Six Flags Opens New Riptide Bay - NBC Chicago

Six Flags Opens New Riptide Bay

Six Flags opens 4 new acres with 10 new water park rides.



    Six Flags enthusiasts will have a whole new world of rides to explore come Memorial Day as the Gurnee park opens with acres of new water rides.

    This latest expansion is part of Six Flags' reorganization to help the company get out of massive debt. In 2009, Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy when its debts reached $1.8 billion. 

    Last May, the company came out with a clean slate and new executives eager to get the company back on track. Six Flags has slowly been making improvements to draw customers back to the park.      

    The latest addition to Hurricane Harbor, dubbed Riptide Bay, features 10 new rides with names like the "Mega Wedgie" and "The Dive Bomber," the Chicago Tribune reports.

    The expansion also includes two free-fall looping slides, two free-fall speed slides and a double-sided surf simulator, said communications manager for Great America, Jennifer Dugan-Savage. Concrete was recently laid for Monsoon Lagoon, a 14,000-square-foot pool complete with a waterfall and spray columns.

    There will also be a chance for Midwesterners to surf with "wave-in-a-box"-style Surf Rider. The surf simulator will pump 50,000 gallons of water each minute, producing five-foot waves and speeds of up to 30 mph, Dugan-Savage said. 

    The Mega Wedgie makes use of two trap door floors that shoot riders down a twin set of slides at nearly 40 mph at an 80-degree angle. 

    Riders will experience a 35-foot drop from Wipeout, a twin-tunnel raft ride standing five stories tall. The "Dive Bomber" is another double-tunnel free fall slide, but after being dropped from the top, riders get a loop at the end.

    Dugan-Savage said the new section will also create about 80 new jobs.