Six Flags Great America is a Six Flags theme park in the Chicago metropolitan area, located in Gurnee, Illinois. It first opened in 1976 as Marriott's Great America. Six Flags purchased the park from the Marriott Corporation in 1984, making it the seventh park in the chain. As of 2012, the park has nine themed sections, a 16-acre (65,000 m2) water park, two specially themed children's areas, and various other forms of entertainment.
Six Flags Entertainment Corp. is the world's largest amusement park corporation based on number of properties, and the fifth-most popular in terms of attendance. The company maintains 18 properties throughout North America consisting of theme parks, thrill parks, water parks, and family entertainment centers. In 2009, Six Flags properties hosted 23.9 million guests.
The company was founded in Texas and took its name from its first property, Six Flags Over Texas. The company maintains a corporate office in Midtown Manhattan, New York City and its headquarters are in Grand Prairie, Texas. On June 13, 2009, the corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and successfully exited the restructuring on May 3, 2010.
Fright Fest or FrightFest is a Halloween-oriented event that takes place at some theme parks, notably Six Flags parks, called "Six Flags Fright Fest", and PARC Management-owned parks, called "FrightFest".
Fright Fest events are similar between both park chains because the PARC Management parks inherited Fright Fest from their Six Flags ownership. The parks are generally redecorated for the event. They also feature added or modified attractions along the lines of haunted houses, Halloween based shows replacing their normal summer shows, and any number of other changes. Parks may also feature "Scare Zones" in the general park where costumed actors are allowed to scare guests, though these parks also typically include "Non-Scare Zones" where the actors are not allowed, thus allowing a "safe" area for families with small children or otherwise not wanting to be scared. As well some parks feature promotions where guests can "compete" for prizes, such as exit passes.