The Lobster

In 1976 one obvious difference between the Santa Clara and Gurnee parks was found in their Lobster rides. In Santa Clara, the Lobster was an Eyerly Aircraft Monster ride. Gurnee’s Lobster, however, was a Schwarzkopf Polyp ride. Both Lobsters provided a similar ride experience. The rides differed mainly in appearance and in loading operations. The Santa Clara ride had to lower two arms at a time to allow unloading and loading of eight passenger cars simultaneously. This was repeated two more times per cycle to complete the unloading and loading for all six arms. In Gurnee, however, all five arms could be lowered simultaneously to allow all passenger cars to be unloaded and loaded at once. As already noted, the Santa Clara ride had six arms and the Gurnee ride has five. At the end of each arm on the Santa Clara Lobster, there were four passenger cars. At the end of each arm on the Gurnee Lobster, there are five passenger cars.

Gurnee’s Lobster still operates. It was renamed as the East River Crawler when nearby BATMAN The Ride opened in 1992. The original lobster theme element, however, remained defiantly atop the centerpiece of the ride. For 2017, Gurnee’s Lobster was relocated to Hometown Square and its name was restored to the Lobster. The ride was moved to the space vacated by the Orbit.

Yankee Harbor
Final season:
Santa Clara: (final season undetermined); Gurnee: still operating, relocated to Hometown Square

Go to the Lobster photo album. The album currently only has photos of the Santa Clara Lobster.

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