Lake Winnepesaukah has been listed by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of America's top 10 family amusement parks. Last fall when we visited Lake Winnepesaukah for their first ever Halloween event, the Castle, the park's quirky dark ride was being plussed for the holiday by Jeff, the rides caretaker.
The Castle was once a two-story version of Bill Tracey's dark rides, but the ride was cut down to one level due to local fire codes. While tremendous for Halloween, the guests were looking for something a little more family friendly for the rest of the year.
Over the years, the Castle had various themes and at one time featured props from the Wacky Shack, the park's Tracey walk through attraction. Jeff never let on anything about the changes he had in store for 2011 during our tour.
For 2011 the ride has been renamed the Wacky Factory and it serves as a big wienie from as far across the park as the sky ride. The facade even appears to be color coordinated with the paddle boats, although we were told that was a lucky coincidence.
Even the rides mechanical features were included in the theming. Here the various zones electrical boxes are brightly painted and labeled.
Instead of anything creepy, bright colors combined with ultraviolet lights give a new look to the attraction. Giggles and laughter have replaced screams with the refurbishment.
Here some fluorescent painted plumbing fixtures that make guests think of anything but pipes as they encounter the scenes along the way.
Forced perspective makes this mine shaft appear longer than it actually is. To enhance the effect, riders hear creaks and groan from the "failing timbers."
Here a classic fun house feature, a surprising mirror, magically appears.
And the another mirror scene later in the ride under black light conditions.
A disco ball, with some curved mirrors, reflective walls, and a swerving course made this one of our favorite rooms. Of course we do remember some of the Seventies.
The bus has been rethemed to flower power reminiscent of the Sixties. With a press release touting "Come On, get Wacky," you can almost hear the Partridge Family bursting into song, albeit with different lyrics.
The almost Picasso clock signals your ride in the wacky Factory is running out.
The special effect at the end of tunnel is brilliantly lit and it has you wanting more. The very first rider, Lauren Massey, proclaimed it "Awesome," after her ride. A very common comment when exiting the Wacky Factory is "I want to ride it again." This is very easily done as the best part of any visit to Lake Winnie is the lines are very manageable and experiences are readily repeated.
Our thanks to Talley Green of Lake Winnepesaukah for assisting us in bringing these images to you and also to the entire Rhoades family for having a fabulous park.