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Retro Photo TR: Idora Park 1984

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I was home this past week and found some old slides from Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio. I was there on auction day in 1984 after the park closed.


For those who don't know, Idora Park was a traditional amusement park with two coasters: The Jack Rabbit, a tradtional out and back with a 45 degree turn half way through the course, and the Wildcat, a GREAT twister coaster with a wicked fan curve half way thru.


Right before opening weekend in April 1984, they had a fire which destroyed the park offices and about 1/3 of the Wildcat. They ended up closing after the season and sold off almost everything.


Sorry they look so scratched up, but they are 25 years old! And I had to transfer them to digital files. Anyway....enjoy!


Another shot of the Wildcat. If I remember correctly, they let us get some pretty good shots since the coaster was not running.


What was left of the Wildcat after the fire.


The car in my parent's garage.


The blue train and yellow one in the background in the Wildcat station. I ended up buying one of the blue cars which sat in my parent's garage for several years until I sold it.


The warning sign in the Wildcat tunnel.


Wildcat station




The Jack Rabbit


Ok...do NOT laugh at my hair. Anyway, I was sitting in the front seat of Jack Rabbit, known that year as Back Wabbit since it ran backwards.

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Great pics !!!


Whenever I hear about parks like Idora, Chicago's Riverview, Pittsburgh's West View, Norfolk's Ocean View and the other parks who "died"...I always think to myself "what if?"


*Had the Wildcat didn't fall victim to that fire..how long would Idora been around? Could they lasted into the 90's? Today?


*Had Riverview not closed in 1967, could they had survive the 70's? Could we have seen a steel looping coaster at Riverview? Had Riverview stayed around, would we even see the opening of "old Chicago? Great America? Over the years I have chatted with many who remember Riverview and all of them really believe that park would still be around today...had they not close in 1967.


*Had Norfolk began the re-development of the Ocean View neighborhood while Ocean View Park was still open..add some expansion..how long would that park be around?


*West View Park..had they only expanded and added more bigger rides and had that reporter praised one of West View's coasters rather than Kennywood's Thunderbolt...would things had been different for West View?


So many parks..so many questions.

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Found some more pics from 1983, the last year the Wildcat ran.


The Jack Rabbit's 1st drop view from the parking lot. Took this picture with a 110 camera! Remember them??


Midway view


View from the fan curve


View from the first hill turnaround

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Wow, John. Nice shots. I really miss Idora. I was fortunate to visit many times starting in 1980 until The End.


It really saddens me that the park didn't have the funds to repair the Wildcat. Especially since the majority of the ride was intact. The fire damage was restricted to basically the second and final turns along with part of their entrance/exit runs --- not really that much. Despite needing some TLC in the last years, it was still one of the most impressive/intimidating coasters I ever met.


Oh, and the Jack Rabbit was just a lot of fun. Miss that one too.


BTW, did you visit Cascade Park and its wonky Comet. I have so few pics of that place. It would be great to see more ...


Thanks again for posting these!



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Took this picture with a 110 camera! Remember them??

Was that a 110 with flash cubes or did you have the high end 110 with the built in flash?


My first camera was a 110 with the built in flash... man that's a memory...


Speaking of memories, thanks for sharing these John, for those of us who never experienced Idora and her Wildcat these are really bittersweet.

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awsome pics !! i remember Idora well i worked there in 1979 & 1980


i have the last car to the yellow train of the wildcat in my collection.


and lol..a 110 camera...i remember using paper clips to set the flash off momentarily blinding my brother

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