Six Flags America

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Not to be confused with Six Flags Great America.
Six Flags America
SixFlagsAmerica2010entrancesign.jpg
Six Flags America in July 2010
Location Upper Marlboro, Maryland, U.S.
Coordinates 38°54′22″N 76°46′21″W / 38.90620°N 76.77257°W / 38.90620; -76.77257Coordinates: 38°54′22″N 76°46′21″W / 38.90620°N 76.77257°W / 38.90620; -76.77257
Owner Six Flags
Opened 1974
Previous names Largo Wildlife Preserve - 1974 to 1978
Wild Country - 1978 to 1981
Wild World - 1982 to 1993
Adventure World - 1994 to 1998
Operating season March through October
Area 523 acres (2.12 km2)s (131 acres currently used for park operations)
Rides
Total 54
Website www.sixflags.com/america

Six Flags America is a theme park located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.[1] It is situated 15 miles (24 km) east of Washington D.C. and 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Baltimore. The park covers 523 acres (2.12 km2), 131 of which is currently used for park operations. Founded as a wildlife center in 1973 by Ross Perot, ABC television operated the park as a drive-through safari called The Largo Wildlife Preserve beginning in 1974 until its ultimate decline that led to its closure in 1978. The property was bought by Jim Fowler's Wild Kingdom where thereafter, the site was converted from a wildlife preserve into a theme park gradually over the years. In 1992, the park was renamed to Adventure World after being acquired by Premier Parks, and ultimately was branded as the 10th Six Flags park when Premier Parks acquired Six Flags Inc. and adopted its name. The "America" in the park's name was chosen regarding the close proximity to the United States' capital.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The park's history dates to 1973, when Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot and a pair of Irish animal trainers first proposed a wildlife preserve on more than 400 acres (1.6 km2) of corn and tobacco fields. ABC television later bought out Perot and his partners and opened the park as a drive-through safari called The Largo Wildlife Preserve in July 1974, projecting 850,000 visitors a year.

The initial projections that were expected never materialized. In 1975, the park added narrated tours through four-car 150-person trains. However, the park failed to generate a profit. In 1976, ABC bowed out, citing massive losses. The park stayed open with a decreased staff in 1977 and was closed altogether for the 1978 season.

Then at the end of 1978, the park was sold to Jim Fowler, the host of Wild Kingdom. In the 1979 season, the park reopened with the train tour through a safari and a small park with a children's playground, animal shows, and a petting zoo. The park continued to not be profitable but stayed open summers through the 1979 season when Fowler's company bowed out as well. In the summer of 1980, the park once again was closed for the 1980 season.

In the Summer of 1980, the park was sold to a group of local businessmen and reopened in 1981. The animal drive-through safari remained. The park added three carnival flat rides, two kiddie rides, and a merry-go-round. Also that year, the park became known as Wild World. In addition to the few rides, four tube waterslides were added, along with two body slides and a children's water play area. This brought modest improvements in revenue.

In 1982, four more flat carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel and giant swings, were added. The waterslide area was expanded at the time to a full water park with the addition of a couple more water slides and a large wave pool. The park's attendance improved but the park still was losing money. For the 1983 season, the animal drive-through safari did not reopen. The animals were sold. In 1984, most of the adult rides were removed from the park and put in storage, leaving only three. Some of the children's rides also remained. The park opted to move in the direction of being only a water park. A new stadium was built that year along with a couple more water slides. The park did very well on hot days but on cooler days attendance was very low due to the fact the park had mostly swimming and watersliding.

In 1985, the rides were therefore brought back out of storage. That year, Wild World's management wanted to build a major wooden rollercoaster for the park in the 1986 season, but the costs were too high. At the time, Knoebels park in Pennsylvania had acquired a used rollercoaster called the Phoenix from a defunct park in Texas. Wild World's management then recruited Bill Dinn, who had worked in the industry since the 1950s and played a role in Knoebel's acquisition of the Phoenix, to find a similar coaster for Wild World.

Boston's Paragon Park closed at the end of 1984. The Giant Coaster—which had operated there since 1917—was put up for sale. During the spring of 1985, Wild World bought the old wooden coaster, renamed The Wild One, and rebuilt it in part of the former animal park for opening. That coaster opened for the spring of 1986 to very positive reviews. They also added a kiddie coaster at the time.

For the 1987 season, Wild World added another water play area and a lazy river. In 1988, the park renovated the buildings and midways, but managed to add a couple more flat rides. In 1989, a log flume was added, along with a family raft waterslide in the water park area. In 1990, the park began to have maintenance issues with many of their flat rides. In 1991, only nine flat rides remained and the park was put up for sale.

Adventure World[edit]

In 1992, Wild World was purchased by Premier Parks and renamed Adventure World. That year several flat rides and a few kiddie rides were added. In 1993, Adventure World added its second adult rollercoaster. Premier Parks had acquired Lightning Loops from Six Flags. This was a dual-track steel single looping shuttle coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure. One of the tracks was sent to Premier Parks' Frontier City located in Oklahoma City (where it still operates today), while the other track became known as the Python and would be located at Adventure World. Also, a water ride called Shipwreck Falls, in which a 15-person boat would run up a steel track and down a 45-foot (14 m) drop into a splashwater pool, was added. More flat rides were added in 1994.

In 1995, Vekoma's first Mind Eraser, an inverted looping suspended coaster, was added. This was branded a SLC. In 1996, a free-fall drop-down ride called the Tower of Doom and made by Intamin was added. In 1997, the park added a second dry water ride called Typhoon Sea Coaster, which was a log flume/junior rollercoaster hybrid. It was later renamed Skull Mountain and eventually closed in July 2011[2] to make room for a new roller coaster.[3] In 1997, the water park was renovated, eliminating some older slides, adding newer slides and extensively remodeling the children's water play area.

Six Flags ownership[edit]

In 1998, Premier Parks acquired the larger Six Flags chain from Time Warner and the company took the name Six Flags Incorporated. That year, in an unrelated move, a wooden roller coaster was added, Roar, designed by Great Coasters International. At the end of 1998, Six Flags announced that Adventure World, along with Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado, Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio, and Marine World near San Francisco, would all be branded in 1999 while Darien Lake near Buffalo, New York and Riverside Park in Springfield, Massachusetts would be flagged in 2000.

Adventure World would be renamed Six Flags America (because the park is just a mere 20 minutes from Washington, D.C.). With that change came many others, including extensive remodeling and re-theming—Looney Tunes characters became prominently featured in the kiddie area—and an entirely new section, Gotham City, was added (including a Skycoaster bungee ride). Python was sent into storage, but three new coasters opened that year: Two Face: The Flip Side, The Joker's Jinx (the park's only launched roller coaster), and Great Chase, replacing Cannonball in the kiddie area.

The 2000 season saw the addition of an Intamin steel non looping out and back hypercoaster Superman: Ride of Steel. This was a mirror image to the layout of Darien Lake's Ride of Steel. In 2001, the Vekoma-designed flying coaster called Batwing opened. A few flat rides were added in 2002 while a water raft ride called Blizzard River was added in 2003.

In 2005, the water park, Paradise Island, was upgraded and retitled Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. The transition from Paradise Island to Hurricane Harbor saw the addition of a new Tornado water slide as well as renovations to existing attractions and buildings. Tony Hawk's Halfpipe water slide was added in 2008. In 2010, Six Flags America renovated the Hurricane Bay wave pool deck, adding a new stamped concrete deck and shading.

On June 5, 2010, Six Flags America opened the Thomas Town family area. With eight rides and attractions, all themed to Thomas the Tank Engine, the 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) area was billed as North America's largest Thomas Town and marked Six Flags America's largest expansion in more than a decade.

In late 2010, Six Flags began the process of removing licensed theming from attractions. They terminated several licenses including their license with Thomas the Tank Engine and Tony Hawk. Thomas Town was renamed and re-themed to Whistlestop Park and Tony Hawk's Halfpipe slide was renamed Halfpipe all in time for the 2011 season.[4][5]

For 2012, the park added Apocalypse, a Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up roller coaster with two inversions, a 10-story drop, and speeds of up to 55 mph. The ride had previously operated at Six Flags Great America as Iron Wolf.[6]

Six Flags announced on August 30, 2012, that Six Flags America will be adding Bonzai Pipelines a SplashTacular DownUnder water slide at their water park Hurricane Harbor.[7] Bonzai Pipelines will feature six different slides on one complex tower with each of theme going different directions.[8]

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags America announced that they would be adding a new Mardi Gras themed area for the 2014 season. The area will include Ragin' Cajun and a set of Flying Scooters named French Quarter Flyers.[9] The new Mardi Gras section will replace Southwest Territory with the current rides rethemed to the new Mardi Gras theme such as Drop of Doom rethemed to Voodoo Drop.[10] Like Apocalypse, Ragin' Cajun was relocated from Six Flags Great America, and is located on the former location of Two Face: The Flip Side that was removed from the park in 2007.

On August 28, 2014, Six Flags officially announced the addition of Bourbon Street Fireball, a Super Loop also being added to three other Six Flags parks.

The Flash Pass[edit]

See also: Flash Pass

The Flash Pass, named after the Justice League character, is a virtual queuing system that allows customers to wait in a virtual line, thereby allowing them to engage in other activities while they wait. With the introduction of the Flash Pass in April 2010, visitors can “hold their place in line” electronically allowing them to go elsewhere in the park while waiting for an attraction. They will be alerted by the Flash Pass device when it is almost their turn to ride. Three types of Flash Pass are available: Regular, Gold and Platinum, a Regular pass simply “holds your place in line” with an average waiting time of 50 minutes, the Gold holds your place as well as giving you a reduced wait time of about 20 minutes per ride and the Platinum reduces the waiting time to 5 minutes and allows you to "Get in line once, Ride Twice -, while you are only allowed to ride once by any other means, Platinum gives you the opportunity to remain seated and ride the roller coasters again. The Flash Pass is purchased separately from the normal park admission. There are a limited number of Flash Passes available for purchase on a given day.

Themed sections[edit]

The themed sections of the park are: Olde Boston (Chesapeake in 2014), Looney Tunes Movie Town, Southwest Territory (Mardi Gras in 2014), Nantucket, Gotham City, Skull Island, Coyote Creek, Whistlestop Park and Hurricane Harbor (water park). Each section has rides that have something to do with the section (such as Pirate's Flight in Skull Island)

Current rides[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Ride Name Picture Opened Manufacturer/Ride Type Status Location Notes
The Wild One The Wild One2.jpg 1986 Dinn Corporation/Wooden Operating Mardi Gras
Relocated Giant Coaster at Paragon Park in Hull, Massachusetts.
Mind Eraser SFA-Mind Eraser 2.jpg 1995 Vekoma/Suspended Looping Coaster Operating Coyote Creek
Roar SFA-Roar-Entrance.jpg 1998 Great Coasters International/Wooden sit down Operating Chesapeake
The Joker's Jinx SFA-Joker's Jinx.jpg 1999 Premier Rides/LIM launch steel sit down twister Operating Gotham City Same layout as Flight of Fear coasters at Kings Island and Kings Dominion.
Great Chase GreatChaseSFA2010.JPG 1999 Zamperla/Kiddie steel sit down Operating Looney Tunes Movie Town
Superman:
Ride of Steel
Superman - Ride of Steel (Six Flags America) 03.JPG 2000 Intamin/ Megacoaster Operating Gotham City Mirror image of Ride of Steel coaster at Darien Lake.
Batwing SFA-Batwing.jpg 2001 Vekoma/Flying Dutchman Operating Gotham City Mirror image of Firehawk at Kings Island
Apocalypse Iron Wolf (Six Flags Great America) 01 cropped.JPG 2012 Bolliger & Mabillard/Steel stand-up Operating Chesapeake Relocated Iron Wolf coaster from Six Flags Great America.
Ragin' Cajun Ragin' Cajun.JPG 2014 Zamperla/Spinning Wild Mouse Operating Mardi Gras Relocated Ragin' Cajun coaster from Six Flags Great America

Thrill rides[edit]

Name Opened Manufacturer/Ride Type Location Notes
Capital Railways mid-1980s General Electric/Train ride Chesapeake The 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[11] train ride originally was opened during the Wild World years and was called Wild World Railroad. Under Premier ownership, it was mostly used for catered picnic customers only, it was opened to everyone in 2009.
Carousel 1982 International Amusement/ Carousel Chesapeake The former stripe colors on the Carousel canopy were Yellow & Blue 1988-1998. Now 1999–present Red & White canopy was switched when Six Flags America open.
High Seas 1989 Zamperla/Swinging ship Chesapeake
Pirate's Flight 1989 Intamin/Flying Dutchman Chesapeake Moved to the former site of the Curving Dervish in 1996.
Coyote Creek Crazy Cars 1990 Preston Amusements/Bumper cars Coyote Creek Named Los Coches Chocos
Cyclone 1993 Eli Bridge/Scrambler Chesapeake Originally called Scrambler. Moved to the former site of Pirate's Flight in 1996. Formerly known as Scrambler (1993-1996), the ride was renamed to Cyclone when it was moved to the area that where French Quarter Flyers currently resides in Mardi Gras. The ride was moved again to Chesapeake in 2011 in the location where The Octopus formerly resided.
Great Race 1993 Antique cars Chesapeake
Zydeco Zinger 1993 Chance Rides/Falling Star Mardi Gras Formerly known as Falling Star, the ride was renamed to Zydeco Zinger due to Southwest Territory being rethemed to Mardi Gras in 2014.
Shipwreck Falls 1993 Hopkins Rides/Shoot the Chute water ride Chesapeake
Renegade Rapids 1995 Hopkins Rides/Rapids water ride Coyote Creek
Tea Cups 1995 Zamperla/tea cups Chesapeake They used no cover for the Tea Cups at Adventure World (1995–1998). A cover was added for the Tea Cups when park became Six Flags America, 1999–present.
Flying Carousel 1995 Zamperla/Flying Carousel Chesapeake
Big Easy Speedway 1996 J&J Amusements/go-karts Mardi Gras Extra-charge attraction. Formerly known as Sahara Speedway (1996–2003) and Sonora Speedway (2004–2013), the ride was renamed Big Easy Speedway due to Southwest Territory being rethemed to Mardi Gras in 2014.
Riddle Me This 1996 Hrubetz/stand-up roundup ride Gotham City Originally Named World Wind, location moved to Gotham City section in 1999
Voodoo Drop 1996 Intamin/140 ft (43 m).tall Giant Drop Mardi Gras Formerly known as Tower of Doom (1996–2014), the ride was renamed Voodoo Drop due to Southwest Territory being rethemed to Mardi Gras in 2014.
Rodeo 1999 Huss/Breakdance Coyote Creek
Sky Coaster 2001 Skycoaster, Inc./sky coaster Gotham City Extra-charge attraction.
Penguin's Blizzard River 2003 WhiteWater West/Spinning Rapids water ride Gotham City
French Quarter Flyers 2014 Larson International/Flying Scooters Mardi Gras Located where the rock-wall formerly resided.
Bourbon Street Fireball 2015 Larson International/Fireball Mardi Gras

Kiddie rides[edit]

Six Flags America's Kid Sections are Looney Tunes Movie Town and Whistlestop Park.[5] Former Kid's Area was Thomas Town that only operated during the 2010 season.

Name Opened Manufacturer/Ride Type Location Notes
Up, Up & Away 1993 Zamperla/Family size ferris wheel Whistlestop Park Used to be located in Olde Boston as Around the World in 80 Days from 1993 - 2009. Moved in Thomas Town in 2010 as Sodor Carnival Ferris Wheel; and rethemed in 2011.
Elmer’s Around the World in 80 Seconds 1993 Zamperla/kiddie balloon flight Looney Tunes Movie Town Named Balloon Flight until 1999
Foghorn Leghorn’s Tinsel Town Train 1993 Zamperla/kiddie train ride Looney Tunes Movie Town Named Circus Train until 1999
Looney Tunes Prop Warehouse 1999 kiddie soft play area Looney Tunes Movie Town
PePe Le Pew’s Tea Party 1999 Zamperla/kiddie tea cups Looney Tunes Movie Town
Sylvester’s Pounce and Bounce 1999 kiddie drop ride Looney Tunes Movie Town
Taz’s Film Works 1999 kiddie swings ride Looney Tunes Movie Town
Yosemite Sam’s Hollywood Flight School 1999 kiddie airplane ride Looney Tunes Movie Town Originally called Movie Town Airport (1999–2004).
Happy Junction 2010 kiddie convoy ride Whistlestop Park It was known as Diesel Derby in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Sky Jumper 2010 Family Drop Ride Whistlestop Park It was known as Cranky the Crane Tower in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Splash Zone 2010 Pop Jet Fountain Whistlestop Park It was known as Thomas Town Pop Jet Fountain in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Whistlestop Bus Line 2010 kiddie Zamperla crazy bus Whistlestop Park It was known as Bertie the Bus in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Whistlestop Park Playground 2010 Playground Whistlestop Park It was known as Thomas Town Play Structure in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Whistlestop Train 2010 Family Train ride Whistlestop Park It was known as Thomas the Tank Engine in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.
Whistlestop Whirlybirds 2010 I.E. Park Mini Flight Whistlestop Park It was known as Harold the Helicopter in 2010 in Thomas Town; and rethemed in 2011.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor[edit]

Hurricane Harbor is a water park located within Six Flags America. It was known as Paradise Island until 2005 when it was rebranded Hurricane Harbor.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Logo.svg
Owner Six Flags

Six Flags America is a combination family theme park and water park. Hurricane Harbor water park is adjacent to the main park and has no additional charge for entry.

Name Opened Manufacturer/Ride Type Notes
Calypso Cannonballs two small tube drop slides Named Caribbean Cannonball Flume until 2004
Riptide Small body slides Named Luau Loop until 2004
Vortex Small body slides Named Luau Loop until 2004
Castaway Creek 1982 Lazy river
Hurricane Bay 1982 Wave pool Named Monsoon Lagoon until 2004; One of the largest wave pools in the world
ZoomAzon Falls 1982 4 twisting body slides Named Rainbow Falls until 2004. Hurricane Mountain 2005-2008. Formerly tube slides. Closed 2008–2010. Rethemed to an Amazon rainforest and reopened June 2011.
Paradise Plunge 1994 Proslide Technology Inc. Pipeline Named Tahiti Twister until 2004
Reef Runner 1994 Proslide Technology Inc. Pipeline Named Tahiti Twister until 2004
Crocodile Cal's Caribbean Beach House 1997 Family activity area Named Crocodile Cal's Outback Beach House until 2005- the "Cal's" portion of the name came from Baltimore Oriole's superstar Cal Ripken
Hammerhead 1997 Proslide Technology Inc. Giant Twister Named Black Hole until 2004
Mako 1997 Proslide Technology Inc. Drop Slide Named Bonzai Pipeline until 2004
Bahama Blast 2005 Proslide Technology Inc. Mammoth
Buccaneer Beach 2005 Kiddie/family activity area
Tornado 2005 Proslide Technology Inc. Tornado 60
The Halfpipe 2008 Water Fun Products Sidewinder Waterslide half-pipe for one or two riders. It was known as Tony Hawk's Halfpipe from 2008–2010; and now rethemed in 2011.
Bonzai Pipelines 2013 SplashTacular DownUnder Six slides on one complex structure.[7][8]

Former attractions[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Name Opened Removed In Manufacturer/Ride Type Former Location Notes
Python 1993 1998 Arrow Dynamics Launched Loop Southwest Territory Ride was moved from Six Flags Great Adventure (one half of Lightning Loops).
The Great Alonzo's Cannonball Coaster 1993 1998 Molina & Son's kiddie coaster A Day At The Circus
Two Face: The Flip Side 1999 2007 Vekoma Invertigo roller coaster Southwest Territory See Incidents at Six Flags parks for more information. This roller coaster was sent to Italy, and is awaiting its announcement.

Rides[edit]

Including Former Hurricane Harbor Water slides

Name Opened Removed In Manufacturer/Ride Type Notes
Curving Dervish 1982 1995 Bayern Curve Exact history not known.
Aerial Elephants 1993 1998 kiddie ride
Clown Around 1993 1998 Kiddie ride
Clown Town 1993 1998 Kiddie attraction
Flying Trapeze 1993 1998 Kiddie attraction
Kiddie Bumper Boats 1993 1998 Kiddie ride
Lippazanion Stallions 1993 1998 Kiddie attraction
Roller Racers 1993 1998 Kiddie ride
The Juggler 1993 1998 Kiddie ride
SkyEscaper 1991 2004 Enterprise The ride was closed in 2002.
Iron Eagle 1995 2005 Zamperla Rotoshake
Kids' Cove 1982 2005 Kids area Located in Hurricane Harbor
Krypton Comet 2000 2005 Chance-Morgan Chaos
Lily Pad Walk 1982 2005 Located in Hurricane Harbor
The Tilt 1989 2006 Tilt-a-Whirl
The Animation Department 1999 2007 Kiddie Carousel
Circus of the Stars 1982 2007 Kiddie bumper cars
Avalanche 1999 2010 Chance-Morgan Alpine Bobs Located in Gotham City. Named Penguins Bobsleds (1999–2003), Alpine Bobs (2003–2006) moved to former Krypton Comet location and renamed in 2006.
The Octopus 2000 2010 Sartori Polyp, monster style ride Located in Nantucket. On August 3, 2007, a 6-year-old girl was injured on this ride. See Incidents at Six Flags parks for more information.
Skull Mountain 1997 2011 Intamin Reversing Boat Ride 8 water ride Named Typhoon Sea Coaster, ride was modified and name changed in 2007. The ride took its last voyage on July 10, 2011.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA) RCDB. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  2. ^ "Sx Flags America Prepares Final Voyage For Skull Mountain". Six Flags America. June 9, 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Six Flags America Announces Apocalypse". Six Flags America. September 1, 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  4. ^ MacDonald, Brady (25 November 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Kids' Rides: Six Flags America". Sixflags.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  6. ^ Hendrix, Steve (June 6, 2012). "Apocalypse, new Six Flags roller coaster, gets a test ride from a thrill fanatic". Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "THE POWER OF SIX HITS THE EAST COAST". SplashTacular. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Six Flags America Introducing World’s First Six-Story Six-Tube Body Slide in 2013". SixFlags.com. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ Cooper, Rebecca (August 29, 2013). "Six Flags America to add new roller coaster, Mardi Gras theme". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ Surviving Steam Locomotives in Maryland
  12. ^ "Six Flags America Prepares Final Voyage For Skull Mountain". 9 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 

External links[edit]