LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park

Middletown, OH

TR: LeSourdsville Lake

Monroe, OH

June 7, 2002

"The Classic is BACK"

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With much anticipation, I rode up to LeSourdsville tonight with my friend Jeff from work. Each of us had made a few preseason stops past the park to look at things, but this was the real trip. The trip when the park would be open again. Let me resate that "LeSourdsville Lake is OPEN again" Can I hear much rejoicing? Of course nasty I-75 was sitting between us and the park, delaying our arrival at the park considerably. Just like little kids we counted down the mile markers to Exit 29 on I-75, then road back on Oh-63 for the 5 miles to the park. Note that the directional signs off the I-75 exits have been covered over. Barely visible as if something was places over them. Half tempted was I to stop and rip the coverings off the words " <- Amusement Park 5"

We arrive at the park and I am actually happy to see a nice collection of cars already sitting in the parking lot. The new sign looks great "LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park" We pull into the park and although the signs clearly state that parking is $4, for the sneak preview they are only charging $1. Parking attendants guide our way to a parking space, and soon we are walking up to the gates. Next stop is the ticket plaza where we buy first an admission ticket, that looks quite similar to the parking ticket that looks quite similar to the ride tickets we would buy. Little red tickets that say "Kid's Square" on them. I don't recall the park ever having a Kid's Square" but I digress. There was no ride-all-day option today, so we each bought $20 worth of tickets and headed accross the railroad tracks.

A great sence of joy came over me as I walked through the front gate turnstile. The park is officially open again.

Now I will digress from my normal TR writing style and touch on things in a round circle tour of the park:

The key word here is PREVIEW day. Its only $1 and was meant to help reassure us the public that the park really is getting ready to operate. I hear the owners were saddened the park coulnd't be totally ready yet overjoyed to see patrons laughing and having fun.

* Cofelt's Candy Corner - Open and Operating. Hmm, Fudge, Good.

* GR - Not open, looks like guest services such as locker and stroller rental aren't ready yet. There always seemed to be a management type person hanging our near the GR window to take comments.

* Cafeteria/Gift Shop - Not Open, this is allegedly where the Stardust Ballroom is going, peering in the windows reveals that it all one big room now. Work continues on it.

* Gift Shop/Food Court - Soon to be the park's sit down restaurant. I couldn't see in the gift shop area but the food court has about haff of its stands removed presumabely for table seating space.

* A gift cart with night novelties was set up in the entrance plaza, no park logo gear available.

* The Picnic Grove is closed and is the staging area for park renovations, a path back to the restroom building is accesible between the old cafeteria and Kid's World.

* Kid's World - OPERATIONAL - Looks like the new Mini Indy kid's bumper cars, two Hampton circle rides, the kids swing ride, the honey bee ride, the flying elephant ride, junior tumble bug, and the kiddie carousel are all open. New fencing has been installed and the area looks nice. a Skyfighter was present but not yet operational, and the Little Dipper woke up late in the day. The Little Dipper kiddie oval coaster retains its seat dividers.

* Swimming area - I didn't go out by the swimming area but reports say it is operational.

* A carnival food trailer has been installed next to the Brass Ring carousel and sells snack items like popcorn and conady floss.

* The Lakeside Pavilion has a stage and all the picnic tables are stacked up on one end.

* The Brass Ring Carousel is opearting and recieved a new carousel pavilion, (actually the old Dodgems pavilion which was moved to cover the carousel. I noted that recorded music was being used.

* Ride ticket booths have been installed all around the park

* The Serpent - The station has been repainted, the cars have recieved major work, though the seatbelts are still 1.75 riders wide. It was only running 1 2-car train tonight, resulting in long lines. A second restored train is on the transfer track awaiting service. The serpent gave a not bad ride for a carney coaster. It actually provided some gut-wrenches and laterals.

* The Zipper - Nice lighting package, wonderful ride. The Zipper lives up to all the demented goodness you expect from a Zipper. Please note that no single riders are allowed. On our second Zipper ride, the operator in true carney fashion siad "Back for more?" The Zipper looks fantastic though I noticed it was getting more watchers than riders.

* Flying Skooters - Operting, these are snapable but these actually take SKILL. I didn't hear any loud KerChunks even with a ride full of ACE pilots but I did feel some snapage in the cables from myself and the other riders. It's more visual than audio on this one. Still uses the Jetsons style Flying Scooters.

* A future Swinging Ship sits in pieces next to the Flying Skooters. Due to construction on the Ship the Flying Skooters entrance and exit are one in the same for now.

* There is a neat stand selling Tropical Pineapple Drinks where the old Shoot-Out-The-Star game was. Basically pineapple juice served in a pineapple with a little paper umbrella.

* The Sky-Ride was operating with newly painted cars and station. A lot of animal statues being placed in the lawn over which the Skyride travels. There is a thin strip of land that travels under much of the Skyride's path. Its still a round-trip only Skyride. I noted that they were stopping the cars to let people on andoff using a pullrope similar to what you find to singal a bus driver. Then I noticed that they were only stopping the ride when riders were not clear on how to board or deboard a moving Skyride.

* A Musik Express has been placed where the Jolly Roger was. It is Operating in INSANE MODE. I clocked the ride at 15rpm forwards and backwards. The ride starts out going forwards, comes to a near stop, fools you by going forwards again, comes to a near stop goes backwards, then stops. This ride had Pugh Shows signs all over it. I liked the sign on the doghouse "Sit Down, Shut Up, Hang On" Huge headests have been added to the cars, and the building isn't yet complete still needing its canvas roof, sound system, and some of its lighting package installed.

* The Whip - Still slow but its operating. I hear they are working to 'speed' this ride up.

* Screechin Eagle - NOT OPERATIONAL yet. I am hearing conflicting reports as to why its not ready yet. Everything from it failed its state ride inspection, but there it digresses to either faults with the train or faults with the block safety system. The Block safety system was halting the trains on top of the lift and wouldn't let them go on until an override was hit was the story we were told. Seems the block system thought a second train was out on the course. At least the block safety system was erring on the side of safety. From the giant slide I did note cedar point style orange tape affixed to a few track sections leading me to believe that perhaps some track work may be the cause. Whatever, let's consider the PREVIEW an appetizer to whet our pallete for the main course which is to be served later. Speaking of cedar Point style orange tape, I guess that thats what they are going to use to mark closed ride cars here as well. For those curious the retracking of the lift hill looks complete and theretrcking continues through the first drop. The station looks the same as it did before, and the train looks the same, still having the seat dividers, double lap bars, and the same looks. Only the backseat has a headrest.

* The Gift Shop next to the Eagle was closed but the lights were on letting us see the Screechin Eagle shirts that we wanted to buy.

* The games midway has been redone in a yellow with red trim scheme. Most of the same games as always were there wiht Wacky Wire being removed, and some skill cranes sitting in front of the old Speedpitch. Skill cranes and other prize awarding games have been set up between the midway games, and the Fascination parlour is open. That's right the Fascination Parlour is open, 25 cents a game, but I heard that reffered to as the "Sneak Peek Special" The Fascination coupons still say there are from Americana, but the facility really looks nice with different flags along the walls, and the center 'clear space' sports skill crane machines.

* speaking of flags I neglected to mention that the parks fronting on OH-4 consists of numerous American flags, along with another cluster of flags around the ticket plaza, and more spread throughout the park.

* The Big Apple game has a 9/11 theme. That is the prizes are all NYPD,NYFD,9/11 related or flags.

* Pedalboats are out but not open yet.

* The Speedway is open but only running 2 of its cars right now. Makes for a LONG wait which we decided not to stomach tonight.

* The Giant Slide is open and despite what Chuck says its still the same slide. The steps up to the slide are also a good tour of the boneyard where Sombreros and Serpent cars can be found, and if one looks udderneath the Giant Slide at the right spot the old NAD car bodies of the Eagle may be found.

* Americana Cafe is open and serving burgers, hot dogs, nachos, ice cream and soft drinks

* Infernal Combustion Funhouse is open - this is a carnival style funhouse. You start with the shaking barrels flanking the moving stairways (side to side, each step moving oppostie the one before), the a roller walkway, then a nonfunctioning air jet panel, then the movig floor with the planks under your left and right foot going opposite directions, then a bridge that moves in a funky dipping and rising motion while also moving forwards and back, then stairs up to the second level with some panels that tilt back and forth depending on wether you are applying weight withleft or ride foot, then a false trap door you step on and its lowers a few feet, then the buckling path, then a nonfunctioning turntable, another longer rollerwalk, then three non-functioning spinning discs, then stairs back down to the rolling barrel finale. An operational rolling barrel finale. Though the unit does look nice and has a good lighting package.

* Calypso - extensive cosmetic makeover, looks really nice, runs really crappy. The 3 car pods still rotate backwards while the turntable rotates forwards making for a particualrly dull ride.

* Tip-Top - EXCELLENT addition a Bounce. A spinning teacups ride that bounces. The cups have two-two person benches in them. Suggestion to park: Install seatbelts in these benches! The unique bouncing action catches beginners off guard, and provides a really neat feel. Almost like a Tilt-A-Whirl you can control. I really like it and it has a neat lighting package.

* Lakeside Arcade - OPEN, Skeeball is there, as well as some redemption aand video games. The only Silverball right now is a redemption game called Nudge It. (non functional tonight). However they did have all the cool games that normally cost 50 cents to $1.00 set at only 25 cents. I don't know if that special preview pricing. Fairfield Games appears to be the vendor if their shirts means anything. A couple pool tables are also available.

* Circus Tent and Theater and AK Steel building - still standing, not used yet.

* Gangster Photos - Old time photo - not operational

* Tilt-A-Whirl - Looks VERY sharp looks like a brand new Tilt with its new paint job Purple and light green is the new scheme.

* Mini Golf - recieved new carpets and repainting. not open yet but it looks very nice

* Round Up - Not operational yet. Looks to be repainted.

* Showboat repainted "Belle of LeSourdsville" - operational

* Liberty Train - Operational. Today the train ride was round trip only as Tombstone Territory was closed.

Seen from train - the concrete pad and signs for the removed Tempest remain.

* No changes seen to Western Town

* Logs were seen on the log flume though the Log Flume is not yet operational.

* The Scrambler is there, but not open yet

* The Rock-O-Plane is missing its tubs

* A kids ride can be seen sitting next to the Rock-o-Plane

* The lake loks nice

* The soft drinks (pepsi) are served in Pugh Shows cups.

* The staff looks nice in their unique uniform shirts, Ride ops in orange and black shirts, games in blue hawaian shirts, sweepers in red and white stripe shirts (that look quite similar to the ones the staff wore at Ocean View in the movie Rollercoaster)

* More crucially - families were having FUN, the rides were going with FULL loads. I really do think the Couch's and Pughs can pull this off. The kids were getting off these older classic rides with the same smiless and laughter as with the new high tech stuff.

* the crowd consisted of three groups: Old Folks coming to get a look at the park they grew up and propably dated in, families coming for an evening of inexpensive entertainment, coaster nuts coming for the Eagle, and hopefully mostly able to understand the nature of a preview weekend and found something at the park to do.

Theres an old saying "It's good to be back home" LeSourdsville Lake is the park I grew up in as a small child so for me "It's good to be back home"


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