Sunday, January 12, 2014

From The Vault: Paramount's Great America Brochure 1998

Let's take a look at the 1998 general park brochure for Paramount's Great America, now known as California's Great America, located in Northern California.

Right up front we can easily see that there was a brand new roller coaster at the park in 1998, but we also see the front panel decorated with Nickelodeon characters as well.  I really like the colors on this one, too, I think it would have stood out nicely among other brochures in the rest stop racks.

1998 saw the addition of Invertigo, an inverted Boomerang roller coaster.  Riders faced each other as the train climbed to a "dizzying" 138 feet before heading through a vertical loop and cobra roll both forwards and backwards.  As we all know Cedar Fair moved this ride to Dorney Park when they thought they were going to unload the park, but thankfully the current management has seen the value of the park and other rides were not liquidated.

Paramount's Great America doesn't have the largest selection of roller coasters, but it does have some interesting ones.  Top Gun, as it was known at the time, was one of the earliest B&M inverted rides to open, and Vortex is one of the handful of stand-up coasters by B&M as well.  The park also offered the freefall Drop Zone Stunt Tower, water rides, flats and more.

Having the licensing to the Nickelodeon characters was a great move on Paramount's part, and they were featured in several aspects at the park.  Kids could meet their favorite characters and have their photo taken, or see them in a live show, or even play in Splat City, a Nick themed wet/dry play area.  The characters were quickly kicked out the door when Cedar Fair took over in favor of Snoopy.

Take a look at those 1990s outfits!  The park's live entertainment had a full roster in the Paramount days, including shows like Beat Street a Go Go and Retro Active.  Also included was the giant IMAX screen which showed different films in the Pictorium Theater.

You have to love the view that the park has just after the front gates, featuring a large fountain with a double-decker carousel just after it.  I'm quite pleased that Cedar Fair has a renewed interest in seeing this park expand and grow, this should mean a lot of interesting expansion coming in the next few years!