March 12, 2007


Ok, the White Lightnin' log ride has never come close to possessing the mystique of the Phantasmagoria, but a lot of recent Secret Fun Blog visitors are looking for Bell's Amusement Park stuff so I thought I'd include another handful of Bell's photos. After my wonderful dark ride tour we had time to walk the Bell's thoroughfare once more just as the sun was setting.
The Lightnin' doesn't have too many "secrets" per se, so I'll do my best to improvise. (The photos enlarge super-big when you click 'em.)

Secret #1- The logs didn't actually float on homemade whisky.

This dinosaur once stood in the Bell's miniature golf course.
Secret #2- He thinks that he was the inspiration for the Sinclair Oil mascot. (He's wrong.)

Ok, here's the only part that might qualify as a "secret." The following photographs reveal the interior of the White Lightnin' mountain range...

Alright, I guess I have one more secret. In the photo below, the green building on the right housed a humongous water pump....

This is what it looked like...

You're probably thinking "this can't be happening." but I assure you.. your eyes do not deceive.
(Buddy, the park's electrician, said that the electricity to pump the water ran about 300 bucks an hour.)

Is this the ear you can't hear in? White Lightnin' I'll love you 'til the day I die.

And just for fun, this is a bumper sticker that I won with Ski Ball tickets once upon a time.

Well, that's all of my Bell's photos, really. Aw man, I can't lie to you. Here are more...

We were told that this sign would be somewhat modified and used at the future location of Bell's.

Sorry, there will be no more Pepsi parties at the new Bell's location. They just get out of hand too easily.

The Southern view from the front of the Phantasmagoria.

This was the former video arcade. Why are those colored panels so awesome?

Here's a shot of a row of hedges.

On the day of our visit (February 16, 2006) workers had just begun to disassemble the Zingo (the roller coaster) so we weren't allowed to get very close.

Another shot of Oklahoma's largest roller coaster taken from the parking lot.

It's the ol' Sky Ride hanger

They actually told us that this canopy would be moved to the new Bell's location for "sentimental reasons." Sentimentality over a metal roof on some poles seemed absurd until I realized just how comforted I was by this news.

On the off chance that you aren't sobbing yet, this parting shot of the "little amusement park that could" will certainly move you to tears. Stare at it for a while if you need to. There you go. Just let it all out.


Cindy said...

I am terrified of all these kinds of stuffs. I’d never ever ride merry-go-round or water-coaster or moon-walker to name a few. Your pictures seem to be horrifying.

lynn said...

I lost interest in amusement parks when I got too old for the little kiddie rides. The scary rides don't really scare me because I know they won't hurt me but I always have that scare reaction anyway and I hate that. It's not fun at all.

I never went to Bell's Amusement Park but I'm sorry to see it go. Every city should have a place that kids grow up with and then take their kids to the very same place.

tikiranch said...

I want that dinosuar can yo get him for me?

Kirk D. said...

cindy- I knew these photos were terrifying when I posted them, but I figured that the truth should be known at all costs. Even if it means giving people nightmares.

lynn- I know what you mean. I have a love/hate relationship with these rides. While I love the concept and the gags inside, I find that getting truly frightened or startled is quite unpleasant.

Hi tikirance- I don't blame you, it's very cool. All I can offer are jokes about stealing it.. obvious and lame jokes. They did say that he would be on display at the new park location. (I'm a fan of your blog BTW)

kakugori said...

Oh man, sobbing is right. The Tulsa State Fair was an every year tradition for me. I went on Zingo when I was 2! And I still can't believe that anyone would just get rid of some place so many people loved. It will be sorely missed, and even if rebulit, never the same. Of all the stupid things, I think I'll really miss flying through the Joker's mouth on Zingo, laughing at all the gum stuck on the back side of the himalaya, getting stuck one time on the bumper boats...good memories. Though the pictures do make me really, really sad, thank you for sharing.

Curt said...

Time to boycott the Tulsa State Fair and their high prices! Shame on Tulsa for getting rid of one of the last clean family places.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask you if you've ever seen "Carnival of Souls" with Candace Hilligoss??? (Once when I was doing customer service for a credit card company I talked with here elderly aunt. We weren't supposed to ask the customers personal questions, but how often do you hear the name Hilligoss, so I just asked if she was related & she said "why yes, I'm her aunt" in a beautiful old southern drawl. She said Candace enjoyed making the movie... I don't think she made any others.) ANYway... there's an old abandoned carnival in that movie.... I just discovered your SFS & have spent much time in the Dells so recognized the Dells signs etc. "Thanks for the Memories" M. in Green Bay

Kirk D. said...

M. I have indeed seen Carnival of Souls (I've got it on DVD too)
The guy who made it used to make some of those classic educational films of the fifties. Pretty cool career I'd say. Neat that you met her aunt (and figured it out while she was still standing there.)
Yeah, any movie with a carnival or amusement park in it makes it about 27% cooler.
Glad you're enjoying the sites!

Tst4Eko said...

I'd like to propose a picket line at the Tulsa State Fair this year. Let the county and the patrons know how badly they treated Bell's. I'm definitely boycotting the fair from now on! Tulsa County is not getting away with this that easily.

I'm so upset they kicked Bell's out, all for a freaking parking lot. That's not fair! I wanna hold up signs telling everybody how crooked Tulsa County really is!

Who's with me?