Paramount's Great America

Post Office Box 1776

Santa Clara, California 95052

Phone: 408/988-1776

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 Gurnee, Illinois.

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.

Blue Streak

This mini-steel coaster demands that you have a child riding with you.

Vortex (1991)

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.

Top Gun (1993)

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.

Stealth (2000)

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.

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