Wednesday, June 14, 2000 6:49 PM
I was in Chicago for "business" so I figured it would be a good time to spend a few hours in Six Flags Great America. The weather was ugly, and flying on a 50-seat Continental Express jet through Midwest thunderstorms was the ride I could do without. Couple this with having to deal with O'Hare, the worlds most ridiculous airport (and where the NTSB used an example of runway incursions as a growing problem), and you've got a day where your nerves are shot and you need some coasting!
My car rental, a Sunfire, was a real piece of junk (like most Pontiacs), but with tax, gas and everything it was only $35. Parking at SFGAm was an insane $8, but I was parked in the second row with no cars behind me when I arrived at 1:30 or so. Looked like I'd get most of the park to myself, and I was pretty much right.
The double carousel is gorgeous. Wow. Right then I felt my experience would be different from the other Six Flags parks I've been to (SFO, SFDL and SFA). Further roaming confirmed this. I frequently saw sweeps cleaning up after guests, shops and food operations were clean and the themes were well executed, especially in the Southwest Territory area. Food was on the expensive side, but most of it was pretty good. All of the coasters were open except Whizzer (and I was reeeeally looking forward to riding something Schwarzkopf that wasn't a Wildcat), even in the pouring rain. There were a lot of flat rides closed, but most of the more unusal rides were open. I would have liked to see that odd ferris wheel thing in motion. On to the coasters...
Raging Bull: It sure is pretty, and fits surprisingly well in to that area of the park. I don't want to say it was disappointing, because I really loved it, but it wasn't what I was expecting after riding Apollo's Chariot last weekend. There are a couple of moments of nice airtime, but most of it feels like a series of long, slow turns. And what's the story on that brake going UP the third hill? It effective礀 欀椀氀氀猀 琀栀攀 愀椀爀 椀渀 琀栀攀 戀愀挀欀 猀攀愀琀⸀ 䤀 昀漀甀渀搀 琀栀攀 昀爀漀渀琀 琀漀 戀攀 洀甀挀栀 戀攀琀琀攀爀⸀ 䤀琀✀猀 愀 最漀漀搀 爀椀搀攀Ⰰ 眀椀琀栀 愀 挀氀攀瘀攀爀 氀愀礀漀甀琀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 椀琀 樀甀猀琀 氀愀挀欀攀搀 猀漀洀攀琀栀椀渀最⸀ 䤀 栀愀搀 漀渀攀 氀愀瀀 椀渀 琀栀攀 昀爀漀渀琀Ⰰ 漀渀攀 椀渀 琀栀攀 戀愀挀欀⸀ 刀椀搀椀渀最 琀栀攀 琀眀漀 眀椀琀栀椀渀 愀 眀攀攀欀 漀昀 攀愀挀栀 漀琀栀攀爀Ⰰ 䤀 栀愀瘀攀 琀漀 猀愀礀 䤀 攀渀樀漀礀攀搀 䄀瀀漀氀氀漀✀猀 猀琀爀愀椀最栀琀ⴀ昀漀爀眀愀爀搀 漀甀琀ⴀ愀渀搀ⴀ戀愀挀欀 猀琀礀氀攀 戀攀琀琀攀爀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀嘀椀瀀攀爀㨀 圀漀眀℀ 䠀漀眀 挀漀漀氀 椀猀 琀栀椀猀 爀椀搀攀℀㼀 䤀猀 椀琀 愀氀眀愀礀猀 琀栀椀猀 椀渀琀攀渀猀攀 漀爀 眀愀猀 椀琀 樀甀猀琀 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 椀琀 眀愀猀 眀攀琀㼀 吀栀攀 氀愀猀琀 琀椀洀攀 䤀 最漀琀 琀栀愀琀 洀甀挀栀 愀椀爀 眀愀猀 漀渀 嘀椀氀氀愀椀渀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 椀琀 眀愀猀渀✀琀 渀攀愀爀氀礀 愀猀 漀甀琀 漀昀 挀漀渀琀爀漀氀 愀猀 琀栀椀猀⸀ 伀搀搀 栀漀眀 琀栀攀礀 愀氀洀漀猀琀 猀琀漀瀀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀 愀琀 琀栀攀 琀漀瀀 漀昀 琀栀攀 栀椀氀氀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 猀琀椀氀氀 愀 最爀攀愀琀 爀椀搀攀⸀ 伀渀攀 氀愀瀀 椀渀 琀栀攀 昀爀漀渀琀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䐀攀洀漀渀㨀 䄀爀爀漀眀 氀漀漀瀀攀爀Ⰰ 戀攀攀渀 琀栀攀爀攀Ⰰ 搀漀渀攀 琀栀愀琀⸀ 吀眀漀 瘀攀爀琀椀挀愀氀猀 愀渀搀 琀眀漀 挀漀爀欀猀挀爀攀眀猀⸀ 䤀 眀椀氀氀 猀愀礀 琀栀愀琀 琀栀椀猀 漀渀攀 眀愀猀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 猀洀漀漀琀栀 昀漀爀 椀琀猀 愀最攀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䄀洀攀爀椀挀愀渀 䔀愀最氀攀㨀 䤀 昀椀渀愀氀氀礀 昀漀甀渀搀 愀 猀氀漀眀攀爀Ⰰ 氀攀猀猀 椀渀琀攀爀攀猀琀椀渀最 爀椀搀攀 琀栀愀渀 䴀攀愀渀 匀琀爀攀愀欀℀ 䴀礀 昀椀爀猀琀 椀洀瀀爀攀猀猀椀漀渀 眀愀猀Ⰰ ∀䤀琀✀猀 愀 琀爀愀椀渀 眀椀琀栀 眀椀渀最猀℀∀ 圀栀愀琀✀猀 琀栀攀 猀琀漀爀礀 眀椀琀栀 琀栀攀 昀氀愀瀀猀 漀渀 琀栀攀 猀椀搀攀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀猀㼀 吀栀攀礀 琀爀椀洀 琀栀攀 栀攀氀氀 漀甀琀 漀昀 琀栀椀猀 琀栀椀渀最 攀瘀攀爀礀 挀栀愀渀挀攀 琀栀攀礀 最攀琀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 洀愀渀 搀漀攀猀 椀琀 猀焀甀攀愀氀 漀渀 琀栀攀 甀氀琀爀愀ⴀ猀氀漀眀 栀攀氀椀砀⸀ 圀栀愀琀 愀 猀氀攀攀瀀攀爀⸀ 䄀渀漀琀栀攀爀 戀攀愀甀琀椀昀甀氀 猀琀爀甀挀琀甀爀攀 琀栀愀琀 搀漀攀猀渀✀琀 搀攀氀椀瘀攀爀 洀甀挀栀 漀昀 愀渀礀琀栀椀渀最⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䤀爀漀渀 圀漀氀昀㨀 䤀 愀挀琀甀愀氀氀礀 眀愀椀琀攀搀 愀戀漀甀琀 ㈀㔀 洀椀渀甀琀攀猀 昀漀爀 琀栀椀猀 漀渀攀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀 昀爀漀渀琀 ⠀愀渀搀 眀漀甀氀搀渀✀琀 礀漀甀 欀渀漀眀 椀琀 琀栀攀 爀愀椀渀 最漀琀 眀漀爀猀攀⤀⸀ 吀栀椀猀 琀栀椀渀最 栀愀猀 琀栀攀 甀最氀椀攀猀琀 䈀☀䴀 琀爀愀椀渀猀 䤀✀瘀攀 攀瘀攀爀 猀攀攀渀⸀ 圀栀椀氀攀 眀愀椀琀椀渀最Ⰰ 䤀 渀漀琀椀挀攀搀 猀攀瘀攀爀愀氀 氀椀琀琀氀攀 攀渀栀愀渀挀攀洀攀渀琀猀 琀漀 琀栀攀 猀琀愀渀搀ⴀ甀瀀 愀渀搀 最攀渀攀爀愀氀 䈀☀䴀 搀攀猀椀最渀 猀椀渀挀攀 琀栀椀猀 氀椀琀琀氀攀 爀椀搀攀 眀愀猀 戀甀椀氀琀⸀ 䤀 眀椀氀氀 猀愀礀 琀栀愀琀 琀栀攀 戀漀砀ⴀ氀椀欀攀 琀爀愀椀渀猀 眀攀爀攀 愀挀琀甀愀氀氀礀 瘀攀爀礀 最漀漀搀 昀漀爀 昀攀攀琀 爀漀漀洀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 椀琀 眀愀猀 愀 氀漀琀 攀愀猀椀攀爀 琀漀 猀琀愀渀搀ⴀ甀瀀 猀琀爀愀椀最栀琀 挀漀洀瀀愀爀攀搀 琀漀 䴀愀渀琀椀猀 攀瘀攀渀 椀渀 愀渀 漀甀琀猀椀搀攀 猀攀愀琀⸀ 吀栀攀 爀椀搀攀 椀猀 焀甀椀挀欀 愀渀搀 椀渀琀攀渀猀攀 眀椀琀栀 猀漀洀攀眀栀愀琀 猀洀愀氀氀攀爀 瘀攀爀猀椀漀渀猀 漀昀 洀漀猀琀 猀琀愀渀搀愀爀搀 䈀☀䴀 攀氀攀洀攀渀琀猀⸀ 䰀漀琀猀 漀昀 昀甀渀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 䤀 眀漀甀氀搀 栀愀瘀攀 搀漀渀攀 椀琀 愀最愀椀渀 椀昀 琀栀攀礀 眀攀爀攀渀✀琀 猀琀愀挀欀椀渀最 琀栀攀 琀眀漀 琀爀愀椀渀猀 猀攀瘀攀渀 洀椀渀甀琀攀猀 愀瀀愀爀琀⸀㰀戀爀㸀㰀戀爀㸀䈀愀琀洀愀渀㨀 吀栀攀 刀椀搀攀㨀 䤀 眀愀猀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 氀漀漀欀椀渀最 昀漀爀眀愀爀搀 琀漀 琀栀椀猀℀ 圀栀愀琀 愀 最爀攀愀琀 氀漀漀欀椀渀最 猀琀愀琀椀漀渀 愀猀 琀栀攀 ∀䈀愀琀 䌀愀瘀攀⸀∀ 嘀攀爀礀 眀攀氀氀 攀砀攀挀甀琀攀搀 琀栀攀洀攀 漀渀 愀渀搀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀栀椀猀 爀椀搀攀⸀ 䰀椀欀攀 䤀爀漀渀 圀漀氀f, what it lacks in height and length it makes up for in sheer intensity. Far more intense in the back right than Raptor.
Shockwave: The first drop made me think of Kennywood's Steel Phantom, which was a good thing. It was the rest of the ride that made me nervous. Wasn't one Arrow looper enough? It's funny that the ride is literally placed in a parking lot, and feels like a big waste of space. Why didn't Arrow ever figure out that making their loops larger, instead of higher, would be a good idea? As it turns out, the only collar bone-buster is the transition in to the mid-course block, where it's braked hard. Other than that, it's fairly smooth, but incredibly boring.
Overall, I was in the park for four hours and had a great time, even by myself. It was just what I needed after getting out of O'Hare, and three B&M's in one park is a beautiful cure for what ails you.
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Wednesday, June 14, 2000 10:20 PM
I've noticed that the shockwave has gotten rougher in the past few years, or at least it feels like it.
Thursday, June 15, 2000 6:28 PM
Viper is always pretty intense, rain just makes it better. Glad you had a good time at my home park.
Thursday, June 15, 2000 11:07 PM
Sounds like you liked this Six Flags the best out of all the ones you have been to. You can thank the excellent theming in the park by Marriot (except for Southwest territory which is also well themed.) Its to bad the Eagle was heavily braked because when it runs at a full clip it is a great ride. It used to be one of the best woodies back in the 80s but the park has made it only half as fun as it used to be. You mentioned why the park would build another Arrow looper referring to Shockwave. Back then when it was built (1988) it was the tallest and fastest and was built before the "Hypercoaster" generation so it was considered back then a must ride coaster. However todays standards make this ride just average. Glad you enjoyed Batman and Viper alot. 2 great coasters. Since you have been on Hyper coasters and now a Giga-coaster I didnt expect you to think Raging Bull was going to be your favorite but you have to admit it is one cool creation and an awesome experience. Next time you visit, avoid the headaches with Ohare and fly into Midway airport.
Friday, June 16, 2000 6:49 AM
ya, but midway is in the ghetto
3 MF rides:
3-2, 5-1, 9-2
Saturday, June 17, 2000 3:27 PM
Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike Bull, but I guess it was just hyped to death so much last year that I was expecting more. When comparing layouts, I thought Jerry Flemming (a.k.a., "Magnum Candyman") was crazy when he said Apollo is better.
If I had to guess, most of the drops on Bull have transitions that are too gentle. Compare to the third hill, which is nearly a point, so the change in direction is quick. Many of the other drops kind of ease in from the turn, eliminating that popping air that's all over Apollo.
Like I said, I don't dislike the ride, and I'd gladly accept it in my back yard, I just thought there would be more too it. I sort of enjoyed Batman and Iron Wolf more (since we're talking about B&M).
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Saturday, June 24, 2000 5:49 PM
I just got back from SFGAm, and to make a long story short, I tend to agree with Jeff's TR.
Except for Iron Wolf. While I found it to be extremly intense, I thought the transitions to be way too bumpy, my head felt like it was in the middle of a tennis match. But you take what your given on such a tiny footprint.
Viper, Viper, Viper! I can't get enough of this ride. I think I enjoyed this one better from the back. Countless "headchoppers" and airtime galore kept me comparing this one all day long.
Having not been on the Chariot yet, I loved da BULL! Especially in the back. A SFGAm veteran sat in the back with us and told us up the long lift (spoiled by MF!) to stick your legs and arms out throughout the ride, makes you feel like flying. This improved the [excellent] ride tenfold!
Batman The Ride. Excellent. Fast, tight and excellent themeing. The ride op when directing people in the queue to move to the right for the front seat kept saying things like, "...Thank you, This is Batman [Alfred]- over and out" There was just one thing bothering me in the queue. I noticed on the grafitti wall a certain jibe painted in bright pink- "what's the point?"
By the way, the Whizzer is a nice little coaster that gains some speed and has tight turns. Just like a wildcat, only with bobsled-type trains.
I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?