Weekend Trip to Chicago brings back memories and questions.

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA
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Rayzak
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Weekend Trip to Chicago brings back memories and questions.

Post by Rayzak » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:04 am

The wife and I saw some friends in Chicago last weekend, and decided to visit Six Flags in Gurnee. While I was there, I noticed that something was very, very different. We were waiting in live for The Demon, and I heard some music that wasn't coming from one of the TV's. Eventually, it became clearer, and I realized I was listening to a theme song from the early 80's! Suddenly, I started blabbing to my wife and friends about the first time I ever saw this ride...

It MUST have been 1984, I was told by some guy on The Sky Whirl that The Edge had broken that day, and hurt a couple kids. It was at night, and I was waiting on a bench with my Dad, who can't ride looping coaster w/o breaking out in cold sweats (but he loves huge wood coasters. Go figure). My sister and mother were in line for the Demon. The whole time I waited, those big eyes were just staring at me and really freaked me out. My sister and mother came off the ride, and my sister was crying. I guess she didn't like looping coaster either.

What always struck me was the mystique that The Demon had. In my memory, all the people exiting the ride looked like this guy...

http://www.guitarherogame.com/downloads ... 00x600.jpg

Only real tough people rode The Demon. It seemed like the most insane ride ever, and riding it w/o puking or crying was something to be proud of. In any event, I related the story to my wife, and she just didn't understand how intimidating the ride was back in the day.

Did The Demon have a 'For Tough Guys Only' image, or is that just the memory of a 5-6 year old boy?

I also have another question about the park. On that same trip, that same night, we waited while my Dad rode the American Eagle. To me, it seemed like the area under the entrance pavilion was a dance floor with a DJ, and that the actual line went around the crowd. Was this true, or is it another case of childhood memory being wrong?


And now, random musings about Six Flags Great America.

I remember my sister loving the Z-Force, but I was too much of a wimp to ride it. Now it's too late, and there's no reason to live..WHERE'S MY KAYAK!?

I almost cried when we got to the park in 91 and realized they ditched the Tidal Wave for Batman.

In my 10+ trips, I've only ridden the American Eagle backwards once.

In 2001 my lapbar on The Viper came up about four clicks after the first drop, giving me more space than I would ever want on a woody. I spent the rest of the ride hanging onto it, in case it came loose. I still feel nervous riding The Viper.

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klemrock
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Post by klemrock » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:15 am

The Demon WAS scary! My 8-year-old says it still is.
What scares me is that more and more kids today seem immune to fear.
But once they get on the ride, the fear comes back to most! :)

and buddy, you are NOT the only one who cried when Tidal Wave went away!
TW was my third favorite ride (first was Orleans Orbit, second was Cajun Cliffhanger [also known as Spin-N-Puke]).

The Eagle: never in my 50+ times of riding the Eagle have I gone backward. I wish! Going down that rickety old spiral backward might scare me more than than the Demon! But I do remember the "arcade" area, under the tent, around the queue, being remodelled at least twice throughout the years. I could be wrong, but I think there were some sort of character performances there as well in the early days.

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Rayzak
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Post by Rayzak » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:26 am

I think it's more that kids today are scared of different things than we were. Today, it's 'creepy' movies like The Ring, not wise cracking dream killers like Freddy. Not being a teen in the late 70's early 80's, I can't say for sure, but seems like campy monsters and theatrics were all the rage then. If that's so, The Demon personifies it.

Speaking of scary rides, check this out. I'm sure everybody here has read about Castle Dracula, but hey..

http://www.darkinthepark.com/Dracula/cd ... ctures.htm

If The Demon were re-themed today:

Campy theme song =
Nursery ryhms played on out of tune childs piano.

3Dlogo and flames on trains =
Cries for help and warnings of doom that look scratched into the cars

Pri-lift tunnel & sound FX =
Little girl giggling and sporadic strobe light.

So on and so on.

About the American Eagle. You're saying that space on the left side of the line has been used for many different things in the past? So, it wouldn't be too far fetched to assume it could have been a dance floor and DJ for day/week/month some time in the past?

krawz5
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Post by krawz5 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:49 pm

I was just at Great America in Gurnee myself over the weekend. I remember going there when it first opened up and paying only $7.00 to get in!!!!!

I, too, have NEVER ridden the Eagle backwards. I also don't remember a dancefloor at all.

I took my 6 year old on The Demon. He LOVES the Wizzer and he's a tough, no fear kid so I thought he could handle The Demon. Yes, the SAME song ("The Demon, The Demon") was playing. Well, after the first big dip and 2 loops my son looked white as a ghost!!!! He looked petrified!! I felt so bad. I held his hand and told him he'd be ok. AFter we got off he said he didn't like it all. But, he didn't cry or scream or anything. He toughed it out and just said, "Didn't like." That was that.

Also, Triple Play is gone for this year.

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xxlatinogueroxx
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Post by xxlatinogueroxx » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:28 pm

Yeah I agree with Rayzak about the movie thing. Back in the 70's through 80's, scary movies were mostly about murderers on the loose. Now its spirits trapped inside a house. Same thing with the Demon. Think about it back then upside down roller coasters were just being introduced. Demon was the first to have back to back loops and back to back corkscrews. It was a huge hit for both parks to lure in out of town even out of state visitors. The theming just added to the excitement. SFGAm try bringing back the theme last Fright Fest and they did a good job only if they broke back the original theme all year long and repainted the ride lines it would be much better. Its "tough look" doesnt last any more to this new generation of thrill seekers because once you get rides such as King Da Ka, Top Thrill Dragster, Demon is like a train ride compared to them. Espicially when you have De Ja Vu across the street from it, Raging Bull on the opposite side of Demon, and Batman on the other, its tough look just doesnt stand nomore. However, I do see kids that are scared of the Demon and its their first upside down rollercoaster. But some say it wasnt scary at all. Last Fright Fest I wanted to ride the Demon since they brought back the original theme and they were playing the music and my friend said it looks "gay" and left because the music is outdated. However, like I said if they brought back the whole themeing all year including the original sign, it will lure in more visitors let alone the music. Because the original Demon sign was awesome and if it was my first time visiting the park and I saw that sign i would ride it in a heart beat.

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Glorfindel7
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Post by Glorfindel7 » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:32 am

I agree with this post. The last time I rode the Demon , I had ridden Deja Vu first. Needless to say it was too early for me to ride such a "tame" ride after a Deja Vu experience so I didn't enjoy it much.

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Mr. D.T.
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Post by Mr. D.T. » Sun Jun 18, 2006 6:40 am

The first drop on the Demon has to be one of the steepest first drops in existence today. It still puts Vu's and V2's to shame. I don't know about Raging Bull.

When I was around 8 years old I had the option of riding the coaster but I was still scared of coasters at the time. My mother used to tell me that the drop was like a slide and the loops were like a somersault.

And Rayzak, the Tidal Wave is in a better state than it ever was. That's because the coaster from both Great America parks has been put together. All you have to do is drive to Kentucky Kingdom. :D
"Park Base to Unit 100 and all base stations please be advised.....we have the 4 O'Clock 1085. A. 1.4; B. 23.5; C. 28.7; D. 5.1. The temperature is 77 degrees.

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GreatAmerica4ever
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Circus tent

Post by GreatAmerica4ever » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:05 pm

I remember that the tent/canopy over the waiting area at The Eagle used to house a Circus in the mid-70's! The first time I went to Gurnee as a kid was in 1977. My family and I went to see the Circus performances in the County Fair area. My parents still have the slides of the performers in the show. If you look at a map of GA from the '76 and '77 years, the Circus show is listed at the present American Eagle location.

I do not remember any kind of dancing under this tent. But I do remember waiting for hours to get onto the Eagle during some hot summers decades ago!!

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:08 pm

^Didn't an elephant escape from that circus and run down Washington St?
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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GreatAmerica4ever
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Circus

Post by GreatAmerica4ever » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:14 pm

I don't remember hearing about that, I was seven years old in '77. Perhaps that is why the circus idea faded in the park. Now that I think about it, having huge animals like an Elephant in a theme park is a big deal!!! I bet GA couldn't do something like this now, I told think the town of Gurnee would let them ;)

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:20 pm

Here are two interesting pics (also posted this in the Circus Show thread)

Circus / willderness theater animals in the park
Image
Image

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jonrev
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Post by jonrev » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:53 pm

I really wish SFGAm did something in Wilderness theatre that's not some corporate meeting.
Gurnee Ride Op - 2007

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