When I was a kid, I was really excited about a new ride that had been advertised quite a lot coming to KI. It was Amazon Falls and promised to be a great water ride from the advertising. Getting to the park at the beginning of that season and seeing what it was, not only was I disappointed to see how short it was, but also that it had replaced Screamin’ Demon. Which I loved. I was still in earlier elementary school when this removal happened, but remember being sad that I didn’t know it was going to be my last ride on an upside-down coaster the year before. (Luckily I was reunited with Screamin’ Demon, which was named something else, for some last rides years later at Camden Park on a visit there).
There were some Coney Mall removals I was upset about in the 80’s as well. I Was disappointed the year I got to the park and Zodiac was gone. Other than the train, That and the Flying Dutchman were my favorite rides when I was that age. I have enjoyed the shoutouts to them with this year’s addition. The latter left within a few years after Zodiac I believe(When AE was installed). Was disappointed when the Red, white and Blue (matching The Racer) slide, was relocated to Hannah Barbera Land and had the whole top section removed to shorten it.
I Remember being confused at a Winterfest one year wondering why they filled in the water “track” for the Smurf Ride. Seeing a small kids coaster standing where the boats loaded, I stood in line for some hot chocolate at a nearby stand, staring at this situation wondering why they’d go through all that trouble only to have to put the boats back in the Spring? That next season was when Phantom Theater came in and my beloved Smurfs were to be no more. I held a grudge against that ride for a couple of years, but eventually learned to appreciate it. And now, miss it as well.
I was pretty devastated about Les Taxis being removed for something that looked so ugly in an area that was so beautiful and added so much to the park. Hated that our Eagles were taken out as it was my dad’s favorite ride. He had ridden those at Coney Island as well and how disappointed he was when they were gone with no notice beforehand made me angry they had been removed for no apparent reason as well.
When King Cobra was taken out, there were rumors someone on the same ride somewhere else Had died, or gotten hurt, and that KI couldn’t afford the insurance anymore. Or some such tale, I cant remember exactly. But I remember going with the rumor and being understanding about why it was removed.
I saw Tumblebug replaced with Skylab which was a good replacement, but was upset when Skylab was taken out and not replaced with anything worthy. That had been my mom’s favorite flat.
I was bummed out about the removal of Marathon Turnpike in HB Land, along with that little strip back there with the games and the ball pit to jump around in. Was also pretty bummed out about the Elephant Fountain being taken out. Also was not the happiest when the spinning cauldrons were no more.
I was just fine with SOB being removed as it hurt me to ride. Not only was it a jerky, headache inducing ride, but the trains and restraints were so cramped and uncomfortable. As awesome as it looked, removing it was just fine with me. I was fine with TRTR being removed as I only got a chance to ride it in its last year as the Crypt and was not impressed with it at all. And still had a grudge against it for Kenton’s Cove Keelboats being taken out for it anyways.
Until recently, the thing that I really believe that had upset me the most was when the train was converted to transportation for Water Works. This removed all of the Cowboy scenes. I would ask to ride that train over and over again when I was a kid and I loved it. While there are still a few remnants today that are nice to see as a warm reminder of what it used to be, I was pretty devasted when this change was made.
I’ve seen a lot come and go at the park. But not as much as others have. I have seen many great additions and have seen a lot of things replaced with new things. Such is progress. Some have been hits, and some have been misses.
None of the things I have mentioned so far have hit me as hard emotionally as much as the announcement for the removal of Vortex.