Six Flags Great America aims to open -- with rides -- April 24

  • The Demon and the other signature roller coasters at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will be delivering thrills again starting April 24, if park operators get their way. Officials say they're finalizing details with state and local authorities to open the park for the 2021 season on that date.

    The Demon and the other signature roller coasters at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee will be delivering thrills again starting April 24, if park operators get their way. Officials say they're finalizing details with state and local authorities to open the park for the 2021 season on that date. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Guests enter Hurricane Harbor Chicago at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee last July. The theme park anticipates opening the water park for the 2021 season in May, and hopes to open the theme park in April.

      Guests enter Hurricane Harbor Chicago at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee last July. The theme park anticipates opening the water park for the 2021 season in May, and hopes to open the theme park in April. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2020

 
 
Updated 2/22/2021 5:18 PM

Those itching to tame Raging Bull, soar on American Eagle and lose their guts on the Giant Drop take note: Officials at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee are aiming to start the 2021 season on April 24.

And unlike last year, the park's iconic roller coasters and other attractions will be up and running, pending government approval.

 

Great America spokeswoman Caitlin Kepple said Monday that park officials are continuing to work closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce to finalize opening guidelines for the theme park.

"Our intention is to open our attractions," Kepple said. "However, we are continuing to work closely with the state as the guidelines for reopening are finalized and for final approval."

The theme park was not allowed to have rides in operation in late November, when it opened for the Holiday in the Park season.

Officials already have approval from state and local leaders to open Six Flags Hurricane Harbor on May 29. The water park opened last year for a shortened season beginning in July.

Kepple said visitors can expect to see many of the same health and safety protocols used last year. Guests over age two will be required to wear masks, as will all park employees. Visitors will go through noninvasive temperature screenings prior to entering the park, as well as touchless security screening.

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Six Flags employees on the "clean team" will be stationed throughout the park to frequently sanitize high touchpoint areas. And hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the park.

Guests also will be asked to use the online reservation system before arriving to help control the number of people in the park.

"We have taken the responsibility to ensure compliance with reopening guidelines at our water parks and during the Holiday in the Park events with the utmost seriousness, and will continue to do so as theme park reopens," Kepple said.

Despite how different the park experience might be in 2021, one Great America tradition unaffected by the pandemic is the annual call for seasonal employees, which went out on Friday. Park officials intend to hire 4,000 seasonal workers.

Kepple said the minimum pay rate at the park is $11 per hour, and lifeguards and some clean team positions begin at $12 per hour. Paramedics start at $16.50 per hour, Kepple said.

Those interested may apply online at sixflagsjobs.com.

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