Visiting Six Flags Great America in Illinois

Erin De Santiago
Six Flags Great America Theme Park Carousel
Six Flags Great America Carousel

Great America Six Flags, Illinois, is located in Gurnee, approximately half-way between Chicago and Milwaukee, and only a few miles away from Lake Michigan. The park first opened in 1967 and became part of the Six Flags family in 1984. Six Flags Great America encompasses 300 acres and features 75 rides and attractions.

Six Flags Great America Rides

Great America Six Flags, Illinois, is organized into nine themed areas, each of which is designed to represent an area in America or an aspect of American life. The areas are:

Six Flags Great America Hometown Square
Six Flags Great America Hometown Square
  • Carousel Plaza
  • Orleans Place
  • Mardi Gras
  • Yankee Harbor
  • Yukon territory
  • Country Fair
  • Hometown Square
  • Southwest Territory
  • Hurricane Harbor

Thrill Rides

There are many thrill rides to choose from at Great America. Minimum height requirements on these rides are 54 inches. Popular attractions include:

Superman: Ultimate Flight
Superman: Ultimate Flight
  • Superman: Ultimate Flight: Superman: Ultimate Flight is the same ride as the one found at Six Flags Over Georgia. This 115-foot-tall roller coaster is is a flying-style coaster painted in the iconic red and yellow colors of Superman's suit. Its top speed is 52 mph.
  • Batman: The Ride: This steel inverted coaster opened in 1992. Batman: The Ride is two minutes long and travels at 55 mph for a total of 2,700 feet, running through zero G loops and corkscrews.
  • Raging Bull: For the most daring thrill seekers, this steel beast charges along at speeds greater than 70 miles per hour. The Raging Bull goes as high as 202 feet and has 65 degree vertical drops. This is the highest, longest, and fastest roller coaster in the entire park.
  • Vertical Velocity: Experience zero to 70 miles per hour in less than four seconds on this coaster. Vertical Velocity is a u-shaped coaster that starts off from ground level and propels you forward toward one end. Then, you'll fall backward, building up momentum until you reach the end of each track, going backward and forward again.
  • X-Flight: This wing-style coaster will have you cruising at 55 mph. X-Flight has you flying over water, doing zero-G rolls and dive drops. It offers great fun for the real adventurer.

Moderate Rides

When you are ready for a break from the thrill rides, Great America has many moderate rides to pick from. Options include:

Six Flags Great America Viper Roller Coaster
Viper Roller Coaster
  • Viper: This wooden roller coaster is similar to the Coney Island Cyclone with speeds of up to 55 mph.
  • Revolution: The swing pendulum starts off easy, but near the end Revolution provides a serious adrenaline rush. This ride has a minimum height requirement of 54 inches.
  • Giant Drop: The Giant Drop was first introduced in 1997. Get ready to strap into a chair that propels you up 227 feet and then drops you straight down.
  • Demon: Demon is a 45 mph coaster that takes you through loops and alongside rock walls and caves.

For Kids

Even though there is an emphasis on the big thrill rides, Great America hasn't forgot about rides that kids are sure to enjoy. Choices include:

Jester's Wild Ride
Jester's Wild Ride
  • Jester's Wild Ride: A parade float replica that has you moving in all sorts of wavy directions, making you feel like you are being tossed about in a wave at a parade.
  • Krazy Kups: Even though Krazy Kups is designed for kids, adults can still get a thrill spinning on this ride.
  • Red Baron: Youngsters get to fly in a World War I biplane replica, and they can even control the height of the plane as it circles around.

Shows

After getting your fill of rides, you can relax and watch a show - or several! Great America has many for you to choose from. Some of the more popular entertainment options include:

  • Madcap Mardi Gras: Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends vie for the title of King of Mardi Gras in classic slapstick-style comedy. At the end of the show, you have an opportunity to meet Bugs and his friends.
  • Gunfight at the Six Flags Corral: Enjoy an old-fashioned western starring Bugs Bunny.
  • The Stars of the Peking Acrobats: This show features contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, and gymnasts displaying great skill and focus in an artfully entertaining and riveting show.
  • Spirit of America: Each morning as the park opens, join Bugs, Daffy and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang as they sing the Star Spangled Banner.

Water Park

Six Flags Great America has a great 44-acre water park area known as Hurricane Harbor and Riptide Bay.

  • Water park entrance is free to season pass holders. Otherwise, it costs an additional $7.00 per person.
  • The water park has over 12 different rides and attractions, with varying height requirements.
  • Bring sunscreen. You will be out in the sun a lot, and shelter areas are limited.
  • A dress code is in effect in the water park. Only appropriate swim attire is allowed in the pools and other water park attractions.
  • Head to the water park early in the day to avoid as much of the crowds as possible.

Dining

Six Flags Great America offers 28 options for finding snacks, drinks and meals. You'll find the typical theme park foods, such as cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs. A few popular options include:

  • Johnny Rockets: The nationally recognized chain serves up its signature shakes and hamburgers to park-goers.
  • Aunt Martha's Boarding House Restaurant: Enjoy a fried chicken meal, BBQ pulled pork, or BBQ beef brisket meal with yummy sides.
  • Go Fresh Cafe: Visit this dining spot for flatbreads, veggie burgers, and turkey burgers.

Dining Passes

There are two types of dining passes available to season ticket holders.

  • The regular dining pass ($94.99) offers a lunch meal and a dinner meal.
  • The deluxe dining pass ($114.99) offers pass holder a lunch meal, a dinner meal and a snack.

These benefits are available for every trip, no matter how many times you visit Six Flags Great America during the season. Only select restaurants and menu options are available under the dining pass. Check the park's website for current pricing, as they often offer discounts and free upgrades on the dining passes.

Great America Six Flags, Illinois Tickets

A general admission adult ticket purchased at the gate is $67.99. For children under 48 inches tall, the price is only $46.99. Children three and under are free. Parking is $25.

You can save money or take advantage of special offers by buying your tickets online. For example, an adult general admission ticket is only $47.99 when purchased online. For more information, visit the tickets page on the park's website.

Season Passes

There are two season pass options.

  • Regular season pass tickets are a worthy purchase to save on entrance to the park. The general season pass sells for $99.99. It includes free entrance to the park and water park, along with free parking. The park sometimes offers special days where season pass holders can bring a friend for free.
  • Gold passes sell for $169.99 and are a great value if you plan to visit multiple Six Flags parks. The gold pass allows entrance to all Six Flags theme parks and water parks, as well as free parking at all venues.

Discount tickets

There are several websites where you can sometimes find deals for entrance tickets to Six Flags Great America. Examples include Deals Plus, Promopro.com and Retailmenot.com. Availability of special offers varies.

Park Tips

If you're looking to have a great trip to Six Flags Great America, you'll want to keep a few helpful tips in mind.

  • No outside food or drinks are allowed. If you prefer to consume your own meals, do so before entering the park. Drinks, alcoholic beverages and meals available inside the park.
  • A dress code is effect for the entire park. Anything management deems inappropriate, which includes, but not limited to, displays of violence, pornography, drug use or support thereof, and gang-related attire is strictly prohibited.
  • There are designated smoking areas, which are the only places smoking is permitted in the park.
  • Certain camera equipment is prohibited inside the park. This includes selfie sticks, interchangeable lens cameras, and vehicles that support cameras, such as unmanned aerial vehicles. Check the full list.
  • Plan a meet-up spot to reconvene with your friends or family if you get separated.
  • Dress comfortably. This will be an all-day affair, and the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable the entire time.
  • Stop by the character stage to see what shows are playing and when.
  • Since this is the only major theme park in the Chicago area, be prepared for long lines when you visit. Get to the park early to avoid the long lines of people clamoring to get in.
  • Eat meals outside of traditional lunch and dinner times to avoid long lines. Aim for after 2 p.m. and after 7 p.m. if you can.
  • Plan your visit ahead of time. Go with a list of rides and attractions you would like to see and add in times for resting in-between, as well as walking and meals.

Enjoy Your Time in the Park

Doing your research ahead of time is a great way to make the most of your visit to this fun Chicago-area theme park. You're sure to have a terrific time, as is everyone else in your group!

Visiting Six Flags Great America in Illinois