This IL destination was one of North America’s most-attended amusement parks in 2022

An Illinois amusement park checked in as one of the most-attended sites in North America last year.

Six Flags Great America landed among the continent’s 20 most-attended amusement parks in 2022, according to the Themed Entertainment Association. The organization’s 2022 Global Attractions Attendance Report, released in June, also featured a number of other Midwest and mid-Atlantic staples, including Cedar Point in Ohio and Hersheypark in Pennsylvania.

If you’re planning a summer vacation, here’s what you need to know about Six Flags Great America.

Six Flags Great America

Situated in Gurnee, just north of Chicago, Six Flags Great America offers nearly 20 roller coasters on top of a stacked lineup of attractions for children and families.

Six Flags Great America attracted approximately 2.54 million guests in 2022, making it the 20th most-visited park in North America, according to the Themed Entertainment Association’s attendance report. That figure marks a 5% drop from 2021, when roughly 2.68 million people visited the park.

The 304-acre park opened its gates in 1976 under the Marriott Corporation. Six Flags purchased the property for roughly $114.5 million in 1983 and helped develop the park into a staple for thrill rides and family entertainment, aptly nicknamed “The Thrill Capital of the Midwest.”

Six Flags Great America’s overall layout has remained largely unchanged over the years. The park features a dozen areas themed after DC Comics, cartoons, Mardi Gras and the Wild West, among others.

The park’s biggest draw is likely Maxx Force, the three-time record-breaking roller coaster located near the front entrance. According to Six Flags Great America, the 175-foot-tall Maxx Force features the world’s tallest double inversion, faster inversion (60 mph) and fastest acceleration in North America (going from zero to 78 mph in less than 2 seconds).

Other popular attractions include the American Eagle, which still holds records as the tallest, fastest and longest racing wooden coaster in the world. Batman: The Ride was the first inverted roller coaster of its kind when it opened in 1992.

Six Flags Great America tickets are available online at One-day tickets start at $45, while upgraded passes that include food and merchandise discounts and even preferred parking range from $90 to $160 each.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Chicago is located nearby and offers separate admission for its water park. Just like Six Flags Great America, children 2 and under receive free admission.

North America’s most-attended amusement parks

The most-attended amusement park in North America in 2022 was once again Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the Themed Entertainment Association reports. The park, dubbed the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” attracted 17.1 million guests in 2022, still trailing 2019’s pre-pandemic attendance of 20.96 million guests.

Here’s a full look at the amusement parks with the highest attendance last year, according to the Themed Entertainment Association’s report. Due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, the report kept 2019’s rankings in place, so some discrepancies in estimated attendance figures remain.

  1. Magic Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) — 17,133 million guests

  2. Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Calif.) — 16,881 million guests

  3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) — 9,027 million guests

  4. Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) — 10 million guests

  5. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) —10.9 million guests

  6. Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, Fla.) — 10.75 million guests

  7. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Fla.) — 11,025 million guests

  8. Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Calif.) — 9 million guests

  9. Universal StudiosHollywood (Universal City, Calif.) — 8.4 million guests

  10. Seaworld Orlando (Orlando, Fla.) — 4,454 million guests

  11. Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, Calif.) — 3,899 million guests

  12. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (Tampa, Fla.) — 4,051 million guests

  13. Canada’s Wonderland (Maple, Ontario) — 3,768 million guests

  14. Seaworld San Diego (San Diego, Calif.) — 3,507 million guests

  15. CedarPoint (Sandusky, Ohio) — 3,444 million guests

  16. Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, Calif.) — 2,993 million guests

  17. Kings Island (Kings Island, Ohio) — 3,340 million guests

  18. Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ) —2,153 million guests

  19. Hersheypark (Hershey, Pa.) — 3,193 million guests

  20. Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Ill.) — 2,535 million guests