SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA
Six Flags Theme Parks
Park News - (7/19/18) Six Flags Great America will kick off their Mardi Gras Festival event starting July 28 through to August 12. The event will feature two daily parades, thousands of beads, new food options and fireworks every night.
(6/29/18) Details for the planned July 4th Fest celebration at Six Flags Great America days (June 30 - July 4) have been posted to the park's website.
(6/17/18) On Friday night Six Flags Great America held a special late night "Coasters After Dark" program for their passholders, unfortunately things didn't go as planned once again. The next morning Screamscape received a few unconfirmed reports from guests that several fights had broken out in the park all within a small window a time and if wasn't long before local on-site security and Gurnee Police officers called in back-up from the Lake County Sheriff's department as well as Waukegan police. These reports have now been backed up by local news coverage, on-line videos of some of the action (see below), and even a 25 minute audio recording of the chaos unfolding in the park through a police radio scanner.
While we don't know the extent of it all, several of the fights were apparently between women at the park facing off, which in turn spread to others nearby, and eventually even more fights out in the parking lot at police forces broke the fights up and detained those involved. There were also reports of vandalism in the Southwest Territory and even a brief gun scare... though no gun was ever seen or found, but apparently a verbal threat of one was enough to cause a brief scare at one point in the night.
If this sounds the slightest bit familiar, it was just last fall when the news reported on another night of fights and chaos in the park that resulted in a large group beating on a family group. Unfortunately this seems to be on the verge of becoming a regular thing whenever the park is open after dark, which is just sad... after all, don't we all go to theme parks to just have fun and get our ride on? No reason for this kind of thing to happen in my opinion and it does make me a bit concerned that we may see similar headlines once again during the first Holiday In The Park event this winter.
(6/14/18) Six Flags Great America is in talks with the local government about a possible $4 million tax incentive deal. If Six Flags is approved for the tax incentive program, they would add $15 million in capital improvements to the park over the next seven years. This would be money put into infrastructure and security enhancements to the park and not to new attractions or rides.
(6/13/18) Six Flags Great America is adding a little VR fun to the park's Giant Drop tower. To be more specific, "DC SUPER HEROES Drop of Doom VR" is coming to Giant Drop when it reopens for the season. Based on the name, this would be the same VR experience that was added to the Lex Luthor Drop of Doom ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain back in March. For a little preview of what's to come, check out the video below which shows off the experience on the Magic Mountain attraction, where Superman and Wonder Woman arrive to stop Lex's evil plans.
I'm told this will be a very limited time experience, running at the park only from June 21st through to July 22nd, but is free with park admission.
(4/30/18) They aren't wasting any time demolishing the old Pictorium building at Six Flags Great America. Take a look at a picture taken of the site on Friday afternoon below.
(4/25/18) The word from locals near Six Flags Great America is that demolition work has started on the old Pictorium building, though the work may be focused on interior demolition at the moment, where the sounds of jackhammers working away inside were heard.
(4/12/18) Don't say I didn't warn you first, but Six Flags Great America has confirmed that the park will remain open through to the end of the year in 2018 for the first time in its 42-year history, with the addition of a new "Holiday in the Park" winter event that will keep the gates open through to New Year's Eve.
2018 - Mardi Gras Hangover - (5/24/18) According to the local news Six Flags Great America opened their new Mardi Gras Hangover attraction back on May 21st. While any new ride is a good thing, unfortunately the park is still trying to market the giant super loop attraction as a "record-breaking roller coaster" instead of as the flat ride it really is, even going so far as the claim that this is the park's 16th coaster.
While I enjoy a good new ride, this is just a disappointing (and somewhat misleading) marketing tactic to see from Six Flags at this point.
(2/14/18) Six Flags Great America has announced that they finally have picked a name for the "World's Largest Loop Coaster" Larson Giant Loop ride coming to the park for 2018. Hence, going forward the ride will now be called the "Mardi Gras Hangover" when it opens this Spring.
Fitting in with the Mardi Gras theme, the park also announced that they will put on a new Mardi Gras Festival sometime late in the Summer season, which I'm guessing will be a copy of the new Mardi Gras Festival that premiered at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2017.
(8/31/17) While they don't currently have a name for the ride yet, Six Flags Great America promises to add the "World's Largest Loop Coaster" for 2018, which is actually an extra large sized version of a Larson Giant Loop flat ride. According to the description, "This world-record breaking attraction will take riders forward and backward on a gigantic loop before suspending them completely upside down for plenty of wicked hang-time."
"This ride will have riders traveling in unique “face-off” seating. Thrill seekers will go through a whirlwind series of 360° revolutions suspended upside down for the most insane, inverted hang-time of any coaster in the park before reeling down in the opposite direction."
It will be 100 feet tall and seat 32-riders at a time and be located in the park's Mardi Gras section. Oh... and about that name? It was rumored to be called "Hurricane Force 5" but I can only assume that with the destruction in Texas going on from Hurricane Harvey at the moment, they've opted to reconsider that one at the last second, which is a good call.
(8/24/17) Six Flags Great America has confirmed that the park will soon be closing their King Chaos ride (Top Spin). I assume this is to make way for whatever new attraction they have planned for 2018, but it is always possible that it was simply time to retire the attraction for one reason or another. Sunday is your last chance to ride King Chaos as they prepare to #ChaseTheStorm2018.
On a related note, another source has backed up the rumor of the park getting a special "World's Tallest and Fastest" Larson Super Loop ride for 2018. The standard Larson "Giant Loop" ride that they've been selling to parks over the past couple years is 73 feet tall (22 meters), but the rumored new XL version coming to SFGAm is said to be well over 100 feet tall and may be called "Hurricane Force 5", borrowing the name that Fiesta Texas used for their Disk'O in 2016.
(8/8/17) According to the latest rumor, Six Flags Great America could be adding a Larson Loop for the 2018 season. If some rumors are to be believed, this could even end up being a bigger than normal, custom sized version.
2019 - New Attraction - Construction - (8/17/18) Six Flags Great America is back at it again with the third teaser as our speed demon in training has traded the bathing suit for a red jumpsuit and while running out of the waterpark a trainer says, 'Max, take the detour!"
STOP... here is our first official hint about the name I think. They called him Max... and we know Six Flags has filed a trademark for the name "Maxx Force", which was also rumored to possibly be the same for the new coaster going to Six Flags Magic Mountain along with West Coast Racer.
Back to the video... Max crosses the train tracks where four more trainers point the way to him standing next to a sign indicating a twisted road ahead... 175 Yards Ahead to be specific. Possibly another numeric hint about the ride to come... maybe 175 feet tall?
More to come, as this is the end of Episode 3 for now.
(8/11/18) Six Flags Great America has posted the second part of their Road to Glory racing themed teaser as we follow the guy from the first part climbing into a drop pod slide, and being told at the bottom that "You can do better." They then show off a stopwatch with a 2 second time.
If they are playing a numbers game with us, then in Part 1 the fellow gets sprayed down with cans of "SPF 1,000" before being sent to the slide tower, along with an awkward holding of one can by the girl with the only speaking role so we can see the logo while they gaze at the tower.
Despite the waterpark background, are we looking at a new launched coaster concept here? The fastest coaster in the Six Flags chain is Kingda Ka which hits 128mph in 3.5 seconds... but there was once a launched coaster in the US that had a much more extreme launch sensation. It wasn't as fast as Kingda Ka, hitting only 80mph, but it did it in 1.8 seconds and just felt completely out of control. I'm talking about the former Hypersonic XLC coaster that ran at Kings Dominion from 2001 to 2007 from S&S, back with S&S was pushing the concept as their "Thrust Air 2000" coaster concept, using compressed air to power the launch and actual rubber aircraft tires on the coaster train itself. The king of all Thrust Air coasters was built in Japan as Dodonpa... now remodeled and renamed as Do-Dodonpa, which features a 111.9 mph launch in just 1.6 seconds.
To date, no Intamin launched coaster that I know of has been able to match the raw power of the S&S launch system, with I believe their best being between Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm which hits 82mph in 2.3 seconds, and Stealth at Thorpe Park that hits 80mph in 1.9 seconds.
While Intamin seems to have retired their Hydraulic launch system for the time being, S&S has quietly been building newer versions of their Air launched system across China over the past decade onto more traditional looking coaster systems. None have attempted to match the speed of Do-Dodonpa, but most report launch speeds of 83mph (Extreme rush, Bullet Coaster, OCT Thrust SSC1000) and the Launch Coaster that is expected to open later this year at Sun Tzu Cultural Park in China that will launch to 83.9 mph. Unfortunately I've been unable to find any documentation on the time of these new launch systems. So this does make me wonder if we could be seeing a new launch coaster from S&S come to SFGAm next season as it could easily take the record for fastest acceleration in North America. Just a thought...
(8/3/18) So what's coming to Six Flags Great America in 2019? The park released an early teaser that mixed a waterpark setting with a race car theme called Road To Glory - Episode 1. We know Six Flags Magic Mountain is working on something that may have a race car theme to it for 2019, and Six Flags did file a trademark for something called West Coast Racers that could be put to use here I suppose.
The one odd thing is that the construction site for SFGAm's 2019 project is a bit too large for just a waterpark addition and we've mostly been hearing rumors of a much needed new thrill ride for the park thus far. Perhaps they will add something new to the main park and a new slide for the water park. A reader also suggested that it might be interesting if the park added a race themed water coaster, much like the Thunder Rapids slide added to Six Flags Fiesta Texas the previous year.
(7/9/18) A reader visiting sent in a few more pictures of the park's 2019 project construction site.
(7/7/18) A couple more noted about Six Flags Great America's mystery 2019 project. According to one park guest, they spotted what looked like pre-forms for new coaster footers sitting in the employee parking lot while riding Goliath this week. Meanwhile another guest sent in a picture of more stakes laid out on the current construction site..
(7/4/18) I'm told that new construction marking stakes were spotted inside Six Flags Great America this week. Not just around the former Pictorium site but I'm hearing some may have been spotted behind The Whizzer and Hometime Fun Machine area as well. If anyone gets more pictures as time goes on, please do send them in. Photo credit to "Joey M".
(5/30/18) So we know Six Flags Great America tore out the Pictorium as quick as they could, but the question of why still remains. According to one source, some kind of big project has been fast-tracked for the site, likely for the 2019 season, but no one seems to know what just yet.
Is it time for a new coaster already? You never know, but the park did just open Joker in 2017, Goliath in 2014 and X-Flight in 2012, so the park hasn't exactly been hurting for a new coaster. The park has also been in near the front of the line when it comes to getting all the trendy rides that the corporate office wanted to spread throughout the chain like the Larson Super Loops, Justice League dark rides, S&S 4D Free Spin Coasters, and even has an RMC coaster. Newer trends in the making could include a giant flat ride or two, like the Cyborg Cyber Spin, or maybe a Raptor style coaster, but none of those seem big enough or urgent enough to start on right now for 2019. The park did skip out on the SkyScreamer trend though.
Time to keep those eyes and ears open.