Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Six Flags is a chain of amusement parks and theme parks. There are 40 parks run by Six Flags, 24 of which carry the Six Flags name. The first Six Flags amusement park was built at Arlington in Tarrant County, Texas (located halfway between the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas}. Arlington is also the home of the Texas Rangers team and the future home of the Dallas Cowboys. The theme park was named "Six Flags Over Texas" in reference to the alleged six different national flags which have flown over Texas in its history. The list of flags is disputed because it has been limited to France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.
The Six Flags chain began in 1961 with the creation of Six Flags Over Texas by Angus G. Wynne at Arlington in Tarrant County, which featured (in the beginning) a Native American village, a gondola ride, a railroad, some Wild West shows, a stagecoach ride, and 'Skull Island,' a pirate-themed adventure attraction. There was also an excursion aboard "French" boats through a wilderness full of moving puppets. (Over time, all of those attractions, except for the railroad, would be replaced by other attractions, such as roller coasters, swing rides, log flumes, and shoot-the-chute rides, as well as an observation tower.)
The chain grew with the acquisition of other parks, such as the Great Adventure Park and Safari in Jackson, New Jersey, and Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, which had been founded by the Marriott hotel chain. The chain of parks changed hands several times, being sold to the Penn Central railroad, then to Bally Construction Corporation, and later on to the Time Warner company, among other owners. The chain is well-known in recent times for large and fast roller coasters, although the queue areas are often in the open air without much shading and without as many props as are typical for some queue areas in Walt Disney World.
Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. was purchased in whole on April 1st, 1998 from Time Warner by Premier Parks . Premier then began to apply the Six Flags name to a number of smaller parks that had been expanded, including Darien Lake, Elitch Gardens, and Adventure World. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Six Flags is now the largest theme park operator in the U.S.
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