We jumped on a plane on Friday and spent less than 24 hours in the "Mountain State".
Here is Camden Park's iconic front sign.
We were there very early, but we were allowed to enter the park before official opening time. There was some rain in the forecast and we wanted to be sure to get the credits.
Yikes, reminds me of Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado".
Sure enough, the Men's Room was blocked off. Apparently there was related damage from the fire that burned down the park's Dodgem Cars last week. You can see the front of the roof has been recently replaced.
This was all that was left of the Dodgem cars. I was holding my camera over the top of a wall built after the fire. For some reason, disaster precedes many of our visits. Days before our visit to Wiener Prater, there was a terrible accident on the Zamperla Volare. The Big Dipper at Blackpool had an accident weeks before our visit in 2009. And just as we were finishing off the planning for our Texas trip...yep.
This was the other view of the site that one was able to see.
Coming out of the back portion of the ladies room building that is now set aside for men, you can see the employees having their morning smokes before their morning meeting. I chatted with a couple of them.
Lil' Dipper was a fun little NAD kiddie woodie, built in 1961.
Big Dipper is the adult woodie, although it's not much longer. There is a killer airtime drop on this ride.
There was a part of me that wanted to try this back seat with no bench or lapbar to see if I could stay in and not get killed. We rode in the 3rd row first car and in the second row last car. The latter actually had holes in the floor.
It's worth noting that both Lil' Dipper and Big Dipper have a single lapbar, no seat dividers, and no headrests.
I really loved the Hawnted House. The gags aren't that great, but the gravity powered cars are fantastic.
As far as I could tell, there is no electrification of the track, and gravity handles all of the work after the lift hill.
Note lift hill.
There is a single track and then four casters. The car hurtles down the single track, tipping over at turns, and the casters catch it when it tips. The gags suck but you're going too fast, turning and twisting in the dark, to notice or care.
We also enjoyed the classic Mangels Whip.
We did not ride the flume but I did admire the "concrete trough in the ground" style.
We rode the Flying Scooters. They did have those rubber stoppers that prevent radical sail turns. These things terrify me because I seem to get slack and snapping without trying. I struggle to stabilize the thing and it just won't work for me.
Very sketchy sky ride over "West Virginia Adventure Golf".
Very sketchy map. I had one of those moments where I wanted to quit my current job, move to WV, and get a job at Camden Park so I could fix this. What kind of owners/managers leave things like this?
This beautiful space is right at the front of the park.
Diesel train around the park. There were a few other flats (Kite Flyer, small Frisbee, carousel) that we skipped.
We did hang around Huntington for lunch. Huntington is the home of Marshall University. There's the football stadium.
If you've seen the 2006 film "We Are Marshall" then you know about this.
We went to Fat Patty's for lunch. Their version of a pizza burger tasted better than it looked.
The airport is in Charleston, about an hour away. There's the WV state capitol building.
The airport is named after WV native son Chuck Yeager, a famous test pilot and Air Force general. He's featured in the book and movie "The Right Stuff".
I remember going to this park when I was little and seeing Screamin Demon, even though I never seen it operate when I went. I also remember the Sky Diver, which was a awesome flat ride. Anyway good trip report!
I hope while you were in West Virginia you hit up a Biscuit World, best fast food chain breakfast dive ever. I've been through Huntington 100 time but have never mad the stop off at Camden, one of these days.
Thanks for sharing the pics & report! We were going to stop at this park on our travels from Virginia to Holiday World, but we got behind schedule and skipped it. Looks like WV's version of Conneaut Lake Park to me!
^ Regarding Biscuit World, we hit that up traveling through WV a couple of years ago (think it was in one of my Photo TR's). The selection of breakfast biscuits was most interesting, but our biscuit sandwiches tasted like they had been pre-made the night before and then warmed up in the microwave when we ordered them.
While it was food that served a purpose, I was just disappointed as I was hoping for it to be so much better (fresher) than it was. I guess we just either caught it on a bad day or the store we visited wasn't one of the better managed one's in the chain?
We were indeed intrigued by Biscuit World, but we were in WV for such a short time. If we had known that our flight was going to be delayed twice, we might have given it a shot.
I think Camden Park is in a lot better shape than Conneaut overall, though I understand the sentiment. Camden has a local following and it's in an "urban" area. Conneaut is far more isolated. I've been to Conneaut 3 times. First time it was thriving in the mid-1990's. Second time, out of business. Third time, on life support. Camden was thriving, by comparison. But I get your point.
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