After being closed off since the end of the 2010, Thomas Town will finally reopen under the new name, Whistlestop Park, for the 2013 season. On closing day last year, we noticed that there was some activity going on in Thomas Town. The park appeared to be cleaning out the train station and gift shop. There was also something that looked like a new ride. We figured that the new ride was actually an old ride from the former Tiny Timbertown section of the park.
At the same time, we had heard some rumors that in 2013, Thomas Town would reopen. Now the park has made it official. This year, Thomas Town will be rechristened as Whistlestop Park!
Whistlestop Park is the name that every other Thomas Town in the Six Flags chain received after Six Flags broke off the IP (intellectual property) deal with HIT Entertainment. Six Flags New England was the only park to not receive the Whistlestop Park makeover. Thomas Town was built in 2007 and it was never really popular with the guests. Tucked away in a dead end corner of the park, (almost behind the entry plaza) away from everything else, no one really knew that it was there. That is why no one was surprised that it was closed for good.
You may be wondering what makes 2013 any different. This year SFNE is moving the season pass processing center into the former Thomas Town gift shop building. Moving the season pass processing center is a smart move. The existing season pass center was old and cramped. This resulted in hour long lines every day through Memorial Day. Since they are moving the center, it will generate a lot more traffic into Whistlestop Park – traffic that it wouldn’t have normally. The picture above shows how dead this section of the park was.
Here is a picture SFNE tweeted of the exterior of the new location for season pass processing. They also said that they would be posting pictures of the inside in the coming days. We will update this post with a few of those pictures when that happens.
We were told that only the train will open back up with a smaller ride. The smaller ride was announced to be the Flying Aces, just as we predicted it would be. The following images were tweeted by Six Flags New England showing off the two rides in Whistlestop Park:
The new color scheme will fit in perfectly in the New England themed entry plaza at Six Flags New England. Plus, it is just great to finally have a train back in the park!
Here is a picture of the train running when it was still Thomas Town.
Last year at ACE’s The Great Nor’Easter event, we got a little backstage tour of the closed Thomas Town.
As you can see, the train has been wrapped up in plastic to protect it from the elements. Most of the theming in the station will be replaced with Whistlestop Park theming, as everything currently in the train station is left over from Thomas Town.
The Coaster Guy has some excellent pictures of the Six Flags Magic Mountain version of Whistlestop Park. The pictures below show a general idea of what SFNE’s Whistlestop Station will look like.
Every former Thomas the Tank engine at the Six Flags parks received this new patriotic paint job.
The exterior signage of the train station also fits in with the New England theme of the entry plaza.
This train shed used to house Thomas the Tank Engine’s friends. Each of the friends were removed and replaced with black paint. When we did our tour last year, we noticed that SFNE had already removed Thomas’ friends from the train shed. You can expect to see something similar to this when Whistlestop Park opens.
We previously thought that the Thomas Town pop-jet fountain would be relocated to the Hurricane Harbor expansion this year. However, plans have changed and it will remain!
Thoughts for the future:
We think Whistlestop Park is a perfect space for a new family flat ride. Something like a Larson Flying Scooter would be the right fit. Six Flags is adding one to The Great Escape this year, so it wouldn’t be something that Six Flags is unfamiliar with.
A Flying Scooter is the ultimate family ride. Plus, we think Six Flags (mostly Mark Shapiro, the former CEO) made a mistake when they added all these new “family” areas to the parks. All of these new areas consisted of new kiddie rides, not family rides. A family ride is a ride that the whole family can enjoy. Cedar Fair makes good use out of what they call family areas. In fact, some of their parks family areas include a Flying Scooter ride. Here is a short video depicting Screamin’ Eagles, the new Flying Scooter attraction coming to The Great Escape.
As you may know, Six Flags New England has been lacking good flat rides for a few years now. Adding one of these classic rides will be a great start. A Flying Scooter along with the new season pass processing area will surely bring more traffic into Whistlestop Park. Alas, this is just our thoughts. We have no idea what SFNE has planned for the future.
You can visit The Coaster Guy’s website to view more pictures of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Whisltestop Park and to read his review of the area. Also, be sure to follow Six Flags New England on Twitter to get more updates in the future.
What did you think of this update? Do you like these types of posts from us? Please let us know in the comments below. You can also discuss Whistlestop Park in our forums.