Six Flags, as a brand, is the most well-known name in the amusement park game in the United States (if not the world). The sheer number of different parks containing different rides, attractions, and more puts these destinations at the top of the list for thrill seekers and families everywhere. And while these parks might not be open right now thanks to the pandemic, they will be open again (hopefully sooner rather than later), so we’ve ranked all of the Six Flags parks in the country with brief notes about their placement. May this list guide you to the best destination for thrill-seekers, adrenaline junkies, and fun-loving families.
Honorable Mention: Magic Waters Waterpark
In late 2018, Six Flags announced that it would take over operations of Magic Waters, which has been open since 1984. The long-lived water park, while also well-loved by the surrounding community, is pretty small and not (yet) branded as a Six Flags destination, which is why it only earns an honorable mention on our list.
17. Tie: Hurricane Harbor Splashtown
Wet ‘n’ Wild Splashtown, nestled in the Spring suburb of Houston, became Hurricane Harbor Splashtown at the start of the 2019 season. It is Houston’s largest waterpark, so Splashtown is definitely a draw for folks living in the area, but not much of an attraction for out-of-towners.
17. Tie: Hurricane Harbor Phoenix
Wet ‘N’ Wild Phoenix (formerly WaterWorld Safari and now Hurricane Harbor Phoenix after Six Flags bought the property — do you see a trend here?) is great for kids. However, due to its locality and focus on the young ones, as well as the lack of larger coasters, it is tied with Splashtown.
17. Tie: Hurricane Harbor Concord
While this family-friendly park has several interesting water slides, they all end up being fairly generic and not the least enthralling for most adults. In early 2018, the park was rebranded from Waterworld California to Hurricane Harbor Concord, and with the new name came a new experience: Splashwater Island, an interactive playground.
16. Frontier City and White Water Bay
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Frontier City and White Water Bay are both operated by Six Flags as of 2018, so you can expect a similar experience. However, the overall vibe is a bit different from the larger Six Flags parks. Frontier City boasts a Western theme; even coasters or rides that you might find in other parks feature a little extra twang. White Water Bay provides a familiar mix of soaking rides and family-friendly play areas.
Plenty of character-based rides should keep the kiddos entertained all day long, but if you’re not into that vibe, you’ll be hard-pressed to have a good time. It’s a niche market that puts this park lower-down on our list. However, you should definitely check out the neighboring Hurrican Harbor (more on that in a bit).
Lake George, New York
The cheesiness of the mostly aqua-based attractions leaves Splashwater lower on the list. Note: The Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark is technically considered a separate entity by the Six Flags system, but we’re lumping it in with Splashwater Kingdom because the resort can’t stand on its own when pitted against the bigger destinations.
Buffalo, New York
The massive amusement park at Darien Lake resort has passed between several owners’ hands, but Six Flags is back at the helm. In the 2019 season, Darien Lake was rebranded as Six Flags Darien Lake. Here, you’ll find rides such as Tantrum, which can reach 52 miles per hour, and The Predator, New York’s largest wooden roller coaster. The property also includes a waterpark and amphitheater, as well as camping and hotel accommodations.
Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Maryland
What’s great about this park is the diversity of rides (case in point, the apocalypse-themed roller coaster pictured above). What’s not so great is the mediocre thrill options compared to other parks. In our opinion, Six Flags America is middle-of-the-road when compared to the higher-ranking options.
The Sky Screamer, aka the “World’s Tallest Ride,” is a gigantic swing that salvages this otherwise routine amusement park.
Jackson, New Jersey
Great Adventure has a little bit of everything. There’s plenty for younger kids — including a wildlife-packed safari — and some for those a bit older too. With this range in intensity, this park is one of the more manageable options for big groups or families.“El Toro is a long, winding wooden coaster perfect for summer days. Six Flags eventually dropped “and Safari” from the parks name, but you can still enjoy the wildlife to this day.
This Texas-based Hurricane Harbor is a resort-style theme park with decent separation between the thrill rides and easier options. Its large wading pool is a unique offering that elevates it above the middle of the pack. This park is in proximity to Six Flags Over Texas (No. 14).
St. Louis, Missouri
If your stomach doesn’t churn at the sight of Spinsanity, you’ve got a stronger constitution than we do. St. Louis is home to this thrilling ride, as well as a well-rounded bevy of the usual Six Flags culprits, earning it a spot at No. 8.
There’s no better way to satisfy the animal lover in your life that with a trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom — who doesn’t love a 4D monkey experience? And the typical thrill seeker won’t be disappointed by the roller coaster options. It’s also close to San Francisco, making it a plausible day trip.
Jackson, New Jersey
New Jersey’s Hurricane Harbor is certainly one of the more competitive parks in the lineup. Plenty of multi-lane water slides and tube adventures await just two hours south of New York City. This park is next to Six Flags Great Adventure (No. 10).
Los Angeles, California
At this park, about an hour north of Los Angeles, comic fans will get a thrill out of the theme rides while adrenaline junkies will love options such as Scream, Viper, Twisted Colossus, and X2. Magic Mountain great when paired with the nearby Hurricane Harbor (read on).
Vertical Velocity will take you from 0 to 70 mph in just four seconds. The ridiculously twisted X Flight lets you hang on the side of the track. Demon, original called Turn of the Century, was one of the first coasters to boast a double corkscrew. All these reasons — and more — are why Great America is No. 4 on our list.
3. Tie: Six Flags White Water
A 700,000-gallon wave pool puts this water park near the top of our list. The more relaxed tubing and wading areas are a nice reprieve from the Georgia heat and more exhilarating rides like Typhoon Twister and Gulf Coast Scream. Pair a visit here with Six Flags Over Georgia (more on that in just a sec).
3. Tie: Six Flags Fiesta Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Water and land options abound, including Acrophobia, which drops riders 20 stories, and Blue Hawk, and mind-bending mess of loops and twists. The quality and variety of attractions put it one back from the top spot. Don’t forget to visit White Water (tied for No. 3).
Los Angeles, California
Bonzai Pipelines drops into a 50-foot free fall followed by another 200 feet of slide until you reach the pool below. Black Snake Summit has four different record-breaking slides. Taboo Tower literally tries to tell you not to ride with its name. Need we say more? Hurricane Harbor in Los Angeles is the perfect cool down after a trip from Magic Mountain (No. 5), which is right across the street.
Article originally published by Geoff Nudelman on July 11, 2017. Last updated June 2020.
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