Alexander: The American Southeast is full of amusement park gems.
From Alabama Splash Adventure we jump to Lake Winnepesaukah near Chattanooga (but technically in Georgia) to enjoy some really special vintage rides and a few modern ones!
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Lake Winnie as a beautiful traditional park situated around a lake (duh).
It’s not even noon and we’ve already had our first lift hill evac of the day!
The star of Lake Winnie is the beautiful 1967 John Allen-built Cannonball. It’s a fabulous ride, but not the easiest to photograph.
Predating the Cannonball by a few decades is Lake Winnie’s infamous Boat Chute.
Built in-house in the 1930s, the Boat Chute is equal parts an Old Mill-style ride and a turn-of-the-century-style Shoot-the-Chute. It’s the oldest remaining boat chute ride in the world!
Another classic is Lake Winnie’s Wacky Factory, an excellent vintage Ghost Train-stlye dark ride.
Had to ride Wacky Factory with ACE’s biggest dark ride fan, Jeff!
Yet another classic is Lake Winnie’s 1916 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel. Also WACKY WORM PHOTOBOMB!
Lake Winnie has wonderful atmosphere. Definitely the kind of park that’s just fun to chill out in and enjoy the ambiance.
Yay! The wild mouse is back open!
Lake Winnie’s White Lightning opened in 2001. It’s a rare L & T Systems wild mouse — the only one in the United States!
It’s a great ride. Smooth, zippy, and always down for a good punch in the kidney.
There are two remarkable things about this photo: one of the last remaining Huss Rainbow rides in the world, and also this kid wearing a weenie hat.
Dedication time! ACE is proud to declare the Lake Winnie Cannonball an ACE Coaster Landmark! And on its 50th birthday, no less!
New at Lake Winnie this year is this outrageous looking Top Spin-stlye ride.
It looks like a miniature Vekoma Waikiki Wave SuperFlip, complete with an articulating right arm! I didn’t ride because I didn’t feel like throwing up my pulled pork.
Next up! Lake Winnie’s old-school chairlift ride!
The view from up here is your best shot at a Cannonball picture without going into the waterpark (which is still closed for the season) or trespassing in someone’s backyard.
Great Boat Chute views are to be had up here! As you can see, for a moment the boats free-float in the lake before meeting up with the track again.
Not only does the Boat Chute get you quite wet with a full boat, but the Old Mill part is loooong. Just a quiet, pitch black drift to the chute’s lift hill — I can’t imagine how many kisses have been stollen in that tunnel in the last 80+ years!
Honestly, the tunnel is long enough that you can probably get away with stealing more than just a kiss if you want! ;}
Back across the lake. The chairlift is a round-trip ride.
Hey look! It’s Steve and Colin! Steve (on the left) is the events organizer for ACE!
Conestoga somehow survived the mass exodus of Huss Rainbow rides after the one at Liseberg crashed in 2008. Lake Winnie has done a great job of maintaining theirs; it has some great airtime!
If you’re looking for a unique, painful, and truly horrifying experience, look no further than Lake Winnie’s Eyerly Aircraft Fly-O-Plane.
The object of the Fly-O-Plane is to get your plane to perform barrel rolls via the use of rudder-like wings and by rocking yourself side to side to get momentum going. Most rides ultimately end up stranding the ride up-side-down.
Here’s the one decent Cannonball shot in the whole batch, so you better enjoy it!
Park Merch ON FLEEK.
Our last ride of the day is this super-rare Klaus Polyp ride, which Lake Winnie saved from Chicago’s Kiddieland. Klaus was the first to design a Spider-style ride that could load all cars at once; several companies, including Schwarzkopf and Mack would go on to produce the ride using this design.
Thank you Lake Winnie for being such a great host to ACE! Now to hit the old dusty trail once again! Next stop: Six Flags Over Georiga!
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