Sunday - November 3, 1996

Journey back with us to the closing weekend of 1996.  Fright Fest has just wrapped up and the park was open for one additional post-Halloween weekend.  The weather was crisp and the tree's leaves were already past their peak colors and had started to brown and cover the ground.  As of this date, the park still had not announced what attraction was being added for 1997 although the construction (actually destruction) of the rides in Movie Town signaled that something big was on its way.  To keep guests further guessing, new construction had also begun at the far end of the Boardwalk section in two different locations.  Luckily with the extended fall weekend, the off-season was going to be a little shorter and the wait a little less to see what would be in store for us in 1997.

The parking lot was pretty empty first thing in the morning even though the weather was beautiful. All the special events and summer concerts were finished for the year.

With Christmas next month, Santa paid an early visit to the park. 
Sylvester's Skooters and Porky Pig Pipeline were removed from Bugs Bunny Land. La Cantina wrapped up its first full season of operation in quite some time following 1995's Viper debut.

Even though Fright Fest had ended, Dino Island was still playing at the simulator theater.
The plot of land in front of the old admin building was being prepped for the installation of Centrifuge G-Force. The area near the Great American Scream Machine's boomerang was being excavated for the relocated Space Shuttle ride.
It was easy to quickly notice that all the Space Shuttle's queue bars were removed from the ride's area, while the Musik Express was still spinning guests to favorite pop tunes.

Over in Movie Town major work had begun in preparation for the upcoming Batman and Robin The Chiller Ride.  The new coaster was not officially announced until 1997 so speculation and rumors ran high on what was being installed at the park.  It was easy to see that whatever was on its way was going to be big especially since so many rides were being either removed or being relocated.
All fencing was also taken down around the Space Shuttle- cut off its posts at ground level.
The Movie Town arch near the Showcase Theater was also removed.  The sign was never rebuilt.
Even though the Centrifuge G-Force was still open, the simple fact that all the rides around it were being dismantled was foreshadowing that this Scrambler ride didn't have a much longer life at its current location.
The Phileas Fogg's Balloon Ride (Panorama Wheel) was closed forever and was in the process of being cut apart.  As an original ride of the 1975 Fun Fair section, the wheel dated back to the park's second season when it was added to pick up the slack of the oversized crowds which flooded the Giant Wheel.  The ride was never rebuilt at Great Adventure or relocated to another park.
While the Movie Town Water Effect was spared from the wrecking ball (at least until 2007), its queue line was demolished and reconfigured for the construction of the Chiller ride. 
These views were the last glimpses of Movie Town as it was when it premiered under the Time Warner years.  When the park reopened in the spring of 1997 the section would be totally revamped and take on a whole new look and feel with the addition of the massive Batman and Robin The Chiller roller coaster.