One of the rides found in nearly every theme park, amusement park and carnival for the last half century is the Eli Bridge Scrambler ride. This simple ride is a crowd favorite, is mechanically simple to maintain, and can fit in a small area. Great Adventure added the Scrambler in 1978 and it ran in several locations until it was removed at the end of the 2001 season.
The Scrambler ride was added to the park for the
1978 season, originally under the name "Close Encounter" playing on the
name of the popular movie. The ride spent a single season in its first
location just in front of the entrance to Lightnin' Loops after which
moved to the center of the Fun Fair area of the park. It was
relocated next to the Matterhorn which had been moved to fill the area that had
been home to the former Wild Flower (Troika) ride.
The Scrambler operated under several names (used only on the maps) and without a sign until it was disassembled at the end of the 1986 season to make way for the new Splashwater Falls ride.
For the 1987 season, Scrambler then moved to a new location across from the Showcase Theater on a site which had been previously home to the Schwabinchen ride.
|With Time Warner's purchase of the Six Flags chain, efforts were made to bring themes back to the sections of the park and make the rides fit the areas they occupied. The Scrambler became part of the newly formed Movie Town area of the park in 1993, with the addition of rocket engines and other parts, along with space/futuristic themed lighting and other queue elements. The ride's movie connection was made with "The Right Stuff", a Warner Brothers film profiling the original Mercury Astronauts. The queue was reconfigured to allow the realignment of the entrance for the neighboring Looping Starship, which now became the Space Shuttle as part of its inclusion in the Movie Town section. That Right Stuff theme was a taste of things to come with the addition of the Right Stuff Mach 1 Adventure for the 1994 season.|
For the 1997 season the Scrambler and the Looping Starship both moved across the park to the top of the Boardwalk area, bringing their space theme elements with them as part of the area's Edwards Air Force Base theme.
The ride queue was setup in front of the former Administration "bubble building". For the 2001 season, a new queue was constructed around the front side of the Scrambler site. The space capsule prop and sign were removed from the entrance to the Scrambler and a roof was added to the former queue structure. The former queue became the entrance to the Alcatraz simulator which would make its home inside the building which had been used as a storage facility since the park offices had moved to the current location in the early 1980's.
|For the 2002 season the Scrambler was disassembled again for another
move in preparation for the construction of Superman: Ultimate Flight
for the 2003 season. The ride site would become the entrance
plaza for the new coaster.
Plans initially called for the relocation of the Scrambler to the former El Sombrero (Schwabinchen) site which had been been cleared of the aging ride at the end of the 2001 season. Preparations for the Scrambler's relocation were underway in April 2002 with a new channel being cut in the concrete ride pad for the Scrambler drive shaft. Before any further preparations took place on the site, plans changed, and the Scrambler was on the move again.
After a decision was made by Six Flags corporate
management to move the Pirate's Flight ride in an effort to beef up the
faltering Six Flags World's of Adventure park in Ohio, plans for the
Scrambler's new location also changed, with the ride parts being placed
in the empty concrete pad awaiting reassembly. The ride parts sat on
the site during the month of May in 2002 and then were suddenly removed
from the park completely. The Scrambler was moved out of the park,
finally being rebuilt at Six Flags Over Georgia where it operated indoors as Shake Rattle and
Roll for several seasons.
The Scrambler at Six Flags Over Georgia
|In September 2011,
Great Adventure announced
Adventure Alley, a rethemed
area containing several new
family flat rides to be
situated around the Big Wheel.
One of the "new" experiences
will be aboard a retro-themed
Heard of a Scrambler at
Great Adventure before?
That is Deja Vu -
opening May 2012!