Though I’ve been to Six Flags Magic Mountain (Los Angeles, CA) probably a hundred times, I haven’t had much experience with the other Six Flags theme parks. So, I went to Six Flags America (Baltimore/Washington DC area) on Sunday to test it out and see how it holds up to my favorite theme park in the world. Er, not that I’ve been to that many, but the statement still stands. (If anyone wants to fund a trip around the world to check out other theme parks, I won’t say no.)
So far as I can tell, Six Flags America (SFA) is split up into several themed sections. When I entered the park, I was reminded of Disneyland’s Main Street area except much shorter and without the giant castle at the end, of course. Further on, SFA is divided up into Mardi Gras, Pirates’ Cove, Old West, and Gotham City. There may be other distinctions in the park as well, but everything was covered with “Holiday in the Park!” stuff, and a bunch of it was renamed (including one entire coaster: “Reindeer’s Flight” shown above), so I had somewhat of a hard time telling what was regular park stuff and what was seasonal. Also, Gotham City is closed for the season, so I wasn’t able to venture into Wayne territory.
This is going to sound bad, but… well, the park is small. I mean, that’s not bad in itself, of course, but my experience is with the “Thrill Capital of the World” (that is, Magic Mountain), and it’s like… well, it’s like having the Smithsonian within driving distance and then going to some podunk museum in Nebraska somewhere. (No offense intended to Nebraskan museums, but it’s hard to compete with the freakin’ Smithsonian, after all.) This theme park is not in anyway bad or even mediocre; I was just expecting… more.
In any case, there wasn’t more, so I had fun on the rides that were there. It was a very nice day out and there was only a smattering of other people in the park (bonus points in my book, since I can get overwhelmed by crowds), so I was able to walk right onto pretty much all the rides, large and small.
SFA was open from 2-9pm and I hung out for a couple of hours before exhausting all the ride options, including: the Ragin’ Cajun and the Wild One (Centennial, 1917-2017), both in the mardi gras area; Apocalypse and Roar, both in the pirates’ cove area; and, of course, Reindeer’s Flight in the old west section of the park, which was easily the best of the group (with Roar in second place).
Comparisons for my dad:
Ragin’ Cajun = Flashback + tea cups
The Wild One = Psyclone
Apocalypse = Riddler’s Revenge
The Roar = Colossus
Reindeer’s Flight = Batman
Apocalypse shouldn’t be confused with a ride of the same name at Magic Mountain; they were nothing alike, even if the motif was the same. One thing I thought was interesting, though, was that it’s apparently more difficult for SFA to make a “wasteland” space for the theme of the ride than it is for Magic Mountain; I think this is because the part of Los Angeles in which Magic Mountain resides is… well, it’s not a wasteland in itself, but it’s easier to create that idea from desert and chaparral than it is lush farmland and forest.
None of this is to say that Six Flags America is lacking. It has it’s own charm, and I can see why someone would be overwhelmed if they had to go from SFA to Magic Mountain and not what I did. I mean, if I can handle the greatest there is, I know I can handle something that’s good, too.