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Offline Mst458  
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 12:01:28 AM(UTC)
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Back in 1982 I went to the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Canada. In the basement of the tower was an Amusement Park.

Some of the rides that I can remember were a Dark Ride, Ferris Wheel, some sort of coaster ride, maybe a scrambler and a tilt and some other rides.

Does anybody remember this? If so, was it a carnival company that provided the rides or what?

Somebody said that the tickets had the name Cataract Amusements on them.

The park was open year round.

Thanks for any info.
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Offline Mst458  
#2 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 12:13:01 AM(UTC)
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I just found some information about the Amusement Park by searching for Cataract Amusements. I believe though that there were more rides there then what the article states and I know for a fact that it was there in the Fall of 1982. I also believe that the rides were gone by the late 1980's. Does anybody have anymore information then what the article states? Thanks.

The indoor amusement park was underground in the tower's lower level, 10 meters below grade. It's not known when this began, but Sara Zielinski of Niagara Falls, U.S.A. says they were there at least since the 1980's. The complex was originally owned by Niagara International and partly operated by Canadian Pacific, which bought the whole thing in 1975. It was bought by two hotel owners in 1986, one of whom now solely owns the entire complex. It is thought the amusement rides were installed in 1986 by those owners. However, several say there were rides there before that, possibly as early as the late 1970's. Research continues.

Most recently the rides were owned and operated by concessionaire, Jerry Shisler of Cataract Amusements, and included a ferris wheel, small carousel, bumper cars (came from Maple Leaf Village), go-karts, and a dark ride. Also there, was a mini golf course. Admission was free, with each ride requiring tickets, which ranged from $1 - $1.25 each. Typical ride prices in the 1990's were 3 - 4 tickets.

There were numerous pinball and arcade games like "Afterburner", "Galaxy Force", "Power Drift", "R-360", and "Space Harrier".

The park closed soon after Shisler's death in the late 1990's, with at least some the items apparently being up for auction on eBay in 2000. Some, if not much, of the remainder lies in storage in a fenced area in the basement of The Skylon.

Today, the area is run by the Tower under the name "SkyQuest" and contains over 150 arcade games and coin-operated rides.



Offline TopSpinJay  
#3 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 12:15:21 AM(UTC)
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yea all that is gone now its just basicaly a few arcade games
You'll miss us when were gone....
Offline Mst458  
#4 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 12:23:15 AM(UTC)
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SilverCometJay:

Do you remember what the rides were or the names?
Offline Bill P  
#5 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 1:43:52 AM(UTC)
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I found a picture of the Skylon park from 1995 showing bumper cars and a European type electric go cart track.
Offline BAZOOKIE  
#6 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 4:58:31 AM(UTC)
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Are you speaking about the park that was where the casino now lives? Wasn't that was Maple Leaf village?? My memories are being in my hotel room when I was younger looking out and seeing the Huss Rainbow swaying in the wind. The park had been shutdown for some time. The giant wheel was huge!! Thats about all I can remember. They did have a Lazer tag in the basement too. That is how I found out about the park being closed down, from one of the operators. Go here for more info http://cec.chebucto.org/ClosPark/Maple.html



Chris "Bazookie"
Ontario, Canada
“We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”
― Thomas A. Edison
Offline cny_chris  
#7 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 7:44:08 AM(UTC)
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This brings back some memories.....

Back in 1980, I visited Niagara Falls with my parents, and one of the highlights was seeing the "indoor amusement park" at the Skylon Tower. I recall that there was a wheel, carousel, and some other stuff -- don't remember anything being too spectacular. So the rides were definitely there in 1980.

Maple Leaf Village was another stop that we made, but I don't remember too much about what was there, other than the large wheel that they had. I do remember it being very busy, along with the rest of the touristy things close by.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

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Offline Matthew  
#8 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 8:12:08 AM(UTC)
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I remember that and it was such a great sight for me to see. There was a Ferris Wheel, Tilt, Merry-Go-Round and a few others. It's a shame that all that is gone, but it would still be great to see some rides down there since there's quite a bit of room. I don't know how high the cieling is in the lower level but I think a Chance Giant Wheel could fit.

I don't mean to go on topic, but does anyone remember Pyramid Place? It was just a simple walk across the bridge from the Skylon and you're there. The last few years there was also a series of rides setup at Pyramid Place which also included a Ferris Wheel and a Tilt.

But then there's the greatest little park of them all, Maple Leaf Village. Home of the tallest wheel in North America at the time and also home to a number of antique rides including a kiddie Whip, kiddie Turtles (Tumble Bugs) and a swing ride called the Dixie Dangler. The park also had a Lovers Lane, which was later rethemed into the Musik Express, Wipeout, Sea Dragon, Spider, Rainbow, Merry-Go-Round, Helter Skelter (spiral slide), a Paddle Boat fun house and the very rare Turbo. There's probably some other rides that I left out that I don't remember. Other rides that have graced the park were the Enterprise, Pirate (replaced by the Sea Dragon) and Tri Star. The park was indeed small, but it had a lot of big rides. The rides were apparantly owned and operated by Conklin Shows and it mentions this on there web site but doesn't state the name of the park. It would be great if there was another park like Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls, but with more space for more rides.
Offline SaraAB  
#9 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 9:38:49 PM(UTC)
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ive been meaning to ask some questions to the staff of the skylon tower arcade, however they are nearly impossible to find (i have managed to find staff down there a few times, but thats only when there is a problem with an arcade game, which, erm.. how do i say this, there are a lot of problems with the arcade games there)

i wrote that blurb that was posted from the canadian park's website, just in case someone was wondering

the things i know about the skylon for sure, is there were like, 3 levels to the underground amusement park (think of it as a 3 level basement), i have only personally been on the level that is currently there, the most underground one, the earliest i was at the park was 1997-1998, there is a level above the first one that you can see when you are in the basement, there is even a visible staircase to get to it, i dont know whats beyond that but i am assuming there is a staircase on the second level that would lead to the 3rd

i have heard many different things about the rides that used to be there, so i dont know which to believe, i wouldnt be the one to have all the accurate information about that part because from what i understand the park has been there since at least the 70s, maybe even 60s, and that was before i was born, the rides i know that were there because i saw them with my own eyes were the bumper cars, gokarts, kiddie carousel, and miniature golf

just to let you guys know, if you went down there around when i did, you really werent missing anything (except for the r-360!!!), the rides were in extremely poor shape, and ran horribly, and were very expensive to ride (tourist trap), i did ride those electric gokarts, and they were horrible, they barely worked at all (ahem, except for the r-360 arcade game, for the arcade buffs, that would be something you would have wanted to try if you were down there, and i STILL dont know what happened to that machine, heh)

and BillP, Please email me that picture, assuming it is scanned, send it to iride4899@yahoo.com, thanks

Offline Mst458  
#10 Posted : Saturday, October 18, 2003 11:57:46 PM(UTC)
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Well, in 1982 I can remember them having a ride thru darkride similiar to the ones that you see today on midways. They had some kind of kid's roller coaster because I can remember riding on that. They had a Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, MGR, and now that I'm thinking about it, I believe they had a Spider. I also think that they had a tilt and a scrambler plus some kiddie rides.


It would be neat to find out all the rides that were down there during the years it was in operation.

I'm wondering if they changed rides every year or if they were mainly the same ones
Offline SaraAB  
#11 Posted : Sunday, October 19, 2003 9:24:29 PM(UTC)
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i dont know if they changed rides every year or not, they might have changed every few years, which is what it sounds like to me, since it was mainly a tourist destination, i dont think there was a need to change rides every year (i am sure near the closing of it, they kept those same rides for several years)

also does anyone know if the amusement park in the skylon was open in the winter time, i mean back in the days when it was really popular, or any time, i know it was open in the summer cause i was there, but i am unsure if it was open during the winter (it would make sense since its an indoor park)
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