Geauga Lake: Today & Forever

   Geauga Lake History

    Two new attractions debut this season. Hook's Lagoon, a five-story tall water structure with tipping water bucket, is placed next to Neptune's Falls. Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall, an Intamin first generation freefall ride, is installed in the spot where the Tilt-a-Whirl and Musik Express once stood. Both the Tilt-a-Whirl and Musik Express were relocated nearby while the Yukon Yahoo's were also moved to make room for the ride. The Yahoo's were placed next to the Stagecoach Theater along the path to Raging Wolf Bobs. Mr. Hyde was purchased at auction from Rocky Point Park in Warwick, Rhode Island, which recently closed. The ride originally began life at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.

The $10 million Serial Thriller, a Vekoma suspended looping coaster, debuts thus becoming the biggest ride purchase in park history. The ride would be located on the island where the Sky Glide and Big Ditch boat ride once resided along the lakefront. The coaster would become one of the most popular rides ever installed and Geauga Lake would set an attendance record of 1.3 million guests.

     Premier Parks would purchase the Six Flags chain of parks from Time Warner in February for $1.8 billion, thus creating the world's second largest theme park company after Disney. Premier would then begin converting some of their properties into Six Flags parks.

    Three additions were added this season.  Americana, a giant Ferris Wheel, is added on the lakefront opposite the main gate. The ride was purchased from the now defunct Old Indiana park in Indiana. Time Warp, a Double Inverter ride from Chance Rides, is added near the Palace Theater. A skycoaster is added by Grizzly Run. 

    Premier begins the groundwork to what the next season would bring. Geauga Lake's sister park, Darien Lake, is converted to Six Flags Darien Lake this year and rumors begin to circulate that Geauga Lake would be next. They purchase an additional 38 acres of land to expand the parking lot. The nearby Aurora Woodlands Inn and also a nearby campground are also purchased. Towards the end of the season large sections of the park begin to look like construction sites. Rainbow Island, the historic arcade by Big Dipper, and The Wave disappear. In December Premier Parks, who had already changed their name to Six Flags Inc. by this time, announce that Geauga Lake would undertake the most dramatic conversion ever for an amusement park and change its name to Six Flags Ohio. Total cost of the conversion is $40 million. The Flying Scooters, Scrambler, Tilt-a-Whirl, Casino, and Rotor are removed.

    What an incredible season this was!  The conversion brings four new roller coasters to the park. Headlining was Batman Knight Flight, the world's longest floorless roller coaster from Bolliger and Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland. It would be located along the lakefront between Texas Twister and Raging Wolf Bobs. Superman Ultimate Escape, an impulse coaster from Intamin of Wollerau, Switzerland, would be the very first ride of its kind in a North American theme park and the world's first with a twisting tower. The ride would be located along Route 43. The Villain, a wood track/steel structured coaster from Custom Coasters Inc. of West Chester, Ohio, is shoehorned in the tight spot between Double Loop/public picnic area and Geauga Lake Road. Roadrunner Express, a large Tivoli family coaster from Zierer, would be located next to the Dodgems.

    Boardwalk Shores became Hurricane Harbor with a new wave pool. Hurricane Bay, which was much smaller than The Wave but offered continuous wave action, was placed in the former Rainbow Island area. The monorail would also be rerouted to accommodate the new pool. A new lazy river, Calypso Creek, is also added. Shipwreck Falls, a shoot-the-chutes water ride from Hopkins, is built on the former site of the historic arcade building.

    A brand new kid's area, dubbed Looney Tunes Boomtown, is built on the former site of The Wave. Boomtown would house seven family rides from Zamperla as well as Larger Than Life, a large play area that featured two dry water slides, and Gotcha Games, a foam ball play area.

    The Stagecoach Theater by Texas Twister is transformed into the "Batman Stunt Show". The Yukon Yahoo's were moved once again to the spot formerly home to the Scrambler and Flying Scooters. The ride would be located in a large barn and renamed Hay Baler. Towards the end of the season the Mirage, which had been missing in action all season, begins to be re-assembled. The magic carpet would be transformed into a large convertible and be renamed El Dorado. The Spider would be relocated near Skyscraper. The Euroracers Grand Prix would be removed and a new go-cart track would be built in the same vicinity as the old track. It would also receive a new name - Thunder Alley Speedway.

     As if the prior season wasn't enough, Six Flags wasn't finished yet. In January, Busch Entertainment sells Sea World Ohio for $110 million and Six Flags combines both sides of the lake. Because of this, the park would go through another name change, this time to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. The park would be the first to offer rides, waterslides, and animals for one price. However the deal would mean that Six Flags could not keep Shamu, the dolphins and several other animals Busch wanted to retain thus leaving the newly christened "Wild Life" side of the park without a star attraction. Six Flags brings in four dolphins from sister park Six Flags Marine World to offer shows in the now vacant Killer Whale Stadium. To liven the evenings on the Wild Life side, the park offers New Orleans Nights with live entertainment and food. The Batman Stunt Show is moved to the Water Ski Stadium and becomes the "Batman Water Thrill Spectacular," featuring boats, jet skis, stunts, and pyrotechnics. Towards the end of the season the Scrambler returns and is placed in the Happy Harbor area and is renamed Boardwalk Typhoon. The Bounty, a Chance Sea Dragon, the Spider, now renamed Black Squid, and Pirate's Flight, a pirate ship themed Zamperla Balloon Race from Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, are added.

     Another new roller coaster is added to the rides side bringing the coaster count to ten. X-Flight, a Flying Dutchman coaster from Vekoma, is added. It opens Memorial Day weekend and becomes one of the most popular rides in the park. The ride is built along Route 43 behind the Thunder Alley Speedway go-cart track in former parking lot space thus creating a new icon for the park to travelers passing by. To accommodate the ride Geauga Lake Road had to be rerouted around the ride.

     The park adds ferry boat service to shuttle guests between both sides of the lake. Two small pontoon boats would shuttle guests until the two larger ferries arrived by mid-summer. A floating bridge is added as well and connected the midway by Raging Wolf Bobs to Happy Harbor by the Black Squid.

     The Yo-Yo is moved to the Happy Harbor area to join the other rides added in late 2001. The "All Star Pets" show, a leftover from Sea World, is replaced with Tiger Island, featuring four beautiful bengal tigers (three white males and one orange female). While entertaining, Tiger Island's purpose was educational in showing the strengths and abilities the tigers can perform.

     Mid-year Six Flags acquires a female orca from France. Shouka would call the Killer Whale Stadium home. Upon arrival she did not perform right away but by the end of the season she would be able to perform several behaviors.  Six Flags tries to acquire a male for mating purposes from Argentina but is hit with several roadblocks. Their efforts were unsuccessful. With Shouka in the Killer Whale Stadium, the dolphins were moved to Dolphin Harbor, which housed stingrays in 2001.

     Six Flags installs Base Camp Zebra along the path behind Happy Harbor between both sides of the park. The attraction featured two zebras in a simulated African habitat.

     A new children's ride, Starcastle Voyage, was added to the large plaza in front of the Water Ski Stadium. The park begins adding concerts and holds them in the Water Ski Stadium. When the performers of the Batman show were not performing on concert days, they would meet and greet guests in front of the stadium.

    Six Flags begins the long needed re-tracking of Raging Wolf Bobs, replacing the track on the second half of the ride.

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