10 Mistakes to Avoid at Six Flags New England

Tips for Preparing, Parking and Making the Most of a Day at the Theme Park

Six Flags New England
••• Scream for all of the right reasons when you visit Six Flags New England this summer. Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
  • 01 of 11

    Make the Most of Your Visit to Six Flags New England

    Visiting Six Flags New England for the first time? These 10 tips will help you avoid learning some lessons the hard way during your family's visit to New England's largest theme park in Agawam, Massachusetts. Arm yourself with this information, and you and your family will have a better shot at screaming for only the right reasons during your day at the park.

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  • 02 of 11

    The Parking Lot is Far Away

    The official Six Flags New England parking lot is farther away from the action than you ever might have guessed. This makes returning to your car to fetch swimsuits or anything else you've left behind impractical: It's easily a half-hour trek. In order to get back to your car, you'll need to exit the park (have your hand stamped if you plan to return), climb tall stairs or navigate a long ramp to a walkway over Route 159, descend and catch a tram, then walk what may still be a considerable distance to your car. The only alternative is to pay more and take advantage of preferred parking.

    While you may be able to save a bit on parking by leaving your car in one of the privately owned lots you'll see along Route 159 as you approach the park, keep in mind that you'll still need to walk inside the main parking entrance and cross the bridge over Route 159 in order to reach the Six Flags New England entry gates.

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  • 03 of 11

    Most of the Rides at Six Flags New England Are Pretty Scary

    Six Flags New England Scream Ride
    ••• At Six Flags New England, rides like Scream--which ends with a 20-story free fall--are not for wussies. Darren McCollester / Getty Images

    Six Flags New England is a destination for serious adrenaline junkies: You may find your palms sweating and your heart racing just watching some of the park's roller coasters and other thrill rides in action! If you're a scaredy cat, it's important to know that the park has very few tame rides for grown-ups visiting without little children.

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  • 04 of 11

    There's Plenty for Preschoolers But Not So Much for Grade Schoolers

    Rides for Little Kids at Six Flags New England
    ••• Preschoolers enjoy the rides and entertainment in what was originally the Wiggles World-themed section of Six Flags New England. Kim Knox Beckius

    When Wiggles World and Thomas Town debuted in 2007 at Six Flags New England, the theme park—which already had a Looney Tunes Movie Town area catering to little kids—solidified its position as the region's leading provider of entertainment for preschoolers. The Wiggles and Thomas branding have been gone since 2010, but the rides in these areas—now dubbed KIDZOPOLIS—remain the same.

    Here's the thing: Early-elementary aged children are a bit beyond the Krazy Kars and Whirlybirdz helicopter rides, but they may not yet be ready to ride the majority of the park's livelier rides. They may not even meet the height requirement for the Stampede Bumper Cars (48" to ride with an adult).

    If you'll be visiting the park with grade schoolers, it's a good idea to review the Six Flags New England ride guide, which provides thrill ratings and height requirements for each ride, before leaving home.

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  • 05 of 11

    Dress Appropriately

    Before you head for Six Flags New England, think a bit about your attire. Wearing white pants or a white shirt is a no-no: Anything white will be filthy by day's end. Here's another tip from experience: Leave dangly earrings without backs at home, or you may watch in helpless  horror as one flies out of your ear, bounces across the floor and falls through a crack in the floor of the Krazy Kups ride. 

    One thing you should wear when visiting Six Flags New England: sunscreen.

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  • 06 of 11

    AAA Members Save on Shopping at Six Flags

    Six Flags New England Blizzard River
    ••• On Six Flags New England water rides like Blizzard River, you WILL get wet. Kim Knox Beckius

    If you do happen to dress wrong for the day, or if you fail to carry extra clothes along and you don't want to make the long trip back to the parking lot when your kids are soaked and shivering after water rides like Blizzard River, you'll be glad Six Flags New England has retail stores that sell T-shirts and sweatshirts. And, if you have your AAA membership card with you, you'll save 10 percent on merchandise purchases of $15 or more. Next time, you'll remember to carry a waterproof tote with a change of clothes.

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  • 07 of 11

    Bathing Suits May Only Be Worn in the Water Park

    Six Flags New England's rule that bathing suits may only be worn within the Hurricane Harbor water park further compounds the problem of choosing attire for a day at the park. If you don't relish the idea of carrying a big bag of suits and towels on all of the other theme park rides, you'll largely be limited to wading into Commotion Ocean—a 500,000-gallon wave pool—and you'll miss out on the rest of the water park rides. 

    Wearing a swimsuit under your clothing may be a solution, but you still have to deal with toting wet gear around after your Hurricane Harbor stop. Lockers are available, but the price is insane, plus you'll pay a key deposit on top of it. And, lockers need to be emptied before Hurricane Harbor closes, which is earlier than the rest of the theme park.

    Because Hurricane Harbor offers so many options for water play, the best strategy may be to choose to spend the entire day at the water park on a hot day, rather than attempting to do both the amusement...MORE and water park in one day.

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  • 08 of 11

    There's Only One Way Out of Hurricane Harbor

    Hooks Lagoon Six Flags New England
    ••• Hooks Lagoon at Six Flags New England's Hurricane Harbor is a watery play place for kids 42" and up. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    Don't find out the hardest way possible that there's only one way in and out of Hurricane Harbor. If you walk toward Hooks Lagoon and the Tornado water funnel ride, you'll discover that there is no exit from the water park once you reach the end—you have to return to the entrance. If you're working off a big meal of greasy, fried park food, you might not mind. But if your little kids are spent by this point, you may be faced with an awfully long piggback ride back out of the water park.

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  • 09 of 11

    Tuesday's Not the Day to Visit If You Want to See a Show

    Six Flags Mr. Six
    ••• For an old guy, Mr. Six can really bust a move. Kim Knox Beckius

    If you're a coaster wimp, you can always see shows at the theme park. But beware: You may be dismayed if you time your visit wrong. The summer entertainment schedule available at the entrance gate (but not on the Six Flags New England website) will tell you where to see Six Flags New England's premier shows, which run several times daily—except Tuesday! If you're already there, and it's Tuesday, well... your entertainment options will be extremely meager. Call the Six Flags New England information phone number, 413-786-9300, if you want to check show schedules ahead of your visit.

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  • 10 of 11

    Introduce Kids to the Looney Tunes Gang

    Six Flags Bugs Bunny
    ••• Six Flags New England is home to beloved Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Tazmanian Devil, Marvin Martian, Yosemite Sam: They're all classic cartoon characters you probably remember from childhood, but to most kids these days, they are strange, unfamiliar beings. That makes meeting the characters at Six Flags New England much less of a priority than it is at Disney World. Before you visit the park, though, you may want to watch a few Looney Tunes videos online with your offspring.

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  • 11 of 11

    It's Possible to Spend $26 on Two Stuffed Animals

    Six Flags New England Games
    ••• You can win stuffed animals at Six Flags New England... but it will cost you!. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    Admission to Six Flags New England is expensive (be sure to take a look at these coupon and discount offers before you go), but what really is surprising is how much more money you can drop once you're inside the park. Be prepared to spend about as much inside the park as you did getting in the gate.

    Pack sandwiches to eat on your car trip to the park if you want to save a few bucks on food. Remember to bring a change of clothes, so you won't have to shell out for a sweatshirt. And try to avoid Whack-a-Mole and other carnival-style games, which can set you back $5 or more per person.