GURNEE, Ill. — Friday was opening day for Six Flags Great America in Gurnee and according to park officials, it comes with the largest array of improvements in over 15 years.
WGN’s Marcus Leshock breaks down all of the changes in the video above and provides a few expert tips.
So what exactly is new at Six Flags? Take a look at all the changes:
DC Universe Coming This Spring
Arguably the largest of those changes is the rebranding of the Yankee Harbor section of the park to DC Universe. The thematic change does not come with any new rides, however neither does it close any existing options.
Vertical Velocity becomes The Flash: Vertical Velocity, the Yankee Clipper becomes Aquaman Splashdown, and Whriligig becomes DC Super-Villains Swing. This section of the park will not be open until later in the spring.
The park’s dining pass is undergoing its own dramatic change. Rather than allowing guests to pay one fee and eat every time they went to the park, the new system involves a four-pack meal plan available to season passholders.
Season Pass Options
If you’re thinking about a season pass, your options now come in the form of four levels: a summer-only pass for $70, the Thrill Seeker pass for $80, the Extreme pass for $170, and the Ultimate pass for $300.
The differences between them are related to which Six Flags parks you can access and when, type of parking included, number and type of specialty rate tickets for friends, dining plans, skip-the-line passes, included junior passes, and a variety of additional discounts.
Different, New Food Menu Items
Food options are also getting a tweak; the branding of Bourbon Street Café returns to the park and brings some additional coffee creations with it, the Waterin’ Hole adds three mac and cheese options to its menu, and the four dining locations within DC Universe will undergo renovations to match the area.
One of those renovations includes Captain Cold Ice Cream which, as of this writing, will be the only location to serve the Dole Whip. Disney theme-park enthusiasts, and those who have visited the Dole Plantation in Hawaii, will recognize this soft-serve pineapple flavored treat.
More Single-Rider Lines Coming
Single-rider lines are being added to four of the park’s bigger rides. Maxx Force, The Joker Free-Fly Coaster, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, and The Dark Knight Coaster will aim to have all seats filled with the additional queue option.
Other Changes Coming
Want to wait even less than a single-rider line? The park’s Flash Pass system is for you and it too is seeing a change. Passes will now be available to both purchase and use through an app on your phone.
Roaring Rapids, a group raft ride nearly guaranteed to drench guests, is making a return after being closed for the past two years. It’s re-debut reportedly comes with a host of refurbishments, but details remain unreleased.
It’s not a new rollercoaster or major attraction, but the park is also adding more than 65 benches, 50 picnic tables, multiple shade structures, and new photo opportunities. After a long, hot day of walking multiple miles around the park, this change may end up being the most popular addition to the 2022 season.
The park will be open weekends only through April, add Fridays at the beginning of May, then transition to a daily schedule on May 24. Its water park counterpart, Hurricane Harbor, will open for its own season on May 28.
Want to get the most out of an early season visit? Marcus wraps up our chat in the video above with some amusement park expert tips.