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Pacific Park Roller Coaster Takes Route 66 Theme Ride
 

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By Jorge Casuso

February 7, 2020 -- Pacific Park will pay tribute to the storied highway than ended a few blocks east by making over its roller coaster with a Route 66 theme, amusement park officials announced this week.

The $1 million upgrade -- which debuts this summer -- includes new cars that reflect the touring cars that brought millions of Americans from Chicago to Santa Monica after the Great Depression.

Route 66 Roller Coaster cars
Rendering of Route 66 roller coaster cars (Courtesy Pacific Park)

"The new ride cars feature design elements of classic American touring cars that hearken back to a bygone era of automotive excellence and beauty," Pacific Park officials said.

The length of track that runs throughout the Park will feature "vintage-themed billboards that highlight the unique roadside attractions, landscapes and towns that link the historic 'Mother Road,'" officials said.

The theme will also be reflected in the roller coaster’s new loading station, which will feature "an automotive décor with oldtime gas pumps, license plates and maps of Route 66, and specialty memorabilia."

The steel roller coaster -- which races 55 feet above the Santa Monica Pier -- is less than a dozen blocks from the end of Route 66 at Olympic Boulevard (Route 66) and the junction of Hwy 1 (Lincoln Boulevard).

Route 66 roller coaster rendering

“The Route 66 enthusiast can get hip to this timely tip to celebrate its namesake roller coaster at the western end of Route 66," said Nathan Smithson, the amusement park's director of marketing.

"Guests are sure to revel in the authenticity of the reconcepted roller coaster,” Smithson said.

Completed in 1926 as the nation’s first all-paved U.S. Highway System and expanded to Santa Monica ten years later, Route 66 became the “road to opportunity” for hundreds of thousands of Americans escaping the devastation of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

By the 1950s, the road had became the main highway for vacationers heading to Los Angeles until the construction of the I-40 in 1957 spelled its decline.

“Route 66 presented travelers with an open road from Chicago to Los Angeles that offered unique mom and pop dining spots, first-of-its-kind motor lodging and one-of-a-kind roadside attractions," Smithson said.

These facets will be represented in the new Route 66 West Coaster roller coaster, he said.

Pacific Park’s custom Route 66 West Coaster roller coaster is designed by Pacific Park’s design and operations team and built by Chance Rides in Wichita, Kansas, Park officials said.

It will take approximately six months to complete.

Pacific Park is LA’s only admission free amusement park and offers 12 amusement rides, including a famous solar-powered Ferris wheel; 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza and beachside shopping.

For more information and hours of operation, call 310-260-8744 or visit www.pacpark.com


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