Belmont Park’s fun Giant Dipper roller coaster!

Looking across Ventura Place at the Giant Dipper roller coaster.
Looking across Ventura Place at the Giant Dipper roller coaster.

Mission Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Southern California. One big reason: Belmont Park and the wonderful Giant Dipper roller coaster!

In my last blog post I walked south down the busy beach boardwalk to Hamel’s. Belmont Park stands just across the street. The historic amusement park was built in 1925 by wealthy sugar magnate John D. Spreckels, and was called the Mission Beach Amusement Center. The 2,600 foot Giant Dipper roller coaster, made entirely of wood, was built in less than two months. Over the ensuing years, the coaster fell into disrepair; it was then carefully restored in 1990 and became a huge success.

Entering Belmont Park beneath the wooden roller coaster.
Entering Belmont Park beneath the wooden roller coaster.
Looking up at tracks of the picturesque coaster.
Looking up at red tracks of the picturesque coaster.
Kid-friendly Belmont Park has thrilling rides and fun stuff.
Kid-friendly Belmont Park has thrilling rides and lots of fun stuff.
People wait to board the historic rollercoaster.
People wait to board the historic roller coaster.
The winding coaster tracks make for interesting photos.
The winding coaster tracks make for interesting photos.
Palm fronds, colorful track and clear blue sky.
Palm fronds, painted wood and clear blue sky.
A large indoor arcade features loads of classic games.
A large indoor arcade at Belmont Park features many classic games.
This small merry-go-round is a treat for kids of every age.
This small merry-go-round is a treat for kids of every age.
A carnival midway area has tests of skill and a food court.
A carnival midway area has tests of skill and a food court.
Riders whiz by as the cars rattle on wooden rails.
Riders whiz by as the cars rattle on wooden rails.
This yellow submarine requires no water!
This yellow submarine requires no water!
Wild and crazy Tilt-A-Whirl provides a big adrenaline rush.
Wild and crazy Tilt-A-Whirl provides a big adrenaline rush.
The Giant Dipper roller coaster swooshes by!
The Giant Dipper roller coaster swooshes by!
Peeking into the innards of a wooden roller coaster.
Peeking into the innards of a wooden roller coaster.

It’s interesting to walk around the perimeter of the Giant Dipper. You can peer beneath the rails and see the materials used to build and maintain the huge wooden construction.

The Plunge giant swimming pool is undergoing restoration.
The Plunge giant swimming pool is undergoing restoration.

Right next to Belmont Park’s amusement rides you’ll find The Plunge, originally called The Natatorium. The huge 12,000 square foot swimming pool originally contained salt water.  It was the largest such pool in the world with 400,000 gallons of water!

The Plunge has also become famous for its Orcas off Point Loma whaling wall, painted in 1989 by famous marine artist, Wyland.

Today the pool and surrounding structure are being repaired. It’s scheduled to reopen by the end of this summer.

I hoped to get pictures of Belmont Park’s relatively new FlowRider wave machine, which allows thrill-seekers continuous surfing without entering the ocean! Unfortunately, it was down for maintenance.

Photo mosaic on beach restroom shows bits of Belmont Park.
Photo mosaic on a nearby beach restroom shows bits of Belmont Park.
Playing football on the nearby sand at Mission Beach.
Playing football on the sand at Mission Beach.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

2 thoughts on “Belmont Park’s fun Giant Dipper roller coaster!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s