Days 56 & 57 – Friday & Saturday June 15-16, 2007 – Six Flags New England
After four long days in New York, the Coomer Family was in need of some rest. Friday was just such a day. Yay! Unfortunately, we couldn’t extend our stay at last night’s hotel in Hartford for another night, so we booked a different one not far away. Changing hotels, was about all we would do today. It has been awhile since we have taken a day off and it feels nice.
Trying to keep our trip as streamlined as possible, we decided to visit Six Flags New England on Saturday. Six Flags New England only sits about 30 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut, just outside Springfield, Massachusetts. We didn’t like the idea of visiting on a weekend, but after some discussion, we decided against going to Boston first and then backtracking. Of course, we had the option to skip it altogether, but who would be crazy enough to do something like that? Everything is historic in New England and the Six Flags park is no exception.
Six Flags New England originally opened as a picnic area called Gallups Grove in 1840. Eventually, as it transitioned into a theme park and more rides were added, it’s name was changed to Riverside Park. While very little of the old park still exists, they have preserved the Thunderbolt roller coaster. Thunderbolt is an old compact wooden coaster that opened in 1941. It could use a paint job, but was surprisingly smooth for it’s age.
The only other notable thing about this relatively small park is the Superman: Ride of Steel roller coaster (also pictured above). This particular coaster won the Golden Ticket Award (think Academy Awards of Theme Parks) in 2003 & 2006 as the “Best Steel Roller Coaster” in the world. We rode it’s little brother in Washington D.C., but this version is longer and superior in a couple of ways. I won’t bore you with my coaster geekiness, but it was truly an exhilarating experience. Once again, (we have noticed time and time again on this trip), it proves that a coaster doesn’t need to go upside down to provide a world class experience. In fact, in the Golden Ticket ratings, the top four steel coasters in the world never go upside down. Other than Superman and another gem of a coaster, Batman: The Dark Night, Six Flags New England didn’t offer up much other than large crowds. We did however, finally get to see their much advertised family style parade. It is definitely not Disney quality, but they sure are trying!
By the early evening, we tired of the crowds and decided to leave. Our hotel was about ninety minutes away from the park in Waltham, MA. Waltham, MA is our jumping point into Boston, as it sits only 15 miles outside of the city. Once again, we will rely on public transportation by parking at the subway station and taking the train into the city. Tomorrow we plan to take in a little more history by touring the Freedom Trail. It is unlikely that we will push ourselves very hard in Boston, since such a pace isn’t sustainable at this point. It is time to resume a slower pace once again! Talk to you soon.
We want to thank everyone for the comments and emails. Your support is truly appreciated and keeps us going.
The Coomer Family