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[RCT3] Kirkmen Island 1974- Six Flags American Adventure?!

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Kirkmen Island


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I got this in the mail a few weeks ago.




I guess they did a mass mailing in Baltimore, MD. I remember going to the Kirkmen Family boardwalk as a child but it was not nearly as developed. I remember it was more of a typical beach boardwalk with a few rides. Looks like they have some pretty nice rides and a pricey hotel. Unlimited rides for one price seems enticing for me and my family but that hotel might be out of our price range.


So we took a trip to the park for a day and snapped a few pictures (Trip Report)


When we got to the park it was certainly packed! The park has a boardwalk feel to it but not nearly as developed as the Ocean City Maryland boardwalk



The first ride we got on was the Observation Tower. My littlest one has been talking about that tower since he saw the flyer. It gave us great views of the park, the beach, the new hotel and most importantly White Lightening



We made our way to the end of the boardwalk and there it was in all its glory, White Lightening! The line was long but it was worth the wait! It was a very intense twister wooden coaster. I felt like I could not tell if I was coming or going after I got off the ride!



After riding White Lightening we took it pretty easy for the rest of the day and spent the rest of our time at the aquarium.



Overall it was a great day! The Jones family will be back!


Edited by blk_mamba
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Our newest attraction, Shute the Breeze hoist riders over 15 stories in the air before drop them giving the feeling that they are parachuting to the ground. This is sure to be a ride that the whole family will love!



Also new this year are Canoes on the beach front so people can paddle around the beach and get a view of the park from the water as well as a good upper body cardio work out.



At Kirkmen Island we like to think that we take our guest concern very seriously and one issue we noticed from our park goers was they would complain that they were hungry and thirsty despite having two places where our guest could eat drink and shop.



We heard the complaints and listened!


New for 67' two new places to eat drink and shop!

The first one is our first sit down restaurant at Kirkmen Island, Tasty Burger, a great place to beat the heat, sit down and eat. Tasty Burger has delicious burgers, fries and handspun milkshakes in 10 flavors!



Also we have added another grab & go place to eat, Under the boardwalk, for those guest that want to grab a snack and get back to getting on rides.



Finally our top attraction White Lightning had some major upgrades, for starters we dropped the N so read Lightning, not LightENing. Is it by far the most popular thrill ride in the park. It always runs full trains and has a packed queue.



White Lightning is a coaster that we purchased used from another park that close down so the coaster was broken down and shipped to Kirkmen Island.


We want to make sure that White Lightning is safe and sturdy for years to come. Also Some people were concerned that the coaster swayed way to much so we added more supports, did some re-tracking and gave the coaster a new paint job.



Personally I think that the ride is more fun at night but day or night it is a thrilling roller coaster!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Fred again, When the Kirkmen family decided to make a commitment to an amusement park it was a gamble, and that gamble so far has paid off! For 1969 Kirkmen Island is seeing its biggest transformation ever with its largest capital improvements ever of close to $1,000,000!


First we have revamped the entrance!


With that flow of people coming to the park the old entrance was not cutting it, it led to long lines of people trying to get into the park, It was inefficient and minimalist at best!




For 1968 Kirkmen Island has a new entrance plaza that can handle the large summer crowds from Baltimore, DC and other surrounding areas with ease so guest can get straight to having fun at the park!




Guest Love taking pictures in front of our new modern entrance!



The park also added its first Midway with THREE NEW RIDES for 1968!


The first is STALLION, Kirkmen Island's SECOND major roller coaster! Stallion is an "Out and Back" wooden coaster that dominates the midway, designed and built buy the well respected Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc., A leader in world class attractions!




It is an out and back wooden coaster with an intense pretzel twist that is sure to leave guest disoriented.



There is also the Stallion Stable Gift Shop where there are tons things to buy, this customer looks like she is interested in a hat



Guest love the intimating Stallion Statue and it makes a great photo op!



Stallion is the crown jewel of the new midway but we also added two other first.


First a Big Wheel, which can hold over 100 people at a time!



Also new this year Kaos, a ride that will spin you senseless!



With all that, there looks like there is still more in the works.....


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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Mom and Dad,


I am having a great time at camp. I am making new friends and new memories. Today we went to Kirkmen Island and I hardly recognized the place! Their new Midway was so awesome! I took some pictures!The first ride up was "Other Side of the Moon", the parks first dark ride . It was scary and exciting at the same time.




The ride is themed around someone's response to America going to the Moon and placing the flag on THEIR planet. The ride is full of surprises.




We also rode this really tall roller coaster, Stallion. Even though it was tall and fast my favorite part was towards the end where it bunny hops under the station. I definitely watched my head!




We stayed at the park until it got dark. Here is picture of me in front of the Shipwreck ride on the boardwalk. They have great places to take photos.




A "friend" won me a foam finger at the ring toss game, it took him 3 tries but he was determined.




We ended the night at the final new major addition to the Midway, The Midway Diner. They serve typical diner food, nothing spectacular but after a long day in the park a nice meal in an air conditioned building was great!




Over all it was a good time. Kirkmen Island was a blast. I'll keep writing, and taking my vitamins and eating my vegetables.


XOXO Love,

One Happy Camper

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Kirkmen Island is celebrating another great season! After a two year expansion The Midway is complete and it has been a great addition to the park. Attendance has significantly increased as a result and the park is growing into a place that is drawing guest from all across the state.




Frontier Village should increase the park’s profile, adding the parks 3rd roller coaster, Indian Trail Mine Train. After the big announcement the park has wasted no time to get the Frontier Village ready for its opening on Memorial Day 1970.


Since the announcement trucks have been dropping off track pieces and construction materials for the expansion project.




The bridge to connect Frontier Village to rest of the park is almost complete and ahead of schedule. The final plans calls for the bridge to connect Frontier Village to the rest of the park by going under the Shute the Breeze ride and through the Under the Boardwalk food court




Construction crews are also working on the tunnel that the Indian Trail Mine Train will use to go under the entrance. It requires digging and fortifying the tunnel.




The ride is coming together well and the tallest part of the ride is topped off and the station is almost complete.




Thought this has been the third year in a row the park has made a big investment it is a gamble the park is willing to take!

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The Kirkmen family is very excited to finally cut the ribbon on Frontier Village after months of waiting since the initial announcement of the major expansion. Hundreds of anxious park goers lined up over the newly installed bridge waiting for the next section of the park to be opened and after the official ceremony they all rushed Frontier Village!





The star of the day was clearly the Indian Trails Mine Train! The ride had long lines all day!



Indian Trails Mine Train waste no time dropping thrill seekers immediately into a series of tight curves and turns before the lift hill. The folks at Arrow Dynamics are very proud of this custom design created just for the Kirkmen Island.



Another interesting fact the longest drop in the ride is not the first drop but the last daring drop under the entrance of Frontier Village. Thrill seekers are already raving about near miss element as the train dives into an underground tunnel.


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After not visiting the park for a few years my family decided to visit Kirkmen Island for this summer because they have been heavily advertising their park expansion, Frontier Village. We hardly recognized the place because of all the major upgrades!


Last time we were here the park only had a very sparse entrance now they have this grand entrance plaza. It shows the park is serious about becoming a major regional player. The entrance was a great place to take our family vacation group photo!



The Boardwalk was the only part of the park that felt familiar b/c much has not changed since our first visit besides the new signs where the guest use to enter the park.



White Lightning was just as twisty as I remember it, I got this cool post card from the gift shop.



Frontier Village is literally at the far end of the park but it was worth the walk. I love the mine train theme. The roller coaster is action packed from start to finish. That last helix really glues you to your seat!



We made it to the Midway later in the day and it was really a great time. KAOS really made my stomach hurt, too much spinning, great to look at though.



Other Side of the Moon was easier on my stomach but just as scary! When the robot looking monster tries to warn us of "evil up ahead" he meant it.



Stallion was my favorite ride of the day, I loved the crazy airtime. I felt like I was out of my seat the entire time!


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Since the park first decided to make the official leap from lazy boardwalk/beach to amusement park the park has seen some dramatic changes. It seems like every year the Kirkmen family continues to re-invest and try to add more exciting attractions to draw more people to Kirkmen Island. In the last five years alone the park has add three roller coasters (White Lightning '65, relocated from a now defunct park, Stallion '68, and Indian Trails Mine Train '70). With rapid expansion comes rapid responsibilities.


Kirkmen Island is committed to fun and excitement however SAFETY is always first. Every morning before the park opens the maintenance team walks the wooden track to conduct a visual inspection to repair or replace any wood that is loose or broken on our two large wooden roller coasters.



Before any riders are allowed on a roller coaster for that day it is inspected for safety and there are daily test runs to ensure that everything is running at tip top shape. Even our newest attraction, Indian Trails Mine Train must go through this morning ritual. The trains looks like they move faster when they are empty, or at least they sound like they are going faster!



At Kirkmen Island safety is important, but so is preparation. At Pioneers Hall where Buffalo Bills Wild Wild West Show is currently playing the performers have at least one full dress rehearsal to make sure they are performing at their best. There are 6-9 performances a day so being well rehearsed is important.





Our Staff is probably at their most busy during the early more hours before the gates open. The groundskeepers like to get most of their work done before the park is over run with excited guest!



Speaking of guest the park goers that choose to stay at the Kirkmen Grand Hotel get early morning access to the park. Since the hotel is only a short walk to the park there is no need to drive.



While rides are not open, the guest that stay at the Kirkman Grand can grab breakfast in the park and are the first in line for rides once they open. Because of it's location the Midway Diner is always a popular spot where people grab food.







JonnyRCT3- thanks for the compliment. It means a lot coming from someone who created a park that I really enjoyed reading about.

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Mr. Kirkmen here to document some more great developments at my family's park!


My old friend from high school Clint Bushton is running for County Council President so naturally when he asked to hold a summer campaign rally at Kirkmen Island I thought it would be a great idea. We had to close off park of the boardwalk but it was worth it and the people seemed to really believe in what Clint was talking about.



For safety reasons and monetary reason we have closed off the beach. Directly in front of the boardwalk however we have opened up the beach b/c it is the best space to hold such a large crowd. It got me to thinking if the beach is an under utilized asset.



As I watched the TV in my office at the Kirkmen Grand Hotel I was inspired as Clint highlight how he wanted to wanted to build strategic partnerships for the county and I started think about some of the parks partners.



For example the county tried to initially fight the park on installing the Observation Tower b/c it was too tall. It takes riders over 300 feet int he air and is a little over 340 feet tall if you include the flag post at the top of the ride. The county wants us to scale the attraction back however after much debate we got a special permit to build the rides making it one of the tallest structures in Maryland. Because of our partnership with the county 3 times a year we give free admission to Anne Arundel County residents.



Another major partnership we have with the county is the Kirkmen Island Aquarium, one of the first major attractions on the boardwalk. The aquarium works to preserve and display Maryland aquatic life. All the stingrays in the aquariums collection are from Maryland.





Clint Bushton really me thinking what other partnerships can Kirkmen Island make!

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Interesting partnership. I don't know what the park could possibly gain from this, other than publicity. I too agree that the beach is a valuable asset, it's a draw to the park by itself. Also, I absolutely love the simplistic architecture of the Pioneer Theater. Very inspiring.

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Kirkmen here again. We are excited about some of the major additions and transformations in the park for 1971. Stallion's has been galloping across the midway for four years and this year the park is introducing, Stallion's Stable. Stallion Stable is a partnership with the Maryland Zoo to allow Kirkmen Island park goers to get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful horses Maryland has to offer.



On the boardwalk the Antique Cars have been transformed to the Chesapeake Turnpike thanks in part to the Gibson Island florist, Always Blooming. Chesapeake Turnpike not only provides a great family ride but now a beautiful ride. The difference between the ride now and this picture from 1966 shows the gravity of the transformation, the only constants are the iconic red cars.




Driving on the Chesapeake Turnpike is now like driving through a garden oasis.



In partnership with Always Blooming There is also a beautiful floral tunnel behind the Chesapeake Turnpike that guest get to enjoy.



The Floral Tunnel leads to New Flying Carousel located between the Boardwalk and the Midway and the new sweets shop, Sweets &Treats.






Interesting partnership. I don't know what the park could possibly gain from this, other than publicity. I too agree that the beach is a valuable asset, it's a draw to the park by itself. Also, I absolutely love the simplistic architecture of the Pioneer Theater. Very inspiring.


This post should start to answer your question and thanks for the compliments!

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This is was my first time coming to Kirkman Island and I am NOT a fan of roller coasters or rides that spin, they make stomach hurt. So when my friends wanted to go to Kirkmen Island I naturally was hesitant because I thought I'd be bored but the place wasn't that bad!


While most of my friend wanted to ride roller coaster all day, I opted to spend most of the day on the beach! It was just the type of relaxation I need. It was a little crowded but it was more fun to me than being spun around like I was in a washing machine. The park provides all the necessary equipment to relax on the beach but only on the weekends.



I didn't just lounge on the beach all day. I tried to win one of those stuffed fished playing skeetball



I also caught a pretty funny show at the the Pioneer theater!



I noticed all day there were men working a boat off the coast of the park. I asked one of the park workers and they told me that the people on the boat were pyrotechnicians getting ready for the parks weekly Saturday Night fireworks show.



With that tip in mind I made sure I was in a good spot to catch the evening show even though it can be seen and heard for almost anywhere in the park!



At night the parks nights lights up also and the rides look specular! The most beautiful ride hands down was the Flying Carousel. I didn't ride it but it was beautiful to watch.



I ended the day getting sweets and souvenirs from the Sweets and Treats shop. I went in for candy but given that I didn't ride any roller coasters I thought my shirt choice was ironic and also I've never been to an amusement park with SO many roller coasters.



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Kirkmen here again keeping a log of what's new at Kirkmen Island for 1972. The close of the Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey not only means less competition for Kirkmen Island but we purchased a few rides from the park and spent the off season refurbishing them and giving them fresh looks! Every section of the park is getting something new!


The Rotor was removed from the Boardwalk, rethemed and placed in Frontier Village as T.N.T. It seems like the ride is more popular in the new location.



In place of the Rotor board walk added the Twister, a former Palisades Park that now will call Kirkmen Island home. The ride spins riders along two different axis at a time and leaves guest disoriented!



The second new addition to the park is the Paratrooper, another Palisades Park addition, where guest glide around getting great views of the park while park goers glide in the air.



Finally the parks classic wooden coaster White Lightning received some significant maintenance and retracking attention over the offseason. The coaster is also going back to its old original all white color! White Lightning is another refurbished ride but it has been in the park since 1965. The ride is closer to 15 years old.



White Lightning's entire midway was has been spruced up in honor of the White Lightening and at night that side of the park is beautiful. In additions to lighting up across the midway there is one new new ride, the Spinning Starfish!


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  • 4 weeks later...

New for '73




Susquehanna Log Flume is the first major water ride for the park and uses a new innovate technology developed by Arrow, the company that also designed the Indian Trails Mine Train. This cutting edge right uses water flowing through a flume to guide wooden boats through the ride. Susquehanna Log Flume is one of the parks most expensive single investment ever costing over $1,000,000.



The highlight of the ride is finale 60 ft. drop under the ride building, and the park guarantees you will get wet!


If you are walking over the bridge when a boat is coming down the hill you will get again



The new General Store is a place to grab a quick bite to eat before taking on the Susquehanna Log Flume or to buy a towel afterwards. It is also a great place to be entertained by Jessie the Cowgirl!



Overall Frontier Village has really grown. What once was a piece of wooded land has been transformed into a true major destination for the Kirkmen Island!


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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to visit Kirkmen Island to celebrate the 4th of July. The owners of the park take the holiday very seriously and use the park as a way to express their patriotism. All the buildings in the park were dressed up in the red, white and blue.



First thing I did when I got to the park was take a picture with Sam the Eagle.



The White Lightning Midway was also decorated to celebrate America's independence but the White Lightning was down for maintenance which explained why the midway was so empty.



Frontier Village however was busy as usual. This part of the park has seen the most development in the 1970's. Two of the best rides in the park are in this area. The Indian Trail Mine Train had long lines even when it is running at full capacity.



The most popular attraction at the park and my personal new favorite is the Susquehanna Log Flume especially on a hot summer day like today. This Log Flume ride is so innovate but when they say you will get wet, they mean it!



The best part of the day (or night) was the awesome firework display. No 4th of July celebration is complete with a great fireworks display and Kirkmen Island did not disappoint.I watched from the Boardwalk and got an excellent view




Comments: I welcome all feedback positive and negative and inbetween.


MattIce: Thanks for the compliments. I Still think it needs more work. Making it was harder than I thought and I still see things I could do.

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 2 weeks later...

1974- Opening Day! & New Ride!


Its opening day at Kirkmen Island! Sorry for the delay, law school is hard. Opening day is exciting because it is the first time that the general public gets to see what the park has been working on in the offseason. The park has grown so much since it has switched over to a full fledge amusement park in 1966! The newest edition to the park is visible from this aerial view of the entrance gate, even though it may blend in with all the beautiful foliage.




The biggest changes have happened in The Grove, the new re themed center of the park that is still very wooded and is home to some of the parks oldest trees.




The Grove is also home to Kirkmen Island's newest roller coaster, Grasshopper! Grasshopper is the parks FOURTH roller coaster and is sure to thrill guest. It is no surprise that there is a full queue for the ride because it is the opening day and the ride that everyone wants to try!




What the Grasshopper lacks in size it makes up for in thrills because it has many quick dips and drops. The unique four person car allows for many cross over moments during the ride.




There are also many head chopper moments where guest were ducking trying to avoid the rides supports, even though the ride is completely safe and there is more than enough clearance.




Grasshopper was designed by S.D.C however while the ride is “new” to Kirkman Island it is really a refurbished coaster once known as PinfariZ40 and was purchased from a traveling carnival run by MF-RCT_ and Cinipeas.



New or used, Grasshopper is a great edition to the park!

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