Williams Grove?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:42 AM
I was hoping someone knew if Williams Grove and the infamous Cyclone classic wood coaster will be closed only for this 2006 season or if it will remain closed? I desperately want to get out and ride the Cyclone. Based on the POV I've seen and photos it looks totally insane.
*Currently a ride op/ attendant at Six FLags America in South West Territory.*
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:59 AM
Nothing is known for sure (at least I don't think it is)... but I wouldn't hold my breath about a re-opening.

The Wildcat coaster has already been sold off and many of the other rides are up for sale if they have not been sold already.

I would almost bet that Williams Grove is another for permanent "Defunct" status.

From the locals, the question is not so much "Will it re open?" but rather "It was still open up untill last year? I thought it closed YEARS ago."

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:59 AM
The park is closed and unless another operator steps forward. Will probably remain so.

Some of the rides have been sold and the 25 acres that the rides do not sit on have been sold to the group that holds the Antique Farm Equiptment and steam show every year.

Cyclone I regret to say may never been ridden again as it would probably cost more to move it and bring it up to code than to build a new coaster.

Chuck saying Cyclone was the roughest fun woodie I ever ridden, If your body didn't touch the car it wasn't painful but so shakey it was hilarious and scary at the same time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 9:45 AM
rollergator's avatar Agreed. If Cyclone doesn't run AT Williams' Grove, it almost certainly will never run again...

Also thinking of the idea that if it doesn't operate for even ONE day out of a season, then it has to be re-inspected as though it were a brand new ride....and I'm not telling any secrets when I say it's HIGHLY doubtful it would pass under newer stricter codes....thinking of it as smiliar to CLAP's Jackrabbit, even though codes SEEM to be less strict in PA than in NJ.

*** Edited 7/18/2006 1:46:29 PM UTC by rollergator***

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 9:49 AM
Cyclone costing more to move? Would a move even be possible? That thing is like a house of cards... shift something the wrong the way and the entire structure is likely to crumble.

What was really scary was the time my wife and I rode it. We both sat in the front seat, but there was no one in the rest of the car. The operator asked if we would mind sitting separate (I didn't ask why... I didn't want to know). So we did.

The operator was checking the train then and shook his head "That wheel needs replaced... this thing is a piece of junk," he complained under his breath. When the bars were then brought down, my wife's bar would not lock. She mentioned this to the op... he tried it once, saw it wouldn't lock, and then said... "As long as your seat belt is buckled..." and sent the train out! Needless to say, I thought we were going to have to get a crow bar to pry my wife's fingers lose from the bar when the train returned to the station.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you saw sparks when the trian went across the tracks. Not because it was going so fast, but bare metal wheels hitting rusted metal rails that had not seen a drop of grease since Ike left the oval office! Wait... what am I thinking... it couldn't have been any sparks. Any spark or open flame with in 15 ft of the dried, unpainted wood of that coaster would have instantly engulfed the thing in flames.

Of course, with the strict environmental laws, they may not be able to tear down the Cyclone... can't destroy the natural habitat of several species of termites, carpenter ants and other wood boring / wood eating insects.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 2:01 PM
Since someone says it everytime there's a discussion about parks being closed, I'll go ahead and say it...

"I think Cedar Fair should buy it." There.

Actually what someone needs to do is to make a teen flick about kids who work at an amusement park. (They've already done every sport, cheerleading, summer camps, fast food restaurants, etc.) Since few operating parks would want the disruption, they could "rent" Williams Grove, spend a few hundred grand or a million for improvements to make it presentable. Then once the movie's done, they'd have an improved park with scads of free publicity to sell someone.

Crazy yes, but crazier things have happened. ;)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 4:49 PM
I've heard nothing but totally insane/boarderline scary reviews for Cyclone so I would be pretty dissapointed to miss out on such a notorious ride in the coaster community.
*Currently a ride op/ attendant at Six FLags America in South West Territory.*
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 4:52 PM
Now this is one park that won't bother me too much if it closed. It's pretty much the worst park I've ever been to. It was so redneck.

If you've never been there, try and picture this:

You've got to find the place first of all, and after you do, you'll realize that you weren't missing much. The lot is gravel/grass. You pass over this little old wooden (and not pretty) bridge, where you pay for park admission to someone sitting on a stool or something.

After entering the park proper, it seems as though things are just randomly placed about. You see some old-looking "old" rides that definitely look like they've seen better days. Basically, almost the entire place is way outdated. The Cyclone seems like an accident and/or a lawsuit waiting to happen. The Wildcat, when it was there, just sat in a grassy field that had no path going to it--maybe just some worn-down land that had grass before.

It's almost like the place is stuck in another time--it truly feels like a backwoods/redneck-type park. Anyone that thinks HW is redneck might change their tune a little after checking out this place.

Does anyone else want to add to this description?

BTW, the Cyclone is rough and painful--you're not missing a whole lot, unless you like to ride rough and painful rides that appear unsafe.

coastin' since 1985

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 7:30 PM
Dont forget about the train ride where the weeds are so high and close they wack the side of your body. :)
Racing whippet 76-77
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:24 PM
I thought WG was quite charming, but then again I love old parks with that "broken in" feel. Sort of like going to visit your great grandmother...ah the stories this park could tell. It also reminded me of summer camp - huge shady trees, overgrown grassy areas you could freely walk through and play in, a small lazy creek you have to cross over to enter the park, very RUSTIC rest rooms, etc. To me, it was a very nice change from the sometimes stale and sterile corporate park world.

Yes, absolutely believe everything you've ever heard about Cyclone...it IS that scary...and that good too!

*** Edited 7/19/2006 12:25:54 AM UTC by thrillerman1***

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:43 PM
rablat.....while you are entitled to your own opinion, i think you are being a little harsh, lol. i actually found Williams Grove to have quite a bit of charm. i was treated with the utmost quality of customer service when i was there a few years ago, everyone was so nice there. and yes, Cyclone was a pretty scary ride, but i enjoyed it. i am quite sad to see WG close down; these "ma and pa" family parks that have been around for decades are the forefront of amusement parks and rollercoasters, the things we all love. these super huge corporate parks are indeed fun, but many of them have no charm whatsoever. might i encourage all of you, if you have a chance, visit some of these small family parks sometime if you have never been. there are many in PA (i.e. Conneaut, DelGrosso's, Idlewild) and many more in other parts of the country.

Tim....who is still pretty PO'd that i never got a chance to experience LeSourdsville and Screechin' Eagle:(

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:14 PM
^ I'm not against the smaller, family run parks. I like Knoebels and Holiday World, and even Lakemont and Del Grosso's are better than William's Grove. It just seemed fairly run down and very "hick" to me. I even read one TR where somebody basically bought a ride op some beer to get him to run the Cyclone for him, which wasn't being run at the time.

coastin' since 1985

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 8:41 AM
I live about 20 miles from WG. It takes me 30 minutes or so to get there. That being said, I have visited it twice in the last six years with my previous visits coming probably 30 years earlier (in the early 1970's). The reasons for those two visits were mainly "credit stops" to ride the Cyclone for the first time, and then to ride the Wildcat when it was installed. I had no plans to go there at any time in the near or not so near (or down right distant) future.

While I hate to see any park lost... if I would have to pick one park (that I have visited) to be closed, WG would be it.

I'm a little more bummed about Dante's Inferno dark ride being lost than I am over the loss of the Cyclone. Why? Wood coasters (better than the Cyclone) are still being built. The Wildcat will still be able to be ridden once it is set up at Adventure Park USA, 70 or so miles south - south east near Frederick MD. But "classic" style dark rides like Dante's Inferno are beign lost and no new ones are being built. Sure... Interactive Dark Rides like Reeses Xtreme Cup Challenge and Gobbler Get Away are being built... but these are just not the same as the old school, cheesey DARK rides that are meant to scary. Looking back, I wish I would have known that they did a "rehab" (i.e. repainting, replacing bulbs, fixing stunts, cleaning up) on Dante's Inferno so I could have gotten one last ride on it.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:10 AM

rablat5 said:

After entering the park proper, it seems as though things are just randomly placed about. You see some old-looking "old" rides that definitely look like they've seen better days. Basically, almost the entire place is way outdated. The Cyclone seems like an accident and/or a lawsuit waiting to happen. The Wildcat, when it was there, just sat in a grassy field that had no path going to it--maybe just some worn-down land that had grass before.

Funny how opinions can differ- those are some of the reasons why I loved the place. Glad I got there when I did.

I think a park like Williams Grove is the only place a coaster like the Cyclone could have operated. If it was moved, it would have to be turned into a different coaster- it wouldn't be scary and hilarious at the same time. Besides, if the Cyclone was moved, the tree next to the lift hill would have to be moved because you'd need something to tie the "lift hill support cable" to!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:12 AM
So the therory is, It has to be likable to you for it to exist?

Selfish, and I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:02 PM
What's the matter? Are you afraid you aren't likeable to Rob? Are you wondering if you will continue to exist? ;)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

thrillerman1 said:
Sort of like going to visit your great grandmother...

So true. It was exactly like visiting my great grandmother's house. ;)

Great minds think alike, I guess.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 3:54 PM
My great grandmother didn't have a Paratrooper, although her house was probably as hot as the inside of the funhouse on a summer day!

(just kidding, I never got to meet any of my great grandparents)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 4:03 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar But did she live near a church that offered Lazer Tag? ;)

Oddly enough, I think mine did.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:02 PM
My great-grandmother made (and sold) moonshine. Who needs a rolling barrel in a funhouse?

How could you not love a place where you buy your tickets from a huge mushroom? Or has a portable food stand advertising "chop suey?"

If the park has to go, I hope at least some other park picks up the Twister and the Carousel. Or even the Disco Star (that's the way, uh-huh-uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh-uh-huh)!

Scoff if you will, but I treasure my $8 "I Survived the Cyclone at Williams Grove" T-shirt.


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