1983 -1987

Share your memories of working at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA in Santa Clara
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Buzzy Bee
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:48 pm

1983 -1987

Post by mrdubleyou » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:20 am

Wow! Finally a site where I can relive some of the best times of my life. I worked at GA for four years. I worked in the rides department. I started out on the flumes (Yankee Clipper)...I still have nightmares sometimes about those aqua blue polyester bell bottoms. :lol: . I sometimes covered shifts on Loggers (Blue Jean City Yippee). I worked as a lead on both. Two really great things happened while I worked at the park, first I met a woman who worked there and later (and still to this day) became my wife. I also met my best friend (and still to this day) there. Because we were all 18, we were all trained on various rides over the park. Over the course of 3 years I was trained and worked on every ride in the park except, the train, the trolley and anything having to do with kid kingdom. Lol.

My scariest MGA moment....I'd been asked to work a double shift and because of being short staffed at the Demon was asked to work there. Because I was the only person over 18 I had to operate the panel. Trouble was I'd only had about 15 minutes of training on it. Race through the book, take the test and then I had to solo. Well the park was crowded that day and we were running 3 trains. Because of some loading issues, I had a train waiting in the station, and a train waiting in the brake just outside of the station (Transfer brake as I recall). Well for those of you who remember know the Demon, you'll recall that you can hear the sound of the train as it racing through the corkscrew. Panic quickly set in as I realized that there was only one set of brakes left for the train to pass through. Those brakes were called the "Trim Brake" (if memory serves) and according to the training manual they were used to slow down "trim" the speed of the train before entering the station. I remember getting on the intercom and calmly (while nearly peeing my pants) saying...the train is coming I gotta dispatch, I gotta dispatch!! I gotta dispatch!!! Of course I didn't dispatch and I waited for the inevitable to happen. Luckily...the trim brakes held a secret that I wasn't aware of...they doubled as an extra BRAKE brake. Ah technology.

The best time I ever had was working on my primary ride. Eagles Flight. My best friend and I met there. I was the day lead he was the night lead. My girlfriend (now wife) was the lead on...you guessed it...Delta Flyer. The 3 of us had a blast working on that ride. We still talk about it today what it was like to work there on those 40 cabin days with 12.9 seconds between each cabin. Oh yeah and the 20's (code for high winds).

During my final year I worked in the office. It was fun but not nearly as rewarding or exciting as working IN the park. I left in 87 but look back on the entire experience with great fondness.

My wife and I have two kids now and we still live fairly close to the park. We visit it as frequently as we can. The park has changed a lot since we we left, but our kids can still find a lot of happiness and joy there. They are always amazed when we recall for them the fact that their mom and I first met.

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Site Admin
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Post by steven » Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:47 pm

Hi, mrdubleyou,

Great stories! Welcome!

I started on Eagle's Flight in Gurnee. It was the best. We ran 42 cabins most of the time. The work could be strenuous, but it was always fun. In Gurnee, females were not allowed to work on the skyrides: Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight and Southern Cross. At Eagle's Flight in Gurnee, the cabins always came in hard and fast. Catching them was hard work that was deemed not suitable for females. Eagle's Flight crew members had to go through an ergonomics session at First Aid because of the physical labor aspects of working that ride.

I've noticed that at PGA the cabins come in more slowly and more easily at Eagle's Flight than they did in Gurnee. And I noticed that females are allowed to work there. At Delta Flyer, the cabins always came in easier than at Eagle's Flight because Eagle's Flight was the drive station. What year did your wife work at Delta? I was wondering if Santa Clara might have had the ban on females working there during the Marriott years and if the policy may have been modified post-Marriott.


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Tidal Wave
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Post by PGA ROCKS » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:11 pm

Today I visited the park and rode Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight both ways, and I'm pretty sure the drive station is at the D.F. station because the ride released really rapidly and came in really hard.
I miss Tidal Wave

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Gulf Coaster
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Post by Station1 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:23 pm

PGA ROCKS wrote:Today I visited the park and rode Delta Flyer/Eagle's Flight both ways, and I'm pretty sure the drive station is at the D.F. station because the ride released really rapidly and came in really hard.
PGA ROCKS: I worked at DF where the counterweight was located...EF was the drive station..."the noisy station." I think I still have a copy of the training manual somewhere, or parts of it...I had to do a report on it in a creative writing class I was taking in college back then...that was probably the one ride (on the EF side) that had more start-up steps than any other ride in the park..."CLEAR!!" <BLASTING HORN>
84-85 Area Host - Hometown
86-87 Rides - Whizzer (86) Revolution (87)
1987 Rides - New Orleans (Rue/Delta/Orbit)
88-89 Rides - New Orleans (" " RR Rapids)
89-95 Loss Prevention - Station One

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