Favorite GL memories.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:10 PM
Good Lord, where to start? Geauga Lake was the park I frequented most in the 70's while still young. Basically it was 3 years at GL and then the 4th year to CP. I have a lot...

The old funhouse with the wooden slide, rotating barrel, and the spinning disk in the floor that flung you out the faster it went. The Rocket Ships, the Cuddle Up, The Bug, The Flying Skooters, The Caterpillar, the Rock-O-Plane, the Eyerly Fly-O-Plane that made a tremendous racket. I remember getting a bloody nose on the Spider, for no apparent reason. I remember the old train that went around the Big Dipper, and then the Big Dipper itself. Sometime in the mid-seventies my Dad took me on it, I became terrified of coasters after that and would only ride the Mine Ride at Cedar point until the summer of 1982. What happened that year? My best friend and I were at the park with my parents. He coerced me into going on the Double Loop. I haven't been afraid of a coaster since then, or any other ride. I guess that would be my favorite memory! :)

Tom


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:18 PM
Ditto on Ensign's mention of the Rotor. That was such a great ride.

I don't know why, but three moments stand out for me as being most memorable:

1- Attending Fright Fest during the 2000 season. The crowds were so thick in the Western Village area thanks to lines for several haunted attractions spilling onto the midways that you could hardly move. I don't think I ever saw another day at the park that crowded.

2- Marathon riding the Musik Express from 9:30-10:00 pm on a visit in August 1995. The ride op let us stay on after every ride cycle and was playing a bizarre selection of tunes. For some reason, I vividly remember the final song of the night being "Winter" by Tori Amos. I found it odd that such a dreary, depressing tune would be used on a high-energy ride like the Express... but it stuck with me all these years. Maybe it was a sign of things to come?

3- In 1981, riding the Big Dipper during a thunderstorm. It was my first ride ever on the Dipper and all I remember was reaching the top of the lift hill and seeing a lightning bolt literally strike something in the parking lot. Everyone on board was silent the rest of the ride. It was a truly weird experience.

And oh yeah, I met Uncle Coaster at SFO too. I guess that counts as memorable. :)

Ray P.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:27 PM
My fondest memories were of my first two visits to the park. I loved the Rockets/Circle Swing, the Caterpillar, Cuddle-Up, and of course the Big Dipper. I rode my first Corkscrew there and thoroughly enjoyed the Double Loop. Regrets...not being able to ride the Bug which was gone by my next visit (the year Raging Wolf Bobs opened). The Fly-O-Plane was still operating but from what I heard from the folks that rode one I hadn't gotten up the nerve to ride it (a BIG regret on that one).

The last time I visited (pre-new coaster addition) I felt the park had lost something in atmosphere and direction. I will mourn its closing and like so many others, hope the Big Dipper (at one time the longest coaster in US and a classic Miller design to boot) can be saved.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:38 PM
^ Are you hearing anything yet?
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Thursday, September 27, 2007 3:33 PM
CPLady's avatar My best memory was a trip in 1994 with my son. Actually, it was a trip to Sea World but we cut that visit short to spend the rest of the day at GL.

It was a laid back day in a "quaint" little park with no lines and we rode most everything except Texas Twister because Ian wasn't tall enough. That was my first sight of a Top Spin.

We thought Corkscrew was dull, double loop was fun, RWB didn't compare to Mean Streak but we loved Big Dipper.

I've been back twice since then, but nothing compares to what the park was in 1994.


I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 5:02 PM
I have several that stand out in my mind. The biggest memory from when I was a kid was the first sight of the skyscraper as we drove out Aurora Road. I was so eager, looking at the tree line on the left side of the road until we were finally close enough to see the tower and red beacon light, I knew we were almost there. I also remember looking out the back window of the car, sad as we were leaving the park at night, watching till the blinking light was gone.

The Musik Express at night! Beautiful!

My more recent memory was seeing the Shouka show for the first time with my daughter. My daughter was 6 years old and loved the animals. She sat on my lap for the entire show and was completely captivated by the killer whale. She was so excited and bounced and clapped and smiled and laughed. Doing something for your children that genuinely makes them happy is a very rewarding experience for a parent and that day was one of the best of my life. She was very good that day and thrilled to be at the park, and to be so close to so many fascinating animals. That day sitting in the old Shamu stadium was one of the best of my life and I will never forget it. Cedar Fair took the park from me but they can't have that!

I hope people understand why some people are so upset by the park closing, these are experiences that will never happen again and it hurts!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:38 PM
Being in my early 40s, I grew up with GL in the 70s and 80s. As a child, my grandparents took us for two trips to GL and one to SW every summer. Combine that with the annual Brecksville Day, Illuminating Company picnics, Italian Day, and Oktoberests, and I easily visited GL 40-50 times before turning 18.

The old flats were great, and I missed them as Premier/SF ripped them out. I loved the flying scooters, rock-o-planes, and of course, the Funhouse. The addition of RWB added some excitement to the park without changing the overall atmosphere as a smaller, but still fun alternative to CP.

Like Knoebels and Waldameer, GL proved that an amusement park can survive and even thrive with just a few coasters. But when SF ripped out that quaint atmosphere, I knew its days were numbered.

This is a huge loss to NE Ohio, on par with the loss of the Browns. Are Kinzel and Modell secretly twins?

I've been to SFO/GL 3 times since 2001, and the park just didn't do it for me any longer. Instead of being on par with a Knoebels style family park, it became CP-lite. For me, GL died a few years ago, even with X-Flight, Dominator, and Villain. I knew it couldn't survive with all the overhead. As I left the park about a month ago, I figured it was over for GL.

It's really sad to see GL go. I had some great times there.


Dick Kinzel before he dicks you.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 7:53 PM
My favorite memory of Geauga Lake is probably one of the best coaster memories an enthusiast could have. My first big coaster rides on a nice early june day back in 2000, our school was on a trip to SFWoA and i remember everone on the bus talking about how much they were going to ride the coasters. I wasn't into riding coasters yet, but my best friend dragged me on Raging Wolf Bobs. It was rough and scared me a little but I did something I never thought i would do. I rode again and again until I had five rides. Even my friend was surprised. Then after lunch we were near Batman (Dominator) and I said let's do it. Well he chickened out on it and i ended up being by myself the rest of the day riding my heart out on all the coasters. When it was time to leave that evening i was proud to be the one on the bus that had done the most. This park gave me my first steel and my first wooden coasters.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:17 PM

Rob Ascough said:
Same here. But as long as it remains standing, I believe there is a shred of hope. Call me a hopeless optimist, I suppose.

Okay. You're a hopeless optimist. :)


4girlsdad said:
This is a huge loss to NE Ohio, on par with the loss of the Browns. Are Kinzel and Modell secretly twins?

It's actually a worse loss. At least Cleveland eventually got some semblance of a football back in orange and brown. We'll never see the like of Geauga Lake again.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:02 PM
And God help us if GL ever returns in the same manner that the Browns returned. Watching the post-1999 Browns on a few hours on a Sunday is more painful than a few consecutive hours on SOB or MS.

Dick Kinzel before he dicks you.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 2:28 AM
I keep hearing these stories of Six Flags ripping out rides and thus making GL lose it's traditional park charm.

If memory serves me correctly, wasn't Cedar Point at one time a traditional type amusement park with by-gone type rides?

GL and CP both opened in the late 1800's. Cedar Point didn't open its doors 30 years ago like say SFGAm.

How come CP gets a pass on losing its traditional charm? You wouldn't even know CP was a park that was established in the late 1800's by looking at it today. Today, it looks like your typical corporate big park.

SF did the same thing in the early 2000's to bring it to modern times like CP. May have been decades later but does that really matter?

Any CP traditional enthusiasts out there? Or doesn't it matter because the park is voted the best in this and that and adds record breaking coasters.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 3:58 AM
Define "CP traditionalist"...

I first went there with my mom in about 1975-76 and the lines weren't any shorter then. The ride cycles on the spin and pukes were ridiculously short then., too.

I was last there around 1990 when I quit driving charter buses. 1-2 hour wait for damn near everything, any day of the week.

Someone tell me if anything has changed........

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Friday, September 28, 2007 5:38 AM
The ACE Convention in 1988. It was :(102 Degrees:( (Thanks to "The El Nino from Hades) and by mid-afternoon you could not see any water in the Wave Pool All you could see was Heads! I was told all the rides were "Walk On" because everybody was in the waterslide complex.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 8:59 AM

Rob Ascough said:
Same here. But as long as it remains standing, I believe there is a shred of hope. Call me a hopeless optimist, I suppose.

On the radio this morning I heard a small news blurb which talked to a named spokesman for Cedar Fair(No I don't remember the name)but he said that at this time ALL the rides are being dismantled, none of them are being destroyed. Following this the newsman said that "Some people were concerned about the fate of Geauga Lakes historic roller coaster." That was it.

Tom


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

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Friday, September 28, 2007 9:02 AM
Another of my many fond memories:

This was during the SFWOA years. The lasxt year, when they intro'd the Shouka the Whale.
When my youngest daughter, then age 13, cried the first time she saw it. "It's beautiful, dad!"

She's been into marine animals ever since and may go into marine biology as a result.

We must've seen the Shouka show 20 times that season.


Rotor: i fondly remember that one. They had one of the best next to CLP's HellHole.


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Friday, September 28, 2007 9:21 AM

Chitown said:


How come CP gets a pass on losing its traditional charm? Any CP traditional enthusiasts out there? Or doesn't it matter because the park is voted the best in this and that and adds record breaking coasters.


I know of a few, are they are not fans of the current Cedar Point. Most of them feel that the modern park has absolutely nothing at all to do with the old park aside from location.

Cedar Point seems to get a free pass because the people that drool over everything the park does don't seem to even acknowledge that it was once a traditional park not much different than the hundreds that once covered this country. In a way, I can't blame them, because Cedar Point began its transformation years before most of them were born and the modern park is the only Cedar Point they know. Of course, many of those people are blinded by the Golden Ticket awards and the record-breaking coasters and fail to see the big picture, but that's the current state of coaster enthusiasm. I've been saying it for years- for some strange reason, Cedar Point exists in a little niche that elevates it above most criticism.


LdScotsman said:
On the radio this morning I heard a small news blurb which talked to a named spokesman for Cedar Fair(No I don't remember the name)but he said that at this time ALL the rides are being dismantled, none of them are being destroyed.

Interesting bit there. If that person was telling the truth, I'm glad he made sure to mention rides won't be destroyed, because Cedar Fair's idea of dismantling Hercules meant destroying it.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Destroying = dismantling with enthusiasm.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 28, 2007 11:00 AM
CPLady's avatar I disagree, Rob. I grew up with Cedar Point and I DO remember the "traditional" park it was. My first trip was in 1966. Even in 1966, it was a far cry from the park my grandmother used to visit via ferry during the summers.

Remember, there was a time when CP was threatened with closure too.

But the difference is Cedar Point grew slowly, one coaster at a time and for the most part, added their coasters every two years...it didn't feel like a small park suddenly becoming a large park. It's evolved over the 40 years I've been going.

Do I miss the "traditional" Cedar Point? I have to admit there are times I long for some of the old rides and 15 minute waits from the late 60's and early 70's. And there is no doubt in my mind the popularity of the bigger, better rides at Cedar Point had a great effect on the three smaller, traditional parks in the Detroit area that went defunct.

But on the other hand, I certainly do enjoy having such a wide variety of rides to choose from and shows to see only two hours from my doorstep.

I think my son put it best back in 1994 when we visited Geauga Lake: "yeah...it's nice not to have lines and the rides are okay, but I prefer Cedar Point because there is a lot more to do there."

In this technological age where kids grow up being entertained instead of using their imaginations and entertaining themselves, can you blame them for preferring bigger/better/faster??


I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Friday, September 28, 2007 11:05 AM
Exactly CPLady, so I don't see what the prob was for SF to turn GL into something that had alot.

Sure, it's a different timeline but SF made a go of doing what CP did slowly. When it boils down to it, both parks were old school in the beginning.

Places like SFGAm, PKI, SFMM, SFGAdv, etc, are not old school in the traditional park sense.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 11:16 AM
Unlike most people around here, I don't blame Six Flags for what happened to Geauga Lake. Well, not entirely. The company was trying to turn the park into something that more people would want to visit. Granted, the park didn't need four coasters in one year, but I think gradual expansion would have been a good idea. A better idea than closing the park!
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