I know this one comes up on various forums all the time, but what is your earliest coaster memory?
Mine comes from some little park in the Greater Cleveland area when I was five or six. It was mostly a kiddie park, if I remember correctly, but it had a Rotor and some kind of wild-mousish coaster without restraints and with a single in-line bench (like a log flume). Does anyone happen to know what the name of that park was?
Anyway, I could barely see out of the car, and in retrospect can't believe I was allowed to ride it, even with my mum. I remember looking at the inside of the front of the car (when I had my eyes open) and feeling the weird sensations of the drops and pull-outs.
I remember a small kiddie coaster that was near the parking lot of the Wexford Star-lite Drive-in theater north of Pittsburgh. Though I don't remember much about riding it, my mother can attest that I did. The first coaster I do remember riding though was the Racing Whippit at West View Park (defunct park north of Pittsburgh)
By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
*** This post was edited by Seven-of-9 on 2/1/00. ***
I believe the park you are talking about Jeff, was called Shady Lake. My parents used to bring me there when I was very young as well.I really wish I could see some photos of the park so I could remember more. My first coaster I was on was the Bluestreak at Conneaut Lake Park. I was so scared that I remember everyone laughing at my bright red face. Ever since then, I have turned into a coaster junkie!
I'm not sure if this is my first memory or not, because I have a lot of coaster memories from long ago. The first one that sticks out is riding the Wildcat at Cedar Point. I remember being scared to death, as in all of my early coaster memories. The first time that I ever enjoyed a coaster was in the late 1970's or early 1980's on the Gemini.
To my knowledge, Shady Lake was torn down in the early 80's due to all time lows in ticket sales. The park was becoming trashy looking, and did not have much to offer the older crowd. Now it is just a memory in peoples mind. Also with Geauga Lake and CP really emerging, Shady Lake had no chance. Oh well, its no different than Euclid beach. Only the deep pocketed parks will survive. Hail Cedar Point!
Mine would have to be at PKI Top Gun. It wasn't my first coaster, more like 3rd, but the first "grown up" coaster. I was probally 10 when I rode it. I wasn't to sure about it and when I got in, I pushed my restraint forward and that scared me so much! I remember coming of the ride feeling a little dizzy and with really sweaty palms. I feel bad for the person who had to sit in my seat ;)
My first notable experience had to be on the Madd Mouse at now defunct Rocky Glenn Park near Scranton PA. I was about 6 or 7 at the time. While on another ride my pap told me he rode it and it was tame. So I rode it. I was terrified. I believe it was almost like the Mouse at Conneaut Lake. I remember it being tall maybe 40 feet and at least one big drop on it and the seating was tandem like Jet Stars. Lets just say I didn't take any rerides.
*** This post was edited by coasterpunk on 2/3/00. ***
My earliest coaster memory is at CP, of course. My first coaster was Jr. Gemini, but I don't remember much about that. My first full size coaster was the CCMR. I remember crying my head off on that thing. Hey, I was a kid. I laugh a lot when I think back to the days when I was scared out of my wits when it came to coasters.
Scott W. Short
My first coaster experience was on Thunderhawk at Dorney Park in 1994. It was near the end of the season, I had a pass the whole year but hadn't had the guts to ride a coaster til the end. Before this season I was always afraid of coasters and Thunderhawk was a great way to challenge my fear. Now you can't keep me off coasters!
My first rollercoaster experance was at Six Flags Over Gerogia, They used to have a kiddie coaster that wasn't really a kiddie coaster, it was a regular coaster it was just very short. It went down a hill at a curve and did a three-sixty then went back up a little hill and back into the station. I remeber ridding that rollercoaster over and over agin, i would spend the whole day with my dad doing nothing but ridding the "Mini-Mine Train" it was the only roller coaster in SFOG that i was tall enough for. Gosh... that was the greatest time in my life, they tore it down and replaced it with little kiddie trucks the next year but i still rember exactly how it went.
I remember riding the little coaster at Nay-Aug park in Scranton PA. Nay-Aug was actually a city park but it had a small amusement section that was always a little run down looking. The park still exists but the amusement section is totally gone. I remember riding with my grandmother on this coaster. Hard to believe that she actually would go on a coaster, even a kiddie one. I think I may have ridden a coaster at Magic Valley in Bushkill PA too but I don't have many memories of it. (did they even *have* a coaster there)
I was 10 years old and everyone was talking about the new "Tallest, Fastest,Wooden Double Racing Rollercoaster". We got in line for our two hour wait, as are palms were sweating with anticipation. We could hear the screams of terror coming from the "lucky" people who were in line before us. It finally was our turn and I was so nervous, I had never ridden anything like this before. When we were seated the bar came down to lock us in but was much higher than my lap because my friend was alot bigger than me. I was scared because the bar wasn't down on my lap. We started out of the loading platform, and I looked down on the floor of the car and saw a twenty dollar bill. That was alot of money at the time for a 10 year old to find. At that point I forgot about how much I was scared and had a great ride. I have since found a great nostalgia for this ride and ride in frequently. The Lines are much shorter and it's records have long since been shattered, but it still brings a smile to my face when I think back to that day in 1978, and remember riding the Gemini at Cedar Point.
*** This post was edited by CoasterDude on 2/8/00. ***
Complete adult ride list for Shady Lake in its final season (if I recall properly):
* Paratrooper (non-hydraulic model- not a Euclid Beach ride)
* Wild Mouse (also not a Euclid Beach ride)
* Flying Scooters
* Coffee Break
* Rotor (which had an absolutely immense, three-level observation area)
* Sleepy Hollow Railroad
There were also several kids rides from Euclid Beach (my favorite being the kiddie whip), a mini-golf course, a food stand which sold the Humphrey products and their "Frozen Whip", and one of the coolest game rooms I ever saw. Nothing but those old classic games from the old days. They had skee-ball, but there were no tickets awarded, a very fresh bowling game, and all sorts of classic pinball machines, golf and baseball games, fortune tellers, etc.
I had heard that the park closed due to internal family problems. I could be wrong, though. It's a shame it had to go. It was a fun and inexpensive way to spend a weekend afternoon, while bringing back memories of Euclid Beach for my folks.
Oh, and since I was WAY off topic, my first coaster ride was the now-defunct Little Dipper at Geauga Lake. My first major coaster was the Double Loop at Geauga Lake. Sorry..... I miss Shady Lake!
(Oops- I forgot.... the park also had an Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel and a Sellner Tilt-A-Whirl, both of which were from the later years of Euclid Beach)
*** This post was edited by Villain on 2/9/00. ***
I rode the "Cyclone" in Coney Island when I was around 9 years old-terrifying would be an under statement!
Of course would LOVE to be back in Brooklyn now to ride it again!!
Welcome back Raptor riders-how was your flight?
Sometime during the late 80's I rode Space Mountain for the first time with some friends. The only thing I remember about that day is the part of the queue looking out into the ride. That's my earlier coaster memory.