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My business trip neighbor was Six Flags Great America, and with cuff links still on, I spent an evening racing to try each of Six Flags Great America’s roller coasters finding a few tips along the way.
I made it to all the serious coasters before closing, finishing with Raging Bull by coming up from the exit. Did not have time for any of the water rides or the dropping/spinning rides.
Here is my subjective countdown ranking. Just firing from my gut, no attempt at objectivity. I am biased to wood over metal. I rode all 1-2 times, each at least once in the far back row, the front rows typically had too long of lines, except for American Eagle.
Skip without regrets:
9. The Dark Knight Coaster: lame, the only one I regretted even the time spent on board. The only one to make a paltry effort to tell a story, and this is no Universal. Only benefit is being out of the sun.
8. Demon: small, looping coaster showing its three decade age, can’t compete with the new ones but good if nearby Raging Bull is packed.
Go for it if lines are reasonable:
7. Superman: Ultimate Flight: looks much cooler than it is, the second biggest thrill when when you are lifted into position, the ride is not as intense as expected except the great small loop in the middle where the Gs pack a wallop.
6. X Flight: stupendous looks, so-so experience. One of several rides that broke while I was in line, this with already long waits and slow loads. A few moments when the coaster turns to avoid obstacles are fun.
Worth the wait:
5. Vertical Velocity: one of those ‘shot out of a cannon’ coasters that go back and forth, the best parts are being front or back and being pulled down with the weight of the coaster. Good backup if Batman is swamped.
4. Batman The Ride Backwards: backwards for a limited time, great thrill, really easy to get queasy in backward mode, more of a flight feel than Superman.
3. American Eagle: awesome, huge side-by-side wooden roller coaster. It is a long walk at the back of the park which keeps the crowds away. Loading is really slow.
2. Raging Bull: excellent metal coaster, traditional with a few surprises like the angled first drop. Avoid Hurricane Harbor closing time when traffic spills out to Southwest Territory.
Sleeper surprise, don’t ignore the little fella’:
1. Viper: something about this little wooden coaster, I am not trying to be contrary, when I rode it at the end of the day I hopped out and immediately slipped back in to catch the last ride of the day. Intense thrills, surprise, and variety without gimmickry. Reasonably child-friendly (48″ and up) and not one to make people motion sick. It is easy to miss its set back from the traffic between Hurricane Harbor and Southwest Territory. Avoid Hurricane Harbor closing time when traffic spills out to Southwest Territory. Don’t miss it!
Readers, what’s your take?