SFGA Travel Question

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:36 PM

I'm planning on flying to Chicago for a few days in mid July. What are my options of getting to Great America? It looks like the park is what 45 minutes out of town? I'm guessing that would make for a pretty expensive taxi ride to the park.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:51 PM

Check out Metra. It's the Chicago area's train system. They have a route that goes up to Waukegan. You can get off there and catch a PACE bus to the park.

Or rent a car. A taxi will be to expensive.


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

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 1:13 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

It's kinda hard for us to give you good advice if you aren't more specific with your travel details.

What airport do you arrive at? O'Hare is much closer to the park than Midway.

Are you staying at a hotel and if so, where? Have you called your hotel and asked them the best way to get to the park?

Are you old enough/able to rent a car? Its a waste of our time to suggest renting a car if you're under 25.

Did you bother to check SFGAm's website? (I'm guessing you did not) They have info & links on using public transportation.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:20 PM

Especially since sometimes hotels will have their own shuttle for the park. My friend is going to San Antonio this weekend, without getting a rental car, and his hotel has a shuttle for both Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:28 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar

The park is about 45 minutes from O'Hare let alone downtown chicago. Try to get a hotel that will take you there!


Favorite Woodies: Outlaw Run & Voyage Favorite Steel: Maverick & Diamondback Favorite Parks: Silver Dollar City & Busch Gardens Williamsburg

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:35 PM

Ok my virgin voyage trip to SFGAm did not happen yet. New plans are to drive and arrive to the park by opening time on Saturday August 15.


My new question is about the Flash Passes. I understand that the crowds there can be rather beast-like (especially on a Saturday). I've decided that a Flash Pass is happening but is the Gold worth the extra cash? I have only 1 full day at the park and want to get all the coasters in with a few rerides.

There's going to be 4 in my group, and I'm the only balls to the wall coaster enthus. If I bought a second FP could that be traded off between my lucky friends on alternate rides?

If I decide not buy the GFP or FP online and I'm there at open to buy one, do I really risk them selling out that early? I only ask because if the weather sucks I don't want to be stuck with paying for it.

Hey thanks again for all the help and tips!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:11 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Joel, we were at SFGAm a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed my GFP. I would not get one ahead of time. Just wait till you get there. If your a season pass holder there is a $10 discount. Get to the parking lot at least 30 minutes before opening. Then get your FP first.

The Flash Pass sales area is in the Hometown Square area. Be aware that American Eagle & Ragin' Cajun are not on the FP. Also American Eagle & Iron Wolf don't open till 11:00 am.

For us, Yes the GFP was well worth it. It was great getting to the ride and having the attendant clear us. Then we would put in another ride reservation and by the time we were off the ride we would be ready for our next one.

So here is my suggestion, Get the GFP, put in Batman the Ride and go hit Ragin' Cajun. From there work to the back in a clockwise direction. This way American Eagle will be open by the time you get back there.

Have Fun

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:55 PM
rollergator's avatar

I thought Dave said it really well in another thread: To paraphrase - if you have limited time, and are far from home at a park you've never visitied, and spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get there (planes, rental cars, hotels, food, etc.), it's not the time to be frugal when considering spending on an "enhanced experience".

The three SF parks I've found where I'd really suggest a first-timer consider a bot (Gold or otherwise) when visiting on a summer weekend - especially a Saturday: SFGAm, SFGAdv, SFNE.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:56 PM

To answer your other question. You can put two people on one Q-bot. It is cheaper than buying two individual bots. That way you can bring yourself and whoever else you want to be your riding partner. The park does not care who goes with you. For that matter you could hand your bot to two of your friends and they could ride without you! Gold is going to be the way to go if your going on Saturday 8/15, crowds have not yet slowed down by that date yet, especially if you want re-rides.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:02 PM

Thanks everyone. Guess I'm going for the gold and have some what of a better plan now!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:12 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

One more pc of advice that we did not do. Get your re-rides in right away rather then hitting everything once and then doing re-rides. The ones that we felt warranted re-rides were Batman the Ride, Ragging Bull & Superman - Ultimate Flight. Some may add Viper to the list but for us it was just OK.

This will give you more ride time & less walking.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:27 PM

The three SF parks I've found where I'd really suggest a first-timer consider a bot (Gold or otherwise) when visiting on a summer weekend - especially a Saturday: SFGAm, SFGAdv, SFNE.

Gator, I respectfully DISAGREE with you on needing at 'bot at SFNE. I was there on July 5th, and didn't need one AT ALL, even for Bizarro. I just may have gotten lucky.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 6:38 PM

Just wanted to say thanks to Dave and everyone else who gave me SFGAm tips. The trip was amazing and the GFP helped me soak it all up multiple times. I was very very impressed with the park and had a wonderful trip! THANKS!

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Monday, August 17, 2009 8:27 AM

^Glad you had a good trip! Also, good to know the GFP came in handy. I usually always get it whenever I go to a SF park, and to this day after 12 Great Adventure visits, I still have no idea where the GP entrance is for Kingda Ka!? (since I've used GFP or VIP for every trip)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:13 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Glad to have been a help.

One problem we found with the GFP, it that they are addictive. We just got back from SFGAdv with a GFP. I was talking to someone that was in line behind me. They waited 1 1/2 for BtR, we had a 2 train wait.


Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:30 PM

^Again, as someone who's never queued for a ride really at GAdv, admit, Dave that BtR queue looked cramped and hot!!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:44 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

We were told by several people how much of a rip off the FP or GFP were. Then I told them we drove 600 miles to the park and spent over $500 for a long weekend. Then it clicked for them that it was wise to spend the $$$ since we won't be back to SFGAdv next week like many locals might.


Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:15 AM

^Yeah, Dave, do you realize how lucky Philly people have it?! GAdv, Dorney, and Hershey all within a quick and quite morning's drive.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009 9:27 AM

^ You forgot Knoebel's :-\


--George H

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