It might be the best ride you’ve never heard of…at Rocky Point Park.
The Cuddle Up, a 1920s forerunner to the Teacup and Crazy Daisy rides, debuted in Rocky Point’s 1948 rebirth ride lineup.
Rocky Point’s Cuddle Up was the first adult ride you saw after leaving Kiddleland. It was located just before the Min-Golf. As mentioned in previous posts, Kiddieland debuted on the future site of the Flume ride.
The Cuddle Up was a flat ride with a rectangular grid, featuring turntables and multiple passenger cups. From an 8mm home movie shot at Rocky Point in 1966, it appeared that the park’s ride had eight cups and four turntables. The Cuddle Up was designed by Berks Engineering and marketed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) which eventually purchased the manufacturing rights. Here’s a photo of a larger, 12-cup, five turntable ride.
As you can see from the panel in this 1958 Rocky Point group outing brochure, the Cuddle Up was a still a major attraction ten years after its debut at the park.
The Cuddle Up was a complex ride. At Rocky Point, your cup would travel to all four tables, and as best I can recall, it gave generous spin action with its sudden changes of direction. An oddity to note on a Cuddle Up is that your cup didn’t travel to every conceivable point, but there were in effect two sets of cups which move in opposite directions around different ‘tracks’ around the four turntables. Unlike its Teacup offspring, the Cuddle Up did not offer the riders the opportunity to control the cup spinning; it was all done mechanically. And, other than slim handrails fixed atop the cup perimeters, there wasn’t much to hold onto. Scary restriction, considering the sizable entrance/exit opening in the cup walls as seen in this still from the Rocky Point home movie.
So it wasn’t uncommon to take a nose dive into the padded seating.
I never took a tumble when I rode it, which is surprising because I always used both hands to block my ears. The sound of metal meeting metal and wood somehow offended my sense of hearing. Think a sledge hammer smashing strips of sheet metal and plywood and you have the Rocky Point Park Cuddle Up.
The entrance to the Cuddle Up was marked by one of the most durable signs in Rocky Point history.
During the 1960s, a red, flashing “Sputnik” light was added.
When the Flume was installed during the 1971 off-season, the Cuddle Up was removed to create buffer space between the Flume and the Mini Golf. In 1966, the Whip had been moved from its original 1948 location near the Palladium to a spot next to the then-new entrance Arch. The Whip is circled in black in this early 1970s photo.
During the 1971 construction of the Flume, the Cuddle Up sign was relocated to the Whip as seen here. The sign now read “Ride, Hug and Swing”.
But wait, there’s more! Shortly after the Musik Express debuted in the early 1970s, the sign marked ITS entrance!
So there you have it, the Rocky Point Cuddle Up and its sign legacy! Next time you ride the Mad Tea Party at Walt Disney World…
…visualize an earlier time when you’d get slammed from one side of the cup to the other, and you’d hold onto whatever you could find with a death grip to prevent being ejected out the entrance/exit gap. If you have a Smart Phone, you might want to insert your ear buds and select some heavy metal to drown out the REAL heavy metal on metal and wood. It’s only then that you’ll know what it was like to ride the Rocky Point Park Cuddle Up!
Anita Cerri Ferla
You Must Be This Tall
Joel Styer/PTC Archives
To see Rocky Point’s Cuddle Up in action in 1966 go here!