nice pics, but this thread is about six flags great AMERICA
in gurnee, IL, not six flags great ADVENTURE
in new jersey
now, as for great america, i'll give my opnions on the vaious roller coasters in chronologicl order:
(1976): oh how i love the whizzer. this was the 1st roller coaster i ever rode (well other than the little dipper at kiddieland out in melrose park) and to this day i still consider the whizzer to be a fine thrill machine. it's by no means the tallest or fastest or scariest or whatever, but it's a gem of a ride, and one of the last of its kind. it's a perfect "starter coaster" for the wee ones, and the way the dense foliage has enveloped the ride over the years makes night rides a special treat. gotta love the whizzer!
(built as "turn of the century" in 1976, rebuilt and rebranded as "the demon" in 1980): nothing spectacular here, but this was the 1st roller coaster that ever spun me upside down, and when i was 8, the demon was one intimidating mother (anyone still remember that demon song they used to play when the ride 1st opened?). it may not be much by today's standards, but for the psychological torture this ride created for me back in the day, it'll always have a soft spot in my heart. and that first drop, despite its modest stature, is still quite a doozy if taken in the last car of the train.
(1981): a fun first 1/3, with the big drop and sustained speeds out to the helix turn around, but after that the ride kinda fizzles. it's simply over-braked. i remember the helix and bunny hill run back home being much faster and more exciting oh so many years ago when the ride was new. still, it has sentimental appeal as it was the biggest roller coaster of its day back in the early 80's.
(1990): a great ride that hasn't aged well in my opinion. it was glass smooth when it first opened, but it's now quite jerky in spots (i've heard it's had foundation problems over the years which may contribute to the roughness), but not enough to ruin the entire ride for me. it's an insanely comapct little twister, where the elements seem to come non-stop (a feature of B&M coasters perfected on batman) and all twists turns and dives taken at full speed without brakes.
batman: the ride
(1992): WOW, WOW, WOW. when this bad boy 1st opened it was "THE"
coaster. it was so revolutionary and so perfectly engineered and so damn intense. the only fair criticism is that it's just too damn short, but that's simply an outgrowth of the break-neck speed with which it tears through its course. batman is the textbook definition of a smaller stature coaster that packs maximum thrills into compact layout. it's just a joy to ride coasters this well designed.
(1995): viper is loads of fun, and unlike its bigger wooden brother (the eagle), this baby is what wood coasters should be all about. sure, it's a cyclone clone, but but that double dip half-way through gives it just enough of a distinct ride to set it apart from all the others. viper definitively proves that bigger does not equal better.
(1999): another ride that i have a lot of praise for. easily the best 1st drop in the park, with the whip-lash like action that you get yanked over the edge with and then the 200 foot plummet into the tunnel at the bottom, it's just exhilirating. the rest of the ride with the big swooping hills, turns and drops, provides pure coaster fun. this ride kinda reminds of a whizzer on steroids. smooth, fun, interesting layout, a pure joy to ride, it's just taller, faster, more intense, etc.
(2001): a wonderful ride, and it helped make up for the loss of the tidal wave which was removed after 1991 to make way for batman. i love any kind of shuttle coaster that launches you straight out of the station. extreme accelration is fun. and that little stunt where the brakes catch you on the back spike for that second always catches me a little off-guard. speed is good, and this ride has plenty of it.
(2001): i think the only word that properly sums this one up is "chaos". getting hoisted up that vertical spikewhen you're face down and you fall into the shoulder harness is one of those rare moments where i get legitimately scared on a roller coaster. and the rest of that insanity machine is just nuts. it's certainly ain't the smoothest ride around, but it sure is fun, at least for a little while. i once rode it back to back to back to back without getting off (i was there on a special promotion day and there were no que lines for anything), and i was kinda loopy for the rest of the afternoon.
superman - ultimate flight
(2003): fun. not as intense as i had hoped, but i guess the very nature of the riding position is going to limit up and down g forces to a degree. it seemed to kinda chug along the course as opposed to tearing it up like batman does. either way, this ride is a tremendous improvement over shockwave, which formerly occupied the site.
(2004): i have yet to ride this one.