Laaaaaadies and Gentlemen.....It’s been over six months, and the moment I’ve been waiting for has arrived: Six Flags Great America is open for the 2007 season! It seems like just yesterday I was leaving Fright Fest for the last time, and now here I am back in the thick of things.
My brother Joe and I have been waiting for this day for quite some time. While some may have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo, we celebrated Opening Day at Great America. We got in the park at 10 when they opened, and there really wasn’t any wait to get in, as they opened the gates earlier for the crowd. The first thing Joe and I did was activate our Season Passes. We waited for about 20 minutes to get our passes, probably one of the longest waits we would encounter at the park.
After getting our passes, we headed toward Triple Play, a ride that was dismantled last season. I don’t recall when I rode this ride last, as it may have been several years ago. We then headed to The Orbit to get a little flipped up.
Since it was so close by, Demon was our first coaster of the season. Nothing like some good loops and corkscrews to bring that classic steel coaster flavor. Then we headed for the Southwest Territory to ride Raging Bull. The line was out to the entrance but not wrapped around inside, so it moved pretty fast. Since it had been a while since we’d fallen 200 feet, we also hit up Giant Drop. We closed out with Viper before heading to the car for some much-needed nourishment.
After lunch, we planned on riding the Columbia Carousel for a nice and easy digestion session, but the ride was closed at the time. So, we settled for Condor, not giving our food a chance to settle itself. Try this: have a ham and turkey sandwich and spin 30 mph at 100 feet. It’s fun!! We then rode some simpler rides, Big Easy Balloons and Jester’s Wild Ride.
Since the line for Batman was filled inside, and later the line would lighten up, we headed to V2 for a reasonable wait. We then spun on the Fiddler’s Fling and skipped Iron Wolf because we weren’t ready for whiplash like that quite yet. It’s better to wait until later to crack your skull.
Revolution was running as expected, which was on the way to the coaster as old as I am, American Eagle. After suffering the pendulum’s g-force, we broke out on the red side of Eagle. Nearing the chain lift, I noticed that the blue side’s chain wasn’t moving. As we caught the track, the blue train only went as far as the short dip would allow it to rise. So while they were stuck a train’s length from the bottom, about 30-40 feet up, we continued on with our race and, you guessed it, we won!! They were still at the "starting line" when we finished. We all laughed and pointed fingers, going up and coming back in. That’s not nice.
Eagle eventually had the blue train running by the time we were exiting the line. Again, because of the proximity of great coasters, we went for return tickets to Demon and The Orbit. We went back to the Southwest Territory to see about Raging Bull or Viper again, but the lines weren’t worth it. We did end up riding Chubasco, a nasty, make-you-chuke kind of teacup ride. But we’ve never chuked at Great America, or from any ride for that matter.
Exiting the congested territory, Joe mentioned that we should ride Great America Raceway. This is a classic kind of ride in which antique-looking cars let riders, many of whom are or are with children, steer around a track, fixed in a way that the car cannot reach the curbs. This gave Joe the best inspiration of the day.
Located under the nearby tent, where the Eagle’s line used to be, is Wiggles World, a new area designed for young children. Joe saw a kiddie version of the car ride, Big Red Cars, and suggested we ride it. Well, if I want to ride EVERY ride in the park this season, I guess this one is included. Riding was embarrassing at first because the Eagle exit line overlooks parts of the track. So while all these hot girls and their boyfriends were laughing, I was giving them a double thumbs-up with a huge smile on my face. Yeah, I’M the one with the guts to go on a kiddie ride. I hope they were laughing FOR us and not AT us. But the laughs have only begun.
Another ride was Big Red Planes, and by now, I could handle anything. The planes had a button to make the spinning ride’s arms go up and down, and we "flew" like we did at carnivals or Santa’s Village when we were kids. But the best ride we rode was Dorothy’s Rosy Red Teacups. I mean the best at the park, all day. Sure, Raging Bull and Giant Drop exceed 200 feet, and V2 is 65 mph in a second, but these kiddie teacups can get you the most nauseous of any ride at the park. When the ride was slowing down, I had no sense of where the exit for the ride was, let alone the door of my pink mini-teacup. The ride came to a slow, and I couldn’t tell when we were actually stopped until I saw what resembled Joe walk from his cup.
The other rides were closed for the Wiggles’ costumed performance, so we followed through to ride Iron Wolf, a coaster Joe says you can’t go to Great America and NOT ride. And just for yuks, we rode the kiddie coaster, Spacely’s Sprocket Rockets.
We put the kiddie rides aside and headed for Batman. Oh, how I remember those killer loops and inversions. Though Batman’s a short ride, it packs so much punch. Near Batman is Whirligig, the classic swings. Joe and I rode yet another kind of ride from our youth. We then headed towards Orleans Place to see a possible nighttime parade.
We hit King Chaos, which you also can’t NOT ride, but you also hate to succumb to the restraint bars that crush your guts and their neighbors. We then took one more spin on Condor to get some blood pumping.
Figuring we had time if there would be a parade, we finally went to ride Columbia Carousel. Joe had been eyeing a green dragon on the lower half of the ride, but some kid was already on it. He picked a creature that had the tail of a fish and the upper body of a horse. The ride began and Joe was yelling, "What the...aw, man!" His horse apparently didn’t go up and down because it was on the outside of the ride. I’m going up and down on a classic Great America ride watching my brother just sit there with a look of disappointment and rage on his face.
We headed toward Triple Play, which would be our last ride before the parade, and then Superman would close our night. I noticed we hadn’t ridden Hometown Fun Machine, a Scrambler. We rode that and then decided it would be best to skip Triple Play and head back near Superman to see the parade. Only, there was no parade. They must start later in the season. We lined up for Superman to close our night, but we had a glitch in the process.
The ride was down when we entered the line, but it didn’t matter since we had confidence it would be up and running before closing time. It ran again until Joe and I were three rides from getting on. We waited for about 10 minutes, and we decided not to stay to see if it would get fixed or maybe break down when we were on it.
So we started off the 2007 Season at Six Flags Great America with Triple Play, a ride closed all last season, and we ended off our day with Hometown Fun Machine, a...er...um...a Scrambler...like at county fairs. I can say I’ve never called that my last ride of the day, even though it wasn’t planned like that. Always a new experience at Six Flags Great America.
Many more to come,
Jiggidy James said:
Trip Report 1 with Joe 5-5-07
Laaaaaadies and Gentlemen.....It’s been over six months,
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