Like many of you, I have fond memories of going to the Great Escape with my family as a kid.  Though the drive up the Northway was never more than an hour or so from Albany, it always felt like it took forever, but once you hit that sweet spot on I87 where you can start seeing some rides, you knew you were getting close.

You can't deny the nostalgic charm forever associated The Great Escape.  Whether you remember it from way back as Storytown USA, or you jumped on board a little later in life, some attractions hold a special place in our hearts.  From Jungleland to the Steamin' Demon; the Desperado Plunge to the Alpine Bobsled Ride; the memories run deep.

A classic ride like The Comet feels like it may forever stand the test of time, while others, like the nostalgic "Giant Wheel" might be nice to look at, but since it became inoperable, it was just taking up space.

From "Temporarily Closed" to Torn Down

Back in May, we wrote a story about how people were snapping photos of the "temporarily closed" wheel thinking it may be the last time they'll see it, and they were right.

According to sources at the Great Escape, the Giant Wheel has already been taken down.  It was disassembled and stored neatly on the property back in November.

History of the Giant Wheel at the Great Escape

In 1983 Storytown USA became known as The Great Escape.  It was during those formative early years of its existence that rides like the Steamin' Demon and Raging River were added.

Photo: Belinda Rivette
Photo: Belinda Rivette
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In 1989 the Giant Wheel became part of the theme park and while the Giant Wheel may never have been the shiniest, fastest, or most marketable of all the rides or attractions, a theme park seems almost incomplete without it.

The Giant Wheel holds a certain nostalgic charm for so many people here in the Capital Region who grew up going to Storytown and The Great Escape.  And while the Great Escape has yet to go public with its plans for the area where the nostalgic attraction once sat, surely their wheels are spinning at the thought of it.

But for now, there's one less nostalgic attraction in the Great Escape skyline.

Photo: Belinda Rivette
Photo: Belinda Rivette
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Storytown USA's First Season Through Rare Photos Taken in 1954