Chipper’s Magical Mystery Ride

Chipper’s Magical Mystery ride was an indoor scrambler, part of Storytown USA since (at least) the early seventies. It was one of the most popular rides up until it’s closure in the early 2000’s.

At some point, the bright cheerful yellow was painted a dark murky green. When the ride was closed down, the sign was removed and the inside gutted, but the dome remains to this day (as far as I know).

For whatever reason, Chipper’s scrambler was removed from it’s dome, repainted, re-themed, and given a new name. The Blizzard, the outdoor scrambler.

Someone on youtube posted a video combining both old and new footage from Storytown USA featuring the strobe lights and enchanting darkness of the indoor scrambler, Chipper’s Magical Mystery ride. Finally this popular ride can be revisited, if only in imagination.


“The Call of the Carnival”

I have the chills reading this excellent piece on why we are drawn to amusement parks and carnivals despite their creepiness and the undeniable fact that they can be complete danger zones.

I myself cannot tolerate height and movement. I also suffer from anxiety disorder. Needless to say I am unable to enjoy “rides” unless they are safely rooted to the ground I stand on or unless I can walk through them free from the worry that I might succumb to their ominous death grips. You will never see my ass on a roller coaster or on a ferris wheel or on anything moving at high speeds as it spins around like ice cubes in a blender. I want no part of it.
Especially given all the amusement ride casualties, one of which is mentioned in Kristi’s article.

But since an early age, I have always been drawn to amusement parks, even though I’ve only been to two my entire life. I love watching eighties documentaries on amusement parks. I love looking at websites devoted to dark rides, flat rides, and fairytale theme parks. I tend to think about these places as possible warp zones right here on earth, and part of me believes that these parks have some way of swallowing us into their permanent world where we ourselves become the statues, part of the fairytale exhibits forever.

I enjoy the atmosphere, the landscapes, the feeling as though I have wandered into another world, one where reality has no place. I draw these feelings from my experiences at Storytown USA. I found the monuments to childhood creepy, even as a child. I found the forestry enveloping and very much alive. The more the park expanded the more afraid I became. The loud drones of the steel coaster wheels meeting the track, the high pitched screams of people reaching the climax of the swinging sea dragon (me included, one year only).

The last time I went to The Great Escape I took special interest in the warning signs in front of each “thrill” ride, imposing danger to anyone who suffers from heart problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, etc. “That’s me,” I said. “I can’t go on this even if I wanted to.” I always stood in the sidelines observing, much as I have done in life.

Anyway, enjoy these photos, and be sure to read Kristi’s nod to amusement parks and carnivals entitled, “The Call of the Carnival”.