Planning a trip to Six Flags over Georgia, help needed

Six Flags Over Georgia: Finally I plan on escaping Florida and I need your help.

From Gareth H
Posted July 26, 2009 at 2:28 PM
So here's the deal.
I've been living in the US for close to 5 years and in that time I've taking one vacation to Jamaica!
I'm planning on a trip. My first thought was going to the Keys, but after checking on hotel prices I decided to consider another state instead. With Georgia being the closest I did a little research, noticed that there was Six Flags over Georgia in Atlanta, and Atlanta being a place I've wanted to visit for a few years I thought I'd run with it.

So here is the help I need.

First, I'm thinking of heading up there at the start of Septemeber. I plan on leaving very early on a Wednesday morning, around 4am. Reason behind this is that I work in a bar 2 nights a week, Monday and Tuesday, and that is money that would be stupid to lose. So taking into consideration that I leave from ORLANDO at 4am, how long would it take me to drive to Atlanta, if I stuck to the speed limit the entire way and took a rest room/caffiene break every 3 hours.

Second, I would want to prebook a hotel for 3 night, Wed, Thurs and Fri, checking out Saturday.
I need a good, well priced (No more than $50 per night) hotel, but it MUST have Wifi so I can contiue to work on my vacation.
I want something close to Six Flags but also close to the City Center, that isn't crime ridden.

Next, would one day be enough for Six Flags to hit all of the thrill rides, I don't mind purchasing any type of express/fast pass for myself (Wife doesn't do coasters), and are there any attractions that my wife can go on.
She happily rides Spiderman, Simpsons, Men in Black, Jaws and the shows at Universal, but anything fast, upside down or anything with drops is a big no no.

What are the prices for a one day ticket and would t be worth getting an annual pass for the both of us if we visited once more in the season?
(Is Six flags a seasonal park, if so, when does it close and do annual passes only cover until the end of the season?)

Next, assuming one day in the ark would be enough, what other area attractions are there that we could both enjoy?
Is the beach something to consider for a day?
Are there any types of atractions in Atlanta that you wouldn't find in Florida, like Jewel digging, etc?

Assuming then that I leave on the Saturday morning, I would want to break up the return visit and stay in a hotel further south, about half way between Atlanta and Orlando, on the Saturday night.

Anywhere you could suggest that would be fun, again with reasonable hotels with Wifi.

I would want to get back to Orlando by late evening on Sunday at the very latest.

A trip itinerary would be most welcome, along with suggestions on what to do and visit.

Thanks in Advance

From Gareth H
Posted July 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM
Beach wouldn't be a day trip, but something to do on the return trip, suggestions for that would be great!

From David Graham
Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:25 AM
Hey Gareth, I'm going to try to answer all your questions in order since I was just in ATL and 6 Flags 2 weeks ago.

1) drive time - you are looking at about an 8 hour drive roughly with no issues.
2) I stayed at the Wingate in Alpharetta, Ga (north side of ATL) cause I found the hotels around 6 Flags and other places to be too much like $99. Up there it was roughly $57 for a night with tax. (I also lived up there for 3 years and safe area) It's a 30 minute drive (traffic free) to 6 flags (also free cont. breakfast and good wifi) Clean and friendly staff. (on Kingwood off Mansell) if you want to look it up.
3)Print your tickets on the web site!!!! It's kid pricing of 29.99 if you do this. You can also do the parking, meal, and fast pass as well. I DO suggest you get fastpass. How theres works is you get a device that holds your place in line with a time like Disney and then it lets you know when it's your turn. TRUST ME, if it's as busy as when I went, you WILL want it. Yet with you going in Sept and after school has started back you might not need it. I regret not getting it
for my trip, but they are limited per day, and I
waited to long to try to get one the day I was there. Line times for example, we waited roughly 90 minutes for Goliath, and my daughter waited over 2 hours for Superman. I think it's a little pricey, but the time you would save it worth it now looking back at what all we didn't get to do cause of wait times. As for an annual pass, not really sure if worth it for rest of year as it's not like Disney and year round or wasn't when I lived there and AP run from spring
to fall time when it closes in Oct I think after it's Halloween event. If you don't get the passes online for kid pricing and pay full ($10 more) I think you get a 2nd day free was the other offer.
4) Other places up there, you have the World of Coke, Stone Mountain, The GA Aquarium (largest there is) And to me the beauty of North GA can't be touched. You have Helen, GA (little German town) and state parks up there with lots of waterfalls. It's an hour north of ATL. If the GA welcome center is open I suggest stopping, getting a state map and some info on other places to visit, and maybe some deals/coupons. As for Jewels no, but Dahlongega, Ga (hr north) was the home of the first Gold Rush, and people still pan up there a LOT. Think there are a few mines too you can tour still. One there and another in Helen I know of. Also in Helen you can tub or canoe the Hootch (Chattahoochee River) There is just a lot to do up there. (can you tell I miss ATL lol)
4)As for a return trip Tifton is the half way point roughly. It's about 4 hours to Orl and to Atl (made the trip enough to know, my kids live in north ATL area) Never really stayed there overnight, but you will find it enjoyable. I can tell you roughly every exit city from here to ATL in my sleep.
As for itnerary, don't really have one for you, but I have a few 6 flags maps at the house from my trip, a local map of the area the hotel was in, and state map you can get from me before you go, just let me know since we both are in Orl I can get them too you. And any other info you might have questions on up in that area. Oh FYI there is only ONE, yes ONE toll place up there and it's .50 cents on I-400 (inside the 285 loop) worth it if you stay where I did to use this road. Only other word of advice is traffic, morning and afternoon, not sure what you have heard about it, but ATL moves in 2 speeds 70-80 mph or snail crawl. Again let me know if I can help, otherwise good trip and I hope the over load of info helps.

P.S. As for the beach you won't be near it UNLESS you go out I-20 to Savannah, GA and might be a longer trip home then by maybe 2 hours? Never gone that direction back. Most go to Lake Lanier up there for there beach if they can't afford a real beach trip. Also 6 flags has a water area included in the park, but not sure if in Sept I would want to do it, weather depending.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:25 AM
About Flash Passes:

The way it works at Six Flags is a bit different than Disney. Yes, you buy it and its an electronic thingy, but you have two choices in getting flashpasses: Regular and Gold.

Examples: You want to go on Robert Niles Wild Ride, but it has a line of two hours. It is 10am

Regular- The current time of the ride is the time you wait. So, if you pick Niles Wild Ride, the machine will tell you to come back at 12

Gold- Thats more like the Disney one in which you wait a shorter time. So, if you pick Niles Wild Ride, the machine will tell you to come back around 11.

Some things to note: Gold obviously costs more, you can reserve the time anywhere in park (don't need to be by the attraction), and you can buy them online (recommended).

Something I do is after they scan my flashpass in (since its usually wait in a shorter line), I immediatly pick a new ride. I personally only get the regular flashpass.

Check out the rides that use flashpass and see if your wife would be willing to go on ANY of them. If there is one or two, it is worth getting the flashpass because the more you put on the flashpass, the cheaper it is per person.

Don't buy the food online ahead of time either. I mean you can, but there are some deals in the park as it is!

From David Graham
Posted July 27, 2009 at 8:13 AM
Forgot one, in Valdosta, GA which is just across the state line there is a theme park too, called Wild Adventure. I have never been inside the park but have driven out past it just to see. I know it has a few coaster rides, train ride to see live animals from what it advertises. Then that will put you roughly 3 hours from Orl if you stay in Valdosta, just as a thought.

From Nick Markham
Posted July 27, 2009 at 10:46 AM
^Yeah, that is the place I thought would be perfect for the part of your trip where you want to be half way between Atlanta and Orlando. I have not experienced either parks myself, but from reading many, many reviews and looking at info and more, I have accustomed myself to many parks around the world and I happen to know a good deal about these two (more so SFOG)

First, Six Flags. In this park, you need to hit the big coaster first, Goliath, and from there go throughout the park as you please. When it gets busier hit the smaller rides and when it dies down, pick rigfht back up with more big rides. FlashPasses are a very good idea, though they are very expensive, so if you don't have a lot of money to spend, then don't get these passes.

From Gareth H
Posted July 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM
I'll take all of this into account, sounds really good, and hopefully I can plan this soon.

Thanks for all of your help guys!

From steve lee
Posted July 27, 2009 at 2:50 PM
Anthony, unless SFOG has changed their Flashpass system in the last two years (which is entirely possible), you have to be at the attraction to queue it up into your QBot (there's a thing you have to scan to get it set-up). They claim the Gold knocks off 75 percent of the wait time, but in my experience it's actually more than that.

One day at SFOG should be more than enough, especially if you're using the Flashpass. But on a negative note, if your wife doesn't do coasters she's not going to have much to do. There's Monster Mansion, which is a nice dark ride (not Disney/Universal quality, mind you) and a very limited selection of flat rides and water rides.

So what I'm saying is: you better have something nice planned for her to do while you're in Atlanta. She's taking a hit going to the park, so you need to take a hit doing something she wants to do... the Aquarium is pretty nice but be careful or you may get stuck at the Margaret Mitchell house (assuming it doesn't burn down between now and then. That place has been rebuilt more times than the castle in Holy Grail).

We found a decent Days Inn up 85 that was surprisingly inexpensive ($40 a night). Do NOT be lured by cheap hotels on Fulton Industrial Blvd. It's just an exit down from the park, but it's totally crack alley.

Oh, and be careful with your dates - don't forget about Labor Day weekend. While it may not have an impact on the park, there's going to be tons of people there for Dragon-Con (the Southeast version of Comic-Con).

From Gareth H
Posted August 31, 2009 at 11:09 AM
OK, so I"m nearly booked. Leaving Orlando at 4am Wednesday, straight after work, booking in at the La Quinta 15 miles from Altanta. Will be taking a couple of days to explore Atlanta and the National park, then heading to Six Flags on the Saturday as its seasonal.

Will be driving back once the park closes at 8pm.
Going to skip the Flash Pass but will be hitting the park at opening time and heading straight over to a few coasters I really want to ride, just to get those out of the way, should it get busy!

Just a quick one, is Superman pretty much just Manta? Noticed it had a prezel loop so wondering if I should skip that as I've ridden Manta a few times, and hit something completlely new?

Any rides I should definately wait for, soemthing we don't have here in Florida?

Ans thanks to David for giving new the park maps so I can plan my day ahead :)

From steve lee
Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Superman isn't Manta, but it's not exactly dissimilar. Manta is easily the superior ride, but I would still recommend trying to take a spin if the wait isn't too bad. A credit is a credit, and a B&M credit is always better than a boomerang or a flying dutchman.

Have a good time in Atlanta - best burgers in town are at The Vortex (Little 5 location is way better than Midtown). If it's late and you're hungry, another great eatery is R Thomas Deluxe Grill (1812 Peachtree. For some reason their website isn't pulling up for me).

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 31, 2009 at 2:31 PM
Ok, have fun Gareth! But some quick tips to remember:

Everyone is going to rush to Goliath when it opens, so run with them. Get the very back, and expect another ride later in the day. Head over to the schorcher before it gets too crowded, after. Then, go to the back of the park where Superman is, and hit that, before the crowds get to it. If the line says an hour, it will be at least an hour and a half when it gets crowded. Ninja will have short lines all day, so just come back to that later. Georgia Cyclone is fun, but kinda rough. Just brace yourself. Acrophobia has a cool effect, so go for that just for fun. Line is faster then it seems. GASM is pretty rough, but to me, about as fun as GC. Mind bender is cool (with intense g's), and Batman the ride is another awesome B&M invert replica.

I think that covers everything, except for one thing. Later in the day, Goliath will probably have an hour line, as it says from the sign in the que. Don't pay attention to that. with 3 trains, you'll be on in a middle row in a half hour less. But don't waste your time in that row. You need to get the front! Not to "down" your spirits, but when you first ride in the back, it won't seem that cool, and that it kinda let you down. But you have to get back in line later in the day for the front, no matter what. If you get to choose a seat, get far left, front! This will change your whole view on the day! Don't do it too early in the afternoon, or else it will feel like the other coasters suck. ;) Please ride in the back so you can compare.

Ok, have fun! Who are you going with?

Oh, keep in mind that Superman was B&M's first flyer! Try it out! Just think of how innovative it was when it first came out! ;)

From Gareth H
Posted September 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM
OK, so here's what I've done so far.
Booked car rental. (Mine will not survive the trip)
$106 for a week, taxes included, from Advantage Car rental, booked through Priceline.
Additional $55 for 5 days of Insurance, saves any accidents costing me a fortune!

BEST PART - Hotel. Went on Priceline, name your own price. Decided to select a 3 start minimum hotel in a few locations that had an average price of $81 per night. Staying 3 nights, so thought I'd start low at $35 per night, and got accepted.
Hotel confirmed as Hyatt Place Atlanta?Buckhead.
Checked rates on Hyatt site, $149 first night, $149 second night, $89 third night, RESULT.
All in all, 3 nights for less than the price of one and a really nice hotel at that.

Purchased Six Flags Tickets. $29 each for one day, $15 for parking.
One annoying thing to note, $5 charge for print at home (Why? Its my ink, my paper, emails cost nothing to send), Oh well. Still cheaper than on the gate. Hours on that Saturday at 10am to 8pm so will get there for about 9.30.

Wanted to Visit Stone Mountain park but is now seasonal, so only Saturdays and Sundays. As I"m leaving on Saturday night, and Six Flags is also seasonal, no can do :( Gutted!

SO may do the aquarium on the Friday now. Anyone been, anyone have any comments on it?

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