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Fantasy Farm - Middletown, Ohio


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A most awesome video. Thanks!

Memories are blurred a bit. Where did Americana end and Fantasy Farm begin and vise-versa?

I have many wonderful memories about "Americana," as it existed in 1986; and even some of "Fantasy Farm" from my earliest (possible) memories. Somewhere, buried in boxes in a warehouse in Maine, are some old Polaroid Land camera pictures of my brother and me, with my bee-hive-haired mother (may she rest in peace) walking in front of something called the "Spook Barn" at FF. I wouldn't return until a few years later (an eternity in kid years)...

In 1986, both my mom and my dad had their company picnics at the park. It felt like the 'poor man's Kings Island' to me. I remember it being kinda 'weird,' like we were going back in time visiting that park. That year, there were radio commercials singing "The Rage of the summer is 'Raging Thunder' at Americana!" (It was their new Log Flume, which had a sheet of water in a tunnel, which would shut off as your log passed under it.) There was a giant "Hercules" pinball machine in the arcade by the front gate. The first thing you saw coming through the gate was a Ferris wheel/Zipper contraption, the name of which I can't remember. There was a centrifuge-flat called the "Electric Rainbow" that stuck you to the wall as it spun and tilted. It was to the immediate left of the Zippery thing. I rode the flyers in the southwest corner of the park, and I also remember a "Cinema 180," with no seats... you just stood inside and experienced the film, which was hilarious.

I drank a lot of "Pepsi Free" (the actual name of the product)... and wondered how the Screeching Eagle did not collapse with all of its rotting wood!

A local band called the "Chandells" -- or some 50's-sounding thing such as that -- was playing on the stage in the amphitheater (or outdoor showplace; I don't remember if it was referred to as an amphitheater). The band was made up of 30-somethings, all wearing red sportscoats, and they sang a mix of doo-wop and semi-contemporary pop songs, and did funny little stage antics. My friends and I made fun of how goofy and old-school they were (the term 'old school' didn't exist yet; but there really was no 80s version of 'old school' so I used it here).

The park was crowded both times (once in July, the other in mid-August). It was a fun, free atmosphere that felt less like an amusement park and more like a county fair... without the animals... ironically (farm?)

There was a speaker hanging from a tree that blasted the latest hits over near the eastern part of the midway (on your way to "Raging Thunder"). Everytime I hear the song "It's a Kind of Magic" by Queen, "A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel, "Dream Time" by Darryl Hall, or "Suzanne" by Journey, my mind goes right back to that park, and the great times we had there.

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My family and I frequented this place when I was younger. At one time we even had season passes! We'd drive up here Sunday afternoons after church and pack a picnic lunch and eat under the shelter then my sister and cousins would go off to ride rides. I have great memories of this place. I spent lots of time here when I was a young child with my mom, sister, cousins, aunts, and grandparents. I drive by it quite often and I always look over to see the area where it used to be. It's kind of sad to see there's nothing left.

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I remember going to Fantasy Farm right before it closed in the early 1990's (1992 to be exact)

Here's more information on Fantasy Farm (http://www.forgottenoh.com/Fantasy/fantasyfarm.html)

I was out in Middletown the other night bringing food to my girlfriend and I passed LeSourdesville on Route 4. Sign still there and all with a big sign for Couch's RV.

Jerry Couch is not on my good side, I'll put it that way.

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Lesourdesvile and Fantasy Farm were right next to each other. I remember the big fiberglass rooster that used to be out front of it.

My nephew, his mother and I used to run away from home, and he would always choose to run away to Fantasy Farm.

Fantasy Farm was best for very young kids until you were old enough to go to LeSourdsesville, before it closed.

I had gone twice to Fantasy Farm with my neighbor as a kid, because she was too young for the bigger rides at LeSourdesville. It was like a separate Planet Snoopy, without as much Kapow.

I recall that after I graduated high school, about early/mid- eighties, there was a man that had bought it, and I went to that little lobby in the motel on site to interview for a job as a painter for the rides. It was creepy.

That night I had a nightmare I was painting the carousel, and the plaster started to flake off, and underneath the plaster cherubs were corpses of little kids, like "A Bucket of Blood".

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Jerry Couch is not on my good side, I'll put it that way.

Is he on anyone's good side? My one and only visit to LeSourdsville Lake was my worst park experience ever (tied with KK in 1998). I went to GR with my list of complaints, Mr. Couch was in there and while I was talking to the GR rep, he stood listening for a while and then turned and left the room. I lost all respect for that man right then and there. Instead of taking it upon himself to resolve a situation, his actions pretty much said "I don't care."

Fantasy Farm, on the other hand, I have good (albeit a little foggy) memories. We went there once or twice on field trips. The thing I remember most is the dark ride they had there and the Tom Sawyer's Caverns. They were both scary but fun. I remember going there, seeing the big park next door (Americana) and wanting to go there too. I wish I had back then because that trip in 2002 is unfortunately how I will always remember it.

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^I remember their dark ride and their caves. I rode their dark ride only once, I think, with my mom and sister. I don't remember too much about it other than the fact that I was pretty scared. I did, however, used to like the caves they had. I seems to me that they had a couple different ones. I remember going through them with my cousins.

Fantasy Farm was definitely a unique park. Looking back on it, they had some things that other parks, at least not around here, had. I was still pretty young the last time I was there, so all the memories I have of that place are a little foggy. I wish I would've been a little older when I visited that place so that my memories would be a little clearer than they are.

Now Americana on the other hand, that's a different story. I spent many, many days of my summers at that place and remember it quite well. Gosh, we used to spend all day at that park, not sure how we did that as there wasn't too much to do. We used to just go back and ride things over and over again. During the week in the summer time, there wasn't too many people there so you could just ride whatever you wanted.

One of my favorite things at Americana was the "Country Bears" show they used to have. It was an animatronic show (like the one at Disney) with a family of bears and they would sing and talk and whatever. Unfortunately, the last remaining years at the park, the attraction was always closed. Every time I asked about it, they would tell me it was being repaired. It never was repaired though and the show never re-opened. That's a shame.

I also remember the pool they had there and swimming in it on occasion with my family. I also always liked the Sky Ride, the Ferry Boat, and the Train that took you over to the other side of the park. Also, does anyone else remember the gigantic goldfish they used to have in their lake? Crazy!

Parks like these were a breeding ground for making memories with your family. There is something about these small parks that hold a great deal of nostalgia that just can't be replicated. It's really a shame that most of them get shut down and their rides and attractions get scrapped. There is nothing to revisit the history of these parks really except for some old pics and video footage online, and of course your own memories. That, to me, is just sad.

Edit: I found an interesting article (with pictures) about Tom Sawyer's Caverns at Fantasy Farm here.

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A most awesome video. Thanks!

Memories are blurred a bit. Where did Americana end and Fantasy Farm begin and vise-versa?

I have many wonderful memories about "Americana," as it existed in 1986; and even some of "Fantasy Farm" from my earliest (possible) memories. Somewhere, buried in boxes in a warehouse in Maine, are some old Polaroid Land camera pictures of my brother and me, with my bee-hive-haired mother (may she rest in peace) walking in front of something called the "Spook Barn" at FF. I wouldn't return until a few years later (an eternity in kid years)...

In 1986, both my mom and my dad had their company picnics at the park. It felt like the 'poor man's Kings Island' to me. I remember it being kinda 'weird,' like we were going back in time visiting that park. That year, there were radio commercials singing "The Rage of the summer is 'Raging Thunder' at Americana!" (It was their new Log Flume, which had a sheet of water in a tunnel, which would shut off as your log passed under it.) There was a giant "Hercules" pinball machine in the arcade by the front gate. The first thing you saw coming through the gate was a Ferris wheel/Zipper contraption, the name of which I can't remember. There was a centrifuge-flat called the "Electric Rainbow" that stuck you to the wall as it spun and tilted. It was to the immediate left of the Zippery thing. I rode the flyers in the southwest corner of the park, and I also remember a "Cinema 180," with no seats... you just stood inside and experienced the film, which was hilarious.

I drank a lot of "Pepsi Free" (the actual name of the product)... and wondered how the Screeching Eagle did not collapse with all of its rotting wood!

A local band called the "Chandells" -- or some 50's-sounding thing such as that -- was playing on the stage in the amphitheater (or outdoor showplace; I don't remember if it was referred to as an amphitheater). The band was made up of 30-somethings, all wearing red sportscoats, and they sang a mix of doo-wop and semi-contemporary pop songs, and did funny little stage antics. My friends and I made fun of how goofy and old-school they were (the term 'old school' didn't exist yet; but there really was no 80s version of 'old school' so I used it here).

The park was crowded both times (once in July, the other in mid-August). It was a fun, free atmosphere that felt less like an amusement park and more like a county fair... without the animals... ironically (farm?)

There was a speaker hanging from a tree that blasted the latest hits over near the eastern part of the midway (on your way to "Raging Thunder"). Everytime I hear the song "It's a Kind of Magic" by Queen, "A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel, "Dream Time" by Darryl Hall, or "Suzanne" by Journey, my mind goes right back to that park, and the great times we had there.

Electric Rainbow is at Stricker's Grove now, albeit without its colorful inserts (they've been sitting in a stack on a piece of wood underneath the ride for as long as I've been going to Stricker's - probably 6 or 7 years).

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