The Edge

THE EDGE ride at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA

Go to The Edge photo album. (The photo album currently has photos of The Edge in Santa Clara only.)

The Edge made its debut in both Gurnee and Santa Clara in 1983. Similar to the case of The Demon roller coaster, The Edge was a major attraction that was not integrated into the theme of its section of the park. The identical ride package was installed in Orleans Place in Gurnee and County Fair in Santa Clara. The Edge had no specific linkage in theme to either Orleans Place or County Fair.

The Edge was an Intamin Freefall ride. Passengers rode in four-seater cars that climbed a tall shaft much like an elevator. At the top, the car moved forward and paused momentarily before being released in a pure freefall down the front of the tower. Towards the bottom, the track curved outwards, placing riders on their backs. Once the cars reached a switching mechanism, they were transferred to a lower track and placed upright in the process. From there, the cars returned to the loading area. The Edge provided a brief, yet intense, ride experience.

Early in the 1984 season, the Gurnee ride experienced a malfunction which led to a car falling back down the lift shaft. Four passengers, all teenage boys, were hospitalized and subsequently released. After the accident, re-designed anti-rollback devices were installed on Intamin Freefall rides to prevent similar accidents from happening. The Gurnee ride was removed from the park after the 1986 season. The Santa Clara ride remained in service at the park until the end of the 1995 season.

County Fair -- Santa Clara
Orleans Place -- Gurnee
Final season:
1986 -- Gurnee
1995 -- Santa Clara