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The Tale Of Two Bobs | The Bobcat | Six Flags Great Escape

Updated: Jun 26

The Bobcat Entrance - Six Flags Great Escape

Six Flags Great Escape Debuts The Bobcat, An All-New Family Wooden Coaster By The Gravity Group

Saying Farewell To Alpine Bobsled & Hello To A Purrfect New Addition During The Park's 70th Anniversary Celebration

The Bobcat, a thrilling new addition to Six Flags Great Escape, is the highlight of the park's 70th Anniversary Season. This coaster, the first new one built at Great Escape since 2003, is also the first wooden roller coaster to open in New York State in 25 Years.

70th Anniversary Logo - Six Flags Great Escape

Designed by The Gravity Group, The Bobcat has already garnered rave reviews as a fun 'family' coaster that promises thrills for all. However, this is the Tale of Two Bobs, so before we delve into The Bobcat, let's take a moment to bid farewell to the previous Bob that occupied this spot, the Alpine Bobsled, which stood here for 25 years.

The Final Rides On Alpine Bobsled

During the 2023 season, Great Escape announced that Alpine Bobsled would close after 25 years. The final runs on this classic were scheduled for September 4, 2023, Bobsled permitting.

Before debuting at Great Escape, this Intamin Bobsled coaster opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1984 as Sarajevo Bobsled. Then, starting for the 1989 season, it was moved to Six Flags Great America, where it was known as Rolling Thunder, before finally coming to Six Flags Great Escape in 1998.

Alpine Bobsled's Final Day Photos

For many, this was a hard credit to get when visiting, as Alpine Bobsled was very temperamental regarding weather conditions. On its final day, Bobsled was again being Bobsled to start the day; however, the park's dedicated staff worked hard to get it running for those lined up for one last ride.

Great Escape's Resort President Rebecca Wood Shutting Down Bobsled - Six Flags Great Escape
Rebecca Wood Shutting Bobsled Down - Photo By Great Escape

This included walking the course with leaf blowers in the morning, trying to dry out the course, and several continued efforts throughout the day to get the ride to cooperate. Their tireless efforts made it happen, and once Alpine Bobsled was up, it ran until the final riders in line had gotten on, which was well past park closing.

After that, Great Escape's Resort President Rebecca Wood shut the ride down for the final time, and we were invited to walk the lift hill for a couple of final sunset views from this classic coaster.

Alpine Bobsled Final Day Lift Hill Views

With Alpine Bobsled now closed after 25 Years and our second Bob, The Bobcat, getting ready to pounce into the park's 70th Anniversary Celebration, the anticipation was high to see this all-new wooden coaster come to life.

Alpine Bobsled Closing Day Sign - Six Flags Great Escape

Marketing 101 - Increasing Anticipation For The Bobcat

That's where Six Flags Great Escape's Marketing Team delivered. Even though we couldn't be there in person, thanks to numerous social posts on the park's official channels, we all received a first-hand look at the transformation throughout the process. Like The Bobcat, we were glued to watching the updates.

The Bobcat Watching The Comet POV - Six Flags Great Escape
Bobcat Prepping By Watching Another Comet POV - Photo By Great Escape

They shared final views of a now sleeping Bobsled, the dismantling and removal process, the new Bobcat site and station prep work, foundations being poured, trains arriving, and Bobcat going vertical, along with many updates continuing through the process to completion. Without being there, their team gave us a front-row seat for the entire process. Here are a few of the many shared pics and fun.

Construction Pics Provided By Six Flags Great Escape

Lights, Camera, Action! - The Bobcat's Commerical Shoot

To the delight of park guests during the weekend of May 25th and 26th, The Bobcat started dress rehearsals, and the early word was that the park had a hit on their paws. On Wednesday, May 29th, Six Flags Great Escape and Escape Visuals held an all-day commercial shoot for the ride. This was our first chance to get several rides on this new coaster, and we immediately agreed that this was undoubtedly a purrfect addition to the line-up at Great Escape.

Footage From The Bobcat Commercial Shoot

Introducing The Bobcat To All - Media Day

With the commercial shoot in the books, the following day, Thursday, May 30th, the park invited local Media for their first opportunities to ride and share the experience. Several media outlets and enthusiasts were in attendance, including News 10 ABC (WTEN), CBS 6 (WRGB) & News Channel 13 (WNYT). They did interviews and live ride broadcasts to show off The Bobcat.

When it was our turn, I hopped onto The Bobcat with Six Flags Great Escape's Marketing and Sales Manager, Jennifer Mance. Check out the video below, which features our conversation about The Bobcat, why it's a special addition to the park, and, of course, to see if we had fun riding along with a preview of the experience!

The Bobcat Full Media Day On-Ride Experience

Our Thoughts On The Bobcat

As you can tell, I absolutely love The Bobcat. This isn't a family coaster; it's a family thrill machine—one that kids and adults will want to ride again and again. In the two days we were there, that's exactly what we did. We took over 30 laps, and every ride delivered tons of fun and plenty of airtime; there are 9 airtime moments, and throughout, it delivers a smooth ride experience.

The Bobcat Airtime Moment - Six Flags Great Escape
An Airtime, Hairtime & Hold On To Your Glasses Time Moment

Looking back to the original press release, here was the quote from Great Escape Resort President Rebecca Wood: "We knew we had to find a perfect fit to replace the Alpine Bobsled in the hearts of our guests. This beautiful, all-natural wooden family coaster will deliver a smooth, fast, and heart-pounding experience. It is sure to be an instant classic."

The Bobcat Logo - Six Flags Great Escape

After our rides, we can say that The Bobcat checks all these boxes and more! Thanks to The Gravity Group and their Engineered Precut Track, The Bobcat delivers a forceful and smooth experience. It was awesome to spend time with some of their team there to learn more about what went into The Bobcat and to see their joy in riding it, just like us.

Going back to the first Bob in our Tale, some might wonder if there is anything left of Alpine Bobsled. Besides the quick answer that The Bobcat uses the same station, there's also the original Alpine Bobsled entrance now set up as a tribute, and hidden behind Bobcat is a small piece of the structure that wasn't removed.

To round out our Tale of Two Bobs, let's return to the one with a tail: The Bobcat. We've shared a few pics throughout this story, but there are many more to show. This ride looks outstanding. The level of detail in the entrance area alone shows how proud this team is to feature their new addition. It goes together with the improvements to Raging River last year, bringing a purrfect Adirondack feel into the area, highlighting Great Escape's beautiful setting.

We have no doubt that this will be a hit for a long time at Six Flags Great Escape. It's an excellent companion to the park's classic wooden coaster, Comet, and fun for all ages. We can't say enough good things about it and recommend not letting its size fool you. Give it a ride and see how much fun this wooden coaster by The Gravity Group is to ride.

I want to thank the Team at Six Flags Great Escape, especially Taylor and Jen, for allowing me to attend both the commercial shoot and media day. Beyond that, everyone was so kind and friendly, and you could see how happy they were to be debuting this new coaster. The ride ops worked all day getting trains rolling for the commercial shoot, heading out for some sleep at the lodge, returning to it bright and early again, and sending trains for media day while smiling, laughing, and having fun with us.

Also, the Operations Supervisor, Matt, for bringing us to a few spots for photos you can't always get to and for the conversation we enjoyed. I also want to mention the Escape Visuals production team, who did a fantastic job over both days and were friendly and fun to be around. Not to be forgotten are American Coaster Enthusiasts, mainly New York Regional Rep Wade Abbott, who helped arrange for us all to participate in the commercial shoot. It was also enjoyable to talk to and hang out with those there and spend time with Wade and his son the next day during media day.

Finally, thank you for taking the time to check out our article. I sincerely appreciate it and hope you enjoyed it. Below is a gallery of photos from this great new addition's commercial shoot and media day, followed by the park's official POV.

The Bobcat Photo Gallery

The Bobcat Official Ride POV


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