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Gr.Adv.Debate #10: Which main entrance was a better choice?

Location of Great Adventure's Main Entrance  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which was a better location for Great Adventure's main entrance?

    • The original near the Dream Street Tents (assuming that Dream Street was still open)
      9
    • The current entrance near the fountain
      10


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As many of you know, Great Adventure originally opened with its main entrance next to the Dream Street Tents. In 1976, the entrance was relocated to its current location close to the fountain. Assuming that Dream Street was still an open space (without the Paint Ball building), which entrance was a better choice?

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The original. With a twist. There was lots of space to enlarge it or move it. The area of land now used for El Toro and Kinga Ka. Let me explain. If moved and expanned to allow more ticket booths. Keeping the original theme of the gates. creating a tram area. in front of that. Then building a fountain like the one in the original porpsal for Dreen Street. With several smalll shops in the semi cricle leading to the two tents that held the Lost Parents and first aid. Stations. And create a arch way with the correct Dream Street Logo. Leave the four tents that were there as is. And Fortune Festival but with a fountain in the middle. in place of the Gondolia Ride. Now as we know all the attractions in Strawberry Fair were portables. So Id have moved them back behind Gingerbread Fancy. in the area now occupied by Nitro. And used what is now Main Street for Parachutists Perch at the end were the main gate is now. And finished Dream Street all the way to Big wheel. And filled it with Shops and Resturants. Rolling Thunder could have gone on the otherside dbehind the relocated Strawberry Fair. Once the removal of Free Fall used that as a path way from Fun Fair, And build the Golden Kingdom to Feather Kinga Ka. as its center. creat another spike from Fun Fair to Moivetown. for Batman, Superman and Bazziro etc. El Toro could have been bulit on the back of Frontier Adventures were Bazziro is now. Condor and Rodeio Stampead in the area in the middle of the log flume were Shoot Out and Hat Hats was. kiddie Kingdom at the back half of the Great Train Ride. thus making it it own small themed area. A Sky Scramer would have been placed in Fun Fair were Batmans Stunt Arena is. And Id have never brought Looneytoons into the park.

Edited by FlumeOp1974

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I loved the idea of the original entrance, but like so many of Warner LeRoy's design ideas it was impractical. I can only imagine how odd the flow of guests must have been with the Rootin' Tootin' area located beyond the gates. It meant basically everything was a dead end. The central entrance allowed for more growth with a central hub and better flow all around.

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Actually the flow in the park was good. Most guests traveled down Dream Street taking on all the rides shows and attractions along the way. And then took the Sky Ride to Rootin tootin and Back to the main gate and out. it made for a smooth flow thru and no back tracking accross the park, Thus allowing everyone never to have to cover the same area twice in a visit.

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Actually the flow in the park was good. Most guests traveled down Dream Street taking on all the rides shows and attractions along the way. And then took the Sky Ride to Rootin tootin and Back to the main gate and out. it made for a smooth flow thru and no back tracking accross the park, Thus allowing everyone never to have to cover the same area twice in a visit.

 

You just desribed our 1974 Park Tour - one of the first features of GreatAdventureHistory.com!

 

Tour1974.png

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Yea I did but that was what happened..And It made scents. And the 1974 Tour of the Park Spotlight is dead on.

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There were a lot of parks that relied on things like that (Cedar Point comes to mind) but the problem always came down to capacity limits on the transportation system and reliability of it. Especially when it comes to skyrides, if the wind picks up or a thunderstorm rolls in suddenly you have guests that are stranded or have to walk when they didn't anticipate having to which creates disgruntled guests. It also limits attendance growth. While riding the Skyride was never a necessity, it did make the original design work.

 

Almost every park that had implemented a ride system like that where it was designed to either move guests to a park (from a parking lot or entry area) or from one section to another either abandoned it quickly or found they really needed to supplement it/create ways around it to handle the ever increasing crowds. That might have worked if they never expected more than 2 million guests in a year, but you reach a point where you need to handle the crowds better. Moving the entrance addressed that.

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That is something that Disney even did with the Magic Kingdom and learned never to do it again. While the remote parking/Ticket and Transportation Center seemed like a good idea, it quickly became more of an inconvenience and was adjusted with things like the bus depots at the foot of the park and walkways from the Contemporary.

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Agreed but that wasnt the only to get for Strawberry Fair to Rootin Tootin. You could also walk along the path in The Woodland Gardens and stopped at Band Stand by The Lake for the Show there. Before moving on to Rootin Tootin. But I will say the Sky Ride was the best way from point A to B. And it did carry its full compliment of cabins back then. So it was able to handle more passangers in an hour. Then it does presntly. And gee guess didnt mean to stir the pot ...

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It's good to debate and talk about this. Since I have started working for Disney I have become all too familiar with the simultaneous wonders and horrors of systems like this. Every time we have fog move in or wind come up and ground the watercraft or power or equipment problems (or just moving a train on or off the line) with the monorails, it really screws things up. When it's your job to tell guests the monorails are closed and they have to take a bus, you'd think that you just killed their grandmother or something.

 

Parks like Ghost Town in the Sky and Six Gun Territory did similar things with railways and skyrides connecting the parking lot to the park and it always lead to lines on busy days (and they are small parks). I remember reading about how Cedar Point used to have their western area connected to the rest of the park only by skyride and train. One day a storm hit the park which closed the skyride and knocked trees across the tracks for the train, stranding guests for hours.

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I agree. I live here in Kissimmee. And have worked for Disney World. But really in all my years of theme park work. Ive never seen a good design. Its not so much the transdportation to the main gate its the gate itself. weather its the Disney Company, Six Flags, or Cedar Fair. They all suffer the main issue on openning. ANd any single point of entry will cause a bottleneck. No mater how many booths or turnstiles they have. When Great Adventure was first layed out it was designed to avoid back tracking within the park it self. Thus allowing guests never to have to pass thru the same area twice. Which the center Main Street gate causes. Ive tried on a number of times to do this without running back and forth. And its not do able. Even at disney you need to criscross the magic kingdom to avoid a parade or bottle neck at the Disney statue. I belive the the Orignail main gate for Great Adventure worked. I will given into the fact atendents far exceped projections. But it still made for a spectaculer jaw dropping view when you first walked into the park. The Four tents,Balloon, Merry Go Round withs band organ all the Dreem Street Characters, Beyond the Fountain, To the top of Big Wheel. Banners and Floral Gardens everywere. Spectcial, Pagentry, Sounds...It was all there waitting to be explored.


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I do not think either entrance has a huge advantage over the other. The original did have a better visual with the tents, the Carousel and Yum Yum Palace, and the Big Wheel. My only real problem with the current entrance is what they've done to it recently. It was built during the Bicentennial and had a colonial theme, and you walked through the woods to get to it. Now the trees have been cut down and the buildings have been painted rediculous colors that changed them from colonial to generic.

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I think the original entrance was the perfect fit for the park at the time, though as it expanded the central hub concept became a better fit. If the scenery and view of the original Dream Street could be restored, that would still be my preference.

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The main enterance as we klnow it gone..But if the designers wanted they could restore the all. First remove the paint ball building. Take up all that cemment back to the origianal walk way. Secondly remove all the attacments to the four tents. And add on buildings. Replant trees between Dream Street and Boardwalk. Create floral gardens in fornt of the the old gate buildings. Build a large jet fountain in front. Place a banner over the top with the original logo for Dream Street.


Edited by FlumeOp1974

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Guest Moonracker7

they had to close the dream St. gates because of capacity problems. now a days...if they added a hotel or tram in general between enchanted forest(GA)and hurricane harbor a special entrance for season pass people could work...if you look at my discussion on the plan that could cost a fortune.

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