A few months ago I visited Santa at his Workshop at the North Pole. But this was no ordinary workshop, this workshop had rides and toys, and a Haunted House!
Santa's Workshop at the North Pole is located at the base of Pikes Peak in Cascade, Colorado. Hidden off the beaten path in a peaceful mountain setting, this family park has something for everyone, including a visit with Santa! The park was clean, staff extremely friendly, and they rather enjoyed having a coaster/theme park enthusiast stop by for a visit (And they didn't think I was strange, bonus!). I spent about 2 hours in the park and enjoyed the various attractions, shops, and food offerings. The park itself is cashless giving you a ticket to carry around with you. All of your purchases are recorded on the ticket and you present it to the cashier on the way out of the park (no losing the ticket, they won't let you out!). A winning idea in my book for such a small park.
So next time you are in the Denver area for a Brewery tour, take the short drive to Pike's Peak and visit Santa!
Welcome to the North Pole!
Park Map. In the parking lot.
I visited on Saturday just after lunchtime and the crowds were non-existent. The park, however is open up until December 24, but call before you go to make sure they are open!
First up, an overview of the park.
All of the rides and buildings were in excellent condition, clean, and appeared to be freshly painted.
The views were impressive.
I didn't take the train ride, but it seemed to be a tradition to wave at the people on the Sky Ride and vice versa.
The more smaller parks I visit, the more I am finding these mini-himalaya's. Fun Fact.
I must have broke the Tilt as it was down after I rode, the Slide was fun.
What happens to snow men when they melt?
My North Pole.
And they had the good Paratrooper! A very popular ride.
So lets take a walk around and see how many people stare at a creepy old single guy walking around a park called Santa's Workshop....
They had several of these organs scattered about.
I didn't watch the show, figured that would be over the top creepy despite park staff informing me it wouldn't be.
Another band organ. They played on a schedule every so often.
I swore I was in Colorado and not Oregon. Oh. And NOTED!
One of the eating establishments. The pricing was ultra cheap. A 32oz drink was about $2. You could get a complete meal for around $6.
Kinda looks like frosted cookie.
This thing hauled!
I couldn't snap it :(
For you wheel of ferris fanatics.
Ok, I was really kinda creeped out by this. It had a guy puking his guts as you enter. I mean, really. Now, had that been Santa puking, I might have gone for it, still, I guess they are covering all Holidays.
It wouldn't be Christmas without the farm.
Overview of the wee little kids rides. Most of the rides were family.
Would a Hat Hopper be KT approved?
Time for a rest.
Ok, lets go find the Candy Cane Coaster and see if Candy Canes fly.
Yup, they look beat up.
See that sign above the exit? If you could touch it, you could touch it.
So after a breath taking ride on the coaster, I did some Christmas shopping.
and visited Santa......Hey, I still want my Red Ryder BB Gun!
After my visit with Santa it was time to go. Seriously guys, this was a great little park worthy of a visit if in the area. If you know me it all, you know that I'm a small park whore, but regardless, if you come up for a little ski action, pop in for a ride, you won't be disappointed!
I remember ions ago small parks like that all over the place, basically over-sized kiddielands with small coasters, and cheezy attractions around a central theme of... nothing. This looks like a better interpretation of these places, and one that's amazing to see all over.
Thanks for another great trip report Chad. Your updates have helped me learn a lot about the smaller parks in America that I've skipped over in the past..Anyone can post a photo trip report of Disneyland, but your posts make me want to jump in the car and take a road trip. I encourage anyone reading this to take a moment (or an hour) and look through all of these parks and photos. It's pretty incredible.
... And now I know where to send my Christmas gift list too...
Elitch: It's not to see. Well, I took a trip to the park on August 21st to see if it's not to see. The coaster lineup on paper doesn't look impressive, but I went in keeping an open mind, and, well, head banging was the story of day.
Having not been to the park before I can't compare it pre-Herschend, but I can say I found the park to be clean with the feeling of fresh. From what I understand, it hasn't had a good track record over the last few years, but with the infrastructure improvements that it appears that they have made, they have an excellent foundation for adding attractions in the near future.
One thing of note, looking on the back of my parking ticket, I found PARC Management properly displayed in the disclaimer, guess they are running out the stock which was obviously over bought; now we know why they are no longer managing.
While I skipped the fireworks, I did manage to check out their Cirque show, more on that later. For now, sit back, grab a beer (or root beer) some nuts, and enjoy what's not to "see"!
Welcome to Elitch! Come on in, we will see what's not to see.
I won't be seeing anything form the tower, the wind shut it down.
Inside the entrance gates, nothing to see here, moving on.
Looking down mainstreet I didn't see many people around. I did see that it looked inviting.
The wheel is in the perfect place, really. It allows you to see all of the park and had some nice landscaping around it.
I see the spider's go go parts, which meant it would be difficult for it to operate today.
I see a couple of nut jobs.
Ahh, my next stop is over here I see.
I really like these rides, as you can see it makes for a great photo op.
I see headaches ahead.
I can't see waiting this long for a headache.
I see people about to get whiplash.
I see headbanging!
I see people in pain!
I see people wishing they had not gotten on the ride and see people on a different ride enjoying themselves.
I see my next stop.
The boomerang is not to see.
But being a whore, I went to see how it was running, shockingly, it was not all that good.
This is the really the main ride I came to see. I did not enjoy it whatsoever. Not only is it slightly boring, it hurt my man toy. And that is something I did not want to see happen.
Next it was time to get over my fear of this type of drop tower (note: have not ridden one of these since the KK accident) and see if my nerves would hold.
Well I did it, and I have to say, the view was very nice, you could see for miles. Oh, and I'm over my fear of the Intamin cable. Of note, only two cars were running, the third was missing some needed components, like the shocks.
As you can see, the park looks really nice. They just need better coasters...
because this was not what I wanted to see, another headbanger.
The 20 story walk up the stairs to the top of thing left me out of breath, but, I was able to see my fourth and final legal credit of my visit. You see, the kiddie credit was off limits, even with a kid, odd, being as Dollywood and Silver Dollar City let adults ride theirs alone.
So, lets go in and have a looksee at their best coaster.
This person made sure to point out the sign for me to see, so I was sure to make note of it and not break the rules.
Want to see some PTC porn? Well, ok.
It really was a decent ride, not intense, but it was good. I didn't see any bruising after riding, so it goes in the top 30 list.
See, it was beautiful today out, not too hot, not too cold.
See, look at those people, they were happy to be on the best coaster in the park.
Dan would not like to see this amount of wetness, not acceptable. It was unexpected as a matter of fact.
Walking around the back of the park I found a classic arcade and a few games. Do you see the banana? If you do, mine's bigger.
You know, I had high hopes for this, but it just didn't go fast enough for me. See, faster is better.
The staff at the park were friendly, the Thunderbolt op could see I had my camera with me and offered to hold it at the booth as I walked in.
We'll see about that. They didn't.
Fancy. Like Piers. Too bad he wasn't here to see this.
To quote QueerRudie, "Nah....too easy" but, why not. Doubt you will see any ACER's up there.
This would be a sight to see. Wonder what it does.
Hell YES! Must. See.
Being a Cirque fan, I decided to go and see this show titled Bosque. I went in with low expectations, and left quite surprised.
Inside, we find the stage were you can see the setup for the first act. Three acts in all with the traditional clown walking around in the crowd making fun of people. The three acts included two guys where one laid on his back with his legs straight up in the air with the other guy balancing on top getting flipped around. A lady twirling from ceiling and a chair stacker. All were very talented and it lasted around 40 minutes. Props to Herschend, I hope many of you were able to see it this year.
This was one of my favorite photos of the trip. With the wheel all lit up in it's bright LED's and the flag flapping in the wind, it was really a neat sight to see.
Well, hope you enjoyed looking at what was not to see. I have high hopes for this park which needs a large signature attraction. With Herschend seemingly getting back to basics, lets hope something big is on the horizon.
Last edited by chadster on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:52 am.
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