Williams Grove- Worth It?

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 10:06 PM
Okay, my dad and I are getting ready to take a coaster trip to PA/NJ. We are definitely doing HP, Knoebels, DP, and SFGADV. I see that Williams Grove is only like 25 miles away from HP and figured we could probably do it in like twenty minutes, just getting the credits. We are definitely not going to pay the money for Dutch Wonderland or Sesame Place's meager coasters, but since Williams Grove is cheap I figured we could do it, but is it really worth it? Would it be better to just spend the extra hour at Knoebels or HP? Also, other than the aforementioned parks, excluding the NJ parks, are there any other things we are passing up in that immediate area? I have checked rcdb and did not find any.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 10:22 PM
Depends on what you like, WG is a old park and not in very good conditon, However like all parks (Including Dutch wonderland) You can have fun there.

Chuck, who don't think SKy Princess is a meager coaster and them bumper cars and Yo Yo at Dutch sure are not meager

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 11:02 PM
I'm going to repeat what Charles said.

Sky Princess is a cool little woodie and I had a ridiculous amount of fun on DW's bumper cars.

Plus they have the Dutch Wonderhouse - I'm pretty sure it's the spawn of Satan himself.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Dutch Wonderland - even if just for a quick stop of the type your considering at WG.

*** Edited 6/3/2004 3:02:37 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 11:06 PM
WTF? All I can imagine is some Amish guy in there prods you with a pitchfork.

I drove right past Dutch Wonderland one day, but it was about 10 til 9 and they were closing... I get in free, so I just wanted to stop in, ride the Princess and continue on. (Even had the wife's permission.) Alas, it was not meant to be.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 11:16 PM
i can back them up, Dutch Wonderland was a BLAST! i had so much fun there, Sky Princess is definitely a very fun coaster. also the two water slides with the rafts, they were fun, and the YoYo was wicked insane:) dude, you should definitely hit up DW if you can take the time....ive never been to Williams Grove, but i believe the Cyclone there is the last Oscar Bitler (sp?) coaster left in existence (someone correct me if im wrong) so thatd be worth it. oh, and its actually a good 30-45 minutes from Hershey to Mechanicsburg, PA, where Williams Grove is located....its not just a hop, skip and jump away...u gotta go a few exits west on the PA Turnpike to get there....

also, a couple more parks u might wanna consider...Clementon Amusement Park is about 20 minutes from center city Philadelphia, in southern New Jersey, and they are opening a new S&S woodie called Tsunami....if its open by the time of your trip, u might wanna scoot over there....not sure of the web address, but look up Clementon on RCDB, its on there....and, if u have an extra day, shoot down to Cape May/Wildwood NJ, on the southern tip of New Jersey and hit up Moreys Piers..they have some fun coasters, right on the boardwalk...and some awesome food stands too. all these parks are listed on RCDB btw, so u can get addresses and directions and all that jazz....

your smart in skipping Sesame Place...it costs $40 or more to get in, and its not worth it if u dont have kids...but trust me, if u have time, hit Dutch Wonderland, u definitely wont be sorry.

hope that helped some:)

Tim *** Edited 6/3/2004 3:18:35 AM UTC by vacoasterfreak***

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 11:28 PM

WTF? All I can imagine is some Amish guy in there prods you with a pitchfork.

Close. It's actually like the Houdini rides a couple of the SF parks have - the spinning room thing. Except on a MUCH, MUCH smaller scale which heightened the nausea factor by roughly 100 times.

And it's so small that the room is spun by hand by the ride op outside - hilarious stuff!

your smart in skipping Sesame Place...it costs $40 or more to get in, and its not worth it if u dont have kids

It even sucks with kids. To this day, it's the only park where we demanded our money back - the best part is they didn't put up a fight :)

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:15 AM
I agree with the others, don't discount Dutch Wonderland...I had a BLAST

Don't knock it till you try it, don't judge a book by its cover, insert third cliche comment here

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:18 AM
I actually really like Williams Grove, it is a neat little place. The Cyclone may be the scariest coaster I have ever ridden. Not because of height or speed or any of that nonsense, but because when you ride it you are not sure you will make it back to the station. It is a great ride on top of that, lots of airtime on an interesting layout. You can easily get the two coasters in under 30 minutes, and the park is only about 10 minutes off the Turnpike.

Idlewild is also not far off the Turnpike, but I have never been there. I have never been there though. You may want to consider ttiting Lakemont Park and DelGrosso's. Lakemont is in Altoona, PA, and DelGrosso's is about 20 minutes up the highway. Lakemont, of course, has Leap the Dips, worth the ride just for the history of it. The Skyliner is a fun ride too, just watch the back seat. Delgrosso's is getting a new spinning mouse, though it is not open yet.

Those are two parks to definately consider, and you can easily do Lakemont, Delgrosso's, and Williams Grove all in one day (I have).

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:24 AM
The Williams Grove Cyclone is the scariest ride I have ever been on. This is not a compliment. I have no clue how this ride passes inspection. The lift hill is warped and every board shakes. This is the dumpiest park I have ever seen.

Funny thing is...I went back to experience it all for a 2nd time on my last HP trip. I had to see if was as bad as I remembered and it did not disappoint.

If you are into wierd off the beaten path experiences then by all means this is your park.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 6:21 AM
Never been to Dutch Wonderland, but I have heard nothing but positive things about it.

As far as Williams Grove, if you can swing it, it will be worth it! It's very small and you can probably do everything you want in less than an hour. I would have to agree with the above statement from Jeffrey.....Cyclone IS scary, almost as scary as Camden Park's Big Dipper for the fact that it *seems* like it is going to fall apart at any second but doesn't.

Williams Grove has an awesome Fun House which you can rarely find anymore, and a funny dark ride called Dante's Inferno. BOTH had me in tears from laughing the entire time. The Musik Express is one of the best I have been on. It's a great little park if you love classic flats. The food is pretty decent as well.

The only problem I had with the park is finding it at first!


*** Edited 6/3/2004 10:28:52 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Thursday, June 3, 2004 6:28 AM
Jeffrey R Smith said,

The Williams Grove Cyclone is the scariest ride I have ever been on. This is not a compliment. I have no clue how this ride passes inspection. The lift hill is warped and every board shakes. This is the dumpiest park I have ever seen.

I'll 2nd that, and it is actually fun. A few nice pops of air. The 1st drop is a back breaker.

They also have the Schwarzkopf Wildcat.(The same as CP's just not in as good of shape.) Also the Twister ride is a can't miss as long as they have a good ride op that really gets it spinning. I can spend the whole day just riding that. Their funhouse is a lot of fun.

If you take 322 to 83 South to 581 West to 15 South it will take you about 20 - 25 minutes to get there.

Dutch Wonderland is good for a quick stop as well. I haven't been there since Hershey took it over. Its in much better shape then Williams Grove, but I myself prefer Williams Grove. Of course that is one of the parks I have grown up in.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 7:44 AM
Dutch Wonderland is not a horrible place. I love it there, thats why i work there. The meagerness is unacceptable. Sky Princess is a good roller coaster. The Bumper Cars are awesome. We also have a newly relocated Yo-Yo, also we have the VR voyager. It may be a little expensive but it is an awesome place.
Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:17 PM
Okay..well thanks for all of the suggestions. I am definitely going to explore my options. Oh BTW, excuse me for calling Dutch Wonderland meager. I only took a quick glance and it seemed pricy for a small selection of rides, but now I think I will look into it as well as all the other suggested parks, but I think I would rather not be killed on the Williams Grove Cyclone(I'm just kidding).
Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:27 PM
Dutch wonderland isn't expensive if your also visiting hershey, A two day two park pass is like $42.

Put it this way, You could easily do and enjoy Dutch Wonderland, 10am-Noon, Williams Grove 1:30PM-4 and Strausburg Railroad (3 miles from Dutch) ON A SATURDAY! and be totally satisfied instead of waiting two hours in lines for every ride at the bigger parks.

For as bouncy and shaky as Cyclone was, It was actually much fun and I rode it about 10 times.

Chuck, who says thats what we did last year and had a ball.

P.S. The train from Cyclone is Palisades Parks old train, The walkthrough funhouse is also from Palisades and the carousel is the third oldest in the nation.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:32 PM
Of the side parks mentioned, I'd go for Lakemont and Dutch Wonderland.

Lakemont has Leap the Dips which is of great historical interest and even has a little bit of air time. Scary when you know the coaster isn't locked to the track. The Skyliner isn't half bad. Best ride is in the front row. Add a Chance Toboggan if you haven't ridden one, and an old mouse and you have a nice afternoon.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:34 PM
The mouse isn't at Lakemont anymore.

Not sure when they got rid of it, but I expected it to be there as RCDB still showed it as operating.

I visited the park this past weekend - no Wild Mouse :(

Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:50 PM
I am not usually one for rough coasters...and the Williams Grove Cyclone is about as rough as they come. But it was so rough that we just had to laugh...and then ride again...LOL. As others have mentioned, there are other good rides here. And since this park is a carnival that doesn't travel...the carnies get a thrill out of running the rides in insane modes. I never thought a Wave Swinger could make me sick...LOL. I don't know if they still have it, but they had a "magic show" that was very interesting to say the least.

But to be honest, Sky Princess is absolutely worth the price of admission. The Yo-Yo is awesome. And if it's a good hot, humid day, you have a good chance of passing out on the Wonderhouse (it's not air conditioned in that little box..LOL).


Thursday, June 3, 2004 6:39 PM
More on Cyclone (long for those who do not care):

At one point in time I attempted to ride every wooden coaster in the USA. Due to money/time and the coaster boom in the 1990's that saw so many new coasters opening, I was never able to do it. Anyhow, about 6-7 years ago when I went to Williams Grove for the first time I told the Cyclone operator about my plans (BIG mistake)! He was so excited that he made me try every seat and kept me going and going (on only one ticket mind you). He was so happy to have me there that I felt guilty and did not have it in me to ask him to let me off. I had a headache after about the 3rd spin. I'm guessing I got somewhere between 15-20 rides straight before there were finally not enough people in line for him to keep it going. Thankfully I was able to escape.

Every spin on this ride put the fear of death in me. However, I did nothing but laugh. I guess it hurt so good.

Two of the funny things I remember about the ride are the fact it only has 2 cars (the guy told me it would not make the circuit with 3) and there was this god awful trim break (this was home made as the operator so proudly told me) on the return leg that took you from what seemed like 40 mph to 10 mph in about 3 feet of track. This gave you stomach bruises to go along with the headache.

The more I think about it. I believe that nobody can truly call themself a coaster enthusiast until they ride the Williams Grove Cyclone. This should be a rite of passage. You may think that you have been on some old rickety wooden coasters, but believe me you have not until you've done this one!

P.S. Next time I'm in the area to get my Knoebels and HP fix, you can bet I'll probably drag the wife and kids back to Williams Grove for one spin (2 years ago on my second trip the wife stayed in the car while I sprinted for one spin on the Cyclone and another on that rusty old mouse coaster they have on the other end of the park). There is something addictive about this park!

P.S.S. Dittos on the dark rides at Williams Grove! *** Edited 6/3/2004 10:40:50 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

Thursday, June 3, 2004 6:58 PM
LOL Jeffrey! I've been trying to get to WG for some time now and your story just makes my yearning worse. Hopefully next year ;)


Thursday, June 3, 2004 7:04 PM
Even more WG Cyclone stories; first time I rode it I made the unwise decision of riding in the front seat, you know, for the best view ;) Well, as the train rounded the turnaround to the first drop, I literally saw a screw holding the rails pop up out of the hole it was in, and then fall right back in. This coaster is scary, but so much fun.

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