Splash Into Summer Fun at Six Flags Great America

When was the last time you experienced liquid love… minus the nasty hangover?

Forget about the Patron-laced tropical libations; now’s your chance to splish, splash, slide and surf your way into a wet and wild summer vacation you’ll remember for years to come.

Soaking up the sun and hanging ten on cobalt blue water is easy when you live in Hawaii, but what do you do when you want to take a summer plunge in the Midwest?

(Take the plunge at Riptide Bay!)

Never mind Lake Michigan; instead, set your sights on Gurnee, Illinois. That’s where you’ll find Six Flags Great America and the theme park’s newest addition–Riptide Bay at Hurricane Harbor. The thrills and chills are beyond epic at the waterpark’s new four-acre expansion. If you thought Hurricane Harbor was an oasis of high-octane fun last season, wait until you see the splashtastic new attractions the park recently debuted for summer 2011:

(Bomb’s Away!)

Mega Wedgie and Dive Bomber: Hang on to your swimsuit… and your lunch because these extreme water rides take no prisoners. Getting a wedgie never felt so good on the jaw-dropping attraction that features a launching capsule with a trap-style door. The door opens after a three-second warning and sends you plunging down five stories on an 80-degree angle slide at speeds topping 40 mph. Dive Bomber also sends you on a massive free fall, but you get the added bonus of racing on a looping water slide on the way down.

Wipeout: Gather the family for the best wipeout session east of Oahu’s North Shore. The high-intensity water slide loads groups of up to four people on a raft and sends them swirling and twirling through 400 feet of enclosed tubes featuring mega-tight turns and two funnels before flushing them down a 35-foot drop.

(Surf’s Up!)

Surf Rider: Hang 10 or 20 on Riptide Bay’s new double-sided surf simulator. Experienced riders can shred on the ride’s five-foot waves for free at speeds up to 30 mph, while newbies can pay to take surfing lessons.

Monsoon Lagoon: The massive 14,000 square foot activity pool is ideal for kids of all ages. The family-friendly attraction features Caribbean-inspired cascading waterfalls and several interactive spray elements.

Cool Cabanas: If you are looking to stay extra cool during your time at Riptide Bay and Hurricane Harbor, consider renting a poolside cabana. You can pay for different packages, which include a stylish cabana, table, and lounge chairs, plus towels, non-alcoholic beverages, food, and sunscreen.


The new features join Hurricane Harbor’s 20 acres worth of existing attractions, including the uber-popular lazy river, Paradise Plunge, Vortex, and exhilarating Wahoo Racer. Equally as exciting is the fact that you don’t have to pay a penny more to experience the new thrills and chills. Admission to Hurricane Harbor and the new Riptide Bay expansion is free with park admission. That means you can spend the entire day at the park getting drenched on the new water rides, and then dry off on Great America’s signature mega-coasters, such as Superman: Ultimate Flight and Vertical Velocity. Plus, from now until June 19th you can save even more by purchasing a season pass for just $74.99. The price drops to just $64.99 each when you buy four or more. That’s a savings of $15. What’s more, it pays for itself in less than two visits.

Find out more ways to save on admission and get a sneak peak of Great America’s other new attractions in my next post. In the meantime, if you need directions to Six Flags Great America, park hours or parking information, visit the company’s website.

Photos licensed to and permission for use granted by Six Flags Great America.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.