Friday, August 17, 2012

Six Flags Great America Gurnee Visit

We visited Six Flags' Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, on Wednesday.  It was our first visit to that park in two years.  We planned on going earlier this summer, but with 100 degree heat much of the season, it just wasn't happening.  As it worked out, going in mid-August was a good experience.  Not too hot and not overly crowded, right before school starts. 

Great America started its existence as "Marriot's Great America".  I know this because I was a teenager when it opened.  Back then it attempted to be a bit more of a theme park with a handful of thrill rides.  The log flume and the boat flume rides that were there at opening are still there.  They actually sort of fit the theming.  The Whizzer "Family" coaster was there back then, too.  Then it was called "Willard's Whizzer".  It's the same coaster, though. 

Now it's a thrill ride park with a nod to the themes of each land.  And not much of a nod.  The log ride was and is in a part of the park called "Yukon Territory", and the boat flume ride, called "Yankee Clipper" was and is still in a part of the park called "Yankee Harbor".  Aside from those two rides, however, rides don't have much relation to the part of the park where they're located.  For example, the "Southwest Territory" area contains coasters called the Viper (a wooden coaster) and the Raging Bull (a big steel coaster).  The Southwest Territory has nice theming in the buildings, but really, that's about it. 

Orleans Place and Mardi Gras sections (separate sections according to the park guide map) are both themed like New Orleans.  What rides might you expect to find in New Orleans?  A swamp tour, maybe?  A riverboat?  A streetcar?  These sections house The Dark Knight indoor dark coaster, Superman: Ultimate Flight (a flying coaster), the Condor (a spinning ride that raises you 112 feet in the air) and Roaring Rapids (a whitewater raft ride).  There are bumper cars called Rue Le Dodge and a spinning coaster (think Primeval Whirl) called the Ragin' Cajun.  Again, the buildings are nicely themed, but that's pretty much it. 

Other sections of the park include the County Fair, Hometown Square, and Carousel Plaza.  The park features a waterpark called Hurricane Harbor. 

None of this affected my sons' enjoyment of the 7 coasters they rode.  (I myself only rode one - the new X-Flight wing coaster - and my neck told me that no more coasters would be ridden that day.)  It's a thrill park.  I guess those "lands" are convenient markers for the map, but not much else today.

I'm still trying to figure out what Batman: The Ride has to do with Yankee Harbor, however.



HappyFunLand said...

Always wanted to go to this park!

Scott said...

Thanks for reading!