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Review Highlights
Holiday in the Park

We had an incredible holiday experience at Great America's Holiday in the Park! The decorations and... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Holiday in the Park

Holiday in the Park was absolutely beautiful. Six Flags did an awesome job decorating this year... read more

Reviewed yesterday
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Reviewed 17 October 2005

We went on a company outing on 10-15-05, and what a waste of time and money. I was really looking forward to this park, and being that we were going this late in the season I didn't expect to find the huge crowds. Boy was I wrong. I have never seen such huge crowds, and we have been alot of places. There was two plus hour waits for the coasters, 30-45 minute waits for the so so rides, and to top it off you had to wait in line a good 30 minutes to just get a drink. If you wanted an actually meal, and to be able to sit, you would wait an hour. I can't believe that they only had one register open at most places, and then they didn't even have everything running. Most of the coasters where only running with two trains. With all it cost to go to this park you would think they could at least try and accomodate the crowds better. Not to mention food prices were very over priced, 3.29 for a drink. We also thought that it would be nice to see the fright fest, this again is an added cost. So it's not enough for them to charge 45.00/adult to get in, but then they want you to pay 8.00 to walk through a haunted event. We didn't do this, I refused to spend anymore at this money trap. We normally go to Kings Island for the company trip, and I would assume that is where we will return. There are smaller crowds, fright fest doesn't cost extra, and you don't have to wait a hour to eat. I can't believe that anyone would want to waste their time or money on Great America.

5  Thank Freedom1591
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2005

This is kind of a review and a Guide to Enjoying Six Flag Great America.

Your enjoyment factor here is all about "when" you go and how prepared you are for it.

First off... I'll say that to get the most fun packed into your day and get on the most rides, go early in the year. May is a prime month. The later you go, the busier it gets. Fright Fest, which we (literally) just got home from this year, was packed. (I mean, to the point of being funny and wondering why so many people would subject themselves to it.) In May, most schools are not out yet, and you can spend all day hopping from ride to ride. It's nothing to get on the American Eagle back to back to back. It's also been done on the Raging Bull. In June, it gets worse. School is out. July, worse yet.

Second. Get the season pass if you live anywhere even remotely close to Gurnee. They are relatively cheap, considering you can come and go as you please, and you don't feel pressured into that feeling of HAVING to spend the whole day there to get your money's worth. It's great to be able to spend some time at other attractions in the Chicago area, and then when you are sick of those, head over to Six Flags. It's quite the opposite mindset. The key part that goes along with all this is to get a motel room in the area. That allows the "freedoms" that go hand in hand with the season pass. Let me back up a step and say that a hotel room might be necessary "if you are not from the area". Another nice feature, if you travel a lot, is that the pass is good at all Six Flags parks. We spent 5 days in Gurnee this year, 2 days at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, and a day at Marine World in Vallejo CA. It was well worth the 90 bucks.

Third... Get there EARLY. Like, 30 minutes before the park opens. Then you can easily get a parking spot right up front, and then walk over (with season passes in hand, bypassing the 100's of people waiting to actually buy a ticket) and scan right into the park. You will be able to ride those big ticket rides early, walking right on.

A Sidenote about parking hours after the parks opens: I'll be honest. I've suffered through the same horror stories about parking, etc. We drove around once in the lot for about 40 minutes trying to find a spot to park. The lots are full, and the only way you park is when someone else leaves. (Another side note here... The person leaving is the person who got there EARLY, got on the rides, and is bailing because they can't stand the lines anymore. And, you're just walking in?)

Fourth... LEAVE early. Do not be the last dog hung. The horror stories about the lines moving at a crawl for an hour are true. Try to bail before the park closes. If you get there early enough you will be very tired anyway. Here is a tip for the month of May. It probably won't work after that... The tip is to arrive early, stay until 1-2ish, leave to go to the motel, find something to eat, rest, etc... and then go back to the park around 5pm and still get on rides fairly quickly.

Fifth... Bring in empty water bottle in with you. The water bottles out of the vending machines in the park are $3.50. You can fill the empty water bottle for free at the fountain.

Sixth... This kind of works on tip Four also... you can leave and head out to your car to eat. Carry a cooler if you can. It will be a LOT cheaper than eating in the park. It is VERY expensive to eat or drink. 3 burgers, fries, and drinks cost us like 30 bucks one time. ONE time. You learn quickly.

Seventh... This works with Four and Six. Get your hand stamped when you leave the park for Re-Entry. Just because you have the season pass doesn't mean you can swipe back in. Fact is, you can only swipe in ONE time a day with the season pass. So... make sure you get the handstamp to get back in after eating, resting, etc.

Other odds and ends:
I would eat breakfast right before going to the park.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. I actually saw someone in high heels today.

Conditions of the bathrooms:
Yes... they get worse as the day progresses. They can be filthy and dirty... and not nice. But, not all the time. It all depends on how many people are trampling through the place. During Fright Fest? You Betcha... horrible. During May, and maybe the first couple weeks of June? Not too bad. It all depends on which punk showed up before you did.

If there was something that could be improved at the park, it would be the monitoring of the bathroooms.

A few notes about Fright Fest (in October): This is a heavily promoted time. Picture a 100,000 people running around. It's like an ant colony. Take one look down the one of the main corridors around the park, and it's funny how you cannot see pavement. The decorations, though, are great. We went last night just to them. The military area 51 in the Hometown Square was excellent. The park is all done up in the Halloween theme. The irony in all this is that you are viewing all the cool stuff while sidestepping all the lines that have formed out into the walking corridor, essentially doubling the cue lines for the better rides like Raging Bull and Superman.

I would rank the rides here as some of the better ones we have been on. It's just a matter of how you plan your trip that decides how much fun you are going to have!

33  Thank macc1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2005

I visited the Six Flags in August with my sixteen year old sister. We purchased a two day pass and was able to do the Hurricane Harbour one day and the Great America two days later. Hurricane Harbour was okay, the lines weren't to bad. We went on the lazy river and it was the first time that I had been on a lazy river were you were not able to go around as many times as you want. There was only one entrance and then there were guards at the next entrance that made you get out of the river, that was a first. Lunch for the two of us was $30, very expensive. Great America was fun, but also very expensive. They did have a circus in one of the theatre's, it was really amazing. The most popular rides like superman was about a 1 hour wait. Not all lines were that bad but it was really busy due to it being on a Saturday. We've been to many amusement parks, so we knew to expect the heat and the long lines and for things to be kind of pricey. Other than that we had a good time with a great selection of rides and entertainment.

5  Thank S_N_B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2005

Our first mistake was going on a Saturday in August! Once we got up there, It took us almost two hours just to get from the exit ramp to the parking lot and into the park because the traffic back-up was a horrible nightmare! Then on top of the nearly $50 it costs per person to get in, we still had to pay $10 to park! Then once we got into the park, we had to wait nearly 2 hours or more per ride. Several times the ride that we were waiting for broke down while we were in line for it. Very frustrating! If you want to ride faster and you get there early enough before they sell out, you can pay extra to buy "fast passes," which basically allow you to cut in line in front of all the poor people who are waiting hours for their turn. So by the time you spend a fortune to get in to this place, you barely even get to ride anything because you spend the whole day waiting in line! This place is the biggest rip-off I have ever seen! After a very frustrating day of waiting in lines, our nightmare wasn't even over yet. The longest wait all day was the one to get out of the parking lot! It was totally insane gridlock! Thousands of cars were all trying to get out of one gate while one or two security guards tried to direct people out of this two-lane gate. It was mass chaos! We sat in our car barely moving for nearly an hour and a half before I made my husband pull out of the line we were in and cut all the way to the very back of the parking lot where we were able to escape from a little service road that no one else really seemed to know about. If we had stayed in the line where we were, we would have still been there when the park opened again the next morning! It was absolutely ridiculous! There were way too many people there to begin with. They really need to lower the limit on the number of people they allow into the park each day. I have been there a few other times before over the years, but this time was by far the worst experience I have ever had at any amusement park I have ever been to in my whole life! I will never go back there, and I would especially never take children there. If they are in a stroller, there is no room to push it through the crowds, and if they are old enough to go on rides, they won't want to wait in the super long lines!

9  Thank TrailBlazer31130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2005

We never waited more than 20 minutes in line. We went on a Friday. The rides were great. Save money and buy the Six Flags cup for drinks and refill for .99 cents anywhere in the park all day. Most places didn't charge for water refills. Everything was relatively clean except water park changing areas. The charge for your own tube was ridiculous. Longer lines in the water park, it was 90 degrees that day. Definately will return again. The Deerfield Hyatt had awesome packages.

3  Thank BoardingPass5970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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