Vague Childhood Memories (BGW)

Thursday, January 23, 2003 5:59 AM
I have vague memories of things at parks that were there when I was a little kid, but have been taken out. Often I feel like I must have imagined them, though the web has helped confirm many of these memories - Like thinking I rode a swan through the canals at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom when I was 5 years old. Crazy, right?

At Busch Gardens Williamsburg I remember an indoor scrambler called 'Catapult' which was where 'The Enchanted Laboratory of Nostramos the Magnificent' was until the Ireland Re-themeing. It had awesome lighting effects and soundtrack, as I recall. Best I can figure it was there until Festa Italia opened and, I believe, the scrambler was relocated to this new area.

Here's the point of my post, though- I have even vaguer recollections of there once being a kiddie coaster in Oktoberfest and a Hall of Mirrors where Turvey Manor Arcade was. As I was writing this I just found the kiddie coaster on RCDB listed as 'Die Katzchen' (It's a new entry... wasn't there last time I checked) so I know that memory was correct. This was probably my second coaster after Scooby Doo at PKD. Anyway, this leaves the Hall of Mirrors. Does anyone else remember this? Was it called Turvey Manor? Was it as cool as my 3 year old brain thought it was?

On a related note, anything you only vaguely remember experiencing at a park?

Thursday, January 23, 2003 8:45 AM

The kiddie coaster you are remembering was located in the former "Grimms Hollow" kiddie area. That area was transformed into the "Land of the Dragons" a few years back. The coaster did not last that long, and was gone by the mid 1980s I believe. Die Katzchen might have been it's name but I am not sure. It was, if I recall, a small Miller or Miller-like coaster.

Other defunct coasters at BGW are the Wildcatz (A Schwarzkopf Wildcat that was located where BBW's final brakes now reside) and the Glissade (A Schwarzkopf Jumbo Jet or such where the Wild Maus now sits.) as well as the Drachen Fire (Lets not go there) all of which once resided in the Octoberfest portion of the park.

The Catapult was just as you described. But it was removed a season or two prior to the addition of Festa Italia for "Enchanted Laboratory." The Catapult used to have wind, thunder and lightning effects. It was always a favorite of mine.

The Turvey Manor arcade was once a really elaborate fun house. It lasted until the mid 1980s. In it was a very elaborate mirror maze along with various other rooms such as a strobe room, a moving room, a shifting staircase, a coffin room etc etc etc. It was very fun and I miss it still. This is not to be confused with the "Shadow Room" which was an attraction located across the midway from Turvey Manor Arcade in the later 1980's. In that attraction, there was a molecular wall as well as a room that would "freeze" your shadow on the wall.

I can recall tons of odd stuff about parks from when I was a kid, but some are very vague as well. The first park I ever attended was BGW the year it opened. I recall seeing an elaborate puppet show in which one scene had a lady puppet being lowered down from the ceiling while playing a piano. At the end of the song, the puppet lost it's balance and fell into a "pool" below with a big "SPLASH!" I recall just thinking that was the most hilarious thing. Hey, I was like 4 years old ;-)

I also recall the Water Follies Ski Show on Lake Charles at King's Dominion as well as the fact that when I first went to the park (at age 7) the elaborate stage show was called "New York New York." I only recall the name of the show because we didn't see it. It was closed because the performers had all taken ill. Most notably, I recall the elaborate shoot-em up Wild West show that took place on the now-defunct train. Specifically I recall a female mannequin's animatronic legs (in bloomers kicking up and down) hanging out of one of the top windows of the saloon. As a young lad I thought that was quite amusing, but my Mother and Father thought it was a little too "blue."


*** This post was edited by Shaggy on 1/23/2003. ***

Thursday, January 23, 2003 10:55 AM
Holy crap. I had completely forgotten that the Old Dominion Railroad actually had themed anamatronic (as well as still) figures along the route. I remember very little about them, save the fact that they existed. Thanks, Shaggy.

Regarding other childhood memories, I had always remembered Hershey's Sooperdooperlooper was completely orange (before it received its current blue paintjob), but I've since seen pictures of it, and it was only the track and trains that were orange. The supports and the rest of the structure (much more prominent than the track) was white (or off-white).

It's odd how sometimes I think that certain things were so much better back then than they are now, when much of the time the only aspect that makes them 'better' in my mind is the fact that they were fond memories of my childhood. I tend to not welcome change, but only where amusement parks are concerned.


*** This post was edited by Vater on 1/23/2003. ***

Thursday, January 23, 2003 11:08 AM

I think we all feel that way at times. I remember very little about Walled Lake Amusement Park except for my first roller coaster that scared me to death.

But memories of Edgewater Park, Boblo Island and Cedar Point are more vivid. I remember when CP basically ended where the Summer Spectacular screen is today and the park was mostly flat rides.

I remember going to Deer Park in Muskegon as a child. There were no roller coasters in the park then!

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

Thursday, January 23, 2003 11:32 AM

I have vague memories of my first trip to CP back in 1986, but certain parts of that trip are super clear. Most notably I remember the other youngster terrified of the Mill Race, while I thought that last drop was super cool (I was 4). I remember watching Avalanche Run from Sir Rub a Dub's Tubs, but not riding (even though I was tall enough - 46") because the rest of the group didn't want to wait in the line.

I also remember spending a long time in Berenstein Bear Country, followed by multiple trips down the Sky Slide. I also remember watching people on Thunder Canyon and thinking people were crazy for wanting to get that wet.

My next trip that I remember was in 1988 I think......and I remember a ride called Trabant near where the Matterhorn/Scrambler sit. Am I completely crazy??? or was this ride there.

Thursday, January 23, 2003 12:15 PM

Blaster.....What is odd to me is that you recall being just a wee lad in those years..... I was a teenager in the years you just mentioned at CP. I can recall being in High School and going the year Berinstein Bear Country opened, and riding Avalanche Run.... Disaster Transport outdoors! That dates me ;-)



R.I.P. Maestro
Phantom Theater 1992-2002

Friday, January 24, 2003 9:02 AM

Well, don't feel bad. It doesn't date you that much. My older siblings were in high school and graduated by that time, and I don't consider them old yet, so you're ok. Yeah, I was an "Oops", 12-18 years behind my other 4 siblings. anyone know anything about Trabant??

-Raptor Crew-

*** This post was edited by Blaster_1578 on 1/24/2003. ***

Friday, January 24, 2003 5:36 PM
Catapult ruled!
Acronym: INTernational AMusement INstallation

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