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Hello everybody! I've been playing RCT3 for a long time now and I figured that I should join TPR and post a theme park here. Believe it or not this is part of my Theme Park project at my high school, and because of that whenever I post here there may be a few cases where I put Parenthetical Documentation (PD). This is because I need to show that I am using historical context in my project. *Edit* I've decided that to put more historical context into the thread, I'm going to talk about the history of the amusement park industry before I get into the story line, and explain how the changes in Appleton Amusement park reflect on the changing industry. So let me start:

 

Back in the 1880's, the first roller-coaster type ride opened in Coney Island, called "The Switchback Railway." It consisted of riders climbing to the station and riding down a straight path with small hills. It became wildly successful, and so the idea of a place where people could ride thrilling rides began to take shape. America's first amusement park, "Steeplechase Park" opened in 1897, causing the surge of other amusement parks of its type (Luna Park and Dreamland). Due to this other amusement parks began to pop all over the United States, from Knoebels in Elysburg Pennsylvania, to Elitch Gardens in Denver Colorado. The theme park industry suffered a small period of decline due to America's entry in WWI in 1917, as people did not find time to visit these parks as much during a time of crisis for them. After the war, the industry once again thrived when people had enough money and time to visit. That's where we start Appleton Amusement Park's newest chapter!

 

1919 - Appleton Amusement Park

 

Hello one and all! I suppose that you're new here to our town of Appleton Wisconsin, but that's ok! Not too many people come up here unless they want to stop by on their way to Green Bay. Anyway my name is Ben Howler and if you do happen to stop by we offer a nice little park that was founded in 1910 by the man of "Wilson Green." At first it was called simply "Appleton Park," but when we added a carousel and dance hall we changed our name to "Appleton Amusement Park" to reflect on our new changes. At first the park attracted a lot of visitors, but during the Great War a lot of our local population didn't feel like going to frolic in our park. But now that the war is over the people have come back!, and happier than ever! Our park has grown a lot since our inception here in 1910. Let's get a taste of what it's like here in Appleton Amusement Park!

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Here is our Carousel! Installed in 1912 by the great Marcus Illions! (wiki) He was more than happy to bring our first ride here in the park; the guests love it!

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To the left of it lies the Enchanted Tea Cups. It breaks down every now and then but it's a real thrill to riders!

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It's quite the stomach-rouser!

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Over here at the end of the walk lies the Dance Hall. We typically use it for bands and balls that are held here as special events. The Hall even hosted a wedding once!

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Hmm? And what lies next to it?

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Why, our Giant Slide of course! We put this in during the war to hopefully attract some families to come here again. It wasn't quite so popular until the war ended.

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Over here we have our Eatery, where we sell cookies and sandwiches. It's a great spot for groups to relax and talk.

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Not inclined to spend money on our tasty treats? No problem! We have four picnic pavilions for those who want to bring their own lunches.

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And finally (I've saved the best for last) Our newest addition; "The Shooting Star"!

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We added it this year and boy is it a hit! The lines seem to keep growing and growing for this baby! I can see why, it gives riders a great view of the lake!

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I hope this park keeps growing...It'd be a shame if it suffers like it did during the War. I can only imagine how different the park will look like in a hundred years to come.

 

-Ben Howler

Edited by Mr.DoctorSell99
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Really cool that you're starting so early (1910)! It looks very classic and is an adorable park. What sets did you use for the carousel? I'd like to do that type of canopy cover for the in-game carousel in my parks too!

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1923-Appleton Amusement Park

 

Hello once again! I know it's been a while but like I said before; not much happens here in Appleton. But that changes today, for management has finally installed a new ride! I for one however have no idea what it is, nor does the public, for this is a first of its kind. I've heard management calls this new ride "bumper cars". They decided to call this ride "The Dodgers". Apparently the ride works like this: Riders get inside of these "bumper cars" and drive it around the floor to "bump" other people in the cars. I can imagine this being a fun ride for families!

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The Dodgers takes its spot as the new fangled first-of-its-kind ride of 1923!

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Here you can get a good view of it from its side.

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I will admit, management has made this new ride look really good! The façade gives it a feeling of charm and importance.

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As you can see plainly, The Dodgers replaces one of the picnic pavilions. It sure seems like a good spot to me, even on the busiest of days in summer only two of the four pavillions had seen full capacity.

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You can still access the picnic pavilions from the back of The Dodgers

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On a side note, you can't see it because the photo is black and white, but The Shooting Star has been painted a gorgeous red! It's much nicer over the dull grey color it once had.

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The Dodgers has been a great success! Even if it did cost a lot (being the first of its kind in the world) it seems to hold up fine in terms of breaking down. We welcome it for our 14th season!

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1926-Appleton Amusement Park

 

Hello once again! Let me bring you up to date here at Appleton Amusement Park. Since the opening of The Dodgers 3 years ago our profits have shot through the roof! Because of our sudden growth we have prepared and expanded for the 1926 season, giving the public not 1, but 2 rides! Let's see whats in store!

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Here we are for the 1926 season!

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This is our newest attraction, "The Towering Parachutes". This is another first-of-its-kind ride. It cost a fortune, but luckily we estimate that we'll be able to pay back the bank for the loan we took out for this thing in a few weeks. What with all the money rolling!

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Look at all those happy (and scared) Riders waiting to get on!

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I took this shot while I was riding. You get a very good view of the lake from up here!

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But whatever you do, don't look down!!

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This is our other addition. A new flat ride called the "Rotor". It seems to be quite popular!

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Be careful though, I heard it gets you very dizzy!

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Finally as part of our expansion, we have a new bakery! Selling all sorts of food, from pie to brownies!

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I think my favorite non-ride attraction is the Dance Hall. It's so beautiful to look at. I hope this building never goes away.

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I heard management is planning on removing the Giant Slide. I think it's a shame, since it's such a fan-favorite.

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1926 has been our best season yet!

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Very well done sir. That last picture has to be my favorite. As some have said, you are starting this park from way back so I have to give you credit. It will be cool seeing this thing in the latter half of the century. (If it make it there.)

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Hello once again! Let me explain the times as of now.

 

The wooden roller coaster became a staple in the amusement park industry at this time period. Roller coasters like the Thunderbolt (1925) and Cyclone (1927) Made crowds roar with excitement at these new thrill rides. Soon after the success of these 2 roller coasters at Coney Island, other amusement parks saw how profitable the rides were to them and began to build wooden roller coasters of their own, trying to replicate the wily popular rides at Coney Island.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1928

 

When I got to the park today, I expected large crowds for today's new addition. However, never did I ever expect a whopping 25,000 people to show up! As I pushed my way through the crowd my eyes were locked on what I new was making everybody in the crowd go berserk!

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The Rocket is our newest addition and our first roller coaster!

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The Rocket stands at 90 feet tall and almost 2,000 feet long!

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This is what the roller coaster looks like from the other side. It looks very imposing!

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Anybody riding The Rocket will scream in fear over how far from the ground they are!

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A view from the top of the lift hill.

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The ride starts after exiting the lift hill, dropping riders 85 feet at speeds of 50 mph!

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After the first drop the cars go up another hill and turns 270 degrees to the right! I especially love how this part of the ride is over the lake.

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Next the cars travel over two airtime hills.

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Riders then make a 180 turn over the station.

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Riders then encounter a series of short bunny hills.

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Guests from The Shooting Star can see the cars travel through the bunny hills!

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Finally the cars turn 180 to the left and go over 2 final bunny hills before braking and making a U-turn into the station.

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This is where the entrance to The Rocket is. Taking the former spot where the Giant Slide used to be.

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The Rocket has been very profitable! We hope that its popularity continues into the future! Brighter days keep getting brighter for Appleton Amusement Park!

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During this time investment in amusement parks was still high, despite some cracks showing in the U.S. economy. To be fair it's understandable if no one could expect a crash during a time of prosperity and endless fortunes. Sadly however, it did crash. This would conclude the golden age of theme parks (1920-1929) and signal tough times.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1929

 

This season we decided that after the success of The Rocket, we would invest in improvements in the park. Why don't we take a look and see what management added in 1929?

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The brand new Parking Lot of 1929!

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The Parking Lot can hold up to 200 cars maximum.

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The Parking Lot lies on the other side of The Rocket. It provides a great view!

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I like this little grove they put In to offer some relaxation. This is becoming a popular place for smokers like myself.

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Another improvement was the addition of ferry boats! They take you from the park to the Parking Lot and back.

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It sure is lovely when next to The Rocket!

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We expected this season's attendance to be like last years. Sadly, only a third of last years crowds have showed up so far. The parks 20th anniversary is next year and I've heard management wants to do something big next year. But I don't think that'll happen with low sales and uncertainty in the U.S. economy. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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The Great Depression. The end to the old-fashioned amusement park. After the crash many amusement park owners found themselves with no more money to continue running the park, and thus, many of them across the country shut down and became abandoned. Some amusement parks still survive today, such as Kennywood and Hershey Park. While others like SteepleChase Park faced the wrecking ball due to the effects of the depression and WWII. Appleton Amusement Park might get lucky, maybe not. We'll have to see.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1933

 

Well it's been a while hasn't it? I know that I haven't given you a update for 4 years now, and while I do deeply apologize, sadly there isn't anything to talk about Appleton Amusement Park anymore. It's closed for good. Why is that you may ask? Well it actually wasn't just the depression that made the park go deep red.

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On September 23rd 1929, a fire broke loose from the Dance Hall and spread all over the park.

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Many of the rides were damaged beyond repair, as were the buildings. Having spent all the parks budget on expanding the park, the management simply didn't have enough money to cover the costs of rebuilding.

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The carousel, once the pride and joy of the park, now has its tent ripped apart and supports missing.

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The Bakery now sits empty, with much of its paint peeled off.

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The Enchanted Tea Cups fortunately survived a lot of the destruction. It sits alone with no one to ride it.

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The ferryboats too survived the blaze. Although technically brand new, the ferryboats have looked like they've aged 50 years with no one to clean it up.

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The Dodgers has fallen apart. Much of the facade destroyed. On the flip side it helped the ride itself not get damaged from the fire.

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The prettiest ride in my opinion has now fallen to shambles. What a pity.

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The picnic pavilions have been burnt to a crisp.

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Investigators are not sure what caused the fire. Some say a arsonist broke into the park at night and lit it ablaze. What's left of the Dance Hall is now in the junkyard.

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The eatery also survived. Thanks to its location away from the other buildings.

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The Rocket is SBNO. The only parts of it that got burnt were the station roof and turn on top of it.

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Even with the park a wasteland, it still manages to keep a since of charm to the once popular park.

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The Rotor is the only ride to have had no scraps or bruises. Perhaps it could be salvaged one day.

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Let me be clear that it was a pleasure documenting the park during these 11 years since I started. Even if the fire didn't happen the park would still close from the crash on wall street. I have no idea what the future of this park is, if it's the wreaking ball or future development. Thank you so much for being there with me but sadly, I now have to look for a job opportunity elsewhere. I can't find a single one here in Appleton. I'm planning on checking Milwaukee to see if there is anything going on over there. Yours truly, -Ben Howler.

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As mentioned before, amusement parks went into a serious period of decline. Due to the effects of the great depression and WWII, many amusement parks didn't see the crowds they once had in the past. Fortunately that changed in the mid-50's, when Disneyland opened in 1955. Because of the huge success of the park, it created a revived interest in the industry. Many imitation "Disneyland's" spread. Other amusement parks struggling from the previous decades would see how Disneyland worked and adapted to the model it was using. While other amusement parks were changing the way they were, amusement parks from the dead would rise once again. Including Appleton Amusement Park.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1956

 

Well this is certainly a surprise! My name is Thomas Kent and I have moved to Appleton Wisconsin from Chicago. I didn't really like the hustle and bustle of the windy city so I decided to move north to a less busy town. I thought Appleton was a good place and decided to move here. Things have been nice here and such, but what got my attention was that a really old amusement park was re-opening! I had wanted to go to Disneyland last year but with the huge crowds, I decided to pull it off. I went to this park during its re-opening and boy were there huge crowds! It seems to me that most of the people of this town remember this old park. I for one can't say what makes it so special, considering how I've never heard of this place, but during the day at the park I was really enjoying myself! The park seemed very clean and tidy fun! I also took pictures, so lets go ahead!

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The first thing you see is the carousel at the end of the midway.

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It sure looks nice. I'll give it that.

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Over here was this bumper cars ride called The Dodgers. It seemed to be a fan favorite for the kids!

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When I first got to the park I heard a lot of people gasping at this gift shop. I was confused until someone told me this used to be the location of The Enchanted Tea Cups ride.

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But then everybody chilled out when they saw that the ride was moved to where this "Dance Hall" used to be.

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Another guy told me that these new Automobiles are now where the picnic area used to be. I guess the townsfolk didn't really care about the picnic area as much since everybody loved the new car ride.

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A better view of the Automobiles layout.

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Right next to the Enchanted Tea Cups is a new ride, the Paratrooper. Its gotten huge lines!

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And next to the Paratrooper is the Chairswing. This was a personal favorite of mine. I just love the view you get of the lake when riding it!

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I heard some wishing that the "Shooting Star" was still here. I for one think this is a great addition, you wouldn't want any old rides in your park for 50 years now would you?

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I couldn't get any good pictures of The Rocket, but I can tell you it's one hell of a good roller coaster! So to compensate I'll show you a picture of the Paratrooper and Chariswing together.

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At the other side of the park lies a parachute ride. Apparently the new management who bought the park from the city couldn't get the funds to open this thing.

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Finally there was the Rotor. I didn't ride it out of fear of getting sick to my stomach.

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It wasn't until after I had ridden everything that I found out from asking was that this park was destroyed in a fire 23 years ago! I heard that the reason why the park was resurrected was to bring tourism back to the area. While I think that is indeed true I heard rumors that the real reason was for them to compete with Disneyland, which is like +1,000 miles away from here. I love this park and all, but it'll be hard to compete with Disneyland! But I do think this park makes a great second banana. More soon!

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The 1950's were a mixed era for amusement parks. Some grew (Knott's Berry Farm) others opened (Disneyland) and most still faced low attendance. Appleton Amusement Park fixes this by continuing the trend of opening up new rides for the public.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1957

 

I came back here again after my first visit last year, hoping for anything new in the park since it re-opened. What I found there I'm sure shocked everybody! Myself included!

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The Wonderwheel is the new ride of 1957!

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The Wonderwheel replaces the parachute tower that was SBNO last year.

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The Wonderwheel stands at 200 ft tall!

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I heard some complaining on the demise of the parachutes. Others were more than happy to have a new ride in the park.

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I'm sure it'll become a fan-favorite for generations to come!

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The Wonderwheel at sunset.

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I only think I don't like is this wooden fence near the Wonderwheel's exit. I heard the management is planning something BIG in this area sometime in the future. I wonder what it could be?

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I really like the change that happened to this park! Though it is sad that the fire happened and the park closed, odds are it would not have made it through the depression and the war. I do believe that the fire struck the park in 1929, and it reopened in 1956, so it is not 23 years from the fire as you stated in the reopening post, but 27 years. Coming back in 1956 is quite interesting as most parks that have done similar closings during the depression in the RCT3 world usually reopen right after the depression or the war (basically somewhere in the 1940's), so it is cool that you choose to bring back Appleton just after the opening of Disneyland! The new attractions fit into the park very well and do a good job replacing lost attractions. The Wonderwheel is a nice replacement for the parachute tower and who knows, maybe we'll see an Intamin version of that ride in the future. Also, where did you find the Wonderwheel CTR? I'd love to have it. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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Wooden roller coasters were very dominant back in their day, and still remain a strong prevalence among today's ACE (American Coasters Enthusiasts). Most roller coasters from the early 20th century had a "twisted" layout to them, similar to Appleton Amusement Park's "The Rocket." Starting in the early 60's however, a new layout was becoming popular, the "Out-and-back" type. These roller coasters would go through a series of hills in a straight line. Then the coaster would make a turnaround and head in the opposite direction back to the station. Appleton Amusement Park would pioneer this concept, and so would Cedar Point with "Blue Streak" in 1964.

 

Appleton Amusement Park-1960

 

At first it seemed like the snowball was rolling for new rides in Appleton Amusement Park! But during the last two years 58-59 nothing happened. It seemed that the park suddenly had no idea what to do next, but then after the 1959 season we got one heck of a surprise! A new roller coaster, "The Bully!"

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The Bully is the first roller coaster in Appleton Amusement Park in the last 32 years!

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The Bully stands at the same height as The Rocket, but provides a different experience!

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The Bully, unlike its sister The Rocket, has an out-and-back layout. As you can see here it goes away from the station and makes a turnaround back to it.

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Here is the station.

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The Bully is hugely popular! I think this ride will stick around much like The Rocket!

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A closer view of the exit.

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A smaller addition they put in too is the Beetle Bugs. A Tilt-a-Whirl ride that's right next to the Wonderwheel.

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The Bully is a great roller coaster! It's full of airtime and speed! I think that with its location the park management is planning on expanding in this direction. It's impossible to expand beyond The Rocket since its queue takes up all the space needed to construct a path. We'll see you later!

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Rocket has a really nice layout! Cool that your park now has a twister woodie and an out n' back woodie to round out the lineup for this time period. I do think it is a bit weird that the turnaround is so low to the ground compared to the hill before it but it has no banking, but that is my only nitpick. Good that you added the Beetle Bugs, it is a nice family ride. Great job!

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Everything from this park looks amazing. I love the "New additions" to the park. I really liked how you started out with the black and white photos, and then went to color. I love all of the rides you are placing. They seem to fit great with the time period you are going for. However, I do NOT like how FLAT your park is. Maybe some terraining?

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Your research is pretty solid! You're pretty close on a lot of things but not exact. While there's certainly many overlying themes to what generally happened to amusement parks vs. theme parks, nearly every park has a different tale that differs significantly from the general trends. While there's giant parks such as Disneyland that take big crowds and certainly pushed out a lot of the parks that attempted to compete, you can't neglect local crowds that are more than able to sustain family parks as long as there isn't much other huge local competition. I don't know if you've seen my park East Side but I'm immensely interested in park history and have been giving this style a shot for years. It's tempting to stick to the timeline that history has laid out in a timeline park, but it's much more exciting to go about things as if you don't know what's gonna happen next. You get so much more freedom in your storytelling and can really play with some interesting conflicts.

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