Trip Report: Six Flags Great America

Today I returned from a full day of Six Flags Great America after a four-year hiatus of visiting the park. This was the first time seeing the park in the “Shapiro-era”, so I was curious to see what all had changed since my last visit.

Going with someone who has a season parking pass is always a plus. We arrived about thirty minutes before the park opened so the parking lot had not yet filled up.

I had a free pass to redeem at the guest relations desk so I was a little worried about how that would go over. You never know how those guest relations run ins are going to go. But thankfully the girl behind the window was very helpful and had me in and out in less than a minute with no hassles. So far I was impressed with this new Six Flags Great America!

It was great to once again see the familiar sights of Great America.

Once getting into the park, we decided to get right to Superman: Ultimate Flight, which in the past has had a reputation of keeping an exceptionally long line throughout the day. Before opening, guests are allowed to line up at the entrance but not actually enter the queue line… so to the average eye the line looks much longer than it actually is.

We waited for about 20 minutes for Superman to open. While we were waiting I was disturbed by this stuffed dog. He didn’t look very comfortable. At least that’s now how I would be displayed if I were a stuffed animal!

Superman is an excellent ride, but unfortunately every time I ride it I pull a muscle in my leg during the pretzel loop, which leaves me in pretty intense pain for the rest of the ride. It’s like a charlie horse that you can’t stretch out. But overall the ride is very smooth and forceful. It’s one of my top favorites in the park.

I must say the ride is definitely one of the most easy on the eyes. Though it might have longer-than-average lines throughout the day, it’s a very interesting ride to experience from the ground.

Ah, The Dark Knight. I had heard many a bad review for this new coaster. So I went into it expecting absolutely nothing. The queue was slow moving due to the low capacity of the ride itself, but I was impressed by the pre show video. I thought it was very well done and it was nice to see a familiar face in it. The ride itself is what it is: a wild mouse. The theming was decent but the ride offered very little. The story behind it doesn’t match up at all to the ride: a subway-type transportation system? Zig-zags don’t seem to be very economical, in my opinion. But as I wasn’t expecting much, I left somewhat contempt only in the fact that I had experienced it for myself.

The lines quickly grew throughout the day, so we were unable to ride Batman. After riding a couple of them at various parks I don’t feel like I’m missing as much anymore. They’re all the same.

Vertical Velocity took me for quite a surprise. We sat in the back and while the initial launch was not too intense, it was still impressive. But what got me was the launch backwards into the rear spike. The force of flying backwards and then the quick transition to vertical track really took me by surprise. Overall I was extremely impressed by V2.

Six Flags Great America has to be one of the most flat ride-populated parks in the chain. It has an excellent variety of flats for the whole family. But enough of those, it’s on to more coasters!

We stopped for lunch at Angelo’s Pasta which was excellent. I wasn’t sure about in-park Papa John’s pizza but it tasted superb and didn’t differ to much from what you can order at home. The lunch left me stuffed.

We decided to skip Iron Wolf in order to prevent the guaranteed head ache, but I had to take a picture of the Miracle Whip ad. If I had a dollar for every Miracle Whip ad that I saw on either a sign, on a cup, or in a commercial, I could have gone to the park for free. PS Miracle Whip: You’re trying too hard. “We are Miracle Whip and we will not tone it down.” WHAT? You’re sandwich dressing.

We continued the circle around the park and ran into Buccaneer Battle, which seems to be a huge hit with the families.

Buccaneer Battle has to be one of the most well-themed rides at any Six Flags park. They really went all out!

Yes, a girl’s hair weave fell out while she was riding Demon.

Though we weren’t able to ride Demon, it was nice to stand under the corkscrew. That’s almost like riding it, right?

But as we rounded the corner, I knew it was time to ride my favorite ride at the park: Raging Bull.

New signage and a new coat of paint. How better can it get? Thankfully only one of the two switchbacks were full.

The wait wasn’t too long. Another great thing: train operations seemed exceptionally faster than my last trip to Great America. And this was a weekday!

The queue isn’t very far from the track itself, so I got to see up close the new paint job in action.

Overall the ride was just about the same as the last time I was on it. It might have been trimmed a bit more, but it wasn’t too noticeable. There was also a bit of B&M rattle going on, but again, nothing too noticeable.

The overbanked turn might not invert completely, but it sure feels like it does.

I like Raging Bull because it’s not like any other B&M hyper out there. It’s layout is incredibly unique.

For those of you who are into this kind of stuff…

We also rode American Eagle which unfortunately not as good as I remembered it being. I believe the ride was trimmed a little too much.

Even though Demon is one of the smaller coasters in the park, you can see it from alot of places.

I had heard alot of bad things about Viper’s operations this season but I felt it was the same great ride I had ridden last time I was at the park. Everybody has their own opinion!

Waiting in line for Viper is always great because you can get some cool shots of Raging Bull’s overbanked turn.

One thing that has gotten even worse at Six Flags: the prices. Almost six dollars at Ben and Jerry’s for a single scoop of ice cream? That’s insane.

Overall it was a great day and it’s very easy to see there’s been a big improvement at the park over the past few years. I think as long as they keep it up, more success is in line for this park in the future.