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Six Flags History            

Aurora History  |  History Timeline  |  Aurora Landmarks  | Geauga Lake/Six Flags History

Fact Sheet

1887: The area on the northeast side of Geauga Lake was referred to as "Picnic Lake" or "Giles Pond." Early visitors frequented this area for restful camping, fishing and Picnicking.

1888: Alexander G. Kent built his first 75-room luxury hotel on Geauga Lake property called the "Kent House."

1889: The park added its first ride, a primitive steam-powered carousel.

1925: Geauga Lake built its first roller coaster, The Big Dipper. It was the largest wooden coaster of its time and was described as "mammoth." The coaster track measured 2,800 feet in length and the first hill reached 65 feet.

1927: Geauga Lake builds an Olympic-size swimming pool, in which Johnny Weissmuller, the first man to portray "Tarzan" in the movies, breaks the world 220-yd free-style swimming record.

1931: Willie "Young" Stribling set up a boxing training camp for his world heavyweight championship fight against Max Schmeling.

bullet*Also added was a race track and a 1926 Marcus Illions Carousel. This 64-horse, hand-carved masterpiece is one of the only remaining operational Illions carousels in the world.

1939: The dance hall and ballroom are Geauga Lake’s most popular draws, where big band performers, like Shep Fields and Guy Lombardo, entertain guests.

1941: A mini-cyclone sweeps through the park, leveling buildings, knocking down trees and demolishing part of The Big Dipper. The park reported $50,000 in damage and six people were injured.

1952: A fire rips through Geauga Lake damaging the bowling alley, theater, dance hall and roller rink. The estimated damage was $500,000.

1969: Funtime, Inc. purchases Geauga Lake and begins transformation of the park from a local amusement park to a nationally-recognized family entertainment center.

1972: Main gate redesigned; Merry Oldies antique cars and Gold Rush log ride are added.

1974: Geauga Lake introduces the Skyscraper to guests. The ride takes passengers on a leisurely ride up to 21 stories.

1975: Geauga Dog is introduced as a "fun" ambassador to visitors.

1977: Geauga Lake adds the Double Loop, the first looping, steel coaster in Ohio..

1978: Corkscrew coaster is added, making Geauga Lake the first amusement facility in Ohio to have two looping coasters.

1983: Geauga Lake constructs Boardwalk Shores, which includes Neptune Falls, the Rampage, a new bath house, paddle boat marina and wide boardwalk area.

1984: The Wave, the only authentic Tsunami wavepool in the midwest at the time, joins Boardwalk Shores. It is the first pool of its kind in the U.S. to create a six-foot ocean-like surf.

1986: Rainbow Island, a children’s dry ride area, and Sail Company restaurant are added.

1987: Stingray waterslides and Euroracer Grandprix are added.

1988: Geauga Lake celebrates it Centennial Anniversary with the introduction of Raging Wolf Bobs, a replica of the Chicago Riverview Bobs. Geauga Lake is one of the first major amusement facilities to re-create a famous coaster from the 1920’s. The wooden coaster features an 80-foot apex, 3,246-foot track and nearly two minutes of ride time.

1989: Geauga Lake creates the ultimate children’s water playground, Turtle Beach. Its 1990: pint-size attractions are geared towards the creative fun and safety needs of varying age groups.

1991: Geauga Lake expands its midway to include the Mirage.

1993: Geauga Lake introduces its new $2.1 million attraction, the Texas Twister. It will be the first ride of its kind introduced to North American thrill-seekers.

1994: Geauga Lake jumps into action with the Cleveland Cavaliers and National Basketball Association with the exclusive CAVS/NBA Jam Session. Geauga Lake also designs the new Stage Coach Theater, where guests enjoy a little bit of country and rock-n-roll.

bulletGeauga Lake also takes pride in restoring the hand-carved Marcus Illions Carousel and completes a five-year rehabilitation of the Big Dipper in which each nut, bolt and piece of wood is replaced.

1995: Geauga Lake adds a new addition for kids to Rainbow Island, Butch Hightide’s Playpark.

bulletGeauga Lake is purchased by Premier Parks, Inc., the tenth largest theme park company in the world and the fourth largest regional theme park company in the United States.

1996: In celebration of its 108th season, Premier Parks, Inc., invests over $9 million in new rides, attractions and restorations to the park. Geauga Lake introduces the one-of-a-kind Mind Eraser, a backwards-looping steel roller coaster. It also introduces the new Grizzly Run, a white-water raft ride. The entrance and main gate are redesigned.

On June 20, 1996, Geauga Lake celebrates the 70th birthday of the Big Dipper.

1997: Geauga Lake updates the 50’s area with the addition of Mr. Hyde’s Nasty Fall – a free-fall ride from 13 stories high in the sky.

bulletGeauga Lake expands the water area by 32,000 square feet with the all-new Hook’s Lagoon. This interactive water paradise is designed to provide hours of splashtastic fun for the whole family.

1998: Geauga Lake introduces Serial Thriller, the suspended looping coaster with seven inversions.

bulletPremier Parks purchase Six Flags Theme Parks

1999: Geauga Lake adds: 100 foot tall Giant Wheel, Sky Coaster and the thrilling Time Warp.

December 8, 1999. Geauga Lake changes its name to Six Flags Ohio

2000: First official season as Six Flags Ohio. Park adds unprecedented $40+ in new capital including: Four roller coasters (Superman Ultimate Escape, Batman Knight Flight, The Villain, Roadrunner Express), Hurricane Harbor Water Park, and the new Looney Tunes Boomtown, an extensively themed children’s area featuring 7 rides, a foam factory and Larger Than Life play complex.

2001: Six Flags purchases SeaWorld Cleveland and changes name to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. Park becomes worlds only marine life, thrill park and water park all in one. New additions include:

bulletX-Flight, the Midwest’s only flying roller coaster
bulletFour new dolphins
bulletTwo new ferry boats to transport guests across the lake
bulletNew boardwalk floating walk way
bulletBatman Water Thrill Spectacular Show

2002: Shouka, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure’s new killer whale joins the family. Shouka arrived in May from a park in Antibes, France. Also new in 2002 were four new Bengal tigers showcased in a brand-new Tiger Island exhibit.

Also new for 2002:

bulletBase Camp Zebra
bulletReptiles Wild
bulletNew children’s rides on the Wildlife side of the park.

Aurora History  |  History Timeline  |  Aurora Landmarks  | Geauga Lake/Six Flags History

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