California’s Great America Re-Theming Iconic Ride
In the winter months, known as the “off season” for many amusement parks, we often see parks release advertisements and photos, to promote their respected upcoming season. Today, California’s Great America has given fans a great clue as to what’s coming in California!
The County Fair midway is one of the most interesting sections at California’s Great America. On one end of the midway stands the iconic Drop Tower, the tallest ride in Northern California, while Railblazer is on the opposite end of the midway. With last year’s focus on the Railblazer side of the midway, 2019 will bring renewed focus on Drop Tower side.
Built by Swiss ride manufacturer Intamin, “Drop Zone: Stunt Tower” originally opened in California’s Great America in 1996 as the first of the now legendary, Drop Zone thrill rides. The success of the installation in California led to the installation of four more drop towers in various Cedar Fair owned parks over the next six years. When Paramount sold the California park to Cedar Fair, the ride was quickly renamed “Drop Tower: Scream Zone”, and the swirl logos associated were removed. This is the name the ride still uses today.
The iconic ride will be re-themed once again. California’s Great America has announced that they were repainting the ride via images on their official social media channels. But, if you look closer at the images, there’s indication that the ride is not simply being repainted, it’s being entirely re-themed.
In the image above, workers apply test coats of paint to the structure of the ride. The test coats can be seen at the top, next to the center rail. The blotch of paint appears to be lime green. Furthermore, the lid of the paint cans provided by the park / Base Painters show that brown and peach color paints are also being used.
With the introduction of Railblazer last year, the colors being tested, and the parks social media posts, it quickly becomes apparent that Drop Tower will be re-themed as a Redwood Tree, an iconic symbol of the state of California. The ride will start with a dark brown color at the base of the ride and gradually get lighter fading into a bright green color top replicating a tree. We assume the ride mechanism the seats are connected to would be green so that when it drops, it replicates leaves falling from the tree.
A NEW THEME
With the two California themed rides on opposite ends of County Fair section of the park, it seems possible that the park could be re-theming the County Fair section with a new “California section”, similar to other areas of the park.
This move is particularly fascinating since this would be the fourth section replacement in a former Paramount Park following Carowinds (County Fair and Blue Ridge Juntion), Canada Wonderland (Frontier Canada), and Kings Dominion (Candy Apple Grove). The only former paramount park that hasn’t received a new section is Kings Island, and with their interestingly Gothic themed Action Zone, major changes could be coming.
California’s Great America will open for their 44th season March 23, 2019. For tickets and more information, visit the official California’s Great America website by clicking here.
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