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Really old photos of Tidal Wave at Paramount's Great America


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Tidal Wave was a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop located at Paramount's Great America. It operated from 1978 to 1999 as Tidal Wave. Then in 1999 it was renamed and re themed as Greased Lightnin. It was removed from Paramount's Great America in 2002. Here are my photos taken in 1979.

 

1978-1999 Tidal Wave

1999-2002 Greased Lightnin

 

See my other retro photos here.

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^ Just ride the much better version down at Knott's. I've been on (I think) all the shuttle loops in the world and I've always felt that Great America had got the "lemon" of the bunch. I'm not sure why but the launch never felt as forcefull as it's counterpart in Chicago (then Georgia, now Kentucky) and the return run was pathetic, nearly stopping completely in the station.

 

Nice photos, though. It's always good to see retro pics of every park!

 

--Robb

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^ Just ride the much better version down at Knott's. I've been on (I think) all the shuttle loops in the world and I've always felt that Great America had got the "lemon" of the bunch. I'm not sure why but the launch never felt as forcefull as it's counterpart in Chicago (then Georgia, now Kentucky) and the return run was pathetic, nearly stopping completely in the station.

 

Nice photos, though. It's always good to see retro pics of every park!

 

--Robb

 

I agree with Robb... I grew up going to the Great America here in California when it was Marriott's and while I loved our Tidal Wave, I always thought Montezooma's was better. Having ridden the one that used to be at Great America in Illinois, I can say that one sucks too.

 

By the way, awesome photos though. I should dig through my old photos to see if I can spot any Great America and old Magic Mountain shots from back in the day.

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^You reminded me of my first rollercoaster ride ever, which was a shuttle. Seeing that Montezooma's Revenge only had lapbars and seatbelts did scare the begesus out of me but I just couldn't take seeing little kids getting off the ride with a huge grin. Monty did and still gives a nice punch for a shuttle and am proud to say a Shuttle "popped my cherry"

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Yes, PGA's Greased Lightnin/Tidal Wave was much less intense than Montezuma's Revenge. It didn't get as high up on the back spike. It was still a really fun ride and it never had a line. Wow, now that I think about it, it was removed almost 6 years ago. A lot has changed at CGA since then.

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^ Just ride the much better version down at Knott's. I've been on (I think) all the shuttle loops in the world and I've always felt that Great America had got the "lemon" of the bunch. I'm not sure why but the launch never felt as forcefull as it's counterpart in Chicago (then Georgia, now Kentucky) and the return run was pathetic, nearly stopping completely in the station.

 

Nice photos, though. It's always good to see retro pics of every park!

 

--Robb

 

Hey there those are fightin' words

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^ LOL! Hey, don't get me wrong! I loved Tidal Wave and all the other Schwarzkopf shuttle loops, just at the process of elimination there's going to be the worst one, and PGA's may have been it!

 

I'd still take the worst Schwarzkopf shuttle loop over most Vekoma coasters ANY day!

 

--Robb

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I visited CGA (then PGA) in the summer of 1995, while Tidal Wave was still operating, and I did not ride it. I felt that since I had already been on Montezooma's Revenge, I did not need to ride this one. I do not know what I was thinking. D'oh! *slaps forehead*

 

Always nice to see old photos!

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I rode Montezooma's Revenge for the first time in November 1978, then just a few days later, we took a trip up to then Marriott's Great America. I noticed right off how both rides were very different, with Tidal Wave's train being braked on its backwards pass through the station. Also, of course, it was obvious that it didn't go very high up the back spike.

 

I'm thankful that (so far), Cedar Fair hasn't ruined Montezooma's Revenge or removed it. We do indeed have a great ride, and as I've mentioned elsewhere, the only one still in its original location 30-1/2 years later.

 

Eric

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^ LOL! Hey, don't get me wrong! I loved Tidal Wave and all the other Schwarzkopf shuttle loops, just at the process of elimination there's going to be the worst one, and PGA's may have been it!

 

I'd still take the worst Schwarzkopf shuttle loop over most Vekoma coasters ANY day!

 

--Robb

 

Lol I know having been on Monte I agree it is better it's just the years I spent as a ride OP making me talk

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^ Just ride the much better version down at Knott's. I've been on (I think) all the shuttle loops in the world and I've always felt that Great America had got the "lemon" of the bunch. I'm not sure why but the launch never felt as forcefull as it's counterpart in Chicago (then Georgia, now Kentucky) and the return run was pathetic, nearly stopping completely in the station.

 

Nice photos, though. It's always good to see retro pics of every park!

 

--Robb

 

Robb have you been on Thunder Looper that used to be at Alton Towers?

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^ Just ride the much better version down at Knott's. I've been on (I think) all the shuttle loops in the world and I've always felt that Great America had got the "lemon" of the bunch. I'm not sure why but the launch never felt as forcefull as it's counterpart in Chicago (then Georgia, now Kentucky) and the return run was pathetic, nearly stopping completely in the station.

 

Nice photos, though. It's always good to see retro pics of every park!

 

--Robb

 

I agree that Montezooma's Revenge is the better ride, but Tidal Wave didn't always stop in the station. Sometimes, the train would ride pretty high up the back spike (but GA was never consistent in allowing this to happen).

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I still really miss the good ol Tidal Wave/Greased Lightnin. I did get on Montezooma's for the first time in July. I didn't really like it. Greased Lightnin will always be my favorite. I am more used to that version & I have very fond memories. I hope to ride it again someday at SFKK.

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  • 1 month later...

I always thought the blue running lights that paralleled the running of the trains at night was exceptionally cool. Back then, my favorite rides were either Willard's Whizzer or Turn of the Century, but from a visual perspective, the Wave at night (with lights on full) was just a very cool spectacle.

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Back in 2003, I visited PGA for the first time, and whilst standing in line for Vortex, I could see the 'leftovers' from the Tidal Wave... and got a tear in my eye for the loss of a great ride. I still have very fond memories of King Kobra, and despite how much I like Anaconda, wish I could ride it again....

 

It is sad to see such great pics in a way. Beautiful as they are, a Schwartzkopf coaster will always get my vote over anybody else's coasters- as they are simply classic. (See my AVATAR for that vote!)-

 

This summer I finally logged Whizzer- and if sources here have been correct, none too soon. My hopes if I ever hit the lottery are to setup a 'retirement' home for Schwartzkopf rides in the Desert- so all may enjoy them in the future!

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