Orleans Orbit

An original 1976 Marriott’s GREAT AMERICA ride, the Orleans Orbit still spins today in both Gurnee and Santa Clara. Originally installed in Orleans Place in both parks, in Gurnee the ride was relocated to Hometown Square and renamed as “The Orbit”. There it occupied the former home of the Bottoms Up ride. In Santa Clara, the Orleans Orbit still operates in its original location and is named simply as “The Orbit”.

While the Orleans Orbit may resemble a Ferris wheel, it delivers a far different ride experience. The entire wheel rests flat, just above ground level, to allow simultaneous loading and unloading of all passenger cabins. Once riders are locked in, the wheel begins to rotate. The spinning wheel picks up speed and is lifted on an arm to a nearly vertical position, sending riders upside-down as they go over the highest point. Manufactured by Schwarzkopf, the trade name for the Orleans Orbit ride is the Enterprise.

The Santa Clara ride was taken out of service following the 2005 season. It was put back into service in 2007 and still operates in its original location.

Orleans Place (later relocated to Hometown Square in Gurnee)
Final season:
Gurnee: 2016; Santa Clara: still operating

Go to the Orleans Orbit photo album.