Marriott's Great America

Gurnee, Illinois

1980's

 

Yes you heard right these pictures are from about 1983 or 1984 before Great America was purchased by Six Flags.  I found them in an old folder in the basement and I thought I'd post them for you.

Mariott's Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

This is the original logo for the Demon.  They used to have this pipe with the eyes sticking out on the front of every train.  I feel that this is one of the coolest logos ever!  Down at the bottom of the screen you can see a pool of blood.  It used to run out from the bottom of the pipe.  The blood also used to be flowing from the waterfall and in the pond under the corkscrews.  All you can see of this right now is the wording Demon.  Six Flags covered up the pipe with dirt and flowers and took out the blood and many of the special effects that made this ride even cooler.  I hear the reasoning is that several church groups complained and they removed the imagery and blood to "clean" up the ride.  Here's my attitude on the subject....GET A LIFE!  I mean it's just a RIDE!  It's not like the park is blaspheming or by riding the Demon your soul is eternally dammed or you will start worshiping Satan or start growing hair on your back or whatever.  It's a ride and it's theming.  Think of the theming as this...you're a good person who comes into contact with Satan and you battle him and you win and then get off the ride!  That's what the theme is, not worship the dark side etc....  Ugh sometimes people piss me off, except for you wonderful people visiting my site...I love you all.

Mariott's Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

Here's the first of 2 panoramic shots of Great America.  On the left is the old Tidal Wave Schwarzkopf shuttle looping coaster.  I really miss this ride.  They should have put Batman elsewhere and kept this wonderful ride and converted it to a flywheel model which has faster acceleration.  The tower at the end of the ride had a huge weight that dropped and pulled on cables propelling the train.  Also you can see a Ferris wheel right to the right of the top of Tidal Wave's spike.  I don't even remember this.  It looks like it was right where Z force then Iron Wolf sat.  On this trip I remember riding the cars over in New Orleans Place and hearing that they were going to be taken out for the river rapids ride.  The cars are now at Knoebels.

Mariott's Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

In this photo you can see the Whizzer (man the trees have really grown up since then) and the Demon and the area that eventually housed the Bobsled Ride and then became Southwest Territory with Viper and Raging Bull.  What's interesting in this photo is there is a skyway station built out in the field in the upper right corner.  The cable's went over into New Orleans Place which meant this land had been marked for expansion space well before Six Flags came around. 

Mariott's Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

Here's a birds-eye view of Great America's double-decker carousel.

Mariott's Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

  Here's one more picture from my collection, the Sky-Trek Tower which most of the previous photos were taken from.

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  All pictures on this site have been taken by my wife Carrie or myself.  Please do not use without permission but ask and chances are I'll give it to you.

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Paul B. Drabek