Work has me within 2.5 hours of Camden Park in Huntington, WV, which is typically 5+ hours away, and I'm wondering if it is worth it for me to make the drive to ride the two coasters that are there.
I say go for it! :)
I had a lot of fun! What Chuck said about the Whip was so true. And the coasters were a blast, as well as, being family friendly. The only regret I had for Camden was that they never did get KI's old Screamin' Demon running so many years ago. I miss that ride.
I was at Camden a couple of weeks ago. Big Dipper, Lil' Dipper, carousel, Paratrooper, Caterpillar (disguised as a Himalaya), 8-car Whip, Scrambler, Flying Scooter, bumper cars, Sky Ride, log flume, NAD train, Tilt-A-Whirl, Kite Flyer, and the best-running Spider in North America.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
The coaster was fun (although not nearly as tall as I remembered!) and it is true vintage. There used to be a great neon sign over the station, but it's gone now, replaced with a plain painted sign. The Whip, as mentioned above, is THE BEST WHIP EVER! I hung on for dear life. I also rode and re-rode the dark ride, a gravity driven Whacky Shack type ride. (think Conneaut) Tacky and hilarious.
Nobody's mentioned the great sign the park has out by the road. I understand most of the neon on it doesn't light anymore, but the happy clown still points the way to fun. I guess the park has considered restoring him, but for now the cost of the project is overwhelming. But it's a vintage treat for those that like that sort of thing. A picture of it can be had on a tshirt sold there, and you can bet I bought one.
All they offered the day I was there was POP, the website says it's around 20 bucks. So if you're near, yeah, by all means go. Especially if you like small, funky parks.
I would suggest going in the evening when they offer a lower price. The park is less crowded and it's only about $16 vs. the $24ish for all day. I always get slightly bored after 3 or 4 hours in the park anyways.
The new mini-golf was not ready yet when I was there, but it was looking very nice. FUN FACT - Before Thunderbolt Express was built and removed, a mini-golf course was in the exact place as the new one.
Camden Park is in no way perfect. It could use some more flowers and be a little cleaner, but it is quite nice for it's size. The kids and adults who work there seem friendly enough. I think it is a little pricey for what they offer, but the park does have a lot of charm. One could get a discounted Kings Island admission for the same price as Camden Park, and Camden is not even close to offering the experience of a large park.
The park is well worth a day trip and the Evening ticket is the best deal.. Go for it
AV Matt, yes, the Hot Cat is an Allan Herschell Caterpillar ride. The tub design should be a dead giveaway; it's also cable driven if you look close, and it has 18 cars. Camden added a building with a partition across the center that makes it look more like a Mack or Reverchon Himalaya.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Camden is a nice little throw-back park. We finally got there this year on Memorial Day and can't believe it took so long for us to get there. No lines, ride to your hearts desire, some unique rides, and a really nice brand new mini-golf course.
These two people who visited did so so coming back from the last Stark Raving Mad, and still had to drive back to the Baltimore area. So they got the credits and enjoyed some of the other park offerings, but had forgotten just how much longer they had to drive to get home.
It's a shame that the Arrow shuttle got taken down as that was the only thing I could see from the road in 02'.
I cracked up when I saw the Hot Cat. I also assumed (from a distance) that it was a one-trailer Himalaya until I recognized the old Caterpillar tubs and track. That ride was there when I was a kid, of course, but it was in that ride area that's directly across from the gate. Even then it didn't have the canvas cover. They had an original Bisch Rocco Flying Scooter back then, too, and it was called the Butterflies. The new one sits about where the original one was.
The dark ride back then was a one story permanent ride called Laff in the Dark, and may have been an original from that company. The station wall (behind the cars) had a green-faced witch painted on it. Grandma took me on it once- she was laffing her head off, so I opened up my eyes long enough to see a hoot owl then shut them again until we were safe outside! The new one went in sometime around the early 70's I think. It may use the original cars.
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