The Old Mill or Mill Chutes, later became Journey to the Center of the Earth. Philadelphia Toboggan installed it in 1927, and they provided the scenes. The scenes werenít particularly fancy, but were very effective for that time. Also in there, we had some Disney scenes. There was one with Pinocchio and one with the Seven Dwarfs. They were made out of a rubber mastic or latex type of material, and they were animated. After we took them out, they were laying around for a number of years, and later we fixed them up and moved them to the tunnel our train used to go through.
       One time I got a call that one of the boats had jumped the chain going up the hill. So I grabbed a crowbar and went over. This part of the hill was in a tunnel. So I told the guy out front, ďDonít start the ride while Iím down there.Ē As you can imagine, Iím just jacking the boat up to put it on the chain and the chain starts up because the operator out front started the ride. Fortunately, I had enough sense to jump up and into the boat, otherwise I wouldnít be here today, Iím sure. The boat caught that six-foot crowbar and bent it into a perfect circle. I often think I should have kept that thing; it was a perfect souvenir. You can be sure that guy didnít last very long at Dorney Park, after he turned on the switch and almost had me run over by a Mill Chutes boat.
       I have to tell you, it was truly a Tunnel Of Love. I could tell you more stories about the passion that went on in that dark ride. I had a brakeman - a real intelligent kid who was going to the University of North Carolina. And he loved the brakeman job, which was a pretty lousy job, but he had it down to a science. He kept the boats separated going up the hill, so there would be no collision. He could operate that without even looking up. He used to use his feet - and out of the corner of his eye, and stop it. Then, heíd hear
the alarm and release it, without even looking up. He did most of his studying when he was a brakeman. The only thing that interfered sometimes was when the boats would come around a dark corner right before they got to the brakeman, and the riders didnít realize there was going to be a brakeman right there. Like I said, a lot of stuff went on in there, and the brakeman had front row center, and he used to tell me more stories. He used to say, ďThatís a wonderful job. I should pay you for it!Ē Heís probably at some university teaching right now. A real great kid - like so many others we had at the park.
Loosely based on the Jules Verne novel of the same name, Tracy weaved his own twisted tale of an ill-fated expedition to the earthís core. The dark old PTC Mill Chute tunnel made a convincing underground river. Once again, Tracy showed his sadistic side, as the explorers met horrific fates at the hands of a variety of underground creatures including a pack of giant worms.
In one scene Tracy customized his Dr. Livingston stunt (where a search team member tries to pull the good doctor out of the mouth of an alligator). In Journey, a giant worm replaced the gator.
When the ride began, narration from the leader of the expedition is heard, but as things take a turn for the worse for the team, the leader of the worms does all the talking. The water amplified the sound throughout the tunnel. The outside chute drop at the rideís end was steeper than most. And the water was very clean.

 I recall once there was a fad where kids would dump detergent into fountains to make the water foam up. And naturally, some kid dumped detergent in the Mill Chutes. The foam was so high you couldnít see the tunnel. But prior to that, I had found out that there was a product that you could dump into the water that would kill the detergent very quickly. So fortunately I had some on hand, I dumped it in and that was the end of that problem.
The advent of the tape machines were important when it was rethemed to Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1970. There were five or six different scenes with sound effects - and we kept the tape machines in the office, running a wire over to the ride. And here again, with the improvement of electronics and the work of Bill Tracy on this ride, it changed everything imaginable, all for the good.