By Ryan Creevy ‘19
Since I was a little kid, going to different theme parks with my family and friends has been one of my favorite summertime activities. From amusement parks such as “Disneyworld” to “Universal Studios,” each park has a different theme and variation of roller coasters that keep me and many other people coming back.
As a kid, my favorite theme park was always “Six Flags Great America.” Located about an hour away from where I live, “Six Flags” is home to some of my favorite roller coasters such as “Superman: Ultimate Flight” and “The Goliath.” “Frightfest” is also a fantastic part of “Six Flags,” and is always fun to go to around the Halloween season.
Recently, however, I feel that going to “Six Flags Great America” every year has become unexciting and slightly boring. The park has not added a good roller coaster since the “Goliath” in 2014.
Brother Rice senior Cade Ruggiero agrees: “Six Flags has become boring since it has no new coasters that are worth going on.” The park needed to add something new and exciting soon to peak my interest and cause me to come back again.
Then, over winter break, I heard that “Six Flags” was hosting “Holiday in the Park,” a month long event where Six Flags is turned into a Winter Wonderland. This is the first year “Six Flags” hosted this event, and when I heard about it, I became extremely intrigued.
The event promised thousand of lights scattered around the park, festive rides, shows, and activities such as visiting with Santa and roasting s’mores. Since I have a “Six Flags” season pass and was not doing much over break, I decided to drive to Gurnee and see if “Holiday in the Park” lived up to what the event promised.
While “Holiday in the Park” has some fantastic qualities and a great theme, the event did not even come close to living up to what was promised.
When entering the park, your eyes are entranced by thousands of lights. Everything from the pond to the carousel is covered with lights, which makes the entrance a stunning sight.
Unfortunately, the rest of the park is not even close to being as magnificent as the entrance. While there are a few cool areas, such as a large building near “Raging Bull” that was used for light shows, the rest of the park feels extremely dark.
Most of the trees do not even have lights on them, nor do the roller coasters. Plus, a lot of the lights were not even working at the time. This was easily the most disappointing aspect of the event. Marist high school graduate James Creevy agreed: “The lights were supposed to be the main takeaway from the event, but ended up being the most disappointing aspect.”
The shows and entertainment at the park were also very lackluster. While there were some cool light shows, all of the other entertainment options were boring and not worth watching. There were also barely any Christmas characters walking around the park, and Santa was nowhere to be found.
The event did have some positive aspects though, such as every shop and restaurant being decorated inside and out, each with a different theme that tied to the territory they were in.
“Johnny Rockets Mardi Gras” featured a large variation of Christmas Mardi Gras masks on the walls, while “JB’s Barbeque & Sports Bar in Southwest Territory” had a Western theme featuring many reindeer in place of the normal stuffed animals that are usually located in the restaurant.
Mother McAuley graduate Robin Creevy agreed that this was the highlight of the event: “It was fun going in each shop and restaurant and seeing the different themes and decorations that they had to offer.”
While the event was not a complete disappointment, “Holiday in the Park” turned out to be lackluster overall. However, with some improvements such as more lights and better entertainment, the event will be fantastic and something that every family would look forward going to every Christmas season.