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Love the report! I barely ever see anything about Michigan's Adventure except complaining, and I've been curious for some time about how Shivering Timbers is riding. I've still never been to Michigan but it's on my to-do list as well as this park. Never knew about the dunes before, I'll have to check that out as well!

 

Looking forward to what you ended up doing in Chicago and don't forget to post some dolphin pics

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I haven't been to MA in about a decade, but my memories of Shivering Timbers rides still hold up against a lot of other rides. I loved that thing, and I'm glad to hear it still rides great. Like you say, it doesn't beat out the top top tier of some of the RMCs and Intamins today, but it's right up there after that. For a couple years after I rode it, I had it ranked 2nd after Voyage. I still rank Shivering Timbers in my top 10 woodies after all these years (which is obviously arbitrary), but speaks a lot to the impression it made on me.

 

I think with MA, Shivering Timbers is SO much better than everything else that it can really make the rest of the park pale in comparison. Parking my butt in Shivering Timbers' last row and not moving is the only thing I think about when I think about MA, but you did a great job of highlighting the park's other offerings. Thanks for the report!

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Great report! I thought the same thing approaching Michigan's Adventure and was horrified my gps screwed me over.

 

The Mouse was closed back when I visited Memorial Day weekend as well. I actually like the Arrow ones quite a bit so it was a bit of a bummer but at least Shivering Timbers was open. I can't imagine how much it would suck if someone drove up and it were closed.

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Awesome report! It's funny how everyone gives the park so much crap but it looks really nice! The Dorney of the north! Yeah, maybe they haven't gotten a new ride in 87 years, but it's looking good for what it is. We almost made a stop this year but in weighing my options and hearing all the negativity and looking over their "thrill" offerings on the website I was 50/50 and decided we'll have to go another time. I wish I had looked into it more closely and looked at everything they have to offer... then again there isn't a whole lot of info out there... (then again I don't subscribe to the TPR thread either... for all I know the last post was 87 years ago when they got that last new ride )

 

Hilarious as usual.

 

Thanks! Yeah, it really did have kind of a Dorney vibe to it (though on a smaller scale). They're in a similar situation to Dorney in that there's absolutely nothing wrong with this place, it's just that the competition is infinitely better.

 

Great report - glad to see my home state get some positive reviews. Having done those exact dune rides (I have a pennant from there in my room) I can say for a fact that they are very cool and one should definitely check them out when one goes to Michigan's Adventure and they have some free time.

 

Yeah I'm bummed that we missed them, but I'll be back. There were plenty of places renting Jeeps, but they were well over $100 an hour and way out of our price range, Mac Woods definitely seems like the way to go. Thanks for reading!

 

Awesome report, as usual. I'm glad you enjoyed Shivering Timbers--that thing's awesome. Zach's Zoomer is a legitimately good coaster, and though I enjoyed Wolverine Wildcat, it was admittedly before I rode Phoenix, so I totally get your assessment of it. Great Nor'Easter is the absolute best SLC, but Thunderhawk was actually really good, and the only other SLC I actually enjoyed.

 

Michigan's Adventure is definitely not a super great park, but it's a lot better than a lot of people give it credit for. I'm not in a huge hurry to get back to it, but it was a really good time, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to your Chicago adventures!

 

Thanks! Thunderhawk is totally the second best coaster in the park, if we had more time I would have re-ridden the crap out of it. Other than Nor Easter I'd never dream of saying that about an SLC.

 

The foliage around the train has certainly grown in since I remember it from over 10 years ago.

 

It's still not an amazing train ride, but I expected something along the lines of that dumpster fire through an overgrown field at Six Flags America and this thing was totally enjoyable.

 

Spectacular update. Shivering Timbers looks amazing. Really looking forward to Great America!
don't forget to post some dolphin pics

 

Thanks! And don't worry, dolphin pics are coming!

 

Parking my butt in Shivering Timbers' last row and not moving is the only thing I think about when I think about MA

While it is a shame that they don't have anything even close to being in the same level as Shivering Timbers, that still sounds like a pretty awesome way to kill a few hours.

 

at least Shivering Timbers was open. I can't imagine how much it would suck if someone drove up and it were closed.

Exactly. The mouse was actually open for the first hour or so of the day so if we went there first we could have got on, but who knew? I can live with missing the mouse. If Timbers was closed we'd have been devastated. The mouse is just a mouse. No complaints.

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After leaving the awesome dunes, we had about a 3 hour drive south to our hotel in Hammond, Indiana (which is a Chicago suburb, about an hour from Six Flags Great America). I'd already been warned about this drive and I can confirm that it definitely sucks. I guess I should specify... driving in Michigan doesn't suck. Driving in Michigan is awesome. I drive a lot, and I've never seen driving like Michigan driving. It's a mostly flat state with lots of cities and large expanses of nothingness in between them so 75 MPH speed limits are extremely common and on multiple occasions I saw people doing 90 right in front of a cop where the cop couldn't even be bothered to give a sh*t. You have to be doing at least 95 to 100 MPH before they begin to care.

 

Since I drive so much, I generally hang around 70-75 out of habit since that's a pretty reasonable speed to drive on an Interstate and hang with the flow of traffic. On tons of occasions I caught myself going slightly below the speed limit in Michigan out of habit so eventually I just set the cruise control for 85 MPH so I wouldn't have the urge to drive at a reasonable speed. This is Michigan and Michigan doesn't have time for such bullsh*t.

 

Unfortunately once we merged with I-94 and then I-80 / I-90 the fun came to a screeching halt and we found ourselves in traffic hell so we didn't get to our hotel until pretty late (though there was a time change which made it seem like we did a little better than we actually did). Before booking our hotel I was warned by multiple people that a lot of the southern Chicago suburbs were less than ideal so I took extra care in booking this hotel. It was a Comfort Suites, backed away from everything with a limited access parking lot wedged behind the building for easy surveillance and despite every other hotel in the town having tons of reviews about cars being broken into, the reviews of this place were overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately when we got in to town we needed to grab something to eat so we had to drive around the town a little bit and it was definitely as advertised. Our first thought was White Castle, but as we pulled in we saw a group of 10-15 people beating the sh*t out of eachother in the parking lot so we made a quick 180 and kept driving (quickly, possibly running a red light on purpose on the way out). Eventually we came across a semi safe looking Jimmy John's about a mile away (which I'd never tried before but ended up loving, so much so that we stopped at one in Sandusky on the way home), grabbed dinner and then got over to the hotel ASAP so we wouldn't die.

 

That was definitely an interesting introduction to the Chicago area, but luckily that was really our only negative experience with the city or it's surroundings. Pro tip: If you're booking a trip to Chicago (and you should because it's a great city), be really careful about where you stay because it's definitely hit or miss. Unfortunately for us, booking a hotel in the south suburbs was kind of a necessity unless we wanted to get up way too early to go to Six Flags or get in way too late from Michigan's Adventure but avoid that if you can (or stay at Comfort Suites). There are probably some other nice areas too that I didn't know about so ask a local or spend a lot of time reading reviews.

 

Anyway, moving on from that we awoke the next morning, grabbed some breakfast at the hotel, walked out to the car (which against all odds was still there) and hit the road for Six Flags Great America! This was a brand new park for us and we were really excited to check it out. We had about an hour drive to the park and we knew we needed to be there at rope drop but luckily thanks to the time change it felt like an 11:30 AM opening so that was a really easy thing to accomplish. We got to the park with plenty of time to spare and the security line was a breeze (much more efficient that Great Adventure's setup since they have one long line and call you to an available metal detector when it opens up so the line moves the entire time). Within a few minutes we were in the park checking out the awesome entry plaza.

 

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Good morning from Great America!

We budgeted for Flash Pass but didn't really want to drop the money on the Platinum Flash Pass so our number one priority was Joker which is a Platinum only ride. It felt really weird being at a brand new park with tons of awesome looking coasters like Goliath, Raging Bull, X Flight and Whizzer and busting it to a clone of a coaster we ride all the time at Great Adventure but it was sort of a necessity so we reluctantly joined the masses, walked over to Joker and were greeted with a totally manageable 15 minute wait.

 

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Joker fits into this park really nicely.

I've probably already mentioned this, but I really love these rides. They're absolutely out of control, they're perfectly smooth and comfortable (unlike X2, Green Lantern and lots of similar rides) and they pack a ton of thrills into a tiny footprint. Unfortunately, Brit is less than enthused with them because they scare the living sh*t out of her so she wasn't quite as enthusiastic as I was when she figured out that they had a Joker clone and that it would be our first stop.

 

As for the ride itself, it was awesome. Brit didn't hate it as much as she expected to (I think she's slowly warming up to these things, lol) and I absolutely loved it. I've never had a bad ride on a Joker clone and while I may be in the minority, I'd be totally fine with every Six Flags park eventually getting one. Joker gets a big thumbs up from me.

 

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I know people get all upset when Six Flags clones things a million times, but honestly get over it, lighten up, why so serious?

After Joker we decided to make our way over to it's (for now) neighbor, Vertical Velocity. I wanted to knock this one out early since it's an Intamin and it's been my experience that any time you see an Intamin launch coaster actually operating you'd be wise to ride it quickly before it inevitably f*cks itself and goes down for a prolonged mechanical issue. It's located right next to Joker, so riding it next was a no brainer.

 

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Look at all of that verticalness... and velocity...ness.

The ride was still a walk on so we immediately hopped into an empty row and within a few minutes we were strapped in and ready to get twisted. I've got to admit, I've ridden a bunch of these but for whatever reason this one seemed to have a much more powerful first launch than any of the others. My neck actually snapped back pretty hard and I was concerned for a few minutes that I'd be feeling that one for the rest of the day (which thankfully wasn't the case) but I guess the ride promised us velocity and it delivered so I can't say I wasn't warned.

 

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Twisted velocity.

As expected, the ride was great. While it did provide the customary nut crushing that Intamin Impulse coasters are always so happy to provide, it makes up for it by providing a great ride experience. We don't want kids anyway so it's cool, I forgive you Intamin.

 

One thing that was a but of a bummer was that the holding brake no longer works but that seems to be typical of most of these rides at this point. It would have been cool, but it's not a huge deal. The ride is still awesome and it's in a super cool location over the water. I approve!

 

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No holding brake... all of the dudes on this train can breathe a sigh of relief.

Wanting to keep the mojo going and knock out as many coasters as possible before the lines got long, our next stop was Little Dipper. As I said earlier, I'm not big on kids coasters but as was the case with Michigan's Adventure, this park's kids coaster collection was semi respectable and we ended up knocking them both out back to back. I won't hop on a Miller Oval or tiny Zamperla kiddie clone (unless I've been drinking apparently, hey Hersheypark... Cocoa Cruiser 4 Lyfe!!111) but both of these seemed respectable and they were both a lot of fun. Little Dipper was first since we knew it generally got long lines and after a 20 minute wait we were treated to a really fun little ride. I love the fact that Six Flags saved this coaster and embraces it's history with vintage photographs and historical information all over the queue. It's a really un-Six Flags-like thing to do but it's really cool.

 

Next up was Spacely's Sprocket Rockets which we had no intention of riding but after seeing it and realizing it was actually a pretty decent sized little coaster we took it for a spin. This ride is honestly really good, it sort of reminds me of Harley Quinn at Great Adventure in that it's way more enjoyable than it has any right to be. I'd happily ride the thing again even though I no longer need the credit. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that the kids area around Spacely's Sprocket Rockets is really nice and totally unlike any other Six Flags kids area. How did Six Flags ever get the rights to Hanna-Barbera? I thought Paramount parks used to have a stranglehold on that one? That little area was really nice, we were definitely impressed.

 

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^Taken after getting off of Spacely's Sprocket Rockets. This coaster is absolutely amazing looking and while we were on a mission to knock out all of the unreliable rides and non flash pass rides early in the day we couldn't help but think about how ridiculously hyped we were to ride it. Who wouldn't be? The structure is absolutely amazing, the ride looks absolutely brilliant and overall it's just one of the most majestic looking coasters I've ever seen in my life.

 

Also pictured: Goliath photobombing in the background.

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After basking in the sheer brilliance of the park's 2018 addition and thinking about how jealous we were of the fact that this park was going to have both the tallest wood coaster in the world AND the tallest loop coaster in the world we decided to make a quick stop at the world's nastiest restrooms over by Batman before heading over to the looming RMC awesomeness (generally this park was really, really nice but they really out six flagged themselves with that restroom... OMG, overflowing toilets galore).

 

Anyway after getting out of there as quickly as possible we couldn't help but notice that Batman was still a complete walk-on so we actually changed up our plans a little bit and decided to hitch a ride with the Caped Crusader real quick before heading to Goliath.

 

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NANANANANANANANA Batman!

As you probably already know, I love the sh*t out of Batman (oh sh*t, we've got a hot take over here). I know people sometimes complain about these things since they're cloned so much, but that never made sense to me. Complaining that there are too many Batman clones would be like complaining that there were too many rainbows, or too many puppies, or too many liquor stores. Honestly, the more the merrier. These things ALWAYS deliver amazing rides, and I'm always thrilled when I get to ride one.

 

Admittedly, there was also an extra level of excitement for me since I knew this was the first Batman clone. This feeling was enhanced by the fact that a lot of the queue theming was still in place (unlike with Great Adventure's version) and the station theming was also. Normally I like these things in the front, but since the front row line was insane we decided to head to the back row instead. Generally you don't get the views back there, but you do get a little bit more intensity so I was definitely okay with that trade-off.

 

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So awesome...

The ride was (of course) awesome and you could tell that it fit in with it's surroundings here a little better than it did at most other parks. The generous amount of trees on the second half of the ride and the finale over the water were awesome enhancements to an already great layout. Batman was spectacular as always, and it was really cool to finally be able to ride the original.

 

When we got off Batman we were definitely feeling good about things. We'd already ridden a ton of coasters without any lines and we were starting to think Flash Pass may not be necessary at all. So far we were having a great day, we loved the park, we loved the coasters, the weather was perfect and there were no lines! Riding high, we walked over to Goliath, stopping again to admire how awesome it looked and watch the train fly through that crazy stall.

 

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This thing doesn't even look real. It looks like it's straight out of a cartoon...

After watching it for a minute or two, we finally made our way around the bend and approached the entrance. We were super hyped, totally ready to go and...

 

... holy sh*t. We found the crowds. When we got to the entrance, we realized Goliath was easily rocking an hour wait. We pulled queue-times and realized that Whizzer, X Flight, Superman, Raging Bull and others were too so we decided it was finally time to admit defeat and head back to the Flash Pass building. Oh well, it was a valiant effort.

 

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We stopped to take another picture of the entrance area on the way to the Flash Pass building. It's great in photos and even more impressive in person.

When we got to the Flash Pass building, we were pleased to see that (unlike at Great Adventure) you weren't forced to stand in line to watch a mind-numbingly stupid movie about how to use the thing and were free to proceed right to the counter. One thing we weren't pleased to see was that even though the website only lists Joker as Platinum Only, that wasn't quite accurate. Goliath was only available on Gold and Platinum and even then you're only allowed 2 reservations with Gold and 3 with Platinum. In addition, Justice League (which wasn't a priority but we'd have loved to ride if we didn't have to wait) was also Platinum only.

 

In the end we decided on regular Flash Pass since we figured we could stand in the Goliath line while waiting for other rides even if we did have to wait the full queue time and it had always been our experience that at Great Adventure the listed queue times on Flash Pass regular were always way shorter than the actual wait times and wait times posted on the Six Flags app. As it turned out, this proved to be the case at Great America too.

 

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Everyone say hello to our new best friend.

Initially we planned to reserve Goliath, but since we couldn't we figured we'd reserve something nearby instead and slowly make our way over to Goliath later. Whizzer was posting an hour wait and despite the brilliant weather, clouds and scattered showers were in the forecast so we figured we'd be safe and hit it now since I had heard it doesn't always run in rain. Despite the posted hour wait and full queue house overflowing on the midway, it popped up as a 20 minute wait so we reserved it, grabbed a snack and walked around hometown square to kill a little time before our ride (noting that this park was REALLY, REALLY nice and didn't feel like a Six Flags park at all).

 

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Whizzer is a really cool looking coaster

Aside from Goliath, I was probably more excited to ride Whizzer than any other coaster in the park. Whizzer is totally unlike any coaster I had ever seen before, and given the manufacturer I knew it was guaranteed to be amazing. I wasn't expecting major thrills or anything, but I knew we were in for a super cool and totally unique ride experience. When it was finally time to ride, we excitedly scanned the Flash Pass, walked up the steps and were immediately dumped directly into the station. Awesome!

 

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Look at all of these people taking a whizz...

I guess if you want to get technical, it really didn't dump us into a "station". Whizzer doesn't really have a station, it's basically just an open platform exposed to the elements with an awesome view of the ride...

 

... whizzing by! (my apologies, I can't help what I do)

 

We hopped into the back row and a few minutes later we rolled out of the station and started ascending the awesome spiral lift. We were both really cooled out by the thing before the ride had really even started, but once it dropped off the lift we quickly realized that we had seriously underestimated the thrill factor of this thing. The ride absolutely tears through the course, flying by tons of trees, supports and track in the process. It's butter smooth and the layout is completely awesome as it darts through the trees, over water and at one point comes within inches of the ground on a high speed turn. Whizzer is awesome. It's easily one of the best coasters in the park and somehow it actually managed to exceed my ridiculously high expectations. While it's not the most thrilling ride in the park, it's undoubtedly the most unique and despite it's appearance it's really no slouch in the thrills department either. If they had actually gone along with that plan to remove this thing for Superman that would have been an absolute tragedy. Whizzer is amazing and I hope it keeps on whizzin' forever (sort of like me the morning after that 20 drink day in Wildwood).

 

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We love Whizzer!

Since this wasn't our first Flash Pass rodeo, we had cleared out the reservation for Whizzer as soon as we scanned in so by the time we got off it was almost time to ride our next ride, X Flight (which was posting a 60 minute wait but the Flash Pass had it at 15, score!). X Flight was really the biggest selling point of this park for Brit who absolutely loves B&M wing coasters, especially ones with the wing over drop. For the longest time, her favorite coaster anywhere period was Gatekeeper. She's finally come around to (reluctantly) declaring Maverick as her favorite but she loves the crap out of these things and was really stoked to finally be riding X Flight (the only American wing coaster she had yet to ride).

 

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Just a girl and her bird... this one is actually themed to a plane, but I wasn't going to tell her that and ruin her good time. lol

The line for this thing was huge, stretching almost back to the entrance but we were able to get right to the bottom of the station steps where they were pulsing the line but still letting Flash Pass riders chose their side. We opted for the left (left wing best wing remember) and hopped in line for the front row.

 

Unfortunately for us our ride would be delayed a little bit since some raving lunatic was convinced that her restraints came up mid ride and was screaming at security and maintenance who had arrived to check things out. Security was being really nice and helpful but this lady was irate and looking for someone to yell at so it became increasingly clear that nothing they could have done would calm her down as she seemed convinced that she had just survived a near brush with death. They spent a solid 20 minutes cycling trains and (of course) the restraints never popped up but the woman wasn't satisfied and wouldn't go away (even when the security guard asked her to walk with him to guest services) because she was too busy b*tching at anyone who was willing to listen to actually let maintenance or security do their jobs.

 

Eventually after a ton of test runs, another security guard came up and finally convinced her to leave. Once she was out of earshot, maintenance asked the ride host (right within earshot of everyone in the front row queue) if she saw the restraint to which she replied "yeah, it was fine and I told her it was fine", both of them visibly rolled their eyes, maintenance headed down the ramp and they finally re-opened the coaster. I hate people. People who work with the public every day are saints and I have no clue how they do it.

 

A few minutes later our train rolled in to the unmistakable rhythmic clapping noise of a B&M wing coaster train pulling in to the station (what makes that noise by the way? I love it.). Being the stellar f*cking fiancé that I am I hopped into the inside seat so Brit could have the wing seat and after a quick check of our dangerous death restraints we were all clear and on our way up the lift.

 

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X Flight being awesome

I'm not really very good at ranking coasters, but I can confidently say that this was an awesome wing coaster and probably one of the best. It's really a great ride throughout, but the highlights have to be that awesome wing-over first drop and then the finale which consists of tons of keyholes and head choppers in rapid succession. The hangar facade is pretty much pointless, but once it rounds the curve it heads through the air traffic control tower (which is a great effect) and then immediately after flies through a really weird keyhole made entirely of supports right before flying by a third horizontal near miss support structure. It's a pretty awesome finale that managed to get 3 consecutive exclamations of "OH SH*T!" from me on the way through. There are also some great mist effects near the track that are a nice touch as well. Overall X Flight is a great coaster and one we would definitely be heading back to later on.

 

The one good thing about listening to that lunatic b*tch and moan was that I had cleared out the reservation again and reserved Superman which had the longest line in the park (110 minutes, why are people so obsessed with these things?) so by the time we got off of X Flight we had really cut into that number by quite a bit. We still had plenty of time left to wait though, and after being deprived for long enough there was no doubt about where we would spend the remainder of that time. It was finally time to check out the park's star attraction, the one, the only (well okay... not the "only" but the "only one that's made out of wood" and... ugh you know what I mean), Goliath!

 

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Look at this beast...

We made our way over to Goliath and were greeted with a posted 60 minute wait time. That was fine by us since we were really waiting for 2 rides at the same time and for some reason the line did seem to go by pretty quickly. While in line we couldn't help but marvel at the thing. I know everyone says it's the weakest RMC, but it was hard to believe them when staring at that insane drop and a zero G stall that looks like it was dreamed up by Tim Burton while on acid.

 

For whatever reason, the wait time seemed to go by pretty quickly and in what seemed like no time at all we were up at the station. They had a grouper, but we requested the back seat and she was more than happy to accommodate our request. The next train rolled in to the station to an eruption of cheers and when the gates opened I grabbed our stuff, put it in the bin and excitedly took my seat anticipating the RMC awesomeness that was sure to follow.

 

Up Next: Part 2!!!

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Unfortunately when we got in to town we needed to grab something to eat so we had to drive around the town a little bit and it was definitely as advertised. Our first thought was White Castle, but as we pulled in we saw a group of 10-15 people beating the sh*t out of eachother in the parking lot so we made a quick 180 and kept driving (quickly, possibly running a red light on purpose on the way out).

 

Welcome to the south side of Chicago!

 

Great report so far. Looking forward to part 2

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Ooh, south suburbs? Yeah, if you were around Tinley Park, that's cool, but if you stayed in one of the cheap ass places in Homewood, or god help you Hammond, then I'm just glad you survived.

 

Glad you liked Great America! X-Flight really is awesome. All 4 of the wing coasters are fantastic and completely underrated by enthusiasts. Fortunately, those "GP" know how awesome they are because they all get good ridership. Personally, I like them better than flyers.

 

Next time you come to Chicago, because you're going to want to come back because it's an awesome city, the farther north and west you go, the better. Also, the Loop area downtown is good, but I know you'll never pay for that. Under no circumstances should you ever stay in the city west of I-90 or south of the science museum. I have family in Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Glenview, and all those are nice suburbs.

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or god help you Hammond, then I'm just glad you survived.

 

Yeah, it was Hammond.

 

I ponied up the cash for the Comfort Suites wedged back right off the exit away from everything and honestly I'd stay there again but just driving around looking for fast food before we got to the hotel was a terrifying experience.

 

I have family in Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Glenview, and all those are nice suburbs.

 

Yeah our hotel after we left Great America was in Arlington Heights (right next to Elk Grove I believe) and it was really nice. I'd definitely stay there again.

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Decided to make a SFGAM / local haunts trip (though it sounds like the haunts will be better after the actual haunts!)... I've never stayed at a Clarion Inn or been in this area before... am I going to regret this decision in a few weeks? There is a $47 econo-lodge next door that is scary... I do have a cancelable rate if I should find somewhere else, lol...

 

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Would Lansing be any better? There is a sleep inn there... otherwise I may end up staying way in Joliet as one of the haunts we may go to is out that way.

 

EDIT: So it looks like I'm probably staying at the Quality Inn/Suites South in Joliet. It's closer to the two haunts we will be going to and we'll just end up driving longer the next day rather than squeezing in more driving at night to get closer to our next destination. Thanks for the tips!

Edited by anonymouscactus
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Decided to make a last minute SFGAM / local haunts trip... I've never stayed at a Clarion Inn or been in this area before... am I going to regret this decision in a few weeks? I have a cancelable rate, lol...

 

I almost booked the Quality Inn off that same exit but decided to go with the Hammond Comfort Inn a few exits away since it looked safer thanks to the back parking lot. I was really close to booking something right there. It looks fine on Street View but I balked at the last minute. If you don't die, definitely let us know.

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or god help you Hammond, then I'm just glad you survived.

 

Yeah, it was Hammond.

 

I ponied up the cash for the Comfort Suites wedged back right off the exit away from everything and honestly I'd stay there again but just driving around looking for fast food before we got to the hotel was a terrifying experience.

 

I have family in Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Glenview, and all those are nice suburbs.

 

Yeah our hotel after we left Great America was in Arlington Heights (right next to Elk Grove I believe) and it was really nice. I'd definitely stay there again.

Well, I survived the Philly Badlands, so I can't judge. Arlington Heights is fine. Basically all those northwestern suburbs, you're good.

 

EDIT: So it looks like I'm probably staying at the Quality Inn/Suites South in Joliet. It's closer to the two haunts we will be going to and we'll just end up driving longer the next day rather than squeezing in more driving at night to get closer to our next destination. Thanks for the tips!

GOOD MOVE. All those other places you mentioned, you're asking for trouble. Joliet's okay. Not a ritzy area, but generally safe.

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A few minutes later our train rolled in to the unmistakable rhythmic clapping noise of a B&M wing coaster train pulling in to the station (what makes that noise by the way? I love it.).

 

Don't quote me on it but from my observations it is for the restraints. If you look carefully near the drive wheel area you'll see some bronze metal contacts. (Kinda of like battery contacts.) They must be spring loaded as the press down as a car goes over them making the sound. You can really only see them when the train rolls in.

 

The reason I say this is because one of our coasters works on the same principal. The contact touches the car and when a charge is provided, it releases the restraints. Hopefully that answers your question.

 

Edit: Was able to find a video and snag a pic:

 

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I also really enjoy the clap... er... you know what I mean.

 

Bill, your appreciation for mediocre B&M hypers **cough** Apollo's **cough** Chariot **cough** makes me curious about how you're going to review Raging Bull, which still has one of my all time favorite drops.

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Taken after getting off of Spacely's Sprocket Rockets. This coaster is absolutely amazing looking and while we were on a mission to knock out all of the unreliable rides and non flash pass rides early in the day we couldn't help but think about how ridiculously hyped we were to ride it. Who wouldn't be? The structure is absolutely amazing, the ride looks absolutely brilliant and overall it's just one of the most majestic looking coasters I've ever seen in my life.

 

Also pictured: Goliath photobombing in the background.

 

 

Great report so far! I really enjoy reading it.

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Great start to the report! I was amazed by how nice Great America was.

 

I have to disagree on X-Flight. It was fun, but I thought it was the weakest of the wing coasters. I did love the keyholes on it though.

 

Yeah, for all the hate this place gets we were really impressed with it. It's a major step up in aesthetics from Great Adventure. I have a grand total of zero complaints about staff, operations or aesthetics, it was a really nice and charming park. I don't get it.

 

As for X Flight, I figured a lot of people would disagree and I'm not that great at ranking coasters but I really felt like it was a great wing coaster. My favorite element on a wing coaster is the wing over drop (full disclosure, I think I just invented that term out of my a**) which is one big reason I'd probably put Gatekeeper and X Flight ahead of Thunderbird and Wild Eagle. No wing coaster is going to blow anyone away with forceful elements so I sort of feel like the great first drop and absurd amount of keyholes on this one is enough to put it at the head of the pack for me. I probably prefer Gatekeeper but it's a tough call.

 

A few minutes later our train rolled in to the unmistakable rhythmic clapping noise of a B&M wing coaster train pulling in to the station (what makes that noise by the way? I love it.).

 

Don't quote me on it but from my observations it is for the restraints. If you look carefully near the drive wheel area you'll see some bronze metal contacts. (Kinda of like battery contacts.) They must be spring loaded as the press down as a car goes over them making the sound. You can really only see them when the train rolls in.

 

The reason I say this is because one of our coasters works on the same principal. The contact touches the car and when a charge is provided, it releases the restraints. Hopefully that answers your question.

 

Edit: Was able to find a video and snag a pic:

 

Makes sense to me, awesome! This is normally way more in-depth and dorky than I get with this stuff but now I'm curious and going down this rabbit hole so I have a follow up question. Since the train contacts a plate in the station, does that also explain how the lights on Gatekeeper's trains work? Obviously there must be a battery in the train somewhere, does it charge when it's parked in the station?

 

PS: I'm aware that there's a 99.99% chance that was a stupid question, True story: I almost went to a tech school to become an electrician. Now you see why that career path never made sense for me. I'm 99% sure I would have electrocuted myself and been dead by now.

 

Great report so far! I really enjoy reading it.
Been looking forward to this, especially after talking in person a bit about this when I saw you Saturday. Bring on Part 2!
Really enjoying these- looking forward to part 2.

 

Thanks for reading and commenting guys! I always appreciate it. It takes forever to write these things and it's always awesome to see that people actually enjoy reading this crap for some reason.

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Alright, time for part 2.

 

It was sort of crazy to me that we had managed to wait until late afternoon to ride the park's star attraction. It wasn't for lack of effort, but between Flash Pass reservation times making it impossible to resist the urge to ride absolutely everything else along the way and leaving the line to get a Flash Pass that was supposed to be available on the ride but wasn't it just didn't ever work out.

 

Finally though, we found ourselves in the back seat of a coaster universally considered to be way too short and the weakest RMC out there. Despite the fact that tons of enthusiasts have come to that consensus, I couldn't help but be skeptical after seeing the ride in person. I'm generally skeptical of enthusiast opinions anyway (after all if I listened to enthusiasts then I'd never be able to declare Mystery Mine to be one of my favorite steel coasters anywhere ever and that would be a god damn tragedy, haters keep your boots on and shut the f*ck up ) but I was really skeptical this time. I was totally hyped for this and my expectations were absolutely through the roof.

 

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The station provides some incredible views of the coaster which really helps to build up the excitement for the ride.

A few minutes later (as anticipation continued to build) we were given the all clear, made a 180 degree turn out of the station and began our ascent. The journey up the lift offered some great views of the park and of the crazy twisted mess of track we were about to experience. I do remember thinking about how strange it was that every single tall coaster lift in the park faced north which was a shame since you'd think you could get a cool view of the Chicago skyline otherwise (I know it's visible from Sky Trek tower) but I didn't have much time to ponder such trivial crap because before we knew it we had reached the top and were thrust down the amazing first drop that provided insane ejector air all the way to the bottom. OMFG!!!

 

Once we finally landed back in our seats we were treated to a high speed trip through a tunnel and a super cool turnaround before blasting over another hill that delivered another dose of insane, sustained ejector airtime. Not to repeat myself, but OMFG!!!! At this point I was already in love with the coaster, but little did I know the two best parts of the ride were still to follow.

 

After that insane, high speed ejector hill we rocketed up another hill that proceeded to flip us upsidedown and then take a massive dive through an endless sea of wood supports and cross braces.

 

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There's a train in there, I promise.

I didn't think much of that dive loop going in (is that the proper term? ah who cares) but it was one of the most unique coaster elements I'd ever experienced and one of the coolest moments on a ride that's jam packed with cool moments. Once you flip over you see nothing but wood supports and as you dive down it seems almost impossible that there's enough room in there for a train to pass through. The dive seems to go on forever, and the entire time I was mesmerized by the insane visuals. I wanted to put my hands up, but I couldn't make myself do it even though I knew the clearance envelope was obviously fine. The POVs don't do this element justice. The amount of headchoppers here is nuts. It's really one of the most amazing elements ever.

 

If the ride ended there it would have easily been one of the best wood coasters in the world, but it had a few more tricks up it's sleeve... the next of which was my favorite part of the whole ride.

 

I don't really know how to even begin to describe the zero g stall. The term "zero g... whatever" is thrown around all the time but it never really feels like you're experiencing zero gs. Kumba has one of my favorite zero g rolls ever, but it doesn't feel like you're weightless. It doesn't feel like you're experiencing zero gs. It feels like you're experiencing 150 million gs and the ride is actively trying to kill you and everyone else on the train and throw it's riders all the way to Cuba which is why I love it so much but the element feels the exact opposite of what the name would imply. This thing lives up to it's namesake though. This thing feels like you're floating on a cloud.

 

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This thing is bonkers

Since it's such a unique element I didn't really know what to expect from it but I didn't expect this. When you flip upside down it feels like time just stands still. It's totally surreal. Everyone puts their arms up (or I guess down since you're upside down the entire time) and you experience a coaster hill with no forces whatsoever. That sounds like it's a knock, but it's not... it's awesome. The sky is the ground, the ground is the sky, you're on a coaster, everyone has their hands up and you feel like you're floating for a ridiculously long period of time. I know I sound like I'm on heavy drugs right now but I assure you that I'm not into that sort of thing, this element is just a total mindf*ck and any attempt to describe it without sounding like I'm under the influence of the good sh*t wouldn't be appropriate because of how completely f*cked and how completely awesome it is.

 

After you finally flip back over and gravity starts acting normally again you immediately blast through another tunnel (well, I guess the same tunnel) through a wonky but fun turnaround that provides some nice sideways floater on the way out and up into the brake run with a hill that provides one more pop of impressive airtime.

 

Ho...ly...sh*t.

 

Thing is absolute insanity! I guess it's objectively a short ride, but it doesn't feel short when you ride it. It feels absolutely perfect. It definitely feels different than the other RMCs in that everything it does is very fluid. There are no ridiculous transitions, outside banks or any of that patented, crazy RMC stuff. The ride flows really well and everything it does feels really natural (which is odd for an RMC and the fact that other RMCs are so screwed up is what makes them awesome) but it works here and the ride delivers tons of insane airtime and features two completely amazing elements with the zero g stall and dive loop. The ride is relentless from start to finish and is absolutely, without-a-doubt one of the best wood coasters I've ever ridden. Wow, all I can say is wow.

 

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Taken after our Goliath ride. Did I mention that this park is really nice? Yes? Okay. Because this park is really nice.

We exited the ride on a complete Goliath high, still not exactly sure what it was we just experienced. My first thought was that I had no clue how whatever we rode next could ever follow that, and then a few seconds later I remembered that I had a flash pass in my pocket telling me that it was time to ride our next ride. Nothing would have been able to follow Goliath but it was almost comical that that task fell onto the lamest B&M flying coaster in existence... Superman Ultimate Flight.

 

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This is real, we're about to fly with the man of steel

I guess I'm being harsh. Obviously we have a Superman clone at Great Adventure and it's a fun ride. It's no Manta or Tatsu, but it's fun. I have no complaints.

 

Interestingly enough their Superman clone is in a pretty similar location to the one at Great Adventure to the left of the front gate in the very front of the park. Unlike ours, this one wasn't built right on a parking lot so it did have some trees around the ride which made it look a bit nicer. We approached the entrance, scanned the Flash Pass and bypassed the absurdly long line full of people who should have been in line for Goliath instead. Seriously, why did this thing have the longest line in the park all day? Why?

 

We got to the station and (after seeing the long line for row 1) hopped in line for the back. A few trains later we were on the ride, making our way to the lift hill over the familiar faded peeling catwalk littered with chewing gum.

 

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with this ride. Superman is always a fun coaster, but this one was much better than the one at Great Adventure. I know the ride was designed for Georgia, but this one comes very close to the trees on multiple occasions and really feels like it fits here better than it does at Great Adventure. The layout is fun even in an open field, but the nearby trees really add an extra level of thrill to this ride and when we hit the brakes we both enthusiastically gave it the seal of approval.

 

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Up, up and away!

We were getting pretty hungry at that point, so while in line for Superman I had pulled up the website to see what was available and was happy to see that (like SFNE) they had a JB's smokehouse over by Ranging Bull. We had yet to venture over to Southwest Territory but seeing this I decided to reserve Raging Bull so we could make that our next stop and then we could eat while virtually standing in the hour long line for Viper backwards.

 

After Superman we slowly made our way over, admiring the New Orleans style theming by Superman and thanks to Flash Pass reducing Ranging Bull's 90 minute wait to 30 minutes for some reason it wasn't long before we found ourselves scanning in.

 

Ever since Raging Bull opened I've heard nothing but complaints about this ride. It's universally written off as the worst B&M hyper by enthusiasts everywhere, everyone says it's trimmed to death and lacking in airtime and because of this we had probably made it less of a priority than I normally would have. I figured it would be good, but if it's really comparable to the Carowinds Intimidator like everyone says it is I figured I was okay in saving it for late in the day and blowing it off.

 

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Southwest Territory is a really nice area of the park.

As we made our way through the queue, we noticed that (as usual) the station area and queue area were really nice for a Six Flags park. We approached the merge point and found that they were pulsing the line so within 5 minutes or so we were in the station. One thing I learned from Apollo's Chariot is that when you encounter a B&M hyper with a pre-drop you need to go to the very last row so we made a point to do that here. A few cycles later we boarded the train, knowing the ride was guaranteed to be fun no matter what but hoping it was better than it's reputation would have you believe.

 

On that note...

Bill, your appreciation for mediocre B&M hypers **cough** Apollo's **cough** Chariot **cough** makes me curious about how you're going to review Raging Bull, which still has one of my all time favorite drops.

Yeah, let's talk about this. My single biggest takeaway from the entire day was how ridiculously underrated Raging Bull was. What in the actual hell are people b*tching about?

 

Ejector airtime isn't a term I like to throw around all that often, especially not when talking about a B&M because enthusiasts get really pissy but there are a few instances where B&M manages to deliver honest-to-god ejector airtime and Raging Bull's first drop is one of them. Like Apollo, the pre drop gives this ride a great little boost which sends riders in the back row catapulting out of their seats all the way down the drop. We had just ridden Goliath about an hour prior so the bar had been set pretty high for airtime filled first drops but Raging Bull goes toe to toe with Goliath in that department. After the drop, the ride flies through a tunnel, through a turnaround and then makes it way into the single most b*tched about element on any coaster this side of the Raptor snap... the dreaded trimmed third hill.

 

I felt the trim, it definitely slowed us down a little but seriously? That's what everyone's b*tching about? Really? Intimidator 305 (which is universally loved) trims WAY harder on an airtime hill than Raging Bull does and nobody bats an eye. Despite this trim, we experienced great sustained floater airtime all the way over and down the drop. Sure, I wish it weren't there but give it a rest. It's not THAT bad.

 

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Raging Bull? More like Raging Enthusiasts. The whiny reviews of this ride are "raging bull".

Next, Raging Bull performs some patented B&M swoopiness (I just decided that's a word) before it hits the midcourse (which does next to nothing) and then careens down another awesome drop that delivers some of the best airtime ever on a B&M followed almost immediately by another hill that's also loaded with great airtime before the ride concludes with some fun, low to the ground turns that are really unique for B&M and really enhance the feeling of speed before finally hitting the brakes.

 

As soon as we hit the brakes, Brit looked at me excitedly and said "Oh my god, that's so much better than Nitro" and you know what... I love Nitro but yeah. It is. And it has much more airtime. For a ride that everyone says has no airtime, it's definitely got more airtime than the vast majority of the B&M hypers and when you throw in the unique layout and great tunnel it makes for a pretty spectacular ride. I'm not about to sit here and rank B&M hypers but this is definitely one of the best I've ridden. It's a completely kick a** coaster from start to finish and I have zero complaints. Zero. Raging Bull is a blast, and it's easily one of the most underrated coasters I've ever ridden. It's probably not as good further up in the train, but if you know that then don't f*cking ride it there.

 

After Raging Bull we were pretty hungry and thinking about how whiny enthusiasts were was driving me to drink so we decided to kill two birds with one stone and grab some lunch at JB's. I never really tell Brit what the consensus is on a coaster before we ride it since I don't want to sway her opinion so while waiting for our food I told her how much everyone complained about Raging Bull (now that we'd both decided we loved it) to which she replied "what trim brake" and then proceeded to laugh. That's definitely the appropriate response.

 

On to the food...as is generally the case, JB's was great. We both went with the pulled pork sandwiches and by Six Flags standards they were both excellent. I grabbed a beer and I think Brit made some crazy concoction with the Coke Freestyle machine but I don't remember. That definitively hit the spot, though I have to declare the JB's in New England to be better as this one didn't offer Boom Boom sauce which (for those unfamiliar) is f*cking delicious and probably the best thing about JB's.

 

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Obnoxiously huge pizza that comes in the form of an ACTUAL pie and JB's with no Boom Boom Sauce? WTF Chicago? We do not approve of such behavior. You're making Brit cry. PS: Look at that hat though, is she my soulmate or what?

Is it hypocritical for me to bash enthusiasts for complaining about something as stupid as a trim brake and then immediately complain about a lack of Boom Boom sauce? Probably, but if you've had Boom Boom sauce you understand. Anyway, while we're on the subject of b*tching let's talk about our next ride... Viper backwards.

 

I've heard great things about Viper for years and was definitely excited to ride it. A few weeks prior it had come to my attention that Six Flags was dicking around and running it backwards for some absurd reason but luckily it was supposed to be forwards again by Labor Day weekend. I sort of forgot about it, but much to my dismay when we were walking up to the front gate that morning I saw Viper testing a backwards train. ugh

 

Viper was sporting an hour plus line, but since we reserved it as soon as we scanned in for Raging Bull and then we went to eat lunch it was time to ride once we finished eating (and drinking) and we reluctantly headed over.

 

Viper is in a weird location for sure, it's really tucked away from everything and the Flash Pass queue branches off from the nearby waterpark entrance which is even more weird. We passed a ton of people and Flash Pass was a lifesaver on this ride, but the merge point is definitely pretty far up and the station is really deep so we still had about a 30 minute wait once we merged in.

 

In true Great America fashion, the theming on the station was excellent. There were small little details everywhere and a copious amount of rubber snakes that weren't nearly as tacky as you would think. We settled for the row with the shortest line which was somewhere near the front of the train (or back since it's a backwards train... I don't know, lol) and hoped for the best while bracing for the worst.

 

We turned out of the station ascended the backwards lift, went down the first drop (so far so good), went up the next hill and...

 

OUCH! For the remainder or the ride, everyone on the train seemed to be questioning their life choices. The 2 rows behind us yelled an impressive (even by my standards) amount of obscenities. For most of the ride all you could hear were constant screams of "F*CK F*CK F*CK SH*T OW F*CK F*CK F*CK OW SH*T" and things of that nature. That ride was a miserable pile of sh*t and should be burned to the ground immediately. I've ridden some bad coasters, but very few have ever approached such historic levels of suck. It felt like the thing was actually tracking pretty well and I don't doubt that it might have been fun going forwards but Viper Backwards is terrible and whoever thought of this awful idea should be forced to marathon it until it's been properly beaten into them that this was a terrible idea (that should only take one cycle).

 

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Viper Backwards empties into a gift shop where you can stock up on all of the essential Viper Backwards merchandise.

After popping a few Aleve, we figured that since we were already suckers for punishment we might as well head over to our next reservation, Demon.

 

I knew Demon was a bit of an icon for the Great America parks, and I bored Brit with the whole "Turn of the Century" story on the way to the ride in an attempt to make her overlook the inevitable beating we were about to receive and actually try to like the thing. I was optimistic but she generally has no tolerance for Arrow loopers so I figured it wouldn't hurt to talk it up a little.

 

We scanned the Flash Pass, walked through the super weird queue line and found a seat in the back car of the train. I didn't expect much, but after ascending the lift, going down a pain free drop and heading through two well themed and super fun vertical loops we were feeling good about things. We were feeling even better when following the loops we went through a tunnel that surprised us with an insane amount of rave lights that made us think we had just ended up on Cash Cab (does the one in California do this?, if so next time they film "Cash Coaster" for FUN TV they need to film it on Demon). This ride was weird as sh*t, but we were totally digging it.

 

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Demon doing it's thing.

After the rave tunnel the ride went up into a mercifully slow turnaround (sorry Arrow, but you guys suck at turning so the slower the better) and concluded with another cool tunnel, some corkscrews and some coat hanger sh*t that all-in-all sucked but could have been worse.

 

Demon definitely beats you up a little but it's not too bad for an Arrow and while we were in no hurry to jump back in line, the sheer weirdness of it made it pretty enjoyable despite the crappy finale and we both agreed that we sort of liked the thing. Thumbs up for Demon! We approve of your weirdness.

 

I hadn't run it by Brit yet, but when going through the Demon queue I had done some soul searching and realized that with only 2 coasters left to ride, it was time to stop depriving myself so I scrolled down to Log Jammer, saw the 30 minute wait time and excitedly hit select. It was clouding up a bit but it didn't seem too bad yet so I figured it was a perfect time to ride (then again, is it ever NOT a perfect time to ride?).

 

When we got off Demon I told her what our next ride was and she reluctantly agreed to go along with it. Yes, score one for me! We had some time to kill, and not wanting to let the day go by without hitting some of the park's more unique rides we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to ride the train over (we would have walked over and hit the Condor but it was closed for the day, bummer).

 

The train is actually really cool with the track going above the midway near Whizzer and again near Superman and the train station actually raised up on a hill in between those two areas. We walked up to the nice open station which gave us some great views of the surroundings from it's nice perch on the hill and we couldn't help but notice the death cloud that was moving in. I pulled up the radar and realized that it was definitely headed right for us but at that point I still had hope that we could knock out the flume before the inevitable downpour.

 

A few minutes later our train pulled up and we hopped on board. It was actually a really nice train ride with someone on the PA system talking about all of the nearby rides and attractions as you passed by. I was really impressed, it's not every day you see a Six Flags park with a nice train ride.

 

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What a great train ride! I know I keep saying this but this park is REALLY, REALLY nice.

When exiting the train, we couldn't really deny the fact that it was looking really dark outside and those clouds were moving in fast. We had 2 coasters left to ride, one of which was the Dark Knight so weather was a non issue and the other was American Eagle which wasn't on Flash Pass but did happen to be nearby. It was time to ride the flume, but we decided on the fly that just to be safe we should really ride American Eagle now just in-case the rain hung around longer than expected.

 

When you spend enough time on coaster message boards you notice that there are a lot of recurring topics that keep resurfacing over and over again. "Favorite coaster", "best coaster stations", "best coaster drop", "favorite inversion on a coaster", "best all you can eat gravy buffet", "favorite coaster patch jackets", "why wearing deodorant is bad" and finally... "worst coaster queue".

 

When that last one comes up, there are always lots of answers but the one coaster that comes up over and over and over again is American Eagle. Now that I've ridden it, I firmly believe that that thread is split into only two groups... people who have never ridden American Eagle (who say things like "Zumanjaro Drop of Doom" and "The Bat" and people who truly, truly understand what it means to walk through a queue line so f*cking ridiculous that it makes you audibly question "what the f*ck" out loud on at least 5 occasions.

 

I won't spoil the queue, because much like a great dark ride it shouldn't be spoiled ahead of time. This thing really is in a league of it's own though and I really feel like TPR needs to film a f*cking POV of it just so we can re-live the experience.

 

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This photo was taken about 3 miles into our hike through the queue line while running low on supplies and wondering if we should have packed a survival kit.

5 Hours later (after a nap and a trek across the wild plains of Illinois) we approached the station for the coaster that I was starting to believe was just a figment of our imagination and didn't actually exist at the end of that long, drawn out journey and were amazed to see that the coaster was not only running both sides but actually racing! I forget what side we picked, but given the weather we ignored any potential seat preferences, picked the shortest line and within a few minutes we were all clear and ready to race.

 

I didn't expect much of anything from this ride, but it was actually really good. It was super smooth, provided some great airtime and the racing aspect was great. Most importantly, this is one of those coasters that's honestly just a spectacle to look at. Rides like Raging Bull and Goliath surpass it in height, but when you drive up to the park or walk up to this ride (and you'll be walking up to it for awhile) this ride has an incredible presence and really makes you say "wow". I feel the same way about this ride as I did about Mean Streak, a lot of this ride's appeal was in the journey through this beautiful and amazing structure. The airtime and fun elements was almost secondary. American Eagle was great and I'm really glad we got to ride it while it was racing.

 

After exiting the coaster and hiking 7 miles uphill both ways back to the midway we decided that we weren't big enough whores to ride the other side and count it as two credits and decided to plan our next move. The Log Flume was reserved but the sky looked like it was ready to dump buckets on us at any minute. Brit had no intention of riding and suggested we do the intelligent thing and book Dark Knight but knowing it was Six Flags I assumed that since it was so late and the temperature was dropping so much they would likely close the flumes and never reopen them once it started raining (I would end up being correct in that assumption).

 

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Ominous clouds

Going into the day I had hoped to ride 2 flumes and I had already accepted the fact that I wouldn't be doing that, but the thought of riding zero flumes really wasn't jiving with me so I asked if she'd care if I rode it solo. She (appropriately) gave me a look of "okay dumbass, have fun with that" and I excitedly made my way over to Log Jammer. We've all got to die someday, if I die by drowning on a Log Flume then so be it. At least I'd go out doing what I loved.

 

The confused looking ride op scanned my Flash Pass and asked where the other rider was so I explained that the other rider was much smarter than me and she bailed. He just laughed and directed me to a log. About halfway through the turntable I heard a noise that sounded like a fighter jet was about to crash into the park but a few seconds later I realized it was just the sound of rain pounding the roof and looked to my right to see that it was raining almost as hard as it could possibly rain.

 

I looked over to see that the ops had turned everyone on the steps back and closed the ride for the day and I knew I still had a solid minute to minute and a half on the turntable where I could have easily exited if I wanted to. Unfortunately I also knew that if I did that I'd never get to ride, so for some reason I reasoned that "maybe by the time I get to the front of the turntable the rain will die down and it'll be fine".

 

Yeah... no.

 

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This is what a complete dipsh*t looks like. lol

The log left the turntable and immediately went under a wall of water caused by the downspout from the flume roof being located directly over the trough. The next few minutes were spent weathering a complete deluge of water in a slow moving log but for some weird reason, kind of enjoying the experience just for the sheer stupidity of the whole thing. I was soaked long before heading down the drop, but I had a blast. The drop itself was actually really awesome as it was sort of a weird double drop. I wish I could tell you if there was a big splash at the bottom, but there was already so much water that I wouldn't have known the difference anyway.

 

After exiting the log, I walked through the exit and found Brit hiding out under a tent. She asked if I was proud of myself, to which I (of course) responded yes.

 

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Absolutely pouring...

The rain was relentless, so for the next 30 minutes or so we stayed huddled under the tent watching the radar and trying to avoid the annoying Sunshine Vacations people (or whatever they're called). Seriously? Of all the tents to huddle under you pick these guys? Are you sure there's not a Jehovah's Witness tent nearby we could stand under that might be less annoying? God, I think I'd rather drown in the rain.

 

Slowly but surely the rain eventually started to let up. We had Dark Knight reserved, but it would have been really stupid not to take advantage of the lines that would all be completely cleared out by the rain so as soon as it started to let up, we made our way over to Goliath where a line had started to form.

 

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Okay, clearly we weren't the only ones who had this idea.

A few test cycles later our strategy was handsomely rewarded with a short 10 minute line for Goliath. We grabbed the back seat again and were treated to another unbelievable ride. It also managed to dry me off a bit which was a nice bonus. This ride is absolutely outstanding.

 

Riding high from another awesome Goliath ride we figured it was time to finally make our way over to the last coaster of the day, Dark Knight. We have one of these at Great Adventure also and I have to say that ours is in much better shape. While I do like the indoor queue on the Great America version, their pre-show no longer works and a lot of the effects on the ride are also out of commission. Still, it was a fun little ride and (after hopping off the wrong side of the car out of habit... oops) we got off the ride feeling accomplished at managing to hit every Great America coaster in a day despite the crowds and rain.

 

After Dark Knight we only had about an hour left in our day, but by that point we had basically ridden everything so we could use most of that hour for re-rides. Every ride was posting a 5 minute wait after the rain so we no longer needed the Flash Pass but just to be safe we reserved Raging Bull and decided to head over towards Southwest Territory.

 

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Little Dipper looked really cool at night. I still think it's absolutely Great that Six Flags restored this thing.

On the way Brit noted that she wanted to ride Columbia Carousel. Normally I never ride Carousels (unless I'm at Knoebels of course), but this one was really cool so I didn't really need much convincing and we made our way up to the upper deck right as the ride was loading.

 

The ride itself was actually really nice. I'm no Carousel person, but this one was stunning to look at and the upper deck actually provided a great view of the park. Unfortunately half way through the ride it also provided a great view of the rain that once again enveloped the park, dashing my hopes of riding Whizzer again on the way to Raging Bull.

 

Luckily the rain quickly lightened up and stayed at a constant drizzle for the rest of the night so while it was enough to close Whizzer, the other major coasters kept going. We made our way over to Raging Bull and scanned our Flash Pass for absolutely no reason since we were greeted with a complete walk-on.

 

Once again we went for the back row, and once again the ride delivered the goods. The light drizzle wasn't enough to be uncomfortable and if anything the drizzly, cool misty night actually served to make the ride even better. Just like before, Raging Bull was flying, delivering boatloads of airtime and making me question the sanity of the enthusiast community. What a spectacular coaster!

 

After Raging Bull we were down to our last 15 minutes and were forced with the task of deciding how to end the night. On one hand, Goliath was easily the best ride in the park but on the other hand it (aside from Raging Bull) was the only ride we had already managed to snag a re-ride on. It was really between than and X Flight but in the end we decided to go with X Flight since it was much closer and we might have time for 2 rides if we went that route.

 

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It's no Goliath, but X Flight still seemed like a great day to end the day.

The ride was a complete walk-on for most rows, but we wanted to end the night right so we made our way up to the front. Once again, the ride was awesome and riding it in the rain at night really helped to enhance the sense of speed and the awesomeness of those keyholes. The train returned to an eruption of cheers from the hearty souls that waited out the rain and (thanks to 2 people still in the station on the other side of the platform) we were all allowed to stay on and get a second ride. What an awesome way to end an awesome day!

 

Despite some of the negativity surrounding this place, we thought Great America was an absolutely fantastic park. It's really nice, the theming is some of the best we've seen from Six Flags and their coaster collection is absolutely magnificent! I highly recommend this place to everyone and I can't wait to go back!

 

Up next: A day in Chicago!

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I'm glad you liked Great America! It really is a nice park which has a lot to offer. I'm even more glad you liked Raging Bull! Yes, it's trimmed. Yes, it would be better without the trims. However, it's still a great ride and unique among B&M hypers.

 

You may be glad to hear that on our return trip to BGW we gave Apollo another chance and actually really enjoyed it. I was happy about that, since it was the first B&M hyper that ever disappointed me on our first trip. Hell, I even like Intimidator.

 

Another great report. Looking forward to your Chicago trip report.

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Thanks for reading and commenting guys! It really was a great park. I still can't believe how nice it was.

 

Another excellent report. It's too bad you didn't get to ride the other log flume though.
I have to say, Bill, that was your best log flume TR yet.

 

Thanks! Yeah, truth be told Yankee Clipper actually seemed like the cooler of the two (I loved the little boats) but Log Jammer was on Flash Pass and Yankee Clipper wasn't so that sort of made our decision for us. If not for the weather and the early closure of both flumes I would definitely have ridden both.

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