Stories from the Park

Ken Jones - Ride Operator, Game Maintenance - 1989-1992.

MLVP was a great little park, and a great place to work. I spent 4 years at the park, and am very happy to say that I was the last person to operate the Giant Wheel in revenue service. In the off season, we ran the wheel 7 days a week, then, in the end, only on weekends. The very last day of operation, I was the operator who shut down the pumps, and locked the door. This ended yet another amusement era in Niagara. While I'm sure the wheel was operated after that point, to be demonstrated for potential buyers, it was never operated for the public in Niagara Falls again. Even now, when I happen to run into former co-workers, the talk always turns to the Village. We all agree, it was by far, one of the best jobs any of us ever had.
Over the years, the park hosted movie shoots, music video shoots, and celbrities. One of the movie shoots was for a documentary called "Niagara, A Rock Video. The park shots show some of the rides, as the cameraman sort of ran past. Although I can't be seen, I was operating the Tilt-A-Whirl that night. The Canadian band the Crash Test Dummies shot a music video for "Androgynous" at the park in the off season. The video showed some of the games the Giant Wheel, and a couple other rides. As for celebrities, well, one of the final weekends of the park saw a visit by Canada's "Metal Queen", Lee Aaron. Many people ran for her autograph as she walked through the park with her boyfriend(?) and went on some of the rides. I was a bit more reserved, but did get a chance to talk to her when they came to the Scrambler (I was covering for the other operator while he was on break) They were very good about everything, and she was happy that I only talked to her and didn't ask for an autograph, or to sign whatever.(yes, I do kind of regret it, but, oh well). They both thanked me before, and after the ride, just before she was attacked by more autograph hounds. I have so many fond memories of the park that I can't possibly put them all down here. These are just a few of the good ones that I wanted to share.

Dave Bush - Ride Operator - 1979-1980

I worked at the park operating rides during its first two seasons (1979 / 1980). I have great memories from those summers - I loved going to work to earm my $3.00 per hour (!). I likely spent half the money I earned playing pinball in the arcade on my breaks. Our uniforms were plaid shirts and denim overalls with matching caps. Getting through your shift without wearing your hat was the goal. Management was always quick to spot the "no hat" gang members. Thanks again - I really enjoy looking back at "The Village" days. Best job ever.