Skylon Tower's Defunct Amusement Park

Thursday, September 5, 2002 6:53 AM

The Skylon Tower is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, its a big tower,and it used to have an amusement park in the basement, and yes theskylon tower has a basement for those that dont know.

I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about the amusement park that used to be down there, the last time i was there was in about 97/98 ,the amusements were in pretty bad shape, i went on the gokarts and there r-360 (its like an amusement so i am assuming most of you know what it is) and played miniature golf, they also had bumper cars, a carousel, a ferris wheel,and a roller rink over the years, i am gonna have to say that this place opened sometime in the early to mid 80s because thats when many of the arcade games are from down there, and i know the games have been there since they were purchased.

This place could have been open much longer than that, the bumper cars were very very dusty and dirty when i was there, and the go karts were the kind that ran on a wooden ramped track, and ran super slow, the guy had to push my cart to get it started, the r-360 was good, but after talking to other people about other r-360's this one had some problems.There was also a darkride down there, so for you dark rideenthusaists, what happened to this one, there is the possiblity it could still besomewhere in the tower, because when i went there in 1999, btw i still go to the skylon all the time for the arcade games, the dark ride was there in pieces in the winter of 1999, some of my photos from then even show a skull head in them

For the pinball people on this group, i am sure there were tons of pinball machines in this place back in the day, now there are only like 4 and they are in horrid shape, like most of the stuff down there, but the stuff about the games is a really really long story, even when i used to go there in winter 99/00, there were about 5-7 pinball machines inthis place

The amusements of course, are defunct now, and what remain is..... alot of empty space!!! this place used to be very large due to the amount of amusements it housed, all that is left are quite a few arcade games, but there arent enough to fill all the empty space,there are some very good and interesting arcade games here, but dont expect them to work if you travel a long distance to come here,because this place doesnt really take care of the games that good

Anyways the point of this post is to see if anyone else remembers the Skylon Tower's amusement park and to see if anyone else has any info about it that they would like to share, especially stuff about the arcade games and the r-360, my email is valid and my box is always open to discussions of any amusement parks and especially the skylon tower,also if anyone has photos from the amusement days of the skylon tower that would be excellent too!

*** This post was edited by SaraAB on 9/5/2002. ***

Thursday, September 5, 2002 7:10 AM

Well, I have been visiting Niagara Falls since I was a kid and while my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, I do remember some of the things that the Skylon used to have in their "indoor amusement park".

I believe the amusements were in place in the early-to-mid 1970's. I remember my dad and I riding an Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel when I was young and I used to think it was so neat because you came pretty close to the ceiling of the amusement area. There was also a Dodgem ride, a Tilt-A-Whirl, several kiddie rides, and a Haunted House dark ride located near the far corner of the basement.

Over the years, the area decreased in size, rides were removed, and the only things left were the arcade games (That R-360 has been there for at least 8 years now!), an Indy 500 speedway-type ride, and a newer dark ride called "Adventure Into The Unknown", which featured a giant skull as part of the facade. I also seem to recall Pyramid Place's (the adjacent entertainment complex) old Country Bear Jamboree-style show occupying that space as well. It really is a shame that the Skylon amusement area never caught on. It was a large enough area to house many indoor rides. Unfortunately, guests didn't seem to care.

Amusement areas haven't had much luck in Niagara Falls. When Pyramid Place was first unveiled I believe in the early 80's, it featured the Pyramid IMAX theater, a giant kids soft-play area, and an entertainment building featuring the animated bear show, a "daredevil" exhibit of barrels and other stuff used to brave the Falls, and a "multimedia show" about the history of Niagara Falls (read; slide show). As the complex deteriorated, carnival rides were once brought in and set up in the Skylon parking lot to boost interest. The following season, only the IMAX theater opened and the Pyramid Place entertainment building sat unused until a few tacky gift shops took up residence there. Also, the current Casino Niagara sits on the former Maple Leaf Village site. MLV was a three level shopping/entertainment center with two large game rooms, a huge Skeeball arcade, restaurants, the original "Nightmares" haunted house, and a "That's Incredible! Museum" and "Elvis Presley Museum". Outside was a small amusement area featuring a huge Ferris Wheel (which was billed as North America's largest) and a variety of rides which were often rotated out after only one season. Over the years, I remember seeing a "Dixie Dangler" swing ride, a Huss Enterprise, a Huss Pirate, a "Lover's Lake" Caterpillar-type ride, a rare "Hey Dey", a Chance Rotor, a Huss Rainbow, and in its last days, a Wisdom Gravitron and even a Chance Turbo. MLV dies after the 1993/94 season and sat vacant until the Casino took its place.

Sorry for rambling, but you brought back some nice memories Sara!

ray p.

Thursday, September 5, 2002 7:52 AM

Thank you for responding but i wasnt even born in the 70s so i obviously cant remember back that far and the r-360 isnt at the bottom of the skylon tower anymore(it seems like it went with the amusements) sadly, i have been trying to track it but i havent ended up finding it yet

at least i have an explanation of why one of my photos of a galaxy force cockpit (arcade game for those that dont know) has a huge skull head as the backdrop in the photo (ive always thought this is a very odd thing) this is one of the photos that was taken in the winter of 1999/2000

i know owners changed in 1996 for the basement of the skylon tower because its a long story that i dont think people here would be interested in but one of my other online friends from CA found that out on his one visit to the Skylon Tower

ray, i will email you some photos that i took of the games in the skylon tower, including the one with the shot of the skull head.

Thursday, September 5, 2002 9:50 AM
I went there in January of this year and I saw all the games and things. I didn't know that it used to be called an amusement park. I thought they were just tyring to fill space because it was really dirty looking down there. It would have been neat to see the rides and things.

There is NoLimit when it comes to Roller Coasters.
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