[PLC] Cowtown Trading Post

My first visit to this little park. [1970]
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[PLC] Cowtown Trading Post

Postby DoinItForTheFame » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:03 pm

Living in Wichita, Kansas I had always heard of this little park called "Cowtown Trading Post." My parents never wanted to go because they said it was to far of a drive across town. Finally as a gift for my up coming High School graduation my parents agreed to take me! I don't know a lot about parks, and I haven't been to a lot of parks, but I've always been fascinated with the little I do know about them. Since I wanted to know more about this park I did my senior paper about it to learn as much as I could. . . Here is what I learned in my research for the paper:

Cowtown Trading Post

Located just outside Wichita, Kansas this small park is owned by a local oil mogul Archibald Derby. When he first opened the area he NEVER intended for it to be a theme park. He started it out as a small market of sorts. There were over 100 booths set up that, on Saturdays and Sundays, locals could brings goods they had made to sell or trade. It was called "Cowtown Trading Post." This trading post QUICKLY became popular! People were known to travel over an hour just to come to the trading post (both vendors and shoppers.) As the trading post grew and grew in popularity Archibald put in a carousel. The main reason for this was to give children something to enjoy while their parents were trading. Originally the carousel was free for children to enjoy, but he soon realize how the public was taking advantage of him, and he started having to charge for rides on the carousel. Riders could either pay once per ride, or they could buy an all day pass. This system worked great for many years. Over time Archibald noticed the popularity of the carousel and decided to add another ride to see if it could generate some income to help cover the running cost of the trading post. That's when Archibald installed a "loop-o-plane." This ride quickly became the talk of the town. People were coming from far and wide to try out this new "insane thrill machine." Over time more and more rides were added, and the trading post became a destination for those far and wide. To this day the park is still owned by Archibald, but as he is getting on in his years he has been rumored talking about either selling the park, or closing it. We shall see what the future holds for the little park.

As promised my parents took me for my first visit to the park and I FELL in LOVE with the place. The atmosphere is amazing, and all of the employees are SUPER nice. You can tell they truly love their jobs. I was surprised to see that the original trading post area was still there. It was a nice touch to the park, and turns out they still use it as a trading post on the weekends. I took a few photos while I was there and thought I'd share them with you all:


This was our view walking into the park. A pretty simple building housed the booths where you could buy tickets for the rides. To this day Cowtown still allows you to pay per ride, or pay one higher price to enjoy all the rides all day. - While we were there it seemed about 50/50. About half of the people were paying per ride, and the other half were paying to ride all day. It seemed like those who were just in for a quick visit were the ones paying per ride.


Through the ticket booth area we were greeted with this view. There was something about walking through that ticket booth area and emerging on this side... It was like being transported to a whole different world. The sights, the sounds, the smells... I was instantly in love with the place! (The building on the left is where the booths for the trading post are set up. I REALLY want to make a trip back out here on a weekend to see what the active trading post is like.

Now, on to the rides!

Grand Carousel:


This is it!! This was the first ride ever put in here at Cowtown. It was a pretty fun experience. It wasn't thrilling or anything, but it was nice to get to experience the ride that started it all.



With this being the second ride at the park, I was really interested to see what it was like! I had NEVER seen anything like it in my life! - Boy was I amazed at the experience!! It swings you back and forth and back and forth until it gets up enough speed for you to go all the way around... There was this pause where it held us upside down for what seemed like forever, even though I know it was only a few seconds. WOW! What an amazing experience!



This was the third ride Archibald bought for the park. Given the success of Loop-O-Plane Archibald wanted to change up the ride experience, yet keep it kind of similar at the same time. Well, that sure paid off for him. Loop-O-Plane and Rock-O-Plane had the two longest lines of the day. I waited over an hour in line for each ride!! But the wait was so worth it. Rock-O-Plane was an amazing experience. And each ride was different. I think that's why I liked it more than Loop-O-Plane.

Scrambled Eggs:


I'm not sure where Archibald came up with the name for this ride... but is sure is a dizzying experience. It sure keeps you glued up against the outside wall... So make sure you put smaller children toward the middle of the ride. It was a neat experience to coming flying towards other riders so quickly, to then turn back at the last moment. It seemed to be a crowd favorite!

Round Up:


Round Up is the newest ride at the park. I'm not sure what Archibald's thing is with spinning rides, but he sure seems to love them. This ride was the only ride in the park I could only ride once.I got off the ride feeling like I was about to throw up, and I heard several other visitors saying the same thing. There was even a pile of vomit by the exit at one point in the day when I walked by. Not sure if I will ever ride it again, but it was fun getting to ride it that once.

Derby Dips:


This is the only "roller coaster" I have ever been on... and boy... WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!! There were so many quick drops that made it seem like I was about to fly right off the coaster! The first few times I rode it I was handing on for dear life. Once I learned I wasn't going to die it became a much more enjoyable experience. The person operating the ride didn't mind if we brought things on the ride with us, so I was able to bring my camera with me to get some photos of the ride. (Thankfully I was able to do this, because you can't really see the ride from any where in the park. It's hidden in all the trees!)


This is the view leaving the loading area. It does two quick little drops before a turn into the first slow climb on the ride.


In this photo you can kind of see the turn around for the ride. (It's really hard to photograph because it's so well hidden in the trees)


After the second slow climb up you are met with three drops, one right after the other, that is probably the most scary part of the ride! There were times where my butt was literally off the seat! I felt like I was going to fly away! It was a scary experience at first, but once I learned that's how it was suppose to feel... it was AMAZING!!

Derby Dips was an AMAZING coaster, I think I might be addicted to it. Anyway I had so much fun at the park!! I can't wait to come back. I'm so glad that I'm getting my own car soon so I will be able to drive myself to the park and not have to depend on my parents! When we were leaving I did notice this area where they had removed some trees, and were doing some work. Not sure what it's all about but thought I'd share the photo with you all. Maybe you'll know what's going on?


Not sure what's going on... But it's strange to see so many trees gone. It leaves a weird bald spot in the park.

I'm graduating in a few months! Woohoo!! Class of 1970!! So it will probably be a little bit before I am able to make it back out to the park, but next time I'm there I'll take some more pictures for you all. Cowtown Trading Post is a great park, and if you haven't been I'd suggest going. It's worth the trip! Derby Dips is AMAZING!


Well, this is not only my first attempt at a "story line park" but it's also my first Planet Coaster Park. I know things aren't the best... Since I'm still learning the game and all, so any feedback is appreciated! Hope you all enjoyed the first bit, and I'll have a new update soon!
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Re: [PLC] Cowtown Trading Post

Postby JT325 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:53 pm

Love the side-friction coaster.

And in real life, I love Leap-the-Dips. I'll take sitting on a padded bench unencumbered by annoying restraints and a tight seat... anyday over a ragdolling RMC. It's good to have both, but the classic stuff is just so rare and endangered.
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