Monday, November 3, 2008

Six Flags Season Wrap-Up

We went to Six Flags Great America one last time for the season on Saturday, their last long open day. Apparently, the draw of being the last Saturday in Fright Fest trumped the weather. Lines were 2X longer (time-wise) than any of the other days we went this year. So, not only did we wait an hour and a half for Raging Bull, our toes and fingers were going numb. Still, it was worth it for a day outside and riding 5 coasters. (Viper, Batman, Raging Bull, Batman, Viper) That last Viper ride, we got in line 15 minutes before close, and got on the LAST car of the LAST train of the night.

Here are my opinions of the significant roller coasters in the park:

1) Raging Bull: BEST ride at Six Flags Great America. Smooth ride the whole way, you aren't distracted by physical pain from noticing the height and speed. Designed to trick your mind a bit, there aren't really loops, but it does tilt the track to one side and another at the top of the tallest sections. Rather than being strapped in over the shoulders or secured by a safety-belt, you just get a molded lap bar that sits on top of your thighs. K observed you can hook your feet under the seat for extra security if you want. I am more likely to hold my legs out straight and my arms up in the air. If you don't remember what is coming next, there are three places in the ride where it suddenly drops. I suggest taking the last row of seats, with the braver people sitting to the outside. There are two places, one for each side, where you are sure that the outside person is going to slam into the safety railing flying at you. Overall really great, and not too short to enjoy.

2) Batman (the older, suspended one): Now that it isn't "new" the lines are shorter than previous years. We feel that it is worth the extra wait time to get in the front row, otherwise all you see if the back of the row in front of you. The front row is crazy as you fly too close (not really) to landscaping and support beams. Keep your eyes open or you miss the best parts of the ride. K's father has me on his "list" now for making us take the front row of this ride! Which seat you get in the row doesn't seem to make as much of a difference in this one. If the line for the front is ridiculous, the back row makes it feel like your shoes are getting pulled off of your feet. The seats and shoulder restraints feel VERY secure, you aren't going to move at all in relation to your bucket during the ride. Fast, loopy, and spinny, even throws you at the ground a few times. It is over too quickly, however, to be completely satisfying.

3) Viper: Wooden, fast, pulled out of your seat at the top of the hills. Take the last car for the most free-fall events. The weekdays never had a line, even on Saturday it was only about a half an hour wait. Everyone forgets to take off the seatbelt before standing up at the end - watch for this, it is pretty funny.

4) Eagle: Wooden "racers" aren't always running both the red and blue sides. Classic coaster, less comfortable than the Viper, loud, jarring, but still fun.

5) Superman: New, flying coaster. Very long line for a very short ride. Do it at night if you can for a more intense experience. You are strapped in so tightly (even at the ankles!) you can't hold your arms out straight in the classic Superman pose. Which row you get doesn't seem to matter at all. Each row has a good view since you are facing away from the track. Sensations are totally different than other rides. I found myself not making any noise at all because I NEEDED THAT OXYGEN TO BREATHE!

6) Demon: 80's looping coaster. Short line, short ride, from back when the number of loops and corkscrews was all that mattered. Unfortunately the shoulder restraints look like they still carry the evidence of all the riders since the 80's. Ewwwww. I saw a lot of smaller children in line for this one, which is cool. Get them hooked early!

I didn't ride Iron Wolf at all this year because it HURTS, or V2 because it FREAKS ME THE HELL OUT. Great if you like those, I'll just go do Batman again instead. Or Viper twice.

7) The Dark Knight: They really should call this a fun-house ride instead of a coaster. Nothing like Space Mountain, other than it is indoors. The line is better than the ride, seriously, because of the nifty Gotham city maps. Worth it for serious coaster riders only if it is raining. Suitable for all ages, if not afraid of clowns.

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