California’s Great America amusement park losing another roller coaster

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

California’s Great America” href=””>California’s Great America has announced plans to remove the third coaster in less than a decade – a period in which no new coasters were added to the amusement park in Santa Clara, Calif.

Invertigo, an inverted shuttle coaster that made its debut in 1998, will be removed to make room for a new attraction planned for 2012, officials said.

In 2002, the Greased Lightning looping shuttle coaster was removed from Great America and relocated to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom” href=””>Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo in Northern Caifornia. The Stealth flying coaster was removed the next year and relocated to Carowinds in North Carolina.

The last new coaster added to Great America was Psycho Mouse in 2001, a so-called wild mouse ride -- a generic off-the-shelf ride found at many roadside family fun centers.

That leaves Great America with only four serious coasters: the looping Demon (1976), the wooden Grizzly (1986), the stand-up Vortex (1991) and the inverted Flight Deck (1993). The park has two other kiddie coasters: Woodstock’s Express (1987) and Taxi Jam (1999).

Among those remaining rides, the Grizzly has the dishonor of earning the title of “world’s worst wooden coaster” for the last three years in a row, according to an annual poll of roller coaster enthusiasts.

Great America is preparing to submit a proposal to city planners in the next few months for a 2012 attraction on the Invertigo site, park officials said.

While Great America has released no details on the 2012 project, officials confirmed the new attraction will NOT be the oft-delayed wooden roller coaster proposed in 2008 (which remains in limbo due to noise concerns).

Invertigo will be relocated to an as-yet-undisclosed sister park in the Cedar Fair amusement park chain, with an official announcement expected in the coming weeks. Dorney Park” href=””>Screamscape reports Invertigo is heading to Dorney Park in Pennsylvania for the 2012 season.

Invertigo was closed for nearly a year after an August 2009 lift-chain malfunction required firefighters to rescue stranded riders from the coaster.

For 2011, Great America plans to add two new shows – the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” country revue and the “Don’t Stop the Music” dance program.