How many years have we talked about how the park has desperately needed a new gate and the answer always was that it wasn't done because they wanted the money to do it right. Well I think we finally are getting a taste at just how large a scale "getting a new gate" will take. First I thought before we get into the questions we should start with some facts.
#1)Baltic Bazaar (Norma's Funnel Cakes), Tivoli Central, Tivoli West, Gate and Ticket Booths are all gone as of now.
#2)First Aid (the structure), Tivoli East (old Ski Heis), Chickie and Pete's, Fjord Fjarlene and Plaza gifts are staying but many of these structure may be re-purposed, or partially so.
For a size comparison I am presenting the area of the original Americana main gate. It may make the
size of the new area which appears immense appear in scale to the original gate area.
So onto the videos...
This is the most interesting video for me as it's inside the actual park and you can see how much things have changed (I refer to this as the shock and awe video). First and foremost everything past the trees is completely gone, the ticket booths, old guest relations, Baltic Bazaar and Tivoli West and Central picnic areas. Pretty much everything under the arrows above is gone. It's quite striking. At 9 seconds in you can see that the old First Aid IS still there, and this corresponds with what we have been heard, in that First Aid may be becoming the new Guest Relations. If you look closely you can also see a gray colored wall behind First Aid, this is also a placeholder from the old gate, in that this is the same fence that separated the guest area from the maintenance back area. Continuing on you can see the four Silver Maples that stood in the gate area are still there but like I mentioned everything beyond them is gone. My question is where will the gate stand? Will it be immediately behind the trees or will there be a new large open space such as the mentioned International Plaza? Some who have brought up just how large the area being demolished is question whether this new large tract will also feature new group picnic areas (a good guess since two have been demolished) or even possibly for new additions in future seasons.
This video was by far the hardest to figure out WHERE exactly it was shot from. If you see the aerial photo above I have pinpointed approximately where we think it was shot from. At the start you can see a tree line in the background and behind that a mass of cars (cars are frequently stored in the lots in the off-season from the nearby Ford Claycomo plant), I believe that we are seeing H lot behind the trees, and the foreground area is what was originally the boneyard or park dump. Also during the first few seconds of this video you can see a white structure, as well as a bright blue porta potty. The white structure is the bump out of the Tivoli that you can plainly see in the aerial photo above. Between the porta potty and the Tivoli you can just barely make out the old train shed that ELI is stored in during the off-season. What is also missing, which may not be obvious, is the large white propane tank that was always stored across the road from ELI, it was from this tank that the smaller propane tanks carried in ELI's tender were refilled from. So where will it go now? Another question we have no answer for.
A very similar video to the one above, but this one shows a slightly different view and is one where it is plainly obvious that this area was the boneyard as the earth walls that are so familiar to anyone who has ever visited the boneyard. Up on the rise you can see just a bit of G lot and the old walkway into the park. One thing is certain this is a VERY large area. With the movement of the gate it was almost without question that the boneyard had to be moved but without that quite literal hole in the ground, it really opens up the space and makes the area virtually unrecognizable. I say this as a good thing, it makes me really want to see the artwork for this area just so I can see the grand plan. Will all this space be inside the gate? Will it be outside the gate? Originally Falcon's Flight was intended to be located in the new gate area, so obviously there is room for a new ride to go there, and I doubt it will be in 2017 but what about 2018 and beyond?
Once again we are left with more questions than answers. One thing is certain the place will look a whole lot different on Opening Day 2017 then it did on Opening Day 2016!