With the news surrounding Libertyland lately and my professor asking me for an observational essay, I pictured Libertyland being the perfect place to visit. As usual, I would walk the perimeter of the park as I usually did. But this trip was quite different from the rest.
All that’s left of the Arrow looper Revolution is its station. The ride is still sitting in pieces at Delgrosso’s in Pennsylvania.
As I approached the entrance plaza, it was obvious not much had changed since my last visit in 2008.
The Creative Arts Center linked the fairgrounds adjacent to Libertyland and the park itself.
Peaking through the iron gates surrounding the front of the park gave me a glimpse of what little has changed over the past four years.
Picnic tables are stacked atop each other, untouched.
A sign for a picnic area is tucked away behind a tree.
Independence Station is where guests could catch Casey Jone’s train that took them around the park.
A quaint building stood over the entrance plaza.
The picnic pavillion stands empty.
Looking towards the Independence Station area of the park.
A rusted truck can be seen in front of the park’s pizzeria.
As I made my way around the park I noticed something different. A wide open path leading towards the Zippin Pippin. Being somewhat intrigued by this open path, I began walking towards the coaster.
I thought to myself, “this can’t be happening, how could someone leave a gate that huge open?”
Before I knew it, one step had turned into twenty, and I was face-to-face with the legendary Zippin Pippin.
While I wasn’t in the park itself, I began to see how dilapidated the infrastructure of the park was.
The Zippin Pippin looked as if it was being devoured by the massive trees surrounding it.
I couldn’t believe how close I was. My hands were shaking as I attempted to take as many pictures as possible.
As I made my way down the path, it became obvious that the ride would require a massive refurb to become operational again.
Before I knew it, I was inside Libertyland. The conditions of the park’s buildings hit me hard…
…as did the vandalism that had occured inside.
The park has become an urban jungle, complete with stray animals and wild plant growth.
The Grand Carousel, all that’s left of any value at the park, stands boarded up.
Looking towards the antique cars station, I finally got my bearings straight – I was in the dead center of the park.
The station stands in the background with a blank information sign in the foreground.
A worn map diplay stand shows small pieces of former park maps.
I couldn’t believe it, I was staring at the entrance to the Zippin Pippin. As a child I had passed through this structure countless times on my way to conquer the second-oldest coaster in the nation.
This once held a sign full of fun facts about the ride.
The entire ride is in such a depressing state that it’s hard to even remember how beautiful it once was.
It was hard for me to grasp where I was because so many rides have been removed.
A pieces of the antique car track still remains.
A hole in the roof allows light to cast an eerie glow under the station.
This area used to be one of the most lively sections of the park. You could watch family members ride the carousel while enjoying the amusement park fanfare music.
I made my way out of the park as the sun began to cast a silhouette of the carousel.
On my way out, I turned back and got one more glimpse of the park. After four years of trying, I finally saw my hometown park one last time.