Whizzer named ACE coaster landmark

CoasterDemon's avatar

About time! Very cool. Congrats to Whizzer and Great America.

It's just another award, big deal. But important to some.

Whizzer almost bit the dust back in 2003, thank god the beauty is still there and running better than ever. Can't wait until the park opens this year!


I have never been able to ride this but hopefully I will be able to make a trip to Great America soon. It looks like a fun ride.

Collin Aynes

rollergator's avatar

The ride is so much about "just plain fun" that it almost belongs in a Disney park. Love the Whizzer! :)

Well, I'm glad to be able to say I rode it once.

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist


Timber-Rider's avatar

The Whizzer isn't what it used to be. I was able to ride it back in 1976 when the Marriott company owned Great America. I'm not sure, but, I don't recall the ride having so many braking areas back then.

I recall there was a spot just before the final helix where there was a little speed bump, where you caught some decent air. The last time I rode it there was a braking area just before the final helix, and the train slows down quite a bit, so the helix is no where near as intense as it used to be. The first drop is still pretty good, and the second, but the rest of the ride seems slow.

Don't get me wrong though, I have been on the Whizzer many times in my trips to Great America. I just don't think it's that exciting. But, it is defenitly a great starter coaster for the kids. I was in the sixth grade the first time I rode it, getting up the nerve to ride revolution, (Before it was transformed into Demon) but, I was too short to ride it, that and the Tidal wave was closed. They had a good selection of rides back then, that were removed by six flags. Like Hay Baler and Hill Topper. Those were two of my favorites. They also had a pretty good Trabant back then, that I think was replaced by the Oleans Orbit.

Last edited by Timber-Rider,
CoasterDemon's avatar

^The trim brake on the curve before the final helix has been physically removed. So now, you do get that air time there :) The brackets where the brake was are still there, but the brake has been gone for years now.


^^ The Whizzer has never had brakes added. Two mid-course brakes were removed after 5 train operation ended. These were on the 2nd and 4th hills.

2012 SFGAm Visits: 26 2012 Season Whizzer Rides: 84 X Flight Rides: 91

CoasterDemon's avatar

Perhaps he is referring to the mid course block break, which seems to be off most of the time, but occasionally is on and grabs the trains a bit.


The current Mid-Course brake (officially known as the Safety Brake) usually only grabs on hot days. Maintenance will only tighten the brakes if the ride experiences an overspeed trouble light.

2012 SFGAm Visits: 26 2012 Season Whizzer Rides: 84 X Flight Rides: 91

kpjb's avatar

It's 2012 and they can't automate that?


Why has this ride been named a landmark? I know people wax poetic over all things Schwartzkopf, but what was the reason ACE gave? It's a decent starter, mine-ride-ish, coaster, but that's it.

I do like the spiral hill and the noise it makes though.

PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

Jason Hammond's avatar

Perhaps because of the unique technology that makes the ride work.

Last edited by Jason Hammond,

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

CoasterDemon's avatar

^^Because it's fun and the only one left like it in the country; it's very comfortable, it's fast, it's visual - it has many things that make a great ride.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Is that what it says on the plaque? ;)

CoasterDemon's avatar

^How'd you know? I wrote it :)


"(I)t's fast"? Wait, what? Since when is ~42mph considered "fast"? Sure, the trees all around and the low to the ground parts make it *seem* faster, but c'mon. Fast is one thing Whizzer aint!

Not trying to be an excessive 'Debbie Downer', I just honestly dont see why it needs to be 'landmarked'.

Does it have some of the 'lifting power' (for lack of a better term) on board the trains? I vaguely remember hear one of the Schawrzkopf 'Jumbo Jet'-ish having something like that.

PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

janfrederick's avatar

Yup. Each car has a motor and drive tire powered by a bus that runs up the lift.

I have a soft spot for the one in Santa Clara (RIP). That was my first job. Sigh.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
CoasterDemon's avatar

^Do you remember how many trains you guys ran back then? I know both Whizzer's used to run 5 trains. 3 is standard now - 2 on a slow day.

Ran across this great video on youtube:


It's probably a landmark because it's a noteworthy steel coaster. Of the four Schwarzkopft custom speedracers built in theme parks in the 1970's, it's the only one to have survived. Since Jet Stars, Jet Star II's, Jumbo Jets and City Jets have become nearly impossible to find, it makes Whizzer all the more important. It's a landmark for the same reason Silverwood's Corkscrew is a landmark.

eightdotthree's avatar

I don't know why it's a landmark but it was one of the reasons that park was so memorable to me.

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