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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread

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Well Illinois is also testing near 80,000 people a day.  By comparison we didn't test 40,000 a day until August 5th.  But I digress.

I completely agree that SFGAm could have opened last summer.  We visited King's Island in July of last year and felt completely safe with the protocols in place and reduced capacity.  What I fail to understand is how Six Flags was allowed to open Hurricane Harbor but not the theme park.  Why were indoor entertainment venues open at a reduced capacity when an outdoor entertainment facility couldn't?  

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On 4/15/2021 at 9:24 PM, prozach626 said:

So the overly COVID cautious park remained closed in 2020, but it opens its doors in 2021 by serving food during the pandemic... 

I think it's more along the lines of the requirements that were put on them by the state last year. This year states seem to be a little less "strict" on parks since they are banking on the majority of people being vaccinated by the time parks open. 

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On 4/16/2021 at 3:54 PM, mulfdog said:

What I fail to understand is how Six Flags was allowed to open Hurricane Harbor but not the theme park.  Why were indoor entertainment venues open at a reduced capacity when an outdoor entertainment facility couldn't?  


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I went for opening day yesterday, it was a mess.

No consistency with rows. For example(s), Raging Bull and Whizzer were loading every row, Viper was most but not all rows, and then Maxx Force was less than half the train.

Most restaurants were closed. For lunch, Chop Six was still closed at noon. We went to Johnny Rockets and their computer software was not working in the kitchen. So after you placed your order they took your receipt to fill orders. It was a gigantic mess and they fell way behind. They would come by every 5-10 minutes and ask for your order number, and nobody knew theirs because we did not have our receipts anymore!! We ordered two burgers and they ended up throwing away our receipt after we got the first burger. I reminded them three times that I had only received half my order, and overall we were there for 75 minutes. Later in the day I ordered on the app for dinner. I got the notification it was ready half an hour before my window. When I went to pick it up later, the restaurant was flat out closed, shuttered at all. Mind you when I ordered the food they had windows until park close, and this was around 6:30. I tried to get the employees attention and they didn't acknowledge me. The app said the order was completed and it used up my dinner and snack. Luckily I went to Chop Six and told them what happened and they gave me two entrées free of charge.

I had an experience I will never forget with Maxx Force. SFGAm is my home park and when Maxx Force was announced I was morbidly obese, so I wanted to get on it but I knew I had work to do to get there. I did not get there for 2019. By 2020 I had lost enough weight to get back on coasters, but you know, COVID. So I was on a mission yesterday: the only thing I wanted to do was ride Maxx Force. Especially visiting the park with my sister, who does not do coasters. I told her I did not care what happened, as long as I got on Maxx Force I would be happy. Let me tell you, Maxx had a rough day and did not make it easy for me. I met up with Zero Credits Remaining and we joined the line, and we did not know what was ahead of us. In short, it broke down 4-5 times and we waited 3 hours. After the first hour, we were "too close" to leave the line, and after waiting 2.5 years for this, I was more than determined and refused to give up. My poor sister out in the park waiting three hours for me, she kept calling me all mad asking how much longer I would be. One breakdown forced them to move to single train operations. Finally we got in the station. We were next to ride, and sure enough, it broke down. Eventually they were able to move the train from the brake run to the station to get the riders off. They ran three cycles and allowed us on. We rode, and it was awesome! #2 in the park, top 25 for me! The only problem, sure enough, was that we got stuck on the brakes! For whatever reason the mechanics had a harder time getting us in the station, we were probably stuck for 20 minutes. My sister was calling me and came up the exit to talk to me and make fun of me, she was happy I got stuck after all the waiting I put her through. Only fitting this is what it took to get on after I couldn't for 2.5 years!!

Despite the day going really poorly, my ride on Maxx Force made it a great day, and I am genuinely extremely happy now!!

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I'll give SFGAm a pass because this was their first weekend open in what, like 18 months!?!? But yeah, I really need all of the parks to get their food operational. They make so much money off of it and it's so overpriced that it at least deserves to be served to you in a timely manner. 

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How do they not realize faster food would mean more money for the park? It really should be a top priority and with internet ordering, more people can cook.  I heard it was slightly better today food wise. It blows my mind I can enter my order on the mobile app in about a minute or two with customization, drink selection, discount applied, etc.  It takes the kid at the registers 5+ minutes for each order.

SF mobile ordering is actually pretty nice when it works and the workers pay attention.


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Congrats on riding Maxx Force.

Based on what they’ve done elsewhere on the chain this seems to be the methodology they use to determine what rides load all rows.

- If a state recently let them open they run a lot of rides where they don’t load all rows so that they can pretend that they care for awhile. Sure, other rides in the chain with the same ride vehicles have been loading all rows for half-a-year but they’re assuming that the people running these the states and making these rules are unfathomably stupid. They assume this because the people running these states and making these rules are unfathomably stupid. Rides where riders are clearly really far apart like wing coasters and flying coasters will load all rows but not much else will. B&M hypers didn’t used to be in that category but they might be now. Nitro skipping rows lasted about 8 seconds. They probably realized that they had to load all rows for Holiday in the Park anyway or the train might not come back so they might as well start early. Raging Bull is probably in the same boat. That ride is also abused and will have the same issue so just rip that band-aid off now. PS: No clue if they announced it yet but Holiday in the Park is happening. They’re Six Flags, not Cedar Fair. Fright Fest is happening too but they might give it a stupid name. Note that they will cap capacity at just 99% of the normal Fright Fest crowd levels for safety.

- A few weeks / months later they throw up dividers in the stations and declare that any ride that has dividers in the station can safely load all rows now. They usually start with rides where the ride vehicles kind of / sort of seem far apart so it’s not too egregious. They’ll ease people into it.

- A few months later they put up dividers on everything and load all rows on every coaster that’s even moderately popular because nobody cares any more.

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6 hours ago, Dan the Coaster Man said:

I went for opening day yesterday, it was a mess.

That's disappointing to hear that you had a terrible experience with food service.  I'm hoping they have it ironed out in two weeks.  

Congrats on getting to ride Maxx Force!  I've only taken one lap...after two breakdowns while waiting.

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I was very lucky this weekend and I also attended Great America’s opening day. With the park not opening in nearly a year and a half I was expecting utter chaos, and ended up having a great time! 

We pre-purchased gold flash passes because we knew it would be a busy day. Now my group is kind of crazy, but knowing Maxx Force isn’t on gold flash pass with the park opening at 10:30 we were at the toll booths at 9:15am and when we got in we rope dropped Maxx Force and ended up on the 4th or 5th train of the day. With flash passes getting on every ride in the park we wanted to was a breeze, Justice League was closed but I don’t think that’s a huge blow. We were planning on skipping Little Dipper & Dark Night before we got to the park. (the latter of which was closed also) 

In terms of ride operations, for a park that didn’t open for a year and a half I think they did a darn pretty good job! There’s were multiple occasions throughout the day where we never stopped on the brake run and rolled right into the station!

Maxx Force was the only new ride for me and WOW what a launch! You can absolutely feel how much more powerful the initial thrust is than rides like Dragster or Kingda Ka! 

This visit ended up being my favorite visit I ever had to this park!

Final Tally
Maxx Force x1

Whizzer x1

Viper x1

Raging Bull x4

Demon x1
X-Flight x3

American Eagle x2

Goliath x2

V2 x1

Batman x1

Joker x1

Superman x1





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For real. All jokes aside that is my only real beef with going to parks with "GP" friends. They never wanna get to the park by opening, let alone early, and I keep it cool but its so clear throughout the day how badly it can hurt. Glad it was an excellent day!!!! 
Can't wait to get here. Prob next year. 

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I have a tough time getting to parks early when it’s Orlando or something where you have to be at Animal Kingdom at like 7:15 but when there’s a time change in your favor like with Great America and the park opens at 10:30 local time then I can be an early bird. 😂

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I had to make a late decision to go to the park since most of my upcoming weekends filled up. I went Sunday and was excited even though I knew it was going to be a rough day. My reservation was for 1:00 pm and planned on riding Maxx Force first. It was down with mechanics in the station so I headed to Demon. I waited 20 minutes and the slower speed due to half filled trains was really noticeable after the loops. It crawled through the straight section and had some nice hang time in the corkscrews. I went to American Eagle next and waited an hour. It ran well and is still my second favorite coaster in the park. After that was Goliath and I expected a long wait and it was painful. Running half filled or less trains and slow dispatches made it a 2 hour wait. I had a good ride on my favorite coaster in the park. Maxx Force opened up while I was in line for Goliath so I headed there next. The line wasn't that long, but 4 or 5 breakdowns and running nearly empty trains made it over a 2 hour wait. It's fun and it looks like a crowd pleaser. I think I enjoyed the argument in line more that the cops needed to get involved in. I had a few minutes left before closing so I squeezed in a ride on Whizzer. Good classic family coaster. On the way out employees were giving ticket vouchers to everyone as a courtesy. Because of that I'm going back next Sunday with my sister. I got on all the coasters I prioritized so I call it a win. Hopefully I can get on a bit more next time since I won't be able to go back for a few months.

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More details on the food festival that starts tomorrow have been released on their website.

Taste of Six Flags Food Festival

May 8-9; 15-16; 22-23

Rides, Tastes, and Brews!

Spring is in the air and the thrills are back in action! All that screaming on the roller coasters is going to work up an appetite. The new Taste of Six Flags Food Festival will bring the best bites from around the Six Flags family of parks right to you in Hometown Square. With treats for all ages, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

The Taste of Six Flags Food Festival will occur the following operating weekends in May:

Saturday, May 8 & Sunday, May 9

Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16

Saturday, May 22 & Sunday, May 23

Scheduled event hours of operation are Saturdays 12pm – 8pm and Sundays 12pm – 7pm.  

To experience the Taste of Six Flags Food Festival, you will need a reservation and valid form of admission to the theme park – just like any other day you plan to make a visit. This can be with your Six Flags Membership, Season Pass, or one-day admission ticket. 

Once inside the park, the specialty food and beverage items will require an additional fee. Punch cards featuring 12 credits will be available for purchase at Sidetrack Soda for $29.99. All-Season Dining Pass Holders receive 3 bonus credits with a punch card purchase!

Punch card credits can only be used to purchase items at Taste of Six Flags booths and cannot be redeemed at locations outside of the Taste of Six Flags special event. 


Buy Punch Card

Menu - Food Offerings


Fried Dough (2 credits): Fried dough topped with powdered sugar

Liege Belgian Waffle (3 credits): Waffle topped with powdered sugar, hot fudge, or strawberry

East Coast

Fried Green Beans (2 credits): Crunchy green beans

Grinders (3 credits): Italian sausage sandwich with peppers

Philly Cheesesteak (4 credits): Beef steak, onions, peppers, and nacho cheese on a sandwich bun


Tostada (3 credits): Tostada topped with beans, sour cream, lettuce, and pico de gallo

Poutine Fries (3 credits): Fries topped with gravy

Jamaican Street Food

Jerk Chicken (4 credits): Grilled chicken with jerk spices

Festival (2 credits): Fried dough sticks


Mac & Cheese Bacon Hot Dog (4 credits): A classic hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon bits

Italian Beef Sandwich (4 credits): Sliced beef topped with peppers and onions served on a sandwich bun


Corn in a Cup (2 credits): Corn topped with mayo and spices

Fried Pickle Spears (2 credits): Pickle spears with a fun crunch

Brisket Nachos (4 credits): Tortilla chips smothered in brisket, cheese and sour cream

Brisket Sandwich (4 credits): Smoked Southern brisket on a fluffy bun

Bub’s Smokehouse Fav (3 credits): A bratwurst topped with sauerkraut and spicy mustard

West Coast / California

Roasted Corn (2 credits): Choose original or fire

Loaded Mini Corn Dogs (2 credits): Pint-sized corn dogs topped with chili, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos

Not Yo’ Loaded Fries (3 credits): Tator tots loaded with cheese, sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos

Beer Trailer

**Must be 21 years or older

Beer sample (1 credit)

Full cup (4 credits)

Retail Offering

Tajin Cherry Apple (2 credits): A sweet cherry candy apple sprinkled with chili lime seasoning


Nothing really stands out to me but we'll probably give it a whirl since we'll have Six Flags gift cards and nothing to really spend them on.  Anyone have experience claiming their gift cards from their unused membership months?  

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Couple questions:  We will be in a group of 6 visiting SFGA this weekend.  


1). Any tips of Flash Pass for that many people?  If we are all Diamond Elite (at another park), do we get a free upgrade from Gold to Platinum Flash pass?  Also, is the park very busy nowadays?

2).  Does Superman Ultimate Flight seems safe for people of different heights and weights for the most part?

3).  For Whizzer, do they prefer or is there any signage for us to sit "two per seat" or do we need to each line up on a row and take up literally 6 lanes?  Any tips?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/11/2021 at 6:27 PM, dkepler said:

Couple questions:  We will be in a group of 6 visiting SFGA this weekend.  


1). Any tips of Flash Pass for that many people?  If we are all Diamond Elite (at another park), do we get a free upgrade from Gold to Platinum Flash pass?  Also, is the park very busy nowadays?

2).  Does Superman Ultimate Flight seems safe for people of different heights and weights for the most part?

3).  For Whizzer, do they prefer or is there any signage for us to sit "two per seat" or do we need to each line up on a row and take up literally 6 lanes?  Any tips?

It's probably too late, but I'll do my best.  

1)  My understanding is that you'll pay the Gold price for the Platinum Flash Pass.

2)  It seems perfectly safe to me.  I'm not sure if there's any height or weight limit.

3)  I believe you can ride however you want.  I rode by myself, so there's certainly no "two per seat" rule.

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  • 1 month later...

Way too early planning a trip out to the park on Saturday September 25. Primary concern is new credits since last visit in 2009. All questions assume pre-Covid standards.

Does Fright Fest usually start by this time? No dates currently set, but auditions are scheduled for FF.

Is FF a separate-ticket event? Read: do they kick out the day guests and re-open an hour later for FF?

Are any major coasters excluded during the event?

Which Flash Pass level is recommended? I'm assuming Platinum.

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The weekend of Sept. 25 should be the first weekend of Freight Fest assuming that we are back on the "traditional" schedule.

Fright Fest is just a single admission for the day, open to close.

All major rides should normally operate except for water rides.

Flash Pass would need to be either Gold or Platinum.  FF is the one time where having a Platinum can be a bit more efficient than a Gold.  You also will have Maxx Force on Platinum.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick FYI:

Like all customer service industries in Illinois right now, Great America is fully open, but not fully staffed.  I didn't get to the park for my first visit this year with my Membership until July, but I have now been there a few times this month.

Yankee Clipper is SBNO.  Logger's Run has limited hours.

Demon is SBNO  (according to the staff, it is in need of some hard to get mechanical part) but "may" reopen later this year.  It only operated at the beginning of the season, but intermittently even then.

Roaring Rapids is sometimes running, sometimes not.

Mardis Gras Hangover is largely non-operational.

American Eagle is only operating with the Red Side running.  Blue trains are not even on the track.

Approximately 30% of 'snack stands' are not operating.

No Single Rider Only line on Goliath, but the one for The Joker is now open.

Flat rides are anyone's guess.  I have seen them all operational at one point, but on most visits, there are at least two that are not running.

The Train is back!  I believe it has way more throughput than Superman.  (Ugh, I hate that line though I like the ride.)

Waterpark has been super-crowded every visit.

That's it for now.



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Hi folks,

I am thinking of making a day trip to the park while on vacation in Wisconsin. Will probably just be me, maybe one other person. Not interested in the water park, just in those cool rides with tracks and wheels that we all seem to like around here.

  • Any advice? Order of operations, good places to eat, etc? Will be my first time.
  • Will the dry side of the park be über crowded in the middle of next week?
  • If I have two opportunities to visit – one next week, the other next year in late June / early July – which would you pick?
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