Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

TR: Stricker's Grove - 10/14/07

Trip Report: Stricker's Grove
Ross, Ohio
October 14, 2007

(Time to clear out the last two TR's of my 2007 TR backlog, just in time to start a 2008 backlog)

Stricker's Grove is a private picnic grove just west of Cincinnati that is kind enough to open their rides midway to the public on select days of the year. More recently they have added an October date, so with time running out on the amusement park season, I joined Dave and April and headed to the park.

We timed it to arrive at the park shortly after opening, so after scoring a free parking space and then heading to the very simple front gate, paid $12 each to enter the park. I have noticed the admission fees have been steadily rising here, but as a bonus in addition to the usual free beverage service they have in August, they added free popcorn, free snow cones, and free cotton candy to the offerings. We started with a raid of the free snacks then headed to the rides.

We all headed to the Flying Skooters, but I could plainly see we would not be getting on the next ride, so I headed next door to the Tornado. There had been reports in August that they were having trouble with the lap bars in the last car leading to seats 7 and 8 being closed. Well seat 7 is still closed, but 8 is open again. I climbed into seat 8 and noted the lap bars still have an unusal quirk that you have to push them down really far, like almost past the seat divider low, then it will lock but you will be able to lift it back up to the usual locking height. As for the ride, well the Tornado has gotten a bit rough but the all important airtime pops are still there.

I exited the Tornado and got in the Flying Skooters line right behind the group I had left. The gate opened and the rider count would seem to indicate that we would all be able to ride, but the ride operator let everbody in line into the ride, and I lost the race to the tubs. Annoying, but a harbinger of things to come.

So I took my ride after the rest of the group had ridden and moved onto the coaster, so I go and ride the coaster, again a train or so behind. Luckily the group engaged in Strange Coaster Nut Behavior which is when you stand around on a midway within walking distance of operating rides, and TALKING about rides instead of RIDING rides. Usually occurs out in the sun and not under any shade trees as well.

For the rest of the first ride session we spent most of our time on the Flying Skooters, and I was getting used to racing out to those tubs like a speed sprinter. However, the antics of the Flying Skooter operator were downright dangerous. He made your stereotypical carnival ride operator look like Mr. Safety himself. This guy would let everybody in line into the ride area, let the guests fight it out for tubs amongst themselves, let those that didn't get tubs back into the queue area. Then go start the ride without doing the customary visual inspection. After the ride starts odds are slim that he stayed by the console. Sometimes he would hop the rail into the Spin the Apple ride next door and bang on the backs on tubs as they came around, or walk around the permieter of the Flying Skooters area while the ride was running, or duck through a service gate under the Tornado station. However this was the mild stuff, he soon played Donkey Kong and climbed up the coaster structure itself to socialize with his friend on the Tornado crew. Later on he was even darting in between cars on the Flying Skooter. I know I almost accidently creamed him once, leading him to having to fall down fast and bite the grass while yelling some words you don't normally hear in a family park.

But enough about him, the park has other issues. For one the Teddy Bear and train rides were already closed for the season. Dave and I rode the Spin the Apple, which is a rare 6 tub Sellner spin ride, its good they chose the higher capacity model as three of the tubs were closed off. At least the tubs that were open seemed to work alright, and I noticed another rare feature, a 'window' in the back of the tubs.

Dave and I then rode the Electric Rainbow which is a Super Round Up that was transplanted from LeSourdsville Lake. They built a real nice operator booth, and entry/exit ramps for it as well as a big loading deck. While waiting for the ride, Dave made his usual joke about a huge ride safety sign "YOU MUST BE 42" TO RIDE - NO EXCEPTIONS!" Of course the sign means 42" or taller, but thats not what it really says, and its a mistake that is made on a lot of ride signs. He was laughing at that mistake, when he noticed an even bigger problem with the ride safety signage. Strickers Grove bought a bunch of stock ride safety signs that are meant to be used on practically any ride. The problem with the sign here is that it says quite clearly "DO NOT STAND UP ON THIS RIDE" I remind you its a Super Round Up, designed to be ridden standing up. I also noted the scenery panels for the hub of the wheel are still sitting underneath the ride.

After the Electric Rainbow ride, we went to the parking lot so Dave could get his camera and I could shed this sweatshirt as it got a bit hotter than I expected. So the Knoebels Phunfest sweatshirt came off, revealing the Holiday World Legend shirt underneath. On the way back into the park I picked up a $1.75 draft beer then met the rest of the group back by the Tornado. After finishing my beer it was more Tornado and Flying Skooters till about 3:45.

At 3:45 we positioned ourselves to be first in the food lines. You see the park midway shuts down from 4-5 for dinner. So I grabbed a double cheeseburger, served with chips, potato salad, and this year they served beans instead of the roast corn. I followed that up with a Strawberry topped funnel cake. All this for $cheap.

After the meal break we all took a ride on the Eli Ferris Wheel, then rode the Tornado and Flying Skooters a lot, with occasional trips to the front for more free snacks. Somewhere in there we took a ride on the Scrambler that never seemed to get up to full speed, and a satisfactory ride on the Tilt A Whirl that seemed to be using the tubs from LeSourdsville Lake.

We finished up the night on the Tornado where single rides turned to double rides, and then we even scored a triple ride to end the night. I took those final three rides in the back seat, and that was near brutal, but brutal in a fun way.

And with that quickie Strickers Grove TR, that just leaves me with one more 2007 trip report: Kings Island on 10/27/08. Watch for it


Post a Comment

<< Home