I’ve been spending part of my summers in Chicago for my whole life. I have family down there and as kids, we used to stay and visit with my cousin for weeks. Now, as an adult, I go down and visit several times a year. In addition to all those little visits, Peyton spends a few weeks in Chicago every summer with family. It’s a great way for her to become more independent and give me a break. But, in all the years I have been visiting Chicago we have never gone to Six Flags Great America. Can you believe it? All those missed opportunities!
So, this year, I decided we were going to give Six Flags Great America a visit and see what all we’ve been missing.
Oh wow! That was the first words out of the girl’s mouths when we pulled up to the park. We have an amusement park here in Minnesota but it’s not nearly as big as Six Flags Great America. Now, I had done my research online before heading to the park. I was prepared for parking to be a zoo, but it really was not that bad. We pulled up, paid our $26 to park and then parked. It didn’t take any longer than if we were heading to a local store. And we had arrived 15 minutes after park opening. I’m very glad I did not take the advice online and arrive 30 minutes early. The kids would’ve gone stir crazy!
Next up, getting into the park. Again, from what I read online I was prepared to wait in line for a long time. But we didn’t. Getting through security and scanning our tickets took less than 10 minutes. If you have your bag open, follow the rules and not try to sneak in banned items you’ll be through it in no time.
The one piece of advice that was accurate was to head to the back of the park and then work your way forward. That way, you don’t have to wait in long lines. This piece of advice was GOLD! It worked like a charm. I took the girls to the back of the park and we worked our way forward riding every single ride that they wanted to along the way. Our longest wait was 20 minutes, which I don’t consider long for an amusement park. Granted we were not going on the high thrill rides like The Joker or X Flight. But they were still popular rides and the lines were fairly short. There were some rides Peyton could not do because she was too short, so we will definitely have to go back once she’s grown a little.
All of the height requirements are listed online so you can check them out before you go and know exactly which ones your little one can ride.
As for the food, I thought it was pretty good for amusement park food. I was prepared for long lines but we did not encounter lines that were longer than 8 people when it came to ordering food. However, it was fairly slow going to get up to the counter for our order to be taken and our food to be ready. We tried a few items while in the park and all of them were good. For lunch, we had chicken strips and waffle fries – the kids devoured it all so I know it was good! The pretzel was perfectly done with a soft warm inside. And before we left for the night we tried a funnel cake sundae. If you only eat one thing while you are at the park you need to get that funnel cake! It was so good!! It’s a generous funnel cake with a large serving of vanilla ice cream and whip cream with either chocolate sauce or strawberries. We chose the strawberries and I almost went back and ordered a second one because the girls finished it in less than 5 minutes!
I will admit, the weather was overcast and we had sprinkles off and on throughout the day. So our low crowd experience is probably not typical. But we loved it! The girls rode every single ride they wanted to, some more than once. The food was well prepared and tasted good. The park was CLEAN! That was a huge impression I walked away with. I saw employees wiping down tables and seats non stop. Trash being removed, water being pushed off sidewalks. I was seriously impressed with the cleanliness of this park. I did not encounter one sticky counter, table or surface our whole day.
Now here is the tough question, do I feel like I missed out not visiting as a child? YES! I would’ve loved to have visited Six Flags Great America as a child. It would have been a great family memory to have. Will I be back? Definitely! When Peyton grows just a few more inches we’ll have to make a trip back. She really wanted to go on Revolution but was just a little too short, you have to be 54″ to ride, she’s only 51″.
If you are visiting the Chicago area and are looking for a fun family activity that is perfect for all ages, consider Six Flags Great America. They have rides for the whole family plus a water park (for an additional fee) to enjoy. You can spend all day there. We spent over 8 hours and would’ve stayed longer but the storms were rolling in. We will definitely be back!
Keep an eye out for more Six Flags Great America articles later this week. We’ll be discussing the disability pass, available food options and more!