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[RCT3] East Side Lagoon: 1982 - A Stroll Through the Park

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Nice park you got going in there and the story line is brilliant. Keep on going!




I saw that they have a Chance Toboggan cfr out That would look amazing in here!!


We'll have to see! My issue is that it might look a bit junky in comparison to other rides.


Great park, but let's see an update! I look forward to seeing what happens in the '80s and '90s!


Ahh, fine you got me! I've been meaning to get around to it..



1976 - An Early Stroll


So the park decided to throw in another coaster over the winter..




Yepp, there she is in all her glory! Scorpion is the parks newest addition and is one of the first coasters in the world to have a loop.




This pathway leading up to the queue is well landscaped and places the whole coaster up on the hill.




The station is fairly simple and straightforward, the brick is false, it's mainly textured plaster.




One of the numerous tunnels on Scorpion, this one takes place right before the brake run.




A shot of the lift as seen from the queue.




Inside the station you see the simplicity of it. Nothing too major here.




Looking up the lift. This tire driven system was brought in after there were problems with the typical standard chain lift.




The memorable loop. This scene will surely change in years to come.




It's a big step up from Schwarzkopf's last installation at the park, but I'm sure both will enjoy continued success!




One last look at the ride. The landscape of the park is again changed by the presence of another new addition.

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  • 1 month later...

Randy's Rockets - 1977


While the new president seems to be making a mess of the economy, it is with great fortune that East Side has been able to survive despite the changing environment of Pittsburgh.




With many schools merging, the majority of the school picnic traffic has been shifting steadily to Kennywood.




This move has been a severe detriment to West View Park as it begins to slip further into disarray.




East Side hasn't been spared either as their school picnic numbers have plummeted in the past 5 years.




The one thing that has been able to keep East Side afloat is the growing amount of town traffic which has been drawn to the park due to its rapid expansion and consistent upkeep.




This risky maneuver has so far paid off for the park, but it seems unlikely that the park will be able to continue with its current rate of expansion for more than a few years, especially with the economy beginning to slip.




The forecasted numbers for the next year indicate that the park should continue to do well for now, which should come as good news to people frequenting the park.




While others haven't been so fortunate, East Side has held on through far tougher times.




Change has always been for the best at East Side, and if the park does one thing well, it's adapt.




Let's hope that a simple school picnic dispute doesn't derail a thriving park.




I would hate to see such beautiful views vanish into history.

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^Agreed. I've just finished reading this whole thread right now and suddenly grew emotionally attached to this small park in some strange way. Keep up the tremendous work grrt! Not sure if I over read it but whatever happened to Alfred Jefferson's house? It reminds me of Walt Disney's apartment that he had over at Disneyland.

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It irritates the heck out if me that less superior parks on this forum are getting more attention than this thread. Your park is one of the best I've seen in a long time. Please continue making updates with it.


I'm sure if I frequented TPR more that I'd have more replies!


^Agreed. I've just finished reading this whole thread right now and suddenly grew emotionally attached to this small park in some strange way. Keep up the tremendous work grrt! Not sure if I over read it but whatever happened to Alfred Jefferson's house? It reminds me of Walt Disney's apartment that he had over at Disneyland.


I sent you a PM about it, and have explained it a bit in this update as well!



1977 - The Whole Story


So what's really going on at the park? I've been a bit shotty at keeping you all informed, but nows finally the time to get you all up to date.




So first off, the Carousel building was deemed structurally unsafe (it's 77 years old!) and the park decided to enclose the structure for safety reasons. It's now air conditioned and sports a new roofline.




The park removed the pool and put its fountain here, roughly near where the old Jefferson house sat. With it sitting on such a valuable area of the park, there was no choice but to remove it. Parts of the house and the old museum still remain in storage, and are awaiting a new home.




This past year saw the loss of two more great attractions at the park. The Thunderbobs ride as well as the Octopus currently sit in storage awaiting new homes in a yet to be determined location. In their place is a remodeled hub that allows for much clearer views of Scorpion up the hill.




With growing competition from other parks, East Side picked a great year to finally fill in the void where the pool once sat. Numerous attractions from storage finally made their way to flat ride alley.




Contruction took longer than expected as the pools foundation sat far beneath the ground line and had to be completely torn up, resulting in some interesting topography to work with.




With the new area complete, 1976 finally saw the addition of a new roller coaster. Though initially planned to hold a darkride, the space was quickly redesigned by Schwarzkopf into a sprawling masterpiece of a ride, one of the first in the world to contain a loop. This addition brought scores of enthusiasts to the park, and shifted the tide from Kennywood's new multi-million dollar Log Jammer ride.




Going back a bit further in time.. East Side's own flume ride, Paradise Falls, came at the heels of a controversial decision to remove the famous Racer ride.




With the shedding of the massive costs required to maintain the Racer, the park was able to finally set a course for more rapid expansion.




These two Schwarzkopf coasters have brought massive profits to the park, and have likely saved the park from going under.




Strangely enough, plummetting picnic numbers have yet to fully impact East Side. The cost saving measures in place by the park have brought their profit margins up high enough that it can hopefully hold on until the market improves.




The park has taken on a new atmosphere in this decade, and it will be interesting to see how it wishes to adapt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Flashback - 1977


So I was digging around in my attic the other day, and I stumbled across a lot of really golden photos from the park back in its prime. It turns out I had family in the area that loved the park back in its prime. So I decided I'd try and match some of the photos with how things look in the present day to show you guys. The pictures range in date from 1924-1929, though the individual dates aren't so important.




First up is the entrance. You can see that the one remaining feature is the horse statue, though it has been rotated. All new planters, paths, and buildings. Not to mention the skyline change. Keep in mind that the entrance is mid-refurbishment at the moment and still waiting on a few things.




Next up is the area off to the right of the entrance. The first picture is from 1924, and the one next to it from 1925, the year the Racer was first installed. On the right it is as it sits today. While it's hard to picture what it would look like with Racer still around, it's even harder to picture it with the Racer never there at all!




One of the most unchanged areas of the park is the plaza in front of Cyclone. The only real change is that this small maintenance building has been removed. Maintenance is now in a different building in the midfield of the coaster's grounds. The building was replaced with some planters and a small fountain.




The 'main street' has been changed countless times throughout the years. It has slowly opened up, and the planters slowly recede back from the pathways. Nature slowly retreats away from the park as it grows and grows. Also, they refinished the exterior of the snack bar a few years ago. What was initially supposed to be something of a temporary stand stood for much longer than expected, as it stuck to tradition, its decay had to be offset, and the brickwork will last much longer.




Another rather unchanged area of the park are these bathrooms. Their exteriors are completely unchanged, though they house some of the nicest bathrooms around. They are refurbished every few years and kept in excellent condition.




This once great parachute ride is nowhere left in sight. The area now lays open to show Cyclone and up the hill.




The Caverns darkride which burnt down has since been replaced by a restaurant and a ferris wheel. It's still easy to pick up on the landmarks and see how it would fit in now.




The picture on the left was taken in Cyclone's first year, before the track was rerouted below the path that would lead to the pool. Also, the windmill was added a couple of years ago, and while it is pretty, it can be obstructive to viewing the lift hill.




The most changed area in the park is where the pool once was. It's hard to find a good spot for a reference shot, considering even the terrain has been completely modified. When they dug up the pools foundation they left the hole left mostly unfilled.




The bumper cars have taken on a strange transformation. Once a restaurant, it has been completely rebuilt once, and massively renovated another, only keeping the general foundation and layout. Of course, the tower still remains from its second iteration.




One of the saddest losses at the park was the loss of Mr. Jefferson's home on the grounds. Unfortunately, its territory was simply too valuable. The park does admit that they may have rushed on the plans to remove it for the new Asian area, though it at least has the plans and many of the interior pieces of the house.=, such as furniture.




You see here a strange building across the lagoon. It was intended in the parks master plan to link together with the other two original structures, though the plan eventually deviated and it was cut off from the park, and eventually removed in the 1950's. The Tilt-A-Whirl is now the location of a slide and some planters, it all looks very different now..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Holding On - 1977


So with all the turmoil in the Pittsburgh area with amusement parks, it's not just pure luck that East Side has managed to survive (for now). The park has been blessed with all sorts of good fortune and good decision making.




The park's ferris wheel was the first attraction visible from the main roads, and that was a huge boost to attendance. Having a symbol at the park kept East Side strong in people's memories.




Paradise Falls was one of the riskiest maneuvers in park history. Tearing down a classic was fortunately met with success since people seemed to flock to see the new technology.




We also can't forget the park's first steel coaster. Again, new technology always brings new visitors, and a new coaster is always a great investment for any park.




The park was able to keep up with the big theme parks like Disney by adding this grand Asian cafeteria. The park no doubt saw the obvious potential of adding in themed areas and capitalized on it in major fashion. Adding this also helped bring about the start of many 'nationality days' as the interior of the cafeteria is very multi-cultural and attracts guests of all nationalities.




With all the changes and updates, the park was still able to keep its older audience by sticking to tradition. These bumper cars became an instant tradition when they were first installed, and housing them in the old Middle Eastern building was a double whammy of keeping to tradition and adding themed areas.




One thing that forever changed the landscape of American parks was a trip by the National Association of Amusement Parks to Europe in the late 1950's. They brought back many of the ideas from parks such as Tivoli, which were rebuilding following WWII and were using a high level of sophistication, especially in their gardens. East Side was more than happy to capitalize on the landscaping.




In another effort to keep up with theme parks, East Side has finally instituted its first mascot, Perry Panda. It's not quite the same as the Disney Princesses, but it's something!




The park also added a record number of flats in the past few years to draw in guests to new thrills. This has helped keep profits high enough to hopefully outlast the current amusement park recession.




The parks most recent big addition was Scorpion, the first of its kind on the east coast. While massively expensive, it has drawn in scores of new visitors, and most importantly, many large school picnics.




The park has always been sure to keep the spaces open, cozy, and comfortable. They don't want to feel crowded, which can subconsciously make people think the place is rundown and out of space.


Next year it is so far unknown if the park has any major plans. They may choose to ride things out for a year, or could certainly continue the rapid expansion and hope that it can continue to pay off.

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Been reading over this; since before I joined TPR and I love it! East Side Lagoon has a well written story to it; and one of the best park designs I have seen in a park; in a good while.


Thank you very much! I'm glad you like the park and I hope you continue to enjoy the story. I hope to get more of a storyline story going and move away from the descriptive updates, as they can get pretty boring..



East Side - 1978


Yeah it's a new year, and the park has made some upgrades as usual.




New entrance foliage this year. They redid a lot of this to make room for their in-house project, a new version of the classic Whip ride.




The building's been done for a few months, but the Whip ride is proving much more difficult to perfect what with redsigning the old system to fit with newer parts. The building is currently empty. They moved the bathrooms over and gave a great little overlook to the log flume to fit it in.




New paint on the dance hall, it's been looking a little old, they're trying to keep it fresh with some little changes.




They also gave Cyclone the paint color it had when it was first refurbished and reverted the wood to a white color.




There's not much new here, but it all still looks pretty good. I'm not looking forward to the day when the shade and plants vanish from here..




The other real main attraction other than the pending Whip ride is this Pirate Ship. It's a great new attraction from HUSS.




They nested a little eating joint below it. They've perfected getting the necessities in all the little nooks and crannies of the foundation.




They finally converted over the little tents to a more permanent structure here. Again it goes under the structure here.




The queue for the Pirate Ship excavates this little area under the bridge. It was originally intended as a maintenance ramp to get supplies across the ditches, but it stuck in the final design. Not sure if it'll stick around in its current state or not.

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East Side 1978 - More Junk




The lilypads love to populate these shallow corners. You get a few of more than a view old attractions across the lake. I remember when I could see a Wild Mouse ride right where that fountain is.




The bumper cars building got a new coat of paint. They wanted the stone white, but feared damaging it with paint. The compromise looks just as good!




The pavilion next to the carousel has also been repainted along with the games building. The park has been trying to get a better sense of continuity among buildings and attractions. I personally liked the purple better, but I'll get over it. They serve some great burgers here!




The pavilion that the ferris wheel's queue used to go under has been sent to storage, likely to house some other attraction at a later date. It remains to be seen if they will choose to do anything else here.




Scorpion got a brighter shade of red this year, and is still a fantastic ride. While the loop is great, it's terrain hugging layout and deep swooping drops are what set it apart. And just wait for the surprise tunnel! Stengel really knew what he was doing here.




PA parks have got excellent coaster terrain. This brake run is the highest the coaster ever gets off the ground. The best drop on the ride doesn't come until a ways into the layout.




But apart from the high tech coasters, the park still specializes in its flats. They've got some of the best selection of them around, and the new Pirat only cements that.




Hidden behind Cyclone we see that East Side also has family appeal. They are still working on trying to find a good spot to cement a kiddieland, but until then, the loose area back here will have to do.




This area has seen tremendous change in the past decade. It used to be a dead spot, now it's the center of the park.




Foliage and beauty never take a back seat to rides though. The park always ensures a healthy balance.




I'll be back with some night shots.

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1978 - The Nighttime


Hi, it's John Stafford, you probably have forgotten the name, but I've been the one feeding these updates to you since 1966. Now you may not know this, but I am actually the head of park planning at East Side. I was hired into the position in 1969 after being instrumental in the decision to demolish the Racer. I make logistical decisions regarding the parks layout and how to best adapt it to bring in the most revenue while keeping crowds and traffic at uniform levels throughout the park. It's a rather boring description for an absolutely amazing job. If I don't know something about the park, it isn't worth knowing. I'm finally revealing this because I'll be retiring soon and want to leave you with some real knowledge before I can't anymore!




I started working with the park when they were developing the Hornet area. I was a simple historical analyst whose job was to figure out what type of benches and lampposts would look the most historically accurate. I have now overseen every addition that has taken place over here since Hornet. I think things have come quite a ways in 13 years.




It's weird to think that there's nothing over here, even though the original planning committee behind the park had wished to encircle the entire lagoon within the first 15 years, but they really didn't consider that putting the lagoon so far from the lagoon was a terrible idea.




This teacups ride is from the 50's, and for whatever reason, hasn't completely disintegrated. It's actually not a really classic ride. It was a cheap little addition made by some knockoff company that doesn't exist anymore. Parts are a nightmare and the mechanics can't wait for its replacement next year.




This is an older model that has done very well. It's a unique attraction that is remarkably well kept. It got some new paint this year and I hope to keep it in this position for as long as possible.




Pirat is crowded till close, and I hope to add some new rides like it soon. If only I can find a spot for them..




You see, we needed to pack in new rides here because it was frankly a lot cheaper given the circumstances. But now that years have passed and the profits have been reaped from the high concentration of stuff, these kiddie rides pose a huge problem.




They're smack dab next to this world class coaster. As the park develops it simply doesn't make sense anymore to have kiddie rides in the same area as thrill rides. It confuses and annoys parents of small children. Hopefully it's an easy fix once we settle on a more permanent Kiddieland location.




I'm not looking forward to the day when Hornet is considered old, I love this ride and how it interacts with everything.




I can't believe how much this area has opened up in the last few years. What was once a blank hillside of trees has become the bustling center of the park.




With coasters becoming fashionable again this decade, people have begun looking to Cyclone for inspiration. It's one of the best maintained examples from the Golden Age of Amusement Parks. It turned 50 this year and we hope to keep it running for another 50 and beyond.




It fits so nicely in the layout and I hope it gets some company real soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scorpion - 1978




This Schwarzkopf looper is one of 3 Looping Racer models built in the US. This one is the medium length one.




They weren't built mostly due to costs, and lack of a fitting terrain, but this one has got a great location and provides for some great reveals such as this one.




You get a great unbroken view to the lagoon. It's magnificent in person.




The ride is hard to decipher, and is a surprising choice of rides for a park that is attempting to get a skyline. But the revenue it brought in makes it not a worry.




The lift is an interesting piece, and is angled right along the hill. A typical Stengel move.




Stengel is of course the mastermind behind tons of rides, and crazy twists like this are exactly why he's considered so good, and the main reason we chose him for this design.




And past the ride design, Schwarzkopf was great at making rides that simply work right. A simple control panel is all this ride needs, and virtually no down time make this a perfect ride for the park.




It dives right back into the woods and eventually back to the foreground.




This is the stretch of track heading into the loop. Unfortunately, the loop hasn't quite been perfected yet, so a shallow approach was the only option. As well, the loop had to be placed at the lowest point in the layout for better speed control. In a few years, it's very likely that these loops will be much more refined, this was one of the first in the world.




I'll leave you with some happy guests just moments away from traversing the loop!

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I love the angled lift built in to the terrain. Very nice.


Thank you! I actually cheated a bit and modified a few of the hills under the coaster, but most of it is just as I had crafted it 4 years ago when the map first began.


How pretty! Do you think you can post POV's of the rides? I understand if you can't, this park must have a lot of lag!


I've always wanted to do POV's, and you will get them eventually, but I've never been able to find the time to record them! Plus I'd like to get the loop sorted out on Scorpion first.



1978 - Late Night Rainstorm


Despite great weather all day, the skies decided to open up as the night rolled in. I took the family to the park today on my day off.




Rain clouds closed the park up around 9:00 PM, but not before I got some excellent nighttime shots. I've never seen the sky like this. There's a wonderful glow from the full moon tonight.




My son saw the opportunity for this picture.. He's been into photography lately. Daughter was admiring the view from the bridge and voilla! Maybe someday my son will have the duty of bringing you these updates.




He's done photos for a few of them, coincidentally it's usually the ones with the best photos! I never had much of a background in the stuff, but I manage. Anyways, the lagoon here is another one of his shots. The reflection is dazzling in person.




The skies started to open up while there were still boats on the lagoon. Most of them were unable to get back to dock for an hour or so. Must have been a terror for parents with kids still out there.




Yepp, here's some parents! Luckily they weren't stranded too far away, but I'm sure it wasn't the romantic row they had planned on!




This one's a bit unfortunate! Pirate decided to break down only minutes before the rain really started coming down. Guests were stuck on the ride for about half an hour before mechanics were able to fix the ride. The rain delayed the repairs quite a bit.




The park had begun emptying out around 9:30, though tons of people chose to wait it out indoors hoping for a break. The Snack Shack looked wonderful with the moonlight coming through the clouds.




Well I'm sure you all know now, but I am infact a high ranking official at the park, so they let me up the Dragon Coaster after it closed with proper protection. I caught a brilliant photo of the tree lines and Paradise Falls.




My clothes were soaked and so were the rest of the families, so we decided to pack it in and head home. I was surprised at the number of people still attempting to wait out the rain indoors. It was about 10:00 now.




There's a little hilly road that we drive out on that gives us this final view of the park. I can't quite remember ever having such a strange combination of weather and timing.

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1978 - The Rain Carries On


So I went into work today and the rain didn't let up until the late afternoon. It's gonna make for another rather depressing update.




The park still stayed open as it was mainly scatterred showers that would stick around for about half an hour or so. All these photos are from my lunch break!




We've been discussing the final details for what we're doing in this area next year. It's become suprisingly rundown in the last decade, and can expect big refurbishment.




Unfortunately, the Whip, which was slated to open up mid-season coinciding with Cyclone's 50th anniversary, has been postponed, along with the 50th celebration.




Cyclone's station is in bad need of a full repair, and while that was supposed to happen this year, it has also been postponed.




The bathrooms have been refurbished and moved, sporting a more French look, and they should be getting some more company over here soon.




Also, water rides are the first to shut down in the rain, and this ride will sit dormant until it stops.




Shutdown as well.








People much prefer to flock indoors. Unfortunately for all these folks, the diner is at full capacity.




This pavilion is awaiting the impending lunch rush..




The old Dentzel gets pretty popular in the rain, and despite a poor angle here, there's a pretty solid crowd waiting to pour onto this 75+ year old ride.

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