|Six Flags America|
|Six Flags America|
|Operating Season||Mar. - Oct.|
Six Flags America is a theme park located in Mitchellville, Maryland. It is situated 15 miles (24 km) east of Washington D.C. and 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Baltimore. The park covers 523 acres (2.12 km2), 131 of which is currently used for park operations.
The park's history dates to 1973, when Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot and a pair of Irish animal trainers first proposed a wildlife preserve on more than Template:Convert of corn and tobacco fields. ABC television later bought out Perot and his partners and opened the park as a drive-through safari called The Largo Wildlife Preserve in July 1974, projecting 850,000 visitors a year.
The initial projections that were expected never materialized. In 1975, the park added narrated tours through four-car 150-person trains. However, the park failed to generate a profit. In 1976, ABC bowed out, citing massive losses. The park stayed open with a decreased staff in 1977 and was closed altogether for the 1978 season.
Then at the end of 1978, the park was sold to Jim Fowler, the host of Wild Kingdom. In the 1979 season, the park reopened with the train tour through a safari and a small park with a children's playground, animal shows, and a petting zoo. The park continued to not be profitable but stayed open summers through the 1979 season when Fowler's company bowed out as well. In the summer of 1980, the park once again was closed for the 1980 season.
In the Summer of 1980, the park was sold to a group of local businessmen and reopened in 1981. The animal drive-through safari remained. The park added three carnival flat rides, two kiddie rides, and a merry-go-round. Also that year, the park became known as Wild World. In addition to the few rides, four tube waterslides were added, along with two body slides and a children's water play area. This brought modest improvements in revenue.
In 1982, four more flat carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel and giant swings, were added. The waterslide area was expanded at the time to a full water park with the addition of a couple more water slides and a large wave pool. The park's attendance improved but the park still was losing money. For the 1983 season, the animal drive-through safari did not reopen. The animals were sold. In 1984, most of the adult rides were removed from the park and put in storage, leaving only three. Some of the children's rides also remained. The park opted to move in the direction of being only a water park. A new stadium was built that year along with a couple more water slides. The park did very well on hot days but on cooler days attendance was very low due to the fact the park had mostly swimming and watersliding.
In 1985, the rides were therefore brought back out of storage. That year, Wild World's management wanted to build a major wooden rollercoaster for the park in the 1986 season, but the costs were too high. At the time, Knoebels park in Pennsylvania had acquired a used rollercoaster called the Phoenix from a defunct park in Texas. Wild World's management then recruited Bill Dinn, who had worked in the industry since the 1950s and played a role in Knoebel's acquisition of the Phoenix, to find a similar coaster for Wild World.
Boston's Paragon Park closed at the end of 1984. The Giant Coaster—which had operated there since 1917—was put up for sale. During the spring of 1985, Wild World bought the old wooden coaster, renamed the The Wild One, and rebuilt it in part of the former animal park for opening. That coaster opened for the spring of 1986 to very positive reviews. They also added a kiddie coaster at the time.
For the 1987 season, Wild World added another water play area and a lazy river. In 1988, the park renovated the buildings and midways, but managed to add a couple more flat rides. In 1989, a log flume was added, along with a family raft waterslide in the water park area. In 1990, the park began to have maintenance issues with many of their flat rides. In 1991, only nine flat rides remained and the park was put up for sale.
In 1992, Wild World was purchased by Premier Parks and renamed Adventure World. That year several flat rides and a few kiddie rides were added. In 1993, Adventure World added its second adult rollercoaster. Premier Parks had acquired Lightning Loops from Six Flags. This was a dual-track steel single looping shuttle coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure. One of the tracks was sent to Premier Parks' Frontier City located in Oklahoma City (where it still operates today), while the other track became known as the Python and would be located at Adventure World. Also, a water ride called Shipwreck Falls, in which a 15-person boat would run up a steel track and down a Template:Convert drop into a splashwater pool, was added. More flat rides were added in 1994.
In 1995, Vekoma's first Mind Eraser, an inverted looping suspended coaster, was added. This was branded a SLC. In 1996, a free-fall drop-down ride called the Tower of Doom and made by Intamin was added. In 1997, the park added a second dry water ride called Typhoon Sea Coaster, which was a log flume/junior rollercoaster hybrid. It was later renamed Skull Mountain and eventually closed in July 2011 to make room for a new roller coaster. In 1997, the water park was renovated, eliminating some older slides, adding newer slides and extensively remodeling the children's water play area.
Six Flags ownershipEdit
In 1998, Premier Parks acquired the larger Six Flags chain from Time Warner and the company took the name Six Flags Incorporated. That year, in an unrelated move, a wooden roller coaster was added, Roar, designed by Great Coasters International. At the end of 1998, Six Flags announced that Adventure World, along with Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado, Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio, and Marine World near San Francisco, would all be branded in 1999 while Darien Lake near Buffalo, New York and Riverside Park in Springfield, Massachusetts would be flagged in 2000.
Adventure World would be renamed Six Flags America (because the park is just a mere 20 minutes from Washington, D.C.). With that change came many others, including extensive remodeling and re-theming—Looney Tunes characters became prominently featured in the kiddie area—and an entirely new section, Gotham City, was added (including a Skycoaster bungee ride). Python was sent into storage, but three new coasters opened that year: Two Face: The Flip Side, The Joker's Jinx (the park's only launched roller coaster), and Great Chase, replacing Cannonball in the kiddie area.
The 2000 season saw the addition of an Intamin steel non looping out and back hypercoaster Superman: Ride of Steel. This was a mirror image to the layout of Darien Lake's Ride of Steel. In 2001, the Vekoma-designed flying coaster called Batwing opened. A few flat rides were added in 2002 while a water raft ride called Blizzard River was added in 2003.
In 2005, the water park, Paradise Island, was upgraded and retitled Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. The transition from Paradise Island to Hurricane Harbor saw the addition of a new Tornado water slide as well as renovations to existing attractions and buildings. Tony Hawk's Halfpipe water slide was added in 2008. In 2010, Six Flags America renovated the Hurricane Bay wave pool deck, adding a new stamped concrete deck and shading.
On June 5, 2010, Six Flags America opened the Thomas Town family area. With eight rides and attractions, all themed to Thomas the Tank Engine, the Template:Convert area was billed as North America's largest Thomas Town and marked Six Flags America's largest expansion in more than a decade.
In late 2010, Six Flags began the process of removing licensed theming from attractions. They terminated several licenses including their license with Thomas the Tank Engine and Tony Hawk. Thomas Town was renamed and re-themed to Whistlestop Park and Tony Hawk's Halfpipe slide was renamed Halfpipe all in time for the 2011 season.
For 2012, the park added Apocalypse, a Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up roller coaster with two inversions, a 10-story drop, and speeds of up to 55 mph. The ride had previously operated at Six Flags Great America as Iron Wolf. 
Six Flags announced on August 30, 2012, that Six Flags America will be adding Bonzai Pipelines a SplashTacular DownUnder water slide at their water park Hurricane Harbor. Bonzai Pipelines will feature six different slides on one complex tower with each of theme going different directions.
On August 29, 2013, Six Flags America announced that they would be adding a new Mardi Gras themed area for the 2014 season. The area will include Ragin' Cajun and a set of Flying Scooters named French Quarter Flyers.The new Mardi Gras section will replace Southwest Territory with the current rides rethemed to the new Mardi Gras theme such as Drop of Doom rethemed to Voodoo Drop. Like Apocalypse, Ragin' Cajun was relocated from Six Flags Great America, and is located on the former location of Two Face: The Flip Side that was removed from the park in 2007.
On August 28, 2014, Six Flags announced Bourbon Street Fireball, a Larson Super Loop.
On September 3, 2015, Six Flags America announced Splash Water Falls, an addition to Hurricane Harbor.
Six Flags America announced on September 1, 2016 Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, a 242 foot tall FunTime Starflyer.