We are headed to Altoona, Iowa (just outside of Des Moines) where we are going to spend about 4 and half months working at the Adventureland park. We are both going be working with the rides group – we assume loading, unloading and operating the rides. We figured that it would be appropriate to observe how other parks operate their rides – so we decided to spend last Saturday at Six Flags St. Louis. Yes we are crazy just two weeks before we park next to and work in an theme park for over 4 months we pay to visit one. We call it research.
The name Six Flags comes from Texas origins of the company and refers to the six different nations that have governed Texas – Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, and the Confederate States of America. The park was originally called Six Flags over Mid-America when built in 1971 as the third and last park actually built by Six Flags (the other parks were acquired). Although the park is now called Six Flags St. Louis it located in about 30 miles outside of St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri.
Pulling into the parking lot we knew we were not in Disney any more. The signs were just so loony we found it very confusing.
We started our day in the Studio Backlot area of the park riding Batman the Ride which is a steel inverted coaster that is about 109 feet tall and reaches a top speed of 50 mph. We were happy to see the theming – we like a theme park much more than a plain amusement park. The picture in the lower right attempts to show the incredible amount of track, twists and turns that they pack into a small area. The ride really got our blood flowing.
We then went over to ride the Ninja – a two minute steel coaster that has 4 inversions and a drop of 80 feet.
We walked thru the kiddie ride area of the park which is named Bugs Bunny National Park. I think Leslie was a little disappointed that she could not get a cancellation for her National Parks Passport. They did have a unique take on Mt. Rushmore.
We moved out of the National Park into the Britannia area of the park headed to The Boss, however before we could get there Pandemonium caught our eye. This is a very different type of coaster – the best way to describe it is that it is a combination of a roller coaster and tea cup ride put in one. Four people sit in a car with 2 facing 2. The car then moves over the roller coaster track – but it also spins. From watching the ride it appeared that a fairly even weight distribution results in the most spin. We were joined by another couple that balanced the car nicely. Talk about being dizzy after getting off a ride.
Next up was The Boss. The Boss is a 5051 foot wooden coaster built in 2000 and is ranked as one of the top 5 wooden coasters in the country. It’s track follows the terrain of the land and include 4 drops and 570 degree helix. Although all the coasters at Six Flags St. Louis were wonderful – this one was our favorite because it gave a ride as thrilling as a steel coaster but on wood.
We needed a short break for some food and a cool down on the Log Flume before we were ready to tackle the newest coaster in the Park (which opened a few days before we went) – Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast. The track is liner track with a single loop and a section of track that shoots up at 90 degrees. Like the name proclaims – it is a reverse blast – going from 0 to 70mph in 3.8 seconds in reverse, thru the loop and up the 90 degree section where it pauses for a brief moment before you shoot back forwards over the track a second time. The ride has two 5 car trains that move off to the sides to load and unload. One is unloading and loading as the other travels the track.
we took a little break again from coasters for a picture with Shaggy and Scooby and for a ride on the scary Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters.
We also rode the other coasters in the park – River King Train Mine, Screamin’ Eagle (which was the largest fastest wooden coaster when it was built in 1976), and the American Thunder. As we were rounding the corner Leslie looked over and was taken back when she thought the car in the picture was the ride car for the American Thunder.
It was a great day of research we feel we are now much better prepared to work at Adventureland this summer.