Dom and I were planning a historical 4th of July this year but I was feeling a little down that we were missing the fireworks as none in the surrounding areas fit into our schedule. As we were heading home on Sunday, Dom came up with the idea that we should go to Six Flags on the 4th to see their nighttime fireworks for 4th of July weekend.
Monday I researched prices and found that the discount I get through work for season passes is basically the same as a regularly priced ticket for the day. Since we’ve been wanting to go back, I told him it’s really worth it if we go more than once. We discussed it and decided on Season Passes for 2017.
We woke up at 6:00 am Tuesday morning for my Revolutionary Run and then came back to town to eat breakfast and for me to shower. The park opened at 10:30 and by the time we got ready and headed down, we arrived at 11:30. The Season Pass covers parking so that was one less expense. We put on our sunscreen and then walked to the park. About halfway through the parking lot I realized my shoes weren’t going to cut it, so it was back to the car for my sneakers (I had a feeling the shoes I had worn weren’t going to work for lots of walking and came prepared). We activated our Season Passes and made our way into the park.
Since the last time we had visited Six Flags was on our first date almost 5 years ago, there were a few new rides we wanted to check out. We headed straight back to The Joker. The Joker is a roller coaster where you also get swung around upside-down a few times. It was really a cool concept but when we got up to the line, we were told we would need to put anything we had with us in a locker. This is where things started going downhill. I had looked the policies up online beforehand and most said lanyards and fanny pack type accessories were allowed as long as they were secure. I also made Dom wear cargo shorts since I knew we could put stuff in his pockets. It turned out, that was not the case for The Joker, El Toro, and Kingda Ka. There was apparently a new policy in place that was not online (though how this surprised me after trying to visit their instagram is beyond me) and only for the rides that were, shall we say, more intense? We waited in the long line to rent a locker expecting an exorbitant price because they can. It was actually pretty reasonable at $1 for 1 hour. When we finally got our stuff in our locker we got on the ride line. Afterward, Dom remarked that he understood why we needed to put everything in a locker.
From there we decided to check out the Congo Rapids since we were already sweating. There was a small group gathered around the opening and the girl working there said she didn’t know when it would open. Since we were in the area, we decided to hop on the line for Nitro. I wore my lanyard around my neck but under my shirt while Dom didn’t listen to me and left his outside his shirt. He was told he had to put it in his pocket and this is where the struggle truly began.
By the time we got off Nitro the Congo Rapids were running again so we hopped on the line since it was such a hot day and we wanted to cool off. We had our phones in the water tight cases around our necks and again they said they had to be put in our pockets. I can say I understand having them a bit more secure on a roller coaster, but a river rapids ride? It didn’t make sense. Dom and I reminisced back when they let you just throw your bags in the middle of the raft and not have to put everything into your pockets. Needless to say, the struggle with stuff continued.
We went from there to The Dark Knight Coaster – an indoor cat and mouse type ride – where they also made us put everything in our pockets, something that seems utterly ridiculous being that it is hardly a coaster and doesn’t even go upside down. Dom was getting extremely frustrated with the policy and I was longing for the Disney policies where anything can be packed into the compartment in front of you.
Anyway, we enjoyed the ride for what it was, though I was disappointed that the mirror that used to grab your face and make it a clown was no longer working. Dom remarked that rides like that seem to work well the first year or two but then something breaks and they never fix it. I had to agree. I’ve seen a lot of rides now that were so much better when they first came out.
When we exited The Dark Knight, Dom wanted to bring everything to his car and be left only with his keys. I agreed that we could do that but wanted to try the brand new Justice League: Battle For Metropolis that was right around the corner first. He agreed and we went. This new ride is a dark ride that from what I understand was designed by the same group that designed the Men in Black ride at Universal. I was really excited to try it because Dom and I had so much fun riding Toy Story Midway Mania at California Adventure and I knew shooting games were right up his alley.
I was right. The theming is great, we are new recruits for the Justice League because half of the Justice League (Green Lantern, Super Girl, Flash, and now Wonder Woman) has been captured by Joker and Lex Luthor and because they haven’t had time to study our weaknesses as they have for the Justice League members already in existence, it will be more difficult for them to capture us. Basically.
There is a video of Batman, Superman, Joker, and Lex Luthor communicating with us and Cyborg (who is with us) that plays on a loop. It’s a long loop so I really only saw the whole thing one and a half times but I wish I had known that it would be the same playing in the second room the line went through as it was in the first room because then I wouldn’t have tried so hard to pay attention right away. We then needed to pick up 3-D goggles before being ushered into cars on a track where we had our guns and our score. You can seat up to 6 in a car (two rows of three) and Dom and I were seated behind a woman with two small and adorable children. That being said, Dom scored the highest and I was second highest with the mom only about 1,000 points behind me.
I really enjoyed the new ride but the photo op was weird – as we exited it showed what was supposed to be only our faces with our score next to it but none of the boxes actually lined up to faces – Dom’s half a face was actually in the box that should have been me.
Once we were done, I asked if we could get food after we went to the car. Since we were passing a hot dog stand right next to a margarita stand though, I talked about stopping and Dom said “why not?” since we were there anyway. I got a hot dog and Dom got a buffalo chicken cheese steak with a sprite. We then went across to get me a strawberry daiquiri. This was where things started going wrong again. The people who worked there definitely did not know how to enunciate and we couldn’t understand a thing they were saying. We finally communicated that I wanted a strawberry daiquiri and they (I guess) asked us to wait at the bar and the bartender would come outside (this is after I asked if it was open and they told me “no” and when I asked if it would be open today they said “what do you need?” I was already very confused). When the bartender came out to the bar I asked for a strawberry daiquiri and he told me it wasn’t frozen so I asked if the margarita was frozen (since that was the other frozen drink on the menu) and he told me it wasn’t a margarita, it was mango. So I just told him to give me that since it was already making me agitated and I was starting to understand Dom’s frustrations with the day so far. When I finally got my drink it was only half frozen and I didn’t really love the mango. We ate and drank and then went on our way.
I ate most of my fries during the drink confusion
We had talked about going to the car but I guess food and caffeine helped Dom out because he decided he could deal with having things in his pocket and we decided to walk to the other side of the park. We were going to try to get on Skull Mountain, but the people in front of us said it was an hour wait and that was definitely not worth it. I originally had intended to skip the Sky Ride in favor of walking but I changed my mind because I got sentimental thinking about going on it on our first date and I also felt like sitting down for a bit.
When we got across the park we discovered that the Runaway Mine Train and the Log Flume were both closed and we were bummed about that. Instead we went to Bizarro (formerly Medusa and my first upside-down coaster ever). I usually enjoy Bizarro, but it’s better when it gets dark and you can see all the lights. I was also starting to notice that my head was getting bounced around so much on the roller coasters it was giving me headaches.
From there, we went to El Toro, which we already knew we would need a locker for. When we went to rent the locker this time, it was $1 for 2 hours! The wait times were extremely short (we think because everyone was at Hurricane Harbor since it was so hot) so we hit El Toro, El Diablo, Kingda Ka, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom and still had locker time available!
El Toro is a big wooden coaster and while I normally like wooden roller coasters, this, too, knocked my head around so much I wanted to cry. From there we went next door to El Diablo which I actually enjoyed. It’s like a pirate ship ride but actually goes upside down. It was a good one. I didn’t really want to do Kingda Ka but Dom talked me into it and at that point we were reliving our first date by attempting to get to all the roller coasters in one day so it was okay. It was, again, really shaky and my head was killing me but at least we had that one done.
Next was Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. We had never been on Zumanjaro before as it is also fairly new. It is a free-fall ride built into the highest point of Kingda Ka. The line for this ride starts next to Kingda Ka and is just straight back as far as you can walk to the ride. Dom said it reminded him of when you ran out of room in Roller Coaster Tycoon and had to place a ride way far away. We then thought of what our thought bubbles would say and how satisfied we were with the ride all while hoping it would even be running by the time we got there. It was. I actually thought it was a lot of fun even though free-fall freaks me out but it was over very quickly.
At that point we were craving icees so we went back to the locker and got money to buy them. We sat by Macho Nacho to drink them and realized this would have been a way better bar to sit at with lunch. It would definitely be worth coming back there to eat.
We decided to go on some calmer rides after that and Dom chose the Tea Cups and the Parachute Training Center. The tea cups were fun but weird. The kid in front of us in line was alone, so he asked if he could ride with us. As we got into the tea cup, however, two of his friends showed up and also got into the tea cup with us. That was the weird part. They really wanted to be the fastest spinning so we spun like crazy but the girl running the ride announced a different cup as the winner and we didn’t come in second either. The kids were pretty distraught so our new friend went and asked the girl what place we were in and she told him 3rd. He came back to tell us that.
The parachutes were much calmer and we really enjoyed them and trying to see as far as we could from the top. It was the perfect way to get back into ride mode and from there we went to Green Lantern.
Dom could have sworn we didn’t ride Green Lantern last time we were there (we did, I found proof) because he didn’t remember standing while riding and since it is one of my favorites we were both excited. It did not disappoint. While it was still shook my head around a little, it was much smoother than some of the others. The only thing is that I think I remember there used to be a recording that stated Green Lantern’s oath as you took off on this ride but now there was nothing. It added to my disappointment that the rides were not better themed – I love the comic scenes throughout the lines but the newer rides didn’t seem to have that and now a lot of the theming was either gone or not working.
We then went to Superman which I love and remember riding it the summer it came out but I was still nervous about my new issues with headaches on the rides. It turned out I had nothing to worry about with Superman. Because of the way we hang down, it was so much easier on my head and I loved it. I told Dom it was my new favorite coaster in the park.
Hungry for dinner, Dom suggested we head back to Macho Nacho for – what else? – nachos. We ordered nachos and finally decided that a souvenir cup is worth the money since we could refill it a good amount of times so we also got one and filled it with Sprite (Dom’s choice). When we went to look for a place to sit every single table was taken. Dom started asking people if we could sit with them but people were “waiting for their entire family” so there was no room. I scouted out some seats at the bar and made a beeline. By the time our food came out there were a few tables opening up but we really liked sitting at the bar so we stayed. We refilled the cup twice during dinner.
The only coaster we had left was Batman so we decided to head in that direction. On the way, we passed Houdini and decided to stop there but as we were getting in line we were informed it was not running so we turned around and went straight to Batman.
Since Batman is older I knew I’d get tossed around a bit so Dom told me to try and hold my head forward more. It seemed to work but I hit my ears a few times which sort of hurt but it was much better than before.
After that it was 9:00 and the first “warning” firework went off. I assumed they’d set it off to get people to start making their way to the seating area, but since they didn’t officially start until 10:00, we decided to take another look at the wait for Skull Mountain.
Skull Mountain was down to about 5 minutes so we went on that and it was still only 9:15 when we exited. Another “warning” firework went off and we decided to go find a place to sit. It was already extremely crowded but we pulled up some gravel and sat down with our half empty coke (Dom’s choice. I chose Powerade which was what we had for our second refill) to wait. At 9:30 and 9:45 they set off a firework as well and at 9:50 an announcement was made that the fireworks would begin in 10 minutes.
I have to admit, I was happily impressed with the firework show Six Flags put on for the 4th of July weekend. I loved all the patriotic music and the way the fireworks complimented the music was just awe-inspiring. Fireworks are one of my favorite things and I especially love them lighting up the sky on the 4th of July. This show went above and beyond what I expected from a 4th of July show – it wasn’t quite the caliber of larger theme parks, but it was way better than the local town show! I think the songs were what made it so special to me. Proud To Be An American and All-American Girl are some of my favorites and I just loved the way it made me feel so proud of my country.
Dom put it best in that we saw such a spectrum of people practicing all different religions all enjoying their day at Six Flags and coming together at the end of the night for a beautiful show to support the country where we are free to be whomever we want to be and practice whatever religion we want to practice.
Some brief reviews based on our experience:
- Be prepared to get a locker for Kingda Ka, El Toro, and The Joker rides. You will not be allowed to have anything in your pockets even so just put everything in there.
- For other coasters, make sure to have either zip or button pockets for a phone or possibly a fanny pack (I made my cross-body into a fanny pack and wore it under my shirt for some rides)
- Season Pass – a season pass is usually worth it to me if I use it more than once in a season but check out costs and discounts offered. I bought mine through my work for only $75 but I saw discounts online for around $100 or you can upgrade a daily ticket in the park.
- Refillable Souvenir Cup – this is something I usually forego if I don’t have anyone with me to hold it while I go on rides since I have an irrational (or maybe it’s rational) fear that it will be stolen while we are on the ride if we leave it in those cup holders. It is about $15 and you receive free refills on the day of purchase. Refills on days other than that purchased are $0.99 or you could buy refills for the day for $6. Soda is normally about $5 so Dom figured it was worth it if we got 3 refills on the day we purchased. I guess we should have purchased sooner but that was my fault not wanting the responsibility since we couldn’t take it on rides or whatever. There is also a season-long free refill cup you could purchase for $29. In all you would have to make at least 3 additional trips to make that purchase worth the extra money.
- Season Meal Plan – I’m not sure much about the season meal plans but they come with the season long free refills as well so my thoughts are if you have kids and plan on making frequent visits to the park over the course of the summer and are maybe not taking a regular vacation this might be worth your money. The key here is balancing what it would normally cost you.
- Theming – I know this is not Disney but I wish the theming were better. I enjoyed the newer rides but after the past few years of visiting Disney more often I just kept seeing things that I would do differently that in my opinion are better. I do love that they have made the park more superhero centered and the addition of Wonder Woman (even such a small addition) gives me hope that there is more to come with this.
- Battle For Metropolis – I really wish this weren’t in 3-D. I do not do well with 3-D, possibly because of my eyesight being what it is but regardless, I think the 3-D made it way more difficult to aim at the targets. Other than that, I wish Wonder Woman was in it more and that both of the females of the Justice League weren’t captured. It would be way more fun if the girls were rescuing everyone else but it was probably created by a man or whatever. Supergirl could totally take the place of Superman and vice versa and Batman and Wonder Woman could definitely switch places and the ride would be much the same with the exception of it being way more girl-powered.