Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Adventure World 1995

You'd never guess it from the post title, but we are in week #2 of a month-long, extended brochure spotlight featuring Six Flags America. The year was 1995, and the park was already on its third name--and, one might argue, its third incarnation.

It seems the folks at Wild World Holdings had run into a spot of financial bother, and had not been adequately prepared for the amount of maintenance required to run a successful amusement park. Even the crown jewel of the fledgling park, the Wild One, was down for the count throughout the entire 1991 season. The facility was put up for sale once again, and Premier Parks swooped in to claim it in 1992. By 1994, the new management team felt that their progress was sufficient to merit a rebranding. Enter "Adventure World".

As you might imagine, the Premier takeover ushered in an era of feverish coaster construction. But in Adventure World's case, it began rather slowly. First came Python, the park's first "big boy" steel coaster, which arrived on the scene in 1993. (Python was actually one of two coaster tracks which used to operate together at Six Flags Great Adventure as Lightning Loops.)

Then, in 1995, the park unveiled Mind Eraser. Sure, it's a Vekoma SLC and that gives us license to bust on it in 2010. But back in 1995, SLCs were a coaster enthusiast's newest toy, with installations debuting around the world that year.

Adventure World's coaster collection wasn't the only thing that grew under Premier's watch. The company threw millions upon millions of much needed dollars at the park, many of which were spent on expanding the park's "dry ride" selection. Among the many new rides which joined the line-up during those first few years were Renegade Rapids, Shipwreck Falls, and Iron Eagle, pictured here.

In addition to new rides, the Premier team also directed their attention toward Adventure World's entertainment offerings. Many new shows were added, including the Hollywood Wild West Stunt Show featured on the left panel above. This particular show was developed for the brand new Coyote Creek themed area, which opened in 1994.

Much like modern-day Six Flags America's management--whatever that means? Sorry, still trying to absorb today's news...Anyway, presumably still like today's management, the team that was in place at Premier back in 1995 was interested in making its parks a family friendly experience. To that end, they transformed Adventure World's existing children's area into a full-fledged kiddie paradise called A Day at the Circus. [Sounds a bit like my life! But I digress...again...]

Speaking of paradise, the kiddie area wasn't the only section of Adventure World to receive an extreme makeover in the mid-'90s. The very water park which had kept Wild World alive during its earlier days was now in need of help, and that help came in the form of a major renovation and retheming effort that transformed the area into Paradise Island in 1992.

It may have begun with animals, but by the mid-'90s, the groundwork had been laid for establishing a full-fledged theme park on this prime piece of Maryland real estate. And I do mean prime. Centrally located among a whole slew of major cities, how could Adventure World possibly fail? The future was bright, and Premier continued full steam ahead with its upgrades and additions. More on that next week!