Camden Park (6/23/2006)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 10:20 PM
What: "Lower Midwest Coaster Vacation - Park 1"

Where: Camden Park, Huntington WV

When: Friday, June 23. 6:30pm-7:15pm

Who: Myself, my wife

Weather: Hot and Humid

Crowd: Light

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The arrival: We left home (York PA) at around 10:30am and spent about 8 hours on the road, but since traffic was relatively light (except around Charleston) the drive was relatively easy and we were not very weary when we arrived. Paid our $3 to park and our combined $24 (or there about) to enter (didn't realized they dropped the price after a certian hour).

Haunted House: One ride. Truely a surprise. I wasn't expecting much, and it didn't deliver much in the scares department, but it was FUN. After the lift and the first drop in day light, the crazy wildmouse like ride through the dark had us laughing the whole way. The age old question... is it a coaster or not came up. Could argue either way if I was inclined to argue such things. Very smiliar in design to "Devil's Den" at Conneaught Lake, but it seemed longer and the stunts seemed in much better shape. Was it ever DARK in there. After that crazy zig zag ride, we were both dizzy when we exited.

Big Dipper: 2 rides. The entire park reminded me of a little bit more evolved version of (the now defunct?) Williams Grove... and while no where similiar to Williams Grove's Cyclone, the Big Dipper did reminde me a bit of that coaster... namely it was a coaster that looked like it was years over due for some healty doses of TLC. A figure eight design that is nearly 50 years old (in 2008), it looks like it has not seen a paint brush since Ike was in the oval office. Nothing much to write home about, except it did give some unexpected air on the first drop. One for the count, nothing much more.

Funniest T-Shirt: While taking pictures of the Big Dipper, saw a man wearing a black T with white letters on the back... "PADDLE FASTER! I Hear Banjo Music." (Not only is that a funny T-shirt... in the hills of West VA, it's darned good adivce!)

Flyers: 0 rides. I was in line for these, but the attendant said that the ride would be shutting down for a while because they were moving some piece of equipment in place to work on the dismantled Monster ride that sits next to the Flyers. What was interesting was that these looked like the newest things in Camden Park. We didn't feel like waiting around for these since it was now near 7:15 and we wanted to make Louisville yet that night (3 hours or so west).

Wrap up: Camden's a small, traditional park that while it appears to be "no frills", with the exception of the Big Dipper does not appear to be run down (though the chairless Chair Lift looked a bit ominious). Can't comment on the food or anything since we did not eat there. Things were clean and most of the employees seemed friendly, if a bit laid back and slow moving. Would it be a park I would make a point to go out of my way to visit? No. But if you are travelling from PA to Louisville KY on I 64, it would be a shame to miss it.

In these days of a rash of park closings (anything from little Williams Grove, to the dismantling of Six Flags Astro World, and the possible demise of Six Flags Magic Mountain) one kind of wonders how many years little Camden may have left. If that would happen, I personally would say that I would mourn the loss of that funky little Haunted House over that of the Big Dipper.

*** Edited 7/5/2006 2:37:32 AM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006 10:08 AM
Several years ago it appeared that Camden was in actual danger of closing soon. One important thing about this park is its location. It's a long drive to PKI, GL, KW or PKD from here so a close-by park should be appreciated more in the local area than it often is. .

I have mentioned that Camden should add some waterslides, etc. if they can find room for them. This would increase the appeal of the park to the local population.

By the way, my rule for credits on dark rides is, what do you have left if you take the stunts and scenes away? As far as I am concerned, Camden's Haunted House and Conneaut Lake's Devils Den should count because they are gravity powered except for the chain lift and their route follows a well defined path.

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