Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Retro Photo TR: Idora Park 1983-84


Recommended Posts

More pics from the past!

 

The first batch were taken in 1983, the last summer the Wildcat ran before the fire in April of 1984. They were taken by Joe Riznar, the regional ACE rep back in the 1980's.

 

 

The rest of the pics were taken on the last operating day of the park, Labor Day 1984 and during the auction in October of that same year. It was sad that the final day of the season was dark and dreary, while the auction day was bright and sunny.

118051083_scan0087(Large).thumb.jpg.ff2a030871191ecb14cce60c836f438d.jpg

437299168_scan0086(Large).thumb.jpg.7f19d36d110ac8c0b7264dc78895944d.jpg

996941366_scan0085(Large).thumb.jpg.a69a0b7e393366e7cb4e3b569da33db2.jpg

1308916308_scan0084(Large).thumb.jpg.d4cf99ecd481520f7d143a9e2fdfb9fd.jpg

1277465610_scan0083(Large).thumb.jpg.a2d1ff1276327bc7d15641d04b60a5cb.jpg

320160594_scan0082(Large).jpg.b4b67241be9a0a25ccb441674691c4c2.jpg

Midway

548366638_scan0081(Large).thumb.jpg.8477e9fdc76e8359f2a029a9baa703c5.jpg

The bumper cars

324534936_scan0080(Large).thumb.jpg.d65f7a06ffa6a931621f5dc2fd8f5a66.jpg

The Old Mill completely burned down, but some boats survived.

883153751_scan0079(Large).jpg.4cc165647e73d31a9355d5946b3e11e9.jpg

2048002282_scan0078(Large).thumb.jpg.0cdde958babc1509c01fd763889e1b4b.jpg

Trains in the station ready to go, but never given the chance. They actually nailed a 2X4 on the track in front of the train in case it got dispatched.

19109358_scan0077(Large).thumb.jpg.da5a1d358709427d06e50f323fccec6a.jpg

What was left of the Wildcat after the fire

1860693397_scan0075(Large).thumb.jpg.cb533a6265504a5de8f83f0bb73c0f10.jpg

The park's sign

1109126302_scan0076(Large).jpg.2d7d288bd08c7fd361f6dc2400554eca.jpg

And the Back Wabbit in 1984

351191541_scan0071(Large).thumb.jpg.bf3d18af0dfd4c60885ce9553f067f0f.jpg

The Jack Rabbit in 1983

1747842698_scan0074(Large).jpg.db1c3171af123947575159f8785f99cf.jpg

A full train of riders

1776244225_scan0073(Large).jpg.972569d9e70dd6b8aca1ed5b96b226bb.jpg

Wow. Lemonade was only $.75

195454622_scan0072(Large).thumb.jpg.4909e4d621bd52815ea12462c80e9d83.jpg

616663189_scan0070(Large).jpg.d681be14e7e6c6687032f69b0eb61c41.jpg

The midway leading to the Wildcat on the left

959898196_scan0069(Large).jpg.4acb6390e3f90304c1f4a6675b4b6888.jpg

The fan curve and final tunnel

1457968565_scan0068(Large).thumb.jpg.b8f599822b4589be09e55521f1e9a8d6.jpg

The station as viewed from the lift hill

1478742748_scan0067(Large).jpg.5b1d558932340c0a254526ec09bd3c0a.jpg

The fan curve

467430476_scan0066(Large).jpg.92fbd2234b3dc250a5855127ac82de9c.jpg

1029524557_scan0065(Large).thumb.jpg.0b84a7437414444c3087c582c453eab5.jpg

Looking backward down the lift hill

1166742036_scan0063(Large).jpg.0316f6485d2cea39dca0ffbcda05535e.jpg

1927389097_scan0064(Large).jpg.fc47b34906ef3ba3e252be46c10edd8d.jpg

1786396232_scan0062(Large).thumb.jpg.402280d4a172dda37882bfb7fba3697a.jpg

1112842725_scan0061(Large).jpg.3183593eafc1dfeb7218e0043f880ba7.jpg

1455437115_scan0060(Large).thumb.jpg.0f0acdf3dcdae3b142eda54bebb2aad3.jpg

488840303_scan0056(Large).jpg.03a7bb2d94c26289a725f2a8e354c2b4.jpg

Entering the 2nd tunnel

1220501004_scan0055(Large).jpg.cd88f28abd660b86e9c510a4639f56aa.jpg

253597202_scan0054(Large).thumb.jpg.c753ada6af225217f388690635ab14da.jpg

The Wildcat

1991723247_scan0089(Large).thumb.jpg.be6c02a4a5adca41c53e3765a4191666.jpg

The Back Wabbit in action on Labor Day 1984.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 46
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Part Two: Auction Day

1111905109_scan0097(Large).thumb.jpg.c5917ca98d30fb8ab4560b83ca81bd25.jpg

The slide. Notice the dust. I am pretty sure it had been closed for years.

257648762_scan0095(Large).thumb.jpg.a867ac25351fa502fa049cba8c7c871a.jpg

OK. I THINK this slide was in the fun house, but it was closed off when the park was open. I discovered it during the auction and snapped a few pics.

1888585155_scan0096(Large).thumb.jpg.f48af951378896a01705d81fe1153aa9.jpg

1645575010_scan0094(Large).thumb.jpg.a83a80afda909200a7ec99901e0d96c3.jpg

1083569594_scan0093(Large).thumb.jpg.2326ea3fbe1c5fab649d4ee984ae844d.jpg

1955628924_scan0092(Large).thumb.jpg.6019f723f8c52caafa49ab28ee066692.jpg

And strange props

1155777898_scan0090(Large).thumb.jpg.cb06e86f4a077d4af4d31ea076be69bb.jpg

Lots of random signs for sale

45147470_scan0091(Large).thumb.jpg.d476207c471ad784e87c74dbc1398055.jpg

Does this count? : )

1338446350_scan0088(Large).thumb.jpg.49191265cc36e466dff9fe3bd4e88c47.jpg

The kiddie coaster. I never got this credit. : (

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great pics!!!!!

 

ANy more of the dark rides or fun house? Good fun house pics are so hard to come by. Everyone took pics of the big coaster, the gem of the park, in the old days. The average person wouldn't take pics of dark rides.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

RO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic.

 

I think one of biggest killers of this park wasn't the fire, but when they put the kiddieland on the site of the old giant pool... unfortunately, refurbishing the old pool was way out of their budget at the time, too... so it was fate from the start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I can say is your a lucky guy to have been able to visit all these truly classic parks.

 

How would you compare these parks with the ones they have today?

 

--James

 

Idora was so unique. It had a small park charm but never felt cheap. I don't think there was ever a crowd when I went. I remember Labor Day 1983. We got in for $5 a car load! We ended up riding the Wildcat probably a dozen times that night. It turns out we were probably the last people to ride it.

 

I remember they had decent food inside one of the park's restaurants. The park also was built right in a neighborhood with houses bordering the Jack Rabbit coaster. They even had a baseball field on the infield of the Jack Rabbit.

 

I don't know if this park would have survived today. It was located many miles from the nearest interstate. They had 2 great coasters and a lot of cool flat rides, but they really didn't have the money or land to compete with Cedar Point, Geauga Lake, or Kennywood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the fire hadn't occured I think the park would have survived into at least the late 90s. And, if it had fallen on hard times, I wouldn't have put it out of the question to see Kennywood Entertainment purchase the park as it had the same goals as most of their parks. It's a shame the fire came and began Idora's demise. It looked like a really great park. If the blueprints have survived to 2009, I would love to see the Wildcat and/or the Jack Rabbit reconstructed somewhere. Also, the picture of Kooky Castle caught my interest, as it bears a great resemblance to my favorite dark ride as a child, Le Cachot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

great pics Pianojohn...i'm a moderator at the only active website for Idora...and a former employee...as far as the post above me i have 4 of the wildcat blueprints i tracked down after 23 years, finding them about 2 years ago...its hard to believe its been 25 years since the park closed, but those pics are sweet..i also have the last car to the yellow wildcat train...thanks for posting those

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly not much is left to show that idora was there, only the over grown paths that were once the midway and the perimeter fence and a stone stairway that led to a picnic area are still there. Bounce over to Idorapark.org for current pics of the grounds.

 

10 years ago idora was ideal Urbex territory but time finally caught up with it and the owners of the land bulldozed every last structure. Idora was amazing to snoop through back then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I guess I'll answer the question since I rode it so many times!

 

A ride on the Wildcat started off with a left handed turn into a long, dark tunnel. Basically an S shape in the dark. As you emerged the tunnel, you connected to the chain lift. Looking backward, you could see the whole layout of the ride.

 

A quick turn to the right was followed by the first drop. Nothing too great but a decent start. Next was the most intense part of the ride: the fan curve.

 

You entered it and made a swooping left turn and drop. As the car dropped, you got whipped to the right side. I remember always bracing my hip against the car so I wouldn't get a bruise! It really was that intense.

 

Another hill in the middle led to a right hand turn. As you exited the turn, the track stayed banked to the right. You dropped out of this and into the tunnel under the fan curve and then into the brake run.

 

When I rode it in 1983 at night, you could see sparks flying off the coaster at various parts of the ride.

 

Also, the trains had fixed lap bars. This meant you had to slide into your seat and HANG ON! I often rode it alone, and you would be tossed side to side throughout the ride.

 

I imagine if the ride were still around today, they would have had to change the cars and add locking lap bars, head rests, and seat dividers. It was an amazing ride!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Old Mill and 1/3 of the Wilcat (and some other buildings including the park's offices) burned in a fire caused by accident. A worker was doing welding on the Old Mill and sparks from that set off a fire which quickly spread to the other rides.

 

From Wikipedia:

 

"A devastating fire on April 26, 1984 destroyed the Wild Cat coaster, the Lost River ride, eleven concession stands, and the park office. Employees scrambled to save park records, but only some of the most current files were pulled to safety, while older files and historical records were lost.

 

Investigation later determined that a welding torch's heat or sparks may have ignited leaves or roofing material on the Lost River, which stood next to the Wild Cat. Employees tried to extinguish the growing flames with hand extinguishers, but soon realized that the fire was out of control.

 

Twelve fire companies responded to the fire, which spread quickly as winds carried it across concession stands and on to the midway. Many off-duty firefighters also responded to the call to help contain flames that spread along the Wild Cat's wooden tracks and threatened the merry-go-round, which was scorched but ultimately saved from destruction.

 

Firefighters found themselves at a disadvantage with a lack of in-park hydrants, poor water pressure, and aged wooden rides and buildings. They finally tamed the blaze by running lines to hydrants outside the park.

 

Final damage was estimated in millions of dollars; the replacement of the Wild Cat was estimated at $1.5 million. Intense heat melted paint in various areas of the gazebo. The south horseshoe of the Wild Cat was destroyed, but repair cost was prohibitive. Park owners acknowledged that the loss of the Wild Cat was disastrous.

 

The Wild Cat was Idora's biggest attraction. The park operated through the summer of 1984, but with the premier ride gone, a decision was made to close permanently. Idora Park welcomed its last visitors on September 16, 1984."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC, The carousel was saved due to the firefighters continually dousing the ride with water. If you look up the carousel now called "jane's carousel" in Brooklyn, Ny, the lady who restored it and now displays it left some of the heat seared paint unrestored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/