Great Escape + Lake George
Parks with great in the name are usually great- Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Great America, California’s Great America. And then there’s Great Escape.
The park isn’t bad. It just has a distinctly different feel than every other Six Flags park. It’s more about the charm than the roller coasters.
Lake George was the focus of the trip, not Great Escape. That being said, we decided to pop in for an hour solely to ride the Comet. But there was an interesting development at the ride closure board.
QueueTimes had reported the Alpine Bobsled being down for the past month. The Six Flags app also listed the Alpine Bobsled as closed. Either the board out front or the app was wrong. I thought it would be odd for the app to wrongly list the Alpine Bobsled as closed for a month straight…
But as we walked towards the back of the park, I heard the unmistakable rumble. Then I saw something rarer than a unicorn. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The Alpine Bobsled was
I say was because the queue was now closed for the day. Due to noise restrictions, the Alpine Bobsled closes at 6. It was an unfortunate miss since the ride is perpetually on the chopping block and it had been several visits since I had ridden it.
Had I known the Alpine Bobsled were open, I would have gotten to the park earlier. I later learned from an employee that the park has decided to perpetually list the Alpine Bobsled as closed since it usually is. I can’t decide if that’s sad or funny.
At least I still had the Comet to console myself. It’s usually an airtime buffet.
We started in the front of the red train. On the bright side, the ride was perfectly smooth. On the downside, it felt like I was riding Wolverine Wildcat. There was hardly any airtime. That was unthinkable for the Comet on all my past trips.
I gave the Comet a chance to redeem itself and we boarded the back of the blue train. Thankfully, that was the Comet I remembered! Every hill had some sort of airtime and the turnarounds had strong laterals too. I guess the Comet is now a back row coaster?
So we took another spin in the back of the red train. I could tell something was wrong. We got another ride with barely any airtime and it felt like the train was dragging a sack of bricks on the turnarounds.
Maybe the blue train was considerably faster? We tested our hypothesis and boarded the front of the blue train. While waiting, I chatted with a ride supervisor, who was also a fellow enthusiast, and he confirmed the blue train runs faster than the red train.
And he was right. My front row ride had airtime in droves. Maybe it’ll improve in the future, but as of late June, I can only recommend the Comet in the blue train. The two trains are night and day. 8 out of 10
I also want to note the operations. They were abysmal. Below is what the station looked like.
However, we were only able to get four rides in an hour. And this was with the Comet running two trains. The root cause was an RMC style restraint check process. The attendants would check everyone’s seatbelt before lowering the restraints. They also wouldn’t perform height checks until riders were seated.
But there was one delay even I had to chuckle at. The staff had just locked the train. After performing their visual scan, they found something.
Op- “Whose beverage is this?” (Hint- it wasn’t water)
Op- “You either need to get off or we’re throwing it out.”
Guest- “Can I chug it?”
Op- [Pauses] “Sure I don’t see why not.”
So the operator unlocked the restraints and this proudly stands up in the middle of the train. The attendant handed him his drink and in unison the train started chanting “Chug, chug, chug!” I’ve never seen a station more fired up before.
While our stay at Great Escape was short, we continued to have a Six Flags day at their hotel across the street. I know what you’re thinking, a Six Flags hotel sounds horrifying, but the Great Escape Lodge is actually really nice.
It’s basically a Great Wolf Lodge. The decor is the same. And the amenities are the same too, including an indoor water park. None of the slides are anything special, but it sure beats your regular hotel pool.
For all you diehard credit whores, there also may be another credit down the road. The park formerly known as Magic Forest used to have a Herschell kiddie coaster. For 2019, it has been rebranded as the Lake George Expedition Park.
However, their website doesn’t list any of the park’s attractions. I had no intention of stopping, but we did drive by. I can confirm the park is operating. I saw the Ferris Wheel running. And they appeared to have a new kiddie drop tower. But RCDB now says the kiddie coaster is gone.
We also took some time to appreciate the natural beauty of Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. We decided to drive up prospect mountain highway and it gave one heck of a view. I highly recommend it. I think it was $10 per carload.
But the highlight of every Lake George trip is the mini golfing. Lake George is home to three of my favorite courses anywhere- Goony Golf, Around the US, and Around the World.
I admittedly suck at mini golf. But I’m a happy loser. Anything that can go wrong, does go wrong for me. I finished in second place on Around the US, but claimed last place on the other two courses.
Lastly, I have to highlight Martha’s Dandee Creme. If you know me, you know I hate ice cream. More specifically, I hate anything sweet (yes that includes Dollywood’s cinnamon bread).
But for the other 99% of you with a sweet tooth, this is a can’t miss attraction. It’s literally right across the street from Great Escape and I have never seen a larger ice cream in my life.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say this, but the ice cream was half Emily’s height. More importantly, she said it was delicious. Plus it only cost 4 dollars and change to find out if you’re lactose intolerant.
Lake George is an annual weekend trip for us. It’s the northeast’s Pigeon Forge if you ask me. Except instead of Dollywood, you have Great Escape. While I’d be hard-pressed to spend a full day at Great Escape, I’ll always make a point to ride the Comet when I’m in the area.