dancing, and trampolines. My personal favorite was the finale which consisted of a series of trampoline flips adjacent to a wall. The show was definitely a cut above what I’d expect from Six Flags and it seemed very well received. I attended the early show and it was probably 90% full. The latter shows had considerably longer lines as people probably wanted to escape good ole Jack Frost.
Artsy pole dancing as opposed to what you'll find in downtown Springfield.
Don't try this at home. Unless you want to break every bone in your body. In that case, do try this at home and be sure to record it.
The lights were a highlight as well. The park’s “main” tree looks spectacular. It’s tall for sure. The only odd thing is that the park retrofitted one of the old Skyway towers into a tree that dwarfs their main one. Then there are countless other trees spread throughout the park. I don’t think the park left a single tree undecorated, which is impressive considering it’s their first year hosting the event.
Main Street had a light show every 15 minutes synchronized to music that was very well executed. I couldn’t help but think of that old Bud Light commercial to the Tran Siberian Orchestra music. It was definitely a spectacle to see and it appeared to be pretty popular as people would park themselves on the midway Snapchatting the whole thing.
The "big" tree.
Though it's dwarfed by this one less than 200 feet away.
The old Sky Ride station was turned into Santa's House.
The North End was a bit of a Ghost Town, but it did look nice.
Goliath does make for a nice lawn ornament.
So many lights.
If I were more photo inclined I would have made a gif. Looks like you'll just have to visit yourself to see the show.
Is it just me or does Gingy look pretty terrifying? That smile is straight from the Joker.
Operations were surprisingly fast. Part of that could be attributed to less than full trains, but I didn’t really notice the attendants standing around socializing too much, which is something that’s all too familiar at Six Flags.
I did notice many of the operators were freezing though. I was stunned when one said that Six Flags only provided a windbreaker (the same one they wear in the summer) and a sweater. If they wanted a hat or winter coat, they had to pay extra. That’s pretty crummy for the operators since the temperature is only going to drop as we progress into December.
I also noticed some new food items specific for Holiday in the Event. The wings place in Rockville was converted to a soup restaurant that was pretty popular. Outside of any of the hot chocolate stands, the soup place had the longest wait. It probably also helped that the stand was pumping artificial snow onto the midway every few minutes.
Winter is coming.
The park certainly wasted no time clearing the plot for Harley Quinn’s Spinsanity. There was no trace of the Tea Cups or the Slingshot. The South End is going to look a lot different in 2018.
Or should I say Gotham City? It has long been a rumor that the South End would be rethemed to the famous dwelling place of the Batman. With Harley Quinn being added, the only non-Batman themed ride on the South End will be Mind Eraser. This sign on Main Street and the park map suggests Mind Eraser could be rethemed to the Riddler, making it the chain’s best coaster called Riddler’s Revenge.
They wasted no time clearing space for Harley Quinn. My money is on it still not opening until Memorial Day though.
Hmmm what could be coming on 2018's opening day?
Well the park map pretty much confirms Mind Eraser is getting a Riddler theme.
The Tea Cups will be returning in 2018 and the likely location is Buzzsaw’s pad. The Zierer flying carpet is a surprisingly forceful ride, but it’s at the end of its lifespan. I made sure to get my final rides on the attraction. I will miss it, but I can’t complain about getting one of those amazing giant frisbees instead.
It will look weird seeing the Tea Cups here.
The only downside to my visit was that I injured my ankle on my last Thunderbolt ride. The coaster had heated up and I was in the third row. The coaster was giving some pretty good pops of air, so I was eager to see what the money hill (the second to last bunny hill) would dish out. Well it delivered alright. It gave a really violent and strong pop of air. Only problem was that my foot had slipped below the seat in front of me and it delivered a stinger to my ankle.
Full disclaimer, my right ankle has been injured since May. I originally injured it playing ultimate frisbee and every few weeks I re-aggravate it driving, walking down the stairs, or even watching TV. So it was a complete fluke that it just happened to occur on Thunderbolt. But as a precaution I made my way over to First Aid. After icing my ankle (though the weather could have done it for me) for 10-15 minutes, I was good as new.
Still my favorite lights in the park. There's just something about the classic sign.
Of course the First Aid building is on a hill.
By the last hour, the midways were completely dead. The employee to guest ratio was probably 5 to 1, if not higher. I think the cold defeated most guests. The one thing that did shock me was just how quick the park was to shut all the food stands and shops at closing. Usually these stay open past closing for anyone who wants to make a last second purchase. Not today.
Would I return to Holiday in the Park? Absolutely. It’s slim pickings in New England from a coaster perspective in New England and I’ll take any opportunity that I’m given. I would have shown up had the park only had 1-2 major coasters open, but they had 4-5 major coasters open. Then when you add in the music, lights, and shows, Six Flags New England has a cool winner on its hands.
Great reports guys! We're heading to the event next weekend for the first time and we can't wait!
Canobie Coaster wrote:By the last hour, the midways were completely dead. The employee to guest ratio was probably 5 to 1, if not higher. I think the cold defeated most guests
This seems to be a Sunday phenomenon. The same thing happens at Great Adventure during Holiday in the Park. I think it's a combination of the cold and the fact that it's a school night. Every park clears out a little as it approaches closing time, but the ridiculous mass exodus that occurs on Sundays is insane.
^ That's true. The park clears out any Sunday night, but it's especially noticeable when rides are a walk-on to begin with.
I'd keep an eye on the weather next weekend. The first forecasts for next weekend had a chance of snow, which is why I pushed my visit up to yesterday. Granted any forecast that far out is like an enthusiast picking Cedar Point's next coaster. Though as I look at it now, it looks like the temperature has gone up and the precipitation moved to Friday.
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