I remember my wife-to-be and I getting absolutely trashed in Kent after we spent the day at the park in 2003. We dropped by the following morning before we had to fly home and got some incredible Villain rides while suffering a nasty hangover. To this day my wife talks about those Villain rides with a smile on her face. That's also took my first rides on X-Flight and figured it was lousy because of the way I was feeling until I rode Batwing at SFA the following year and realized it was lousy even when sober.
Favorite memory? I'm not so sure. But definitely one of the more interesting ones.
*** Edited 9/26/2007 6:31:32 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***
Where are the people who are all fired up over the closing?
I think my favorite memory is being around 9-10 years old, and going with my dad. I only remember one thing from that day and that is riding up the Big Dipper lift hill at night with him, going around the corner and thinking, holy crap.
While working at Cedar Point, my cronies and I decided to take a trip to Dorney. We just had to stop at Geuaga Lake on the way for some Dominator & X-Flight. I had sandals on and, for a reason that still escapes me, I decided to ride X-Flight with them on. Sure enough during the horseshoe my sandal went flying. I let an op know what happened and they told us to wait. They actually brought a manager over and held up loading for someone to fetch my footwear. It was a funny moment as I stood at the exit with only one sandal on.
My favorite memory was the last year for Six Flags. My friend and I were riding Villain and it started to rain while we were riding. When we got back to the station, there was no one waiting when we got back. So the ride-ops let us stay on the ride and seven consecutive rides later, the rain had stop and people were filling up the station.
Those were the good ol' days.
Second best memory, this past Coaster EXT. *** Edited 9/26/2007 8:20:55 PM UTC by JR Villain***
I have so many memories from GL it would be difficult to pick a favorite. One of the nicest came only a few weeks ago. My daughter cleared the 48" height requirement for Big Dipper, and we rode it in the front seat together. Just watching her expression going down the first hill, all glee and fear and expectation. Shouting, "Whee!" together on the bunny hills. Watching her rise up out of her seat, giggling, for each air-time moment. My arm around her protectively, as I always do for a first-time ride on a new coaster.
She loved it so much we rode it three more times that night. That memory alone was worth the price of my season pass.
Other favorites: walking across the footbridge, my daughter on my shoulders, enjoying the breeze picking up as the sun sets behind the park.
Riding Americana after dark, watching the lights on the Spider spinning across the lake.
The summer of 1988, waiting in line for the then new Raging Wolf Bobs. They had TV's at every corner in the queues. I remember Sineaid O'Conner's "Nothing Compares 2 U" played incessantly. That song will always remind me of that day.
I'm sure I could think of thirty more memories just as meaningful and passionate if I chose to invest more time. The point is that no matter what people say about Geauga Lake being nothing special, it sure was to my family and me.
Maybe the numbers couldn't support its continued existence, but that doesn't make its closing and destruction any less of a sin. These places -- all of them, are special. They're not just businesses, they're landmarks in a community's consciousness. When these places are gone, they will never be replaced. And just as with Euclid Beach and Chippewa Lake and Idora Park, people will wake up to that fact, again, too late.
As a guest my favorite memories all include my brother, sister and I all going to the park regularly during the summers and just going home exhausted.
As an employee I have many, many more fond memories: employee socials, softball leagues, ride nights, girls, the sounds of the sea lions barking across the lake, the Star Spangled Banner playing every morning, girls, Rotor Fred, the "Banana Boat" pile-into-a-car days, girls....
...Oktoberfest, making lifelong friends, Saturdays when the traffic of the combined two parks stretched all the way back to Streetsboro, girls, the summer of '88 which was an absolute scorcher, a couple of scary Big Dipper incidents...
Boy, I could go on and on. Geauga Lake was a significant part of nearly a third of my life whether as a guest or employee. My deepest regret will be not having the chance to take my kids there. I should have made the effort on one of our trips up north.
I hear you, wahoo. I wish the park would stay open a few more years, just so my daughter would have more accurate memories of the place. It will probably become some semi-mythical place from the mists of her childhood.
I think my favorite memory would have to be during my 2nd visit in 2003. Janis and I had just left Cedar Point and decided to hit GL on the way back to Richmond, VA. We got to the park about 2 in the afternoon, it was an 8pm closing. The park was empty and it was running multi trains on the coasters. (well, except for the two shuttles...) We got many rides during the day, but it ended with a 3 hour marathon on the Villian. Thats when it became our favorite coaster, it held that title until this past Dec. It was evening time now and it was very overcast with a slight mist. The coaster was FLYING, probably the best it could. It was the best condition for a wood coaster to run at full blast. They had both trains running and only two employees working the entire ride, one on controls and one checking harnesses. The trains never stacked. We got to stay on and switch seats if someone was in our line. They ran it so well, when the park closed we found the area's ride manager and stopped him and thanked him and gave his two employee running Villian a compliement. He was so happy to hear how good they did, he invited us two to stay with them and enjoy an employee ride session on Villian, they told us to take the front seat even ! So we rode for another hour. We gave employees the front seat after a few rides, then we made our way to the back. It was my favorite all time memory of GL. I will be very sad to see it and Villian go...
My favorite memory of GL was the last time I was there with my mother and my brother, in 2001. It was my first time at a Six Flags park (I hadn't gone to SFO the year prior), and my third time at the park ever. Our family was never as close as it was that day, and we were never that close after then, either. Something about that day, though.
My favorite memory was going there one summer when I was I believe 9 years old. It was the first real amusement park I went to and I fell in love with roller coasters there. Double loop was the first ride I ever went on that went upside down and my sister and I loved it. In the evening we rode it over and over until our parents told us that we had one more ride and then we had to get going. I remember the train after ours got stuck on the way up the lift hill as we were walking to the exit of the ride. Our dad was standing at the exit waiting for us and he told us to wait where we were because our mom was across the midway waiting on a bench and we were going to mess with her. He went over and told her that we were on the train stuck on the lift hill. We unfortunately could not see her reaction but as our dad told us it was pretty funny. We teased her all the way home and I for some reason have always found that story to be really funny.
I will always remember that day as the day I fell in love with coasters.
In June of 1975 after some serious goading and coercion by my so-call friends, I rode my first roller coaster, the Big Dipper. In a lifetime of coaster experiences, no other coaster has equaled the feeling of my first ride.
This June, 32 years later, my 16 year old son and I spent eight days in NE Ohio. My youngest child and I spent a rainy Friday at Geauga Lake. During this visit I was able to share my memories of the park with my son and create some new ones.
While the rocket ships, the Rock-o-Plane, the Caterpillar, and the Big Ditch are long gone, they will remain in my memory and that is where they belong.
The trip became bittersweet when I heard the news this weekend while at Kennywood oddly enough, but the memories remain.
edited to fix formatting *** Edited 9/27/2007 3:40:59 AM UTC by CoasterDad64***
Coaster Con of 1988, my first coaster event. The RWB was brand new (nice to smell, fast) but the real action was at the Big Dipper.
The track was turqoise (sp?) and the trains were green and yellow. All that airtime at night, back when coaster geeks were actually nice, instead of 'too cool'. Riding with strangers and friends and enjoying it.
My favorite memory of Geauga Lake is going for the last time with my family when I was 15 years old. We were there for my dads company picnic. It was the last one they had there.
My friend, Lisa, and I were in the wave pool most of the day. Towards the late afternoon she really wanted to ride the roller coasters. I was Terrified of them. I Very reluctantly agreed to ride one. She picked Double Loop because it was pretty tame. I was freaked out because it went upside down...Twice! :) I cried the whole way up the lift hill, which isn't very big, but felt humongous to me. After the ride was over I was hooked! We rode again and again and again! We then went over to Raging Wolf Bobs where we proceeded to ride 13 times in a row!
I will never forget that day. That was the day that changed my life. Taking a first coaster ride may not be life changing for most people, but it really was for me. I learned that doing something scary that you've always been afraid of could have good outcomes.
There are many, many other memories from Geauga Lake. For many years that was our only family vacation. That was the one time that I knew my family would be together and have fun. I missed those timed even when the park was open, but it's even sadder now that it is closed.
That's a nice site... one that I support (no surprise there). I just hope that it's not too late. I've seen pictures where Thunderhawk is already being dismantled and I can see Dipper being demolished before any kind of pressure can be applied to save the ride. Can't save what's not there, right? Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.