Hey everybody. This fourth installment of my Retro Great Adventure article series will focus on 1993. As always, credit for the pictures goes to Harry Applegate and Tom Benton (It wasn't Bohsen, it was Benton. I got confused with another contributer of GAH whose first name was also Tom). Also, from advice given from Hoju Koolander, I will mention my personal expericences on theses rides/shows.

1993- Batman the Ride debuts, Movietown debuts, exsisting rides are given themed makeovers, Fright Fest receives overhaul

During the 1992-1993 off season, Time Warner bought the remaing shares of Six Flags, thus finally starting the Time Warner Six Flags era

Batman the Ride

In 1992, Six Flags rocked the roller coaster world by opening Batman the Ride in their Great America theme park. With the combination of a state of the art roller coaster and elaborate theming, the ride was a huge sucess. In June of that year, Six Flags announced that it would duplicate the experience by opening a version at Great Adventure. To promote the ride, a preview booth was built. Inside was a large-screen TV that showed footage of the ride at Great America.





Almost a year after the preview booth was built, the ride opened on May 1, 1993, to rave reviews. The factors that made the Great America ride popular also was applied to this ride. There are four themed portions of the queue: Gotham City Park, Gotham City underworld, Gotham City sewers, and the Batcave. Even 15 years after it's debut, it still is a popular ride, even though the theme elements that made the ride special, were removed.




















Batman the Ride was just one part of what was going on in the area it was placed in.

My Experience: I first saw this ride operating in 1999. Watching it run, it looked like a really cool ride. Seven years later, I rode it for the first time. The experience lived up to my expectations. My favorite part of the whole ride are the two corkscrews. Even though Nitro and the new Dark Knight coaster are having huge lines than Batman, I still find this ride to be one of the best coasters in the park.

Movietown

In 1975, Great Adventure opened the Fun Fair area of the park. Thorughout the years, rides like Freefall, Splashwater Falls, and Lightnin' Loops opened in the area. The area, by 1992, had little or no theme. 1993 was the year that all changed. Taking advantage of Warner Bros. huge film library and Time Warner's other properties, work began on retheming the area. The area's restuarant was rethemed into the HBO Backlot Commissary. The restaurant also included famous props from Warner Bros. films. A new gift shop, the Time Warner Gift Boutique, opened in the area. The store was like the old Warner Bros. Studio Stores that exsisted around this time. Time Warner even went far enough to theme the restrooms. Because the constuction of Batman the Ride removed the area's only restroom, a new facility was needed. The new restroom was themed after the 1942 film, Casablanca. The area's five rides were rethemed to Warner Bros' films and the film industry. Looping Starship and Scrambler were rethemed into Space Shuttle: Flight Testing and Centrifuge G-Force. The rides were rethemed to the 1983 Oscar winning movie, The Right Stuff (A preview of things to come in the next season). Both rides were preveouisly located in the Old Country german themed area. With entrance relocations, both rides were given a logical reason to be included in the new area. The park's second ferris wheel was rethemed to the 1956 Best Picture winner, "Around the World in 80 Days". Freefall was renamed Stuntman's Freefall. The ride's queue was rethemed to show great stunt moments in Warner Bros' films. Splashwater Falls was renamed to Movietown Water Effect. The name meant that the ride was meant to be a simulation of a special effect for a movie production.



















My Experience: Movietown happens to be my favorite section of the park. Not just for the rides, but for the (remaining) theming. I wish I could remember my first visits to park, in which Movietown still had it's incredible theming. What I also like about this section, is the themed music. The music they play in the section, are themes from Warner Bros. films like Superman the Movie and Robin Hood: Prince of Theives. Often, they would play a non Warner Bros. theme, like the Jurrasic Park theme. With the opening of the Dark Knight Coaster, it looks like there still is hope for this section.

Other ride rethemes

El Sombrero
In 1975, one of the park's new rides was a Mack Schwabinchen. In 1986, it was put into storage and into a 7 year hiatus. In July 1993, the park started to reassemble the ride. The ride's new location was in the Texas/ Mexico themed portion of the park's western section. To fit with the theming, it was renamed, El Sombrero. Additionally, a large fiberglass sombrero was added on the ride (The sombrero was removed in 1997, due to the hat causing malfunctions).



Fantasy Fling
One of the park's original rides was given a repaint and lighting change. The change was designed to match the ride to the nearby Granny's restaurant.



My Experience: I remember going on El Sombrero in its final years of operation. I remember how fun that ride is (I miss it, but not as much as I miss the Centrifuge G-Force scrambler). As for Fantasy Fling, I remember that the ride had a pink and white color scheme. But the location that I rode it on was not the location in the picture. I rode it when it was where Nitro's entrance and queue is.

Fright Fest

1993 was the year Fright Fest was turned from a simple Halloween event, into an elaborate Halloween event. Store bought decorations gave way to elaborate props made exclusively for the event. One of the new additions was the popular "Execution" show, which featured a realistic looking guillotine. Probably the most popular attraction of the improved Fright Fest, was the hay ride. Up until 1992, the hay ride rode through the park and was meant for families. In 1993, it was changed into a tour of the weird and scary. One of the more interesting things of the hayride, was that most of the props were really bits and pieces that were in the park, either unused or never installed.












My Experience: The only times I've been to Fright Fest were in 2003 and 2007. Even though there are a few scary things, it's not as cracked up as it used to be. Probably in the Time Warner era, Fright Fest was scarier.


This concludes the 4th Great Adventure article. Next article will mention 1994-1998.