Six Flags Great America is home to 15 roller coasters, making it one of the most well rounded Six Flags parks in the chain. It has almost every type of coaster you could ask for (besides a giga, strata, dive, and some others), and is an important destination for most coaster enthusiasts. That said, some roller coasters at Great America are definitely better than others. Since the park just added their newest coaster, Maxx Force, in July 2019, I figured now was a great time to rank each roller coaster at the park from worst to best. Keep in mind that this list is just my opinion and not based off of any sort of fact or poll. Feel free to post down in the comments how you rank the coasters at Great America if your list is different than mine!
Also, I won’t be including the two kiddie coasters on this list, since they can’t really compete with the larger coasters at the park. Sorry Little Dipper and Sprocket Rocket fans.
Demon is an Arrow Custom Looping coaster that opened in 1976. It’s not exactly a bad ride, but it does suffer from being a bit dated. It features two inversions and two corkscrews, as well as some pretty cool rock-work and theming. Sadly, the layout is pretty boring compared to the other coasters at Great America. It also has quite a bit of headbanging during the corkscrews if you don’t brace yourself. Demon might be the weakest coaster at Great America, but I’d still say it’s worth one ride because of its historical significance to the park.
12. Superman: Ultimate Flight
Ranking Superman so low is probably my first unpopular opinion on this list. This B&M Flyer might not sound that terrible at all, but there’s quite a few reasons why I think this is one of Great America’s weakest offerings. For one, it always has a long line due to its poor capacity. The layout is also pretty boring, with the only interesting parts being the pretzel loop and the inline twist. Even the pretzel loop isn’t very enjoyable due to its overbearing intensity that can cause chest pain. I know there’s plenty of people who enjoy Superman, but it just doesn’t do much for me.
11. Dark Knight
Dark Knight can either be looked at as one of the most uninteresting coasters at Great America or one of the most interesting Wild Mouse coasters on the planet. This is because it’s one of the few indoor Wild Mouse coasters. It has a decently themed queue with lots of batman theming. This theming kind of continues on the ride, but it is mostly pitch black and hard to see. At the end of the day, Dark Knight is still a by-the-numbers Wild Mouse in a box, which makes it just okay.
The Whizzer is the only true “family” coaster (that’s not a wild mouse) at Great America. It is also one of only two Schwarzkopf Speed Racer coasters in existence, which makes it an extremely rare credit. The layout is mostly just a bunch of straight track and banked turns, but it still does pick up quite a bit of speed and offers some good fun. It might not be the most mind-blowing coaster at Great America, but it is still a must-do because of how unique it is.
9. American Eagle
This is where ranking things actually gets a bit more difficult. Starting here, each one of the following rides are special to me for one reason or another, which makes them a bit more difficult to rank. Putting American Eagle as low as number 9 feels wrong to me, since this classic dueling wooden coaster is a staple at the park. However, this ride has become rougher and rougher over the years which really takes away a lot of the enjoyment it used to offer. It also doesn’t duel that much anymore as they are usually only running one train on it. A lot of enthusiasts want Six Flags to RMC Eagle to give it a more modern experience, but personally I would rather see them just re-track it. The current layout is fine as is, it just needs to offer a smoother experience.
8. Vertical Velocity (V2)
This is another ride that I probably would’ve ranked higher years ago, but sadly is just not as good as it used to be. V2 is still a pretty fun launch coaster with decent hang time, but it has received a rattle over the years. I can’t get a ride without headbanging no matter what seat I ride in. Also, after riding Steel Venom at Valleyfair, I can’t help but wish that V2 had a holding brake. There has been a rumor going around for a while that Great America might remove V2 at some point. Now that they just added a new launch coaster in 2019, I wonder if that will become reality sooner than later.
7. Batman: The Ride
This might just be a classic inverted Batman clone, but it still offers arguably the most intense ride in the park. It tears through its 5 inversions and many banked turns with such speed and forcefulness, which really makes for an exciting ride. I’ve even greyed out a couple times in the back row before. The layout isn’t that interesting, but for the first B&M invert ever its pretty understandable why it doesn’t feature more unique elements. If you’ve ridden a B&M Batman clone before then its probably not the most appealing ride at Great America, but if you want an intense ride then I highly recommend riding Batman.
Joker is another clone at Great America (a 4D Freespin clone, to be exact), but it’s still a very enjoyable ride. Sure, the randomness of the flips and spins do make some rides better than others, but the overall product is still very fun. Perhaps the best part of the ride is actually how smooth it is. Although the ride was designed by S&S, the track was actually produced by RMC which makes it a glossy smooth coaster. I definitely recommend facing forward instead of backwards, as I tend to have more enjoyable and less disorienting rides there.
5. Raging Bull
Here’s another unpopular opinion. Raging Bull might be the tallest and longest coaster in the park, but I think it is just okay. This might be because out of all the hyper coasters I’ve ridden, I think this is one of the weakest. It just can’t compare to the likes of Diamondback, Superman: The Ride, or even Intimidator. In order to get any airtime you have to sit towards the back of the ride, and even then there are still trim brakes that slow the train down to the point where any floater is nonexistent. Luckily, everything that happens after the midcourse does save the ride a bit. There are a couple of smaller hills that give good airtime in the back, as well as some intense “twister” sections. The first drop is also pretty fun (if you’re in the back). Raging Bull is still one of the better rides in the park, but it is by far one of the weakest hyper coasters out there.
X-Flight is the first North American B&M Wing coaster and the only B&M Wing Coaster at a Six Flags park. It might not be the most intense, fast or long ride at Great America, but this coaster is still pretty spectacular. The pacing is incredible and it never really feels like there’s a dull moment. There are 5 inversions on X-Flight, and I’d have to say the best is the final inline twist through two near-misses. I’ve ridden over 100 coasters in my life, and this twist is still my second favorite inversion ever. The dive drop at the very beginning is also very fun, especially if you sit in the front left to get extra hang time. The only huge negative to X-Flight is the vest restraints that tighten up on the ride, but these aren’t that bad as long as you relax your body while you’re riding. Other than that, X-Flight is a really solid ride.
I know, this is probably an unexpected ride to put at number 3, but just hear me out. Viper is a classic wooden coaster that, unlike American Eagle, seems to be getting better every day. There are a couple circumstances you need to follow in order to get an outstanding ride, but they’re pretty easy to understand. First, you need to ride in the back to receive as much airtime as possible. It will be a bit rougher there, but not any rougher than your normal classic wooden coaster. Secondly, you need to ride it later in the day once the ride has already warmed up. By then it will be absolutely hauling around the track. You can still get decent rides without these conditions, but I’d say the best is in the back in the afternoon/at night. Viper never really has much of a line, so it’s always pretty achievable. Also, the park turned Viper backwards in 2017 which made the ride 10 times better than it already was. Hopefully they do it again in the future so that more enthusiasts can experience it in its best form.
2. Maxx Force
This New for 2019 launch coaster rocketed towards the top of my list as soon as I rode it. Maxx Force might only be 23 seconds long, but it packs an insane punch that makes it more memorable than some coasters twice or three times its length. Somehow this ride manages to pack an extremely intense launch and FIVE inversions into such a short ride that left me disoriented and bewildered. The launch is by far the best I’ve ever done on a coaster. It is so quick and definitely catches you by surprise. The double inversion seemed like a gimmick during the trailers, but it is actually a great couple of flips with excellent hang time. Then you hit the fastest inversion in the world, the barrel roll, and it is absolutely exhilarating. Then you’re flipped around twice more before slowly falling back into the station. Although Great America didn’t need it, Maxx Force is definitely a welcomed addition.
My number one roller coaster at Six Flags Great America is Goliath, the RMC wooden coaster added in 2014. Similarly to Maxx Force, this ride might be on the shorter side, but it packs a serious punch into a small layout. The drop is by far the best on any roller coaster I’ve ridden (especially in the back), and everything that happens after is pure gold. The first over bank almost always makes me grey out a bit, the sole airtime hill features some nice ejector, and the dive loop has a lot of whip. Then comes the crown jewel of the ride: the Zero G Stall. This is my favorite inversion on a roller coaster to date, as it features better and a longer duration of hang time then anything else I’ve ridden. Sure, after that there’s only one more over bank, but I still think there’s enough in Goliath’s layout for it to be more than satisfying to roller coaster enthusiasts everywhere. It’s definitely the weakest RMC I’ve ridden, but even a weak RMC is still a phenomenal ride.
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