Moran: Great America rolls out video teases for new attractions

As summer turned to fall in 2011, Six Flags Great America put the focus on 2012 by announcing construction of a new 12-story Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster that would be known as X-Flight.

One year later — once again right around the time the kids were returning to school — Six Flags officials conducted a conference call with the national media to announce new attractions at their theme parks around North America.

The big reveal for Great America that August morning was igNight. If you’re having trouble remembering what that was, rest assured it was not a 12-story roller coaster.

That’s been the pattern in recent years: Great America is expected to make a big splash with something new when it opens every spring, but the splash isn’t always as big from one year to the next.

In 2001, the park opened not just Vertical Velocity but also Deja Vu. In 2002, the curtain was pulled back to unveil … the American Eagle running backward, as it had done in 1991.

So here we are in August 2014, one calendar year after the landscape was abuzz with rumors of a record-breaking roller coaster that would top Gurnee’s height limit of 125 feet. A rather dramatic predawn announcement on Aug. 29 revealed that project to be what is now known as Goliath, the ride that has drawn epic lines this entire summer.

The now-expected speculation process began anew this week with a question and video posted on Great America’s Facebook page: “Do you want to know what is new for Six Flags Great America in 2015?”

“Welcome to the ‘Choose Your Path’ series,” says a park employee riding a pig on the Columbia Carousel. “We’ve been hearing a bunch of rumors as to what might be coming in 2015, [and] we’re going to figure it out together piece by piece.”

Viewers are then told that new videos will be posted every Monday and Thursday, with two options leading to clues. In the first clip, the options where “something might be coming” were the Southwest Amphitheatre or Aunt Martha’s restaurant in Hometown Square.

The wild or informed speculation in the comments section included everything from a stunt show to a Ferris wheel. One pessimistic observer weighed in with, “It won’t be a ride since we got Goliath this season.”

Feel free to join in the annual guessing game, but you can also wait until Aug. 28, when the park is scheduled to make a formal announcement — one that will be either anticlimactic or surprisingly otherwise.

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