Great American Scream Machine (Six Flags Great Adventure)

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This article is about the Six Flags Great Adventure coaster. For the Six Flags Over Georgia coaster, see Great American Scream Machine (Six Flags Over Georgia).
Not to be confused with Scream Machine (ride).
Great American Scream Machine
Great American Scream Machine.jpg
Great American Scream Machine's train entering the first of two corkscrews.
Six Flags Great Adventure
Park section Boardwalk
Coordinates 40°08′20.73″N 74°26′17.07″W / 40.1390917°N 74.4380750°W / 40.1390917; -74.4380750Coordinates: 40°08′20.73″N 74°26′17.07″W / 40.1390917°N 74.4380750°W / 40.1390917; -74.4380750
Status Closed
Opening date April 15, 1989 (1989-04-15)
Closing date July 18, 2010 (2010-07-18)
Replaced by Green Lantern
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Arrow Dynamics
Model Custom Looping Coaster
Track layout Twister
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 173 ft (53 m)
Drop 155 ft (47 m)
Length 3,800 ft (1,200 m)
Speed 68 mph (109 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 2:20
Capacity 1680 riders per hour
G-force 3.8
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Great American Scream Machine at RCDB
Pictures of Great American Scream Machine at RCDB

Great American Scream Machine was a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure. The 173-foot (53 m) tall ride was built in 1989 as the fastest looping roller coaster in the world, reaching speeds up to 68 mph (109 km/h). It was designed by Ron Toomer and built by Arrow Dynamics, which built its sister coasters Shockwave (dismantled in 2002) at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois and Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. All three coasters have three loops after the lift hill, a batwing (also known as a boomerang), and a double corkscrew. Scream Machine succeeded its sister coaster Shockwave as the tallest and fastest looping coaster in the world, but relinquished the claim to its other sister coaster Viper. Both Shockwave and Scream Machine only held the claim for one year. Although a roller coaster of the same name exists at Six Flags Over Georgia, that ride is an out and back wooden roller coaster.

The coaster track was painted red and the supports were white. The trains were named Freedom (red), Liberty (white), and Spirit (blue). The ground underneath the ride featured a red and white design resembling the stripes on a waving American flag. The maximum capacity of the ride was 1,680 guests per hour.

The over-the-shoulder restraint handles were made of foam instead of metal. The Scream Machine's on-ride camera was located at the curve before entering the double corkscrew, unlike those of its sister coasters; the cameras on both rides were located at the bottom of the Batwing.

Over the years, the Great American Scream Machine became known as a rough ride, causing pain to riders mostly seated in the rear of the train, and often riders just meeting the minimum height limit of the ride or taller than the average rider. Many believe that the ride's bumpiness and waning popularity led to its closing on July 18, 2010, to make room for the Green Lantern roller coaster.

Elements[edit]

  • Loop (after first drop)
  • Double Loop (before brake run)
  • Brake
  • Batwing (Known as a "Boomerang" on Arrow Dynamics rides) (after brake run)
  • Double Corkscrew (after batwing)
  • S-Bend.

Modifications[edit]

After its first season, the top of the vertical loops were removed and replaced by track with additional strength bracing. This was due to issues with other Arrow coasters, including Shockwave at Six Flags Great America. The top of the original first loop can be found in the monkeys' enclosure in the Wild Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure. Along with the new loop tops, a trim brake was installed after the first loop. The trim brake is not set up to stop a train; it is used to slightly adjust the speed of the train when temperatures reach around 90 degrees.

In 2009, the Liberty (white) train was ad-wrapped as an advertisement for one of the ride's sponsors, got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue, a hair gel. Assorted signs were also placed on the station platform advertising. It was the first train in the park to feature advertisements, but as this idea spread throughout the Six Flags chain, it was joined by Kingda Ka and El Toro, whose trains feature The Karate Kid and Stride Gum ads, respectively.

In the 2010 operating season, guests noticed that the Liberty (white) train was adwrapped as an advertisement for another ride sponsor, Axe, a grooming product for young males. Signs for the product can be found around the rides entrance.

Ride Experience[edit]

After departing the station, the train crossed a transfer track and traveled down a small dip, then completed a 180-degree turn to the left onto the lift hill. After a 173-foot (53 m) climb, the train dropped 155 feet (47 m) to the left, reaching a top speed of 68 mph (109 km/h). The train then traveled through its first inversion, a single vertical loop. After exiting the loop, the train turned to the left, and traveled through a double-loop. The train then traveled upward with a left turn onto the mid-course brake run. The train came to a complete stop for 2 seconds. The train then dropped down into a batwing element. After the batwing, the train made a right turn, where riders' pictures are taken. The train then proceeded to enter the double corkscrew, then completed a 180-degree turn to the left onto the final brake run back into the station.

Removal[edit]

Early in the 2010 season, rumors began to circulate that the Great American Scream Machine was being removed at the end of the season. By mid-June rumors circulated on message boards that the coaster was to close June 30, 2010 and removal would begin July 1, 2010. Rumors also stated that its replacement would be Chang from the former Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. The rumors initially were neither confirmed nor denied. One staffer stated that "The Great American Scream Machine is staying until we are told otherwise". It was stated that the coaster certainly was not being removed July 1.

Then on July 5, 2010, Six Flags Great Adventure informally announced on their official Facebook page that the Great American Scream Machine would be closed on July 18, 2010 permanently and then removed to "make room for a major new attraction in 2011."[1] Rumors continued to circulate that the replacement would be Chang. On July 9, the official Six Flags Great Adventure website also announced that Great American Scream Machine would close July 18.[2] The coaster was closed on July 18, 2010 at the end of the operating day. Immediately after the final run as the last riders had made their way out the exit on July 18, 2010, the power was cut to the ride area and deconstruction began immediately on the trains and ride area fences, where the park began to place "under funstruction" fencing and signs.[3]

Guests noticed during the next week that much of the ride had been demolished. It soon became evident that demolition was proceeding very quickly by early August, as the bulk of the coaster's body was taken down, and demolition of the lift hill had begun. The small building in which riders could purchase their on-ride photo had been demolished as well.[4] It has also been confirmed that the ride was being scrapped, not relocated.

A first look at the outline of the new ride replacing the Scream Machine was revealed on August 6, 2010. The new ride is noticeably larger than the Scream Machine, and the outlined lift hill would face in the opposite direction of the Scream Machine's. Six Flags has requested permission from the town of Jackson, NJ to remove parking spaces from the area behind Superman: Ultimate Flight to accommodate the ride's construction.[5] It was unknown whether the new attraction would follow the Viper to El Toro footprints and utilize the Scream Machine's former station, or if a new station will be built for the new ride. Rumors that the replacement would be Chang seemed to fit the evidence.

On September 15, 2010, Six Flags confirmed plans to add Green Lantern, a stand-up roller coaster relocated from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, where it originally operated as Chang. It would be re-themed to the DC Comics Green Lantern superhero.[6]

Demolition officially ended over the weekend of September 18, 2010, which left Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain as the only one of the three original 7-inversion Arrow Dynamics coasters still in operation. Another example of this type of coaster, Shockwave at Six Flags Great America, was already demolished in 2002. The Great American Scream Machine was demolished to make room for Green Lantern.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bandit
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
March 1989–May 1989
Succeeded by
Magnum XL-200