Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Great Adventure gave it's last ride on Sunday night. The looper is to be removed to make way for 2011's attraction.
The official announcement of the removal was on July 18th, after which the coaster started drawing lines for the first time in years. Six Flags Great Adventure arranged a closing weekend event to commemorate the ride's years of faithful service.
The park also auctioned off the seats for the final ride. The proceeds from that and a poster raffle benefitted the National Roller Coaster Museum. After the last riders disembarked, the coaster was officially retired.
Great American Scream Machine was designed by Arrow Dynamics, and opened in 1989 as the tallest and fastest coaster, albeit briefly. The coaster incorporated seven inversions, consisting of three loops, a batwing and two corkscrews. The ride did require the tops of the three loops to be replaced with extra bracing in 1992, but ran very consistently over it's 21 years of operation.
The removal of the coaster will follow in the next several weeks, as well as the announcement of the 2011 attractions.
Nearly a month after it's return to Disneyland Paris and four and a half months after it's reopening at Disneyland's Tomorrowland, Captain EO made its re-debut in Florida at EPCOT on July 2nd.
The show, made up of a 3-D sci-fi movie, returned after a sixteen year absence. It last operated in 1994, when it was replaced by Honey I Shrunk the Audience. The EPCOT attraction is unique from the other EO shows in the fact that it has its original marquees from 1994. The entire show has been retained in such a way that it is exactly how it was in 1986, the year it originally opened. The show even retains its 4-D effects that include wind, water, and even lightning, which made it one of the first 4-D films.
Like the Disneyland Paris version, Captain EO will have a limited run. Disney has not made it clear how long the run will be, although the Disneyland Paris version is expected to last about two years. Captain EO actually opened a day earlier at Tomorrowland in Tokyo Disneyland, having re-debuted on July 1st. The Epcot version even had a soft opening on June 30th, two days prior to its official opening.
The much anticipated Sky Rocket is finally open at Kennywood Park just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After some necessary delays to tweak the ride into running the way they wanted it to, their new Premier Rides launched coaster is blasting its way into the hearts of guests.
Many connect Kennywood with nostalgia and classic wooden rides. Indeed ACE just awarded Roller Coaster Landmark status to the park's Racer and Jack Rabbit coasters. But 2010 is bringing a new type of thrill to the park.
With the first inversions seen at Kennywood since Steel Phantom was retooled into Phantom's Revenge in 2001 and the first launched ride in the entire park, Sky Rocket has opened to rave reviews. The ride is also a first for designer Premier Rides in that it uses Linear Synchronous Motors (LSMs) to get riders up to 50 mph in under 2 seconds, whereas previous coasters of theirs utilized Linear Induction Motors (LIMs).
Other new aspects of the ride include a "Cliffhanger Pause" atop the first of the ride's two 90* drops, and a "Cutback" inversion that has only before been seen on the sadly departed Drachen Fire at BGW. So far the reviews have been great and it looks like Kennywood has a smash hit on their hands. And with new thrills like this coming in, the park looks to be adding a bright future to its rich history.