USA 06/22 – Six Flags Great America

Having racked up double digits in failed phone calls to Six Flags St. Louis over the previous evening (the alternative number we had been given went to exactly the same place), there was no option but to turn up again and see what Great America could do for us about these useless passes. Failing that we’d just buy some tickets off them.

In similar fashion to St. Louis, we rocked up bright and early and ended up in a small queue of cars that were halted pre-parking booth. How can we blag our way past paying $35 today? The wait was far less significant as they didn’t really have room for stacking too many cars and obviously actually wanted to allow guests to sort their stuff before park opening.

Armed with my best/most confusing script, we pulled up to the window. The guy completely blanked the conversation, saw the useless pass in my hand, said “always use your season pass”, didn’t read the screen and let us in. That works.

After repeating the entire saga to the guest services window again, along with telling them how awful St. Louis are at communicating, we seemingly inched ever closer to getting what we wanted. They took our passes away into a back room somewhere and, after a nervous wait, came back negative. Nothing we can do. Two day tickets then please, which were surprisingly cheap, even on the door. The one good thing about Six Flags.

Day 10 – Six Flags Great America

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We were still early enough to be in before rides opened, so opted to join the queue outside something that was popular, important and poor capacity. Otherwise known as #1 Maxx Force.

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Usually I’d be especially excited about S&S air launch coasters but I knew this was more Dodonpa than OCT Thrust. I was surprised to learn that it was in fact the slowest of the lot, having not realised that they pretty much only opted for fastest acceleration in the US (and fastest inversion). In my head this thing should have been doing at least 90.

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It is what it is, this was never going to be a gamechanger for me. 18 seconds of launch and some weirdly shaped inversions is just too short to compete. I thought the fastest one would be a bit more brutal and have some significant snap to it, but it’s surprisingly refined, to it’s detriment. The token kicker wheel in the ‘Dog Tongue’ amused me, I do respect what’s basically the opposite of a trim brake – we got our calculations wrong, here’s some more speed.

I’d have liked to given it another go but it was so poorly run, so overly popular and was classically unavilable for more than 50% of the day. It had been broken the previous evening too, so it was a miracle to get it at all.

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Something we had no desire to queue for was #2 Dark Knight, the indoor wild mouse, the only ride that had managed to retain any significant wait time at all by the end of the night before. The plan worked, barely anyone had showed up to it yet and they weren’t bothering to run the preshow, so that was a quick tick.

Here are the quick ticks from the previous night, in case you needed the visuals.

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Joker.

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Flash.

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Little Dipper.

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I had a silly milestone looming, so we went a bit out of order from here and ended up at #3 American Eagle. They were doing a China and only running one side, slowly, so we spent the queue drafting an extensive message to Six Flags St. Loius as we had now racked up over 20 unanswered phonecalls.

The ride was awful, Intamin did not start strong on these. Endless helices of doom while regularly slowing to a crawl. It really did miss that racing spectacle at the very least.

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Milestone coaster number thirteen-hunge, became #4 X-Flight (#1300), cos it’s a B&M I guess. I had a different wing, Raptor, at 900, so there’s a bit of a synergy there. This one’s better.

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They were operating it awfully slowly and most of the effects were turned off. Main highlight was learning it’s not the same layout as the one in Colourful Yunnan Paradise, though they share some similarities. Good little sit down.

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The dishonour could just as easily have gone to #5 Raging Bull, which also would have had synergy with Shambhala. This one is long and has an unusual ratio of corners to hills for a B&M hyper and I’m not convinced it was a good thing, or any better.

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Best part was probably the first drop, because it’s an early boy and has the little pre-drop like Apollo’s Chariot, with a surprise kick to it. Even the first actual hill has that fun-sapping trim right in the wrong place though there’s also one basically on the floor later on that made me laugh. Good little sit down.

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Actually found #6 Viper this time, hiding out back in the Wild West area. One thing I noticed about this park is a that a lot of the exit pathways are ridiculously long. In terms of Coney Island layouts, this was more fun than Bandit. Better trains, better corners, better airtime. It’s good.

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We’d walked past the #7 Demon earlier and clocked that it had a jaunty little theme tune about itself. This instantly became addictive and a surprise hit because the lyrics are so on the nose and it’s so out of another time. I love it almost too much.

Well we’ve seen him now and he is what he seems, an Arrow looper with janky transitions and a hilarious face carved into a rock as you get beaten up by some corkscrews. Up there with the best rides on park.

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Out of respect we hit the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark ride as they’re way better than you’d expect from Six Flags and up there with the genuine best rides on park. This one wasn’t 3Ding, which made it even better than Magic Mountain’s for me as the screen based high speed chases weren’t a blurry mess of confusion. It also wasn’t running a pre-show, instead just telling the story throughout the regular queue, which came off far less obnoxious. Really appreciate the wilder motion aspects and the physical sets most of all.

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#8 Sprocket Rockets had been closed the previous day and was worrying us by being silent all morning. Mercifully it sprang to life at some point and we got our fill.

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The end was now in sight and it was time for #9 Batman the Ride clone vs. #10 Superman – Ultimate Flight clone.

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Batman wins, though they both earned the title of sunglasses on, not caring. Which I find particularly insulting to a flying coaster.

If it weren’t for the stupid Georgia version spiting I’d have every B&M flyer in the world now. At least Fun Spot is giving me a legitimate reason to return there one day.

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Last and maybe least was #11 Whizzer. It took too long, but had some characters in the queue. An old guy in an Orion shirt was boasting about having ridden coasters for 50 years and was all fired up to brag once again when someone complimented his meteor-based attire, assuming they knew it was a rollercoaster. The follow up question however was “is that Star Wars?” which quickly shot down any notion of shared enthusiasm, in amusing fashion.

As for the ride, I found the French fair versions of single file seated Schwarzkopfs were far more wild and impressive. This one was just trees.

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And so the park was complete, American Eagle spite aside, in a timely fashion. We bounced around a few of the majors for some courtesy laps but most of our focus was pinned on Goliath once more. This resulted in a particularly glorious evening, getting that golden extra lap without leaving the seat from being on the last train of the day.

You’re alright Great America, you’re alright.

Day 11

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