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  1. Went there the 2nd, the 10th, and yesterday. 2nd and 10th both had short lines with a lot of walk ups after like 5 PM. Yesterday was garbage. Lot was maybe 25% fuller but everything had long lines. Luckily the Peking show was easy to get good seats for and the concessions lines were real short. Not factoring Flash Passers: Whizzer 45 (queue about 75% full) Demon 45-60(queue about 80% full) Eagle 30-40(line down to the walkway below the blue stairs) Raging 60(queue overflowing but they weren't using the North section) Goliath 90-120(queue overflowing) Justice League 90-120(queue completely full) X Flight 60(queue about 100%) Viper 60(queue about 80%) The rest I didn't walk by. X Flight's line barely moved the several minutes we hung around the area. My guess is hundreds of flash passers and closer to a 120 min wait. They should really suspend or severely limit flash passes from mid-July til the end of the season. You get flash passers having a great time and everyone else stuck in these miserable waits. The single rider line at Justice League did not take long at all on the 10th. Goliath single rider line is a scam. Takes just as long as the regular line(60 min on the 10th). Pretzelman was running one train on the 10th toward 9 PM and was extremely slow dispatching. People started jumping in the single rider line at the stairs and the employees must've stopped grouping it because people behind us who jumped were all getting on together and the regular line just completely froze. Getting in line at 9:40, we had been there til like 10:15 and would've taken til 11 to get on the ride had we stayed bc hundreds behind us kept jumping into the single rider line. Batman's line on the 10th moved faster than ever. They were grouping. Liked the ride a lot better that time. Loved Viper on the 2nd and borderline hated it on the 10th bc it felt much more violent, hard slam on the first drop. Odd how rides vary so much. Raging Trimbrake's crew have been pretty efficient at dispatches too this year. Demon seems a bit smoother too. The loops weren't whiplashing me like usual. X-Flight's smoothness hasn't completely come back, just like the missing water effect. Hopefully there's some decent days left this year. I wasn't even gonna go til my wife bought the passes. At this point the dinner pass and the free refill bottles are just as much a reason to come here as the rides.
  2. Went last Saturday. Hard to gauge the lines, but they seemed worse than last year at this time until around 5 PM. Passed by Pretzelman and the sign said 60 min, I think. Condor was no wait. Balloons had us waiting a couple cycles. Crawler was no wait and still in perfect order, more spins than ever, prob about 30. Batman's line was completely full. Roaring Rapids had a line all the way down its walkway before it broke for about 20 min. When it got back up, the flash pass line was probably about 50 people who showed up almost all at once. Ride was pretty fluid without as much start and stop as usual. Lots of people walking around with flash passes. Yankee Clipper took around 40-60 min. V2 line looked about 40% full, same with Goliath. Train took us around at about 5 and revealed there weren't really any big lines for Demon(25 min), X Flight(not even at the keyhole), and Whizzer didn't look bad either. Eagle red is becoming almost unrideable, it's that violent in the helix. Almost at Mean Streak level violent. The good parts of the ride are awesome. X Flight is about the same as last year. Still a tad rough and choppy in spots. About 50 flash passers who mostly showed up once we got inside the building. The worker directed them all to the right side and insisted every non-flash passer wait for all of them if you wanted to ride right. NRG was giving one ride flash passes if you signed up, so we did and used it on Justice League. Probably better than anything at Universal except Spiderman. Wish you could see some light coming from your gun. Raging Trimbrake's line was all the way to the back both times we waited for it, and they weren't using all the queue. About 20 some flash passers here. Ride is as good and consistent as ever. Single rider signs at Pretzelman, Goliath, and Justice League. They should do that at every ride bc Justice League's was a walk up. The regular line was at least 2 hours. Raging Trimbrake also has Cedar Point style locking bins now. With all the crazy over-crowding this place engages in, you'd think they could've afforded this years ago.
  3. Was at Great America a couple weekends ago and Six Flags Over Texas last weekend. GA was pretty empty due to the weather. Rode Pretzelman, Batman twice, and the Crawler. Food lines were fine. Everything was basically a walk up. The cold weather makes the rides a lot less enjoyable/comfortable for whatever reason. SFOT is interesting. Saturday was a nightmare worse than any GA Fright Fest. Hordes of people just kept pouring in, wave after wave with no signs of stopping. Their parking lot is a lot bigger. The amount of people there seemed to be almost double whatever GA's record-breaking fright fest crowds have been. Lines to get a drink were 30 min minimum. Food lines were all long and barely moved. Never got to see the ride lines because all the coasters broke. Just about all of them, literally. No one was scanning passes or anything. Lines to get in are abysmal but at least they have a tram for their mammoth parking lot. SFOT is very sneaky. If you call to try and get info about crowds or rides, they refuse to say anything. Someone taught their employees to do a bait and switch so people will go under circumstances where they normally wouldn't. We gambled and while the place probably had a regular FF level crowd, lines were pretty short. Maybe about 15-20 minutes except Shockwave, which took forever because of the virtual reality headsets. The wife rode Mr Freeze and loved it. Skyscreamer was down due to wind and we didn't bother with Judge Roy Scream since the sign said 30 min. Batman was basically the same, but it's a lot better in warm weather. New Texas Giant is what Goliath should be, but we never really cared for it, so we weren't high on this one either. Wife compared it to riding one of those mechanical bulls and feeling like she's about to fly outta the ride. Shockwave was a real bust. The VR headsets are a stupid gimmick. They don't fit well and the graphics on the cell phones are hardly impressive. You can shoot lasers for seemingly no reason. Train dispatches were some of the slowest we've ever seen due to all the headset problems. At least 5 min per train minimum. Ride seems a tad rough, wife said it also felt like she was about to be tossed out. We didn't ride Titan since neither of us thought we'd enjoy it much. The Great America Raceway was ok, kinda dull scenery. Justice League was down. Wife liked Superman Tower of Power. Says it's like the one at Cedar Point. Park is much bigger than GA and does not go in a circle. Think this is why the lines are shorter. It takes a lot more effort to get from ride to ride than at GA. It'd be like if each thrill ride section at Great America was as far apart as Pretzelman and Eagle. The Dole fruit things we got were the best dining pass snacks ever. Lots of flat rides, but mainly all looked like little kid stuff. Overall the park reminds me more of Cedar Point than GA. Also seemed more family-oriented with a lot of people preferring not to go on the thrill rides. The raceway had as long a line as texas giant. HH is also not on the same physical property. Overall, I think GA is easily the better park.
  4. I write stuff here just as much for Six Flags corporate to supposedly read as for anyone else. And after attempting to go there yesterday, I can say I'm just about done with this place. People on here are correct, they just want to cram as many people in here as possible. The lot was the most full I had ever seen it, we didn't even go in. When I tried to call a couple weeks ago to ask about crowds, I get a labyrinth of options and the only one that leads to a person is the season pass line. And I was on hold for a while before I hung up. Great America does not have the resources to handle the mammoth crowds it attracts. Halloween was 20 min max wait for every ride according to someone we know that went. That suggests to me that a lot of the crowd is very local and makes decisions on when to go impulsively. If weather is good during FF, crowds will be insane. Last year the last weekend was not crowded. My trip reports are still on here. We have a 50 some mile drive which is a good investment of time and driving expenses just to have it wasted by Six Flags. I'm sure the reason they don't post ride times or crowd levels on their site or answer the phone is because they don't want to dissuade anyone from going. So we head over to Gurnee Mills instead. There are no parking spaces available aside from a few in front of Shopper's World. The mall lot was that packed. For whatever reason, people that live in the Gurnee area love crowds and lines. You'd think Gurnee Mills wouldn't be that crowded. And it actually didn't feel like there were a ton of people inside, not hundreds of cars worth. Maybe a bunch of Six Flags attendees used Gurnee Mills as a second parking lot? Six Flags really needs to rethink their branding and pricing. I would not be surprised if upwards of 70% of the people who go there aren't really all that profitable. They buy a season pass for $65 or whatever, get the upgrade Gold Pass for free with the parking, and then tailgate in the parking lot. After that they're probably just taking up space and not spending money. We saw a lot of people walking into the park from across the street. Lot of cars just dropping off the kids too. My guess is that the Six Flags business plan is to cram as many people as possible and not think much about how to make them want to come back. They know the only people who will have a good time are those that pay for Platinum Flash passes or who love lines. But there's always millions of new kids who will show up next year. Apparently word doesn't reach them that the lines and operations are horrible or they just don't care. Six Flags still lags far behind Disney and Universal in revenue, right? The lines I waited in at Universal weren't that short but they really know how to move them along. Given that their queues are about 5x the length of Eagle's, I'd say a lot of the lines were like a full Eagle queue. Those same lines at Six Flags would probably take 3x as long. The lines would have taken even less time if Universal didn't have employees giving literal 10 minute speeches about how we shouldn't take pics and videos on the ride. My experience with Cedar Point and the one long line for Maverick that took over an hour was that it was like a two hour Great America line. The long lines at Cedar Point were largely caused by wind ride closures and all the fast passers clogging up Corkscrew while we were waiting for it, for example. I'm frankly surprised the first two weeks of Fright Fest this year reported short lines. I guess if they have 20,000 people instead of 50,000, lines can be reasonable. But 20,000 just isn't enough attendance apparently. We spent over $400 on passes for the both of us including one gold and two dinner. They give enough on the meal pass that you could probably get away with sharing one between two people. Even though lines are pretty reasonable for most of May and June, the park closes early a lot. Wasn't it open daily 10-10 during the Marriott era? That's what the sign says in videos. I got the impression that Great America will close between 7-9 unless it's FF or peak season from mid July-end of August. Great America also loves to close earlier than advertised if they don't like the attendance. So why should I go when it's raining if they decide to close several hours early? I rarely see lines at any of the stores. They're usually pretty empty. Merchandise just isn't flying off the walls. Yeah, I can't recall any time out of my dozens of visits where there was ever a line at a store register anywhere in the park. That tells me most of the crowd isn't there to buy merchandise. We bought the shopping pass and would've used it more except for the fact that there wasn't time to waste a lot and that ride lockers cost money and eat up ride time. At least they included a sports bottle with each season pass. This way I'm not out the $14.99 if it gets stolen again because they're too cheap to buy Cedar Point style bins that lock. The non-locking bins they put in some of the rides are a joke. People just slide the doors open after a ride op closes them. Does Six Flags really not have a couple hundred bucks for a few locking bins? The rides are starting to feel more dated than classic to me. Whizzer I think holds up a lot better than Eagle and Demon, both of which can be somewhat rough/violent in spots. As much as I love Batman, I always feel like it's over too fast. Montu is just so much more creative even if it's badly paced in the second half. Think I got more rides in on that than I did on Batman in the last year. Pretzelman draws huge crowds here but is a joke compared to Manta and I imagine Tatsu too. Maybe we should take the $400 some we spent at Six Flags and use it towards Busch Gardens passes and airfare. I bet there's a good chance they let pass holders attend Sea World too. Great America really only makes sense as an option for people who live within 20, maybe 30 miles of it who either love lines or have nothing better to do. Outside of June and the first week or two in July, you're really just wasting your time and money on this place unless you splurge on flash passes. Even then, there's no flash pass for the restaurants and on a lot of rides the FP sticks you at points where you still have a 20 minute wait. I'm not sure why they don't just let them up the exit ramp like the EAP people. If I'm paying $110 for a pass, I don't want to wait at the stairs for 20 min. I still believe FP sales should be limited to maybe 100-200. They act like there's a limited supply but they never stop selling them. Six Flags needs to provide incentives for people who drive over 30 or 40 miles to attend. I'd say they need to limit usage of passes for people who live under 30-40 miles away if they're gonna charge next to nothing. Or raise season pass prices to $100-$150. Ban tailgating. Give any pass holder traveling over 40 miles two flash passes for free per year. Give flash pass discounts to anyone traveling 100 miles or more on top of that. The place is flooded because so many people don't have to invest any money in going nor do they have to drive very far. You could live down the street and buy the dining pass and have free meals and dessert almost every day during the summer and fright fest as long as you're sometimes willing to wait an hour at Aunt Martha's, JB's, Angelo's, etc. For a lot of parents Six Flags is an excellent babysitting service. They're attracting the lowest spending consumers possible. And the ones who spend $400 for their family to go one day feel disrespected and write bad reviews on Yelp. Maybe they feel they need 50,000 attendees to get 1000 who spend some money. So maybe next year we'll buy the cheapest tickets possible to go a couple times in June and 4th of July. But the parking is so expensive we might not bother at all. 4 visits would be $100 in parking. Maybe that's the big scam. Charge a bunch of people obscene parking fees before they know they won't be able to ride anything but flat rides. Not everyone is checking Yelp apparently. I'm curious how the company's debt levels are. If they're digging out of that bankruptcy hole well. This quantity over quality mentality is only going to take them so far with all the damage they're doing to their brand. Maybe they're just trying to ramp up as much short-term revenue as they can before going bankrupt again and selling the company's assets off. Bunch of geniuses running this company I tell ya.
  5. Was there last weekend. Good to see Condor back up and running. Lines for the flats were pretty normal, although Triple Play's was way out of the structure. Just ended up watching the shows along with Condor, East River, and the Balloons. I can't justify waiting in these lines anymore. Every coaster had a completely full or overflowing queue. Without extreme amounts of flash passers those are all at least 60 min waits. But the FP line was overflowing too. So I'm sure the shortest coaster wait was probably Demon at 90 minutes. Coulda been longer. Pretzelman was probably close to 3 hours. I could just about fly to Orlando and ride the much better Manta in that time span. Great America cannot handle crowds this size. Food lines were awful once you got past 6 pm. People were pouring in constantly when we left around 9 something. To both the regular car lines and the pick up/drop off spots. The whole back lot was full. Why people are so willing to get in these lines is beyond me. Makes me wonder if their power is out or something. You'd think with lines like these that we had a lineup of Millennium Force, Montu, Tatsu, El Toro, Kingda Ka, and every other majorly hyped coaster out there. One Yelp review talked about the misleading advertising for Goliath. It would not surprise me if 90% of the people at Great America really thought it was the "tallest, fastest, steepest" coaster in existence. Unfortunately, it is also one of the shortest too. Something like 29 seconds of ride time after reaching the top of the lift. If X-Flight had been hyped like this, it would have had a similar effect. I made another trip to Busch Gardens last month. This time Montu seemed to knock the life out of me on one try before lunch. Still an awesome ride. They've somehow managed to import half of Brazil here, so lines were a lot longer than last year at the same time. Montu and Kumba ended up being like 25 min waits with one train running. It doesn't feel like they dispatch trains any faster at BG. Liked Kumba a lot more this time. The second time I rode it I was able to avoid the ear touching by bracing a certain way. it was a lot easier than avoiding whiplash on Demon. First time I rode Kumba I didn't care for it at all, so it's always good for people to give coasters another try unless they really beat you up like Mean Streak or Magnum. Great America really needs a good 7 looper or at least a B&M floorless type coaster with a dive loop and cobra roll. Everything at our park is so short aside from Raging Trimbrake/Eagle/Viper. I just find it difficult to get a real satisfying ride experience off of individual coasters here. Great America only seems to really work for me if I can ride most everything in a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately it looks like June, the first two weeks of July, and the last week of Fright Fest are the only times that is gonna happen. Maybe sometimes in May if they have their act together. Looks like the first two weeks of Fright Fest were good this year after being horribly bad last year. If last year is any indication, the final weekend should be good. But last year we lucked out with almost every coaster breaking down, people leaving the lines, and then it re-opening about 10-15 min later. Maybe I'm off base here, but I think these theme parks should do everything to give a great guest experience every time. That means Great America should not try to flood itself with 50,000 people every chance they get while selling tons of flash passes and running substandard operations and BG should run two trains at least considering people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to go there. Come to think of it, people often drive hundreds of miles to our park as well. BG should fix their cruddy lockers too, the time spent messing with those cost me a ride on something. Great America at least has the locker thing down better. But nothing beats Universal's working and free lockers.
  6. We were there on the 13th briefly. Did not know they were closing at 8 PM in the middle of August. Ridiculous. How many people are driving hundreds of miles to go there? They should be open til 10 pm minimum. I'd be absolutely shocked if Cedar Point closed anywhere near 8 PM. Line for Roaring Rapids was kinda short, near the bridge. Water was frigid. Log Jam was about 20 some minutes. Pretzelman's line was almost out the entrance, same with Batmans. Both seemed to shorten quite a bit by 6. Batman was then just about three rows full after the flash pass worker at 7. So about a 25 min wait. Never really got to see the other lines. Balloons and whirley gig were their usual volume(but the ride op seemed to set whirley gig's cycle to the shortest ride ever). I'm half thinking to not buy the season passes next year and just use the money for a Cedar Point Trip. With this place it seems like May has 2 or 3 weeks of short lines and employees who don't know what they're doing yet, June is awesome the whole time, as well as the first half of July. After that it's all downhill. Maybe the first weekend of Fright Fest will have normal short lines this year. I like the midnight closings on Saturdays. Kinda goes against the park's usual philosophy of being closed as much as possible.
  7. Only had enough time for a couple rides Sunday. Whizzer's line looked a lot shorter, single file instead of wrapping around inside. Demon was a walk up. This time I leaned my head all the way forward during the loops. Not exactly comfortable but no real whiplash. We did X Flight on the left this time. Great ride, total opposite experience of what I dealt with on the right side before. Same row too and was in the outside seat both times. We'll see how the lines end up tomorrow.
  8. Today the lines were pretty much the same as the last time. There was added wait time for all the EAP people, almost all of whom were able-bodied. Think I saw one wheelchair and no prosthetics or crutches. Maybe it's some mental disability like autism. Or maybe it's people faking it, I've gone to the park with people that have mental disorders that make them blow up because they can't cope with the often ridiculous wait times and/or crowds. Does that qualify for EAP? I've got legit learning disability diagnoses, would I qualify? It just looks kinda bad to see often more than one able-bodied adult skipping the line with EAP. But I understand that some people mentally can't handle it as I've had to deal with others having blow ups as soon as we get in the park and making us leave or blowing up after being in a line. Guess Six Flags got rid of it at one point http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200709/474/ Now I'm digging the coasters a lot more than before. Raging Trimbrake didn't trim as harshly today. Maybe that was because I was in row 2. Wait time was like 15 min at 2:20. Then we watched the wrestling for a bit. I liked it better today than anytime in the last couple years. Ricochet had a wait of a couple cycles. Giant drop was pretty much a cycle or two. Viper's line was a little longer than the last times I went and people kept leaving it. The EAPs were slowing it down a lot apparently. Found the ride choppy still but easier to deal with today. Don't go to JB's over there. They have this sit down option now and it's made the wait times over half an hour. Whizzer's line was a little longer than the last two times. A few flash passers and EAPs made the line stand still a few times. Was probably closer to 40 min of waiting. Earlier in the afternoon the line looked better. This was around 8 something. We didn't end up riding anything else. Parade seems longer than last year. I can't say how, but the last dozen or so trips we've gotten some great parking spots in early afternoon. Snickers 3 this time. Everyone plays follow the leader upon leaving. Some went out through the employee lot and some through the exit to Grand near where the buses usually park. It'll be interesting to see if the lines and flash passes get insane now that mid-July approaches. I'll probably go back tomorrow and/or next week. SFGA always gets better the more you go and the more you ride. For me it's just something about getting one good ride experience and building on it throughout the day that makes it work. David Otunga was escorted by a bunch of gray shirt workers hastily through Viper's exit when we left. The wife spotted him, they were too fast for me to spot. Looks like Jennifer Hudson was with him.
  9. Wow, hardly any lines again? Someone who went about a week ago told me the same thing. It'll be interesting to see how lines are in 2-3 weeks. Demand was off the charts for this place last year after 4th of July and it looks like that's not carried over into this season. Maybe SFGA shot themselves in the foot with all the nonsense and bad service they've dished out since the Goliath hordes showed up.
  10. If I didn't say so, Goliath was down all day Sunday. Flash Pass at Great America only gets you so far. A lot of the waiting takes place after the Flash Pass employee and Eagle doesn't even have a FP lane. Once you get to the FP person, you can still have 50 people and a lot of stairs in front of you. Operations seemed better to me this past week than most times I'd been there since 2011. The Ragin Cajun spot is now occupied by a Fright Fest display advertising for this fall.
  11. Went yesterday around 3. Most everything was a walk up or close to it. Triple Play was a lot more fun than I remember. Whizzer was about 20 min with half the wait time occurring after we reached the stairs. Riding slightly better than last year and I probably had more fun on this than anything aside from Batman. Screams and Dreams 3 was a lot better than I thought it'd be. Demon had no line so we got on almost immediately upon reaching the gate. Tried to relax on the loops instead of my usual routine and thought my neck would snap. You really havta lean your neck forward some and move it a little at various points. So far this year we've just been on the yellow train. It's so choppy that I would not mind at all if they replaced this with a B&M floorless. X-Flight is getting rougher as people have noted. They could rename it X-Demon if it keeps it up. The line was just slightly outside the main building. Flash passers almost exclusively go to the right side, so go left if there are some. Yesterday there were about 20 instead of 200-300. Don't get it at all when people say X is not forceful. It pulls some pretty extreme Gs. The ride op pushed the harness down too far and the ride pushed it in further ala Batman so it was like torture riding. I don't recall X-Flight forces pushing the harness in during the ride before. Always seemed like the harness stayed where it was. Eagle red was doing double rides and this really makes the wait time bad even with barely a line. I swear that thing jumps the track before going up the first big hill. The speeds seem almost out of control so I see why they trim it. In this instance I think the trims help as I havta use a lot of arm strength to push or pull on the bar to keep my torso from slamming around. The portions given out now plus the snack make me think one dining pass is enough for two people. There's a lot better options for dining now too. Consuming everything they give out makes it a lot harder to ride a bunch of stuff. Those flatbread pizzas by Eagle are a foot long I swear. There's enough variety that I plan to go back to use my dining pass as much as to ride stuff. Batman ran top notch again. Seems that row 3 might have shorter belts than row 7 because I couldn't fit my wife in 3 at all but 7 wasn't too difficult. The lead thought we line jumped via the exit since no one informed him that we were waiting for the next train to go back to 7. Then he was cool when someone informed him. This was the first time they used a grouper. Batman was basically a walk up aside from 20 people waiting for the front. And they actually had people waiting for the front stay to the right with an op coming down the stairs to organize it all. Big improvement. We didn't end up riding anything else or staying for the ERT. Their were some great employees there. Horatio, Manuel, and I think the other guy with Horatio was named Eduardo and was from Ecuador. I have some pics of Sky Trek being stuck but they weren't very clear. Saw the blind guy with the walking stick again. He must go there everyday. Still amazed how he knew exactly when Giant Drop was going to go 3 years ago. Some people bought the flash pass even though Goliath was down. I'm not sure how it is nowadays, but when I did buy flash passes, I thought the regular one worked as well as Gold or Platinum. Didn't even notice the ride times being different. There's no way it can know the exact wait time. And so many times we'd get the green light to ride the next ride but we'd still be waiting to ride the current ride or walking, so we couldn't take advantage of the reduced times. People don't realize that there can be a lot of waiting once you get to the flash pass employee's spot.
  12. Went there a week ago I think it was. This new meal pass is great! Now I can get a pretzel, funnel cake, ice cream, nachos, or another good option along with lunch and dinner. The two free red sports bottles is a great touch too. The Peking Acrobats are amazing. They do some really insane stuff. Ended up speaking with the manager there who had 16 years of service. Seemed like a really good person who puts in a lot of effort. We didn't start going on rides til around 7 I think. Viper didn't seem to be dispatching any slower than usual. Pretty much a walk up aside from there being 10-15 people in line for each row. Raging Trimbrake is not something I'd care to ride much more if not for my wife insisting we ride it. Wait was about 10-15 min. The trim is just not in a good spot and the ride is a bit choppy(as are most all the other coasters here). The constant up and down reminds me of those motion simulators at Universal. My distaste for helixes and 200+ foot drops is growing too. Demon was a walk up. Riding the same as last year. Goliath's line was looking to be about an hour not accounting for flash passers. X-Flight's line was just in front of the key hole. We ended up taking a break for a while and then going on Batman. Another 15 min line. I'm not sure if it's the new paint or what, but it seems to be running smoother than ever. Everything is feeling awesome on the ride. Just wish it was like ten seconds longer with another inversion or two or some cool non-inverting element. At least it doesn't waste any track. Then they closed the park at 9, which I'm not sure was the intended closing time. It was great to see the crowds were huge but the lines weren't. The back lot wasn't very full but the park didn't seem to be lacking visitors at all. Maybe I'll go back again next week. At least now I can get a worthwhile snack. It may end up that I don't care about riding much beyond Batman. The other coasters were starting to lose their luster with me and it's just increasing.
  13. Haven't been back to the park yet but I've gotten a couple reports from someone who has and the crowds have been typical for May and June meaning that there's not a ton of waiting. From the recent Yelp reviews, all of which seem to be 1 star, it looks like the food lines are as bad as last year. Hour long waits and all. Doesn't seem like the employees anywhere in the park have a clue what they're doing. Great America is only worth visiting if you get light lines and competent employees. Still don't get the Goliath hype. We're talking about a ride that is significantly shorter than the already short Batman and X-Flight. There are way too many Great America ads out there now. Do not be surprised if wait times are completely obscene again once mid-July hits. It was just an absolute disgrace that this place sold so many flash passes last year that the only way to have a good experience on a lot of days was to fork out for Platinum passes for everyone(or you'll be counting 200-300 flash passers bypassing you on rides where you can see them, such as X-Flight). If you're coming from Florida, the experience here is going to be a huge disappointment compared to Busch or Sea World, even if SFGAM has the superior ride collection. Haven't been to Cedar in 3 years, but the lines were only really bad if they closed rides due to wind or rain(which they did). There was always a few things you could ride without waiting long, coasters or flats. At SFGAM a lot of the time you'll be lucky to ride any coaster without a 60+ min wait. The wait times could be much better if SF had operations up to par with the Florida parks. If they cut flash pass sales, it might be downright manageable most of the time. If you're going to King's and Cedar, there's probably even less incentive to come here. SFGAM has a good level of consistent quality where most everything is worth riding, but I don't think it has something akin to big, eccentric attractions like Manta, Maverick, Millennium Force, Kraken, Sheikra, Montu, Banshee, Dragster, Gatekeeper, etc. The rides here are more compact, straightforward, and humble. Collectively I'd take SFGAM's collection over Cedar or any of the Florida parks, but it's still a far inferior experience overall.
  14. I was just at Sea World about a month ago and posted my thoughts in my home park's thread, SFGA. Universal really underwhelmed me and riding simulator after simulator got old real fast. The physical length of the queues are unbearably long, followed by dull 10 minute speeches reminding us not to take pics and videos before some of the rides. At least the lines moved continuously. Hulk was a real letdown. For me it was just somewhat uncomfortable G forces the whole time, for others it was that plus headbanging. The ice side of the duelling dragons was good, but not something I'd consider up to par with Batman, Montu, or Raptor. Almost though. Fire was kinda dull. Harry Potter's theming was awesome, much more appealing to me than the rides themselves. Spiderman was the only simulator I'd ride again. T-2 was our fav thing there. Universal seems more juvenile and aimed at kids under 10, Sea World has a lot more of a mature vibe. So I'm surprised Kracken does not get more hype. After going to SFGA, Cedar Point, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Universal I'd really say this was the best coaster out of everything I've gone on. Pretty much as close to whatever notions of a dream coaster I had before riding it. Other people have different tastes, of course, but I really thought every element meant something, speed was ideal, nothing uncomfortable, creative use of elements, great air, awesome transitions between elements, epic feel as opposed to a typical short SFGA ride, can't say there was anything I didn't like. For me, Kumba really pales in comparison. Manta is great too. If Superman typically has two hour waits here, I bet Manta would double that. The environment at Sea World is really relaxing. If I had to guess why their attendance is down I would chalk it up to Disney and Universal with their huge advertising budget. The shark encounter was cutting edge for its time, but it's really, really dated compared to places I've been like Ripley's in Myrtle Beach or even Mandalay Bay or the Interactive Aquarium in Cancun. Blue Horizons was amazing and I rarely think that of anything. I've seen Blackfish and haven't done my own research to see what validity their claims have. PETA is definitely an organization that does some very questionable things. At this point, I don't even know that keeping Orcas is worth the hassle. The Shamu show at 4:30 drew worse than Blue Horizons at 11:30. BH was pretty much at capacity. Shamu was kinda repetitive and paled in comparison to BH. If they can't come up with a better show that doesn't put the trainers at risk while also keeping the Orcas in ideal conditions, it might be time to switch to something else. But why pick on Sea World? How many activist dollars go to supporting horrible politicians and corporations that do far worse things than Sea World could ever dream of? Is it just me or do Florida residents not go to the parks during the offseason on weekdays? In September everyone at BG was from the UK. This time it was the whole country of Brazil everywhere in Orlando and Tampa. I wish IL residents were more like that. Last year SFGA had absolutely horrible crowds every day it was open after mid-July aside from Halloween. Horrible meaning every major ride had a 90 min+ wait time. I have little doubt people would have stopped attending in those numbers in the winter unless there was a blizzard. Whatever SF does in their marketing enables them to attract Walmart shoppers of all types in agonizingly huge numbers. Sea World probably seems too family friendly for a majority of the Yolo SF crowd. Was Sea World ever considered much of a theme park? When I went there in 88 and 92, I felt like the sharks and Shamu were the big draws. Nowadays there are shark infested aquariums everywhere so the competition is fierce. If they could build some mammoth shark exhibit, I think that would re-establish Sea World as the top aquarium brand. This is an area Disney and Universal can't/won't compete in. As for the other exhibits, Turtle Trek was really cool. The penguins were a lot like we have at Brookfield Zoo. I would say that it's mainly standard zoo and aquarium fare. A new cutting edge shark exhibit would generate tons of hype. If they were to do another coaster, it would have to be very cutting edge. At SFGA, Goliath eventually drew insane crowds bc of all the marketing hype. RMC generates lots of hype in the coaster enthusiast community. Goliath wasn't really too appealing to me. Guess it was cool for what it is, but at about 29 seconds long after reaching the top of the lift, it felt like half a ride to me. X-Flight was the first new coaster SFGA had received in over a decade but bc it wasn't hyped to death in advertising, it didn't seem to generate much of a buzz despite it being about as good as any other coaster in the park. Coasters are really the Six Flags and Cedar Fair brands. Disney and Universal are family friendly parks with beloved movie and tv characters. Sea World's brand is now viewed as home of mistreated orcas or exciting Shamu shows, depending on who you ask. Unless SF builds a park in Central FL and Sea World wants to catch all the inevitable guests SF disappoints with bad service, unruly guests, and long lines, I would say to stick with building their aquatic brand and not build more coasters. BG has plenty of top-rated coasters and it doesn't draw the type of people in Central FL who would be visiting SFGA if they lived here. Discovery Cove looks awesome, but it was closed when I went. I didn't even know what it was and I've seen many theme park shows on Destination America and Travel Channel.
  15. I'm comparing them. If you've been paying attention to the discussions on here since Goliath opened, there's been a lot of talk about what SFGA has been doing wrong. People also mentioned that it'd be good if they had a dark ride like Harry Potter. And if Six Flags corporate reads this forum as has been mentioned in the past, they should get all the feedback about what their customer base does and does not like about SFGA and other parks. At the end of the day, I'm not sure I'd prefer to have all the Florida parks instead of SFGA. But, I would take Kracken and Manta with no lines over the whole SFGA lineup with long lines. Anyway, I forgot to mention that Universal has this habit of ten minute long introduction speeches before every ride in addition to the 10x the length of The Eagle queues. A lot of it is just "no cameras, no videos" over and over. It got real annoying. The barracudas in Sea World Shark Encounter were real creepy too. They literally stay still and stare at everyone.
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