I have been to a few amusement parks this season, but none of them really inspired me to write a trip report. Everyone knows about the major parks, and what rides are in them. I figured I'd choose a lesser known park for my 1st trip report of the season.
Williams Grove is one of those little talked about amusement parks that I am referring to. I can count the posts made on Coasterbuzz about Williams Grove on one hand. What it lacks in style can be made up for just by the amount of fun you can have there.
Tucked in the farm country in Mechanicsburg, PA sits a great little family park with a lot of character and charm. No there isn't a major midway here, but the more time you spend there you realize that its almost carnival feel is part of the parks charm. Sure they have all the standard carnival rides along with the Cyclone, and Wildcat rollercoasters.
What is best about Williams Grove is how close the picnic pavillions are to all the rides. Its a great park for a family barbeque. Just pick your picnic table, fire up the grill, and prepare for a fun time. We'll remember that for the next trip.
I used to visit the park every year when I was a little lad growing up, so just stepping into the park evokes fond memories of many rerides on the Cyclone, the Monster, spending hours riding the waterslides over and over, and just a good way for a family to enjoy quality time.
The funhouse was just as I had remembered it, and surprisingly everything was still operating as it had including the barrel at the end. Just stepping in there reminded me of the times I would get get off and run right back to the entrance for another walkthrough. We only rode it once today but it was still a lot of fun.
The Cyclone- Took 2 laps on this one. Front and Back. Let me tell you this rollercoaster is scary. Just the site of it makes you think, "How can this thing still be standing?" You have to have at least 6 people for them to run it. We had 4 in our party so we didn't have to wait at all to ride.
The front seat was the first lap of the day. This ride is scary. Scary in the way that it makes you wonder if you are going to make back to the station in one piece. I have never seen a wooden coaster with random pieces of running steel like this one had. Its does pull some good g's in the drops and a few good pops of airtime. Once I hit the brake run I fealt relieved.
The back seat was better. You couldn't see the track ahead which was a plus. Much rougher especially the first drop. It fealt as though we hit a huge speed bump. Good speed, and airtime in the back. I give this a 4/10.
Wildcat- Took 2 laps on this one too. This Schwarzkopf classic is a fun little ride. Nothing too intense. Nice and smooth. Similar to Cedar Point's Wildcat, but I forget what that one feels like. I'll give it 4/10.
I had the most fun on a ride there called Twister. The ride op had the control over what car he'd spin, and we'd all take turns getting our cars spun. It was as enjoyable watching looks on others faces as they were getting spun as was spinning yourself. The ride seemed to last forever. I know the one ride had to at least be 10 minutes long.
We also rode the Tilt A Whirl, Music Express, Monster, Bumper cars, Dante's Inferno(Dark Ride), Disco Express, and of course the train. We skipped the swings, and umbrellas because others in my party didn't feel that those were safe to ride. Maybe next time.
When stopping in Hershey for a visit consider checking out Williams Grove. Its worth it for the fun that is there to be had. Remember to bring your grill and cookout. Good family fun.
This is a park I'd like to get to someday. Glad to hear that you had a good time and that the park isn't as scary as it's reputation! Pennsylvania is lucky to have a number of these little gems.
It's nice to see a report from some of the smaller and lesser known parks. I have a sort of policy to not post a report about a major park unless something extradordinary happens. Everybody pretty much knows what Cedar Point is about and if you don't, information is easy to find.
everything's better with a banjo
One thing I have been trying to find out is details on an older kiddie coaster at Williamsgrove.
When I was small (back in the late 1960's or very early 1970's) we would go to Williamsgrove for my dad's company picnic. I remember a small kiddie coaster there.
I am not sure of the name... it was either named the "Little Dipper" or else that is just what we called it. I swear it was wood and painted white.
I think the location was near where the steel kiddie coaster now sits. If I remember correctly, when you entered from the rear (picnic group) entrance it sat on the right, with the Cyclone to the left and Dante's Inferno behind it.
When I made my first return trip to this park two years ago (nearly 30 years had passed since my previous trips), I can remember that I didn't find Dante's Inferno nearly as scary as I did when I was a little kid (I was terrified then). Still a fun dark ride though.
I was half tempted to stop here on the way home from Idlewild, Lakemong and Delgrosso's on Sat... but after already having a long day, I decided not to. Since it is only 20min from home, I will probably get up there sometime before the summer is over.
Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/8/2002. ***
The three times I've been to Williams Grove it's been pretty deserted. I was never there on the weekend but I imangine they do get pretty busy with the racetrack right next to the park.
I went once last year but got to the park a half hour before they close in a brutal thunderstorm. The park already closed for the evening.
I try to make at least one visit there a year.
WG kinda remings of a Knoebels with grass instead of gravel paths.
#1 Wood-Shivering Timbers
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
The ride operator on Twister was awesome! We stopped by the park on Saturday (June 29th) following Dorney's Coaster Madness on Friday. The operator told me to sit in Car #6, the "best" car. We were the only ones on the ride, so he gave us quite a wild ride. This was MUCH better than the lame Twister ride at Lakemont.
I always have a good time at Williams Grove and try to visit at least once each season. It definitely is an unusual place, especially the location of the Wildcat coaster. This year, they added a flat ride (Flying Bobs type ride) back by the Wildcat, which looks weird there too. It is as if you were wandering through the woods and find an open field with nothing around but these two rides.
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