Trip Report: Stricker's Grove
June 17, 2007
I had not planned on going to Stricker's Grove today. After all I had just spent two days at major theme parks up north, and the day's schedule called for a family party. As luck would have it the family party is located off of the same exit as Stricker's Grove, but it wasn't a public day, so you just can't show up at Strickers. Well, the stars were aligned, and it looks like my church was having their annual picnic at Strickers Grove that day. Well, it wouldn't hurt to drop in for a little bit on the way to the family party, now would it?
As such at about 3pm we pulled into Stricker's parking lot, where we enjoyed free parking, then walked up to the unattended front gate where we enjoyed free admission. Then for the trifecta, I walked up to the beer booth and enjoyed a free beer. My, I like this kind of hospitality. Well I got Mom and Evelyn settled in the big picnic shelter and pointed out some important park features, then I headed to the rides area.
The rides area was due to close at 4pm for dinner break, but I knew I would have enough time. But first, there have been some changes to the midway. The area that used to hold the Crazy Daisy (half a Cuddle Up), is occupied, but it is not the spin ride we were expecting, but a Jumping Jumbo's ride that looks quite similar to the famous ride at those world famous theme parks. Further down the midway, the kiddie helicopter ride has been replaced by an uncommon 6-tub Sellner spin ride, in this case it's a Spin the Apple. Neither of those two new rides were open yet. But the Jumbos are a good replacement for the helicopters, and the Spin the Apple is a good replacement for the Crazy Daisy in that both exchanges were for similar rides.
The other midway change is a ride addition. The Electric Rainbow (Super Round Up) has been relocated from LeSourdsville Lake to Stricker's Grove. The ride now sits between the two wood coasters, next to the Tilt-A-Whirl. A fountain completes the relatively new midway addition.
For those unfamiliar, that means the left side of the midway now contains: Carousel, Jumping Jumbos, Train Ride, Eli Ferris Wheel, Tip Top, Scrambler, Spin the Apple, Flying Skooters, and ending up at the Tornado coaster. The right hand side contains the barn with the kiddie cars, kiddie boats, and kiddie planes, further down are the kiddie turtle, the kiddie whip, the Teddy Bear coaster, Electric Rainbow, Tilt-A-Whirl, and ending at the Tornado coaster.
So I arrived at the Tornado coaster, which is usually priced at $2, but all the rides are free today. (In fact I have never seen the ticket booth staffed). It was a walk on, and the first groups all headed to the back car, so I dashed to the front seat. Ah, a PTC train with the traditional double bars. Sure the seats are harder than concrete, and they now have the standard PTC belt installation, except that they made the outboard 'short' ends a little bit longer.
The front seat gives a good ride, but it was time to exit, get back in line, and make a dash for that back seat. On the Tornado the back seat is where its at. While the ride does offer some good floater air, the back car and the back seat in particular encounter two dips towards the end of the ride that ride like mistakes. Good mistakes in this case, as they both propel you up into the lap bar with authority. I took a couple more rides on this classic profile coaster before heading down the midway.
I had to get a ride in on the Flying Skooters, especially since Kings Island removed theirs. Towards the end of my Flying Skooters ride I actually got a couple small snaps. Stricker's seems harder than most to snap, partially owing to the fact they have the portable version.
From the Flying Skooters I crossed over to the Electric Rainbow to pay tribute to LeSourdsville Lake *sniff*. Stricker's has way overbuilt the operator's booth with a brick operators booth, with two wooden ramps leading from the midway up to a nice sized wooden deck that is flush with the loading gate on the ride itself. A rather attractive install, I think. The ride itself looks to be freshly painted all over, the berths all seem to have new blue back pads, and the individual chains for each berth have returned in place of the long wire ropes that the Pugh's had put on the ride. The ride is operating though not complete yet. The rainbow colored scenery panels that belong in the center of the ride between the spokes are all lying on the ground underneath the ride, though they too look freshly repainted. As for the ride itself, it seems to be running well, with a reasonable length ride cycle.
After the Electric Rainbow I returned to the Tornado for another back seat ride, and was delighted to find out they were now giving double riders, with two circuits per ride. Upon exiting my double ride, I saw my Mom on the midway worried. Seems that she remembered the fact we had a covered dish in the car for the family party, a cold appetizer heavy woth cream cheese, and today wasn't exactly cool. Have to rush off to the family party before it gets ruined.
I grab a ride on the Teddy Bear on my way out of the park for completeness sake. It is noteworthy in that they have not yet installed seatbelts in their junior PTC train, which is noteworthy in itself as the train only has openings on one side.
So I grab another ice cold courtesy beverage, ahhhh!, gather the rest of the group that was talking in the picni shelter, and make our way to the family party. No harm was done to the appetizer.
Next up: Kings Island
Watch for it!
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