Theme parks always try to offer an assortment of food and snacks to appeal to its wide variety of guests. Quite often they try to offer foreign or exotic cuisine to complement the current trends in food and dining.
|After Great Adventure's inaugural
season it quickly became apparent that the park needed additional food
outlets to serve their large and hungry crowds. One of the additions
proposed for 1975 to Great
Adventure was the planned but never built "Foods of the World"
which was supposed to be erected on the peninsula under the Log Flume.
A great idea never completely goes away, and for the 1983 season the International Food Fair was added to the park near Kiddie Kingdom on a plot of land which was home to the Para Shooter shooting gallery from 1976 to 1981. The spot was primarily vacant for the 1982 season.
|The International Food Fair was a sizable rectangular building with a truss roof. To disguise the simple structure and hide the building's roofline, a western Hollywood set-like facade was constructed with five separate service windows each offering something unique. The initial lineup of foods included a "Spaghetti Bar," "Greek Food," "Funnel Cake," "Italian Sausage," and "Oriental Delights". From the customer's perspective at the counter, each window operated independently offering their specialty food along with soda fountains and individual cash registers. From a food preparation perspective, all stands shared one large open kitchen where much of the food including those items common to multiple stands like french fries and desserts were prepared and distributed.|
|By 1989, the
selection at the food outlet were streamlined offering more simple park
fair including hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. As a result the
word "International" was dropped off its name and became the more
generic "Food Fair."
With the purchase of the Six Flags Theme Parks by Time Warner in the 1990's a huge effort was made to enhance or create more of a theme in their theme parks. While already well themed, the facade of the Food Fair was plussed with new western signage and shop names on the structures upper level. The center stand now featured a large wooden hanging sign adorned with the words "Dodge House" - the new name of the food court. It also sported the tagline "Family Dining." The improved look was part of an effort at Great Adventure to expand the existing western themed area of the park up to the four Dream Street Tents. The Dodge House was now a part of Frontier Adventures, and the facades were given new thematic elements furthering the western appearance of the existing structure.
|The menu and offerings continued to change over time as tastes changed and as new trends came and went. Regardless of its offerings the string of food stands benefitted from the blessing of location on one of the park's most heavily traveled pathways.|
|For the 2005 season, a new plan was put in motion to retheme and renew the park section by section. The first undertaking was the introduction of the Golden Kingdom which would replace Bugs Bunny Land and extend out into neighboring areas including the Dodge House. It would become the Outpost Grill as part of its incorporation into the new exotic themed area. The facade of the building received lots of new thematic details including thatched roofing and a faux balcony. At the center, a new brick portal was added outside of a new fenced-in patio area with new tables and umbrellas. Live greenery and bamboo posts and queue bars helped to carry the Asian theme even if the menu still consisted of traditional park foods like burgers and chicken strips.|
|After only a few years the bamboo fencing and archway were removed from the seating area to open up the flow of guests to the food counters. With changes in corporate management many new dining concepts were added (and removed) from the park from year to year. The introduction of chain restaurants like Papa John's, Cold Stone Creamery, and Primo's Pizzeria meant that the once highly themed signs were replaced by more recognizable brand logos.|
|Six Flags' own in-house branded dining concepts have also been part of the menu mix including Go Fresh Cafe and Six Flags Funnel Cake offering both healthy salads and decadent desserts.|
|In 2018, the facade of the building received a new paint job with bright hues replacing the more earthy themed tones of a western town or Asian market. In any case, the park's facility which started out as the International Food Fair still welcomes guests today with its variety of tasty menu selections and convenient location.|
|Original Spotlight: February 7, 2021. GAH Reference#: FOOD-1983-002|