Geauga Lake rides find home at Kings Dominion

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Geauga Lake's Americana Ferris Wheel and the El Dorado pendulum ride are being re-assembled at Cedar Fair's Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. It's the first Ferris wheel for the park.

Read more from WKYC/Cleveland.

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I hope they do a good job with refurbishment- that El Dorado ride is cute as it can be, but looked like a p.o.s. in it's last few years at Geauga. Hopefully they'll give it a more permanent platform and queue than the portable one that Geauga used. I think both rides will be a nice addition to the park.

And someone here will know this, but is the El Dorado a retheme of the same 1001 Nachts ride that ran at Geauga? It was where the splash boats were eventually located, and I always assumed when SF took over they moved and rethemed it to fit the 50's area. It was a nice (and costly?) re-do, looked great there, but it always seemed so "portable"

Hopefully it will be faster and more thrilling than what we saw here in Ohio, too.

Fun's avatar

It was indeed the Mirage ride, just rethemed. It would be nice if they could get the neon sign in the middle of the ride to light up, as that feature was never completed in it's former home.

Last edited by Fun,

Mirage, yeah that was it! thanks, Fun .

...And for the historians in the group, assuming it is the wheel I think it is, the Ferris wheel is the one that Premier Parks bought at auction from Old Indiana Fun Park. Old Indiana never got it up and running, and when Geauga Lake got the ride, they had to fabricate an entirely new hydraulic drive system. I believe the frame is a Dutch design, but the gondolas were built by Arrow-Huss.

--Dave Althoff. Jr.

At least they are running out of Geauga rides to distribute, so perhaps we will see more new rides in the future...unless they buy another park soon and move those rides as well.

Jeff's avatar

Is there something wrong with rides being relocated now instead of buying new ones?

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D the Great said:
At least they are running out of Geauga rides to distribute, so perhaps we will see more new rides in the future...unless they buy another park soon and move those rides as well.

Well, there are a couple of parks in New England (CL & Funtown), that would hold a few nice flats for CP to get their paws on.

I DO NOT prpose that CP does this, as Canobie is a fun little park.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

I just can't imagine a park without a Ferris wheel

kpjb's avatar

You don't have to imagine. Disney World, Kennywood, Holiday World, Universal, etc. etc.


Kennywood had a Ferris wheel but replaced it. Too bad, as a Ferris wheel is something I would love to see at the park.

Ferris wheels like these are very poor on loading time and definitely outdated. But they are good family rides. It is a shame that the versions that Intamin sold in the 70's that fixed the loading time issue are now extinct in the US.

KD definitely needs more flat rides to replace all of the great rides that have been removed over time. El Dorado is a good addition.

The features that helped the Intamin wheels make sense likely made them difficult to maintain!

Kings Island has also been wheel-free for a while, since the removal of the Zodiac and the smaller Eli wheel in Octoberfest. I always thought they would one day install a very large wheel that would billboard the park. Back toward the end of the Coney Mall where Zodiac and Flight Commander were would be a good spot.

My favorite model of the giant wheel is the Vekoma version we find at Kentucky Kingdom, Darien, and Navy Pier. Just the right size for viewing the park from a comfortable yet thrilling height. I also really enjoyed the Sun Wheel at Calfornia's Adventure, a modern version of Coney's Wonder Wheel. Those rolling cars are enough to scare the crap outta you- very unsettling, especially to a first time rider!

I wonder if parks don't shy away from ferris wheels due to possible safety/evacuation issues. Rarely to you see a big wheel with all cars filled at all times. Even on the busiest of days Cedar Point leaves a car or two in each loading section empty, and most days they skip entire sections altogether. I imagine, especially on older wheels, the stop/start of loading is hard on them and there's always the issue of balance, too.

Anyway, I'm glad that the Americana and El Dorado have found a new home.

Jeff's avatar

Actually, they can't skip sections unless they skip the opposite section or the wheel becomes unbalanced. (I don't actually know what their SOP is, but it would surprise me if they did.)

The Ferris wheel is one of the few rides that you can truly relax and have a little to-yourself time. I try to get on them every chance I get.

Anyone ever notice how fast Waldameer runs its gondola wheel?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Mamoosh's avatar

^ took a bit of effort to get some pics of RF2 whilst it rotated :)

(edit- fixed so Ensign and Carrie will stop laughing)

Last edited by Mamoosh,

RV2? What is that, the new camper ride across the street?

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Carrie M.'s avatar

No, silly, it's the sequel to the new camper ride across the street?

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Nicely played, ma'am . . . ;)

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