Alexander: Eager to explore how different parks tackle CDC–based measures for limiting the spread of germs, Sean and I set off for a couple new parks (plus a 3rd, major favorite of ours) opening for the 2020 season.
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Here we have the wellness screening checkpoints setup. Temps were checked, masks were available for purchase, etc.
Heavy-duty social distancing markers are in place for all of Frontier City’s rides.
Elsewhere we have “Mask Break Zones” allow guests a moment for some unobscured breathing.
First ride of the day was a bucket-lister for us both: the Schwarzkopf Silver Bullet.
Staff periodically disinfect majorly touch points throughout the park, including ride vehicles and handrails.
More on Silver Bullet later; next up is Wildcat.
We were so curious about this oddball 2nd-hand woodie that came to Frontier City in 1991.
The queue offers a comprehensive crash-course in wood coaster history, highlighting significant woodies from all over the world.
Wildcat is in surprisingly good shape. It’s fun, funky, and family-friendly.
Nearby is another mask break area, made from the queue area for the park’s recently shuttered Chance Rotor.
Silver Bullet is a beautiful ride that’s fun to photograph.
And, needless to say, it’s an excellent ride.
Silver Bullet has some very unique rolling stock – the fronts of the vehicles are just like the ones that once could be found on Magic Mountain’s Revolution.
Silver Bullet is one of 5 remaining Schwarzkopf Looping Stars in operation, and the only one in North America. The others are in Italy, Japan, Cyprus, and Botswana.
While Nagashima Spa Land’s Looping Star is believed to have operated in the same location since it opened,Silver Bullet has a colorful history, with runs at the Texas State Fair, Ocean City MD’s Jolly Roger Amusement Park, and a handful of different midway vendors. The others have been relocated at least once (Netherlands -> Cyprus), three times (England -> Scotland -> Hungary -> Botswana), and a whopping six times (Germany -> England -> France -> Spain -> Spain again -> Italy -> Italy again ), respectively.
A surprise hit for the 2008 coaster year was Frontier City’s Steel Lasso, a Vekoma Family Invert unique to the Western Hemisphere.
Both Steel Lasso and the identical Jimmy Neutron’s Atomic Flyer at Movie Park Germany are huge hits with children and adults alike.
New for 2019 was the park’s first new coaster in over a decade: Frankie’s Mine Train, the headlining attraction for the park’s newly remodeled kiddie area, Timber Town.
Something we love about Frontier City is how the entrance plaza is also the park’s main gift shop. Inside the massive gift shop is also the entrance to the park’s Arrow Shuttle Loop, Diamondback, which sadly has yet to open for the season as of the publishing of this trip report.
Frontier City is remarkably charming – it feels very “un-Six Flags” in terms of aesthetic, and is clearly well-loved by a hardworking team of local management.
It’s clear that certain off-season projects were delayed in order to get social distancing infrastructure in place. One of the casualties was the river rapids, which will hopefully be ready for a mid-summer open.
The entrance to Renegade Rapids now boasts the satisfying aroma of fresh lumber, but this shiny new bridge to the station is still a work in progress.
Looping back around to the 2 major coasters in the back of the park, we’re treated to a positively angelic view of Silver Bullet.
In case you’re wondering, this pic is now my laptop background.
(ok, you probably weren’t wondering, but I just thought I’d share)
The sound of Silver Bullet navigating the vertical loop is sweeter than birdsong.
We hope to see the Rotor come back to life at some point – whether the ride’s closure is a temporary, CoVid-related measure or a permanent move isn’t immediately clear.
Try as they might (and they really do try), people will be people, and enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing will always be an uphill battle.
Here, Sean demonstrates proper mask-wearing etiquette and social distancing aboard Wildcat.
Here we have rehearsals in progress for one of the shows! No shows were available on our visit, but it looks like they’ll be offering them soon.
The Ferris Wheel atop Frontier City’s central hill has a beautiful setting that reminds us of Magic Mountain (in a good way).
By this point we hadn’t heard Silver Bullet run for while – time for some bird’s eye investigating!
Fun Fact: after Wildcat came to Frontier City from the defunct Fairyland Park in Kansas City, the ride was reconstructed with a large (simulated) splashdown ending in a pond. While the splash only lasted a few years, and the pond was filled in to accommodate an S&S Thrill Shot (its footprint still clearly visible by the concrete pads left behind), Wildcat remains a well-maintained gem – and one of only 4 National Amusement Devices wooden coasters currently in operation.
Hmmm… Silver Bullet is sitting in the brake run! People are evacuating! Not a great sign.
Here you get a good look at “the rest of the park,” including Diamondback, the Larson Loop Brain Drain, and the large show building that once housed a Pinfari Zyklon.
One of the drawbacks of Frontier City is how obnoxiously close guests are to the interstate, buuuut we sure do love the views of the park as we drive in off the freeway.
I’m guessing no more Silver Bullet today. At least we got the credit and some great pictures!
We wore Viper shirts today. Seemed appropriate.
Another fun fact about Wildcat: When the ride opened in its original location in 1967, it was one of the only wood coasters built with a steel superstructure. That steel structure remains to this day, glistening in white paint as always.
The final Silver Bullet evac-ees are leaving the scene.
And that’s a wrap! We’ve got a long drive ahead of us, and with a satisfying day at Frontier City in the books, it’s time to hit the road!
That concludes our Frontier City report! We look forward to revisiting the park again soon for some re-rides on their quirky coasters and to check out stuff that wasn’t quite ready for action on our visit.
Next up: Magic Springs and Crystal Falls!
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