Best, worst arcades

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:49 AM
It's still off-season for me, so here's the year's final off-season topic: What parks have the best arcades? And worst for that matter? For me, going to the arcade is a huge part of visiting an amusement park.

I think Hersheypark has the best arcade I've ever seen at a park. Not only did it have a huge collection of classic games, but they had all of my *favorite* classic games, including Super Pac-Man, Track and Field, Marble Madness, Arkanoid and many, many more.

Cedar Point's arcade is like a video-game museum, although a lot of the really old games don't work (old as in pre-Computer Space). They also have the loudest and best-placed DDR machines I can think of.

Kennywood also has a large selection of pre-1975 games, and they are in really good condition, from my experience.

I was also mildly impressed with one arcade at SFKK, especially since it had the ultra-rare Baby Pac-Man pinball/video game hybrid, and in *working condition*... the only one I've *ever* seen.

Although I've only spent a few minutes in one arcade at SFWoA (er, GL), every single game I tried in that amount of time had something wrong with it that made it unplayable (i.e., wouldn't accept coins, no balls in the pop-a-shot, broken screen, misaligned guns).

It also seems like the games at PKI are not in very good shape. Last year, the DDR machine in the Beast arcade was a bootleg with serious locking-up problems, and the one in Action Zone wouldn't accept coins. I often have found the gun games there unplayable because of bad alignment.

Last and least is Holiday World. This is the one (*one*) area in which the park could stand to improve. The one arcade (that I know of) is tiny and has mostly kiddie games. Paula, how about a great big new arcade for 2005? :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:08 PM

Den said:

Last and least is Holiday World. This is the one (*one*) area in which the park could stand to improve. The one arcade (that I know of) is tiny and has mostly kiddie games. Paula, how about a great big new arcade for 2005?

i agree, i love holiday's my home park & i go all of the time but the arcade down in the halloween section leaves a lot to be desired. holiday world could stand a huge new arcade somewhere in the park.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:41 PM
Think about Holiday World's target demographic, then think about how many of them care about Pac-Man. :)

Hersheypark gets points for having a working Dragons Lair machine. It's the only working one I've seen in over a decade (in an arcade anyway; I have one). I'm hoping to make it back there this year...

I'll have to go hunt down that Baby Pac at SFKK. Those are probably even rarer than Dragons Lair...

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 12:46 PM
Boomers, home of the Dania Beach Hurricane has a kick a$$ arcade, although it is pretty much their primary business. They had a great mix of the really old and new. Several different DDR machines as well.

For a normal park I would have to say CP. I like the old school games and they are in abundance at Cedar Point. For the most part they keep those games running fairly well too.

For the worst, I hate to say this but Knott's arcade didn't impress me all that much. I only visited one there so I might be wrong. The one I visited was near Jaguar. It was too cramped and didn't offer that good of a selection of games. Their DDR was also way out of date if I remember right, a problem that seemed to be epidemic in Southern California.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 1:18 PM
If you're into pinball, I found a great selection of old school and new favorites at Indiana Beach, underneath the Tiki Room.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:30 PM
I think Santa Cruz has a great arcade with lots of old school gaming, and of course DDR. Not to mention it's huge and has a pretty big lazer tag arena in it.

Marine World just removed their lame arcade this year to install carnival games, but it wasn't very good or popular.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 3:22 PM
I love CP's arcade, its the only park arcade I've seen that has a (working) Donkey Kong game. I like DP's as well, since its the only one I've ever won a big ticket jackpot in (1156 tickets, on the Monopoly Machine). And trust me, 1156 tickets is ALOT to carry. I was getting help from strangers getting my tickets from the machine to the ticket eater!

But neither of those are the best. The best BY FAR(really not an amusement park arcade, but whatever) are the boardwalk arcades at Morey's piers, especially the one at the entrance to Mariner's Landing. When I was there, they were running a special: On video poker, if you got three of a kind or better hand, the attendant gives you a 100 ticket bonus. (I got 9 bonuses in about 5 minutes) Plus, this particular arcade had music blasting, DDR of course, as well as the generic DDRs.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 4:04 PM
LOL I noticed this past weekend that the DDR Extreme Machine at Carowinds is in Japanese. It specifically says "This machine is only licensed for use in Japan." I found it kind of funny that they had it there.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 4:48 PM
Almost all DDR machines in the U.S. are illegal imports. If it's not the crappy "U.S. Mix," it's technically illegal.

Bob, as far as the epidemic of out-of-date DDR machines in So. Cal., well, I just checked the locations page, and there are 441 machines in California. That FAR outdoes all other states. Ohio has 48. I only saw one other state with more than 100. So Californians have it good, even with a few old machines floating around... ;)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:02 PM
Marineland (Ontario, Canada) has an excellent, huge arcade of semi old-school games (1990-1995ish). Complete with Sunset Riders, Turtles in Time, and many other great games of that time, in very good condition.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:13 PM
I'll second Goliathkills, I think SCBB's arcade is the best of any West Coast park period. Being a pinball wiz and old school games fan, SCBB probably has the best and biggest selection in the state with 3 full rows of pinball machines and a dozen or so old school games (has a working Tron and Donkey Kong!) along with all the latest games. Every visit, I can easily kill a few hours just in their arcade!
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:13 PM
When I think of a great park arcade, I think of KW's. It's a nice size and has a great selection of new and old. Same with CP's, which is HUGE. IOA's arcade is very small, but I like it a lot because of it's theming and location.

Oh about Boomers, they wouldn't let me in because I was late for some kind of admission plan. Whatever...

I can't really think of a sucky arcade-ummm-what about the one that was put in to replace Pirate Ride at CP? Yeaah, that one SUCKS BIGTIME-stupid arcade;>)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 9:28 PM
i agree that arcade really sucked
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 10:27 PM
If you are into the classics, Kiddieland in Melrose Park has a good variety.

For the last few years I have been going there, they have kept such classics as Dig Dug, Joust, Pac Man, Donkey Kong(the original), Galaga, and Space Invaders.

I believe the skee-bal they have is the original with the park.

To those who spoke of Dragon's Lair, I miss the heck out of that game. I remember when it first came out and the arcade in the mall near my house had the T.V. screen on top of the game. I would constantly finish the game and people would hand me quarters to play it again. They enjoyed just watching it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 10:31 PM
Good news, Chitown...

Keep an eye out for Dragon's Lair (the orignal game from 1983, not the DL 3D for the home systems.) It has been re-released using a good ol' hard drive instead of the trouble-prone laserdisc player. Everything plays the same, and I found out that I still suck at it, even after all these years ;)

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 10:34 PM
Already got that covered jimmybob. They have a DVD version of the game where you use your DVD remote control as a game control.

I bought it at Circuit City for like $20.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 10:59 PM
Castles and Coasters near Phoenix has a great arcade.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:19 PM
My amusement park experience is only East of the Mississippi. That considered, I rank arcades in amusement parks as follows :

l. Kennywood.
2. Cedar Point.
3. Indiana Beach.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 1:20 AM
Holy crap I somehow managed to visit Kentucky Kingdom several times in the last couple years (an odd feat, since I live in Texas) and I missed that Baby Pac-Man machine.

Though I did get to finally play one here in Houston last year at an arcade expo.

Does Cedar Point still have all those old games in their arcade? When I visited in 2000 it was amazing, but I thought I heard they got rid of many of them?

Really more parks should have some old games, because the people my age are having kids and bringing them to the parks and those are the games they might drop some quarters into while their kids ride rides.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 2:01 AM

Kick The Sky said:
For the worst, I hate to say this but Knott's arcade didn't impress me all that much. I only visited one there so I might be wrong. The one I visited was near Jaguar. It was too cramped and didn't offer that good of a selection of games.

Thats one of Knott's smaller arcades. The huge one, probably on par with Cedar Point's (IIRC), is next to Perilous Plunge, under Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. Its pretty big.

Theres another smaller one next to Ghostrider, probably about the same size as the one you visited in Fiesta Village.

All of the DDR machines in the park are 3rd mix (not that I play).


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