REVIEW: Six Flags Great Escape is not definitely worth the journey for coaster followers

REVIEW: Six Flags Great Escape is not definitely worth the journey for coaster followers

History could be a charming attribute for any theme park, however within the case of Six Flags Great Escape, it’s not almost sufficient to cover many obvious flaws.

Great Escape entrance (Theme Park Tribune)

Located in Queensbury, New York, the park was based in 1954 as a roadside kids’s park themed round Mother Goose fairy tales known as Storytown USA. What’s been added because it turned a part of the Six Flags chain within the late Nineteen Nineties, nevertheless, doesn’t do a lot to justify a visit right here, except you occur to stay within the comparatively small Albany, New York market and don’t have any nearer possibility.  

One of the fairytale touches at Great Escape (Theme Park Tribune)

I gave the park an opportunity in August 2022 solely as a result of I occurred to be within the space for a household wedding ceremony. I by no means miss a possibility to seize new coaster credit. My expertise could differ from yours, however I didn’t discover any good motive to return till the park provides one thing — something! — of significance to its skinny coaster roster. 

The coasters

Like any Six Flags park, coasters are the key draw right here. Too unhealthy Great Escape’s lineup is small, missing in high quality, and never absolutely operational throughout my brief journey. 

Few would argue that the very best of the bunch is Comet. Designed by the legendary Herbert Schmeck for the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, Comet opened in 1948 at Crystal Beach Park in Ontario, Canada. After that park shuttered in 1989, it was moved and reassembled at Great Escape and reopened in 1994.

Just like historic worth doesn’t assure a very good theme park, it additionally doesn’t assure a very good trip.

Comet (Theme Park Tribune)

I had excessive hopes for Comet, with its 87-foot drop, 55 miles-per-hour high velocity and its almost 4,200 toes of observe. To my shock, it didn’t really feel that tough — maybe credited to the truth that a metal framework holds up the picket observe — however the trains’ restraints had been uncomfortable and the trip lacked any noticeable airtime, even within the final row. It nonetheless ought to be the highest precedence for any Great Escape customer, although be warned you’ll must stroll by means of the Hurricane Harbor water park to seek out it. 

The remainder of the lineup was even much less spectacular. Steamin’ Demon is a typical Arrow looper mannequin of its period, that includes a drop right into a loop and two corkscrews. It’s brief, tough and boring. 

Steamin’ Demon (Theme Park Tribune)

The identical may very well be stated of Flashback, a Vekoma Boomerang that opened in 1997. We’re mercifully previous the period when each amusement park appeared to have this mannequin, as a result of when you’ve ridden one Boomerang, you’ve ridden all of them, and you actually don’t wish to drive your self to do it once more. 

The park’s latest coaster is from 2005, a Zamperla kiddie mannequin known as Frankie’s Mine Train. Adults can’t trip this one with no baby, however at the very least I bought to admire the small little bit of theming across the two helixes. 

Frankie’s Mine Train (Theme Park Tribune)

I bought solely three coaster credit from my journey. Alpine Bobsled was down for the season throughout my go to, supposedly as a consequence of a substitute half delayed by the ever-so-common provide chain points. I’ve by no means gotten the pleasure of using an Intamin bobsled coaster, and it’s a disgrace I missed this one — it occurs to be a former resident of my residence park, Six Flags Great America. 

Closed, however that may be a nice entrance signal (Theme Park Tribune)

Canyon Blaster, a relocated Arrow Dynamics mine prepare coaster, by no means opened throughout my go to, regardless of the Six Flags app constantly itemizing it at a five-minute wait all day. Arrow mine trains are by no means my favourite, however with so few coasters to start with, it’s by no means an ideal feeling whenever you depart a park with lacking credit.

None of this was the fault of Great Escape workers. For the coasters that had been open, all of the trip operators had been variety and pushing by means of visitors as shortly as doable.

Beyond coasters

One distinctive function of Great Escape is what’s left of the outdated Storytown USA sights, which exhibits the park’s enchantment to households with youthful children.

These giant shows (a few of which you’ll enter, although bear in mind they’re kid-sized) embrace the “Three Little Kittens” from the Mother Goose poem, Little Red Riding Hood, and an enormous pink whale that’s confusingly labeled as Moby Dick, a famously white whale.  

“Three Little Kittens” at Six Flags Great Escape (Theme Park Tribune)

Why is Moby Dick pink? (Theme Park Tribune)

An Alice in Wonderland walkthrough is probably the most in depth of the outdated Storytown choices. 

Alice in Wonderland entrance (Theme Park Tribune)

This is terrifying (Theme Park Tribune)

Sure, a few of these figures are pure nightmare gas — there’s an concept for a Fright Fest attraction! — however at the very least it’s one thing totally different and presents a nostalgic journey again to a bygone space of theme parks. 

Can somebody clear off the Queen of Hearts please? (Theme Park Tribune)

This determine might use some sweeping (Theme Park Tribune)

All of this appeal is diminished, nevertheless, by a scarcity of upkeep. Many of the figures appeared like they hadn’t been cleaned because the offseason and had chipped or light paint. To me, that holds again these fairytale settings to being mere curiosities slightly than one thing extra notable and pleasing. 

Little Red Riding Hood at Great Escape (Theme Park Tribune)

To its credit score, Great Escape additionally options a number of transportation rides. The Storytown Train rides alongside the identical river utilized by the Swan Boats (which weren’t throughout my go to) and previous just a few extra fairytale scenes and some props themed to the park’s second land, the western-themed Ghost Town.

The Sky Ride offers you an elevated view of the park, although it operates as a steady loop slightly than having two separate entry/exit factors, so it gained’t prevent any strolling. Neither of those sights had been all that spectacular both — Storytown Train has solely a handful of figures  — however gives some selection within the trip lineup. 

Beyond the fairytale components, the park has the everyday Six Flags collection of flat rides, the standout being the 164-foot-tall Adirondack Outlaw trip proper subsequent to Steamin’ Demon. 

Adirondack Outlaw (Theme Park Tribune)

Called a Vomatron, this attraction was added for the 2021 season and is certainly one of solely two of its variety within the Six Flags chain. It’s a powerful sight coming into the park and a genuinely thrilling flat trip with flips and optimistic G-forces together with the good view. The main draw back is its low capability and cumbersome, sluggish loading instances, so I’d advocate hitting it very first thing within the morning, even earlier than any of the coasters. 

What’s lacking 

This is a straightforward one for Great Escape, because the park actually wants an exciting coaster that wasn’t constructed within the twentieth century. 

The park’s coaster lineup is small, outdated and virtually fully made up of relocated rides (solely Boomerang and Frankie’s Mine Train have been right here for his or her total lifespan). Even locals must be getting uninterested in this identical coaster choice 12 months after 12 months, proper?

I’m not anticipating an costly giga coaster on Intamin launch coaster, however any trendy and thrilling coaster could be an enchancment. Heck, when you took one of many few remaining stand-up coasters from one other Six Flags park and moved it right here, it could in all probability be the preferred trip within the park — and that’s regardless of stand-up coasters being uniformly terrible, in my view.  

What must go 

It’s arduous to advocate {that a} park with solely six coasters do away with any of them, but when Great Escape needed to dump one thing, it ought to be Flashback.

Flashback (Theme Park Tribune)

Vekoma Boomerangs are a dying breed for good motive and there are significantly better decisions for compact thrill coasters. Even a Joker FreeSpin clone could be an improve.  

The closing verdict

Great Escape has just a few plusses, corresponding to a beautiful setting, one historic coaster and a visual connection to its previous that stands out from different Six Flags parks. It’s clearly geared in direction of satisfying the household market within the area. 

At least the crowds had been low (Theme Park Tribune)

That’s a pleasant means of claiming there’s no good motive for the overwhelming majority of individuals to hunt out this park. There are not any standout coasters and the shortage of funding within the park is apparent. By serving such a minor market, there’s not a lot motive for Six Flags to deliver something main right here both. 

For coaster lovers attempting to find credit, I’d solely advocate a quick cease right here to trip all of the out there credit as soon as, perhaps in your solution to Six Flags New England. Even then, you’ll be fortunate to seek out all of them working.  

Final Grade: D+

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