|Slogan||Thrill Capital Of New England|
|Location||Agawam, Massachusetts, United States|
|Previous names||Gallup's Grove (1870-1886)
Riverside Grove (1887-1911)
Riverside Amusement Park (1912-1999)
|Operating season||April through late December|
|Area||235 acres (95 ha)|
Six Flags New England (SFNE) is an amusement park located in Agawam, Massachusetts, a western suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts. Dating to the late 19th century, it is the oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain. Superman the Ride is among the park's most notable rides having appeared in every Golden Ticket Awards publication by Amusement Today, ranking first or second in the Top Steel Roller Coasters category from 2001 to 2015, and third in 2016.
Throughout most of the 20th century, the park was known as Riverside Park. It started out as a picnic grove called Gallup's Grove in 1870, and was eventually renamed Riverside Grove, then Riverside Park. Prior to 1900, most of the park's patrons arrived via steamship. The Springfield Street Railway extended its line to the park in 1900 and, although Riverside was at the end of the Springfield Street Railway, it was not owned by the railway and is, therefore, not considered a trolley park, contrary to published reports.
In the early 1900s, a few mechanical rides and a carousel were added. The park was purchased in 1911 by Henry J. Perkins who transformed the park from a picnic grove to an amusement park. He built the park's first roller coaster, The Giant Dip, in 1912, which proved to be so popular that another coaster, The Greyhound, was added in 1915. Under Perkins' ownership, the park continued to prosper and additional amusements were added, including a 300-foot-diameter pool that became known as Lake Takadip. The original Giant Dip coaster was replaced in 1920 by a new, more thrilling coaster that was twice the size of the Giant and was eventually named Lightning. A third coaster, Whirlwind Racer, was added in 1928.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 took its toll on the park, and by 1931 it had gone into foreclosure. For the 1932 season, the park operated only Wednesday through Sunday, and in 1933 it closed. Several attempts to reopen the park failed and it remained closed through 1939, although the grounds were occasionally used for company picnics. A drive-in movie theater operated in the parking lot from 1937 to 1939.
Edward Carroll Sr. purchased the abandoned park in 1939 and after making improvements, reopened Riverside Park on May 29, 1940. Carroll is credited with rescuing Riverside and turning it into the largest theme park in New England. He purchased the plans and cars of the 1939 New York World's Fair Cyclone Roller Coaster and opened a new coaster in 1941. That coaster, now known as Thunderbolt, is operating at the park, and is the oldest coaster within the Six Flags Chain of theme parks. The park continued to add new rides and removed some older ones. The theater and bowling alley were removed in the late 1950s, making Riverside Park a seasonal attraction.
Carroll took a liking to auto racing, a sport that was gaining popularity in the Northeast after World War II, and added it to his slate of attractions at Riverside, building the Riverside Park Speedway in 1948, replacing an open air bandstand. The 1960s was a popular period for stock car racing at Riverside Park. NASCAR began to hold events at Riverside Park Speedway in 1976. In 1977, Riverside Park added its first looping roller coaster, The Loop Coaster, later known as Black Widow. The park continued to be successful throughout the 1970s, and a log flume ride was added in that period. By the 1980s, the park stopped selling individual ride tickets and began charging a "pay one price" admission.
In 1983, Riverside Park added its third roller coaster, which was also the park's second wooden coaster. The owners originally wanted a coaster exactly like the Coney Island Cyclone, but space was limited, so the coaster would need to take up less space and would have sharper twists and turns. It became known as the Riverside Cyclone. In 1987, Riverside attempted to build a white-water rafting ride called the Lost River Water Ride. Plagued with problems, the attraction never opened and was subsequently abandoned. A majority of the ride was demolished in 1989 to make way for Wild River Falls, a waterslide complex consisting of three sets of slides: Riptide, Blue Lightning, and Pipeline. A popular attraction, Wild River Falls remained in operation until the opening of the Island Kingdom Waterpark in 1997.
In 1994, Riverside partnered with Lady Luck Gaming in a proposal to build a hotel and dockside casino complex at the park, one of several competing casino proposals in the state. The plan died after Agawam voters rejected a non-binding referendum in support of casino gambling in November.
During the 1996 season, the track on the Musik Express was damaged and the attraction remained closed for a portion of the year. A Chance Chaos was ordered and was scheduled to open for the 1997 season. During the winter of 1996, the Carroll family was approached by Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which subsequently purchased the park. Premier Parks renamed the park as Riverside: The Great Escape.
Under Premier Parks, various changes were made to the park. For the 1997 season, the new owners invested upward of $20 million on general improvements and several new attractions. Attractions included the Island Kingdom Waterpark, which featured children's water play area, various slides, and a wave pool. Other attractions included a Mind Eraser and Shipwreck Falls. In the process of renovation, some older rides such as the Bayern Kurve were removed. Main Street U.S.A. was substantially redesigned, and the Southern Center midway was themed to a 1950s city and renamed Rockville. Other improvements included a new entrance plaza, and the carousel being renovated and relocated to the front gate.
In 1998, the park added several attractions, improving the water park with new features that included lazy river, another children's play structure named Hook's Lagoon, a speed slide tower called Cannonball, a family raft slide named Swiss Family Tobaggan, and a multi-slide tower called Big Kahuna. The water park expansion was added to the south end of the park next to the park's log flume. The park also added The Hellevator, an S&S Worldwide Turbo Drop tower measuring 21 stories tall, which was originally painted red.
On April 1, 1998, Premier Parks acquired the larger Six Flags chain of parks from Time Warner. The park continued to be known as "Riverside" until the end of the 1999 season. In 1999, the Riverside Park Speedway was removed, and the waterpark was doubled in size. Additions included adding a new slide tower named Shark Attack and a second wave pool called Hurricane Bay. The park added a Hopkins river raft ride named Blizzard River to the North End, replacing a set of dry slides and the old Bumper Cars. Blizzard River was themed to incorporate the Penguin character from the Batman franchise, but the name of the ride was never changed when the park was allowed to use characters from DC Comics on their rides. A new western area called Crack Axle Canyon was added, and included four rides, three of which were new to the park. In 2000, Riverside was rebranded "Six Flags New England", reflecting similar changes made at other Six Flags properties. The main street running through the park was renamed "Carroll Drive" in honor of the family that had owned the place for much of its history. The park added a new front gate plaza. On the former site of the racetrack, a new DC Comics-themed section of the park was installed. The area featured several new rides, including Superman - Ride of Steel, a hypercoaster designed by Intamin.
In 2008, Six Flags New England was to open The Dark Knight, an indoor MACK Wild Mouse coaster based on the upcoming film of the same name. The park's other Batman-based attraction had its name changed from Batman - The Dark Knight to Batman: The Ride to avoid confusion. However, due to apparent permit issues, the ride was cancelled and dismantled. The ride would have cost the park $7.5 million in exchange for bringing $280,000 in taxes for the state of Massachusetts. The cancellation angered the city of Agawam, which stated that issues with the ride were not evident. Instead, the park announced the new "Glow in the Park Parade". On November 8, 2008 the Town of Agawam allowed Six Flags the right to build roller coasters up to 200 feet (61 m) in height. This paved the way for many future roller coasters in the park.
Six Flags New England is home to many rides and attractions, including 2 World Class Roller Coasters. Wicked Cyclone & Superman the Ride. Superman The Ride is 208 feet (63 m) tall and drops 221 feet (67 m) into a tunnel, reaching a top speed of 77 mph (124 km/h). It is considered one of the best steel roller coasters in the world according to the trade magazine Amusement Today, which awarded it the prestigious Golden Ticket award in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Wicked Cyclone is the first hybrid Roller Coaster to hit the east coast. It is 109ft tall and reach a top speed 55mph. 3 Inversions, Worlds first Hangtime Stall. 14 Airtime Hills. Worlds first Double Reversing Banking Airtime Hill. Wicked Cyclone was voted the 2nd Best New Roller Coaster on the planet for the 2015 season with Fury 325 in first place. It was in the top 30 ever since it was in the Golden Ticket Awards and never went down.
|Ride Name||Picture||Opened||Manufacturer||Model/Type||Location||Notes||Thrill Rating|
|Thunderbolt||1941||Joseph E. Drambour||Figure 8 wooden roller coaster||Main Street||Oldest roller coaster in the park.||Moderate|
|The Great Chase||1996||E&F Miler Industries||Family Coaster/ 16 ft Outside Spiral CCW||Looney Tunes Movie Town||Originally named Rolling Thunder.||Mild|
|Mind Eraser||1997||Vekoma||Suspended Looping Coaster||South End||A Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster.||Aggressive|
|Superman the Ride||2000||Intamin||Megacoaster||DC Superhero Adventure||Formerly known as Superman - Ride of Steel (from 2000-2009) and Bizarro (from 2009 - 2015). This ride used Samsung virtual reality headsets during the 2016 season.||Aggressive|
|Catwoman's Whip||2000||Zierer||Tivoli - Large||DC Superhero Adventure||Originally named Poison Ivy's Tangled Train.||Mild|
|Flashback||2000||Vekoma||Boomerang||North End||Originally at Star Lake Amusement Park as Boomerang, then Kentucky Kingdom as Vampire.||Aggressive|
The Dark Knight
|2002||Bolliger & Mabillard||Floorless Coaster||South End||During the 2008 season, Batman: The Dark Knight was temporarily renamed Batman: The Ride to prevent confusion with The Dark Knight Coaster that was ultimately cancelled.||Aggressive|
|Pandemonium||2005||Gerstlauer||Spinning Coaster Model 420/4||North End||Originally named Mr. Six's Pandemonium. In 2007, Mr. Six was dropped from the title.||Moderate|
|Gotham City Gauntlet:
Escape from Arkham Asylum
|2011||Maurer Söhne||Wilde Maus Classic||DC Superhero Adventure||Originally Road Runner Express at Kentucky Kingdom.||Moderate|
|Goliath||2012||Vekoma||Giant Inverted Boomerang||Crack Axle Canyon||Originally Déjà Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain.||Aggressive|
|Wicked Cyclone||2015||Rocky Mountain Construction||I-Box||North End||Originally Cyclone, a wooden coaster designed by William Cobb.
It was reconstructed and re-tracked with steel by RMC in 2015.
|The Joker||2017||S&S Worldwide||4th Dimension roller coaster||South End||Replaced Splashwater Falls.||Aggressive|
|1909 Illions Carousel||1940||M.C. Illions Carousel||Main Street||Among the horses, a lion, tiger, and zebra can be seen on the carousel.|
|Wild Wheelz||1962||Arrow Development antique cars||Kidzopolis||Originally named Route 66 from 1962 to 2014.|
|Scrambler||1973||Eli Bridge Scrambler||North End||A scrambler ride.|
|Crime Wave||1979||Zamperla Swings||South End||Up until the end of the 2006 season, the ride was located near Scream! under the name of "Adult Wave Swinger."|
|Buzzsaw||1983||Zierer Flying Carpet||South End||Originally named The Screamer and later the Slingshot. Will be removed at the end of 2017 to make way for the Tea Cups relocation|
|Kontiki||1985||Chance Rides Alpine Bobs||Rockville||Themed around Polynesia.|
|Balloon Race||1989||Zamperla Balloon Race||North End||No minimum height requirement with an adult.|
|Stampede Bumper Cars||1997||Zamperla Bumper Cars||Crack Axle Canyon||Bumper Cars are powered from the floor, which means there is no receiver on the back of the car.|
|Scream||1998||S&S Worldwide 3-tower Combo Complex||Main Street||Originally a one-tower Turbo Drop called Hellavator. Two combo towers were added in 2000. Original tower is still a Turbo Drop.|
|Blizzard River||1999||Hopkins Rides River rafting ride||North End||Eight riders careen down a concrete channel in a raft while passing rapids, whirlpools, and waterfalls.|
|Houdini - The Great Escape||1999||Vekoma Madhouse||Crack Axle Canyon||No minimum height requirement with an adult.|
|Tea Cups||1999||Zamperla Tea Cups||South End||A tea cup ride. The ride originally had no canopy. Will be relocated in Buzzsaw after the 2017 season to make way for Harley Quinn|
|Tomahawk||1999||HUSS Frisbee||Crack Axle Canyon||Reaches heights of 78 feet.|
|Kryptonite||2000||Chance Rides Wipeout||DC Superhero Adventures||Originally located in the Justice League building with the name "The Joker's Wildcard." It closed in 2004 and was put into storage. It returned for the 2009 season at the former location of Nightwing. The ride was rethemed to "Kryptonite" for the 2017 season.|
|Slingshot||2009||Slingshot||South End||Formerly named The Blitz. An upcharge attraction. Located in the DC Superhero Adventures section but was moved to the South End in 2011. Relocated from Six Flags St. Louis. Will be relocated to another section of the park. Still TBD on Location|
|New England SkyScreamer||2014||Funtime Star Flyer||North End||Tallest swing ride in the world at 408 feet.|
|Rock n' Rodeo||2016||SBF/Visa Traffic Jam||Crack Axle Canyon||A spinning family ride located on the former Rodeo's pad.|
|Fireball||2016||Larson Giant Loop||Rockville||A larger version of a Larson Ring of Fire, measuring 22 meters (72 ft) in diameter. The fronts of both sides of the train are 50s style hot rod fronts. Located on the spot of Twister, the park's former HUSS Top Spin.|
|Harley Quinn Spinsanity||2018||Zamperla Giant Discovery||South End||A very large pendulum ride with outward-facing seats that swings back and forth. The pendulum reaches a top speed of 70mph and soars 14 stories high. Slingshot and Tea Cups will be relocated to make way for the ride.|
|Animation Department||1998||Zamperla kiddie swings ride||Looney Tunes Movie Town||Children's swing ride.|
|Daffy's Hollywood Tours||1998||Zamperla Crazy Bus||Looney Tunes Movie Town||Children's bus ride.|
|Taz's Prop Delivery||1998||Zamperla Big Foot||Looney Tunes Movie Town||Children's truck ride.|
|Tweety's Clubhouse||1999||Zamperla Jumpin' Star||Looney Tunes Movie Town||Children's drop ride.|
|Wacky Wheel||2001||Kiddie Ferris Wheel||Kidzopolis||Originally named Chuck Wagon Wheel, and later Cold Spaghetti Western Wheel.|
|Whirlybirdz||2001||SBF kiddie ride||Kidzopolis||Originally named Timber Town Sky Patrol, and later Wags' Doggie Copters.|
|Krazy Kups||2001||SBF kiddie tea cups||Kidzopolis||Originally named Tiny's Tea Party, and later Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cups.|
|Zinger Swings||2001||SBF kiddie ride||Kidzopolis||Originally named Flight of the Bumble Bees, and later Henry's Underwater Swing Band.|
|Krazy Kars||2007||Zamperla Sports car ride||Kidzopolis||Originally named Big Red Cars.|
|New England Express||2007||Miniature train ride||Whistlestop Park||Originally named Thomas the Tank Engine from 2007 to 2010. (Closed from 2011 to 2012).|
|Ship's Ahoy!||2007||Zamperla Rockin' Tug||Kidzopolis||Originally named Captain Feathersword's Rockin' Pirate Ship.|
|Splish Splash Zone||2007||Playground and water play area||Kidzopolis||Originally named Henry's Splish Splash.|
|Wile E. Coyote's Speed Trap||1998||Looney Tunes Movie Town.|
|ZoomJets||2007||Zamperla Telecombat||Kidzopolis||Originally Big Red Planes.|
|Ride||Year Opened||Year Closed||Description|
|Giant Dip||1912||1919||Wooden roller coaster.|
|Greyhound||1915||1933||John A. Miller-built wooden roller coaster.|
|Lightning||1920||1933||John A. Miller-built wooden roller coaster.|
|Whirlwind Racer||1928||1933||Harry G. Traver-built wooden roller coaster.|
|Wild Mouse||1957||Unknown||B. A. Schiff & Associates Wild Mouse roller coaster.|
|Wildcat||1968||1983||Schwarzkopf Wildcat roller coaster. Anton Schwarzkopf's first roller coaster.|
|Black Widow||1977||1999||Arrow Dynamics Launched Loop roller coaster. Replaced with Flashback.|
|Little Rickie's Little Twister||1978 or earlier||1999||Herschell Little Dipper kiddie roller coaster.|
|Poland Spring Plunge||1979||2005||Log flume ride. Originally named Red River Rapids. Replaced by Splashwater Falls.|
|Colossus||1985||2005||150 ft. ferris wheel. Replaced by Crime Wave.|
|Chaos||1997||2005||Chance Chaos. Replaced by a large bathroom building.|
|Spider||1968||2006||Octopus-style ride. As of 2017, the former ride pad still sits vacant.|
|Bumper Buggies||1990 or earlier||2007||Children's bumper cars. The old ride building has yet to be replaced.|
|Rodeo||1998||2007||HUSS Breakdance. Replaced by Rockin' Rodeo in 2016.|
|Double Trouble||1999||2007||Chance Double Inverter.|
|Dark Knight||2008||2008||Mack Rides Indoor Wild Mouse. Planned for 2008, partially installed, and then cancelled. It was relocated to Six Flags México and opened in 2009.|
|Time Warp||1997||2008||Vekoma Air Jumper. Located near Pandemonium.|
|Nightwing||2000||2008||HUSS Fly Away. Replaced by Joker's Wildcard.|
|Bertie The Bus||2007||2010||Children's ride located in Thomas Town.|
|Harold The Helicopter||2007||2010||Children's ride located in Thomas Town.|
|Foghorn Leghorn Tinsel Town Train||Unknown||2011||Children's ride located in Looney Tunes Movie Town.|
|Shipwreck Falls||1997||2011||Replaced with Goliath, a Giant Inverted Boomerang.|
|Marvin the Martian Earthbound Journey||2000||2011||Children's ride located in Looney Tunes Movie Town.|
|Catapult||2006||2012||S&S Sky Swat. Located in what is now the queue of New England SkyScreamer. Formerly known as SWAT at Six Flags Astroworld.|
|Taz's Daredevil Dive||1992||2013||Skycoaster. Replaced with New England SkyScreamer. Originally named the Riverside Skycoaster.|
|Twister||1997||2013||HUSS Top Spin. Located next to Kontiki, where Fireball stands today.|
|New England Sky Way||1974||2014||Von Roll Sky-Ride. Transported riders between a station adjacent to Thunderbolt and the current site of the New England Sky Screamer. The supports for the ride remain in the park's North End area.|
|Cyclone||1983||2014||William Cobb wooden coaster. Rebuilt as Wicked Cyclone.|
|Flying Aces||2001, 2014||2006, 2015||Whistlestop Park biplane ride. Originally located in Tiny Timber Town, the ride was put in storage when Wiggles World was added.|
|Splashwater Falls||2006||2016||Formerly located in the South End. It was replaced by The Joker.|
|Six Flags Hurricane Harbor|
Hurricane Harbor is a water park located within Six Flags New England. The waterpark opened in 1997 as Island Kingdom and was rebranded Hurricane Harbor in 2003. It features a number of family-oriented rides as well as thrill rides. The most recent addition is Bonzai Pipelines added in 2013.
|Swiss Family Toboggan||1998||Proslide Technology Inc. "Mammoth" family raft ride|
|Adventure River||1998||Lazy river|
|Big Kahuna||1998||Proslide Technology Inc. "Pipeline"||4 enclosed tube slides.|
|Cannonball Falls||1998||Proslide Technology Inc. "Speed Zone"||3 speed slides.|
|Hook's Lagoon||1998||SCS Interactive "Discovery Treehouse" with Proslide Technology Inc. "Twisters' Zone" slides|
|Octopus Toddler Slide||1998||Climbing structure for children.|
|Kiddie Pirate Ship||1998||Fake pirate ship designed for kids to climb on.|
|Commotion Ocean||1999||A large wave pool.|
|Shark Attack||1999||Proslide Technology Inc. "Atomic Coasters"||4 half enclosed, half open tube slides.|
|Tornado||2003||Proslide Technology Inc. Tornado "Rattler"||Funnel-shaped tube slide that uses four-person "cloverleaf" or two-person "whirly wheel" tubes.|
|Hurricane Bay||2003||Wave pool with family activity area.|
|Monsoon Lagoon||2003||Family wave pool along with slides and interactive water play area.|
|Hurricane Falls||2003||6 slide Proslide Technology Inc. Twisters complex|
|Geronimo Falls and Zooma Falls||2003||2 Proslide Technology Inc. Mammoths|
|Typhoon Water Coaster||2005||Proslide Technology Inc. "Rocket" slide||The first water coaster in New England.|
|Splash Island||2010||Kids area including a wave pool and lazy river. Originally named "Mr. Six's Splash Island" but the prefix was removed after one season.|
|Rip Tide Cove||2013||Water play area.|
|Bonzai Pipelines||2013||SplashTacular DownUnder||6 body slides with trap doors.|
During the park's branding as a Six Flags in 2000, the Looney Tunes characters were added to the park. The line-up of Looney Tunes characters includes: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Porky Pig, Petunia Pig, Pepé Le Pew, Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, Taz, Granny, Lola Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Speedy Gonzales, Yosemite Sam, and Gossamer.
In 2006, the park underwent a massive expansion in the entertainment department when Mark Shapiro took control of Six Flags. With this, Six Flags New England has added Justice League characters, along with the Hall of Justice. In 2007, enemies of the Justice League known as the Legion of Doom came to Six Flags. This addition brought the following characters to the park: Batman, Robin, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl, Green Lantern, The Flash, The Joker, The Riddler, Sinestro, Cheetah, Lex Luthor, and Captain Cold. The Hall of Justice is located in the building where the Jokers Wild Card flat ride used to be, transforming it into a secret lair. Times are posted outside indicating when guests will be able to meet the characters and pose for pictures.
In the 2008 season, the Glow in the Park Parade was introduced. It is the unique brainchild of world-renowned creative director Gary Goddard and features five custom-designed floats, 65 performers and over 35 support staff members and technicians. Each float is adorned with vibrant-multicolor lights that illuminate the park and surround the streets with custom-composed cirque-inspired music. The parade features drummers, puppeteers, singers, dancers, and kinetic stilt walkers to create an unparalleled nighttime spectacular. The parade did not return in the 2009 season, but it did return in 2010. The parade never got to complete its full season run in 2010. It was cancelled in July after new management took over the Six Flags Corporate office.
During the month of October, the park gets transformed for its annual Halloween festival, Fright Fest. This transformation includes the addition of Halloween decorations to its Crackaxle Canyon, Main Street, South End, and Rockville areas, making them Haunt Zones with roaming characters to give the areas the themes of a ghost town, a demon area, a graveyard and an Area 51 complex, respectively. In addition, several shows and attractions are added, including Mayhem Mission and The Trick-o-Treat Trail for kids, Dead Legends Live on Main St., Haunting Illusions, Wheel of Fright, and three up-charged "haunts". Dead Legends Live has all past singers together and parody their songs about being dead. "Illusions of Terror" is a magic show in the Rockville Theater featuring illusionist David Garrity. The Wheel of Fright is a wheel and whatever you spin it to land on you have to eat or do. Such things to eat are cockroaches or worms. Prizes include season passes or exit passes. The five premium haunts are called Wicked Woods, Total Darkness, The Aftermath: Zombies Revenge, Slasher Circus 3D, and Midnight Mansion. Wicked Woods is in the picnic groves wooded area comprising a trail with people popping out at you and chasing you. Total Darkness is in the picnic grove and it is a walk through in a pitch black area, filled with frights. Slasher Circus 3D is in the picnic grove and is right beside Total Darkness, however this attraction is full of different lights and colors with a clown theme throughout. Midnight Mansion takes place on the ride Houdini. They transform the whole ride building into a haunted mansion. The Aftermath: Zombies Revenge is similar to Wicked Woods, but themed to the zombie apocalypse. In early 2009, Six Flags New England received an award within the chain for the best Fright Fest of 2008.