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The Demise of Deja Vu

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby FParker185 on April 15th, 2020, 9:40 pm
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on April 16th, 2020, 12:44 pm
FParker185 wrote:https://youtu.be/xNWBzKUuJgs



Thanks for posting that! Great video.
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Postby UnclePennybags on April 16th, 2020, 1:37 pm
Yep. Great video.
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Postby ihauntu2 on April 16th, 2020, 4:23 pm
It's hard for me to realize this ride has been gone 13 years already. Amazing how time moves on.

Adding a few more bits of interest. SFGAM was sued in 2001 because of Deja Vu not opening. The park had promised two coasters that season (V2 being the other one). Some Illinois lawyer ( plenty of those near Lake County) decided to sue. I can't remember if the suit was dismissed or settled, but the October runs of Deja Vu played into it.

The season where it ran at 11am or noon earned it the nickname "Delayja Vu". In 2006 or 2007, it had an issue with parking in station. It had to line up just right for the restraints to release. Every couple of dispatches, it wouldn't return correctly and you'd see the ride op confused as to why the restraints wouldn't open. They'd play the "technical difficulty" soundtrack, maintenance comes out, pushes the damn thing a couple of inches, and boom - back in operation. My cousins and I watched this happen several times while waiting in line. They were terrified because of how many times it had "technical difficulty". Good times.

It was an amazing ride. The video doesn't do it justice. My favorite spot was back row right side of the train. You had a good view of the park, and that drop was excellent every time.

I had a habit of visiting the park on Sundays back then. Deja Vu was usually open. I met up with someone form this board at the park and they talked about how they waited years to ride DV because it was never open when they visited. I quipped back "Apparently you don't visit on Sundays". It was my signature around here for a while.
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Postby [jonrev] on April 20th, 2020, 2:03 am
I remember the ride had a distinct sound that you could hear literally anywhere in the park. In those delayed-opening years, that sound was like a siren call for any coaster enthusiasts in the park. Before everyone had social media and when texting (let alone mobile internet) was still a luxury, waiting for Deja Vu to open is how I met most of my coaster friends. Simpler times.
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Postby onyxhotel08 on June 18th, 2020, 10:30 am
I was so bummed when I heard of the removal. I went on it once in 2007. It was intense. The "fall forward" part was probably most thrilling lol. It was one of those rides I would wait any amount of time for. I hoped to go back on it in 2008. Unfortunately, the park did not really announce a formal closure of the ride to get your last rides in beforehand. All I saw on social media was a little sign on the ride itself the day of I believe it closed on October 27, 2007.
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Postby Raging Bull > Nitro on July 11th, 2020, 11:47 pm
I stumbled back upon this site as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. While it has been years since I last logged onto this site, I knew I had to register for this site again (lost my original login credentials) as soon as I saw this specific thread. I have logged several rides on Deja Vu throughout my life.

Let me just say that Deja Vu was the second best ride in the park during its operating history. This ride experience was amplified if you caught a front row seat. My dad and I used to come to the park on Sunday mornings and would often determine how to conquer the park based on whether Deja Vu was testing or not as we approached the park gate. If the ride was not testing, we would go to Batman and try to hit as many rides as we could before 12:30PM; however, if Deja Vu was testing, we would walk over there at the rope drop and wait 15 - 40 minutes for the ride to open. This proved to be a success week-after-week as the ride line would almost always grow to over an hour by the time we exited the station platform.

In the last two seasons of its operations, it became a lot more reliable. While I will admit that it rarely opened right as the park open, it did actually open on time during half of the summer of its last season of operations. There was nothing special about the line or the station; however, it fit in perfectly with the County Fair theme of simplicity (It's a pity Six Flags doesn't have a County Fair section in every park - The Company could easily lower their ride theme expenditure and improve their cash flows). The stories of the line time duration are absolutely true. If you were a novice at visiting Great America and opted to wait for the ride in the middle of the day, you were definitely looking at a 2.5 - 3 hour minimum wait with no bathroom breaks. It was also remarkable how slow the ride line moved as loading and unloading was ridiculous during the first few seasons. I will definitely give kudos to the park's maintenance team for making the ride more reliable and for the operations team figuring out that announcing the safety procedures during the ride's cycle was an easy way to speed up the line. It was also remarkable how much fun the staff looked like they were having operating the ride during the latter part of the ride's existence.

In the last season of Deja Vu's operations, I came across the American Coaster Enthusiast site and saw an advertisement for the opportunity to be the last riders on Deja Vu for ACE members and any interested guests (for free). As you can imagine, I jumped on that opportunity pretty quickly. Fast forward to Deja Vu's last night of operation (I think I did a trip report on this over a decade ago), I remember catching the last showing of Love at First Fright, Whizzer and Raging Bull. My dad and I then met up with the ACE group to line up for the final "public" ride of Deja Vu. By some unbelievable luck, we planned it perfectly so that we would be on the last train in the front row. I remember a couple had offered us $40 to trade places - It's a bummer they did not offer more than $100...

As for the every ride, including my last ride ever, on Deja Vu, it was remarkably comfortable for a Vekoma ride (Think Disney smooth). You truly felt like you were flying in the air as soon as the ascent began. The fact that the ride rails were above you added an extra element of surprise. As the ride dropped and went through its inversions, it transitioned through each element gracefully. The only jolt you really felt was when you hit the second tower and it was trying to find the motor that would ascend you up the tower. It was a minor jolt at worst. After climbing the second tower, you did the entire ride in reverse and re-climbed the first tower and then descended slowly back into the station. During all of this, it is easy to forget that the ride was nearly as tall and almost as fast as Raging Bull.

While I am still bummed that Shapiro's Management decided to remove Deja Vu, I can definitely understand their logic behind it. It was truly remarkable Kiren's Management even considered Great America as a recipient for Deja Vu. Given the ride capacity per hour, I would have never awarded a large market, like Great America, with this ride. It would've been better suited for a smaller market, like Six Flags St. Louis. Regardless, this was truly a top tier ride in the park. I would have put this against Goliath any day of the week and made Maxx Force seem like a joke.

On a funny note, my dad visited me out East a few years ago and we decided to drive up to Six Flags New England for the day. In typical Vekoma GIB fashion, their Deja Vu clone (also named Goliath) was closed.

Kudos to whoever brought up this topic.
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Postby forddude1416 on August 22nd, 2020, 8:01 pm
I remember there being something about SF corporate putting additional safety checks in the software and that's what caused all of the reliability issues. Don't quote me on that as I read it on a website years ago.
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Postby gottastrata33 on August 26th, 2020, 2:12 am
Speaking of DéjàVu, look who I visited today... Image


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Postby UnclePennybags on August 26th, 2020, 3:02 pm
gottastrata33 wrote:Speaking of DéjàVu, look who I visited today...

Is that Silverwood Theme Park? Was the coaster operational, and if so, did you ride it?
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Postby gottastrata33 on August 27th, 2020, 12:51 am
UnclePennybags wrote:
gottastrata33 wrote:Speaking of DéjàVu, look who I visited today...

Is that Silverwood Theme Park? Was the coaster operational, and if so, did you ride it?
It sure is! The entire park was open. We rode Aftershock 3 times. There was a one train wait for it each time. My friend & I were the only ones wearing a mask. & a park employee said gross when I gave my friend a simple kiss on the cheek. But other than that, three GREAT roller coasters for a small a** park.


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Postby CoasterRiderSC on August 27th, 2020, 2:23 pm
I never got to ride Deja Vu, but I rode Boomerang (Six Flags STL) and Invertigo (Kings Island) in the past month!

Would you say that the feel and experience of Invertigo is similar to Deja Vu other than the 2 towers being angled on Invertigo?

P.S. I found invertigo to be a bit suffocating (was in the low 90's) due to the extra padding all around me and it being inverted. Plus wearing a mask while riding was not fun in those temps :(
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Postby gottastrata33 on August 27th, 2020, 4:51 pm
Not at all. The GIBs were/are a different breed of Vekoma boomerangs. To be honest, they were until quite recently the best products from Vekoma outside of the Disney attractions. They're far superior & Silverwood has taken incredible care of her.


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Postby UnclePennybags on August 27th, 2020, 7:10 pm
gottastrata33 wrote:
UnclePennybags wrote:
gottastrata33 wrote:Speaking of DéjàVu, look who I visited today...

Is that Silverwood Theme Park? Was the coaster operational, and if so, did you ride it?
...We rode Aftershock 3 times. There was a one train wait for it each time...

Wow, must have brought back great memories.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on August 28th, 2020, 12:32 pm
What I found interesting about Invertigo was that not all the seats faced the same way! A car's rows faced each other (kind of like Joker or the Superloop).
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Postby gottastrata33 on August 29th, 2020, 1:18 pm
It did! It felt so good to ride it again. They really have taken great care of it. It didn't go down once the entire day. Which is crazy considering its track record here. They also don't have the catwalk on the cobra roll like we did. So that was interesting too.

Invertigo is neat for that aspect with the face off seats but that's about it haha.


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