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The Giant Dipper

Early in the 1900s there was a man who looked at some empty beachfront property on Mission Beach and decided that this would be the perfect spot for an amusement park not unlike the one that had recently opened on Coney Island in New York. The star of the show on this boardwalk style park was destined to be the Giant Dipper, a 2600-foot wooden roller coaster that promised its daring riders a take your breath away type of ride. Today, over 100 years later, you still have the opportunity to ride the restored version of this classic coaster when you visit Belmont Park on Mission Beach.

The History

Costing $150,000 to build, the Giant Dipper was built to last, and during the 1930s and 1940s, people lined up in droves to “risk their lives” on a ride that was still considered somewhat of a novelty for the time. In 1955, what was then called The Mission Beach Amusement Center took on its current name of Belmont Park and life continued pretty much unchanged.

By the 1970’s, however, the park had lost its shine and was rapidly becoming a major eyesore as it fell into disrepair. San Diegans began calling for the demolition of the Giant Dipper, not happy with the blemish on one of their favorite beaches after the park closed in 1976. Thankfully, a group that called itself the Save the Coaster Committee refused to let the Dipper die, and by 1989 over $2,000,000 was raised to restore the wooden coaster to its original beauty, and by 1990, the park reopened.


Crowds once more line up to “risk their lives” on the Giant Dipper and to take the opportunity to ride on a piece of history that came dangerously close to disappearing forever. Costing $6, riders need to be at least 50 inches tall to ride the star attraction of Belmont Park, but you can purchase an unlimited rides day pass for $54 per person (over the height of 48 inches, under 48 inches only costs $44, but these riders can’t ride the Giant Dipper). Colorful, fun, and exciting, the Dipper isn’t the only ride, but it is the one with the most history.

710 Beach Rentals

Book your luxurious 710 Beach Rentals vacation home today and discover the amusing side of San Diego when you visit Belmont Park and take a ride on a piece of living history.

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Visit Belmont Park

Address:  3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Phone: (858) 488-1549

Photo By Larry Pieniazek, User:Lar, (primary) – Picture taken by User:Lar, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1187298