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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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I'm trying to go to the park this Sunday. I know it might be terribly crowded due to Labor Day, but that's the day I can go. I'm coming from Lemont and looking at trains/transit to get to the park. From what I gathered, I could take the red line and then get on the dark green line to Waukegan and then take a bus. Can anyone who's good with public transit in the area confirm that this is right? Also, what would you guys expect as far as wait times go this weekend?

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^Don't really think they'll care.

 

Truth be told, I enjoy that they are refurbishing Carousel Plaza and doing some work/celebrating their 40th Anniversary. Two big coasters in three years is good for any park. Now is time for them to kind of lay back and continue riding the Goliath train (seriously, wait was up to three hours when I was there last Wednesday and never dipped below 2).

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People on this forum crack me up! Complaining about not getting something new for next year. This park has received 2 state of the art coasters in the last 3 years! How many other theme Six Flags parks have received this much investment?

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I've heard so many people angry with SFGAm and i'm just sitin here like "count your blessings! You are a very spoiled park, and now you're getting mad when they try to touch the family aspect of the park and work on enhancing areas of the park? Come on, give me a break."

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I'm trying to go to the park this Sunday. I know it might be terribly crowded due to Labor Day, but that's the day I can go. I'm coming from Lemont and looking at trains/transit to get to the park. From what I gathered, I could take the red line and then get on the dark green line to Waukegan and then take a bus. Can anyone who's good with public transit in the area confirm that this is right? Also, what would you guys expect as far as wait times go this weekend?

I have actually taken public transit to Great America, and it is possible, though it takes a VERY long time. The route you're looking at is Heritage Corridor to UP-North on Metra to Pace 565, and that works on a weekday, but Heritage Corridor doesn't run on weekends. Google maps will tell you it does, but they're wrong. Metra's site, http://www.metrarail.com, is a much better resource for timetables. Amtrak does run 7 days a week on those tracks, but they only stop at Joliet and Summit.

 

Now, there is a glimmer of hope: On weekends Pace runs a bus from Schaumburg transit center and also Rosemont station (CTA blue) directly to Six Flags. However, there is no way to get to either of these places from Lemont on a Sunday by transit. So I hate to tell you this, but your only hope of making it to Six Flags on a Sunday is to find someone who can drive you to Schaumburg and pick you up there at the end of the day.

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If they came out with an announcement saying they're restoring the water effects on X-Flight, that would be enough to get me excited. It doesn't have to be a massive, multi-million, record-breaking, number-one coaster every year.

 

I would love that. When I rode it last time, I was a bit sad when I realized that the mist and water effects were no longer operating. Hope to see them back sometime.

 

Yeah, agreed. The park has seen so much love the past few seasons. This will be a great season celebrating the nostalgia of the park. Something many parks should do I feel.

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I have actually taken public transit to Great America, and it is possible, though it takes a VERY long time. The route you're looking at is Heritage Corridor to UP-North on Metra to Pace 565, and that works on a weekday, but Heritage Corridor doesn't run on weekends. Google maps will tell you it does, but they're wrong. Metra's site, http://www.metrarail.com, is a much better resource for timetables. Amtrak does run 7 days a week on those tracks, but they only stop at Joliet and Summit.

 

Now, there is a glimmer of hope: On weekends Pace runs a bus from Schaumburg transit center and also Rosemont station (CTA blue) directly to Six Flags. However, there is no way to get to either of these places from Lemont on a Sunday by transit. So I hate to tell you this, but your only hope of making it to Six Flags on a Sunday is to find someone who can drive you to Schaumburg and pick you up there at the end of the day.

Thank you for your help! I actually figured that all out yesterday, although it took me a long time.

 

It sounds like I might have a friend next Sunday that'll take me. I guess it's good that I get to avoid Labor Day weekend! Just means I have to wait impatiently another week.

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People on this forum crack me up! Complaining about not getting something new for next year. This park has received 2 state of the art coasters in the last 3 years! How many other theme Six Flags parks have received this much investment?

 

 

Magic Mountain with Full Coaster Throttle Yolo and Twisted Colossus?

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I've heard so many people angry with SFGAm and i'm just sitin here like "count your blessings! You are a very spoiled park, and now you're getting mad when they try to touch the family aspect of the park and work on enhancing areas of the park? Come on, give me a break."

 

Agreed! Everyone complains that this park caters too much to the tween/teen "YOLO" crowd, but when they actually do something to bring in the whole family and take a breather year, people still complain. You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.

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When was the last time anyone rode on the Roaring Rapids (Raging Rapids...whatever it's called) ride? We went on it last summer and I have to be honest, it's not as roaring/raging as it used to be. And the Looney Tunes figures on the inside of the cavern just look incredibly dated and sad. I wish they'd tweak this ride up a bit.

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I finally got my hands on a rental car, so I'll be going to the park tomorrow! I'm down to meet up with someone, msg me if you are planning on going!

 

What kind of crowds should I expect for tomorrow? It's a Sunday after Labor Day and before Fright Fest, but it looks like it's the last operating day until Fright Fest starts.

 

What would be the best plan of attack for the park? I'm planning on getting there early and going straight to Goliath.

 

 

EDIT: If you happen to go to the park today, say hi to the girl with the purple hair!

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Is anybody going to the fundraiser event on the 28th? I have signed up and registered. http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/sayaka-suzuki-1/coaster-challenge-2014 is my donation page. I have met the donation requirement, but if you feel like supporting the Special Olympics, please go ahead. If your going, let me know!

Maybe we can do the haunted houses.

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Yep! I haven't registered quite yet but I plan to. Should be a fun event trying to go on as many (long) coasters as possible. If my calculations are right, 26.2 miles of coaster equates to 28 rides on Raging Bull, 30 rides on American Eagle, 45 rides on Goliath, 52 rides on Batman, or 220 rides on Vertical Velocity. Will be interesting to see how many people pull it off. Should be fun!

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I've just arrived back from a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa. Here's how I think it stacks up with Great America:

 

First off, the park is in the middle of Suitcase City, an area considered to be inhabited by far more dangerous people than the Great America trashy/yolo crowd. Went last Tues and Weds. For some reason the locals seem to avoid this place like the plague this month. I think my wife and I may have been the only Americans in the park on Tuesday. It was almost all Brits and Scots with a handful of Latin Americans. Weds had a few semi-trashy Americans with all the foreign tourists, but nothing like Great America. Crowds were really light on Tues. Weds they were a little heavier but Falcon's Fury only had like a ten min wait and Montu only had maybe 4 people in each queue row waiting with it running one train.

 

BG has a tram to bring you from the parking lot to the gate, and even from the back of the lot, this is a closer walk than from most of the spots I get stuck with at GA. Weather here reminded me of GA when we went on 4th of July. Maybe easier to deal with. The bag checking is hardly thorough. Was just an 80 something year old lady touching the bag with a stick. Lines into the park moved really fast, but there wasn't much of a line.

 

There's a train to take you around the park with several stops. There's also a skyride to take you from near Kumba to Cheetah Hunt and back. Why GA can't have our train work better as a transportation method is beyond me.

 

The Zoo exhibits are quite good. A slight step up from Brookfield Zoo. The Cheetah doesn't run very often though.

 

Onto the rides. Despite their reputations, these coasters are actually a lot tamer than GA for the most part. We started with Gwazi. Lots of uncomfortable twists. It's not anywhere as bad as Mean Streak, but it's probably what our Eagle would be like if it kept the majority of the ride in its helix. There's a couple good hills, but there just isn't enough variety or smoothness to make this a winner. One side was closed.

 

Sheikra-It's a big tease like Pretzelman or Goliath. For some reason, it doesn't feel like 200 feet. The lift is similar to X Flight but even steeper. No line here. Third row is a little further back from the other two. It puts you right at the top of the hill before it drops. This wasn't freaky at all. It's basically a dive drop, immelman, another dive drop, a turn, the water splash(which I didn't notice while on the ride), and that's it. The Pretzel loop is better than anything on here. The drops are slightly forceful, but this feels far tamer than anything at GA. Hard to say if I'd take this over any GA coaster other than Goliath.

 

Kumba-A big disappointment. Rough with a lot of mild ear banging. Not as bad as namtab's though. Was hoping for more positive Gs forcing me into my seat like on Demon or Batman but they just aren't there. Maybe in the front you can feel it better. No line here either. Someone put double seatbelts on the side for riders with chests over 52" in rows 4 and 5. Not sure why GA can't do that. The mid course breaks actually detract a lot from the enjoyability of the ride. At this point I'd take most any coaster at GA over this.

 

Scorpion-A nice surprise. The loop is awesome and the lap bars work fantastically for it. Too bad the rest of the ride is a big helix. Still incredibly smooth. If they put these trains on Demon, I think I'd see that as an improvement.

 

Cheetah Hunt-Oh, what could have been. So much wasted track. The launches almost take you up straight vertical. The one spin is good. Some cool drops and laterals. But so much straight track that could be going for more elements. Why even have a spin and launches if you're going for a family coaster idea? I might take this over Whizzer, but probably not. Whizzer has a better lay out and more of the forces that I like.

 

Montu-Now this is what I'm talking about. Has the extra belt seats like Kumba. Ride is incredibly smooth and very forceful in the ways I like. First loop is more like Batman and not anywhere as tame as Raptor's. Immelman starts off cool but when you twist and turn to go back around it loses slight momentum. Spin is great. Didn't notice the very slight trim before going into the batwing the first time. Awesome element. Almost greyed out everytime during the part where you finish the batwing and pop up into the mid-brake. Luckily the mid-brake doesn't detract a lot. I kinda see why they have the trim and and mid-brake, otherwise a lot of people might grey out for the second half of the ride. If I recall, it hits another great loop right away. Some straightish track that turns you on your side, a dip or two, and then another forceful spin.

 

This could overtake Batman as my #1 coaster. The theming is awesome, the best I've been on. Rode this 3x in a row. All on the outer right side seat that I love for Batman. First two was row 5 I think. Then I did the front, which I've never done on a B&M invert(but I have done row 2 on Batman). Absolutely insane. I'm not sure if it was because it was my 3rd ride in a row or because it was the front, but it was unreal how crazy it felt. First thing is that it's very freaky to have nothing in front of you and to see what you're going into. Without seats in front of you, it feels like all the forces hit you about twice as hard. I kept getting thrown into the harness. Very disorienting too.

 

Did this ride the second day back in row 5 and it started to feel more predictable and less exciting, like when I get a chance to ride Batman a lot. Montu is nearly perfect. I'd like some more snap when being pulled down on the inversions ala Batman and maybe a tad less straight track, but, as it stands, the ride wastes very little track and is well-paced. Over and over I've read that Montu never has lines over 20 min even during peak season.

 

Congo River Rapids is probably not better than Roaring Rapids. I think it's slightly longer and more consistent in its speed, but it's not able to hit the speeds RR is capable of at times. Both these rides could do a better job of not hitting walls so much and neither needs the cannons. For some reason this ride had the longest line of anything at 30 minutes. The LCD sign said it was a 5 min wait, like most everything else. Cheetah Hunt had no line Tues but looked like about a 50 person line Weds. Think it was running 3 trains.

 

The wife went on Falcoln's Fury the second day and said it is a million times better than Giant Drop in terms of smoothness, comfort, forces, thrill, everything.

 

Their version of logger's run is smaller but soaks you more. Their Tidal Wave/Splash Waterfalls was down.

 

Food at this place varies a lot like at GA. One place gave me dry chicken alfredo, another place was much better. The shows here are a million times better than at GA. The opening night show had them do a lot of amazing, choreographed stuff with various animals. The song and dance show was done with real adults who seemingly possessed real musical talent as opposed to the so-so teens GA uses in its shows.

 

BG always seemed to take the reasonable approach on everything where you thought they might give a problem. It's hard to rate the operations since there weren't really any lines. For what it's worth, it definitely felt like they dispatched trains in a more orderly fashion than GA. Most of the ride ops and food workers appeared to be teens like at GA, but the sometimes bad attitudes and cluelessness we get here didn't happen at BG. Could be a Tampa thing as we didn't really get anything but good attitudes no matter what we visited in the Tampa area.

 

I really wish I knew why Six Flags attracts so many trashy people chain-wide. It's not just a GA thing. It's just like how Wal-Mart gets almost all the trash around here and Target gets barely any of it-despite the prices not being all that different(and the Walmart we visited in Tampa was about the trashiest I've ever seen, handily beating even the one at 53 and Lake). From what I understand Tampa has some extremely dangerous areas interspersed within 15 miles of BG in most directions. I doubt BG is too expensive for Tampa's Yolos. There's not much of a police presence at the park either, unlike GA. So maybe it's all due to branding or the fact that BG's coasters are too tame.

 

Cedar Point also has a good share of riff raff living around the park, but they don't seem to bother going. It's interesting that BG appears to be kept afloat by so many UK residents. If you took them out, I don't think they could afford to be open this month. And if I had to guess, I'd say the majority of the patrons were more interested in the animals than the coasters.

 

Six Flags does appear to have an image problem. It's seen as the Wal-Mart of theme parks. GA's ride collection is definitely underrated and BG's overrated. Montu was the only ride we rerode the 2nd day(although we would have done Scorpion again if they didn't close at 6, the others probably not). X Flight is light years ahead of Sheikra and Kumba, yet it isn't a very revered coaster so far.

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^BGT and SFGAm are two very odd parks to compare it seems like. I havent ever been to Great Ameria though so I cant comment on your comparisons for sure but as to your fascination with the riff raff...

 

Its simple. You get what you pay for. Wal Mart attracts a more unruly crowd because its less restrictive by being ridiculously cheap. Anyone can afford Wal Mart prices so anyone can go there, including lower-class families that may appear to be "riff raff". Meanwhile, Target is a bit pricier, thereby restricting the amount of people that are willing to shop there, and limiting the chance you see unruly shoppers. Same thing applies to theme parks. Six Flags practically gives seasonal passes away, so anyone (even the riff raff) can jump on them and show up acting like animals at a Six Flags park. Sure, the area where BGT resides isnt the nicest, but that doesnt matter when tickets to the park run in the high $80 range. Its all about affordability my friend. The more affordable a product is, the more attractive it becomes to lower-class people.

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Isn't a BG season pass only $100 something? They charge less for parking. Plenty of families spend $300+ to visit Great America. Yelp is full of reviews of people spending a lot to have a horrible time at GA. Low class is a way of acting, not an income level. Walmart often is not the cheapest. I go there and target often. Don't see much price difference. There is, however, a perception that wal mart is way less expensive.

 

Keep in mind too that I didn't see much of any Floridians there, so something besides price can't be the only reason people aren't flooding the place.

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Yep! I haven't registered quite yet but I plan to. Should be a fun event trying to go on as many (long) coasters as possible. If my calculations are right, 26.2 miles of coaster equates to 28 rides on Raging Bull, 30 rides on American Eagle, 45 rides on Goliath, 52 rides on Batman, or 220 rides on Vertical Velocity. Will be interesting to see how many people pull it off. Should be fun!

 

I'm too poor to sign up for the full marathon and I am more than positive that I would not have found people to donate to my page. Will you be doing the entire thing? If so, please please do the 220 times on V2! That would be Crazy! Crazy cool! I am sure you will end up with a really, really deep love of that coaster after marathon-ing only that one.

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