Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hit the road and visit a vintage park this Spring Break!!

Can't wait until Memorial Day to visit an amusement park?  Well, have no fear: there are plenty of awesome parks open at this very moment!!  You can, of course, read all about these particular parks in my book, "The Cotton Candy Road Trip" , but here's a mini travelogue for a trio of great parks that are definitely worth a Spring Break journey!!:

Out in the great Northwest?  Sidle on down to Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon: .  Built by one man and his family, this park is super for all ages and boasts some of the most brazen uses of creativity on a shoestring you'll ever see.  Witness these photos and, remember: it was literally built by hand by one man and his family (with no prior art or Disney Imagineering experience):

The Hansel and Gretel witch house, covered in evil yumminess..

A psychedelic choo choo for the kiddies.

My hubby, who apparently was the "crooked man" they were looking for.

Now, if you're out near St. Louis, point yourself toward Branson to enter the rootin' tootin' world of Silver Dollar City.  A recipient of the Applause Award for "one of the world's best theme parks", Silver Dollar City is excited to announce a new coaster for this season, the daring wooden ride, Outlaw Run!  It's not too often that a park opens a new wooden coaster, so this is really a thrilling development.  Plus, a wooden coaster fits in well with the rustic, Western vibe of the park:
New In 2013 Outlaw Run - The World
From the park's website: feast your eyes on the awesomeness!!

My hubby and a potato swirl on a stick!  Silver Dollar City has inCREDible food!!
But maybe you're one of the lucky ones, out in Florida, or vacationing there and, by golly, you're interested in a little of vintage "Old Florida"?  Look no further than the Other Silver Park I highlighted in my book, Silver Springs in Ocala.  Part amusement park, part zoo, Silver Springs is famous for its crystal clear springs and glass-bottom boat rides.  Plus, various television shows and movies were filmed there, including the old Johnny Weismuller "Tarzan" flicks:

One of the park's friendly inhabitants.

The scenic view from the tippy top of the Lighthouse ride.
If you ever have any questions about a road trip, how to fashion one of your own, please feel free to contact me anytime.  I love answering queries about how to design a trip you and your family will cherish forever.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NBC New York reports: Keansburg Park rebuilds and will re-open!!!/on-air/as-seen-on/Keansburg-Amusement-Park-Set-to-Reopen/199253171


Happy news from our friends at Keansburg Park in New Jersey!  They'll be re-opening this weekend!  NBC New York did this story just today and the work that's been done since Hurricane Sandy's devastation is truly remarkable!  Please watch!!

I hope to re-visit Keansburg this summer.  I'll keep you posted!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Enjoy a visit to a California vintage park ... like Santa Cruz Boardwalk!

Full confession: I woke up with California on my mind.  This often happens throughout a usual Chicago day, but not at the very crack of the day.  Probably had something to do with the fact that a couple I know recently moved to Palm Springs, and another couple I know (family, even!) are planning a move to Orange County in the very near future.

Walked the dog today and brrrrrr..... the temperature outside was QUITE conducive to California Dreaming

And when I think of Cali and the beach and warmer climes, my mind drifts back to our visit to Santa Cruz Boardwalk, a place that has it all, including an award-winning roller coaster, the Big Dipper; an awesome haunted house dark ride, the Haunted Castle, and one of the prettiest carousels you'll ever see (which celebrated it's 100th anniversary just a few years ago).

To whet your appetite for a trip out West, dig the following photos:

They have a great seleciton of vintage games in the Casino arcade.

You can't go wrong with gargoyles ...

Yours truly enjoying the incredible carousel.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Bay Beach Park gets a new ride for the upcoming season!

The Sea Dragon swinging boat ride, currently traveling county fairs in the eastern U.S., would cost $670,000 to bring to Green Bay.

Kudos to Bay Beach Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin for continuing to grow its vintage park!! The Sea Dragon is a real crowd-pleaser; Kiddieland had a similar ride, and its a big draw in a variety of parks I visited for the book.

One of my very best friends lives up in Wisco; this was her park as a child.  At some point this summer, I do believe a girl trip is necessary!!