Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, is a major family attraction in the Chicago, Illinois area. The amusement park added some new attractions for 2010, including a vintage roller coaster and a Glow in the Park parade. The new attractions opened on Memorial Day weekend and will continue all summer long.
I got to preview the Little Dipper roller coaster in a private event before and thought it was a blast. The Little Dipper is a 60 year-old wooden roller coaster from Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park, Illinois. Kiddieland closed at the end of 2009 and sold off their rides. The Little Dipper found its new home at Great America.
The Little Dipper is located in the Bugs Bunny National Park, one of the park’s kid themed sections. A large roller coaster serves as a backdrop for the milder vintage coaster, which is deemed suitable for young children.
The Little Dipper has a figure eight track with a three story tall lift hill, and has retained its original design. The coaster runs 700 feet in length. The American Coaster Enthusiasts have honored the Little Dipper with the ACE Coaster Classic award.
The American Coaster Enthusiasts were on hand to enjoy the coaster in its new home. The coaster is a nostalgic journey into the past for many who had ridden it when they were children at Kiddieland. One enthusiast I talked to said she had ridden the Little Dipper in its last run at Kiddieland and made a point to be on the first ride at Six Flags.
Six Flags played up the vintage aspect of the Little Dipper by placing large black and white posters in the waiting queue. The posters had scenes from 1950, when the Little Dipper was new and the people at Kiddieland waiting in line.
The Little Dipper is a piece of coaster history in the middle of Six Flags, and the larger, heart pounding roller coasters the park is known for. In addition to the Little Dipper, Six Flags has added the Glow in the Park Parade, a illuminated parade at night with over 60 performers. MagiQuest is a new 10,000 square foot interactive gaming experience.
Six Flags Great America is located between Chicago and Milwaukee, making it a good location for a day trip from either metro area. The amusement park feature roller coasters, a free 15 acre water park, shows and four children’s themed areas.
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