Cheese-Coaster: The Parks of Wisconsin 8/10/02

Associated parks:
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Monday, August 12, 2002 8:53 AM

This past Saturday my friend Tom and I decided to take a trip north for a sampling of the dairy state's coasters. Our plan for the day was to head to Little A-Merrick-A, Big Chief's, and to end our day at Riverview Park.

After giving Tom his wake-up call at about 8:30am, and throwing ourselves together we were on the road at 10:00 am.

Little A-Merick-A

There's really not much to say about the park itself. It's essentially a kiddie land on a parking lot. We decided to skip the flat rides (as we were already two hours behind schedule), and purchased tickets to ride each of the parks three coasters once. This cost $4.50. Not bad at all.

First order of business: Swiss Toboggan (Torture Chamber) - Being a "big guy" and riding these things is just not much fun. I basically had to ride with my head pressed against my left shoulder so that the hatch would close. It wasn't really too bad, nor was it too much fun. Ring it up. Interesting to note that I am now an official "coaster geek." Last year at this time I flat out refused to ride the Toboggan at Lakemont, but I will now ride this one enthusiastically "for the count."

Little Dipper - Herschell Junior. Ring it up again

Mad Mouse - Herschell Wild Mouse. This was the only non-"ring it up" ride we went on at Little A-Merick-A, as we genuinely enjoy the Herschell Mice. There wasn't anything out-of-the-ordinary to note about this one, but it was good fun.

Little A-Merick-A is an OK park. It's pretty much what I expected, 3 easy credits that weren't too far out of our way to Big Chief's. I probably won't be back anytime soon, unless the Comet relocation happens, but I'm not going to hold my breathe for that one.

Big Chief's Karts and Coasters

This is a place that I've been very curious about, but never managed to make it to. We had made tentative plans a couple times, but something alway seemed to "come up."

First impressions: I was actually pleasantly surprised when we arrived and scoped the place out. I had never really seen any pictures of the park itself, and it's actually pretty nice. The area is wooded and hilly, quite a contrast to the mental image I had of a big parking lot surrounded by go-carts. We dished out the $34.00 for an unlimited ride band, and proceeded to the rides.

Pegasus - This is a pretty cool little coaster. It was actually quite a bit larger than I had pictured it, and a lot more forceful than I had imagined it would be.

Zeus - An out and back romp through the woods. I really liked Zeus. It had almost everything that I look for in a ride: A good first drop, good speed, some solid laterals, and some moments of air time. What Zues lacks for me is a "defining moment," an element or instance that sets it apart from the rest, which brings us to Cyclops.

Cyclops - If there ever was a "defining moment" on a coaster, here it is: The Drop. I captalize it because other "drops:" Ghostrider, Villain, Raven, etc. all pale in comparison. The drop on Cyclops is no joke, it's extremely forceful. I have the bruises to prove it! And while The Drop is great, it's also my problem with the ride. As much as I really loved that moment, the rest of the ride is just too "eh" for me. While The Drop on Cyclops beats every other "drop" out there, the rest of the ride on Cyclops is almost non-existant. Imagine the Raven if it were only the fifth drop. No turn over Lake Rudolph, no crazed return through the woods. That's Cyclops.

Little Titans - We skipped it. Tom refused to ride the kiddie coater with witnesses around. Don't blame him, I used to skip these too.

We also skipped the go-carts as we had been driving all day, and didn't want to wait in line to drive some more.

Overall impression: The park itself is nice. The coasters are very good (none are great), and the go-carts look to be cool, if that's your cup of tea. I left feeling a bit let-down, as $34.00 is a lot of money for me to spend to ride 3 coasters for a few hours. I'd rather spend half of that and go to Indiana Beach.

Riverivew Park - A carnival attatched to a water park. We were going to ride the Galaxi here, but we both decided we'd rather save the five or six bucks for some chow on the way home. We did stop and walk around, and we did take some cool pictures. I was very impressed by the lighting package on the Music Express. The lights were done in a manner to resemble an old Lite Brite: Lots of very vibrant tiny lights packed densely into a small area.

After some pictures at the front of the park, we headed onto the road for the trek back to Chicago. At a truck stop outside of Madison, we ran into my friend Edmar , who was on his way back to the city as well. This doesn't really have anything to do with coasters, I just thought it was a strange place to run into a strange friend.

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"When will you stop all your buzzing?" - The Flaming Lips "Oh My Pregnant Head"

*** This post was edited by chris on 8/12/2002. ***

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Monday, August 12, 2002 1:06 PM

I totally am in agreement with you on the tobaggon. That thing was complete pain for me. First of all I had to hunch over in the car. Going up the vertical lift I fell back into the seat with a painful thud and then I couldnt see a damn thing throughout the entire ride. When you hit the dip of the last bunny hill the whole train bottoms out and you get a nice whack that reverberates through your entire body. I will never ride this one again.

As for Big Chief, my biggest complaint is there isnt a seperate admission for just the coasters. I wrote them several times on this issue and they keep saying they are considering it. It costs much more to keep gas in the go-karts and maintain those tracks than it does to operate and maintain a coaster, a point that Big Chief was in agreement with me over. I told them a 20 buck all day coaster only band would be an excellent idea and would have enthusiasts from all over the country streaming in to ride three quality CCI coasters.

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"

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Monday, August 12, 2002 1:43 PM

Bob - $20 for just the coasters would be a better deal, but I doubt that I'll be back there anytime soon. I had a good enough time, but I think I'd honestly rather go to an amusement park than Big Chief's.

If one of the coasters had absolutley blown me away like say, Cornball, Legend, Timbers, Phoenix, Ghostrider, etc., I'd be back. As it is, it's a "been there, done that" place for me.

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"When will you stop all your buzzing?" - The Flaming Lips "Oh My Pregnant Head"

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Monday, August 12, 2002 3:27 PM

Have I been reading more Wisconsin park TRs than before, or am I only starting to notice them after the CPlaya 100?

You must not have read through it, Chris--I warned you all about that Toboggan.

-'Playa

(who would finish parks 7-9, but is having real trouble finding "SFGAM-does it suck yet?" Can anybody link me...?)

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

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