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Camden Park 06/25/16


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So Trey and I met my girlfriend and her three kids to have a day at Camden. We arrived at about 1:15. The first ride that we headed for is the new Slingshot coaster. I was a bit skeptical as I had only seen a pic posted in one of the other forums and it didn't look like much. I am telling you, I was really wrong. I rode with my boy and this is a great ride that goes around that figure 8 track faster than I had imagined it would. The spinning was just enough to be fun without making me queasy. Great addition to Camden. We caught a lap on the Paratrooper after that and it's as fun as I've always remembered.


Next, we went to the Big Dipper. For some reason I still enjoy BD, except I noticed the cars shuffling up and down as opposed to left to right, which I have experienced before. A classic in my book. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but it was her kids' first time on a coaster. They enjoyed it, but I would have put them on Little Dipper first if I had known that. Next, we rode the Rockin' Tug, a fun ride as always.


After that, it was on to the Tilt-A-Whirl. Her son Eli rode with Trey and I. I had to show Eli how you can get the car spinning faster when you lean towards one direction or the other. Up next was the Kite Flyer. Last year, I made the mistake of riding this one. Not guy friendly at all if you catch my drift, but the rest of the crew rode. They enjoyed it. 


I tell you, there is nothing better than to listen to kids laughing as we all enjoyed these rides. We made our way back towards the front to catch a a lap on the Scrambler. I still love these rides and it's so fun when you have kids involved.  The kids rode the what I call the Umbrella ride near the Scrambler. Just a typical small kid ride with motorcycles, buses, cars, etc. All the boys rode in the fire engine while Audrey was in a car by herself. We made our way back to the front for another lap on Slingshot. Then the Paratrooper. 


Then we had lunch at the indoor grill. It was $30 for two pizzas and drinks for everyone. My girl thought it was expensive until I explained to her how lunch at KI cost me $30 just for two of us. 


We caught a lap on the log flume after that as the kids really were hot and wanted to ride that one. Still can't understand why they run so few logs on this ride. Always an hour wait. Just ridiculous. Next, we took a train ride and the kids really seemed to enjoy that. 


We rode some more rides, but nothing new to tell about those. All in all, a great day at Camden. I only wish the Whip had been operating that day. I would really love to see them get bumper cars again. Not the most exciting addition, but it would be nice to have them again. And I wish they would put something other than a fence where the Spider used to be. I really have no complaints at all about Camden. It was very clean, the ride ops were friendly, and service was awesome. 


I do have one complaint, but it's not about the park, but about a group of people. We bought Snow Cones for the kids and my girl and I wanted ice cream, so we headed for that stand. A lady told me we could get in front of her because she was ordering for 14 people. There was one customer in front of us. After they got theirs, the lady who was supposed to let us order first butted in and began ordering. I was thinking, "ok, guess we're not ordering first." I stood there waiting for 20 minutes or what seemed to be an eternity. 

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8 acres is plenty of space?

And that includes the parking lot.

Years ago, there were rumors of a WalMart Supercenter replacing Camden. The park isn't big enough for a Supercenter parking lot alone.

Plus, the park floods. and is adjacent to a sewage plant. And in a depressed and declining area.

When the Roberts bought Camden Park, they almost lost out to the Henningers. You may heard of them. What a better future Camden would have had. The who? They owned Kennywood.

Camden was on leased land at the time. So, the Roberts it was (they also owned Fun Spot in Angola, Indiana).

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  • 10 months later...

Cedar Fairs would never ever mess with camden park.  its not worth their time.  my personal dream has always been to purchase it and make it into something great and a lot more safe.  i would love to purchase old coasters that major parks are selling.  make it a final resting place for all of the old arrows out there.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/2/2017 at 0:03 PM, KIBeast said:

CF maybe would not mess with Camden, but KI had some kind of tie-in with Camden years ago. That is how the Screamin' Demon got relocated there as Thunderbolt Express


The Screamin Demon got relocated to Camden (where it became "Thunderbolt Express") when a deal with Indiana's Fun Spot Owner (Berkley Roberts) fell through.  In June of 1987, Roberts blabbed to the press that KI was "planning to build a log flume" and and he had bought the coaster.  This irritated KI officials who then denied to the press that the coaster was sold and clarified that Roberts had only entered a verbal "intent" to buy it.  In reality, he had made a down payment, but was ultimately unable to finalize a deal to purchase it.  

Once the deal fell through, the owners of Camden Park stepped in and were able to purchase the ride.  To my knowledge, there was no "tie-in" between KI and Camden other than they sold it to them as a business deal.

Roberts didn't give up when the Demon deal fell through... he instead purchased the proto-type Arrow launched looper "Zoomerang" from Boardwalk and Baseball (Originally Circus World) in Orlando. The park closed abruptly in 1990, immediately sold the rides and land, and the identical Zoomerang was purchased by, and installed at, Fun Spot.  It operated there from 1991 until 2008 as "Afterburner."  

The coaster that became the Fun Spot Afterburner was the first launched looper Arrow ever built.  It was used to develop and test the attraction at their plant.  "Zoomerang", "Black Widow" (Riverside Park - now Six Flags New England) and "Screamin Demon" (KI) were the first 3 of these types to operate at any parks.  But the Screamin Demon was the first to open to the public.  There were 5 more Arrow launched loopers built following, and currently only 3 remain in operation.

Thunderbolt Express operated sporadically at it's time at Camden.  In it's later years, the launch cable mechanism failed and the park was unable to replace it.  (Word on the street was they didn't have the few thousand it would have cost.) The coaster sat idle with the park "intending" to fix it.  It was in desperate need of a paint job (it had only been painted once - the year it was installed there) but ultimately they ignored it and rust took over.  In it's final years, you could actually see through holes in the running rails.

I paid a visit to Camden in 2000, specifically to see (and photograph) the former KI coaster.  That was the last time I ever saw it in person.  It never re-opened and was demolished in 2004.  I've not been back since.  Only the one visit.  It was such a turnoff, that I have never wanted to go back. 


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