Four years before Orlando welcomed Walt Disney World, the Southeast’s first theme park—Six Flags Over Georgia—debuted. Now roughly 300 acres, the park counts 12 roller coasters and a half-century of highs (and a few lows).
The opening-day crowd of 3,325 pays $3.95 for admission to attractions such as Dahlonega Mine Train (one of three original rides still operating).
The Great American Scream Machine opens as the fastest and tallest coaster on earth. Riders are issued buttons that read “Red Badge of Courage.”
The Mind Bender opens, billed as the world’s first triple-looping coaster.
The Beach Boys perform at Southern Star Amphitheater, a venue that attracts numerous musical icons throughout the 1980s.
Three years after forming, R.E.M. play the amphitheater.
An 11-year-old boy dies after becoming unconscious on the park’s Z-Force ride. Although the cause of death is never linked to Z-Force, the ride is shuttered the following year.
Three 20-somethings ride the Scream Machine for 61 straight days (with short breaks), smashing the world record for consecutive roller coaster riding (23 days).
Six Flags unleashes a groan-inducing national advertising campaign featuring Mr. Six, a geriatric character who shakes his hips to the 1990s dance hit “We Like to Party.”
Much of the park, including a large portion of the Scream Machine, is submerged when record rainfall results in massive floods across the metro area.
The park’s amphitheater closes to make way for a water park.
It’s estimated that Six Flags’s economic impact on Cobb County in 2016 was north of $300 million—more than Super Bowl 50’s impact on San Francisco.
Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, a 4-D ride incorporating fire, mist, and fog effects, opens to celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary.
This article originally appeared in our June 2017 issue.