Grandpa builds backyard amusement park in Decatur

Grandpa builds backyard amusement park in Decatur

DECATUR, TX -- If you saw the viral video of the backyard roller coaster built by a father in Washington, just wait until you see what a Decatur man built for his first grandchild.
 
Jimmy White has constructed an entire backyard amusement park at his home, complete with a Ferris Wheel, a carousel and a roller coaster, all built from scrap materials.
 
"I kind of saw them on TV, roller coasters, and they're just gravity fed," said White.  "I said, 'Well, I got something high, I could do it!' So I did it."
 
The coaster starts on a second floor balcony and circles the backyard.  The track is made from PVC pipe, and supports are wood and cement.  The custom-built car locks onto the track with a wheel system, and White said it's strong enough to support an adult.
 
"I rode it all the way around," he said.  "It was scary the first time, then I rode it all the time!"
 
White lives on 80 acres out in the country that have been in his family for decades.  He said he started building the amusement park as soon as he found out he was going to be a grandfather.  
His granddaughter Sophia is now almost 3 years old, and she spends a lot of time with her granndpa.
 
"She wants to be with him everyday, all day," said Morgan White, Sophia's mom.  "She totally adores him, so I think she needs him in her life as much as she can."
 
White said he doesn't have any formal engineering training, but he's good with his hands and figuring things out.  He plans on adding to the amusement park, including a motorized system to return the roller coaster car to the gate.
 
"When I was growing up, I always thought I could have this stuff, but I couldn't ever have it," White said.  "I said to myself, if I ever have a grandkid, I"m going to try to make everything I could."

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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