Paramount's Great America
Post Office Box 1776
Santa Clara, California 95052
Opened in 1976, this was originally one of three Marriott theme parks;
its sister park being in Gurnee, Illinois (even now these two parks bear
a striking resemblence).
The park made it's motion picture debut in the movie Beverly Hills
Cop III with Eddie Murphy as Detective Axel Foley. There are a few
good shots of the park, including some spectacular stunts done atop the
old Sky Whirl (presently called Triple Wheel).
Rides and Pastimes...
The Whizzer (1976)
A steel coaster by Anton Schwarzkopf that is 70 feet high and 3100 feet
in length, reaching speeds of 42 miles an hour and banks up to 70
degrees vertical over its nearly two minute ride time. This ride was
removed following a fatal accident; the space has yet to be reoccupied.
Its sister coaster still run at Six Flags Great America in
The Tidal Wave (1977)
A classic Intamin gravity-driven shuttle loop coaster. The ride
accelerates along a straight path to 55 miles per hour (in a mere 4.2
seconds) and enters a 76 foot loop, continuing along the 849 foot track
where it stalls and then returns backwards through the station. The
entire ride takes only 36 seconds.
The Demon (1980)
Previously known as The Turn of the Century, this is a steel
coaster designed by Arrow Dynamics. It's 82 foot lift is followed by
two vertical loops (70 and 55 feet) and a double corkscrew. The entire
1250 foot long track takes 1 minute and 45 seconds to complete.
The Grizzly (1986)
A 3200-foot long wooden coaster based on the old Wildcat (1911 -
1964) at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Grizzly
soars a mear 90 feet into the air and reaches speeds up to 55 miles per
hour in its two minute and forty second run.
This mini-steel coaster demands that you have a child riding with you.
Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, this is currently the
only standup coaster west of the Mississippi. This short but intense
ride follows a course at top speeds of 45 miles an hour and features a
vertical loop and a left-handed corkscrew.
Bolliger & Mabillard designed this 2260 foot long inverted coaster.
The 100 foot lift accelrates the train to 50 miles per hour before
riders find themselves in one vertical loop, one heart spin loop, and
one intense corkscrew spinning into a high-G turn above a lake that
has claimed more than its share of guests' paraphanelia. The entire
ride lasts a short two minutes and twenty-six seconds.
A first-of-its-kind, Stealth is a true "flying" coaster. Riders step in
to the train, take their seats facing backwards and are reclined on to
their backs for their ride up the lift. As the train crests the top of
the lift hill the train inverts riders 180 degrees in to a face-down flying
position through the reaminder of the ride (including a vertical loop, a
high banked turn and a double-corkscrew).
Psycho Mouse (2001)
Arrow Dynamics brings PGA its tenth coaster. Fourteen turns in 1257
feet of track. Quick hairpin turns and camelback hills are sure to make
this four-passenger train a ride to remember.
Copyright © 1996-2002 Russell M. Van Tassell
All Rights Reserved.