It is the end of the summer and the end of our first year with season passes to Six Flags Great Adventure. I have two little kids (ages 4 and 2), and we went to Six Flags Great Adventure a lot this summer. We had a ton of great trips and loved the experiences we had, but there were some things lacking from Six Flags.
To catch up, I have a few posts about my experiences this season at Six Flags Great Adventure. Here is a post about my first impressions and purchasing the season passes. I then wrote a post about our first trip with my young kids, which you can read about here.
My Childhood Experiences at Six Flags Great Adventure
When I was a child my family had season passes for Six Flag Great Adventure and I have a ton of amazing memories of the park. We loved the rides and the shows. My brother was obsessed with Batman and we went to see the Batman Stunt show dozens and dozens of times each year. I remember the riding the log flume with my dad and having a blast just waiting in line with him. I vividly recall going through the Safari back when the monkeys could just jump on your car- it was always a blast. I am constantly comparing the park to what I remember from my childhood.
I couldn’t wait to take my kids to Six Flags Great Adventure and build those great memories.
A Day in Six Flags Great Adventure with young kids
We went to Six Flags many times this summer. With small kids we seemed to follow the same schedule every time. The park opened at 11 during the week and 10:30 on the weekends (I note the open times did change through the season, so you have to check the app before you go). We went only on one Saturday, but every other visit was during the week. Here is the plan we followed:
10:40- Get to Parking lot
11:00- Already enter the park, take photo with Character at fountain and head to Bugs Bunny Land
12:00- Snack in Bugs Bunny Land. I like eating here because it is calm and gets a nice breeze from the lake.
12:30- Walk to Jr. Thrill Seekers, go on the Elephant Ride on the way.
1:30/2:00- Head out!
My kids usually fall asleep in the car, and 2:00 is the perfect time for them to take a short nap. If you are a parent you know a nap too late can ruin the night, but 2:00 is the perfect spot.
Overall, we had a great time!
We had a great time at Six Flags Great Adventure this summer. We went many times, rode a lot of rides and made tons of fun memories! This was a core activity for us this summer.
What was Missing:
- No shows. There were no shows for kids all summer. (I note that as I write this, they have started an animal show on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday in the afternoon, which I have not seen. I also heard they may do some shows for Halloween). I am shocked at the lack of shows, even a small kids performance. In Bugs Bunny Land is a small stage with tons of seating- I am surprised Six Flags Great Adventure doesn’t bring in local kids performers a few times a week to perform. Again, the stage is there. I would bring my kids for the afternoon to see a cute show. I remember loving the shows as a child and would have liked my kids to experience the shows as well.
- Minimal Characters. Every time we entered the park, at least one character would be at the fountain- and that was it. It was always a Looney Toon. However, I remember going in college to Six Flags and seeing Batman and Robin characters at the park. Looney Toons characters are great for my kids, but it would have been great to see some different characters. Also, the characters were always by the fountain, but would have been nice to see the characters in the kids sections of the park occasionally.
- Ride broken down all season. There was one ride in Jr. Thrill Seekers (an airplane type ride) that my son went on in April and since then has never been open. I assume it was broken. There are not a ton of rides in the Jr. Thrill Seekers for my kids, so it is a shame that ride was never working.
- Kids Rides Could use some updating. I love the kids rides- they are exactly what they should be, small and simple for young kids. However, the rides could use a new coat of paint and just an overall refresh.
- Nothing “new” or “different” during the season. We had season passes, so we went often. For several weeks, we went once a week this summer. Although my kids had a great time each time we went, there was never something new or exciting or different to see. We did the same thing and went on the same rides each time. I would have liked to see a new character walking around or someone blowing bubbles or… well just about anything different that was focused on the little kids.
Positives of the Park
- Lots of Rides for my 2 year old and 4 year old. I was so happy that my kids had so many rides they could go on. Six Flags has a huge focus on roller coasters, but the park does have two sections for the little kids and the rides were perfect for my kids.
- Clean bathrooms. I have to note this because it is important. The bathrooms I always go to by Bugs Bunny Land were always very clean. Staff was always cleaning and it showed. I was pleasantly surprised by the clean bathrooms.
- A lot of great employees. We met so many lovely employees at the park. There was an occasional bored employee but overall, the employees were great. Employees loved to talk about the rides, characters and all the fun. I saw first hand how being an employee of the park isn’t an easy job during one trip. I was on a kiddie ride with my kids when another mom with her daughter also got on the ride. The mother was on her cell phone. The ride attendant clearly said all phone must be put away and the mother continued to use her phone. I was happy to see the ride attendant stand her ground and repeated that phones must be away. It was a small children’s ride- but if the phone flew out of this woman’s hand during the ride, it could have really hurt someone. Safety was maintained by the employee and I felt comfortable on the ride. I can see this being very tough for ride attendants to probably constantly remind riders of this rule and enforce it.
- Easy entrance, easy parking. Six Flags has two lines you have to wait in to get into the park- one for security and one to check your pass. Even with a stroller and 2 kids, it is easy to get. I have also never had an issue getting a good parking spot (I note I always go in the morning). I do not mind walking, but my kids have a limited time that they will willingly sit in the stroller and my goal is to always get into the park before they get out of the stroller. Once in the park, I love to let them run around and burn energy!
- Characters we did meet were awesome. These characters were my kids first experiences with cartoon characters and they loved it. Tweety Bird is still their favorite as he has the first character they met. I also have to mention the gentleman on stilts- or as my kids called him the “Tall Man.” My kids loved the Tall Man and had to high five him every time they saw him. Seeing the Tall Man added a lot of excitement to the visits we saw him.
This Mom’s Suggestions After Numerous Trips
- Shows. There were no shows all summer. This was a shame- the park has stages that just sent empty. Bring in local kids performers a few times a week to perform or a magician. I remember loving the shows as a child and would have liked my kids to experience the shows as well. The shows can be simple- a local kids band or a bubble performer would be a great addition to the park.
- More Characters. We saw a lot of Sylvester and Tweety- but I would have liked to see Batman and Robin. I would have liked to see the characters walking around the park or even just make an appearance at the kids sections.
- Kids Rides could use some updating. I love the simplicity of the rides, as the rides were great for my young children, but all of the rides could use a fresh coat of paint.
- Nothing “new” or “different” during the season. As I said earlier, the Park does not seem to have anything special geared towards the little kids. Besides a show, it would have been nice to have some special events geared towards the kids. This could be simple- like special character week, or dress up like a superhero day. I mentioned earlier, something as simple as someone with a bubble machine would make a trip extra special for the kids. There doesn’t seem to be any focus on events for young children. I think a lot more people in the tristate area would bring their kids here versus Sesame Place (which is a little further, but still close enough for a day trip).
Six Flags Great Adventure- Not the same, still fun for the little kids
Six Flags Great Adventure did not live up to my memories from my childhood. I did not feel like the Park a focus on the little kids. The Park has tons of rides and seasonal events/activities aimed at adults and older kids, but lacked any special events for the little kids. The lack of shows is a huge miss for the park. My kids are the perfect age for the little kid rides the park has, but I can see them outgrowing the rides in a few years.
Despite the park not living up to my childhood memories, my kids and I had a great time going to the park this year. My children are young and the rides at the Park were perfect for their ages. Because my kids had fun and enjoyed every single trip to the park, I will probably be renewing the season passes at Six Flags Great Adventure.