Amusement Parks in the Western States.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 6:46 PM
Except for the California parks, there does not appear to be much discussion here about the parks in the western states. There are of course a number of parks in these states although most of them are relatively small and they are often far from each other.

Does anyone have anything to mention about these parks such as SFEG, Lakeside, Lagoon, Silverado, Cliffs, Oaks, etc.?

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Saturday, June 17, 2006 9:04 PM
Lagoon is a great little park. Just think Kennywood, with (what seems to be) about 50 years less history and you've got Lagoon. It was a very clean, friendly place. Their coasters aren't out of this world thrilling, but they're for the most part a blast. They have one of the best small coasters out there, a Maurer-Sohne spinning coaster, and since I was there, they installed a Vekoma junior invert. Their water attractions are neat and they have one of the most intense S&S shot towers I've ever been on, not to mention Flyers which are always popular with enthusiasts. Here's my TR from my trip there:
http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=37601"e=446843

I've driven past SFEG and Lakeside, but haven't actually been in either one. Lakeside looks like it has an amazing atmosphere, it's lighting package is reminiscent of Kennywood's, which I believe is the best there is. SFEG looks pretty thrilling for a small inner-city style park. I'll probably be getting to both of these parks next spring/summer when I go visit the folks.

I think all of the Western parks are similar to Lakeside and Lagoon. They're small parks with nothing remarkable on their own, but put the whole package together, and they're a nice getaway from reality if you live in the area. Not the types of places I'm going to blow $500 on plane tickets and hotels for though ...

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Saturday, June 17, 2006 9:17 PM
This is my opinion, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on out there most of the time. And I'm not referring to just parks building new attractions either.

The hotbeds for parks in this country seem to be California, the midwest, Florida, and a couple parks on the east coast as far as what people really talk about. A bulk of our talk though is about the midwest here, (CP, PKI, HW, several SF parks, ect.)

It's not all we talk about, if you bring up specifics in a discussion-type fashion we'll ablige you most of time. Just be specific. Me, personally, I don't talk about the west much because I've got no experience with any parks out there. Hopefully I will someday soon, (man I gotta get out there!).

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Saturday, June 17, 2006 9:50 PM
Lagoon is a Great Little Park, and their Giant Ferris Wheel has one of the most Scenic Vistas any ride can afford, with the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the West. Lakeside in Denver is a blast, with their Art-Deco Facades and neon lighting a Night at this Park is a MUST. I have not been to the "New" Elitch Gardens ( I did visit the ORIGIONAL Elitch Gardens back in 1990 and After the Idora Wildcat Mr. Twister is the Next Coaster I Miss the Most :( If time permits make your way to that overgrown Theme Park in Southern Nevada. Just IGNORE all those Silly Games they have in the Hotels there. (They only have those so you can spend more MONEY! :) ) They got some Gonzo Shows there However, so bring Plenty of "Mad Money" for them!)
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Saturday, June 17, 2006 11:40 PM
I lived about 30 min. north of Denver for a few years and I ended up visiting Lakeside more than SFEG.

Lakeside has a great atmosphere and the Cyclone is a great ride. Another can't miss is the Wild Chipmunk. If the train is running, it runs around the lake and at night you get some great views of the park with the lights on. Could use some better food, but we stopped in for an hour or two quite often. A cheap place to chill for a few hours and grab a few coaster rides.

SFEG is a rather small park for what they offer. It's landlocked in all directions and they can only add smaller coasters. This is evident in their most recent additions of The Flying Coaster and Halfpipe. I'm not too impressed with this park. The coaster lineup isn't anything special with all but one of the coasters being a clone: SLC, Boomerang, Zamperla Flying Coaster, Intamin Half Pipe, Arrow Shuttle Loop and the woodie. The Arrow is the best coaster in the park IMO and the woodie would be the second. It's fun, but nothing special. They have a few decent flats, NO log flume and a water park (which I never visited since Denver has Waterworld also).

Oak's is a tiny park. The Pinfari looper is their big coaster. The best thing about this park was the bumper cars. Now I haven't been to Knoebel's, but these cars are the most vicious that I've ridden. When I lived in Portland I went more often for the bumper cars than for Looping Thunder. Honestly this park isn't anything to go out of the way for, but I'd love to see a small woodie here. Oregon could use a woodie.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 1:02 AM
^I visited Waterworld last year, great little water park that decided to combine a dark ride and a water slide into one attraction (Journey to the Center of the Earth.)
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Sunday, June 18, 2006 6:24 AM
Lakeside is one of those parks where you don't have to buy a POP ticket just to enjoy the park atmosphere. General admission is $2 (You get a $.50 ride coupon with admission) and if you just want to ride a few rides, the individual ride prices are very reasonable. A ride on the Cyclone coaster is $2 and Wild Chipmunk is $1.50. Parking is free.

The POP is $12.75 for weekday evenings (only the kiddieland is open during the daytime on weekdays) and $$17.75 all day on weekends.

This is one park that does not appear to get the attention that is should. In many ways it is a step back in time to the parks of the mid 20th century. The park has gone through its share of difficult times in recent years but is still hanging in there. I wouldn't make a trip to Denver just for amusement parks but if I am ever there during the summer, I do plan to spend an evening at Lakeside. *** Edited 6/18/2006 10:29:23 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 8:56 AM
I have a video in my collection called "Great Old Amusement Parks", and they spotlight Lakeside Park in it. I've always promised myself that the next time I get out there, (the last time I was out in Denver was '93, I didn't even know what a coaster club/enthusiast was!), Lakeside was a must, if we have time maybe SFEG, but LP for sure.

I'm big on theming, and I'm big on classic parks too. And it seems Lakeside has a great balance of both. The rides look fun, and well kept, and the lighting at night just blew me away even on the video. Does Lakeside really light the park up like that all the time? Because to be honest that suckered me right in.

And does anyone know anything about Adventureland, (Des Moines, Iowa)? It looks like a pretty decent park, (at least on video), but we may be heading that way to see friends in the near future, wanted to know if the stop was worth it. *** Edited 6/18/2006 1:02:56 PM UTC by Floorless Fan***

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 2:56 PM
Cliff's in Albuquerque is a nice little park that we had a great half day at last summer. The New Mexico Rattler is a very nice CCI with some solid thrills and the Galaxi was fun. The little drop tower was cool and a great additon to their ride line up. Their swing ride scared me. As the ride progressed my seat wanted to recline like a Lazyboy and I didn't like that at all! My arms were shaking by the end from trying to hold myself upright. ;) I also loved the green chili cheeseburgers!
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Sunday, June 18, 2006 4:03 PM
"Me, personally, I don't talk about the west much because I've got no experience with any parks out there. Hopefully I will someday soon, (man I gotta get out there!)."

Here's to a West Coast trip for all us Midwest people! I have only been past the Mississippi River once and that was on a one day and one night trip last year to NM, which really only ended up being a one night trip due to a 2.5 hour rain delay at Chicago O'Hare. I did drive past the waterpark in Albuquerque and saw the one giant slide they have. So who wants to start planning something for next summer?!!

Even with all the bad things I hear about SFMM, I would like to visit it once to ride X and Superman. My other choice would be Knotts because of their ride selection and Cedar Fair season pass.

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