Pretty Monster at Six Flags Great Adventure     

One of the most popular "flat" rides at fairs, carnivals, amusement parks and theme parks around the world has been the "octopus", "polyp" or "monster" style ride. These rides offer a family experience as they can accommodate riders of varying sizes and the ride while fun is not too intense for the more timid.

Franz Schwarzkopf was one of the most prolific ride builders of the 1960's and 70's and developed the polyp style ride, with his son Anton Schwarzkopf going on to build further variations on the design in the late 70's and early 80's. 

PRETTY MONSTER (1974-1975)

When Great Adventure opened in 1974, the largest concentration of rides was located between the Fountain and the Giant Wheel.  This section of the Enchanted Forest, known as Strawberry Fair, was envisioned by park creator Warner LeRoy as a toy box – full of all kinds of oversized windup gadgets and mechanical wonders. 

One of these “playthings” was the Pretty Monster ride.  With its gleaming white paint, floral patterns, and a rainbow's worth of multicolored lights, Pretty Monster put a whimsical spin on what would otherwise be a typical octopus or polyp ride.

Located just to the right of the Giant Wheel atop the slight hill between the current day Mama Floras and the nearby restroom facilities, Pretty Monster was a traveling ride installed on a portable platform.

Pretty Monster was one of the first rides assembled in the park, completed and ready to operate long before the park was ready to open. The bright white ride on its blue platform stood out in the muddy surroundings as Dream Street began to take shape. 

The ride was designed to be portable, and could quickly and easily be assembled anywhere.  Like many flat rides, it was designed for use on the fair circuit, with bright lights and colorful patterns to catch the eye of passers-by daytime or night. The ride’s vehicles featured fish-like faces and the surrounding railings were designed with a fanciful undersea motif.

Pretty Monster was the first of three “monster” style rides that have been at Great Adventure over the years. This was the simplest version with cars in fixed positions at the end of the arms, where the two that followed each had cars that spun. In addition, the ride’s arms rose with individual hydraulics while its replacements instead had a central lift mechanism on a curved shaft that created the undulating motion.  Also unlike the later versions, the center of the ride was enclosed by a canvas covering instead of fiberglass.

Technical Information
Manufacturer: Franz Schwarzkopf
Ride Model: Pretty Monster Polyp
Number of Arms: 5
Number of Cars per Arm: 4
Total Number of Cars: 20
Car Capacity: 2 people
Number of Guests per Cycle: 40 people
Ride Duration: 3 minutes
Approximate Capacity: 800 guests per hour
Direction of Travel:
  Arm Rotation: Clockwise
  Car Assembly Rotation: Counterclockwise
  Individual Car Rotation: N/A - Fixed
Operating Feature: All cars are loaded at the same time at ground level
Safety Restraint: Single lap bar per car

For the 1976 season the park’s main entrance was moved from the end of Dream Street to the Fountain area. In order to widen the path near the new entrance, Pretty Monster was moved up Dream Street to a new location next to the Yum Yum Palace which had been home to “The Happening” show for the first two seasons.

With the new location of the Pretty Monster came the new name Dream Street Dazzler, and with it the ride received a new paint scheme with more color on the structure.  In addition the ride was set into the pavement, eliminating the need for the raised platform from the original installation.

Pretty Monster was a family favorite which parents and children could enjoy together. The ride offered mild thrills and a lot of fun as it spun.
Click the slide below to see
Pretty Monster
in action:

The Pretty Monster was retired at the end of the 1977 season, replaced the following year with a new version of the ride known as the Monster Spin, which featured all the same motions with the addition of spinning cars. The new version also offered the advantage of automatic locking lap bars which were a big safety improvement over the manual latches of the Pretty Monster.

Today the original location of the Pretty Monster is part of Adventure Alley.  The circular ride pad and former queue posts can still be found in the concrete across from SkyScreamer.  The site of the ride during its Dream Street Dazzler years is now home to the Enchanted Teacups.