More Fun in Virginia

by Elizabeth Ringas

Credit: Elizabeth Ringas

Opportunities for fun are growing in Virginia. On Thursday, September 3rd, Fun Land of Fairfax opened with limited operation due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The new location, located at 5111 Westfields Blvd. in Centreville, will currently operate most of their electronic games as social distancing allows. Games include popular video games like Halo and Mario Kart as well as ticket redemption games.

Tailgaters Sports Cafe offers visitors a sports bar environment to relax and catch up on the latest sports happenings with plenty of big screens. The menu features a variety of hot foods including wings, pizza, chicken, and burgers that far exceed your typical amusement park quality and selection of toppings.

Credit: Elizabeth Ringas

A cheeseburger with fries runs about $15.99 with extras like bacon and avocado available. The writer particular enjoyed the addition of sautéed onions at no extra charge. Sports bar extras are available like cheese curds, cheese sticks, and a generous selection of beers on tap.

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, patrons will enjoy indoor go-carting, a ropes course, and a clip-and-climb structure as well as a few VR experiences. The facility also offers party and conference rooms accommodating up to a gathering of 75 people once COVID-19 restrictions remove occupancy restrictions.

Although the new location does not offer a roller coaster ride, we are excited to offer new fun in the area and the expansion of a locally owned Virginia amusement company.

Credit: Elizabeth Ringas

Kings Dominion Scavenger Hunt

Here’s a little coaster fun for the unofficial end of summer, a virtual scavenger hunt using Google Street View maps. Visit Kings Dominion virtually and search for the answers throughout the park.

Answers must be submitted by 12:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, September 7th, via the Google Doc entry form above.

If you need some help getting started using Google Street View maps, check out this video: https://youtu.be/lNUQ82_KTzc

Three prizes will be awarded. If more than three scores tie, three winners will be drawn at random from the top scores. Prizes will include Volcano retirement pins and RollerCoaster Styles coaster journals.

Have fun!

Kings Dominion in Google Street View

Oceanfest 2020

Attendees pose on Trimper’s carousel (Credit: Vanessa Thomas)

by Vanessa Thomas

On Saturday, July 25, 2020, after months of sheltering at home, a merry collection of 14 ACE members and guests drove from miles around to Ocean City, Maryland, for a welcome day of roller coaster riding, beach-going, and reconnecting with ACE friends. We came from not just Maryland and nearby Virginia but from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and even California!

When we gathered at Trimper’s in the late morning, the weather was already getting steamy. Sally Kneavel Foster, the marketing and special events coordinator at Trimper’s, welcomed us not only with excitement and enthusiasm but with a pizza lunch in an air-conditioned room above Pirate’s Cove.

Attendees pose on Trimper’s carousel (Credit: Vanessa Thomas)

After we had our fill and had some time to socialize, Sally was eager to take us to the Tidal Wave roller coaster so we could meet with the ride’s head mechanic. With all of us gathered in the middle of the coaster’s tracks, he graciously took time to talk with us and answer questions about the history of the ride, some of the upgrades it’s had over the years, and the work done to maintain it.

Sally then showed us to the park’s classic Herschell-Spillman carousel, dating back to 1912, when the park acquired it. It seemed only fitting, since it was National Carousel Day, to take some group photos in front of and on the ride itself.

Inlet Eye (Credit: Vanessa Thomas)

After a few more minutes relaxing in the air-conditioned comfort of our lunch room and getting a few local tips from Sally (as well as a couple free Trimper’s teddy bears), the group headed into the park to take advantage of our ride wristbands. The Tidal Wave and Spinning Coaster, along with their other rides, were ready for us. New for 2020: hand sanitizing stations could be found throughout the park. At Pirate’s Cove, the operator also handed out gloves for our protection before we walked through the indoor, and often quite-dark funhouse. Some also took time to check out the views from the park’s newest addition, a 150-foot ferris wheel called the Inlet Eye.

From there, many moved across the boardwalk to Jolly Roger at the Pier, where we also had wristbands. The Looping Star coaster and many other rides were waiting for us to enjoy. There were virtually no waits, so it was easy to get in as many rides as we wished. Hand sanitizing stations were also easy to find throughout the pier.

Then it was time to move north to visit the Jolly Roger location on 30th Street. For those of us who’d last visited Jolly Roger after Coaster Con in 2018, we found a new addition to the park’s coaster lineup, along with the Wild Mouse, Wacky Worm, and Sea Serpent: a Flitzer called Barracuda that had previously been at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in New Jersey and has resided in Ocean City, Maryland, since 2019.

Barracuda (Credit: Bill Linkenheimer)

It was a hot summer day in Ocean City, which made my own mid-afternoon detour to the beach and into the ocean a very welcome and refreshing break from riding coasters. But to me, the whole day was a welcome and refreshing opportunity to get out of the house and ride some coasters with ACE friends once again.

 

Memories of Lakeside Amusement Park

Photo courtesy of Roanoke Rover

 

Lakeside Amusement Park operated in Salem, Virginia, from July 1920 until October 11, 1986. It was home to two roller coasters, Shooting Star and Wildcat. Financial issues from a flood and a lawsuit brought the demise of this park.

A large Kroger and adjoining stores stand on its location today.

Photo courtesy of Roanoke Rover and Connie Bowles

Growing up we always looked forward to our visits to Lakeside snuggled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My grandparents and parents enjoyed spending their youth swimming at the pool, riding the Shooting Star, listening to Conway Twitty, and picnics at the Pavilion.

Unfortunately, I never achieved the minimum height requirement to enjoy the John Allen classic wooden coaster.

 

Photo courtesy of Roanoke Rover and Clark Cregger

Lakeside was my first amusement park so it has a special place in my heart. I still remember the smell of the burlap sack used on the giant slide, and the Skylift that went over the road, stopping so the train could pass. I remember being enamored watching the tightrope motorcycle stunt show and getting some of my first snaps on the Flying Scooters.

I still get to enjoy a small piece of Lakeside at Busch Gardens Europe. The Busch Gardens Railway runs the old Steam Locomotive that was built in 1972 for Lakeside under the name Alpen Express.

Lakeside was an enchanting gift that was right in my backyard and a magical part of my childhood.

 

– Charles Mann, Lynchburg, Virginia

Photo courtesy of Charles Mann

Photo courtesy of Charles Mann

 

ACE Mid-Atlantic Word Search

Need something fun to do? Up for a challenge? Check out this roller coaster enthusiast word-puzzle search.

The letters touch, but not necessarily in straight lines. For rides (past and present), the order of the letters are oriented to describe a feature or trademark of the actual ride, train, or track course.

There are ‘two’ slightly different renderings for Rebel Yell, for historical reasons.

AMERICAN COASTER ENTHUSIAST
COME RIDE WITH US
KINGS DOMINION
FLIGHT OF FEAR
INTIMIDATOR THREE O FIVE
REBEL YELL (twice)
VOLCANO THE BLAST COASTER
XTREME LAUNCH COASTER
BUSCH GARDENS
BIG BAD WOLF
GRIFFON
THE LOCH NESS MONSTER
VERBOLTEN
SIX FLAGS AMERICA
APOCALYPSE THE LAST STAND
SUPERMAN RIDE OF STEEL
THE GREAT ALONZOS CANNONBALL COASTER
THE WILD ONE
TWO FACE THE FLIP SIDE
COASTER CON XLI

 

Created by ACE Mid-Atlantic member Steven Spencer.

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