TR: Little A-Merrick-A

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 2, 2002 5:45 PM

Our Memorial Day weekend was supposed to start at Big Chiefs but morning rains made us alter our plans and hit Little A-Merrick-A. This turned out to be a very good thing.

We got to the park before it opened and we roamed around there arcade and snack area. We talked to the ticket girl and got enough tickets to ride each coaster once. We happened to mention that we were members of ACE and she must have relayed that on tosomebody because we got really nice treatment.

When the park opened, we checked out the coasters while they were being prepped to run. This was there first operating day of the year and so we would be the first riders of the year for the rides. It was still lightly raining but they were prepping all the rides to run.

We went over to the Allen Herschell Mouse and the ride guys were trying out each car. We got talking to the ride op about the 2 new rides they had at the park. While we were talking, The park manager came over and introduced himself and welcomed us to the park and said he heard we were ACE members and told us about the park. We noticed that one of their new rides was an Eyerly Roll-O-Plane and told him that one had just sold last year from Adventureland in Indiana near where we live. Well guess what, this is the same ride! They had bought it. It's a small world. Anyway, it looked nothing like the one that left Indiana. They did an emaculate restoration of it. They said that they blasted about 6 layers of paint off it and it looked brand new. This was our first hint of how handy these guys were. The other new ride was also from Indiana(Bear Creek Farms) and they also bought it at auction and restored it. It was a parachute drop ride.

Darrell T.(I can't remember his last name) is who the manager was that we were talking to. He went on to tell us about there future plans for the park. They have begun collecting parts to put together a wood coaster in the future. The have the lift chain from a coaster at Whalom park and the 2 trains from Lincoln Park Comet. We saw the trains and they need alot of work but I am sure they can't be in better hands. Darrell then bid us farewell, told us to have a great day and to make sure we check out the train ride.

We hit the Mouse and it was a real fun ride. They also gave us a re-ride because we were the only ones in line. Sweet. Then we hit the little dipper for count. Another fun ride. We then went over to ride the one of a kind Toboggan. They told us that this is the only permanent one in the US. It's a weird ride with a 90 degree lift "hill". It's also a tight car that they squeeze you into. The lift straight up the tube for some reason made me think of Volcano that's the view you get. The descent is then around and around and you are dizzy when you get to the bottom. This is one of the most unique rides I have ridden.

After being told about the train, we got some more tickets and decide to hit it. When we got to the train station, we saw the Engine for the train and thought, WOW. It looked like it was brand new. It was. It was only about five years old and the guy we had talked to, Darrell, had built it. It turns out these guys have a side business of making small scale train parts and signaling devices for other people. The train ride was spectacular. It goes for about 2 mile through what is like a big ranch. They have sheep, cattle, zebra, lamas, emus, peacocks, long horns and who knows what else. On the train ride we saw their other Engine for the train. It was steam powered and again built on site and looked like it came out of a show room. We also saw the trains from the Lincoln Park Comet parked out back.

The train ride gave an additional view of the details of the park. Everything you seen in back or front was in meticulous shape and looked new. These guys really know how to take care of a place and their rides. We also found out who's land this train ride went on. It turns out Mr. Merrick, the owner of the park, also owned all the land and the animals. He must be a rich dude.

Well, we had been there a couple hours and had to get moving to big chiefs to keep on our weekend schedule so had to go, but I just couldn't believe the amazing discovery that we had made. The park was run by enthusiests who had tremendous skills. When they are done with those Comet trains, they will be better than new I'm sure. This park is a must visit for anybody that gets in the Madison, Wisconsin area. It has some unique stuff that is high quality and fun. It has plenty of flat rides and go-carts and putt putt. The only problem is that there is road construction in the area this year so you may want to call ahead and get the best directions to get there.

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 5:59 PM

Indiana Jones, I'm really happy you got to experience my two babies, Toboggan and Mad Mouse. I operated both of these rides when the were at The Enchanted Forest in Porter Indiana. I really miss these two and I'm happy to hear that new generations are having a blast on them!

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Beer, my soon to be wife, coasters, and the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Is this a great country or what!!
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stoogemanmoe

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 7:19 PM
Indiana Jones. What are the operating hours for Little-A-Merrik-A? I think last year it was 12-6 but I am not sure.

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

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Monday, June 3, 2002 9:03 AM

The sad thing is that I live 45 minutes from the park and have never been there. I made it a goal to make it this summer in place of one of my normal Horicon Aquatic Center trips which is about the same distance away. I really like those small parks and you really made it sound worth the trip. I've seen pics of Mad Mouse and I thought it looked like it was in horrible condition. It's good to hear that they keep everything else in top condition and I'm really hoping they do get that Lincoln Park Comet. If I had an extra 1000 dollars, it would go straight to the park. What other kind of thrill rides do they have?

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Monday, June 3, 2002 9:43 AM

Regarding the Toboggan: They said the only "Permanent" one in the US. How do they define permanent? Anchored in cement and bolted to the ground never to be removed... or the only one that calls a park home as opposed to those on the traveling carinval / fair circuit? If it is the second deffinition, I am affraid they are forgetting the one at Lakemont Park (Altoona PA), and the "new" (used, but new to the park) that is supposed to open at Conneaut Lake Park (Conneaut Lake PA) this year.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Monday, June 3, 2002 4:00 PM
I know Darrell from my days working live steam in Indiana......we'd go up there to machine parts and to view the engines they were building. They are a great group of people, and really care about their little park (which isn't so little anymore!). It's a fascinating place to go in winter too, when you can pick out a real pine tree, and watch the gorgeous steamers charge their way through the snow.
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Brad Sherman
Soon park benches will have seatbelts!
Model coasters and rides
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Monday, June 3, 2002 6:05 PM

To Ric Flair, I mean Chitown: yes the operating hours are 12 to 6 daily.

To SFGAMdiehard: I don't know if I would call everything they have Thrill Rides. They have the usual assortment of flat rides: scrambler, tilt-a-whirl, ferris wheel, bumper cars, go-carts, putt putt and a bunch of kiddie rides. They also have an elevated monorail. Plus the 3 small coasters and the 2 new flat rides

To SLFAKE: That is just what they told me, I didn't get on RCDB and verify it. Sorry for any misinformation.

To Arrow Guy: Nice web site!

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Monday, June 3, 2002 7:00 PM
Thanks! I did look on RCDB, but it isn't clear as to when Lakemont got theirs. It has operated since 1971, but traveled with a show prior to its arrival in Altoona. Little A-M-A got theirs in 1993.
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Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
Model coasters and rides
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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 7:42 AM

I gotta get back there again this year and check out the two new rides. I love those rollo(rocko) plane rides. I have never done one of the parachute rides so that could be fun too.

Did you get a chance to do their walk through haunted house? It is actually quite good.

I love their miniature railroad. I really think this guy had a model trainset at one time and decided he wanted to make a life sized version of it. It is so long and has it's own switching stations and everything. I dont know if the train you rode was steam but ours was and they had to top off the water tank halfway through the journey. They had a seperate station set up in the back forty just for this purpose.

It really sounds like this park is starting to do well. Maybe in a few years they can be Wisconsin's own version of Indiana Beach. Here's hoping that happens.

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"

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Tuesday, June 4, 2002 1:50 PM
Oh yes would that be great! I'm so jealous of my two friend that live a few minutes from MIA, while SFGAm is much larger, I would much rather have MIA a few minutes away than SFGAm an hour and some away. I'll settle with 45 minutes, at least I could get a few trips there a summer. I REALLY hope they get the Lincoln Park Comet, I think that will "spark their fire" and really give the park a signature coaster and hopefully pave the way for more. Thanks for the info on the thrill rides Indiana Jones, I may never go to Bay Beach again since it is significantly farther away and it sounds to me like Little A-M-A has a better selection to ride. Really great to see this trip report, it was the last thing I would expect to see on this site.

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Tuesday's Gone With The Wind.
Elijah Rock.
Is it written in the stars?
La Vie Boheme!!!

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