My 4 year old nephue, Bryce, and I pulled into the small parking lot at 4:55, paid the $3 parking fee, and easily found a close parking spot. It had been 16 years since I had been here, when I was a teenager, and it was really nice to finally have a chance to return.
It hadn't changed much, but enough to notice. No more Thunderbolt Express cluttering the parking lot. Is that a Skydiver I see behind those buildings? Look at the swan paddleboats on that pretty lake. We paid out after 5PM admissions and entered the park.
We strolled to the Haunted House first, because I've been dreaming about that ride for years. The ride system is really cool, and runs like a brand new ride. The scenes inside are small but professional. I only heard one sound inside though, and that was a whistle blowing while a boney hand pointed us around a turn.
Bryce said that it was fun, but too scary to ride again. Near the end of our visit, I got him on it one more time, but he still didn't like it.
Second was Big Dipper. What a great little coaster. Bryce was excited to ride this one with me. It's just like I remember, but seemed more fun. We enthusiastically rerode it again, and after that Bryce decided that it was too intense for a third ride.
After one ride each on Whip, Scrambler, Sky Lift (a ride that Bryce kept saying out loud, "I wweally wwike vis wwide, Bubbas.), and the indianless but still really fun Train, we spotted Little Dipper. I always thought as a kid that this ride was slow and silly, but not this time. We must have rode it about 10 times. What a great, cute little coaster.
We waited 20 minutes for Log Ride. It was okay, but wheres the scenery? The boy who rode in front of us told me that the park cut down all of the grass because of snakes. Even though it sounds like a good reason, I think he was full of poo.
A $6 Swan Paddleboat ride was next. I kept getting Bryce wet under the fountian spray.
We rode Tilt-o-Whirl Twice, and this is where I started feeling ill. I thought a Pronto Pup (corn dog) would make me feel better, so we where walked by a very nice employee to the Pronto Pup stand.
We ate our dogs, and next rode Paratrooper. The very talkitive, strange, and almost scary ride opp told us (without knowing that I was feeling a little sick) to raise our hands if we started to get sick.
At the end of the ride I spewed. I guess I just rented the Pronto Pup. The odd ride opp was more concerned about how I felt than the mess I made. How friendly is THAT?
One more ride on the HH, and a ride on the Carousel, and I decide no more for me. The park was closing soon, so I watched Bryce ride kiddy rides 'til the end.
We were there for only 2 1/2 hours, and got to do everything we wanted to do. The lines were non-existant. I take back what I said a few months ago when looking at pics of the park about the landscaping. The parks grounds look fine. There were trees, bushes, grass, and flowers all over. The rides are in pretty good condition, and the coasters and Haunt are in GREAT condition.
What a nice, unique little park. Although it is a little expensive, I reccomend a visit.
I really need to get to my 'home park'...
Clint, get your butt up here! I will treat you to a Pronto Pup (or a floating burger......lol.)
The area around the log flume looks MUCH better IMHO. The brush and weeds were getting pretty nasty at one point. The last time I rode the log flume (2002-ish) the weeds would literally smack you in the face if you didn't watch for them. It was like going through a swamp. Weeds, poison ivy, wasps, hornets, snakes....you name it.
Only in WV. ;-)
As I have said in previous threads, the whole park has improved SO much. It looks better, they are maintaining the coasters and flats, and FINALLY removed the Tbolt. I still wish there was something that could of been done to restore it, but it was an eyesore for WAY too long.
They are obviously taking the park seriously for once and doing what they can to preserve it and promote it. I see billboards all over the place now, as well as professionally produced commercials.
The Haunted House is one of my favorite rides there. It's so cheesy but that's what makes it fun. ;-) And yes, I can't stress enough about their WHIP. It has to be the most insane Whip in the world. Hopefully the park will get some much-needed patronage next year with the opening of HW and BB's new coasters, especially those coming from the east.
Some advice, though. Eat AFTER you ride!
Camden will HAVE to wait for next year's BB/HW trip...but I am SO looking forward to the NAD trains, the Skydiver, the (Mangels!) Whip and the Haunted House....just not to floating burgers or Pronto Pups...or the T-A-W or Paratrooper... ;)
Actually I am not sure if the place still has the same menu since they changed from "the cafeteria" to "The West Virginia Grill" either last year or the year before. The burgers just MAY be *grilled* now. ;-)
The Big Dipper was great along with the park in general. I can't say enough about the smaller, older parks: Lake Winnie, Conneaut Lake Park, Camden Park, they're all great. I can't wait to go to more places like this over the next several years.
Will I get back to Camden in the next few years? No, I probably wont since there are so many parks I still havn't been to yet. Do I plan to go back someday? Why yes, yes I do. I'd like to revisit every park I've been to someday.
My band "The Cedar Kings". "Ordinary Day" a trip report in song.
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