Six Flags Great America 2019 Theories and Land Clearing
In May, Six Flags Great America quietly removed its massive Pictorium theater, which was home to the Chicago area’s first IMAX screen.
Six Flags Great America — which has little room to expand — now has a sizable plot of land near the front of the park. And with the 2018 season well underway, we can now begin to speculate as to what the park is preparing to build for the 2019 season.
The park shared a video of the theater’s demolition:
And just like that, we say farewell to Pictorium. Thanks for 40 years of memories! Time for new thrills! pic.twitter.com/B226dy7CH4
— SF Great America (@SFGreat_America) May 4, 2018
While the sudden razing of the theater was somewhat surprising, its use had dwindled in recent years, hosting only seasonal shows and special events.
Bbut before we start theorizing about what’s to come, let’s see how much room the park has to work with.
The site is located between Sky Trek Tower and Whizzer.
Speaking of which, Sky Trek Tower provides an unobstructed view of the entire site.
The theater’s screen and seats were built slightly into the ground, hence the large hole — now water-filled — that remains.
Looking at satellite imagery of the park, I outlined the area that has been cleared:
During my most recent visit to the park on July 3, I noticed that a slew of survey markers dotted the site. I highlighted as many as I could find below:
They had just been planted within the prior few days.
There is still a bit more room that could be used for the attraction (at the expense of some of the trees that surround Whizzer).
The Pictorium’s entrance is still standing. That makes me think that it may be reused for whatever attraction is coming in 2019.
And if it will be reused, that would suggest that the 2019 attraction will not be an addition to Hurricane Harbor (more on that below).
Now that we have an idea of the space Six Flags Great America has to work with, let’s speculate. Below are my theories about what Six Flags Great America is planning for 2019.
RMC Raptor Track Coaster / Wonder Woman Clone
Six Flags debuted “Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster” at Fiesta Texas this year. It was the first of two Rocky Mountain Construction’s (RMC) “Raptor Track” single-rail coasters. The coaster seems to be a hit (read our review of a clone of the ride, RailBlazer at California’s Great America).
Given that the chain loves its clones, a Wonder Woman coaster at Six Flags Great America isn’t out of the question.
My concern with this? Capacity. Six Flags Great America draws big crowds, especially during the summer season and Fright Fest. With three trains holding only eight riders each, wait times could be astronomical.
A New Coaster for Six Flags
Over the years, Six Flags Great America has been the roller-coaster testing ground for the chain. The park has received:
- the first-ever Batman: The Ride, which was custom built for a narrow plot of land in the middle of the park (1992),
- X-Flight was the first and only B&M wing coaster built at a Six Flags park (2012),
- and most recently, Goliath was Six Flags’ first and still the only Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) built-from-the-ground up wooden coaster (2014).
With that in mind, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that we could see a prototype coaster — or at least one that’s new to Six Flags. What might that be?
The First-Ever RMC T-Rex Coaster
RMC has touted “T-Rex” as the “big brother” to the Raptor Track model. T-Rex is a larger single-rail coaster with increased seating capacity. This would eliminate my concerns with the limited capacity of a “Wonder Woman” clone.
Hurricane Harbor Expansion: Water Coaster
Disclosure: I did speak with an employee who said the 2019 attraction would not be a Hurricane Harbor water park addition or expansion. Of course, I am skeptical. The employee said that management has been tight-lipped and that employees would not know until September, likely when the chain makes its annual capital investment announcements.
What might a water coaster at Hurricane Harbor look like? It could mimic Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Thunder Rapids:
ABC Rides Tourbillon
While I think the plot of land in question is too large for one flat ride, the park would likely benefit from an eye-catching “Tourbillon” attraction from ABC Rides.
Six Flags over Texas’ copy of the ride, Harley Quinn Spinsanity, officially opens this week. See the ride animation below:
A New Children’s Area
Although the park already has two kid-friendly areas — Hometown Park, Camp Cartoon and Kidzopolis — it wouldn’t be unheard of for them to add a fourth, perhaps similar to Six Flags over Georgia’s DC Super Friends and/or Bugs Bunny Boomtown.
Again, all of this is pure speculation on my part. The only word from the park I’ve received is the employee referenced earlier who claimed to have heard that 2019 would not involve Hurricane Harbor.
The Six Flags chain is expected to make its 2019 plans known in September.
What do you think Six Flags Great America is that planning to build in 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.