by Ryan Shrout
The most recent rumor on Chang's eventual home says that Six Flags Great America has ditched it to Six Flag Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Instead they want to use the space for a Hurricane Harbor expansion. Really? You're ditching a fantastic, 150' tall B&M Stand-up for a few waterslides? C'mon SFGAm!
I understand that the park has been pushing family friendly but this is just going too far. Back in 2004 they opened up Ragin' Cajun, a spinning wild mouse which was a nice addition as the park's 3rd family friendly coaster. Wanting to provide more family friendly fun, the park opened their waterpark Hurricane Harbor the next year. And a very unfortunate trend was set.
2006 was a quiet year at the park which saw a few new shows and the Blue train on American Eagle cease its backwards tracking so that everyone now rode facing forwards. In 2007 the park went a step younger than "family friendly" and introduced Wiggles World, the park's second little kid area. Also in 2007, the park lost a great coaster as Deja Vu was sold to Silverwood Theme Park.
At this point the thrill ride fanatics that called SFGAm home were starting to get restless. The park did introduce a coaster in 2008 but it was just a small wild mouse in a box, the cloned Batman the Dark Knight, themed to the popular movie. 2009 saw another wet family fun ride come in by the name of Buccaneer Battle. In 2010 the park added Magiquest and the restored wooden kiddy coaster Little Dipper.
It looked as though 2011 would finally be the year that a major thrill ride came to SFGAm when Chang was taken out of the shuttered SFKK. Zoning variances were even applied for to get the ride. But now something drastic has changed and the park wants to expand Hurricane Harbor instead. And I don't know why!
Our last real thrill ride installed was the cloned Superman Ultimate Flight in 2003, but to do that, they took out the Arrow multi-looper, Shockwave, which I personally think was a better ride. Not to mention the fact that Superman is a capacity nightmare. Basically SFGAm needs to wake up and get a real thriller in there pronto, or else the natives might just get a bit restless.