Themed areas of parks come in all shapes and sizes, with some being very elaborate, and others being quite simple in execution. In 1993, Fantasy Fair was going to be a small, simply themed section of Six Flags Great Adventure which would have reused and rethemed several existing park fixtures to create a new area of the park to help add needed ride capacity on busy days. Clever re-theming of two existing flat rides would have made this a Renaissance themed mini-land just off of Dream Street which would have complimented the adjoining Carousel.
|One of the more unique ideas in the history of Great Adventure which never saw the light of day was the concept for Fantasy Fair, which was scheduled to take over the area area which originally had been the home of the Garden of Marvels in the park's earliest years followed by the Shockwave standup roller coaster. The . Shockwave had come to Great Adventure as part of Six Flags "Ride Rotation Program" which was a measure to cut costs by moving attractions from park to park.
rotation of attractions saved money on new rides and allowed them to be
marketed as "new" each time they were moved. After just
three years of operation, Shockwave was removed from Great Adventure
after the 1992 season, leaving a big empty piece of prime real estate in the
After a downturn in attendance starting 1987, numerous flat rides were removed from Great Adventure as the capacity wasn't needed with the smaller crowds. However, as attendance began to rebound around 1993, the park needed more ride capacity, especially during peak times of the year, and Fantasy Fair was designed specifically to fill this need. The new area would be a colorful cluster of flat rides and structures to enhance the guest's experience.
|Great Adventure's original
Lion Sign was going to be placed at the entrance to Fantasy Fair,
serving as a photo opportunity and as an entrance sign. Adjoining
gates would close off the Fantasy Fair on days of lighter attendance
when the extra ride capacity wasn't needed and then open for the busier
weekends and peak summer crowds. This would help with the
challenges of staffing attractions in the park's spring and fall
|The queue building for the Shockwave roller coaster was abandoned with the coaster's removal at the end of the 1992 season. Looking to reuse and repurpose the existing structure made financial sense since it was just a few years old.
|Plans called for the simple metal structure to act as an entry portal to the Fantasy Fair area. The existing blue and yellow roof was to have some simple flourishes like flags and a scalloped edge added to dress it up a little and further the sort of Renaissance fair vibe the newly re-themed attractions for the land were to have had. The queue bars would have been removed and the area used as a shaded rest area which would offer snacks and soft drinks.
|Great Adventure was home to a varied collection of flat rides, and two of the most popular classic rides had been removed as new attractions arrived. One of these was the Schwabinchen ride which was removed to make room for the Splashwater Falls ride in 1987.
packed up and removed at the end of 1986 with the idea it would someday
be added back into the park in a new location. In 1993 it appeared on park maps as part of the
Fair area which was designed by new park owners Time Warner.
The colorful refurbished ride was to have fanciful court jester masks encircle the ride and a full size figure perched atop the center of the spinning disc.
Even though plans for Fantasy Fair would ultimately be scrapped, Schwabinchen would return in 1993 as "El Sombrero" in the newly re-themed Mexican area of Frontier Adventures.
|Much like Schwabinchen, the Swiss Bob ride was a long time favorite of park guests. The Swiss Bob was removed to make way for the addition of the Batman Stunt Arena in 1992.
|Swiss Bob would
have also been operated seasonally as part of Fantasy Fair, and like
Schwabinchen found its way to the 1993 park map.
The totally revamped ride would take on a medieval fortress facade complete with turrets and colorful banners and crests. The ride's train was to have been transformed into a menacing dragon where guests would ride on its back. Sadly, plans for its return fell through when the new Fantasy Fair area was abandoned.
Prior to being targeted for Fantasy Fair, a plan had been devised where it would have been relocated along with half of Lightnin' Loops to the vacant area where Ultra Twister had resided but those plans were scrapped even earlier on.
|With the change in ownership of Six Flags, a new focus was placed on "theme" and creating a more immersive experience at Great Adventure. The area that had been slated to become the make-shift Fantasy Fair would remain vacant for 1993 but by the end of that season earth moving equipment started appearing on site. A major portion of the former Shockwave area would become a mock Edwards Air Force Base with a new headlining attraction themed to the Right Stuff Mach 1 Adventure for 1994. Knowing how large this new attraction would be and the land needed for its construction, plans for Fantasy Fair were permanently shelved opting to use the land for the bigger budget simulator experience.
|Dare Devil Dive took
over another section of Fantasy Fair's large vacant plot in 1997, and in
1999, Houdini's Great Escape took up the remainder of the land.
In the end, all components of Fantasy Fair including the Lion Sign, Shockwave queue house, and the Schwabinchen and Swiss Bob rides would all be removed from Six Flags Great Adventure forever.
|Original Spotlight: May 12, 2020. GAH Reference#: PBNB-1993-001