The Demon

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too
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twixmix0303
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Post by twixmix0303 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:32 pm

Yep, they're still there. At least I think so.

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:06 pm

Steven,
When are you going to make a Demon page? I'd really like to see old Demon photos.
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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coasterfan71555
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Post by coasterfan71555 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:43 pm

I am not sure if the cars from TOC were rethemed for the Demon, but my guess is yes. However, at least at the Gurnee park, I know Demon got new trains several years ago, maybe in the mid-90s. Back in those days my friends and I would go to the park nearly every weekend, and I do remember new trains. The exact year, though, I cannot recall. Maybe someone else knows! :)
What a day, what a place! What a smile on my face! My first visit was June 21, 1976, when I was less than a month from turning 21!

segerken
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Post by segerken » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:46 pm

JW65 wrote:Does anyone know whether or not the original Turn of the Century coaster cars were rethemed and used as the cars for the Demon? If so, are those same cars still being used on the Demon now?
When the Demon opened, the cars were the same cars used on the TOC. I do not know what cars that they are using now.

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steven
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Post by steven » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:04 am

jonrev wrote:Steven,
When are you going to make a Demon page?
I'll try to get to The Demon soon. First up... Turn of the Century -- done. Next: The Demon. After that: the conversion from Turn of the Century to The Demon.

Steven

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Thu Sep 22, 2005 12:30 pm

I was looking at the Turn of the Century pictures on this site and noticed that in 1979, the corkscrew tracks were painted red. How interesting that they were red just for that one season. Wonder if park officials knew when they had them painted red that in a year the entire track of the coaster would be black? Wonder what reaason they had for painting the corkscrew tracks red? If you haven't seen the pictures, take a look...

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rid ... toc015.jpg

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rid ... toc016.jpg

Steven, do you know of additional information about the original cars from the Turn of the Century that were used for the Demon? Were they simply rethemed?

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:23 pm

I thought that only the SC park painted the corkscrew red for brief period

segerken
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TOC Ride defect fix

Post by segerken » Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:32 pm

I like the following two pictures because they show the fix for the TOC design flw.

About half way through the first season an axle on one of the trains on the Santa Clara TOC broke as the train was coming out of the cork screw. A week or so later an axle on one of the other trains also broke as the train was leaving the cork screw. As it turns out the ribs that hold the rails from the center pipe were to far apart. The force of the train going through the cork screw was causing the welds on the rib to break. I'm not sure if it was the welds from the rail to the rib or from the rib to the center pipe. Any way, with the welds were broken, the rails were moving in a way that was causing enough stress on the axles to eventualy break. To fix this design flaw, Arrow doubled the number of ribs. The fix was made to both rides.

This is a picture of the TOC taken the first year before the problem was found:

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rid ... toc013.jpg

This was taken some time later after the defect was fixed:

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/sg/rid ... toc016.jpg

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steven
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Post by steven » Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:56 pm

Of those two photos that Jeff cited with the red corkscrews, one is a Santa Clara photo and the other is a Gurnee photo. So both parks had the red corkscrew paint job. My understanding was that the red paint job on the corkscrew was part of the effort to add more color to the parks. This was mentioned in another thread in which it was pointed out how Sky Whirl got a new paint scheme around that same time.

My further understanding is that both Demons used the same trains from the Turn of the Century. I don't know if some of the cars or trains have been replaced over the years. I think that some probably have been.

Steven

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imdaman
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Post by imdaman » Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:09 pm

I visited PGA today, and they were running 2 trains on the Demon. I looked at the cars carefully, and I would say that they were original to the demon. They looked worn out, with the original demon logo on the front, and with the yellow/orange paint on the sides.

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Tech Services 1
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Re: The Demon

Post by Tech Services 1 » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:12 am

Consulate wrote:Recently I have been real curious about what the demon was like back in its original season, when themeing was heavy and the attraction was extremly popular . . . . For those that remember as much detail about the original queue design and themeing as well as ride effects if you could share them I would love to hear them.
Tech Services was responsible for maintaining much of the special effects on the ride, as well as the extensive sound system. I still have a scar on the back of my right hand from the gunnite (fake rocks) around the ride. We were repairing some speakers when my hand brushed against the rock, scraping off several layers of skin. Gee, that was fun! :D

The queue line theme music originated in the Tech Services building on one of the reel-to-reel machines. Out at the ride, there were two "cart" tape machines for the scream sounds, triggered when the trains entered the tunnels. The machines needed constant care and replacement tapes.

Fog in the first tunnel was created by high-pressure water forced through tiny "jets". These were the same misters used in greenhouses to keep plants wet. The fog system was abandoned for several reasons, one being the maintenance issues caused by everything in the tunnel getting soggy. Another problem I heard about but never saw was the water piping matrix used in the tunnel was PVC, and the jets were copper, threaded into adapters at various points in the pipe. The PVC threads were not strong enough to withstand the water pressure, and occasionaly one of the jets would shoot out of the pipe and bounce around the tunnel. :o The pump automatically shut off, and the ride operators learned what that sound was, and would call for service. No one was ever hurt.

The light tunnel was the best part. It was a made up of hundreds of colored light bulbs, wired in a big matrix. If you've ever seen the Fremont Street light show in Las Vegas, this was a VERY early and VERY crude version of that same technology!
The controller was located in a big enclosure right next to the track at the tunnel opening. The main circuit board was a sight to behold for us techie geeks. It was all hand-built, using wire wrap technology. Keep in mind, this system was built in the early days of microprocessors; home computers didn't exist yet! The controller board would in turn drive a bank of SCR's (essentially high-voltage transistors) to turn the lights on/off in a programmed sequence.
There was a lever-action switch mounted to the track, with a piece of coat hanger attached which the train would hit to trigger the lights and sound. We would have to replace the lever on a regular basis. We tried many variations and materials for the lever, but always came back to the ol' coat hanger (and I remember how excited we were when proximity-sensor technology was invented which could replace the mechanical switch!).
Many times I would be out at the ride repairing the switch, and would have to duck out of the way when a loaded train came by. I'd hit the switch by hand to trigger the lights so the riders wouldn't get cheated out of the effects!
The top-center rows of lights in the tunnel were prone to problems- Many of them would get broken by smart-alec riders throwing stuffed animals or other objects into the air while the train was buzzing through. The solution? Plastic soda bottles! The bottles were cut in half, and zip-tied around the bulbs. It seemed to work, though the bottles would get pretty cruddy after a while.

It's a shame to hear that much of these effects are gone. We sure put in a lot of effort to keep them working properly. :(

PPG
Technical Services technician
Gurnee park '81 - '86

Eegads, has it been that long?

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:05 pm

Does anyone know what year the fake rocks were removed from around the loops of Demon? Were they removed at both parks at the same time?

Why were these rocks removed? Was it because of the toning down in themeing? Those "rocks" around the loops really added to the theme of the ride and now they are gone.

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:00 pm

Gurnee still has all of their rocks.
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:06 am

Hey Jonrev,

Can you explain why you are so interested in the Demon? I think it is cool that you know a lot of information about this coaster. It seems to be your favorite (from the Marriott days) ride at SFGAm.

JW

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:56 am

^I've always been interested in Arrow loopers (mostly because of Shockwave) and I like the history this ride has. I also liked the old logo.

Yes it is my favorite Marriott ride but it's tied with American Eagle and the Southern Cross (I love skyrides).
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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