So you’ve just enjoyed a day at Lake Compounce over in Bristol. You’ve made a point to ride Boulder Dash, which has been voted the world’s No. 1 wooden roller coaster, and enjoyed Connecticut’s largest water park.
But you’re looking for another thrill that comes from flying down a track at high speeds while strapped into a little cart. If this is the case there’s another option just over the border in Agawam, MA: Six Flags New England.
The popular amusement park has added a tenth roller coaster for the summer, as well as several new shows and events for little kids. Also, the water park at Six Flags now has more than a dozen slides in addition to relaxing cabanas by the water, and there are concerts at the park all summer long.
Jennifer Mance, the director of sales and marketing at Six Flags New England, said the new roller coaster has been a great hit. Gotham City Gauntlet: Escape from Arkham Asylum is a twirling coaster through a maze of 17 hairpin turns and unexpected dips.
“Our Gotham City Gauntlet has been perceived as a great addition to our amazing arsenal of thrill rides that includes top attractions like Bizarro,” Mance said. “It is a great addition for families because children that are 46 inches can ride with a responsible person over 54 inches.”
Eric Ullon, 14, from Nashua, N.H., rode Gotham City Gauntlet for the first time on July 19, and said that he would definitely be heading back for more rides.
“It’s different than the others like Bizarro, but I really like it,” Ullon said. “There were really tight turns, it really swung you fast, and it felt like you were going to fall right off.”
Bizarro is one of the fan favorites ever since it opened a couple summers ago. Originally, the coaster was Superman: Ride of Steel, but it was transformed into Bizarro and then named the Best Steel Coaster by Amusement Today in 2009.
Bizarro reaches 77 mph and has a spectacular 221-foot drop to kick off the coaster. The ride has audio in the headrests, in addition to fog tunnels and fiery flame effects.
Matt Gorneau, 14, from South Windsor, said that Bizarro is his favorite ride at Six Flags because of the 221-foot drop at the beginning.
“You’re going so fast down that, and it’s just crazy,” Gorneau said. “You get that crazy feeling in your stomach.”
For the younger set that are not ready for such thrill rides, there are areas for the little ones to enjoy on their own coasters and with parents. There are three areas in the park just for young children including Looney Tunes Movie Town, KIDZOPOLIS, and Splash Island in Hurricane Harbor, which is the water park.
There are also daily shows and events for young and old all summer long, including Looney Tunes Dance Off, Doo Wop `n Bop, Vocal Acceleration, Mr. Six Dance Party, Hall of Justice, Six Flags Party, Characters Close Up, TrashTone Drummers, MOP Squad, and Survivor Live.
Mance said that Survivor Live is based off the CBS reality show that launched a phenomenon. This stage show at Six Flags has audience members compete in contests, which test endurance, memory and strength.
This interactive show features music, choreography, state-of-the-art sets and lavish costumes. Audience members who win will have a chance to get a pair of tickets to see Survivor’s season finale live in New York City.
Six Flags also has a concert series this summer, which is free with park admission. On Aug. 21 the KC101 Ticket to Ride Concert will be featuring Jason Derulo.Then there is Hurricane Harbor, which Mance says is a great place to sit and relax on a sunny day, and it is free with park admission.
Hannah Schur, 15, from Westborough, MA, is not the biggest fan of roller coasters, so she usually heads to the water park and takes it easy there.
“It’s a nice way to cool off on a hot day like this,” Schur said. “It’s a real fun place for all of my friends to hang out.”
Hurricane Harbor is New England’s largest water park with two 500,000-gallon wave pools, more than a dozen slides, and a children's play area. Besides all the slides, the water park has rafting adventures and river tubing with waterfalls and geysers.
There is also the option to rent out a private cabana for a day at the water park. The two options are the gold package for $150 or the platinum package for $200. Each package is up to six guests, and additional guests are $15 each with a maximum of 10 guests per cabana.
The gold package includes a cabana and table, chairs, lounge chairs, a refrigerator with drinks available for purchase, and wait staff available to place food orders from all Hurricane Harbor restaurants.
The platinum package includes a cabana and table, chairs, lounge chairs, a flat screen television in the cabana, four-single or two-double tube rentals, a refrigerator with 10 complimentary drinks (any drinks over the 10 supplied will be billed), and wait staff available to place food orders from all Hurricane Harbor restaurants.
In order to rent a cabana for the day, log onto the cabana section of SixFlags.com or rent the cabana at Hurricane Harbor upon arrival. Due to limited availability, it is suggested to reserve a cabana early in the day; cabanas are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For all ages, one-day Six Flags tickets are available online for $41.99 ($36.99 for the ticket and $5 for a processing fee). If purchased at the park, a one-day ticket costs $46.99 for people over 54 inches, $36.99 for people who are shorter than 54 inches, and free for ages 2 years and under.
To purchase tickets online, log on to the ticket section of SixFlags.com.