Geauga Lake Park
Geauga Lake Park Closing
Where: Geauga Lake, Aurora Ohio
Status: Actioned and being destroyed
There will be a much better section on this in the SBNO section eventually. Right now, this is what you get... I'm going to try to cram a quick review of the trip in to not much space in order to get this posted in a hurry.
This was a trip that my father and I took together. I had received an auction notice in the mail for the park, and I couldn't resist. Basically Geauga Lake had been around me entire life. It was always a smaller park than Cedar Point, but still a decent size. Eventually it couldn't compete on its own and was purchased by Six Flags and upgrade with many of their cookie cutter coasters. Fast forward a few years, and Cedar Fair (point) bought Six Flags out so that they would basically own every major park in Ohio. They also own Kings Island now.
The log flume cars sitting in the empty log flume where they would normally enter the loading platform split.
Geauga Lake was uniqe because it had been an amusement park with a water park built in for many years... long before you typically saw that sort of thing. It was also directly across the lake from Sea World, so people would often visit both parks the same day. You could see one from the other.
A rusting Arrow Double Loop
I spent a few childhood days on the water slides... they had a really cool one where you went down on sleds and skimmed across the water... anyway, I really loved the place back in the day. There was also a fun incident on a waterslide where I was so little and light that I got passed by a person while going down the slide. I was scared, so my dad said he'd follow me next time so I didn't have to worry. We went back to the top and I went for it. About half way down, I hear my dad yell "Look out!" as he zooms past me on the slide. I can't win.
So anyway, Sea World eventually folded due to lack of business. Its tough to have a sea park in northern Ohio. Geauga Lake adopted part of the sea park, and then eventually closed the sea attractions and built a water park there. As that water park developed, the waterslides in the orignial park disappeared and were replaced with actual rides. That was pretty much the layout that would remain for the duration... the old sea world side as a waterpark, and the former Geauga Lake Park with only rides.
So fast forward many years to the post six flags days... After a couple years of operation, Cedar Fair claimed that there wasn't enough business to keep the park open and announced that they'd close the ride side and operate only the water park. That led to the auctioning of the rides and to this page that you're hopefully still reading now. Interesting side note, it led to a first for yours truely on this site... something that has been coming for a long time and finally came about when I least expected it... more on that in a minute.
The brake run of the Villain
So my dad and I headed up to the park. The entry was $10 for the auction preview. This is when you were supposed to come check out the rides that you may want to buy. They knew their audience well though because they were selling T-shirts, old maps, pictures, etc... and for a mint. I'm thinking it was something like $80 for an old map or something insane like that... maybe I'm completely wrong. I just remember being shocked.
The Hay Bailer
We paid our $10 and were turned loose in the park. Interesting for later, no one really told us anything about where to go, what to do, etc.. it was basically just pay and go for it.
We went anywhere that wasn't taped off with yellow tape. I was surprised how much access we had. There was no one around telling us anything, so we basically walked whereever we wanted.
The rides were wide open... no lines... not running though. We were able to go up to the controls, the stations, etc.
At one point we decided to go to the platform of the Log Flume ride... the platform turned in to the actual flume (empty of course), and so on. As we were walking through the flume, a security person finally walked by and said, please stick to the platforms... no problem. We moved on to the double loop, some offices, maintanence buildings, etc. At one point we found the coaster cars stored in a pavillion. My dad suggested getting in one to get a picture, which I did, then I got stuck... then I finally got out with much pain only to find out that the pictured didn't take, so I did it all over again. Dumb.
So too keep this short, we worked our way from through several shops, coasters, flat rides, the water rides, etc, and to the classic coaster at the end of the park... the raging wolf bobs. This is where my first occured. I stepped off of the platform on to the brake run to get a picture of the lift hill. I actually had to wait for another guy ahead of me to do so, but as luck would have it, I picked a bad time. The head maintanence guy rolled up in his golf cart and spyed me off the platform. This wasn't the guy from before. I heard a yell... uh oh... this guy was heated.
This not so friendly gentleman asked me to get off the platform which I quickly did. Problem solved? Not so fast... he then pushed the issue... why was I there, who did I think I was, wasn't I told when I entered to stay only on platforms (no actually), etc. I apologized. Not enough... was I planning to buy the ride? It went on and on. I was very curtious, but that wasn't enough apparently. He was heated.
The former site of the Texas Twister, which had already been removed.
He was traveling with a younger guy who by then was on the platform with me. This guy was all but apologzing for his boss. He and I had a chuckle and I apologized. I left the platform only to be met with the big guy. He informed me that I was out of there... thrown out of the park. By then he was calmed down a little... we actually BS'd with him for a second or two and he then said he was sorry but he had already called security on me. We started heading for the gate as rain was approaching and we had the top down on the convertable. As we headed that way, the security guys passed us going to nab us. We just kept trucking.
We didn't get far before we were told to stop. We stopped. This was a high pressure group... chests puffed, about 5 guys, one in a suit, and found in uniform. They asked if we stepped off of the platform. I answered honestly. I know I sound bitter here, but honestly, they were thrilled... they got to throw someone out! They informed us that we were out of there immeadiately and they would escort us out... now this is where the wisdom that only a father could have comes out... my dad immeadiately says, "well good, you can show us the quickest way out because we're trying to get to the car before the rain... the top is down..." never in my life have I seen the wind get taken out of 5 guys sails so quickly. They were no longer throwing us out, but helping us get to our car quickly. Thanks Dad!!
It was at this point that my picture tour ended... about half done. By the time we got to the gate, we were all talking and being nice to one another, so all was well... sort of. I stewed a little about the original guy being a jerk, but so is life. Over all, a great trip, but I missed one side of the park unfortunately. So I often get the question, but until now, the answer was always no.. I have now been thrown out of a place!
Big Dipper Car Double Loop Car
The old Mr Hyde's control panel. Flum. Notice the pipes that made the rapids.
Batman station. The coaster was already gone. Giant Wheel Extra Train Storage area for Wolf Bobs The double loops. Flume Hill Another view.
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Lots more 2008 pictures can be found in the gallery here.