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First Theme Park Visit

What theme park visit

From Karly Tenney
Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM
What is the first theme park visit you remember?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Dominick D
Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM
When I was 5, Magic Kingdom was my first park I ever went to. My first ride was either Pirates, the teacups, or Peter Pan. Today, Magic Kingdom is still my favorite park because of the amount of rides and the nostalgic feeling.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM
The first time I visited a theme park was the Magic Kingdom in 1992. I was 7 at the time and my families first ride was Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ever since every year when we do our family vacation to WDW the fisrt park we have to visit is the MK and the fist ride has to be Pirates. If we dont do it then it just doesnt feel like a vacation!

From N B
Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM
Well, if it was actually considered a theme park, it may have been Old Chicago. I am having a hard time remembering if I went there before Marriot's Six Flags Great America (as it was formerly known).

(Searching Google)

Well, it was Old Chicago.... We went in '75 when it opened. Six Flags opened in '76 and our class took a field trip. I think we went to Busch Gardens St Louis in '77.

From Rob Pastor
Posted April 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM
Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 1979. We went on a lark, a side trip from our Virginia Beach vacation. The park was only in, I believe, it's second or third year of existence. It was much smaller, but still very enjoyable. They had students from the William & Mary college drama department acting roles from the "old country" throughout the park's European countries. It had a fantastic ambiance. Previously, I had only been to amusement parks such as Kennywood, Cedar Point,Geauga Lake/Seaworld, Rainbow Gardens, West View Park, Idlewild & Conneaut Lake Park. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted April 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM
Rob, your post made me curious. My first visit to BGW was in 1978, a year before you. But I never knew when it actually opened, so I looked it up tonight. It was 1975, so you were definitely in the right time frame, give or take a couple. I always liked the fact I rode Loch Ness, still a favorite of mine, in its first year of operation..even if I didn't know it then. I had a Loch Ness tank top, though...

To answer the question, my first "theme" park visits were to the Magic Kingdom sometime around 1974, and (now Six Flags) Great Adventure, which WAS heavily themed back then, upon its opening in 1974.

The first AMUSEMENT park for me was a tiny little waterfront attraction here in Bayonne, NJ, called Uncle Milty's. It was also the home of my first roller coaster. That closed in the late 60's. The first BIG park I ever went to was Palisades Park, but unfortunately, I have no specific memories of it..although I know I went. It closed in 1971, on my 7th birthday :(

From Giovanny Cruz
Posted April 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM
When I was 1 my first park was magic kindom but I don't remeber I just seen the pictures

From Rob Pastor
Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM
Mike; I also rode Nessie then. It's queue was more heavily themed at the time and the ride had more special effects. I was really impressed with Nessie and still really love the coaster. Just great traveling through the woods and down to the Rhine River. A few years after that we went to King's Island. It too, was heavily themed in those years and it had some really good shows. It seemed to be mimicking the Magic Kingdom, but then it evolved into primarily a coaster park

From Sarah Barnes
Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Disneyland LA in 1983 when I was 5. My little sister and I were terrified of Goofy. It was easter and we spend a lot of time lining up to hunt easter eggs with prizes in them. The next time I visited a theme park I was 34, but then there are none in NZ.

From AJ Hummel
Posted April 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I remember going to both Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm when I was young. I don't remember all the details of most of the visits, but I do remember bits and pieces. I'm thinking my earliest memories occurred on visits when I was 3-5 years old, but I'm not sure which park I actually visited first. Probably Disneyland.

Even though it's not a theme park (more of a kiddie park), I also have a number of memories of Adventure City (small park about two miles from Knott's). Up until I was about 9, I visited that place at least a couple times per year.

From Orrin Carstarphen
Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:54 AM
My first visit was to Magic Kingdom in 1975. Although I have been to SFoGA amny more times due to its proximity I still love going to Disney World, in fact just took my 3 yr. old granddaughter for her first trip.

From Andrew Carrieri
Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:37 AM
For local parks, I went to Adventureland on Long Island every year growing up. For major theme parks, my first was Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2001.

From Ray Schroeder
Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM
My first park was Freedomland in NYC. That was in the early 60's. Then we had two years of the World's Fair in 64 & 65. It got me hooked on theme parks. Palisades Amusement park in Ft Lee NJ was a yearly trip(Great theme song, google it). Then there was Jungle Habitat and Great Adventure also in NJ. First time at WDW was spring break 1973. I was a senior in high school. Local parks were Jolly Rogers and Adventureland. Two great local parks. Adventureland is still there, but sadly, Jolly Rogers is now a supermarket :(

From James Koehl
Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Cedar Point 1965. I rode my first coaster, The Blue Streak, that year. I'll never forget the first hill- thought my eyes would pop out of their sockets!

From Tim Odom
Posted April 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Mine was a little known (and long closed) park in Rhode Island named Rocky Point. Back then, I refused to ride anything with any height to it, though they did get me on the flume there (which I simultaneously loved and feared.) They did have a pair of coasters, a woodie and a steel coaster with the quite original name 'Corkscrew', which last I heard is still in operation in WA. To young me, the best ride there was the Haunted House, which I loved til I got down to Disney to see how that is REALLY done.

From Mark Kausch
Posted April 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM
I do remember bits and pieces of two amusement parks and I don't know which was first. I remember being at Edgewater Park (RIP) in Detroit standing on an escalator (may have just been on a ramp leading up to loading station) or Bob-lo Park in Windsor, ON (also RIP although the skating rink was still open last I heard) on the Haunted House ride. I think I was about three.
First theme park was definately Disneyland in the early '60's.

From chris cona
Posted April 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM
My first theme park was disney world on my birthday in 2001 when i was around 6. We stayed at the cornado springs memeber the awesome pool and going to hollywood studios 9which was mgm back then]

From Karly Tenney
Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM
Tim I know rocky point my mom used to go there when she was a kid she told me she went on the corkscrew once and was scared to death

From James Rao
Posted April 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM
The first park I ever visited was Disneyland back around 1971 or 72, however I was too young to remember much about that visit other than the pictures my parents showed me.

My first real recollection of a theme park was Knott's Berry Farm in 1975. The reason I remember it so well is because I was JUST a bit too short to ride Corkscrew. I cried like a baby, but consoled myself on the Calico Mine Ride for the rest of the day (which probably explains my love of theme over thrill). I also remember visiting the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk about that same time.

The following year in 1976 my family moved up to northern California (Fremont) and we frequented Marriott's Great America (before Cedar Fair ruined the park) many, many times.

Incidentally, my last visit to Disneyland was in 1981, and I still have the Piece of Eight to prove it!
DLR's PotC Piece of Eight - 1981

From Alie cannata
Posted May 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Rocky Point In Warwick RI. my grandparents had a beach house at rocky point Beach the land was owned by The amusement park. I spent many summers of my youth until the park closed at the beach house and the park. the yo yo and the water flume were some of my fav rides i never dared to ride the corkscrew my uncle would tell us that you will puke your brains out and me and my cousins believed him. the had the best clam cakes and chowder. we could even hear the music from the park thats how close we were. we got free fireworks off the bay from the cottage, concerts were also freebies depending on where the concert was in the park.

i also liked quassy in middlebury ct still around small amusement park but they still have .50 cent carload Fridays. some food like hot dogs french fries and soda are 50cents including ride tickets.

and lake compounce also in ct they are inexpensive plus you get free soda and water all day long in the parks thats the best part its a small cup and you dont have to spend tons of money plus they have soda stations at every section of the park

i am not big on the chain parks they put all the little ones out of business like rocky point and riverside in Agawam ma. which is now six flags ne

From Michelle Kowalski
Posted May 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM
The first park I ever went to was Disneyland when I was a year old. The first park I remember going to was Sea world in California when I was about three. My favorite attraction was the Beluga whale exhibit, mostly because of the debut of "baby beluga" on The Reading Rainbow.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Alie, you mentioned Quassy and Compounce. Each one of the parks has a wooden coaster I would recommend to anybody who likes coasters. Wooden Warrior at Quassy opened last year. It's a not-very-tall, not-very-fast family coaster, but one of the most purely FUN coasters I've been on, with some amazing airtime for its speed and size.

Compounce's Boulder Dash is in my top 6 or so woodies, especially at night.

welcome, Alie.

From Flavio de Souza
Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM
The first amusement park I went was Playcenter in Sao Paulo in 1974. This park opened in 1972 and unfortunately will close this month.

The first theme park I went was Miami Seaquarium in 1980, followed by Magic Kingdom a week later.

This year I took my 3 year old son for the first time to theme park, Hopi Hari, the biggest in Brazil. When we were approaching the entrance gate the park closed suddenly. The reason was that a Japanese teenager tourist had just fell from an Intamin Drop Tower and died. I really hope that my son doesn’t remember that day when he answered a thread like this in the future.

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