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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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Hi all, making my first trip ever out to great America this weekend and just wondering if batman the ride has any rows with longer seat belts like great bear, raptor, etc in row 4. If not it's gonna be a tight fit but I think I'll make it lol

 

Thanks

Because it was the first invert, there are no seats any larger than others.

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Happy 36th birthday American Eagle. It's unfortunate that I can't get out to the park though. I would love to ride Eagle on our respective birthdays. I did that for my 21st so I wanted to do it for my 23rd (Gold Birthday).

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So today was Joker's T-Shirt Day ERT from 4-6 so I was able to get two rides on it. This was my first ever ride on a free spin and I got day it was fun. Only the purple side was open though so I wasn't able to ride the green side. Also there's a nice easter egg atop the left hill catwalk. A box entitled Ragin' Cajun. The park itself wasn't too crowded either and several coasters were walk ons.

Ride totals in order that I rode.

BTR: Front row

V2: Front row

Goliath: Back row

Raging Bull: Back row

Viper: Back row

Demon: Back row

X-Flight: Back row

Joker: Purple side forwards and backwards.

BTR: Back row

SUF: Back row

Raging Bull: Back row again.

Basically it was a day of back row riding.

American Eagle was only running Red Side so I skipped it. Eagle is only a go for me if both sides are running.

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Short visit at the park today... Got in at about 7pm, so we had about two hours.

 

Hit up Justice League (never been before). Fun ride, better than expected. The screens could be clearer/higher quality but otherwise a fun dark ride.

 

X-Flight was walkon. Fun as always!

 

Goliath was a 5min wait, hopped on backseat. First ride since opening year and a few other RMC's... This jumped back up near the best for me. While short, I love the large elements. The smaller RMC's I have been on (Joker SFDK, Cyclone SFNE and Storm Chaser) have been great but honestly not a huge fan of the super quick, abrupt airtime hills. So Goliath ended up better than I remember!

 

Then stopped at Joker, which had about a 15-20min wait. Didn't think I would be able to ride given the 76" limit (I am 77-78"), but thankfully none of the three height checkpoints had checked me. So I was really happy to get on... The ride though, meh. Not my thing I guess. Didn't really care for it at all, finding it more uncomfortable than anything. Basically a top spin on a track. One time was enough for me!

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I really enjoyed my visit. I could definitely see similarities to California's Great America, but the overall ride lineup thanks to the Six Flags additions made this a much better park.

 

The park was really crowded so I got a Flash Pass to make sure I rode everything. I got on all the coasters except Joker, which was down for high winds. Seems like a great fit in the Windy City . All kidding aside, it does look great where it is and having ridden SFNE's, it's a really fun coaster.

 

As for what I rode, Goliath and Raging Bull were both really good. Goliath was amazing but on the short side as everyone else has said. I really liked Raging Bull in the back as almost all the drops had air and the weird layout for a hyper was a fresh change of pace. X Flight was a solid wing coaster even if it is the weakest of them in my opinion. Viper was a letdown for me. It was smooth but I didn't get nearly as much air as I expected.

 

I'll have a more in depth TR when I get home but those are the quick thoughts.

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I really enjoyed my visit. I could definitely see similarities to California's Great America, but the overall ride lineup thanks to the Six Flags additions made this a much better park.

 

The park was really crowded so I got a Flash Pass to make sure I rode everything. I got on all the coasters except Joker, which was down for high winds. Seems like a great fit in the Windy City . All kidding aside, it does look great where it is and having ridden SFNE's, it's a really fun coaster.

 

As for what I rode, Goliath and Raging Bull were both really good. Goliath was amazing but on the short side as everyone else has said. I really liked Raging Bull in the back as almost all the drops had air and the weird layout for a hyper was a fresh change of pace. X Flight was a solid wing coaster even if it is the weakest of them in my opinion. Viper was a letdown for me. It was smooth but I didn't get nearly as much air as I expected.

 

I'll have a more in depth TR when I get home but those are the quick thoughts.

 

Viper can be great or very meh depending on the day and seat. We try to ride in the back, as the airtime is usually really good there. The middle is usually not very good, though every once in awhile we get a good ride there too. I have heard the front is good but have never sat there, as I am a back seat guy.

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Viper can be great or very meh depending on the day and seat. We try to ride in the back, as the airtime is usually really good there. The middle is usually not very good, though every once in awhile we get a good ride there too. I have heard the front is good but have never sat there, as I am a back seat guy.

 

Sit in row 3 on Viper and you will be very happy you did.

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Got to the park for the first time this year. Yesterday from about 3:30 to 7 (closing time). The new (half-length) coaster is a lot of fun! I was pleasantly surprised with both "sides." I laughed my ass off most of the ride. It did get my "boy parts" a bit once, though.

 

It's a nice sampler of what this ride type can really do. It's like a cute little "test track," if you will... a sampling of a classic Zipper ride. I could see one of these at Cedar Point in the future, but with a 3 times longer track, and perhaps 2 parallel tracks for capacity's sake.

 

Also rode:

Logger's Run - awesome and excellent as ever! So grateful we still have our classic flumes. Even when Clipper is closed :/

Batman - always fun

Little Dipper - still love it, all these years later.

American Eagle - wow, I haven't seen the ride look this great since the mid-80s. Only the first hill has recieved the paint job so far.

Drop - I guess VR is done. Got a great view of Eagle's new paint job.

Demon - best seat on the train, 2nd to back. Still love my first looper.

Raging Bull - after years of dogging this ride, I have really warmed up to it. Especailly after riding so many super-repetitive B&M (up/down/up/down/up/down) near clones all over North America. We really have a unique layout here. Put a sock in it about the brake on hill #3. Uniqueness wins.

Whizzer - 2 rides, back car. What a way to end a nice short visit. Once again (after many years of changing taste and stuff) my favorite ride in the park. A true gem.

Edited by JT325
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The ride though, meh. Not my thing I guess. Didn't really care for it at all, finding it more uncomfortable than anything. Basically a top spin on a track. One time was enough for me!

These are my thoughts exactly. It's a one and done for me as well.

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Viper can be great or very meh depending on the day and seat. We try to ride in the back, as the airtime is usually really good there. The middle is usually not very good, though every once in awhile we get a good ride there too. I have heard the front is good but have never sat there, as I am a back seat guy.

 

Sit in row 3 on Viper and you will be very happy you did.

 

I will have to try row 3 at some point, but I love the back. I rode the viper a few weeks ago, I think on Mothers Day, and the train didnt stop at the top of the hill, we just launched right over. Anyone else ever see that. I know its not possible, but that ride always makes me think my hands are gonna get chopped off when I have them up lol.

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After finally getting a ride in on Friday I'm happy to report that the Joker's green side (didn't get a purple side ride) was surprisingly intense. I noticed the ride was making some pretty gnarly metal on metal screeching noises every time a car went up the lift and kept going down repeatedly w/ maint. guys wandering around down below it, but we finally got a ride in! We both agreed though that we probably wouldn't wait more than 30 mins for it in the future due to the really short length. It's like a less satisfying, shorter ride on a Zipper but still very unique. I hear all of the Free Spins are currently down for some sort of sensor issue so hopefully they'll get the reliability issues worked out soon.

 

On another happy note, Goliath was running as perfectly as always if you ignore the painfully slow loading procedure. Maybe this is because of the Texas Giant death but employees on each side of the train can't progress to checking the next row until they both check the same row at the same time, a process that is massively delayed when one of them gets distracted and starts talking to someone. I never saw them get through checking a full train without at least one distraction that would cause the progress down the train to halt entirely. Shockingly my restraint wasn't even checked because both people got distracted then resumed checking restraints on the row behind mine after audibly saying "uh I don't remember which row we were on." Seriously. Lawsuit waiting to happen right there... I really don't understand how operations can be this bad after a few years of operation... but oof it's painful to watch.

 

In summary I had a very fun day at the park that was justifiably marred by some amazingly bad operations and I'm really starting to wonder if Six Flags is even capable of fixing the long standing issues.

--- Food: I waited an hour (1pm-2pm to try and avoid noon rush) in an unshaded line to get a crappy slice of pizza, cold fries, and a soda for $17 (!!!!) after which there were no shaded tables to sit at. (Pizza location in front of Superman) HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? Employees seemed confused by every aspect of the season pass meal system and 3 of them stood around staring at a wall while the whole line just stared back at them. This was after we skipped 3 other food stands because lines weren't moving at all. Are there no managers walking around to supervise these things? Also, a Miller Light is now $12. A pretzel is now $7. Who is paying these prices? I've never seen a more disgusting looking chicken tender in my life and that's a product that a large corporation can buy in bulk and toss in a fryer with zero effort. If you're charging $14 for a chicken finger basket at least purchase a better frozen chicken finger offering than local public middle schools? Refrigerator-cold packets of basic Heinz bbq sauce (where do they even find these?!?) also serve to wreck whatever warmth the chicken might have had to begin with.

--- Security at park opening: We pulled into the lot at opening and found ourselves converging with 1000 other people at the security gates where everyone was sort of herded into a large security queue that was horribly unorganized. Security guards weren't guiding anyone, half of the groups were skipping and pushing forward aggressively, total pandemonium. Not the best start to the day after paying $25 (!!!!) for parking.

--- Single Rider Line craziness / empty seats - I know this is a common complaint with Six Flags but again I don't understand how things can be THIS bad. Despite groupers being on most rides we witnessed 3, 4, 5, 6, and even 7 seats going out empty on train after train on every ride in the park all day. Goliath's single rider line was closed totally. Superman had it's single rider sign out front so we walked all the way back to the station only to be told that whoops, line was closed, "the sign wasn't supposed to be there." After walking all the way back (and watching at least 5 single seats go empty flying over us during our sad walk back) we went to guest services to nicely let them know what sorts of nonsense we were experiencing and they were actually unaware that Superman ever used a single rider line, telling us that that was discontinued last year despite the sign.

 

While the in-park guest service people were very nice and logged our observations in their complaint binder I can't help but feel like there should be some sort of corporate over-arching customer service line that could be notified of these issues since they seem to be systemic across all of the Six Flags properties. Bad food service quality and single rider efficiency issues aren't new but the chain seems to just be unable / unwilling to fix them. Does anyone else know of a better way to escalate these sorts of issues w/ Six Flags?

 

It's astonishing that such a huge corporation could be run so poorly. A few dedicated managers could clean up every stupid issue that thousands of their guests are experiencing on a daily basis.

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I purchased the "Membership" last Fall for SFGAm, and went then, but haven't been back since. I'm actually a little worried, that even with the relatively inexpensive cost I paid for the Membership, I'm not going to get my money's worth out of it, because the park operations are so poor, and the distance to get there great enough, that I may not make the effort to go much. Like ^ just reported, the shortest food lines, for even the stands, when we went last year, were around an hour, and we ended up not eating or drinking the entire day, resulting in leaving early, before the park even closed, quite "hangry". That is just not an acceptable situation... I'm going to use the pass a month from now at SFGAdv when I'm in the area, and I'm sure I'll go to SFGAm at least once this year, but if only the park wasn't always so slammed, and their operations so poor, I'd be inclined to make the 4 hour drive out there more often...

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For the last 6 years I've only gone to the private "gay night" event that our park does and I've always had a great time so I wanted to see a real day of operations at our park for once...

 

Holy. Crap. It is so unbelievably bad that I couldn't even fathom it before we got there. If you did get suckered into buying the $16 refillable drink cup good luck getting it refilled with less than a 30 minute wait anywhere between 11am and 2pm. I've never seen employees move so slowly at any park in my life, and the "supervisors" that I could pick out from their name tags weren't speeding anything up. Ride op supervisors kept walking up the exits of rides and talking to all of the ride ops for 3-5+ minutes at a time totally halting the loading process of said rides. One positive shout out goes to the Raging Bull crew that actually announced "please sit down quickly" and were running 2 trains with zero stacking.

 

Food service speed, quality, and price is enough to make me never want to attend our park again. It's completely insane all around even compared to some of the biggest music festivals in the world. I'm not opposed to paying a higher price for a beer or some food at a giant event or tourist location like a theme park but damn, Six Flags is doing it so wrong.

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  • 4 weeks later...

^ If you have read the several posts above you, those might give you a view of what to expect during your visit.

 

I have never been to this park, but based on what I have read, I would go in with the following plan of attack...

 

* Either get to the park well before rope drop and try to get to the front of the crazy queue, or go a couple of hours after the park opens (I myself would choose to go in later).

* Have money handy for the Flash Pass as it sounds like you'll need it.

* Either leave the park (if they will let you out without having to pay another $25 for parking) and go get something to eat, or eat a huge breakfast before you enter the park and skip the long lines at the food kiosks.

 

I can honestly say that after reading a couple of trip reports from this season, it sounds like several parks are having issues with the refillable drink options. I feel that they should have separate lines for those just wanting refills versus those that want food. That in itself "might" make operations go a little smoother.

 

While I personally don't buy the refillable cups and we frequently try not to eat a whole lot while inside of park (depends on the park obviously), I know that I would be bummed if I had to wait an hour in line to get a beer or water.

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^ This is all very accurate, especially since you haven't been to this park.

 

For OmnipotentSeal (awesome name BTW):

If you have a Gold Pass, you can get in a couple of minutes before rope drop, and there's a separate line on the right side of the entrance. Buy the Flash Pass in advance, because you absolutely will need it, and if you have a printout from the website, you can skip the line to purchase it. Goliath, Superman, and Justice League have single rider lines.

 

You can indeed leave the parking lot and re-enter, either with a Gold Pass or your receipt for parking. There is a strip mall near the entrance with a lot of food options. Burger King is right at the entrance to the park and is probably your best option for quick food. There's a Culver's nearby too, and if you haven't eaten at this Wisconsin-based chain, you need to do so. Remarkably high quality for fast food.

 

I'd bring a water bottle with you. They'll allow one per person, and though you can get free water anywhere, the lines to do so are terrible. With a water bottle, you can refill from fountains and skip those lines.

 

Have fun! This really is one of the better Six Flags parks. It's just Chicagoland and peak summer, so there will be hoards of people.

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The recent posts are why I didn't get a pass this year. I might go once in the fall, but it's a park that has become difficult to have fun at without a FP (or even with a FP).

 

I will say the waterpark is probably my favorite along with Splashin Safari. I don't think you can buy just admission to thee water park, haha. If they had a water coaster, I think they'd have the full catelog from Proslide.

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I just want to point out how terribly slow the people who work behind the food stands are. I visited two days ago on July 3rd, and it was a pretty busy day since they were having their 4th of July fireworks and parade at the end of the day. Every time I stood in line to get a refill of water it took me about 10 to 15 minutes to actually get my refill. The employees who were serving food to the people who ordered it were moving slower than molasses. I watched them prepared nachos for a family and they were ever so slowly putting all the topping on one at a time as the line of people grew longer. It was so painful to watch. I feel like Six Flags should train these employees to be more efficient and quick because I didn't pay all that money for a season pass just to wait longer in line to get a refill. Park operations are just getting worse every year.

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