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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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If I were you, I'd avoid the food court by X-Flight like it's the plague. That place is crazy busy and has horrendous operations.

This is good advice, I made the mistake of going to the food court by X-Flight on my visit to the park.

 

I did get a very good barbeque sandwich out of it, though.

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Hey! I just noticed that either yesterday, or today, Google Maps updated their satellite image of SFGAm, as it now includes Goliath instead of the vacant Iron Wolf spot! Now, they just needs to get down in there and get a Street View tour of the park!

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I will be visiting the park on Saturday (I know, it'll be packed) and have a few questions:

3. Does the park give out free cups of water (like the Cedar Fair parks do)?

4. What are the best places to eat lunch?

 

There are some good places to eat at Great America, but it's only fair to warn you how slow the food lines move. I've waited over an hour for food in the past few years, I no longer even attempt to eat in the park. Overpriced food is one thing, poor quality (cold fries and/or cold cheese for your fries, wrong orders, etc.) is another... but when you combine those with painfully long waits, that does it for me.

 

For example, in Angelo's (cross the street from Batman), there is 1 register where there used to be 4.

 

The same goes for free cups of water. You have to wait in that line to get them - same for refills on drinks; the places that have Coke Freestyle machines are typically VERY backed up with long, unorganized lines. And when you finally get up there, you bet your flavor will be out (how could they run out of regular Coke?); ice is typically gone on a hot day as well. I don't know why they haven't figured out how to replenish this stuff, but it happens again and again. I drink from fountains now, haven't spent a dime in the park in 3 years.

 

I usually bring a cooler in my trunk and go out to the car for a meal, then leave the park for another, if I'm at the park that long.

 

Of course it's all a trade off; you could eat at a time when it's not too busy... but then again, they shut down places when they're not busy. Don't mean to be a bummer, I love my home park. But gotta be honest; the service is way below that of a Cedar Fair or Disney park (but with comparable prices).

 

The BEST thing about Great America, I think, is our awesome selection of flat rides and coasters. Don't miss the classic flats - Fiddler's Fling, Orbit, East River Crawler (Lobster), Hometown Fun Machine and Triple Play. Like anything at a park, they are better at night! Not to mention 2 classic log flumes...

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So I was reading a bit of Wikipedia, and I saw that Superman was originally going to replace Whizzer. I can't imagine how the park would be different with S-UF being in the middle of the park.

 

That would have been the worst decision the park ever made. So glad they kept Whizzer, even at the expense of Shockwave.

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If I remember/learned correctly, SFGAm announced that Whizzer was closing, as parks do so patrons can get their last rides in, and the public went nuts via newspapers and other avenues, so the park decided to keep Whizzer.

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So I was reading a bit of Wikipedia, and I saw that Superman was originally going to replace Whizzer. I can't imagine how the park would be different with S-UF being in the middle of the park.

That sounds like a downgrade to me...

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^It would have been! Plenty of folks (coaster club people and the public) spoke their minds, called the park and wrote their letters (as did I, in a polite and non-demanding way). It worked! The Whizzer is the heart and soul of the park; the trees are overgrown and hang over the ride. Night rides are so cool under those trees!

 

I know this isn't the most popular place for ACE stuff, but they gave the ride a preservation or landmark plaque out in front of the ride. Very cool!

 

Many locals took their first coaster ride on Whizzer; either Whizzer or Little Dipper at Kiddieland. Great America has both now!

 

The ride has regained some of it's old popularity; I've seen longer lines for Whizzer than X-Flight

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Tornado passed just south of the park tonight. A lot of damage along the path. Have not heard of any at the park. Hope everyone who was at the park or nearby is okay. Our sirens went off, as it passed just south of us.

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Tornado passed just south of the park tonight. A lot of damage along the path. Have not heard of any at the park. Hope everyone who was at the park or nearby is okay. Our sirens went off, as it passed just south of us.

 

I live less than a mile from the park (I can see the Search lights for Sky Trek Tower from my Driveway) and didn't experience any problems apart from losing TV for awhile.

 

Not like a few years ago when the entire park had to close due to electricity being down all over Lake County and then limited operations for a few days.

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Thank you to everyone who provided tips for conquering the park on a Saturday. They were very helpful.

 

I had been to the park before (about 5 years ago), but I've been itching to get back ever since. This trip, I was able to pick up 4 new credits: Goliath, X-flight, American Eagle (Red), and Little Dipper.

 

We pulled into the parking lot right at 9:30. There were no lines at the toll booths, but already a significant number of cars in the parking lot. It took about a half hour to get through the security and entrance lines. After a quick pit stop, we headed back to the already forming Goliath line.

 

Once Goliath opened (around 10:40), it was about 20 minutes before we got on. By the time we got off the ride, the line was already up to 75 minutes!

 

Next we hit up X-flight, Raging Bull, Viper, and Demon, each with less than a half hour wait. It took about 40 minutes to get through the AE (red) line, due to the double rides and really slow operations. While double rides would be an awesome service to offer guests on a slow day, I don't know who had the brilliant idea of doing this on a busy Saturday. That being said, I did enjoy riding it twice in the back seat.

 

Lunch at JB's BBQ was great. Service was quick and accurate. I ordered the pulled pork + brisket sandwich, which, with a side salad was $15, not bad at all.

 

Superman had a posted wait of 105 minutes, but we got on in 5, through the single rider line. I will say the platinum flash pass really screws with things, though. While on the station platform, I had to be regrouped twice due to partial rows of people with platinum wristbands. Not a big deal, but you could tell it was driving the seater nuts. He was doing a great job of filling each row with 4 people, but that effort was all for not when 2 people in a row would be staying on the train. I am all for the flash pass system, but the double ride thing is really an operations nightmare.

 

Next up was by far the longest wait of the day, for Batman. The posted time was 90 minutes, but it took 2 hours. A Cedar Fair crew could have pumped through this line in about an hour. I have never seen such a lethargic crew on any coaster ever. While I'm sure it's extremely demoralizing when only 2 people are assigned to work the ride, there is still no excuse for moving that slow. Six Flags desperately needs more operators on their platforms.

 

Oh, what I will do for a credit...We waited nearly an hour for the Little Dipper. At least the information boards were quite interesting.

 

We waited about a half hour for AE (blue), then an hour for Whizzer and headed out.

 

My friend gets sick on spinning rides, so we just stuck to the coasters. I was able to get on all of the flats during my last visit, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

 

Operations

Good: Demon, Viper

Acceptable: Superman, Raging Bull

Slow: X-Flight, Goliath, Whizzer

Abysmal: American Eagle, Batman

 

Friendliness

The Viper crew was friendly and energetic. All of the other employees in the park looked like they didn't want to be there. The weren't rude, just uninterested. This was a big change from my last visit, when most of the employees were very friendly, to the point where I couldn't believe I was at a Six Flags park.

 

Cleanliness

The park was fairly clean, especially for the crowds, but for a park that constantly advertises being the cleanest in the country, I expect to see a Holiday World or Disney level of cleanliness.

 

Ride Reviews

Goliath: I was a bit underwhelmed by the ride, to be honest. It was a good ride, but not a great one. My one ride was early in the morning, in the 5th seat from the back, so I'm sure a back seat ride late in the day would have been better. The first drop was great but expected. I was expecting El Toro-esque air time over single airtime hill on the ride, but it really only delivered strong floater/mild ejector air. Where the ride really shined was the inverted airtime hill. It's a very unique experience to be floating upside-down.

 

X-Flight: This is probably the weakest of the US wing coasters. It was a decent ride, but not all that exciting. The vests still lock on this one, which does detract from the experience a bit.

 

Raging Bull was quite a bit better than I remembered. I love the layout on this ride. It's a good ride that could be great, if they would just get rid of those pesky trims. B&M should really build some more of these hyper-twisters.

 

Viper, on the other hand was not quite as good as I remembered. It was still smooth as glass, but the airtime, while very much present, was not quite as strong as it was on my last visit. This could just be another case of morning ride syndrome.

 

Whizzer: This is such a great little ride, especially at dusk. I'm so glad the park decided to preserve it.

 

American Eagle: During my last visit, only Blue was open. I was not a fan of the ride. The outbound track was good, but the helix was slow and the return run was pointless. My opinion of Blue has not changed. Red, on the other hand, obliterated my expectations! The outbound run was good, with some nice pops of air. The helix was faster than Blue due to less trimming and a tighter radius. But it's the return run that makes the ride great, with several moments of crazy ejector air time, even with the trim after the helix. I can't imagine how insane a trim-free ride on this would be. AM Red is the best coaster in the park. Does anyone else have this same opinion? I know I'm in the minority, but I'm curious to see if I'm just completely nuts.

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^What was your overall feeling about the whole process of getting there early, waiting to be walked back to Goliath, and that process of walking back as a group? I'm not an overly anxious person by nature, but sometimes really crowded groups of people pushing and shoving can really bother me. Was it a fairly decent process, or was it a pain in the rear? I'm going in a couple weeks, and I'm mostly concerned about getting there early enough to get a couple of rides in on Goliath before it gets really crowded. Thankfully, I'm not going on a Saturday, so hopefully that helps the crowds. Thank in advance for your feedback!

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^What was your overall feeling about the whole process of getting there early, waiting to be walked back to Goliath, and that process of walking back as a group? I'm not an overly anxious person by nature, but sometimes really crowded groups of people pushing and shoving can really bother me. Was it a fairly decent process, or was it a pain in the rear? I'm going in a couple weeks, and I'm mostly concerned about getting there early enough to get a couple of rides in on Goliath before it gets really crowded. Thankfully, I'm not going on a Saturday, so hopefully that helps the crowds. Thank in advance for your feedback!

 

If you go during the week, they may not walk you back to Goliath. Most weekdays when I've gone to the park, you can just run all the way to Goliath. If you do get walked back, stay on the left side of the group. When they get near Goliath, they form a single file line on the left side. People that run past security usually get sent to the end of the line.

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^What was your overall feeling about the whole process of getting there early, waiting to be walked back to Goliath, and that process of walking back as a group? I'm not an overly anxious person by nature, but sometimes really crowded groups of people pushing and shoving can really bother me. Was it a fairly decent process, or was it a pain in the rear? I'm going in a couple weeks, and I'm mostly concerned about getting there early enough to get a couple of rides in on Goliath before it gets really crowded. Thankfully, I'm not going on a Saturday, so hopefully that helps the crowds. Thank in advance for your feedback!

I actually got through the gate about 5 minutes after the walk-back, so I wasn't walking in a huge crowd. Even those on the first train of the day would have had to wait about an hour for a second ride.

 

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I did not experience any line jumping for any ride during my visit. Goliath ensured this with the "boarding pass" tickets, but the other rides just had several large signs. Are bigger signs really the only things Cedar Point needs to prevent line jumping?

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Word on Condor anyone? I'm heading to the park tomorrow and that is one of my favorite rides, just because of nostalgia. Hopefully it is open, just so I can get another ride on it.

 

 

I expect the ride to be removed. I've been to the park 15+ times this year and have yet to see it run. Maybe Six Flags America will get a new flat?

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American Eagle: During my last visit, only Blue was open. I was not a fan of the ride. The outbound track was good, but the helix was slow and the return run was pointless. My opinion of Blue has not changed. Red, on the other hand, obliterated my expectations! The outbound run was good, with some nice pops of air. The helix was faster than Blue due to less trimming and a tighter radius. But it's the return run that makes the ride great, with several moments of crazy ejector air time, even with the trim after the helix. I can't imagine how insane a trim-free ride on this would be. AM Red is the best coaster in the park. Does anyone else have this same opinion? I know I'm in the minority, but I'm curious to see if I'm just completely nuts.

 

With those helix-exit brakes off, American Eagle (red) becomes "Phoenix meets Voyage." Around 2008-2011, it was frequently running brakeless and smooth... it was insane! Mark Shapiro, SF CEO at the time, said AE was his favorite coaster in the chain; hence the money that went into it and the brakeless rides. I took a few friends on it during that period who previously had dismal/mediocre experiences, and they were all blown away. In 2012, they only ran it brakeless during Fright Fest and in 2013 all brakes were back on/all the time.

 

Although back to it's old braked self, it's still a great ride. That first drop is the only one like it in the world. I love the near-stop at the top and gradual *circular* drop to the steepest point; it's like going over a mountain.

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I went to the park yesterday with two of my friends and we all had a great time. We spent the first part of day at the Hurricane Harbor, then the rest of the day at the park. We didn't ride many rides though and skipped the double rides on Goliath the last hour as the line was over 2 hours.

Here's what we rode.

Raging Bull- 2

Viper- 1

Whizzer- 1

AE Blue- 1

Chubasco- 1

Loggers Run- 1

Yankee Clipper- 1

Roaring Rapids- 1

Best part of day was at the Hurricane Harbor when we both bowl slides. My one friend fell on the tube on both slides. First time with my other friend and then me. Of corse my other friend and I fell off with him. All is good though as none of us got really hurt.

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Went to the park yesterday. It was quite packed for being a Wednesday. Operations were painfully slow on some rides. We got to the park like 15 min early, and headed back to Goliath, and were about 3/4 of the way down the line. It still took an hour to get in the station. They were stacking for 3-5 min at a time, which didn't help at all. We went to Hurricane Harbor for about an hour because my friends wanted to get out of the sun. Was not too packed. The dry park however, was. We waited 45+ for Goliath, Batman, Superman, and Raging Bull. 30 for X-Flight and 2x rides on American Eagle. 15 for Viper. Got to the Goliath double rides at about 7:45, knowing that by the time we got through the line, it would be 2x rides time. The end of the day was a fiasco. We attempted to take advantage of the Popchips ERT, but we were given wrong info twice. First, the lady at the front, when we got our wristbands, told us that every major roller coaster would be available. Then, when we ran to Raging Bull after Goliath, the employee working the gate wouldn't let us in, claiming he knew nothing about the promotion. Then he proceed to call multiple people trying to figure it out. Finally at about 9:20, one of the managers told us that it was ONLY on Superman, and from 9:30-10:30. We ran over to Superman, on the other side of the park, only to find out that it ended at 9:30. I was furious. But what can you do. On to the rides

 

Goliath (3x)- Front seat once, back seat twice. Great ride, short, but great. Airtime out of the little hill before the dive loop is fantastic, in back especially. I always love this ride, and is probably my favorite in the park, even for how short it is.

 

X-Flight- Fun little ride, rode middle, right side. So smooth, and the keyhole is great in slow motion. It just feels like you are flying.

 

Raging Bull- Love it to death, but come on. The trims hit so hard that I was thrust forward in my seat. Rode in back, and the pre-drop only makes the first hill better. I still love the twister section though.

 

Viper- Love it. So fun, lots of laterals. Little rough in spots, but what are you going to do. Many tiny pops of airtime.

 

American Eagle- 2x rides on the red side made this better. Flew through the track. The last bunny hill before the rise up to the helix is amazing, you fly out of your seat. Red is definitely better here.

 

Batman- Backseat was intense and fun. The compactness of this ride is what makes it so great. Still smooth. But was running with no wheel covers. Anyone know why?

 

Superman- Little blah after the pretzel loop, but my friends loved the flying.

 

V2- Fun, especially when you try to run through the station.

 

All around, great day. Still a little frustrated with how it ended, but we still had a ton of fun.

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