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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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I went to high school with one of the guys who stole Tiny back in '94 (we went to Gurnee's Warren Township H.S). No joke. His name was Bill. Quite a feat right there on interstate 94.

 

I don't think this is truly the end of Tiny. I've been skeptical while talking with my wife about it. Huge PR stunt by the park. Undead Tiny coming in a couple weeks?

 

When that happened my Dad asked me how someone could get into the park and do that. Honestly, Bill had to have some help on the inside, but I don't know all the details (just what was written in the paper when it happened). I understand if you can't share details of what exactly happened (or how it happened) but it's fun to learn the details 18 years later.

 

I can't help but think of the Simpsons and their cat Snowball (and Snowball 2) when I hear about Tiny. I'm sure we'll be seeing Tiny 2 next year.

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Batman backwards? I'm in, would love to give it a try. It can't be THAT much more intense than it is going forwards can it? I mean it's not like they are changing the layout or speeding up the ride or anything, they're just turning the seats around. I think it would be kinda cool.

 

It's no more intense but your body doesn't prepare itself for the changes in direction and such. If you know the ride to a tee that's fine, you can brace yourself. But for the average person riding, they're going to get even more ragdolled than they currently do, especially if they don't ride defensively to begin with (which most people don't).

 

Aren't the transitions that are the most exciting usually the ones that you don't entirely anticipate? You know like that little pop of air that you didn't see coming or the insane curve in the tunneled section? I just imagine a ride on a rear facing Batman would be full of unknown crazy transitions that would absolutely rock. I doubt they would even consider it if they knew it was going to be too intense for the average rider but the fact that this rumor has now surfaced at two different parks makes me think there might actually be a slight bit of truth to it.

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This let's see if we can run it backwards so we can get away with marketing it as a new ride schtick is just as bad as the let's paint it and add some on-board audio and fire so we can get away with marketing it as a new ride garbage.

 

If there is any truth to the story that B&M weren't down with the idea of sitdown/floorless trains on Chang while it was sitting in Great America's parking lot, then that could be an indicator as to whether or not this idea is really being kicked around (although in that case, the riders' position relative to the track would be slightly different).

Really though, Vertical Velocity and the Batman mouse coaster would seem much better suited for this gimmick if they're so intent on doing it. Or Columbia Carousel. Or a Dippin' Dots stand. Batman doesn't have a problem with filling it's queue to the brim as it stands 20 years after it was built- so what would this accomplish? Filling it's queue to the brim even more? Stunts like this make sense if they're being used to revive interest in a ride that has low ridership or interest from guests. See: XLR-8-

 

On top of all that, they've already done the whole backwards thing at Great America with American Eagle*. It wouldn't exactly set the world on fire like it might elsewhere.

 

*not to mention V2, Deja Vu, and from the wayback machine, Tidal Wave.

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Aren't the transitions that are the most exciting usually the ones that you don't entirely anticipate?

Sure, but not with shoulder bars. They would bash people to death. There would have to be specially designed lap bars from B&M that would strongly encourage guests to "lean back against the headrest" to prevent your head/upper body from being forced forward/down. I would love to see that, but I doubt B&M would even be open to something like that.

 

You know like that little pop of air that you didn't see coming or the insane curve in the tunneled section?

 

On Batman at Great America?

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You know like that little pop of air that you didn't see coming or the insane curve in the tunneled section?

 

On Batman at Great America?

 

No, not on a Batman clone just transitions in general. I was actually thinking of that crazy transition on Flight of Fear that always catches me off guard, I wouldn't be able to "brace" for it any easier going backwards than I do going forwards.

 

I still don't really think the bashing would be any worse going backwards than it would be going forwards. I may be wrong, but if anything most people would probably have a tendency to brace more than normal naturally while going backwards than forwards just because of the unknown.

 

I know there are some pictures of people riding Shockwave at Drayton Manor facing backwards (in the normal forward seats) during park ERT sessions. Has anyone here done that? Was it fun? Painful? I now one caption in the report says it was crazy but kind of brutal, but would it be less brutal if the seats were actually facing backwards?

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I still don't really think the bashing would be any worse going backwards than it would be going forwards. I may be wrong, but if anything most people would probably have a tendency to brace more than normal naturally while going backwards than forwards just because of the unknown.

 

Hrm... may be a good point. I guess there is only one way to find out.

 

Transitions can be funny things. Some people *LOVE* the transitions on I-305 and Maverick. I find them ridiculous and uncomfortable. But those are extreme examples. That also reminds me about how much fun I think an Arrow corkscrew entrance (DEMON!) would be with lap bars. That would be kinda fun being jerked side to side, with out the discomfort.

 

Speaking of transitions, I'm thinking the whole sequence after the first loop on Mind Bender. Ejector air, slam to the side, jerk to the side, go up then the train twists and drops out from under you. Perfection!

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I went to high school with one of the guys who stole Tiny back in '94 (we went to Gurnee's Warren Township H.S). No joke. His name was Bill. Quite a feat right there on interstate 94.

 

I don't think this is truly the end of Tiny. I've been skeptical while talking with my wife about it. Huge PR stunt by the park. Undead Tiny coming in a couple weeks?

 

When that happened my Dad asked me how someone could get into the park and do that. Honestly, Bill had to have some help on the inside, but I don't know all the details (just what was written in the paper when it happened). I understand if you can't share details of what exactly happened (or how it happened) but it's fun to learn the details 18 years later.

 

I can't help but think of the Simpsons and their cat Snowball (and Snowball 2) when I hear about Tiny. I'm sure we'll be seeing Tiny 2 next year.

 

I honestly don't know anything about how they got away with it beyond what I read in the paper at the time it happened. Bill had graduated by then, and actually I had too, so there were no rumors flying around school or anything for me to pick up. I was just so shocked it was someone I knew and I thought it was quite the amazing prank/crime due to Tiny being easily viewable by all that traffic passing right under her on 94, at all hours!

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The last Fright Fest preview photos have been uploaded, with the event opening this Saturday. I'd say the theming aspect of the event looks to have improved from last year. Hopefully the scare actors (both in quantity and quality) will improve as well.

 

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New retheme for Fiddlers Fling. This will be a more extensive retheme than Fiddlers Flung with lights, fog and music.

 

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Hurricane Harbor will be home to the new 17+ Club Fright.

 

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Nice to see the old raceway cars being used.

 

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Queue line theming for La Maison d'Obscurite (Rue Le Dodge)

 

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Mausoleum of Terror.

 

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Wicked Woods.

 

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Full album here.

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I just got home from Fright Fest and I've very happy to say this years event is great improvement over last years. The number of scare actors on the midways didn't seem to be hugely, but I could tell that many of the actors were new and they really have great energy, something I thought was lacking last year. While being opening night probably did have something to do with it, I went opening night last year as well and it was nowhere near as good. I'll give a quick run down of the event but I'll try not to spoil too much.

 

Haunts:

 

- Wicked Woods: I was surprised with Wicked Woods. It wasn't overloaded with scares, but the set designs allowed the ones there were to be pretty good. If you go through, stay towards the front of the group by the tour guide. The actors did make sure that everyone saw them, but you'll understand the story better in the front.

 

- Dead Line: Dead Line was odd in that, it really didn't need the train. There's a few small sets along the tracks, but all the scares are in the walk-though on Iron Wolfs old plot. It would have been just as scary without the train, which is really just used to set up the story. Regardless, the walk through in the end had some good scares and creepy moments with lots of actors in a small space.

 

- Manslaughter Manor: MM was my least favorite of the haunts. It relied too heavily on special effects rather than scares. It seemed very understaffed as places with easy scares were empty. It wasn't all bad as it did have some cool effects on it, but it could be highly improved.

 

- Massacre Medical Center: Same thing as last year with a few actors moved to different spots for more effective scares. This was the only house that gave you the option to walk through alone, or only with your group. Definitely the best looking of the houses, and the scares were pretty good too.

 

- Mausoleum of Terror: Surprisingly, this ended up being my favorite of the houses. You can tell its the oldest of the houses, but that gives it a good advantage it that it has to focus on the scares, not special effects. It was the only house that you couldn't bring bags or sports bottles into as well as being the only they took your picture in.

 

- Necropolis: Not too different from last year. Luckily the law suit seemed to have no effect on what the actors could do. They do seem to be better placed this year, taking away some of the quiet zones from last year.

 

Scare zones / Themed rides

 

Carousel Plaza: Decorated very well this year and better scare actors behind the carousel. The area is pretty small, but the actors use it well.

 

Bayou Du Vaudou: The theming is the same as always with the large above ground graves, but the new actors were going crazy and really chasing people around, which I had never seen in that area before. The two Voodoo doll characters were replaced.

 

Burn 'em and Burried Circus: A few new additions to the theming and two new characters replacing the mime and red haired clown. Again, the actors were going all out and chasing people down.

 

Port Dread: One of the few things that wasn't as good as last year. The theming wasn't great and the actors just weren't that good. They made some effort to scare they just weren't at the same level of other scare zones, even though it has more actors than most of the others.

 

The Ruins of Fenrir: Also not as good as last year. The vampires are gone with some weird white faced people taking their place and the werewolf costumes weren't nearly as good as last years. The whole area just didn't make much sense and wasn't scary.

 

Hellmouth: Hellmouth now uses the path next to Buccaneer Battle and actually has good theming. The area was very small, but it works well. Sadly, the Demon song was not playing on the midway.

 

Tinsletown Terror: This area is still weird. The costumes are cowboys and indians, but the theming is still all left over Area 51 stuff. IMO, they really should just ditch Tinsletown Terror and have half the area be Southwest Scare-itory again, and have an Area 51 scare zone by the amphitheater. On a positive note, the actors were much better than last years and filled the space well.

 

Sector 7: Withs lots of theming and all new costumes, Sector 7, which was already very good, got even better. The actors were really taking advantage of their surroundings and had some cool props to scare with. Make sure to visit in the daytime so you can get a good look at their masks.

 

Valhalla Fyre: This new retheme of Fiddlers Fling, sadly, didn't add too much to the ride. The music was too quiet and the few special lights don't do much either. The best part was the large amounts of fog.

 

Terror Twister 2: I didn't notice new in the ride, but it's not like it needed it anyways. It's amazing as always, and the music is turned all the way up unlike last year, so you can hear every song while in line.

 

The only show I saw was Love at First Fright, which is amazing as always. This year has a few new cast members with Katie, the blue vampire and the hag being replaced. The new Katie and Vampire were fine, but I'm pretty sure the new hag is a guy. (S)he gives a good effort, but they just couldn't get the voice as good as the previous actress. I won't spoil any of the jokes, but there were some pretty good ones this year.

 

So overall, I think this will be a great year for Fright Fest. Hopefully the actors will keep the same energy as they had tonight, as there were some really crazy scares. I'll get some pictures and videos up within a few days.

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Went yesterday at 3 PM. No Flash Pass necessary. There wasn't really much time to see a lot of the FF specific stuff after LAFF and Susan Rosen shows. I liked LAFF better last year. It felt like it had a stronger narrative. This one felt more like a standard music show style. They had two of the Kick It Up people as the leads. The hypnosis show was really good. I still find it hard to believe it's possible to do.

 

We rode the following:

 

Whizzer: Very back seat for me. Much better speed than in the middle or front.

 

Batman: Row 8 daytime. Think I sat on the left outside seat. We did the season pass holder thing for it at 9. This time I rode row 8 Left outside seat. Then row 2 outside left and row 4 right middle. I would've gladly gone on some more but the wife had enough. The L outside seats are more intense. Puts more forces on your feet and legs. Row 4 in the middle was kinda neutral. Row 2 was interesting. Totally different than anything from row 3 backwards. You don't get to be part of the pre-drop kick as you're already waiting down the track. What you do get is a feeling sorta like Maverick when it launches you out of the tunnel...for the whole ride. You're just quickly shot over the inversions. Positive G forces are quite a bit stronger in this row as far as I can tell. There's no hang-time on the loops like in the back rows. Maybe positive Gs are stronger in the front and negative in the back? That probably goes for all coasters.

 

What I notice after riding this one more and more is that it's the only coaster there that I really like each part of. It never loses momentum, never feels uncomfortable, a lot of variety in the directions it goes in, and it's so graceful in its intensity and forcefulness. Riding on the R outside makes me feel like it's a more complete experience compared to the other seats.

 

Eagle: Blue row, second car. Might've been row 5 or 6. Lot of shaking and vibrating but overall a pretty good ride. Didn't feel like Mean Streak in the helix's end again.

 

X-Flight: Very back row, L outside seat. I haven't been in the outside seat in a while. Plenty of foot choppers. The ride is a little disorienting due to the lack of light. Other than that nothing really changed much from my previous ride experiences.

 

Demon: Sat in the second to last row. No headbanging for the wife like there was in the front and middle. The train is already running full speed by the time you reach the top of the lift. Coming down off the second loop the ride whiplashes the back of my skull into the headrest, but not with any real force. It's nothing painful. It feels smoother back here despite what I've read about it being rougher. The theming is awesome for FF. The best atmosphere of any of the coasters. We re-rode this one.

 

Raging Bull: Row 6 this time. Didn't really change much from being further up. There are parts of this ride I really like and parts that I don't. I think it would have a much more consistent flow if they took out the trims and the mid-course brakes. Trims on that hill just feel awkward. RB seems to be at its best when it's in the parts that run at full speed.

 

Viper: Went to the very back of the middle trains, sat on the outside row for the first time in a while. No yanking ejector air on the drops in this row. I feel like I need a crash helmet or some pads riding this. It's constantly slamming me back into the seat and headrest, especially if I sit back against it like the ride instructs. That was sort of an issue on other rides, but more a consistent problem on this one. It's not an especially violent slamming, but it is irritating. That said, this ride never really has a dull moment. I would take it over Eagle. I like the outer seat better too.

 

Super Pretzel: Back to row 4 this time. L side outer seat for me. I'm not sure if that makes much a difference. This is probably my least favorite of the coasters I went on. The pretzel loop is fun and all, but the ride seriously sucks after that. Feels like you're just kinda going in circle shapes til the corkscrew. I'm not a huge fan of the flying position either. I would never spend time waiting for this unless someone I'm with insists on going.

 

We went on Triple Play for the first time. That's a pretty good ride. It's decently long too.

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I went to Fright Fest this past weekend. I don't do any of the scary stuff and I get out of the park around 4 when the actors come out. I stayed for the parade where they had Tiny the Spider in the back of the hurse.

 

You can just see her legs. There is a gravestone set up right next to the entrance to Sector 7. There is a huge pile of dirt off to the left of the grave but after the parade, nothing happened. I'm not sure if they are actually burying the spider or not, but the parade was kind of dissapointing in that aspect.

 

Here are some pictures of the decorations and the zombie parade. Enjoy because I won't be going back

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Part of the Sector 7 decor

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Main entrance decor

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Hometown Square

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In front of Buccaneer Battle

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The ride graveyard by the old Iron Wolf

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I still love these cars and I'm glad that they were saved for now

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Tiny's Grave

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Tiny's legs trailing from the hurse

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Yes, it's $20 for unlimited access (that day only) for the three houses, Deadline and Wicked Woods. I don't belive you can buy individual tickets this year.

 

Yes that correct $20 per person for unlimited access, Extreme Pass is only $5 per person, there is no individual tickets this year.

There's more than 3 haunted attractions - Wicked woods, manslaughter manor,the dead line, massacre medical center, mausoleum of terror.

 

Also the free ones Necropolis & Fright Club

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I e-mailed Six Flags about tickets and they told me that individual prices were $15

 

The Express Haunt Wristband is $59.99 per person, with the regular wristbands being $19.99 (taken from the SFGA website)

 

 

Here is the e-mail that I was sent about individual tickets~

 

Thank you for your interest in Six Flags Great America and taking the time to contact us.

Purchasing the wristband is the least expensive option available. For $19.99 you are able to participate in all of the haunted attractions. Individual tickets can be purchased for $15.00.

If you have any further questions or concerns, we will be glad to answer them via email response or by phone. You can reach us at (847) 249-INFO (4636) during business hours (9am-5pm), Monday through Friday.

 

Thank you,

Jason

Guest Services Supervisor

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I went to Fright Fest last night. It was a certainly a little chilly. The haunted houses had almost zero wait. X-Flight was also shut-down by about 8pm. However, I finally got to experience it from the backrow. I experienced some more noticeable vibration from the back. I also got in a front row ride on my beloved Raging Bull.

 

On another note, I like how SFGA used the remnants of the Sky Whirl for the "zombie invasion" scenes near the Eagle.

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Since there has been a few posts showcasing the parks Fright Fest theming, I thought I'd show off some of the scare actors for this year. I took pictures as well as filmed both of the parades, which you can see here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRzC26YUp1I

 

(Sorry the sound isn't great in some parts, I filmed it all with my phone and the loud music gets a bit distorted at times.)

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The Zombie Jamboree for opening day included Tinys funeral procession. The sign is held by two Ruins of Fenrir actors.

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Hellmouth Demons

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Carousel Plaza. Mostly the same as last year. The scarecrow and witch got new costumes, and one of the crows was replaced with a vampire.

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Port Dread pirates. The grim reaper is a photo op character in Carousel Plaza.

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Burn Em and Buried circus actors. The ringmaster and monkey are new and both clowns had updates to their costumes.

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Sector 7 costumes look great this year.

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The werewolfs and bald guys are in Ruins of Fenrir.

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Last years werewolfs looked alot better sadly. The other two actors are in Tinsletown Terror.

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With these new costumes, Tinsletown makes even less sense this year.

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Atleast the actors are good.

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I completely forgot about the Bayou de Vaudou actors since they were at the end this year, so this is the best I got. You can see them better in the video.

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The bush people in Necropolis are back and as good as ever.

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Bonezwick bowling alley employee.

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Pawn Scars employee. He was better for atmosphere than scares (but not keen on pictures apparently.)

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The porcelain doll is back and is just as amazing as last year. Easily one of the best actors in the park.

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The ending is the same as the last few years with the scarecrows and zombie bums. Other actors in the area include a janitor, Gates Motel employee, butcher, school girl, postal worker, etc.

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