Frustration: SFGAm-10.9.06

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Fun's avatar
I'll cut right to the chase, as I'm sure most of you could really care less about every detail of my visit. This was my first time to the park.

Sunday, October 9th, 2006

The Good
-All coasters (That I encountered) were running all their trains.
-Generally speaking, the ride operators were good, and by far the most professional among the Six Flags I've been too.
-The park looked great with all the FrightFest decorations.
-The design, maintenance, and overall construction of the park is phenomenon! There wasn't anything that looked run-down or in need of repair. The midways made sense, and the park has a very natural flow to it.

The Bad:
-The crowds! 2 hours for Superman and Deja Vu. Hour for Batman, Iron Wolf, and Raging Bull. That's all we got to ride on Sunday! It became quite obvious what was causing these horribly slow moving lines to amass- FLASHPASS. Any attempt at hitting a high capacity was squashed by the constant flow of glorified line jumpers.

What are your options? Eat a cockroach or pay to be able to ride more rides. Thank god I can go to non Six Flags parks and be treated equally. Classism in amusement parks is a fundamental nightmare- and while Six Flags makes a quick buck, they'd piss less people off and in the end, make more money if they were to just move the regular lines as quickly as possible.

I can honestly say that I would have had a great time if it had not been for that satanic Flashpass. Likewise, I will not return to this park to finish all the rides I couldn't ride until they cast out Flashpass to the fiery bowels of hell where it belongs.

In closing, there were many other frustrating elements that I have not gone into detail about, mostly because they are isolated instances that could happen anywhere. But the way this park handles an average crowd is simply embarrasing.

Perhaps I am just used to Fastlane, but I don't think it slows down the overall line as much as you claim.

Fright Fest at Great America just gets massive crowds for Fright Fest, and even before fastlane the lines were always bad.

If you want to get rides during Fright Fest, you need to go on Friday nights...any other day your pretty much out of luck.


If this was your first time going to this park, you picked a bad time to visit.

Fright Fest is just extremely popular so knocking out alot of rides just isn't going to happen on Sat. and Sun. in October.

As Dave said, Friday nights during FF is your best bet.

If you ever do decide to visit again, try hitting the park in May, early June, or September.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Well, technically the park can't control how many people come into the park in one day, they just care how many come into the park. Fright Fest is the most populart event at SFGAm. The crowds are always large in Oct.
Mark Small's avatar
I was there on Saturday, and the lines weren't bad in the morning. The longest line was Superman at 1 1/2 hours. I actually thought that SFGAm handled the flash passes much better than SFGAdv. They don't use the QBots, they use paper tickets from what I could tell, and did a great job of controlling the flow of flash pass users into the line.

Just be glad you got to ride DejaVu. It was down all day on Saturday, so I still haven't ridden it.

I guess some people just look at things differently. I was there with 3 cousins who don't go to parks all that often, and they had a blast.

Actually Colin, the park does have the ability and must control how many come into the park. I'm sure there is a limit emergency services has placed on how many people may come into the park. Exceeding that limit could lead a list of complications including the fire marshall ordering the park closed (all though I would hate to be the fire marshall making that decision and causing the ensuing riot).

A day at the park is what you make it!

Most outdoor large areas have no capasity limit other than stadiums where exits are limited.

As for Flashpass, You had that option to buy it as well as everyone else.

However it just reafirms my stance of having to pay 49 bucks over the Gen addmission just to enjoy the friggin parks and thats B.S!

^Charles: they do have a capacity limit at SFGAm as ordered by the Gurnee fire department. However, even on busy days it usually doesn't reach that threshold.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Six Flags is celebrating their 45th anniversary, and they still don't know how to deal with large crowds at two of their flagship parks on a holiday weekend? Why are folks so eager to make excuses for incompetent running of their rides? Either management is negligent for not paying attention to the increasing demands on their coasters, or they are enjoying the increased profits of Flash Pass encouraged by long lines. Either way why defend it?
Kick The Sky's avatar
Actually, rc-madness, Six Flags Great America doesnt have long lines because they cannot run their rides correctly. If anything, they are one of the few Six Flags parks to run all their trains, and have fairly competent crews running the rides. Do they stack trains? Sure. Even Cedar Point stacks trains.

The problem is, that, by nature, Six Flags Great America draws HUGE crowds. There is no competition other than the Dells and maybe, at a stretch, Indiana Beach. Great America has made additions almost every year to deal with the overflow of guests but the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger.

One to two hour lines at Great America, unfortunately, are the norm. It's my home park and I've sworn off of it all season because of the crowds. That is my choice, though. Even though I choose not to go, it is still the best run Six Flags in the chain.

Certain victory.

My mistake, I had no idea one to two hour waits were that common at Great America. I didn't have that experience the couple of times I was there. Still, it's hard for me to believe they can't do better than that even on crowded days. Other parks do.
Fun, I am very with you on the whole Flash Pass thing, and with your assessment of SFGAm. I had some bad experiences at SFGAdv yesterday, which I may share in a TR sometime soon.


coastin' since 1985

Lord Gonchar's avatar
I have to admire your persistence, rc-madness. :)

But look, you've seen it now in multiple threads. The big chain parks get stupid busy on weekends...even more so on nice weekends...and even more so with special events happening.

It doesn't matter how many times you try to slip in some complaint about pricing, lines, operation, flashpass or whatever. If people really hated things as much as you think they do, these crowds wouldn't be showing up at the parks in the first place. And do you really thing SF has any incentive to change a thing when these large crowds are still showing up?

Like I said, I admire the persistence, but man - you got a thread where every reply pretty much expresses understanding towards long lines on a nice October weekend. It's pretty much what I said in your TR - common knowledge for enthusiast types.

I understand the frustration in regards to mass attendence, but large crowds is what the six flag chain really needs. Keep in mind that meeting thousands of visitors requests and needs cannot be easy.


Ride On!

Fun's avatar
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my description of the crowds.

I didn't even think the park was that busy. None of the queue lines were even full. The midways had plenty of breathing room.

I just felt like there was a rediculous amount of Flashpassing going on. Do they limit their sales? Heck, I'd prefer QBotters, as they atleast have to wait to however long the line is.

Hey, Gonch. If you read my posts in other discussions you'd know this is not a complaint about millions of people suddenly flocking to Six Flags on Columbus Day weekend. Great Adventure wasn't that crowded, and still the lines were stupid long. I get that it makes perfect sense to you, while some of us are still scratching our heads about it. Five lines over two hours long perfectly normal, eh?

I will say the most impressive thing about my day at the park is seeing the amazing determination of those in attendance. At Great America most got about four rides with 7 hours of lines, and yet people rolled with that the best they could. Who knows what kept them going, maybe commiserating is a bonding experience. Will they come back, my guess is some will and some won't. I'm in no hurry to get back to not so Great Adventure. *** Edited 10/10/2006 4:29:59 PM UTC by rc-madness***

In reality, If every SF park had a 3 million attendance, They'd be breaking even on thier interest payments.

This chain is done as it is. Firesale hasn't even started.

We still like the rides though, right
Love the rides, love the parks, but Shapiro is looking at short term gains; and why is that? The way they are burning their guests left and right, I'd say the Firesale has already started.
He will never every do anything but pay dividends in the short term with price increases.

He thinks SF is disney? It's far from it.

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