Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 9:31 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond
It's called the Little Dipper, it's 54 years old, and it's unique as long as no one moves it. It would be hard to cart off in any case, because it's a full-size roller coaster - albeit a small one. It travels a circuitous route, 194 feet each trip, about a thousand times daily. Besides, if it was moved, the Little Dipper would lose claim to the title that the American Coaster Enthusiasts are bestowing on it today: oldest operating steel roller coaster still standing in its original location. That location is the Memphis Kiddie Park in Brooklyn, bordering Cleveland.
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Friday, June 9, 2006 10:02 AM
I always thought that Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first steel roller coaster, but that was commissioned 7 years after Little Dipper. Can any coaster wise men (or women) clarify? Is the difference tubular steel track versus I-beam style steel track?
Friday, June 9, 2006 10:02 AM
Great little park.They treated us like family when we were there for coaster con in 04. Have great memories of the mini golf course.
Friday, June 9, 2006 10:15 AM
Matterhorn was the first steel coaster to use tubular steel track. There were a variety of smaller coasters, such as wild mice and kiddie coasters, that used flat steel track that predate the Matterhorn.
Friday, June 9, 2006 12:01 PM
Life time cleveland resident here. My folks took me to KiddiePark when i ws a kid. I took both my daughters there when they were kids.
That Coaster is the devil for adults. Great for kids, though. That thing will hurt and adult back in the back seat.
The mini golf there is great! I still go there for that and the carousel.
Friday, June 9, 2006 12:22 PM
Trust me, that thing will hurt an adult in ANY seat. I went there ONE time when I was little, and my dad rode it with me and complained LOUDLY when it was over. Now that I have two of my own, we have been there MANY times and I have ridden it at least 30 times or more in the last 3 or so years in every seat, the &*^%$# thing HURTS! It puts a smile on my kids faces though, so that's all that matters! :)
Friday, June 9, 2006 12:30 PM
I'm always surprised when enthusiasts think Matterhorn was the first steel coaster (and don't take offense gwn, you're not the only one :)). Steel coasters go back much further than that. ACE has been piecing together information and recent research shows the first all steel coaster may have debuted 100 years ago in 1906! We will be doing an article on that first steel coaster in the summer issue of RollerCoaster!
Also there is only one other operating steel coaster that I know of that is older than the Little Dipper at Memphis Kiddie Park, the Little Dipper at Kiddie Park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. That coaster, which dates back to 1947, has been moved from another location.
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 6/9/2006 12:32:22 PM ***
Friday, June 9, 2006 12:36 PM
"Oldest operating steel roller coaster still standing in its original location."
Alright, that's cool and all, but our coaster records are almost getting as bad as baseball stats! ;)
Friday, June 9, 2006 12:52 PM
^Only if these coasters start using Balco to help enhance their stats.*** This post was edited by Coasterphan 6/9/2006 12:52:57 PM ***
Friday, June 9, 2006 1:58 PM
LD: You're right about the kids smiles being worth it.
I'll tell you though, when they got old enough to ride the Blue Streak and other majors, I was a very happy camper indeed! :)
Friday, June 9, 2006 4:46 PM
I'm 5'-9" and rode little dipper about 10 times at Little Dipper Fest. I had no problem.
Friday, June 9, 2006 8:06 PM
My first coaster! Memphis KiddiePark forever! All day rides, turn in your wrist band, and get your popcorn, pop, and balloon!
Friday, June 9, 2006 9:31 PM
"We will be doing an article on that first steel coaster in the summer issue of RollerCoaster!"
So we'll get to read that in fall of '07? ;)
Frank - does think RollerCoaster is a great publication
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 8:46 PM
Sadly, RC has become more of The Year In Review. ;) But yeah, it's still nice to have.