Six Flags is the largest amusement park company in the world, boasting more than 800 attractions and 120 roller coasters across 18 parks in North America. The company’s more than 50-year history began in Texas in 1961 with their first park and continued with the building of two more unique parks. In 1977, they began acquiring other amusement parks, starting in New Jersey, and eventually coming to California (1979 and 1997), Massachusetts (1997), Canada (2001) and Mexico (1999). Though they had to sell some parks in 2007 and file for bankruptcy in 2009, they are still one of the top visited amusement park chains in the world. Read on to find out more about Six Flags, and check back soon for part two of our list.
Number Fifteen: Six Flags Built the World’s First 4-D Roller Coaster
X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, which features cars whose seats move independently from the orientation of the track, is the world’s first 4th Dimension roller coaster ever built. The ride, originally called X, was initially supposed to open in 2001, but opened in 2002 instead because of mechanical issues. The ride was closed in 2007 and officially reopened in 2008 as X2. Magic Mountain opened a second 4-D coaster, Green Lantern: First Flight, in 2011, which has a different vertical layout, which is not the first of its kind.
Number Fourteen: They Also Built the Tallest Roller Coaster in the World
Housed at Great Adventure in New Jersey, strata coaster Kingda Ka stands at 456 feet tall, making it the tallest coaster in the world. It is so tall that it is able to have the tallest free-fall ride in the world built into it. Furthermore, it is the second fastest roller coaster in the world.
Number Thirteen: They Share Roller Coasters Between Parks
Many of Six Flags’ rides have either been purchased from other parks or have been moved from one of their other parks. For example, after Six Flags New Orleans was shuttered because of Hurricane Katrina, their Road Runner Express roller coaster was moved to Magic Mountain. Another coaster was purchased in 1998 from a park in Stockholm and brought to AstroWorld, then moved to Marine World in 2003, then sold again.
Number Twelve: They are Committed to Their Communities
The theme park giant started Six Flags Friends, a community outreach initiative which, according to their website, is supposed to “inspire children and families throughout our parks and their local communities.” Each park supports various charities and causes that are important to their community, as well as bigger non-profits, such as Make-A-Wish and Camp Fire USA.
Number Eleven: They Only Own One of Their Original Parks
While there are technically three original parks, Six Flags St. Louis is the only one of them still owned by the company. Over Georgia and Over Texas are owned by limited partnerships.
Number Ten: They Lost a Park Due to Hurricane Katrina
Six Flags New Orleans, which was located in the low-lying eastern section of the city, completely flooded. The whole park was under water, and since no one did anything about it, the property was eventually taken over by the state and auctioned off.
Number Nine: They are Building a Park in China
Getting back into the international game, Six Flags is getting ready to open their first park in China. Slated to open in 2019, the park will be located in Haiyan and is a partnership between the company and Riverside Investment Group Co. There isn’t much information about it yet, but it will be the company’s first foray back into owning property overseas. For a while, they had several parks in France, Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands. Check back soon for part two of our list of 15 interesting facts about Six Flags.