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Ripley Valley Amusement Park

Ripley, WV

June 1976


Hi there! My name is Ted Burns, and I am a theme park enthusiast! I just recently moved to Fairplain, WV, which means I'm only a short drive away from Ripley Valley, a fairly new amusement park which opened only two years ago. I'm so excited to share my experiences at the park with you all. I made my first visit this past weekend and snapped a few photos:



As soon as you pull into the park, you see the park's three iconic attractions, Corkscrew, Sky-Wheel and Sky-View Tower.



The main entrance is so massive yet majestic.



"16th St. Carousel" is the oldest attraction in the park being manufactured in 1925 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.



I love the main-street! It's so colorful and there's plenty of fun to be had.



There's so many beautiful trees around the park, it looks like the park fits snugly into this former-forest.



The park railroad runs a bridge that separates the main street from the main park area.



Perilous Parachute Plunge is one of my favorite rides at the park!



Everyone at the park was so happy to be enjoying a day in the beautiful sun.



"Marco's Bistro" is my favorite restaurant in the park, with great Italian dishes to enjoy.



This is the boardwalk with Seahorse, the park's wooden coaster, in the background.



Unfortunately, this was the last picture I took, but it was a truly gorgeous day at Ripley Valley!

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Great start! Your architecture and paths are really top notch, although the colors for your wooden coaster seem a bit odd. How did you get that wide curve on the first drop? All in all, it looks like a really good park. Can't wait to see more!

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August 1976


I was finally able to take a full-day trip to the park, and it was a great one! The park closes in the middle of September, so I may only have one more chance to visit the park. Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos:


When I first walked into the park, I noticed some major construction ongoing at the end of main street.


I peeked over the fence and all I saw was a few markers. An employee said it will be another coaster like Seahorse. I hope so!


It looks like Reggio's was under construction, too. I hope it reopens!


I swear, Tripple-Play is always closed when I visit.


Fun for everyone!


Sky-View Tower dominates this skyline!


Sometimes it's hard to remember I'm in a theme park.


Toboggan is by far, my favorite coaster at the park! It's insane!


Della's Dive is so much fun!


The Henry Family Mine Train is a blast, too.


Sometimes I wonder how someone can design coasters this intricate.


Always a long line for Della's Dive, until it breaks down!


Nomination for most beautiful park in America?


I really hope there's another coaster like Seahorse added to the park soon.


There's going to need to be more parking soon, today some people were turned away due to a lack of parking space.


Gotta love those red corkscrews!

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Your park is absolutely gorgeous!! Though a few of the rides have timeline issues (In 1976 there was 2 years till the Vek. Corkscrew and 6 till the FreeFall, 16 until the Vek. Mine Train),all the attractions fit incredibly well in your park and are fantastic looking! The buildings you have are incredibly nice and detailed, too. Keep up the great work and can't wait to see more!

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Your park is absolutely gorgeous!! Though a few of the rides have timeline issues (In 1976 there was 2 years till the Vek. Corkscrew and 6 till the FreeFall, 16 until the Vek. Mine Train),all the attractions fit incredibly well in your park and are fantastic looking! The buildings you have are incredibly nice and detailed, too. Keep up the great work and can't wait to see more!

Thanks, I really appreciate the compliments and the feedback! The park is holding a bit loosely the the timeline with regards to coasters and flats (as this update illustrates), but with regards to Corkscrew and the Mine train, Corkscrew is an Arrow ( ) and the Mine Train is also an Arrow. Around 1981/1982, the timeline will take root.


September 1976


Today, Ripley Valley released three pieces of concept-art of the new attractions being opened next season.



Two new attractions are coming to the main-street. Both featuring the new craze, vertical loops!



The show-stopper is "Magnum: Triple Loop Roller Coaster," the first roller coaster with more than one vertical-loop!



To compliment Magnum, "Ring of Fire," will also be installed just a few steps away!


In addition, the park also announced the construction of a massive new 6-story parking structure which will be built in three phases over the next five-years. The first phase will be complete by late Spring 1977 with capacity for 380 vehicles. The final structure will have the capacity for 750 vehicles.

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  • 2 weeks later...

May 1977


Hey everyone, I wanted to share a recent interview I read in the newspaper:


"Ripley, WV was never a vacation destination, but the park's founder and president, Mr. Wyatt Henry, believes it soon will be thanks to his amusement park, Ripley Valley. In a one-on-one interview on the park's opening day, I had the opportunity to learn Mr. Henry's vision for the park and its effect on the people of West Virginia.


The park was still closed to the public this morning, making this a very special interview.


"We're very forward thinking and understanding our limited land-area we knew we had to build up, not out. For now, this parking garage will be used for employees only, however, when we complete the second phase, brining capacity to more than 500 vehicles, we will open the garage to the public."


"The historic Chambers Mansion is now used as our administration building," Mr. Henry stated, "obviously we have a duty to maintain the condition of this historical landmark and we will."


We entered the park through, what seemed like, a back door.


"The boardwalk was an interesting decision we made early-on," Wyatt added, "it was kind-of a 'what if' idea that became a reality."


Guests will notice that Eagle's Flight is now in a new location.


"I've been adamant that we not destroy the natural atmosphere which surrounds this beautiful property. If we remove every tree, then it's a parking lot for steel and wood rather than a vibrant, living park."


"Yes," Mr. Henry exclaimed, "we named a coaster after our family! And it's a favorite for everyone in my family."


"What do we offer to West Virginians? Well, I might be mistaken, but I think 1,100 jobs and recreation for people of all ages is quite a lot."


"Yes, we removed toboggan over this winter. I know some of our guests will be upset about this, but in the coming years, that anger will be drowned out by new screams."


"I'm especially proud of our new additions this season! Four loops in one park? It's unheard of!"


"'Magnum: Triple Loop' is the culmination of more than 24-months of hard work between us and Schwarzkopf, the designer and manufacturer of this marvelous coaster."


This attraction is called, "Ring of Fire," Mr. Henry said, "A little secret is that we almost didn't include Ring of Fire with this year's additions. We originally planned on installing it in 1978 towards the back of the park."


"I want this to be the best park in the United States of America and with the hard work and dedication of our employees and the support of our guests, we will meet this goal."

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  • 2 weeks later...

June 1977


There's so much excitement in the air this season and there's a great vibe flowing through the park. Even though there's a lot of construction ongoing in many areas of the park, there's still a lot of fun to be had.


The park's railroad has been closed from the start of the season, with the park stating it will remain but will not operate, "for some time." I hope it actually reopens, though!


All that can be seen is that the train tracks have been removed from this area.


Seahorse's vibrant colors are starting to fade, must have been that crazy winter!


Finished my day with a quick ride on the Henry Family Mine Train.


See you soon!

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