Trip report time! This was from the trip on first of June
Being the planner that I am, I got to the park around 8:30 which resulted in a parking space front and center when they opened the parking gate to let us in.
Once I left my car, I went immediately to the gold pass entrance. For a while, this is what I saw and I thought the park would end up being empty. However, this soon changed as bus after bus started showing up and offloading school trip after school trip onto the entrance turnstiles. Also, more people started to show up after the weather went from rain to clear skies and HOT in a matter of fifteen minutes. Ah, the beauty of crazy midwest weather.
After entering the park and running to the flash pass building to pick up one of my little red friends, I ran immediately to Justice League per my usual routine at park opening. I was surprised to find a rather short line before I got there. It appeared that Raging Bull had soaked up much of the school crowds. The 10:30 opening time came and went and we still weren’t allowed to ride. It was revealed around 10:45 that, much to everyone’s dismay, several effects had not been cooperating resulting in an extended delay of its opening.
After that disappointment, I used my first flash pass reservation on Raging Bull which ended up having not so long of a line as it was still morning. Shortly after I rode, however, the line started to grow. I then went to Viper which was relatively empty which allowed me to re-ride the coaster by taking a seat in an unclaimed row. Both Raging Bull and Viper were running really well as they were traveling at a faster average pace than usual and Raging Bull seemed to have less of that nasty “B&M” rattle than usual. I am still annoyed with the trim brake on Raging Bull’s first parabola airtime hill as it saps airtime and ruins the rest of the first half of the ride.
After exiting the southwest territory, I used another flash pass reservation on Whizzer and then reserved X flight while I rode Demon. Demon was another ride which was somewhat empty allowing me to re-ride it. It also was running really well as it didn’t bash my head apart pretty much at all. As usual, the back row delivered amazing ejector airtime on the first drop which actually makes it one of my favorite coasters there. While on the slope up to the MCBR, I looked over to the nearby Justice League which still had its gates closed.
I then used my first of two reservations on X-Flight which had a short but slow-moving line thanks to understaffing that day. My usual plan is to ride the coaster around meal times. First I ride one wing while, directly after redeeming my reservation at the flash pass entrance, immediately reserving the ride again. After getting off the ride, I would eat lunch at the nearby food court while awaiting the time for my second reservation. After finishing lunch I would redeem my reservation and reserve V2 while riding X-Flight in the other wing.
Today, however, I discovered during my first ride on X-flight, I looked over at Justice League to see that it had just opened. Some high school friends greeted me on the way to X-Flight’s photo booth but i had to brush them off and tell them I would meet with them later. So, I grabbed a delicious Orange Chicken with Lo-Mein meal from Chop Six and, while it wasn’t easy, I ate it on the way to Justice League. I ended up having to wolf it down as fast as I could because, unlike other rides, Justice League does not allow any food or drinks (aside from what is in your sports bottle) in its queue and I did not feel like waiting that long for this ride.
Thanks to my urgency, I only waited about fifteen minutes before entering the single rider line which is situated near the end of the queue and was an almost instant ride once I entered it. I loved the ride and still love it even after riding it a total of about fifteen times to date. I was all set to beat my high score of 221706 and had 201000 heading into the subway station scene. However, much to my disappointment, the scene wasn’t working properly and all we got was a flashing screen (although the movements still worked.) I still had fun but man, was I disappointed.
After riding X-Flight a second time on the other wing and reserving V2, I went to ride American Eagle which is sporting a shiny new coat of paint which runs from the final brake run all the way through the first half of the lift hill for both sides as well as the storage track. Out of all the coasters that were running unusually well, Eagle by far had the biggest improvement from its usual self. The coaster wasn’t jackhammering as much as it usually did, delivered a lot more airtime than usual as it was running faster, and, most importantly, didn’t try to kill me on the spiral at the end of the ride. It was also fairly empty allowing me to re-ride it not once but twice.
After riding American Eagle, It was then time to ride my absolutely favorite coaster at SFGAM and second favorite coaster in the world behind Great Adventure’s El Toro, Goliath. Apart from the excessively overused name and short layout, Goliath is a fairly “overpowered” RMC wooden prefab with two inversions and three moments where the coaster has the potential to deliver extreme ejector airtime. However, there is one thing that sometimes keeps me from riding it: my size. I am a big guy and am not always sure I’ll fit. However, some seats on either train have seatbelts that seem to be an inch longer than the others (although I am still able to fasten all of the seat belts.) That is only half the battle as the lap bar has to be low enough for the computer to deem the train ready to leave. In the past, the procedure for loading was to manual check the seat belt and then allowing the lap bar to be pulled down by the riders. That sadly came with a no-staple policy which means the ops cannot use “excessive force” to push the lap bar needed to be pushed down further resulting in a few walks of shame for me.
This was changed about a week and a half ago. and the coaster now uses the Six Flags Magic Mountain procedures albeit much more efficiently. What this means is that they push down your lap bar for you. As an added bonus, with these procedural changes came the removal of the no-staple policy. Not only will they give their best effort to staple you in, but they will use more than one person if they have to. Still, if you are a large rider, I recommend sitting as far back in the seat as possible, pushing all the items in your pockets to the sides, and, when it comes time to push down the harness, pull your feet as far back as possible (although be careful to avoid causing a delay because of a painful and embarrassing calf cramp) and lean back as far as you can. This should push your thighs down and allow the bar to be pushed down lower increasing your chances of success. I was able to enjoy three rides as the single rider line was fairly short.
After my third ride, I met up with the friends from before and we rode Goliath used the regular queue which still only ended up being fifteen minutes. Since the lines were short, I decided to give my little red friend a break and travel with them. We then rode V2: Vertical Velocity. V2 is a good ride. However, it’s not a great one. It still bugs me that the park will not repair the holding brake (the lack of which makes V2 my least favorite of the three Impulse coasters I have ridden, the other two of which are Cedar Point’s Wicked Twister and Dorney Park’s Possessed.) In addition to that, this is another ride I have struggled to fit on and have been walked off of. I figured out a trick, however. Before riding, compare the seatbelts and take the one that appears longer (they are all different lengths.) When you sit in the train, don’t sit all the way back rather sit forward a little bit such that you can lean back slightly. This puts your body at an angle pushing your chest back which allows the harness to come down further making it easier for the ops to staple you in. I went on to ride Batman, the original inverted coaster, with this group of friends before I had to part ways with them as they had to leave. The ride was a walk-on and we could have gotten a re-ride if it hadn’t been for the slow operations and hard stacking.
After parting ways with them, I returned to my regular scheduled flashpassing. Pro tip: Batman and Superman have Single Rider lines. If you have a flash pass, when you get to V2 (provided you are circling the park counter-clockwise,) Take the reservation for that and reserve Dark Knight. Ride Batman using Single Rider during the wait for your Dark Knight reservation. Once you take the Dark Knight reservation, reserve Dark Knight again while riding nearby Superman using its Single Rider line. Ride Dark Knight the second time and reserve V2. Ride Batman during the waiting period for V2 using the Single Rider line. Then take V2 while reserving the next ride you want to ride. With this trick, you turn back in the direction you came while riding seven rides in relatively quick succession in the process. I call this process the boomerang trick and it will work well even if the park is crowded.
At around 4:45, the school groups started clearing out resulting in wait times decreasing significantly. Superman had no wait for single rider and only a fifteen minute wait in the regular queue. Dark Knight was a ten minute wait the first time and a walk-on the second time making my little red friend useless. Batman was a walk-on both times and V2 was a fifteen minute wait the first time while being a walk-on the second. At the tail end of my Boomerang, Batman ended up being so empty, I was able to get three re-rides on it. I then rode V2 again and was able to get a re-ride. I have another treat for larger riders. I discovered during these last two rides, I discovered that, in row 10, the left-handed seat farthest from the air gates has a seat belt which is significantly longer than all the others and it is the only row in which I am able to fasten the belt without any assistance at all from the ops.
With 45 minutes left in the operating day and Goliath at a near walk-on (soak it in because it is never happening again,) I decided to ride it three more times before riding American Eagle for my final ride. I had an amazing day. I ended up hitting 31 rides including seven on the ever-elusive Goliath (I say that as it routinely has wait times of an hour or more). The park did get fairly crowded thanks to the high schools but all wait times managed to stay under 45 minutes. So, while the park isn’t walk-on city during the first few weeks of daily operation, It is certainly worth going to Six Flags Great America during that time as it is usually far more crowded on the weekends.