Specific Type: Wood
Back in 1950, a small wooden coaster by the name of Little Dipper came to Kiddieland Park in Chicago, IL. The ride came along with the parks first major expansion since the park opened in 1929, which also included the Carousel. During its 59 year tenure at the park, it created lifelong memories for thousands of Chicagoland's residents. For many it was their very first coaster. As such, many were horribly saddened when it was announced that Kiddieland would be closed following the 2009 season.
That's when Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, IL, stepped in. Six Flags Great America's park president, Hank Salemi, said in a statement, "We wanted to preserve this important piece of Chicago history for families to experience for many more years to come." And so the park purchased the classic ride, one of the last remaining examples of Herbert Schmeck's junior woodies. At the relatively low cost of $33,000 at the auction of Kiddieland’s rides, the coaster was moved to the Bugs Bunny National Park portion of Six Flags Great America, with its entrance over in the Yukon Territory area. After rebuilding the ride at the Illinois park with no major changes made to it, the ride made it’s official debut on May 27, 2010. This meant that the ride also retained its ACE Coaster Classic status, utilizing just a buzz bar with no seatbelt or other restrictive restraints.
Upon boarding, what is now the park's 14th coasters, guests will immediately realize that this "new" ride is really quite old. The single position lap bars and lack of seat belts and seat dividers have earned this ride ACE Coaster Classic status. The train veers right out of the station to engage the chain lift which diagonals across the ride's figure-8 layout and climbs 28 ft to the ride's apex. After a short dip to disengage the chain, an approximately 240* flat turn lines riders up with the first drop.
Crossing diagonally once again across the ride's layout, the coaster dives just over 20 ft down below the lift hill then rises to another flat turn over the roof of the curved station. Riders then drop back down and encounter a small bunny hope before making a u-turn directly beneath the ride's pre-drop. Another small dip and subsequent rise bring the train back into the station. It's 700 ft of track may not serve up huge thrills, but this classic delivers nostalgia aplenty and will hopefully continue to bring kids into the realm of coasterdom for decades to come.
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