Trip Report: Six Flags America offers a decent, yet dated coaster collection
Six Flags America sits just outside of Washington, D.C. by about 9 miles in Maryland. It is a small Six Flags park with a semi-decent, if slightly dated, ride collection. The park boasts two wooden roller coasters, and seven steel coasters. There are a good number of flat rides, as well as a water park inside the main theme park. The park also has a decent collection of standard Six Flags food options.
By Justin S. Landers
The coaster collection at the park is fairly decent. It features an Intamin hyper coaster, which is something of a rarity in the United States where Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) hyper coasters tend to be the usual. Superman: Ride of Steel is visible from anywhere in the park at 200 feet tall, with a 205-foot drop. It was my first Intamin hyper coaster, though I have ridden the Intamin giga coaster Millennium Force a lot.
Their hyper coasters provide good airtime with an interesting layout. It does feature a fair stretch of straight track however. There is a B&M floorless coaster that was converted from a stand-up last year, now known as Firebird, but I found the layout uninspiring. It was interesting being at a park that only featured one B&M coaster when most parks usually have at least two.
The park also has one of the last standing Vekoma Flying Dutchmen model of roller coasters, called Batwing. These differ from B&M flying coasters—like the Superman clone found at Six Flags Great Adventure—in the sense that instead of lifting you upward to the flying position, these older Vekoma models lay you down. Vekoma is currently working on a new model of Flying Coaster that could bring their popularity back to the United States in the coming years. The park also has a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC), but these clones are not often talked about in a positive light. This one was rough and painful. One ride and I was done.
Joker’s Jinx, one of four of “Spaghetti Bowl” Premier Launch rides sits in the middle of the park. These are called “Spaghetti Bowls” because the track is all curved into itself throughout the layout. They are magnificent to watch and this one, unlike the version at Kings Island called Flight of Fear, is outside. It provides people the opportunity to watch this launch coaster weave in and out of itself. The park also has a family spinning coaster in a wild mouse layout and a family kiddie coaster.
Then we get to the two wooden coasters – Roar and Wild One. Neither were stand-out rides, but Roar was especially rough. The park is due for a new coaster, and an inexpensive Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) conversion of Roar could do wonders for the park’s lineup. I’m not sure when the park last got a new coaster, but based on their collection, it has clearly been a while.
The flat ride collection is decent and expanding. They are getting a giant pendulum ride that is cloned from many Six Flags parks next year. They also have some other spinning flat rides, and a drop tower themed to New Orleans called Voodoo Drop. It seems that for the past few years, Six Flags has really upped the flat ride collection at this park while ignoring the roller coaster lineup. Hopefully, in the coming years, that gets reversed and they add multiple new coasters to the park.
Lunch and dinner options were plentiful. There were quick service stands through the park, and I found a nice shaded option to sit down and eat my sandwich in a mask-free zone under a pavilion. The park had almost no lines at any of the stands or attractions. This was one of the most empty parks I have been to this season. The crowd sizes reminded me of the start of my trip at Worlds of Fun, where I found walk-on rides throughout the park. I even managed two rides on Superman without leaving my seat. Operations were decent but not the fastest. It wasn’t detrimental to my day at all though, with everything being a walk-on. This park could easily be a half-day park, but I spent a good amount of time riding Superman after it opened late in the day.
Mask enforcement in Six Flags America was excellent, like all Six Flags parks have been. There was an announcement before each ride dispatch, and they would hold trains till all masks were worn properly above guests’ noses. There was no “social distancing” in lines because there were no lines – not a problem to complain about.
If you are in the Baltimore, D.C., or Virginia area and are looking for a close theme park that will allow for plenty of rides, I would say Six Flags America is a decent choice so long as you are not expecting the most exciting rides, or the best collection. Their offerings were decent enough, but nowhere near the stand-out ride options of New Jersey, with less coasters and more dated options found in Six Flags America.
29-year-old Justin Landers owns Just Shoot Light Multimedia Productions. He has been involved in the amusement and theme park industry since 2013 as a freelance photographer and videographer. You can follow him on Instagram @Inverted_Therapy and Just Shoot Light on YouTube.
Quite a shame you hadn’t bothered to see either of the fairly decent shows the park provides. The stunt show has won awards in the past and this years show has an expanded cast. The saloon show this year is much MUCH better than in the past also.!