Whizzer update

Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:09 AM

There is a very nice article about the last days of SFGAm's Whizzer in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times, including a great front page pic. Here's the link (I hope this works!)

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-whizzer06.html

Among the interesting tid-bits of information (direct quotes for the article):

1. "'We understand that there is a lot of nostalgia when it comes to the Whizzer,' said Suzie Storey. public relations manager at Six Flags Great America. 'But our guests are always looking for new rides.'"

So, no mention of the cost to operate and maintain the ride, just a subtle move to blame guests for the removal of a classic coaster to put in something new.

2. "The Whizzer will be dismantled beginning Monday and there are no firm plans on what will happen to the old roller coaster. Park officials said it could get moved to another Six Flags park."

There is precedent for relocating coasters, in fact it's part of the SF strategic plan, but to which park? Since they make no mention of the operating costs, specifically maintenance, associated with Whizzer this could happen but personally, I'd be surprised to find Whizzer in any SF park in the future.

3. "As of July 28, more than 24,370,000 people rode the Whizzer."

Just that's a lot of people!

4. "The Whizzer, one of the three original roller coasters to open at was then Marriott's Great America (You're gonna have a GREAT DAY, when you come out and play, at Marriott's Great America! The rides are great, the shows are great, the fun is great, at Marriott's Great America! I can't say MarGAm without having that song run thru my head!) theme park in 1976, is closing on Monday. It was 26.

It was 26! Just like an obit! But I need some help here...What was the third opening day coaster: Williard's Whizzer, The Turn of the Century and ?????. For the life of me, I can't remember! And I was there on the Sunday of opening weekend!

**Editted for typos. Hope I got them all.**

*** This post was edited by IBsteve on 8/6/2002. ***

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:14 AM
Tidal Wave

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:20 AM

Good try. Tidal Wave opened in 1978, two years AFTER the park opened. RCDB only lists two opening in '76.

Anyone?

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:29 AM
I Knew it, I've been saying it all along, there going to send Whizzer to another Six Flags park.

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone/B:TDK

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:33 AM

Tidal Wave didnt open with the rest of the park. It opened in 1978.

EDIT: Darnit, got beat to the punch

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"

*** This post was edited by Kick The Sky on 8/6/2002. ***

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:36 AM
Yeah in AT they talked to Susie Storey and she said it was definetely goin' to another SF park, but which one has not been determined yet.

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If at first you don't succeed, skydiving's not for you.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:38 AM

I believe they had a small kiddie type coaster when the park opened in 1976. That is all I know.

While Whizzer, Turn of the Century, and this possible kiddie coaster were the originals, we still cant forget what is still there from Marriott.

We still have the Demon(1980), and American Eagle(1981). So basically even though both of these coasters didnt open with the park, they are still Marriott created coasters that we will still enjoy for many years to come. Six Flags also kept most of the theming that Marriott created along with the buildings and some of the flat rides.

All is not lost here guys with what Marriott created. We still have alot of the Marriott charm today.

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:51 AM
And a lot more of SF blundering.
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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 6:57 AM

Whoops.

Thanks for the corrections :)

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:01 AM

Chitown said:

Six Flags also kept most of the theming that Marriott created along with the buildings and some of the flat rides.

All is not lost here guys with what Marriott created. We still have alot of the Marriott charm today.

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Most notably, the carousel and reflecting pool at the main entrance.

Since you brought it up Chitown, which flats are opening day originals? I can remember both log flume rides - Yankee Clipper and Logger's Run - as original to the park as well as the antique car ride. Actually, when the park opened, there were 2 auto rides. The other was in Orleans Place. The enterprise ride was the Orleans Orbit before it was moved. Triple Play, Hometown Fun Machine, Scenic Railroad, SkyTrek Tower, Rue LeDodge. Recent losses -Sky Whirl, Haybaler, Cajun Cliffhanger - are thinning this lot quickly.


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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:26 AM

Chitown said:

All is not lost here guys with what Marriott created. We still have alot of the Marriott charm today.



I am going to share this conversation I had with my uncle now. I have been saving this information for the right time but I think now is an appropriate time to share this story with you.

My uncle worked for Great America since a year after their opening in 1976. He started out as a stage manager for their Bugs Bunny show. He worked his way up and eventually became the director of entertainment for the park, managing all the shows in the park and booking all the entertainment. He left the park when Premier took over Six Flags along with several other managers in the park due to Premier parks bad reputation in the industry.

Anyhoo, I was talking to him about the park last Christmas and I asked him why Great America still had really good customer service and operations while other parks that people, including myself, had visited they had recieved such rotten service.

He replied that Great America's management team including the General Manager were all from the Marriott days and that they tried to run the park as much like it was run in the Marriott days when the park was bought out by Six Flags. After owernship change after ownership change, these Marriott managers, including my uncle, resisted many of the influences of the parent company to do many of the things that other parks in the chain were doing.

Many requests were made to rip out some of the original theming and retheme areas of the park, most notably Yankee Harbor which was slated to become Gotham City when Batman was installed. Each change was resisted as much as possible to keep the park with the original Marriott feel.

He said he was unsure if the original general manager is still there but if he is it is a good bet that a lot of Marriott will remain in this park for some time to come.

-----------------
Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:27 AM
Doesnt have to be opening day originals. I am referring to anything that Marriott has put into the park. Which means 1976-1984.

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:40 AM

This park for the most part has kept the theming in tact. But its hard to tell what the replacement for Whizzer will to do the nice feel of hometown square.

Batman is very much out of place, i hate that they decided to promote a movie instead of keeping the Nantucket feel of the section. Same with V2, the building just doesnt go there. I can imagine that section of the park was very nicely themed before those rides were added.

It seems that six flags is obviously so not family oriented. They keep removing the more gentle family rides like Skywhirl and Whizzer and (although whizzers replacment is not announced) they seem to want replace these rides with super thrill rides that don't work like Deja Vu. Its a shame because not only were these nice rides, they were original rides that other parks do not have.

There are creative possiblities to install other rides without removing what is there, and the crowds that that park attracts and the population of the Chicago area can definitely support a bigger park (ie, more rides, more employees). But i guess its better to provide the clients with a mediocre day versus an excellent day as long as the short-term bottom line $ is better.

*** This post was edited by super7 on 8/6/2002. ***

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:47 AM

IMHO there is no reason they couldn't build the new coaster over or around or through Whizzer. The can carefully move that well hidden scrambler and have plenty of room for a entryway or exit if not then make the entryway back by Viper.

Chuck, who thinks this ride shouldn't go anywhere! Cyclone is made up of completely machined shop parts!

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Charles Nungester.
Visit Lesourdsville Lake :) Park phone is (513)539-2193

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 7:52 AM

MikeMir87 said:
I Knew it, I've been saying it all along, there going to send Whizzer to another Six Flags park.

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Just like about 10 other coasters that SF threw on the Old Indiana scrapheap?

/c

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Charles Nungester.
Visit Lesourdsville Lake :) Park phone is (513)539-2193


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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 8:21 AM
Heh, don't forget SFoG's Viper and SFA's Python.

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-Vater
Coaster Count: 104

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 8:48 AM

Charles Nungester said:

IMHO there is no reason they couldn't build the new coaster over or around or through Whizzer. The can carefully move that well hidden scrambler and have plenty of room for a entryway or exit if not then make the entryway back by Viper.



After riding Cornball, I can honestly say that the whole question of "enough space" should be put to rest....where there is money and desire, there CAN be a coaster....(although they'll never again be as CHEAP as Cornball, possibly the best coaster/investment a small-ish park has ever made).....

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 8:59 AM

Chuck - Which Cyclone are you talking about?

Gator - I'd say it's the best investment any park has made, but I'm seeing things through IB-colored glasses.

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"Look outside, I know that you'll recognize it's summertime." - The Flaming Lips "It's Summertime (throbbing orange pallbearers)"

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 9:40 AM

I hope .. for the sake of all things holy that they don't stick in a 'Superman' themed ride, in the middle of Hometown Square....

*shudder*

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Tidal Wave... Sky Whirl... what's next... Whizzer? (Guess it's time to update sig :\ )

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Tuesday, August 6, 2002 11:34 AM

I hope they leave the rest of Hometown Square out of it. I like the feel of that area in particular. But, with Whizzer passing, I doubt it will feel any different than any other area of the park... :(

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