Monday, October 31, 2011

Scott And Carol Present - A Hauntingly Ghoulish Visit To Six Flags Great America's Six Saints Cemetery!

It was a dark and scary night... okay so it was a sunny October afternoon when we happened upon the Six Saint's Cemetery!

But, there were no saints on the ground on this day, or under the grounds for that matter.

While we didn't remember all the attractions that were laid to rest, there were some that we have fond memories of from days long since past.

Technically the Turn of the Century is still in the park, at least in spirit. Closing at the end of the 1979 season, the ride morphed into the Demon in 1980.

Opening with the park, the Sky Whirl was the World's first triple Ferris wheel, it was custom built by Intamin for Marriott.

It's replacement was the third Six Flag installation of a Vekoma giant inverted boomerang.

The Cajun Cliffhanger was a Chance rotor, that was moved from the Old Riverview park to Great America in 1975. It was replaced by Jester's Wild Ride, a Zamperla Rockin' Tug.

The Hay Baler was a Chance Flying Bob, a spin and spew inside a barn looking building. It was located near the Sky Whirl and definitely not my kind of ride.

A creation of Anton Schwarzkopf, Tidal Wave was the first roller coaster added to Great America after the opening season. A launch coaster powered by a unique weight-drop system, the ride was removed after the 1991 season to make room for the first B&M inverted coaster. Tidal Wave was moved to Six Flags over Georgia, where it operated as Viper until 2001. It sat in their parking lot until it was moved to Kentucky Kingdom in 2002.

This Intamin Bobsled coaster was moved from Six Flags Great Adventure in 1988, It was built between the Demon and the Whizzer. Rolling Thunder was removed to make way for a new section of the park, Southwest Territory.

Space Shuttle America was a motion simulator ride which featured a full size replica of the Space Shuttle. It closed in 2007 and was removed in 2009 to make room for Hurricane Harbor water park.

Z-Force was the only Intamin space diver roller coaster ever built. The roller coaster featured six vertical diving corkscrew drops and 720 degree gravity defying upward spiral. It was located on the site most recently occupied by Iron Wolf.

The Hay Baler was a Zamperla Joker that fit well in the Southwest Territory with it's chuck wagon theming. The area where it was located is used as a queue for one of the park's haunted houses.

This Arrow multi-looper opened as the world's tallest and fastest looping roller coaster with an impressive seven inversions: three vertical loops, a butterfly corkscrew and two corkscrews. It was built in the parking and was replaced with Superman: Ultimate Flight.

The third installation of Vekcoma's Giant Invert Boomerang and the most problematic, Deja Vu sat on the former Sky Whirl site and was replaced with the Buccaneer Battle, a Mack splash battle ride.

Splashwater Falls was an O.D. Hopkins Shoot The Chute was located in County Fair. The ride closed in August 2007 due to decline in popularity and old age. Most of it was removed, all but a huge footer, which is now being removed for X-Flight.

Another Marriott's Great America original ride bites the dust, originally named the Barney Odefield Speedway, the Great American Speedway closed in 2010.

The station and queue of the Arrow Development Antique Cars are all that remains of the ride.

And, last but not least B&M's first coaster, Iron Wolf is in the process of being removed. The coaster is headed east to Six Flags America, it's unknown what the site will be used for next.

Well, that ends our tour of the graveyard, Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scott And Carol Present - Six Flags Great America's X-Flight Site Preparation

Six Flags Great America is proudly promoting their 2012 addition, X-Flight!

Site preparation is already under way. Not much is left of the Great American Raceway or Splashwater Falls, the O.D. Hopkins Shoot The Chutes, which has been closed since 2007.

The park has made it very easy to find the construction site by plastering huge X-Flight banners on the fence bordering the area.

Of course it's really not to hard to find the huge hole between the County Fair and Southwest Territory sections of the park.

The Great American Raceway entrance and queue area are still intact. Wonder if it will be used as the entrance and part of the queue for X-Flight.

These huge pieces of concrete are the remains of a huge footer leftover from Splashwater Falls.

This machine is being used to grind the pieces of concrete into gravel.

And, the gravel is going to be used in X-Flight's construction.

This view shows just how large the construction area is and also offers a nice view of the American Eagle. We can hardly wait to check out this area next spring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goliath Work Starts, Deja Vu Comes Down

In a series of new photographs from the SFNE Goliath Construction Blog it can be seen that the park's former Shipwreck Falls is now just a memory.  Six Flags New England has started work on their new Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang coaster, Goliath, on the water ride's former home.

Holes for footers are being dug, and Shipwreck's former queue house has been carefully lifted out of place and moved, which would lead me to believe it will be reused for the new coaster.  The section of the park that will be home to Goliath is going to look dramatically different next season.

A couple thousand miles away, at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the coaster that will become Goliath (currently known as Deja Vu) is being dismantled.  The Coaster Guy has some excellent photographs of the removal, which has started with the signature cobra roll element.

A 'Bear' Of A Fundraiser At Canobie Lake Park

The Ride Entertainment Group of Companies, which represents such manufacturers as Gerstlauer, SkyCoaster, and Funtime, recently got "Untamed" at Canobie Lake Park in order to raise funds for Give Kids The World.

Ride Entertainment's Adam Sandy and Mark Rosenzweig

With Canobie decked out for their Screeemfest Halloween event, Ride Entertainment employees Adam Sandy and Mark Rosenzweig donned bear costumes to scare up some funds for Give Kids the World.  Canobie Lake Park placed a donation point at the exit to their new Untamed roller coaster, which Ride Entertainment sold to the park.

The Bear costumes fit Untamed's themed cars

After walking the park and entertaining (scaring) some of the guests - all in good fun, of course - the pair managed to raise over $2,300 for Give Kids The World.

"We were happy to raise over $2,300 for Give Kids the World,” said Sandy.  “It really is a great cause and we were thrilled to be a part of it.  Knowing that the money is going to a cause that allows kids to be kids and forget about an illness they have, if just for a little while, is a great feeling.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scott And Carol Present - Kennedy Space Center Opens A New Attraction Over Thirty Years In The Making.

With the Space Shuttle program's mission completed the very large building which once housed the shuttles, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) will now be open to the public, for a limited time to a limited number of Visitor Complex guests per day as part of KSC Up-Close, a new two-hour, guided special interest tour. Beginning Nov. 1, the tour will be offered eight times daily for $25 for adults and $19 for children ages 3-11, plus the cost of admission which is $43 + tax for adults and $33 + tax for children ages 3-11.

Making this an even more special opportunity, guests may get to see a real space shuttle orbiter, since all four of the remaining shuttles are currently being prepared for display in their new homes. If you have taken a bus tour at Kennedy Space Center, you have ridden past the 525-foot tall VAB. The Saturn V rocket was assembled in the VAB in the Sixties and the all the shuttles were assembled here, including the very last shuttle, STS-135 Atlantis, earlier this year.

The VAB tour stop is just part of the KSC Up-Close tour, guests will have also have the opportunity to view many other Kennedy Space Center landmarks. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit

Having seen a shuttle launch in person, we are very excited about this tour and are already planning on enjoying the experience.

Cedar Fair Using Accesso For Online Commerce

Cedar Fair has sent out a press release announcing that they have signed on Accesso to "utilize their premier online commerce and mobile technology across its renowned portfolio of parks." A significant deal for the company, this is a smart step forward for the park's online presence, along with a link to the future of online ticket sales.

"Along with redesigned websites for each park, Cedar Fair will replace its current in-house e-commerce solution with Accesso's fully hosted, dynamic online platform beginning in January 2012.  Cedar Fair will also roll out Accesso's integrated mobile platform with updated mobile websites along with iPhone and Android based apps including mobile ticketing."

It may be worth noting that company President, Matt Ouimet, is quoted in the article - perhaps this is one of his first big changes for Cedar Fair.  The type of technology being invested in actually goes to the point of possibly having tickets purchased on a mobile device, and then scanned at a park entry gate for admission.  When compared to several other theme park companies, Cedar Fair has traditionally lagged in the technology field.

Accesso has worked with many theme parks in the past, including the entire Six Flags Chain, the Columbus Zoo, PARC Management, and Adrenaline Family Entertainment.

An Interesting Look At S&S Worldwide

BlooLoop has a great, and at times surprisingly frank, interview posted with S&S Worldwide's VP of Sales, Marketing, and New Product Development (fit that on a business card!) Kevin Rohwer.

The company, which was originally started by Stan Checketts - who has since cut ties with it - is currently known for it's enormous base of air-launched thrill rides and coasters.  According to the article, S&S currently has over 400 rides operating in 30 different countries - quite a measure of success.

The interview covers quite a bit of ground, from the company's efforts to serve both the thrill and family market, along with what new rides they have on the burner, and what's being called their German "black eye."

Probably most interesting to readers might be that the company has a thrill version planned of its Free Fly coaster, which will offer a new ride sensation to the industry, and will be exclusive to S&S.  What that could be I am not sure, but it looks like we will have to wait patiently to find out.

Make sure to jump over to BlooLoop to read the entire interview.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scott And Carol Present - Iron Wolf De-construction Photos

For now the Iron Wolf's station is still standing, although the entrance and queue area are "hidden" behind some cornstalks.

The queue area's cover is gone, but the structure is there still.

The construction crew has yet to start taking down the lift hill.

Here is a look at Iron Wolf from the mid-way in from of the station taken several years ago.

Here is a photo from near the same spot, taken on October 15th 2011. As you can see a lot of track has already been removed.

This section of track, leading out of the station toward the lift hill, shows just how carefully the sections are being removed. Most of the bolts have been removed to expedite the track removal.

Here is a look at one of the rides two 7 car trains plunging down the first drop several years ago.

Here is nearly the same shot taken October 15th, does look like much has changed here...yet.

These two supports show the ball part of B&M's original ball and socket joints that were on the top of the supports and the bottom of track pieces to facilitate the installation process. The fabrication tolerances have since been tightened to within one millimeter for all measurements, thus eliminating the need for the joints and the need for the customer to continue lubricating those joints for the life of the roller coaster.

The track may be on it's way to Maryland, but the footers have yet to be removed.

The entrance and exiting sections are all that remains of Iron Wolf's loop.

These sections of track helped make up the fan turn after the loop.

Iron Wolf opened at Six Flags Great America on April 28th 1990, it was the first coaster designed by Walter Bolliger & Claude Mabillard and when it opened Iron Wolf was the tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster in the world. On September 5th 2011 Iron Wolf ended it's run at the park. The ride is currently being carefully dismantled and moved to Six Flags America in Largo Maryland, where it will open as Apocalypse: Last Stand in 2012.