Well we arrived sat night to get our reserved site at Old Mill Creek campground next to Dutch Wonderland. We stayed there three nights and enjoyed the camp very much.
Sunday June 15th 10am Dutch Wonderland:
We pulled into the lot about 10 minutes till opening and then wham, Cars come from everywhere into what was a deserted parking lot. its free parking and the giftshop thats shapped like a castle pretty much runs the length of the whole front of the park.
We enter through the castle and go to the ticket booths. Per the website, Combo packages were available and we got the WOnderland/Hershey combo for $49.95 pretty good considering Wonderland is $20 and Hershey is $42.
The park opens and we head for the object of our desire. SKY PRINCESS, CCI's first coaster! Sky princess was a fun and fast ride with not many forceful moments but it has many moments of light airtime and incredibly strong latterals expecially in the final turn around the lifthill and the ending flat helix. As with all CCI's it only seemed to get faster as the ride got closer to the end. Sky Princess was a very fun ride and surprisingly long for its modest highth.
Joust was a family coaster exactly the same as Big Dipper at MIA and Gold Rusher at Wild Adventures. Nice ride but nothing spectacular.
OK, Dutch Wonderland is very aparent that it is a family/kiddie type park but there were three major standouts, The first was Sky Princess which I will mention now as being the only PAINTED CCI I've ridden. Next was a SKOOTER ride running LUSSE Skooters. These are the best Skooter cars I have ever ridden and they are only still around at a handful of parks nationwide. YOU DON'T JUST HIT SOMEONE, YOU CREAME EM!
There was a nice gondola ride through some sceens of Europe landmarks that was quite relaxing, Notice Old Mill Creek has huge CARP!
The third and final ride I will comment on was a Flying Trapeeze or Chance Yo-Yo which we thanks to Sparky and Adam have come to love and seek out. This one ran a long cycle and the antics can be scary and enjoyable at the same time. Don't pull the cables, Just ROCK!
We left Dutch Wonderland after about 4 Sky Princes rides, 1 Joust ride, 1 Yo-Yo Ride and 3 Skooter rides about Noon and headed off to Williams Grove Park.
About 1:30pm we finally arrived at Williams Grove thanks to the help of some locals that were cutting their lawn, Mapquest put us smack in the middle of a rich subdivision and about 5 miles from the park!
Williams Grove speedway is right across from the park and is known for several big Sprint Car races nationwide, it also serves as free parking for the park which you should be carefull crossing the road as it is tree lined and cars do exist out in the middle of nowhere!
The first impression of Williams Grove was "How Refreshing" No Rush here! We get to the ticket booth which is on the bridge entering the park that crosses the creek at the entrance and they sell us our all day ride pass for $15 If you like Addmission is only a $1 and you could buy ride tickets. At the entrance is a mini speedway with winged mini sprint Go Karts for a additonal fee. After we descovered one car was about twice as fast as any other we decided to skip that. Also behind the track was the parks Bumper Car ride that we did not ride due to what looked like slow cars (We already ridden a Lusse so why bother!).
Like I said, This park is laid back and in a wooded setting throughout, There was a sort of midway with a early model of I think Zamperla wave swinger but this model did not tilt and just spun. Also on this midway was the first of two Twister Rides I have ever seen and the best actually. This ride is kinda tilt a whirl like and feature cars that are designed to spin. The track gose up and over one hill on what is very un-even track. The trick is, the ride operator hits the brakes now and then to get the cars to spin. Lets just say after a couple of minutes of uneventful ride, it became about 5 minutes of spin so hard you'll spew! WOW, What a ride! Finally I raised my hand to the operator to tell him to stop cause even this old coot couldn't take much more!
Also on the midway are a foodstand and the parks ride through darkride that is connected to the parks arcade. Dante's inferno is a ride through fun house with effects and several instances of Trick Track which lift one wheel higher than the other. Kinda bumpy but fun none the less.
At the end of the midway is a carousel, possibly the oldest one we ever ridden. 1890's model I believe! They haddn't even invented the tech to make the horses jump yet! Thats right, you ride in a circle to the music with no jumping horses. It was never meant too!
Down at the end of the midway is a grassy knoll and beyond that down a gravel/grass pathway is the worlds only real terrifying coaster. WILLIAMS GROVE CYCLONE! This coaster is very old and it looks it. we get in the two car three bench trains to find the operator locking each restraint manually and after we had the required 5 riders for the 6 seats we were off. The lifthill I hate to say is weird, The track goes back and forth on the lift about 2ft while climbing all the while running over patches of steel where the car misses the track completely. Also noticable is a lot of sway, Do they have this thing cabled to the trees for support?
We take the first drop, which isn't to bad and then notice what this ride is famous for, Just plain brutal fun. this ride picked us up, bounced us around and plain old opened a can of whoop a** on us. We had Spinals, Dinkage, Thumpage and some things that have no words cause after you turn around the coaster dives underneath the outbound trip for the return, You are running under those hills you just went over on the outbound trip. The entrance and exit of the return trip were quite brutal but still fun. This ride isn't a ride for the timid but if your a fan of aggressive rides. RIDE IT! P.S. I sure hope they can restore this coaster so it is around for a long time to come. I think you'll agree its very unique and quite fun.
Around the park are scattered rides, A lake with kiddie rides around it and a boat ride and pedel boats on it. way in the back is another area that has a lazer tag in a real old church/schoolhouse. A flying bobs and a Schwartzkoph wildcat coaster right in the middle of a much field. This coaster was fun and forceful and suprisingly smooth. i don't know if it is the same model as the CP Wildcat but this one seemed much more aggressive.
Williams Grove was weird, Laid back and enjoyable. We left the park about 5pm after about 20 cyclone rides, 2 wildcat rides including a delay of about 10 minutes to listen to the end of the Nascar race :) 1 carousel ride, a train ride through Cyclone for some pics and just a pretty good time for what looked like a park that offered little it turned out great. We then got back to our campground area with time to go over to Strausburg, A very old Amish town and home to the Strasburg Railway and Pennsy Railroad Museum. As luck would have it, Things were closing down. We did get to see the train pull in with a real steam engine and the most beautiful wooden cars I have ever seen at a railtown. A quick look around and looking into the Pennsy Railroad Museum and that ended our sunday which we settled back to a campfire and some Ice Creams.
Charles Nungester, next TR: Hershey park and a banning of the funk from the Frontier Flyers!
It's official Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003
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