Six Flags Great America's opening day has come. As my hometown park, I of course made a visit there to check out the new additions to the park for 2015. It was nice to be back inside the park after a long winter, and even though the park was extremely busy, we still got to ride a few coasters, and had fun. The new flat rides for the park were looking good, and should be ready in a few weeks. Blue skies and hot temperatures made for a great opening day at the park!
I arrived and soon realized that was not going to happen - the line was already stretching across the park, so I decided to save this for later when the line died down. This was surprising to me, because we arrived at Goilath at 10:36 and the park opened but six minutes before we got there. The demand for Goliath is high! - we now know to arrive super early at the park for a chance to ride first.
It's still a fun coaster, though, but it's not running in top form. 2011 was probably the last year that it ran at full potential, and following years have been dull for Raging Bull. On my next visit, I will have to try the front row to see if that makes for a better experience; at least it did during Fright Fest last year.
Now, even though I was pleased by the new shining colors on the Carousel, the view of the train station was disappointing. When the park stated that it would revitalize the Hometown Square section of the park, all I expected to see was a fresh coat of paint on some of the buildings and no major eyesores, I was setting the bar low. I guess my standards were too high, though, because almost no work was done in this section, and paint was peeling from the buildings.
There are three new flat rides in this new area. The red device is the hub of one of the rides, and the vehicles will be spinning around the center - they can also move up and down via the silver actuators. I would expect this ride to be somewhat of a tamer ride, similar to the Dumbo ride at Walt Disney World, but it would be on a smaller scale of course!
While waiting in line, the hot sun blares down on you. I would have loved to see the park install a shade structure in this line structure, but that did not happen. They had a canopy over this structure last year, so I'm a bit annoyed that there isn't any shaded waiting this year. It sure would make the wait seem shorter with some shade!
This inversion has to be my favorite section of the ride. It provides an indescribable, breathtaking thrill that you can only ride to experience. The view while upside-down left me wowed and breathless. The speed taken through this element is also noteworthy, and it's moving much faster than last year, and on opening day, that's a great sign! I can't even imagine how good this will be when the ride is running to full potential in the summer heat.
Much like these riders, after a ride on Goliath, I was thoroughly impressed, and a smile spanned my face. I love doing a "brake run test" where you watch some trains coming back from the ride. You'll see some people applauding for the ride, some genuine smiles, and some hollers from the overall amazing experience.
The food here was alright at best. The noodles were bland, and the orange chicken just didn't have much flavor either. While it was better than most of the park food at Six flags, I'm still disappointed they took out Panda Express to install Chop Six. I'm assuming the park's contract with Panda Express expired, so instead of renewing it, they decided to create their own Asian cuisine with Chop Six.
Overall, we had a good visit. There were a few kinks in the day that did disappoint me - waiting a full 90 minutes for lunch and an ugly Hometown Square that was was supposed to be nicely revamped. However, the coasters made our visit enjoyable, and Great America has a nice collection of them. While this park is not flawless, it is still a fun park to visit and one of the few parks with a full ground-up Rocky Mountain Construction coaster as well as four Bolliger & Mabillard creations.
Coasters are my passion. It's what I do, it's who I am.