DECEMBER 30, 2006

by Kelly

What could be more absurd than an amusement park in the dead of winter in Upstate NY? Right, nothing! I hadn't been to Sylvan Beach Amusement Park since July of 1985, when I was 11 years old. Oh sure, I'd been to see my friends' band play at a club there since then. But an exploration of the amusement park was not in the cards until this New Year's Eve, uh, Eve.

As you can probably tell already, this post won't be so much funny as it is, well, just odd and hopefully interesting...

The first thing that struck me was the huge difference in the little childrens' play area out front of the amusement park. When I was there in 1985 there was maybe a swing or something, and some odd contraption made of wood and a large metal cylinder you could try to stand on (like a rolling log-type thing). It's hard to explain. Anyway, today's modern, more sophisticated children can play on that purple dinosaur on springs. Lucky ducks. They also get this most bitchin' frog (?) slide. No fair!

Turning 180 degrees from the angle of the last photo, you see the beach and a water slide. 


You can see it was a miserable, overcast day. As we were close to the lake, it was extremely windy as well. This made for some freezing conditions. As I recall, I couldn't feel my fingers after a very short time. We're lucky the camera kept working at all, really.

This is some sort of indoor ride that looked totally different in 1985 (judging by some blurry pictures from our family photo album).

Just in front of this building I noticed some rabbit tracks. Being the hick of the two of us, naturally I could identify the tracks much more quickly than Ham did. Sometimes hickness comes in handy. The tracks continued out back of the building. Of course, who knows if it was the same rabbit? But I digress...(you're welcome!)...

A warning from the building:

The building next to that one:

This building said "Photos Here" so we kinda had to do it...

Then it was off to...

...which was pretty barren and snowy...surprised?!

The Ferris Wheel Of Doom:

Treasureland was a treasure:

More barren rides:

Something called Bomber:

Man, amusement parks look really sad in the winter:

We found a refreshment stand over in this corner. It turns out these signs were posted at refreshment stands all over the park:

A reward! I wonder what it is! $100? $1000? Free ride tickets? Dare to dream! We'll try to go back when the park is open and distract a worker enough to not get a receipt, just so we can find out what the reward is. Stay tuned!

I put the camera up to the glass and got a picture of the menu:

We also saw this yummy container of Slush Base just sitting out all winter. Delicious!

It's true:

This looks like it's probably the Tilt-A-Whirl ride:

On closer inspection we noticed these buckets and cinder blocks waiting patiently for the ride to open this spring:

What else are pickle buckets going to do all winter? I mean, really!

Moving on, we found the Galaxy roller coaster...

...and some signs alerting us to more fun in the area.

Oneida Lake / Sylvan Beach in the winter:

Then where the heck are you supposed to park?

At this point our brain freeze must have been in full force because we thought "Fudge Puppies" was the most hilarious thing we ever heard...

Do the food preparers really need these signs? I'm scared.

And finally, there were the games of chance:

The really good news is that the owner of Sylvan Beach Amusement Park is planning a huge renovation over the next ten years that will include new rides and other upgrades. I'm always sad to see the older things done away with, but if it means my favorite childhood places will be around for years to come, I say, "bring it on!"


(Posted 05/2007)