Does anyone remember West View Park?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:42 AM
When the Bat Chute replacd the Ferris Wheel, that was a sign to everyone that the park was starting on the way downhill. By the mid-60s a Ferris Wheel was no longer a must-have ride in parks but something like a Skydiver would have shown everyone that the park was still moving forward.
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Friday, May 25, 2007 10:54 AM
Glad I found this thread. Googled "history of West View Park" and landed here.

I also grew up going to WVP. Annunciation School picnics, Thorofare Days, etc. Lots of good memories. And I also remember the coasters, the haunted houses, the Alpine Sky Ride, the sulfur tasting fountains, the spin art and most of all, the excitement we used to experience when my father drove around the corner on Horseshoe Bend and we got a glimpse of the Dips and knew we were there.

My parents actually met at West View Danceland and are now married 56 years.

One ride I did not like was the spinning cages. I went on with my brother, and when we got to the top and it stopped to load others, he started spinning the cage just to scare me. It worked! Never went on that one again.

I live in West View now, and I agree, it is quite depressing in the Plaza. Businesses are shutting down left and right, and what is left, is nothing to get excited about. I've often told my son, while driving through the plaza, exactly which ride we would have been on, at certain locations. He used to not really care, but now, at age 15, I think he is starting to have an appreciation for what he missed out on, and says he wishes it were still there, so that he could experience it.

Also sad about the closing of CLP. My older son, and his fiance, are getting married there on June 2nd, on the Pier at Hotel Conneaut. They received a phone call this week that the hotel was closing and they would have to move their wedding elsewhere, but the hotel has decided to honor their promise, since it was such short notice. And it looks like they might be a part of history, as they are going to be the last wedding/event held at that historical landmark. All others have been cancelled, sadly.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 11:11 AM
Dont look good for Conneaut,I fear it may see the same fate as West View.

Conneaut has some of West Views former rides..

The Paratrooper,the Tempest(the one before the one they have now,was located by the Beach Club),the kiddie Bug and the Jolly Catapillar.

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Friday, May 25, 2007 6:24 PM
For whatever reason that I can't explain, the Tempest was the ride that I never really cared for. Which is odd, considering I love things like the Tip Top (Bubble Bounce) and whatnot that you can spin like a madman. The Tempest at WVP just left a bad taste in my mouth for some unknown reason, and I never rode it again.

The "cages" (Rock O Plane) were a favorite of mine. We tortured ourselves on that ride and were proud of it! Oddly enough, years later, riding Conneaut's Roll-O-Plane, I got off in a daze, feeling kind of like a tether ball. Didn't stop me from doing it a couple more times, though :)

I am now on a quest to find a Zipper to take my son on, after bragging about it so much. My favorite flat ride of all time, hands down. I think one can still be found (hopefully) at the Saxonburg fire department carnival the 2nd week of June. The website of the fair company (I forget the name now) shows a Zipper as one of their rides, and I know Sax had one running like 15 or so years ago.. here's hoping!

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Friday, May 25, 2007 6:55 PM
The Zipper is my favorite also,if you can do a Zipper,you can ride just about anything :)

Butler Fair usually has one also.

I rode the one at Saxonburg probably 25 years ago,I think that one was on steroids.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:12 AM
For some reason, there were never very many Zippers in parks. They were very popular in traveling midways, however. It might have been the relatively low hourly capacity that was to blame. Also there was a problem with some of them during the 1970s that caused the CPSC to issue a warning about the ride.

One of the things to remember about fairs and carnivals is that they often have some great flats, . They can't have wooden coasters (unless the fairgrounds has one in place) but the bigger ones often have rides such as steel coasters and log flumes.

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Monday, May 28, 2007 4:44 PM
Sad too now, the landowners of the old Faulk Farm sold out (the entire hillside above the old park) to a developer.... currently building homes on it as we speak. That whole area could have been park expansion, or parking area if they would have used the parking lot they had for park expansion.

Probably would have been better to put actual park attractions up there, as the only viable access to it is narrow, winding Hinkel Road, which couldn't handle much traffic.

Guess it doesnt matter much now :(

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 12:13 PM

Arthur Bahl said:


Two kiddie rides from Allen Herschell (Rodeo and Jolly Caterpillar) -- this made West View's Kiddieland one of the largest in the country.

Flying Cages self operated ride


Hi, I'm sorry to bump up this thread but I've been working on a "Past Rides" site and I was wondering if the Jolly Caterpillar is the Caterpillar from West View Park that got relocated to Knoebels to be the original Cosmotron.

Also does anyone have any info on the Flying Cages (WVP's, any other parks, or just general info about the ride)? I'm really interested in learning more about Flying Cage rides.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 12:45 PM
^Assuming you ARE referring to the Rock-O-Plane, like this one: http://www.pbase.com/rollergator/image/78506899

Pretty please with the train from Dipper coming down the hill, hehe.

There's also one at AdventureLand in Iowa, seen here: http://www.pbase.com/rollergator/image/66516803

And another at Sandy Lake:
http://www.pbase.com/rollergator/image/80180786

Probably a couple more I can't think of at the moment, since work is kinda crazy right now...

Two *functional* Caterpillars as of now in the US - Idlewild and Canobie. :)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 12:58 PM
I think the flying cages are another name for the swinging gym. See here.

This is a Herschell Jolly Caterpillar. It is not the himalaya-type ride found at Idlewild, Canobie, Delgrosso's, Camden, and probably several other places I can't remember.

Rob Ascough maintains a list of existing classic rides. It was compiled from a thread about the subject that appeared here about a year ago. *** Edited 6/26/2007 5:00:11 PM UTC by millrace***

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 2:45 PM
Thanks for all the info! I was referring to the Swingin' Gym, I read about it once and was trying to find more info, it's interesting that there are still a few traveling around Europe. Anyway, very interesting page, thanks!

And yeah, I was hoping that the Jolly Caterpillar wasn't actually a "Jolly Caterpillar" model, I'm trying to figure out if Knoebel's original Cosmotron was a Traver or a Herschell. Most sources list it as a Traver, but Joel Styer sent me an e-mail about my site and put up a pretty good opinion about why it's probably a Herschell. He's going to ask the head maintenance worker from the Cosmotron about it next time he goes to Knoebels. Also I'm trying to figure out what it was called when it was at West View.

Once again thanks for the info!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 4:38 PM
I believe that the West View Jolly Caterpillar kiddie ride is the one that is currently (SBNO) at Conneaut. As for the big West View Caterpillar, it was called the Caterpillar when it was at West View.

Flying Cages were found at other parks back in the 1960s. Kennywood had them for a couple of years in the early 60s while their Flying Scooters (aka Dipsy Doodle and later Flyer) was being overhauled. They called the ride the Alley-Oop. I believe that this ride became a liability nightmare which is why it isn't seen much any more.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 4:52 PM
Thanks for the Caterpillar info, do you know if it was a Herschell or a Traver? And I didn't know Kennywood ever had Flying Cages, that's pretty cool, I'll definitely use that for my site. This is a really interesting board.

EDIT: Nevermind, it's definitely a Herschell. *** Edited 6/27/2007 3:27:55 AM UTC by Le Serpent Mascara***

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 6:44 PM
Another one of West Views rides(forgot all about it) made it to another park,the Whip ended up at Cascade Park in New Castle Pa.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:28 AM
I have noticed that the Whip at Hershey and Knoebels doesn't compare to the one at Kennywood, or for that matter, what I remember of the one at West View.

The one at Hershey was particularly lame, it had a concrete floor as opposed to the shiny metal, and modern looking cars. It had no "snap" to it whatsoever. Knoebels had a decent swing to it at first, then kind of petered out before the completion of the turn, and kind of slowed with an annoying "clunk".

Knoebel's old Scooter cars rock the world! Too bad my son didn't make the 54" height requirement to run his own car... his sole mission in any bumper car arena is to seek out the old man and knock me into next week.... though I can't blame them one bit, those things have some punch and a half. You KNOW you've been hit on those babies, and a good clock to the rear quarter will spin your butt clean around! They are very close if not exact to what I remember West View's to be... the old round cars. (Where did WV's Scooters go, if anywhere?) *** Edited 6/28/2007 5:29:44 AM UTC by Chooch249***

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Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:03 AM
The original Mangels Whips were the best. I agree that the KW Whip is a good one with excellent whipping action at each end.

I rode the West View Whip many times years ago and that was one of the best around. Like the KW Whip, it was a Mangels ride.

The West View Skooters (bumper cars) were classic Lusse cars with the great bumping action like those at Knoebels. I don't know what became of them.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:03 AM
There is a Swingin' Gym ride at Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd, Minnesota that is still operating. They have alot of unique rides at that park.

The best Whip ride is at Camden Park in Huntington, West Virginia!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:09 AM

Arthur Bahl said:
The original Mangels Whips were the best. I agree that the KW Whip is a good one with excellent whipping action at each end.

I rode the West View Whip many times years ago and that was one of the best around. Like the KW Whip, it was a Mangels ride.

The West View Skooters (bumper cars) were classic Lusse cars with the great bumping action like those at Knoebels. I don't know what became of them.


I believe West Views Scooters ended up at Knoebels(almost certain).I think they mention that on the West View park tape"rediscover the excitement"

West View and Kennywood are(were)two great Whips.

*** Edited 6/28/2007 2:16:34 PM UTC by Ex_Westview and KW_worker***

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Monday, April 6, 2009 11:03 PM

Worked at the park for a few years ('73 to '76), park was allowed to die because of disinterest of the Kuntz's and the rise in insurance rates. I was a ride mechanic and walked the park with the bean counters and was told what safety upgrades were needed. They always found fault and tried to make everything more complicated which meant longer load times.

Even so, I was always proud of the fact that no one got hurt in the park on my watch.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 11:23 PM

Ah, those Thoroughfare days!

I remember every year, the last night of Thoroughfare days...they always expired at like 10:00 and the park stayed open till 11.... so the "thing to do" was try to get on the Dips, Racing Whippet, or Sky Ride, at 10:00 and throw all your leftover Thoroughfare tix like confetti, because they were no longer any good.

(My SINCEREST apologies to all you ex-WVP employees who had to clean that mess up :( )

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