Discussion in 'General Discussions & Opinions' started by furie, May 9, 2009.
Walibi Belgium amateur footage from 1990!
Kings Island posts periodic "vintage" photos, which are fun to compare to how the park has developed. For instance:
Came across some news coverage of California Disneyland's opening in 1955. Quite interesting to see the media reaction to it, I didn't realise how much of an impact the opening had:
Click on the YT link on the video and you'll see parts 2-4 as related videos.
Talking Pictures TV today broadcast a short film by John Seccombe called "Roller Coaster" which turned out to be a POV of Blackpool's Big Dipper.
It's on YouTube here, but the broadcast version was much better quality.
I'm guessing the film is from between 1967 (Log Flume is there) and 1977 (no sign of Steeplechase)
Coaster101 just cut an article on the history of Revolution at SFMM, which included some fantastic early photos of the ride: http://www.coaster101.com/2017/01/16/a-z-coaster-of-the-week-revolution/
Juxtaposed to how the roller coaster looks today, it's interesting to see how much tree cover has grown around the roller coaster vs. it's bare exposure in 1976.
There was actually a lot more tree cover before the transformation. Compare that New Revolution video with the one I filmed a few years ago.
Posted to the CoasterForce Chat on Facebook, a fantastic collection of photos from Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach's Roller Coaster. I just love the facades that were used on some of these old roller coasters.
See, I love the facades, but... The coaster at Great Yarmouth is actually really fast. I was always under the impression that a "Scenic Railway" was meant to be just that, a train trip though scenery. The problem is, there aren't a lot of examples on this to prove my theory.
I would think that most were designed to be a mild thrill, with that "80 days around the world" dark/light ride experience. The Scenic at Margate is very gentle for the most part. Things break down here though.
The Cylcone at Southport was mostly very slow. Charlie Paige was a renowned Scenic builder before (and after) the development of the upstop wheel. So why was Cylcone so slow? I like to believe it was to create that "Scenic Railway" aspect he'd developed for so many years. The turns looking out over the beach and sea were slow so that the riders could appreciate the views.
GYPB Scenic is also very, very late. It appeared when the ride type had all but disappeared (disregarding relocations). So I think it's additional thrill takes into account the fact that modern (as was) design allowed for a much higher thrill machine to be built. Then it was clad as a Scenic and became this odd ride with a foot in both worlds. Not as thrilling as its contemparies at Blackpool and Belle Vue, but too fast to be an enjoyable "Journey Ride" that were still popular across the UK at the time.
It's an oddity, but I love it
The Southport Cyclone slowed down over the years, it settled into the sand (hence the crooked lift hill) and was in desperate need of retracking in its final years.
Proud to say I rode the Belle Vue scenic many times, as rerides were 6d... that is two and a half of your "new" pennies. Sadly I missed the Bobs, they pulled it down in the closed season before my first visit.
I knew there was movement on the Cyclone, but I always remember it being slow through that first turn. I'm only going back to the 80's there though - I'm an old fart, but not THAT old
Seriously though, was the Scenic at Belle Vue slow? this really interests me and I'm too young and inexperienced to really comment. Just FYI, Bobs was pulled down the year I was born
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So that makes me about a decade older than you Furie!
The Scenic at Belle Vue was not slow, about the same as the Streak at BPB, but going through the scenery made it seem faster, it was good and thrilling for a ten year old.
I can remember going round chatting to the brakeman, thinking, what a lucky bugger, I want his job when I grow up.
The lift hill worked on a fast cable, and looked out on the speedway track, I must have gone on it about ten times in a line to avoid paying full price (5p) again.
My brother in law got us into the park for free by sneaking me over the bar (Levenshume pub?) that had a double frontage, one facing into the park, and one facing the road. He worked in there in his student days.
Bang goes my theory then
I only have like seconds of flashes of memory of Belle Vue, I think the last time we visited was 1977, so I was very young. Would have loved to have seen the park in it's heyday. It looked like Liseberg to be honest in the way a park in the middle of a city only can.
Found a flickr album with some old pics of Belle Vue (mostly the zoo) ; https://www.flickr.com/photos/asisawit/albums/72157600120163821
Only ever went there around once as a kid - and that was not even to go to the zoo nor the amusement park (if it was even still there then, this would have been very late 70s at the earliest) - there was some early computer games fair (geek) on at the exhibition centre there so my mum took me and some school pals up there for the day - remember distinctly getting the bus from central Manchester out into the East-Manc slums. That probably makes it early 80s actually. Hmm, was probably all gone then.
Nice photos davidm.
The one other attraction I loved at Belle Vue was (I think) called Shoot the Rapids.
You paid your shilling (5p), then walked up a series of dark corridors, then had to wait in a strange dimmed room.
The ride attendant then called you through a door, and you sat in a sort of cramped cupboard, about five feet cubed, with a wide seat (for 2 or 3 people) made of rollers.
As the attendant closed the door on you in the cupboard, the rollers in the seat became a ramp, at about 45 degrees, and you rolled down through a trap door onto a massive canvas conveyor belt, about ten feet wide and about thirty feet down, again at an angle of about 45 degrees. As you slipped down the canvas slope, the conveyor system rolled up towards you, forcing you back up again, and you bounced over spongy rollers beneath the canvas, giving a sensation of riding waves, hence "Shoot the Rapids"...the strangest ride I have ever been on.
After about thirty seconds of falling, bouncing, rolling and turning, an attendant at the bottom switched off the conveyor, and you slipped down towards the bottom...the attendant would then switch the conveyor back on, and you would be zipped back up to the top, to roll back down again.
At the foot of the contraption there was a wide space for previous riders to watch the next riders coming down, very popular at the time with young gentlemen (including me) as half the young ladies ended up with their skirts and dresses around their heads.
It was the sort of ride that gave you an amazing first experience, but was a bit of a one trick pony, only really good if you took a "newbie" on it with you the next time.
Only rode it about three times, and have never seen another ride like it in the last forty odd years.
Would love to see one built again now, I would be first in the queue.
Edit...just given it a google, and there is another punters report on manchester history net. But sadly no pictures.
The Magic Eye site has a picture of the ride frontage after the park had shut down, it was in fact right next to the Scenic.
Lake Compounce is almost unrecognizable in much of this early footage:
Cedar Point posted a recent, high-quality photo of the Leap Frog Scenic Railway to their Facebook page:
This roller coaster has always fascinated me, as the structure spanned a 32 year lifespan across three various roller coaster iterations.
Dip the Dips Scenic Railway originally opened in 1908, with a modest length of 4,200 ft. and tallest drop of 33 ft. It was a part of George A Boeckling's grander plan for transforming Cedar Point from a picnic grove to a nationally-known amusement park and resort area.
The roller coaster operated for ten years, until it was closed and rebuilt as the Leap Frog Railway. The new scenic railway was designed by Andy Vettel (designer of Thunderbolt at Kennywood), and featured a new height of 75 ft. Vettel also designed the Leap the Dips Scenic Railway at Cedar Point, which opened in 1912 and closed in 1934 due to the Great Depression. Leap Frog operated from 1918 to 1933 (pictured above and below):
(Below picture shows the Cyclone Coaster on the far-left, Leap Frog Scenic Railway in the upper left-hand corner, Leap the Dips Scenic Railway in upper right-hand corner)
(Cyclone Coaster and First Hill of Leap Frog Scenic Railway)
As the country was pulling out of the Great Depression, the Leap Frog Scenic Railway was revamped in 1933 and reopened as High Frolics. Not much is known on what was changed for High Frolics. At this point however, Cedar Point was in a difficult financial state following the Great Depression (the park was almost sold to the State of Ohio in 1938), and was not able to properly keep their large, wooden coasters in good maintenance. As a result, High Frolics only operated for seven seasons, and was demolished in 1940. Boeckling had also passed away by this point, with new management wanting to focus on renovations to the Coliseum dance floor to draw new crowds for big band performances (additional hotels and restaurants had also been added by this point). After High Frolics' closure, the Cyclone was the only remaining roller coaster at the park, which operated until 1951. While the park added some smaller attractions (and a few wild mouse coasters) along the way, there was a definitive shift away from large roller coaster attractions until later in the 1960s.
This an old photo of Coney Island Ohio's "Island Queen" riverboat. It transported people from I believe Downtown Cincinnati to a dock near the Shooting Star.
The lighthouse entry (the entryway people coming in from the boat would enter from) still stands today.
At one point the boat exploded (both of them actually. The first one caught fire in a Cincinnati dock when a fire started on a different boat. The second one exploded when an engineer cut the engine instead of something he thought he was cutting). Not sure when, though.
I was clicking through Kings Island's Facebook photos for Mystic Timbers photos, and happened across some additional archival photos they have posted. Fun to see how much the park has changed.
Now this is cool - Intamin Product Catalog from the late 1980s.
These are some of the highest resolution photos I have seen of Drachen Fire - helps best depict it's layout!
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