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The Flight Deck Rollercoaster at California's Great America, Santa Clara, California

There is another blast from the past that is no longer at Six Flags Great America.  The Theater Royale has been transformed into the queue for The Dark Knight while it is still an operating theater here. 

If you notice a lack of people in these photos it is because California's Great America opens up early for Cedar Fair pass holders.  As we were hitting three parks this day we decided to take advantage of the early ride time to get in as much of California's Great America as possible.

The Flight Deck Rollercoaster at California's Great America, Santa Clara, California

Tucked in behind the Theater Royale is Bolliger & Mabillard's second inverted coaster, Flight Deck.

The Flight Deck Rollercoaster at California's Great America, Santa Clara, California

In 1985 Marriott decided to get out of the theme park business.  The Great America in Illinois was sold off to Bally's and eventually became a Six Flags park.  California's Great America took a different path with the city of Santa Clara eventually purchasing the park to keep it from being torn down and turned into a housing development.  The city turned to Kings Entertainment Company; who ran parks like Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Canada's Wonderland to manage their Great America.

The Flight Deck Rollercoaster at California's Great America, Santa Clara, California

Eventually Kings Entertainment Company sold their parks to Paramount Studios who were following in the foot steps of Six Flags/Time Warner.  Paramount's wanted to be able to promote their movies with theme parks and promote theme parks with movie themed rides.  Six Flags used the "Batman" franchise to theme the original inverted coaster at the other Great America.  While across the country at this Great America Paramount used the movie "Top Gun" as a theme for their inverted coaster.

The Flight Deck Rollercoaster at California's Great America, Santa Clara, California

I know you are asking why this wasn't called "Top Gun" anymore?  When Cedar Fair purchased Paramount Parks all of the movie tie-ins and Paramount intellectual property rights had to go so Cedar Fair renamed all of their "Top Gun" coasters "Flight Deck".



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Paul B. Drabek