SF Great America - 5/2/04 - GOOD times

Associated parks:

Not usually in the habit of writing trip reports, but I thought I would share my experience(s) from today up in Gurnee.


Lots of good today - park was really empty (especially early on). Nearly every ride we hit was a walk-on.

Raging Bull had a bit of a line, but not more than 10 minutes or so. It was running SMOOTH and, as always, a lot of fun. I'm sure I am not in the minority when I say that when I ride that coaster I cannot get the smile off of my face.

Viper was running great - and it's ALWAYS nice to be able to virtually walk-on that ride!

The Revolution - what a GREAT ride! I have never been on a ride like that...what a ton of fun that was. I really had no idea what to expect. As I have seen mentioned here before, I was in awe of the theming (and just the way that ride FITS in that area). To have it be a really fun ride was a true bonus. I'm anxious to find out what the do with the old carousel they removed to put this ride in, but The Revolution is most certainly a "must ride" when you hit the park.

Mardi Gras area looks wonderful (as has also been mentioned here). Jester's Wild Ride was up and testing in the afternoon - looks like an interesting little ride (also nice to see a ride back over in that area). Ragun' Cajun is coming along...some lower track has been laid and some facade/building structure is up. King Chaos looks to be just about ready to rock - nice theming on that as well. Big Easy Balloons looks to be fully assembled - just needs some zig-zags/entryway. Overall, I was actually pleasantly surprised that the are wasn't as "overhauled" as I had thought. Most of the original games/buildings are still there (on the east side of the area). And the area (gazebo etc) that was overhauled looks to be really well laid out.

In a REALLY light day (and with little effort) we were able to hit Hometown Fun Machine/Whizzer/Orbit/Viper/Raging Bull/Giant Drop/Ricochet/River Rocker/Demon/Revolution/Eagle/Fiddler's Fling/Batman/V2/East River Crawler/Superman/Rue Le Dodge - all in about 5 hours...along with mulitple rides on a few of the above listed.

The BAD:

Not to much to list here - EXCEPT those hand dryer in the bathrooms!!! What a slick sales job someone did to get Six Flags to replace their old ones with these! Good gravy those things are horrible...really, really bad!

Overall the park looks great - and to go along with the "look" of the park I was REALLY impressed (as always) with the employees there. It is just such a pleasant thing to have GOOD customer service. Also, the FREE refills on the $7 souvenir cup today was a nice bonus to be able to take advantage of throughout the day.

The new paint on Batman looks AWESOME. Demon is looking great (almost new) as well.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Great America for a GREAT day.

(SIDE NOTE #1): Re: the customer service/friendliness. My sister is a bit "hefty" and has not made it on to a few rides in the past due to her size. This year she lost some weight and DID make it on to both Raging Bull and Batman (rides she previously had not been able to make it). She did not, however, make it on V2. Anyways, I have to tell you that the understanding and compassionate nature (both this year and in years past) of the ride ops was really great. On the rides (like V2 this year) that she was not able to get the restraint to click (or belt to fasten), I was SO impressed with the professionalism/common decency that the ride ops showed her. That can NOT be an easy situation for them to be in (heck, I know it's not for me!) - and they truly shined in the way they handled it.

(SIDE NOTE #2): While Deja Vu did run today, I did not bother with it. I've ridden it a few times and it just hasn't grown on me - add to that I DO (however ridiculous it is) hold a bit of bitterness at that ride for sitting on the footprint of the beloved Sky Whirl ;) . Anyways, one thing I am amazed about (especially considering all the NEW paint and regular upkeep around the park) is that they don't paint that thing ONE color blue. It's had that speckled look for a couple of seasons now (I really don't know if it's peeling paint or a mis-matched touchup job). Either way, I just wonder why they haven't taken the time to get it looking the way it should.

Good TR. You might think of writing more!


"Welcome to Wisconsin... Illinois' Largest State Park."
Agreed. Glad you had fun.

Down is the new up.
One thing I noticed on Saturday is that the queue area for Revolution and Ragin' Cajun appear for too short for the kind of crowds I'm expecting they'll draw as new attractions, especially Cajun.

Regarding the hand dryers, yep, the air flow was a bit weak but I was so thankful to find any source of heat yesterday that I had no complaints!

The Viper crew also did a wonderful jobn of assisting a larger rider prepare to ride. It took some effort but it was done very discretely and they did all they could to make sure he was safely seated. The Viper crew is always top notch.

Again, if you loved Revolution, you need to get to PKI and take a spin on Delirium. Now. Go.

I agree on Revolution's queue - I think (especially for the first couple months of the season) that a lot of people will want to ride it and there just isn't a ton of capacity in the queue. But I guess time will tell. As far as Rajun' Cajun, it was difficult for me to tell how big it will be.

Those hand dryers are just ridiculous - I kept on telling my wife and sisters that SOMEONE must have tested those before saying "yah, we'll take a hundred of those". Yeesh, I just don't know how someone put their stamp of approval on those.

I've seen video of Delirium, and you're right...I MUST go. Looks really cool - and by comparison, it does look like a better ride than Revolution. And now having ridden Revolution a few times, I am looking forward to Delirium THAT much more.

Also, does anyone know if they have PERMANENTLY moved the entrance to the picnic grove? Or is it just closed while they're getting Ragun' Cajun built?

we'll find out soon enough, Sky Whirl (CBCon is less than 3 weeks away!)
Kick The Sky's avatar
Just a side note on the terrible hand dryers. Over in Hometown Square in the bathrooms next to the Grand Music Hall, there are paper towel dispensers there. MUCH better than the hand dryers.

Certain victory.

Is there a maximum height restriction on revolution?

Down is the new up.
Word, I didn't see any maximum height restriction listed at the entrance. For the kiddies, it is a 54" minimum ride...which greatly disappointed by 53" tall niece. Next visit, we're busting out the big shoes!

That's a joke by the way. She suggested big heal shoes and I told her that was "cheating" and the restriction is in place for her safety. Educate 'em when their young, folks.

MrSkyWhirl, if the park map is any indcation, it looks like the Picnic Grove entrance will reopen after Cajun is finished. Wasn't the Roaring Rapids queue blocked off as well?

True, the queue for Cajun isn't built yet but if the concrete pad that was poured is the only queue space, could be some spill over.

Just to clarify, Revolution was a fun ride and I'm glad they added it to the park. GAm always needed a couple more flats and this one does the job. But Delirium is the main reason I brought my group (my sister and two nieces) Paramount season passes. Well, that and Drop Zone and Beast and the new waterpark but mostly Delirium.

According to the Park Map & Guide, Revolution and King Chaos both have maximum height restriction's of 76". Which is the same as Deja Vu's.

There IS a maximum height for BOTH Revolution and King Chaos (it's 76"). I didn't see anyone that "tall" trying to get on - so I don't know how much they actually measure/enforce that rule - or maybe the seat/restraint simply won't accomodate someone that tall (I'm not sure).

Yah, I looked at the map as well (in reference to the picnic grove walkway) - it does look like it's there, but we all know that the maps aren't always "dead on" - but it would seem to be a HUGE over sight to leave that path there if they are indeed closing it permanently due to the addition of Rajun' Cajun.

Oh, and I know what you were trying to say about Delirium - I assumed it was a better ride than Revolution from the start - and now that I know what kind of ride Revolution is, I can only imagine how wonderful Delirium must be.

Oh, and another thing that came to mind yesterday (as we almost had the feeling that we weren't taking BIG enough advantage of the light crowds/low wait times) was that we were wondering if Marriots/Six Flags ever has (or ever will) consider cutting a path or bridge through the middle of the park (say somehere between Looney Tunes National Park/Batman OVER TO somewhere between Deja Vu and the bungee jump ride). Not that it's necessary, but on cold/rainy days (especially) I'm sure it'd be taken advantage of a LOT to get from the V2/Batman area back over to the Hometown Square/SW Territory.

While a pathway across the park would make the park easier to navigate, I doubt that the park would consider it. The path would have to cut directly across their service corridor. So, unfortunately, it is not as simple as laying some concrete.

True, and I do realize the design of Great America was to allow for the service area in the middle of the "loop" - and, for the most part, that area is disguised by trees/rides very nicely (per the original plan).

Obviously they (probably) would not be able to simply cut a path through - that's why I thought that a bridge (or even a tunnel) might be feasible. Although I'm not sure what advantage that would give to the park itself - and that sort of expenditure would probably require some sort of benefit to the actual operation of the park ALONG with guest happiness/satisfaction.

Anyways, would not be really necessary and probably will never happen - I guess I'm just curious if the management at the park over the years ever considered it. In the pre-SW Territory days it probably wasn't talked about that much (back when Tidal Wave/Sky Whirl sat in that general area) - but now it is a bit of a hike to get from V2 over to Raging Bull.

I personally don't think they ever considered access through the middle of the park.

The park was designed for easy access around the park (circle) with no dead spots or backtracking.

Revolution's queue looks adequate enough to me. On top of that, this type of ride is a "people eater", so even on crowded days, I don't see to much spilling out into the midway.

Based on the temporary signs for the Picnic Grove, this is only a temporary thing for the entrance. The closed off entrance is being used for construction and easy access to build Ragin Cajun.

For anyone that hasn't been to the park at all, or for a long time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with this park.

Come out and actually enjoy an SF park. :) *** Edited 5/3/2004 11:30:30 PM UTC by Chitown***

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

I agree, it was probably never seriously considered - but I have to imagine it's been at least chatted about (especially since the addition of SW Territory). Once again, probably not something that will happen - but I know I'd be a big fan if it did!

It will be interesting to see how Revolution's queue plays out - yesterday it did spill out on to the midway the couple of times we went on - although they were not utilizing all the zig-zags. Also, I forgot to mention that the ride did break down at least twice - once when I was on it (my first attempt at a ride). It started to rock back and forth, then JUST started to spin - then it stopped. They had us sit (strapped in) for a few minutes, then released the restraints and told everyone to get off because they were having "operations problems". Not sure how long it was down...but when we came back about an hour later, it was running just fine.

2 more rides added to my "too tall to ride" box. I guess I'll just go dunk and see things that everyone else can't. Bye ;)

Down is the new up.
Don't forget everyone...at one point in time there was a way to get "across" the park. there used to be a sky ride that went in that direction...the "Southern Cross". Actually they had two at one point...one went from the Condor area to where the Funnel Cake foundry is by Hometown square (was known as the "Delta Flyer / Eagles Flight"

Southern Cross went from the area where Roaring Rapids is now over Tidal Wave and to the general area where Chubasco sits today.

You are correct about Southern Cross, but it was round trip only - there was nothing in that area of the park at the time.

Did anyone else notice the other improvement at SFGAm this year - the missing car from Giant Drop has been returned and all 6 cars are now operational.

Mike *** Edited 5/4/2004 4:08:15 AM UTC by Riverview Mike***

Laugh your troubles away at Riverview, the world's largest amusement park.
A little off the subject here, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me when the bring a friend for free days are this year. I'm still pondering whether or not to get a season pass.

IBsteve said:
rue, the queue for Cajun isn't built yet but if the concrete pad that was poured is the only queue space, could be some spill over.

Though the queue rails are not yet up, Ragin' Cajun's queue is most definitely poured. It's tiny.

-Nate *** Edited 5/4/2004 5:27:15 AM UTC by coasterdude318***

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