In the 1970s they were everywhere. Not just at amusement parks but at shopping malls, hotels etc. Cedar Point had one near the coliseum and was great fun. Kings Island had one near the Racer and later moved to Hanna Barbara named and rethemed to Scrappy's Slide. That slide was moved to KI from Coney Island and achieved exerlasting fame when the Banana Splits tried to climb it during the opening of the Banana Splits kids show.
Geauga Lake had one as well. It was near the Big Dipper in an area near where the Mirage was in the late 1990s.
Ohio State Fair still has one the has been a permanent structure on the midway since 1969.
And it was the one at Geauga Lake that my arm slid off the burlap sack and got a friction burn...
I still have that scare.
Man, I loved those slides.
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Some of them are still around: Off the top of my head, Hershey, Wild Adventures, Funtown Pier, and Martin's Fantasy Island still have theirs (I'm missing at least a half-dozen others), and now Legoland CA is getting one! http://www.lifthill.com/news/dune-raiders-slides-coming-to-legoland/
Puyallup has the biggest of that genre left AFAIK. Cypress had one the day the park closed. I rode (and loved) KD's as a kid.
There are only two "spiral tower slides" in the States to the best of my knowledge - Santa's Workshop at Pike's Peak, CO, and Knoebel's. Lucky for me there were a few of those in the UK I was able to ride.
"I'm going to make my own amusement park with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the park." - Bender Bending Rodriguez, Futurama
There is still one at Martin's Fantasy Island
Morey's Piers still has them, as does a lot of the little seaside parks up the NJ coast.
Here in Columbus, back in the 70's there was a big multi-lane slide at Northern Lights shopping center near the Putt-Putt. I thought it was so strange - I never ever saw anyone on it.
Even stranger from back then were those little trampoline parks you'd see around every once in a while. Remember them?
Hershey no longer has their BIG slide. They have the smaller "Merri Derry Dips" (last time I was there it was near the Wildcat and WildMouse), but that is small compared to their old Giant Slide (if memory serves, that was located, I think, somewhere down near the creek)
The new trend is to put these in the water parks.
I totally loved these things---and have a few friction-burns to prove it.
Yes, Morey's Piers still has theirs from 1969. Conneaut Lake Park had one until 1984. They considered adding water to the top, and using it before buying the Cliffhanger Falls tower.
Geauga Lake had theirs drop guests into the lake, but that didn't work so well. HersheyPark! has a portable, and Dutch Wonderland replaced their large model with 2 portable units.
In Jersey, Playland has one in Ocean City.
Idlewild just installed a similar giant dry slide with three or four lanes, built into a hillside.
Now standing and operational: Chums of Coasterdom.
Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona still has there giant yellow "no-lane" slide Unfortunately it's lousy now because it's not kept up properly and is totally slow ... but it is still there (and by the way it opens soon!).
San Diego County Fair in Del Mar had one or the same models for years as well, which is the slide I remember the most since it was where I grew up. It was treated almost like a show where a mass of people would gather in front to watch.
Microphones were placed at different spots around the slide to amplify the sound on speakers at the front viewing area, so when you caught air on the bumps and landed back down on the slide with a bang it would project loudly to the watching crowd, as well as screaming and yelling etc. Many times there would be a "barker" type doing live commentary to entice the coolness factor of the thing especially at night - it was always pushed as a very hip teen thing to do. If you stepped up to take a ride, you always knew there were people at the bottom watching that would oooh and aaaah over your awesome maneuvers - and you KNEW you were awesome walking up those stairs with the other "cool" people (I was probably 12).
I remember my brother and I pushing off as hard as we possibly could to race - but even more to see who could make the biggest booming sound from just launching in the air off of each bump and smashing down onto the slide. Greatest thing EVER - I could have probably died, what more could you ask for.
Being in San Diego, I remember there would be pictures in the paper of teenagers "surfing" down the slide, or things like a pyramid of people on top of each other taking the trek. You were allowed to go face first, on your stomach, on your back, backwards, tandem, bobsled style with as many people as you wanted ... I never remember being told once not to ride a certain way. In just a couple of years, they stopped all that stuff and made you ride it sitting upright, one at a time, etc., which of course was a big disappointment - and probably really the end of the fad era of the Giant Slide. There must have been so many people hurt on that thing when I think of everything they allowed on it originally.Last edited by bunchastuf, Tuesday, September 1, 2009 5:01 PM
Not only that, but remember somewhere in Cal there was that senior stunt where they would send as many down the waterslide as they could all at once? It finally caused the structure to collapse. Perhaps stricter regulations for slide riding followed that accident.
I remember at Cedar Point there was a little employee lounge area with a few picnic tables and such under the Sky Slide. From there you could look up, especially on a sunny day, and see the sliders through the fiberglass at the bottom of each hill, it had worn so thin over the years. Yikes! I'd stare at it just waiting for somebody's fat butt to break through.
There's another thread here about skyride safety and potential or past accidents. The number one injury ride at the park turns out to be the slide - not from ride malfunction, but from people either leaving their mat or trying to hold on to the slide and getting friction burns. I think the carousel comes in at number two. Once again, not the rides fault, but stupid people or kids falling off.
Glad to hear I wasn't the only one who got those friction burns.. But rode the slides at cedar point & geauga lake.. I remember geauga lake had and old fun house with the wooden slide that was quite slick.. that was alot of fun back in the day..But my favorite were the corkscrew slides on cedar points fun house.Last edited by DennBear, Tuesday, September 1, 2009 10:39 PM
Hershey's old one was by the creek..I have the book that shows it on the map. I remember Dutch Wonderland had one until a few years ago when it was replaced by the smaller ones they have at Hersheypark.
I like the older slide Dutch Wonderland used to have, it was a lot more fun than the 3 lane slides Hershey and Dutch Wonderland has now.
Morey's has a I think a 15 lane slide but it is run so horribly. I have never seen them use more than 1 lane so the line moves very slow.
Funtown in Erie had one they converted to a water slide when they removed the other dry rides. Oversized tubes, added mogul bumps made for a insane ride. 1st year of operation you could do flips of the top if you wanted or form chains of tubes. 2nd year you had to sit down and go one at a time. That was 86'-87'. Park only lasted a year or two longer and is now a church lot at 6th&Penninsula dr.
I know of two in the state of Wisconsin. One can only be ridden during the Wisconsin State Fair. It's been there as long as I can remember and I've been going to the fair for over 35 years now. Up in Green Bay at Bay Beach they have another one and it only costs about twenty cents or so to ride it.
Growing up in Queens NY there was this practice golf range, batting cages and one of those huge slides in College Point.
My Dad was a refrigerator repairman-he would get our canvas sacks and spray the bottom with silicone. My brother and I would FLY (and I mean FLY!!) down the slide. We went so fast the 1st time my brother fell backwards and burned the whole back of his skull.
All during that time the other kids were still scooting along still trying to get down.
It was classic!!! :)
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2102 :)
It's all about getting around the barrels or over the fences, right leads, no faults, fastest time and still looking pretty when done. What's so hard about that? :)
@Jo - My guess is that despite your brother getting hurt you all still did it anyways and your father encouraged it. Now a days I am surprised that they don't make kids wear helmets and shin guards and elbow guards to ride those slides.
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