Cedar Fair says Geauga Lake Big Dipper will be demolished

Posted Monday, October 10, 2016 7:31 AM | Contributed by robotfactory

The historic Big Dipper wooden roller coaster at Geauga Lake will be demolished in the “next few weeks,” according to Bainbridge Township trustee Jeffrey Markley. Cedar Fair released a statement confirming the plans.

Read more from WKYC/Cleveland.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 1:22 PM
Fun's avatar

Whoa there Alanis, irony is not the same as coincidence.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 2:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

...or bad luck.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 6:18 PM

Nothing in that song was ironic. Maybe that's the irony?


But then again, what do I know?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:32 PM
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

I *loved* Big Dipper. Very sad to see it go (permanently). Perhaps the trains can go to someone who values classic rides?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 1:11 PM
Pete's avatar

Paisley said:

I just wish there was a facebook page out there with pictures and nostalgia for the park without the side of near psychosis that is coming with this one.

Here is a nostalgia site for Sea World of Ohio, Six Flags Ohio and Wildwater Kingdom. About the closest to a Geauga Lake site that I've found.

http://www.friendsofthewhale.net/


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 3:13 PM

Go Intamin said:

"If you think the park closed due to low attendance, you are drinking the kool aid" was the most cancerous thing I have read in the last 5 years

The weird thing on that page is they were posting this nostalgia video of the coasters and rides operating in the last couple of seasons titled "This is what it once was and certainly can be!" (something like that, can't find it now) and a plea to share the video for awareness purposes and to "spread the word".

In the video all of the trains on the coasters and rides were less than half full, some with just a couple of people on them. Someone filmed on a super dead day. I pointed out that it might not be the best video montage to show what the park could be and got a lecture message about being part of the problem.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 3:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Le Monster said:

In the video all of the trains on the coasters and rides were less than half full, some with just a couple of people on them.

This video ain't pretty (in the process of redoing and upconverting old vids), but I recorded this on opening day 2007.

The park was dead. Like really dead.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:12 PM

I remember countless trips to GL those last couple years having my own train on several coasters (and oftentimes they were only running one train.) Rarely I have had a similar experience as almost a novelty on a super slow day at other parks, but this was the norm at Geauga Lake for the last several seasons. There is no way they could have kept it open as a viable business with the almost impossible to believe low crowds they were bringing in. I remember as early as 2005 walking the midways on beautiful midsummer days wondering how in the world it was worth it for them to be open.

Does it suck that it didn't work out? Of course. I absolutely loved and adored that park despite its hundreds of flaws. But how anyone can realistically look at the last several years and think making a change wasn't justifiable is wearing drunk goggles. In an alternate reality, could a waterpark with a boardwalk over to Big Dipper and a couple of flat rides potentially have worked? Possibly. But Cedar Fair didn't see the value in it. And here we are a decade later and it likely would have been gone anyway. The outlandish comments on that Facebook group (comparing Kinzel to Hitler was my favorite) easily contends with the most ludicrous stuff I have ever seen on the internets.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I worked in Solon during the last year. I would go over to the park at lunch and just walk on whatever I wanted. I did a lap on Batinator solo once. Was sad about the condition of The Villain that year. That was probably my favorite wooden coaster anywhere the year it opened.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:53 PM

Villain was gone years before it was actually torn down. Night rides on that thing in the back seat the first two seasons were some of the best coaster rides I have ever had in my life. What it became in the final years was so sad knowing what it had been when it opened.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 7:22 PM

The years leading up to the closure were during my sort of absence from the amusement park fold. I visited in 2000 with family from out of state while I was very pregnant so I spent most of the trip being pushed around by my husband watching family ride stuff with their little kid or I was beached at the edge of the wave pool. It was several years before we were back, I'm pretty sure it was under CF management by then. Once again our focus was on little kids so my last few trips I wasn't getting the "full experience". Our oldest was just tall enough for his first coaster rides August 2007 when we went for the last time. Several of the newer coasters I never did get a ride on. I remember riding Thunderhawk several times but never did get to The Villain I don't know if I even realized it was there. I think I may have ridden something up front but don't remember anything particular about it. Maybe we headed that way and chose something else instead I don't know we were a pretty big group that day. I remember heading in that direction and I think we turned back once we realized Raging Wolfbobs was closed. The ride side was dead. We waited no more than one cycle for anything that I remember With the possible exception of Big Dipper and I don't think we waited long for that either and we spent a lot of time on the WWK side (group's choice, not mine). There were so many factors in the closing you can't help but wonder if some things were changed would it still be viable or would it have made a difference...What if they had not built WWK and just spruced up the waterpark left by SF? What if they had made GL and WWK separate complementary parks like Cedar Point and Soak City? Not that any of it matters at this point which is why I'm so tired of the blame game.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 11:10 AM

I find it interesting in Gonch's video that the only coaster that had a full train was Big Dipper. Maybe it was more popular than some realize. I always enjoyed riding it.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:04 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I went in SFWoA days (2003 maybe?). It was a great park, mostly because everything was a walk-on except X-Flight. I think I got 11 laps on S:UE and 5 on B:KF that day along wtih all the credits, a nice lunch, and a quick trip around the marine life side. Given the amount of investment, I can see how that was not sustainable.

I said it referring to politics, but "It's a conspiracy" is translated "I don't like reality."


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, October 21, 2016 8:25 AM

ApolloAndy said:
I went in SFWoA days (2003 maybe?). It was a great park, mostly because everything was a walk-on except X-Flight.

That was pretty much my experience in 2003... that doesn't make a park great, that means the park is in trouble.


But then again, what do I know?

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Friday, October 21, 2016 3:21 PM

It's kind of a weird, two sided thing.

As enthusiasts we feel blessed to run across a really dead day at a really great park. All the time we hear from our friends "Oh gosh, we love the parks, but they're always so crowded". And my response will always be "Yes, but busy is good. If business was quiet every day they couldn't stay in business."

So the fix is to get in the know and if possible plan your outings on traditionally slow days. But most park goers see one day ahead for stuff like that. Saturday.

My fondest memories of Geauga Lake are times spent at Cleveland's Oktoberfest which was held at the park for many years. Park food service was for the most part closed and trucks, tents, and trailers were along the midways with delicious local fare. And there was lots of beer. Those two activities really helped draw the big crowds away from the rides, and on a beautiful fall Friday evening it was like having the place to ourselves.

I visited the park at least a couple times during every modern era, starting with the seventies, and experienced each change of ownership. When it was first taken and expanded by Six Flags I was impressed at the time by the new stuff but I was shocked that the park was so slow. Ah, well.

I know technically it's been gone a while now, but I'm really going to miss Big Dipper. It was one of my favorites.

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Friday, October 21, 2016 4:29 PM
Fun's avatar

If anything, this is further proof that enthusiasts constitute an unsustainably small portion of a park's attendance. We are not the reason they exist and not the reason they are successful.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 12:35 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

A) What Fun said.

B) My park visits are almost entirely enthusiast events, where I generally leave the park while it's open the public.

C)

RCMAC said:

So the fix is to get in the know and if possible plan your outings on traditionally slow days.

Park online operating calendars are your friend. If you have the flexibility, pick days that the park closes earlier. If Slitherland is closing at 8 on Thursday and at 11 on Friday, it's because the park is expecting lighter crowds on Thursday.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 1:15 PM

Thanks for sharing the secret of life with us!

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 3:19 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

slithernoggin said:

Park online operating calendars are your friend. If you have the flexibility, pick days that the park closes earlier. If Slitherland is closing at 8 on Thursday and at 11 on Friday, it's because the park is expecting lighter crowds on Thursday.

Unless you want night rides. Then you're stuck going on days with longer hours.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 11:27 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

That's a question of priorities, then. More rides, fewer people or night rides, more people.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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