THE DEMON - Great America

For years, this greeted guests at the entrance to the DEMON at Great America. The letters, which used to look like the logo at top, are all that remain. A lot of complaints about the ride looking to "devilish" forced Great America to "tone down" the theming. C'mon people! It's JUST a ride.

Courtesy Great America

From the 1987 brochure!

Original poster for the opening (well, re-theming!) in 1980.

Circa 1985--note the original yellow train

My brother Troy, another victim of Demon's spell, created this from a pic of the tunnel.

Multi-element, out and back. Built 1976 (as Turn of the Century-rethemed Demon in 1980) by Arrow Dynamics!

Originally opened as the Turn Of The Century in 1976, the Demon has always been a favorite, mainly for it's cool effects. At that time, the other Great America (in California) was a carbon copy park (both owned by Marroitt Corp) and changed their coaster to Demon as well. Both of them still operate, and the only difference is that the one in Calif. has the 3-D logo on the front car (Gurnee's used to), and orange track rails and different rock formations. At the time, I hadn't experienced a coaster that had so much attention to theming and detail as this one had. Yes, the mountains and cool lights are still there, but who remembers the eerie music in the queue line, fire painted on the sides of the trains and station, fog coming up from the tunnels, and red pools of water around the corkscrew and entrance? I will never forget it!!! For this, Great America has landed this steel, 4-looper in my number 2 spot. As a kid, I was horrified to even stand near the corkscrews. But the best thing of the entrance, where the DEMON sign still stands, used to be a cage, with glowing eyes peering through the wooden boards nailed to the front. Check out its picture at the top of this page. Too many folks complained about the "devilish" atmosphere the ride had.....around the early 90's the cage was removed, along with the red water, flames on the cars, and music. Although SFGA's version is neighbored on all sides thanks to Southwest Territoy and RAGING BULL, it still looks good. I am currently planning a working model of the Demon, which will include all the theming and music.


All images copyright Brad Sherman unless noted otherwise. Logos copyright their respective sources.