CP/SFWOA/Chippewa Lake..Oct. 5-7. Awesome weekend

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 5:19 PM

I had the the best CP and SFWOA visits ever, along with a side trip to Chippewa Lake, during the first weekend of October...:-) It took me exactly 3 ½ hours from Charleston, WV to the suburban Cleveland Motel 6 (more than breaking the speed limit of course, even with relatively heavy construction and two quick stops). I wasted no time checking in and chilling out for a while. It was very cool and cloudy, but I was psyched to get to Six FlagsWOA since I hadn’t visited in exactly two years.

After a nice lunch I was on my way (I make it a habit to eat a good meal BEFORE I go into a chain park, so I am not tempted to spend too much on overpriced food!) Once getting into the SFWOA parking lot, I was immediately taken back by X-Flight. This was the one and only attraction (other than the newly developed water and animal parks) that I hadn’t experienced yet at SFWOA. Of course this is the first thing I run to with a nice five minute wait. This was my first “flying” coaster so the whole experience was new and very exciting to me. I especially loved the loop, OMG what a ride! You either hate it or you love it. I, of course, lusted it! I went on again, even better!!!

I immediately got off and ran back to the short queue and waited for about 15 minutes. Hmm… I see no trains. A park employee announced that the X-Flight was down and they had no idea when it would be up and running again. Onto the Mr. Hyde’s for a few………SWEET! I love those old school drop towers!!! They still scare the hell out of me. SUE was walk-on all day long. I got the front seat three out of my many, many times that day. After my first few times on SUE I was ready for a good B&M floorless, so I rushed over to Batman Knight Flight to learn that is was VERY walk-on, and spent about two hours between it, Villain, Texas Twister (still the best HUSS Top Spin of all time, damnit!) and the Serial Thriller. Villain seemed a little rougher than what I remembered, but still very nice. Serial Thriller, on the other hand, seemed smoother than what I remembered. The Texas Twister is just insane, period. This particular HUSS topspin is almost sadistic in a way. I would not recommend eating before getting on it. That’s all I can say.

Raging Wolf Bobs was closed, but that didn’t exactly break my heart. The Mind Eraser, Big Dipper, and Double Loop were tolerable, very fun, and provided many re-rides without me having to pop some Advil right away. I also did the Barnstormer, a silly flat Matterhorn/Music Express type of thingy. After several hours of coaster bliss I decided to take some photos (the sun was finally coming out!) By that time X-Flight was up and running again and was nearly walk-on for a while which provided a few more rides before photo time. I have heard horror stories about employees harassing people taking photos and video but I managed to take pics all over the place without anybody saying anything.

Being a big fan of animals I was curious to check out the “Wildlife” side so I trekked on over the bridge and ran into some nice photo opps of the lake. I checked out some of the shows, including Tiger Island and the Reptiles. The sea lion/walrus show was cute. I especially enjoyed the aquarium and the dolphins (I just love dolphins...a lifelong dream of mine is to swim with them!) Someday. I had no idea this side of the park was so huge, well, at seemed that I was walking forever. I came upon a “kiddy” section including a pirate ship, and a handful of “kids” rides. I also decided to take a break and play a few rounds of skeeball. After making my way back to the ride side of the park I noticed all the Halloween “freaks” were coming out. Too funny! I especially loved the bloodied Ice (S)cream truck with a severed kids bicycle sticking out of the front grill, playing the annoying creepy music, located in front of the Big Dipper………..SICK!

I did the rounds again, including some of the flat rides until about 11pm. By that time the park was desolate (except for the freaks) and I was about ready to drop after a final ride on X-Flight. I got back to the motel, and didn’t even finish my beer before I was OUT!!! It’s funny how hard you crash after a full day of adrenaline rushing through your veins. The day was almost perfect. The only downer was that I lost my dear, very beloved Timex Ironman watch that I had had for 12 years on X-Flight. Oh well, better that than your wallet or car keys!!!!

Next day I woke up early and was eager to get to Sandusky. After a nice hearty breakfast at Denny’s I made it to the Milan Motel 6 (yeah, I know…. I can’t help it…. Motel 6 ROCKS!) in about 35 minutes, again arrogantly breaking the speed limit. I checked in very early and headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up some more film (yeah, I know…I am getting a digital next year so shut up already! J) and a cheap watch to tie me over. Today was clear, and warmer than yesterday, of course you wouldn’t have noticed with those relentless Lake Erie winds. Anyway, I got to the Point at a little after 11am. Driving onto the causeway always gets to me. It’s almost like a religious experience…. seeing all that beautiful steel and wood sticking out of the sand. There is nothing quite like it. I remember when I laid eyes on the Millennium Force the first time two years ago. I was so taken back I literally almost drove into Lake Erie. This time I was taken back by the new yellow supports and a little red track sticking up in the air that will eventually be the new 2003 Intamin launcher.

The Halloweekend “freaks” already surrounded the front gates. I couldn’t help myself but join the infamous “Run of the Bulls” to the Millennium Force. I kept eyeing Wicked Twister, which was the only coaster I hadn’t done yet at Cedar Point, but I had to have to Millennium Force first and foremost. 10 minute wait…..third seat from the back……..OOHHHHHHH YEAH! I ran off and ran right back into the queue. This time it was a 20-minute wait…SWEET! Nice…now to Wicked Twister. The initial launch was OK, going up backwards the first time was…….ok…then it kicked in and hauled ass up for two more double twists. Twisting up backwards was a new experience. Fun coaster! I spent about an hour on Wicked Twister alone, and luckily it was walk-on all day. After my umpteenth time I decided to get on the Giant Wheel to take advantage of some more photo opportunities. OK, now to the regulars near the front of the park…..Raptor (STILL my favorite B&M inverted), Disaster Transport, Blue Streak, and a few Demon Drop rides. Hell, I was so happy and giddy like a 10 year old I even did the Calypso and Matterhorn Bobsleds, and had a very fun time on my favorite horsey ride: the Cedar Downs.

Time to make my way to the back. I stopped by Wildcat and did the lame Iron Dragon, and then one Corkscrew ride (that is all I can tolerate without falling asleep) Power Tower was mostly walk-on on the launch side, so I spent about hour dropping down and blasting up until my little heart was content. OH YEAH! I stopped by the construction site and could not believe just how much land they have cleared for this new ride. It’s amazing how much dirt you can dig up with such relatively limited space. The photos I have seen of the site do not do it justice. All I can say is the Intamin launcher is going to be similar to the Xcelerator but with obviously different elements. Well, it’s going to be bigger, faster, wider, and more insane! Honestly, I don’t care about the specifics….just make the announcements already!!!

Onto the other rides…. I took the opportunity to ride the coasters I usually disregard……Road Runner Express, Jr. Gemini, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, all of which are EXCELLENT! Gemini was running one train but still provided a handful of excellent rides. The Magnum was also VERY walk-on, and I was getting excited with the idea of pretty much having it all to myself all day long. Unfortunately I had one bad ride, and I decided not to chance it again. What the hell happened to Magnum????? A friend of mine said that there was a “bad” train. It felt more like the steel equivalent to the first few rides on the SOB two years ago. Oh well, onto Mean Streak. I was expecting a crappy ride since the last dozen times were not the best, but I managed to get a half-decent ride (front row). I rode two more times before I got bored. The rest of the time I made the rounds, and took my time. I played quite a few arcade games, and found a new love….the” Dance Dance Revolution” (I really suck at it but it’s fun and A HELL of a workout!) I checked out the museum. I can’t believe this was the first time I have seen it since I spent a good hour in there. It is chocked-full of CP history, and being a history buff (especially amusement parks) I was lost in my own world.

It was getting to be dusk and the “freaks” were running amuck. I grabbed some cheese fries and made my way over to the Mantis for a few, and then of course went over to MF for two more rides. This time the wait was approx. 30 minutes. I can NEVER get tired of this ride, EVER! The speed, the height, the airtime……..CANNOT be beat! I then decided on a few more rides on Raptor when I ran into my good friends Scott and Carol Holmes (I also ran into several ACER’s throughout the day) It was a good thing I did run into them since they provided me with directions to the defunct Chippewa Lake. After catching up with them and drooling over Carol’s new digital cam, I decided to get a few more rides in. I did Raptor one more time, Cedar Downs, Demon Drop, and one more ride on Wicked Twister and Disaster Transport before heading onto the “Space Needle” for some mediocre “dusk” shots. WHEW!

Awesome time. Again, I didn’t check out the Halloween attractions, which I wished I would of now. I guess I didn’t want to bother with real lines! JI drove back to Motel 6 in a daze, still managing to pick up a late dinner and a sixer. Of course, after a shower and THREE beers……I zonked.

I woke up around 8am and knew it was time to make my way back home to Charleston. I took I-71 and stopped by Chippewa Lake for about two hours. I didn’t really know what I was doing but was beside myself with the idea of visiting my “first” defunct amusement park, especially after viewing other’s photos and TR’s online. I parked in front of the main gate and immediately noticed the main ticket booth and the top of the “Coaster” or “Big Dipper” or whatever it was called. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 25 years since this park closed! I also took little notice to the “No Trespassing” sings. I walked down the road a bit along the fence to discover several houses and paths leading into the woods. I took one of them but didn’t see anything other than a collapsed building. I walked back and decided to go back up to the main gate where I was parked. An older gentleman saw me and waved and didn’t seem to care that I was there (he was probably used to these crazy enthusiasts wandering around). I didn’t want to look like I was being inconsiderate (which I wasn’t) so I was inconspicuous, and assumed my parked car was not in the way or bothering anyone.

I found a relatively small opening through the fence near the main ticket booth, and managed not to get scarred by the barbed wire. HA! I was in. It’s one of those things where you know you should not be there, it’s potentially dangerous considering the coasters and buildings are collapsed or ready to collapse, and you could get seriously hurt. Curiosity gets the best of you though, like a little kid exploring the woods with zero fear of anything, although you are still relatively cautious. Actually, I really didn’t care and the adrenaline high from being in this place was prevalent!

I immediately took to the old coaster, and stupidly climbed up and onto the load station to take photos (it was worth it!). I explored the buildings beside and around the coaster, while keeping an eye out for possible souvenirs. Unfortunately I didn’t find anything worth taking. I considered taking an old lamp but decided against it. I noticed the large volume of beer bottles, cans, and debris around the park, and places where bonfires had been and attempted fires had failed (or succeeded as in the Ballroom). It made me kind of upset that people would abuse this piece of history. Stupid kids. Oh well, at least they made an opening in the fence for the ones who really appreciates this park and it’s history!

After spending a considerable amount of time at the coaster, I noticed an old turnstile. Should I take it? Hell no. I would never get that thing out of the park myself, or even attempt it. I noticed quite a few misplaced collapsed picnic tables. Should I take a piece of those? No way. I then made my way back onto the concrete and headed towards the lake. I noticed several collapsed buildings, tons of oil cans (along with the beer bottles) and a few burnt trucks and the famous Tumble Bug, as well as the swinging thingy. I am surprised people haven’t tried to take the Tumble Bug cars, since the “coaster” cars have long since disappeared. I encountered a few ticket booths and places that used to be food stands and restaurants, as well as the Ferris wheel. I found the paddle wheel boat and decided to take a few pics of the lake itself. I kept thinking of the game “Silent Hill” (must have been the creepy amusement park sequence) and also how this area would serve as a good location for a lame slasher movie, or a possible “Add-on day” to Coaster Con 2004. Hey, why not? We could hold a campout at Chippewa Lake, tell ghost stories, turn on the cams and do our best “Blair Witch” thing. Yeah, I know… I am sure the quiet residents at the Chippewa Lake Community would appreciate that.

Anyway, I was running out of film and decided to move on (yeah, I WILL get a digital already! Shut up!) I walked up a hill and saw what used to be a restaurant, and beside of it was the burnt Ballroom. So sad. That is one building I really looked forward to seeing. Oh well..out of film…..time to move on. I got back to the main ticket booth and was pissed that I ran out of film so soon since I didn’t get a pic of it. I had to get back home, so I went back through the hole in the fence and managed to get caught in the barbed wire! I was kind of bummed that I missed or couldn’t find the caboose, the little kiddy coaster, the mouse, and lord knows what else. That’s OK…….I will be back. Awesome weekend indeed! Check out the pics the CP construction, SFWOA, and of course Chippewa Lake! www.intenserides.com

Cheers,

Tina Nelson

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

*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN on 10/18/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 6:18 PM
Good TR but what would you have done if you got caught.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 6:47 PM
If you're standing in front of the lake (looking out toward it), the mouse, caboose, and kiddie coaster are way to your left (past the turnstile). The mouse itself is on the far edge of the park, and the caboose is a little further in.

-Nate

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 9:54 PM
I made a visit to Chippewa Lake during coastermainia when I was in Ohio. I did drive up to the park but I wasnt as brave to enter inside ;) as much as I realy wanted to. It was exciting to see the Big Dipper was still there. Nice trip report.

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9Years working at Valleyfair :)


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Wednesday, October 16, 2002 3:08 AM

coasterdude318 said:
If you're standing in front of the lake (looking out toward it), the mouse, caboose, and kiddie coaster are way to your left (past the turnstile). The mouse itself is on the far edge of the park, and the caboose is a little further in.

-Nate



Ha! I knew it! Unfortunately I didn't get that far. Next time.

Tina

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

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Wednesday, October 16, 2002 3:14 AM

medusafanatic said:
Good TR but what would you have done if you got caught.

Some older gentleman saw me and didn't seem to mind. I guess the WV plates pretty much said I was just another curious enthusiast that meant no harm. I figure if the residents didn't really want anyone there they would run anybody out as soon as they saw them.

There were a lot of signs of mischief. Lots of fires have been started or attempted, in addition to the litter and beer bottles lying around. I am surprised that anything is still standing, especially the coaster. It was a neat experience though. I look forward to going back.

Tina

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

*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN on 10/16/2002. ***

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 5:29 AM
Tina, all I can say about those picutres is: WOW! They are absolutly amazing. I live in Ohio, about 45-50 minutes south of SFWoA, and I had never been to Chippewa Lake. These pictures make me want to skip right on over there and check it out for myself in person. Again. AWSOME pictures.

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We have waited all through the years for the 6 jokers cards...Carnival of Carnage, the Ringmaster, the Riddlebox, the Great Milenko, the Amazing Jeckel Brothers and now the 6th and Final card...the Wraith. What will happen now?

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 6:05 AM

Thanks! I really want to go back, probably in the winter months when the trees are bare and you can see more of it.

Tina

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

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 7:40 AM
In your pictures, the second picture under the "other" category is of the collapsed bumper car building. The third used to be a rocket ride (rocket-shaped cars suspended by chains swung around a circular path). I can't tell what the fourth is...maybe I'll dig out my CLP pictures later today and see if I can find out.

-Nate

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 9:09 AM

Sorry, but I can't read this without some paragraphs... ;)

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 4:34 PM

MDOmnis said:

Sorry, but I can't read this without some paragraphs...

It just kind of cut and pasted that way :-) But I did fix it!!!

-Tina



*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN on 10/17/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN on 10/18/2002. ***

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Thursday, October 17, 2002 4:37 PM

coasterdude318 said:
In your pictures, the second picture under the "other" category is of the collapsed bumper car building. The third used to be a rocket ride (rocket-shaped cars suspended by chains swung around a circular path). I can't tell what the fourth is...maybe I'll dig out my CLP pictures later today and see if I can find out.

-Nate

Thanks! I will update that.

Tina

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


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Friday, October 18, 2002 11:06 AM

Wonderful pics! It's been a long time since I've been "struck" by something on these message boards, but the pics from the station and the last pic of the turnstile sparked an almost erie longing to see this park in it's heyday. Haunting, indeed.

Thank you.

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

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Friday, October 18, 2002 4:13 PM

Chaindog said:

Wonderful pics! It's been a long time since I've been "struck" by something on these message boards, but the pics from the station and the last pic of the turnstile sparked an almost erie longing to see this park in it's heyday. Haunting, indeed.

Thank you.

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...



You are most welcome!

-Tina

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

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