Do You Remember… Castle Park

Jul 1, 2012

Surely you remember that amusement park located at the end of the road that goes to Aloha Stadium and Salt Lake boulevard.

 

 

Castle Park had the big castle with arcade games, two miniature golf courses, a batting cage, go-carts, bumper boats, and the water park.

 

 

 

Castle Park opened up around 1979 and ran for about 8 years or so.

 

I remember going there a couple of times.  I recall the big video game arcade in the “castle” part.  Played miniature golf there once and watched my friend strike out in the batting cages.  But I never did go into the water park side nor drive the go carts.

 

Didn’t it have a reputation as a hangout for druggies and gangs?  I think that’s probably why I went there only a few times.

 

How about you?  Did you go to Castle Park?  Do you remember Castle Park?  Any fond memories of Castle Park?  Any stories to share?

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38 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. dachad
    July 2nd, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    Dude, is that your flyer??? Castle Park was the Saturday destination when I used to visit ‘Honolulu’ (as Maui people called it, not ‘Oahu’). Friday night was reserved for Mitsukoshi! lol

  2. Kelly
    July 2nd, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Had to dig way back into those buried memories for this one. I think I went a couple of times and remember it being very crowded. First time I rode the go carts I thought it was so fun I had to ride again and went right back in line. While waiting I saw a girl get out of one cart and she had black soot all up the butt of her shorts. I watched everybody get out of their carts and saw that several people had the same thing. Then I looked at my own shorts and dang! My shorts were black too. Something weird with the way those things exhausted gave you dodo butt.

  3. sally
    July 2nd, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    I know I went there once, memory of it is so faded I can’t even remember who I went with. I do remember we went for Mini Golf, can’t remember what it looked like.

    Hey, it was the 70’s. LOL

  4. M
    July 2nd, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Guud morning MLCers and retirees!
    I remember doing the batting cage, riding the bumper boats, driving the Grand Prix cars and mini golf.

  5. hemajang
    July 2nd, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Never went to Castle Park but I remember Halawa housing that occupied that area before they built Aloha Stadium. They were army barracks that were converted to low income housing. Had an uncle that lived there and went there high school time to visit friends.

  6. dihudfan
    July 2nd, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    lived 2 blocks away, but don’t remember if Castle Park still existed…

  7. LINDA KATO
    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    We took our two older children to Castle Park several times. It was always very crowded. The kids had fun but the reason we didn’t go more often was the cost of the outing. We had to do more FREE things. Don’t remember seeing any “problem” children there. We kept our kids in sight so made sure they were safe at all times. We were sad when they closed but happy when they opened the Water Park in Kapolei. My kids like to play in the water but that’s a theme for another blog ❗ 😀

  8. LINDA KATO
    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Monday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

  9. Lowtone123
    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    My friends and I went there almost every weekend for while. My favorites were the grand prix, batting cage and water slides/bumper boats. I think the druggies started hanging out after we stopped going there and it started going down hill. Remember it well. K-Mart is over there now.

  10. Kage
    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Good Morning.

    I only went to Castle Park once or twice.
    I remember we went for our 8th grade class day. I mostly played minigolf. I remember the bumper boats. The water was nasty with the sheen from the leaking engines. It would splash on you when you hit each other.

  11. Masako
    July 2nd, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    This one brings back memories. I loved Castle Park! I think there used to be a 2 for 1 coupon on a potato chip bag or something and as a treat my friends and I would go to Castle Park. For like 6 bucks each we would get a pass to do whatever we wanted for a whole day. We would start out playing miniture golf, they had three courses, each of them were fun. Than we would go on the bumper boats….my ex husband worked there and he told me once this lady in a muu muu fell into the water while trying to get off the boat. Than we would do the race cars, I think I liked that the best along with the water park. That was before I could drive so it was fun to be able to drive on a race track. I loved the water park, they had this think where you would climb up the mountain with an inner tube and get to float all the way down, kinda like a lazy river roller coaster. They ended up closing that down cause a couple of people drowned in there. Than had this think where you carry a board up some stairs than go down a steep incline into the water. I cannot remember what else was in there but we used to have fun and be sun burnt by the end of the day. I’ve mentioned to my kids a couple of times that I wish the place was still there.

    My parents would take my brother there at night sometimes to practice hitting at the batting cage. That wasn’t my thing so I used to ask for 5 bucks and do a Go kart run than play video games in the big Castle. Back then that 5 bucks lasted the whole night. I think nowadays I could spend that in 2 minutes at Dave and Busters or Fun Factory.

    Thanks Rod for bringing back those memories…..Got me thinking of other places we used to frequent like Dachad mentioned Mitsukoshi, Roller World and Ala Moana, Im curious if anyone else used to just hang out at Ala Moana all day for amusement. Should do a thing on those places.

  12. Mark'75
    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I once shot a 84 over 18 holes at…..Castle Park. Everything that could’ve gone wrong did. Was so ‘pees’ off I almost flew the putter! Everybody wen bus’ out laughing but after a while they stopped….then was more pressure!!!!
    For weeks after, they said, “Eh Mark, we go mini golf.” “NO!” “hahahahahahaha”
    Probably explains why I never took up golfing.

  13. Mark'75
    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    The go carts were cool. I liked racing around the track. The carts seemed faster than it actually was.
    We got kind of competitive and I got punted from behind into a bale of hay.
    Come to think of it, maybe Castle Park wasn’t so much fun after all.

  14. volleymom2
    July 2nd, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Castle Park.. brings back memories. I could walk to Castle Park, but since everyone drove at that time, why walk?? Always played mini golf. Too bad Castle Park didnt last.. they closed up do to 2 drownings. Never heard of gangs being here.

  15. Rodney
    July 2nd, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    @dachad – not my flyers (found around da ‘net).

  16. Rodney
    July 2nd, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    @Lowtone123 – Welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing your Castle Park stories with us!

  17. LINDA KATO
    July 3rd, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Tuesday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

  18. M
    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Good morning MLCers! and retirees!

  19. M
    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Five day weekend for me! Beach house weekend!

  20. ankleBYTERS
    July 3rd, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    M:

    Wouldn’t you rather spend it in Japan?? 😉

  21. M
    July 3rd, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    @ankleBYTERS, that would be my first choice but that’s not an option. 🙂

  22. M
    July 3rd, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    We are thinking about the next trip to Japan already.

  23. LINDA KATO
    July 4th, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    M: Enjoy your beachhouse weekend ❗ 😀

  24. LINDA KATO
    July 4th, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Wednesday ❗

    Happy 4th of July ❗ 😀

    Have a great day and a safe holiday ❗ 😀

  25. M
    July 4th, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Guud morning MLCers and retirees!
    Happy 4th of July! Be safe, don’t drink and drive.

  26. Mark'75
    July 4th, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Happy 4th of July!

  27. NaPueo
    July 4th, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Happy 4th of July!!

  28. JonTMedia
    July 6th, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I remember someone saying they played mini golf and complained that they did not get their ball back! I had to LOL! I told them they started on the last hole!

  29. Carla
    September 23rd, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    That was my second job in high school ..

  30. Rodney
    September 23rd, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Carla! Welcome to the Midlife Crisis Hawaii blog and thanks for you post. Yup, Castle Park is just a memory now… Like my high school job at Windward Volkswagen in Kailua, just a memory…

  31. Keoni T
    October 20th, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    hemajang above got it almost right. I grew-up next to Aloha Stadium before it was built – it was all swamp and a small stream where we would try to catch tiny fish. There was Halawa Elementary there that burned down in a fire, forcing area students to go to Aiea Elementary nearby. The housing hemajang is referring to is still there and called “Makalapa” which extends towards the Pearl Harbor direction opposite of Aloha Stadium.

    Castle Park is now K-Mart and McDonald’s – across the Stadium Mall ‘Ice Palace’ skating rink. Castle Park would’ve probably remained opened had it not been cited for poor water maintenance causing bacterial infections for the swimmers – and then a tragedy – the death of a young child who drowned (lack of sufficient lifeguards and training for such resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit). Some say that there was more than one drowning.

    Castle Park flooded Hawaii’s broadcast airwaves with t.v. commercials and a catchy jingle – “What a feeling! Castle Park!”

    Thanks for the brochure picture posting – now that I live in Hollywood it brought back cool memories.

  32. Jill Frances Russell
    February 4th, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    I actually worked at Castle Park, summer of 1983 and 1984. LOVED it. Had a great time, made a little money, but best of all, they let us park workers stay late after closing and ride all the cars and hang out in the Water Park. I moved to the mainland later in ’84, so didn’t know it had closed for quite awhile. Definitely seeing this flyer brought back memories!

  33. Paul
    March 9th, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Used to love to play miniature golf with my girlfriend there after Hawaii Islander baseball games at Aloha Stadium. I was a young Marine stationed at Kaneohe Bay and loved my whole time there. That was ’83, ’84, and ’85.

  34. Noel
    March 16th, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I worked at Castle Park in ’88 or ’89, when it was on its last legs. I worked there for a few months. I was going to Radford High School down the road at the time. It was my first job – my buddy from school worked there too and hooked me up.

    By that point, the place was pretty dead… you could count the customers you’d see in a given shift on 1 or 2 hands. I remember working the batting cage and bringing a book, because I’d only see a couple of customers in 8 hours. Apparently, there were some accidents in the water park section a few years before, leading to the downturn in business. When I got there, the water park section had been closed for some time. All that was left by then was mini-golf, batting cage, go-karts, bumper boats, and the arcade+concession area inside the castle building.

    Everything was run-down and in various states of direpair. I really liked the arcade, though – because of the troubles, the games were all older, but there were some good ones like Ring King, Gauntlet, Star Wars sit-down, etc. I remember thinking it would have been SO cool to experience Castle Park in its heyday, and seeing the place in severe decline made me sad.

    It wasn’t the best job. For example, if a customer dropped something into the water while riding the bumper boats (essentially go-karts on water with a big encircling inner-tube), one of us employees would have to wade into the 3-foot deep castle moat to retrieve it. That water was NASTY from all the oil leaked from the boat engines. The go-karts were similarly dirty/leaky, and that reference in another post to folks having sooty butts brought back memories.

    The buddy I mentioned drove this beater Plymouth Volare – it was a tank. He would pull his car into the back field where the pump was to refuel the go-karts, and gas up his car! The go-karts were of course 2-stroke, so the pump dispensed a gas/oil mix, but that Volare would run just fine on that. Like I said, it was a tank. We would also ride the karts, driving with one hand on the wheel and one hand behind us on the throttle cable so we could go faster. Sooty butts often ensued.

    Castle Park closed for good about six months after I left, and not long after that was torn down to make way for K-Mart.

    That whole Salt Lake area by the stadium was my stomping ground during my last 2 years of high school. I have great memories of house parties in Foster Village, hanging out at Stadium Mall (Ice Palace, Quick Stop), etc.

    Ah, good times.

  35. Gil
    May 21st, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    I used to work in Castle Park’s batting cage. It was close to school (Radford H.S.), so I could walk to work. Thanks for the memories! Aloha

  36. Rodney
    May 22nd, 2016 at 12:24 am #

    @Gil – Thank you for sharing you Castle Park memories with us! Must’ve been cool to work in the fresh outdoor air.

  37. Brian Broman
    May 23rd, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    I remember going down the rapids and there was a life guard that collected brackets, she had hundreds of brackets on both arms, riders would give her there brackets. One time I was going down the zip line and the rope got cought, I was dangling pretty high over shallow water from what I can remember 30 years ago. Some one behind me was able to untangle the rope. Scary moment being so young, prob one of the reasons I remember this place

  38. Rodney
    May 23rd, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    @Brian Broman – Wow, that’s quite a memory! Glad it turned out well. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

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