On the way to Knoebels Amusement Resort in Pennsylvania for the 2000
Phoenix Phall Phunfest coaster enthusiast event we stopped off in Youngstown
Ohio to explore the remains of Idora Park. Idora Park was Youngstown
Ohio's amusement park. It ran from 1899 through 1984.
Idora closed down due to a tragic fire that destroyed the Wildcat coaster
and a dark ride right before opening day 1984. The park stayed
open after the fire and opened for a few picnics the next year but without
Idora Park's signature attraction, the Wildcat, the park was doomed.
All the rides that could were sold off and all that remains are foundations,
the ballroom, coasters and memories.
Note since I wrote this back in 2000 the city of Youngstown finally leveled
the remains of the park after the Ballroom burned to the ground.
Over the next fifteen years the trees have retaken a large portion of Idora
Park. You can only see a small portion of the Wildcat peeking from
it's cover. Here's the lift and the first drop. From all accounts
the Wildcat was one of the most intense coasters ever built! It has been
reported that along with the Wildcat's fast and furious ride there were
plenty of surprises along it's course.
Here's a view of the first drop and lift from the midway. It's hard
to see how exactly this ride was laid out through all the leaves, but of
what I have seen of it in postcards and historical photos it looked like
one intense ride.
The Wildcat was laid out in a figure eight shape. This hill
was right in the middle of the ride. There was the first drop that
would go up another hill at the back end of the ride that was legendary
for intense lateral G forces and then down and over this hill in the middle
of the 8.