Cedar Point vs Six Flags Great America Comparison

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:38 PM

I've never been to SFGAM, but having visited both SFOG and SFNE, I can attest to the operations being abysmal and the prices being ridiculous for food and drinks. When my wife and I visited SFNE last year we only had 1 day to visit the park so we sprang for the platinum flash pass and we were able to do every coaster including re-rides for Bizarro and Wicked Cyclone in less than 7 hours. It was awesome just walking onto every ride. You could definitely get away with using a gold flash pass if you're going to be there all day which unfortunately we were not able to be. The parks are definitely not as clean and attractive as Cedar Point was when I used to visit but I guess it's all relative. Anyways I think you should get the pass and visit SFGAM, it's good to get out and broaden your horizons, plus you can always use the gold pass to visit other parks in the chain. It's not a bad value really.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:57 PM
Walk-Off HBP's avatar

Six Flags is more of a "every man, woman and mutant for themselves." You have to compete to not get line jumped and employees generally don't know what's going on. Cedar Point is much more user friendly.

In my experience, line jumping isn't much of an issue at either park. You'll get the same "excuse me, just meeting up with my friends/family" from time to time at both places, and I think I've seen the offending party tossed from a line just once (Great America). Most of the time, people seem to shrug and forget about it.

Coaster-wise, it all comes down to preference. You can't go wrong with either park's B&M Invert, but I prefer Batman to Raptor. X-Flight's compact layout is conducive to some neat forces, which Gatesleeper has none of (but looks way cooler). Giant Drop > 1,000 Power Towers... Obviously, there's much more to do at Cedar Point, and several of Great America's coasters can be found elsewhere, but it's a decent collection. If you do go to Great America, make sure to ride Raging Bull in the very back. The first drop makes up for the rest of the otherwise tame ride in spades- shame, since it's a great layout. I consider it the best of B&M's non-looping first drops (still missing Mako, Intimidator, both of the Gigas, and the overseas examples for comparison's sake).

There isn't really much of a comparison in terms of atmosphere/vibe. Both have plenty of charm, which come in handy on hot days. Great America, at least in recent years, looks like a damn comic book threw up all over the place. It was fine when that was confined to Yankee Harbor. Now, you have Batman in Yankee Harbor, Superman and another Batman in Orleans Place, and Justice League in Southwest Territory... Cedar Point has the friendlier employees- it hasn't ever made much of a difference to me whether or not an employee is smiling, or if they appear bothered by your presence in their workplace- but I know this matters to many. You'll be able to find examples of good and bad at both places.

I prefer a visit to Cedar Point, but Great America ain't too shabby. I just had one of my better visits in years this past Friday, just two weeks after an awesome weekend at Cedar Point.

Oh, and Maverick.

The trick was to surrender to the flow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 7:20 PM
rollergator's avatar

Go Intamin said:

Whizzer > Cedar Creek Mine Ride

I think you missed about a dozen or so of these.... >>>>>>>>>>>>>

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Thursday, October 20, 2016 5:56 PM

Planning on going tomorrow for the first time. How are crowd levels for Fright Fest on Fridays generally? Hoping to get there when gates open.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:32 PM

Have fun tomorrow!! I will be there Saturday.

Friday crowds are low. You should be good.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 8:41 PM

Great America was my home park until recently. I would say that I actually prefer Great America's collection of flats, and it certainly has some decent roller coasters in Whizzer, Goliath, Viper, etc. The height requirements are generally shorter and more reasonable at Six Flags (although all of the bigger coasters have 54" requirements). I do feel like it has taken a nosedives in operations over the last five years or so, and it is ALWAYS crazy crowded.

In terms of coaster collections, I would say that Cedar Point has an elite collection of rides at this point, whereas Great America simply has a very good collection. There aren't any truly bad rides but many of them might not seem very impressive after Cedar Point's.

I think the idea of visiting Great America is a good one, but Fright Fest IMO is not the time to do it. The park is even more ridiculously crowded than normal and it can be hellish. I would recommend waiting until next year and going some time over the summer instead.

Friday, October 21, 2016 1:15 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. After listening to what everyone had to say I decided we are going to SFGAm this weekend because of the deal on season's passes and decided to spring for Platinum Flash Passes for my oldest son and myself to use on Saturday. Just hope the extra $50 to upgrade to platinum over gold per pass is worth it. I'll find out Saturday!

Friday, October 21, 2016 11:57 AM

Hope you have a great time!! I will be walking with my wife Saturday with beers in our hand well unless they tell us we cant...

Friday, October 21, 2016 11:57 AM

Schwarzkopf76 said:

I love my home park Great America, and I would even say we have some better coasters (American Eagle, Viper, Whizzer, Raging Bull, all more fun and more interesting than most coasters at Cedar Point). We also have 2 original log flumes from the 70s, good stuff!

Six Flags is more of a "every man, woman and mutant for themselves." You have to compete to not get line jumped and employees generally don't know what's going on. Cedar Point is much more user friendly.

One thing Six Flags has over Cedar Point is control of smokers. They're pretty strict on the smoke-only-in-smoke-zones at Six Flags, but people are smoking everywhere at Cedar Point. I mean, do you really think your hiding it? I guess if they don't enforce it...

Those are my exact favorite coasters at Great America. Plus X-Flight is a great ride and Goliath is great, but not worth the wait.

I agree with the statement about smoking. Not only at Cedar Point but all Cedar Fair parks. Cedar Fair management does not care about enforcing their policy. It can make for a nasty day at those parks for those that don't want to breath that stuff.

I also think that Six Flags keeps their rest rooms cleaner. Cedar Fair parks tend to have rest rooms that smell like people have went on the floor for years.

Friday, October 21, 2016 3:29 PM

SatanicCoaster said:
Hope you have a great time!! I will be walking with my wife Saturday with beers in our hand well unless they tell us we cant...

Just don't smoke.

Friday, October 21, 2016 7:53 PM
sirloindude's avatar

And don't take off your shirt.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 7:49 AM

My wife and I do not smoke. Too cold too take off my shirt also. Lol

Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:26 PM

It was not a fun place to be yesterday. Crazy busy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 7:53 AM

Saturday was crazy busy! Thank God for Platinum Flash passes! Even with the re-ride wristbands, my family of 4 was still able to take advantage of sharing the Flash pass, if one of us didn't have a wristband, we just didn't ask for a 2nd ride. I was really surprised how well it worked. Thankfully Sunday wasn't as bad as Saturday, still busy, but not too bad. Longest wait was around 45 mins on Sunday, although most wait times were advertised quite high at the entrances and even higher on the Six Flags App. Almost all of the coasters were posted showing over 75 minute waits at the entrances and 90+ on the app. I waited only 20 minutes for both Viper and Batman, but the entrances showed 75 minutes. Seemed like this was almost intentional to scare people into buying flash passes. All in all it was a great weekend though. Some really solid coasters in that park. Loved Batman, Raging Bull, X-Flight, Viper, Goliath, and oddly enough, The Whizzer. Biggest difference I saw between the 2 parks aside from some ride selection differences were the food lines. They were really, REALLY long. As far as a difference in crowd "culture"... I really didn't find it all that much different than CP. However ride ops and employees were more of a hit and miss as far as friendliness. Fright Fest after 6pm was great. I was really worried that my 6 year old son wouldn't be able to handle it, but honestly he was less frightened than my 13 year old. It wasn't like the "monsters" avoided my 6 year old, they did come up and growl at him or say something in an eerie voice like, "little one"... but they weren't jump scaring him like the older kids and adults. We would see them coming, point them out to him, and almost walk towards them to force the interaction so it didn't come as a surprise like a jump scare. I also think it helped that we watched some youtube videos of Fright Fest before we left for vacation. We had a blast and I'm looking forward to going next year!

Last edited by Shivering Stafford, Tuesday, October 25, 2016 2:07 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:14 AM

Glad you had a good time. Next summer, I'm taking my son to Cedar Point for his first time and my future plans with him include visiting parks in other states. May have to include this one in on our adventures.


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