I was lucky enough to attend one of those "private" events on Saturday, September 28th.
The park was closed to the general public, open only to those invited by Chrysler...more specifically, PT Cruiser owners. And, WOW, were there a LOT of PT's in that lot! Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Minnesota....PT's from everywhere. From a two mile long backup on 94 to a packed parking lot, I am sure that even workers at one of the PT plants have never seen so many Cruisers at once.
A good majority of the parking lot was closed off.....for displays, tents, driving course and a BIG stage (for a concert and fireworks show later on). A good sized area of the lot being roped off really pushed everyone far back in the lot...making it seem even more packed than it was. I did not hear any estimates on how many attended, but it was quite a few.
The BIGGEST news of the day for me was not all the Cruisers or the prototypes or the custom jobs....but the removal of Shockwave. Not having seen any pics of it until we pulled into the park, I was actually a bit sad when we saw the crane lifted into place and supports/track already gone. You can see some pics here:
There were NO lines for anything....it was the best experience I have ever had at ANY park. ALL restaurants open, ALL games open and ALL rides open. Considering how "few" people were actually riding rides in the park, I was amazed that everything was open for business. Even the Orleans Grille (closed most every time I have been there recently) was open.
We all know the rides there, so I won't bore you with listing them....we rode 'em all, and as many times as we could stand. Many of the rides (including V2) were literally letting riders just stay on for rerides.
I have to really commend Chrysler...this was one heck of a day. It will be almost impossible to really enjoy a "normal" day at Great America from now on....I have been spoiled.
Shockwave, going.(see my pics)
East River Crawler, missing. (see my pics)
Power Dive, gone and no movement made on it's old home.
Lots of track for the new coaster sitting in the lot (see my pics)
Sky Whirl, rusting and wasting away (see pics of new track)
Quite a day for sure.....from seeing the old blue beauty being ripped down to waiting in NO lines all day....it was awesome.
I will be adding more pics to my photo gallery as I have time...but there is a pretty good collection in there now.
Deja Vu without a line?
That's, like, against the laws of physics, or something (pardon the Valley Talk. I don't usually talk like that, but it seemed appropriate).
Man, I wish my mom had bought the cruiser instead of the bug.
A parking lot full of PT Cruisers? Must have been a .. *real* good time trying to find your car when you were leaving. :)
2 superheroes in Gurnee next season? Oh the humanity. :)
Ride It said:
its just sad when you see an Arrow being taken apart. just sad.
Yeah. Kind of reminds of Drachen Fire. Both were blue and white, crappy, and Arrow coasters. Ha!
Chitown, it WAS funny actually....on our way out of the tented area of the parking lot, the Chrysler greeter thanked us for coming and said:
"Have a nice day, good luck finding your car"
Everyone's a comedian these days.
And, yes, walk on to DejaVu...I was just waiting for hell to freeze over after I saw that!
I am so mad I bought an Aztec instead of a cruiser.
Later in the day did monkeys fly out of your butt?
*** This post was edited by Colonel Sanders on 10/2/2002. ***
A proud CoasterBuzz Member
Operation Wicked Twister - Goal: Lose 50 lbs by next season to ride it! (updates soon)
The monkeys didn't really "fly", more of a crawl. ;)
And, yes, I think Chrysler is planning on doing it again next year...they were doing surveys outside the park asking how everyone enjoyed it.... That was really THE best time I have ever had at the park....and, as I posted above, EVERYTHING was open....that is what really made the day!
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