Yet another Stricker's trip report; this year the weather was
beautiful. Temps in the low 80's and not too windy, unlike the high
60's and 15 mph wind at Indiana Beach 2 days before.
We headed down and got to the park around 3:45. The crowds were light
and for the most part, smoke free. There were a few people smoking but
not nearly as much as in past years. At first I thought maybe the park
banned smoking but didn't see any signs about it. Admission was $12
per person, still cash only.
We grabbed our free soft drinks, hit the rest rooms, then headed down
the midway. New this year are height limitation signs at each ride,
which look very nice. They designate the minimum height you have to be
to accompany a child, the height to ride alone, and the height to ride
with an ***, with notice that below that, you can't ride. Apparently
the insurance company required that they be installed.
The Pirat is mostly installed but not operating (not until 2013
season.) The story given at the gate is that it required parts, which
have to come from Germany, but when they got to the park, the
operating manual was in German, which had to be translated, which was
finally done but when they started working on it, it required more
parts, which means "they" had to go back to Germany again. Considering
that this ride was installed just up the road at Americana/
LeSourdsville Lake for years, I really don't think they have un-
translated manuals. Instead, I think they did need some parts, and
they held off finishing it until they arrived, and it's still not
ready to operate. The deck appears to be complete but the operator
shack is still under construction. Ben also noted that the ride had
very "European" decorations (i.e. mermaids with nekkid titties :-)
We passed up the Ferris Wheel because the line was long, and started
with the Teddy Bear. They finished painting it and it looks very nice.
Just had to wait 1 train and then we were on. We each took our own
seats and enjoyed the ride. Ben said it's the only small coaster that
he knows of that's still fun.
Next we went down to Tornado, which had a slight line. Again, we
waited 1 train. They've started to repaint and are about 1/4 of the
way done. The back end loops are repainted, just down to the valleys,
with lots of white paint chips under the track. Both the white
infrastructure and red track are painted. And it has a dead pine tree
in the middle. The valleys are a bit rough this year and can probably
use a little track maintenance. The extreme airtime bump is still
working well - first ride had me and Ben in the first seat of the back
car, with Matt being further forward. The middle seat of the back car
was roped off.
After Tornado we hit the Flying Scooters, which are still run slow due
to being too far back in the wedge between Tornado and Teddy Bear. Ben
thinks they should devote funding to move it forward so they can run
it faster (running it faster can cause the tubs to fly out far enough
to hit the lights on the coasters.) We still were able to get in some
passable flying. This year we didn't see the people with the Flying
School polos, so I don't think they were there this year.
Next, Ben and I did the Scrambler while Matt stood at the fence. Soon
some more enthusiasts showed up - Jim Scudder, Karen the Diamondback
rider, and another tall guy. Matt talked with them while Ben and I
rode Scrambler in separate cars, so we could both slap hands with
Matt. After the ride ended, we talked about events that have been
going on, like at Dollywood. While the ***s did boring talk, Ben
rode the kiddie turtle and kiddie whip. Then since it was 4:40, we
split up and they went to ride Tornado and we went to ride the train.
Ben wanted the last seat that faces backward, but a little girl
snagged it, so he got angry and sat out on a bench while Matt and I
rode it. I knew he was actually just getting hungry and needed some
protein. Usually we do mini-golf at 5, letting the line form for
dinner and then go down before we get dinner. This year, the line
hadn't formed yet at 5, so we grabbed dinner first. They still have
someone who writes down your order on a pad of paper and adds up the
total by hand. They grilled the same items (burgers, hot dogs, brats,
metts, rib eye steak sandwiches, and boneless chicken sandwiches, with
potato salad, chips and corn) and the Elder HS Steel Drum Band played
Matt left after dinner to ride his bike back home, and Ben and I did
the very crowded mini-golf course. The course has some new carpeting,
the obstacles are all working, and it has some new landscaping. I beat
Ben 41 to 42 and was told that I was "despicable", which either means
that I'm Gru or Bugs Bunny :-)
Jim told us that with hosting the Hamilton County 4H Fair, they have
gotten a new influx of cash and they are putting it back into the
park. The new height signs are paid for by that, and that probably
also covers the other minor improvements in the park.
After mini-golf we went back and waited 1 train ride so we could be
first in line and get the last backward seat. Because the same little
girl was in line ahead of us again and grabbed it again, and Ben
decided to wait. The other new stuff at the Grove are a show building
for the 4H Fair, along with a new riding ring. The old hippo body is
still out there alongside the riding ring fence, so I wonder if it
scares any of the horses when they first see it?
After the train, Ben decided to skip the Ferris Wheel and we rode the
Tip Top. I can't handle a lot of spinning, so I wouldn't let the car
spin very much. I offered to let Ben ride it again himself and spin
away to his hearts content, but he decided that wasn't what he wanted.
We did another ride on Tornado, sitting in the front seat of the
second car. The another ride on the Flyers, then another on Teddy
Bear, then we headed out.
We didn't see too many other enthusiasts there that day, which was
surprising. But now that they are open on more public days than
before, it seems that Family Day might not be as popular since you can
get your rides on July 4, the 5 days of the 4H Fair, Family Day, Labor
Day, and Customer Appreciation Day in Oct.
Sharon "Despicable Me" Bond