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Big Dipper

Camden Park

A rare traditional wooden coaster built by the National Amusement Device Company in 1958.

Theme ParkCamden Park
Ride TypeWooden Rollercoaster
AudienceThrillseekers
ManufacturerNational Amusement Device Company
Opened1958
Height50 ft
Inversions0
Duration1½ minutes
Big Dipper's Century Flyer train ascends the lift hill

Big Dipper's Century Flyer train ascends the lift hill

Big Dipper is Camden Park's headline attraction, and was built by National Amusement Device Company in 1958. It replaced the park's first rollercoaster, New Sensation, which had operated between 1912 and 1957. Rumours suggest the ride is haunted by a woman, whose ghostly figure is sometimes seen riding in the back car.

It is one of very few examples of National Amusement Device Company rollercoasters still operating, and Camden Park is the only park to have two: the park's Lil' Dipper wooden kiddie coaster was also manufactured by them.

The ride uses two of National Amusement Device Company's Century Flyer trains, which are known for their shiny metallic bodywork and working headlights that are powered by batteries housed in the ride cars. The train comprises three cars, each with three rows of two riders. With their traditional lapbar restraints and absence of seat dividers, they allow for a lot of airtime!

The ride on Big Dipper begins with the train leaving the station and ascending the chain lift hill. At the top is a small drop, and then a 180 degree corner. Unusually, the rollercoaster's largest drop comes second. This is followed by another 180 degree turn, and a drop into a long dark tunnel. Exiting the tunnel, the track continues diagonally across the ride area, delivering the train into the brake run and back to the station where a staff member on the platform uses the manual brakes to bring it to a halt.

Big Dipper is a good ride, although it is in pretty poor condition. Its rough in places, the wood has warped and the white paintwork is flaking off badly. As with much of Camden Park, it feels like it could do with a bit of love and attention.

Photo Gallery

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

Big Dipper seen from the park's chair lift

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

One of the National Amusement Device Company Century Flyer trains

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

Riders in the station

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

A Big Dipper train about to depart

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

Climbing the lift hill

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

View from the top of the lift

Camden Park's Big Dipper rollercoaster

Looking down the rollercoaster's largest drop

On-Ride Video

Big Dipper POV