Live entertainment at fairs, carnivals, amusement parks, and theme parks has had a long history. Quite often there have been shows specifically designed to entertain the youngest visitors featuring children's music and popular characters.
|For the 1975 season, Great Adventure added a second flume ride after the Log Flume proved so popular in the inaugural season. The Hydro Flume style ride featured the same rotating load platform that the Log Flume did, but while the Log Flume's station was quite elaborate and themed, the Hydro Flume's was a simple tent structure which was a standard offering for Arrow flume rides. Over the years the tent was repainted and rethemed, but as time went on ridership dropped off and the ride reached the end of its service life. The Hydro Flume was removed after the 2006 season to make way for the new Wiggles World area of the park which was being introduced for 2007.|
|The tent structure and former
flume turntable were repurposed as a new theater for Wiggles World. The
tent structure was repainted in the bright colors of the Wiggles color
palette and the approach staircase removed. A new stage and backstage area were
built under the tent with a new seating area in front. A large shade
structure with triangular shaped fabric sails was added over the new
seating area, with the sails echoing the same shape of the original station
With the opening of Wiggles World the new "Get Ready To Wiggle" show took to the stage presenting several performances a day with the popular Wiggles character family.
|The colorful Wiggles characters sang and danced to the delight of the park's youngest guests. The colorful costumes and set were fun and eye catching and brought new life to an area of the park that had been quiet and deserted for many seasons.|
|The Wiggles characters onstage featured costumed characters Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, and Wags the Dog, along with Captain Feathersword and a host. Together they sang and danced and had a good time interacting with the young audience. The songs which included "Get Ready to Wiggle," "Hot Potato," "Fruit Salad," were hard to get out of your head and often had guests singing them for the rest of day.|
|After each show the cast was available to pose for pictures with members of the audience. The Wiggles gang called the theater home from 2007 through 2011 when new management of Six Flags ended the contract for the Wiggles characters.|
|Even when the Wiggles show was not on stage, guests could still appreciate the area around the theater with its nice new landscaping as a part of the makeover of the flume area. The old concrete trough around the turntable which had been storage for the flume boats was filled in and became a planter helping screen the new backstage area of the theater.|
|With the departure of the Wiggles from the park, the licensed theme elements were removed from the stage as Wiggles World transitioned into Safari Kids for 2011.|
|The Wiggles Theater
was renamed Adventure Theater to go along with the new safari theme of
the area. The new name only appeared on printed show schedules and an
Adventure Theater sign was never posted near the venue. Adventure
Theater was a recycled name, having been the name of the park's Cinema
180 theater that stood from 1980-1998.
As Adventure Theater, the venue hosted a variety of shows, many of which featured animals. The first of these shows was "Extreme Raptors" - a demonstration of the abilities of a variety of birds of prey.
|The "Extreme Raptors" show featured
an array of hawks, eagles, owls, and other birds up close. The
2011 show schedule described the twenty minute production as follows:
"Be awed by the strength, speed and natural instincts of magnificent birds of prey as they swoop directly over you head."
|The "Extreme Raptors" show only lasted one season before the birds moved on and a new show debuted for the 2012 season.|
|In 2012, Professor
Slithers came to the Adventure Theater with the "Professor Slithers
Challenge". Unlike the "Extreme Raptor" show which was put on by a
contractor, the Professor Slithers show was produced in house using the
park's animals and in-house talent.
This twenty minute show was described as "Take the Slithers Challenge! Spin the wheel and face our own Professor Slithers on a variety of fun-filled challenges that are sure to test your talents."
|For 2013, Professor Slithers was back with a new show "Professor Slithers Travels Around the World," a new variation on the character's show from the previous season.|
The new show featured an updated set with a new look and elements for
animal interactions and performances.
Animal shows made a lot of sense in the Safari Kids section, and the park's large and diverse collection of animals had a great showcase in the Adventure Theater.
|Running time for this show was 25
minutes and described as follows:
"Get your passport ready and join Professor Slithers as he travels the world in search of the perfect potion. Hilarity and hijinks are sure to find him at each stop along the way as he concocts some furry, feathery and "slither-y" friends."
|For the 2014 season, the original tent structure reached the end of its life after almost forty years of service. The cables and canvas were removed, exposing the backstage structure that had been built underneath for the Wiggles shows. With that covering gone, the exposed backstage area was surrounded by a new stockade fence to keep the animal enclosures protected from curious guests.|
|Without the original canvas structure, the stage looked much less impressive. As a result, a set of facades were constructed spanning the entire length of the stage platform. Tall sets on stage left and stage right weren't possible when the theater was tent-covered because of the sloping canvas roof panels.|
|Another new animal show was created for 2014 named "Paw & DisOrder- Animals on Patrol" which debuted mid-summer. A colorful array of birds along with goats, pigs, skunks, and other creatures demonstrated their unique talents and behaviors to the delight of guests.|
|Show schedules described it as
follows: "Animal antics ensue as we patrol the streets with
our furry and feathered friends. Detectives of all ages can help
solve this crazy caper while encountering hilarious hijinks along the
way. It's a 'who done it' for the run of it!' "
Runtime for the show was 25 minutes.
|Because of its late
in the season start in 2014, "Paw & Disorder" continued playing
throughout Fright Fest in 2014 and for the 2015 season ending just
before Fright Fest 2015.
For Fright Fest 2015 the stage was home to "Just My Rottin Luck" which was a comedy magic/juggling show that was performed during the daytime autumn hours as part of the not-so-scary part of the Halloween festivities.
|With the introduction of Holiday in the Park in 2015, the Adventure Theater stage was used for "Story Time with Mrs. Claus" where she would sit on a throne and read Christmas stories to the kids as part of the holiday celebration.|
|For 2016, "This Magic
Moment" was a new magic show that was introduced at the theater.
The twenty minute production had guests "Slip away from reality for
a while and come to where the line between the possible and impossible
becomes blurred. You'll doubt your senses as you witness wondrous
illusions right before your eyes!"
"Just My Rottin Luck" had an encore during Fright Fest 2016 as did Mrs. Claus with her stories during Holiday in the Park.
|In 2017, a new show called "Nicky Falzone & the Case of the Green Emerald" made its debut. The eighteen minute show included an updated set including art and jewelry galleries and had guests "Come see Nicky and rusty sidekick Joe, attempt to solve the case of the missing emerald!"|
|The 2017 Holiday in the Park added a new show, "The North Pole Research & Development" which took up residence in the theater.|
|The 2018 season brought in a new
show called "Gone Bananas!" for the summer, and
"Professor Slithers' Creepy Critters" for Fright Fest in the fall. Holiday in the Park saw another new show, this time "The Elf Who Saved Christmas."
|For summer of 2019, the new
"Shuffling into Adventure" show opened for the summer with a new jungle style set.
"Professor Slithers Goes Wild!" returned in a new show for Fright Fest, and "The Elf Who Saved Christmas" came back for Holiday in the Park.
|The 2019 season would
be the last year productions would be performed at the Adventure
Theater. With the Covid-19 pandemic closing the park for a large
portion of the 2020 season, when it did reopen in July shows were
something that did not return and the show venues remained empty.
The continued modified operations of the pandemic meant that the theater was not used again for the 2021 season. After sitting idle for two seasons the facility was starting to show its age after fifteen years of sun and weather.
When the surrounding attractions started to be repainted one by one, the future of the theater did not look good. By the fall of 2021, the Safari Kids area was renamed Jr.Thrillseekers and the park's kiddie coaster returned signaling even more changes ahead.
|During the 2021/2022 off-season,
what was once the Wiggles World Theater was demolished with its scenery
and stage flooring removed. The circular walls of the theater
stage partially remained and were emptied of the soil that was added when the
flume station was transformed into the stage. On the site,
the Bugs Bunny Seaport Barnstormer ride made a return with the
simplified name of just Barnstormer.
The red and blue rows of plastic seats were also removed but the overhead shade structure remained in place offering a relaxation spot with new tables and seating for tired guests.
From a flume turntable station, to a theater stage, to the new home for a returning kiddie ride, the Wiggles World Theater has had an interesting past in Great Adventure's history.
|Original Spotlight: March 28, 2022; Updated: April 2, 2022. GAH Reference#: SHOW-2007-001|