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'Hallelujah!': Great Escape reopens after 18 months

'Hallelujah!': Great Escape reopens after 18 months

Great Escape

Cameron Vanderlinden, 4 and Chase Vanderlinden, 6, of Burnt Hills, enjoy a ride on opening day at the Great Escape.

QUEENSBURY — “Hallelujah!” one woman shouted as she walked through the front gate at Great Escape.

After 18 months and a pandemic, the amusement park finally opened again on Saturday.

Six Flags opened its other parks last summer, but New York state wouldn’t let any amusement parks open until now.

The security process now involves walking through a tunnel, where cameras are used to examine bags while people walk at a normal pace. Every group fills out a form that will be used to contact them if there’s been a COVID exposure.

Opening day at Great Escape amusement park on Saturday.

Unlike the typical opening day, there was no line at the entrance. People were given staggered entrance times when they made reservations.

“It seems like it’s working all right,” said John Calabrese of Niskayuna as he filled out his contact form. “It’s smooth, they seem to have it down.”

His son was going all out this year for his 12th birthday, after last year’s happened during the shutdown.

“We have six kids with us,” Calabrese said. “It’s what he wanted to do.”

College students were out in force.

“We actually get to ride rides again!” said UAlbany student Nicole Domanico.

Her friends said the semester had been “horrible.”

“We just stay in our house and work,” Domanico said.

The opening was greeted by many as a sign that the pandemic is coming to a close.

“I’m just glad they could open,” said Rebecca Cooley of Latham. “Get some normalcy back!”

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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