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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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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. B

 

When's the last time you been to SFGAm?

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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. B

 

When's the last time you been to SFGAm?

 

I went to SFGAm in June 2016 and I got in 10 min early with the Gold Pass line. Are they not doing the Gold Pass early entry anymore?

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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. B

 

When's the last time you been to SFGAm?

 

I went to SFGAm in June 2016 and I got in 10 min early with the Gold Pass line. Are they not doing the Gold Pass early entry anymore?

 

Did they let just Gold Pass in or everyone? The 1 day I went everyone was let in early. The reports all season are there is either everyone gets in a few minutes earlier. There is no early entry perk of having a Gold Pass. They never ran rides earlier like SFMM anyway. The perk at places like GAdv for early entry was 1st of the line for your 1st ride. Also, there is no longer a Gold Pass entry lane, there is some VIP thing, which is different than a Gold Pass.

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Are the lines to get into the park an hour long on weekdays too, or just weekends? I'm considering going in the first couple days of August - willing to buy flash pass, so I'm not as worried about the other lines.

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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.

This has been noted among the enthusiast community, but at this point, I do have to wonder if the "GP" really care about this. Could this be perceived as part of a normal day at the park by your 1-2x/year visitors?

 

This has been an issue for 3+ seasons now and not really been addressed. At this point, obviously something hasn't allowed the adjustments to be made to rectify the situation. Just really curious what that reason is.

 

But then again, I don't have the entire picture like SF Corporate, so I'm probably missing something obvious here

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Are the lines to get into the park an hour long on weekdays too, or just weekends? I'm considering going in the first couple days of August - willing to buy flash pass, so I'm not as worried about the other lines.

 

I got there at 945am so there was like 50+ people in front of me. By the time they started letting people in at 1020 the line was significant. Guessing a solid 15-20 minutes to get in if you came at like 1020am and the parking line was backing up too.. Also, the new way they designed the line barricades does not help.

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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.

This has been noted among the enthusiast community, but at this point, I do have to wonder if the "GP" really care about this. Could this be perceived as part of a normal day at the park by your 1-2x/year visitors?

 

This has been an issue for 3+ seasons now and not really been addressed. At this point, obviously something hasn't allowed the adjustments to be made to rectify the situation. Just really curious what that reason is.

 

But then again, I don't have the entire picture like SF Corporate, so I'm probably missing something obvious here

I don't necessarily blame the people who work there. Really it's the Six Flags corporation that is behind all of the slow operations that is taking place in their parks. I feel if the GP were more aware of these issues, Six Flags will be more willing to take care of them. No company wants a bad reputation under their belts. I just can't really enjoy my homepark like I used too. I would like to know the reason behind their thinking too.

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Are the lines to get into the park an hour long on weekdays too, or just weekends? I'm considering going in the first couple days of August - willing to buy flash pass, so I'm not as worried about the other lines.

 

I believe early August is the end of the Read to Succeed days (free tickets for students who completed a reading program the previous school year), so the park will be very busy, including getting into the park. I would get to the park plenty early before it opens if you want to avoid an hour wait to get in. We usually arrive at about 9:45 for the 10:30 opening. They typically open the security lines a little before 10, then start letting people into the park about 10:15, so it is not such a bad wait. We also get through the parking line with little to no wait by arriving that early.

Edited by ilrider
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I don't necessarily blame the people who work there. Really it's the Six Flags corporation that is behind all of the slow operations that is taking place in their parks.

 

Sing it sister! Ain't that the truth!

 

I feel if the GP were more aware of these issues, Six Flags will be more willing to take care of them. No company wants a bad reputation under their belts. I just can't really enjoy my homepark like I used too. I would like to know the reason behind their thinking too.

 

In the early 80s (my first visit to Great America was 1980), everyone LOVED Great America. In 1984 (or 85?) when Six Flags purchased the park, things immediately headed to the can. Like other major SF parks (Magic Mountain is the first to come to mind), a large percentage of locals and people who "grew up there" will have nothing to do with it now. Sad.

 

Nothing will change with $70 season passes. Six Flags could be comparable operations-wise to Cedar Point, CF, but that would require a huge, long-term shake up. Their profits could have been so high! They could have untold thousands that were loyal the park (Hi Knoebels, Kennywood, KI, Cedar Point, Holiday World, etc. etc. etc)

 

Seems they prefer the quick-money YOLO (for a lack of a better term) route. I would gladly pay $200 for decent operations. Hence my Cedar Fair Platinum pass.

 

I still LOVE my home park (and think it is still the best overall in the chain), but man... the place is intermittently run like a dump. Every single employee (including managers and higher ups) consistintely give different answers for simple questions. It's a train wreck. When I go to the park, I have to put on my "every man, woman and mutant for themselves" hat, which isn't a great way to enjoy an amusement park. And makes it that much harder to leave places like Knoebels, Holiday World and Seabreeze.

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Nothing will change with $70 season passes. Six Flags could be comparable operations-wise to Cedar Point, CF, but that would require a huge, long-term shake up. Their profits could have been so high! They could have untold thousands that were loyal the park (Hi Knoebels, Kennywood, KI, Cedar Point, Holiday World, etc. etc. etc).

 

The thing is in 2016 SF EDIBTA 507M and CF was 481M. Not much difference and CF spent 161M in Cap Expenditures compared to SF 124M. How much value would there be in spending a little in improving operations for the long term reputation of SF. Most people trash their operations, while CF is generally praised.

 

The cheap pass plan will hit major resistance at some point. SF now claims 60% of all visitors are pass holders. There comes a point where you have sold a season pass to almost everyone that is likely to buy it. When the season pass growth rate slows substantially and/or becomes flat, what do they do? Can they raise prices much? People have gotten used to $70 season passes.

 

I still LOVE my home park (and think it is still the best overall in the chain), but man... the place is intermittently run like a dump. Every single employee (including managers and higher ups) consistintely give different answers for simple questions. It's a train wreck. When I go to the park, I have to put on my "every man, woman and mutant for themselves" hat, which isn't a great way to enjoy an amusement park. And makes it that much harder to leave places like Knoebels, Holiday World and Seabreeze.

 

SF seems to show little concern for these issues or the sentiment of patrons like you right now. They will start correcting these issues when people stop buying passes.

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I'm just happy I have a season pass that way I'm not wasting $70 a ticket when I visit. Even though I already feel that way with spending almost $100 on my season pass. I wish I lived closer to a better park like all that were listed above Cedar Point, Holiday Word, Knobels, Kennywood, ect. That way I know my money is being spent well. If I wasn't such a cheap college student I would make a trip to Cedar Point a few times a year. I still enjoy going to Great America and I do agree it's one of the best in the chain, but they need to address the problems they have to make it even better. I really don't appropriate wasting 15 minutes in line just to get some water, and I'm sure most people would not like that too.

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^But remember... we still have (what I think to be) the best park in the chain. In terms of variety, operations (could you believe!?) and general set-up.

 

Every time I go to another SF park, I usually leave early (unless at an event or with friends) because the situation is so pathetic. But I have to admit, I've been spoiled in a sense. Years of going to Holiday World and their events, and all those other parks that - however still a business - let you know they care. Good thing about Great America for me, I'm only 45 mins away. I can go when no one is there, get my rides in and go home. Wish me luck doing that at Magic Mountain next week. Doh!

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^But remember... we still have (what I think to be) the best park in the chain. In terms of variety, operations (could you believe!?) and general set-up.

I completely agree. I haven't visited many Six Flags parks, but what I've read on here and other coaster sites and forums I believe we do have the best park in the chain. However, like many other parks, it still has its flaws. I guess not everything has to be perfect, even though because we know more about these parks and rides than the average person, we expect everything to be.

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FINALLY! . . . After a 12+ hour drive from AL, I made it to Gurnee! Already checked in my hotel and about to get plenty of rest for my first time visit at this amazing park I hear so much about! I'm ready for a "Six Flags Day!"

Have fun! I'll be checking back for a trip report!

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FINALLY! . . . After a 12+ hour drive from AL, I made it to Gurnee! Already checked in my hotel and about to get plenty of rest for my first time visit at this amazing park I hear so much about! I'm ready for a "Six Flags Day!"

 

Have a great time! In case you didn't get the run-down for best seats and stuff:

 

Demon- 2nd to back. Better view than very back, more leg room, but you still get the awesome *snap* of the first drop. Will be a walk-on after 8.

Eagle- RED! Seat #3 is heaven. Try very front and 3rd from back ("row 13") if you have time

Viper- exact same as Eagle. Heavenly floater air time in #3.

Whizzer - very low intensity, VERY high uniqueness, ride-ability, comfort and general awesomeness. Very back seat! Heck, any seat is coaster perfection.

Raging Bull- Very back seat. If you don't fall into the very boring and knee-jerk complaint of the 3rd hill trim, you can really enjoy this ride. The layout is one of kind. The uniqueness of the layout wins me over every time. I much prefer this to the camel-back repetition of most hyper B&Ms across the country.

 

Fiddler's Fling is the fastest ride every built. Ok, maybe not, but holy cow don't miss it.

Logger's Run and Yankee Clipper are 2 of the few remaining classic log flumes at corporate parks. Pure joyrides!

That's the important stuff anyway! Hope you have a blast.

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WOW! WOW! WOW! Today was a great day! A VERY GREAT DAY! Even though it started to rain towards the end (steady/drizzling), I managed to ride all the major thrill rides, and with the exception of Little Dipper closing because of rain, I got 13 coasters out of 14! YOU CAN'T BEAT THAT! All roller coasters were running with three or two trains! The operations were on point as well! I give much applause to all the ride ops at Six Flags Great America! This park is definitely one of the best Six Flags park! Everyone was nice and friendly! No attitudes . . . no rudeness . . . A GREAT PLACE TO BE!

 

A TRIP REPORT/VLOG IS IN THE WORKS! I'LL HAVE IT OUT SOON, HOPEFULLY!

 

Before I forget, please pray for a "happy day" at Mt. Olympus tomorrow. I'm nervous!

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WOW! WOW! WOW! Today was a great day! A VERY GREAT DAY!

 

"Maybe a Great day is just what you need this year!" Was their commercial jingle for the early years. Now if I could find one of those commercials...

So sorry you didn't get to ride Little Dipper. It's beautiful!

 

Before I forget, please pray for a "happy day" at Mt. Olympus tomorrow. I'm nervous!

 

I will pray for you indeed! Beware the stupid "curbs" placed throughout the park. That can hurt. The biggest travesty about Mt. Olympus (for me, personally) are the changes made to Cyclops about ... 3 years ago. I haven't been back. But that was the one reason I would go up there, on non-crowded days. They have re-profiled THE DROP, as well as added ratcheting lap bars that have infamously "runinnned!" the buzz bar experience on many older and formerly classic woodies. As dramatic as it sounds, if you get to ride something that awesome and are used to it, and the train gear is changed like that... well, it nearly ruins the experience for me.

 

Are you going to Little Amerricka? I would TOTALLY skip Mt. Olympus in favor of that. I know I know... many of us coaster nerds want to the get the most talked about credits, but if you have any appreciation or like of classic-style stuff, I would so do LAmerricka. They have the "other" clone of Little Dipper (that was also originally built at a park here in Chicagoland). They've rebuilt it and called it METEOR. The operation of the ride has been kept classic: very fast loading and dispatch, a manual hand brake and they give you like... 3 or 4 rides in a row (depending on the crowd). They also have a classic Hershell Mad Mouse, which looks and runs like brand new. It's rough and tumble, and not a single restraint, the way it should be. When I go there with friends, they usually camp out at Mad Mouse and I'm doing time on Mad Mouse! All the super-old rides they have look old... because they are old technology, but they run better than new. LAmerricka has their own metal machine shop! A Roll-O-Plane (which would hit Meteor if a railing on Meteor hadn't been removed - this is awesome!) and a bunch of other older rides. A VERY LONG train ride out to no where, which is somehow very cool and charming all in one. They also have future plans to rebuild the Lincoln Park Comet, and do so in a very classic way.

 

Are you going to Bay Beach!? Again, if you like a classic mom & pop, relaxed feel - don't miss it. Zippin is a near top 10 ride in my book. They have (now rare) giant racing slide (KI and CP had these years ago). I have a permanent scar on the inside of my arm from that ride. My fault, I tried to lock arms with my friend next to me to go faster and my arm hit the slide. But look! I didn't sue the park! It was my fault. The cool thing is the scar looks like a Bat Signal.

 

You would get MUCH more mileage out of going to those 2 parks, but if you really need the bigger "credits," I understand.

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^Darnit! And Little Amerricka is closer to Great America than Mt. Olympus!

 

I'd compare it to traveling to Pennsylvania and only going to Dorney for the B&Ms. Ok, not the best example, but you get the drift: going to a state and spending time and (lots) of money at the crappiest place and foregoing a couple of the best places on the planet. I digress...

 

Hopefully you will never have to return to Mt. Olympus again after today. Gawd, Cyclops was a top 5 for me - for years. I hope you still have fun on it. Just imagine it with 6 inches between you and the lap bar, and a sharper breakover/steepness on THE DROP. The first drop is (was?) killer in the back seat, too!

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