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“Fun but Expensive”

Six Flags Great America
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Gurnee
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This amusement park, located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, has over 100 rides and attractions.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Bolingbrook, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fun but Expensive”
Reviewed 5 June 2011

I went to Six Flags on Memorial Day, when the park was pretty crowded. The parking was about $20, and the tickets were also very expensive. They were about $50 per person. But it paid off. The rides were very fun. Especially Roaring Rapids. The park can be messy sometimes, but most of the time, it's well kept and clean. Everyone probably like it when they go there, but it's not a good idea to go in hot weather, unless you go to the water park.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank Barnowl242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,178 reviews from our community

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English first
Waukegan, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“through the years at six flags great america”
Reviewed 4 June 2011

we've been season pass holders for the past 5 years and love the park and its employees. we live close by in a small one bedroom apt. and six flags is our back yard and playground. being a single parent on a tight budget, I learned quickly to pack food clothes and drink in my car. don't bring purses or a back pack in if you plan to do costers. use a fanny pack or deep zippered pockets for valuables. purchase souvaneers on the way out of the park and always keep things you don't want to get wet in a zippered sandwitch bag get there early for rides or when school is still in, no lines to wait in. we did 7 rides in less than 2 hours! During summer months the shows are great. We did wiggles and ran up to catch the looney tunes show at theater royal, now the dark night and then back to wiggles. then we'd catch the 3pm parade. what a show!all the terriffic kids that we've met over the years and seeing them again the next season has been wonderful. we would go home after the final parade tired but always singing the last song from the parade. the kids that do the characters always showed my daughter patience and excitement when they saw her. that was very special to the both of us. six flags has been a bonding time for me and my daughter with benifits. the kids showed her how to be outgoing and not afraid to try new experiences. i do have to admit missing some of the old attractions that are now gone. theater royal, the wiggles play area, the looney tunes play area for smaller kids. we played in there for hours. i think six flags should have a bit more interactive rolls with patrons as far as shows. it makes it special. six flags is a clean environment and locating restrooms and smoking areas really isn't rocket science. have a six flags day! we did!

Visited May 2011
5 Thank sixflags352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It's not Universal, but it's got some genuine thrills.”
Reviewed 2 June 2011

The Good: Superman, Batman, Vertical Velocity, Raging Bull, Giant Drop, Viper. The Meh: The Eagle, Demon, Iron Wolf, and the spinny rides. The Ugly: Plenty of ways to spend additional cash while there.

The new speed slides gave me a pure dose of terror, waiting for the floor to drop. My daughter (a 10-year-old who finished the Hulk at Universal with a grin and no fear last year) nearly skipped out on it when she got to the top. Unique. Fast. As much fun, and more frightening at the top than Summit Plummet. Hurricane Harbor admits season pass holders first... if you're going to do Great America this summer, consider doing it multiple times and get your fix in to tide you over for a few years.

Standard theme park touring rules apply. Come early, park close to the gates, bring a cooler and either leave when it gets crowded or commit to buying a Flash Pass at opening.

Above all, do your homework. People complain about the horrors of theme park travel all the time. Most of them went in without figuring out how to do it right.

2 Thank Justkem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Don't go with high expectations...it is a Six Flags park.”
Reviewed 8 May 2011

Many people go the Great America with a Disney experience in mind. This is not Disney. It is Six Flags. It is not a theme park. It is an amusement park. The park was built in 1976 and the lack of maintenance shows everywhere from peeling paint on buildings, to nasty matted-down costumes worn for Loony Tune characters to major attractions that break down ... a lot.

Like Disney, admission, food and drink is expensive. Only at Great America the quality of the food, drink and shows is low.

Here are some things you should know:

Parking went from $15 to $20. A family of four can expect to spend $462 for a day at the park. Check the weather before you go....no refunds. Tip: Check the weather in Gurnee which as be quite different than Chicago.

Be patient. You will wait in line for everything. Why? To increase revenue, staff has been cut to bare bones. At a food stand there will be one person to ring up your order, instead of four. There is one person operating a ride instead of two. The park used to operate with 4500 employees (1976), now the park, with increased attractions, only hires 3600.

There are video and print ads everywhere. Even wrapped around roller coaster cars.

Weekends in May are staffed largely by new employees working their first day....be prepared for staffers who have no idea how to ring up a cash sale, know how tolock the safety harness correctly on rides or answer basic questions like the location of the bathrooms. You are on your own. If you have trouble, ask for a supervisor.

Stick to brand name eateries like Panda Express. SFGA is gross and ill prepared.

Parents: Attractions for small children (less than 6 years) are slowly dispearing. For 2011, six kid's rides were pulled out .

You must be of "certain proportions" to go on most attractions. If you areof wider girth you will not fit on most attractions. Again, no refunds.

Visited May 2011
15 Thank Jim580
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Clean and Well Kept, but Expensive”
Reviewed 8 May 2011

We have been to this park several times in the past year, and even made it opening day this year. The park is clean and well kept-- I honestly don't understand the reviews to the contrary.

The park does get crowded quickly, but its a theme park in a highly populated area, so its to be expected. We have always gone on weekends, and by coming early, we have never had an issue with riding a good number of rides before the park becomes overwhelmed with visitors.

For this year, good news is they did away with the tiered parking they tried last year. You still have to pay $20 to park, but if you get there early, you can park right up front.

We went on most of the coasters and everything was in good shape and nothing looked rundown or dirty. We had a very pleasant experience, despite how expensive food and such is inside the park.

It may not be Disney World, but its a fun amusement park close to home.

Visited May 2011
7 Thank cbrandt1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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