Six Flags Great America - 08/11/06 - a GREAT experience????

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, August 12, 2006 12:05 PM
I’ve been reading trip reports for a long time and thought it would be a good time for me to contribute one myself.

We (a friend and I) checked into the Hyatt Deerfield (which apparently is Six Flags premier hotel partner) at around 9:30 pm on Thursday, August 12. Although the hotel is about 20 minutes from the park, there are many reasons to recommend the place: the rooms are BIG (they’re almost suite style with one ‘room’ designed to be a living area with couch, sofa, desk, and another ‘room’ with the beds), the rooms are cheap (the Hyatt offers a deal with six flags where you can get a room and 2 tickets for $149. – you can also get a room with 3, and 4 tickets too, the price goes up though - Given that ticket prices range from $45 to $55, it’s a great deal on the room), and for those who enjoy nice toiletries, the Hyatt has got them.

We left the hotel the next morning at around 8:30 AM and stopped at the IHOP on the way. We arrived at the park at 9:50. Although there was a line, we had our tickets ahead of time, so we weren’t too far back in line. As soon as the gates opened, we ran toward Superman and waited about 20 minutes for the ride.

Review of Superman : I had never been on a flyer before, so I was really excited. The restraints were surprisingly comfortable, and didn’t really mind the sensation of the harness holding my weight at such heights. As many have said and as much as I hoped those commentators were wrong, Superman is very gimmicky. I found little added thrill of flying and after the pretzel loop, I felt like B&M were at a loss of ideas and decided to fill up the rest of the ride with frilly stuff. The second time we rode, we rode up front, and I must say that the pretzel loop is much more intense at the front. Rating – 6/10

We left Superman and followed to buy Flash Passes. We both spent 15 dollars for four tickets. The park wasn’t very busy so I guess we didn’t need them, but I wanted to make sure we’d get everything in, especially since we only had one day. We left the flash pass office and got in line for Déjà Vu.

Review of Déjà Vu – The loading was ridiculously slow – the ops made clear that we were not to put our OTSRs down until instructed, yet over half of the train did so. We had managed to grab the second row so we could see quite well. I was surprised to see how high the front rows actually got on the first spike we ascended. I was also surprised to find that the restraints were much more comfortable on Déjà Vu than they were on Steel Venom (or I guess V2 at SFGA). The ride was a little shaky, but definitely not head banging. Our ascent of the second spike brought much more anticipation – the backwards trip was indeed somewhat disorienting. Despite some shakiness, best ride in the park 10/10.

We left Déjà Vu for Raging Bull. Since the line was using about half of its cue (cue is not the correct word, what is?), we decided to whip out our Flash Passes. We definitely got some bad looks from people as we entered. We grabbed the sixth row.

Review of Raging Bull – This was my first time on a B&M hyper, so everything was new. The restraints, first off, were amazing. They provided such freedom of movement, yet I felt totally safe leaning out the side of the car, as the train went down it’s third hill. The ride was definitely very fun, but 65 degrees just doesn’t provide any thrill anymore, and that was rather disappointing. Also, the train seemed to CRAWL around the top of the turnaround on the second hill. Finally, as many have mentioned the trim break on the top of the second hill is horrible – I don’t get its purpose. Fun ride, but little thrill 7/10.

From there we headed to Great American Scream Machine. I have never been a big fan of rough woodies, so I was unsure how it would do with me.

Review of GASM – we went on the red side. In order to avoid the bumpiness we sat as far away from the back as possible. Just coming out of the station, I knew this ride wouldn’t work well for me. It was extremely rough for just leaving the station. While I must say that the first drop did more for me than RB did, the overall ride experience was just too rough. Rating - 5/10.

We left GASM and headed for Iron Wolf. The ride seemed to be broken, but as I gained a better viewing angle, I saw that they were putting the second train on the track.

Review of Iron Wolf – I had never done a stand up before, so I thought it was important that I just get on the thing despite the rough (literally) reviews of the ride. The adjustable restraints were pretty cool, and I was very comfortable standing on the train while it wasn’t moving. The first drop out of the station wasn’t bad at all, so I started to hope you all were wrong. The drop off the lift wasn’t too bad, and the loop wasn’t too bad either, but as soon as we went into that turn around off the loop, I came to realize y’all were right. The ride was horribly bumpy, and the standing provided no added thrill, and after standing all day, I want to exert little effort to ride a coaster. I tried to brace myself for those lovely changes of direction, but my ears just wanted to make out too much with the OSTRs. Rating – 4/10.

We headed over to Batman. We skipped V2 since there was no reason to wait 30 or 40 minutes at Six Flags when we could wait 10 at ValleyFair (the homepark). I was pleasantly surprised to find that Six Flags actually had attempted some theming. It actually looked pretty good.

Review of Batman : As said above, the theming was pretty great (not as good as IOA or Disney, but it was pretty decent). We grabbed a spot in the fourth row. I have been on Dueling Dragons and found them to be pleasantly intense and fun rides. As I had heard, Batman is VERY intense. After the drop, the ride doesn’t really let up until after the second loop. I was somewhat disappointed in the zero-G roll because I didn’t float like I had on Montu, Talon, or Ice of DD. After the nice little turn around, the two corkscrews just whip riders around – my legs have never moved involuntarily on an inverted coaster. Rating – 8/10.

After that, we went on to Whizzer. Since the coaster was ‘saved,’ it had to be good, right? It looked really pretty in its forest like surroundings, so I thought it was worth a try.

Review of Whizzer : The circular lift was pretty cool, and I enjoyed how the coaster just ‘floated’ off the lift into the first drop. While the overall concept of the coaster was pretty great, the transitions were pretty bad, and I felt like every time the coaster went in or out of a banked turn, I was whipped in that direction. Fun, but didn’t bring a sense of ‘let’s do it again.’ Rating – 6/10.

After that we did some repeats, my body decided to get really sick after a third ride of Superman, so that kind of sucked. We didn’t need our last flash pass, so we sold it to a couple waiting in the long line for Superman at a nice discount (5 bucks for 2 instead of 7.50).

THE PARK : I have read from many reviewers that the Six Flags parks are dirty, and full of people who have no regard for their ‘common man.’ I have been to other SF parks (I haven’t been to SFGAdv though) and like SFGA, the park was CLEAN and I didn’t find any line jumpers. I saw many SF employees picking up, and maintaining the park. In addition, when I had questions, the two employees I talked to were quick to answer.

Overall Rating of park : 9/10

I did my best to have my comments steer clear of being prosaic, so I hope you all somewhat enjoyed my first TR. Thanks.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 12:27 PM
Good TR, but....there's no GASM at this park. It's the American Eagle.

No Viper? Also, I agree that Deja Vu is the best coaster in the park and that the park is clean and well-maintained. I had a very good visit the day before you went.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 1:18 PM
No Viper - I remember hearing mixed reviews about the coaster, so we skipped it.

Yeah, for some reason I associate GASM with that coaster. I'll try to remember its correct name.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 9:54 PM
I was about to say Kevin Max, how did they do a coaster in Georgia at SFGAM? That Flash Pass must really work well:) Viper was fine. It wasn't rough at all. I see you also missed Demon and Spacely Sprockets, unless either a) you're not credit whores or b) you just didn't care to ride them

What's important is that you came away with the same impression that gowithgravity and I did--that Deja Vu is the best coaster in the whole park! We actually didn't find the loading slow, it was just that some people (my friend included) didn't listen to the often-repeated loading instructions. He chalked it up to nerves and I don't blame him a bit.

I think it's a natural instinct for most people to pull down the harness automatically (see many flat rides where the harnesses come down automatically). It was even more difficult the second time we rode because a couple in front of us didn't speak very good English (if at all) and she kept pulling down the harness. As far as I can remember, the ops have to check the seatbelt first, and I think that would be difficult if the harness is down first.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:43 AM
Dude, you passed on Viper? Big mistake. You would have enjoyed it as it's nothing like American Eagle.

Glad you had fun though.

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