[RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

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[RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:58 pm

List of Updates:
-July 1972: First visit (Just past this list)
-March 1973: Park resurrected!
-August 1973: Wilderness Outpost and Centennial ghost town announced!
-May 1974: Wilderness Outpost opens!
-September 1976: Lightnin' Loop announced!
-May 1977: Lightnin' Loop media preview!
-June 1980: Troubled times ahead...
-May 1981: A mining museum?
-August 1981: The Shaft drops into Centennial!
-May 1982: The Shaft media preview!
[Fast forward...]
-October 1993: Forbidden Forest announced!
-June 1994: Forbidden Forest opens!
-May 1995: Landscaping improvements! Yay!
-September 1995: 4000+ ft coaster?!
-August 1996: Adventure Outpost and Anaconda announced!
-June 1997: Anaconda opens!
-August 1997: RIP Roll-O-Plane and Super Slide...
-October 1997: New County Fair flats announced!
-May 1998: Terminal Velocity and Sooper Looper open!
-October 1998: Forbidden Forest gets some new flats!
-June 1999: Tarantula and Secret Vault now open!
-August 1999: New expansion teased; first clues released...
-November 1999: Multi-phase expansion Kingdom of Legends announced!
-July 2001: Kingdom of Legends opens!

-IRL Announcement: Coming to a close...

July 1972

Hi folks! Steve Thompson here. I recently moved from bustling New York to a quiet little town called Ponderosa Valley nestled in the foothills, and was delighted to find an old amusement park just outside the town limits. The park was celebrating their 30th anniversary, so they had a lot of discounts (and crowds). Apparently it was the most crowded the park had been in years. Some rumors were circling among some of the other parkgoers that the family that managed the park was looking to sell it off, with the possibility of the park getting razed. Hope their buyer is someone that's able to keep the park going! In case things go south, I documented my last visit:
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A rather elegant little entry gate. You wouldn't guess this park is in practically the middle of nowhere!
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The Merry Go Round. No park is complete without one!
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A look down the main midway. You can see Rotor with a big line, as well as the station for the park's signature PTC coaster, Thunderbolt.
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Got in line for Thunderbolt, which fortunately wasn't very long.
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The staff were kind enough to let me bring my camera on. I nearly lost it a few times trying to get a good shot. The airtime on this thing is ridiculous!
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Opposite Rotor is the Sky Jump. It's pretty much the same as the one that used to be at Coney Island.
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Next to Sky Jump is this fun little kiddie coaster called Tumble Bug.
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On the back side of Thunderbolt is a Roll-o-Plane and a toboggan slide. Really feels like I stepped back in time!
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Tilt-a-Whirl with Thunderbolt doing its thing in the background.
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Lusse Auto Skooters? A+ in my book.
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They even had a nice Flying Turns style ride themed to the Alps. Very nice considering they're almost all gone. Line was too long though, so I had to skip it this time...
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On my way out, I snapped this picture of the Ferris Wheel. Around the corner was an old dark ride, but it was closed. Hopefully there is a next time to visit here, because it's a fantastic little park. I hope the rumors of it closing aren't true...
Last edited by MayTheGForceBeWithYou on Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:36 pm.
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby JonnyRCT3 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:19 pm

This park is looking good. I love the choice of colors for nearly everything. The park has a decent variety of rides that all match the time period. All the little details like fencing, flowering and themeing all flow together well. Flying Turns & Roll-o-Plane are my favorite coaster & flat in the park. :)

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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby fraroc » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:36 am

The allure that I always had with timeline parks is growth and evolution. Planting the seeds of a thrill seeker's paradise and watching it grow and evolve from a dinky little family park to a roller coaster enthusiast's utopia. That's why I enjoy reading them and building them in RCT3. I have no doubt that your park is going to be a very interesting story to unfold :)

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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:43 pm

Still working on some updates, but here's a little bit of exposition to hold you over/build some hype. It is a story-based park after all...

September 1972

I meant to go back to Ponderosa Valley Park once more (still had to ride the Alpine Bobs and Haunted Castle), when I opened the daily paper and found this smack on the front page:
PONDEROSA VALLEY PARK SOLD TO DEVELOPMENT FIRM

September 14, 1972-After 30 years of operation, the Lowry family that had been operating the Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park has sold the property to developers with undisclosed plans. With many smaller parks recently closing their gates permanently, Ponderosa appears to be meeting the same demise as other smaller neighborhood parks. The Lowry family said the developers to which the park had been sold did have new plans for the site, but also urged people not to mourn their decision.

“While we have sold the park, we did make sure the property went into proper hands”, former owner Roger Lowry told me. “There are new plans for the site, but I believe the future for the community will be brighter than ever.”

“I’m going to miss it. I grew up on Thunderbolt and the Alpine Bobs, and I’m sad my kids won’t experience the same joy”, said resident Jeff Palmer. I interviewed some other park visitors about their memories of the park, and all were equally disappointed and saddened that the once popular fun spot would be no more.

“Ponderosa Valley is a classic gem of amusement history”, cited local historian Eric Rice. “Thunderbolt is one of the most forceful and exciting coasters produced by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, and the Alpine Bobs are now one of only two Flying Turns coasters left in the world. If the park is really set to close, I do hope these rides find new homes.”

Today was Ponderosa’s last day of operation. Ground clearing is expected to begin within the week.


I was deeply saddened over the decision, as the park seemed pretty busy when I was there in July, and would never had guessed the park was struggling. I was going to try and take some pictures of the shuttered park the next Monday when much to my surprise, I saw this headline:
ENTPRENEUR BUYS SHUTTERED PARK FROM DEVELOPERS

September 18, 1972-Less than a week after the closure of the Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park, one man has stepped in and purchased the property off the developers with the intent of reopening the park next season. Sam Dawson bought the property off the developers of a new shopping center for an undisclosed sum, citing his concern for small town parks.

“Over the last decade, I’ve seen wonderful parks crumble into the past. Steeplechase, Palisades, Riverview, all relegated to history”, stated Dawson. “I just wanted to try and breathe some new life into one of these parks to keep the tradition alive.”

Dawson claims an overall investment of several million dollars will go into new state-of-the-art rides and renovating infrastructure. He declined to make any official announcements regarding the new additions, only claiming Ponderosa Valley “will have new life for this decade, and hopefully many more to come. I guarantee Ponderosa Valley will become a major destination.”

Dawson did say the park will open March 23 for its 31st year of operation.

So not only is the park going to keep operating, it's now under the thumb of an ambitious businessman that's aggressively looking to expand it. If he's able to keep the charm of the old park underneath his plans, I'll be excited to go along for the ride.
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:26 pm

Since I'm going to be traveling internationally for the next two weeks, here's an update for where the park stands now. Enjoy!

March 1973

With the park under new management and reopening, I made sure to get there opening weekend. Park is still mostly the same, but with some other parts of the park nice and spiffed up. Also, three new attractions opened for this year, including one thrill ride that's among the first of its kind in the world! Although what got me most exited wasn't what was new this year...it's what wasn't done yet (you'll see when we get there). Without any further ado, here's my last trip:
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Right up against the parking lot, there's something new driving along.
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Here's what management was keeping hidden from the paper last year...Enterprise! Apparently they were just going into production when the park was bought out, so one of the first was opened here for this year!
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Getting in line for Enterprise. That is a LOT of empty land over there, though...
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Looking up at Enterprise mid cycle. Really good addition to the skyline!
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Enterprise was pretty intense (and made me feel a little nauseated), so I made sure my next ride was a little more mild. Ponderosa Turnpike fit the bill nicely. Very nice and scenic drive through the woods.
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Missed my chance last year, so I made sure to go on the Haunted Castle this time. Apparently, this was one of the rides that got fully refurbished for this season.
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One shot near the end of the ride shows some of the nifty sets they have inside. It's a pretty nice mix of old school cheese with some really nice effects.
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Walked around the backside of Thunderbolt to see the third and final new addition for this year: a mini golf course.
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Continued around the path to put my check in the block for Alpine Bobs when I saw that big area cleared near Enterprise wrapped all the way around the Bobs and over to this end of the park. What on Earth are they planning?!
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One other shot because it's really making me curious.
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Anyway, I'm still hitting myself for not taking a photo of the Bobs' station house before, but it got some new paint and roofing done!
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The interior was really nice. They even added a little fireplace for some extra flair.
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Anyway, line was still pretty long. The new queue made it a bit more manageable though, so that's a plus.
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Can't believe I skipped this last season! Even with a long wait, this was just plain fun! The mountain facade definitely added to the ride, and made for a few good headchoppers!
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Leaving Ponderosa Valley after a lovely opening weekend. New rides, some great renovations, and big lot for expansion. The future is definitely looking quite great for the park!
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby JonnyRCT3 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:35 pm

The worlds first enterprise? Sounds awfully familiar. ;)


I do like the Bobsleigh coaster. It has a wonderful rock facade that seems to really add to the ride experience. With a freely moving car, it makes it that much scarier. :wtf: The queue also has some nice touches to it, a bit bare, but still nearly up there with Universal and Disney as far as decor goes. The park also has a dark ride, the Haunted Castle. That should offer something a bit more outside the box for guests, and a break from the heat too. That is quite a big plot of land being cleared relative to current park size. I can see a new area of the park, or possibly a coaster (judging by the early start) opening up there by the end of this season or the beginning of next season.

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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:41 pm

JonnyRCT3 wrote:The worlds first enterprise? Sounds awfully familiar. ;)

It fit that plot of land up against the Bobs and Merry Go Round, so I just went with it. :roll:

That is quite a big plot of land being cleared relative to current park size. I can see a new area of the park, or possibly a coaster (judging by the early start) opening up there by the end of this season or the beginning of next season.

Trying to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, but you're on the right track. ;)
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:10 am

August 1973

Steve here again. Been busy with work the past few months so I unfortunately haven't been to the park lately. That said, I've heard it's been doing stellar since running under new management, and could mean that big empty lot behind Alpine Bobs might see some development.

Anyways, I left work and found this leaflet on my car's windshield...my suspicions were indeed confirmed. If this was what that cleared land was for, I might have to call in sick next season! ;)

PONDEROSA VALLEY ANNOUNCES WILDERNESS OUTPOST!

Ponderosa Valley Park welcomes pioneers of all ages to our new expansion of wild west adventure! Journey to the old outpost town of Centennial ca. 1876 and experience a slice of American history like never before!
outpost.jpg

Expansion includes:
-WILDERNESS EXPRESS: A rip roarin' railroad through hoodoo canyons and twisted tracks. A wild ride for the whole family!
-SAWMILL SPLASHDOWN: Ride a log through a forest of towering pines and wildlife on your way to the mill before plunging down a raging waterfall!
-RODEO: Mechanical bulls with varying programs from mild to wild. Can you survive level 5?
-SHOWDOWN AT SAUCY SAL'S: Action and comedy combine in this exciting show. Can Sheriff save the town from the notorious Pecos Pete?
-MUSTANG HERD: Visit our new animal friends in a large open pasture. Adopt a horse, and 50% of funds go to wild horse conservation efforts!

The adventures begin May 1974!
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby MayTheGForceBeWithYou » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:06 am

May 1974

Hi folks! St...well, I think you should know who I am by now, so I'll skip the formalities. I've been waiting months to see how Wilderness Outpost turned out after the leaflet got me hyped at the end of last summer, and today was my first chance to visit! Apparently, it added 35% more area to the park, which means they added a LOT of new things (and space for even more newer things). To keep my overall review short, the expansion not only met my inflated expectations, but wildly exceeded them! Anyway, onto the photos!
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Feels like ages since I've been in here...
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Looking down the Haunted Castle midway. What's that I see around the corner?
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Looks like I've made it to Wilderness Outpost and the town of Centennial!
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First stop going this way around was Rodeo. I rode it on a more moderate setting and had a good amount of fun. Kid next to me decided to try the most intense program, and fell off within just a few seconds!
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Next stop was Wilderness Express, the new mine train coaster.
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While it's advertised as a family coaster, this was pretty intense! Threw you around quite a bit, but wasn't at all rough.
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Next to Wilderness Express was the new log flume, Sawmill Splashdown.
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It was actually pretty cool! The flume between the first and second parts of the drop was enclosed into a dark ride section with a bunch of cool sets.
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Eek! Mountain lion!
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Looks like we've made it to the mill!
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After the mill, you go up one more lift before going down the big drop! Didn't want to get my camera wet, so I took an off ride photo.
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Some nice details they threw in.
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The dynamite shack was a clever gag. The shack would occasionally have recordings of a little conversation inside where someone accidentally threw a match and...well, it would blow up!
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Backside of the Centennial area, near the mustang herd.
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Really majestic!
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Not normally into shows, but Showdown at Saucy Sal's was seating when I took the last photo, so I decided to just go for it.
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It was actually pretty entertaining. This was the best part!
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On the way out, I could see they cleared out even MORE land! A sign nearby said "More fun coming soon", but I don't know what "soon" exactly entails.
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On the way out, I saw another fantastic little detail near Wilderness Express and Rodeo. This animatronic is caught in a gunfight...
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...With the Sheriff! The funniest part is that the guns are loaded with little air cannons that fire on people in the queue. Made several people jump.
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Overall, FANTASTIC addition to the park. Really happy the park changed management, and can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves next!

(PSST! I know people are lurking here, since the teaser from yesterday has almost 100 views as of this posting. Be sure to drop a comment if you're reading!)
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Re: [RCT3] Ponderosa Valley Amusement Park

Postby TheCoasterKid211 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:09 pm

WOW! Really nice park so far! Like to see not much CS was used! When is the next update? =)
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