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New news article on Little Dipper and Magic Quest:

 

GURNEE -- If and when spring arrives, what is now a snow-covered field between Batman: The Ride and Bugs Bunny National Park will be the new home of The Little Dipper, a 61-year-old roller coaster that survived the demise of Kiddieland.

 

The process of transplanting the classic wooden coaster to Six Flags Great America is proceeding behind closed doors, with mechanics like Andy Adams applying a mix of elbow grease and TLC.

 

"We want to clean it up a little bit without changing it too much," Adams said Thursday as he disassembled one of the ride's four cars. "This one's getting new upholstery -- if we can find it."

 

Built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. in 1949 and making its debut at Kiddieland in Melrose Park the following year, the Dipper's look is steeped in retro, with its namesake constellation painted on the sides, and the aforementioned iridescent-blue upholstery that was aptly described by Adams as "1950s diner."

 

In November, following the Sept. 27 closure of Kiddieland, Great America purchased the coaster at auction for a reported $36,300. Once rechristened on the rails, it will be the park's 14th roller coaster and cater to families with kids too young for the Raging Bull.

 

Great America communications director Jennifer Savage said the Dipper -- with a three-story lift hill and a 700-foot track -- will most likely be open sometime after the park's April 24-25 opening weekend.

 

 

 

 

Also slated to be open this spring is a new indoor attraction in one of the park's venerable locations. Tucked inside the County Fair Games Gallery -- the horseshoe-shaped strip across from the American Eagle roller coaster -- will be MagiQuest, a video adventure game with interactive stories that can be played in one visit or in pieces over the course of the operating season.

 

Featured at sites like the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., MagiQuest's Great America incarnation will cost users $24.99 on top of the park's general admission. The base cost includes 75 minutes of game action and a plastic wand that is used to interact with the game. The wand can be kept and re-used with fresh minutes purchased in packages ranging from $11.99 to $14.99.

 

"It's like a remote control, and you use it to unlock clues and play a customized quest," Savage said. "It's kind of like a scavenger hunt."

 

Games manager Rob Sarle said the attraction is loaded with 11 different quests, which unfold as users proceed to different stations spread through an 8,000-square-foot room and solve riddles. MagiQuest is being set up in space that used to house the Skedaddle arcade and, more recently, the Wii Experience.

 

"One thing about it is there are a lot of grandparents who bring their grandchildren here, and they might not want to go on all the thrill rides," said park spokeswoman Meredith Kelleher. "This is something they can do together."

 

Park officials are aiming for a mid-May unveiling of both The Little Dipper and MagiQuest. After starting with weekends-only in April, Great America will be open daily starting May 12.

 

 

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I’m so ready for these totally arbitrary and nonsensical covid rules to be over.  So a waterpark with no masks was fine all summer but they can’t run a coaster Or a Scrambler with a bunch of empt

This is life in Illinois. We're everything that's wrong with California, without the view.

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This one's getting new upholstery -- if we can find it.

 

Awww...I liked the 1950's diner style blue seating! Oh well. I don't think the coaster police will get after them for this. Now, Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear....that would be a different story.

 

I'm glad that they're not changing too much. However, the bright orange seat belts look ridiculous. When I worked there, we didn't have safety belts on the coasters, only lap bars. Man, those were the good ol' days.

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This one's getting new upholstery -- if we can find it.

 

Awww...I liked the 1950's diner style blue seating! Oh well. I don't think the coaster police will get after them for this. Now, Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear....that would be a different story.

 

The "if we can find it" and the end of that quote leads me to believe that they are trying to find new upholstery that will be very similar if not identical to the existing material.

 

Moving on to the seat belt comments, they are there. Deal with it. I could have told you November 24th that they were going to add seatbelts. Eagle and Viper both have seatbelts, and their lapbars are far more restrictive than Dipper's.

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^Oh I figured they were going to add the seatbelts. I'm not complaining about it, nor was I trying to start an argument about it. They were added to all the coasters years ago and it's a safety thing on their part. No biggie.

 

To me the "if we can find it" comment means: "We hate the 50's diner blue, so we're going to find something even more annoying than bright orange".

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=364740

 

Construction workers have begun reassembling the pieces of the historic Little Dipper in its new home at Six Flags Great America. It joins MagiQuest, an interactive play area, as two new attractions being unveiled this season at the Gurnee theme park. Park officials purchased the Little Dipper roller coaster during a November auction from the closed Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park.

 

"We are extremely excited to bring the Little Dipper to Six Flags Great America," said Jenifer Savage, the park's director of communications. "Not only for the historic value it has for people in this area, but also because people are excited to see it live on."

 

Once the Little Dipper was purchased, Six Flags crews dismantled it at Kiddieland, then moved it to Gurnee.

 

Savage said the Little Dipper's new home in the Yukon Territory/Looney Tunes National Park has been cleared and drilling for the supports is beginning this week. The goal, she said, is to have the ride up and running in June.

 

The Little Dipper, designed by Herbert Schmeck and built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1950, is a family-friendly coaster that features a three-story tall lift hill and has a figure-eight track running 700 feet in length. It has been honored with the ACE Coaster Classic award by the American Coaster Enthusiasts.

 

MagiQuest, a new interactive play area where people use magic wands to interact in a storybook tale, is also under construction in the County Fair portion of the park. Savage said the goal is to have the attraction completed when the park opens April 24.

 

"But, as always, due to unpredictable weather, we can never totally confirm the date attractions will be completed," she said.

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I am planning a trip the second week of June, possibly on either Wed, Thu, or Fri. Can someone tell me if this is a good time to go? (Weather, crowds).

 

 

Thanks!

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^It will be crowded as schools are out and the park baby sitting kids season has begun. If you hit the right rides first (Superman, Ragin' Cujun, V2, Little Dipper, the roller skater) and follow a good park touring plan, you will be fine for getting all the credits in a day without a Flash Pass.

 

Weather wise, last year was a freak year and it never hit about 85 until August, so hopfully it will be warmer this year.

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Yay an expensive upcharge attraction for youngsters... How many parents really want to make their visit cost $120 per person? Grand waste of install money if you ask me. Granted if it was fairly reasonable as far as cost goes, probably a good move, but if you're talking a million plus.... What are they thinking? And yes, I realize 3d projectors cost 75-200k.

 

Bb is not horrible, but I hate sitting down on wet coaster seats, that's why I think bb belongs in the water park. The flumes and rapids are perfect. Because they don't soak people to the point that they soak coaster seats (usually people are dry by the end of the cue line for a coaster). I agree that bb has great theming and looks fun for frequent visitors. I just wish they would quit taking out high end rides for lower end rides. Shockwave didn't have to go to make room for suf, and vu for bb. The park seems to have great kids sections, and the water park for families and teens, plus flat rides for all levels of thrill seekers. I don't get why they don't understand you need thrill rides to target adults too. Get people hooked and keep em happy from toddler to grave, it's a good way to run a business. If you keep losing coasters, and don't have flat rides other than spin and puke rides, you won't draw young adults, much the less adults in general.

 

A bit old but I just had to counter this guy's claims... Are you joking????????

 

1) BB IS a high-end ride. It's heavily themed and it can be enjoyed by the whole family. Big drops and loops DON"T make a high-end ride. It's all about quality.

 

2) Again... It was either Shockwave, an Arrow mega-looper that you can find anywhere and is always bashed for being a rough ride or a classic/historic family coaster which is one of only two rides left in the world.

 

3) Young adults DON'T have money... FAMILIES do! That's why SF is trying to attract FAMILIES. FAMILIES are perfectly happy with the new additions. SF's been adding huge coasters to its parks for 20 years and it only put the franchise in debt. Again... Look at parks like Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Disneyland, and Magic Kingdom. All are family parks and all DON'T have very many huge coasters. All are also hugely successful. SF is trying to emulate these parks.

 

If I ever make it down there two days in a row, I might check it out simply for the fact I'm a geek who would love to work in the movie industry. Not worth wasting my time during a one day trip though. Again I don't have a problem with our coasters, just that we spend fifty times as much on useless coasters and kiddie rides a we do coasters. Vu would have cost a few mil to fix right, but they spent 5.5m on bb, and lost a coaster. They put in tdk for 7.5m and it might last a decade. Cajun was a waste of money. Revolution - spin and puke. Little dipper was a good move, and I guess selling vu offset that cost. Hrm... Tdk superman and Cajun are the only rides that I've been on that were added since my first trip in 2002. Never got to ride vu because it was always broken down. I think of tdk and Cajun in the flat ride category just as much as coasters since so many places have wild mouse coasters now.

Would you rather spend 7 mil on a coaster that doesn't go after the target audience or spend 5.5 mil on a flat ride that brings families with money in? You said it yourself that Vu was a lawn ornament.

 

Both TDK and Cajun ARE coasters because they run on a track and are powered by gravity. So would you consider a Batman clone to be a flat ride because there are so many of them?

 

Big coasters don't guarantee "high-end" and small rides don't guarantee "low end". It's all about the quality of the ride experience and its lasting appeal. A big coaster like Shockwave which doesn't age well doesn't really have lasting appeal whatsoever.

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^It will be crowded as schools are out and the park baby sitting kids season has begun. If you hit the right rides first (Superman, Ragin' Cujun, V2, Little Dipper, the roller skater) and follow a good park touring plan, you will be fine for getting all the credits in a day without a Flash Pass.

 

Weather wise, last year was a freak year and it never hit about 85 until August, so hopfully it will be warmer this year.

 

Actually, it's usually not too bad by then. But yes, schools are just getting out, so expect crowds. A Q-Bot might be worth it.

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If they waited a few years to demolish Shockwave, maybe it could have experienced a "Shapiro treatment" and been repainted and re-themed, and possibly new Morgan trains. To me it was one of the best coasters in the park, and if it wasn't themed as "Parking Lot: The Ride" it could have been a lot more popular past the 90s. I would have really liked to see Great America retain both that ride and Deja Vu, because they both brought a LOT more intensity to our coaster collection. I feel like Deja Vu had a pretty good last year, and I never really had a problem getting on it, it seemed to be open a lot more that year.

 

I do think that Little Dipper is a GREAT addition, but I think MagiQuest is a TERRIBLE decision. That games area used to be really awesome, especially when the carosuel was there. I think MagiQuest would be better as a free-standing attraction either on Grand Ave, or in Gurnee Mills. I like how with the addition of Hurricane Harbor and Key Lime Cove Gurnee is turning into more of a tourist destination than just a single Theme Park.

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I like how with the addition of Hurricane Harbor and Key Lime Cove Gurnee is turning into more of a tourist destination than just a single Theme Park.

Speaking of Key Lime Cove, anybody know what's going on with them? I know they filed for bankruptcy but I haven't heard anything since then.

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I haven't heard anything. I used to work for Coco Key in Arlington Heights until it closed. I really miss lifeguarding, but in all honesty Key Lime Cove is a much better facility. It's a total immersive experience from the second you step foot in the resort.

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^^^Have you ever done MagiQuest before? I was a skeptic too until I tried the system out, and spent a good hour running around the complex to complete the individual tasks. While it took the energy out of me, the younger kids and families around me were eating it up.The system itself is a great money maker and an even better distraction...

 

In the least, I can only expect this to lessen wait times for the other rides in the park, but that's just my thought.

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I am planning a trip the second week of June, possibly on either Wed, Thu, or Fri. Can someone tell me if this is a good time to go? (Weather, crowds).

 

Actually mid-week in early June is my absolute favorite time to go. School is out, but that's actually good because it means that there will be no field-trips (going mid-week in May is a nightmare). People aren't on vacation yet either, so the park typically is pretty quiet. Weather should be amazing too

 

Cameron.

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Speaking of Key Lime Cove, anybody know what's going on with them? I know they filed for bankruptcy but I haven't heard anything since then.

 

The bankruptcy courts are trying to sell off the facility. As a waterpark owner I received a very detailed packet on the facility.

 

It surprises me that people are able to get huge amounts of money to build these places with poorly put together business plans. Which makes me wonder who is dumber...the people that run the place, or the people who give them the money?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Which makes me wonder who is dumber...the people that run the place, or the people who give them the money?

 

I'd say the people that give them the money. You only need to look at the housing market to figure that out!

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Screamscape posted this video and although it's about the huge number of job applicants theme parks are seeing, at 55 seconds in you can catch a quick glimpse of Little Dipper construction. What they missed, however, is that at 1:05 in you can see part of a Chang train in storage.

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Capture2.JPG.1e4890d92aca65e36845b39bf3fe28c8.JPG

Capture3.JPG.58e34cd552750262fecb7296901126a0.JPG

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When i saw this this am i thought it would have sparked a little more discussion. Here lies the big question. The Trains are here and are sitting inside the Maintenace Shed. Are they going to be rehabbed and placed on wolf as a much needed replacement and new trains be purchased for the ride formally know as Chang or are they going to sit in there until the ride re-ermerges. I think we can officially start to form our hypotheses. We will see on opening day if there are some new trains sitting on wolf! Less than a month to go!!!!

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Not sure if this was mentioned but according to SFGAM Facebook BBNP will open as Looney Tunes National park. If it was a whole re theme they probably would have said something about it by now so I'm guessing it might just mean a few characters walking around in it and some new ride names.

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