Day 1 (or was that 0)? The "Other" Coney Island & Stricker's Grove
Every time summer rolls around in Williamsburg, people ask me the same question: "Where are you riding roller coasters this year?" I had some trouble explaining this summer's itinerary.
Here are the basic facts. We started in Cincinnati, Ohio; wound through Louisville and "Where the Hell Are We," Kentucky, Santa Claus, Indiana, and Gurnee, Illinois; hopped over to Harrisburg, Hershey, Elysburg, and Allentown, Pennsylvania; cruised into Jackson; New Jersey, and finished up in Brooklyn, New York.
My favorite follow-up question: "There's a park in New York City?" I guess some people have never heard of Coney Island. They're usually surprised to hear of parks in Indiana and Kentucky, too.
Sometimes it's best to not bother with explanations. Just go with it. So, let's jump right into Theme Park Review's excellent Mini New Hotness and East Coast Trips. Let's start in the "Queen City," or the "City of Seven Hills," Cincinnati--home of Skyline Chili, the Reds, the Bengals, WKRP, and the "Other" Coney Island.
Coney Island was a nice, low-key start for people who arrived before the trip "officially" started. Although it has but one coaster--a rather rickety looking Zyklon dubbed Python--the park has quite a few flat rides (including a Wipeout and a Rock-o-Plane), a mini-golf course, some water slides, and a large playground. I think of this as a "birthday party" park, a bit like Micki's Grove in Lodi, California when I was a kid (but bigger--an FEC on steroids). The park was actually a bit nicer than I expected (good landscaping); the staff was very friendly; and, hey, they sold good beer. There were even a number of shows (if you're into that).
But this was just our first stop of the day. More on that later.
Paris is looking more like 'Murica each day.
At the Hampton Inn Kings Island, guests are expected to take a more active role in cleaning their rooms. If we'd stayed one more day, I would've been required to rent a carpet cleaner.
Well, let's not go crazy now. It is a nice little park, though.
Then again, Disney did pay them 79 cents for consulting on Disneyland back in the 1950s. Don't laugh--that's about $150,000 in today's money. ;)
All kidding aside, the park was nicer than I'd expected. Very pretty and clean . . .
. . . well, at least until Dan came along.
So, how was our day at Coney Island?
Better than in 1997--I would've drowned!
The park is in good shape, and the staff is nice.
It has this nice little lake . . .
. . . and good beer. What more could you want?
Some might want a Zyklon that is no longer sponsored by Pepsi products--and the park delivers on this promise. (Yes, this used to be the "Pepsi Python.")
Remember--he is insane! You have been warned!
"Oh lord! I just had to film the Python, didn't I? What was I thinking?"
Dan and John are really enjoying Python here.
But at this point, their enthusiasm seems to have dropped off a bit.
The guy in front is cradling his imaginary girlfriend, while the kids in back are fearing for their lives.
The first of many hot-dogs-and-fried-chicken buffets on this trip. Yes, American parks really do love franks and chicken.
However, ice was not included.
Wait--are we sure that was chicken?
Hot slide action! (Yes, I'm sure the surface of the slide was very hot.)
"Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"
Speaking of crazy things that Jane should stop . . .
Stacey's loving it like McDonald's. Robb looks content.
For guys who like to give other species anal probes, these aliens are pretty modest. But what exactly are they covering up?
"GONNA HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD ON A PLATE! STARTIN' HERE! STARTIN' NOW!"
This full-blown playground was a nice touch, at least as far as KT was concerned.
That's it for Coney Island--a nice little park. But the Vatican is calling us now. (Yes, we mus all be a bit more "reverential" for the next set of photos.)
Our bus pulled out of Coney Island, and we were all anticipating a nice welcome dinner at Carrabba's that evening. But we wandered into the countryside, crossing over the Kentucky border, then back into Ohio, where we encountered corn, soybeans, and the occasional gunshot. We were in Stricker's Grove country.
Stricker's is a small amusement park that is open to the public only four days per year. Today was not one of those days; however, local groups often hire the park to host private parties, and it so happens that a local Catholic church was having an event there. So, Robb and Elissa contacted the church and made a nice donation, and we were allowed to come in and check out the amusement park for a few hours.
Considering this was TPR, I'm surprised we weren't struck by lightning, inundated by plagues of frogs and locusts, or turned into a pillar of salt (or, perhaps, Pepsi products). Then again, Robb and Elissa always go the extra mile for the group, may the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless them for it.
The park has two pretty decent wooden coasters: the Teddy Bear and the Tornado. There were a number of flat rides crammed into a small space, too, including one particularly odd contraption I'd never seen before (see the photos below).
My thanks to Robb and Elissa for giving us the chance to snag two rather tricky credits--and for making us Honorary Catholics for a day.
Stricker's Grove welcomes all Catholics today, honorary or otherwise.
Understood. (But you could buy Bud or Bud Light inside. The park does not sell dogs.)
Those who would smuggle in outside beer and booze will face the wrath of Homer the Luchadore, who will either beat them up or drink all their booze (sometimes both).
The rides weren't open yet.
You can see both of our main objectives in this shot.
The cutest, most darling wooden coaster ever.
It is a pretty good "kiddie" wodden coaster. It reminded me of the Little Dipper at Six Flags Great America.
KT says, "Ka-ching!"
Another nice old ride. The park takes pretty good care of their woodies.
Of course, their warning sign could stand a little editing.
No fear of of actual tornadoes today. We are under the protection of the Holy See!
Just a storm of fun!
There are two types of rides in this shot: one that I like, and another you won't catch me on ever again (thanks to the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock, California).
I do like Flyers, and Stricker's are certainly colorful (if not terribly thrilling).
A Tornado is rumbling over the Flyers! Only the Pope can save those poor people!
I did try this goofy looking ride. It was sort of like teacups mounted on a Trabant, and it was, indeed, weird. I've never seen anything quite like it before. It was, let's say, "interesting."
Oh, buck up! You could be at Mt. Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells.
My thanks to Robb and Elissa, Stricker's Grove, and the Catholic church for making it possible to ride two somewhat elusive credits. It was a good day.
YAY! Another awesome trip report from none other than Chuck! Great start and already some humorous comments to your pictures. Can't wait for the rest of the report (which I'm sure will be done in the next 4 weeks). So how dirty did you feel after the first day...scratch that...Day 0 of the trip? And Bud Light is not considered beer...its the equivalent of drinking your own piss to fend off dehydration.
Jimmy "Chuck Rocks!" Bo
Do not believe this post!
90% of the time, I am sarcastic all the time...it's science!
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