Questions About Williams Grove??

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 1:42 AM
1. What does everyone think of this park? We
went there a week ago (after attending Hersheypark) and we were kind of surprised that the park is able to stay in bussiness.
How does this park surive, & who ownes it?

2. Why do they use water on the lift of the Cyclone? I was confused as to why they would pump water onto the chain as apposed to using oil?

3. This is a little of topic but does anyone live in the houses that are located on the parks ground?

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 6:11 AM
I visited the park 3 years ago during Coaster Con PA. I enjoyed it. It sort of reminded me of Camden Park. We had the whole park to ourselves (it was closed to the GP at the time) and had an absolute blast. They even let us have ERT on the Kiddie Coaster (without having to borrow a kid....lol). The Cyclone, from what I remember, was old and noisy and I felt like it could collapse at any moment. The Wildcat was also a blast.....gotta love those old Schwarzies!

I especially loved Dante's Inferno (a wacky, haunted house) and the Fun House.

It also has one of the most insane Musik Express rides I have ever been on, as well as a Twister and a Tilt-A-Whirl that seemed to be on crack or something. :-) Gotta love those small park flats that have been there forever.....:-D

As far as that house, I wondered the same thing. I have no clue.

They pump water onto the Cyclone? Hmmm........

I have no idea who owns the park or why it survives. I assume it has strong, local support. :-)

-Tina

*** Edited 8/4/2004 10:19:23 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 9:13 AM
I don't know what the current ownership status is but for a long time it was owned by Morgan Hughes. He was a ride importer and ran many rides at Palisades Park. When Palisades closed, He purchased Williams Grove and moved some of his rides there.

The Cyclone Coaster (originally named Zipper) is the only remaining example of an Oscar Bitler ride. The story I heard is that the current train came from the Palisades Park Cyclone, hence the name change.

I assume the park stays in business because people visit it and I bet the nearby speedway makes out pretty well.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 9:44 AM
I had no idea that Morgan Hughes had purchased the park once Palisades closed down. I guess it made sense, since he was losing the money he would have made had the park remained open. Kinda makes you wonder why he didn't instead purchase Palisades Park!
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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 9:59 AM
The same people own the park and speedway. I just think they use the park as a tax writeoff. I usually try to visit WG at least once a year.

I believe the owners live it that house in the park. Just like a relative of Dick Knoeble lives in the house next to the Phoenix.

Williams Grove could be an awsome little park if it was taken care of. From what I hear it was a very nice little park before the hurricane back in 72. Since then the park has been a shell of it's former self.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 10:06 AM
The Hughes' still own WG, although I understand that it is quietly up for sale. As long as the asking price wasn't too high, and assuming that you didn't have to take the speedway along with the park, it wouldn't be a bad little park to invest in. It does need a good bit of work to the infrastructure (and in the case of the Cyclone, ALL of the structure), it could be quite a bargain. I doubt anyone would get fabulously wealthy owning it, but who cares--it's your own park!
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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 6:15 PM
He probably didn't purchase Palisades Park because a developer already paid more for the land then the park was worth. Fort Lee and the other town that I forget the name of were pretty anxious to get rid of it as well. Noise, commotion, and traffic didn't please the densly populated neighborhoods around it.

Isn't it common knowledge by now that all land is "unimproved" until an ugly condo development is built on top of it? Condos and strip malls are the highest and best use of any and all land!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 6:38 PM

millrace said:
I don't know what the current ownership status is but for a long time it was owned by Morgan Hughes. He was a ride importer and ran many rides at Palisades Park. When Palisades closed, He purchased Williams Grove and moved some of his rides there.

...

I assume the park stays in business because people visit it and I bet the nearby speedway makes out pretty well.



Indeed, the Hughes' still own the park. I was there a little more then a week ago, and you can find a report here: http://www.coasters2k.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2985

I spoke to Inga (?), Morgan's wife, on the way out. Very nice lady, and the way she was talking ("I think, after 26 years, it is time to get out of this business") she seems interested in selling the place. Morgan himself is still around, he is 86 now.

I think the park mainly survives due to the raceway, which is supposed to be one of the best dirt tracks anywhere. It also does well with company picnics, and the Grang Fair is still a big draw. I try to visit at least once a year, the park is quirky and inexpensive, and worth a visit.

*** Edited 8/4/2004 10:40:25 PM UTC by Black 7***

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 7:58 PM
^Yes, Inga (if that is the correct spelling) spoke to ACEr's at the Con there at Williams Grove back in 2001. Very nice lady indeed. And the Cyclone was runnin' pretty darn fast that night I may add.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 9:54 PM
It was last week too, but stay away from the third seat, my neck is still feeling it ;)
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Thursday, August 5, 2004 12:23 AM
I too go there at least 1 time a season. Their Twister ride is a reason to visit on its own as long as there is a ride op that knows how to spin the cars right.

The Cyclone is a rickety woodie to say the least, but on my last rides it was running very well. Some good airtime, especially in the double down.

I have grown up visiting that place, and it used to be much better. Its still a quaint little park.

*** Edited 8/5/2004 4:26:43 AM UTC by Coasterfantom2***

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Thursday, August 5, 2004 11:17 AM
Just for the record....Mrs. Hughes' name is Ingrid.
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Thursday, August 5, 2004 9:57 PM
Thanks, I just could not remember, and it was on the tip of my tounge :p
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Thursday, August 5, 2004 10:26 PM
I've seen a half hour long interview with Ingrid Hughes on PA Cable Network. He told some facinating stories about his life and the park.
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Sunday, August 8, 2004 11:51 PM
I was just there yesterday, actually. I love that place. The Cyclone is a brutal little coaster, and if it were at any of the big chains we'd probably all be screaming "taer it down", but at Williams Grove it works.

The Funhouse is just incredible. You don't see stunts like that anywhere else in the states anymore.

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