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Originally posted: 4/25/2004

Last updated: 8/7/2005

 


 
 

Six Flags Great America


  By Chris Cowan
 
 
themeparks@insightbb.com 

Thanks to SFZIP and LaMarcus Thompson for assistance and to Mark Harris and Zach for brochure scans.


  Marriott's Great America 

1976:

Marriott's Great America opens on May 29, 1976, in Gurnee, IL, north of Chicago.

The themed areas are:

Carousel Plaza, the first section beyond the main gates, which features the Columbia Carousel, a double-deck model from Chance with Bradley and Kaye horses.

Orleans Place with the Gulf Coaster (Bradley and Kaye Little Dipper kids steel roller coaster), Traffique Jam (Arrow Antique Cars), the Rue Le Dodge (SOLI) bumper cars and The Orbit (Schwarzkopf Enterprise).

Hometown Square, which has Willard's Whizzer (Schwarzkopf Speed Racer steel roller coaster), Bottoms Up (Chance Trabant), Triple Play (Huss Troika), Hometown Fun Machine (Eli Bridge Scrambler) and a station for the Scenic Railway (trains made by Custom Fabricators, Inc.).

Yankee Harbor, featuring the Whirligig (Zierer Wave Swinger), Lobster (Schwarzkopf), the Yankee Clipper (Arrow Hydro Flume) and Spinnaker (Hrubetz Round-Up).

Yukon Territory with Logger's Run (Arrow Log Flume).

Country Fair, which includes Turn of the Century (Arrow steel roller coaster with two corkscrew loops), Fiddler's Fling (Schwarzkopf Calypso), Barney Oldfield Speedway (Arrow Antique Cars), Ameri-Go-Round (Dentzel Carousel which was originally built in 1910 for Fountaine Ferry Park in Louisville, KY) and a station for the Scenic Railway.

Additional rides in the park: Sky Whirl (Intamin Triple Giant Wheel), Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight (Von Roll Sky Ride) and Hilltopper.

Gulf Coaster is removed at the end of the season.


1977:

Southern Cross, a second Von Roll Sky Ride, is added.

Sky Trek Tower (Intamin 285-ft Gyro Tower) is added in Carousel Plaza.

Davey Jones Dinghies (Intamin Flying Dutchman) is added on a raised platform inside the Traffique Jam course in Yankee Harbor.

Hay Bayler (Himalaya style ride) is added in Country Fair.

Big Top (Huss Swing Around) is added in Country Fair.

Spinnaker is removed.


1978:

Tidal Wave (Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop steel roller coaster) is added in Yankee Harbor.


1979:

Pictorium, the world's largest IMAX theater, is added.

Admission this year is $9.60.

 

 

 

 


1980:

Two vertical loops are added to Turn of the Century, the track is painted black, and the coaster is renamed Demon.


1981:

American Eagle (twin wooden racing roller coaster, manufactured by Intamin) is added in Country Fair.


1982:

Davey Jones Dinghies is removed at the end of the season.


1983:

The Edge (Intamin 1st generation Freefall) is added in Orleans Place.

Bottoms Up and Traffique Jam are removed at the end of the season.

 


 


1984:

White Water Rampage (Intamin white water rafting ride) is added to Orleans Place.

Six Flags purchases Great America.

 

 

 


  Six Flags Great America 

1985:

Z-Force (Intamin Space Diver steel roller coaster) is added in Country Fair.

Admission this year is $13.95.

 

 

 


1986:

Splashwater Falls (O.D. Hopkins Shoot-The-Chute) is added.

The Edge is removed at the end of the season.


1987:

Power Dive (Intamin Looping Starship) is added in Orleans Place in The Edge's former location.

Yukon Yahoo (Schwarzkopf Bayern Kurve) is moved to Orleans Place and renamed Delta Flyer.

Bugs Bunny Land is expanded.

Z-Force is removed at the end of the season.  It is relocated to Six Flags Over Georgia in 1988.


1988:

Shockwave (Arrow "mega looper" steel roller coaster with seven inversions) is added in Orleans Place.


1989:

Rolling Thunder (Intamin Swiss Bob steel bobsled roller coaster) is added to Hometown Square after having been relocated from Six Flags Great Adventure where it operated as Sarajevo Bobsled from 1984 to 1988.


1990:

Iron Wolf (B&M stand-up roller coaster) is added in Country Fair.


1991:

Condor (Huss Condor) is added in Orleans Place.

The Lobster is renamed East River Crawler (possibly 1992).

Delta Flyer is removed.

Tidal Wave is removed at the end of the season.  It is put into storage until 1995, when it's relocated to Six Flags Over Georgia as Viper.


1992:

Batman The Ride (B&M inverted roller coaster) is added in Yankee Harbor.

Lobster is renamed East River Crawler.

Whirligig is renamed Gotham City Swinger.


1993:

Gotham City Swinger name is changed back to the original Whirligig.


1994:

Space Shuttle America (motion simulator ride with Intamin motion benches) is added in Carousel Plaza.


1995:

Viper (wooden roller coaster) is added.

Bugs Bunny Land is renamed Bugs Bunny's Yukon Adventure.

Rolling Thunder is removed at the end of the season.  It is stored in the back parking lot until 1997 when it is relocated to The Great Escape and opens as Alpine Bobsled in 1998.


1996:

Southwest Territory, a new theme area, is added and includes:

  o  Trailblazer (Zamperla Joker),
  o  Chubasco (Zamperla Tea Cup) and
  o  River Rocker (Zamperla Galleon). 

Big Top is moved to Southwest Territory and is re-themed and renamed Ricochet.


1997:

Giant Drop (Intamin Giant Drop) is added in Southwest Territory.

DareDevil Dive (Sky Fun 1 Skycoaster extra charge attraction) opens where Big Top was located in County Fair section.


1998:

Bugs Bunny's Yukon Adventure is redesigned as Looney Tunes National Park.  Rides include:

  o  Looney Tunes Lodge (foam ball play area)
  o  Yosemite Sam’s National Park Tour (Zamperla Rio Grande Train)
  o  Waddaview Charter Service (Herschell Helicopter)
  o  Petunia’s Lady Bugz (Eyerly Lady Bug)
 
o  Porky's Buzzy Beez (Hampton Bumble Bee)
  o  Pepe LePew’s Peak (net climb/slide complex)

Camp Cartoon Network (brand new kiddie area) is added within Yukon Territory across from Looney Tunes National Park.  Rides include:

  o  Spacely’s Sprocket Rockets (Vekoma Roller Skater steel junior roller coaster)
  o  Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine (Zamperla Crazy Bus)
  o  Yogi’s Yahoo River (Herschell Wet Boat Ride)
  o  Bedrock Boulder Roller (Zamperla Mini Ferris Wheel)
  o  Flintstones Rocky Road Rescue Squad (Hampton Umbrella Ride)


1999:

Raging Bull (B&M "mega" steel roller coaster) is added in Southwest Territory.

Space Shuttle America film is replaced with Dino Island 3D.


2000:

Sky Whirl and Hay Bayler are removed at the end of the season.


2001:

Vertical Velocity (Intamin Impulse steel launched shuttle roller coaster) is added in Yankee Harbor.

Deja Vu (Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang steel inverted roller coaster) is added and opens on October 7 in Country Fair in the space where Sky Whirl and Hay Bayler were formerly located.

Winners Circle Go-Karting (J&J Amusements go karts) is added.

Whiligig is moved in front of Batman: The Ride to make room for Vertical Velocity.

Yankee Clipper is renamed The Ice Mountain Splash.

Cajun’ Cliffhanger (Chance Rotor) is removed.


2002:

Dino Island 3D is replaced with original Space Shuttle America film.

Turbo Bungy (Eurobungy extra charge bungee/trampoline) opens.

Power Dive is removed early in the season.

Hometown Park (small kiddie area) within Hometown Square is removed.

Shockwave closes in August and is removed.  The dismantled coaster is stored on site.


2003:

Superman: Ultimate Flight (B&M flying coaster), is added in Orleans Place.

Ameri-Go-Round is removed at the end of the season.

Admission this year is $39.99.

 

 


2004:

A section of Orleans Place is refurbished, gets new theming and rides, and is renamed Mardi Gras.  New rides added in this area:

     o  Ragin' Cajun, a spinning Crazy Mouse coaster made by Reverchon.

     o  King Chaos, a Huss Top Spin.

     o  Big Easy Balloons (Zamperla Balloon Race).

                                o  Jester's Wild Ride (Zamperla Rockin' Tug themed as a parade float).

Revolution, a Huss Frisbee which was relocated from Six Flags Great Adventure, is added in the Country Fair area in Ameri-Go-Round's former spot.

Stargate SG-3000 replaces Space Shuttle America film.

After the season, Shockwave, which has been stored in pieces at the park for over two years, is sold for scrap.

Attendance this year is 2.3 million.
 


2005:

Hurricane Harbor (Aquatic Amusement Associates, Ltd. 13 acre Caribbean themed water park) is added in former bus parking lot.  Rides include:

  o  Skull Island – (Koala Play Group Discovery Treehouse/WaterColors with slides from Proslide Technology Inc.)

  o  Hurricane Mountain – 4 separate tube slides

  o  Wahoo Racer – Mat Slide Racers

  o    Buccaneer Bay – kiddie pool/play area

  o  Castaway Creek – lazy river

  o  Bahama Mama and Bubba Tubba – two separate family raft rides

  o  Hurricane Bay – wave pool

  o   Vortex and Typhoon – two separate atomic bowl slides

  o    Paradise Plunge and Riptide – two separate speed slide

  o   Hammerhead and Barracuda – two separate tube slides 

NASCAR: The IMAX Experience debuts in the Pictorium theater.

Admission this year is $44.99.

 



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