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Photo TR: Calaway Park - Victoria Day Opening Weekend

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Here in Cowtown, aka Calgary, Alberta, we pride ourselves in the Calgary Stampede, and '88 Winter Olympics, Spruce Meadows, the Rocky Mountains and Banff, as well as Lake Louise, and a wonderful assortment of old buildings and boutique shops. We do not, however, pride ourselves in our local amusement park, Calaway Park.


I personally had not been to my own homepark in many many years, simply because I was spoiled by annual trips to Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Silverwood, I felt no need to bother with this place.


However, I only held the fondest memories of Calaway. True, they only have an Arrow Corkscrew for a credit count (the kiddie coaster does not allow any adults), but I always remember a wonderful assortment of flat rides, good food, short lines, and lovely little ponds and lakes and trees everywhere.


Wow, how a child's imagination can fool you.


I honestly don't think that it's my wonderful memories playing tricks on me; I feel my homepark has gone from a casual getaway into a total trash hole. The crowd was nothing but screaming babies and teeny-boppers, there was peeling paint and protruding pipes everywhere, there were tire tracks and mud and dirt everywhere, etc. etc. etc.


Not all things are bad, they have several new flat rides since I was last there, including a Chaos (which we didn't ride due to long lines), and one of this Hamster-Wheel rides, I don't know the official name for it, it was wonderfully painful good fun.


The park was not ugly everywhere, but when it was, wow. They took out a beautiful playground and put in it's place the most hideous, pastel-colored plastic maze that's two stories high. The ponds were full of garbage. This year, they added water guns to their bumper boats! Very cool, except the beautiful pond the bumper boats were once in is now a very ugly plastic pool surrounded by a field of dirt. How exciting. The theming of the main street has always been ugly, as it is a bad, garish ripoff off the Flintstones, with a very cartoon-y "caveman" aesthetic, with the gift shop being called "Hudstones".


Also, to celebrate Alberta's Centennial Year, they renamed the coaster! Huzzah! Now, instead of being Corkscrew with a color scheme of old rust, it is now called The Vortex with a color scheme Barfy-Slime Green, though I much prefer this to the rust.


I know once the summer rolls around however, and the opening-weekend frenzy is gone, I will have fun visiting Calaway Park, as I bought a season pass ahead of time for $25.95, very cheap! As I am moving to Toronto in October, this season will contain the very last visits of my life to the park I grew up in, because there's certainly nothing here to lure back once I am moved.


Everybody loves a Corskscrew!


Just to bore the heck out of you, more Vortex!


Now apparently, these plastic tables in front of the Vortex are a "Stage", where a show will be performed throughout the summer. Riiight.


This was the best thing in the park. But even it's rotting.


The park's caveman theme somehow is legit for the 1920's car ride. No, the name of the ride is not "Gas", though that'd be way cool.


Somehow I got a shot from the Observation Tower that makes the park look pretty!


This is the only shot I could really get with both the Vortex and the mountains.


"ACK! There they are now! -Hey, do I hear The Nightmare Before Christmas on the speakers?"


Tara says, "Noo! Don't make me go into the rotting Haunted Mansion that's actually a blacklight-lit cave inside! I'm scared of the pianist spiders!"

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Great post. I've always wanted to see Calgary's Corkscrew coaster, it's probably one of the least photographed coaster in North America. It actually looks really awesome, I love those colors. Doesn't change the fact that it's still an Arrow Corkscrew though.




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Great post!


This was the first theme park in my brief history of theme parking...


The Corkscrew was my first "coaster" as well... I actually rode it three consecutive times because there was no line. For me, this was a big deal as I had not been on any rides like it... I thought it was a blast back then.

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It actually looks really awesome, I love those colors. Doesn't change the fact that it's still an Arrow Corkscrew though.






Yeah, looking at these pictures Vortex does look really nice! For some reason when we were there, though, it looked really ugly! I think it was the purple station that ruined it for us.

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