Apocalypse was amazing. But I know it was ever more awesome, doing it with others like yourself Chuck. Solo riding is so...meh. I can do it now, like I do at Playland on Hellevator. But still, doing it on the tours with others, is so much more fun.
So this one (My Very First, that's why I was nervous, lol), and the one at Southport (that one I got to share with Ryan) are still warmly remembered.
Sharing my "first time" on this kind of tower ride with Ryan, at Southport. (Thanks for the photo, Robb)
Time for our next stop on the TPR Nostalgia Trail: historic Pleasureland Southport. Yes, this park was, indeed, "historic" for two reasons:
1. It had a number of old, classic attractions, complete with historic plaques. 2. It's now "history" as it no longer exists in the same form as it did in 2006.
I understand that Southport is now just a collection of random, ever-changing traveling carnival rides. But during TPR's visit, it was an enjoyable, if somewhat beat looking "permanent" seaside amusement park. I guess you could call it a credit whore's dream, as it operated not only an old-school woodie (Cyclone) and a rare wooden wild mouse with mine cars (King Solomon's Mines), but also an SLC, a Zyklon, and a Big Apple kiddie coaster. Well, when we were there, three of those credits were running. The SLC, with the no-doubt appropriate name of Traumatizer, had been down for the count for some time, and the Zyklon (Wildcat) looked like it could collapse at any second. Hell, even the Cyclone had a crooked lift hill, but at least it was running.
But the real attraction at Southport was its classic old fun house, where we enjoyed a great ERT session spinning around on the Wheel of Death (not its actual name, but a close approximation) and generally risking great bodily injury. The wheel destroyed my old Seiko wristwatch, and left more than a few of us with some pretty good bruises.
The park had two ghost trains, one of which was themed to dinosaurs, a number of flats, and some rather funky smelling walk-through attractions. And quite a few historic plaques.
Let's take a step back into amusement-park history for a look at the Pleasureland Southport that was.
This was the main reason to visit Southport.
These people were spun so quickly that they were churned into butter. True story.
Behold the Wheel of Wristwatch Destruction.
King Solomon must've been mining for air, as not once did this ride venture underground.
Fun, but terrifying (and a little rough).
Who do you think enjoyed this ride more: Jeff or Lou?
At this point, you're reciting the Lord's Prayer and wishing that you had your affairs in order.
As usual, Robb suffers for his art.
The Big Apple was not quite as historic as King Solomon's Mine.
You know, this inn certainly smelled like it could've been haunted inside.
"I've always been more of a 'leg man.' Ha! 'Leg man'! Get it! You'd damn well better get it!"
"Nah, I didn't get it either."
What ever you do, do not pour vinegar and baking soda into that papier mache volcano! You'll kill us all! (The Lost Dinosaurs of the Sahara ride was like a giant-sized diorama made for a science fair by an eight year old.)
I forget what happened on the ghost train, but it obviously traumatized Eric.
I'm sure these distorting mirrors did a lot to restore Eric's peace of mind.
The park also had one of those bizarre chairlifts to nowhere, but it gave you a good view. Behind Eric is the Wildcat, which was closed--probably for the best.
King Solomon's Mine leaves people both shaken and stirred, in addition to rattled.
If you want a look at a nonfunctional, and hence painless, SLC, here's you chance. This ride was moved to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, painted blue, given a bunch of fountains, and renamed "Infusion."
The big stack of wood in the background is the Cyclone. As I recall from reading on TPR, the coaster was simply bulldozed when the park shut down--but you can ride its cousin in India.
It was a fun old coaster, but hardly top-ten material. The trains just sort of lumbered through the course. ("Lumbered"! Ha!)
And there's the town of Southport itself.
Eric and I boarded this ride, thinking it was just an old Himalaya. We had no idea what a Caterpillar was, or that we'd be covered by a filthy, musty-smelling old canopy. That damn canopy startled us when if flopped over our heads after the ride started.
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