Saratoga Springs.. Oh The Places You'll Go

September 2011 Archives

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When I first moved here and heard about The Great Escape, a Six Flags theme park in Lake George, I was more than excited. Spending some of my childhood in Atlanta, I remember spending the summer riding the Ninja, Acrophobia, Monster Mansion, and the Scream Machine just to name a few . Whitewater, the sister water park next door to Six Flags Over Georgia, and was a separate ticket entirely; so going to both in one day rarely happen. My husband, who is from Ohio, had been spoiled with Cedar Point- one of the best rollercoaster parks in the United States. And although we heard mix reviews about The Great Escape from some of the locals- either being a great park to not worth one's time- we decided to check out the place ourselves.

I'll try to give an honest and unbiased opinion of Six Flags' Great Escape because perhaps our expectations were too high. However, this Six Flags has a lot of pros and cons- more cons then pros- in my opinion. First off, for such a high admission ticket ($49.99 for general admission and $39.99 for those under 48") this does not include parking. Yes, it include almost two parks in one, but still, a bit steep in my opinion. Finding a spot isn't terribly difficult once you pay which is plus side to this, but expect to pay about $13-$25 in cash for parking. Once inside, getting a map is my first suggestion. This park isn't terribly big, but it can be very handy for finding height requirements and reading a quick description. The biggest let down for the rides, however, were a handful were shut down. Mostly all were a terribly long wait, and unlike other theme parks I've been to, there is no wait listed at the entrance of the queue. We waited almost an hour for the Alpine Bobsled. Not to mention it kept breaking down. The park itself also seemed very rundown and out of date. The decorations are old, falling apart, and is in desperate need of a paint job. That could be over looked if were for the fact that there wasn't trash almost everywhere. Even the parking lots were littered with trash even though they provided receptacles. Hopefully we caught it on the janitors an off day. To me, if I'm paying such a high ticket for a theme park, I just expected things to be a bit more organized, cleaned, and rides working.

Now although I've named several things I didn't care for, the cup is not half empty. Although there are not a lot of roller coasters at The Great Escape, there is one worth waiting for and one you should definitely try- The Comet. Rated as one of the top wooden roller coasters in the world, this is not for the faint of heart. Also, if you really hate waiting in line, you can always purchase a Fast Pass. For $25 you can go straight to the head of the line on 5 rides, but you can get an unlimited Fast Pass for $40 for all eleven rides. Although it's a bit more then I would like to spend, it is good for those you are impatient. Then there's the indoor water park The Great Escape Lodge. Only a short walk away, this would be a lovely addition for the end of the day for those coming from out of town and want to have more time riding water slides. Another nice feature, which is quite common at most amusement parks, is that there are plenty of lockers you can rent to place your stuff at The Great Escape. However, if you don't feel like renting one, most of the rides had spots where you can place your belongings- of course the park is not responsible for your things in case they get stolen.

Like I said, there are a lot of pros and cons to our local Six Flags here in the Capital Region. Although I wasn't impressed, there seems to be a diverse group of opinions in the area. I don't know if I would go back anytime soon, but I would like to check out the Lodge sometime in the winter. My opinion is for you to check it out yourself. Who knows, perhaps my expectations are too high. What do you think of the place?

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Danielle Berry

Originally from the South Carolina Lowcountry, Danielle Berry is a southern girl through and through. Born into an Air Force family with three other siblings, her life included moving every four to five years up and down the East Coast. Although saying goodbye was never easy with every move, a new town always meant more friends and unfamiliar, yet exciting, things to do. Eventually her parents settled in the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina; a quaint coastal town between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. There, she found the porches were long, but the conversations were always longer.

A Converse College alumna, she met her husband, Jared, on a reluctant blind date her freshman year. Married in 2007, she followed him to Southeast Georgia where she was hired as an interior decorator and project manager for James Michael Howard. In 2009, they welcomed their first son, Michael, and she became a full time stay-at-home mom.

This past January, she followed her husband to Saratoga Springs. Although the porches aren’t as long, she has found that the conversations with the locals are. With an overwhelming amount of experiences awaiting, she is excited to be given another opportunity in a new town, with new friends, and new adventures.