In the 1980's the trend in theme parks was to add more interactive activities alongside the traditional rides for children. Parks like the nearby Sesame Place were innovators with the children's park experience, offering more "active" attractions which encouraged children to climb and explore. Six Flags quickly took notice and added their own versions of these new ways of entertaining kids.
For the 1984 season,
Great Adventure remodeled its long standing Kiddie Kingdom children's area
into a totally revamped kids section known as Shirt Tales Land, home to
Six Flags' newly licensed
Shirt Tales characters. As a part of that remodel a large new
structure was built at the area's entrance, featuring a net climb at its
front and two enclosed fiberglass slides towards its rear. An
observation platform between the net climb and the slides stood about
fifteen feet in the sky allowing little climbers to both take a rest
after their strenuous climb as well as look around from high in the air
at all the other new attractions which awaited them in Shirt Tales Land.
The enclosed area below the platform served as a backstage storage
Atop the entrance climb was an illuminated Shirt Tales Land sign which incorporated both the character's official red t-shirt logo and the accompanying Shirt Tales font. To the left and right of the structure extended red and yellow canvas canopies with seating areas under each. Oversized hard plastic benches were placed here to allow for two shady rest areas at the entrance to this new kids kingdom.
|The Shirt Tales characters only lasted at the park
for one whole season as
Six Flags acquired the rights to the Looney Tunes characters as part of the
acquisition of Marriott's Great America outside of Chicago in 1984.
In 1985, Shirt Tales Land became Looney Tunes Land and saw an update to the entrance sign on the climb. The Shirt Tales name and logo were replaced with a rather simple rectangular backlit box with the name Looney Tunes Land in a cloud along with Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. The Entrance Climb itself remained unchanged until it was removed before the 1988 season when the area was updated once again to Bugs Bunny Land bringing with it a new entrance portal.
Luckily for the kids, a similar climbing and sliding structure was also built at the rear of the children's land back in 1984. The Rear Net Climb lasted until the end of the 2001 season but was also ultimately removed.
|Original Spotlight: October 24, 2020. GAH Reference#: KIDS-1984-001