Hot summer days in theme and amusement parks mean thirsty guests. Most parks have a variety of restaurants along with additional drink stands offering a place to purchase a refreshing soda to cool down and stay hydrated.

When Six Flags purchased Great Adventure in 1977, they brought years of experience with them and realized there were things in the park that needed immediate attention. One of the biggest complaints from the park's first few seasons was a lack of drink stands. The large restaurants always had long lines for food and drinks.  However, some guests just wanted a cup of soda between meals so several new drink stands were added throughout the park.

The western section became home to a soda stand right in front of the Fort. This wood clad stand offered fountain sodas including Coca-Cola products as well as Dr.Pepper.  A small sign with the word "Soda" was mounted above the shop even though various snacks were sometimes offered.
The simple little stand was one of several added to the park, all more or less featuring the same design. Construction was basic with dimensional lumber columns at the front corners and a framed box for the storage room behind it. A counter across the front held the soda machine and cash register as well as snack cases. A back counter held cups and a small sink as well as additional stock and a small water heater. The stand like many buildings in the park was finished in T-120 plywood and painted in colors to compliment the surrounding theme area.
With the acquisition of Six Flags by Time Warner a great effort was made to bring theme elements to the park and reinforce (or sometimes create) the themed areas. Like many parks, Great Adventure lost some of its original, unique theming over time, and the new Six Flags sought to really bring that magic back to the parks. Things like the Soda Stand got new names and new themed signs to better fit their environment. The little stand now became the Frontier Drink Stand. Old west style props were added to the building and its surroundings to make it fit the newly improved Frontier Adventures theme section.
Around 2010, the tan and brown drink stand was repainted to a green and yellow motif.  Along with the new color scheme saw the removal of all the western themed equipment which covered its sides. 

With changes in ownership and management of the company over time, priorities changed as well as traffic patterns in the park. The stand that had been very busy for so many years often went unused for weeks, months, and sometimes the majority of a season despite the prime location on a busy pathway.

The Soda Stand at the Fort (AKA Frontier Drink Stand) is the last remaining of at least four similar refreshment stands added to Six Flags Great Adventure in the late 70's.  As we have started to see modern portable refreshment stands replacing old facilities, the outlook for this vintage Soda Stand doesn't look promising.
Similar Drink Stands Installed Throughout Six Flags Great Adventure
Near the Big Wheel Near the Aqua Stadium Near Looping Starship
Long before sports bottles, in the late 70's and into the '80s, drinks were offered basically in two sizes - "Regular" and "Giant in a Souvenir Cup."  The drinks typically sold for 75 cents and $1.25 respectively.  The souvenir cup was made of a heavy rigid plastic which survived any abuse you may have inflicted upon it riding rides, and did make a quality memento of your visit.

Drinks during those days had tax included, were served with ice, without lids, and without straws.  Crazy straws were available for an additional 25 cents.
Original Spotlight:  October 25, 2022.  GAH Reference#:  FOOD-1978-001