This past Saturday was a big day for our family. After our big house clean-up, we hit the mall for some new shoes, then made our way 45 minutes eastward to attend Erieview Park for the last time ever.
Upon our arrival at around 6:30 in Geneva-On-The-Lake and subsequent successful quest to find parking, we set off down the strip to have dinner at Eddies. After a fine repast of chili-dogs, cheeseburgers, fries and some root beer, we headed back up the strip to little Erieview Park.
Upon arrival I stepped up to the ticket booth to purchase their special, 15 tickets for $18.50. Not exactly a bargain but this was our last trip, but not my last trip to the ticket booth! Each ticket is worth 1 ride on anything. Does not matter if it's a kiddie ride or an adult ride, it's one ticket period.
The kids, my daughter will be six next month and my son is three, had been yammering to go on the roller-coaster so we made our way over to The Brat, a typical Ben Schiff kiddie model. Unfortunatly I was not destined to take a final spin on it this year. The operator said my son, who is just past 36 inches tall could ride with his 45 inch tall sister, I need not be present. So looking at it as a savings of one ticket I watched as my children loaded themselves and proceeded to have big fun on The Brat.
After this excitement my children pointed to the Bisch Rocco Flying Scooters. I agreed wholeheartedly and after it finished it's cycle my daughter, son and myself squished into one of the tubs and waited. This was my sons FIRST ever ride on a Flying Scooter and he loved it, and so did my daughter especially when I gave her control for a little while. I will definitly miss this ride because it is the last Flying Scooter in Ohio that is at a park that is open daily, the other being at Strickers Grove which I have yet to attend.
My son started clamoring to ride the "choo choo" but he was not referring to the train ride, he was referring to Erieview's hand cart ride, which does not look like a choo-choo in the least, but he has ridden the model at Waldameer Park that does so he calls them "choo choos!" We set my daughter off first because this is the only hand cart ride that she can really book on and she does! I was overjoyed that I didn't have to push my son the ENTIRE way around, he actually had it moving fairly well with only an occasional shove to keep him moving.
After this we stepped right over to the classic cable driven Big Eli Ferris Wheel. The three of us piled into a pink car, which had not been the car ready to load, but the operator heard my daughter ask for a pink car and he nicely rotated the wheel so we could ride it. I also was told I could take photo's so I snapped off a few shots while whipping around this ride, which was no where near as noisy as the last time I rode it! It's actually a very fun ferris wheel and comes VERY close to the leaves on the trees, as can be seen in one of my pictures.
After this the kids needed a more relaxing ride so we sauntered over to the train ride. I had an e-mail conversation with Don Woodward, the owner, back in 2003 and he gave me a lot of info on the rides at Erieview. I still have those e-mails but something happened at Yahoo and I have not been able to access them to find out some details, but the train cars look a lot like old roller coaster cars!
While the rest of the family was enjoying their train ride, I took some random photos of the park, including the Tilt-a-Whirl graveyard. Some years back Don bought a used Tilt-a-Whirl to use for parts for his running one, since it was cheaper to actually get parts this way. So there it was, few pieces left to it than the last time I saw it, but there were still some cars and the track sitting in a pile of weeds towards the back of the property.
After they arrived back at the station the kids and I took a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl and received one of the best Tilt rides I have ever had, we were really spinning something fierce and had a blast.
At this point in time I had to head back to the ticket window to get another 15 tickets at $18.50. A total of $37.00 bucks spend for 30 rides split between 4 people, it seems a little steep but we still had fun! After purchasing the tickets we stepped up to the Eyerly Octopus, a true old classic ride. By this time the park was starting to fill up and we actually rode on a full Octopus and got some great spins! The one thing I didn't understand though was that my wife and daughter were the last ones on, and the first ones off, not usually the way it works.
We were right next to the Roll-O-Plane but we did not ride, none of the kids were tall enough, and the tilt mechanism has never worked in the 4 years I had been coming there so maybe at Knoebels on Labor Day I'll get my first ride on one.
The children now requested to ride on the "horseys" so we went over to the kiddie Carousel and Alex rode by herself while Loreen stood next to Peter for a fun spin while I took a few more pictures of them and various things.
We then walked over to the Hampton tubs ride where my son and daughter started some serious spinning(for them anyhow), once the ride started my son held on while Alex attempted to get some spin in. After hopping off we stepped right up to the Allan Herschell Helicopter ride. Two kids loaded ahead of us and the operator took them to a specific car, then my kids climbed into a red/blue one. Turns out the orange car the other two kids were in was the best one because when you pulled back on the bar the chopper SHOT up! My kids pulled back on their bar and the chopper coughed, hiccupped, and s-l-o-w-l-y climbed into the air! They had fun on these two rides, but for some reason they were the shortest rides as far as ride time of any rides we went on the whole time we were there.
My son then stated he was willing to ride the "spooky" ride so we got in line for the Fright Zone, which only had two cars running. After about 5 minutes and us next to go, he decided he didn't want to ride and I wasn't going to force him to, so we left the line THAT close to me finally riding it. Alas this classic Herschell dark ride was never ridden by me and unless someone buys it, I may never get another chance.
The sun was starting to set and the tickets were running low. We walked over to the hand carts and the kids took one more ride on that, then we took our last two tickets over to The Brat for one final ride of the day, and one final ride forever at Erieview Park.
To see pictures from this trip report feel free to visit: http://tmcgill1.photosite.com/ErieviewParkAugust2006/
I took a handful of pics on a visit there 2 weeks ago- if anyone is interested: http://rayp.smugmug.com/gallery/1738896/
Thanks again for a great read-
I always wondered about that old tilt-a-whirl in the weeds!
Regarding the train, I believe that is a National Amusement Device train. The cars are patterned after the Century Flyer coaster cars. Bushkill (pre-flood) had/has an identical train.
I talked to the train operator about the non-tilting of the Roll-O-Plane and he told me that it will tilt but they generally don't run it that way because they are worried about how to evacuate it in case of a power failure, at the end of the season, Erieview would hold a party for the employees and they would utilize the tilt feature then.
I would like to see CLP pick up some of the business from Erieview when it closes. The parks are only about an hour's drive apart.
As for the rides at Erieview, I hope that some of them find their way to other parks. This is particularly true of Fright Zone which has many stunts from the old West View Park Haunted House.
Haunted house, train, and hopefully that Eyerly Octopus will all get relocated along with the Brat...another beachside park going down to high property values... :(
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