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Daved Thomson

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Everything posted by Daved Thomson

  1. Thank you, Harry. It has always been the incredibly small, detailed minutia that I have always enjoyed the most. While I never had the opportunity to go under the stadium as you did, as part of the Employee Fun Olympics during the summer of 1985, I got myself into the competition as a jouster against another department's opposing jouster. I didn't last more than :15 seconds on the floating platform, largely because I had not even thought about the weight of the jousts themselves. But, as a loser in the competition, I did manage to swim in the main pool and, at the time, found that to be incredibly thrilling!
  2. Love this photo! Any idea what appear to be six rooms at the back of the Aqua Spectacle actually became when the stadium was finished? Also, in the main pool area, there looks like five structures protruding into the pool area from the outer walls. Were these some sort of temporary supports holding back the concrete walls and eventually removed when the pools were filled with water? Just seems a little odd that they only appear in the main pool. Do you have any idea where the salt water systems and filtration for all of it were located when the finished seating areas eventually covered all of the areas below?
  3. Thanks for the info. I'll be in NJ for the month of November and hope to experience this while I am there.
  4. Just curious as to where vehicles enter the park and exit the park for the drive-thru experience? Is there a map available of the route? My apologies if either of these things have been posted here somewhere and I have missed them.
  5. Totally agree with all of these rides having some covering and I had not remembered Shock Wave. But my point was that none of these coverings provided non-penetrable protection of guests from the sun and rain. I can't think of any other attraction that comes close to a fully covered que house like the log flume, other than Roaring Rapids. It has a fully covered que house, but exposed station and other parts of the que that are covered with pergola-type coverings. It's just peculiar to the log flume, and not in a bad way. I also agree that many of the newer rides have had at least partially covered ques, but those coverings are makeshift at best.
  6. I guess I'm confused as to how it's possible to have Holiday in the Park (which I assume means people in the park) as well as Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience (cars driving in the park) at the same time. I'm just guessing here, but wouldn't you have to do each on different days?
  7. I was editing as you were replying. LOL
  8. Interestingly enough, after reviewing the poster maps (which were not the most accurate of park maps), it wasn't until the second season (1979) of Six Flags ownership that the actual covered que was added to the log flume and appeared on the maps. In addition, it looks to be the only fully covered que to appear on the maps and, I think, in the park. Runaway Train and the Western Sky ride had partially covered lines, but those partial coverings were actually part of the stations and Fort. It wasn't until 1981's Roaring Rapids addition that we would see a significant portion of the que covered. To this day, other than GASM/Green Lantern, can you think of any other ride in the park where most of the que is (or was) fully covered?
  9. It makes absolutely no sense that they would even bother to publish this report for 2020, with almost all of the various data points used as input completely unstable versus their 2019 report. And, the logic of keeping rankings frozen at 2019 levels while still reporting attendance levels for parks that had operating days and reported attendance, is just very bad statistical reporting and tracking. But, we have known for sometime now that these reports are no longer based on actual attendance figures obtained solely from the parks and reported to TEA. TEA uses some algorithm to, at best, guestimate actual attendance figures based on inputs such as figures reported by the parks, reputation for reporting accurate data, actual weather and economic conditions, etc. Like most trade associations, TEA has better information on some parks/companies than others and their confidence in park/company data, I have to believe, varies greatly for each company/park. I would think that their attendance figures most years, at best are based on a 90% confidence level versus actual attendance. Obviously, only management at all of the parks knows how close these reported figures are to actual final attendance counts. Just my personal opinion, but all of the attendance figures in this report are significantly more questionable than any of the data reported in prior TEA reports and I think everyone has been quick to notice it.
  10. Fantastic spotlight and one that I have been eagerly awaiting. Agree that the side facing trams were strange, but also ridiculously inefficient in terms of the rider capacity. In reality, this configuration allowed for, at most, 24 "normal" sized passengers per car. This side facing configuration and these tug-type of trams were common to each of the original three Six Flags parks. While I'm not 100% certain of this, I believe they did not appear at Great Adventure until the 1978 season. Despite being a big GA fan and employee for three seasons, as well as attending pretty regularly through at least the early 2000's, the Firestone trams were the last trams I ever recall seeing at the park. The variety of trams the park has utilized over the years, that are included in this spotlight, was a real shocker for me. As you have mentioned before, the single axle cars provided quite a seesaw ride themselves to the park entrance with the connection between cars often bottoming out in various uneven sections of the parking lot. Personally, the lack of trams at Great Adventure were a big reason my mother and father stopped going to the park. The walk from the parking lot to the main entrance became too much for my mother. In the park, there were plenty of places to sit and catch a breadth for her as she aged, but the walk from the farthest reaches of the parking lot to the main entrance was too much.
  11. What a fantastic picture of these bears! Can't believe they were never used in a brochure or pamphlet. Really great!
  12. Get a new governor. One that does NOT think it's his job to dictate to the businesses or citizens of the State what is a safe or unsafe environment in which to work. People are very capable of deciding for themselves where to work and when it's better to work than not work, and "safer" to work than not work. As long as you've relaxed requirements to collect unemployment and made it more advantageous to collect unemployment than to work (thereby making it safer to not work than to work for many people), you will have a very difficult time finding people to work.
  13. I've always been a big fan of Warner LeRoy and his "over the top" way of doing things. But, the Russian Tea Room, was another example of his inability to manage, budget and plan the opening of his projects accordingly. Like Great Adventure, he really has a history of opening his projects before they are completely ready to open and I think this really hurts when it comes to the guests he welcomes during that initial period. Positive word-of-mouth remains amongst the most powerful forms of advertising and he really seemed to overlook it in almost all of his projects. The ability to "wow" people is greatly diminished when people are first exposed to something that is unfinished.
  14. If I'm not mistaken, Come Together also only lasted for the 1981 and 1982 seasons as well.
  15. I remember those signs and the phrase vividly, but, I have to admit, I never thought of them as being obscene. This is the first I've heard of that interpretation. It is interesting to note that Roaring Rapids was introduced in 1981 and the phrase for its introduction that you noted on the sign was likely written by someone either in the marketing department or at the park's advertising agency. That would be the same department or agency that introduced the park's new tag line that year, "Come Together." Come Together's meaning was sometimes misinterpreted at the time by both park employees and guests because of it's sexual connotations. Come Together was intended to communicate that guests should come to the park together with their entire family, but was sometimes misinterpreted by those with wandering thoughts as encouraging mutual orgasm. A pre-testing of the advertising slogan at that time would have caught such an issue.
  16. I could be wrong, but I believe they simply refer to Six Flags as having introduced the first log flume ride, as opposed to Six Flags Great Adventure. Worthy of note, however, is the fact that Great Adventure's log flume was the largest log flume in the world when it opened in 1974. Quick correction to my comment. The SFGA park website (the official Six Flags website) does refer to the Saw Mill Log Flume as being the first. That is clearly not the case. I'm guessing it's probably the result of the same person writing the copy for all of the Six Flags parks and someone not editing that writing for the individual park.
  17. Remember them very well. They were a great burst of color as you approached the fountain. I'm actually surprised that they're no longer there. I'm sure the profit margins on those things were enormous.
  18. You're not kidding about squirrel's and wires. My father never puts his car in the garage and he lives in a fairly wooded area in Jersey. He has twice now had to have the wiring under the hood of his car replaced due to squirrels chewing them apart. Each time he brought the car to the dealer since the car was still under warranty, he was told that the wires had been chewed through by squirrels. Obviously, squirrel chewing isn't covered under any auto manufacturer's warranty and it's not cheap to have all of your engine wiring replaced.
  19. That's hilarious... Are the two photos actually of the Mullica River or are those downed trees over a waterway at GA? Personally, I would like to see a return to the Roaring Rapids name which, with your suggested theming, would certainly be more appropriate than Congo Rapids.
  20. I never knew they owned land abutting I-195, but if true, that would certainly be the most valuable land. My concern is $8 million dollars of undeveloped land in Jackson, NJ sounds like a very large number of acres, most of which GA owned south of Prospertown Lake, and most of which is shielded from development for environmental reasons. Thus, I'm not sure who would buy such a large number of acres of land that they knew had restrictions on the lands use. Update: So I checked the acreage owned by the park in the 2020 Annual Report. It turns out that in the report, the company claims that 2,111 acres are now owned by the park while last year's report says 2,200 acres were owned by the park. I guess I'm just baffled that 89 acres of undeveloped land in the area could possibly sell for $8 million dollars.
  21. Too funny... Angel is a Centerfold always reminds me of GA as well. It received a lot of air play during my first Summer working at GA in 1981.
  22. Totally a guess here, but using some previous building contents as the basis for my guess... Were there 28 SkeeBall Lanes in the building when it was renamed?
  23. If I'm not mistaken, this gem has appeared on the calendar before as something that should be removed. Personally, I'd like to see it removed and open-up Dream Street to it's original design. While I was never a fan of the flower beds that had been put there to divert traffic following Six Flags' purchase, it was, at least attractive. I also thought it was a good spot for Jumping Jack Flash when it operated in that spot. The building does nothing but draw attention to itself because it is boarded-up and not at all attractive from either side of the street.
  24. Just my opinion and I understand the need for a cohesive brand image. That being said, I have no problem when people or the park's marketing efforts refer to the park as Six Flags Great Adventure, SFGA, Great Adventure, or GA. But, when I see or hear the park referred to as simply Six Flags (especially in a ride spiel when visiting) or on the rides (like the front of the Log Flume's logs), as well as on most of the park's merchandise, I don't get the best feeling or image in my mind of the place. I realize this may sound a bit crazy and is probably a result of the image I had of the park in my youth, but it's just how I feel. And, it's not just Great Adventure that I see this way. I feel the same way about Magic Mountain as well as AstroWorld while it was around. Having never been to the Gurnee Great America, while I have visited the Santa Clara park, I think I'd feel the same about it simply being marketed and referred to as Six Flags.
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