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A Look at Castle Park (Riverside, CA)


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Hi everybody,

 

In the wide variety of amusement parks in Southern California, it is very easy to overlook this small park (or large FEC) in Riverside, California. It isn't anything to rave about, but I figured it was worth it to write up a small photo trip report on my visit to Castle Park this afternoon and evening. Oh, and it's dirt cheap if you're there for just rides!

 

In case you are unfamiliar with the park, Castle Park has 3 roller coasters:

1. Merlin's Revenge: A standard Vekoma roller skater

2. Screamin' Demon: A "holy crap is this really allowed to operate" Fabbri spinning wild mouse that beats you up

3. Little Dipper: An itty bitty "this could really fit in my backyard" kiddie coaster

 

Like I mentioned, nothing is super amazing about this park, but they have a cool flat ride lineup which I will get to later. They also have a decent log flume with a pretty steep drop that apparently came from the same guy who did the Mine Ride and Log Ride over at Knott's.

 

Unfortunately, a few of their rides were closed, but it is the off-season and tickets were ridiculously inexpensive, so I'm not going to complain.

 

Since Castle Park is really only a half-day park (and I have been a few times before), we decided to arrive around 4:00pm and stay until closing (around 9:00pm). 5 hours is plenty for this small park, unless you plan on doing the arcade and mini golf which we weren't very interested in anyway.

 

Now onto the photos. I didn't take too many, but enough to share. i'll include some information in the captions so be sure to read those.

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Upon entering the park, one of the first things you see if the log flume. Unfortunately, probably due to it being the off-season, it was closed. I had been on it before and can say it is semi-decent.

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Walk a little further and you see the parks giant multi-looping roller coaster, El Diab... wait... Joker Chaos Coast... wait... Fireball! That's it!

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It's your standard super loop ride (not sure who manufactured it), however much rougher and much sketchier than the Larson models.

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The park also has a nice set of flyers. I believe these were the only ones in Southern California until Knott's added some in 2013.

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Castle Park also has an S&S double shot. This thing is tiny... but whole crap... ejector airtime galore! The two namesake "double shots" had to have pulled more than -1 Gs. Small but mighty.

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Unlike the other S&S tower in California, this one ("Dragon's Tower" as they call it) has 3x3x3x3 cars as opposed to the more common 4x2x4x2. Why do I notice these things?

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The park also has this weird "telescope" observation tower thingy... which is surprisingly the tallest thing in the park.

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From the ride, you can see the flyers, Dare Dev.. I mean Fireball, and Screamin' Demon (the park's super sketchy spinning wild mouse coaster...which was closed today). I probably wouldn't have ridden it anyway... it's that brutal and I already have the credit.

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Near the back of the park is Little Dipper and the aforementioned Log Ride. Dipper was operating... it's a shame the log ride wasn't. The drop is actually pretty steep!

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Castle Park also has some standard flats like the Scrambler and Sea Dragon. Scrambler was operating; Sea Dragon (not pictured) was not.

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Here is their Chance Yo-Yo. Pretty unique swing ride. The seats tilt back and forth during the ride... something that the ones at SFMM and Knott's don't do.

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Onto some night photos, here is the park's roller skater. Something unique: this one gives 2 cycles every ride. Not just today either... every time I visit, they make the ride go around twice, like it's permanently incorporated into the system. Something cool that more roller skaters should do.

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The best ride in the park, in my opinion, is even better at night. Those lights are blinding, though!

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Joker... I mean Fireball also had some neat lights. The ride is still just as sucky though.

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The flyers are also lit nicely. Rode this one a few times to take advantage of no lines... even though the ride ops were butt slow. Really, really slow.

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That's all for this report. Just thought I'd give some insight of this little park. Operations weren't the best, rides closed spontaneously, but overall it's a neat little park with some decent rides (the S&S tower, chairswing, and log flume). Like I said, they also have a golf course and arcade, but those require you to pay more. If you want just the rides... it is dirt cheap, especially with their Valentine's sale this weekend. If you're in the area, I'd recommend a stop. Oh, and also worth mentioning. Castle Park also used to have a "Falling Star" ride (not sure what the model is... they had one at Knott's a while ago, and one just got removed at Nickelodeon Universe). That was one of the best rides there, but it must have gotten removed since the last time I visited which is a bummer. They also have a Spider ride (which was disassembled for maintenance), an antique car ride, some kiddie flats, bumper cars, and a graviton/UFO. Maybe I'll visit again this summer when more rides are operating. Hope you enjoyed reading.

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Nice PTR I haven't been in years since I grew up pretty much right down the street from it was totally burnt out from it. I noticed or didn't notice any pics of the Pirate Ship ride imo that use to be the best ride in the park, when you sat all the way in the back once it got to feel swing it felt like you were practically standing up. Did they remove it??? or you just didn't get pics?

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Nice Photo TR I haven't been in years since I grew up pretty much right down the street from it was totally burnt out from it. I noticed or didn't notice any pics of the Pirate Ship ride imo that use to be the best ride in the park, when you sat all the way in the back once it got to feel swing it felt like you were practically standing up. Did they remove it??? or you just didn't get pics?

 

It's still there, but it wasn't operating today. This is the only photo I took of it. It's pretty well hidden behind the trees.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1455350181.276284.thumb.jpg.f12cc3adaaab6af01a2d30ca214ab4f5.jpg

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I've always enjoyed this park because for a small park, it's actually quite beautifully landscaped. Also, it has a lot of historical connections to Knott's. The train once ran at Knott's around what was then Jungle Island (same side as Independence Hall), and last I was there, still had the original designs on them. Also, aren't the old Tampico Tumblers/car ride still there? Another classic Knott's attraction that was relocated.

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Nice Photo TR I haven't been in years since I grew up pretty much right down the street from it was totally burnt out from it. I noticed or didn't notice any pics of the Pirate Ship ride imo that use to be the best ride in the park, when you sat all the way in the back once it got to feel swing it felt like you were practically standing up. Did they remove it??? or you just didn't get pics?

 

It's still there, but it wasn't operating today. This is the only photo I took of it. It's pretty well hidden behind the trees.

[attachment=0]ImageUploadedByTapatalk1455350181.276284.jpg[/attachment]

 

It's not operating in that shot? Did they park it like that to access one of the wheels I guess? it looks like it's mid-swing.

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I drive by this all the time.

 

Basically reminds me of a permanent carnival, like Silverado Days.

 

Interesting to hear about that mini S&S tower. Imagine if parks only made them 100 feet tall, but much, much more entertaining with the airtime and whatnot. Instead of being the semi-bore they are, they could be a very cheap but very entertaining ride!

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I lived in Riverside for a brief time and really like this little park. It has some charm, unique attractions and the landscaping is quite nice. The antique car ride is one of the highlights of the park, along with the train ride. They're both originally from Knott's, and the park has quite a few connections to that venerable park, which gives you tinges of nostalgia. There are sometimes magic shows on weekends that are actually quite good, and included in the regular admission. There's also a Ghostblasters shooter in the arcade, which is fun. One of the best parts of the park is the miniature golf, which is probably the best in SoCal. It is very nicely themed with four separate interlocking courses, and if only the park maintained it better, then it would be truly incredible. The arcade is full of old machines, which can be interesting in a way, but it would be better if they did something else with the space. There's also a water play area for little ones behind the "castle." The flume ride actually has a very good drop. Yeah, I have a soft spot for Castle Park and encourage people to do a day trip to Riverside to experience this 'little park that could.' Close by is the Citrus Park on Van Buren where you can get a huge bag of the sweetest oranges you've ever tasted for the ride home.

Thanks for posting this report!

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I've always enjoyed this park because for a small park, it's actually quite beautifully landscaped. Also, it has a lot of historical connections to Knott's. The train once ran at Knott's around what was then Jungle Island (same side as Independence Hall), and last I was there, still had the original designs on them. Also, aren't the old Tampico Tumblers/car ride still there? Another classic Knott's attraction that was relocated.

 

Bud Hurlburt founded Castle Park. Back then, Knott's had independent vendors operating rides...so they were moved to Castle Park after Knott's used the land for other things. The antique cars were from KBF too.

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