Welcome to yet another update! This one took me quite a bit of time to actually get out to the park with a camera, but I finally did! This is a real long one, so get a snack, some drinks, and without further adieu, let us begin!
“Excuse me sir…why are all of the rides closed?”
I think we can all pretty much agree on, that when you call yourself the “Xtreme Park”, people are most likely going to your park to ride the rides. That’s why it is rather interesting that I am frequently and more frequently finding guests who are disturbed and angered by the number of rides that do not open with the park, or simply, not at all!
These 3 signs were all in adjacent booths. SFMM should really standardize them…they’re all different! Not only were the signs missing some closed rides, but Superman and Log Jammer weren’t even closed! C’mon SFMM…give yourself a break!
But honestly, the number of rides SFMM has down right now is ridiculous!
“I’m sorry, but Revolution’s ate spinach yesterday and isn’t feeling well today!”
When I came into the park at opening, Orient Express, Revolution, X, Dejavu, Ninja, Spinout, The Riddler’s Revenge, Freefall, and all of Gotham City were closed. That’s the majority of rides on that half of the park! From the guest perspective, I’d be pretty freakin pissed by 11:00am that I didn’t go to Disney….even if Disney costs $63 now.
…late block check.
As far as X is concerned…
As most of you know X has now been down for about 4 weeks due to a busted up lift. I don’t know any true details, but something blew out at the bottom of the lift, and the ride has been down ever since. Why hasn’t it been fixed? Well, my guess is that once it was established that it couldn’t be fixed before Labor Day weekend, they dropped the budget for it. Think about it…X has
to staff a crew of about 15-20 workers. That’s 15 workers that they can now divert to other rides, at a time when SFMM is suffering from major staffing issues! The breakdown has essentially been an excuse to save a quick buck. Well, now I hear that the ride has finally been put back on the budget. I tried to check out for any progress on a butt-rapingly painful ride on Viper. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good shots, but I was able to see that they have in fact removed a chunk of stairs from the lower lift, exposing the motor housing.
Sorry. My only excuse is…I was on Viper.
As far as staffing is concerned, SFMM has been painfully
understaffed lately. So bad in fact, that they have had to lower
their already laughable standards, simply to scrape up more workers! This is all at a time when Mark Shapiro is preaching to get rid of the international-work-programs and hire more college-students. Check out this screen from some job postings, on the SFMM website…
Sorry, I accidentally resized it incorrectly!
Firstly, it has been known for a few months now that SFMM was hiring 15 year-olds
to work in the foods department, but recently it would appear that they have also lowered the standard in merchandise as well! Secondly, under the “skills required” for the foods and merchandise positions, I found it a little funny that they say, “Ability to handle multiple tasks at one time ideal
.” Funny that they chose “ideal” instead of “required”. It sounds like they’re saying “We would like you to be able to handle more than one task at a time…but if you cant, you will still do!” Perhaps I’m over-analyzing SFMM! Lastly, security used to be a strictly “18 and over” department, and now they have created a position titled “Metal Detector Officer”, which one can be 16 and older to be.
Don’t you just trust some 16-year-old to stop a gang banger from brining in a knife?
But enough about poor operations and staffing. Lets see if there’s any progress
going on, shall we?
“Progress is people getting relief from drudgery—like not having to walk up that ******* hill!”
Well, as of today I have seen enough proof to say that both the Orient Express and Freefall are currently operational—simply not yet open. Lets start with everyone’s favorite, the Orient Express.
The construction wall has been pushed back a few, revealing the warning and entrance sign.
You know you like it.
They have reinstalled the electric hot-rails, which run along side of the tracks to provide electricity to the onboard lights and audio.
This makes me wonder if the onboard audio will be different.
I believe the previous ones were green. Now they are orange. Yup.
A new retaining wall has been built too…wait a second! Is that what I think it is?!
WTF?! They’re using ex-Psyclone track/rails to construct a retaining wall. I don’t know if that’s a cool case of recycling or flat-out tacky!
….yea, its tacky.
This is the vehicle that someone wrote “Dirty little train” on. In my last update, it was at the bottom of the hill. In this update, its at the top. So there’s proof that the darn thing is operational again!
I have no clue when it will officially reopen though.
….Anyway….onwards to Freefall and Circus Wheel!...
What’s this?! No more lone-car stuck at the top?!
That’s right folks, they finally reinstalled the “catch-car”, and now Freefall is technically operational!
…ask Joey for the official terms.
Anyway, I still only see 2 vehicles on-site, which means it could still be a good-while before this thing is officially open. *sigh* Does anyone remember how many cars it typically would run, by the time it closed?
So beautiful for something so deadly!
Circus Wheel has now been barricaded off, and actually has parts out in front of it!
Close up. ….what?! Can YOU think of a better caption?!
So that’s the actual mechanical progress going on around the park. Just a small bit, but its nice to see after a few weeks of nothing. Onwards…
Fly!...At the Speed of 7-minute Dispatches!
So how many spit-marks did you count?
Do you remember Tatsu? More interestingly, do you remember Team Tatsu
? Team Tatsu was the opening-crew for Tatsu. The best of the best. The proven employees. The pride and joy of the park.
…Team Tatsu is no more. To be quite honest, there has been no Team Tatsu since, well…June! Between the several who have been fired, the even more who have quit, and the few who actually got promoted onwards, Team Tatsu had fallen apart in a matter of weeks. Tatsu eats up and spits out so many ride ops, that it really does not have a stable crew anymore! It is simply a wild assortment of whichever certified/attendicized ride ops they can scrape up to get the job done!
Yup…it’s already down to 1-station-operation. And with two trains, they were pulling 5-7 minute dispatches.
What has resulted from this, is that the crew isn’t a crew. It isn’t a team. It’s a series of individuals. They don’t know how to work together. They know how to get their own
job done, but not how to work as a team. This is stressing them out, burning them out, and they're simply not performing at an even mediocre level. Their pace and effort is flat out ridiculous. They just don’t have the morale that the “Team Tatsu”, who got special T-shirts and frequent candy/soda-runs, had.
These railings are only 4 months old and already entirely ****ed up! Some sections just don’t have paint!
…and that’s only the crew! The ride itself has fallen into disrepair. It is frequently breaking down at an exponentially-increasing rate, and is beginning to shuffle. Not as badly as Scream, but still—those Pretzel G-forces, pushing your head into a rattling headrest isn’t as fun as it was 4 months ago.
But hey…at least it has gotten fancy new fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo!
They even have their own little awning covering them! I am thoroughly impressed!
And work continues on the new patio-cover, on the Tatsu-side of the games area.
“Hurry Back, Hurry Back!…Be sure to bring your…Death Certificates….and $59.99!”
Fright Fest 2006
Well folks, I haven’t yet covered the Fright Fest preparation, so I definitely should, as quite a bit is going on. Well, the mad scramble is on to get all of the themeing and mazes up, as well as to staff them! I even saw a promoter at my school, in full costume and everyting.
The flyers they were handing out…same as the .pdf on SFMM’s website.
Speaking of their website…
The park’s webpage has been decked out for Fright Fest.
The hearse is out, but looks like it could definitely use a super-power-wash.
I believe that this area, the region between Viper and Tatsu, is to be decked out as a Monster Alley scare zone.
Rapids Camp Crossing already getting a lot of treatments.
Some of it actually looked pretty cool!
Despite their fakeness, I have always been partial to the cheese-cloth spider webs.
Although admittedly, some of them have been torn beyond belief and should be replaced!
The themeing continues on into Samurai Summit….
This is Halloween, this is Halloween!
Hmm…the way the web has been strung across the SkyTower queue like that…either they are very trusting of guests, or they don’t expect it to be open for the entire month of October.
The entrance to one of the mazes. This one is pretty good, comparatively.
WTF? I guess this must be some sort of sponsor for the Fright Fest.
Another one, in the Gotham City Plaza.
Speaking of which, Gotham City is also being decked out. And yes, the kid in the red is the Ryan-impersonator.
During a ride on Scream, I had noticed some stuff hiding backstage (not bad for being near-sighted!), so I thought I’d inspect as best I could.
OMG….It’s Team Tatsu! This explains so much!
Some barricades and random scenery, which I assume to be for the event.
So that’s what I was able to see for the Fright Fest, thus far! I’ll definitely keep a close eye out for more stuff.
The Random Bits
Alright, last but not least, I’ll give you guys some random pics to finish off the update…
Wascal’s signage has finally been replaced!
As always, the region around Santa Clarita has been burning up as a sign of God’s anger.
WTF?! That CANT be legal!
Duct tape fixes everything! Well, everything except the Orient Express, X, Tatsu, Dejavu, Freefall, the Circus Wheel, and anything else that is constantly breaking down, or flat out down at SFMM.
Thrill Shot—the one of the saddest of all of the SFMM stories. Supposedly a guy sat on top of those poles for 2 weeks (painful, I’d image ), fixing up the cables on this thing. It was totally ready to reopen, and at the last minute, its budget was pulled out from under its feet. And now nobody knows when it will reopen.
“Give me your hand!”
“I don’t have a hand! I’m a ****ing shingle!”
And last, but certainly not least, Willie Wonka and a family of camera wielding crazy people now sponsor Scream! …. “Oompa, loompa, doopadee doo; I’ve got some parking, underneath you!”
Alright folks, well thanks for putting up with me yet again, and reading a super-long update! Comments always welcome!