Wednesday, June 13, 2001 6:32 PM
Six Flags Great America that is.
We left St. Louis on Monday morning (June 4) for Wisconsin Dells. On the way to Wisconsin we stopped in Springfield Ill. and went through Abraham Lincolns home. This was a great little side tour which is ran by the National Park service. We ate at a great buffet in Springfield called the Heritage House. Home cooking and all you could eat at a reasonable price. They had some of the best potato salad I've ever ate. It was nice to get our first home cooked meal in several days.
As we arrived in Wisconsin Dells the temperature had plumetted to the low 40's. We had only brought one pair of long pants a piece on this trip and we were in the need of a laundary by this time as it had also been cold in St. Louis. We stayed in a great hotel, Wintergreen Resort for the Travelor's Advantage 50% off rate of just 47.50 per night. These rooms go for like $150 to $200 bucks per night in season. This place had a nice little indoor water park that completly satisfied my 9 and 12 year olds. They made buddies with a couple of girls from Pittsburgh who talked about the new Phantom's Revenge with them. I checked Big Chief's the first night we were there. The park had closed early that day due to weather and lack of customer's I'd presume as the Dell's seemed to be virtully abandoned. I did speak with an employee who appeared to be in his mid-thirties and he said that they would open at 9 in the morning and stay open until about 8:00 p.m. if the crowds held up. I asked him if their were any discounts available and he laughed sarcastically and stated "We don't believe in discounts." What a great first impression of Big Chief's. I did go back the next day and walked around the park. I asked an employee if they sold Tee-shirt's. She said that they used to have some, but they all got wet and damaged. It boggles my mind that a place that has done so much with theming and has 3 CCI coasters doesn't offer a single shirt to sell. I mean geez, the dad burned barbaque hut up the road has shirts with their logo's on the front. I decided at that point to not invest the $60.00 that it would have cost my family to ride each of the 3 CCI's one time.
Spent most of our 2 days in the Dell's relaxing in the hotel. We did walk through the shop's on the main drag. We bowled a game. And we did the obligatory Dell's Ducks. I also spent a lot of time tring to enunciate clearly so my southern appalachian accent could be understood. You would have thought I was speaking Hungarian due to the difficulty of being understood at times. I love accents though. They make people unique. I make no effort to hide mine when I travel as some of those with my accent do. Don't ever lose pride in your heritage.
We discovered the best fast food (regional) chain restuarant that I've ever been in while in the Dell's. CULVER'S! Butterburgers and frozen custard. When they open franchises in my state I'm going to open one and become RICH!!!! It blows all other fast food restaurants we've ever been to away.
Left the Dell's on Wednesday. Traveled to Milwaukee to watch the Reds hammer the Brewers 6 to 3. Miller Park is the most beautiful stadium I've ever been in. The kid's got 8 autographs from Red's players. We worked our way to the good seats in the ninth inning and my 12 year-old was tossed the game ball by Red's closer, Danny Graves.
Stayed Wednesday at the Comfort Suites in Kenosha, Wi. Free nights stay with a Travelor's Advantage certificate. Clean, two bedrooms and T.V.'s and a free FULL breakfast featuring "Kringles" a delictiable pastry famous to Racine, Wi. just north of Kenosha.
Left the hotel on Thursday morning (June 7) for a short 15 minute drive to Six Flags Great America. We arrived at the park at about 9:30. We entered the plaza and first spotted the beautiful double carousel. The chains were still up and most of the crowd was to the left so they could race to V2. We rode the carousel first before the chains fell. I went against advice and preceded into the park on the right side since it seemed that most people had gone left. We should have went to Raging Bull first but the kids wanted to go to the Dinosaur Island 3-D deal first. It was a neat show. Second we rode the spinning observation deck which allowed me some great photos of the park.
Our first coaster of the day was "Viper". It was about a 35 minute wait. The que line was quite impressive for the beautiful wildflowers growing amongst tall grass. The Viper really rocked. It doesn't look all that impressive from the que, especially with the proximety of Raging Bull. It had great air time and good speed. My 9 year old came off the ride complaining of a head ache. We went to the first aid station and a very nice employee gave him a huge glass of gateraid and 5 children's tylenol for .50 cents. This employee also advised us that this was the first non-rainy day of the week and 8,000 people had came through the turnstiles during the first 45 minutes the park was opened this morning. He advised that the best strategy would be to ride the flats and see the shows untill 5 or 6 and then the lines would be thinning for the major coasters. He was right. The Raging Bull line went from 75 minutes at noon to only 20 minutes at 6:30 p.m. when we finally got to ride. I loved the seats on Raging Bull. They are like rubber and they lay in a slight incline. The restraint is like a large, rubber coated T shaped bar that come up to your abdomon area. The Raging had some great air and speed. It was very smooth and a long ride. I'm not a big steel coaster fan but I'd rate this one as my second favorite steel coaster ever behind Steel Force.
Didn't even consider riding V2. We were informed by others that the line was running about 90 minutes throughout the day.
American Eagle was an OK out and back. It didn't nearly deliver the intense ride that Screamin Eagle had on the Sunday before. By the way, I would have swore that I had seen trims after the turn around on Screamin Eagle but was informed otherwise. Am I wrong about that? Oh well, I'm not a technical expert on coasters by any means. I just like to ride em!
The Whizzer was a neat little Swartzkofpt. It really ran low to the ground which made it seem even faster.
Rode the Demon for the count. It was a headbanger.
Rode Spaceley's Sprockets for an easy count. Identical to the Vekoma RollerSkater at SFKK.
My 12 year old rode Iron Wolf with me. This was his first stand up. I tried the feet back and head forward into the restraints and it seemed to help on the head banging.
Other SFGAM impressions:
We saw three shows at this park. They are a big cut above anything at SFKK. They had a great illusionist. We also saw the Rocking America and Russian Circus shows. They were very good. This park has a nice atmosphere physically with mature trees and landscaping.
The crowd was very young at the park this day. I stood in lines that you didn't see anyone who looked to be over 20 years old.
The food was better that most SF's parks I've been in. We had chicken dinners and pizza.
We each got one shirt. Once again, I had trouble finding any items that I liked, as is the case for me at all Six Flag parks. I would have loved a Raging Bull shirt but the only one I saw was childish looking.
We left the park at 8:15 p.m.
Raging Bull 9.0
American Eagle 7.0
Spacely's Sprockets 5.5
Iron Wolf 5.0
*** This post was edited by Dale Caskey on 6/14/2001. ***
Saturday, June 16, 2001 2:51 PM
Well, Dale, your family and you seem to have....unique tastes. I went to springfield with school, and we ate at heritage house...twice. Nearly 15 people got sick from the food there. One kid nearly destroyed his hotel bathroom in sickness. And yet you liked it, hmm.... and another thing, how could you not ride V²? It is an awesome ride. You missed alot. Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed great america. And I definitely agree with you about most of the coasters.