Williams Grove 8/26/04...become a kid again:)

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I have been to many different types of amusement parks since getting into this whole "enthusiast" bit, from large corporate parks, to family run "ma and pa" style parks. Williams Grove was definitely a unique experience....while its definitely in the latter category, it is incredibly set in its own time. A different aura beats at the heart of this tiny park in central PA. You stroll the midways, wondering if you are in a park, or a carnival that just decided to take a permanent vacation. For those that have been here, say what you want about it, no doubt it is an experience that shall never be forgotten....

After the long, agonizingly hot journey down the turnpike from Downingtown, i meandered my way thru Mechanicsburg and first passed the Williams Grove Speedway. i almost passed the next road, because i didnt see a sign for the park, but saw through the trees what looked like some kind of circus tent looking object, so i quickly went down that road. finally found the park entrance and parking lot, and discovered upon entering that Thursday is family day, so it was only $10 all u can ride. made me smile.....so in i went....:)

If a cash flow existed for this tiny park, they would have plenty of room for some killer expansion. too bad that its rumoured to possibly close after this year, i certainly hope that doesnt happen. I ventured back to Wildcat for my first ride of the day. if youve ridden one, you know the rest;) still though, it was fun. the flat ride next to it, Disco Star, was absolute FUN! very fast, definitely had that sick "drunk carnie who loves to scare guests" speed going on:)

walking down the gravel path towards the center of the park i passed the big waterslides (wish i had my swim shorts) and a few other flat rides. the middle area of this park fascinated me the most. it just had such a homey feel to it. like you were welcome here...it felt like someone's backyard with rides in it. Anyway...rode most of the flats around there, like the paratrooper thing, the monster, the swings...and Dante's Inferno.....WEIRD is all i have to say. the ringing bell thing though..that scared the crap out of me, lol! seriously....

After wandering around there for a bit, i finally made my way up to Cyclone. turns out though...they have to have at least 4 people on it to run it. and the park was EMPTY practically. so i had to wait nearly 30 minutes for a group to come up to it. i rode wth a bunch of kids, so i was able to get a few rides....

not much u can say about WG Cyclone....its umm....unique? painful? i tell ya....dont waste money onyour chiropractor, if u live within a two hour radius of this park. just come ride Cyclone, it will knock loose whatever is ailing your spine, trust me. it was fun though, even with the bouncy, rough track that was almost hilariously painful. i would definitely go back and ride it again...its a "must see" experience.

i took the little train ride, which was very cool, and went around a nice section behind the creek. the german fun house was really cool....i actually did trip and fall on the moving platform at the beginning, haha!:) the big turning exit thing was funny too. after that, i walked around, hit a few more flat rides, and followed a big group up to Cyclone so i could get a few more rides in. that pretty much spent me, so i decided it was time to pack it in for the day.

i only spent about three hours at Williams Grove, but what an enjoyable three hours. this park really is something special. those that knock it are obviously only pleased by simple thrills or spectacularly groomed parks. i believe in order to appreciate a place like Williams Grove, you have to have a open, kid-like mind...its not the most beautiful park, and its rides arent anything to write home about (except for the spine readjusting Cyclone) but it is FUN. if you are ever in the central PA area (its very close to Harrisburg and Hershey) and you have some extra time, i do highly recommend you come check this park out. i certainly hope you have the fun day that i had :)


still trying to think of a good signature...

Vater's avatar
Awesome. I can't wait to visit this Sunday. Nice TR, Tim. I've been trying to mentally prepare my wife for this park, as well as DelGrosso's and Lakemont. She's used to the big'ns, and I just hope she's not disappointed by these small, carnvial-like parks. I'm definitely going with an open mind.
DelGrosso's is acutally not very Carnie-like. It's clean and nicely run.

The others, sure, carnie...

"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

"those that knock it are obviously only pleased by simple thrills or spectacularly groomed parks..."

or, cleanliness. Well, you get my point...

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Perfect TR Tim!

It was fun reading this because I had the same reactions to Williams Grove the first and only time I visited. We totally missed the entrance and immediately got that "back yard" feel to it. I went there during the PA Coaster Con a few years ago. We had the whole park to ourselves.

I don't remember the Cyclone being *that* much of a back breaker but I remember the Fun House (with the rotating barrel) and the Musik Express being the most insane I have ever rode. It has quite a collection of rides.

It's truly a one-of-a-kind park and I hope it doesn't close down. I really enjoyed it. The employees at the time were the BEST, they even let us ride the kiddy rides.

Glad you had a good time Tim!

And yes, DelGrosso's is not very *backyard-like* but watch out for that INSANE, SICK mouse....you and your wife will LOVE it, Vater!

Lakemont is a blast as well. :-)


*** Edited 9/1/2004 1:27:42 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Millenium Force...the park was clean, and was very well maintained as far as hygiene and cleanliness is concerned....i have seen CP on some days when i wonder if its the sister park to SFA....thanks for the comments Tina :) your always appreciated!! lol

Tim *** Edited 9/2/2004 6:04:55 AM UTC by vacoasterfreak***

still trying to think of a good signature...

Well, I was there only once (last year). It was pretty dirty. Maybe a bad day.
there will be a group of enthusiasts (coaster zombies) meeting at the racetrack side of the park at 10:30am This Sunday Morning. If you're interested please join us. we'll be hitting all the larger rides in the park.

After that some of us will be heading for the Maryland Stae Fair

SAM *** Edited 9/3/2004 4:17:37 PM UTC by Sam A. Marks***

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