With roller coaster season in the Northeast about to end, I decided to borrow my dad’s car and take a trip to Six Flags America, a park I’d never visited.   From comments about this park on CB and a recent episode of violence, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but things  could not possibly have gone any better.                                                                                              

First of all, getting into the park is a two-in-one deal.   At other Six Flags parks I have had to first go through a metal detector and then go through a second queue to have my season pass scanned.   At this one the metal detector and pass scanning are done at the same time.   Secondly, I was greeted by a team member who said that if there was anything I needed, just ask.  Thirdly, this park is very good value compared to other Six Flags parks.  My gold Flash Pass – I decided that I was going to need one in order to make the most of my visit – cost only $35 as opposed to the $65 I would have had to pay at my home park, Great Adventure.  Also, I was delighted to discover that in lieu of the bulky devices in use at other Six Flags parks I’ve visited, SFA uses a simple wristband that can be scanned throughout the park to reserve rides.  What an improvement! 

It was a given that my first rides of the day would be on Superman, as there’s nothing I like better than long drops.   And I did think that the first drop was pretty spectacular.   I started out in the front row, which offered some nice hangtime, but then switched to the back and remained there b/c the airtime was so much better.  All in all, I liked this ride a lot but of all the Intamin hypers/megas/ gigas I’ve ridden, this is the first one that didn’t completely blow me away, for two reasons: 1) I thought that the helixes were too long; and 2) I found the restraints uncomfortable.    The lap bars are connected to a metal pole with a sort of T-bar that has plastic pads designed to rest against the shins.  These are hard plastic and they hurt at moments of airtime, so I tried to keep my legs as far away from them as possible. 

Never a fan of unconventional riding positions, I was skeptical about Batwing but because it’s easily accessible from Superman’s exit, I decided to get it over with.  This is where the Flash Pass came in handy, as there was a line and only one train running.   I wanted to get a photo of myself on the train tilted backwards – just to prove to my non coaster enthusiast friends that I would do something this crazy - so asked someone who was waiting in line to take one and email it to me; he was happy to oblige.   So there I was, ready for dispatch and so heavily restrained that I might as well have been in a suit of armor except that the chest restraints were soft plastic.   OK, lie back and relax; maybe take a nap.  Anyway, much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this ride for both the elements and the novelty.   The highlights of the ride for me were the vertical loop and consecutive in-line twists.  My first Flying Dutchman and the only Vekoma coaster I’ve ridden that I actually liked.  Re-ride! 

Next up was Joker’s Jinx.  The launch was a blast and one of the ride ops was a real tease, telling the riders that he was going to count backwards from 20 but of course we never got to zero; the train took off somewhere inbetween.   I thought that this was not only a really fun ride but exceptionally smooth and the final inversion was awesome.  So this coaster never made it higher than 115 in Mitch Hawker’s steel coaster poll.  So what?  I like it. 

I had a feeling that Roar was going to be better than Wild One so decided to tackle it next.   I was not disappointed.   This coaster seemed to have a lot of momentum and surprisingly, was not especially rough for a woodie.   I liked it so much that I stayed in my back seat for several consecutive rides. 

Wild One was, in a word, meh.   It didn’t have much to recommend it and was rougher than Roar. 

I didn’t do Mind Eraser b/c I’d ridden that at Six Flags New England and thought it was a ride from hell.  And I didn’t do Apocalypse b/c I don’t do standup coasters. Nor did I hang around for Fright Fest events.  I returned to the park the next day for a couple of hours for repeat rides on Superman, Batwing, Joker’s Jinx and Roar (no Flash Pass needed that early in the day) before embarking on the three-hour drive back to Pennsylvania. 

Apart from the coasters, there are a number of flat rides and water rides.  There is also a good dining selection.  I was delighted to find sweet potato fries, something I’ve never seen offered at any of the other Six Flags parks I’ve visited, at one food concession. 

Six Flags America is a nice, clean, well-run little park and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit it.