July 9th marked my first visit to Six Flags America, a smaller theme park located in Bowie, Maryland, just 30 minutes out of Washington D.C. We only spent a few hours at the park, due to me coming down with a cold, but we were able to get on 6 of their 9 coasters. Here are my overall thoughts about the park, it’s coasters, and the overall experience you get when you visit Six Flags America.
The first thing to note about this park is it’s overall secluded feel. Although it’s just a short drive away from Washington D.C., Six Flags America (which I’ll just refer to as “America” from now on) feels rather tucked away from the urban lifestyle just 30 minutes away. Perhaps it’s the surprising amount of trees in the area, which hide almost any coaster skyline you would normally get at a theme park. Sure, America doesn’t have very many “tall” coasters, but it’s still surprising to be pulling into a Six Flags park and not see any coasters right away.
Eventually though, you will see (and ride) some coasters. America has 9 total coasters, with 1 being a kiddie coaster. Their flagship coaster is the Intamin hyper coaster Superman: Ride of Steel, and I’d have to agree that it’s probably the best ride of the park. Rounding out the top 3 would be Wild One and Batwing, which were both overall impressive rides despite being a bit rough. Their launch coaster, Joker’s Jinx, and their stand-up coaster, Apocolypse, delivered decent rides as well, but were nothing outstanding. We also road Roar, but it was dissapoiningly rough and uncomfortable, and had an awful layout that offered little to no airtime. There were also two coasters that we missed out on (besides the kiddie coaster), but since those were a Vekoma SLC and a spinning wild mouse, I highly doubt we missed much. Overall, America’s coaster line up is decent, but could definitely be improved.
As for the layout of the park, I was actually quite pleased with how easy it was to get around. It was essentially just one long path from the front to the back of the park, with a couple pathways here and there to break off into other areas. The park was also not very crowded, which perhaps lent itself to making it easier to get around, but I still enjoyed that part of the parks design.
The other part of a parks design is how it looks, or how well it was themed. Luckily, I’d say America has a little bit more theming than your average amusement park. Well, at least the main entrance plaza and midway did. Being Six Flags America, the central midway had lots of colonial buildings and theming. Heck, they even had a replica of the Liberty Bell, which was a very nice touch. As for the rest of the park, there wasn’t too much theming, but it did have some decent landscaping. I will say that the park didn’t feel that dirty either, which was a pleasant surprise considering this place is known as the “ghetto Six Flags”.
Now we have to address probably the biggest, and only major problem of the park: the service. We didn’t purchase any actual food during our visit, but we did still buy some drinks at a concession stand. We only ordered 3 medium fountain drinks, but it took the employees forever to take our order and fill them up. There seemed to be no sense of urgency from anyone working at that stand, which was pretty disappointing for someone who was getting sick that day, and needed a drink to take some medicine with.
Luckily, I’m not a big fan of being too negative, so I will end this review on a good note. The employees might’ve not been very urgent, but they sure were friendly! The ride operators were constantly having fun over the speakers by telling jokes, stories, or quizzing people about different things related to the park. I recall at least 3 times where I turned to my dad and brother and said, “wow, if this is what ‘ghetto Six Flags’ is, I think Six Flags should give all their parks a ‘ghetto’ feel!”. The operators, the store clerks, the non-urgent concession workers-everyone working at this park had a kind, refreshing attitude that I’d love to see more of at parks across the country.
Overall, should you visit Six Flags America? If you’re in the D.C. or Baltimore area, yes. Is it worth planning an entire trip around? No, but if you do what we did and incorporate the park into a larger Washington D.C. trip, then it’s definitely worth a visit. That said, would I visit the park again? I mean…probably not for a while. If I was in the area for another trip, I’d probably opt for the longer drive down to King’s Dominion for a new experience. Sure, I missed 2 coasters at America, but they weren’t very important credits that I need to obtain soon. Perhaps when they receive a new coaster, I’ll go back again. Until then, I’m perfectly fine with America being just another check mark on a list of parks to visit once in your lifetime, and never have to go back to any time soon.