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RailBlazer Retrospective—Plus Some Notes on 2019

Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

It’s always fun to take some time to reflect on how you got to where you are. In our case, we’re in the midst of ramping up for an amazing new season (more on that soon), so it feels like a perfect time to think back on where we were a year ago.

In January 2018, we had announced RailBlazer about five months prior and were in the middle of quickly constructing the coaster’s massive structure. A little over a year ago, we had placed the highest piece of track on the circuit (topping off, as it’s called in the industry).

 

 

At this time in 2018, we were about 2 weeks away from receiving our first shipment of RailBlazer ride vehicles from the manufacturer and from the beginning of rockwork installation. The ride's manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Construction, is based in Idaho, so the trains had a bit of a journey before they made it to Great America! The first train that arrived on-site had the green-and-gray color scheme, with the red and yellow trains arriving in February.

 

 

Construction progressed quickly over the next few months before the West Coast’s first single-rail steel coaster ultimately opened in June. Our friends at American Coaster Enthusiasts meticulously documented the process in a documentary chronicling each and every milestone of the project. If you’re interested in learning more, check the video out below. It’s a super-cool look into just how big of an undertaking it is to construct a new ride.

 

 

So what’s next? Well, now that the path to RailBlazer is complete, we’re setting our sights on even more aesthetic park improvements and beautification projects in 2019. Last January, we were in the midst of some major midway modifications, with black asphalt being upgraded to cement and paver surfaces. Expect to see that same type of extreme midway makeover spreading to new areas of the park for the 2019 season.

Keep an eye on our blog and social media channels over the coming weeks. We have some fun news to share about ways we’re making Great America even more beautiful, which we’ll be sharing very soon, so make sure to drop by in the near future.

See you on the midways—in two months!

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Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

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