ALT Previews Mardi Gras at Six Flags America!

On April 5th, 2014, the off-season officially ended for us here at ALT! Six Flags America opened this past Saturday, so we went down to cover it, ride some coasters, and get a sneak peak at the all-new Mardi Gras area of the park.

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We left Central PA around 6:30 am, to make the roughly 2.5 hour drive down to Marlboro, Maryland, where Six Flags America is located. No trip to an amusement park is complete without a morning stop for breakfast at McDonald’s, so we grabbed some food, and then continued on our way. We made great time, and around 9 am arrived at the park!

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This is Randall Wilke, Six Flags America’s Director of Operations. There were employees handing out beads in the morning (which I am seen wearing in the above picture) to help celebrate the kickoff of the new Mardi Gras area.

There wasn’t too much traffic entering the park, and we were quickly able to get our cars parked. Right away, we headed to the Season Pass Processing Center to get our 2014 Season Passes processed. As expected for opening morning of an amusement park, there was a line for the Processing Center. The processing center opened up at 9:30am for opening day, but normally opens up 30 minutes prior to park opening. Once the center opened, the line moved consistently.

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Kyle, Walt, and myself (Brandon) went down to the park for the day to redeem our Season Pass vouchers. Long story short, there was an issue with my voucher, which caused a three hour delay in entering the park. Most people would be pretty upset with something like this, and I wasn’t pleased at the time, but it turned a complete 180 degrees into a VERY positive experience. We spoke to the Director of In-Park Services, Nate Gross, who couldn’t have been more hospitable towards us. He displayed a sincere care for my voucher issue, as well as the experience that every single park guest has. The excellent customer service at Six Flags America is simply amazing.

We entered the park just after 12-noon, headed down Six Flags America’s Main Street, which is absolutely gorgeous, and continued to Joker’s Jinx. After the locker for the day was purchased (one-time ride lockers are no more…), and after snapping some pictures, we hopped on board! The line, even with one train, was no more than 15-20 minutes. First coaster of 2014=ridden! I love this ride, and prefer it to its indoor brothers.

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After riding Joker’s Jinx, it was just about time to head over to Johnny Rockets for our 2 pm interview with Havilah Ross, the park’s Communications Manager, and Debbie Evans, the park’s Director of Marketing. During our meeting, we learned the inspiration behind the new theme area was largely because Mardi Gras is so well-known, as well as the festive traditions and customs associated with it.

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While with both representatives, we discussed what is new at Six Flags America this year, including the new Mardi Gras area. As requested by many guests, they’ve added several new healthy food offerings in the park, which include, flatbreads, salads, and wraps. The Season Dining Pass was also expanded, and now offers 54 entree options. There’s some new entertainment in the park for this summer, such as The Looney Tune’s Talent show and Legends of the Arena. Below, I am pictured with Havilah.

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Mardi Gras area rides:
Ragin’ Cajun’ (new)
French Quarter Flyers (new)
The Wild One
Zydeco Zinger
Voodoo Drop

In addition to the rides, there will be new retail options, new game stands, and Hurricanes, a stand selling frozen adult beverages and light fare. Ragin Cajun is scheduled to officially open with an exclusive Season Pass Party on May 17 and 18; the official Grand Opening is on Memorial Day Weekend.

Havilah and Debbie took us behind the scenes to get a glimpse at the construction of the new rides and area…

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Ragin’ Cajun was receiving its paint job, and looks great so far. All of the steel is in place; the trains are still in the shop being painted.

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The new games’ stand being worked on.

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“Hurricanes” is still a work in process.

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French Quarter Flyers, which is not yet quite ready to open, looks absolutely astonishing!

Also, while talking to Havilah and Debbie, they spoke to us briefly about this year’s Fright Fest. I know it’s a little early for that, but they are both very excited for this year’s new haunted house, which will sport a Mardi Gras theme!

After we concluded our time with Havilah and Debbie, we got back to the fun – more riding and experiencing the park!

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During our visit, we rode every coaster except ROAR, which was out of service. Most coasters had less than 30 minute waits. The Wild One, which I rode in the front row, was running extremely well. Such a great coaster, with a rich history. Superman: Ride of Steel was even better than I remembered from last year. Batwing, which was my first Vekoma Dutchman coaster, really surprised me; it was really good! Afterwards, we rode Apocalypse and Mind Eraser, and by that time it was time for park closing! On the way out, we stopped and got the 2014 Six Flags Sports Bottle, which has a completely new design this year.

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The new sports bottle.

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There are plenty of kiddie and family attractions for those who don’t enjoy the larger rides.

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In closing, we had a very good day at Six Flags America, encourage anyone in the area to visit, and can’t wait to return for the Ragin’ Cajun Season Pass Preview, as well as in the fall for Fright Fest.

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