Trip Report: Six Flags Great America July 2016
I visited Six Flags Great America earlier this month — my first trip to the park in 2016.
The park’s Fourth of July weekend celebrations were sponsored by Coke. One of the perks was the hour of early ride time each day with a Coke product donation. This helped immensely in regard to riding a bulk of the park’s major attractions by early afternoon.
The crowds were relatively light on Saturday (for a holiday weekend). One thing I’ve learned after so many days spent at the park: applying typical amusement park crowd logic rarely works. The park can be insanely crowded on a Wednesday yet tolerable on a Saturday. There’s relatively a rhyme or a reason to the madness.
Of course, the main draw this season as Justice League: Battle for Metropolis (read my review of the ride here). I’ll be covering the rest of my trip in this report.
So what else is new for 2016 at Six Flags Great America? I was eager to see all the smaller additions and changes the park had made since my last visit in 2015.
One of the most noticeable changes while walking through the Hometown Square area is the Strutters chicken restaurant.
Strutters is located in the building formerly occupied by Aunt Martha’s. It’s received quite a facelift.
The restaurant serves up chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and french fries.
I didn’t have the chance to try it out, but I popped in for a minute and all the food I saw looked pretty tasty. The interior received a bright red and yellow color scheme and a slew of flat-screen TVs. It seems like a great place to grab a hearty meal and escape the heat or cold.
The restaurant also features a walk-up bar on the north face of the building (facing the County Fair area).
Another change to the Hometown Square area is the former Whizzer Pretzel being repurposed a Coke-branded drink and pretzel stand.
American Eagle’s station received a fresh coat of paint, which looked very nice. Kudos to the park for continuing to give this classic roller coaster attention, even if it’s not changing the ride itself.
This is a first (for me at least). The dead-end area of the park formerly home to Spaceship America and the go karts is now a “quiet area.” It’s quieter than other areas of the park, but I’m not sure I’d be able to take a nap (some couches would help!).
But I appreciate the park for trying something different,
Ragin’ Cajun’s station is being used this season as the stage for a Mardi Gras-themed show. Every year I predict that the former coaster’s pad will receive a new attraction — and every year I’m wrong.
Here’s to 2017.
Batman remains one of my favorite coasters in the park. Aside from being a stellar Bolliger & Mabillard invert, the historical component of it being the first of its kind makes the ride even better (and I’m a devoted Batman fan).
The coaster will be a quarter of a century year old in 2017. I really hope the park is planning a big celebration. This coaster deserves it.
While I’m not a fan of a go-kart track occupying such a large chuck of the park’s core, the open space does provide a beautiful view of the park’s skyline.
Goliath grows on me every year, and 2016 was no different. Like wine, the Rocky Mountain Construction wooden coaster gets better with age. The airtime was more intense as was the inverted stall.
While short, RMC squeezed an amazing, record-breaking coaster into a very tight spot.
And thanks to its single-rider line, I was able to get plenty of rides on the coaster (but the standby line isn’t nearly as long as it was in its inaugural year of operation).
I was incredibly impressed by the ride operations across the board. Nearly every ride team I encountered were energetic and quick in their train dispatched. This no doubt helped keep the wait times down.
I hope the park someday puts Buccaneer Battle out of its misery.
The expansive water ride takes up too much space and is too unpopular among guests to warrant keeping around, at least in my eyes.
I took my annual sunset spin on Sky Trek Tower to see the park from above.
V2 was down for a good chunk of one of my days at the park, but thankfully I was able to get a ride in once it reopened.
I didn’t get a chance to ride Superman as it kept a consistently long line nearly every day. I don’t quite get the mass appeal of flying coasters, so I wasn’t terribly upset I missed it.
Now this is a wooden coaster/hyper coaster sandwich if I’ve ever seen one (I haven’t).
I got several rides on Raging Bull, which I also think is an incredibly underrated B&M hyper coaster, when considering it being the first of its kind and featuring a unique “twister” layout.
Viper is neck-and-neck with American Eagle as my second-favorite wooden coaster in the park. This double-down alone is worth the wait, which the coaster usually has thanks to its proximity to the Hurricane Harbor water park entrance.
I think it’s one of the more underrated coasters in the park.
I always enjoy my days spent at Six Flags Great America. While it might not be the best park in the Six Flags family, its charm and solid lineup of attractions keep me coming back year after year. I look forward to what the park brings to the table in 2017 (and beyond).
Watch a compilation video from our day at the park below:
Have you visited Six Flags Great America recently? Share your thoughts about the park in the comments section below.