What does the SeaWorld Orlando (Florida) theme park and the former Rocky Point Park (Warwick, RI) have in common? More than you might think! The two parks are more than 1,000 miles apart and opened over a century apart — Rocky Point in 1847 and SeaWorld in 1973 – but those former Rocky Point patrons… Continue reading Rocky Point and SeaWorld: the common themes
“And I just have to say that I’m pleased to visit the Rocky Point Palladium. Hey, listen, this is the first time I’ve been to an amusement park in years. In fact, I wanted to check out the Corkscrew, but the Secret Service guys wouldn’t let me do it.” President George Bush at a Fundraising… Continue reading The year Rocky Point Park put a *cork* in it! (Part III)
In the 2007 movie, You Must Be This Tall: The Story Of Rocky Point Park, amusement park historian John Carothers holds up the postcard below. Carothers whimsically explains that the postcard is fraudulent; that this is not Rocky Point’s Corkscrew coaster. He then goes on to point out the differences between the two coasters. Carothers was… Continue reading The year Rocky Point put a *cork* in it! (Part II)
“Rocky Point is getting what?!” That was the reaction of most Rocky Point Park faithful in late 1983 when they learned that their traditional Warwick, RI park would be getting an esteemed Arrow Development Corkscrew coaster for the 1984 season. I mean, Corkscrew coasters were staples in the big theme parks such as Knotts Berry… Continue reading The year Rocky Point put a *cork* in it! (Part I)
When Rocky Point reopened in 1948 after a 10-year hiatus, something important was missing. It had most all the amusement park staples such as a carousel, fun house, dark ride, and Whip. But it debuted without something all amusement parks had — a roller coaster. Rocky Point’s owner Vincent Ferla should be forgiven for not… Continue reading Rocky Point’s chip off the old (wood) block!
When you think of Rocky Point’s roller coasters, the Corkscrew, Cyclone, and even the Wildcat immediately come to mind. But did you know that the park once had several smaller, shorter, and milder wooden coasters that thrilled riders centuries ago? Rocky Point’s very first coaster was installed in the spring of 1872 by the American… Continue reading Rolling out early at Rocky Point Park!
The hurricane of 1938 wiped out five of Rhode Island’s wooden roller coasters, eliminating the artistry of some of the world’s most prolific ride designers. What do the Bullet, the Comet, the Wildcat and the Flying Turns all have in common? All met their fate to the September 21, 1938 hurricane that crippled New England. … Continue reading Blown Away!
With the closing of Crescent Park following the 1978 season, there were no takers for the Flying Fish. My visit to the abandoned and eroding park in April 1980 revealed a twisted pile of ruble with the fragmented catwalk and the severed list chain being the only recognizable remains, seen below. There were no signs… Continue reading The Cat/Fish of Rocky Point and Crescent Park (Part III)
If there were two roller coasters that captured the imagination of Rhode Islanders in the 1960s into the early 1970s, they were the Wildcat at Rocky Point Park in Warwick and the Flying Fish at Crescent Park in East Providence. Anybody who rode them has a story to tell. Although separated by Narragansett Bay,… Continue reading The Cat/Fish of Rocky Point and Crescent Park (Part I)
It was here in 1931. Gone ten years later! Rocky Point’s Flying Turns coaster was by all accounts a thrilling experience. But the thrills were cut short by the hurricane of September 21, 1938; a storm that destroyed most of the park’s attractions. For those who don’t know what a Flying Turns is, let me… Continue reading Short Turns at Rocky Point Park