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Photo TR: Geauga Lake (6-16-08)


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Yes you read right. A Photo TR from Geauga Lake in June 2008! Not that there were any credits... but still it was cool to get a look around and I thought some people may want to see some pictures from the park.

 

I'll do a quick narrative about the day and then onto the pics with captions. For anyone that doesn't know, the Geauga Lake auction is taking place from Monday the 16th to Wednesday the 18th. Today, Monday, was the preview day. You were basically given free range to roam around the park and view the lots up for sale. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the actual auction for the amusement park stuff. Wednesday is the auction for the campgrounds.

 

I got to the park a little before 4pm and paid $10. I was told, as restated in all the publications, they closed at 5pm. I worked my way around the park taking countless pictures as I went. Some things were roped off, some things were not. The carousel for example had a plastic wrapping around it. Hay Bailer and Villain however, had no ropes around it and you could walk up the exit to the station. It was really sort of cool seeing everything. Texas Twister, Dominator, Thunderhawk, Shipwreck Falls, numerous KidWorks rides, and Beaver Land Mine Ride were gone along with all the merchandise from booths. That was about it though. Everything else was still in place, including the large maps, etc. Many brick pavers along the side had obviously been knocked down during deconstruction and stuff, but generally the park looked surprisingly good (there was a lot of paint chipping though, which I don't know if its due to a winter without upkeep or if they have to repaint some things before each season anyways).

 

Now I do have some complaints. With all the bad press CF has gotten out of this, you would have thought they would have made this a nice event. Yes, I know some are going to say "It's an auction it wasn't meant for enthusiasts." But frankly, there were more enthusiasts there than serious buyers, and CF knew this. Most people were simply going around taking pictures and video. Now as I said, it wouldn't have killed CF to maybe give people a free water (they were instead selling drinks), give them a bag with maybe a souvenir GL pin in it or something, have employees offer to take pics of people's families, or even open up the Ferris Wheel for a few rides (most of these rides could have started running pretty easily). There were a lot of things that CF could have done to make this a nice day to erase some of the bad taste in people's mouths from the closing, but they didn't.

 

The worst part of it was at 4:30 Norton employees in golf carts started racing through the park with megaphones announcing "The park will close promptly at 5:00pm which is in 10 minutes". Everyone started chuckling considering they still had half an hour left. They remained on the golf carts racing back and forth every few minutes announcing the park would close much earlier than it should. At 4:45 I was by Big Dipper and was approached by a suit and tie employee saying "The park is closed now". I said, "Umm it's 4:46". "Well we are closing currently and want people to move towards the front of the park". The last time I checked it didn't take 15 minutes to walk to the front gate from Big Dipper... After the suit and tie employee walked away to yell at others, another employee quietly comments to me, "I don't know why we are closing so early... You'd think when they say the park closes at five they'd let people stay until then."

 

I'm not trying to complain, but I, along with many others, had to work today, and 5pm was hard to make in the first place. So I really couldn't have gotten there much earlier. And when you pay to get in and are told you can stay until 5pm, you should be able to stay until 5pm. You really had to be there to see how rude some of these people were trying to kick you out at 4:30. So then I finish all my picture taking and go to the front to register at the Norton booth for the auction the next day. Needless to say at 4:55 the booth was locked and everyone had left. I voiced my concerns to the nearby employee that had told me to leave at 4:45, and he gave me a refund (I think he was head of security).

 

While the day was great, and the refund made up for the surly employees who were anxious to leave, everyone I passed was complaining about it. And many of those people never received a refund. It was just not handled well. CF could have made this nice and enjoyable, but really didn't. The Norton auction people were borderline rude, and many people who wanted to register for the auction on their way out were shut out.

 

Still great opportunity to get some pics. It was weird seeing the park abandoned and lifeless. It really felt like there should be snow on the ground and it should be the offseason. Sadly it isn't. But getting some pictures was a golden opportunity and I hope to attend the actual auction tomorrow. On with the pics!

 

TT182

 

**EDIT: Fourth batch of photos are up. Many more to come Monday. These will include photos of the old water park and 50's midway.**

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This is a good report of the day's events! I look forward to seeing the photos when they are uploaded, as the history of Geauga Lake interests me. Thanks again for giving us an inside look at a real piece of history!

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^^ I don't think so... I know I did go up the Villain ramp at one point but I know I refrained from any obvious CF insults... But if you were there at the end I'm sure I saw you.

 

I am uploading pics now but did want to mention that it was amazing walking around yesterday how fast things can deteriorate when not kept up. Paint on the buildings as an example was in desperate need of a refresh. Railings were already starting to fall down, etc. I realize some of this is from some deconstruction, but much of this looked to happen just due to not being maintained. Really makes you appreciate how much work maintenance departments put into these parks!

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Just a little preview....

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Ok so on with the photos:

 

The photos really do their own talking so I will just have some captions to go along with them.

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I think those two pine trees and the rock would have looked PERFECT at Knott's behind Xcellerator. How could CF let these prized items slip away in an auction?

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Down it goes again.

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I knew the wind would blow up the tarp eventually. Luckily the carousel, as you can see, is still in excellent condition.

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Another look at the Dodgems building.

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Not the queue nor landscaping.

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Hmmm looks like something's missing. Not the station!

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Beaver Land Mine Ride.

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Beautiful ride.

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Grand Carousel safety sign. That tarp will blow up enough for me to get my pic eventually.

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Old safety sign.

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The inside of the Dodgems building. The cars and floor had already been removed.

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Dodgems building, queue, and safety sign.

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The Grand Carousel surrounded by plastic.

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The last addition made to GL: the cornhole toss game. This sign went for $800.

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A closer look at all of the kitchen supplies up for auction.

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As you can see inside of the Golden Nugget Arcade, a plethora of cooking supplies were up for auction.

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Old 3-Point shootout. This one had already been removed and was not up for auction.

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Another look at the games booth.

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Again, this building, and its contents, up for auction.

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All of these game booths were up for auction. Notice the (somewhat haunting) cotton candy sign still up.

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Power City stage still having the poster promoting the Peanuts Rockin Party show.

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Old gift shop. Again, except for the lack of people in the photo, this photo wouldn't make anyone think the park had been closed.

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Old GL map hung up around the park.

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Ramp to Thunderhawk entrance roped off.

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Old Thunderhawk photo/video booth along with old queue in background.

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An example how many things obviously went untouched over the off-season. Here is a sign promoting the new video cameras added to Thunderhawk last year. Notice the old Thunderhawk photo booth in the background.

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While you would have though CF would have auctioned off individual ride signs, such as this one, they did not. This lot, number 83, was for all the rocks, landscaping, trees, and shrubs in the Thunderhawk area.

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Old Thunderhawk sign still in tact minus the Thunderhawk lettering.

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Pepsi Plunge drop.

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Lamppost and ramp down to Thunderhawk / Serial Thriller. Notice the lot number tags placed on all the items.

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Basically everything in the park was up for auction, including these rocks. Good thing they didn't auction me as punishment for staying after 5.

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Pepsi Plunge

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The Thunderhawk site. Notice the two ferries in the background. Again, all of the fence in this photo was up for auction.

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Lamppost and fence in front of Thunderhawk site. Both of which were up for auction.

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Pepsi Plunge exit.

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Pepsi Plunge exit stairs. Notice how fences were already falling down.

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Pepsi Plunge queue. It actually doesn't look worse than it did when open last year.

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Many pictures don't look as if they were taken at a now closed amusment park. Looking back at them I keep thinking / wishing they were taken before the park opened. Americana Ferris Wheel in the background.

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Pepsi Plunge, Villain, and Double Loop. Notice how quickly this path is deteriorating.

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Closer look at the Pepsi Plunge queue, station, and drop in the background.

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A look at the Pepsi Plunge warning sign. All of these were still up for most of the rides. Notice that the queue was not roped off, but with security close by I decided not to try venturing up to the station.

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These electric signs housing the park maps were all still up and for auction.

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Ring toss game with the bottles and rings still there! It was amazing how many things went practically untouched all year.

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Closer look at the caricature building. Also notice the yellow caution tape they used to rope things off.

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The old car ride. If you notice in the front the sign has fallen down. This is because even landscaping and rocks were being auctioned today, and many had already been dug up! This area was roped off and you couldn't get any closer.

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The caricature building in the back with all the sample pictures still hanging! Also notice the directional sign in the front.

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The Tatoo Shoppe. Again, just as it looked last year with the chairs and tatoo signs removed.

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Plaza Pizza. Most, if not all, of these buildings were for sale (including the contents). However if you look carefully you will notice that most buildings were gutted.

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The old photo memories building. This is also where you rented strollers and lockers. Note the photo memories sign was for auction. Also notice the brick pavers falling around in the bottom left.

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This is the fountain and entrance plaza. Note that the fountain was up for auction today. The area around the fountain has been torn up and some brick pavers along the edge of the plaza have fallen down but otherwise the entrance looks just as it did last year.

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Another look at the Geauga Lake entrance. Now it's my desktop picture. Really a nice looking entrance in my opinion.

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Another look at Villain.

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Villain as seen from in front of the entrance. Notice the flags still in place on the turnaround.

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The Geauga Lake Entrance. Really a beautiful entrance, and as such, I hope it gets a nice home. Notice the grass and weeds though.

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There are many, many more photos to come but this should be a good start.

 

And to any mods, looking back at the photos it appears that a few of the vertical ones are a bit larger than 800 x 600. I tried to update these with smaller ones but they then got out of order. If this is a problem let me know.

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I'm really surprised at the ride ratings given to the rides by CF. Pepsi Plunge a 5, Beaverland Mine Ride a 4? I guess it doesn't matter now. Sad to hear many of the coasters were purchased at the auction just to be scrapped

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This is so sad to look at. I was at the Idora Park auction in 1984. While it was great to see the park again, it was like going to a wake and a funeral. You knew this would be the last time you would ever see that person, and you wished they were still alive.

 

As far as to why they do not aucition off individual signs: most people at auctions are not nostalgia collectors but other park operators. If they auctioned each individual sign, the auction would last for weeks!

 

In hindsight, CF should have removed all of the collectable signs and had an enthusiast event to sell them off. Seriously....how many other park owners would really want a map of Geauga Lake??

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It's amazing what's changed and what hasn't from when I visited last year.

 

I'm wondering what they did with all the trash cans. Maybe they moved them to other CF parks or maybe some to the waterpark side. Last time I checked, Kings Island didn't have many in the parking lot.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm working on uploading more photos now (including ones from the old Hurricane Harbor water park).

 

While it was cool to be able to walk around the park one last time, it was very sad. This park could have worked, but I really get the sense CF didn't want it to.

 

And as far as I know Beaver Land Mine Ride hasn't been sold, and in the auction brochure it said anything not being auctioned was being sent to other CF parks. But it WAS completely removed which was surprising. And I completely agree pianojohn. CF should have removed some of this stuff and sold it at a set price. Heck I would have even bought a GL garbage can! And I heard others saying they would have too (the garbage cans were auctioned off it a lots of 150-200). The fact of life was CF was hoping to make quite a bit of money off this auction, NOT give people a chance to get some great nostalgic items.

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I'm about to post another round of photos but I wanted to let everyone know that even after the next round I'll still be only probably half done. Photos from the other side of the park are especially interesting. So keep checking back!

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This is really sad, I really wish I was around to actually and view the park for myself. I'm kinda surprised that villain and double loop is going to be sold for scrap, I thought for sure they would have saved villain being a pretty good wood coaster. Now where is the Beaver Land Mine Train, did it get sold, moved, what happened to it?

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More photos:

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Grizzly River Run Rapids ride. The rapids ride was actually good with SF, but once CF bought the park most of the water effects were turned off.

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Another look at the elaborate facade.

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Landscaping that was up for auction around Texas Twister.

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The ride entrance.

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The Texas Twister operating booth.

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This elaborate themeing was for Texas Twister, a Huss top spin now at California's Great America as Firefall.

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Looks like a twister came through here!

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Another look at the already removed 3-Point Shootout.

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Looking down a nice Coyote Creek midway.

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The underside of Hay Baler.

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The Villain MCBR is shown here, along with Double Loop's lift and brake run.

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I can't remember if they were auctioning this...

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Honestly, it was cool, weird, and very saddening to have this view again.

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The retractable seat-belts still worked.

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Double Loop car on display. Again this is reportedly off to the scrap yard.

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Double Loop break run. There was heavy vegetation around this coaster.

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Not anymore! Sponsered by scrap yard doesn't have quite the same ring...

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Double Loop entrance with warning sign.

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A world famous CF garbage can. While I would have loved to get one of these, they were being auctioned in lots of 150. As said earlier, this was not geared to individuals who were hoping to snag a piece of GL.

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Double Loop station with exit stairs.

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Double Loop sign. A shame CF couldn't have made sure this got into the hands of an enthusiast who actually cared about it (vs a scrap yard owner).

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Villain photo price list.

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Sign above Villain photo booth.

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Double Loop's station with air-gates and initial drop into the tunnel before the lift in view.

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Villain's queue. The small shed for vending machines in the back was actually empty for the last few years of CF's rule. Just one example of their lack of upkeep in certain areas of the park.

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More of Villain's themeing outside the station.

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Villain's mammoth structure. Lift hill above, brake run below.

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I lied. This is the last look.

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One last look at Villain's station with the operator booth to the right. SF added Villain along with Batman: Dark Knight, Superman: Ultimate Escape, and Beaver Land Mine Ride to Six Flags Ohio in 2001.

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Some of Villain's themeing.

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A view of both Double Loop and Villain's lift hill. Villain's structure was really mammoth. A part of one of these coasters may be in one of your future home appliances!

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Villain's station. Notice the open air gates.

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Villain's queue from its exit stairs. Much of this queue was filled for GL's last day of operation in 2007.

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Double Loop's lift hill.

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Double Loop station with operator's booth on the left.

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Villian's exit stairs.

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Villian sign for on-ride photos showing prices. I remember when I thought the flash for the on-ride photo camera was a strobe to scare riders.

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The front of one Double Loop car was on display right in front of the ride. It was somewhat sad pulling on the retractable seat-belts and hearing the usual click click.

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A shop in Coyote Creek.

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A look at some of the excellent themeing in Coyote Creek.

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Hay Baler and Villain are side by side.

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As bumpy as the ride was, it's sad to think the ride will (probably) never run again.

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My favorite roller coaster sign out there.

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A look at the transfer track shed.

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The landscaping was just starting to mature. It was really a cool slightly themed line and station.

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Villian's lift hill. The building to the left is the back of the ride's photo building.

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Really nice looking coaster. Reportedly, Villain was bought by a gentleman wearing a shirt referring to a Cleveland Scrap Yard.

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Villain queue. I remember distinctly how my first time on this ride the queue was completely full. That line was a little over 45 minutes.

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Hay Baler's queue and warning sign. This queue was often full during the summer. People that is... not leaves and debris.

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The ride's cars. Only got on this ride a handful of times.

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The entrance and housing to the Hay Baler matterhorn. Due to its enclosure it was filled with fog for many Fright Fests / Haunts.

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Hay-Baler exit

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Below I have posted the third installment of photos. This pretty much concludes photos from the Coyote Creek / Power City secion of the park and half of the main entrance plaza. Tomorrow and Thursday I will upload photos from the other side of Americana, KidWorks Playzone, 50's Midway, and yes, the old water park!

 

Thanks for reading,

TT182

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More Pics:

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Restrooms by Americana Ferris Wheel. A note in the auction flyer warned patrons these had already been decommissioned.

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Americana Ferris Wheel raising up towards the sky. Seating for the food court was located in the center of the photo (under the pavilions which are again as you can see up for auction).

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Dog Pound Derby game. I don't know that this was for auction... Any predictions what park it will go to?

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Coyote Creek midway adjacent to Pepsi Plunge. Villain in distance.

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You won't get wet on my ride but I can look scary!

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Rip Cord safety sign.

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More landscaping behind Grizzly Run.

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Backside of Grizzly run. Many rocks within the park, and trees, were being auctioned.

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Another overview.

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Raging Wolf Bobs entrance beneath another turnaround. The path to the water park side / Happy Harbor is just to the left. Trams were added to this path last year.

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Raging Wolf Bobs sign.

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Raging Wolf Bobs entrance plaza. Unfortunately, this has been dead since last June when the ride closed due to an incident involving the track and structure.

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Raging Wolf Bobs. The old entrance to the floating bridge which connected the rides side to the animal / water park side is right at the base of the turn-around.

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A look down the path to Raging Wolf Bobs. Dominator's interlocking corkscrews were just to the right of this picture.

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Supposedly, CF turned off the water effects due to the lack of seat belts in the rafts. People commonly stood up and moved whenever a water fall loomed ahead. CF later added seat belts (final season of operation), but these were cheap and didn't work well. Flooding on the path between Raging Wolf Bobs and Dominator also occurred when water effects were turned on, which is believed to have contributed to their decision. This meant that only your back would get soaked on the ride.

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Boats passed right in front of here (and slowly I might add which was perfect for geysering - if thats a word).

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Grizzly Run station.

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The tunnel in the center of the photo also had water effects (some of which were actually on once or twice late in CF operation). The old geyser posts are seen in the foreground.

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This canyon used to house drenching water falls under SF operation.

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This was taken from the viewing platform. You could spray the passing boats with geysers here for a quarter. The lift is seen in the background (which is at the very end of the ride). Due to limited capacity in the station and slow loading, you would have to sit on this lift for 10-15 minutes before being allowed to get off in the station.

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Grizzly Run. The shack in the distance had some of the best rapids on the ride, and used to house a large waterfall when operated by SF.

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Backside of Raging Wolf Bobs (which coincidentally closed about a year ago - mid June 2007).

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Another view of Dominator's station. Looked like they removed a back wall to deconstruct it.

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Backside of Grizzly Run.

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One of the tallest things still left in the park.

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Rip Cord / Skycoaster ticket booth. Never did this one. The high prices combined with its smaller size didn't make it seem worth it.

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Power City gifts (which housed Dominator's photo sale center). This was the last thing I remember about my closing weekend visit to GL last year.

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Power City food court. Easy to see how it transcended from Gotham City.

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Quite sad. This was the most destruction anywhere in the park though (luckily).

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Scycoaster / Rip Cord (the big white thing) which surprisingly sold for $85,000. Dominator's photo shop / Power City gift shop is below it.

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Power City Section. The building is where pizza was served along with other food. The large bare area to the left housed many patio tables and chairs. Many would sit ear waiting for companions to exit Dominator.

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Remaining footers. Notice that all of the queue was removed (probably recycled).

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Amazing to think such a mammoth coaster once stood here. Not much left.

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What's left of Dominator / Batman: Dark Knight's station. Notice the charring and damage in the upper left from the fire during dismantling of the ride.

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A nice view of Villain in the distance with the remains of Beaver Land Mine Ride in the foreground.

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Another view of the plethora of garbage cans after their off-season cleaning.

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Another pavilion. All of these garbage cans were being auctioned off (in large lots keep in mind). Wouldn't you like a fleet to set up in your own backyard?

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Chuckwagon Cookhouse. Notice the cookout supplies within the pavilion up for auction.

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Coyote Creek picnic area. This area was much more extensive than I remembered.

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The long path leading back to Grizzly Run. Not much to see back there (luckily since it was blocked off).

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