Santa Clara Triple Wheel

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too
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imdaman
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Santa Clara Triple Wheel

Post by imdaman » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:21 pm

Does anyone havepics of the triple wheel/sky whril at the santa clara parks in the later years, i.e. the 90's. The pics I've seen on here are from the early years, plus that one photo of the empty spot before invertigo was built. Thanks for any pics!

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steven
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Post by steven » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:43 pm

Yes, I have many. But they are not scanned yet, except for this small sample:

Image

Steven

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imdaman
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Post by imdaman » Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:58 pm

Thanks Steven, I look forward to seeing more....what can you tell us about the 4 pics you've put up so far?

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:58 am

When looking at various pictures of Sky Whirl, I've noticed a difference in color scheme for the center tower. Some pictures show it white, some show red, white, and blue, and in the pictures shown here for this Forum topic, the tower is blue. Perhaps management got tired of the original white... I always remember the main tower of Sky Whirl being white in Gurnee. Anyone know why the color change happened over the years?

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:14 pm

I thought that the Gurnee tower was white with red strips for a few years. Otherwise it was always white. The blue must have just been a SC color.

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twixmix0303
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Post by twixmix0303 » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:20 pm

In Gurnee, for its final year of operation, they added a "25th Anniversary" paint scheme. Obviously, this took place in 2000, so it was actually its 25th year of operation, not 25th anniversary. They ended up keeping some of the 25th paint scheme in other areas of the park through the 2001 season, as well.

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steven
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Post by steven » Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:10 pm

The four images above of the Santa Clara Sky Whirl / Triple Wheel were taken in August and September of 1997. They had posted a notice that the ride would close on the 1st of September, so it didn't even get to finish out the season. In its final days, I set out to photograph the ride as extensively as I possibly could. I took several rolls of film of the ride.

Because the disassembly took place before the end of the season, each weekend offered an opportunity to view the "progress". In the upper right photo, all cabins have been removed and one wheel or "spider" has been removed and is sitting on the load/unload area. In this state, the ride was seriously out of balance, with the weight of two wheels ("spiders") in the air and an arm with no wheel at the bottom. To keep it in that position, the lower arm was tied to the central pylon by cable.

By the next weekend, all wheels ("spiders") were removed from the ride, as is seen in the lower right photo. By the weekend after that, there was nothing left to see.

Regarding the color schemes, the original scheme by Marriott had the structure all white and the cabins red and blue. After a few seasons, Marriott wanted to add more color to the park, hence the new color scheme for Sky Whirl. The central tower or pylon was painted red, white, and blue, somewhat like a US flag. The center ring on each wheel was painted red. You can see this scheme on the Gurnee ride here:

Image

Although it's not easily seen in this photo, the bottom of the pylon is blue with white stars.

I actually preferred the original, plain white color scheme. Post-Marriott, each park made minor changes to the color scheme. In Santa Clara, the red center ring was returned to white on each wheel. The central pylon was painted blue. The cover over the motors in the center of each wheel was painted a different solid color on each wheel: red, white, and blue. This made it easier to identify each wheel at a glance, but many people remembered and missed the original star logo that had been on those covers.

Steven

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:25 am

Thanks Steven,

I had forgotten about the blue w/ stars at the base. But the white with red strips stood out in my mind. I'll check my photos later and see if I have anything additional to contribute on this topic.

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JW65
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Post by JW65 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:07 am

Steven,

Thanks for your detailed response. You know much about MGA, that's for sure!

Jeff

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:19 am

Here is an interesting 2 arm version at Hersheypark
:arrow: http://members.aol.com/interama/wheel05.htm
also here in Argentina
:arrow: http://members.aol.com/interama/wheel04.htm

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BrianPlencner
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Post by BrianPlencner » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:28 pm

I think the one at Hersheypark is no longer there. I believe it was removed last year.
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Mr. Brian Plencner
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steven
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Post by steven » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:19 pm

The giant double wheel at Hersheypark suffered a fate similar to the Santa Clara train ride. It was taken out in favor of a new roller coaster. After the giant double wheel was taken down, the new roller coaster was canceled. :-(

The giant double in Argentina is the only remaining one that I know of. That park has been temporarily shut down for a year or two. A friend of mine who has worked there told me that the park is expected to reopen soon. There was also a giant double wheel in Australia at Wonderland Sydney. It moved there from Kings Island of Ohio. Unfortunately, the Wonderland Sydney park closed permanently and has been undergoing demolition. I don't know if the giant double wheel will be rescued and sent to any other park.

The Sky Whirls were a custom order for Marriott's GREAT AMERICA. To my knowledge, only two other triples like them were ever built. One was in Japan. The other was in South Korea. Although I had hoped to ride and photograph them someday, I waited too long. Both were recently taken down.

The one in South Korea was the newest. It opened around 1989. One of our friends on the forum here had a lot of experience with that park: Lotte World. I hope he will share some memories with us of the Lotte World triple wheel. Its name was Hydra.

Steven

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coasterboy
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Post by coasterboy » Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:46 pm

Magic Mountain had a double wheel with a twist.
Each of the 2 wheels consisted of 4 arms. At the end of each arm was another small wheel with 4 arms. At the end of each arm was a cabin.

So when you when up, the main wheel was spinning, and so was the smaller wheel you were on. It was a lot more thrilling, as there was acceleration and deceleration happening all the time, along with swinging.

The other distict thing was that the support arm was in a "V" shape, not a straight arm.

It was cleed the Galaxy.

I believe it was shut down in the early 80's. One loading area became a pirate ship ride, while the other became a yoyo.
Mark

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Tanya
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Post by Tanya » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:08 pm

That sounded interesting Mark, so I went hunting for a picture of it.

Here is a drawing:
http://theimaginaryworld.com/mmtn20.jpg

You can see it in this pic:
http://theimaginaryworld.com/mmtn23.jpg

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:12 am

Now that's different!
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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