Apple's Great Escape was a short-lived theme park and megamall owned by Apple Entertainment, Inc., located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, United States. The park opened in 2001 and closed in 2004, due to financial issues.

History Edit

Apple's Great Escape was built on the site of a former ranch on the outskirts of Fitchburg with almost no development surrounding it. The original plan for the megamall section called for discount stores, thus causing SuperTarget to join as an anchor. Soon, Apple forced retailers T.J. Maxx, Big Y, Circuit City, and Harrods to join as anchors. Harrods, a luxury department store, was too opulent for the working-class demographics surrounding the megamall, and would have been better suited for Wrentham Village Premium Outlets in Wrentham or the now-defunct Worcester Center Galleria in Worcester.

Some of the theme park attractions included a Greeny Phatom-themed area, a dark ride set in a haunted house called the "Scarehouse", and "Devo: A Beautiful World", a enclosed roller coaster.

Due to the megamall's poor planning, Toys "R" Us, Kids "R" Us, Circuit City, Harrods, and Market Basket all pulled out in 2002, and the vacant Harrods was later largely converted into the world's largest Long John Silver's, with the vacant Toys "R" Us, Kids "R" Us, and Circuit City spaces redeveloped quickly into a traditional strip mall. Finally, the T.J. Maxx closed due to the manager making sex tapes and was quickly converted to a A.J. Wright, before closing in 2011 and being replaced by a Harbor Freight in 2015.

The theme park closed in 2003, leading to Apple shutting down the property entirely in 2002, and sloppily demolishing half the mall.

Today, a Chuck E. Cheese's, a Harbor Freight, the aforementioned Long John Silver's, Big Y, a McDonald's, a satellite location of La Puente, California bakery The Donut Hole, a Sam's Club, and a Babies "R" Us remain. The enclosed rollercoaster is now used as a Verizon call center.

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