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Six Flags celebrates last Gasp

Published on: 08/11/2005

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THE GREAT GASP, Six Flags' looming parachute ride for nearly 30 years, is getting the ax. While the park is mum on why, and what will take the place of the I-20 icon, it is saying a formal goodbye this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, all Gasp riders will receive a special collector's button commemorating the ride's final run. It features the Great Gasp's original startled smiley face logo and the dates. After closing time on Sunday night, the Gasp drops no more.

Six Flags of Georgia
The Great Gasp takes its final plunge this weekend at Six Flags, and visitors riding will get a commemorative button (below).
 
Six Flags of Georgia

 
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Since its inception in 1976, a reported 15 million riders have taken its plunge. "The purpose of this weekend's event is to make people aware the Gasp is going away," says park spokesman Jim Taylor. "And to give them the chance to say goodbye."

Taylor adds that while the Great Gasp may not be one of the park's top attractions these days, that's not necessarily the reason it's being removed. And there's nothing wrong with it, he adds.

"It's served us well," he says. "We're telling our guests to simply stay tuned to our Web site for any news."

The Great Gasp now joins a roster of Six Flags attractions that have been put out to pasture. These are a few of our favorites:

THE OKEFENOKEE SWAMP RIDE

Saturday morning TV gurus Sid and Marty Krofft designed the characters for this dark ride, which was replaced by Monster Plantation. Bright and cartoony creations from Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus stories were the inhabitants, including Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox.

MOMO THE MONSTER

Barf bags should've come with this one. MoMo resembled a giant octopus. Individual cars were attached to a series of long arms that branched out from the center. Once in motion, the entire ride moved in a circle while the arms went up and down and the cars spun wildly.

JEAN RIBAULT'S ADVENTURE

Thunder River occupies the space where this answer to Walt Disney World's Jungle Cruise once lived. Manmade Indians attacked boaters as they journeyed down the river.

SPINDLETOP

Riders entered a circular room and stood with their backs against the wall. The room then began to spin. As the floor dropped down, the riders were pinned to the wall.

BUFORD THE BUZZARD

Today's politically correct society wouldn't welcome Buford. The smart-aleck puppet traveled throughout the park in a mobile cart, liberally throwing out comical verbal jabs at guests.

—Jon Waterhouse

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