Bell's Amusement Park

7th June 2003

Bell's Amusement Park

Bells Amusement Park is a small but very pleasant park located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Under normal circumstances it doesn't open until lunch time, but special arrangements had been made for our group. Two sets of ride operators would be available for the morning, one group operating Zingo (#145), and the other following the group around and opening up rides as they approached.

The only ride in the place that particularly interested me was the wood coaster, and indeed it proved an excellent one. Over the course of the day I managed a total of thirty seven rides, a new record for me. Even more crazy was the fact that twenty eight of those were back to back; every few laps the train would be stopped so that people could swap seats, which was almost superfluous; there simply wasn't a bad seat on the train.

A number of members let themselves get well and truly soaked on the Log Flume. The design was such that passengers should have remained mostly dry, but this didn't account for thirty club members standing nearby with cups of water ready to throw. I chose instead to ride Phantasmagoria, a particularly good ghost train style dark ride, well above the usual standard expected from fairgrounds, albeit looking a little shabby around the edges. Later on someone told me that this ride was thirty years old, which was easy to believe.

Bell's Amusement Park

In due course the park opened to the public. There were a good number of general flat rides which didn't hold much appeal for me. In the end there were only two attractions I decided to try. The first of these was the Chairlift which carried a dire warning sign pictured across. I wonder how often it is enforced.

The other ride that caught my eye was the Car Ride, a collection of mock antique vehicles which moved at a slow speed around a fixed course. I'd never done something like this before, and frankly it's unlikely I'll do one again. The main reason was the weight of the throttle pedal, which was really hard to keep pressed. We'd been warned by the ride operator that we should not stop while out on the course, but this was far easier said than done. In the end I decided to use both feet on the same pedal, which made things a bit easier, but amusement rides shouldn't be this hard work. More to the point, the vehicles were clearly braked to avoid them building up any momentum, and with a top speed of just five miles an hour the whole experience seemed hardly worth the effort.

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Bell's Amusement Park

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