Our First Trip to Six Flags America

Six Flags America: My three kids and I went to Six Flags America for the first time Friday. We enjoyed our day together but our review of the park is a mixed bag.

From Peter Stephens
Posted August 5, 2008 at 8:59 PM
SFA - the good stuff:
-The Water Park
-The "scenic" tree-lined parking lot (really!)
Batwing is a great ride. The slow moving line (waiting for the single train) and the station design (attempting to line up for individual seats in a polite and orderly fashion) are terrible. The scenery is green (which is good) but certainly does not look like "Gotham City"! The actual ride is the best thing about SFA. Having never ridden a flyer, we really had a blast. We only had the patience to wait for two rides, but they were worth the price of admission. Roar is an excellent, intense wooden coaster. It is full of surprises having a unique layout. Rodeo - a simple little ride - was a hoot. The kids just laughed and laughed while being "bucked about". There were a few other small rides that we enjoyed, as well. We didn't take note of the kiddie areas as my kids are in the early-teen range. The water park was crowded (it was a hot day; upper 80's) but well designed.

SFA - the ok/pretty good stuff:
-The Wild One
-The Joker's Jinx
-The Mind Erase
-Other Traditional Rides
The Wild One is a good old woodie with no wait. Joker's Jinx is a launch coaster that is tightly twisted. It is not as rough as I expected. The Mind Eraser is a little rough but a good inverted coaster, nonetheless (and the "ear pads" are thick and soft!) We walked right onto the front seat with no wait. Nothing remarkable about this group, but worth riding.

SFA - the "down side":
Superman - Ride of Steel (lame)
Two-Face (dead)
Theming (not much)
Scenery (not much)
Restaurants (especially no air-conditioned ones!)
Employees (rude, stupid acting)
The Guest List (not too...ummm... diverse)
Maybe my problem with Superman is that I've ridden Apollo's Chariot. I saw where Superman was a 200' (+/-) tall coaster built around the same time as AC @ BGE and my expectations were high. Superman is just plain disappointing. After the first hill, the ride has nothing worthwhile (almost zero airtime, for example). The coaster looks and feels like a cheap carnival ride. And, speaking of cheap carnival aspects, a lot of the park resembles a low-end county fair, especially "Gotham City". Other than Coyote Creek (the western themed area) the theming makes no sense or is non-existent. The "AMERICA" theme is a waste. So many possibilities, so little execution. Two-Face (a boomerang coaster) wasn't running. I heard SFA hasn't run the thing since a chain broke (or something like that) last year! It's just sitting there; a tribute to the mediocrity of the park.

So, the family enjoyed the day and the price of admission was good ($25) but we probably won't return soon. The flyer is the single truly unique feature (among parks in the area). The rest of SFA's coasters are clearly surpassed by those at other Mid-Atlantic parks (although Roar might be as good as any woodie around, including Grizzly).

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 6, 2008 at 7:39 AM
I agree that AC is better than superman; ok, much better. But... do you remember if you rode in the blue or red car. Yes, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Me and my friend tested it the tuesday before you went. THE BLUE CAR HAS WAY MORE AIRTIME. Even the front on the red car is bad, I'll admit that.

If you want a great ride, go for the front of the blue car. If you want a ride with a bunch of airime and a great ride, go to the back of the blue car. On the back of the blue car- you get about 4 seconds of airtime on the first drop. NO LIE. Then, second hill, you get a tinie-winie bit of airtime, depending on how loose your seatbelt is. Then the third hill- at least 5 seconds of great 'air'. On the red train, the last 3 bunny hops are boring, and nothing happens. The BLUE train, however, has about 3 seconds on each, and probably the most intense air time with them put together. I think that the blue train is just faster than the red train, or something. So, if you trust me enough if you ever go back, wait for the blue train.

Two-face is down from when it was struck by lightning last year. Now, SFA is too lazy to fix it up. Joker's Jinx is okay, but sucks any where besides the back. I like the back because the whole ride is faster and better because you get whipped around the tight turns. It still is kinda smooth... Batwing is probably my 2nd favorite coaster there.

The waterpark, I'd say, is what SFA most focuses on. The last time we got a coaster was '01, with batwing! and the year before that, Superman! For me, the best 2 coasters came right after each other and then shut down the coaster buissness.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM
I liked your setup for report. Sounds like you had a great time for the most part. I was a little suprised that you were not a fan of Superman since I have heard great reviews about it (I have never been on it).

I would love to know what you would think about Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL since it is "American" themed too. It would be a good comparing and contrasting since SFGA tends to be one of the more liked parks in the SF group

From Peter Stephens
Posted August 6, 2008 at 2:16 PM
Yes, we rode in the red car. The blue one was parked on the storage siding. (Only one train was running, as was the case with several coasters.) Has any good explanation been given as to why one train is substantially faster than the other? (You'd think routine maintenance would eventually equalize any differences in wheels.) Wish I'd have known about this before we went. They switched trains on Batwing around mid-afternoon so maybe they switched trains on Superman. If you go there a lot, you should raise a fuss over that weak red train. We waited a fair amount of time to ride that thing! My "review" would have been less negative if I'd have had a good ride on S-ROS. But, we did have a good time at the park, regardless. Thanks for the info.

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 6, 2008 at 8:01 PM
No problem. I'm not actually saying that it's faster, but it seems like that may be the only way the blue train has more air time. In the front of both the blue and red cars, it seems like same speed, different air time.

It reallly caught me by suprise by what you just said... If you've been reading my other stuff on S:RoS at other articles, you would know that they were running only the BLUE train up until about more than a month ago. (Heck, even when the season started [on April 26th], the red train wasn't even on the transfer track! It was nowhere to be seen!) Then, they tried putting up the red, but had problems, and then also the next time I went. When I went last, the tuesday before you went (like I already said), it seemed as though the BLUE train was having problems, not the red. I guess when you went, the blue was having more difficulties.

Oh, and when you said you wished you knew before you went, why didn't you just asked? Well, you might not have known that I'm a regular SFA guy... Did you post an article on it, Peter?

From Ryan B
Posted August 7, 2008 at 10:04 AM
Am I the only one who likes SFA's Superman:ROS better than Apollo's Chariot?

And I agree that Batwing is awesome. Much better than Great Adventure's Superman. (Although it's no Tatsu!)

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 7, 2008 at 2:12 PM
Ryan, why do you think that superman is better than AC? I like AC more (even though I still love S:RoS) because it's longer than "S", and it has better restraints, and has a bit more air time (BLUE TRAIN!). Everything else is the same with "S" like that it was thrown to the edge of the park, no theming, usually fast lines and capacity, and enough air time to fit a family of 10 (heh-heh). They're both great, but I give the edge to AC. Why do you like "S" more?

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 8, 2008 at 7:05 PM
Oh, peter, I went today, and they had both cars up and running on superman. On batwing, they had the far side open, not the regular near side. Yes, I comfirmed AGAIN that the blue car is better than the red today... sadly, I lost my phone..........

From Peter Stephens
Posted August 9, 2008 at 4:55 AM
Eli, sorry to hear about the cell phone. Do you listen to the punk group Relient K? (They have a song that repeatedly mentions that the vocalist lost his phone on the Batman ride. The man tried to warn you! ;0) Interestingly, the ride in the song was at GL Park in Ohio and is now Dominator at KD.) Well, I guess I have to come back and try the blue train on S-ROS. I've never known a steel coaster to have such variation between trains, but airtime is my passion!!! I hope they still have the $25 admission price. BTW, we bought our tickest for SFA online and it was a disaster. Sale wouldn't go through, tix wouldn't print and I spent an hour trying to get going. However, (I finally came to my senses) and I called the park and a really nice lady at Guest Relations said to just bring the "confirmation number" to the GR window and we did and we were in the park fast. We went to BGE last Sunday afternoon (and caught Southern legend Charlie Daniels who was very good) and, of course, rode AC and Alpie. Again, I need to consider S-ROS @ SFA on its own merit. AC is basically a "perfect coaster" and comparisons aren't fair. (In a very crowded park, were on AC in less than 20 minutes.)

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 9, 2008 at 9:46 AM
No, I don't listen to "Reliant K".

Oh, more info on my phone- I'm not sure when I lost it. I know I had it before roar. Then, me and my friend went to the pirate ship. After that, the spinny stand up thing. We went over to superman, and in the que, I noticed that I had lost my cell. Even in the blue train, I couldn't enjoy myself. So, we went back to all 3 rides- spinny stand up thing, pirate ship, and roar. I reported it to guest services, and then it felt like I could have fun again. We rode superman 3 more times, and I made sure I took out all of my stuff from my pockets.

My 'theme park shorts' that I always wear to theme parks, have very tight pockets when I sit down, like they're stretched. When I'm standing up, they're sort of loose. So, I noticed last night (after I posted the one above), that I had to have lost it on the spinny stand up thing.

I know someone found it and took it, because we tried calling it (on my friends phone), over and over again. The first few times, it would ring, then the next time I tried, it rang, and someone picked it up and turned it off. I waited a minute, and then every single time, there was no ring, just me, on my answering machine. Audviosly, someone turned it off.

From Ben James
Posted August 9, 2008 at 12:21 PM
Damn thief's.... Always ruining a good day. I had the same thing happen at work.

From Ryan B
Posted August 11, 2008 at 10:04 AM
Eli, I just find Superman more intense than AC. Probably just down to basics Intamin v B&M. I always feel like B&M coasters feel slow and too smooth. Probably the standard four across trains just can't twist and turn as abruptly as two across trains. When I'm on a roller coaster I like to be reminded I'm riding on a roller coaster and not riding on a cloud. I guess I'm just not a huge B&M fan. Except that I like their reliability.

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