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


Postby kwool » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:01 pm

Unfortunately, with the IMAX equipment gone, there's little hope of it ever returning. That's really too bad, because it was one of IMAX's largest screens in the world, actually.

I agree. I don't think Great America needs more coasters. I'm perfectly content with the (awesome!) selection of rides we have now. We have flats, we have water rides, and we have great coasters. If Great America could somehow re-establish the charm that it had in the Marriott era, it would easily win people over.

Great America's employees have been fantastic this year. I've never seen them so motivated or generally pleasant ever before! Someone is doing something right with their training, especially in attractions.

That means they already have fought half of the battle! Unlike many other Six Flags parks, Great America has its staff in check. They know their operations and continue to lead the chain in them.

What could be added to this? A re-establishment of the park personality and atmosphere. Though it's unlikely, with Al Weber at the helm, a regime change is certainly possible. I believe the employees at Great America are ready. They have throwbacks to the Marriott days. They know their history and keep it alive--just look at the park model in Carousel Gifts, the Demon audio track playing through its queue, or American Eagle's fancy refurbished trains!

Whizzer still thrills families; Orbit continues to soar; Fiddler's Fling remains a ride I'll never experience. All the essential components are there!

I actually don't mind that Batman and Superman are sort of out-of-place in Yankee Harbor or Orleans Place. Just get the theme through. I read that originally, Batman: The Ride operators wore sanitation uniforms to fit the theme of Gotham City! It's great! Have them wear something relating to Batman! Have the Superman station become an office for the Daily Planet! The themed rides are great, because there's so much potential for guest-employee interaction. Just think if employees on The Dark Knight wore themed costumes--not the yellow ones today.

Great America never was as thematic as Disney--and it wasn't intended to be. But it was clear that Marriott would be a step above most traditional amusement parks in theme, service, and rides. Six Flags Great America has the service and rides. It's time for the theme to catch up.
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Postby Demonlover13 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:22 pm

Well put
I need a great day this year, or 2, or 30!
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Postby NotBill » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Well said!!

I understand the original IMAX equipment is gone but they aren't still using IMAX projectors from 1978 around are they? I would think IMAX would be more than happy to lease something reasonably to get one of their biggest screens up and going again. I've only seen one screen close to the size of Picto and that, oddly enough, was at Zion National Park in Utah!

It just seems damned odd to me that in the day and age of multimedia experiences SFGA would close Picto, makes no sense to me. But then I am a movie and movie technology junkie!

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aka "Bill" Finley
SFGAm Employee 1988 - 1992
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Postby kwool » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:17 pm

I agree. I would be brilliant if Great America would bring back the IMAX equipment and create some sort of 4D show, to further enhance the already impressive format.

Could you imagine a Shrek 4D-style attraction using the Looney Tunes characters or even the Warner Brothers characters? That could be great! They could even try to tie in a movie each season to an upcoming Warner Brothers release.

Oh, wishful thinking. :P
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Postby DemonLvr52379 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:37 pm

I would miss the pictorioum, I have fond memories of going in there to relax for a bit between rides. It's a shame that it will be gone :(
I luv Great America...Bring on the fun!!!
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Postby FParker185 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:36 am

Pictorium isn't going anywhere. The IMAX equipment is long gone, but that was to costly. Was reading a newspaper article about a museum in Washington State I believe it was, they pay over $50,000 a year in fees to IMAX to lease the equipment, plus a pretty significant percentage of the ticket sales. And that was a not for profit museum, I can't even begin to imagine what IMAX was charging SFGAm.

There is still projection equipment in there and there is a regular show all summer which seems to be pretty popular. Also for Fright Fest they expanded the stage in there and they had the hypnotist show in there, Susan Rosen the Mistress of Mesmerism, and just about every show on Sat/Sun was a full house with standing room only, if that.

Also haven't seen it mentioned around here, but the former SSA site and the surrounding area is being used for a waterpark expansion. There will be a flowrider surf dealy, a bizarre looking 3 sided wavepool/lagoon, and a 5 slide tower with 2 vertical drop speed slides, 2 Aqua Loops (not the looping waterslide, it's more of a flat helix), and a Tantrum slide, all from ProSlide and everything but the Tantrum will have launch tubes with the dropping floor.
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Postby BillK » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:07 am

All you need to do is check the movie listings in your local paper to see the lie about IMAX film availability. In addition to an increasing amount of product available for museum/science venues, almost every major Hollywood picture is now available for the huge number of IMAX cinemas built by major theater chains over the past few years (though admittedly, 99% of them are not real IMAX screens, simply being bigger than usual but for which the chains can charge an extra few dollars.)

For example, this year, Tornado Alley is seeing wide IMAX release, and being in Illinois it would have been both exciting and topical to see at Pictorium, but even then a classic like Chronos could have run for years alone or in rotation with classics like To Fly.
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