Big Dipper at Camden Park

Monday, February 14, 2005 9:31 AM
I had heard several years ago that the Ace organization was trying to help get funds together to restore the Big Dipper at Camden Park. I was wondering if it was true and if so, what happened to those plans? I would really like to see that coaster restored to its' former glory. Any idea?
Monday, February 14, 2005 10:09 AM
I don't recall hearing that. The coaster is owned by an operating amusement park and ACE usually dedicates its time and effort to coasters that have no park to call home and no one to care for them (Leap-the-Dips being a weird exception). Are you thinking of another Big Dipper aside from the one at Camden, which I'm not sure really has any "former glory" to be restored?
Monday, February 14, 2005 11:08 AM
Yeah, I'm not sure if Camden's Big Dipper has any former glory to be restored other then perhaps removing the trim brake. ;) It runs pretty decently for what it is. In fact, the park seems to be in the middle of an ongoing rebuilding project. There was a lot of new wood on the ride last time I was there and more wood stacked up around it.

Camden has been making a lot of improvements over the last several years and I don't think its situation is as dire as some people make it out to be.

Monday, February 14, 2005 11:29 AM
I agree that the current owners are doing a great job with managing the park and bringing in new attractions. I have just heard over the years that the Big Dipper is a death trap. I am pleased to hear that they are restoring the Big Dipper as it was a favorite of mine as a kid.
Monday, February 14, 2005 11:55 AM
I wouldn't really call Leap The Dips a weird exception. After all it is the worlds oldest coaster and I think the last figure 8 side friction left on the planet. If I recall the only reason the park didn't demolish it years ago was because they didn't have the money to do it.

The Big Dipper to me wasn't really anything special. It's just the only wooden coaster in West Virginia and I don't think that calls for any special treatment. It's nice to hear the park has been doing upkeep on it though.

Monday, February 14, 2005 12:06 PM
I called Leap-the-Dips a weird exception because it resided in an operating park, not because I don't feel it wasn't deserving of the attention it received. Many people don't understand that LTD is actually operated separate from Lakemont Park and that a non-profit like ACE didn't actually give money to a company that is in business to make money.

I hope the clears things up because I certainly don't want anyone thinking that I have a thing against LTD!

Monday, February 14, 2005 1:05 PM
Actually, there are two wooden coasters in West Virginia - Camdens 'Lil Dipper.

But I'm not nitpicking or anything :)

Monday, February 14, 2005 1:36 PM
Details, details...
Monday, February 14, 2005 2:11 PM
LtD is *definitely* an exception to any rules about parks and was even rebuilt more as a piece of furniture than as a coaster.

Big Dipper, Lil Dipper, Camden....hopefully sometime in '05...they have a Skydiver I need to ride, LOL...:)

Monday, February 14, 2005 3:07 PM
Isn't the Lil' Dipper mostly made of metal? Not trying to be difficult, but that's how I remember it.
Monday, February 14, 2005 3:15 PM
Lil Dipper has a steel support structure but wooden tracks. It even runs a little junior sized NAD Century Flyer. It's quite becoming!

I believe this ride was a production model coaster from National Amusement Device and the last remaining example of its type.

Here are a couple pictures: one two

Monday, February 14, 2005 3:52 PM
Most definitely a wood coaster. Anyone have an idea of how many were built?
Monday, February 14, 2005 3:56 PM
The only other one that I'm aware of was the Comet Jr. at Scranton's Nay Aug Park (my first coaster). I'm sure there were others though.
Monday, February 14, 2005 4:02 PM
Rob....according to rcdb, three...

Of course, ALL of the NADs are here...

bill, hates the wide-page thingy when LONG links are posted...;)

Monday, February 14, 2005 4:18 PM
Although not NAD one can't forget Rye's currently operating kiddie woodie. Even though according to park rules adults are not allowed to ride I've been luck enough to have ridden it on two separate occasions and its hella-fun.


*** Edited 2/14/2005 9:23:17 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

Monday, February 14, 2005 6:15 PM
I don't recall ACE making any special plans to help restore the Big Dipper. But the park is repainting it, along with doing some MAJOR improvements to the park over the past years. It's gettin' there! Both the Big and Little Dippers are "ACE" classics.

They have been adding at least one new ride/attraction a year, and doing some major landscaping and advertising in the region.

And don't forget they have the best Whip I have ever been on. ;-) That thing is MAD!

Too bad they couldn't save the Thunderbolt Express. :-(


*** Edited 2/14/2005 11:20:23 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 2:27 PM
I thought that there were more small NAD steel-structured kiddy coasters. Maybe I'm thinking of ones from a different company. And yeah, there's the unique one at Rye Playland. Never been on it but one of these days I will!

It seems that Camden is committed to small improvements each year and that is definitely good news. As long as the park survives and prospers, there is something to be happy about in West Virginia!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 2:55 PM
Thats not a complete list of NAD's. Screechin Eagle and may others aren't listed.

Rye playlands Jr is a NAD Jr woodie identical and in better shape than Camdens. Although Camden lets adults ride anytime.

Camden can be a fun little park, It has one of the most interesting log flumes, A pretzel, Killer Whip, Dogems and Spider. The two coasters are fun but not really write home about. Take some friends and visit

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 3:12 PM
Was the Screechin' Eagle a NAD coaster? I thought that it was a Miller that happened to run NAD trains. But I could be wrong.

I'd like to get to Camden this summer but I'll have to see if time and funds permit me to make that kind of special trip. It certainly sounds like my kind of place. And I'm a sucker for a good Whip- I wonder if it's better than Rye's, which was running wild last summer?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 3:57 PM
there was a junior N.A.D. coaster called the comet jr. at lincoln park in dartmouth ma.

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