NCL Free At Sea

The Griswold’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster Visits SFMM

By on 07/29/2014

It’s been 30 years since the Griswold’s set out on Route 66 from Chicago in their trusty Wagon Queen Family Truckster in search of Walley World. Of course, that was all fiction in the now classic movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. However, a new generation of Griswold’s have built their own Family Truckster and have set out to make their own road trip memories.

Steve and Lisa Griswold, along with their two daughters Amber and Brooke, hail from Atlanta, Georgia. They set out on a ten day journey from Atlanta heading west, connecting with Route 66, and following it all the way to Los Angeles. Just like in the movie, the culmination of their trip was Walley World, which was played by Six Flags Magic Mountain in the movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet the Griswold’s in person today while they were at Magic Mountain, but the Family Truckster was in the parking lot and they said to swing on by and take some pictures, so I did just that. Much of the detail below I got from their Griswold Family Vacations web site.

There was no missing this beauty in the parking lot. It stood out like a sore thumb:


This is pretty much an exact replica of the car in the movie, taking around six months to build:


“Clark, honey, I think the gas tank is up here!” Yes, there is a gas door built into the hood, which opens and closes, however the real gas door (and gas tank) is still in the rear:


I’m not sure how I’d feel seeing this bearing down on me in my rearview mirror along Route 66:


The rear windows were customized and authentic Samsonite luggage strapped to the roof:


Accept no imitations! Make sure it’s a real Wagon Queen, otherwise it’s just another wagon:


I had to get a shot of the Truckster with Screemy Meemy, aka Colossus, in the background:


If you’re rolling down the highway and you find yourself behind this, just follow it to Walley World:


If you’re interested in seeing the step-by-step transformation of the 1984 Ford LTD Country Squire into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, you’ll find it detailed on the Griswold’s blog.

Griswold Family: I’m really sorry that I didn’t get to meet you today. The next time you come out to Walley World, please let me know ahead of time and we’ll set something up.

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  1. Eric

    07/29/2014 at 10:39 pm


  2. Jeff Wesson

    07/30/2014 at 6:31 am

    That is soooo awesome!

  3. chilton Schilling

    07/30/2014 at 10:43 am

    That’s awesome.I remember the first time watching this movie seeing the park from the parking lot I thought that was a really cool theme park until they went inside and I realized it was magic mountain. I rewound to the parking lot scene and realized it was fake. Been years since I saw it again and started to thing the parking lot background was a foreshadowing for the future of magic mountain until I saw the movie again. Magic mountain went above and beyond for what that scene showed. I also remember another movie with like a coaster terrorist with Revolution in it. Can’t remember what that was called

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/30/2014 at 10:57 am

      The parking lot scenes were not shot at Magic Mountain. That was done at the Santa Anita Racetrack down in Arcadia. The scene of the park in the distance was a painting, or what they call a ‘matte’ in movie lingo. It obviously wasn’t real.

      The other movie you’re thinking about was simply called “Rollercoaster.” I think I have an old article about it on my site if you search for it.

  4. Adan

    07/31/2014 at 5:51 am

    Awesome read coaster guy thank you. I loved and still love the movie roller Coaster. I will always love the Griswolds and national lampoon vacation. I love anything theme parks especially roller coasters.

  5. chilton Schilling

    08/01/2014 at 11:26 am

    28 days till we hear what’s new for 2015. I’m excited. Me and my brother have created our own six flags challenge for 2015 to get a gold pass and go on every single six flags coaster in the nation. Anyone know how soon we can get the 2015 pass where we can go for the rest of this year also?

    • Scott C

      08/01/2014 at 1:52 pm

      Have you looked at memberships? Instead of a calendar year, it is month to month. It is a one year commitment, but might work better for you. Since my first visit this year was April, I am committed through next march. If I would have bought the pass in April instead of the membership, it would expire the end of December. By getting the membership, I have three “extra” months if you will. The total price is marginally more than an annual pass. If I remember right, it was about five bucks. Plus, you do monthly payments, instead of all up front. I do think the only option was credit card though, if that is an issue.

  6. Eddie

    08/01/2014 at 5:45 pm

    Hey coaster guy i was wondering if you possibly knew if i tomorrow,Saturday the 2nd, would draw a big crowd because my family and i don’t know when to go. We are deciding either tomorrow or during the weekdays. Thanks

    • Eddie

      08/01/2014 at 5:47 pm

      What day do you think is better to go. We are from the Central Valley near Fresno so we don’t to go and wait in 2-3 plus hour lines. Thanks again

    • The Coaster Guy

      08/01/2014 at 6:10 pm

      Every day during the summer is busy, but the weekends are especially busy. The weekday is a better bet, but it will still be busy.

  7. Tara

    08/08/2014 at 12:43 pm

    I love that you got to see this!!! One of my favorite movies!!

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