Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Blast From The Past - Relocated Coasters - Kiddieland's Little Dipper

The Blast returns after dealing with a nasty virus last week, the computer, not me. This week we are highlighting one of the Chicago area Little Dippers. In 1949 the Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Inc. began building a junior sized woodie at Kiddieland in Melrose Park Illinois.

Designed by Herb Schmeck, with the construction supervised by Frank Hoover, this little woodie brought smiles to the faces of riders of all ages.

Early in the season Kiddieland announced that the 2009 season would be the park's last. The details were all over the news and don't need to be rehashed here. Enthusiasts in the area were saddened by the news, but thankful the park had given people the chance to renew old memories, make new memoriew or just say goodbye.

The park closed it's gates on September 27th 2009. Unfortunately plans to sell all the rides to an interested person fell through. The park's rides were sold at auction in October and the roller coaster was sold to Six Flags Great America for $33,000. The park planned to rebuild the Little Dipper and have it open in 2010

The Little Dipper under went a major rehab. New wood replaced much of the original wood. As a matter of fact, only about 10-percent of the old structure was used at Six Flags.

The rebuild was made even harder when you consider they were doing it without blueprints. The handrails had to be raised, the brakes and restraints modernized, and the entire structure was painted white.

The Six Flags Great America Little Dipper thrilled it's first riders on May 27th 2010 and judging by the smiles on the riders faces, it was a huge success.


Unknown said...

It has been a huge success! I love that my home park decided the Little Dipper had to move in! Little Dipper was my first rollercoaster when I was 5/6yrs old. & I love SFGAm more than any other park, & they have made me extremely happy makin this decision to save the coaster! They have made the ride & area look so nice, its a natural at SFGAm. ;)