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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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Has anyone take the Amtrak from St. Louis to Chicago or Glenview to visit SIx Flags Great America? I'm wanting to visit the park but I don't wanna drive. So i'm looking into taking the amtrak then using public transportation to the park. If you have please pm me. Thanks

I think your best bet would be to take the Metra to Waukegan and then take the Pace Bus to SFGAm. I've never used the Pace Bus, so I can't speak from personal experience on that, but the Metra system is very nice.

 

 

Thanks for the Info very helpful!!

You have either that Metra option, or you can take the CTA. I'm PMing you with more info.

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I decided to just go ahead and post the info on here in case others are interested. I STRONGLY encouage public transportation, and though Chicago's is old, it's convenient and gets you everywhere. Plus it's way cheaper than paying for parking at the park!

 

Your first option which works every day of the week is to take the Metra Union Pacific North line to Waukegan which leavs from the Ogilvie Transportation Center.f you came to Chicago on Amtrak you will need to walk 3 blocks north from Union Station to Ogilvie. You can then take Pace bus #565 from the Metra station to the park. The SFGAm bus stop is at Grand Ave and Six Flags Drive, so you'd still have to walk down Six Flags Drive to the park entrance. All easy to do without a rental car.

 

Just FYI- Bus fare is $1.85 each way for an adult. Metra train fare is $6.75 each way for an adult during the week. Weekends are $7 for unlimited rides. If you don't buy a round trip on a weekday downtown and end up needing to buy a ticket on the train for the trip home they only accept cash on the Metra train.

 

The second option is easier but only works Friday through Sunday because the express bus only runs on those days. Take the CTA Blue Line. Fare for the CTA is $2.25. Credit cards are accepted everywhere on the CTA. Take the Blue Line train heading to O'Hare and get off at the Rosemont stop (last one before O'Hare). Once you get there you can take the Pace #284 "Six Flags Great America Express" for $4- exact change only- and that bus will take you directly non-stop from the Rosemont station to the park. This bus stops right at the park entrance, too.

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So will the flash pass gold be worth it next Friday? What kind of wait times will I be looking at?

 

I honestly think the Platinum is worth $30 more just for the 2 rides on Goliath, Plus you get consecutive rerides on everything but V2 & Giant Drop.

 

Thanks for the tip. We've done the gold before when we visit first time parks. I make a good wage, so it's not that I don't have the money to spend on the gold... but just because I make enough money doesn't mean that I can't see that I'm being taken for a ride with that price. My wife and I cringe every time we drop money on the gold passes, just because they are so unreasonably priced. I hate how SF tries to squeeze every every last dime out of your pocket. At least when we buy fast lane passes for anywhere from $45-60, depending on the park/day, we don't feel like we got taken on the deal.

Edited by prozach626
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Everything was between 45 mins and an hour.. Raging Bull and X Flight had a pretty much full line all night, even up till close, American eagle I only rode on Sunday, it was a 20-30 min wait. It was quiet a shock to me on Monday as I'm use to SFOG and empty lines on weekdays. Is it always busy like that, or is Goliath having an effect?

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^I guess I wasn't the only one that was "SHOCKED". I was there at the park for two days last week and I managed to ride almost everything in the park ( some rides more than once because they were worth a repeat and that included twice on Goliath. That was one awesome ride!

 

Another ride I want to talk about is American Eagle. Earlier in the day, I rode that coaster twice, first time RED SIDE and second time BLUE SIDE. And on each time, it was a walk up and ride. Now at around 7:30 I was on the Train on it last ride of the day when we pass by American Eagle and I was shocked to see how crowed the lines were. I mean, I was like On the next day, I went get in line for American Eagle and there was a long line that began where the entrance was and filled up each and every line they had. Despite the long line, it moved quickly and I was able to ride up in front on BLUE SIDE. Amazing that even with Goliath, X-flight, and Superman, this coaster still gets long lines. BEAUTIFUL!

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^I guess I wasn't the only one that was "SHOCKED". I was there at the park for two days last week and I managed to ride almost everything in the park ( some rides more than once because they were worth a repeat and that included twice on Goliath. That was one awesome ride!

 

Another ride I want to talk about is American Eagle. Earlier in the day, I rode that coaster twice, first time RED SIDE and second time BLUE SIDE. And on each time, it was a walk up and ride. Now at around 7:30 I was on the Train on it last ride of the day when we pass by American Eagle and I was shocked to see how crowed the lines were. I mean, I was like On the next day, I went get in line for American Eagle and there was a long line that began where the entrance was and filled up each and every line they had. Despite the long line, it moved quickly and I was able to ride up in front on BLUE SIDE. Amazing that even with Goliath, X-flight, and Superman, this coaster still gets long lines. BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

Honestly, the line that shocked me most was Demon, every park pretty much has that one coaster that's never busy, no matter what, and when I saw an hour line for Demon , my jaw dropped. I was expecting long lines for Goliath obviously, and Superman wasn't a shock either, because the public for some reason creams their pants over it ( personally I'll never wait more than 15 mins for it) Viper, Batman, Dark Knight line length suprised me, X Flight kind of did to, because I heard even though it was the second newest coaster , it wasn't very popular, but I guess those people just went on days where they got lucky with lines. all I can say is thank god for flash pass, because without it I wouldn't have gotten the number of rides in I did, I probally would have gotten enough to get all the credits and a few re rides here and there.

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Here's my trip report from two weeks ago [ No Pictures unfortunaly, My phone got wiped somehow]

 

So, originally me and my sister planned on driving to Virginia, and doing a day at Busch Gardens, then doing a day at Kings Dominion, unfortunaly the closer and closer we got to the date, the worse the weather looked, I know you can't always help the weather and stuff, but neither one of us had ever been, and it would suck to pay money just to get rained out, also we would be driving from just outside of Nashville, and according to map quest, it was 8 1/2 to one park, and 9 1/2 to the other, so I started looking around at other parks that we could possibly go to. SFOG is 3 hours away, but we've been there millions of time, and we wanted something new, Dollywood is also about 3 1/2, but I just went back in June with my bestie from work, and suddenly Great America & Goliath dawned on me, I looked it up, and what do you know it's only 8 hours away, which was roughly the distance we were going to travel on our original trip, not to mention the forecasted. I knew with Goliath opening the month before, lines for it would be huge, so since I was going to save on admission and parking with my gold pass, I decide I'd spring for a platinum flash pass just solely for Goliath, little did I know how much the flash pass would come in handy for the day in general.

 

Our first day was Sunday the 19th, we arrived about 3:30, our original plan on Sunday, was to walk around and get a feel for the park, ride a few rides and just get acquainted with our surroundings, well we get back to Raging Bull, and we're greeted with about a 90 min wait, and about a 60 min wait for Viper, so I decide to spring for a gold flash pass, sure it only cuts the time in 1/2, but I knew I'd be getting the platinum the next day, I have to say once we got situated and into the park it was about 4, I got the flash pass about 4:30, so we had roughly 5 1/2 hours, and we managed to squeeze in Raging Bull [X2] X Flight [X2] Viper [X2] V2, Batman, Both sides of Eagle & Demon ,Dark Knight which we maybe would have gotten half of that done without the pass.

 

Monday the 20th, we arrived about 9:45, and once they dropped the ropes, I ran straight to the flash pass office, one thing I liked it they were only letting the people that were paying for the passes into the office, it really helped because you didn't have mobs of people in line with the person buying, so they were able to actually get people in and out real fast, I'm not sure if it's like that at all Six Flags, but I know in Georgia I've seen hoards of people coming in and out, and I can only imange how confusing it is for the workers, and the people waiting inline to purchase. I know a lot of people bitch and moan about people with flash passes and how it's not fair etc.. I try to visit parks at the slowest times possible, so I don't ever really get annoyed with flash passes, because it's usually not to much longer, but I've had to go during busy times flash passless, and it's annoying seeing people get ahead of you, but at the same time, it's not like they got it for free, or were randomly chosen by the park to skip ahead. They cost money and I just happened to have a little extra to splurge, people were extremely rude when we would take our re rides, or when we approached the attendant to scan in, and it's frankly childish imo. Thanks to this bad boy we rode until our hearts were content Goliath [X2] Batman [X8] Viper [X5] V2 [X4] Superman [X3] Dark Knight [X4] Superman [X3] Raging Bull [X8] XFlight [X6] Whizzer [X2] Yankee Clipper [X2] Loggers Run [X2] Roaring Rapids [X4] Giant Drop [X1].. Now onto my thoughts about the individual rides.

 

American Eagle- I actually liked both sides, the queue is a bitch though, I lost probably 5 pounds, before I reached the station. It's much smooth than Thunder Road, which is the only other racing woody I've been on, Also, is there a reason the blue train always seems to win? 8/10

 

Batman: This is my 4th Batman clone, and really what can you say that hasn't already been said time and time again?? These things rock, Smooth, forceful and just all around fun. It was kind of strange seeing it in the middle of the park though, all the ones I've ridden have been sort of in their own area, also since I used a flash pass, I didn't get to experience the theming for the most part which is always one of my favorite things.. Although one thing I wish I didn't experience was the music in the station, you can only hear Kiss From A Rose so many time before you want to tear your eyes out. 10/10

 

Dark Knight: I know these seem to get a lot of hate, and I really don't understand why. It's a mouse in a box, what are people expecting?? Their not made to be 100 mph thrill machines, these types of coaster are just fun in general to me the darkness adds to it. Although, I do wonder if some of the theming elements are a little much for kids, I saw more than one kid come off crying. 8/10

 

Demon: I honestly didn't know what to expect, My most hated coaster is an arrow [ Carolina Cyclone], and considering this is 4 years older, I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth parts of it were, the corkscrews were slightly rough, but nothing to bad, I rode this at night, the tunnel really adds to it, my sister wasn't much of a fan however so we only rode it once. 7/10

 

Giant Drop: I love drop towers for the most part, Acraphobia still scares the bejesus out of me every time I ride it, but Giant Drop didn't do all that much for me, it was just kind of meh. 5/10

 

Goliath: Holy mother of God.. I knew from the looks of it, that this would be amazing, but pictures and videos don't do it justice. Seeing it up close and in person, is just awe inspiring, and the ride is just amazing, the inversions are smooth as can be, and the first drop into the tunnel, is just wow, I thought for a second my testicles were going to lodge in my throat, Words can't describe it. Next year I'm going to get to Outlaw Run & El Toro, and as amazing as I've heard they are, It's going to be really hard to dislodge Goliath from #1. 10,000/10

 

Loggers Run: Usually I only get soaked from shoot the chutes and rapids, this was definitely the wettest I've ever gotten on a log flume, and I loved every second of it.. I also loved how it and Yankee Clipper interact. 8/10

 

Raging Bull: A B&M Hyper is my #1 Steel Coaster [ Goliath], so Raging Bull was probably the ride I was looking most forward to behind Goliath, I wish I could say it didn't disappoint but i'd be lying. Our first ride, was on the second row, and while it wasn't bad I definitely wasn't blown away with it like I expected, but a strange thing happened every time we rode it after, we rode a row further back than the time before, and it seemed to get better every time, This was my forth hyper overall, and my 3rd B&M one, I definitely prefer the out and back airtime hills of Goliath, but Raging Bull is definitely more floaty and twisty, which works on its own. 8.5/10

 

Roaring Rapids: Holy wetness, This one definitely packs a punch, I also like the tunnel, it reminded me of the Grizzly River Rampage from Opryland from childhood. 9/10

 

Superman: This is my 2nd SUF, and to be honest flyers aren't my favorite, the Pretzel Loop, while neat in theory, and well neat in practice, always leaves me feeling a little queasy, but this one didn't. Although I think it had more to do with the fact that every time I ride it at SFOG it's humid and 100 Degrees outside no matter when I go, while this trip it was in the high 70's with no humidity. 8/10

 

V2: This was my first impulse coaster, and it was definitely a treat. Even better in the very back, or next to last row. Which brings me to question, besides the front & back, are impulse coasters fun like say in the middle? You would get the hang time on the spike in the front, and the back you would get the reverse launch, but in the middle it seems like it would be just be a little boring. 10/10

 

Viper: The Georgia Cyclone is one of my all time favorite rides, but Viper blew it out of the water, On our first night, we were on the last train, front row and it was amazing in the dark, another thing that puts it over GA Cyclone is the fact that it's smooth in every seat I rode in.Anything but the very front or back beats me to death on the GA Cyclone, but Viper was an out of your butt, smooth ride in every seat front, back, middle. Although, nothing beats a night ride in the very front. Hoping I get to ride the original Cyclone next year. 10/10

 

Whizzer: I can defiantly see why there was such an uproar back when SUF was announced in Whizzers place. I was a little worried at first because the trains were sort of tight looking, I'm 6'0, and not exactly skinny, but I fit in just fine, even with my sister sitting on my lap [ AWKWARD btw], The spiral lift was neat and one of a kind, and the way it just smoothly moves, and takes curves was awe inspiring. 9/10

 

X Flight: This was my 2nd wing rider after Wild Eagle, and after Wild Eagle let me down, I was worried about X Flight since most people seem to prefer Eagle to X Flight . All I can say is X Flight was relentless from the first drop, and didn't let go till we hit the brake run. I do have one minor complaint though, the vest seem to be tighter on the right side, than the left, It wasn't enough to take away any enjoyment, but it also wasn't the best feeling in the world. 10/10

 

Operations were typical Six Flags, which to say they were great on some rides [ V2, Whizzer, Demon, Eagle] and meh on other ones Raging Bull had stacking issues with all 3 trains a couple of times which shouldn't happen with as many people they had working, and the fact that it's a clamshell train, on the plus side those ride ops were enthusiastic and energetic which helps. The park was pretty, especially the entrance fountain with the carousel behind it, and I've read reports of it being dirty, rundown etc.. but I didn't really see any of that, bathrooms were stocked and clean, I saw employees picking up trash etc.

 

All in all it was an amazing trip, and we definitely plan on coming back In the future.

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Regarding on how crowded the park gets, it is really difficult to say. Last Tuesday I was there and it was busy. We ended up with a gold qbot and our wait times were 30 mins, much less than waiting in line still so we were grateful for that. The wait for Goliath alone was about 120 mins, and it looked like the other coasters were about an hour (or more) wait. I went to the park yesterday to meet up with some friends after work, and we waited only a matter of minutes for Whizzer, and decided to do the single rider line for Goliath which was about an hour. The posted wait time for Goliath yesterday was only 90 mins, but it could have been less. I think as you get closer to school starting you'll find that the crowds will be less, but that's just my opinion.

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Does V2 here have the long seatbelts like the new ones at SFDK, the super-long Possessed ones, the short old SFDK ones, or the "microscopic" Wicked Twister ones?

I've never ridden the SFDK one or Possessed, but they're MUCH longer than the ones on Wicked Twister. I'm going to say they're the same as SFDK, but that's just a guess.

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Decided to head to the park yesterday since I'll be back at school anyway and there was an ERT event if you bought a Slurpee that my group was considering buying if the open rides were good (turns out they were Superman and Condor, so we passed) We got to the park at around 9:40 and queued up to enter the park right away. Once we were in the park, my group ran to the back to get in line for Goliath. Lucky for us, we were there soon enough to be almost directly outside the ride entrance, and the ride was essentially a walk-on after waiting for it to open. This was my first time riding Goliath and WOW. They ride ops were assigning seats and we got put in the very last row which was an amazing ride. While I agree that it almost feels like a truncated coaster, what we got was definitely worth waking up early and speeding on I-90 to experience (however, I will say that if I waited 1.5+ hrs for it I would probably be singing a different tune) Discouraged from trying to ride Goliath again after seeing the line extend out of the entrance with full turnstiles, we decided to head out for other rides and were able to walk on both X-Flight and Viper, so we started off pretty well!

 

As for the crowd report the rest of the day, lines were better IMO than previous visits I've had in August. We were able to squeeze in about 15-20 rides, as opposed to the usual 7-10. Both sides of AE were running and one rotation of trains was actually racing, which was a lot of fun. Of course, all the major coasters had their usual hour-hour and a half wait time, but single rider lines were open at Superman, Raging Bull, Goliath (and possibly Batman, no one in our group wanted to ride it, so I'm not sure) and we didn't have any problem with being turned away because we were a group. The system worked best on Goliath where the single rider queue leads you up to the station to be put on the ride as needed (ended up being ~30 minute wait for an otherwise hour+ line).

 

Everywhere else, I think some operator training/relocation of the single rider line needs to happen, as you are simply sent up alone to the station in random intervals along with the regular line. On Superman and early in the day on Raging Bull, our group bypassed the 2 hour line completely and were even sent up together(?) to the station by the line operator. Later on, we went for the single rider line again on Raging Bull, and we saw a lot of people abusing the system (waiting in the line on the stairs for their friends to get sent out of the single rider line). Even after being warned by the operator that doing so would result in ejection from the park, we saw two girls wait and then get escorted out of line by security. Yikes. Hopefully situations like this don't get the lines removed!

 

Overall though, I really enjoyed my experience at the park! Can't wait to come next year early in May to get some low wait-times on Goliath!

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Does anybody know if there is some sort of connection between flying pigs or just pigs in general to the mardi gras celebration? If so we could see something taking the old Cajun spot. I always thought an El Loco would be pretty cool in that spot. I think it would fit and the station and que is there. But now with Goliath I don't think that would happen at this time. Although it would be a nice fun coaster for the younger crowd that may not feel ready for Goliath.

 

So now my second point, I think the selling point for the new attraction will be based on "people thought this would happen when pigs fly" so maybe a one of a kind 4D show now that SSA is gone. Or some sort of flat.

 

Just my $0.02

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So I went to the park yesterday and had the worst single most customer service experience I've ever had at a park. It was possibly the worst customer service I've ever had anywhere. My friend and I went to buy a couple beers. I look young for 29, so I always have my ID out and I took my sunglasses off as a courtesy. I handed the girl at the counter my Illinois Driver's License and politely asked for two Miller Lites. (I am always polite to servers) She kept looking at my ID and looking at me. After several seconds passed, I kind of raised my eyebrows in question and she flat out rudely told me "This doesn't look like you." Keep in mind I have my hair the exact same length in my ID and the picture was taken last year. I said "Excuse me?" She said again, "I don't think this is you." I was pretty pissed off at this point and told her "Well it's been me for 29 years." I spouted off my birthday and my address and she still just looked at me like she was going to deny me beer. She was trying to make it obvious to her co worker that at this point she just wanted to tell me no. After that, she was trying to be spiteful and she was on an evident power trip. She went over to another server and overly convincingly tried to say "I don't think this is him." I could tell she really wanted the other girl to say it wasn't me so she could deny me a beer. At that point, I was prepared to make a scene. I told her if she didn't think that was me than she needed to call the police, since I used my credit card under that name to buy our tickets, our parking, and our flash pass, because as a police officer I know that Unlawful Use of a Debit Card is a felony. The other employee looked at me for two seconds and said "Yeah, that's him... same eyes." I was extremely pissed at this point as the the worst staff ever continued to be a smart ass throughout the rest of the transaction and she held a smart ass grin on her face. When we went back for a second beer... HOURS LATER MIND YOU... I even tried to be nice and joke with her. I went out of my way to apologize to her if I did anything to upset her. I joked with her and asked her if she was going to give me a hard time. She smiled and laughed and told me she just didn't want to get in trouble. In reality she just wanted to go on a power trip. I played it off like nothing ever happened, smiled, thanked her for the beers, and told her that I understood, despite the fact that she never once apologized. At that time I still didn't know they had anywhere else that sold beer, so a while later I reluctantly walked back to the beer lady for my third and final beer throughout the entire day. Again, I smiled, greeted her, and asked her for two more beers (one each...) for my friend and I. She grinned and with a huge smartass tone looked at me and said "Well..... I'm sorry... I've served you two beers already (within FOUR hours) and I don't think I should serve you anymore..." With two hours left at the park I was determined to not let it ruined my time, so I went to JB after discovering its existence for my third and final beer, where the bar tender greeted us with kindness and served our beer.

 

I'm tempted to call and complain, but I didn't get her name. I can describe her pretty well if that would help. Would it be worth it to complain or would it even go anywhere? I can see her giving some BS account of the story and make it out like I was being the asshole, but I played it over and over again in my head. My friend said I was being nothing but nice... I even apologized to her... for HER actions.

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Would it be worth it to complain or would it even go anywhere?

 

I don't really see the harm in calling to complain if you think the experience was bad enough. Worst case scenario, nothing changes. Best case, someone else doesn't have to deal with it in the future.

Edited by mellowcotton
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So I went to the park yesterday and had the worst single most customer service experience I've ever had at a park.

 

Would it be worth it to complain or would it even go anywhere?

 

We also had one of the worst single customer service moments at the park as well. I honestly don't think they care. Between how we were treated by the president of the park, their group sales, and their guest relations office, and it seems our experiences are the norm not the exception, I really just don't think this park cares any more. Calling to complain I feel would just fall on deaf ears.

 

On one hand I'd like to say that it's Six Flags company-wide, as Great America is not the only park in the chain we've seen a recent decline in customer service, but we had an absolutely AMAZING visit to Great Adventure a few days later. I think it's pretty clear that some parks get it and some don't. Perhaps the team at Great Adventure should spend some time in Gurnee showing them how a park should be run.

Edited by robbalvey
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At SFDK, we had to get a faulty on-ride photo flash drive replaced. We got it replaced with our photos and also got photos emailed to us. However, at SFMM, it took forever for them to validate our SFOG pass for early entry (they said they can let us in, but the automated scanner doesn't work on other passes.) Yeah, parks are different.

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Calling to complain I feel would just fall on deaf ears.

 

You're probably right. I completely forgot about your experience until you just brought it up. It really is making me not want to go to Six Flags parks, anymore. We just had bad experiences with customer service throughout the day. Every single flash pass attendant was incredibly rude. Out of our 20 or so rides we were greeted ONE time. You would think after paying $110 for a premium flash pass they could at least greet you. One kid even halfway yelled at me "Turn it on!" when he went to scan my pass. Not to be ignorant, but I had a split second temptation to take him to the ground.

 

As a police officer, I literally receive more respect from most crack heads, drug dealers, prostitutes, and every day low life criminals than how the staff treated us yesterday. The staff members who put forward a minimal effort to be friendly were few and far between. The difference between my day at King's Island and my day at Great America were absolutely night and day. Cedar fair felt like it was being operated by a staff of young adults. Great America was being operated by a group of punk kids. I'm embarrassed that it was my friend's first experience to a park outside of Six Flags St. Louis and I tried to explain to him how much better the customer service is with Cedar Fair and most other parks. Overall, we spent approximately $350 at the park to be treated like crap. I'm honestly disgusted.

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