For the past six months, EnterTRAINment Junction owner Don Oeters has been scouring the Internet searching the longest replica roller coaster in the world.
So far, he hasn’t found one longer than his 40-foot functioning roller coaster that sits atop the second-level overlook of his 25,000-square-foot model train display in West Chester.
The roller coaster, which is a replica of Coney Island’s Shooting Star, is one of the more impressive features of EnterTRAINment’s 1965 replica of the Cincinnati amusement park that is expected to be completed this Friday.
“It was a roller coaster that myself and my cousin rode 22 times in a day, so it brings back a lot of memories for me,” Oeters said. “It also brings back a lot of memories for anyone in Cincinnati who has been to the park and knows what the park was before Kings Island opened.”
After putting in the Shooting Star, EnterTRAINment Junction employees and volunteers have been working for the past six months on finishing the entire amusement park. Overall, the project cost more than $150,000 to build.
“There are quite a few people behind the scenes doing the electronics and all the special controls of the rides. Also, obviously, a lot of skill and craftsmanship has gone into building the rides and all the buildings,” Oeters said.
The replica, which covers about 1,000 square feet, also features working rides like the Lost River, a 4-foot tall Ferris wheel, Flying Rockets, the Tumblebug and a carousel. It also features the Wild Mouse family coaster, a train ride, a haunted house, the Skyride, the Whip and Cuddle Up.
In addition to the rides, familiar features include Coney Island’s front gate entrance way, Moonlite Gardens, the tree-lined Coney mall, picnic areas, Skeeball Arcade and basketball games.
One of the few historically inaccurate features of the replica is the trolley line that runs along Kellogg Avenue and stops at Coney’s front gate. The trolley’s did run to Coney Island, but it stopped in 1925.
EnterTRAINment Junction has had roughly between $11 and $12 million poured into it over the course of the five years it has been open. It drew more than 125,000 visitors in 2012, which was a record for the venue.