Unique merchandise has always been something that theme parks have looked to offer, and photos have been one of the most popular souvenirs. With advances in technology the offerings have varied and changed over time as new trends came and went.
|In 1984, Great
Adventure added a new merchandise location with the construction of the Fotozines
stand. The thin rectangular building was added on Dream Street near the popular
Flying Wave and offered something new in the way of souvenirs.
Fotozines were photos superimposed on the cover of popular magazines. Guests could choose from a wide range of real (and fake) titles and could get their picture in costume looking like they were on the cover of a publication. For example, a guest could put on a jersey from the rack of clothes and pose for Sports Illustrated or wear a fancy dress and grace the cover of Glamour magazine. The stand was very popular and the shop featured a wide variety of sample photos that were often quite humorous.
The Fotozine fad came to an end in the 1990's and for the 1992 season the shop became the Dream Street Confections candy shop which offered sweet treats by the pound.
In 1995 the shop went back to photos, this time as The Looking Glass offering digital photos. In 1998 the shop changed again becoming the Super Star Studio and offered a chance for guests to prove their vocal skills and star in music video.
Shop Names Through the Years
1992-1994: Dream Street Confections
1995-1997: The Looking Glass
1998-2001: Super Star Studio
2002-2005: Fast Lane Electronic Ride Reservation System
2006: Flash Pass Electronic Ride Reservation System
2007-2008: Hot Tropics
2009-2010: Jersey Girls
2011- Present: Adventure Alley Gifts
|In 2002, Six Flags
Great Adventure rolled out the Fast Lane virtual queue program and the shop became the
home for renting Q-bots. The huge crowds of people renting the units
along with the technology for them required the building to be expanded and
an addition was built onto the back. The area beside the building was
used to create a makeshift queue for those really busy days.
In 2006, Fast Lane was rebranded as Flash Pass, taking on the red-suited Flash superhero as its logo. The popularity of Flash Pass continued to grow and it soon became apparent that the building's tight quarters just couldn't handle the growing traffic utilizing this line-skipping option. At the end of the 2006 Flash Pass was relocated to a much larger facility near the park's aqua stadium leaving the Fotozine building empty once again.
The location reverted back to merchandise in 2007 as the store reopened as Hot Tropics, featuring a wide range of teen oriented gifts and products.
|Hot Tropics lasted
two seasons and became Jersey Girls for the 2008 season. The store
featured much of the same merchandise with Jersey Girls as it did as Hot
Tropics, but included more merchandise from the popular MTV show Jersey Shore.
To give the store more of a beach shop feel, photos of several New Jersey waterside landmarks like Lucy the Elephant in Margate and the famous Atlantic City boardwalk were captured in photos around the upper walls of the store. A life size lifeguard's seat was featured inside the shop's double doorway.
The shop was relegated to limited operations, closed on many of the slower days of the season and for the fall it was used for Fight Fest as a place for a fortune teller to set up shop or for upcharge ticket sales.
|For 2011, the area
around the shop was turned into Adventure Alley with the marquis
attraction being the Sky Screamer swing ride. The Sky Screamer was located right
next to the shop and the store was incorporated into the section and renamed Adventure Alley Gifts. Much
of the merchandise was the same modern style teen oriented stuff that was sold when
it was Jersey Girls, but the interior was redecorated with an amusement
Photos of small details around Adventure Alley, like the chains on the Sky Screamer or the lights on Granny's restaurant, were laminated onto small metal trays which framed the images. These images along with logos for the area's rides gave the shop more of a retro-Great Adventure feel. The theme was further enhanced when the shop started selling boxed candies that sported Great Adventure's very first logo, the red hot air balloon with tiger.
|The Fotizine building has changed many times over the years, typically keeping up with the latest trends in merchandise or the amusement industries newest offerings. Given its history, many changes are probably on the horizon for this ever evolving shop.|