The parks

The memories

The site

 

IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

All about the rides at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA and post-Marriott rides, too

IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby jimmy gimbels » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:39 pm

Space Shuttle America and the associated building were torn down during December 2009. This attraction was "out of service" during the 2009 season (and most of the 2008 season) because it was too expensive to operate, had too many maintenance issues, and people just weren't that crazy about it. During 2009, the shuttle was used for employee meetings and training. Park operations used it for certification exams. The fate of the go-cart track, located west of the shuttle, is unknown. The area west of the Sky Trek Tower has largely been dead space for years.

Pictorium is also expected to close by 2011 due to failing attendance and IMAX just isn't producing many films anymore. It is a big chunk of change to convert to digital.

That would leave a huge chunk of space in the front of the park. What will fill the space? Rumor has it that the waterpark will be expanded into the area...some new fancy water slide. More rumors: entrance into the water park will be an extra charge. Or, perhaps a new roller coaster due in 2011.

New for 2010: The Little Dipper roller coaster (rebuilt from Chicago's Kiddeland Amusement Park) and a glow in the dark parade. Both attractions already announuced by SFGA.

2011: Rumors surfaced during Fright Fest 2009 that major changes were coming for 2011. A new. stand-up, roller coaster is expected. It is being relocated to SFGA from another park (The Chang) being repainted, and then rebranded "The Green Lantern" to tie into the movie. Rumor also has it the Whizzer (replacement parts need to be hand made,) and Iron Wolf will bite the dust.
jimmy gimbels
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby CoasterComet » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:04 pm

If Whizzer leaves, I leave.

Not that anyone cares...

That ride is the heart and soul of the park. Make the parts. Overhaul the bolts. Buy reproduction trains exactly the same. Maintain it. Let the trees continue to grow. It's perfect.
User avatar
CoasterComet
Gulf Coaster
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: Chicago

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby Demonlover13 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:20 pm

Where are you getting this information?
I need a great day this year, or 2, or 30!
User avatar
Demonlover13
Tidal Wave
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby jimmy gimbels » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:46 pm

SFGA area supervisors love the brag about all the "inside" info that they know.

By the way, the Little Dipper roller coaster is being rebuilt in Bugs Bunny National Park...which is good because that area is usually sparsely visited by guests. It is replaced the buidling that contained the kid's "ball room". The attactin has been closed for sevral seasons for "reburbishment.
jimmy gimbels
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby RandyV » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:49 pm

This would be horrible, but I know it's inevitable.

Hometown Square without the Whizzer is just unimaginable to me. Even when I went to CGA this past summer it just didn't feel or look right. I'm betting they're thinking the Little Dipper can replace the Whizzer as an "intro" kiddie coaster, but let's face it -- the two aren't in the same league.

As for the Pictorium -- that would be a loss too nostalgically, but I get it. IMAX as a company is and has been screwed up for YEARS so I don't think we can solely pin any decision to get rid of this one solely on management. You have this huge building taking up a lot of valuable space and the people who are responsible for producing the content shown in the building aren't holding up their end. Again, going to CGA this past summer and seeing the Pictorium boarded up was just a sad reminder of what once was.

Iron Wolf. Well, that's post Marriott by a long shot, but still a unique ride (first B&M standup, wasn't it?). I haven't been to Gurnee in a long time but I understand Iron Wolf is a real head banger these days. I remember riding Iron Wolf when it first opened and it was just an awesome experience. Made me forget about them getting ride of Z-Force (r.i.p).

We know Chang is headed to Gurnee, but where do you put it. Hmmm -- let's think about this: Whizzer is high maintenance, Pictorium has low attendance and Space Shuttle America is gone. All attractions more or less on adjoining land to each other. Big enough for Chang? Connect the dots.

2011 might be sad year for Marriott-era attractions in Gurnee.
Randy V.
Gurnee will always be my home park...
User avatar
RandyV
Willard's Whizzer
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby redfishpaw » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:03 am

My Vote would be to put Chang in County Fair. Splashwater falls is already gone (no loss there). The Great America raceway has a lousy track layout are really could be easily reconfiquired in the same spot or maybe even somewhere else. To get the additional space needed for Chang. I would rip out the Demon. I would rather loose the Demon that the Whizzer. I know a lot of people on this site like the Demon. But ever since Mariotts hacked up the Turn of the Century to create the Demon, I've never liked that ride and I keep wishing for its removal. As far as Hometown Square goes. I would rather have Chang go to a different park than to loose the Whizzer. Also, I dont know if I'll go in the Pictorium ever again, so I'm neutral on that. Finally, I'm surprised anybody even noticed that Space Shuttle America was ever even there, let alone removed. That space (along with the go-cart area) will probably be used for the waterpark expansion.
User avatar
redfishpaw
Tidal Wave
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Milwaukee

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby WestBurbs14 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:10 pm

My heart has a soft spot for the Whizzer. How many times it thrilled me (five, I think) during that first visit in 1976 when I was 14. The banked turns and speed were great and quite surprising from a bland-looking ride.

I do understand that if a park doesn't have the parts to maintain a ride, it's hard to keep it there. Perhaps I should ride the Whizzer in 2010. I haven't ridden it in many years, and it would be interesting to see what it's like with the larger trees.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't ride it. Maybe I should just live in the memory of what it was like that first time when the park was pristine and Willard's Whizzer awed this then-teenager.
User avatar
WestBurbs14
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:34 pm

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby Demonlover13 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:19 pm

WestBurbs14 wrote:My heart has a soft spot for the Whizzer. How many times it thrilled me (five, I think) during that first visit in 1976 when I was 14. The banked turns and speed were great and quite surprising from a bland-looking ride.

I do understand that if a park doesn't have the parts to maintain a ride, it's hard to keep it there. Perhaps I should ride the Whizzer in 2010. I haven't ridden it in many years, and it would be interesting to see what it's like with the larger trees.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't ride it. Maybe I should just live in the memory of what it was like that first time when the park was pristine and Willard's Whizzer awed this then-teenager.


I can understand that but it's still an amazing ride (and I'm sure you'll love it just as much) with how well it now fits into the terrain.
I need a great day this year, or 2, or 30!
User avatar
Demonlover13
Tidal Wave
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby SFGAmLover » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:35 pm

Demonlover13 wrote:I can understand that but it's still an amazing ride (and I'm sure you'll love it just as much) with how well it now fits into the terrain.


Amen to that; it's a must-ride (and re-ride!) each time I visit. A true classic that Whizzer is, and I hope SFGAm realizes that and keeps it around for... ever. Seriously, they would be saddening and angering many loyal fans and coaster enthusiasts if they removed it (not that this has ever stopped them before), as it thrills adults as much as the little ones and has become a great terrain coaster with all the trees and greenery that have grown up around it. *Sigh* I'm longing for a nice ride right now as I reminisce.
WARNING: This message was composed on a computer in a household where peanuts and peanut products are served.
User avatar
SFGAmLover
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:10 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby CoasterComet » Fri May 14, 2010 11:32 pm

After riding Whizzer - I mean 'Karate Kid' 2 times today, I can also say that if Whizzer leaves, so do I.

Replace the parts, have new parts ordered/made whatever. Update with station brakes and/or mag brakes, but DON'T touch the train design. The ride is perfect. Even with UGLY bright yellow catwalk ends now...
User avatar
CoasterComet
Gulf Coaster
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: Chicago

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby SFGAmLover » Sat May 15, 2010 10:07 am

Ahhh, Whizzer. I'll finally get to enjoy it again on Monday and Tuesday, despite the Karate Kid car(s). How many of those does it have?

Amen to the buy/make parts thing. I mean, we put people on the moon how many years ago? With today's technology we can certainly fabricate new parts for a roller coaster. I guess it just depends on who has the interest and/or the money.
WARNING: This message was composed on a computer in a household where peanuts and peanut products are served.
User avatar
SFGAmLover
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:10 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby kwool » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:58 pm

RandyV wrote:As for the Pictorium -- that would be a loss too nostalgically, but I get it. IMAX as a company is and has been screwed up for YEARS so I don't think we can solely pin any decision to get rid of this one solely on management. You have this huge building taking up a lot of valuable space and the people who are responsible for producing the content shown in the building aren't holding up their end. Again, going to CGA this past summer and seeing the Pictorium boarded up was just a sad reminder of what once was.


I contacted Six Flags Great America a few years ago, and they had replaced the IMAX equipment with Iwerks (which is basically a cheaper, smaller, and less fantastic rip-off of IMAX). This was around 2007 or 2008.

There are plenty of IMAX films Great America could have used, but never did. MacGillivray Freeman makes fantastic IMAX movies that are always a treat to see. Warner Bros. and IMAX have teamed up repeatedly to make good IMAX films. In fact, there hasn't been a better time for IMAX in many years!

Having worked at an IMAX theatre, I know the challenges associated with the format. It's costly. But when well-maintained, it provides an incredible experience. My guess is they didn't want to deal with the maintenance of the costly IMAX projectors any longer, especially as their projectors and entire theatre control system was becoming more antiquated.

However, with Iwerks presentations in there, it's just not too great.
kwool
Buzzy Bee
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:45 pm

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby jimmy gimbels » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:49 pm

redfishpaw wrote:My Vote would be to put Chang in County Fair. Splashwater falls is already gone (no loss there). The Great America raceway has a lousy track layout are really could be easily reconfiquired in the same spot or maybe even somewhere else. To get the additional space needed for Chang. I would rip out the Demon. I would rather loose the Demon that the Whizzer. I know a lot of people on this site like the Demon. But ever since Mariotts hacked up the Turn of the Century to create the Demon, I've never liked that ride and I keep wishing for its removal. As far as Hometown Square goes. I would rather have Chang go to a different park than to loose the Whizzer. Also, I dont know if I'll go in the Pictorium ever again, so I'm neutral on that. Finally, I'm surprised anybody even noticed that Space Shuttle America was ever even there, let alone removed. That space (along with the go-cart area) will probably be used for the waterpark expansion.



Chang (or whatever it will be rebranded) will be rebuilt in the area that was the location of Space Shuttle America. The highest hill will be taller than Sky Trek tower.
jimmy gimbels
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:24 pm

Roller coaster cancelled

Postby jimmy gimbels » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:22 pm

According to a report published in the July 10 edition of the Daily Herald, SFGA has abandoned, at least for now, putting a new roller coaster in the park. SFGA was at the last step in the process to get permission from the village of Gurnee to build a 150-foot high roller coaster near the main entrance of the park.

Village documents showed the planned coaster was indeed the CHANG coaster from the now-closed Six Flags park in Kentucky.

Six Flags spokesperson, "They're (SFGA) is looking at other options that we think are just as exciting."
jimmy gimbels
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:24 pm

Re: IT"S GONE! WHAT IS NEXT?

Postby NotBill » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:19 pm

It's really too bad that SF management continues to let the crown jewel whither. SFGA is money in the bank for them every year and they seem more intent on squeezing every cent out of it than making it better.

Picto was always a great venue and with the 3D craze going on I remember the first 3D film I ever saw -- it was at Picto! There was something about 3D IMAX that was amazing, there weren't too many shots but what was there was pretty cool. Similar technology to what they're using now in theaters I believe.

I agree there with what kwool said, there couldn't be a better time for IMAX than right now. I remember when they filmed the sequences for The Dark Knight that sent people flooding to IMAX theaters. You also have to remember SFGA attracts people from all over, a lot of these people may not live near an IMAX theater so it would be something unique. Picto is such a great concept I would hate to see it closed down.

I know some may see this as blasphemy but this park doesn't need another damn coaster!! It needs to get back to the style and pinache that made MGA unique and what it was. Remember, the big thrill ride push did not pan out for you? It was a disaster. It's bout the experience you give the customers and if that experience is a park that's not well tended to and does nothing to stand out, well, you killed the goose that laid the golden egg then!
W. Guy Finley
aka "Bill" Finley
SFGAm Employee 1988 - 1992
User avatar
NotBill
Yankee Clipper
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:57 pm
Location: Round Lake, IL

Next

Return to Rides

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron