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SFGAm Now Open at 25% Capacity, Bridge Phase May 14th

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby BCarroll on April 26th, 2021, 2:38 pm
I visited yesterday, 04/25, and I agree with the statements about the park's atmosphere. I know that the company took a hit, so there might not be a big budget for improvements; however, it was sad walking around the park seeing the shape it is in. On the bright side, I was able to enjoy many rides with my wife throughout the day. The operations were exceptional, given it was opening weekend. Especially the Raging Bull crew, they were efficient all afternoon. Good to be back.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on April 26th, 2021, 8:54 pm
Are they using every row on the coasters or every other row??
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Postby Jodon on May 4th, 2021, 9:02 am
CoasterRiderSC wrote:Are they using every row on the coasters or every other row??

It depends on the coaster...at least it did when I was there on Saturday, May 1st.

For example, any ride with 4 across seating is seating every row as is X-Flight. The rest from what I could tell are not seating every row, but it varies with each coaster. For example, I believe Whizzer is seating one group per car, Viper and American Eagle allow for 4 people in each car, but since there is no grouper at these rides, you can sit next to anyone as long as the seats are not roped off. Maxx Force is only seating one row per car. I'm not sure about Goliath, Little Dipper, and V2 as I did not ride those, but it did appear as if there were empty rows when I walked by Goliath and Little Dipper.

I would not be surprised if most, if not all, coasters will operate without restrictions in the near future as IDPH and Six Flags begin to loosen restrictions to fall more in line with the CDC for outdoor activities.
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Postby DejaVu2001 on May 6th, 2021, 1:49 pm
May 6th, 2021 Update

Pritzker has announced the Bridge Phase which allows 60% capacity at amusement parks will begin Friday, May 14th. Additionally, if the numbers hold, Phase 5 could begin as soon as June 11th.
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Postby JimPanky on May 8th, 2021, 5:45 pm
How many months are they counting as closed months that will be added for members?

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Postby Dural on May 13th, 2021, 9:37 am
Anyone else having a hell of a time getting reservations? You'd think with capacity increasing to 60% tomorrow that there'd be some availability. Maybe it's because I've got four kids so need a reservation for 6? Right now for the next 3 weekends I was only able to get 5/30 at 1:15. 5/22 has a 7pm and 5/29 has a 4:45pm, but both are way too late arrival time if the park closes at 8.
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Postby anewman35 on May 13th, 2021, 12:50 pm
Can't find any useful details, but I guess the park is giving away 50,000 tickets to vaccinated people and will start offering vaccinations at the park...
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Postby UnclePennybags on May 13th, 2021, 3:13 pm
So as near as I can gather from online articles, if all goes well, Illinois could enter Phase 5 by June 11. Phase 5 is considered "complete reopening", which would remove capacity limitations on Great America. However, Gov. Pritzker has stated that the mask mandate will remain in place even after full reopening, saying that, "Whenever we reach Phase 5, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines on masking to keep this pandemic at bay.”

However, as of today, the CDC has announced that "anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities -- large or small -- without wearing a mask or physical distancing." They also added stipulations regarding travel via planes and trains, but it seems as though the rules for mask wearing are being loosened and will continue to do so as long as we don't see a relapse in COVID cases jamming up the hospital system.

Does anyone know how other Six Flags parks are handling masking this year? If Texas has less restrictive masking mandates than Illinois, would that affect the masking rules when visiting Six Flags over Texas? Does Six Flags have their own internal Phase 4/5 reopening plan, or do they just respond to requirements coming from the states?
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Postby DejaVu2001 on May 13th, 2021, 4:17 pm
All Six Flags parks including those in Texas still require all guests to wear masks. Given the impossibility of distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated at a glance, I would expect SF to continue the current policy at least until the CDC mask recommendation is dropped for all outdoor people.
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Postby RobSFGAm on May 13th, 2021, 5:03 pm
CDC just announced masks are no longer required for vaccinated people. Do not know how or if SFGAm will follow that or not.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/05/13/cdc-says-fully-vaccinated-americans-no-longer-need-masks-indoors-or-outdoors-most-cases/

IL Governor said he has amended the IL mandate to follow CDC guidelines and no longer require masks for vaccinated people.
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Postby RobSFGAm on May 13th, 2021, 5:09 pm
Dural wrote:Anyone else having a hell of a time getting reservations? You'd think with capacity increasing to 60% tomorrow that there'd be some availability. Maybe it's because I've got four kids so need a reservation for 6? Right now for the next 3 weekends I was only able to get 5/30 at 1:15. 5/22 has a 7pm and 5/29 has a 4:45pm, but both are way too late arrival time if the park closes at 8.

I tried for just one person and the...no reservations for this weekend even though capacity i has increased 2.4X what it was last weekend.
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Postby Carlo on May 13th, 2021, 6:01 pm
Just because sfgam can increase capacity does not mean they will. I suspect they will not increase capacity till after memorial day and I do not think they will go past 40% till they no longer have to social distance everyone 6 feet apart.

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Postby RobSFGAm on May 13th, 2021, 6:17 pm
Carlo wrote:Just because sfgam can increase capacity does not mean they will. I suspect they will not increase capacity till after memorial day and I do not think they will go past 40% till they no longer have to social distance everyone 6 feet apart.

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Per the CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc ... dance.html

Quote from CDC:
"Update that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance"

Granted the park will make the final decission.
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Postby DejaVu2001 on May 13th, 2021, 6:31 pm
^ Short of requiring vaccinations to enter the park, there's no viable way for the park to enforce separate rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors, so I really don't expect any park rules to be changed.
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Postby anewman35 on May 13th, 2021, 9:15 pm
DejaVu2001 wrote:^ Short of requiring vaccinations to enter the park, there's no viable way for the park to enforce separate rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors, so I really don't expect any park rules to be changed.


The question is essentially (not just for Six Flags, but society as a whole), since you can't actually tell who's vaccinated and who isn't, do you 1. Continue to require masks for everybody or 2. Say only non-vaccinated people have to wear masks, knowing that really means that a lot of people are going to lie and not wear masks when they really should. It'll be like dominos... Once the first couple big nationwide companies choose 2, everybody else is going to use that as cover and start doing it too.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on May 14th, 2021, 9:50 am
^^ Am I the only one that sees HUGE lawsuits coming for treating vaccinated and non-vaccinated people differently?? The landmark SCOTUS case of Brown vs. Board of Education immediately comes to mind.
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Postby anewman35 on May 14th, 2021, 10:13 am
CoasterRiderSC wrote:^^ Am I the only one that sees HUGE lawsuits coming for treating vaccinated and non-vaccinated people differently?? The landmark SCOTUS case of Brown vs. Board of Education immediately comes to mind.


Yes, you are. Vaccination status is very different than race. A private business is very different than a public school. A public health emergency is very different than racism. Other than that though, really spot-on comparision.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on May 14th, 2021, 3:15 pm
anewman35 wrote:
CoasterRiderSC wrote:^^ Am I the only one that sees HUGE lawsuits coming for treating vaccinated and non-vaccinated people differently?? The landmark SCOTUS case of Brown vs. Board of Education immediately comes to mind.


Yes, you are. Vaccination status is very different than race. A private business is very different than a public school. A public health emergency is very different than racism. Other than that though, really spot-on comparision.



Unequal treatment for 2 groups of people for something like a vaccination status/history is discrimination. Taken to its logical end, why not ask for a negative HIV/AIDS test, negative Hepatitis test, negative Tuberculosis test?? Those are all much more serious than the corona virus.

Also, multiple states have already banned "vaccination passports" and that number is going to increase.

Last, but not least, someone's medical and health decisions are personal and are nobody else's business.
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Postby anewman35 on May 14th, 2021, 4:33 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:
anewman35 wrote:
CoasterRiderSC wrote:^^ Am I the only one that sees HUGE lawsuits coming for treating vaccinated and non-vaccinated people differently?? The landmark SCOTUS case of Brown vs. Board of Education immediately comes to mind.


Yes, you are. Vaccination status is very different than race. A private business is very different than a public school. A public health emergency is very different than racism. Other than that though, really spot-on comparision.



Unequal treatment for 2 groups of people for something like a vaccination status/history is discrimination. Taken to its logical end, why not ask for a negative HIV/AIDS test, negative Hepatitis test, negative Tuberculosis test?? Those are all much more serious than the corona virus.

Also, multiple states have already banned "vaccination passports" and that number is going to increase.

Last, but not least, someone's medical and health decisions are personal and are nobody else's business.


Stop. Just stop.
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Postby UnclePennybags on May 14th, 2021, 5:11 pm
UnclePennybags wrote:So as near as I can gather from online articles, if all goes well, Illinois could enter Phase 5 by June 11. Phase 5 is considered "complete reopening", which would remove capacity limitations on Great America. However, Gov. Pritzker has stated that the mask mandate will remain in place even after full reopening, saying that, "Whenever we reach Phase 5, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines on masking to keep this pandemic at bay.”

However, as of today, the CDC has announced that "anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities -- large or small -- without wearing a mask or physical distancing." They also added stipulations regarding travel via planes and trains, but it seems as though the rules for mask wearing are being loosened and will continue to do so as long as we don't see a relapse in COVID cases jamming up the hospital system.

Does anyone know how other Six Flags parks are handling masking this year? If Texas has less restrictive masking mandates than Illinois, would that affect the masking rules when visiting Six Flags over Texas? Does Six Flags have their own internal Phase 4/5 reopening plan, or do they just respond to requirements coming from the states?


Over the last 24 hours, I've seen a lot of movement about the new CDC masking guidelines. For example, unless required by local governments, Walmart will no longer require guests to wear masks, nor will Walmart employees that can prove they've been vaccinated. Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker said the state will follow new CDC guidelines on social distancing and masks. Over the next week, President Biden's administration will be working to lift the mask mandate for federal lands and properties. It's clear to me that, unless we see the hospital system saturated by COVID cases again, masking requirements will be falling away faster than I expected just two days ago.

Apparently, several state governments (e.g. New York) are unhappy with the CDC undercutting the state masking policies and will be maintaining their statewide mandates. Businesses, then, will need to derive their own policies to stay inline with local masking requirements. Unless Illinois relaxes its own masking mandate, I don't see Great America doing the same. This is why I questioned if other Six Flags parks are letting guests move about the parks without masks.

On this topic, from what I've seen today, most statements coming from big business have been generic and without substance. However, Disney seems to be moving to remove their masking requirement "by the summer". Six Flags is also talking but not saying much:

"...Six Flags Entertainment said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch that the company is reviewing the new CDC guidance and would adjust its mask policy 'with the health and safety of our guests and team members top of mind.'"

Not sure what the above statement means, but we may be seeing a shift in masking policies sooner than later. I originally was thinking Fright Fest might be a maskless event, but now I'm thinking guests may not need to wear masks to Great America after July 1. Looking forward to see how this all shakes out.
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Postby anewman35 on May 14th, 2021, 5:27 pm
In a tweet earlier, the park said: For now, face masks will still be required in our parks. With less than 40% of the population vaccinated and no reliable way to know who has been vaccinated, our safety protocols are in line with the latest CDC guidelines. We’ll continue to evaluate, making changes as warranted.
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Postby UnclePennybags on May 14th, 2021, 7:27 pm
In the last 24 hours, Cedar Point, Carowinds, Hersheypark, Kennywood, and Universal Orlando have all removed their mask requirements (unless you're indoors and not eating). Social distancing is still in effect, although some parks define it as 3ft and others 6ft.

All of the parks above cited the new CDC guidelines as well as the abolishment of masking mandates in the states in which they operate. Mask policy changes don't appear to be companywide decisions; they appear to be made on a state-by-state level. Cedar Fair Entertainment owns Cedar Point, Carowinds, and a bunch of other parks around the country, yet they have not announced any policy changes for their California parks (e,g. California’s Great America or Knott’s Berry Farm). Universal Studios made their change for their Florida park, not their California parks. Disney is talking about their upcoming policy change in Florida, but not California. I wouldn't be surprised if Six Flags would follow suit: as we move forward, if a given state were to eliminate their masking mandate, then Six Flags would do the same for their parks in that state.

Yesterday's CDC announcement has given cover to states and businesses that want a return to the old normal. The CDC should have known that their statement would accelerate nationwide policy changes to masking and social distancing, yet they made it anyway. Their statement was deliberate, clear, and overarching: vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or socially distance, except in several cases involving travel. Whether we can delineate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated does not appear to be entering the equation. As long as our healthcare system doesn't get overrun again, the responsibility of infection prevention will probably shift back to the shoulders of the individuals who have not or will not get vaccinated.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on May 14th, 2021, 10:58 pm
^ Woodman's sign at the entry today said CDC Recommendation to wear masks. Note: it did NOT say requirement. I've also heard that Jewel and Trader Joes are no longer requiring masks.

Freedom is getting closer and closer!!
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on May 14th, 2021, 11:28 pm
Anewman - Easy, Kid! Everyone on here is entitled to his/her own opinion! You've really got to stop trying to censor and bully people on here. I was told by one of the admins that anything related to corona is "on topic".
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Postby anewman35 on May 15th, 2021, 12:03 am
CoasterRiderSC wrote:Anewman - Easy, Kid! Everyone on here is entitled to his/her own opinion! You've really got to stop trying to censor and bully people on here. I was told by one of the admins that anything related to corona is "on topic".


Speaking of kids, do you have any? They need vaccinations to be in school. Always have. Gonna explain to me why that's a 'lawsuit waiting to happen', too?

I'm not trying to censor or bully anybody, and I don't think I am, just rather wouldn't see very uninformed and frankly moronic off-topic posts on a site I enjoy (and I'm quite sure they are off topic, or they wouldn't often get deleted). But I can go as long as you can. Was just trying to save you from yourself.
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