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Photo #20 - November 19, 2012:

 

2012_11_18.png

 

March 1989

 

When the Great American Scream Machine opened in 1989 the roller coaster featured

the world's tallest loop. The 136 foot inversion was one of seven such maneuvers that

flipped riders up-side-down on its 3800 foot track.

 

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I still remember parking where all that track is laying each day in the summer of 88 and how exciting it was when I saw this show up:

 

Scans-010a.jpg

 

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GASM looks so beautiful in this picture.

 

Scream Machine was a good looking ride. It was really impressive to see when you were entering the parking lot, even when it was older. I miss it a lot.

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Photo #21 - November 26, 2012:

 

2012_11_25.png

 

Winter 1986

 

A ride which simulated the thrills of Olympic bobsledding was introduced in 1984 with the

addition of the Sarajevo Bobsled roller coaster. Ironically, real snow would have closed the

attraction as the ride was shuttered during any type of precipitation including drizzle.

 

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Holy cow this ride brings back memories..!

 

I remember during the first few days of operation, I went for a "test ride" with the area supervisor (I think it was Tyrone Daly back then?!?) when all of a sudden it started drizzling. The ride's trough was just painted stainless steel, and the cars had rubber wheels that rolled freely within the trough. The cars weren't on a track per se; they could ride anywhere within the trough and the turns were banked. The more weight in the car, the wider the turns... However, because the trains were able to travel freely, ANY amount of moisture (including morning dew) was catastrophic!!!

 

Now as an adrenalin and theme park junkie, I would normally enjoy a hair-raising ride... However,... Once we got past the lift, the ride became ridiculously dangerous!!! The wheels that were on the sides of the cars were SLAMMING into the rail stops along the tops of the turns (which are installed to prevent cars from rolling over or out of the trough completely!) I literally hung on for dear life... Both Tyrone and I came off the right seriously banged up and scared s***less!! We shut the ride down IMMEDIATELY and didn't dispatch another car until the track was COMPLETELY DRY!!!

 

I have seen a more updated version of the ride at Kings Dominion in VA where the trough isn't solid - it's made up of tubular steel and allows for drainage (see photo: http://www.kingsdominion.com/rides/Family-Rides/Avalanche) and also limits the skidding of the cars... In addition, there are multiple cars connected instead of Great Adventure's single-car (6 passenger) vehicles.

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It never took much to make that track slippery. When we had to walk it in the morning (as a ride op) to check for leaves and debris in the trough it use to be slippery just from the morning dew. It was like a giant sliding board.

 

I always liked the Intamin style bobsleds more than King Dominion's Mack version. It seemed more "risky" like a true bobsled run.

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Holy cow this ride brings back memories..!

 

I remember during the first few days of operation, I went for a "test ride" with the area supervisor (I think it was Tyrone Daly back then?!?) when all of a sudden it started drizzling. The ride's trough was just painted stainless steel, and the cars had rubber wheels that rolled freely within the trough. The cars weren't on a track per se; they could ride anywhere within the trough and the turns were banked. The more weight in the car, the wider the turns... However, because the trains were able to travel freely, ANY amount of moisture (including morning dew) was catastrophic!!!

 

Now as an adrenalin and theme park junkie, I would normally enjoy a hair-raising ride... However,... Once we got past the lift, the ride became ridiculously dangerous!!! The wheels that were on the sides of the cars were SLAMMING into the rail stops along the tops of the turns (which are installed to prevent cars from rolling over or out of the trough completely!) I literally hung on for dear life... Both Tyrone and I came off the right seriously banged up and scared s***less!! We shut the ride down IMMEDIATELY and didn't dispatch another car until the track was COMPLETELY DRY!!!

 

 

 

Oh my god. That must have been scary. lol

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Yeah, when I worked at the park (in Show Ops) they used to pull us on days with low staff levels and have us work rides. I spent quite a few shifts working at the Bobsled and remember a lot of downtime for drizzle or even fog getting the track wet.

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Yeah, when I worked at the park (in Show Ops) they used to pull us on days with low staff levels and have us work rides. I spent quite a few shifts working at the Bobsled and remember a lot of downtime for drizzle or even fog getting the track wet.

 

Did you guys have to take the tests for Attendant and Op? Did they give you guys cert. cards?

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Everyone in Operations (Shows, Admissions, Grounds & Rides) was trained and certified as a ride attendant so anyone could go work rides when needed. I still have my laminated "Certified Attendant" cards somewhere. We used to get pulled for most of spring and fall to work in the Fun Fair area (where all the flats were) and Bugs Bunny Land. It was rare to get pulled to a major ride since they moved the actual rides people to those attractions where they wanted the most experienced people.

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Everyone in Operations (Shows, Admissions, Grounds & Rides) was trained and certified as a ride attendant so anyone could go work rides when needed. I still have my laminated "Certified Attendant" cards somewhere. We used to get pulled for most of spring and fall to work in the Fun Fair area (where all the flats were) and Bugs Bunny Land. It was rare to get pulled to a major ride since they moved the actual rides people to those attractions where they wanted the most experienced people.

 

Oh wow, that's awesome! It's so much different now. lol We have the occasional Rides employee going into Foods, but that is just about it.

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Photo #22 - December 3, 2012:

 

2012_12_02.png

 

May 1974

 

An obvious example of cutbacks to Great Adventure's initial construction budget was the

reduction from four to two ice cream sculptures on the corners of the Yum Yum Palace. This

must have been a last minute decision as this photo shows the front two steel frames assembled

on the roof and the two which were to be placed in the rear lying on the ground. Those two were

never used.

 

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I still remember those being on the roof in the 1980's. I always hoped they would finish it, especially since the maps always depicted it finished.

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I still remember those being on the roof in the 1980's. I always hoped they would finish it, especially since the maps always depicted it finished.

 

The low level steel was visible on the roof for years (white octagon below):

gallery_2_579_485140.jpg

 

but never the triangular vertical support steel (circled below):

gallery_2_579_347340.jpg

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You're right, that's what I was thinking of. I've been looking at these construction pictures for so long, I forget what I actually saw versus what I think I saw... :D

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Photo #23 - December 10, 2012:

 

2012_12_09.png

 

June 1996

 

Following the huge success of the themed queue for Disneyland's Indiana Jones- Temple of the

Forbidden Eye in 1995, Great Adventure offered guests an immersive waiting line experience for

Skull Mountain when it first opened in 1996. The queue was short-lived and removed for the

installation of the Jolly Roger ride in 1999.

 

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Even though the ride rarely gets a line out of the cave now, it's too bad they didn't keep the old outer queue. It looks like it would have been really cool to see. I didn't ride Skull Mountain until 2002 since I thought it was a thrilling coaster with inversions after watching the commercials on TV when the ride first opened and avoided the ride the first few years it was open because of that.

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Photo #24 - December 17, 2012:

 

2012_12_16.png

 

Summer 1991

 

Long before Winter Lights was introduced at Great Adventure miniature Christmas lights

could be found in the main entrance plaza of the park. White twinkling lights were festooned

high in the branches of all the main gate's trees adding a whole new dimension to the area for

guests exiting the park at night.

 

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