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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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^ I got several trimless rides on Diamondback last October. I think even rode the Beast without the trim. Now I was there on a very windy day though which was probably why I got the trimless rides. But I n all my years going to my home park I don’t think I’ve ever got a trimless ride on Bull.

 

Unless you rode the Beast the first few weeks it was open, you did not get a trimless ride. There were always skid brake trims that didn't turn off which were replaced with magnetic brakes that do not turn off a few years back. Just sayin'.

 

I don't even think it was first few weeks: IIRC there was video from before Day 1 and it had it then too. But you still see people claim that they rode it without one to this day (like in this thread). People tell all sorts of stories and it's always easier when they happened a long time ago. I've heard stories about ops riding Montana Rusa at Chapultepec standing on the side boards with seat belts strapped around their wrists. I heard about people getting nosebleeds from riding Weiner Looping, Mindbender, and Thriller, as well as that only Thriller's accordions came down on riders hard when it moved to Texas (ie when people started to ride it en masse) but the other Schwarzkops were all perfect (LOL). Colossus at Heide Park was the # wood coaster in the world until everyone rode it. Same with Tonnere De Zeus. Aska (which was literally a duplicate of Viper at Great America) was supposedly a top 3 coasters. There's always always always nonsense.

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I’m so ready for these totally arbitrary and nonsensical covid rules to be over.  So a waterpark with no masks was fine all summer but they can’t run a coaster Or a Scrambler with a bunch of empt

This is life in Illinois. We're everything that's wrong with California, without the view.

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Got on Eagle red on Saturday. Glorious as always, bummer the break is on at the bottom of the barrel, but still fantastic airtime throughout. Sure it's not quite as good as Viper, but good lord easily in my top 20 wooden coasters. With all these rumors of it being Iron Horsed, I really hope they don't. Granted Viper is an incredible wooden coaster, it would suck for SFGAm to only have one wooden coaster. It would be cool if they ever decided to run blue backwards again. One can hope.

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Unless you rode the Beast the first few weeks it was open, you did not get a trimless ride. There were always skid brake trims that didn't turn off which were replaced with magnetic brakes that do not turn off a few years back. Just sayin'.

 

Either way, I had a few frighteningly fast rides on the Beast 1987-1989 (including during the Beast 10th anniversary party in March of '89... in the rain and snow!)

 

People argue endlessly about how the Beast used to be (which usually includes the 1979 POV of the ride, fresh and tight, running very slow during a test run).

 

The discussion is usually ... "well, you were young and you just remember if faster!" No. It was definitely faster on a regular basis. If you got a brakeless Beast ride back then, you knew it. If it went past half-way up the 2nd lift, you got what was (back then) considered a brakeless or near-brakeless ride.

 

1989 was my last fast ride on Beast. By 1992 (we would drive over from Cedar Point on days off), it seemed Beast lost all it's bite. Forward to the 2000s, and another big step-down in speed.

 

Still fun, and will always be special to me, but not but a shade of what it used to be. Bummer to me, but it's life.

 

Since we are in the Great America thread... there is the case of a brakeless American Eagle! What a treat that was. When the track is in top condition AND the brakes are off, I call that "Voyage meets Phoenix." True magic. You could get a taste of that around 2009-2010 when Shapiro was in charge. Eagle was his favorite coaster in the chain, and made sure it was kept in good condition and ran fast, albeit for a short period. It's back to it's usual self, but I still love it. Late 80s was horrible as the wooden track on the out run made it nearly un-rideable. Then they added the hybrid track; it's got that vibration, but it still runs fairly well.

 

I'm too lazy to look it up, but there's actually a video that has been shared which compares vintage footage from Beast compared to modern footage. The speed is nearly identical. The one big change that has been made is that the skid pad has been replaced with a magnetic brake. The magnetic brake slows the train more abruptly, but not any more than it used to.

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I'm too lazy to look it up, but there's actually a video that has been shared which compares vintage footage from Beast compared to modern footage

 

Yes, I thought I mentioned that (but it's gone now?). That 1979 video was shot during break-in. One day a good video will pop up. No matter what I say on the subject, people who weren't there are going to argue against it, so it's probably in my best interest to make this my last post.

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Hey guys. Was curious if any of you went to HITP last season and know anything about the coasters opening. Did they try to open some of the coasters no matter what (like Great Adventure) or were most closed during the event? Looking to try to go this weekend.

If it's on the list they'll try to open it.

 

If it isn't, then don't expect it to be open. They likely won't have the staff to open more, and there's a chance the trains are already removed and the ride is being prepared for 2020.

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Going back to this park for the first time since I was about 7 so 25 years ago. That is the last time I had been to any Six Flags park.

 

Give me any and all information you can regarding tickets (where I can get the cheapest), game plan for rides, and how does their skip the line system work.

 

We have to go on a Saturday. We are going to see Rammstein in Chicago and decided to add this day on so we will only have one day.

 

Thank you in advance.

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Holy shit! You guys are only 5 hours away. I can't believe you haven't been to the park in the last 25 years.

 

There are people who are a lot more experienced with this park than I am. If I were to go right now, I'd make sure to get to the park early and hit Maxx Force immediately. The other main rides I would prioritize after that are Goliath and Vertiical Velocity. They're close to each other. If you're interested in going to Justice League, you'll have to ride that early, too. X-Flight and Raging Bull lines should always move pretty quickly. Superman is always packed when we go. Demon's line is always reasonable for us, but we never ride it.

 

This park has two of my favorite first drops between Goliath and Raging Bull. You'll have to sit in the very back on Raging Bull and experience the pre-drop ejector airtime dive into the tunnel. The back few cars on Goliath are always good.

 

Don't forget to go to Malnati's, since you're in the area...

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Went as a kid never went back. Only been back to Chicago twice since I was a kid and didn’t have time to hit six flags

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I'm not very experienced with the tickets vs season pass vs member so I'll let someone else speak to that.

 

You'll definitely need a Fast Pass and there's info about how that's tiered on the SF website. So I'd say go to Maxx Force first, pick your Fast Pass up on the way to Goliath and maybe do Whizzer on the way, then go to V2 and Dark Knight/Joker/pick your poison on slow moving lines.

 

Don't miss the log flume or the rapids if you have any interest in either of the two rides.

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Have a wedding in october in the chicago area, assuming SFGA has fight fest hours, does anyone know what the usual hours are for friday? Feel free to PM me.

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Wow. This thread and the FB page for SFGA are totally dead. ANY word on the street about an opening date? SFSTL opened this week. Since we probably won't be doing any big trips this year, thought we might make a HW, KK, KI, CP run in late July and talked about adding on Indiana Beach and SFGA since they aren't that out of the way coming home.

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Given that Illinois "Phase 4," which is scheduled to take effect tomorrow, still limits gatherings to 50 people, I don't see it happening until the state reaches "Phase 5" whenever that may be.

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In Illinois, theme parks would fall under Phase 5, which is the final phase in reopening. At this point I wouldn't expect there to be a 2020 season. Illinois has been one of the most cautious states in reopening and given the results that FL and TX are seeing with their reopening, I firmly believe that large scale gatherings won't happen here for the foreseeable future...

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Yeah, but MO is still on the 50 person gathering thing but SFSTL was able to open with the restrictions in place, mostly because it is outdoors I think. Besides if IL is letting zoos open under phase 4 (which they are) then why not amusement parks? Oh well. SFGA would be a tack on to the last day of the road trip so we can make a late decision I guess.

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Like I said, Illinois has been one of the most cautious states in opening. Because of that, Amusement Parks are going to be one of the last things to open. It sucks, but that is how IL is handling this.

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There were SFGA employees down here helping out at SFSTL but apparently they have gone back home now that the holiday weekend is over. Have no idea what that means, if anything, for a SFGA opening date.

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Given that Illinois "Phase 4," which is scheduled to take effect tomorrow, still limits gatherings to 50 people, I don't see it happening until the state reaches "Phase 5" whenever that may be.

 

Raging Rivers in Grafton has opened with 50% capacity and no mask requirement, but are water parks considered amusement parks or public pools?

Edited by rickjuly252012
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Yeah, but MO is still on the 50 person gathering thing but SFSTL was able to open with the restrictions in place, mostly because it is outdoors I think. Besides if IL is letting zoos open under phase 4 (which they are) then why not amusement parks? Oh well. SFGA would be a tack on to the last day of the road trip so we can make a late decision I guess.

 

MO has no statewide crowd limits or mask mandate, must be the limit of STL County

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It is STl county, I should have specified. Our gov is just letting each county do as they feel necessary, which is not working out so well for some of the rural counties right now. Since I posted that STL county/city have made a public mask mandate.

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Just read that the waterpark is open, so interesting. It's a phenomenal waterpark, I think they have every model from ProSlide!

 

Hope the dry park can open this year, I'd love to try Maxx Force.

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Six Flags Great America has been given permission to reopen for Holiday in the Park...sort of.  The park can open, but they cannot operate any rides.

News Article- WGNTV

Quote

By Marcus Leshock (WGNTV)

It’s been a summer of silence at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. Seven months after their normal opening date, the theme park has been granted approval to open to guests. 

Great America will reopen on November 27th with their third season of Holiday in the Park. They are calling this year’s festivities “Holiday in the Park Lights” – and it will be a bit different this season.

“Due to Illinois safety guidelines, rides won’t be operating at Holiday in the Park Lights,” Caitlin Kepple, Six Flags Great America’s Communications Manager, says. “It’s strictly a holiday lights experience.”

What can you expect as part of that experience? The park says they are going all out with decorations and lights across their nearly 300 acres. The maintenance team is hard at work setting up two and a half million holiday lights on the trees and buildings. The traditional holiday food items and hot chocolate will be available, as well. 

We also spoke with David Major, Six Flags Great America’s entertainment manager, about adjusting the event to bring some of Holiday in the Park’s indoor elements outside. 

“We are going to bring our characters and our stage shows outside,” Major told us. “It will be socially distanced for our performers and for our guests. Everything is coming outside, onto the midways and onto the streets.”

Great America says they are following reopening guidelines put forward by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s office. In addition to having no rides operating, the park will operate at reduced capacity levels. Guests will have to make a reservation on the Six Flags website, a system that will be familiar to anybody who visited the Hurricane Harbor waterpark when it was able to reopen this summer. 

Guests will have their temperatures checked with a contactless thermal imaging system, social distancing will be strictly enforced throughout the property, and masks will be required for everybody over two years old. Dedicated cleaning teams will be put in place to sanitize touch points throughout the grounds. Mobile food ordering will also be available – guests can order items on the Six Flags app and have them ready for pickup, allowing for touchless transactions. The park will be hiring around 800 seasonal employees to make the event happen.

Reservations are scheduled to open today, October 15, on Six Flags Great America’s website. Members and Season Pass holders will receive priority over single-day ticket buyers. Those single day tickets will be sold for $19.99 this season with free parking included. 

The staff at Great America says they are excited to open the gates and offer another way to get outside and enjoy the holiday season. Their new opening day is just 43 days away. Major tells me they are definitely under some pressure to get everything ready in time, but they’re up to the challenge. 

“We rallied the team together to make this happen. We want to bring it to our guests and celebrate the holiday season at Six Flags Great America.”

 

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