Visited the park today (Sunday the 15th), came away believing that this is the worst park in the chain right now in terms of operations, which is a real shame because up until now, I've never really bad a bad experience here ever, and I actually really love this park. The only exception was Superman, which was the only place where there seemed to be any sense of urgency or employee training.
Superman was definitely running well, the third and fourth hills were giving great airtime even in the back. Also the first time I've felt meaningful airtime in the helix transitions since probably before the trains were changed.
Wicked Cyclone was running sluggish in the orange train in the morning, but I got some pretty great rides later in the day, especially in the blue train. This is definitely one of the better steel RMCs in my opinion. The Sunday evening crew, however, should all be either terminated or re-trained. They were more focused on going up to the operator's booth and standing around to have personal conversations than with getting the trains dispatched. Restraint checkers on the left side of the platform were unnecessarily crossing over the train to go joke around with the employees on the other side, including the booth operator. At one point, someone who was either just friends with some of them or was an off-duty employee out of uniform went through the exit, crossed the train, and was chatting with them all in the operator's booth.
Same with Batman. The train would be in the brake run for so long that you'd think they went down for maintenance. I walked from the teacups/in front of Joker to the entrance without seeing a train go, made it all the way behind the coaster before they finally dispatched. Again, same thing. Personal conversations/general joking around happening between the staff and not much working going on. One of the girls who was a restraint checker was also literally jumping off her feet and putting her full body weight against every restraint she checked, which every guest was complaining hurt.
Eventually I'll do a trip report from my visit. I hope the park can fix these problems, because this is an outstanding park and having these things affect guest experience and set them back shouldn't be happening.
^ I agree Superman's ops have been fantastic this year. It's usually the park's strongest crew in my opinion. As for Batman, I've noticed that ride having a longer posted queue than Superman on most days which is something I've never seen before. I'm guessing the ops you mentioned could be the reason.
Wicked Cyclone is one of the rare coasters that runs its best in cooler temperatures. I thought it was just SFNE messing with the wheels during its first year, but it has consistently run a bit slower in the summer now year after year.
Damn. I was hoping to head up there with the family yesterday, but got sidelined by an unexpected stomach illness. From the sounds of the operations, it may have been for the best. Hopefully I'll be able to try again some upcoming weekend.
Now, keep in mind I haven't been there for a couple years now, since before Six Flags started this whole tiered membership charade... do they still do the staggered early entry for season passholders and members? IE, let everyone "into" the park early but rope off Rockville / Thunderbolt & DC / Crackaxle, then let passholders in 10-15 minutes before the actual start? Or has that gone the way of the dodo now?
Also, does anyone have any thoughts on the waterpark portion of the park? Does it usually get super crowded and mindnumbing? Any can't-miss slides?
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Twisted Timbers. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Kiddo's faves: Storm Runner. Banshee. Top Thrill Dragster. Valravn. Superman: Ultimate Flight.
^ I haven't gotten there for opening yet this year so I can't speak to the entry process, but I can speak on the water park.
Their most unique slide is Typhoon, their water coaster. On most days, it'll have a queue to the bottom of the tower (1 hour). It has some tall drops, but I don't remember any air and the uphill portions are a conveyor belt as opposed to the water jets or LIMs on most.
As for the other slides, Swiss Family Toboggan is one of those family raft slides, but it swings pretty high up the trough. Tornado is good albeit no different than other funnels. Bonzai Pipeline is visually stunning, but it's quite rough on your back.
I usually don't go to the water park since it adds the hassle of bringing a bag and dealing with the crowds, but it is pretty big and has a lot of slides.
^^Typhoon didn't operate yesterday, at least not when we were in the water park and I never saw it going when walking past a few times. One thing I forgot to mention...the water in the wave pool (the one with the large jets all around) was really murky and gross-looking. We also went into Hurricane Bay, the half lazy river/half pool thing, and the water there, while clearer than in the wave pool, was also cloudy.
Jason Maier wrote:Quick questions regarding Goliath:
1. Has it operated at all this year?
2. Have there been any rumblings about it being removed?
1) Yes it opened mid-June. No guarantee it'll be open on any given day, but it definitely won't open if it rains.
2) I had one employee say that he wishes an RMC Raptor went in its place, but that just seemed like wishful thinking. I know it's a maintenance headache, but people are willing to wait a long time to ride it and it admittedly looks super intimidating on the midway.
Before today it had been about 15 months since I've ridden Superman or Wicked Cyclone. Last time I rode either one was last April during April vacation week when there was still snow on the ground and it was 35 degrees (and Blizzard River was still running and people were riding it...) so I figured I was long overdue. I've been to the park twice since then, once last July for Food and Brew (only rode Harley Quinn that day) and once during HITP. Last time I rode WC, it was still the only RMC I had ridden. Since then, I've been to Cedar Point twice, Hershey, Knoebels, BGW, KD, GADV, and Dollywood so I almost forgot they existed. Had the day off and with temps in the upper 90s and everyone flocking to the waterpark, figured it'd be a great time to stop by the Thrill Capital of New England / Ride Operations Capital of the World. #stackemup
On the ride down the Mass Pike to the park I passed by about 7 coach busses in a row that said "Leprechaun". Normally I get nervous that they're all going to the same place I am, but they were from New York so I figured no problem, they're just going home from Boston or something. Arrived at 11:30 to maybe 8 rows of the lot full, not bad at all. Could see Cyclone running trains with 6 people in them on the way in. Hopped onto a waiting one-car tram and was off to the M&M steps. As we pulled up, I see 7 Leprechaun busses unloading in the drop off area. Woohoo.
After entering the park through the Member "Express" Lanes that had a longer line than the regular lines, I figured I'd take advantage of an empty Cyclone as everyone else took a right to go the waterpark. On the way over, I saw the Giant Green POS Lawn Ornament testing (and could literally see the cars jackhammering their way through...eff that). Also saw Flashback running with a full train and a small line, but sure enough up came Cyclone with 8 people on the train. Enjoy your boomerang ride folks.
Walked into the station and onto a waiting train in row 5-2. Sure enough, it was what I expected after riding a lot of other things in the past year. It felt and looked COMICALLY slow. The barrel rolls literally left you hanging as it meandered through. The last outward banked turn felt like riding over a speedbump on a bicycle. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and the airtime spots were still producing, but wow, after riding Steel Vengeance and even Twisted Timbers it is a like a kiddie coaster in comparison. Rerode in the back seat next (it took 19 years, but THANK YOU Six Flags for finally allowing rerides). I didn't end up riding in the blue train, but to be honest it didn't LOOK any faster. Would've stayed and rerode for hours, but that ol' red Intamin that I hadn't ridden in a while was beckoning.
Made my way past a closed Skyscreamer back to the North End. Checked the Pandemonium line but at 96 degrees out I didn't even want to wait 5 minutes for it. Saw the Giant Green POS Lawn Ornament running with people. It's been probably 5 years since I've ridden it, and it was tempting to see if it was as bad as I remember, but I knew better and kept walking. Made my way past a closed Thunderbolt (the Ride Operations Capital of the World is having it's usual standup day of having everything open for...noon) and into an empty DC Plaza.
Surprisingly Superman had a line slightly out of the station as a large group of Leprechauns had just entered the line. But 10 minutes later I was in the back seat and off we went. I was pumped as I'd heard how great it was running this year. Sure enough, it was running terrific like its old self. Yet, after 13 years of no one being able to beat the Big 3 Intamins from 2000, I've ridden the new coasters from the last 4 years that finally have beaten it. SV, Skyrush, Intimidator, Lightning Rod, etc almost make it feel like a B&M in comparison. With all the 85-90 degree drops out there now, suddenly that 72 degree drop isn't what it once was. The rest of the ride feels like the least intense hyper ever now. Yet, the ejector airtime is still there and still amazing. I was 8 when it opened and I graduated from college still believing it was the greatest coaster ever built, so it feels weird now that SV quite frankly blows it away (as do some others). That said, it is still a masterpiece of a roller coaster and the new wheels have it absolutely flying (and squeaking a lot).
Walked around and now the line was totally empty and the station had maybe 20 people in it, so got right back on in the back. Once again, could've kept going for a while but I didn't prepare myself to be out in the heat like I normally do so started making my way to the front. Did peek at the Cyborg line as I wanted to check it out but it was infiltrated by Leprechauns and the line is out in the sun. Walked by Scream which had 3 people in line so decided to get combo'd on the way out. Of course this turned into a 15 minute ordeal as the Ride Operations Capital of the World managed to create 7 minute loading cycles but always a fun ride. By now it was 99 degrees and the humidity was kicking my ass so I headed home. I'll be riding everything else plenty when it's 30 degrees out, but felt great to get back to the other stuff for the first time in a while.
BTW, shout out to both the Superman and Wicked Cyclone crews who were moving trains better than I've ever seen, especially when it's hot as hell out there.
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