So, better late than never. I had originally planned this trip for November, but with work and travelling the time never really came up for me to actually visit the park. I flew a friend of mine over here courtesy of my company last week, and this therefore granted me the perfect opportunity to drag someone along with me to Six Flags over the weekend.
Our day started off pretty well, we were up and ready on time, hangover free as we played it sensible on the Friday night and didn't go out. The sun was blazing down in Santa Barbara as we got an Uber to the AMTrak station at 9am. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go tits up. We payed our $15 each for our one way ticket to Ventura, only to be informed of a 45 minute delay. This gave us a nice chance to walk down to the beach and stroll along the pier in the sun, but unfortunately, when we arrived back at the station at 10:15, the train was further delayed. Anyway, long story short, the train was 2 hours late, eating into valuable park time, not happy,
The journey on the AMTrak down to Ventura was pleasant, we then got an Uber for the 50 mile remainder of the journey to six flags, which was about $60. The reason we headed to Ventura was just to cut down on the uber cost really. We ended up arriving at the park at 12:30. My original plan was for us to leave at 4pm, this was now out the window, we'd have to get an Uber the whole way home when we were finished at the park, or leave extremely early.
Arriving into the park was pretty special, this is a place that as a kid playing Rollercoaster Tycoon I had always wanted to go to and never thought I'd have the chance.I had purchased 2 Season Passes $80 each and 2 Platinum flash passes at $115 each. The process for getting in the park was pretty easy, but it was extremely quiet. You are initially put through a metal scanned, and you can then proceed to the main gates. I presented my online receipt for our season passes at the gate, they scan these, take a fingerprint, give you your season pass and you're off. A very slick and smooth process compared to how I remember Tussauds & Merlin dealing with annual passes!
Once in the park we headed to collect our Flash Pass. The system here is not like anything I've seen before, you are basically given a large tamagotchi looking thing, it has a list of every ride on it, each ride will have a time next to it, you select a ride and it will vibrate when it's time for you to go on, it works, I liked it
Our first ride of the day was "New" Revolution. New revolution is old, and you can tell (It was 40 in May last year), but this doesn't mean it's a bad thing! The park have tried to update it with VR, but unfortunately the software was being updated on them so we were without them for the ride. We had a long walk around the Flash Pass entrance only to discover that there was actually no queue at all, we decided to queue for the front as I had a feeling that this old ride could be a little rough. I actually really enjoyed the ride itself, first ride of the day it always going to seem good, but this broke us in nicely and was quite enjoyable, I didn't find it all that rough either.
Viper was next, used the Flash Pass and once again appeared to be no queue. There was a common theme now where we were just going up ride exits onto rides without a clue what they are. From what I could tell, It looked like it could be quite rough so once again we opted to ride in the front row, or risk a headache for the rest of the day. By now, the heavens had opened and the weather was terrible Viper really surprised us, I could only see a couple of inversions when we were going up to ride, so was pretty surprised by the 7 in total. Again, it wasn't really that rough considering it's age.
So, by this point we are 30 minutes into our time at the park and already managed 2 rides, the weather was now terrible and it seems the park is pretty dead. We are also now, pretty lost as for some reason I decided against getting a Map like an idiot. We eventually found the tram thing that goes up the mountain to what we hoped was some other rides. We got up there and found Tatsu, which I was really looking forward to.... Closed. Gutted. So instead we head to Ninja, which actually had a bit of queue that we could skip which was nice. Having worked on Vampire after the old cars had been removed, I'd always wondered what it may have been like and it was really cool to be able to go on this classic. Ninja uses it's station location at the top of the mountain to it's advantage, you speed down and sweep past numerous water fountains and other rides and attractions before strangely, going up a lift hill to go into the station!
Next up, Riddlers Revenge, which looked absolutely amazing from the outside. I was also looking forward to this as I'd never been on a Stand-Up coaster before....Closed. I thought as we were around the area we may aswell go on Apocolypse... Closed. Maybe we could go on Superman Esca....Closed. Now, you start to get a little pissed off when you've paid $115 for a Flash Pass with this unavailability, but I'll go into that later. We did eventually, find something that was open, Batman! I assumed we'd have to use the Lockers outside batman, so paid $8 for a re-usable locker, it didn't work, the guy came over and gave me a $1 for one-time use, which I didn't realize until after. Batman really packed a punch and was one of the better B&M rides I've been on for sure, very intense, not quite at the level of Nemesis, but certainly up there in terms of quality.
Green Lantern was next...But it was closed. So we went on toward Twisted Colossus. I'd heard really good things about this, and I can honestly say that this was up there with one of the best rides that I have been on, it just delivers surprise after surprise and is ridiculously good fun without being overly intense, the first drop is something else. Unfortunately, the trains were not racing today and the staff were all pretty slow. I'm not sure why we only road this once, because it was pretty much our favorite ride. I think by now it was nearing 3pm and we wanted to make sure we got on everything else. When we got off the ride, my friend took his iPhone 6 out and it was majorly bent which was hilarious, for me anyway
Scream is up near Twister Colossus and is a pretty Sad ride to be honest. I know Six Flags aren't well known for themeing, but this thing just has nothing going for it. After riding Twister Colossus, going down to this was pretty naff. It's the first time I've been on a steel floorless coaster aswell, but I just don't really see the point in them if I'm honest, they rarely offer anything that the likes of many other models don't. We headed to Goliath next, this was to be the tallest ride I have been on to-date. My one regret about Goliath is that we didn't ride the front, but I guess this was maybe a wise choice based on the fact it was pissing down with rain! It was an amazing ride, but I really struggled to enjoy it due to the fact I could barely keep my eyes open through the rain
After Goliath, we headed towards Full Throttle, the ride with the largest loop in the world....and it's Closed. So. By this point, we've actually pretty much done everything, it's nearly 4pm. but there is one ride that I was looking forward to the most which was still left on the list. X2. I had no idea what to expect with this, it's an iconic ride and I was hoping it delivered. When we were stood in the station watching and the seats tilt back, it was instantly impressive. We ended up riding this twice, once at the front and once at the back. I've been on 100's of rides, mainly in the U.K but also across Europe aswell, X2 is my favorite, unfortunately I can't really describe why, but it is just mental. Get yourself over here and go on it,
So, that was it. We'd missed our last train. Were completely soaked and starving hungry. But had an absolutely brilliant 5 hours at Six Flags. We got our Uber 80 miles home, which was actually not too pricey.
Now, unfortunately. We're going to have to bring up a couple of things here that were simply, poor. Alot of the park is being renovated, I understand it's the low season and that, but walkways were blocked off, signs were few and far between, restaurants were closed and most importantly, the ride availability was bordering on disgusting. I purchased the tickets 2 days before we left, I wasn't informed that any rides would be down, didn't see anything on the site. I used to deal with complaints about ride downtime for Merlin, I know it can happen, but let me just list what downtime we had. Batman, Goliath and many others all experienced hour long periods of downtime as some point also, which can happen.
Apocolypse (All Day)
Tatsu (All Day)
Riddlers Revenge (All Day)
Superman (All Day)
Full Throttle (All Day)
Green Lantern (All Day)
Now, if this many rides are unavailable, they should advertise it properly and also, selling a £100 Flash Pass for 15 rides when 1/3 of them are closed is pretty out of order. It's also worth mentioning that, the park was actually empty, so I've pretty much been fleeced out of £200 on the Flash Passes we didn't need. I can maybe put that down to my own stupidity of thinking it would be busy, but it still didn't sit right with me. The staff were okay, the cleanliness was okay, but I think it's right what people say about this place. You come here for big rollercoasters and thrills. If you are into the likes of themed rides and music then this isn't the place for you. But I'd suggest anyone that can to give this place a go and get your arse on X2.
I've attached a few terrible pictures from the day. Didn't really get a chance to take many because of the rain, you wouldn't have expected it when you look at the pictures from the morning!