Camden Park, WV. Is it worth the visit?

Tuesday, December 3, 2002 11:28 AM
I live in the Raleigh, NC area and I have thought about making the trip next year up to Camden Park in WV. Are the Big/Little dippers and the other rides/park worth the trip? I welcome all responses. Thanks!
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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 11:37 AM

Truthfully? I think any park is worth a visit.

Now, If you mean traveling a long way for just Camden?

I don't know how to answer that. I did have a bunch of fun at Camden with friends. They have a great whip, bumpercars, Spider and paratrooper and some other good flats.

Both woodies are fun but and feature true Large and Jr NAD century flyer trains. I also consider the haunted house as a coaster because it has a lifthill and coast the whole rest of the ride.

The park has been making improvements for the past several years after almost dissapearing forever.

Do I think the park is good? Yes, It is fun and among few remaing traditionals left.

Do I think it's worth a long drive for just Camden? Thats entirely up to you. Perhaps ad SFKK and Holiday World to the trip or PKI/Lesourdsville. Again it's up to you.

Chuck, who had great fun at Camden with friends but will say this, It's doable in a couple hours.

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Charles Nungester.
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 11:37 AM

I've only driven by(damn park is closed on mondays as I found out the hard way) but it is very small The arrow shuttle loop which I understand is closed for good is about the length of the park. A friend said that the rides are very old and feel like it and he said the grass growing around the log flume makes you fear a snake may jump in the boat with you. I don't think it's worth driving just for it but you could stop there on the way somewhere else and be ok

For the record though this friends review is several years old unlike the previous poster

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JOHN
RCT INSOMNIACS
KIMBERLY LAKE INC.

*** This post was edited by john13601 on 12/3/2002. ***

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 11:48 AM

I actually thought the swampy flume was cool, Makes you feel like your canoeing through the everglades or something

Oh yes, The park may have a limited operating hours/days. Make sure to check the website before making plans.

Chuck

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Charles Nungester.
Is it about coasters or friends? I say both!

*** This post was edited by Charles Nungester on 12/3/2002. ***

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 2:06 PM
I would not go out of my way, but it's worth a stop on the way to another park, as we did in August while traveling from New Jersey to SFKK. It can easily be done in just 2 hours, so don't plan to make a day of it.

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Jim Hansen
Number of coasters ridden: 227

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 2:13 PM

Camden Park is well worth a visit if you're interested in amusement parks from a historical perspective, you like older rides like the whip and the cool gravity-powered "hawnted house," and you like to soak up the atmosphere that only a well-worn traditional park can provide.

If you only care about the highest fastest thingajing and are looking for an extreme rush then you probably won't find much at Camden to interest you.

I personally had a blast at Camden and it brought back fond memories of my now-defunct childhood park - Bertrand Island. The park is a little rough but from what I've read, it seems to have made some big improvements over years past.

See my trip report from 6/22/02 but realize that I'm the type to go out of my way for Camden but wouldn't make a special trip to Kings Island. :)

http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forums/thread.asp?ForumID=13&TopicID=22445

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I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 2:36 PM

I wouldn't say that driving from Raleigh to Camden Park is worth the trip alone. You should at least take in PKI or SFKK....make a two or three day trip out of it. You can easily do Camden Park on your way to either park, since it's located right off I-64 near the OH/WV/KY borders.

You won't find any CCI's or GCI's or B&M's or Intamin's or anything even close, but what you will find is an EXCELLENT collection of flat rides and two very cool NAD coasters. The Big Dipper is a very good coaster with some surprising airtime. If you sit in the right spot (third from the back) you will get the bulk of it!

The Little Dipper is also one of the best juniors I have been on.

If you like flat rides then you will love Camden......they have THEE best Whip I have ever done. Trust me! Also included is a Tilt-A-Whirl, a Spider, Log Flume (which you should not ride if you are alergic to poison ivy) a Rainbow, Wildcat, Sky Ride, Paratrooper, some old Dodgem bumper cars, and a very cheesey (but very cool) Haunted House with a nice dip, and a train that circles the lake. There is also a Merry-Go-Round, Swan boats and a small kids area. The Skydiver is kind of a cross between an Enterprise, Chaos, and a demented Merry-Go-Round.

The arcade is excellent also! The only eye sore is the SBNO Thunderbolt Express *sniff* :-(

Like I said I don't know if it will be worth the trip from Raleigh alone, but that's just me.

It's a very excellent, underrated park that has improved over the last two or three years and is slowly getting there.

Now why couldn't the old AstroWorld Viper be delivered to Camden Park instead of SFKK??? It's just down the road! :-) A nice old used shuttle loop would suffice!

Tina

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

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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 3:40 PM
I am coming from Northern Indiana to SRM then wondering where to go from there. I've already been to PKI & SFKK. I have thought about going to Camden then going north to Kennywood before going home. Then again I thought I may go west to SFSL then going to Silver Dollar & Celebration City then going home. Any suggestions?
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Tuesday, December 3, 2002 3:52 PM
I agree that it can be fun, but should be combined into a trip. I am from right outside of Charlotte, NC. This summer I did Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Stark Raven Mad, and Camden in that order, and it worked out well.

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Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com
"There is a cluster of bees at the top of the lift. Sorry for the inconvenience."

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 3:12 AM

StarCoasters said:
I agree that it can be fun, but should be combined into a trip. I am from right outside of Charlotte, NC. This summer I did Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Stark Raven Mad, and Camden in that order, and it worked out well.

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Jonathan Hawkins
Starcoasters.com
"There is a cluster of bees at the top of the lift. Sorry for the inconvenience."



Yes Jonathan, don't forget Scarowinds and the great ERT on Thunder Road. I was there with wife and friends. We have some friends that live in Kannapolis and spend alot of time around the Charlotte area. I did see you at the event but didn't get the chance to say hi. BTW - loved the video you put together for the event. Did you get more footage than what's on the vid?

I was on a trip back from Ohio for Thanksgiving and noticed a sign on I77 for Camden. Might make a go of it on a trip up to CP/KI/SF next year. I LOVE historical aspects of amusement parks and it sounds like Camden might be a great place for it. Thanks to everyone for your input. BTW - I have a BIG backyard. Maybe I can talk them into selling me the schwartz-shuttle! :)

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 9:37 AM

It definetly is a good family park to go to. They have some of the best flat rides I've ever ridden. Also the Big Dipper is a very fun woodie that proides some nice air time for being so darn old. So to sum Camden Park up in one word... FUN! But don't make a long trip just to go there, because its not that great definetly combine it with a trip, because there are a lot of GREAT parks near Camden Park.

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*** This post was edited by Chadster on 12/4/2002. ***

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 9:39 AM
I pretty much agree with everything that has been posted, but if you have a strong stomach, make sure you don't miss their Monster. The run it 3 times longer than any other park I have encountered, and it also seems a lot faster. About halfway through I thought I was going to die. (In a good way.)

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:15 AM

Maybe I can talk them into selling me the schwartz-shuttle!


Psss, Thunderbolt Express is an Arrow

:)

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:20 AM
I'm surprised that no one has suggested combining Kennywood with Camden. This would make a one, two punch of older parks.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:33 AM
i've only been 2 camden one time, very young then , don't remember much. it was a nice park, though, very traditional. i'm from (and still live in) WV, and have 2 say, this is a beautiful state, but i wouldn't suggest coming just for the park, since u are a ways away :) definitly add some other "theme parks" to the trip, since Camden is not huge, and there aren't any other major things for ride enthusiasts to do in the state(i've live here all of my 22 years on earth), but if u like beautiful scenery, walking mountain paths, and visiting state parks, i'd recommend coming for a few days, seeing what WV has to offer, and then taking in Camden for a while on one of ur days. but i'd defintly visit Huntington and Charleston while ur here if u want more to do (i.e. nightlife), but really i'd say visit, just plan your visit wisely and don't only come for the park :)
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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:45 AM
When we drove up from Wilmington, NC in October we saw all the billboards & such for Camden. Should we decide to hit it, though, it'd be a special trip, like coming home from northern Ohio. For PKI type trips, from our part of the state, I'll NEVER drive through West Virginia again, the drive through the heart of NC has become a least favorite thing to do or think about, takes our time & replaces it with pain.......
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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:55 AM

I grew up at Camden Park and have some fond memories. My Mother told me of the time when I was 2 Years Old and I sat on her lap on the Big Dipper. I told her that that doesn't sound right due to hight restrictions but she swears thet it was really happened.

She said that I loved it. I've been an enthusist ever sense.

I used to be scared to death of the Haunted House. Now I really wish I could go back and keep my eyes open durring the ride. I moved when I was in my early teens to Altoona, PA, and haven't got a chance to visit the park recently.

I remember the Magic Rainbow and the Yo-Yo's opening year, I remember Hot Cat's opening year, and I remember loseing sleep in anticipation for KI's looper to open at Camden. I also remember the now defunct-yet terrific flat ride, Big Top.

Camden is where my love for Amusement Parks started. I here it has changed in the past few years. I would love to get my tush down there soon and relive my childhood.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2002 4:58 PM

I had a nice time at Camden Park when I visited for the first time this summer. I combined it with Coney Island, Lake Lesourdsville, SFKK and Strickers Grove. It's definately a trip back in time. You'll find lots of old classic rides that you won't find at your typical SF style park.

When I did plan that trip I made sure to include Camden just because I hardly never hear about it. I did a little research and found that at times it seemed that the park would not make it. Even their website seemed a little old fashion in it's own way. After my visit it does seem that the park is improving little by little.

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Thursday, December 5, 2002 4:22 AM

There isn't much to see with your eyes open on the Haunted House! ;)

Coney Island, Lesourdsville Lake, Stricker's Grove, and Camden Park makes a nice old-fashioned park trip (as long as you can time it when Stricker's is open to the public).

The problem I have with Camden's website is that it still features a picture of the Thunderbolt Express and the riverboat. Niether one runs anymore.

*** This post was edited by millrace on 12/5/2002. ***

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Thursday, December 5, 2002 8:23 AM

Yes, I do consider myself lucky to get to Stricker's Grove when it was open to the public. It was an excellent trip and it was nice to get away from the long lines and continuous breakdown that happen frequently at major theme parks.

On the side of Thunderbolt Express I too found that they seemed to advertise it and treat it as it's still operating. Even the sign at the main entrance mentioned that "the loop coaster will not operate today". Today?? They haven't run it all year. While talking with someone in the park office they said the Thunderbolt Express will never run again at the park and will be removed soon. Where? When? I don't know.

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