When Great Adventure opened it offered a mix of live shows and signature rides. In a supporting role, numerous rides similar to those that could be found at carnivals and local fairs were scattered through the park to both entertain and increase overall ride capacity.
During Great Adventure's initial construction in the spring of 1974,
numerous crews began preparing the heavily wooded site for the equipment
and teams of workers that would transform a forest into a theme park.
One of the first clearings was for project #7807 - the Round Up.
Manufactured by Frank Hrubetz & Company of Oregon, the ride was a park version of its popular Super Round Up model. Brought in by trailer, the ride first appeared at the park long before any concrete was poured or any nearby buildings erected. Even so, the ride was quickly assembled making it the first attraction to be installed at the new theme park. The trailer which delivered the ride was provided by a third party transporter that needed to off-load the equipment. Early assembly took place so that pieces of the ride and its components did not disappear by other contractors working the park site.
|The Super Round Up
was placed in Great Adventure's Strawberry Fair section- a fanciful
collection of colorful rides which evoked images of a child's vintage
Like its neighbors including the Giant Wheel, Pretty Monster, and Flying Wave, the Super Round Up made use of numerous hues of the rainbow and thousands of miniature lights to make the ride standout amongst the tall trees which surrounded these devices. The circular cage platform of the ride was painted a pure white as was the ride's lift mechanism base which was painted blue when it was first delivered. A bright yellow picket fence encircled the ride to keep guests a safe distance while it was operating.
Sixteen triangular aluminum panels covered the steel lattice supports which extended from the ride's hub to the outer edges of the cage. These panels were painted red, orange, blue, and green all trimmed in gold and sported a fan-like design which mimicked the window tops of the Gingerbread Fancy restaurant next to the Super Round Up.
Riders would access the attraction up a metal ramp which led them into the inside of the steel cage structure through a wide opening in the ride's side. Each of the 42 guests would occupy one of the many stalls which lined the wall of the cage secured by a short chain like restraint. Once everyone was positioned, the ride would start to spin clockwise picking up speed until sixteen rotations per minute was obtained. With enough centrifugal force to keep riders pinned to the wall, the entire cage would then incline to ten degrees short of a near vertical position. After several rotations, the ride would slowly lower back to a horizontal plane and creep to a standstill before allowing its dizzy passengers to disembark from the ride down a metal ramp on the opposite side of the attraction.
|During its entire run at the
park, the Super Round Up made use of its manufacturer provided sign
which was positioned at the rear of the hydraulic lift arm next to the
ride's queue. The sign was illuminated from behind using
fluorescent tube lights accented by miniature light bulbs in decorative
scrolls and trim.
By 1977, a makeover of the ride saw the removal of eight curved light bars from the infield of the ride cage which extended out from the hub of the Super Round Up. In addition, the sixteen aluminum panels between the spokes of the ride were repainted to a solid mix of red, orange, blue, and green.
|Two seasons later in
1979, even more of the Super Round Up's miniature lights were removed-
this time the decorative embellishments which were mounted on the pylon
at the center of the ride. Now all that remained was an
illuminated pillar which was a necessary component of the ride as it
supported the steel guide cables which tied into the upper rim of the
After six seasons of uninterrupted operations, the park's first Super Round Up model was retired and replaced with a newer and safer model in 1980 which included locking slider doors which bridged the open gaps found on the walls of the original model.
The removal and replacement of the original Super Round Up with an updated model took place during the winter of 1979/1980. The swap out of rides was unadvertised and never promoted in any literature or press releases shared with the public. The only reference to the change was mentioned in a brief blurb of an article included in a 1980 employee newsletter.
Long thought to be an original attraction throughout the history of the park, the first Super Round Up (Super Round Up I) actually lived a much shorter life at Great Adventure from 1974 to 1979. However, the ride's popularity was so strong that it warranted an immediate replacement (Super Round Up II) which has delighted and dizzied guests for more than four decades.
Click the link below to read the next chapter of Hrubetz's Super Round Up rides at Six Flags Great Adventure.
|The Super Round Up was
prominently featured on one of the Great Adventure's first series of
Postcard #: GA-31
|Original Spotlight: June 11, 2007, Updated: October 12, 2010, January 24, 2019. GAH Reference #: RIDE-1974-010