Alright, I know it’s been SUPER-long since the last update. And I admit, today’s update won’t be as satisfying as you might hope it to be. Why? Because nothing has changed STILL! But today I thought I’d talk about some updates that have been planned in the future. So I’ll shut my trap, stop delaying, and get to the actual update!
Summer officially ended for SFMM last weekend as the park now operates under a weekend-only schedule. Fridays the park closes at six, Saturdays at ten, and Sundays at eight. Why do you care? Because the four days during the week that guests aren’t flooding midways, several different projects are slated to take place. Minor refurbishments are beginning to happen everywhere—be it the painting of yellow safety zones, removal of grafitti, cleaning trash out of those hard-to-get places, and the power-washing what typically goes unclean for, well…since the last time the park was only open weekends!
But what is of utmost interest to you folks is the larger-scale projects.
Yup…it’s still there.
Flashback still stands. And with the Jokester’s Hideout maze approved, according to wrs28330, I honestly cant see the coaster (which has become nothing other than a bad display of “public art”) coming down anytime before November. I could always be wrong, since I don’t honestly know when it’s slated to get the axe! But I wouldn’t count on it. What I am sure of, is that the ride will come down. Of course, it isn’t the only ride slated to get the axe—Freefall most likely wont
be returning in 2008. I know I told you this last year
, but I think I really mean it this time!
So get your last rides in on that.
Glad Jokester’s Hideout has been approved for the Fright Fest budget…looks like they’ll be using the approved funds for buying more duct tape!
Speaking of Fright Fest, I hate to go on a tangent, but there is a display advertising for it at the front of the park.
I think last year’s was better executed, but I suppose it’s all the same.
Anyway…back to other things.
Yup…it’s still closed.
As the end of 2007 rushes closer and closer, it’s becoming more apparent that the Metro wont
be in operation by the end of the year as Mr. Shapiro enthusiastically stated in a patched-together response for a stockholder earlier this year. It is my understanding that Six Flags did their research on opening the transport after
the announcement was made and it ends up—it’s going to cost a hefty chunk of change! In fact, if it was never there to begin with, it would most-likely be cheaper to just buy a new one
then reconstruct the one they already have. In that thought, it’s safe to say that the Metro has essentially been deemed “totaled”.
That doesn’t mean it has been knocked off of the “to-do list”. Just letting you know—it won’t be up by the end of the year. I think it’s safe to flip the “end of 2007” to an “end of 2008”.
The Fright Fest maze “The Asylum” is still in-tact beneath the station, but it wont be returning this year.
Though you wont be seeing any “Metro updates” at the end of this year, there will be updates for another LARGE project that will go underway at one of Magic Mountain’s largest rides—
Now, we all know that SFMM has been looking into purchasing new trains for X. First of all, it’s going to happen. The new trains are expected to roll in at the end of the year and have been designed to be 30% lighter than the originals. But that isn’t the only change X will be going through.
I’m assuming that these X-train parts have been decommissioned.
The arrival of the new trains will actually send the ride into a refurbishment. And a long
one, from what I hear. The load-process is essentially going to be redesigned and the station reconfigured, to accommodate. Currently, the trains have separate load and unload stations…
…Loaded trains enter the “exit station”, stop, take a few seconds to rotate forward, a few more seconds to unlock restraints, and unload the guests. At that point, once the guests have been cleared, the seats take a few seconds to rotate back again…
…Where the fresh train then takes a few seconds moves forward into the “load station” and once again takes a few seconds to rotate forward. Air gates open and the guests then load onto the train. After harnesses have been checked, a few more seconds pass to rotate the seats back again, and the train is dispatched.
Do you get the theme here? The few seconds lost ‘here and there’ to seat rotations, advancing trains, etc—at the end of the day, really damages X’s capacity! From what I understand, the plan is to rework the station so that it loads/unloads from the same station! This would cut down on unnecessary seconds lost to the said operation, theoretically increasing capacity. Now I don’t know if this means that the ride will have one station. It could possibly have two separate load/unload stations. Think Maverick, or like Splash Mountain (DL). But most likely, with no block after the station, before the lift, the ride will have one station.
Either way, it’s all a welcomed change, in my opinion!
This massive refurbishment might encompass some other potentially drastic changes for X, but I’m not quite ready to talk about those.
I’ll save them for the next update.
A store near the front of the park has been changed to “Character Corner”, for character merchandise. In case anyone cared.
Finally, I’m going to leave you all with an interesting rumor that has been brought to me. Before I delve into it, I want to put up a disclaimer—this is a rumor
. I have found no construction markers, surveyors, conversation, etc, to suggest its truth. The only reason I’m even mentioning it is because in my personal
opinion, it’s plausible.
The rumor is that SFMM will
be getting…not a Wiggles World, not a Tony Hawk spinning wild mouse, but a Thomas Town (Remember, Shapiro has been somewhat persistent about getting Thomas the Tank Engine at SFMM, as seen with the whole Metro ordeal). But it wont go in any of the commonly talked-about places—
What? Anything is open-game in a rumor!
The rumor is that Granny Gran Prix and the Animal Farm will be removed and replaced with a Thomas Town. I laughed upon hearing this until I took a visit and realized exactly how massive
this area exactly is!
For a sense of the area’s size, the end of the property is the trees behind the shack in the distance. And there’s still much land behind where the photo was taken, as well.
Essentially, it’s the area from Goliath Jr. to Goliath.
Now I’m sure you may be somewhat baffled by this, as I was when I first heard it. After all, removing family attractions for
family attractions means you come out even and not ahead. And why would they place it next to their current “kiddy” area, Bugs Bunny World? Especially when they have a ripe (but cursed) plot of land right next to Dejavu (
). But in retrospect—removing a painfully low capacity ride and rarely-visited petting zoo, for a collection of family attractions all under the Thomas brand isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It’s large, surrounded by trees, and strategically placed in a group of “family” attractions that stretches from Log Jammer to Swashbuckler (and a mere leap from Gotham City).
Just to grasp the potential size of this area, the current Bugs Bunny World is circled in red and the discussed property is circled in green.
…Yeah, I bet you didn’t realize how large that was! At least I didn’t!
I don’t know if they’re removing the aging bridge into Critter Country or if they’re merely refurbing it. But there is a good chunk of it missing!
Again, this is merely a rumor! But it’s definitely something to keep eyes on.
*Knows a bunch of people just read that and made a personal note to themselves to ‘not tell Jahan anything about Thomas Town’ *
Anyway, that should do it for today. Again, I didn’t really cover so much of “what’s happening” as much as what is planned to happen. I’m sorry to say that since Midwest, I havn’t been walking the park as much as I usually do—with school back in session and Robb (my walking-buddy) away, I just havn’t gotten around to it! But with summer now over and more park-projects preparing to commence, including Fright Fest decorations (if they havn’t been cut from the budget
), I’d anticipate more frequent updates from this point on. Yay!
The park and staff sure took a beating, as they always do every summer. And as a result, I’m disappointed to say that the service has suffered, as it always does every summer (not as badly as last year though). Now begins the slow uphill climb to the impressive attitude the park was emitting in the spring. But I will say this—change is coming. I know what I’m saying may sound somewhat basic and cliché, but the winds of change are blowing. In case you didn’t hear, Six Flags California now has a new General Manager (Jay Thomas, the man who managed the team that really helped turn SFKK around). In essence, SFMM now has its own little “team” (which is likely to grow, in my opinion) who have recognized the park’s problems, have been set with the task of fixing them, and are working to do so. The changes are rooted far deeper than the typical approach of the past few years, which consisted of changing the guest-service motto or adding another baseless employee rewards system. They are reconstructing the fundamentals of the work environment—everything from how employees are trained to as far down to how they are scheduled is being redone to cater to improvement. I wish them all the best of luck in the implementation of these changes. In my opinion, the future looks both interesting and optimistic for SFMM. I think it’s a good time to be an “updater”. That being said......