Six Flags Over Georgia

Last updated
Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags Over Georgia logo.svg
Sfog.jpg
The park's main entrance
Location Austell, Georgia, U.S.
Coordinates 33°46′04″N84°33′02″W / 33.76787°N 84.55065°W / 33.76787; -84.55065 Coordinates: 33°46′04″N84°33′02″W / 33.76787°N 84.55065°W / 33.76787; -84.55065
StatusOperating
OpenedJune 16, 1967
OwnerSix Flags Over Georgia, Ltd. [1]
Operated by Six Flags
General managerDale Kaetzel [2]
SloganThe Thrill Capital of the South
Operating seasonMarch through January
Area290 acres (120 ha) [3]
Attractions
Total43
Roller coasters11
Water rides3
Website Official website

Six Flags Over Georgia is a 290-acre (1.2 km2) theme park located in unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia, United States, near Austell. Opened in 1967, it is the second park in the Six Flags chain following the original Six Flags Over Texas, which opened in 1961.

Contents

Six Flags Over Georgia is one of three parks in the Six Flags chain to have been founded by Angus G. Wynne. As with other Six Flags parks, it features themes from the Warner Bros. Entertainment library, including characters from Looney Tunes and DC Comics.

History

Development

The Georgia Cyclone, opened in 1990. Georgia Cyclone.jpg
The Georgia Cyclone , opened in 1990.

After the success of his original Six Flags Over Texas park in Arlington, Texas, park founder Angus Wynne began searching for a location for a second park, looking mainly in the Southeastern United States, with initial design work on the park starting in 1964. In August 1965, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wynne's development company, Great Southwest Corporation, had purchased 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of land along the Chattahoochee River outside of Atlanta for a planned $400 million industrial park with an adjacent $7 million amusement park. [4] The land chosen was the site of the oldest permanent agricultural village in Georgia, home to Muscogee farmers from 200 BC to 500 AD. During development of the park the mounds were destroyed without being studied. [5]

Wynne hired former Hollywood art directors Randall Duell and Hans Peters to develop the park, then named "Georgia Flags". [6] Like its sister park in Texas, the design and theming of Six Flags Over Georgia was inspired by six different flags that have flown over the state (or, perhaps more accurately, the lands that are now part of it) during its history. The two states shared the connections to Spain, France, Confederate States of America, and the U.S.; for Georgia, Great Britain would replace Mexico, and the flag of the state of Georgia would replace that of Texas, even though Georgia was never a sovereign nation, as Texas once was. [7] When Six Flags Over Georgia opened in 1967, Six Flags became the first theme park operator in the United States to operate parks at multiple locations. [8]

The 1960s

Six Flags Over Georgia opened to the public on June 16, 1967. Attractions first available included the Log Jamboree log flume ride, Jean Ribaut's Adventure (a boat tour similar to Disney's Jungle Cruise attractions), [9] the Six Flags Railroad, two driving attractions (the Happy Motoring Freeway and the Hanson Cars), two Satellite flat rides, the "Tales of the Okefenokee" dark ride, the Casa Loco tilt house, the Sky Lift/Astro Lift cable car and the park's first roller coaster, the Dahlonega Mine Train. The park's live entertainment offerings included a dolphin show, the Krofft Puppet Theater and the Athenaeum, later renamed the Crystal Pistol. [10]

After a successful first season, plans were set in motion to expand the park, and adjustments were made to existing attractions based on visitor feedback. A second Log Jamboree flume was added, a new show debuted in the Krofft Puppet Theater and the effects inside the Tales of the Okefenokee were upgraded with the help of Krofft Studios. [10] The park relocated Casa Loco out of its Spanish fort to make way for the Horror Cave haunted house attraction; a new adjacent building was built for Casa Loco's effects, which would become Casa Magnetica. [10] However, the largest improvement was the addition of the park's first new section, Lickskillet. Located outside the park's railroad tracks and named after a Georgia mining town in the late 19th century, Lickskillet added three new rides — the Spindle Top (a Rotor flat ride, the Wheel Burrow (a Chance Tumbler) and the Sky Buckets, the park's second cable car ride — along with several craft shops and a shootout show performed on the street. In 1969, Six Flags added still more attractions, the Sky Hook observation tower, which was relocated from Six Flags Over Texas, the Mini Mine Train , the park's second roller coaster [10] and the Chevy Show domed theater building.[ citation needed ]

The 1970s

In the early 1970s, Six Flags began augmenting its supply of costumed characters with creations from various Sid & Marty Krofft television series. Characters from H. R. Pufnstuf began appearing in the park in 1970, with characters from Lidsville added in 1972. [10] The 1970 production in the Krofft Puppet Theater was based on H. R. Pufnstuf, as well. These characters left the park after the 1974 season as Krofft decided to open its own amusement park, The World of Sid and Marty Krofft, in downtown Atlanta. [10] In Lickskillet, the Drunken Barrels flat ride had replaced the Wheel Burrow, and in 1972 Six Flags debuted the fully-restored Riverview Carousel on a hilltop adjacent to the section. This carousel, purchased from the defunct Riverview Park in Chicago, was built into a pavilion modeled after its original home. [10]

For the 1973 season, Six Flags added its second park expansion, the Cotton States Exposition, a development four years in the making. [10] In 1969, general manager Earl McKoy first proposed that the park install a wooden roller coaster, an idea to which Angus Wynne wasn't very receptive. [11] By 1971, however, the concept was approved, and designer John C. Allen and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company were contracted to design the ride, which opened in 1973 as The Great American Scream Machine . The Scream Machine, the largest roller coaster in the world at the time, was the anchor attraction for the Cotton States area, which was inspired by the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition. In 1974, Six Flags added two new rides, the Mo-Mo the Monster Octopus ride in the USA section and the Phlying Phlurpus spinning ride in Cotton States; Mo-Mo would later move to Cotton States, as well. [12] The Spanish section received a number of children's rides for the 1975 season. [13] After the end of that season, the Happy Motoring Freeway was removed to make way for the Great Gasp parachute drop, which would be the park's new attraction for 1976. [14]

Present day

In late 2010, Six Flags began the process of removing licensed themeing from attractions. They terminated several licenses including their license with Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas Town will be renamed and rethemed to Whistlestop Park in time for the 2011 season. [15] [16] In an arrangement similar to that for Six Flags Over Texas, it is owned by a group of approximately 120 limited partners—some the heirs of Angus G. Wynne—and is managed by the corporation. In years past, this has caused significant friction, including legal action. Starting in 1991, the park was managed by Time Warner Entertainment. The partners sued Time Warner in 1997, claiming that they had neglected to invest in the park and overcharged the partners for the improvements it did receive. A Gwinnett County civil court jury agreed and awarded the partners damages in excess of US$600 million. In 1998, Time Warner sold its interests in the Six Flags parks to Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, which later changed its name to Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc.

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags officially announced it would add a Hurricane Harbor water park next door to the park for the 2014 season. [17] In late April 2014, the park announced that it will expand their season from October to January, to include the new Christmas event, Holiday in the Park for years to come. [18]

As part of Six Flags' 2015 capital investment program, Six Flags Over Georgia received two rides in its Gotham City section. The first, "The Joker: Chaos Coaster" is a Larson Giant Loop ride approximately 70 feet in height, while the second, "Harley Quinn Spinsanity", is a more traditional Tilt-A-Whirl family ride. [19] Both attractions are part of a broader renovation of Gotham City, which will also include a new character meet-and-greet area and improvements to the existing Gotham City Eatery restaurant. [19]

In 2016, Six Flags added two new children areas to the park – "Bugs Bunny Boomtown" and "DC Super Friends", the first in the Six Flags chain. On June 16, 2016, it was announced that Dodge City Bumper Cars would be closed and removed from the park to make room for a new ride in 2017. [20] On September 1, 2016, the park announced that an all new dark ride named Justice League: Battle For Metropolis would replace Dodge City Bumper Cars.

Rides and attractions

Six Flags Over Georgia, like most amusement parks, prides itself on its roller coaster collection. Goliath and Mind Bender routinely rank among the top steel roller coasters listed by Amusement Today magazine in its Golden Ticket Awards. The collection expanded most recently in 2018 with the addition of Twisted Cyclone, a steel track conversion of the former Georgia Cyclone by Rocky Mountain Construction. [21]

Aside from the roller coasters, Six Flags Over Georgia maintains a large number of other rides and attractions. Two attractions of note are Acrophobia, installed in 2001 as the world's first "floorless" freefall tower ride, and the Riverview Carousel.

Riverview Carousel is one of only three remaining five-abreast carousels known to exist. Located in an area of the park commonly referred to as Carousel Hill, The Riverview Carousel opened at the park in 1972. It is a 1908 PTC Carousel and is located in the Cotton States section after being moved from Riverview Park (Chicago). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 27, 1995.

Roller coasters

Ride namePictureYear openedManufacturerCurrent locationDescription
Batman: The Ride Batman (1st Loop).JPG 1997 Bolliger & Mabillard Gotham CityA steel inverted coaster. It is one of several identical rides operated by Six Flags Theme Parks using the same name.
Blue Hawk BlueHawk SFOG 1.jpg 1992 Vekoma LickskilletA looping roller coaster. Ride moved from Wildwood, New Jersey's defunct Dinosaur Beach boardwalk. Inherited the Arrow trains from the Great American Scream Machine formerly located at Six Flags Great Adventure. Formerly named Ninja, it has had a full refurbishment and is now named Blue Hawk as of the 2016-2017 season.
Dahlonega Mine Train SFoG-Dahlonega Mine Train.jpg 1967 Arrow Dynamics Peachtree SquareA steel mine train. The original design was a wood supporting structure with steel tubular rails; now, much of the wood is ornamental.
Dare Devil Dive Dare Devil Dive SFOG.JPG 2011 Gerstlauer U.S.A.A Euro-Fighter with a 95-foot-tall vertical lift and three inversions.
Georgia Scorcher Georgia Scorcher (Six Flags Over Georgia) 01.jpg 1999 Bolliger & Mabillard GeorgiaA stand-up roller coaster. Last new B&M stand-up built to-date and is one of only two in the Southeast.
Goliath Goliath3.jpg 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard U.S.A.A hypercoaster. One of the first hypercoasters in the Southeastern United States.
Great American Scream Machine Great American Scream Machine hill.jpg 1973 John C. Allen / Philadelphia Toboggan Company LickskilletA wooden roller coaster. Opened as the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster at a height of 105 feet (32 m) and speeds of 57 miles per hour (92 km/h).
The Riddler Mindbender Mind Bender (Six Flags Over Georgia) 04.jpg 1978 Anton Schwarzkopf Gotham CityA steel looping coaster. The park has claimed that it was the world's first triple-loop coaster. However, the second "loop" is actually an inclined helix and does not turn riders upside-down. In 1997, it was remodeled after The Riddler to fit the new Gotham City theme. Previously known as Mind Bender (1978-2019)
Superman: Ultimate Flight Superman Ultimate Flight entrance.jpg 2002 Bolliger & Mabillard Metropolis ParkA steel flying coaster. It was the Southeast's first flying roller coaster, and the first B&M flying coaster in North America.
The Joker Funhouse Coaster Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster (Six Flags Over Georgia) 02.jpg 2004 Chance-Morgan DC Super FriendsA family roller coaster. Re-themed to The Joker Funhouse Coaster in 2016 with green tracks and purple supports. Previously known as Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster (2004-2015)
Twisted Cyclone SFOG TwistedCyclone.JPG 2018 Rocky Mountain Construction CoastalA steel hybrid coaster that opened on May 25, 2018. Previously known as Georgia Cyclone, which was a wooden roller coaster constructed in 1990. Some of the original structure of the Georgia Cyclone was left in place, though heavily modified, to make the new coaster.

Other rides and attractions

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer (Ride Type)Current LocationOther Notes
Six Flags Railroad - Marthasville and Rabun Gap1967Guiberson-Harper Corp. (Train)Peachtree Square and Piedmont 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge [22] around the park; the locomotives used to run on steam but were converted to Diesel hydraulic power in the mid-2000s.
Hanson Cars1967 Arrow Development (Antique Cars)Carousel HillMoved to current location in 1990; originally located where Georgia Cyclone is in the Coastal section.
Log Jamboree1968 Arrow Dynamics (Log Flume)GeorgiaOriginally operated with two separate flumes, current ride is the second flume.
The Riverview Carousel1972 PTC (Carousel)Carousel HillMoved from Riverview Park; listed on National Register of Historic Places. Originally opened in 1908. The carousel model number is PTC #17. [23]
Thunder River 1982 Intamin (River rapids ride)ScreamPunk DistrictRiver rapids ride with 12-passenger boats.
Acrophobia 2001 Intamin (Stand-up gyro drop tower)Peachtree Square
DC Super Villains Swing2004 Zierer (Wave Swinger)Gotham CityPurchased from Thrill Valley Amusement Park in Japan (along with 4 rides that went to Six Flags New Orleans).

Formerly known as Gotham City Crime Wave 2004-2019

Rockin' Tug2004 Zamperla (Rockin' Tug)Carousel Hill
Up, Up & Away2004 Zamperla (Balloon Race)Carousel Hill
Paradise Island2005 ProSlide Technology, SCS Interactive Discovery (Water Play Structure)Hurricane HarborOnly open during summer season.
Monster Mansion 1967 Arrow Development (dark ride)PiedmontOther Names: Tales Of The Okefenokee (1967–1980), Monster Plantation (1981–2008).
SkyScreamer 2013 Funtime (StarFlyer)LickskilletPark's tallest ride standing at 242-foot (74 m) tall.
Harley Quinn: Wild Whirl2015 Larson International (Tilt-A-Whirl)Gotham CityA modern twist on a classic tilt a whirl
The Joker: Chaos Coaster2015 Larson (SuperLoop)Gotham CityA Larson fireball ride.
Justice League: Battle for Metropolis 2017 Sally Corporation, Oceaneering International (Dark Ride)Metropolis ParkA 3D shooting dark ride.
Pandemonium2019 Zamperla (Giant Discovery)ScreamPunk DistrictA Zamperla Giant Discovery ride.
Catwoman Whip2020 Zamperla (Endeavour)Gotham CityAn enterprise like ride.
Poison Ivy: Toxic Spin2020Eli Bridge ScramblerGotham CityA classic scrambler ride.

Children's rides and attractions

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeCurrent Location
Tweety's Tweehouse2001 Zamperla Jumpin’ Star – kiddie drop tower. Originally known as Tweety's Clubhouse until 2015.Bugs Bunny Boomtown
Bugs Bunny High Sea Adventure1992 Intamin Flying Dutchman, swing ride. Originally known as Santa Maria until 2015. Removed in 2021Bugs Bunny Boomtown
Yosemite Sam's Wacky Wagons2016 Zamperla Mini Ferris Wheel - kiddie Ferris WheelBugs Bunny Boomtown
Acme Trucking Co.1992 Zamperla Convoy - kiddie truck ride. Originally known as Convoy Grande until 2015.Bugs Bunny Boomtown
Daffy Duck's Bucket Blasters2016 Mack Rides Spinning Boat Ride - Spinning flat ride where riders are equipped with water blastersBugs Bunny Boomtown
Speedy Gonzales Speed Boats2016Spinning flat ride with riders in miniature speed boatsBugs Bunny Boomtown
Looney Tunes Adventure Camp2010Moved from Whistlestop Park to Bugs Bunny Boomtown in 2016. Originally known as Whistlestop Park Playground.Bugs Bunny Boomtown
Superman: Tower of Power 2016 Zamperla tower rideDC Super Friends
Batman Batcopters2016Spinning flat ride where riders can change the altitude of their vehicles during the rideDC Super Friends
Wonder Woman Flight School2016 Larson Flying Scooters - Spinning flat ride where riders control their vehicleDC Super Friends

Pay-per-ride attractions

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeCurrent Location
Sky Coaster1996 Skycoaster Lickskillet
Gold Town Racers1999J & J Amusements go-kartsScreamPunk District

Former rides

Ride nameManufacturer (Model)Year OpenedYear ClosedDescription
Astro Lift Von Roll Holding (Sky Ride)1967198187-foot tall Sky Ride that transported guests between the Confederate and USA sections. [24]
Casa Loco19671967Predecessor to Horror Cave
Casa Magnetica19701983"Gravity hill" attraction
Déjà Vu Vekoma (Giant Inverted Boomerang)20012007One of only five giant inverted boomerangs in the world. Purchased by Mirabilandia in Brazil in 2009
Dodge City Bumper Cars(Bumper cars)19732016Replaced by Justice League: Battle for Metropolis
Drunken Barrels Intamin (Drunken Barrels)19711984Spinning tea-cups ride with a tilted platform. Replaced by relocated Wheelie attraction.
Flying Dutchman Giovanola (Swinging Ship)19801997
Freefall Intamin (Free Fall)19832006First generation free fall tower.
Georgia Cyclone Curtis D. Summers / Dinn Corporation (Wooden Roller Coaster)19902017A wooden roller coaster, which closed on July 30, 2017, was converted into a steel hybrid coaster.
Great American ForceRound-Up19861986Replaced Mo-Mo the Monster for one season after it was damaged in a lightning storm
Great Gasp Intamin (Parachute tower)19762004Replaced by Goliath
Great Six Flags Air Racer Intamin 19842000Replaced by Acrophobia, which reused the former ride's tower. This retrofit was able to be accomplished because both the Air Racer and Acrophobia were installed by Intamin.
Happy Motoring Freeway Arrow 19671975Car ride replaced by Great Gasp
Highland Swings Chance Rides (Yo-Yo)19791997Located in the British section
Horror Cave19681985A Haunted attraction in the Spanish themed area, entered through a colossal head with a gaping mouth
Jean Ribault's Adventure19671981A boat ride modeled on the Disneyland Jungle Cruise; replaced by Thunder River
Log Jamboree flume #1 Arrow 19671991One of two side-by-side flume rides; replaced by Ragin' Rivers
Looping Starship #1 Intamin 19851985Replaced Wheelie; removed after one season due to Six Flags' Ride Rotation Program
Looping Starship #2 Intamin 19892005Second ride of this type in the park; removed for construction of Goliath
Mini Mine Train Arrow Dynamics (Miniature Mine Train)19691988A mini mine train kiddie roller coaster. Previously known as Yahoola Hooler.
Mo-Mo the Monster Eyerly (Monster)19741991Replaced Satellite rides, relocated to former Sky Hook site in 1978; moved to the former site of Phyling Phlurpus in 1983; removed due to lightning strike 1986, returned in 1987
Phlying PhlurpusTread Corp. (Flying Mouse)19741977Unique Flying Scooters ride with a ride system that looks comparable to a chairswing attraction. [25]
Ragin' Rivers19911998Raft water slides; replaced Log Jamboree flume #1; replaced by Georgia Scorcher
Satellite #1 Chance (Trabant)19671973Originally on site of Chevy Show; moved in 1968 and replaced by Mo-Mo the Monster in 1974
Satellite #2 Chance (Trabant)19681973Placed next to Satellite #1 and replaced in 1974 by Mo-Mo the Monster
Shake, Rattle and Roll Eli Bridge (Scrambler)1980's2010An indoor scrambler removed to make way for Dare Devil Dive
Sky Buckets Von Roll (Sky Ride)19682020Had stations in ScreamPunk District and Peachtree Square. The ride was kept closed during much of the 2020 season due to sanitization concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the 2021 season all references and signage for the ride had been removed.
Sky Hook Von Roll Holding (Sky Hook)19691977Observation attraction. Relocated from Six Flags Over Texas and relocated to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls.
Spindle Top Chance (Rotor)19681979
Splashwater Falls Hopkins (Shoot-the-Chutes)19862018Boats glide on a 50 ft (15 m) tall flume and then drop down to a soaking pool. Now closed, and was recently dismantled.
Tales of the Okefenokee Arrow 19671980Named after the Okefenokee Swamp, a flume-based dark ride based on the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. It was redesigned in 1968 by Sid And Marty Krofft, brothers who were well known for their work as puppeteers in children's TV programs, with more complex animation. It was replaced in 1981 by Monster Plantation, which reused the same flume trough. [26]
Wheel Barrow Chance (Tumbler)19681970Only one of its kind; replaced by Drunken Barrels [27]
Wheelie Anton Schwarzkopf (Enterprise)19772012Replaced by SkyScreamer; relocated to Fun Spot America Theme Parks after removal.
Viper Anton Schwarzkopf (Shuttle Loop)19952001A shuttle loop roller coaster. Moved from Six Flags Great America, moved to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, operated as Greezed Lightnin' until the park was closed in 2010.
Z-Force Intamin (Space Diver Roller Coaster)19881991A space diver roller coaster. Moved from Six Flags Great America, moved to Six Flags Magic Mountain and renamed Flashback. It was scrapped in 2008.

Timeline

Incidents

Over the years, a number of incidents have occurred at the park, including some fatalities. Batman: The Ride has been the scene of two fatal incidents nearly identical in nature, where individuals were underneath the attraction while it was operational and were struck and killed by the train itself or by the riders' exposed legs.

Portions of Six Flags Over Georgia lie within the flood plain of the Chattahoochee River, which has caused occasional problems whenever the river overflows its banks. Most recently, in September 2009, the park suffered severe flooding, as did much of the surrounding area. The bulk of the flooding occurred during the week, at a point in the season when the park was closed on weekdays. The park managed to clean up the damage and open as normal the following weekend. [37]

See also

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