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Defunct Rides at SFGAm: Your Stories and Memories

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby onyxhotel08 on August 4th, 2011, 9:13 pm
I do wish I had the chance to ride Cajun Cliffhanger again.
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Postby w00dland on August 4th, 2011, 9:41 pm
I'm a bit surprised the Lighthouse hasn't come up in conversation yet . :D

I didn't get into theme parks until 2002, so the loss of Shockwave really bummed me out. I loved it mostly because of its short wait and huge first drop, plus my 13 year old head could handle quite a few more rides than the average rider.

I also miss Sky Whirl, mostly because I love Ferris Wheels. I think all parks should have a ride that gives a great view and allows a bit of privacy for the people in your party. Whether its a family, some friends, or enjoying an evening with a significant other. Ferris Wheels (the taller the better) rock. Sky Whirl was unique, and you always hate to see something so unique bite the dust.

I do remember my few rides on Skywhirl quite well. The last memory was when Giant Drop opened in 1996 (pre Raging Bull) and while my Dad and uncles went on that late at night the little cousins and moms took a few rides on Ski Whirl. I remember the lady who shared the cage with us telling a story about how drop towers were not safe, and how one crashed at Great America a few years back. I always thought she was lying (as did my Mom) until I joined here and heard about The Edge's accident for the first time.

And how about the kids area that used to be Hometown Square? I remember riding the Plane ride constantly back when I was too short (or scared) for the big rides.
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Postby tribar on August 4th, 2011, 9:56 pm
w00dland wrote:I The last memory was when Giant Drop opened in 1996 (pre Raging Bull)

I thought GD opened in 1997
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Postby w00dland on August 4th, 2011, 10:04 pm
Right. SWT 1996, GD 1997. My memory gets a little rusty with old age.
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Postby onyxhotel08 on August 4th, 2011, 10:06 pm
I still do not know what scared me more: First ride on Bull or Giant Drop? probably GD.
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Postby Coastermonkey61 on August 4th, 2011, 10:13 pm
Honestly, Giant Drop still makes me a bit nervous. Just something nerveracking about sitting 200 feet in the air with nothing around you, knowing you'll be on the ground in a few seconds.
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Postby Luxornv on August 6th, 2011, 9:32 pm
My first visit to the park was in 1995, the year Viper opened. I didn't think I was that old that I've been on many defunct rides, but there are a few that I remember fondly.

1) Space Shuttle America - I was fascinated with space travel and exploration as a child (still am), and just seeing a space shuttle sitting in the park from the parking lot got me excited. I knew I needed to ride that. They still had the original film in that, I just can't remember it very well. This ride became a tradition for me to be the last thing I rode each visit. I remember the Dino Island years of it too, but again, can't remember the specifics of the movie. I liked everything about this ride, and I like the motion simulators. I think the park would do well with a new one, but perhaps something with a more versatile theme. I was older when Dino Island was in there, but it still seemed odd to me to have it shown in a building that looked like a spaceport.

2) Splash Water Falls - This was one of my favorite water rides. I liked this before I was into riding coasters as much as I am now, so this drop actually scared me somewhat. I also remember one time I was standing on the bridge after getting off. I knew I'd get wet, but I didn't know the extent. I remember the wave hit me and it felt like enough force to knock me off the other side. I was soaked after that and I bought a new, dry shirt from Flags.

3) Deja Vu - I only got to ride this a few times in 2007. Before 2007, I only visited the park once a season and it seemed like it was broke every time I went there. I remember in 2001 I went with the intention of riding both Vertical Velocity and Deja Vu. It became one of my favorite rides once I rode it. The feeling of going up tower 2 and then having the catch car take hold and pull the train up more was so disorienting. That was the weirdest feeling I've ever had on a coaster and that made it a favorite to me. I was sad to see it go at the end of 2007.

4) Great America Raceway - I was upset when this was closed earlier this season. Now I'm 22, so that may seem weird, but I remember riding it the previous season and seeing some good angles of American Eagle. I didn't have my camera with me at the time, so I thought I'd do it later. Unfortunately that;s not going to happen. It looks like the track is torn up for that too now, so from a photographer's standpoint, hopefully whatever they put in there will allow us to get those pictures of the Eagle.

5) Cajun Cliffhanger - I remember visiting the park with my parents, probably in 2001. We were walking by and my mom was telling her memories from the Rotor at Riverview. It seemed like a cool ride, so we decided to ride it. I liked it, and it just seemed so weird how you would be held to the wall and have the floor drop out. I was disappointed when this ride was removed because I only got to ride it once. I also later learned that it was the Rotor from Riverview. When I started getting really involved in coasters, this bugged me quite a bit because it was a historical ride from a park that seemed legendary in Chicago.

I never got to experience some of the other rides like Shockwave or Sky Whirl. Shockwave was taken out before I got into riding coasters, so I never rode it, and I thought it looked too tall at the time. I will always remember that first drop looming over the gates as you walked in though. I also remember that building that the queue for Superman goes through being a gift shop called Coaster Dude or something. Sky Whirl I'm not sure why I never rode it. I might have on my first visit, but just can't remember all the details that far back. Power Dive also brings back some memories, but again, never rode that. Now it seems like there is a lot I never rode at the park.
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Postby woohoodude11 on August 7th, 2011, 5:04 am
I don't know how I forgot about it in my original post...but I just remember the Rolling Thunder being a "huge" ride for me. I got to ride it once or twice as a kid and I always remembered it at being about the SAME SIZE as the Viper. Then I forgot about it, and now with the wonderful world of YouTube I somewhat recently found a POV of it and holy moley!!! That ride was tame!! Such great memories as a kid though, I can remember hearing the thing halfway across the park.
Missing Shockwave more and more every day.
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Postby ZForce Rider on August 13th, 2011, 9:02 pm
<sigh> I guess I qualify as an "older member" of the group here. My first visit to then Marroott's Great America was back in 1978 or 1979. I honestly can't recall, but that alone qualifies me as old. :)

So -- here we go:

Turn of the Century - 1978 or 1979. Not my first coaster, but my first "bigger coaster." I don't recall much about riding TotC back in the day other than thinking "Wow. This is a big ride." As everyone knows, TotC is the Demon is without the first two loops. Arrows are becoming scarce and I hope the Great America spends the money to keep the Demon going for a long time. If they can do it for Whizzer, they can do it for Demon.

Tidal Wave - 1980. It took me until 1982 to actually get enough courage up to ride the Tidal Wave. I don't know why -- I think I was freaked about about going backwards or something. One ride and I was hooked. I can still hear the CLANG --- CLANG of the brakes in the station. Not a long ride, but as one of the first launch coasters it was cool. The lighting at night was fantastic. If I remember right, there were white and blue lights that followed the shape of the painted waves beside the track. When the train was in station, the while lights were on solid. When the train launched, the white lights went out and the blue blinked in sequence (making a "rolling wave" effect) along the length of the launch track. I think like the blue lights went out once the train started the return trip and the white lights came on, also blinking in sequence but in reverse (to match the direction of the train). It was a cool effect and fit the theme. It's something parks just don't take the time to do these days. It's a shame smaller coasters like this are disappearing. I took my daughter on Montezuma's Revenge at Knott's (which is a flywheel version of the ride as opposed to Tidal Wave's counter-weight launch, and also has a shorter launch track than Tidal Wave. I guess the flywheel is more efficient) and she LOVES this ride. Parks keep building bigger and bigger coasters and getting ride of the smaller coasters and that's a mistake. Kids need something to ride before they are tall enough to hit the suspendeds and the hypers.

The Edge - 1983. The first ride that I can say honestly scared the crap out of me the first time I rode it. 1st gen Intamin free falls are crude by today's standards but I have a soft spot in my heart for this ride. It's a shame they're disappearing. Very, very few of these left in the world at all and I think the only remaining one in the US is Demon Drop at Dorney. The Edge seemed to be cursed, even after it left Great America.

Z-Force - 1985. Not sure why I loved this coaster so much. I think it may have been because it was the first coaster I had the inside track on before the season started. Before email and the internet, I used to write the park each winter to have them mail me a press kit for the upcoming season. Press Kits were sent to newspaper and other media to hype the park. It had actual b&w photos for print and other info. Well, the '85 press kit had an artists rendering of Z-Force and it just looked amazing. I drooled over that picture for months. I really thought it was a unique concept -- something that no other coaster did and it fit in such a small space. The helix at the end of the ride was icing on the cake. After the ride left Great America and we got Shockwave in 1988, didn't feel so bad about losing it. Both Shockwave and IW were far superior rides (remember -- this was 1988 and 1990 respectively folks). I never rode Z-Force at SFoG but did eventually meet back up with her in February of 1994 at SFMM as Flashback. I was horrified at what they let had happen to my old friend. The ride was in horrible shape. Just look at any pictures of Flashback from the mid-90's at SFMM and you can just see the neglect. Instead of a beautiful while, silver and blue structure gleaming in the sun I found grease-stained and dirty structure with beat up cars. I rode her a few times and said my final good bye. The train I rode in felt like it had a multiple tires with flat spots so instead of rolling smoothly along the track it felt like I was an Illinois toll road. Bang! Rumble, Bang! Rumble, Bang! Rumble, Bang! I can still hear it in my head. SFMM had the MCBR stop the train which completely ruined the dives that immediately followed it. It was crazy. Similar to what we are now seeing with IW, there were all these posts about how bad Flashback was an IMHO it was pure and simple neglect. So -- Z-Force truly was a one-of-a-kind never-to-be-seen-again ride. I'm honestly thankful I got to ride her when she was new and had Six Flags taken better care of her others could still enjoy it. Instead, they let it rot in place and we all lost a piece of coaster history to the scrap heap.

Shockwave - 1988. What can you really say about having access to the (then) world's biggest, fastest looping coaster? This is what made Great America so special to me. We were given a one-of-a-kind coaster in Z-Force for 1985 and then a world record setting coaster three years later. Shockwave was awesome - plain and simple. Seeing that ride tower over the parking lot as you came into the park in 1988 was something to behold. Yes -- the transition from the third loop to the MCBR was awful, but other than that, this ride was truly amazing when it opened. My favorite part of Shockwave was careening down the first drop into the loop and then coming out of the loop and making the left turn into the second loop. The first time I rode Shockwave in '88 the train came out of that first loop and hit the left turn like it was on a mission. It positively felt like the train was attacking that turn with a vengeance. It felt like a race car. This was before the trim brake was added, of course, but even after that I always considered the left turn into loop two a great piece of track work by Arrow. Ron must have been using an extra special coat hanger that day. :) To this day it really saddens me that both Shockwave and GASM are gone and that Viper is the only arrow mega-looper left. Arrows aren't B&Ms for sure, but they were THE coasters that set the bar for guys like B&M and Intamin to shoot for and, for my generation, were the baddest rides of their day. May Viper at SFMM stand for many years to come so people have some perspective. :)

Rolling Blun .. er, Thunder - 1989. All I can say is that I rode this ride exactly one time. After getting off the ride that one and only time, I distinctly remember thinking -- this is a total waste of space. The ride did nothing for me and the wait for it was entirely too long for the experience. I never went on it again.

Eagles Flight / Delta Flyer. These still run at Great America in Santa Clara and it's a shame they took them out of Gurnee. Although, with the way some people act today, it's probably better and safer without them. I could see some people spitting on the crowds or doing who knows what in the cars. The tram offered a great view of the park the rides and was a good way to relax for a few minutes between rides. If I remember correctly, there were a few incidents (power related) where people had to be evacuated and either Great America of the Gurnee FD just wasn't well enough equipped to do that on regular basis so the rides got the axe. There may have been other reasons, but I don't know what they are. All I know is that I used to take the tram pretty regularly.

Think that's about it for me. I never rode Deja Vu at Great America but did ride the one at SFMM. I dunno. Vu just didn't really do anything for me. I know there are huge fans of that ride here on the forums and I mean no disrespect to your feelings for your ride -- but I would say to you that the passion you have for Vu and the disappointment you felt about it being removed is the same passion some of us have for those old Arrows like Shockwave and Schwartzkopf shuttle loops like Tidal Wave. At least you Vu fans can still ride your ride at SFMM or Silverwood (or take a trip to Brazil if you're really, really into it). We Shockwave and Z-Force guys have no such options. :)

Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me.

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Postby CoasterDork on August 16th, 2011, 8:11 pm
Oh Shockwave how I've missed thee. That ride was indeed, at the time, a game changer. I still remember the commercial they'd run with the guy getting dropped from a building in his chair. It also had such a threatening appeal and loomed over the parking lot like an aggressive dog. There was nothing like it at the time and all the local and national hype helped to develop an aura of must ride, but scared to ride. Back when you bought your season pass at the front of the park where guest services is, I'd watch while in line and count how long it took for the train to fall down the first drop (4 seconds) and debate in my 12 year old head if I could actually get on it. I actually got in line for it 3 or 4 times before I didn't chicken out. Once on though, I couldn't sop talking about it.The only part of that ride that was seriously brutal during its early years was certainly that transition into the mid course brake run. There was just no good way to brace for it. I later rode it in 2000ish and sadly broke up with her as it was obvious Shockwave had aged poorly. It wasn't fun and intense anymore. It was simply intense and painful. When I really think about it, the experience kinda sucked compared to whats out there now. Hell most of the ride was over a parking lot. But the timing and excitement, location at the front of the park and feeling of accomplishment will forever make this my favorite defunct ride. It was GA first real legitimate claim to fame record breaker of biggest tallest fastest most inversions everything coaster! No Gimmicks. At the time Shockwave was legit and it was at MY park.
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Postby Galvan on August 26th, 2011, 12:19 am
ZForce Rider,

I hope you can contribute more of the stories to this thread, I really enjoyed reading it!
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Postby tribar on August 26th, 2011, 6:57 am
Galvan316 wrote:ZForce Rider,

I hope you can contribute more of the stories to this thread, I really enjoyed reading it!


Agreed i really enjoyed your story and i was even kind of sad when it was over. Learned a couple things too like how they used to send each other a kit of what was coming next year. Once again thank you for your detailed story
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Postby ZForce Rider on August 26th, 2011, 11:10 pm
tribar wrote:
Galvan316 wrote:ZForce Rider,

I hope you can contribute more of the stories to this thread, I really enjoyed reading it!


Agreed i really enjoyed your story and i was even kind of sad when it was over. Learned a couple things too like how they used to send each other a kit of what was coming next year. Once again thank you for your detailed story
Thanks for the kind words. Growing up, I was obsessed with coasters and Great America. Thinking back on those days it is funny that I probably only visited Great America twice per season, but the memory made are so, so strong. The press kits (which I still have) were my pride and joy. I used to take them to school and share with friends and it just built up the hype for the upcoming season. The pictures they provided were the best. Since they were intended for print in newspapers they were black and white but were always very high quality.

Not really ride related, but I remember when Marriott sold the park in the mid-80s (85, I think). There was an article in the business section of the local paper and I recall being absolutely furious. That next season was when all the ride sponsorship came into the park and it was just so annoying to see things like "The Demon - Presented by Coca-Cola." That's common today, but back then those new signs were like giant zits on the rides to me. Marriott built the park to honor America and tried to make it an escape from daily life. They used serious theming to try and build the experience. With the commercial sponsorship, you were now reminded that the outside world wasn't really that far away. Those stupid wrapped coaster cars ads at some Six Flags parks today are the culmination of this and the ultimate slap in the face that started back in '85. As soon as Marriott was out of the picture it was the beginning of the end of the original charm of the park. It's been a long time since I've been there (15 years now) and I'm sure I'd be depressed at the changes made over the years. I get that the park has to change to stay relative but to me Marriott did a lot to capture the essence of the experience (Yankee Harbor, Orleans Place, etc.) and I'm guessing most of that is gone now.

Also not defunct ride related but on the topic of theming -- I actually had a lot of hope in '92 when Batman opened. Again, I remember thinking how stupid the whole Batman licensing deal was because, after all, how long would the whole Batman thing really last. In 5 years would anyone care about Batman? It was hot at the time because of the first Batman movie being released so I understood where they were going but Batman didn't seem to be a timeless coaster theme. Obviously, I got that completely wrong. :) When I got to the park in '92 and saw the theming of the ride I was blown away. The work they put into theming was amazing. The Gotham Park queue a the front turning into the run down city with the police car, the Prince music -- it was fantastic.

What else? Someone mentioned Sky Whirl. Another signature ride gone. It was always one of those landmarks you could see from the toll road on the way to the park. It was something that made Great America unique that we lost. Sky Whirl was another great ride that gave you an interesting view of the park. I can't say I rode it a lot. I mostly took a spin to get some pictures of the rides.

Splashwater Falls - the ride was nothing special (to me) but the bridge was the clear winner on this one. My cousin and I would stand on the bridge and face the wave of water boat after boat after boat. There wasn't a dry spot on us for the rest of the day. I think it took my shoes at least two days to dry out. It seems that they changed something in later years because the wave that hit the bridge in later seasons didn't seem to be nearly as intense as those first few seasons.

I am sure there are other rides I'm not thinking of. Will post more if something else comes to mind.

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Postby gottastrata33 on August 27th, 2011, 1:05 am
This is all awesome! :) Well I'm sorry that my story will be detailed, but it has to be, it is by far my fav SFGAm memory....

Deja Vu. Oh big green n' blue Deja Vu how I miss you. I was somehow really lucky where everytime I came to SFGAm, DejaVu was open & I'd ride it multiple times a day. I went 36times one season & I swear I rode it almost every single time, if not every time I went that season. Not kidding....Anyway, the memory...It was prob 2005-2006, summer. I was with my friend Nathan from HS & he had never been on Vu, so I said we were ridin front, very front as in A not B. ;) Well after a 2hr wait due to its known "breakdowns", we hopped up into the seats buckled those 2seatbealts yadayadayada & we were sent off with some witty rhyme "its green its blue, its comin to get you its Deja Vu enjoy your ride" haha. Well the ride seemed really normal aka Kick ass until we went backwards. You know how you're supposed to go back up the first tower the 2nd time & the lift catches you to slowly place you in the station?! ....yeah....we went straight up the tower backwards & got some air as we nose dived right back into the station cause the lift didn't catch! So I screamed "O M G WERE STUCK!!" Cause I knew what was gonna happen to previous times I've waited in line, watchin the train not make it through the course. So forward we went up the cobra and BAM BAM BAM BAM the brakes goin up the cobra slammed us to an instant violent halt! I screamed ow, cause well, I flew frickin forward into my restraint starring vertically into the sky nearly haha The entire train screamed & was freakin out. Cause now were just hangin there, waiting. I looked down & in line below to my right was this black woman(had to say the race cause you'll visualize this better haha) who put her hand up in the air & LOUDLY screamed out "AWW HELL NOOO!!" & jumped the que fence gettin out of line into the grass goin twords the at the time, "Farmers Market" which let everyone else think that was the way to exit the que. Haha wow....so funny.... SO we were just sitting there for what seemed like forever. All the sudden the brakes released, we fell backward, went up the tower & back through the station, up the incline & braked us again....& again...& again until there were no more brakes, just rockin back & forth till we valleyed. Some girl screamed out, STOP I'm GETTIN SICK! Hahaha I found this all rather awesome, cause I knew I'd have a great story/memory forever. So when we finally stopped, they had to push the train back into position & we received 2 exit passes for the "inconvenience". We used them for Deja Vu hahaha. I love that memory, & am glad I got to experience bein stuck on Vu twice. That time was obviously the best one. :D
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Postby Jackluver18 on August 27th, 2011, 8:57 pm
^ lol that's funny. I remember when I used to go a lot too that Vu was always open when I went. That's really funny about the lady freaking out and getting out of line.
SF trips 09 = 15
SF trips 10= 11
SF trips 11 =7
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Postby gottastrata33 on August 27th, 2011, 10:18 pm
It was funny after the slamming pain diminished haha, nah it wasnt bad just sudden. she freaked & must have thought Hell, F@#$% this! hahaha :lol:
I dream of the 400ft "Great American SkyScreamer". x
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Postby SfGaMownz on August 28th, 2011, 6:42 pm
Shockwave was one of my favorite rides, I used to always re-ride it over and over when there was no line. Seeing the re-ride gate open when going up the stairs of the bridge used to mean it was going to be a good day.

Unlike most people I actually enjoyed Power Dive a lot, it was a ride I would often ride if there wasn't a long line, but replacing it with King Chaos was a fair enough trade off since these two rides are similar in experience.

Deja Vu fondest memories were riding it for the first time during Fright Fest in 2001, and only having to wait about 45 minutes since it was a cool Friday night. Even better experience was Last Blast in 2002 when it was nearly a walk on the whole time, that was one of the best times ever at the park.

Sky Whirl and Haybaler leaving really changed the whole look of that area (since they also took down the vine covered shade tunnel) both were alright rides, we really do need another Ferris Wheel type ride sometime in the future.

Rolling Thunder I remember losing my hat on it and the long walk for both it and Viper from the entrance that was all the way out by the bathrooms near Orbit since there was no Southwest Territory when it existed.

While not a ride, I really liked the Batman Stunt Show I think that was easily the best show ever to take place in the Southwest Amphitheatre, and sadly it only lasted 3 years I believe and now they don't even have a show only concerts (most of which are complete garbage people).

Also, I've probably said this every time I've gotten a chance to on this board but the Boo-LIne was easily the best part of Fright Fest back in the mid to late 90's. It was actually scary and had sometimes a ling of upwards of an hour at its peak. Then it turned into garbage known as Pig Man and Scooby Doo's Mystery Train and now the train doesn't even operate.
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Postby DeathbyDinn on September 6th, 2011, 12:02 am
Well, back when I was a kid we had a big ole' stand up coaster called Iron Wolf...
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Postby ragingbull1331 on September 6th, 2011, 6:45 am
DeathbyDinn wrote:Well, back when I was a kid we had a big ole' stand up coaster called Iron Wolf...


That ride closed a LONG time ago!
RIP IRON WOLF

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Postby tribar on September 6th, 2011, 4:23 pm
ragingbull1331 wrote:
DeathbyDinn wrote:Well, back when I was a kid we had a big ole' stand up coaster called Iron Wolf...


That ride closed a LONG time ago!


Before i was even born. Too bad it looked like a neat expierence. Oh well coasters come and go
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Postby Luxornv on September 7th, 2011, 6:44 pm
Iron Wolf, what can I say. Wait, why talk about it when there's plenty of video of it. I'm even in this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu3-RYp3 ... ideo_title
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Postby Iron Wolf 90-11 on November 16th, 2011, 7:23 pm
Trailblazer- How you would stop at the very top and everybody would think that the ride broke down but then it just starts up again.
Splashwater Falls-When it was like 100 degrees and i sat next to this guy who took his shirt off on the ride even though they said not to and then he stood up in the boat and then the worker called secrurity and the guy was kicked out.
The one ride in BBNP- I remember when i was like 4 and i tripped getting out of the ride and fell and cut my knee and i was crying and bleeding.
Great American Raceway-Going on their with my family when i was young and ending everyday at the park like that.
Iron Wolf-Getting the last ride on Iron Wolf 1st row and being the last one off the ride and through the exit. Also everybody was like its fine you can go in front of me and being like no just move forward so I could get the last ride and not them.
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Postby RollingCoasting on June 11th, 2018, 11:28 pm
Figured I would bump this for the sake of boredom

Splashwater Falls: Only rode this once, in its final year. I honestly don't remember my ride (Bad way to start my "Memories" post I know lol), but based on my ride on SFSTL's Tidal Wave I'm sure it was fun. Definitely better than Buccaneer Battle across the midway, but totally worth trading for X-Flight.

Great American Raceway: Only rode once in 2010. I remember riding it with my cousin and getting to drive. Being only 8 at the time I was obviously really excited about that. It was a nice, relaxing ride that I really do miss. Great type of ride for families. Again, worth trading for X-Flight but it's too bad we had to lose such a classic. You can still see a portion of the track and one of the "No Bumping" signs from Eagle and Dare Devil Dive's queues.

Bugs Bunny National Park: When I was younger this was my favorite kiddie area by far. I really liked Buzzy Bees and the mini train ride especially. Like everyone else, I wish we still had this area as I hate the placement of the Go-Karts, but it is what it is.

Bedrock Boulder Roller: Um, I know I rode it a few times. Not much of a loss

Ragin' Cajun: Rode it only once, a few weeks before it closed. Before that, I didn't feel the need to ride it due to the constantly long waits and the amount of flack it got on here, but when it was announced it was being moved to SFA I decided I had to give it a go. Even though the line was only about 3 switchbacks in, I remember waiting nearly an hour for it. The capacity on this thing sucked, I think we can all agree with that. But other than that, I really enjoyed the ride. The spinning really kept things interesting and made me and everyone in my car laugh the entire time. Such a different experience from The Dark Knight, which bores me to death. For such a small ride, I thought the views from the top were really nice. The facade for the loading platform was cool too. Also, the pop of ejector air from the little bunny hill at the end was totally unexpected! Awesome way to end the ride.

The Orbit: I remember when I was really young I thought the Orbit was a roller coaster :lol: First time I rode it was 2013, a few weeks before it sh*t itself and didn't open back up til September. At first I really didn't like the fact that there wasn't a seatbelt, but as soon as we starting to flip upside I started to enjoy it. It of course sucked walking by the entrance throughtout summer 2013 and seeing the ride closed everyday... thankfully I did manage to get another ride or two during Fright Fest of that year. I don't really have any more "definite" memories of it, though I'm sure I rode it a few times between '14 and '15. I know for a fact I didn't get any rides in during 2016 unfortunately. I honestly had no idea it was closing until 2 days before when Jiggidy broke the news. Before that, there were no rumors, park announcements, anything. It just kind of came out of nowhere and I really don't think many of us were expecting it. Definitely the most sudden ride closure in recent history. (For SFGAm) Sadly, I wasn't able to get a final ride on it. I made a trip to the park the day after it closed, and that's when I realized the rumors were true. It sucks, but that's how it is I guess. At least one good thing came out of it - East River Crawler getting it's original name and cycle back. The Lobster is so much better than ERC ever was.

Jester's Mild Ride: Meh. Did anybody really care about this thing? :lol:

King Chaos: Rode it for the first time in 2013. I used to not care for it much, only riding it 1 or 2 times a year, but during the 2017 season I really warmed up to it. I didn't find it as uncomfortable as most people did and really enjoyed hanging over the fountain and the sudden flipping. Yeah, the cycle wasn't the best but it was still one of the park's most thrilling flat rides. I was also lucky enough to be on the last cycle ever. There were so many people trying to get on the last cycle that the 2nd to last one was almost empty. The ride-op even threatened to not let any of us ride if nobody ponied up and rode then. I miss it, but Mardi Gras Hangover is an excellent replacement, I actually prefer it over King Chaos to be honest.


I would love to hear more of your guys stories
Favorite Coaster: Hades 360-----Favorite Park: Six Flags Great America

RMC Trex in 2019??? :wink:
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Postby RBullFan97 on June 12th, 2018, 12:42 pm
I guess I'll take a trip down memory lane as well.

Sky Whirl: Now this one I'm too young to clearly remember but my parents told me that I did go on it and that I was terrified. :lol: Must have been the open bird cages that freaked out my 3 year old self, but I really wish this ride could have stayed.

Ameri-Go-Round: I can't say I really have too many memories of this one either. I know I rode it, but I always seemed to go on the Columbia Carousel more.

Trailblazer: This was one of my favorite flat rides as a kid. You got a killer view of Southwest Territory especially at sunset, and the ride just gave you a really cool sensation that's hard to explain. I was sad when this ride had to leave.

Space Shuttle America: I got to ride this as Space Shuttle America and also as Stargate. I definitely preferred SSA, and I thought it was so cool to have a big replica of the Space Shuttle at my home park. I was big into space exploration then (still am) and this ride was always fun to hit up right after Sky Trek Tower. The lines in its final years though got pretty short so I guess that's why it was taken out.

Splashwater Falls: I only went on this a few times. As a kid I didn't really like water rides, but this ride really got you soaked especially on the bridge in the exit.

Deja Vu: Now I never got to ride Deja Vu, but I thought I'd include it anyhow. Growing up in and coming to Great America a lot in the early 2000s, I always remember seeing this thing and thinking it was the weirdest yet one of the most extreme coasters at the park. By 2007 I was just starting to go on the bigger coasters. I went on Eagle and Demon for the first time that year, and I was ramping up to probably go on Deja Vu by 2009 or so. But sadly, that never happened. Hopefully I can get out to Idaho one day to ride this.

Great America Raceway: This might have been one of the rides I was saddest to see taken out. It was a big favorite in my family and it was fun to just take a relaxing drive on an antique car. You got some pretty good views of the rides in County Fair too. It would have been nice to see them try to keep this and work it around X-Flight, but oh well.

Iron Wolf: I first went on this in 2008 and found the stand up concept to be very intriguing. I would ride this a lot not because it was my favorite but because the line was always so short. But nevertheless, I still enjoyed the ride. Not the best of course, but a solid looping coaster to anchor the back of the park. 90% of the time I would ride in the front row, so that's probably why I didn't mind the headbanging as much. On its last weekend, I rode Iron Wolf four times as a send off. It was the first time a coaster I had gone on left the park, so it was pretty sad.

Ragin' Cajun: I went on this thing opening year in 2004 and remember waiting in huge lines for it. I didn't really like roller coasters at the time, and I remember I was terrified of it. :lol: But this was one of the few coasters my whole family could do and we had a blast every time we went on it. As the years went by and I started going on the bigger coasters, I started going on this less and less. But nevertheless, I always came back and rode it for some good memories.

The Orbit: I first rode The Orbit at night and it was quite the experience. It might have been my first time going upside down on a ride (I can't remember if I rode this or the Demon first, both were in 2007). It was always funny at the end when the ride would make that loud noise upon touchdown and everyone would lose their marbles because of it. I was really upset because I never got a proper "last ride" on The Orbit since the park never announced it's closure, and considering that it was an original 1976 ride I really feel like they should have. But I'll always have the memories, and this one was hard to let go.

The Jester's Wild Ride: Even as a kid I never really went on this a lot. It was a fun little ride but nothing too special about it. Since I know it's still pretty much still intact on site, I wonder if they have any future plans for it. :?:

King Chaos: When I was younger King Chaos seemed to be the most insane flat ride in the park. I doubted for a few years if I'd ever go on it until I finally did in 2008. I never found the ride to be as uncomfortable as people said. The best part of the ride was easily the end when you came face to face with the pool below you. This one I was fortunately able to get a couple of last rides on to say goodbye, and it was pretty sad. I need to go on Mardi Gras Hangover a few more times to decide which one I like better, but Mardi Gras still feels pretty weird without King Chaos.
SFGAm Ride Count 2016: 217
SFGAm Ride Count 2017: 76
SFGAm Ride Count 2018 (So Far): 105
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Postby _FuryBull_330_ on June 12th, 2018, 1:21 pm
I'm around 13 so I don't have a bunch of memories of the much older defunct rides but here we go.

Bugs Bunny National Park: I really enjoyed being here as a kid and was sad when it left for the go-karts. My favorite was the mini train ride as I always liked being the "conductor" :lol: .

Bedrock Boulder Roller: Rode it once thought it was a "meh"

Ragin' Cajun: My favorite coaster as a kid (before I was a coaster enthusiast) and was better than The Dark Knight. My favorite part was the ejector airtime before the ride was over.

Jester's Wild Ride: It's so mild, boring, and kept breaking down. I really "like" it :lol: .

King Chaos: Kept riding over and over when I was the right height. Never felt uncomfortable when I rode this so win. Overall I miss this ride but not as good as Mardi Gras Boringover.
Lightning Rod is closed again! Oh well until next time.

Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance 2. El Toro 3. Maverick 4. Mako 5. Boulder Dash 6. Nitro 7. Goliath SFGAM 8. Iron Rattler 9. Millennium Force 10. Superman The Ride
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