Six Flags Great America - 6/6/05

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 10:56 AM
Monday, June 6th was my first trip to Six Flags Great America of 2005, and marked the first time I’ve purchased a season pass In 4 years. I actually purchased a 1 day admission, then instantly “upgraded” to the pass for an additional $39 (which saved me about 15 bucks or so).

It was mostly sunny, hot, and a bit humid, with highs in the upper 80s, possibly hitting 90 degrees.

Here are some observations:

THE RIDES...

DÉJÀ VU – Closed for the day. I saw it running on Sunday from the highway, so I’m guessing they just didn’t feel like dealing with it on a slower Monday, as the park seemed fairly understaffed (this is just speculation, but makes sense I suppose)

Rating: n/a

KING CHAOS – My first ride of the day, and I’m glad I chose there morning to give it try, as it was closed by late afternoon. This top-spin runs a fairly weak program, in my opinon. There are an intense series of filps at the beginning, but then the ride inexplicably shuffles to a dull conclusion in it’s 2nd half. Not worth waiting for more than a walk-on in it’s current state.

Rating: 5/10

RAGIN’ CAJUN – The line was short, but the queue time was still about 20 minutes. I’ve discovered that the wait time is approximately 10 minutes f or each switchback. I really enjoy this intense little spinning mouse coaster. It’s a great addition to the park, despite it’s low capacity.

Rating: 7.5/10

IRON WOLF – This was the surprise of the day. I was very hesitant to even give this Stand-Up another chance, as the roughness & headbanging I’ve experienced the past few years has made me want to re-theme the coaster “Million Dollar Baby: The Ride”. I chose the 2nd row, far right, and am pleased to report that I had my most enjoyable ride on this once great machine since the early 90s. I don’t know if they refurbished the trains or track, but whatever Six Flags did, it seemed to work.

My only complaint was that at the very end of the ride, somewhere during the last turn, I got hit in the face with a small tree branch. I probably should have reported this to one of the ride-ops or guest services, but I wasn’t seriously hurt, so I didn’t want to cause I fuss. Still, I think the park should seriously consider trimming some of the trees that come close to the track. There simply isn’t enough clearance.

Rating: 7/10 (.5 penalty for getting smacked between the eyes)

DEMON

20 minute in mid-day wait due to a 5 minute breakdown. Other than the fact that some of the effects in the tunnels weren’t functioning, this classic arrow is still running just as well as it did in the 80s.

Rating: 7.5/10

GIANT DROP

Even though I’ve been visiting SFGam almost every year since I was in Jr. High, I never gave this Intamin drop tower a shot. I used to have a terrible fear of these sorts of rides, but I managed to overcome that uneasiness after experiencing Cedar Point’s Power Tower back in 2003. This isn’t nearly as tall, but seemed scarier somehow… perhaps because it’s older technology. We waited a good 30 to 40 minutes, as 2 of the cars didn’t seem to be working.

Rating: 6.5

WHIZZER

Another classic. The wait mid-day was perhaps 5 or 6 trains at most. Not terribly exciting, but still reasonably fun. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had a date. ;)

Rating: 6.5

SUPERMAN: ULTIMATE FLIGHT

I got in line by myself while my friends went on Ice Mountain Splash & Roaring Rapids (I’m not really a fan of water rides). What looked like a 20 to 25 minute wait ended up taking about an hour due to a 20 minute breakdown and the removal of a train, leading to a painfully slow, 1 train operation for what I believe was the remainder of the day. The Back seat, far left is still the best experience on this flying coaster – more intense g-forces during the pretzel element & scary face-chopper effects. I was entertained by the group of 15 year old girls in my row, screaming & shouting “oh my GAWD! This the greatest thing I’ve ever done! We’ve gotta come back again when we can drive ourselves”.

Ah, youth!

Raiting: 8/10 (.5 penalty for the extended breakdown)

RAGING BULL

15 minute wait for the back seat. I love, love, LOVE this coaster, and my affection for it hasn’t diminished. The lift now provides a great view of Hurricane Harbor (more on that later) and there is still plenty of nice, floater airtime to be had, despite the trims that everyone seems to complain about. The crew was lightning fast. A great experience all around.

Raiting: 10/10

V2: VERTICAL VELOCITY
After 5:00pm, the park seemed to clear out a bit, so our wait for the 2nd row was only about 5 or 6 cycles. The initial launch wasn’t particularly powerful, but the other trips up the spike were intense, seeming to nearly make it all the way to the top of the spiral on the 2nd and 3rd passes. V2 is running a bit rougher this year for some reason, but it didn’t detract too much. I still love the reactions of first time riders on this impulse. The view over water on the vertical spike makes this coaster my favorite of its kind that I’ve ridden thus far.

Rating: 9/10

BATMAN: THE RIDE

1 ride in back & 1 in front – both were fantastic and intense. Sure, this thing has been cloned repeatedly, but the design is superb and relatively compact, so it’s easy to see why. Considering that this was the very first B&M invert, it’s remarkable how well it’s held up over the past decade.

Rating: 9/10

AMERICAN EAGLE: RED

Got the last train of the night (blue side was closed for the day). I was pleased to discover that there were virtually no trims breaks at the top of the helix, which made for one of my best rides in years. This coaster is very moody – it can either achieve greatness or deliver somewhat lackluster rides. I was fortunate to have an above average experience this time around.

Rating: 8

VIPER:

Running, but saw it stuck on the lift when I passed by, so I decided to save it for next week.

Rating: n/a

SPACELY’S SPROCKET ROCKETS

It’s a cute kidde coaster, but I simply wasn’t in the mood to kill time on this thing to day. I do love the on-ride photo I got last year, however.

Rating: n/a


OTHER OBSERVATIONS...

As I mentioned before, the park seemed understaffed today (not enough security, as kids were line jumping all over the place, especially in line for Superman). I suppose this is to be expected for an early June weekday, and it didn’t really cause me any grief.

The season pass processing staff was extremely efficient as were the crew on most coasters, with major shouts out to the Bull & Batman crews.

BEST MUSIC OF THE DAY:

Hearing the Gabriel & Dresden remix of Tiesto's "In My Memory" while waiting in line for Batman. Very cool.

WORST MUSIC OF THE DAY:

the 10 times I had to hear Vengaboys "We Like To Party" (The "Mr. Six" theme, for those of you who don't know). Some idiot in the parking lot was actually blasting it from his or her car stereo. Too funny.

Now, for the new stuff….

HURRICANE HARBOR is simply beautiful. I didn’t bring a swimsuit, so I haven’t tried any of the slides, lazy river, or pools yet, but I found myself wanting to, and I’m not particularly fond of swimming or water parks. The landscaping and theming are looking great so far, and everyone appeared to be having a terrific time.

This expansion really transforms SFGam from a great regional park in to a true, multi-day tourist experience. Sure, I personally would have preferred a large, floorless mega-looper for 2005, but I see now that adding this attraction makes far more sense from a business perspective. Still, it would be sweet to have a huge steel coaster snaking around the perimeter of this of this new section. I’m curious to see what the next few years bring.

I’ll be returning park next Monday, June 13th. Several of my friends want to go for “Gay Day”, so I figure I’ll tag along. Hopefully Déjà vu will be running then.

I’m also planning trips to PKI (for Italian Job: Stunt Track) & Mt. Olympus (for Hades) as soon possible, with perhaps a road trip in late summer to experience Kinda Ka @ SFGad.

Until next time...

*** Edited 6/7/2005 3:09:06 PM UTC by djgreghaus***

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 11:28 AM
I'm curious what type of coaster we'll see next here. Floorless coasters, to me, seem no different than sit-downs. Its been ten years since we've added a wood coaster. I'm for that. Unfortunately, I think next year will only bring a "tornado" water slide, which is cool, but its time for another coaster.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 12:22 PM
I agree with Kevin that Floorless coasters are virtually no different than regular sit-downs (with the exception of the front seat), but they are high-capacity, exciting, & generally smooth rides - something that SFGam could certainly use. A unique layout would also be beneficial, as their last 4 coaster installations (Superman, Deja Vu, V2, & Ragin Cajun) can be experienced at other parks.

Personally, I am very pleased with the variety of rollercoasters that they offer, but a tall, epic modern sit-down looper (of any sort) would just make the park seem more complete in my opinion.

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Thursday, June 9, 2005 10:13 PM

Kevin Max said:
I'm curious what type of coaster we'll see next here. Floorless coasters, to me, seem no different than sit-downs. Its been ten years since we've added a wood coaster. I'm for that. Unfortunately, I think next year will only bring a "tornado" water slide, which is cool, but its time for another coaster.

Six Flags likes to spoil its flagship parks. Remember that.

Nice Trip report though! Yeah, the park was understaffed which hindered DejaVu from opening. Isn't the waterpark great though? I highly reccomend that you go and try out the slides. Great fun to be had!

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Thursday, June 9, 2005 11:39 PM
djgreghaus: If we go with steel, i'd like to see a big intamin, but that probably won't happen as it'll be seen as too much like RB.

And why do they close the most popular ride if they are understaffed? Why not close Demon instead? Few people would be upset about that.

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Friday, June 10, 2005 12:32 AM

djgreghaus said:


GIANT DROP

Even though I’ve been visiting SFGam almost every year since I was in Jr. High, I never gave this Intamin drop tower a shot. I used to have a terrible fear of these sorts of rides, but I managed to overcome that uneasiness after experiencing Cedar Point’s Power Tower back in 2003. This isn’t nearly as tall, but seemed scarier somehow… perhaps because it’s older technology. We waited a good 30 to 40 minutes, as 2 of the cars didn’t seem to be working.


Giant Drop is actually only a 13 foot shorter drop (240ft vs 227ft)

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Friday, June 10, 2005 9:31 AM
Wow... I thought Giant Drop was under 200 ft for some reason. It didn't look any taller than Deja Vu to me. Thanks for the info, Raging_Bull.

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Friday, June 10, 2005 10:47 AM
I'd like to see a giga. But two things prevent this from happening, 1. The gurnee mayor won't allow it. 2. The park really doesn't have the room. I was at the park on june 8th. Park was beyond packed. Two freinds and I jus stayed in the water park for 2 hrs. I love the water park. Great America has neded this for the last 4 years. Wave pool is Very fun. Didn't get to try any of the slides as a storm was moving in so we left right before it hit. Lazy river was fun too, but They only let u go around once. We went around twice only because we said that we jus got on.
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