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Like a ghost, does Dogpatch have an afterlife?


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New owner has cleaned it up. Only thing that I know of that survives is the Toboggan coaster at Little Amerika up north. There's no Lil' Abner theme, just cleaned up remains of a ghost park. They have had a couple of open houses and a craft like event and now they are going to offer a two night spook.

 

Since Herschend at SDC doesn't do spook and if you are in the area, a little drive down Arkansas might tickle your fancy. Wonder if this is how the rebirth starts? It's still fairly remote and certainly in the heart of the Ozarks but there's some good zip lines in the areas as well.

 

Dogpatch Heckuva Halloween!

 

We are extremely excited to announce that on October 23 and 24, 2015 from 7pm to 11pm, we will present to you "Heckuva Halloween"...a unique two-night themed event that will showcase a splattering of spooky sights, ghoulish games, frightening food, and fun activities for the entire family, as well as a very special haunted walk-through attraction! From Sytnathotep Studios and Eureka Springs Zombie Invasion.

 

TIME: 7 PM-11 PM Fri and Sat

 

ADMISSION: $10.00 per person/$5.00 Children ages 4-13. Children 3 and under are free!

Contact page for group pricing of 10 or more and for vendor information.

 

So mark your calendars, tell your friends, and come out and have a Heckuva Halloween at Dogpatch!

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I was there for the pirate festival a couple weeks ago. The place is awesome, but it is definitely still an abandoned theme park in serious disrepair. During the events you are allowed to wander the grounds and check it all out, provided you sign a waiver and don't go in the taped off (ie: dangerous) areas. They are slowly going through and cleaning it all up and fixing buildings, but it will take a long time. It's almost all being done by volunteers using small tools, and the place was completely overgrown when they got there. It's a victory just to have it in a condition where people can get into the main square again.

 

The new owner is unconventional, but he seems to be reasonable, and the team of volunteers is awesome. The plan seems to be to pick up where SDC has been leaving off in that they want to create a village of craftsmen and artists who will essentially live on property and focus on their work. It will eventually be open to the public on weekends. No rides will be added, with the exception of the train.

 

What makes the park even more unique is that there is a HUGE waterfall on the southern edge, and a spring coming out of a cave on the north end. The park's mill is actually authentic from the 1800's, and historically the site was the location of a couple of other mills and other things from the 1800's and earlier. There's even a big tour cave right outside the entrance to the park.

 

A warning to those who live nearby: the park is increasingly visible from the roadway as they clear brush, but DO NOT GO EXPLORING WITHOUT CONTACTING THE OWNER FIRST. There are people out there now, and they are prepared to stop further vandilization of the park. So much more has actually been lost to vandals and arsonists than mother nature has taken.

 

I took hundreds of photos, and have actually been meaning to do a PTR of the weekend, but I've been so busy. Here's a few for the mean time.

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A lot of the less useful buildings still look like this.

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A bridge that will eventually be repaired.

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That building used to be a combination of administration, cafeteria, and the entrance to the park from the cable car that ran down the hill.

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Some buildings have been completely swallowed by nature and are a total loss, but will probably be left as they are for curiosity's sake.

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Some stuff has actually collapsed fairly recently due to vandalism and arson. The porch on the other side of this structure was pulled down earlier this year.

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This was an interesting walk through attraction that is actually still mostly in tact.

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The old waterslide will probably be converted into an observation tower soon.

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These are still in perfect condition

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This is on top of the hill, where guests would board cable cars to go down to the park.

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Just out of curiosity, if they aren't planning to add any more rides besides the train, what will be the intentions of the park? I get that they want to restore the novelty of the place, but what will be bringing people into the park and making it popular again?

 

Not saying that this has to become a huge park with 100 rides, but without something to bring people in, it will fall back into bankruptcy.

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I went to the event last night. Overall it wasn't bad, but it did feel a bit disorganized. The parking filled up very quickly, and they had to improvise an overflow plan. I got there just a few minutes late at 7:10 and got one of the last parking spots. Right after I got there, they started parking people up the hill (where the old tram used to be) and shuttling them down--in the owner's SUV! Would have been cool to have gotten to talk to him, maybe I should have arrived later.

 

It took nearly an hour just to buy a ticket. They had two volunteers working literally by candlelight, so the line moved very slowly. By the time I got up to the front, I could see that they were working quickly, but two people just couldn't handle this crowd. There were several hundred people there (and at $10 a head, that's some pretty good cash!)

 

Only the village was open; the rest was off-limits. There was some obvious construction going on; some of the buildings had new framing wood set up, but unfinished. There's a long way to go before this can be re-opened as anything, but it really does look like they're serious about fixing it up. The whole thing felt very much like a construction zone; the lighting was very poor throughout, and I felt like I had to step carefully to avoid debris.

 

They had games and facepainting set up for the kids, and a gallery with paintings, photography, and blown glass. Apparently the new owner is a glass blower himself. I also got to talk with a couple of the volunteers who told me the plan includes fixing up the train, but that is to be the only ride.

 

The haunted hayride, the star "attraction," took us through the rest of the park that is inaccessible on foot at the moment. It had only one scareactor, with some pretty cheap makeup and costuming. Some people were complaining, but it had become clear to me by this time that this event is intended to be a fundraiser, so it was just fine for what it was.

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Art shop

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Super klassy ashtray.

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Several food trucks were set up in the village square.

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Incredible inflatable arm-flailing pumpkinhead!

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They're serving Dippin' Dots! It's legit!

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