My Six Flags Parks Ranking

Since getting properly stuck into this ridiculous hobby of mine, and aside from the standard coaster-counting/hitting milestone scenario, I've also set myself other mini goals to tick off too. Visit every Disney park in the world - done. Ride the tallest, longest, steepest and fastest coasters in the world. Done. Visit every Merlin park in the world - working on that one! But you get my drift. I find to keep the hobby interesting and alive for myself it's fun to set these mini goals within the context of the world to make it feel more achievable, because let's face it, I'm probably never going to ride every single coaster in the world. But something I can definitely do is visit every Six Flags park in the world, and currently out of 12 operating Six Flags parks (no, water parks DO NOT count!) I've knocked off 8, which ain't too shabby in my opinion. And what I thought would be fun would be to break down my full ranking of the Six Flags parks I've visited so far and explore what I loved/loathed about each in the context of where they rank. So let's get stuck in!

Look, somebody had to be last but in comparison with my Disney list this isn't a case of the park being the least excellent of a list of excellent parks - it's genuinely quite dire. Six Flags America is situated about half an hour outside of Washington DC and anybody who's visited the park will understand why we buggered off about midday after a quick cred sweep of the place in favour of an afternoon being tourists in America's capital city.

Since visiting in 2012 the park has invested in one new coaster - a fucking Zamperla Wild Mouse of all things, and if that's not enough to give you a pretty good guess at what a shitter of a park this is their other main attractions consist of a Vekoma Flying Dutchman (even writing that gave me motion sickness), an ancient relocated B&M stand-up coaster famous for appearing in the Richie Rich movie as the coaster in his backyard, an unremarkable Intamin Mega Coaster and a bloody Vekoma SLC aptly named Mind Eraser given that it was obviously so dreadfully dull I've forgotten my entire experience of the thing save for a +1 on my coaster spreadsheet. If you're in the area and happen to have a Six Flags season pass as we did obviously check it out, a cred's a cred, but otherwise you'd be more than forgiven for skipping this one entirely.

And here's where it's going to get a bit tricky for me because, Six Flags America aside, I'm actually a little bit of a Six Flags fangirl and the rest of the parks on this list are all places that I had a pretty good time in. So we move on to Six Flags St Louis that has the unfortunate opportunity of appearing at number seven on this list, despite not being too shabby of a park at all! Despite having opened a grand total of zero new coasters since we visited back in 2014, the park still boasts a coaster line-up that any self-respecting regional amusement park would be proud of. Kicking it off with Boss, the epic CCI wooden coaster top of every coaster enthusiast's RMC hit list. I actually had a blast riding this and if memory serves me right we had a couple of rounds on this one - it's rough in a fun way, like the Grand National in my opinion. And it's bloody massive - a proper classic old fashioned wooden coaster (even if it did only open in 2000 but we'll ignore that part).

Then you've got Batman the Ride, a solid B&M invert coaster, the hugely underrated GCI coaster American Thunder which could solidly give Troy or Wodan a run for their money and would have everyone gagging if it were in the UK, and my personal favourite the obscene what-the-fuck-was-going-down-at-the-Premier-factory-in-the-90s contraption Mr Freeze Reverse Blast. I think SFStL gets a bad rap because it doesn't have anything incredibly unique or worth travelling across the world for but it actually has a fairly solid coaster line-up and I can definitely see myself revisiting in the future.

Ah, SFOT, home of the first RMC I ever rode and...well that's all I really recall from this park. Six Flags Over Texas is obviously great because it has all that sweet, sweet amusement park history being the first Six Flags park and all, and again it's in no breath a bad park. I actually remember it being quite picturesque and pleasant, but nothing amazing. Nothing really stood out and made me go "oh my god I can't wait to get back here" before I'd even left. In fact looking at the park right now on RCDB I can confidently say I do not remember riding half of the coasters on that list. Sorry SFOT.

Now this was a park I was dying to visit. You see, way back in the stone age of the early noughties Six Flags New England was the park at the top of every enthusiast's bucket list because of a little game changing coaster called Superman The Ride and this new fangled thing called 'airtime' which apparently this coaster had tons of. In fact thinking about it this coaster would have been my first 'proper' experience of insane airtime and honestly I've never looked back - it was definitely a coaster that shaped my taste for the future. It's also the only GIB I've ever been on (and coincidentally fell in love with). Sure, it has some crappy off the shelf bits and bobs like the SLC and a bunch of kiddie coaster crap, but what park doesn't? It's also home to one of America's oldest coasters with Thunderbolt (with an amaaazing vintage sign that would have been all over my Instagram had I had it at the time). Obviously since I visited seven years ago in 2012 they've added the RMC coaster Wicked Cyclone so you know I'm planning on revisiting sometime soon!

Ah, my first experience of a Six Flags park way back in 2010 (9 years ago what the actual hell?!) I'll never forget how excited I was that Christmas when my dad told me we were finally going to ride the tallest coaster in the world and I was practically bouncing off the walls when we pulled up to the gates. For me, SFGAdv has a stellar coaster line-up. Kingda Ka, obviously, isn't the best coaster in the world but it's definitely fun and an absolute bucket list coaster for any self-respecting coaster enthusiast! El Toro is the park's other leviathan, a huge, intimidating Intamin wooden coaster - ridiculous airtime moments, relentless speed and fabulous snappy transitions towards the end. Then you have Nitro - a bloody excellent B&M hyper coaster and I think my first experience of a B&M hyper coaster? Amazing fun and still a top coaster for me.

And this is the park where SFGAdv stands up for me - even the 'supporting cast' coasters are fucking great and would be the main attraction at any other park - Bizarro, Batman the Ride, Superman and Green Lantern all solid B&M beasts, the tragically underrated Dark Knight that shows how possible it is to polish a turd with excellent theming around a bloody Mack Wild Mouse coaster ad even wacky indoor family coasters like Skull Mountain. It's insane how huge this park is and if I ever end up back there in the future I think I'd end up doing a couple of days as I've visited twice and still feel like I haven't seen half the park (got all the creds though, obv).

Anybody who's been on a mega coaster road trip knows that there's slight theme park fatigue by the end of things so for a park to stand out for me as much as Six Flags Over Georgia (Jowja) is testament to how quaint the place is. I don't know if it's the southern hospitality or the glorious weather on the day we visited but the park was just wonderful and I remember it feeling so welcoming and fun. For some reason when we visited my most anticipated coaster was Dare Devil Dive (don't ask) but I remember falling in love with the entire park! I think it might also have a lot to do with the age of the park - the place opened in 1967 and there's definitely an air of nostalgic charm about it. And let's face it - there's not a whole bunch of awesome coasters at this park to fall in love with (the RMC didn't exist when I visited) so that's definitely testament to the atmosphere about the place!

Oh also it's home to one of my favourite non-Disney dark rides of all time - Monster Mansion. Another ridiculously underrate ride, this boat ride through the plantations of the south is oozing with southern charm and I my mouth was agape the entire way around because a southern Six Flags park was the last place on Earth I'd expect a ride like this. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and i didn't even grow up riding the thing so it's no surprise this is a treasured attraction for those who grew up visiting this park (even if it has undergone a fair few rethemes in its day!)

If there's any theme park that could be summed up as 'roller coaster Mecca' that every young coaster enthusiast grew up dreaming of visiting, it's Six Flags Magic Mountain. Especially if you were born in the 90s and grew up watching those 'Most Extreme Thrill Rides' shows that always showcased Superman The Escaped launching up those obscene vertical spikes. And come on, 18 roller coasters?! It's the kind of crazy place you'd end up building whilst playing RollerCoaster Tycoon, except this wasn't a 90s computer game, this was real and oh god is it glorious. And the best part? It absolutely lived up to all of my expectations and more.

I was so worried when visiting this park that I'd built it up too much in my head and that I was only setting myself up for disappointment but I couldn't have been more wrong. We only had two days at the park but they're some of the best and most memorable days I've ever had at a theme park (and Superman was spiting when I visited so that's saying something!) So much crazy good stuff from shitting myself on the lift-hill for Goliath when it suddenly dawned on me how high the bloody thing was to sitting in the shade eating pretzels and trying to blank out the horrendousness that is Tatsu's pretzel loop, to the absolutely out of this world insane X2 coaster (and coincidentally my first ever S&S 4D coaster) to the criminally underrated Apocalypse The Ride (seriously why does nobody talk about this coaster - it's really excellent?!) The park is probably top of my parks-I-most-want-to-revisit list if that's such a thing and I really hope I'm able to get back there soon.

Ah Six Flags Fiesta Texas, I miss you so much. I think the best thing about this park for me was that I had little to no expectations for the place. Aside from a list of coasters I knew were at the park I had pretty much zero other information about the place so I went in totally blind. Imagine my surprise when we pulled up to a park literally sat in a fucking quarry with coasters diving over the edges into the pit. Awesome! Iron Rattler also lives here which is one of my favourite RMC coasters still to this day and Superman Krypton Coaster - probably the only B&M floorless coaster I can think of that isn't entirely floorless. Also home to the absolutely awesome Premier LIM coaster Poltergeist that's very reminiscent of the stupid shit I would build in RCT because I wasn't very good at it - completely bonkers looking layout but somehow it works.

And then it actually has some really great supporting attractions too - in particular the Bugs Bunny themed log flume that casually has a fab dark ride section and airtime hill? The park have continued to add excellent attractions since my visit back in 2014 including the RMC Raptor Track coaster Wonder Woman Golden Lasso and this year they're opening the world's biggest gyro swing! I absolutely adored Texas in general and I definitely think that's largely down to just how much I loved being in this park - fantastic coasters, great supporting attractions and a generally fabulous vibe all around. My number one Six Flags park for sure!

As you can tell from that list, Six Flags parks are very much all about being the best in class when it comes to coasters but for a park to truly stand out in my mind it needs that extra something or other than makes it truly unique and have personality as opposed to just being a coasters-on-concrete affair. I'll be visiting Six Flags Great America for the first time this year so I'll be very intrigued to see where it ends up on my list!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

3 comments:

  1. I agree with this list a bit. I don't know about the Six Flags America part though. One of the most fun Six Flags that I've been too. I'm more of an amusement park enthusiast, than a rollercoaster enthusiast. 6F Georgia, NE, and St.Louis...meh

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  2. Six flags great America is a great park.

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