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Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Vancouver, BC
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Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Hello there,

I'm attending a conference in Moscone during the week of August 28 - Sept 6th and I'm taking my family with me (hubby and kids aged 7 and 10). I'm planning to buy them the city pass with the Alcatraz option, and I've pretty much given them a list of things that they can do while I'm in conference for the week. That leaves us with 4 weekend days to do things together. I was wondering if it was worth it to use one of those weekend days to head out to Six Flags or Great America - we are staying at the Palace Hotel and will not have a car, so I'll have to find travel arrangements to get there. If it is worth it, and if so, which one would you recommend?

Thanks!

J

San Francisco
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1. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

It's going to be kind of a pain to get there w/out a vehicle.

My kids are seven years older than yours but it wasn't that long ago they were little. We also went to Six Flags over the past weekend so we aren't anti-fun ;-) I think there are enough special things to do in the city for kids your age without spending 3 hours commuting to a theme park. The only exception might be if your family are roller coaster fanatics or if you don't have any similar parks in your area.

If you'd consider renting a car for one day and want to go on rides, I'd suggest Santa Cruz instead. The Giant Dipper is a classic wooden roller coaster and the boardwalk is a lot more unique than a cookie cutter theme park.

California
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2. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

We went to Great America last month and Flight Deck is shut down. Recently Invertigo malfunctioned so it looks like it will be down for awhile. Those are 2 of the roller coasters. It's not very crowded during the week which was really nice. Not having to wait in line was great.

Vancouver, BC
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3. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Thanks for the replies - we're not rollercoaster crazy, but my kids really like theme parks and rides, they've been to Disneyland many times, Disneyworld, Legoland (although that one wasn't that interesting for them), and SeaWorld San Diego. Most of the things they're going to be doing this trip will be fun and interactive, but no rides, which is why I was contemplating making the trek out.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Getting to Great America without a car would be a pain.

I believe I have read hear that you can get to Six Flags by using a ferry. Could somebody either confirm or shoot that down?

I hope that while you are in San Francisco you will take the kids to the Explortorium.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/

People usually have a hard time getting their chidren out of there.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

It is not that bad. For Six flag Vallejo you can take the ferry to Vallejo and then a bus. Check its website for direction. For Great America you can take Caltrain to Mountain View and then board a light rail. I think Great America have more rollercoasters and Six flag Vallejo have more marine animals. It will take 1.5-2 hours to go to either park. I haven't been to either of them but I doubt they are as interesting as Disneyland.

Vancouver, BC
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6. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Okay, so I'm leaning towards not making the trek out to a theme park. I've been to Six Flags in LA a long time ago when I was a teenager and I remember it being awesome, so that's why I was considering it. I know what you mean about once you go to Disneyland, other theme parks aren't as impressive - that's what happened to us when we went to Legoland. The best part about that place was the mini-USA made out of lego.

Yes, they're going to Exploratorium while I'm in conference. The list of activities are:

Aquarium at the Bay

Alcatraz

Exploratorium

deYoung museum (for the Egyptian exhibit), coupled with the "edible expedition"

California Academy of Sciences and Golden Gate Park

For the open days, I've thrown in a tentative for the San Francisco Zoo since it's easy to get to on the Muni, and maybe a walkthrough of the MOMA since it's so close to the hotel and is part of the city pass. Plus shopping at the mall, riding the cable cars and just generally touring around town, looking around union square and chinatown, passing through embarcadero and hanging out at fisherman's wharf. That should keep them busy!

Thanks for the feedback!

J

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

I like your itinerary for the children very much !!

I would not take time to venture out of the city for a theme park, even for my beloved 100 year old amusement park, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk <grin>.

Have a wonderful trip.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Here is a few more ideas for you

- Zeum, a hands-on arts & technology museum

- Musee Mecanique, a large collection of antique arcade games near Fishermen's Wharf.

- Crissy Field, beautiful scenary and beach.

- Muir wood, easy hiking for the whole family in a redwood forest.

TX
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9. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

We were at Great America 3 days ago (Monday). It took us about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get there from SF via Caltrain & light rail. It was a very nice ride and the rail dropped us off right at the entrance of the park. There were absolutely no lines so we rode all the roller coasters between three to five times each and we were done in about three and a half hours. Invertigo was still down but Flight Deck was up. Demon was temporarily shut down at the end of a ride and people got stuck in their seats for about 10 minutes but good thing was they were already on the ground. Tickets are currently on sale online for $99 for four vs. $56 each at the gate.

My kids (21 & 15) also went to Explaratorium and they enjoyed it. My husband did as well.

California
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10. Re: Six Flags or Great America - is it worth the trip?

Beachlover, thanks for the update. There was no info available to us about Flight Deck so we were wondering what the issue was. Glad it's up. Kids love that one. I personally love Survivor. Very unusual ride.

I also got the 4 for $99. Though there were only 3 of us it was still cheaper than buying individual tickets. I gave someone in line the 4th ticket so they got in free.