Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby larrygator » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:16 am

I stopped by yesterday after driving around New England eating lobster rolls and whoring my remaining coaster credits in the area.

There is still not a definitive opening date, but the month of October is the goal. In light of an October opening, plans are to have scare actors on sight one time during the opening month. I didn't take a lot of pictures because to the untrained eye it doesn't look like much has changed from the outside. Many of the indoor changes can not be photographed. For most of the past month indoor painting has been completed, walls have been closed up, some lighting has been installed. So what's left? Minor touch-ups, stunts/gags are ready to be installed, but the fire suppression system has to be completely installed first.

All the while, the crew is working on fixing the flat rides, building a show stage, working out the logistics of the reptils exhibit, digging trenchs for water and power and grading the grounds. They still have a crew of 3 (any volunteers) doing the work of a dozen.

Wild Bill and Chuck continue to acquire rides for their Fun Grove. After the season ends there are plans to drive and pick up a 12 bucket Ferris Wheel. Also, negotiations are being finalized to acquire a unique carousel, the likes of which I have not seen before.
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From behind the Fun House you can see that most of the openings have been closed.
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And from a distance you might not notice a lot of big changes as there a lot of little details.
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As you get closer you can see that the ladder is not a "work" ladder but themeing. Also can you see the cast iron cannons that have been added to the castle roof?
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A new turret appears behind Eon the vulture along with additional work on the right side area of the house.
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A lot of work has been done in the puppet show room. The roof is now enclosed, lighting is installed, painting is almost done. I can more clearly see Chuck vision now.
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Another view of the same room.
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The ticket booth is almost ready for pre-sale.
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The Jet Fighter (Chuck was sandblasting this on my last visit) is set-up and awaiting work on the motor. In front of the Jet Fighter you can see the footers for the first dark ride. With a mild winter the building could go up in a month and then it would only take another month to install the track and props.
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An old trailer is being converted into a stage. When artists aren't performing, Wild Bill is planning on showing classic monster movies on a screen. They will be using a hippied out RV as the projection room.
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A look back from the stage area shows the grading that had taken place and an idea of the amount of current cleared land, I believe they have 40 acres.
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These pictures of of that Unique Carousel I mentioned earlier. The vehicles are made of enameled wood. The gentleman who owns the rides personally drove a few hundred miles to Wild Bills to finalize the negotiations. The platform the ride sits on is 48 feet wide. The ride was made in Germany circa 1935.
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In lieu of a spec sheet I have a Spec Index Card listing details of the 23 vehicles. I can't recall seeing anything like this ride before. I know the Spanish Bambini at Knoebels has unique characters but not completely vehicular in theme.
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And just for the hell of it, here is my dinner from last night. It is the X-large mozzarella pie from Roseland Apizza in Derby, Connecticut. It was delicious and huge. That is a regular size pitcher of water to the right of the pie.

I hope to be back in the area in 4-6 weeks for a media preview of the Fun House opening.
Last edited by larrygator on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:21 am.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby cfc » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:35 am

It's looking good--as does the pizza. Thanks for the update, Larry.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby DirkFunk » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:40 pm

The carousel pictured is pretty reminiscent of a ride that used to exist at Kiddieland outside Chicago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JZkTis2qHE

The magic of family relations and the interests of commercial developers taking out a profitable amusement park so that this ride could disappear into the ether, ladies and gents. Glad to see that something similar might re-emerge.

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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby larrygator » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:23 pm

^You know that looks exactly like the pictures. I have no doubt in my mind that they are from the same manufacturer, but it's not the the same exact ride. I told Wild Bill I thought I had seen one before but couldn't remember where. I guess I saw one at Kiddieland a few years ago.

Interestingly the subtitle of the You Tube clip says it was built in 1963, but the seller told Wild Bill it was pre-WWII.

EDIT: I just compared the spec card with the video. It doesn't appear to be the same exact ride.


Similarities between Wild Bill's Ride/Kiddieland Ride

1 Trolley
1 Fire Engine
1 Large Roadster (Wild Bills' is Yellow, Kiddieland's was Orange)
2 Jets
6 Scooters

Differences
Wild Bill's - 23 vehicles, Kiddieland - 27 vehicles
Wild Bills' - 4 motorcycles, Kiddieland - 6 motorcycles
Wild Bill's - 2 Fire Chief roadsters, Kiddieland - 0 Fire Chief Roadsters
Wild Bill's - 5 additional roadsters, Kiddieland - 4 roadsters
Wild Bill's - 0 bikes, Kiddieland - 6 bikes
Last edited by larrygator on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:40 pm.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby DirkFunk » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:28 pm

Here's the ebay listing for its sale:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kiddieland-German-Auto-Carousel-1950s-Museum-Quality-/320674607341

There's no doubt that it is post-war IMO. It is still a very rare ride given how few were imported in the US. I think it's also a different attraction: it looks like there's a bus "chariot" in your pictures in place of the fire truck on the Kiddieland one.

Oh, hey, I should be asleep but I'm posting about german kiddie rides on the internet. This is the life?

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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby larrygator » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:44 pm

That would be quite a flip if he could sell it for $225,000 after buying it for $32,500.

So there are two fools searching the internet for German Carousels at this late hour.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby DirkFunk » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:47 pm

That was the sale price when the Kiddieland one was sold last year. I think it's probably in a private collection or something.

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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby Guy T. Koepp » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:43 pm

This place looks spectacular! I am loving all these TRs Larry.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby RoCo » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:55 pm

It's so great to see that work is progressing. It all looks amazing, as usual. Can't wait to see the media day report, once that finally happens!

Also, that is one big freaking pizza.
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Re: Dark Ride Paradise - Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center

Postby larrygator » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:40 pm

RoCo wrote:Also, that is one big freaking pizza.


I think the pan was 24 inches by 20 inches. Yes, it was oval.
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