Trip Report 5/16: Six Flags Great America

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 18, 2006 8:55 PM
I am not going to go into incredible detail on my day at the park since the NBA Finals game 5 (Go Mavs!) starts soon, but I rode almost all of the roller coasters and did a few of the flats. Basically, I will give my brief opinion on the roller coasters, then compare the Pros and Cons of the park, then finally give my final opinion of the park.

Roller Coasters (Order in which we rode them)

Vertical Velocity = Fun ride that is slightly better than Cedar Point's Wicked Twister (I greatly enjoyed the breaks holding the car on the straight spike). However, I have no motives to ride another Impulse coaster for a while.

American Eagles = A giant racer that isn't half bad. A good first drop and a few seconds of airtime save this from being a total dud. The second half (the helices and on) is a waste. A decent ride, but the space could be used with another, newer woodie.

Deja Vu = Surprisingly smooth Vekoma. Very fast, very intense, very fun. Capacity sucks and breaks down often.

Raging Bull = Awesome first drop and turn are ruined by hill breaks and mis-course breaks that slow the ride down considerably. The ride slowly makes its way through the course with nothing the matches the first part of the ride. Decent ride, but I have a feeling that this sucker used to be great.

Viper = Great wooden coaster. I know it is supposed to be a variation of the Coney Island Cyclone, but throughout the ride, I kept calling it the mini-Texas Giant (my favorite woodie). Great, great ride.

Whizzer = Very unique and fun coaster that turned out to be far more thrilling than I originally thought (I expected a small mine train ride).

Superman: Ultimate Flight = Maybe it was the sensation of "flying" being new to me, but this ride was a blast to ride. The two loops at the start of the ride are very intense, and the rest of it is pure bliss. My favorite ride of the park. Very smooth, and an excellent concept to use for a Superman ride.

Batman: The Ride = Had to ride the first Batman. Always fun. Seemed faster than the one at SFoT. Great color scheme.

Iron Wolf = Ouch. A rough stand-up coaster. It's a shame too, because the layout is actually well-done, but it is always a bad sign when your nuts hurt just as much as your head.

Demon = Decently themed Arrow coaster. Surprisingly smooth. My favorite Arrow corkscrew is Canyon Blaster at Circus Circus Adventuredome.

Flat Rides

Marvin the Martian in the 3rd Dimension = unfunny Looney Tunes 3-D show that wastes the 3D technology by using it to add depth to the picture instead of relying on 3-D gimmicks (I love them gimmicks).

Giant Drop = Just like the Hellavator at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and this brand of free-fall rides happen to be my favorite, even over S&S ones.

Dare Devil Drop = Skycoaster. I have always loved skycoasters, though at $20 (double rider), my wallet felt the pain.

Pros

-Enthusiastic staff, made my day better

-Great workout

-Very clean

-Good assortment of flat and water rides, coasters

-Engineers fix rides up fairly quickly

-I think I saw Mark Shapiro. He was wearing a suite and tie, looked like a VIP guest, had a few SF employees following him, and had a nametag that said "Mark".

Cons

-Expensive

-Bad shows

-Bad food

-Rides break down often

-Takes a while to get from one end of the park to another

The Park

-4/5

-One of the best-run Six Flags parks

-A collection of gimmicky coasters (Impulse, Super Boomerang, Flying...)

-Lines move fairly quickly

-Many "Cool Zone" areas

-Second favorite Six Flags park, behind Six Flags Over Texas

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 9:32 PM
I have to disagree with you on the part of American Eagle. No it is not the greatest woodie ever but there is so much more to it. It is still one of the tallest, fastest, and steepest wooden coasters in the world. Also it is only one of the two coasters (Demon being the other) that has been around since the park's opening. American Eagle is a landmark in the park and I couldnt imagine going there and not seeing American Eagle. Also I think having one of the trains going backwards has added new life and excitement to the ride. How many other parks can you go to that have trains going backwards (minus shuttle coasters). Now as far as Raging Bull you are totally right. it use to be one of the greatest coasters in the world, but now with all the trims it has been totally ruined.
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Sunday, June 18, 2006 10:16 PM

MAGXL200 said:
I have to disagree with you on the part of American Eagle. No it is not the greatest woodie ever but there is so much more to it. It is still one of the tallest, fastest, and steepest wooden coasters in the world. Also it is only one of the two coasters (Demon being the other) that has been around since the park's opening.

Wrong. American Eagle wasn't built until 1981. Whizzer was the other coaster that was running in 1976.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 10:35 PM

MAGXL200 said:
Also I think having one of the trains going backwards has added new life and excitement to the ride. How many other parks can you go to that have trains going backwards (minus shuttle coasters).

They turned the blue trains on Eagle around this year, so both sides run forward again.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 12:07 AM
Well that sucks that was the best part of the ride. Thanks for the update though. I won't be getting there till august so I'm alittle behind.
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Monday, June 19, 2006 3:48 PM

CoasterDude316 said:

They turned the blue trains on Eagle around this year, so both sides run forward again.


They had both running forward again, but the blue one was down throughout the day.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 3:54 PM
Nice TR....one minor correction though:

GO HEAT!!! :) :) :)


P.S. Whizzer pwns me! ;)

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Monday, June 19, 2006 4:09 PM
"American Eagles = A giant racer that isn't half bad. A good first drop and a few seconds of airtime save this from being a total dud. The second half (the helices and on) is a waste. A decent ride, but the space could be used with another, newer woodie."

Too bad it isn't half good, either. It looks so nice, but the ride itself is lame. Riding it backwards last year was a bit better, but forwards as it is--what's the point? PKD's Rebel Yell gives a better ride than this. If SF actually put some money into this and restored it to its original condition, including removing the excess brakes, then it could be a good ride.

"Deja Vu = Surprisingly smooth Vekoma. Very fast, very intense, very fun. Capacity sucks and breaks down often."

While I did find this smooth, I did not find it intense. The regular invertigos are more intense to me, as far as positive G forces are concerned.

Viper is a great ride, and Batman and Superman are both better installations than SFGAdv's versions.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 4:11 PM
I find it interesting Superman Ultimate Flight was coastergoose's favorite at Six Flags Great America. I say that because that's the first time I've seen someone here find it better than Raging Bull and everything else at the park.
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Monday, June 19, 2006 4:24 PM
Few points, responding to everyone on the boards at once...

The only original coaster in the park is the Whizzer. The Demon technically is too, however, the ride was not in it's current configuration. It's loops used to be airtime hills and the ride was called Turn of the Century.

I echo the sentiments of rablat5 on the Invertigos being better than Deja Vu, although my reasoning is different. I found the Invertigo to be smoother, especially through the boomerang where Vu tends to bash you into the restraints. I also like the seating on the Invertigos better.

Interesting that you found Superman the best ride of the park. I have found that most non-enthusiasts love that ride and that is THE one ride that they talk about after leaving the park. People love to scream when they are raised into the flying position and they love the layout of the ride and the extreme forces of the pretzel loop. Many enthusiasts dismiss the ride, saying it is boring and while we may be right in our minds, I think the B&M flyers in general have been a huge winner for the Six Flags chain and that is why they built Tatsu at Magic Mountain.

I have yet to go to SFGAm this season, and I don't even know if I will go this year (it is my home park). Based on this trip report, it sounds like business as usual.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 9:47 PM
Has anybody ridden Raging Bull with the breaks on the second hill? It slows the ride down considerably.
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Monday, June 19, 2006 9:52 PM
2nd hill, thats the one with a turn, dont you mean the third hill?
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