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What defunct park intrigues you the most?


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Crystal Beach on Lake Erie in Ontario. I can't believe I never got to go before it closed, not realizing how close it was. Really glad I got to ride the Comet at Lake George/ Great Escape at least. It sure would have been cool to be around for the Cyclone.

 

As far as smaller parks without much there but a few flats, go karts, blading/ skating, haunted house and a water park, I really loved Wet 'n Wild/ Prudhomme's Landing in Jordan, Ontario, near Niagara.

 

Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls was also a lot of fun but torn down to build a casino.

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Also for anybody who had been to the park during that era was it as great as all the articles and videos make it out to be or was it just another average park?

 

I actually went in 2003, considered the height of its greatness, and it WAS a really awesome park! I remember my brother and I talking about how we almost enjoyed it more than CP (though some of that is just the burnout factor), and it certainly was a more well rounded experience, when you factored in the sea animals side! It was also a very pretty park, especially near the lake, and had a great variety of coasters in its collection. That was when it was a Six Flags park.

 

I went back a few years later (2008) for an enthusiast event there, and thought the park was noticeably a shell of its former self. The water park side was a poor replacement for the water animal park that was there previously, and the overall condition and theming of the park had deteriorated as well. I still liked it, and would have probably visited it a few times since then had it remained open. But Cedar Fair's lack of interest in making the park anything special (something, I think, that was no accident, considering its proximity to Cedar Point), had definitely taken a toll on the park experience. I still think it's a shame that it was closed down, and actually have a lot of other thoughts about all of that - but that's another topic, for another thread, and a can of worms I'm not really sure I want to open...

 

Big Dipper is still a borderline Top 5 wooden coaster for me! That classic woodie was tons of fun, and loaded with airtime (maybe almost too much, in places!)

 

Regarding my own defunct park interests, I can't say that any of the ones I've never been to, intrigue me to the point of thinking about them much. I do think regularly about two that have been closed for a LONG time, that I still have fond memories of! Both Boblo Island and Boardwalk and Baseball were as much a part of my childhood amusement park experience as Cedar Point and Deer Park Funland (MiA). Boardwalk and Baseball was a regular central Florida destination when visiting my grandmother down there (as was Magic Kingdom - talk about another place with burnout factor for me!), and I still have vivid memories of enjoying the Florida Hurricane wooden coaster, and the Double "O" (Uh, Oh) - that was seriously how the coaster was listed on the park maps - and miss being able to go there still. At least Sea World, Fun Spot, and IOA have taken up the mantle of providing good coasters to the Orlando area.

 

I particularly miss Boblo Island, however, as we went there regularly, more so than CP at the time, and some of my earliest large coaster memories were from there. I still remember the first time I worked up the courage to ride The Screamer there, which was my first "major" coaster ridden, and paved the way for me to take on the bigger coasters at Cedar Point afterward. Directly after that, I went on their newest coaster, Nightmare, and was blown away by how amazing it was, all in the dark! It became my favorite coaster at the time! It's funny to look back now and realize that it was simply an indoor coaster like Skull Mountain at SFGAdv, because my memory of it made it seem like A LOT bigger of a deal than that! The ferry ride over and back was also a really fun, and memorable part of the experience, and something I miss to this day. I would love to be able to take my kids to Boblo today, but alas, it was not to be...

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I would have liked to have visited Hard Rock Park for sure, especially when it had its original ride names and branding. The Nights in White Satin ride looks like it would have been awesome. Also, Six Flags New Orleans and Astroworld, simply because they were major parks that closed down in the last couple of decades since I've been into coasters.

I'd also go for Crystal Beach so I could ride the Cyclone (though it would be nice if I could also go back and somehow use my 18 year old body to ride it with as I don't know if my back could deal with it).

 

There is one local park I'd love to go back in time to experience - Gwynn Oak, which was located just outside of Baltimore City. The reason for that is I have heard so many people who are older than me talk about going there. I have a friend who told me about the scary Ferris wheel they had (the way he describes it I think it was a double wheel), which was made even more so for him as a child when his drunken grandmother would violently rock the cart. That park closed when I was about a year old (around 1971), so I would have had to have a time machine to visit it. Also, part of the movie Hairspray (the original, anyway) was set there because the park was still segregated well into the 60's. It probably wasn't that great of a park, but it still interests me just because I know so many people who went there.

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I could list a few, but for me, Crystal Beach. I've heard so many fascinating stories about the place, and one lady described it to me that it was just like Knoebels. Too bad it had to die the way it did, because there were a bunch of unique attractions there that you just don't see anymore.

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Lately I have been very Interested in Geauga Lake and more specifically it's years as Six Flags World's Of Adventure...

Also for anybody who had been to the park during that era was it as great as all the articles and videos make it out to be or was it just another average park?

 

There is a pretty positive review a few posts above this one, but in my trips to every iteration, the Sea World & Geauga Lake days were the peak, and the Six Flags days were below-average. The whole "largest amusement park" and "greatest theme park on earth" claims are examples of the aggressive marketing propaganda that made the integrated park out to be much more than it was.

 

The integration of the parks felt slapped together. The “three parks, one ticket” approach didn’t point out that everything else – parking, merch, food, fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, etc. were incredibly overpriced for those days. The park also didn’t have the infrastructure, roads, hotels, or operations to accommodate the crowd sizes that it was trying to attract. The former Sea World side was very nice, as most of the aesthetics had been preserved by Six Flags, but the Wild Rides side was cramped and felt cheap in many ways. That area became littered with sponsorship signage on everything, and the charm of Geauga Lake had been zapped.

 

The only ride to really miss there is the Big Dipper, which truly was an awesome classic coaster. It’s also a shame that Villain didn’t last long, but it was already starting to age in its latter years and would have needed lots of rehab to keep it running well.

There will always be an allure of curiosity about the place for those who didn’t get to go there, but believe me – the park, at its biggest & boldest, was still several notches in quality beneath Cedar Point, King’s Island, and Kennywood.

 

As for me, I wish I could have had the chance to go to West View Park. In Pittsburgh, my parents actually had different allegiances growing up between Kennywood and West View, and for a short while I lived only a few miles from the former park's grounds. I have lots of videos and family photos that were taken at the park, and I would have loved to go for a ride on the Racing Whippet.

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And for those Crystal Beach fans, here are some pics I took during the 1984 ACE Convention.

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Comet

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Yes. The maintenance guy was standing in the front row checking the track.

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They stopped the coaster at the top of the lift, and he either walked down or sat down and rode.

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Whoops. Unless you spell Amusement with two m's!

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Giant Coaster

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Wow! I never realized how close to the water Comet really was. Did it run better than it does at Great Escape?

 

As for me, I have always been interested in Rocky Glen Park in Moosic, PA. My family is from the Scranton area so this was the place to go when they were growing up. The park seems to have a interesting history of vandalism, arson, and business fall-outs.

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Six Flags Auto World

 

I actually spent a lot of time in Flint back in the 90's, but the park was long closed by then. The domed structure was still up for part of my time there, however, and it was a strange sight to behold, abandoned and alone in the middle of nothing there in downtown!

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Six Flags Auto World

 

I actually spent a lot of time in Flint back in the 90's, but the park was long closed by then. The domed structure was still up for part of my time there, however, and it was a strange sight to behold, abandoned and alone in the middle of nothing there in downtown!

 

The park wasn't much. Ferris wheel, merry go ground ect. To think of what it could of become. Imagine a sfgam in flint. Mind blown

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Wow! I never realized how close to the water Comet really was. Did it run better than it does at Great Escape?

 

I can't say for myself, a I was just 2 when the park closed. But my uncle remembers a lot about the park and always tells me stories. He said that the ride ran great over at CB, because of the lack of a lap bar. There was just a grab bar like Phoenix has now, and you would fly out of your seat on every hill. Also, for some seasons, they turned half of the train around to face backwards.

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I think all defunct parks are interesting. However lately the most interesting ones to me is Boblo Island because it reminds me of a mini Cedar Point(because being near the great lakes and also in the northern midwest area) and Cedar Point is awesome! Another is Riverview because it was in Chicago and thats where i live. It looks neat too. Also i heard the Bobs was one of the best coasters of its time. However Riverview closed long before i was born and Boblo closed down when i was a toddler. Another interesting one that i actually have been to was Myrtle Beach Pavilion i went when i was 11 in the winter of 2001. That place was a lot of fun and the only classic boardwalk park i been too. Its a shame it closed Hurricane was one of my first major coasters too. Oh i also forgot to mention i think Old Chicago and Kiddieland are interesting too. Especially since Kiddieland would of been down the road from me in the area i live at now. Sadly i never got to go there though...:/ But i would of been neat if it was still around...I would of walked down the street and been there! I dont drive so yea....

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Six Flags Worlds of Adventure/SeaWorld Ohio/Geauga Lake absolutely intrigues me... It amazes me that remnants of the old parks were left behind as each section of the park closed. I'd still be very interested to see if any future development of the land takes advantage of any of the existing infrastructure...

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I would like to have visited Playland (San Francisco) by the sea.

 

Playland (also known as Playland at the Beach and Whitney's Playland beginning in 1928) was a 10-acre seaside amusement park located next to Ocean Beach, in the Richmond District at the western edge of San Francisco, California along Great Highway where Cabrillo and Balboa streets are now. It began as a collection of amusement rides and concessions in the late 19th century and was known as Chutes At The Beach as early as 1913. It closed Labor Day weekend in 1972.

 

And more importantly, it had a big wooden roller coaster called (what else?) the Big Dipper.

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Definitely MGM Grand Adventures in its (admittedly brief) heyday. I visited many times once the park moved into a more generic style, but I was a bit small even then. It seems nearly impossible to believe that, at one point, their dark rides were cutting edge and world class, and I'd kill to see that.

 

Actually, on that front, I'd love to see opening-day Grand Slam Canyon and some of the older rides on the strip that are now gone (such as Luxor's boat ride). It's crazy how much this town used to seem like a real theme park.

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