What Are The Oldest Existing Attractions ?
What are the oldest rides or attractions still in existence and what would be your top 5 of those ?
From Rob P
Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:39 AM
I got to thinking about some of the older attractions that are still doing well in the Parks. I know , from Robert Niles', discussion that Men in Black is almost 10 years old and yet it seems fairly new to those who only visit every few years.
But there are much, much older ones than that. And they're still popular despite their old age.
So what are the oldest rides out there ?
And of those which are your favourites ?
Give me your top five old timers.
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I can't come up with a list of five...I'm at work. But last summer, I rode Leap The Dips in Altoona, PA's Lakemont Park. It's the oldest operating coaster in the country. The attendants PUSH the four-seater cars (very comfortable!) to the lift hill. I don't recall its exact age, but it opened before 1910, so it's over a hundred years old. I had a blast riding it. Didn't much care for the park, though.
Cedar Downs Racing Derby at Cedar Point was bult in 1920 for another park (I belive one in Cleveland) and moved to Cedar Point in the 1960's. Several of CP's buldings are over 100 years old, such as the Grand Pavilion (1888) and the Coloseum(spl?) and Breakers Hotel (1905 or earlier).
Cedar Downs is actually one of my three or four favorite things about Cedar Point..along with Millennium Force, the beach, and the Midway Arcade. It's one of the reasons CP's my favorite park despite being a 10 hour drive for me. The only other like "carousel" is at Playland in Rye, NY. I actually prefer that one. It's faster, and is in a smaller space with more movement of the ponies. CP's has been neutered (gelded?) somewhat since my first visit to the park back in the early 90's.
The Whizzer at Six Flags Great America! Providing thrills since opening day 1976!
Of course, there is many Disney attractions such as Haunted Mansion, Its a Small World, Pirates, The Tiki Room, Carosel of Progress plus many more!
Tower of Terror at DHS is 16 years old if you can believe it!
There are a lot of old coasters and rides around that are good. Here's a non particular order list of good old coasters around the country
Giant Dipper (1925)- Belmont Park, San Diego
Dragon Coaster (1928)- Rye Playland, Long Island
Phoenix- (1948) Knoebels, Elysburg PA
Comet- (1948) Great Escape, Lake George NY
Comet- (1946) Hersheypark, Hershey PA
Cyclone- (1927) Coney Island, Brooklyn NY
Thunderbolt- (1924) Kennywood, Pittsburgh PA
Jack Rabbit- (1921) Kennywood, Pittsburgh PA
Blue Streak- (1964) Cedar Point, Sandusky OH
Blue Streak- (1938) Conneaut Lake, PA
Leap The Dips- (1902) Lakemont Park, Altoona PA
Wildcat- (1927) Lake Compounce, Bristol CT
I could keep going, but I'll stop now. I encourage anyone who is a fan of theme/amusement parks to make the trip and ride some of these.
Thanks for posting that, Derek. It's nice to realize I've been on all of them except Belmont's Dipper, Escape's Comet, and Conneut's Blue Streak.
Derek,isn't it nice that 6 of the 12 coasters you listed, are in Pennsylvania. I guess us old folks like old coasters huh? Although I've been on enough steel ones in my life time of riding.
Not only that, Bob, but 11 of them are in the Northeast and slightly west..with exposure to rough winters...yet still they persevere and run well.
BTW, Derek, Rye is Westchester County, not Long Island. That's the other side of Long Island Sound. but that doesn't change the fact that Dragon is a great coaster....
I said Long Island for familiarity sake. My apologies..didn't mean to be too unspecific. A little trivia for our readers... Did you know that Rye Playland was the park featured in the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks? The Dragon Coaster was the coaster that Tom Hanks and his love interest were riding.
It's no coincidence that most of the old coasters reside in the east/northeast. That's where most of the old parks were built. Most of the old west coast rides are long gone. Pennsylvania is a gold mine of old amusement parks and rides. I'm planning a statewide road trip to visit all of the PA parks soon.
There are a lot of rides that I didn't include. Maybe I'll put together a full comprehensive list for our viewing audience. If enough people are interested, I could go a whole lot further with theme/amusement park history.
BTW Bob...you're on your own about that old folks comment.
Mike G., I witnessed something about 10-15 years ago that might be a reason they have reigned-in Cedar Downs a bit. A woman who obviously had Cerebral Palsy was allowed to ride Cedar Downs. I'm not a doctor, but I am a pharmacist and I could see that she should not be allowed to ride it, since it has no sort of restraints. She had to be helped up onto the horse, and was put in front of a companion, who for some reason the ride operators decided would be enough to hold her on. She was on the other side of the ride from me, and even though it was not my business I still feel a bit guilty about what happened. I was on the outside horse. After the ride reached full speed and the horses began moving back-and-forth I suddenly looked down as we sped past the women, lying on the ground next to the ride, blood running from her head. The ride was stopped immediately and we were all hurried off the ride while she was attended to. She should not have been allowed to ride, and before anyone jumps on me about ADA and the rights of the handicapped, my wife has MS and has enough sense to know her limits concerning what rides she can and can't ride. I hope the ride operators were given proper training to prevent this from happening again, and also that they were given enough authority to decide situations where a person wants to ride but shouldn't be allowed to risk themselves or others.
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