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July 1st, 2010

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04:09 am - this one is overly pedantic and for coaster nerds only, I'm sorry
Six Flags wants to let you know they really do care about their wooden roller coasters. Sure, in the past they may not have been maintained as well as they should have been, or in some cases they've been reprofiled to remove a lot of the excitement, but hey! Six Flags wants you to know they have a legacy in wooden coasters all across the US!

So while you're at Six Flags New England in line for the Cyclone (itself a coaster which has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous reprofiling) you get to see signs up talkin' bout the Comet at the Great Escape and Colossus at Magic Mountain and a coaster with one of the names that Six Flags was fond of in the 1970s:

It doesn't help that the name Great American Scream Machine nicely acronyms out to GASM. Your inner fifth grader is probably already hyperventilating right now. Better fetch a paper bag.

Here's the thing about that pic, though. It would surely be a nice tribute and a testament to the memory and research skills of the signmakers at Six Flags if indeed the Great American Scream Machine was at Six Flags Over Texas, as the sign suggests.

But it's not. It's actually in Georgia. Always has been, too. So naturally I had to let The Internet know. Now you do!

I told you this was overly pedantic and for coaster nerds only. But it's the kinda stuff I see when I'm at the parks. I'm not bothered by it, and it's not something to complain to Guest Services about, but I am greatly amused by it. It's almost sweet in a way. The park chain is trying, they really are.

Anyway we had a really good day and now I'm triple backlogged in park stuff and pics. Yeeks!

"Great American Scream Machine" was a name given to two completely different Six Flags coasters. In Georgia, it's the wooden coaster featured on the sign (they got the right coaster, it's a start.) In New Jersey, it's an Arrow multi-looper. In the late 80s/early 90s the park developed a similar fetish for the name "Viper". There's six of 'em across the country and each is a different style of coaster altogether. Go fig.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)
The Great American Scream Machine (in Georgia) was the first coaster I ever rode. I think I was three, but I actually remember parts of it (the lady in the car in front of me saying "look at the pretty lake!" No, I didn't like it--I may be the reason they now have signs about how tall you have to be to ride.

That same trip, they tell me, I saw Hank Aaron hit a home run.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your coaster posts.

I was at my parents' last night and they were watching this and I thought of you:

I so want a coaster road trip right now.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the fine print. When you said GASM was always in Georgia, I kept thinking, "uh huh! I remember riding it several times in New Jersey!" So again, thanks for making things clear to me.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, growing up in New Jersey and having gone to Great Adventure on occasion, I could have sworn it was in Jackson too.

Also, I never put together GASM before now. Thanks for tainting my innocent memories :P
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
I had the same reaction (I'm from Philly originally), as well as "Wait, it wasn't a wooden coaster!" But now all is clear.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Linguistic side-track: I see people write "uh huh" to mean "that's wrong" fairly often. Where I'm from, there's a clear distinction between two sounds: "uh-huh" (with the h clearly pronounced) means "I agree", and "uh-uh" (the same syllable twice) means "I disagree".

So I'm trying to figure out if this isn't true in your dialect - maybe the "h" sound isn't pronounced enough so these are indistinguishable? - or if you say it the same as me but are writing "uh huh" to represent the second sound.

(I just realized as I was writing this how confusing this must be for Quebecois French speakers. Two sounds with opposite meanings, distinguished only by the presence of an H. I should be more careful not to use this in conversation.)
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
I'm not much of a coaster nerd but I am a nerdism nerd, so this interested me.

Your coaster posts are giving me a serious hankering to go ride on some, which I haven't actually done in a long, long time. When you have a little kid it's hard to just drop everything and go to an amusement park, but on the other hand, having one also gives you a pretext for same. As she gets older, it'll be easier...

[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
i really want to be a coaster nerd but i live in the west coast! :( maybe we'll go to six flags this weekend
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I only remember the one in Jersey, having never been to Georgia for an amusement park(Six Flags Great Adventure forever!).

I've been wondering, man; where does the coaster nerdity come from?
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Coasters scare me, but my grandparents live in Atlanta, so I also knew that that version of GASM was in Georgia. The year that I finally worked up the courage to ride it was the first year it was backwards. So I said, forget that!

I had a great fondness for the little mine train coaster but that's about as much as I can take. Don't enjoy being freaked out. That video really takes me back, though!
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Old wooden coasters would scare me. New wooden coasters, I love. Canada's Wonderland has two of them, the Wild Beast (formerly the Wildebeest, but nobody knew what that was) and the Great Canadian Minebuster.

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