This week I finally made my way to Six Flags Great America. Ever since I was in grade school this has been a huge bucket list park for me because I had a roller coaster book that featured American Eagle (as the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world back then... early 90's) and back then I vouched that I would ride every coaster featured in that book. For the record I have done 6 of them: Magnum XL 200, Mean Streak, The Beast, American Eagle, Loch Ness Monster, and Steel Phantom (with the inversions). I have 4 I still need to do: Screamin Eagle, Phoenix, Coney Island Cyclone, and Texas Giant. Obviously Texas Giant has been RMC'd, but when I eventually get on that I'm counting it anyway...
When planning this trip I originally wanted to hit Indiana Beach on the way because it's kind of on the way from Detroit. Not really, but it's in the same general direction. So I figured I could go there for a few hours, then drive up to Great America, check in to the hotel, and have maybe 2 hours and then the full day the next day. Unfortunately rain was in the forecast for Indiana Beach yesterday so I went straight to Great America and that ended up being a good thing.
This wasn't my first time in Chicagoland but it was my first time driving in Chicagoland and knowing that traffic is horrible I asked what would be a better route up to the park, the tri state tollroad or taking 90 right through Chicago. Nobody said 90, so the toll road it was. If that's faster with less traffic than 90 then 90 is a freaking parking lot because the toll road was jammed for about an hour. It started well south of the Airport and didn't breakup until just after the Airport.
So anyway, when I first got on the tollway it was obvious that the last lane was moving much faster than the first 4. So I am able to maneuver into that last lane (which was not an easy task) and I'm feeling pretty damn good about myself. Then I see a sign that says "pay toll 2 miles ahead, cash exit to the right"... WTF!!! All that work I did to get in a lane that is actually moving and now I have to maneuver myself to where I was.. And of course I couldn't get back in the fast lane because every few miles or so I had to exit to to pay the toll.
I ended up getting to the park with a ton of time to spare so no harm no foul.
My first impressions of the park were that it was a lot nicer than I was expecting. I love how the double decker carousel and the pond greets people as they walk in.
First ride was Whizzer. It was my first time on one of these Jumbo Jet style coasters and I really liked it for what it was. I love how you sit down and stretch your legs out. It's like sitting at home with your feet up but on a coaster! It was more forceful than I thought it would be, and I like how it made it's way through the trees. You couldn't really see which element was coming up and that made it a very good ride.
Next ride was Raging Bull and I was going into this with pretty low expectations because it seems like this is everyones least favorite B&M hyper. I would agree with that but the ride was a lot better than I was expecting. In the back I thought the air time was good, especially on the drop, and overall it was a reasonably intense and smooth ride.
X Flight was next and again my expectations were pretty low, but I really enjoyed this ride. The wing over drop is great, and the near miss elements are great too. Definitely my 4th favorite wing coaster after Thunderbird, Gatekeeper, and Wild Eagle, but still a good, fun ride.
Next was Goliath and again following the trend, even though this is an RMC, a lot of people consider this to be one of, if not the weakest RMC, so my expectations were on the lower side. HOLY F------- SH!T!!!!! This ride is unreal! The first drop is wonderful, you're definitely out of your seat on it.
All the turns and inversions are taken at a relentless pace. Something you would expect from RMC.
But it was this element that stole the show! This zero-G stall is absolutely amazing! It obviously gives great hang time, but then when it flips you right side up your still out of your seat and with the track going under some of the structure it creates a great hand chopper moment too! An absolutely amazing element and personally my favorite element on any coaster.
When I hit this brake run I had a new #1 wooden coaster!!! I think this is better than Lightning Rod. It also has a single rider line so I had plenty of rides on it!
So my next coaster will always be a special coaster for me, because it is my 100th coaster! And I couldn't think of a better coaster to take that on than the new Maxx Force!
The launch wasn't as powerful as I was expecting, but still an incredible experience.
The rest of the ride is absolutely relentless and exceeded my expectations.
So there was a trade off. The launch didn't quite live up to my expectations, but the rest definitely exceeded them.
Overall a great coaster that will rank pretty high for me!
American Eagle was next and even though it was featured in that book that I had my expectations were not that high for this. I was expecting an old wood coaster with a lot of bumps, but it was quite smooth and overall a very enjoyable ride. There are some trims that really kill the pacing of the ride, but overall it really exceeded my expectations!
Next I made my way over to v2 Vertical Velocity and I prefer Wicked Twister to this but this is still an incredible experience.
Joker really stole the show! Obviously it's a different experience every time because of how many times you are and are not able to flip. I loved this coaster because of how disorienting it is. And the single rider line made it easy to ride over and over again!
Batman was next and I had already been on the one at Great Adventure and was not impressed with that one. But this one was extremely impressive. So much so that it took the #1 invert spot away from Raptor! This ride was so fast and forceful and had no line all day. Complete walk on.
Didn't get any pics of Viper, but this was really another ride that exceeded my expectations. It was surprisingly smooth and really fun.
Demon is my 3rd favorite Arrow looper. It was smooth, and I really enjoyed the inversion that starts under the rock structure.
The next day I got on Superman and I am not a fan of flying coasters and my worst nightmare became a reality. I was on the first train of the day and we were stuck on the brake run for 10-15 minutes because the ride went down. Flying coasters are just too uncomfortable for me to enjoy.
I also did the Dark Knight and there's not much to say, I've been on it before at Great Adventure.
Overall this park was amazing! So many rides exceeded my expectations, and the park itself exceeded my expectations.
Nice to see the park in general exceeded your expectations. It seems to be a common trend among enthusiasts. Great photos too!! Also great to hear Batman was a walk on, I'm assuming operations were pretty smooth that day other than Superman.
Yeah operations were absolutely fantastic at every ride except Viper. It was kind of strange, it didn't seem like a light day, the parking lot was almost full, but the lines were very short and in some cases non existant. The only ride I really waited for on the whole trip was Maxx Force, and the wasn't even half an hour... I was there for 2 days and I rope dropped Superman on the 2nd day so I didn't really experience how the operations were on that one.
"This zero-G stall is absolutely amazing! It obviously gives great hang time, but then when it flips you right side up your still out of your seat and with the track going under some of the structure it creates a great hand chopper moment too! An absolutely amazing element and personally my favorite element on any coaster."
Also agree with this statement. It's the only thing Steel Vengeance was missing IMO. I've been on other RMC's with a stall but nothing is like, or as amazing, as Goliath's. Favorite element of any coaster, for sure.
Maxx Force sounds like a great little ride; looking forward to getting out to this park again some day.
I'm glad you liked Demon and Whizzer, I love those. I'm sorry it looks like Eagle Red (Firebird) wasn't open. It is much better than blue; more hills, more air time and always seems to be smoother. You will have to come back for that! Did you get on either of the classic flumes or flats? They're not for everyone, but it's such a great collection of stuff.
PS - for what it's worth, I think Raging Bull is the best B&M hyper. Brake or not, the layout is super-unique and most of all, interesting and fun. The trim doesn't take much away from me; variation in pacing makes it better!
I was there 2 days and since there were no lines (except Maxx Force) the first day was all coasters and I was planning on doing the flats and water rides the next day. Well the next day the park basically ended up being closed for weather all day. I was next in line twice for the log flume, or boat flume, the yankee something, and it closed for weather. But yeah I’ll definitely be back. This is a park I’ll hit every other year if not every year.
Happy you liked SFGAM! That's my home park! I love Maxx Force but I did think the launch would be a little more powerful (I thinking too much about Do-Dodonpa lol). The app I think is pretty inaccurate, not just with Whizzer but American Eagle and Viper definitely have more airtime than -.2 gs I think.
Favourite Coaster: Steel Vengeance Other Favourites: SkyRush, Storm Chaser, Lightning Run, Magnum XL-200, Voyage, Apollo's Chariot, Phoenix, Outlaw Run, and Storm Runner
Obsessed with S&S Screamin Swings
If Magnum XL-200 dies we riot
Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is god. You exist only at Hello Kitty's pleasure. Crawl like drugged roaches before her splendor
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.