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


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Just read this entire thread. It's great. Please update!!

 

I will be soon hopefully! I am dealing with some file instability at the moment so once I can get that sorted out I should have some new progress. Also, thanks a bunch for reading through! It's been years of work and it's appreciated when people take real interest.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

1980 - New Kiddieland!

 

So as you all likely know, the park has torn out its longtime favorite steel coaster Hornet, which now sits stowed away in a storage shed somewhere, awaiting its unknown fate. It has been replaced with a 'new' kiddieland. This new land consists of mostly old attractions that were moved from other areas of the park as well as a few new rides.

 

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The entrance!

 

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The first new attraction is a kiddie sized ferris wheel which sits at the centerpiece of the land. It is actually brand new and wasn't bought used from anyone which was a rarity through the 70's and will likely be the exception and not the rule going forward until some new revenue can be found.

 

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The park opted for a very simple midway style land knowing that the impulsive nature of kids and what they want to ride would make for hell with parents if they had to be going back and forth. It also is the best arrangement for packing lots of attractions in a small space.

 

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The rockets were moved a few hundred feet down the road and replaced by these Scooters. They are infact Bisch-Rocco scooters used from a park in Denver but were heavily refurbished to meet the maintenance needs of the park.

 

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The rockets fit better inside the kiddieland than in their previous spot. Notice the little kids trashcan in the bottom left!

 

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Just outside the gates is this summer treats stand that sells everything from lemonade to ice cream.

 

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With all the rides being cleared out over here this area is pretty bare. That may change soon, though plans are not set in stone.

 

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Another new stand in the area serves the standard amusement park fare.. chicken fingers, fries and things. The park plans on ramping up on concessions in the coming years, and may bring in some specialty foods to get people excited to come to the park and stay there all day.

 

That concludes part 1, there is much left to see!

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1980 - New Kiddieland!

 

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The Scooters fly right out over the paths providing great path interaction.

 

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The eatery here has a nice patio balcony that runs up next to this approach ramp. The old site was not as level as you would think and lots of issues and concerns came up about how steep a path kids would want to walk up to get to a Kiddieland. We'll see in the coming year how things work out with that.

 

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The rockets love their comfy new home and get plenty of riders, something they weren't quite getting in their old spot adjacent much more thrilling rides.

 

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I'm taking these pictures as nighttime sets in. Crowds and families loved the new area and they are still pretty heavy even this late in the day.

 

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Another ride that has been relocated from another spot in the park is the slide. It was given a prop giant tree stump made mostly of plaster and paint that guests enter through before going up the slide.

 

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A light rain had started to set in over the park, though rides stayed open throughout the night with a few exceptions. Another notable attraction which has stayed is the teacups. The park had originally meant to replace them with a newer, larger model, using the old ferris wheel queue cover as the housing. Size and budget concerns meant that the original from the 50's still stays put and I don't mind much. I always like this little ride.

 

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Another little stand here selling ice cream in this little nook by the rockets.

 

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Oh right! The rest of the park.. that still exists after all. Another fan favorite has returned from storage and heavy refurbishment and occupies the old spot where the Rotor once stood. Many may be sad to hear that the Rotor has been officially retired for good and was sold off to a fair.

 

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Another ride that is forever gone was an old sea storm ride from the 50's which didn't find a place in the new land and no longer fit in where it once stood in the shadow of the Cyclone. A new ride is presumed to be installed here very soon.

 

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A look under the bridge finds a rare quiet area in the park that I hope can stay put in such a valuable area.

 

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The Diner is probably happy to finally have some breathing room with Hornet finally gone. Initial inspection is showing that the families the park has attracted is offsetting the crowds lost by the teenage crowd that like rides such as Hornet, but down the line without a quick replacement or relocation, the loss of Hornet seems very risky..

 

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Another ride finally pulled out of storage this year after being refurbished is the Octopus. It used to sit roughly where the Scooters sit now and has a new home where the planes used to be. I have no good picture of the planes, but they did find a new home in the Kiddieland. The park considered building the lemonade/ice cream/whatever stall that sits outside of Kiddieland here, but thought that it obstructed the views of Scorpions loop too much.

 

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The same problem has plagued any possibilities of a new dark ride in this area for quite some time. When Scorpion replaced the perfect dark ride spot, the park simply couldn't find a new place for one and four years later, all plans for a dark ride have been scrapped. The Kiddieland was another nail in the dark ride coffin and it may be a while before another one finds its way into the park.

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Yes I agree about Hornet. Kings Island did it with Bavarian Beetle and more recently Cedar Point with Wildcat and Disaster Transport. I'm not saying I don't mind Gatekeeper but I wholeheartedly believe amusement parks need what I like to call "stepping stone" coasters and Hornet is a perfect example. So i truly hope Hornet finds a new home in the park!

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Yes I agree about Hornet. Kings Island did it with Bavarian Beetle and more recently Cedar Point with Wildcat and Disaster Transport. I'm not saying I don't mind Gatekeeper but I wholeheartedly believe amusement parks need what I like to call "stepping stone" coasters and Hornet is a perfect example. So i truly hope Hornet finds a new home in the park!

 

Yeah, that's a great way to put it. It wasn't a giant coaster but a necessary one. With Scorpion now at the park, it's not as crucial of an attraction.

 

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1980 - Yikes!

 

So the last 5 years or so have looked good on the surface, but beneath that lie some dark secrets that the park has done well to hide.

 

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The park discovered something very important in the 60's. Infrastructure is crucial. Every dollar you spend fixing a broken bulb or board pays back double in the long run.

 

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The park was able to outlive the string of park closings in the late 70's in Pennsylvania mostly due to buying up the lost assets of failing parks at dirt cheap and refurbishing them.

 

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Nearly all of the parks profits got dumped into fixing things up and that went a loooooong way. For a few years anyways.

 

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The beginning of the decade brought many great choices.. New themed areas, impeccable upkeep, new mascot, uniformed staff, and a mass influx of new technology helped the park keep up in the face of stiff competition.

 

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Last year was particularly volatile for the PA park industry. Bad weather, gasoline rationing, a rumored polio outbreak among the amish, and the Three Mile Island disaster deterred travelling, especially to amusement parks.

 

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Like many other parks around this time, dwindling profit margins meant that many assets had to be sold off. Luckily, the park was smart enough not to sell off its priceless old attractions like the carousel.

 

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They seem to have made a huge error in dismantling Hornet though..

 

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Replacing a thrill ride with a kiddieland in a time with an aging population that is craving thrills has caused attendance to drop heavily. Families have not quite taken notice and no new thrill this year has driven them elsewhere or to stay home.

 

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Attendance is, as of now, very mediocre and limping along. What seems to be keeping the park alive though, as it always has, is the appearance of cleanliness and reliability of the park.

 

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Looking at how much the park has grown, it is still comforting to know that the park has tons of capital to support itself and is slowly becoming a tradition in the area.

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  • 1 month later...

1980 - End of the Year

 

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Well.. with the 80's came loads of insurance changes.. and that means lots of light!

 

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A lot of the dimly lit charm of the old park has been washed out in bright lights to keep out fears of nighttime crime in the park.

 

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This has meant that the park can stay open a bit later though. The previous closing time of 9:00 PM has been extended to 10:00 PM meaning that you can enjoy the pretty lights for an extra hour.

 

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The park is peaceful back here.

 

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Drowned in light!

 

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Attendance is always slow towards the end of the season anyways, so it's hard to see where things are money wise.

 

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The park has marked off a section near the lagoon for what is presumed to be some new expansion for next year. No word yet on details.

 

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See you next time!

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East Side Lagoon - Closing Time Pt. I

 

So with the late curfew I've taken it upon myself to document as much of the nighttime as I can. With that comes a lot of pictures..

 

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Scorpion is still thrilling guests 5 years later and an exciting nighttime ride is a perfect end to any night.

 

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I prefer my final ride on Cyclone, its brilliant white structure lights up the sky.

 

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Of course there's others in the camp that the Carousel is the ride to end the day with..

 

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And some who just wanna relax and soak in the experience for a few minutes with an ice cream cone before heading out.

 

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There's rides you may not get a chance to ride late unless you have secret access.. The flume is typically closed before sundown, but every once in a while you'll catch the closing mechanic willing to boot the ride back up before he drains the lines.

 

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Maybe he's a little too easily convinced!

 

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Unfortunately for the ferris wheel crowd, the ride was on the fritz today and was shutdown midday.

 

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Dragon Coaster has had a rebirth in recent years though its popularity hasn't been significant since the 50's. Not too many venture over here to ride this late.

 

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The bumper cars are another classic in the arsenal of East Side and its building's architecture shines bright at night.

 

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As crowds start to filter out things calm down for now..

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East Side Lagoon - Closing Time Pt. II

 

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Many newcomers to the park think the windmill is an old relic from the 20's but it's only about 5 years old.

 

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Crowds do not come over here and the area feels unfinished. Long term plans indicate that more food areas and rides will come byt eh end of the decade though the size and scope is not yet fully known.

 

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Kiddieland has cleared out for the night and rides are finally beginning to shut down. Plans to expand the area indicate major change up into the 90's. Again, details aren't known but the park seems to be pushing for gift shops, food, and games over new attractions.

 

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Much of this area is not very old as a result of the constant tweaking and rapid expansion into the back of the park. It appears that things will stay unchanged for the immediate future. Hiring better park planners and a more qualified management crew have cut down on changes and upgrades that have needed to be made.

 

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The front of the park has become more of a leisure and food area than a ride area. More infrastructure updates and added things like gift shops are planned to be added by the end of the decade here as well.

 

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The entrance was upgraded in 1975 and holds up to capacity for now. Added booths for special ticketing services and offices for employees are planned to be added in the 80's.

 

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The older offices have become a bit crammed and more space is needed for the added management departments.

 

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The park hasn't said exacts on these 'plans' other than that their ten year plan includes adding x amount of y to areas a, b, and c and so on.. So speculation is still there and no major attractions have been announced just yet. Food and service building seem to be the area of impact.

 

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Until those plans come out we still have a hell of a park to enjoy now.

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  • 2 months later...

1982 - Welcome Back!

 

Hello again! The park has went through some big changes in my year off. I apologize for not getting you any updates last year but I was not in town for the summer. So we now fast forward a year to 1982...

 

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Cyclone hasn't changed much, though the paint is fading.

 

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I got to the park early today. Many rides were still going through their testing cycles before opening to the public.

 

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The first big change is over in the old pool area. It's been largely overhauled yet again. This time with a de-emphasis on rides.

 

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A games building has been added in front of Scorpion per the parks long term plan of increasing the number of buildings and places that can make the park money.

 

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Stage seating was added in front of Bobs this year, which I can assume means that at some point Bobs is going to be replaced by an actual stage. Also notable is that the Troika has been moved and fenced off, presumably for a new attraction coming soon there.

 

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A new refreshment stand has also been added behind Cyclone. It sells the standard fare of fries, chicken fingers, and pizza.

 

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It's got a nice little seating area next to it as well. Unfortunately you don't get a great view of the windmill with Cyclone running right past and the fence.

 

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Next time I'll move into the rest of the park.

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1982 - Welcome Back! Pt. II

 

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A look at the ice cream stand. It's had a lot of success especially being adacent to the kiddieland. Kids always love their ice cream.

 

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The success of Pirat in the last few years has convinced the park to add more flat rides. They added an Enterprise this year which you will see a little later.

 

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Last year, the park added back in Hornet across the lagoon. This hasn't brought attendance back up tremendously, though it has kept people already here in the park longer with more stuff to do.

 

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The park opted to keep the same name and color scheme for now, which seems like it may not have been their best move considering the lack of attendance boost from it last year.

 

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The Troika was moved over here which means they might be considering expanding around the lagoon more in the future.

 

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They have fenced off this area, again probably meaning more expansion will be coming here soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A Stroll Through the Park - 1982

 

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With the movement of Troika, there is now this neat little overlook into Kiddieland which I happen to really love.

 

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Families have started to reappear at the park, with the Kiddieland seeming to fill a niche demographic for what is largely a shrinking family population as well as a shrinking Pittsburgh population.

 

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The region as a whole has been on a downward trend which is only stabilized by a local population which returns to the park year after year.

 

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The park has done well to stay relevant by following suit of Kennywood and growing their nationality days and school picnic intake.

 

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Surprisingly, most of the parks business is done by the 4th of July.

 

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The park has been working towards getting a fireworks show on the 4th to boost attendance though safety issues and permits have been an issue in years past.

 

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Other seasonal projects in the works include a Christmas lights walkthrough and a Halloween haunt, though these are still many years out.

 

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In the meantime, the park is still working to boost attendance with an influx of new flats and attractions to get guests here and keep them here longer. New rides include this Enterprise ride from Schwarzkopf, who's supplied many rides to the park in the past.

 

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Crowds are light today, something not uncommon for a weekday at the park.

 

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A very pricy venture, the Whip has brought the park good praise amongst the preservationists. With Charles Jacques book on the history of Kennywood being published this year, the public seems to have a renewed interest in these sort of living museums.

 

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East Side's collection of classic rides has made it a popular place for enthusiasts to come and enjoy.

 

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The park hopes it can ride this wave of public support towards being a staple in the community hopefully keeping it safe from the volatile trends in the economy.

 

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Though you shouldn't fear, the park has been doing just fine and has been largely able to avoid most of the pitfalls that caused a wave of closures in the 60's and 70's.

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