Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: The Great Escape 1984

Time for another throwback! I have no idea how this brochure ended up in my collection, as I can't recall taking any family trips to the Lake George area as a child. But it's here, and it is weeeell loved. [Translation: I was almost afraid to scan it for fear that it would vaporize before my very eyes.]

As the heading on the brochure cover implies, this park was in the process of making a name for itself (so to speak) in 1984. Formerly known as Storytown USA, the park had only recently changed its name to The Great Escape. More on that in a minute.

The other "headliner" here is the Steamin' Demon, Great Escape's state-of-the-art (back then, at least!) new ride for the 1984 season. The Steamin' Demon is an Arrow Loop & Corkscrew which originally operated at Pontchartrain Beach in New Orleans. Actually, I suppose it wasn't so state-of-the-art even for 1984, considering that the first Arrow Corkscrew had arrived on the industry scene nearly a decade earlier. But no matter. It was new to Great Escape's guests, and that's what counts!

So going back to that whole name change thing--In its original incarnation, Storytown USA was exactly what its name suggests: A children's park featuring life-size nursery rhyme props, a la Idlewild's Story Book Forest. Eventually, traditional rides were thrown into the mix, culminating in a fast-paced building spree which began in the early '80s. Some of those rides are showcased here. Since the park's original moniker no longer jibed with its wide array of offerings, the decision was made to change it to something that was a little more representative of the park's new identity.

Here's the full spread when you open up that last panel. This incredibly detailed park map is nothing short of a work of art, albeit a microscopic one. Eagle eyes will get you so far, and then it's time to bust out the magnifying glass. Good luck...

I learned the most interesting thing today! Actually, I feel that way most days I'm researching something for NPN. But this little nugget really came from out of the blue, and it's also very timely given today's big Anheuser-Busch InBev/Blackstone announcement. Great Escape's log flume, Desperado Plunge, is the very same log flume that used to operate at the ever-so-short-lived Busch Gardens Los Angeles, which was located in Van Nuys, California. How's that for a "fun fact"? (And by the way, that little tidbit came from a published book, so it is 100% legit!)

This huge spread illustrates the diversity of The Great Escape's offerings in 1984, though the storybook characters are still very prominent. The most prominent critter of all, of course, is the adorable little steamin' demon himself. (Something tells me that isn't the reaction they were going for.) Why, he doesn't look frightening at all! In fact, his bloodshot eyes, snorts of exasperation, and obvious need to cling to a roller coaster for solace are reminiscent of what I've been seeing in the mirror every morning for the past month. [When does that staycation start again?! Two days... Just two more days...]

The Great Escape also caters to big groups. Get it? Cater? ...Yeah. Hence, why I need that staycation. In any event, we've made it through yet another one of my oldies but goodies without so much as a single scanner snafu that could have resulted in its untimely death. Hooray for preservation!


NewsPlusNotes said...

I *love* that detailed park map! Hand drawn ones are always so beautiful.