Fri. Jan 28th, 2022


“Since you are going to Bay Beach, be sure to ride the Zippin Pippin!” the bus driver exclaimed as we were en route to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, which is in the vicinity of the park (maybe five to 10 minutes away). I knew vaguely of what she was talking about. Every January, I receive a magazine advertising Green Bay and I painstakingly plan my trip through the sacred magazine. I have always seen it advertised and was always curious, but I was never a fan of roller coasters.

The Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, Wisc., which was purchased in 2010 from Memphis, Tenn., now houses one of the United States’ oldest wooden roller coasters and its most famous. To the delight of the bus driver, as it is really impressive to boast, was Elvis’ favorite ride. 

According to their site, 200,000 were expected to ride the new attraction as of May 2011. Since then, if I remember correctly, over a million people have ridden the Zippin Pippin. The cost is nominal at $1, or two tickets, per ride.

Aug. 15, 2012 marked the day I was supposed to meet my pen pal that I had conversed with for a year and half over Facebook that the excitement.

Despite the excitment and nervousness, it was overwhelming it was nice to finally meet my pen pal. We zipped through the winding streets of downtown Green Bay. “Let’s ride the Zippin Pippin!” was the first thing out of her mouth once we arrived at Bay Beach. I was hesitant, but I figured that we only live once and the experience would be one I would treasure for a long time. 

My heart pounded and my nails broke as the Zippin Pippin knocked us from side to side, it is almost violent. We could not help but laugh, however. I held on for dear life, which is why my nails broke, but despite that and the butterflies in my stomach, I had a lot of fun. My nails on the other hand, not so much, as the green nail polish hung off to my chagrin (as the big game was on the 16th). We wanted to ride again, but opted not to because we wanted to ride the other rides that the park had to offer. The other rides are just as fun and laugh-worthy.

I can see why the park is now popular to folks of all ages, not only in Green Bay, but from all over the country. According to Wisconsin’s travel bureau, attendance is up 65 percent from 2010.  If you happen to be on a road trip and travel through Wisconsin, it is worth it to go to Green Bay to not only ride the Zippin Pippin or visit Bay Beach, but to see other attractions the small city has to offer. The travel bureau can be found at the following site:

Jessica Cavaliere is a  fifth-year writing major with minors in creative writing and philosophy. She is currently working on a travel book and can be reached at

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