Idora Park coasters demolished following years of dormancy
Posted Friday, July 27, 2001 4:45 AM | Contributed by Matt Schwartz
Two coasters from the ACE preservation list, Idora Park's Jackrabbit and Wildcat, were demolished yesterday in Youngstown. The rides were plowed over by a bulldozer because they were becoming very hazardous to tresspassers and neighborhood kids. The city has been pushing the current owners of the former Idora Park grounds to remove these structures for some time now. Without public announcement, Mount Calvary Pentecoastal Church brought in a demolition crew to begin the removal process of these two historic coasters. For the next couple of days, they will be cleaning up the piles of wood that lay scattered about the footers of our former famous rides.
Oh no!!! Those were huge pieces of history. The JackRabbit was the oldest coaster in the world. So much history. You know if that coaster could talk, you know...they'd sure have a lot to say:(:(:(:(:(:(:(I guess Idora will never shine again. Damn teenagers. No offense, I'm one too. But the ones that break in, oh man. This really pisses me off. The Thunderbolt from Coney Island was the same way. No announcement. You can bet if anyone knew that ACE would have a truck out there saving everything possible. You know, tearing down historical stuff really gets to me, but coasters, that's personal. Thank God there are good parks out there like Kennywood and many others that preserve these keepers of history. Makes me so sad and angry....
*** This post was edited by MFRULES on 7/27/2001. ***
I mean even though I was never at the park when it was open I moved to this area a few years ago, and even since I've haped that someday they woould reopen the park, and now that's not going to happen :(. By the way, what's with the City of God signs under the Jackrabit's turn? Oh well, I'm off to Kennywood right now.
What a bummer. Those were the first coasters I had ever ridden. My dad took me to the park a lot in the 70s. His workplace always had their company picnics there. I loved the wildcat. The turn after the first hill was brutal(great). The second half of the ride was the best. I fell in love with coasters on those rides. I always will have my memories.
The church that owns the land would have allowed anyone to come take the coasters, but there were no takers. Nearby Conneaut Lake Park couldn't afford to relocate the Jack Rabbit, and the other coaster was in awful shape after it caught fire. They've been in condemned condition for long enough that this should come as a surprise to no one.
Not a very detailed "report"... I didn't even know about this until 10:30 last night... Its a shame they couldn't have done this before instead of letting it sit SBNO for 17 years and letting it rot. The wildcat was already half gone to begin with, due to the fire (what is it with Idora and fires?) but now all that lays in the old Idora Park is just memories.
------------- AIM: Pritti Kittie Idora.. Always in memories
*** This post was edited by Jess on 7/27/2001. ***
Keep in mind that half of Wildcat was a scorched mess, and when it did operate it had a reputation for knocking out teeth. Jackrabbit didn't look bad but the wood was cracked and splitting all over the place. It is sad that the coasters are gone, but they never had a chance of running again anyway, not without essentially rebuilding them.
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Both of these coasters had been SBNO for so long, I highly doubt it would have even been possible to open them or move them to another location. Yes Idora Park is dead, but it never had a chance of coming back. Let's just say things aren't going so great in Youngstown right now, and the poor local economy there would never have been able to sustain Idora if it reopened.
I know, I know, that doesn't make it any less sad that these historic coasters are being demolished.
Now what I am hoping is that some other park will rebuild the Jack Rabbit and especially the Wildcat. The Wildcat was a top 10 coaster according to Robert Cartmell's list. From the pics I've seen, it was a vicious ride (in fact, maybe a little too vicious to be built nowadays).
roller coastern: an elevated railway (as in an amusement park) with curves and inclines on which cars roll.
It is sad to see such historic pieces of roller coaster lore consigned finally to history, but with them being in such bad condition, it was necessary. They will not be forgotten, and now they will not be remembered as just rotting hulks rather than the classic rides they were decades ago.
I would like to see these coasters rebuilt. I think the wildcat has a good chance of being rebuilt. It was such a popular ride that when it burnt Idorapark was nothing without it and lost most of thier customers. They still have the original blueprints to both coasters. Also has anyone recreated the park on RCT
I don't get it...People live in a place and then destroy it, then complain about why it is like that. It seems like that happened there, and then took over the amusement park. I hate to see a coaster torn down.
------------- Nitro: The Most Explosive Coaster on the Planet explodes at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2001.
In an older issue of Roller Coaster! magazine where A.C.E. members were asked about their favorite "Wildcat" coasters, the majority of members said that the Idora coaster was, by far, their favorite. Of course, most of them favored the ride for its extreme brutality, which would probably not make it a popular ride with the masses or the people who handle the park's insurance premiums. I definitely see the Wildcat coming back someday, perhaps in a "modified" form which would pay homage to the original design without such extreme forces.
The Jack Rabbit, on the other hand, looked to be a fun, but fairly generic out-and-back design that would probably only be rebuilt by someone who wanted to get nostalgic.
The loss of these rides is a terrible loss, and I can only hope that we are not too late to save Whalom and Americana before their coasters join the Idora rides.