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Photo TR: Bell's Last Summer


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With Bell's being demolished as we speak, many will never be able to see the beauty the park displayed in it's old location. Here are some photos I took last summer for those who never made the trip.

 

Keep in mind many of these photos were taken only a little while after the massive storm, so the park wasn't at it's peak; it was still fabulous though...

 

This is only a small collection of what I have, if you are interested in seeing more, I have loads more photos on my site - http://www.superstevessupersite.com/park_galleries/bells/bellsindex.php

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One last shot. This is what could have been... no, not 'field: the ride', this was where that new GG was going to be. No growth potential my ass...

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Zingo was able to pull off these curves almost painlessly (most of the time).

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Notice how Zingo dives under a gift shop mid-course.

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Funny how Bell's was deemed unprofitable, yet they were still able to add rides and had so many more new attractions lined up. This was new in 2004.

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Here's the 'fair' side again.

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The eastern end of the park was quite a bit more spaced out and wooded than the fair side.

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Gotta love the old fashioned squeeze breaks on Zingo, hope they still have these on the re-build.

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These were loads of fun; they got you wetter than almost any other water ride I've been on.

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Yeah, at this point they still had Phantasmagoria's facade and a few canopies to replace still. It didn't usually look like this.

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Yup, bell's did have a small collection of flats clustered on one end. Most of them were pretty fun.

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Ah, I took so many great shots from the skyride...

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I can't say these hills were loaded with air, but they did have some. Besides, the ride was just fun the ride regardless.

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Obligatory splash-down shot.

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The log flume was a load of fun as well.

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There really weren't very many places in the park where Zingo wasn't visible.

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Yup, Zingo... it completely reigned over the park and always managed to look spectacular, no matter what the condition of the park.

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What a "lovely" 1st pic of the sun catching the supports.

 

If I owned a wooden coaster, I would add colour changing lights under the structure pointing upwards, as soon as the train went down the 1st drop, the lights would switch off ( only leave handrail bulb on) till the train returned to the station.

 

I wish Bell's the best of luck for finding another area for their attractions and hope to see them working soon.

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Here's a few more photos. Many of these are from later in the season after Bell's was able to clean up a bit more.

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And finally, I give you: The Future of Bell's! Are you happy, taxpayers?

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It's a dark picture, but you can see the massive flag Bell's flew every so often on their massive flag pole.

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The Himalaya always provided long, forceful rides.

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This ride replaced the vintage ferris wheel that was destroyed by the huge storm this year.

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The fair side got a bit better later in the year, but the peculiar signage that replaced Phantasmagoria's massive facade still kinda made the area lose some of it's old feel.

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That massive inflatable beer bottle in the background was only there for the fair. Although, it would make an interesting theming element if they kept it up year-round.

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Mmmmmmmmm...

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Here's to looking at the future. Hope they can pull it off, I'd like to visit parks like this more often. Here in Southwestern-Ohio we only have Stricker's Grove left, and we onlt get to enjoy them 2-3 days a year.

 

Not profitable? I've been following the story for a while now, and now that I've seen these pics I know for sure there was a whole lot of funny business going on with kicking Bell's out of there.

 

I wish Robby Bell and all the others involved with the park the best of luck in re-locating.

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Are they still looking at the site in Sand Springs?

 

Yeah, last I heard, that was the best bet so far, but we'll probably have to wait till they get down moving things out of the old location before we hear much about the new one.

 

Sorry if I maybe a wrong, but is Bell's moving to the Tula Fairgrounds, because I see the skyride that they have in the side of the last picture.

 

Ah, no, that was the larger sky ride that Bell's sold to the fair ground. Bell's actually owned two sky rides: one cut through the centre of the park and the other glided down the fair midway. The latter was much larger and only operated during the fair. It was the sky ride sold for $600,000 to the fair recently.

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It look pretty nice park, hopefully they DO relocate and improve the quality from what they have. Then I would probably head out that way! Sadly I miss this park before it goes "KaBoom!"

 

Thanks for the post!

 

And yes... I LOVE DONKEY!

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Not only am I blown away at how nice Zingo looks, but also how nice the parking lot looks!

 

Maybe it's just the parks I frequent...but that's a well maintained and clean lot. God I'm getting weird!

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^Eh, right...

 

Anyway, news on the park: they have been allowed an extension, if not for as long as they had hoped. They now have until something like the 25th of July (I'm not exactly sure) to be moved out, and of course, anything left behind on that date will become property of the fair.

 

Still though, this will probably give them enough time to move out Zingo and the log flume, and maybe even the Chili Peppers. Here's hoping they leave a bunch of crap for the fair to clean up!

 

I still haven't heard anything about the new location, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Robbie has been working 100+ hour weeks lately to move the park out. He might wait till the park is moved out to make a decision, but I kinda hope he does sooner.

 

Anyone have any newer pics? I really want to head down there soon, but I don't know if I'll be able.

 

Edit:

I thought this was interesting - from Urban Tulsa Weekly's interview with Robbie Bell :

"We included a letter of intention [with the lease renewal] from a lending institution for a new ride with a price tag of between $700,000 and $750,000. The price isn't finalized because my father and I have to travel to the manufacturer and decide on lighting and accessories.

If I had a contract, the ride would be open this spring."

 

Sigh... Bell's had big plans even in it's old location.

Oh well, that means they can use that money to make their new location bigger and better I guess.

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Ah, I'm sorry for double posting, but I have some fantastic news.'

 

According to the folks at http://secretfunspot.blogspot.com/2007/02/secrets-of-phantasmagoria.html Bell's has made official their intentions to move the entire park (every single ride, more or less), to a new, still undetermined location. Also included in the transition, at least 7 new rides and Phantasmagoria 2.0 will be built.

 

Oh man.... Wow, this is exactly the news I wanted. We won't see much till next winter, and the park won't open till 2008 at the earliest, but still... wow, am I happy.

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I didn't realise they were planning for a new Phantaz at the new site. That makes my day! I also didnt' think they were replacing the old facade after the wind storm shredded the original. They had let that facade rot so horribly, and had been talking of removing the ride all together for years due to constant vandalism. Well, I've bene by the park on three occasions to get photos of teh deconstruction, and after a few weeks, I am finally getting around to sharing them with everybody. I'll just put up a few at first because I'm a little short on time, but the rest will be here very soon.

 

I took this first set of photos with my cell and I was battling angles with the sun a lot so they arent' so clear.

January 28th, the bumper car building had been damaged by an ice storm that caused the southeast corner to collapse (sorry, I didnt' have a camera when I saw that) so it was no surprise to me to drive up and see it completely removed.

The sad remains of the kiddie bumper car roof was still lingering around though.

The bare front of the once awesome Phantaz still waits to be demolished.

It took me a few moments, and I suddelny realized that the Til-A-Whirl was completely gone with almost no trace, and the Himalaya was empty with the arms laying on the midway.

Closer observation of the Spider showed that they were starting to take it apart.

All of the kiddie rides were gone at this point as well expet for the 4x4s, and the funny little penguin ride that replaced the ferris wheel.

Some bent and gnarly remains of the Bumper Cars were chillin in the lot where the Wildcat used to stand.

 

Not much seemed to have been happening up front on the South end of the park, so here is just a shot of Zingo waiting for it's final day.

I did notice that Zingo's train was no where to be seen and I could not see it in any of the park's usual storage areas either. By now, they had taken some place.

 

 

Moving on to February 17th.

Upon arrival for this trip, the first thing I noticed was that the kiddie bumper cars were completely gone.

 

 

The Spider was looking pretty darn naked by now.

Another view

 

 

The 4x4 tracks were dismantled and the trucks were gone.

 

 

Here you can see what used to be planters that also had rather beautiful iron railings

 

 

the funny little penguin ride still had it's lighthouse hanging around

 

 

the too cool for school Mind Melt was still untouched

 

 

 

The small sky ride named Ski-Daddle still had it's cable nice and tight

 

Super Round up was being dismantled as I was standing there

 

 

Not too much was lookign different with the Himalaya oddly enough. I figured itwould have been completely out by then.

 

 

Meanwhile the Wildcat Lot-O-Crap was looking a bit more interesting.

Here are some more bumper car building bits

 

 

and plenty of what looks to be scrappage

 

 

Bumper car light fixtures a plenty

 

 

Stair cases, railings, and fiber glass! Oh my!!

 

 

Moving to the park's South end, I took some shots of the Chili Pepper, and Log Ride just for good measure before they vanished. The view is less than ideal and the area was quite busy so these are the best shots I could get.

 

 

Coming around the bend I took some shots of my poor Zingo.

They had taken all the lattice off the Party Gate here

 

 

Then as if by some nightmareish twist of divine timing, workers showed up and starting taking the steel off of Zingo's rails.

 

 

Here is Robbie Bell himself working to get his park packed up and taken out.

 

 

 

Now for the latest update, I headed back to Tulsa once more to see what was left of the park. I realyl wasnt' expecting much to have changed considering it was three weeks between my first two visits with not a whole lot missing besides kiddie rides. This was only two weeks later, but I was stil nervous, and very surprised at what I found. There was very little left of the rides on the North end.

 

The Spider is totally out.

 

 

Pharaoh's Fury has had the boat taken off and it is chillin on the side for now.

here is another view with the arms hanging limp

 

Super Round Up is looking pretty bare to say the least

 

 

The Ski-Daddle cable is now limp

 

 

The Himalaya is gone and this funky trailor was in it's place with some rather interesting looking contents.

This pole used to support the D.J./control booth

 

 

The Mind Melt which was completely untouched two weeks ago, was history.

Here is the ticket sign for it as it still read from the state fair

 

Finally the penguin's little light house looks like it got hit by a good wave. A wave goodbye that is.

 

 

Now if they could just get that darn funnel cake trailor rolled out of there. It's been on wheels this whole time and yet it still lingers.

It suddenly dawned on me that all this time I could have gone behind the fairgrounds security buiding to see parts of the park not normally visible. I wish I had remembered that little secret a few weeks before but after climbing over a lot of stacked up picnic tables and squeezing behind a storage building, I managed to see the blank area once occupied by the Scrambler

 

Looking towards Phantaz, I noticed all the light poles on that side of the park are down.

 

 

oddly the only remains of the 4x4s is the trailor section that carnivals use to transport it on.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking into the Skee Ball buiding, I found the Pharoah's Fury heads hangin out.

 

 

Lots of things are seeking shelter under what was built to house the park's original carousel, but later became a picnic shelter.

 

This is a shot attempting to show where the park's current carousel was located. It was the blank spot in the middle of the midway. It was prety much the dividing line between the North "fair" section fo the park, and the Southern area that was more paermanant and landscaped. If you look closely at the upper left you can see the old carousel building.

 

 

It looks like the ticket booths from the front gate are ready to be taken away for good.

 

 

Back over at Zingo, men were up working on the lift.

 

 

I noticed the classic chaser lights that outlined Zingo's larger hills were carelessly tossed off and dangling from the second hill.

 

 

The handrails had been removed along Zingo's first turn.

 

 

I could not see any steel on the tracks at all by now. It's kind of hard to tell in this photo though since the white paint is so dirty where the steel used to be.

 

 

I now leave you with this sad image

 

I should be back at the park in about a another week and a half to get some more shots of what's still left and what isn't. If you actually took the time to look at all of these photos THANK YOU!! and if you didnt' then may you have Vekoma dreams, and Togo headaches for the rest of your wretched lives.

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