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1974 Yearbook - Season #1 - The Original Park

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Thank you for a great update. As one of the opening seasons cast members it truly was one of the best seasons and I'm proud to have been part of it- cfreating that magical place Mr. LeRoy envisioned. :hot_air_balloon:

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Thanks for all the feedback!


We are happy to hear that you like the Yearbook page! We have been fooling around with layouts for this for years and we are happy to finally roll out the first page. We think the design will allow us to easily add additional content as we receive it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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  • 29yrswithaGApass changed the title to 1974 Yearbook - Season #1 - The Original Park
  • 1 year later...
  • 6 months later...

New to the GAH Archives, a set of pre-opening press photos!


Arthur Thuijs puts some finishing touches on some of his model buildings destined for installation in the Garden of Marvels.

1974_PR_GardenOfMarvelsModels copy.jpg

A female employee gets measured for her new uniform in the costuming design office.

1974_PR_Costuming copy.jpg

Actors audition for one of the many shows and street performer troops that will welcome guests on opening day.

1974_PR_EntertainmentAuditions copy.jpg

Governor Brendan Byrne and his family are welcomed to a special sneak preview of the park hosted by Warner LeRoy.

1974_PR_WelcomeGovByrne copy.jpg



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  • 8 months later...

The exact first season's closing date has always been a little gray.  After some research, the following has been determined.  


The park was first scheduled to be open until Sunday December 1st with weekend operations in November including black Friday, November 29th.  On November 14th the park published the following ad announcing that for the last three weekends free admission for kids was being offered.  




However, just a week later on November 21st, the park published a new advertisement saying the park was closed for the season and would reopen in April 1975.  The park's last operating day in 1974 was Sunday, November 17th.  Why the season was cut short by two weeks remains a mystery but one can assume that it was because of low attendance and/or staffing issues during those last few days.  




Here is a cool picture of the gates to the park closed during the first off-season!


1974_EB_GatesClosedForSeason copy.jpg



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  • 3 weeks later...

After a little research and a conversation with two of the park's original 1974 operation managers, it seems that the abrupt stop to extending the first season into December was caused by a restriction that the Switliks had regarding the park being open around the holidays.  An agreement of sorts was made that the park would not be open during the weeks around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This coupled with the fact that attendance had slumped off dramatically caused the shortened season. 

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  • 4 months later...

An update to our  1974 Ticketing & Prices page:


Guests who attended Great Adventure during the first few weeks of operation experienced a park with the majority of the Rootin' Tootin' Rip Roarin' section of the park still under construction.  Those who mailed their ticket stubs along with a self-addressed stamped envelope received free tickets to enjoy the park later in the season.









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My next door neighbors and best friend growing up were lucky enough to visit GA the first week it was open and also received these tickets for a return visit later that opening season.  I didn't visit the park for the first time until the 1977 season and brought my friend along with my parents.  We were depending on him to show us around the park because he would know where everything was located.  But, as you know, the entrance to the park changed in 1976, and none of us knew it at the time.  As a result, my friend wasn't much help in showing us around because that new entrance, along with new rides and missing rides, completely threw him off.  We searched high and low for the antique cars that day!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We just acquired a very early press kit rendering of the park's Rootin' Tootin' Rip Roarin' section of the park.  Although this isn't the first time we have seen this image (it was one of the earliest postcards) it is a tiny bit larger with additional artwork on the bottom and right edges.


1974 Press Kit photo:


1974 Postcard:


1974 GA-4 copy.jpg

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