camden park - opening day

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 7:50 AM
well for me this was my second coaster riding excursion of the season and the first for my friend jay. after finding out that admission was only $7 if you entered the park after 5 pm we decided to head down I-64 to camden park for opening day of the 100 year old park.

we arrived at the park @ 4:45 to find that they had started enforcing the $3 parking charge that was put in place last season. we quickly found parking spots in a near by neighborhood and walked over to the park.

before i start giving a ride by ride description i first one to make a very important point about this park. it really takes a knowledgable enthusiast to appreciate the rides that camden has to offer. many people on this site would not appreciate camden simply because they don't have world class thrill rides or huge coasters. they simply can't afford those things. instead they have 2 ace coaster classics, probably the best whip and spider in the country, a wonderfully unique haunted house, and an excellent new zamperla flat ride for the 2003 season.

when we first got into the park we quickly walked back to the new zamperla kite flyer ride. WOW, this is an excellent new family ride for the park. the ride looked great and offered a smooth and fun ride. the thing that was most impressive to me was that this ride was SO quiet. by far the quietest flat i have ever seen. both jay and i thought this was an excellent addition for the park.

on a side note, on our way back to the kite flyer we passed by camden's log flume, the west virginia logging co. i've always been a sucker for log flumes, honestly the destruction of kenton's keelboat canal at pki was more devistating than the removal of king cobra for me, camden's is no exception to this. although we didn't get to ride the flume today, it is by far one of the most fun and unique flume rides i have ever been on. was this flume an inhouse development??? anyone have any ideas?

we also walked past the little dipper coaster, an ace coaster classic. they had done some retracking to the ride but we didn't get a chance to try it out.

after walking back from that area of the park we decided to catch a ride on the big dipper, the largest operating coaster in the park. ok, this coaster runs a NAD train, already a major plus. we first got on the ride in the backrow....let me tell you,this thing was producing some unbelievable ejector airtime in the backrow on the second drop, third drop, and fourth drop. i will put it this way, i have a cut on my arm and after i got off my first ride i was bleeding again. intense. powerful. unbelievably good rides on this ace coaster classic. we went on to ride the dipper i think 5 more times throughout the course of the evening.

we also rode the whip, the scrambler, and the spider. all three of which provide excellent and intense rides. some of the best classic flats around. my friend jay also rode the haunted house while i recovered from nausea from all of the flats! he said that they had added some new theming on the ride, he said it was great.

we decided to leave the park around 6:45 pm. honestly this was one of the best opening days i have ever seen a park have. all rides were running, including water rides, low lines, nice weather...simply a great day.

oh, FYI we talked with an employee about the status of the the thunderbolt express, the old arrow shuttlelooper that has been closed since the 2000 season. he told us that the computer was broke on both sides of the ride and that it would cost around $120,000 dollars to fix each computer. he said the ride would be taken down in the next couple years. i don't know how accurate that his info about the price of fixing the computers is but i do believe that the ride will be taken down in the very near future.
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seek first to understand
then to be understood

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 8:09 AM
Thanks for the report. I had been a bit worried about Camden as their website was unavailable for quite awhile.

I'm a big fan of Camden and while the park does have some cosmetic problems, the park has a lot of charm and a great collection of classic flat rides.

Where, exactly is the Kite Flyer?

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park

The most fun you can have in 2X4 feet!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 8:11 AM
the kite flyer is right next to "swan lake." last year's new addition. it's also right next to the former home of the tilt a whirl.

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seek first to understand
then to be understood

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 12:33 PM
I kinda thought that they were going to put it in the location of those old batting cages. Probably not enough space there though.

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park
The most fun you can have in 2X4 feet!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 1:12 PM
I'm not trying to stick my nose where it doesn't belong, but Camden is a park that definitely needs the revenue from the parking to help keep it operational. Next time, consider paying the $3 parking fee, if nothing else to help keep a 100 year-old park afloat.

I am glad to hear that they were able to re-invest some oney into a new ride at the park this year.

Truth be told, I understand that Thunderbolt originally closed due to the fact that the lauch cable had broken and the park did not have the funds to replace it. The park was planning on re-opening, however the ride basically rusted away from neglegence and can no-longer pass a health and safety inspection. Add to that the fact that some supports were cut away and removed last season and you have a pretty good contender for the scrap heap. Actually last I heard, Thunderbolt has remained at Camden this long because the park cannot afford to dismantle and remove it.

Like I said, pay the $3 to help keep rides like the now defunct Thunderbolt operating.


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Shaggy

Proud A-lister!
*** This post was edited by Shaggy 4/22/2003 5:13:53 PM ***

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 1:13 PM
it'd be a pitty to take down an arrow shuttle, i love those things because they give extreme amount of airtime. anyway nice TR, looks like you got a good bargain

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Colossus [1]
Nemesis: Inferno [6]

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Tuesday, April 22, 2003 1:52 PM

Shaggy said:
Next time, consider paying the $3 parking fee, if nothing else to help keep a 100 year-old park afloat.

Truth be told, I understand that Thunderbolt originally closed due to the fact that the lauch cable had broken and the park did not have the funds to replace it. The park was planning on re-opening, however the ride basically rusted away from neglegence and can no-longer pass a health and safety inspection. Add to that the fact that some supports were cut away and removed last season and you have a pretty good contender for the scrap heap. Actually last I heard, Thunderbolt has remained at Camden this long because the park cannot afford to dismantle and remove it.

Like I said, pay the $3 to help keep rides like the now defunct Thunderbolt operating.


yea we probably should have paid the fee... your right parks like that need all of the help they can get.

yea that's what i had heard concerning the launch cable. i think the employee that told me about the "computer" being broke didn't know what he was talking about. i actually saw what both jay and i thought was the broken launch cable lying on the footers under the ride.

it's a real shame to see a ride like this die. it was a GREAT ride last time i rode it back in 99. intense and violent...just the way i like my coasters.


ps...and yes, at least 3 main supports from the ride were removed. next time you go to camden if you want to see all of this up close take a ride on the sky ride.
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seek first to understand
then to be understood

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Wednesday, April 23, 2003 1:23 PM
I'd rather pay a little more admission and park for free, thank you very much...

Anyway, on one of my visits to the park I learned that one of the casualties of the skating rink fire some years ago was apparently the spare controller board for the Thunderbolt Express. Which meant that every time something went out on the ride controls, the ride went down until the board could be fixed, as there was no longer a spare.

(Spare? Of course they had a spare. They bought the ride from Kings Island, the park that actually contemplated building a spare *loop structure* for Son of Beast!)

For a park of the size and character of Camden Park, Thunderbolt Express was probably a mistake from Day #1. They are slowly taking it apart, and once it is gone most people probably won't really miss it much.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2003 1:46 PM
I'll be sorry to see Thunderbolt go though. Back at KI, it was my first time. For a loop that is.
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Thursday, April 24, 2003 4:16 AM
Great TR Johnathan! Camden Park DOES have the best Whip. The old Dipper is still delivering the spurts of airtime huh? Nice. I will try to get down there soon to check out the Kite Flyer. I think it's a smart choice for the park.

I am surprised they didn't enforce the parking fee years ago.

It is very sad that Tbolt will most likely never see the light of day again, and although I hate to see it go it has long since been an eye sore.

I just wish there was something that could be done with it, or somebody who has the financial backing could step in and get it up and running again. I am sure they would have no trouble finding volunteers to help repaint it if the time ever comes. I would be there!

I heard that the park could not afford to fix it or remove it. I have heard VERY loose rumors that ACE may be interested in the loop for the future museum down the road, but don't quote me on that.

-Tina

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Feel The Adrenaline....
www.intenserides.com

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Thursday, April 24, 2003 10:53 AM
I would like to see Cedar Fair purchase the park. They would possibly keep it in a traditional manor unlike SF or Paramount.

I think Thunderbolt Express was a fine idea while it lasted. How did the park afford to buy it anyway.

Becouse of the kind of character Camden has I feel the park should put in a familyCrazy Mouse.

_________

Visit Camden's 100th!
*** This post was edited by thebigdipper 4/24/2003 5:19:05 PM ***
*** This post was edited by thebigdipper 4/24/2003 5:20:01 PM ***

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Thursday, April 24, 2003 11:01 AM
I remember reading someplace that Camden Park and Coney Island had some sort of relationship where Camden got Coney's older rides when Coney replaced them with newer models. The program stayed in place for some time after Coney became Kings Island and that is how the Shuttle Loop ended up at Camden.

Anybody hear a similar story or is my mind playing tricks again?

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Ripple Rock Amusement Park
The most fun you can have in 2X4 feet!

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Thursday, April 24, 2003 3:45 PM
Hmmm......maybe the park will get the old King Cobra? LOL !

-Tina

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Feel The Adrenaline....
www.intenserides.com

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Friday, April 25, 2003 11:10 AM
If thats how it was then why didn't Camden get the old Baverian Beetle Galaxy coaster or any of it's other early discarded rides?

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Visit Camden's 100th!

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Friday, April 25, 2003 1:13 PM
Personally, I wish Kennywood would buy Camden. It fits within their family park profile, is within their geographic realm, and would benefit from their management. It would be a great addition to the KW-Idlewild-Compounce family. And it would be a great place for rides Kennywood moves out. In recent years, that would have given Camden a Tilt a Whirl, Ferris Wheel, Rolloplane and possibly the dark ride Zoomerang.
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Friday, April 25, 2003 6:28 PM

Trekker Park said:
Personally, I wish Kennywood would buy Camden. It fits within their family park profile, is within their geographic realm, and would benefit from their management. It would be a great addition to the KW-Idlewild-Compounce family. And it would be a great place for rides Kennywood moves out. In recent years, that would have given Camden a Tilt a Whirl, Ferris Wheel, Rolloplane and possibly the dark ride Zoomerang.

I agree, they could keep the "small park" atmosphere but would have the financial backing to add a nice new coaster or two. One could only hope. :-)

-Tina

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Feel The Adrenaline....
www.intenserides.com

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Friday, April 25, 2003 6:29 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:

Trekker Park said:
Personally, I wish Kennywood would buy Camden. It fits within their family park profile, is within their geographic realm, and would benefit from their management. It would be a great addition to the KW-Idlewild-Compounce family. And it would be a great place for rides Kennywood moves out. In recent years, that would have given Camden a Tilt a Whirl, Ferris Wheel, Rolloplane and possibly the dark ride Zoomerang.

I agree, they could keep the "small park" atmosphere but would have the financial backing to add a nice new coaster or two. One could only hope. :-) Camden's has it's own Tilt-A-Whirl, which is awesome when it's up and running!

-Tina

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Feel The Adrenaline....
www.intenserides.com


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