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  1. This might be a controversial opinion, but this just proves that there are people out there that want the lockdown to end for a very legitimate reason. How are people supposed to live if they can't make any money?
  2. Sure, lets get rid of all the good flat rides in U.S parks.
  3. If you ask me, I think theres a chance there could be a 2020 season, albiet shortened.
  4. Busch, Disney, Cedar, and Six Flags will most likely find a way to operate this year, even if it means starting their season a month late.
  5. If this park isn't going to open til mid-June like it seems like it's gonna be, I can bet you that Pantheon will definitely be primed and ready.
  6. The 2010s The 2010s unfortunately had a rather sad start….As it was already announced that Vampyre, Anton Schwarzkopf’s magnum opus was going to be permanently closed after the 2010 season and torn down to make room for a “future development”. Quite understandably so, this decision upset and angered the entirety of the coaster enthusiast community. Vampyre being considered a classic and legendary attraction, many accused Cedar Fair of having no respect for the classics. Some even went as far as to boycott TGA and Cedar Fair. The official reason for its removal was due to “high maintenance costs” due to Schwarzkopf being a long defunct manufacturer. The River District of TGA opened in 2010 and got many compliments for it’s collection of classic flat rides such as a Pirate Ship and a Muzik Express, it’s overall beautiful tree-laden atmosphere and it’s gorgeous pier over Elmwood Lake. Sadly, this had become a bittersweet edition to the park as guests got an amazing view of the soon-to-be-defunct Vampyre roaring through it’s signature triple loop element and the great 146 foot “blackout drop” that predated Intimidator 305 by 26 years…. Of course, by Halloween Haunt of 2010, lines for the coaster got up to 5 hours long, knowing that this would be the very last time anybody would get the opportunity to ride Vampyre…On Halloween Night of 2010, the ride reportedly was still operating until 2:00AM as riders got their very last ride on the coaster… And after one ceremonial final train ran through the course on November 1st, 2010, the scrap cutting trucks had arrived and Vampyre had met it’s terrible demise…Soon enough, almost everything was gone. Even the two mountains had become flat land….However one part remained…Vampyre’s signature triple loop element still stood strong while the rest of the ride had become scrap metal. After scrapping a well-loved coaster that was known for its intensity and fun factor, TGA definitely had their work cut out for them to build a replacement that was suitable for the void that was left by Vampyre…Shortly after scrapping of Vampyre began, pieces of what looked like modern double-spine track by Intamin had appeared in the parking lot of TGA….This helped to quell some of the sadness about Vampyre’s removal as enthusiasts were now speculation on exactly what kind of Intamin was coming to TGA…. And on that Christmas day, Vampyre’s replacement was finally announced….Rush Zone, a brand new compact Intamin hypercoaster for 2011! At 230 feet, it was the same exact height as Rampage, but this hypercoaster was a completely different animal….After hitting the apex height, the train plummets down a massive 228 foot tall near vertical drop into a tight blackout turn taken at approximately 84mph, making in the fastest coaster in the park! This turn is similar to not only Intimidator 305, but also serves as an homage to Vampyre’s famous blackout turn. The train then rises up into a massive 134 foot Stengel Dive and twists downward into two high speed extreme ejector airtime hills! After this is a massive overbanked horseshoe on the edge of Elmwood Lake and a second series of ejector airtime hills going into a massive downwards helix almost resembling the “second loop” of Mindbender at Six Flags Over Georgia. Right after this is the final brake run. A rather short hyper, but full of nothing but big x-treme thrills! Also, located adjacent to Rush Zone was the official memorial display for Vampyre, utilizing the triple loop element, the station platform of the coaster, and the very last train to ever run through it’s course. A plaque was placed on the station platform, which read “Vampyre: 1984-2010” Enthusiasts thought that it was a great way for the park to acknowledge the beloved attraction after it’s closure. The new addition for 2012 was a well themed hand-me-down HUSS Top Spin ride known as Prometheus, Located adjacent to Hercules: The Revenge, it made for a great addition to the small Roman themed area of the park! In September of 2012, news broke that Rampage was going to close forever after Halloween Haunt after eleven years of operation….The announcement was of surprise to no one, as Rampage had once again become infamous for it’s poor ride experience. Since it’s 2008 renovation, it only ran good for one season before more problems arose. More stress fractures appeared on the trains and track, it needed to be retracked several times by GCI, more trim brakes needed to be installed on various locations on the ride, including the first drop. Slowing the coaster’s top speed down further from 64 to 58mph. According to park guests, by 2011 Rampage was running worse than it ever has, being both bone-shakingly rough and having horrible pacing. After eleven years of mechanical issues, maintenance issues, controversy, poor ridership, and even a fatal accident, it was time to pull the plug. In recent years, it has come to light that TGA and Cedar Fair were in fact, in talks with the famed coaster manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction about the possibility of rehabbing Rampage and converting it into one of their famous hybrid roller coasters, like they did with Texas Giant and Rattler around the same time period. Apparently what had ended up happening was that the project as a whole was completely scrapped when RMC inspected the support structure and tracks and found that the structural integrity of the supports and track were very poor. RMC’s refusal to touch Rampage is most likely what prompted the decision to finally close down the troublesome woodie. Shortly after the demolition of Rampage, pieces of red B&M style track started to appear onsite….. And the track pieces turned out to be parts of Exciter, a brand new record smashing B&M wing coaster. When Exciter opened in spring of 2013, it broke two big records. It was the tallest and fastest B&M wing coaster so far at a height of 175 feet and the fastest at exactly 70mph. On top of that, Exciter broke the inversion record in America with a total of NINE inversions! A flying snake dive, a vertical loop, a cobra roll, a zero g roll, a dive drop, a second zero g roll, a giant corkscrew, and finally after the brake run, an in-line twist before the block brakes. Many considered, and still consider Exciter to be the best Wing Coaster out there. Before the 2014 season, it had become public knowledge that TGA had officially gotten a permit to build structures over the 300 foot ceiling, which of course led to speculation about future attractions. The permit was used to build a Mondial Windseeker, a 301 foot tall swing ride which gave fantastic views of the park! Also in 2014, Fireball had gotten a much needed rehab as Vekoma agreed to retrack rough portions of the coaster, painted the coaster yellow, and supplied it with new headbang-free trains with vest restraints. Cedar Fair was praised for refurbishing the old classic Arrow looper instead of demolishing it. Also in that same year, pieces of green Premier Rides style track started to appear in the parking lot of TGA which lead to the revelation before it was even announced that TGA was getting a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II model…. And of course, in 2015 that prediction came true as Overdrive opened to the public that year! Overdrive is a standard fare Premier Rides Sky Rocket II with three cars (but no comfort collars) with three launches and a high zero-G roll that gives immense hangtime. The addition of Overdrive gave TGA the most multi-launching coasters of any park in the world at three. After a steady stream of new additions, 2016 was an off year for TGA with no new additions whatsoever. However rumors had begun again that TGA had their eyes on a new modern wooden coaster that was both family friendly and thrilling enough to fill the void that Rampage had left. Also, rumors had also been floating about Rage getting a conversion from a stand-up to a floorless coaster, despite being smoother for a stand-up. Then TGA made the surprising move of closing and removing Revolution from the park halfway through the season! According to park officials though, Revolution was not closing forever and would be relocated within the park to a different location, as part of the new additions for 2017.. Then, the new year had come. The first of the new attractions was Wild Beast, a brand new GCI wooden coaster in the place where Revolution once stood! Wild Beast isn’t a very large or fast coaster at only 80 feet tall and a top speed of 42mph, but do NOT let the stats fool you. This thing packs a serious punch, coming off the first major hill is a devilish twisting triple-down element that is just jam packed with ejector airtime along with two drawn-out floater airtime hills. Then comes a twisting double helix filled with good laterals and twisty elements. After a few more floater airtime hills, the ride comes to a stop! The second of the new attractions were pretty much old attractions repackaged as new. Revolution had been moved near Hercules: The Revenge and Prometheus and was renamed to the Peplum Pendulum. Rage had received two new floorless trains to replace the stand-up ones, given a new green and magenta paint job, and was renamed to Return of Hydra, as an homage to the B&M floorless coaster at Dorney Park and also to tie into Cedar Fair’s retelling of the Greco-Roman epic. The new additions to the park in 2017 were very well received although, many enthusiasts did have criticism, as they felt that Cedar Fair was “cheaping out” on TGA since Exciter, buying mass produced rides, repackaging old rides as new after refurbishment, and building smaller, family friendly coasters like Wild Beast. However, in 2018. That observation was called into serious question when a blueprint named “TGA2019” was leaked via Instagram of what appears to be a long, drawn out coaster layout starting from near Hercules: The Revenge and stretching out all the way near Wild Beast. A lot of the handwriting on the document was barely legible, however two phrases were made out that sent the coaster community into a frenzy… “Bolliger And Mabillard” and the measurement “304 ft” And sure enough in August of 2018…..Steel Gladiator was announced. The tallest and fastest roller coaster in the entire state of Tennessee, and the tenth tallest roller coaster in the world! Steel Gladiator reaches a top height of 304 feet tall, a ginormous drop of exactly 300 feet, and a whopping top speed of 92mph! The B&M giga coaster featured a massive 210 foot tall wave turn after the first drop and a 175 foot tall figure 8 helix before hitting the mid course brake run. After the MCBR is nothing but pure “flo-jector” airtime until the train hits the final brake run, while not as long as Steel Dragon 2000 or Fury 325, Steel Gladiator still packs a serious punch! And of course, when the ride opened in the spring of 2019, both enthusiasts and the GP fell in love with Steel Gladiator right away, praising it’s airtime and it’s speed. However, many still believed Rush Zone to be the superior ride in terms of pure intensity and ejector airtime. But all in all, Steel Gladiator was definitely a people-pleaser. In the now 48 years that Tennessee’s Great America had been open, it evolved into a small little dinky tourist trap in the home of Jack Daniel’s whisky to a veritable paradise for coaster enthusiasts worldwide with a wide variety of coasters. An absolutely unforgettable four elite coasters (Steel Gladiator, Rush Zone, Hercules: The Revenge, and Steel Savage), a strong supporting cast of other major coasters (Return of Hydra, Screamin’ Eagle, Fireball, Overdrive, Venom, Wild Beast, and Exciter) and a decent amount of family friendly coasters (Vermont Maple Train, Fireball Junior, and Woodstock’s Express) TGA has been through several ups and downs in its lifetime and who knows what the future holds for this great park…..
  7. I already moved my plans to go to Carowinds and BGW from July to September. Im hoping that things will hopefully be back on their feet by then.
  8. That double inverting dive loop has got Stormrunner written all over it : )
  9. The 2000s The year 2000 itself didn’t bring any new major attractions to the park, which was quite a disappointment at the time, however TGA slowly started to hype up the next year’s addition…which they said was really going to blow people’s minds and change the face of TGA forever… But first….a little bit of backstory… Not even a full month had passed since Rage was announced in 1998 that Jason Walker was already looking to the future…Jason Walker had a vision to one day build a hypercoaster at the park. (A hypercoaster, of course being a coaster at least 200 feet tall and with a 200 foot tall drop) At first, he had planned to debut a B&M hypercoaster similar to Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure at the park. But then after Jason Walker realized the market demand for a second, more modern wooden coaster at the park, he decided to be a bit more ambitious….the idea came to him around the beginning of 1999 (While Rage was still under construction, mind you) that Tennesee’s Great America should in the next three years, become home to the world’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster and that unlike most roller coasters who have an outside designer like Steve Okamoto or Werner Stengel, Jason Walker himself was going to design this coaster. The project was tentatively titled “Roar” and was going to feature a layout that was pretty much a wooden version of Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point. The concept coaster was going to be 205 feet tall, feature a 200 foot drop, and have an approximate top speed of 74 miles per hour. However, after discovering that “Roar” was already trademarked by Cedar Fair’s rival, Six Flags, he then swiftly changed it to “Rampage” However in May of 1999, Paramount’s Kings Island announced Son of Beast, a massive record smashing wooden coaster that reaches a top height of 218 feet, has a 215 foot drop, reaches a top speed of 78mph, and will also feature the first inversion on a wooden coaster in more than 80 years. Needless to say, Jason Walker was absolutely furious when Son of Beast was announced. He publicly accused Paramount Parks of stealing his idea for a wooden hypercoaster and even went as far as to threaten them with a lawsuit. However, after being dissuaded from taking legal action, Jason Walker was now a man on a mission to outdo Paramount’s Kings Island. The original design was scrapped and he came up with a new design that didn't have a loop, but instead reached a height of 230 feet, had a massive first drop of 225 feet, and reached a calculated top speed of a whopping 83 miles per hour. The coaster also featured a more compact L-shaped “triple out and back” layout which included a large polystyrene mountain similar to the one at Paramount’s Kings Dominion which would enclose the first major turnaround on the coaster, a mid-course brake run, and several airtime hills in an “oval section” before the final brake run. And in 2001, Rampage became a reality! After having ample difficulty finding a manufacturer for the project, as RCCA and CCI were both having financial issues, GCI refused the project as it was too large of an undertaking, and Intamin couldn’t guarantee a spring 2001 opening, the project was finally handed over to a surprising manufacturer for woodies, Vekoma. Vekoma had already built three wooden roller coasters in Europe the year prior and had no qualms about bringing the model to the States. To date, Rampage was actually the first and as of 2019, only hypercoaster ever designed by Vekoma. However, once Rampage was open to the public, reviews for the ride were mixed at best….The coaster was praised for it’s massive, ostentatious first drop of 225 feet, it’s exhilirating high top speed of 83mph, and for it’s large camelback right after the MCBR that delivered some impressive floater airtime, however right off the starting gun, complaints had arisen about the ride’s roughness, especially in the enclosed turnaround section. Another huge complaint came from the fact that right before the ride’s oval section, trim brakes had to be installed due to the very high lateral G-forces during the initial testing phase. This meant that the train crawled throughout the entire section, delivering negligible airtime traversing the small bunny hills and the double down and having such little momentum towards the final turn that a final brake run was almost unneeded. Then…the controversies arose. Reportedly, not even a few months after it opened, parkgoers became very concerned at the way the track and supports would bend and sway while the train traversed through the course…And eventually, the ride needed to be closed for a few weeks after a number of park guests reportedly saw “metal objects” falling off the ride’s structure. Inspectors found that a number of rivets holding the structure together had been insufficiently tightened, and of course a blame game started between Jason Walker, the man who designed the coaster and Vekoma, the manufacturer of the coaster. Walker claiming that Vekoma was rushing the project while Vekoma claimed that they were being rushed by Walker to have the coaster open by 2001. Eventually the ride was fixed and was able to continue operating… Then, in August of 2001, it was announced that Super Looper was being put up for sale and that it would be dismantled at the end of the 2001 season. This very much upset longtime parkgoers that regarded Super Looper as a classic attraction, being the first looping coaster in the southern US. What happened to Super Looper after it was removed from the park? It remained in storage at the park for a year until it was purchased by rival amusement corporation Six Flags, where it was initially going to be built at Six Flags Fiesta Texas to replace Joker’s Revenge. However plans for that fell through and it was then swapped between Six Flags America and Six Flags New England for the next few years until Six Flags decided to sell the ride. Eventually, Super Looper found a new home at a small boardwalk amusement in Jacksonville, Florida named Family Land Florida in 2006. Family Land Florida is home to many thrilling flat rides, an S&S Space Shot ride, and two roller coasters. A Pinfari Wacky Worm by the name of “Tiki Coaster”, and an unusual family coaster built by Giovanola named “Coast-to-Coaster”. Looking for a new “thrilling” coaster, the family that owned the park bought Super Looper and constructed it at the boardwalk park under the it’s new name Python. Around the holiday season of 2001, it was announced that TGA was to receive not one, but two new attractions for 2002, even starting an advertising campaign on the official website named “2 for 2002”. The first of these attractions was a new thrill ride, a Chance Rides Revolution by the name “Revolution”… And, the new coaster to take Super Looper’s place, a brand new Intamin inverted impulse coaster named Venom. While Venom was a cloned attraction, it turned out to be a very popular attraction among parkgoers as it was the very first launch coaster to be built at the park! 2003 brought a long missing attraction to the park. A heavily themed Intamin river rapids ride named “The Lost Temple” guaranteed to soak its riders every time! It was the perfect ride for those hot summer days when the Tennessee sun can become quite oppressive… After 2003, the three season streak of adding new attractions had ended. 2004 and 2005 went by without any sort of new additions to the park at all…In fact, in 2005 the park had removed Vertigo, the upcharge slingshot ride due to lack of ridership. In September of that same year, it was surprisingly announced that Twister, the Vekoma Boomerang was also going to close forever. This however, turned out to have been an inaccurate and poorly worded announcement in the sense that the coaster was in fact NOT closing, just undergoing a “major refurbishment before the 2006 season. The “refurbishment” was the addition of a brand new Vekoma built train to replace Fireball’s old third train that had been used on the coaster for years. The ride also underwent a name change from Twister to Hang-Time and received a snazzy new magenta and black paint job! These new refurbishments were well received and the ride was noticeably much smoother. In that same year, an absolutely MASSIVE plot of land was cleared around where Vertigo once stood, with a Greco-Roman themed fence surrounding the entire area. And then in August, a piece of black Intamin style track appeared onsite and the coaster community collectively lost their minds….TGA was getting another Intamin for 2006….Speculation was abound at that point. Was it going to be a looping coaster like Thorpe Park’s Colossus? Or maybe a megacoaster like Expedition Ge Force? Or maybe something entirely different…. Then, it was announced…. Hercules: The Revenge, a brand new Intamin LSM launched steel coaster based off of the re-imagined Greco Roman legend of The Twelve Labors of Hercules. After being defeated by the Hydra in 2005, Hercules has made his triumphant return, this time instead of a rough woodie, as an exhilarating launched steel coaster, and is this coaster a sight to behold! Not just one, but THREE launches in its course! The first one out of the station is a rolling gradual launch to 35mph which is enough momentum for a helix and a few banked turns….However, the second launch is where the REAL ride begins. 35 to 75mph in just 2.5 seconds! After this, the train crests a 152 foot tall top hat element and down a 138 foot tall drop, giving absolutely UNREAL ejector airtime. The train proceeds to blaze through multiple back-to-back banked turns and overbanks to make you feel like you’re on the end of a bullwhip, especially in the back seat. Afterwards…the train hits a brake run and comes to a halt….but the ride isn’t over yet…After a few seconds of waiting…the train launches you without warning from 0 to 58mph through a Roman arch! During this launch, four flash pots activate, causing a burst of flames to erupt from the sides of the arch! After the third launch, the train goes into what is known as a “BayernKurve”, which is just two back to back overbanked horseshoe curves and straight downwards into an underground cavern, completely in the dark! The train then emerges out of the cave and into the ride’s grand finale, a large heartline roll charmingly named a “Roman Roll” before hitting the final brake run. The name comes from the fact that instead of normal coaster supports, concrete replicas of roman columns were used to support the track. When Hercules: The Revenge opened in spring of 2007, it was instantaneously lauded for its high speed, excellent theming, strong layout, and of course, it’s airtime! Some had even said that Hercules The Revenge was a contender for the greatest roller coaster in the world! However…just shortly after Hercules: The Revenge opened to the public, the park would once again face a fatal tragedy. One that would once again, spark massive amounts of controversy about an already controversial attraction….. Around noon of June 29th,2007. Train 2 of Rampage had failed to make it to the mid-course brake run. At first it was assumed that the train valleyed, however the truth was far, far worse…Inside the mountain turnaround, the train hit broken track and a wheel careened off the front car….The front car suddenly jackknifed and T-Boned, causing the other four cars to break off the track. When rescue workers found the decimated train, they were shocked at what they saw, likening it more to a massive highway pileup than a coaster derailment. Many of the riders on board received serious injuries, including five people who were in critical condition….Unfortunately, one of the passengers who was in critical condition was a hemophiliac…..And he unfortunately passed away in the hospital just hours later of severe blood loss. Of course, after this tragedy, all fingers once again pointed at Jason Walker, who was now being publicly accused of rushing construction of Rampage in an arbitrary attempt to show off to Kings Island. And that now, a person was dead and many more were injured due to his gross negligence of safety regulations and quality control. Walker had attempted once again, to blame Vekoma for using “sub par, cheap lumber” for their wooden coasters and even directly insulted the company’s reputation by saying “No wonder Robin Hood and Loup-Garou are so rough.” This time, the coaster community did not buy that as an excuse and saw Walker’s attacks on Vekoma as a way to divert criticism away from him, the man who designed the coaster. Eventually, this controversy ended in Jason Walker being ousted from his position as GM of the park by Cedar Fair where he proceeded to be slapped with a hefty wrongful death lawsuit by the deceased's family. The park reopened a week after the 4th of July of 2007, sans Rampage, which was understandably put into Standing But Not Operating or SBNO mode for the rest of the 2007 season. Speculation arose about the possible removal of the ride, given it’s tumultuous history and troubled safety record… However in the end, The new GM of Tennesee’s Great America, C.J Lorenzo decided instead to refurbish the coaster and reopen it in 2008. He called upon Great Coasters International to help work on retracking the entire mountain tunnel, the rough sections of track, beefing up the support structure, and giving the coaster three new Millennium Flyer trains. However, as they were retracking the ride, GCI found that the main cause of the track problems with the coaster was the unprecedented amount of stress that the 225 foot tall drop was putting on the trains. If left unchecked, this wear and tear could cause even more problems in the near future….The only option was to shorten the first drop from 225 to 155 feet….thus stripping Rampage of its hypercoaster status…..As a result, the top speed of the coaster was slowed from 83 to 67mph. However, despite the disappointment of the shortened first drop, parkgoers were pleasantly surprised at how much smoother the coaster was now that it was retracked and had new trains. And as an added bonus, the trim brakes were completely deactivated during the second half of the ride, giving Rampage the intense ejector airtime during the second half that was sorely sought after. Around 2009, a rumor started that Fireball was going to be removed at the end of the 2008 season to make room for a new “major addition” in 2010. However park officials stepped in and said that the rumors were false. A classic ride did end up biting the dust after the 2009 season though….Due to high maintenance costs, Round-Up bit the dust…. Soon enough, it was going to be replaced by not just a new flat ride, but an entire new area known as the River District, featuring multiple shops, a long overdue HUSS Pirate Ship ride, a Moser Rides Muzik Expres, and a huge, beautiful pier across Elmwood Lake giving parkgoers gorgeous views of both of the big A-List coasters of TGA, Hercules: The Revenge and Vampyre. But not even a month after the River District was announced…On September 13th, 2009….Coaster enthusiasts around the world were greeted with possibly some of the most heartbreaking announcements possible…..As it was confirmed that Vampyre would permanently close and be demolished after the 2010 season to make room for “future developments”…..
  10. My mother is a year younger than you and she's been battling motion sickness for years despite loving roller coasters, what she does is that she takes dramamine at least an hour before she goes on any coasters. She was able to handle Fury 325 and Skyrush no problem.
  11. THE 1990s The 1990s didn’t start off pleasantly for Elmwood Lake Park at all, as the famed theme park was still derelict and would stay that way for the next few years….suburban developments started to circle around the SBNO amusement park like vultures, eventually waiting for the property value to go down just enough to swoop in, level the park, and replace it with condominiums, town houses, and strip malls. However before any of them could even think about making a move….the park was purchased in late 1992…By a little known company known as….. Cedar Fair L.P, the owners of the famed Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota, and Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Cedar Fair purchased the park for upwards of $70,000,000 USD, and put aside a multi-million dollar budget for the park to clean up the overgrown areas, refurbish the attractions (including damaged Screamin Eagle), improve the atmosphere of the park, and overall just restore Elmwood Lake to its former glory……. In the summer of 1993, for the first time in more than five years, Elmwood Lake Park opened its doors once again in an opulent grand re-opening gala! Thousands and thousands of people stampeded the park gates, eager to get the chance to ride their favorite rides and roller coasters again such as the newly refurbished Screamin Eagle, Super Looper (which was now sporting a snazzy new electric blue paint job), and Fireball. However the ride that most people wanted to go on the most…was the world famous triple looping monster Vampyre, which reportedly had upwards of four hour waits that opening day! Elmwood Lake Park’s grand reopening was such a huge financial success for Cedar Fair that almost immediately, they started market research into building a new major coaster at the park for 1994….And in the midst of the reopening season, a large plot of land started to be cleared in front of Screamin’ Eagle…. The result of this land clearing was an all-new cutting edge Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster named Steel Savage. At the time, Steel Savage was the tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster in the world at a height of 140 feet tall, a drop of 120 feet tall, a top speed of 61mph! After the giant swooping first drop, the train goes into a 110 foot tall vertical loop followed by a 102 foot tall cobra roll and a 71 foot tall high speed zero-G-roll! After the mid-course brake run, the train goes into a high speed corkscrew and a series of tight, intense banked turns and helices before dropping into what is arguably the climax of the ride…. A sudden 70 foot tall drop into the dark underground! Immediately after, the train busts into a second high speed corkscrew and a final helix before emerging from the ground into the final brake run! This was the first time a huge underground tunnel was attempted on an inverted coaster and was arguably the element that made Steel Savage considered one of the best inverted roller coasters of all time. Also in 1994, Cedar Fair made the surprising decision to rename the park entirely. Elmwood Lake Park was no more, and from now on, it would forever be known as Tennessee’s Great America. Many questions had risen about why they would change the name of the park, and although the official reason is unknown, it was theorized that the new general manager of the park, Jason Walker wanted to pay homage to the two Marriot theme parks, Six Flags Great America and California’s Great America (Then known as Paramount’s Great America). 1994 was overall a successful season for the park, however in the midst of the season, it was marred by a horrific fatal tragedy. A teenage girl fell to her death on Espionage, the park’s Intamin first gen freefall after her over the shoulder restraint reportedly unlocked during the ride. Espionage was promptly shut down and was demolished via controlled implosion at the end of the 1994 season.... In mid-1995, it was announced that Tennessee’s Great America was going to be adding a new roller compact steel coaster to take the place of Espionage in 1996. This coaster was soon revealed to be Twister, a Vekoma “Boomerang” coaster. While Twister was a mass produced cloned coaster, it’s small footprint and exciting ride layout made it a decent replacement for Espionage. At the end of the 1996 season, it was decided that the front pavilion of the park needed a major overhaul, which was why for 1996, Halloweekends was cancelled and the season ended Labor Day weekend instead of the end of Halloween. The original Café Americana and the old Parachute Drop ride were unceremoniously demolished in the renovations, leading to some fans of the pre-Cedar Fair park to be quite disappointed. A beautiful garden and fountain was now located where all three main paths met, adding to the beauty factor of Tennessee’s Great America. The Parachute Drop was replaced with a more modern drop ride, also filling the void that Espionage left. A brand new S&S Space Shot/Turbo Drop tower complex known as Stratosphere! At 190 feet tall, Stratosphere had become the tallest ride in the whole park. Riders got a choice as soon as they board the queue line, Violet launches you up while Blue launches you down! A long overdue attraction, a fun Dodgems ride was put in where the old Café Americana once stood.. and Coaster’s Drive In, a staple all-American eatery in all of Cedar Fair’s parks was the replacement for the Café Americana. Also, in 1997 was the retheme of KidTown USA into Camp Snoopy, bringing Charles’ M. Schultz’s beloved Peanuts characters into Tennesee’s Great America! There was also the opening of a new kiddie coaster in the area, a Zierer Tivoli by the name of Fireball Junior, a smaller family-friendly accompaniment of the large Arrow looping coaster in the same park! The 1990’s came to an exhilarating coda with the announcement in the summer of 1998 that for 1999, the park was going to expand westwards behind Screamin Eagle and that the park was going to receive a brand new cutting-edge steel roller coaster that same year….. And of course 1999 brought two major attractions to the park! The first of which was a huge upcharge slingshot ride by the name of Vertigo. At 220 feet tall, it stole the record from Stratosphere as the tallest ride in the park! The second of the new attractions was a B&M Stand-Up coaster by the name of Rage. Compared to it’s contemporaries, Chang at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Riddler’s Revenge at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Mantis at Cedar Point, Rage was a much smaller stand up coaster, however that didn’t mean that it didn’t pack a serious punch! Rage was the first and the only stand-up coaster to feature a cobra roll element and was very much praised for having a smooth, forceful, and snappy layout despite being a bit short (in stature and length) The 90s sure was a decade to behold for Elmwood Lake Park/Tennesee’s Great America. Not only was a completely SBNO park brought back from the dead, it’s new owners brought about a new golden era for the park, adding new attractions left and right, thrilling adrenaline junkies from sea to shining sea, and they had no intention of stopping any time soon! Y2K was soon arriving and thrill seekers were truly looking forward to whatever was coming for the new millennium… Although I don’t want to give away too much, let’s just say that soon the park would have to learn a harsh lesson that sometimes, going out of your way to build a record breaking ride can be more trouble than what it’s really worth in the end.
  12. I'd think the Jesus Days would have a less rowdy and more well-behaved crowd if they practiced what they preached. 12 years of Catholic schooling, trust me...they REALLY don't. We were just as uncivilized as other kids.
  13. I remember that there was a time back in '08 when I was in 7th grade where we had what was SUPPOSED to be a physics day at Hersheypark. The school rented out a huge greyhound bus and everything. We were supposed have fun, but on the bus do worksheets about physical science (it's just middle school, it was probably going to be just "what's the difference between potential energy and kinetic energy?") I remember that it was cold, rainy, sloppy and just gross out, but somehow or another, all the coasters were open save for Fahrenheit. I remember that me and these two teachers managed to get rides on Sooperdooperlooper, Great Bear, Wild Mouse, and Lightning Racer. The idea to to do worksheets on the bus were pretty much scrapped as we were all either too wound up or too tired. Definitley one of the best school field trips I've EVER been on
  14. THE 1980s Elmwood Lake Park kicked off the Decade of Decadence with a brand new steel roller coaster from Arrow-HUSS named Fireball. Fireball was a very unique specimen for its time as in 1980, it broke the record for the most inversions on a roller coaster with a whopping five! Two consecutive loops, an all-new “Immelmann” inversion after a banked turn and finally, a double corkscrew before a meandering s-turn back to the station. Many people consider Fireball to be the first “mega looping” coaster ever built….and of course, when Fireball opened, it was a massive hit among the general public and thrill seekers. 1981 brought a unique type of ride to the park, an all-new Intamin first generation Freefall ride known as “Espionage” Espionage's ride experience is as follows, four riders enter a large steel cage with over-the-shoulder harnesses. The cage goes up a giant elevator in the middle of the tower and at the top, it moves to a second track which is shaped like a giant letter L. After about a 6-12 second wait, without warning the cage drops down the track, giving the rider the sensation of free falling. Magnetic brakes stop the cage and a chain drive, similar to that on a ten speed bicycle grabs the cage and brings it to an upright position. Also new for 1981 was a Round-Up ride, another X-treme thrill ride which was essentially a cross between a rotor and an Enterprise. 1982 and 1983 brought no new additions to Elmwood Lake Park…However, during those two seasons, Bill Walsh was in contact with the legendary Anton Schwarzkopf for a second time…Given the success of both Super Looper and Fireball, Bill Walsh had the idea of having Anton return to the park for a second time for an even bigger steel looping roller coaster….This time, he had given Anton a large canvas twoards the rear of the park and free reign to build a true masterpiece of coaster design… After building Shockwave at Six Flags Over Texas and Mindbender at Six Flags Over Georgia in 1978, it was time to build a new style of steel looping roller coaster for the 80s… And finally, in 1984, Anton Schwarzkopf’s magnum opus was built. A monstrous looping/twisting steel roller coaster by the name of Vampyre. Vampyre was the tallest and fastest roller coaster at the park with a top height of a staggering 156 feet tall and a top speed of 64mph. To date, Vampyre was the only steel roller coaster to feature three consecutive loops in a row. To make things even sweeter, these were round circular loops as opposed to clothoid loops, which made for an incredibly intense ride experience, possibly some of the most intense inversions in roller coaster history. After a series of intense banked turns Vampyre hits a mid course brake run that actually fully stops the train before going into the second lift hill which brings the ride to its highest point… the train turns to the left before plummeting into its other signature element, a massive 146 foot tall drop into a large banked turn. An element so intense that it caused even the strongest and most seasoned thrill seekers to start greying out. Reportedly, Vampyre at that point pulled around 6Gs, which is an insane amount of g-forces for a coaster! After the turn came the “fourth loop” which was really just a large banked 360 degree turnaround. After a tunnel through the artificial mountain, Vampyre comes to a stop….Leaving riders to wonder just what the absolute hell they just went through… When Vampyre opened, reactions amongst the general public was a bit mixed, but it achieved almost instantaneous legend status among coaster enthusiasts, being lauded as the most X-Treme coaster of all time, with some even saying that the renowned Crystal Beach Cyclone was LESS intense than Vampyre! Of course, Super Looper was rendered completely obsolete by Vampyre, however both coasters stood strong at Elmwood Lake Park as a true testament to Anton Schwarzkopf’s genius. 1984 was a massive, HUGE season for Elmwood Lake Park, which was why in 1985, it was quite a shock to find that the crowds were rather….meager in comparison to the year prior, especially towards the beginning and the tail end of the season. Bill Walsh had deduced that while there were plenty of rides and attractions that catered to the older, more experienced thrill seekers, there weren’t really any rides that catered to the younger demographic of parkgoers….Sure, there were a few “family” rides like the carousel, the Ferris wheel, and Vermont Maple Train, but there weren’t any “kiddy” rides. That problem through, was rectified in 1986 with the debut of KidTown USA, Elmwood Lake Park’s children’s area! This beautiful, whimsically themed area featured a wide array of small, gentle flat rides geared twoards kids and even a small roller coaster by the name of Mini Maple Train. When this area debuted, the main goal was to attract more families into Elmwood Lake Park…. However things didn’t get better…they only got worse….KidTown USA barely made a dent in the overall attendance in the park….And it seemed that people, mainly families, just simply weren’t interested in Elmwood Lake Park, instead opting to go to country star Dolly Parton’s “new” theme park, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, as it had more of an appeal to families….As a result, Elmwood Lake Park began to lose a huge amount of revenue…. Then….at the worst possible time…a near-disaster struck the park….On a stormy night in midsummer 1987, a stray bolt of lightning struck the peak of Screamin’ Eagle, causing a large fire to break out on the top of the lift hill. The Lynchburg Fire Department was able to put out the fire, however a huge portion of the lift hill had collapsed as a result, putting the famed wooden coaster out of commission for the rest of the season. This made the financial situation of Elmwood Lake Park go from bad to exponentially worse….Tennessee Amusement Corps. Simply could not afford to hire a new manufacturer to fix up the classic woodie…And eventually…the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and it’s assets were liquidated….meaning that the 1987 season was to be Elmwood Lake Park’s last….Tennessee Amusement Corps had shut down entirely around the same time….. And sure enough, in 1988…the park did not open at all…..And the story remained the same for 1989….Elmwood Lake Park had been abandoned and left to rot, just like Eagle Park or Chippewa Lake Park……. Or had it? TO BE CONTINUED......
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