The development of Great Gasp dates back to 1972, when the park were working on the Great American Scream Machine. The ride is based on the Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair, which was later moved to Steeplechase Park. The park commissioned Intamin to develop the ride. Great Gasp opened on April 9, 1976. At the time, park vice president Errol McKoy said: "The sensation is the closest you can come to parachuting without actually jumping out of an airplane".
Great Gasp closed on August 14, 2005.