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Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America logo.svg
Six Flags Great America (14860695006).jpg
The Columbia Carousel, the icon of the park and the centerpiece of Carousel Plaza.
Slogan The Thrill Capital of the Midwest
Location Gurnee, Illinois, United States
Owner Six Flags
Opened May 29, 1976 (1976-05-29)
Previous names Marriott's Great America (1976–1984)
Operating season Spring – Winter
Visitors per annum 3.107 million in 2018
Area 304 acres (1.23 km2)
Attractions
Total 53
Roller coasters 15
Water rides 4
Website Six Flags Great America
Status Operating

Six Flags Great America is an amusement park located in Gurnee, Illinois, 45 miles (72 km) north of downtown Chicago. Originally opened in 1976 by the Marriott Corporation as Marriott's Great America, Six Flags has owned and operated the park since 1984. The park features nine themed areas and fifteen roller coasters, as well as a 20-acre (81,000 m2) water park called Hurricane Harbor Chicago. Over 3 million guests visited the park in 2017, ranking it among the top 20 amusement parks in North America for attendance.

Areas and attractions

The overall layout of Six Flags Great America has remained mostly unchanged from the original design that was created for Marriott. The park's designer, Randall Duell, followed the pattern of his trademark "Duell loop", creating a series of themed areas around a path which winds around the park circularly, allowing space for employees and maintenance workers to work out of sight of guests in the middle.

Carousel Plaza

The front entrance area to the park, between Orleans Place and Hometown Square. In addition to the rides, there are shops and food kiosks themed to the area. In Carousel Plaza Gifts, guests could see a 1978 model of Marriott's Great America until the 2015 season.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Columbia Carousel Columbia Carousel flowers 6FGrAmIL 2006 Jr.jpg 1976 Chance Rides
(Double-decker carousel)
At a height of 100 ft (30 m), the carousel is the world's second-tallest, surpassed only by its twin, the Carousel Columbia. The horses and other animals were furnished by Bradley & Kaye, based on reproduced antique molds. For the park's 40th anniversary, the carousel was refurbished and repainted. Mild
Sky Trek Tower Great America - Chicago - USA.jpg 1977 Intamin
(Gyro 1200)
The 330 ft (100 m) tower is the tallest freestanding structure in Lake County, Illinois and carries riders to a height of 285 ft (87 m). On a clear day, Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline can be seen from the top of the tower. As of the 2019 season, the ride is operating less and less, most likely due to high maintenance costs and low ridership. The ride also did not operate in 2021 due to Illinois COVID-19 restrictions. Mild
Maxx Force Maxx Force Six Flags Great America.jpg 2019 S&S

(Air-launch coaster)

This triple-record breaking 175 ft (53 m) tall compressed air launch coaster from S&S features the world's tallest double inversion, fastest inversion (60 mph (97 km/h)), and the fastest acceleration in North America (0-78 mph (126 km/h) in under 2 seconds). Max

Hometown Square

One of the park's original areas, themed after a small midwestern town around the turn of the century. Hometown Square is located between Carousel Plaza, County Fair and Southwest Territory. Guests walk through many shops and stalls and can ride many classic carnival-style rides. Whizzer, a Schwarzkopf spiral-lift coaster, is one of the last of its kind in the world.

Ride Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Triple Play 1976 HUSS Rides
(Troika)
A spinning ride, slowly lifts and sets down Moderate
Hometown Fun Machine 1976 Eli Bridge
(Scrambler)
Opened in 1976 as Saskatchewan Scrambler in Yukon Territory. Relocated to Hometown Square as Hometown Fun Machine in 1977. Moderate
The Lobster 1976 Anton Schwarzkopf (Monster III) Opened in 1976 as "The Lobster" in Yankee Harbor. Rethemed, renamed "East River Crawler" and repainted in 1992 to match the new Batman: The Ride. East River Crawler was removed for refurbishment for the 2012 season and returned to service in 2013. Moved to Hometown Square in 2017 and renamed The Lobster, replacing The Orbit. Max
Whizzer 1976 Anton Schwarzkopf
(Speedracer)
This Classic ACE Coaster Landmark is one of the last "Speedracer" coaster models ever built. Originally named "Willard's Whizzer" after J. Willard Marriott. Moderate
Great America Scenic Railway 1976 Custom Fabricators, Inc.
(Train)
3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge train ride around the park. Also has a station in the County Fair section of the park. Did not operate for the entire 2019 season due to Maxx Force construction. Mild

Hometown Park

This area is a sub-section of Hometown Square. This section previously existed from the park's opening in 1976 until the rides were removed after the 2001 season. In 2015, three of the original rides returned as part of the park's 40th season celebration.
Ride Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Lady Bugs 1976 (opened); 2015 (Re-opened) S.B Ramagosa (Kiddie Lady Bugs) Originally located here, was relocated to Bugs Bunny National Park until its closing in 2009 Mild
Red Baron 1976 (opened); 2015 (Re-opened) Chance (Kiddie Planes) Used as Fright Fest props from 2002 to 2011 Mild
Tot's Livery 1976 (opened); 2015 (Re-opened) Hampton (Kiddie Surrey Carriages) Mild

Southwest Territory

Originally intended to be built in 1979 as The Great Southwest, the area, themed around an old Wild West town, was built in 1996. The area is outside of the park's loop, connected to both Hometown Square and County Fair. It also has the primary connection to Hurricane Harbor. There are many shops and carnival-style games based on the theme.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Raging Bull Raging Bull (Six Flags Great America) 01.JPG 1999 Bolliger & Mabillard
(Hypercoaster)
The tallest roller coaster at Great America, with a drop height of 208 ft (63 m), as well as top speeds of 73 mph (117 km/h). It was advertised as the "world's first Hyper-Twister". Max
Viper Viper (Six Flags Great America).jpg 1995 Six Flags
(wooden coaster)
Opened before the rest of the Southwest Territory area, Viper is the only rollercoaster ever constructed in-house by Six Flags. The ride is an identical mirror image of the Coney Island Cyclone, like similar rides at other Six Flags parks. Max
Giant Drop Six Flags Great America drop tower.JPG 1997 Intamin
(Giant Drop/Multi Drop)
A 227 ft (69 m) drop tower, themed around an ore excavator at the "Loco Diablo mine." Max
Chubasco 1996 Zamperla A spinning teacup ride, housed in a building based on a Spanish mission. Moderate
Ricochet 1977 Huss Rides A swinging ride painted with cow spots. Originally named Big Top and located in County Fair, the ride moved to the new Southwest Territory area in 1996 and its former location was replaced with Dare Devil Dive. Moderate
River Rocker 1996 Zamperla A swinging pirate ship ride. Moderate

Metropolis Plaza

The newest and smallest themed area of the park, based on DC Comics characters. It replaced the Southwest Amphitheater in 2016, and is located between Southwest Territory and County Fair. As of 2017, it consists of the Justice League ride and an attached gift shop.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Justice League: Battle for Metropolis JusticeLeague-BFM SFOG.JPG 2016 Sally Corporation An interactive 4D dark ride. Moderate

County Fair

The Great Midwest Livestock Exposition at County Fair, almost always known simply as County Fair, is the largest section of the park, taking up most of the back area. There are many shops, stalls and attractions set in a theme based on a rural county fair. The area also features a food court and a gallery of carnival games.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Demon Demon Roller Coaster.jpg 1976 Arrow Dynamics
(looping coaster)
Originally known as Turn of the Century when it opened with the park in 1976, two vertical loops were added to the ride in 1980 in addition to its two clockwise corkscrews and it was renamed and rethemed the Demon. At the time, it was tied for the most inversions on a roller coaster in the world. Max
X Flight Train going through the "Keyhole" on X-Flight at Six Flags Great America.jpg 2012 Bolliger & Mabillard
(wing coaster)
One of the first Wing Coasters to be built in the United States. Max
Goliath Goliath at Six Flags Great America (14696979368).jpg 2014 Rocky Mountain Construction
(wooden roller coaster)
Formerly the world's fastest wooden roller coaster at 72 mph (116 km/h), and steepest wooden roller coaster at an 85 degree angle of descent. Built on the site formerly occupied by "Iron Wolf" and "Z-Force". Currently holds the record for the tallest drop on a wooden coaster, and is currently the world's tallest, steepest, and fastest looping wooden coaster. Goliath was also the first coaster in the world to feature a "Zero G" Stall. Max
Buccaneer Battle 2009 Mack Located on the former site of Sky Whirl and Déjà Vu, 14 eight-passenger boats navigate a 450 ft (140 m) channel featuring interactive targets and water effects. Mild
American Eagle American Eagle 01.JPG 1981 Intamin
(wooden racing coaster)
With a drop of 147 ft (45 m), a top speed of 66 mph (106 km/h), and a track length of 4,650 ft (1.42 km), the American Eagle has remained the tallest, fastest, and longest racing coaster in the world since it opened in 1981. Max
Dare Devil Dive 1997 Ride Entertainment Group
(skycoaster)
A bungee jump ride where guests freefall from a height of 125 ft (38 m), and then swing forward on a steel cable. This ride requires an additional fee. Max
Revolution 2004 Huss Rides
(frisbee)
Originally operated at Six Flags Great Adventure as Pendulum from 1999 to 2003. Max
Fiddler's Fling 1976 Anton Schwarzkopf
(calypso 3)
Has 25 cars for a total capacity of 50 passengers. Moderate
Great America Scenic Railway 1976 Custom Fabricators, Inc.
(train)
ft (914 mm) narrow gauge train ride around the park. Also has a station in the Hometown Square section of the park. Did not operate for the entire 2019 season due to Maxx Force construction. This train station is also used for the Santa meet and greet during Holiday in the Park. Mild

Kidzopolis

See also: Kidzopolis
A children's-specific area of County Fair, located in front of the American Eagle entrance tent. Originally known as Wiggles World, the area was added for 2007. The Wiggles theming was removed after the 2010 season.
Ride Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
ZoomJets 2007 Zamperla
(Aero Top Jet)
originally named Big Red Planes Mild
Bouncer 2007 Zamperla
(Jumpin' Star)
originally named Bouncin' With Wags Mild
Up, Up & Away 2007 Zamperla
(Samba Tower)
originally named Yummy Yummy Fruit Salad Mild
Splish Splash Zone 2007 (Pop Jet Fountain) originally named Henry's Splish Splash Mild
Krazy Kars 2007 Zamperla
(Convoy)
originally named Big Red Cars Mild
Krazy Kups 2007 Zamperla
(Mini Tea Cup)
originally named Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cups Mild
Pirate's Playship 2007 (Interactive Play Ship) Interactive Play Ship with nets and slides, originally named SS Feathersword. Since the Wiggles theming was removed, Six Flags has considered it a part of Splish Splash Zone.

Yukon Territory

This area is themed around the famous forests and mountains in northwest Canada, with references to logging, prospecting and gold panning. The area is located between County Fair and Yankee Harbor, and has a connection to the Picnic Grove near the Wilderness Theater.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Winner's Circle Go Karts 1999 These go carts originally opened in 1999 in Carousel Plaza. The go karts were relocated to Yukon Territory in 2011 in the former site of Bugs Bunny National Park to make way for Riptide Bay. The ride requires an additional fee. Moderate
Little Dipper Little Dipper May-2010.jpg 2010 Philadelphia Toboggan Company
(wooden roller coaster)
Built in 1950, this junior coaster has been honored with the "Ace Coaster Classic" Award. This coaster was purchased by Six Flags Great America from Kiddieland Amusement Park in 2009. Six Flags Great America opened "Little Dipper" in 2010 as the park's 14th coaster. Mild
Logger's Run 1976 Arrow Dynamics
(log flume)
Water attraction with twin flumes. Moderate

Camp Cartoon

This is a sub-section of Yukon Territory. It was known as Camp Cartoon Network when first added in 1998. Despite the former name, the rides were themed to Hanna-Barbera properties and not Cartoon Network ones. In 2006 the area was renamed to its current name, with its entrance replacing the Cartoon Network characters with Hanna-Barbera ones. In 2018, the area was rethemed and with this removed all Hanna Barbera theming and so Camp Cartoon’s rides now feature more generic names.
Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(model)
Description Rating
Crazy Bus 1998 Zamperla
(Crazy Bus)
Formally known as Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine (1998-2018) Mild
Yahoo River 1998 Allan Herschell Herschell kiddie ride. Formally known as Yogi's Yahoo River (1998-2018) Mild
Sprocket Rockets 1998 Vekoma
(Junior roller coaster)
kiddie coaster. Formally known as Spacely's Sprocket Rockets (1998-2018) Mild

Yankee Harbor

Yankee Harbor is themed around a New England harbor and is surrounded by a large water feature. The area is connected by a covered bridge to Yukon Territory and formerly had another covered bridge connecting it to Mardi Gras which was removed to accommodate The Joker. The main entrance to the Picnic Grove, where the second covered bridge was moved, is located in Yankee Harbor.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Vertical Velocity Vertical velocity.jpg 2001 Intamin
(launched steel suspended coaster)
Floorless coaches suspended beneath an overhead track traverse the track forward and in reverse. Launches riders 0-70MPH in less than 4 seconds. Max
Whirligig 1976 Zierer
(Wave Swinger)
Originally located in County Fair on the site later occupied by Iron Wolf and Goliath, it was moved to Yankee Harbor and then moved again within the area to make room for Vertical Velocity. Moderate
Yankee Clipper 1976 Arrow Dynamics
(Hydroflume)
Water ride with twin flumes. Between 2001 and 2005, the park had a corporate sponsorship with Nestlé and the ride was temporarily renamed Ice Mountain Splash. Moderate
Batman: The Ride Batman The Ride at Six Flags Great America 1.jpg 1992 Bolliger & Mabillard
(inverted looping coaster)
This Ace Landmark Coaster is the world's first inverted, outside looping coaster. It features a drop height of 109 feet, a top speed of 50 mph and 5 inversions. Built on the former site of "Tidal Wave". Max
The Joker 2017 S&S Worldwide 4D "Free Spin" Roller Coaster, which took the former places of the East River Crawler in Yankee Harbor, and Jester's Wild Ride and Ragin' Cajun in Mardi Gras. Max

Mardi Gras

One of the park's newest themed areas, it opened in 2004, after being converted from part of Orleans Place. The area's theme comes from the Mardi Gras holiday and specifically the famous celebration of the holiday in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is connected to Yankee Harbor and Orleans Place.

Ride Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Roaring Rapids 1984 Intamin
(River rapids ride)
Originally known as White Water Rampage, this was Marriott's last major addition to the park before it was sold. The location formerly hosted Traffique Jam, an antique car ride and "Davey Jones' Dinghies", a swing ride, until they were removed in 1982. This is the only ride in Mardi Gras which was built before the area was and the only one not to involve its theme or colors. Moderate
Big Easy Balloons 2004 Zamperla
(Balloon Race)
A twirling balloon ride. Mild
Mardi Gras Hangover 2018 Larson International
(Giga Loop 100 Ft)
The ride is currently the tallest Larson Loop in the world. It replaced King Chaos, a top spin ride which closed at the end of the 2017 season. While Six Flags claims this attraction to be a roller coaster, it fails to meet the definition as it doesn't use gravity at any point in the ride to 'coast'. Max

Orleans Place

Orleans Place is themed around New Orleans in the late 1800s, specifically the historic French Quarter. The area is connected both thematically and physically to the Mardi Gras area on the other side of the Scenic Railway, and also borders the entrance area in Carousel Plaza.

Ride Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Condor Condor at Great America 2005.jpg 1991 Huss Rides
(Condor)
Opened in 1991, after being relocated from Six Flags Great Adventure. Replaced the Yukon Yahoo, a Schwarzkopf Bayern Kurve that was located in the Yukon Territory area and later moved to Orleans Place. Moderate
The Dark Knight The Dark Knight Coaster entrance - Six Flags Great America.JPG 2008 Mack Rides
(Wild Mouse)
A Wild Mouse coaster house within a dark, enclosed building, a cloned ride also located at Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags México. Moderate
Superman: Ultimate Flight Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Great America 12.jpg 2003 Bolliger & Mabillard

(Flying Coaster)

Suspended beneath a steel track, riders experience banked turns, 2 inversions and sweeping drops at 60 miles per hour while harnessed in a prone flying position. Built on the former site of Shockwave. Max
Rue Le Dodge 1976 Soli
(Bumper Cars)
A bumper car ride that features the world's largest bumper car floor. Moderate

Separate admission

Hurricane Harbor Chicago

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago, the adjacent water park from Six Flags Great America, opened in 2005, and became a separate admission park in 2021.

Name Picture Year opened Manufacturer
(Model)
Description Rating
Wahoo Racer 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(OctopusRacer)
6 lane slide Moderate
Hurricane Bay 2005 Aquatic Development Group Inc.
(WaveTek wave pool)
Moderate
Hurricane Mountain 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(Pipeline)
4 tube slides Mild
Tornado Six Flags Great America-Tornado 2006.jpg 2006 Proslide Technology Inc.
(Tornado "Rattler")
Funnel shaped tube slide that uses four person "cloverleaf." Max
Buccaneer Bay 2005 Kiddie area Mild
Surf Rider 2011 Surf simulator featuring 5-foot (1.5 m) waves with speeds up to 30 mph (48 km/h) Moderate
Castaway Creek 2005 Lazy river Mild
Mega Wedgie 2011 ProSlide
(Plummet)
A pair of Plummets featuring 50-foot (15 m) drops and a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). Max
Monsoon Lagoon 2011 A 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) pool featuring two play elements, a waterfall and seven spray columns Mild
Paradise Plunge and Riptide 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(Turbo Tunnel)
2 separate speed slides Max
Dive Bomber 2011 ProSlide
(Superloop)
A pair of featuring a Superloops 50-foot (15 m) drop and a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h) through horizontal loops while sliding through transparent tubes. Max
Vortex and Typhoon 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(CannonBowl)
2 separate "CannonBowls" slides Moderate
Wipeout 2011 ProSlide
(Tantrum)
A ProSlide Tantrum featuring a 35-foot (11 m) drop and two funnels. Max
Skull Island 2005 Proslide Technology Inc. SCS Interactive Discovery Treehouse/WaterColors with slides, 66 feet tall. Mild
Bahama Mama and Bubba Tubba 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(Mammoth)
2 separate family raft rides Moderate
Riptide Bay 2011 This 3-acre (12,000 m2) area features a double-sided surf simulator, a Caribbean-inspired activity pool, 5 thrilling new waterslides, luxury cabanas and more. Moderate
Hammerhead and Barracuda 2005 Proslide Technology Inc.
(Atomic Coasters)
2 separate tube slides Max
Tsunami Surge 2021 WhiteWater West (Master Blaster) The tallest water coaster in the world Max

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