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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Six Flags Great America future changes???

Six Flags Great America future changes???

jd64848704

Posted:
8/21/14 at
9:30:28 AM

Hi everyone! I'm new to these forums, but have been a thrill seeker for 22 years :)
I like to offer up interesting perspectives of my home park, Six Flags Great America. I live 3 minutes away from the entrance, therefore, I'm fortunate enough to experience the park through every season shift.
On my last visit, interesting conversations abounded during our 2 hour wait for Goliath. My group was spouting 2015 theories and we ended up getting lots of other ride enthusiasts and park team members involved! Not only did we theorize 2015, we also began speaking of the trends we see in the park for future opportunities.
I think the general consensus was that nothing too major will occur in 2015. We all agreed there are some rides in need of a major facelift, I.e. Eagle, Demon, and Giant Drop (coming on the tail of laughter about my mini freak out when I realized the seat belt tops were wearing away showing these "zip tie like" holders). However, if they do the facelift year, we think they will also be taking out some things to make way for a 2016 behemoth.
As we all spoke, Mardi Gras section was brought up as the least favorite, which is no wonder. The Ragin Cajun wasn't anything special, but with its departure, this area is just a small midway of games, dinky rides, a closed all the time flip ride (King Chaos), and entrance to Roaring Rapids. We agreed this area would be great to overhaul, though we aren't sure what could really work in there. Time will tell!
We had the pleasure of speaking with other locals who also shared our sentiments on the plight of XFlight. At the end of its opening season in 2012, ridership was already seriously dwindling on the back of statements such as "too slow, not enough thrill". I do happen to enjoy this ride, but truly only if I can get front row where I can experience the elements without the ride blocking my view. Unfortunately, last year it was a ghost town. Goliath's arrival did happen to breathe some life back into the other neglected park rides due to people unwilling to wait 3 hours for the RMC creation. We all agreed that XFlight sadly doesn't boast the ridership to make it a permanent (or long running) fixture.
One big rumor/theory is that Eagle will get the big overhaul next year, potentially even a partial or full RMC upgrade. No one in our line was biting on this one for a couple of reasons. 1) Come on guys, we just got a brand spanking new RMC and it wasn't cheap. 2)Eagle is a family favorite classic in the park. Unfortunately, Eagle ridership has also taken a HUGE hit over the past few years. As generations grow up and times change, these old Woodies are less appreciated, especially when allowed to look as sad and neglected as Eagle currently does. Though we all agreed we would be shocked if the park tore her down, we also wondered if she could survive the harsh weather elements we have been experiencing.
As aforementioned, we enthusiastically and unanimously agreed that Goliath has brought in a TON of business this year with the overflow of people filling lines for other usually not hyped attractions. Though it is a short ride, it is seriously thrilling and ultra fun! It will be a great park staple, and we doubt the hype will die anytime soon.
The only other coaster in the park that we all agreed brings this much ridership (or somewhat close to it) is Raging Bull, currently celebrating its 15th year. Everyone still flocks to it all these years later.
That being said, lots of other rides are expendable or can be upgraded to better versions.
Other distastes mentioned were Demon and Whizzer. We get the nostalgia, people, but they are outdated and frankly if they were taken out to make way for something better everyone agreed we would salute then on the way. Progress, guys! I'm also sure these classics could go live at another Six Flags that doesn't get the upgrades ours does.
One of our favorite park team members did say that the 2015 season could be the year of change for the Southwest Ampitheater where the stunt shows were once held. It is almost completely unused. This brought about discussion of a potential 4D ride. They also mentioned the barely used Pictorium. Options!
We are only a week away from 2015 announcements. What are your thoughts on what the upcoming year holds for Great America and other Six Flags parks?

Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 8/21/14 9:42:15 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to see American Eagle axed or RMC-retracked at some point in the future because it has seen a lot of ridership decline over the years. Honestly, if it was re-tracked I think the ride would be so severely modified that it would be unrecognizable though as some of the design choices; like the bizarre use of wood to support the super-high helix, would probably be changed. I do think it is on borrowed time based on what SF is doing elsewhere in the chain.

I really, really hope they don't do anything with Whizzer though. It's a family ride in a park that needs to have some of them and it's a super-rare type of coaster that I still love riding every time I visit the park. It still has plenty of riders and I find it highly unlikely that they'd put anything actually better in the same spot as the plot would only support something smaller like a Euro Fighter.

Michael W.
242: 66 (22 CCI/GG) / 175
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by jd64848704 at 8/21/14 10:03:39 AM
CortexBomb said:

I wouldn't be surprised to see American Eagle axed or RMC-retracked at some point in the future because it has seen a lot of ridership decline over the years. Honestly, if it was re-tracked I think the ride would be so severely modified that it would be unrecognizable though as some of the design choices; like the bizarre use of wood to support the super-high helix, would probably be changed. I do think it is on borrowed time based on what SF is doing elsewhere in the chain.


I really, really hope they don't do anything with Whizzer though. It's a family ride in a park that needs to have some of them and it's a super-rare type of coaster that I still love riding every time I visit the park. It still has plenty of riders and I find it highly unlikely that they'd put anything actually better in the same spot as the plot would only support something smaller like a Euro Fighter.

Yes, Eagle is on borrowed time...and they haven't been putting effort into upkeep which is one of the reasons we thought the axe may drop. It is also a long ride, which means it would create space for an amazing replacement. We had a lot of conversation about the little room for expansion.

So much sentiment for the Whizzer..and I get it. One of the groups we talked with mentioned the odd kiddy ride layout. I said the rides are sprinkled..so the little ones have an opportunity to ride throughout the park and not be sequestered to one small space. Others disagreed and said an expansion of Camp cartoon would be great. I haven't had to experience the park with my kiddo being too small to ride anything.. by the time we moved here, he was able to ride everything! Those in line with younger children did mention that getting them through the full sprinkled layout of kiddy rides at the park is exhausting and meltdown inducing. Yikes! They mentioned moving the Whizzer there as well and renaming it to fit theme.. I don't see it happening. I also think it is unlikely Whizzer will be touched anytime too soon due to the public outcry when they were going to remove it for Superman. You're right as well... the space it would open would most likely be too small for anything too fantastic.
Another rumor is Sky Trek Tower coming down to be replaced with a better drop ride or a wind seeker. I am not on board with a Wind Seeker. I don't think it will add value to our coaster driven park. I would love to see Giant Drop get a crazy overhaul though :)

Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/21/14 10:18:56 AM
I'm sitting in the parking lot, right now, waiting for them to open the gates.
Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by jd64848704 at 8/21/14 10:32:31 AM
frontrow said:

I'm sitting in the parking lot, right now, waiting for them to open the gates.

BOLT FOR GOLIATH.

Bring a friend free days are going on through tomorrow and it makes for seriously sucky wait times :( even Demon was at an hour yesterday! What!?! Have fun!
If the rain keeps crowds away, I may be over for an evening spin on Goliath or Bull :)

Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by leroyk at 8/21/14 9:07:47 PM
Hey SFA will take X-Flight anytime !!!
Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/21/14 10:28:08 PM
We did run for Goliath in the morning. Had to wait 3 trains for front seat. We got the 4th train of the day, and when we got off the entire regular que was full: 75 minute wait. For the most part the park was very uncrowded. Wait times were between 10-20 minutes. Got a bunch of rides and had the best day I ever have had at that park. Even with the small crowds, Goliath remained over a hour all day. We checked it out probably 5 times during the day.
Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 8/26/14 10:43:14 AM
It's interesting to see thoughts from a regular at the park.

Being someone who's visited the park twice within the past 4 years, I would like to chyme in.

1. I like Whizzer! I'd be sad to see it go.

2. Eagle is awesome! I rode it backwards. I would be really remiss to see that go or even get overhauled. I feel like I'd rather keep some wooden roller coasters in their original state. This being one of them.

3. I think X-Flight is the best wingrider out of the three in the U.S right now. I think it has the best speed, which is funny because you mention it's slow. It also has the tightest layout of the three.

4. I'd be very surprised if SFGA got a new coaster next year.

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by jd64848704 at 8/27/14 10:08:40 PM
I always enjoy hearing perspectives of GAm goers who are less frequent visitors too :) The things I may take for granted are some of the best gems to others.

There are a lot of awesome things that make my home park amazing. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to dodge over whenever the urge strikes, as I feel we have a pretty awesome lineup!

1) I would be a tad sad to see the nostalgia of the Whizzer leave... Until they announced something epic to take it's place ;) lol I do get how it is great for families and a fun spin down memory lane of coaster history :) I take a ride here and there.

2) Eagle needs cosmetic overhaul only, in my opinion. I still like riding this one, especially backwards! I am concerned that they are putting less effort into the cosmetic look of this ride and the fact that I could ride it multiple times in a row without exiting (until Goliath opened and the overflow brought it back to life). It is usually very eerily quiet. Not to mention, other Parks are closing similar rides.. They have to keep up with what is popular and bringing ridership... And unfortunately our park is not able to really expand to add new space.

3) I have not been on any other wing riders, so I have no comparison for X-Flight! I really do think it is fun, but again the ridership began suffering the year it opened... And continued last season... And again into this season. :/ I'm just not sure it's being well received. I enjoy it for all the elements it contains- and I don't find it to be too slow.. But it is the biggest complaint I have heard!

4) I would be shocked into silence tomorrow if Great America announces a 2015 coaster. I don't see how that would work. At this point, we will most likely need to clear space which will take at least 2015, maybe 2016 as well to accomplish.

All this being said, I'm excited to attend the Gurnee resident 2015 announcement celebration at the park tomorrow morning! Hopefully the announcement will be as awesome as they have been hyping it as :)

Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 9/3/14 7:34:57 AM
As a huge fan of SFGAm (sucks that it is seven hours from me) I'd like to chime in with a few thoughts.

1. I think X Flight is much, much better than Gatekeeper. It seems the smaller wing coasters "work" better as a smaller ride than the big oversized models. I don't get where people say it's slow as it didn't seem slow to me. I only recall one person saying it was boring when I was there two years ago. If SF decides to move it due to low ridership send it to St. Louis - it appears that they need a new coaster down there.

2. Every park needs a traditional wood coaster and even though the park already has Viper I think American Eagle just needs new track and an extremely shorter queue line. Getting to the ride platform is a real pain the butt.

3. With the removal of Ragin' Cajun that leaves that spot open for either a Skyscreamer, or after looking at Fiesta Texas' new Batman I wouldn't be surprised if Great America got a similar ride themed to fit Mardi Gras, even though SF generally doesn't stick with themes - see Dark Knight and Superman in Orleans Place as an example.

4. Whizzer is not only a great family ride but it's also one of the iconic rides in the park. Unless it is a serious safety and/or structural issue that would be very costly I don't see this leaving anytime soon.

5. My wish, and this is just a pipe dream, would be to move Camp Cartoon to where the go-carts are next to Little Dipper. What a horrendous idea to put the go-carts in that location.

Hopefully Six Flags won't start changing too much of what is already there. Overall SFGAm is the most complete park in the chain thanks to not only having a great coaster lineup but having a very good variety of flat rides

G-Dog

Re: Six Flags Great America future changes??? by drachen drachen Profile at 9/3/14 11:57:45 AM
Geauga_Dog said:

5. My wish, and this is just a pipe dream, would be to move Camp Cartoon to where the go-carts are next to Little Dipper. What a horrendous idea to put the go-carts in that location.

Hopefully Six Flags won't start changing too much of what is already there. Overall SFGAm is the most complete park in the chain thanks to not only having a great coaster lineup but having a very good variety of flat rides

G-Dog

I agree with most of what you said, G-Dog, but especially with these last two statements.

The go-carts need to go. There's just no need for them inside a large theme park. That spot would make a great location for a new children's area, as it sits next to the Little Dipper.

But I think Kidzopolis is the area that needs to be moved. It looks dated and that space could be used to re-do the who American Eagle area.

The park has the best collection of coasters and rides then any of the others. I just think their operations are very poor. If it's a busy day, you're in for a lousy time. That's not necessarily true for many other parks.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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