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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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I'm not sure what issues you have had in the past at six flags, but we go to both cedar fair and six flags parks every year and have not had any major issues.

This.

 

SFGAM has been in the news a few times regarding violence etc; I don't hear as many reports from other Six Flags parks, so I don't think violence can be attributed to Six Flags business plan but more the location of some of their parks.

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I'm not sure what issues you have had in the past at six flags, but we go to both cedar fair and six flags parks every year and have not had any major issues.

 

It was just my observations and experiences working at both CF and SF parks and visiting them since the 80s. I'm glad you have had better visits at Six Flags parks than I have.

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Doesn't seem as major but apparently another fight broke out today According to someone in the comments, it caused Mardi Gras Hangover to be e-stopped and the queue to be evacuated

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1634575566659899/permalink/1700697410047714/

 

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"The ironic thing, personally, is that I think Great America is the best in the chain." You are entitled to your opinions- I disagree. Let me also say I have seen fights at Disney and Universal. Cedar Point has the advantage of being a fair distance from a Major City. Most SF parks are in a suburb of a major city and that can lead to all types of issues. SFGAM is not the best in the chain. It is a fine Park however. Some people just have to play the "Cedar Point" is better game. Fine- Believe what you want. I see all types of people at all types of Parks- I travel much, visit many Parks and have worked at a park for 8 years. People are just People and People generally have "issues".

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I have been to theme parks and amusement parks all over and even worked in one but I never see this kind of nonsense no matter where I am. Yet SFGAm seems to always have these types of issues. It just reminds me why Chicago had never been very high on my list of cities to visit. I wouldn't want to bring my family to this park onowing there's a chance a fight or even a brawl could break out. And yes that could happen anywhere but I don't ever see it so heavily publicized like it is here or so common. But I guess even the inner city needs a vacation once in awhile.

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"The ironic thing, personally, is that I think Great America is the best in the chain." You are entitled to your opinions- I disagree. Let me also say I have seen fights at Disney and Universal. Cedar Point has the advantage of being a fair distance from a Major City. Most SF parks are in a suburb of a major city and that can lead to all types of issues. SFGAM is not the best in the chain. It is a fine Park however. Some people just have to play the "Cedar Point" is better game. Fine- Believe what you want. I see all types of people at all types of Parks- I travel much, visit many Parks and have worked at a park for 8 years. People are just People and People generally have "issues".

 

I agree 100%

 

I have been to theme parks and amusement parks all over and even worked in one but I never see this kind of nonsense no matter where I am. Yet SFGAm seems to always have these types of issues. It just reminds me why Chicago had never been very high on my list of cities to visit. I wouldn't want to bring my family to this park onowing there's a chance a fight or even a brawl could break out. And yes that could happen anywhere but I don't ever see it so heavily publicized like it is here or so common. But I guess even the inner city needs a vacation once in awhile.

 

It's only publicized so much because of the anti six flags people enjoy this kind of thing, and bring more attention to it.

 

As far as not bringing your family there because of fear of a fight, you better not leave the house then. I have seen numerous fights at cedarpoint as well...including a brawl in the parking lot. Better not bring your family to cp then either.

I have brought my family to six flags great America a dozen times, and have NEVER witnessed a fight or anything remotely crazy enough to worry me in the least.

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I think attendance probably has the highest impact, probably about at the same level as location. The only days where my home park (SFFT) feels like shenanigans could happen (and they do sometimes, but almost exclusively on these days) are on those weekends and holidays where everyone and their dog shows up to the park.

 

More people = more people who are likely to cause something

 

More people = more crowded = more desperate to skip a line and in doing so cause trouble because long lines are frustrating

 

More crowded = easier to get away with stupid stuff because the employee/visitor ratio is lower

 

Regardless of other people's behavior, I am still excited to be visiting this park and the city of Chicago for the first time next week!

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I have been to theme parks and amusement parks all over and even worked in one but I never see this kind of nonsense no matter where I am. Yet SFGAm seems to always have these types of issues. It just reminds me why Chicago had never been very high on my list of cities to visit. I wouldn't want to bring my family to this park onowing there's a chance a fight or even a brawl could break out. And yes that could happen anywhere but I don't ever see it so heavily publicized like it is here or so common. But I guess even the inner city needs a vacation once in awhile.

 

 

If it makes you feel any better, I am as old as the park, have been going to it since I was born, go a lot, since we live only 15 minutes away, and I have never witnessed or been party to any violence. Same with Chicago. Don’t buy into the media portrayal of Chicago. The bad stories, like I said earlier, are all from parts of the city you would not visit as a tourist. Name me a major city in the U.S. that does not have those areas. The Chicago area has some of the wealthiest communities in the entire U.S. Generally, we are friendly people with good midwestern values. We are not all bad!

 

I am very concerned about these recent events at our park though, because I never used to hear about these in the past. We take our kids there too, and I would hate for them to be caught in the middle of anything like this as innocent bystanders.

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Some people just have to play the "Cedar Point" is better game.

 

Not a game for me, just a personal opinion (as I stated originally). It's not about CP being better (personally, I think some SF parks including Great America have better coasters, all-around), it's just my opinion that CF's operations (for everything) is MUCH better. Just an opinion. I totally respect and understand yours.

 

I could see how it seems like a game... just as it seems strange to me when people accuse others of playing the "CP is better game," when that is not actually happening. The "CP is better game" does indeed happen quite a bit, but not in every discussion.

 

Thank you for the explanation of fights occurring elsewhere. I wasn't aware they happened that much, and agree with you that people are going to be people no matter where they go. Remembering the awful time a friend and I had at KD in 2011. I thought I needed a security escort to our car! Bad times.

 

(Related - my friends used to joke that CP was the "world's largest collection of mediocre rides in the world." Just a semi-joke, very subjective, etc. We all love CP too.)

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Quick question for those who count SFGam as your home park. I'm traveling up this weekend with a group of friends with families. We all have season passes (STL is our home park).

 

I thought i remember that SFGam handles their opening a little different that SFStl. The park is listed to open at 10:30, but don't they let you in before that, and that lines begin forming in front of each ride ahead of time? Is that still happening?

 

I'm advising our friends that we want to arrive in the parking lot around 9:30am, but they think i'm crazy.

 

Thoughts?

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Quick question for those who count SFGam as your home park. I'm traveling up this weekend with a group of friends with families. We all have season passes (STL is our home park).

 

I thought i remember that SFGam handles their opening a little different that SFStl. The park is listed to open at 10:30, but don't they let you in before that, and that lines begin forming in front of each ride ahead of time? Is that still happening?

 

I'm advising our friends that we want to arrive in the parking lot around 9:30am, but they think i'm crazy.

 

Thoughts?

 

They open the gates at 10:30, no earlier. They don't let you queue for the rides ahead of that. It's a little different than other parks.

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The gate to the parking lot will usually open between 9 and 9:30. They usually start letting cars past the point where you pay for parking around 9:30. They usually start letting people past the metal detectors around 10 AM. They usually let you in the park at 10:15 AM. The rides begin at 10:30 AM. It's not always the same, but this is the way they usually do things. I'm always at the park early, so I know that this is how it works.

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Thanks! I'll adjust and arrive at 10am then. Y'all just saved me from getting crushed by the other families.

 

I don't know why I feel like remembering that I queued up in front of goliath early last year.

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Incredibly awesome yet super cheesy retro goodness. Note 4 trains in motion on Whizzer. Good stuff sprinkled throughout, watch at your discretion.

 

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In regards to the 'violence', I don't know if I witnessed the Mardi Gras area one referenced previously or another one in the same area on the same day... Either way we had just exited Roaring Rapids and there was a heavy police presence as well as easily a two dozen park 'security' in the area keeping people apart and trying to calm everyone down... One dolt that was clearly a 'suspect' in the incident started to get quite belligerent both physically and vocally with the park staff, while proclaiming to the staff he was leaving because he didn't do anything, let's just say that didn't go well for him as he was quickly met by three officers and a K-9 unit, and informed he was patently incorrect about just leaving, albeit in the end he actually might have been right about leaving as he was given a pair of shiny bracelets for his actions...

 

It definitely was not a crowded day so it wasn't a crowd-driven conflict, in fact the park was quite empty, probably due to the heat, I don't think any line was longer than 15 minutes on Fathers Day, even the Joker was only about a 10 minute wait...

 

On that note, we were there again this weekend and there was a clearly bigger police presence, both police in the parking lot driving up and down the parking lanes and in the park itself where I saw several Gurnee police on bikes and also walking around the park...

 

Oh and BTW I do love how they tell you to report line jumping then do nothing about it, we were in line for X-Flight and when the gates opened to get on the ride two line jumpers literally pushed past my brother and his wife that were next, jumped on the ride and harnessed up in haste, we reported them and easily a half dozen other people in line confirmed what had happened, but the two individuals refused to move and said everyone else was lying thus nothing was done by park staff... Talking to a few other people about it afterwards, apparently, they too have reported line jumpers but faced the same dead-end reaction from staff, apparently as long as the line jumper denies they jumped nothing happens, so that policy is a little disappointing...

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Park was absolutely dead today. Yesterday we waited in line quite a bit for the 3-4 hours we were there. Today was walk-ons or station waits for every coaster we did, depending on the row. Stayed from 12:15 until 4 and got in 16 rides (including rerides) as opposed to 5 yesterday for a similar amount of time. Very well landscaped and maintained compared to other Six Flags parks. Tied for my favorite Six Flags between Great America and Over Texas.

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Ha, I heard from a friend that it was indeed dead (Goliath station wait and Superman sending empty rows) so I drove down. Literally right as I got there the bad weather started kicking in. I was about to get on Hangover when it closed for weather and never reopened. I stayed around until the park was closed early at 5:30 but didn't get a single ride in. So close!

 

Glad to hear you had a good time

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Ouch, looks like you barely missed the sweet spot today when it didn't rain. I saw the huge downpour that came around on the way out, it only started raining once we left the exit. Perfect timing I guess, lol

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Hello all, I'm finally returning back to my old stomping grounds for the first time since the late 80's. I notice there has been a few changes since then. Planning on going on Monday July 16th and I'm looking for your expert advice on how to tackle the park. Will definitely be arriving when the park opens, and not sure yet how late we'll be staying. Oh, does it get cool there in the evening, or should I just prepare for hot and stick all day? Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Locals can tell you how to tackle the park better than I can, my only advice (since it sounds like you've never ridden it) is to ride Raging Bull in the very back row. Not one from the back... the back. It's awesome.

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Locals can tell you how to tackle the park better than I can, my only advice (since it sounds like you've never ridden it) is to ride Raging Bull in the very back row. Not one from the back... the back. It's awesome.

 

Definitely on my "To Do" list. Been looking forward to riding this coaster for a long time!

 

Oh, and if anyone has any food recommendations, I'm looking for good places to eat in and near the park. Probably gonna eat somewhere nearby for breakfast, and then for dinner when we leave.

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We had breakfast about 30 minutes away at Franks' Diner in Wisconsin, very good food but you'll have to go pretty early if you're trying to get to the park in time for opening. There's a Denny's less than 5 minutes away from the park as well as some other chain stuff. Depends on what you want.

 

Going clockwise around the park is probably the best strategy as Superman is going to get the most consistently long line along with Goliath, although locals probably have more detailed and accurate information in that regard.

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I'm looking for your expert advice on how to tackle the park.

 

May I suggest if time permits you visit an Amazing Goodwill before hand and get a free rewards card, there is a dedicated Amazing Goodwill entrance that saved me easily 45 minutes to an hour of waiting in line to enter the park the other day!

 

https://www.amazinggoodwill.com/stores

 

As for eating Gurnee Mills and the plethora of restaurants around it, is just down the street...

 

If you want to avoid the high cost of beverages, bring a refillable water bottle, there are several water fountains and water bottle refill stations...

 

I also agree that if your goal is rides, generally heading left (clockwise) upon entry is best, most people head to the right (counter clockwise) and the older rides on that side that are normally only a moderate or short wait later in the day like the Whizzer and Demon will generally be long waits during the early gate entry times...

 

As for temps, it's the Chicago Land area, might be 100° during the day and 90° at night or it might be 70° during the day and 50° at night, look at the forecast when the date gets closer...

 

And last but not least, pay attention to the time if you are on the West side of the park around 6pm, as Hurricane Harbor closes there can be a huge inrush of people existing the water park into the regular park at that time driving up the wait times on rides in that area...

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Hello all, I'm finally returning back to my old stomping grounds for the first time since the late 80's. I notice there has been a few changes since then. Planning on going on Monday July 16th and I'm looking for your expert advice on how to tackle the park. Will definitely be arriving when the park opens, and not sure yet how late we'll be staying. Oh, does it get cool there in the evening, or should I just prepare for hot and stick all day? Your help is greatly appreciated!
I was in the same boat as you last year. I went to the park all the time in the 80's and last year was my first trip back since the early 90's. We spent about 2 and half days at the park. I would goto Goliath first. Raging Bull has a better capacity to move through the line. I thought Bull was agood ride but I thought Goliath was by far the best ride in the park. I actually liked X Flight better than Raging Bull as well. Lines were typically 30-45 for X Flight when we went (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday). We did do Joker first on Monday because last year the lines were really long for it. That was the only ride we got on it. I found it to be rather average to be honest. Superman was almost always close to an hour wait as well. A few of the other rides that were always at least 30 minutes to an hour were V2, Dark Knight, and Viper. The American Eagle's line was very short and they ran both sides. That brought back some good memories. Overall the park felt more crowded than Six Flags Magic Mountain which is the closest Six Flags park to me,
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