Six Flags New England

Six Flags New England

Infobox Amusement park
name = Six Flags New England


caption = deletable image-caption|1=Friday, 4 July 2008
location = Agawam, Massachusetts in Springfield, Massachusetts metro area.
area = More than 235 acres
opening_date = 1840 (as Gallops Grove; 1940 as Riverside Park; 2000 as SFNE)
season = April through October
rides = 46 (excluding water park)
coasters = 9
water_rides = 2
owner = Six Flags
homepage = [http://www.sixflags.com/parks/newengland/index.asp Official Website]

Six Flags New England, or SFNE, is a theme park in the Six Flags chain of parks, named for the New England region in which it is located. Six Flags New England is located in greater Springfield, Massachusetts, in the nearby town of Agawam, Massachusetts. Like most other Six Flags parks, Six Flags New England consists of a theme park and a water park. Technically speaking, it is the oldest of the Six Flags parks, though it did not originally open as such.

History

Throughout most of the 20th century, the park was known as Riverside Park. It started out as a picnic grove called Gallops Grove in 1840, and was eventually renamed to Riverside Grove, then Riverside Park. Riverside was a trolley park owned by the Springfield Street Railway. [ [http://www.trolleystop.com/trolleycar.htm The Electric Trolley Era Begins ] ] In the early 1900s a few mechanical rides and a carousel were added. In 1942, the park acquired its first roller coaster, a wooden roller coaster called the Thunderbolt which still operates today. The park was owned by the Carroll family for several generations. The park had a movie theater and a bowling alley as well as a concert arena.

The Riverside Park Speedway was built in 1948, replacing an open air bandstand at Riverside Park. Edward Carroll, Sr. (the third-generation park owner) took a liking to auto racing, a sport that was gaining popularity in the Northeast after World War II, and added it to his slate of attractions at Riverside.

The park continued to add new rides and removed some older ones. The theater and bowling alley were removed in the late 1950s, making Riverside Park a seasonal attraction. The 1960s was a popular period for stock car racing at Riverside Park. NASCAR began to hold events at Riverside Park Speedway in 1976. The winner of the first NASCAR-organized event at Riverside was Bob Polverari.

In 1977, Riverside Park added its first inverted roller coaster, Black Widow. The park continued to be a successful park throughout the 1970s, and a log flume ride was added in that period. By the 1980s, the park stopped selling individual ride tickets and began charging a "pay one price" admission. In 1983, Riverside Park added its third roller coaster, which was also the park's second wooden coaster. The owners originally wanted a coaster exactly like the Coney Island Cyclone, but space was limited, so the coaster would need to take up less space and would have sharp twists and turns. It became known as the Riverside Cyclone. In 1992, as water parks became popular, a water play area called "Island Kingdom" was added. In 1993, several water slides and a wave pool were constructed, forming a small water park built within the Riverside Park facility and all rides were included with admission. By the 1990s, the fifth generation of the Carroll family was under control the park, and the next generation was not interested in owning the park anymore, so the park was put up for sale in 1995. Several groups expressed interest, and Oklahoma City-based Premier Parks bought it later that year. They also acquired Fun Time Parks, which had recently bought nearby Lake Compounce and owned The Great Escape in Lake George. Premier then sold Lake Compounce to Kennywood and decided to keep Riverside. At this point, parking charges were implemented.

The park then became known as "Riverside: The Great Escape." The water park expanded with a "Shoot the Chutes" water ride in the North End. In 1997, Riverside added a steel inverted looping Vekoma-designed roller coaster called The Mind Eraser. Also that year, Premier Parks acquired the larger Six Flags chain of parks from Time Warner. The park continued to be known as "Riverside: The Great Escape" until the end of the 1999 season. The racetrack was destroyed at that point for a major expansion in the very near future.

The turn of the century marked a huge change in the park. Riverside, like many Premier Parks was "flagged" or rebranded as a Six Flags Park. Some of the other parks kept their names with Six Flags branding. Others, like The Great Escape in Lake George, never did get rebranded, but are still considered Six Flags properties. Riverside Park, though, was re-branded as "Six Flags New England". The main street running through the park was renamed "Carroll Drive" in honor of the family which had owned it for much of it's rise to a major New England park.

After the Riverside Park Speedway was removed in 1999, a brand new section of the park was built, themed to DC Comics. The area had several new rides including "Superman - Ride of Steel", a steel hyper-coaster. It was designed by Intamin AG. Two slightly different versions (those two are mirror images of each other) of "Superman - The Ride Of Steel" reside at sister park Six Flags America and Darien Lake (now owned by PARC). The Hall of Justice was also built near the Superman coaster.

In 2001, the parking lot was moved across the road, and a bridge was built to allow access to the entrance of the park. "Batman: The Dark Knight" was added in 2002, the water park was doubled in size and renamed Hurricane Harbor in 2003, and two new rides were introduced for the 2005 season: the spinning coaster "Pandemonium" (originally themed to Mr. Six) and a water coaster named "Typhoon." For the 2006 season, the "SWAT" flat ride from the now-defunct Six Flags Astroworld (now re-named "Catapult") and Diablo Falls, also from Astroworld (now re-named "Splash Water Falls") were added to the park's ride lineup. In 2007 two new kids areas were added, Wiggles World and Thomas Town.

In 2008, Six Flags New England was to open "The Dark Knight" an indoor MACK Wild Mouse coaster based on the upcoming film of the same name. The park's other Batman-based attraction had its named changed from "Batman: The Dark Knight" to "Batman: The Ride" to avoid confusion. However, due to permit issues, the ride was canceled and dismantled. The ride would have cost the park $7.5 million in exchange for bringing an $280,000 in taxes for the state of Massachusetts, thus the cancellation angered the city of Anaheim, who stated the issues with the ride were not present. Instead, the park announced the new "Glow in the Park" parade.

Flash Pass

Six Flags New England offers a "Flash Pass" system that allows riders to use a "Flash Pass" to "reserve" a place in line for a ride, thereby allowing one to "wait in line" for two rides at once. Unlike similar systems at parks such as the Walt Disney World Resort, the "Flash Pass" system requires an additional fee beyond that charged to enter the park.

Park & Rides

Six Flags New England is home to "". It is 208 feet tall and drops 221 feet into a tunnel, reaching a top speed of 77 mph. It is considered one of the best steel roller coasters in the world according to the trade magazine "Amusement Today", which awarded it the prestigious Golden Ticket award in 2003, 2006, and 2007.

Main Street Plaza

A typical New England town, this area serves as the entrance to the park.

Roller Coaster
*Thunderbolt: Wooden roller coaster designed by Joseph E. Drambour - opened 1941.

Rides
* Carousel: 1909 M.C. Illions Carousel - opened in 1940.
* Scream: S & S Power triple power tower complex - opened in 1998 (1 tower under the name Hellevator), other 2 towers added in 2000. The original Hellevator tower is only capable of running the Turbo Drop mode, while the other two towers that were added in 2000 can alternate between Space Shot mode and Combo Mode. It is rare to see all three towers operating at the same time.

DC Superhero Adventures

Join the Justice League as they battle crime in the city streets.

Roller Coasters
*: Intamin mega coaster - opened 2000
*Catwoman's Whip: (Originally Poison Ivy's Tangled/Twisted Train) Zierer family roller coaster - opened 2000

Ride
* Nightwing: Huss Fly Away - opened in 2000.

Crackaxle Canyon

An old western town now abandoned and stranded.

Rides
* Houdini - The Great Escape: Vekoma Mad House - opened in 1999.
* Tomahawk: Huss Frisbee - opened in 1999.
* Stampede Bumper Cars: Zamperla Bumper Cars - opened in 1997.

North End

Roller Coasters
*Flashback: Vekoma Boomerang - opened 2000
*Pandemonium: (Originally "Mr. Six's Pandemonium") Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster - opened 2007
*Cyclone: (Originally "Riverside Cyclone") Wooden roller coaster built by William Cobb - opened 1983

Rides
* Blizzard River: OD Hopkins white water rapids ride - opened in 1999.
* Time Warp: Vekoma Air Jumper - opened in 1997.
* Scrambler: Eli Bridge Scrambler - opened in 1973.
* New England Sky Way: Von Roll Sky-Ride - opened in 1974.
* Balloon Race: Zamperla Balloon Race - opened in 1989.
* Catapult: S&S Sky Swatter - opened in 2006 moved from Six Flags Astroworld
* Shipwreck Falls: Intamin Spillwater shoot-the-chute ride - opened in 1997.Extra charge attraction
* Taz's Dare Devil Dive: Skycoaster

Rockville U.S.A

Take a step back to the '50s.

Rides
* Twister: Huss Top Spin - opened in 1997.

outh End

Roller Coasters
*The Mind Eraser: Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster - opened 1997
* (Originally "Batman: The Dark Knight"): B&M floorless coaster - opened 2002

Rides
* Crime Wave: Zamperla Swings ride - opened in 1979; location moved in 2007, was named Adult Wave Swinger.
* Buzzsaw: Zierer Flying Carpet - opened in 2000.Original named the Screamer. (Zierer Flying Carpet opened 1983, called the Slingshot)
* Kontiki: Chance Alpine Bobs - opened in 1985, it was to be removed after 2007 but the park decided to keep it for a few more years.
* The Tea Cups: Zamperla Tea Cups - opened in 1999.
* Splash Water Falls: Whitewater West Spinning Rapids water ride - opened in 2006; ride moved from Six Flags Astroworld

Looney Tunes Movie Town

Fly on the set with your favorite Looney Tunes character.

Roller Coaster
* The Great Chase: (Originally "Rolling Thunder") Miler Coasters Inc. kiddy roller Rides
* Animation Department: Zamperla kiddy swings ride - opened in 1998
* Foghorn Leghorn's Tinsel Town Train: Kiddy train ride - opened in ?
* Marvin the Martian's Earthbound Journey: Zamperla kiddy spaceship ride - opened in 2000
* Wile E. Coyote's Speed Trap: Zamperla kiddy whip ride - opened in 1998
* Taz's Prop Delivery Company: Battery powered truck ride - opened in ?
* Daffy's Hollywood Tours: Zamperla Crazy Bus - opened in 1998
* Tweety's Clubhouse: Zamperla Jumpin' Star - kiddy drop rid - opened in 1999 coaster - opened 1996

Wiggles World

(Formerly Tiny Timber Town)
* Captain Feathersword's Rockin' Pirate Ship: Zamperla Rockin' Tug - new in 2007
* Big Red Planes: Zamperla Telecombat - new in 2007
* Big Red Cars: Zamperla Convoy - new in 2007
* Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cups: (Originally Tiny's Tea Party) SBF kiddy tea cups - opened in 2001.
* Cold Spaghetti Western Wheel: (Originally Chuck Wagon Wheel) kiddy Ferris wheel - opened in 2001
* Wags' Doggie Copters: SBF kiddy ride - opened in 2001; was named Timber Town Sky Patrol
* Henry's Underwater Swing Band: (Originally Flight of the Bumble Bees) SBF kiddy ride - opened in 2001
* S.S. Feathersword Pirate Ship and Henry's Splish Splash: Kiddy playground area and water play area - new in 2007
* Route 66: Arrow Dynamics antique cars - opened in 1962.

Thomas Town

*Bertie The Bus
*Harold The Helicopter
*Thomas The Train

Hurricane Harbor (free water park)

Slides
* Swiss Family Toboggan: Proslide Technology Inc. “Mammoth” - family raft ride – opened in 1998
* Adventure River: Lazy river - opened in 1998
* Big Kahuna: Proslide Technology Inc. “Pipeline” (4 enclosed tube slides) - opened in 1998
* Commotion Ocean: Wave pool - opened in 1999
* Cannonball Falls: Proslide Technology Inc. “Speed Zone” – 3 speed slides - opened in 1998
* Shark Attack: Proslide Technology Inc. “Atomic Coasters” (4 half enclosed, half open tube slides) - opened in 1999
* Hurricane Bay: Wave pool with family activity area - opened in 2003
* Hook's Lagoon: SCS Interactive “Discovery Treehouse” with Proslide Technology Inc. “Twisters’ Zone” slides; Family activity area, area includes Octopus Toddler Slide & Kiddie Pirate Ship - opened in 1998
* Tornado: Proslide Technology Inc. Tornado “Rattler” (funnel shaped tube slide that uses four person “cloverleaf” or two person “whirly wheel” tubes) - opened in 2003
* Monsoon Lagoon: Family wave pool - opened in 2003
* Hurricane Falls: 6 slide Proslide Technology Inc. Twisters complex - opened in 2003
* Geronimo Falls and Zooma Falls: 2 Proslide Technology Inc. Mammoths - opened in 2003
* Typhoon: Proslide Technology Inc. "Rocket" slide - opened in 2005

Past Rides

hows and Parades

*Get Ready to Wiggle - Located in Wiggles World
*The Looney Tunes Kiddietown Show - Located in Looney Toons Movie Town
*Legion of Doom - Located in DC Super Hero Adventures
*The Amazing Acrobats of China - Located in Rockville Gymnasium
*Six Flags Celebration - Located on Main Street Gazebo
*Frisco Kate's Silver Spur Review - Located on Saloon Stage in Crackaxle Canyon
*Splash Bucklin' Scalleywags - Located on Pirate Stage in the South End
*Celebrate the Stars Parade - Ran from South End to Crackaxle Canyon. Has been replaced with the Glow in the Park Parade.
*Thursday Night Concert Series - Lineup [http://www.sixflags.com/newEngland/events/ThursdayNightConcertSeries.aspx]
*Glow in the Park Parade - Premiered in 2008.

Park Entertainment

During the park's branding as a "Six Flags" in 2000, the Looney Tunes characters were added to the park along with Batman characters. Over the years more Looney Tunes characters, such as Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzales and Marvin the Martian came to Six Flags New England.

In 2006, the park underwent a massive expansion in the entertainment department when Mark Shapiro took control of Six Flags. With this Six Flags New England has added "The Justice League" characters. The characters that were added consist of The Flash, The Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, along with the Hall of Justice. In 2007 enemies of the Justice League known as the Legion of Doom came to Six Flags.

Fright Fest

During the months of September and October, the park gets transformed for its annual Halloween festival, Fright Fest. This transformation includes the addition of Halloween decorations to its Crackaxle Canyon, Main Street, and Rockville areas, making them Haunt Zones with roaming characters to give the areas the themes of a ghost town, a graveyard and an Area 51 complex, respectively. In addition several shows and attractions are added, including Monster Mash, Dead Legends Live, Dead Man's Party, and two "haunted houses" (though both are outdoor walk-throughs): Nightmare Island and The Trail of Terror.

See also

* Incidents at Six Flags parks

References

[http://www.sixflags.com/newengland Six Flags New England]
[http://www.sfneonline.com Six Flags New England Fan Site]
[http://www.sfne.com Six Flags New England Fan Site]


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