Small, portable roller coasters have been a staple of fairs around the world, and have often made their way into amusement parks and theme parks since these don't require a great deal of space and are quickly and easily assembled. As the roller coaster designers of the 1970's and 1980's began creating bigger and more thrilling rides, the portable coasters have nearly disappeared from major parks, relegated to small parks, boardwalks and carnivals where space is often at a premium.


Along with the Runaway Mine Train, Big Fury was one of the two roller coasters at Great Adventure for the opening season in 1974. The compact ride was tucked into the trees of the Strawberry Fair area of the park just to the side of the Giant Wheel.  The closest end of the coaster would have been roughly where the Heist and Kingpin Bowling games building is today.

The plot of land cleared for the ride was just big enough for the construction of the ride allowing for the entire structure to be surrounded by the mature trees of the Enchanted Forest.  The close proximity of the trees enhanced the ride experience allowing for high speed turns above the trees and zooming past the lush foliage.  The small compact four person cars without any headrests to block the view of the riders added to the excitement.

The Big Fury was a Pinfari Zyklon (Z64) model.  It only opened during the last few weekends of 1974 due to delays in its delivery from Europe. 
To make up for the void (and missing capacity), the park quickly added the Swiss Bob and the Matterhorn flat rides.  These last minute additions were situated close to the Big Fury site and because of their last minute nature, neither ride made it onto any of the 1974 maps or pamphlets. 



Once the Big Fury ride finally arrived on property late in the '74 season the coaster was quickly assembled and after an inspection period which took several additional weeks the Big Fury made its debut as Great Adventure's second roller coaster.  Now the park was home to two roller coasters on opposite ends of Great Adventure.

The coaster featured "wild mouse" style cars with a capacity of four passengers each.  The brightly colored ride vehicles zipped around the tightly twisted red steel track and white supporting structure providing mild, family-friendly thrills.  Even though it was small and portable, during its years of operation at the park Big Fury offered the wildest ride of all the coasters that were available for those seasons.

The highest point of the ride was the support towers for the ride's lift hill.  Cylindrical lighting fixtures outlined the perimeter of the ride and illuminated the track and ride area below.  These fixtures complimented the lights of Strawberry Fair as well as Fun Fair when it opened in 1975.
Big Fury only lasted through the 1977 season, being replaced with the Wild Rider, a similar compact portable coaster which took its spot for the 1978 season.  One has to wonder if the Big Fury was removed simply because its lease had expired or if the replacement was prompted by Great Adventure's new operator and owner Six Flags.

Press and Commercial Photos of Big Fury