I went to the park on Friday and I was very surprised with how much effort was put into Holiday in the Park. There are a ton of lights and light protection on Chubasco is really cool. The only area without lights is Yankee Harbor, but that's okay. Overall the shows are pretty good. I hate Christmas music, but still found them to be enjoyable. I didn't leave myself much time for rides so I rode X-Flight once and Raging Bull three times. Both were walk ons, running well, one train and slow ride ops. I had a good time and plan on going a few more times. I took pictures, but don't have time to edit and post them. Side note, there are some Maxx Force pieces in the back parking lot and more rebar cages at the construction site.
So a couple of really quick thoughts. I went on Saturday night and while I overall had a good time I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.
There were some logistical issues like running out of souvenir hot chocolate cups. This is understandable and all but then to have only one stand offering paper cups (all the other stands were only offering refills for cups they had sold out of) didn’t make any sense. The light show is massively disappointing and beyond tacky. I expected to see the whole area have dancing lights to a festive theme, what I saw was a giant video wall of Santa doing “the nae nae”.
And my last point, and this opinion I got from comparing the experience to the much smaller Six Flags St. Louis. But Great America is just a little too big for this event. It’s impossible to avoid the dead space and closed rides in between areas.
This hopefully will get better as the event grows year to year. Again we had a good time, and top points to the Santa meet and greet on the train. That was really well done. Hopefully next year once Max Force is done they can have the train and the observation tower open for this event!
A raptor clone makes sense. The park has been saying they are out of room for about 20 years. Most of the coasters are medium to small in size. A raptor could fit in the space occupied by Buccaneer Battle. The Demon Funnel Cake stand and/or the Hometown Park rides could be removed depending on the coaster placement. Pretty much the same area where Railblazer is at CGA. The raptors look like good rides so it would be cool if the park got one eventually. The capacity is my only issue, but I could always ride it when the park isn't busy. We'll see if this park or another in the chain gets a raptor clone in the coming years.
I don't know how I feel about a Raptor at GAm. Being compact helps matters but the truth is the capacity of the current models with single-wide trains seems like it'd be way too low for a park that gets the attendance numbers that GAm does. If RMC could make a rail and train that slotted in between T-Rex and Raptor that would be a good option.
TBH I'd take the Boat Tour or the Motion Simulator. One is something totally like they don't have, the other is something they can run in the winter when it invariably snows but they're open in mid December.
In all seriousness (though a third flume would be awesome albeit an incredibly stupid investment) my first thought was also that they should stockpile as many indoor rides as possible over the next few years.
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