I was in town for my cousin's wedding this weekend (congratulations, Nicole!) and after making sure I wasn't violating any mandatory family time scheduled for Sunday, I hitched out of Schaumburg first thing this morning and made my way to Gurnee. My last attempt at this two weeks ago had... unsavory results. Not wanting to let my childhood hometown park leave a bad taste in my mouth, and having a season pass, I gave it another go. WOW were things better today!
Weekend in June, 75 degrees, partly cloudy, and manageable crowds. My word, I couldn't have asked for better.
Started with TDK and Little Dipper, the two credits I wanted to snatch up last time but couldn't. I have to say, I enjoyed them. This is most likely due to both being walk-ons as I rode them first thing in the morning before even the smallest of lines could clog them up. I imagine if I had waited any longer than 15 minutes for either, I would have a gross unappreciation for the both of them. The queue theming on TDK was just abysmal. It's honestly sad they gutted Theater Royale for a drab overflow queue. The ride itself though was rather enjoyable. What theming they had was nice and it was really dark to the point I had difficulty seeing the track, which is always a plus on enclosed coasters.
Little Dipper was exactly what I expected. Shamefully, though I grew up in Chicagoland, I had never gone to Kiddieland, so this was a new credit for me. It's a cute little ride with some nice dips and turns, and it's encouraging and welcoming to see another solid coaster that kids can enjoy before getting ready to conquer the B&Ms. This also has the dubious distinction of being the only credit I have picked up so far where I was the only person riding it.
Next was X-Flight, and this time I was going to do it right. Front left and back right. My god, this was like night and day to when I rode 3rd row right two weekends ago. The front row is just an impossibly smooth with a gorgeous view with some amazing head and footchoppers, but I was astounded by how forceful you are pulled through the course in the back row. Being dragged down that first drop ranked up there with Superman's pretzel for me in intensity. More than any other type of coaster for me, these wing coasters seem to have the greatest difference in ride perspective between front and back row, though I may need to ride one or two more before I make that opinion solid. Of course, the X-Flight crew in top form and the ride was just devouring the queue. I waited 30 minutes max.
Riding Demon again, it's still the same ride I remember, but I nearly squealed, walking up to the station and hearing the original audio in full. Oh my god, Six Flags DOES listen to us Demon aficionados! Keep in mind, I haven't been on this ride in seven years so I don't know if this is brand new or been around for a few years but awesome is awesome!
Got my obligatory ride on Sky Trek Tower for the season. There's nothing like seeing how the park has changed over the years on that. I hope they never get rid of it. After that, I headed over to Screams and Dreams Volume II at the Pictorium. Being a 90s kid and a coaster geek, this was just damn awesome to see. I was a little sad watching half of the people walk out in the first five minutes. This really has a lot of technical terminology and stories that aren't entirely accessible to the GP so I understood. Better they leave five minutes in than sit there and whine for the full thirty. This was probably the best part of my day too, for a very special reason. When they covered the Southwest Territory segment, they showed the commercial that I was cast in. I got so freakin' excited seeing my 9-year-old self 50 feet tall on the Pictorium screen!
From there, I saw the train was back up and running again. Nice job with the quick track reconstruction, Six Flags! Took a ride to see X-Flight from the backside. Not as impressive as from the front or in the middle of it. I did see the pink survey markers, but no picture as they were out of sight by the time I got my camera out. After a ride on Viper, I tried the ropes course, having never done one before, and after metaphorically crapping myself on the balance beam on the second level, I had a lot of fun and I can see why everyone likes them. Definitely want to do more of these!
By this time, it was three in the afternoon and I had a five hour drive back to Cedar Rapids, so after a few more picture taking, it was time to call it a day.
I grossly misjudged what had happened to the park since my last update. The advertising was everywhere, but I didn't see a single coaster wrap. The music was mostly the park music. I didn't hear "Sexy and I Know It" once! Maybe the last time I went, the fact that I felt miserable amplified everything I hated, because this time, it was amazing. Now for the photos, taken from my cellphone that isn't as crappy as I thought it would be! Also, this was my first trip report so any positive or negative criticism is encouraged. Just please be civil
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