Six Flags Great America acquires roller coaster in Kiddieland auction

Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009 6:53 PM | Contributed by stevesteve8383

Kiddieland, the Melrose Park amusement park, opened one last time this morning for an auction of its rides. A private collector from Atlanta bought the first major ride of the day, with a winning bid of $17,000 for the bumper cars. The carousel later went for $355,000 to a Westmont business owner who plans to refurbish it. The Little Dipper roller coaster sold for $33,000 to Six Flags in Gurnee; it will be put in the park's kiddie section, hopefully by 2010.

Read more from Chicago Breaking News.com.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:42 PM

So, the Kiddieland lease expires at the end of this calendar year, right? That would mean that Great America would have untill the end of December to remove the coaster. Seems quick to tear down with only about a month to go.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 3:22 PM

Whizzer, now this. I don't think my home park (Great America) could really be a six flags property... This is too cool. We have 3 (well, 4 really) pretty damn great wooden coasters now!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 3:28 PM

Mamoosh said:Chang won't be rebuilt at SFGAm.

Oh really? I'm happy to hear that, they don't need it.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 7:54 PM

I'm wondering if LD will have 2 hour lines, and a flashpass entry. Six Flags showing good will to the community by, letting those families that could only afford Kiddieland, pay the $50+ pp to ride that same coaster, at SFGm, for decades to come.

Last edited by Coasterphan, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 7:55 PM
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:10 PM

The Little Dipper, as is with manual brakes and one lap bar (no seatbelt) has a good capacity. The line moves much faster than Spaceley's Sprocket Rocket (the current Vekoma kiddie coaster at Great America). The Dipper is a short (but very sweet) ride and I think the capacity is probably just as good as any at the park.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:12 PM

I think CoasterPhan's point, Demon, isn't about capacity of LD, but rather the capacity problems that the ride may suffer when operated by Six Flags. That, and the idea that SF is doing an angelic and wonderful service to the community could be seen as bogus to some.

It will be interesting to hear if the ride does as well under the flags as it did under the Mom and Pop park. Time will tell.

It'll also be interesting to see if LD will get flashpass access as well.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:14 PM

I was wondering about the manual break and what Six Flags will do. I have a very hard time believing Six Flags will leave a manual break in place.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:14 AM

The Six Flags press release says it will be the park's 14th roller coaster! I only count 13, so are they counting Chang or American Eagle as two?

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:16 AM

LostKause said:
It'll also be interesting to see if LD will get flashpass access as well.

I don't believe any kiddie ride uses the system.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:38 AM

Grant

In any press releases from SFGAm, they always count American Eagle as 2 coasters.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:40 AM

^^American Eagle is 2 roller coasters :) They are different as well.

I sure hope they keep the ride as is, loading/brake, the whole shebang. With one train, there's not a big reason to change it. It's an easy one person operation ride as well.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 8:45 AM

Fortunately, Six Flags does have experience with operating this type of ride, they had the Sea Dragon at Wyandot Lake. It, to my knowledge kept it's all manual systems, right down to the lapbars on the cars being push pedal release, and no seatbetls

There is hope. In the end though I see seateblets being added, if they want to computerize the ride, that would be a big extra expense They did it with Big Dipper at Geauga so it could be possible.

I wouldn't be surprised if they try to make the ride look like a gaint crane machine picked it up at Kiddieland and set it back down at Six Flags. They are playing on the nostaliga value, they want people to remember this was the Kiddieland coaster.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009 2:03 PM

This is really great news. It just goes to show you that the BIG park chains can save rides too. It also shows how easy it would have been for Cedar Fair to ship Big Dipper to one of their parks, especially since they are actually trying to save Demon Drop. *Sigh* Cedar Fair frustration continues.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009 3:28 PM

^ Seriously? You really just compared Little Dipper to Geauga Lake's Big Dipper. Do you realize that Big Dipper is nearly 2000ft longer than Little Dipper and over twice as tall?

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Sunday, November 29, 2009 10:26 PM

I have trouble believing that the Dipper will not have seatbelts when it reopens. I don't know of any major theme park with a kiddie coaster that doesn't have seat belts on the ride, and I can not picture the insurance company allowing it to run this way. But then again, stranger things have happened...

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Monday, November 30, 2009 12:50 AM

While I would imagine it would have seatbelts when it reopens (which might lead to a delay from their ambitious schedule), the "authority having jurisdicition", to use Dave's phrase, might consider the ride to be under continuous operation and without incident.

Of course, then GAm's liability insurer would quote the with/without seatbelt rates, and Dipper would get them installed anyway... ;)

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Monday, November 30, 2009 9:53 PM

rollergator said:While I would imagine it would have seatbelts when it reopens (which might lead to a delay from their ambitious schedule), the "authority having jurisdicition", to use Dave's phrase, might consider the ride to be under continuous operation and without incident. Of course, then GAm's liability insurer would quote the with/without seatbelt rates, and Dipper would get them installed anyway... ;)

Not sure how this could be considered "continuous operation" given that it is at least moving from one County to another and certainly requires permitting in the new jurisdiction. If this were a fair ride, that argument might hold, but even fair rides tend to be changed when transfering ownership.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:37 AM

I'd assume it gets seat belts, as I don't believe PTC's bulletin on the matter made any distinction between full-size or junior-size trains.

According to the resources at saferparks.org, Illinois regulates amusement rides on the state level, so moving between counties would be no problem; this ride would be undergoing a change of ownership. But the nature of the relocation is going to require dismantling and reconstructing the ride.

The ride has an interesting problem. The move would be a good opportunity to install a modern control system, particularly if Six Flags has any intention of running two trains (which they probably don't, but you never know...). Heck, it would be a good opportunity to install magnetic trim brakes on the station approach, which would make the station brakes dead easy. But they are kind of stuck with the old-school sled brakes unless they completely reconfigure the station, because the station on the Little Dipper is curved.

The Little Dipper also has an automatic release system for the lap bars, I wonder if that will survive...!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:13 AM

Hopeful for the continuance of the curved station...there are only a few left!

But since the infamous PTC bulletin, the only non-retrofitted trains I know of reside in Elysburg...speed *and* safety, novel thinking there! ;)

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Saturday, January 16, 2010 4:43 PM

I got an update from a friend at NoCoaster and SFGAm has confirmed that the Little Dipper will be going in BBNP and they will move some rides around in there and they will continue to use the Hand Break. They also said they plan to open the ride in June.

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