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spatchCoaster post - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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June 12th, 2010


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06:08 am - spatchCoaster post
When faced with a zillion Busch Gardens Williamsburg pictures and a ton of stories to tell, I decided to first start writing about exploring Lincoln Park instead.

When the Muse knocks, I guess...

Anyway, if you're so inclined and the RSS feed isn't in your reader yet, I hope you enjoy Part 1 of my four-part series on Lincoln Park: Open Year Round.

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[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:June 12th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
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I've been reading up some more on Canobie Lake, which is really close by for me. The place has an interesting history; it apparently began life as a "trolley park" built by a trolley company at the rail terminus to boost ridership.

We've got to go back there this summer, before Jorie's birthday so she can still get in free. And maybe this time I'll get around to riding the Yankee Cannonball and the small-but-oddly-historic Corkscrew, and write about it.

Sam has memories of riding a roller coaster there at some point, but we think it was their now-defunct standard Galaxi, which you can see in the background in most older photos of the Canobie Corkscrew.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:June 12th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Yup, Canobie is one of the last few trolley parks remaining, though as with the others, the train stopped running a long time ago.

The Galaxi had a checkered past at Canobie. At one point they took it down and completely rebuilt it from the ground up, but that lasted only a few seasons. I can't remember how long it sat SBNO. Now there's a giant Frisbee ride on the site.

That Galaxi taught me why four large guys riding in the same car should not ride "bobsled style" and lean into the spiral curves, which at the time sounded like a super fun idea. We worked up enough speed by the end of the ride to fly through the first set of brakes, which had been set lightly, and slam around the last unbanked corner to the platform, where we were met by proper brakes and one very surprised ride attendant.

The next time we rode that day, wisely deciding to forego another bobsled-style run, we discovered that the first set of brakes had been re-adjusted to "Stop Before You Even Get To The Dime". We both learned from that experience, I guess.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:June 12th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Old Orchard Beach, Maine, is the only place I can think of where you can step off a train and walk directly into an amusement park. (These days it's an Amtrak train and not a trolley, but still.)

Pirate's Fun Park in Salisbury MA continued limping along for years after Whalom closed, before finally succumbing a few years ago. I guess this was once a trolley park but I'm not sure.

Edited at 2010-06-12 10:53 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:June 13th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
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One reason I feel compelled to enjoy Canobie in the near term is that I get the feeling it might not have too many years left in it. People still obviously come and enjoy the place, but amusement parks don't seem to be countercyclical things like some other forms of entertainment with lower ticket prices. Parks go bust in the down years, small ones are competing with big ones (which have a hard time turning a profit themselves), and the growth that does happen is in expansion of large existing parks rather than the opening of new ones.

In some ways it's a technological golden age--there are some amazing things happening in the tech of roller coasters, but I imagine they're monstrously expensive. And some of this may be desperation moves to up the ante and compete for the customer's scarce entertainment dime, like, say, 3D IMAX or the Pinball 2000 project.
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:June 13th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
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...That said, Canobie does seem to keep adding new stuff, especially in the area of water-related rides.

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