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$1M ride is the latest whirlwind at park

Albany Times Union

Original Article »

April 26, 2007

QUEENSBURY -- It will give new meaning to the word funneled.

It will spin you around a few times and spit you out in a pool of water.

It's the newest ride at The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom. And it's called the Tornado.

The amusement park on Route 9 invited the media to peek at the ride Wednesday, hoping to build excitement for the coming summer.

On a raw day when it was hard to imagine the fun of being tossed into an outdoor pool, the ride didn't look like much more than a big jungle gym sitting amid a construction site.

But by May, park officials promised, the ride will be ready to go.

Great Escape is owned by Six Flags Inc., the New York City-based operator of 28 amusement parks. And many of those parks have Tornado rides.

They've proved popular, Eric Gilbert, the park's director of operations, said Wednesday, leading the Queensbury park to invest more than $1 million to install the ride. It's the first new ride at the Splashwater Kingdom water park component of The Great Escape in 10 years.

The park, which opens May 25, is making the Tornado available only to season pass holders until June 23.

But after that, and for the rest of the summer, the ride will be open to anybody eager to pass through the 60-foot funnel.

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