Some people collect model trains. Some collect model cars, or comic books, or even stuffed animals. But Hillsboro resident Tim Butler collects something different.
“Most men have hobbies like model trains,” Butler said. “I went a step further and did a working model theme park, and called it TimothyWood.”
The park, whose name was inspired by country singer Dolly Parton’s theme park, has been growing in Butler’s home for the past five years.
“I wanted to have a hobby that was different and unique and fun,” Butler said, “and theme parks are all about fun.”
The first ride he put together for his collection was a merry-go-round and a 16 seat ferris wheel.
“Then it just took on a life of its own after that,” Butler said.
The most unique ride in his collection is a 1970s Chance Skydiver model.
“I buy some carnival ride kits from RAH Models that have to be scratch built,” Butler said.
In Butler’s collection are six food stations and 20 working rides including a carousel, ferris wheel, and scrambler. He will have a new addition this fall.
Butler plans to add a miniature model based on the Patriot roller coaster from Worlds of Fun.
“The model is being worked on right now back in Ohio,” Butler said. “(My friend) Brad Sherman is custom building it for me for my park.”
When he has days off from work, Butler spends most of his time on his collection.
“I put about eight hours a day to painting and gluing and modifying my rides every summer,” Butler said. “They all get a new paint job and theme.”
Once his collection is completed and wired up with lights, Butler hopes to display it at Kansas State Fair.
“I have joined the Carnival Modelers Group and have a lot of friends now helping me to build the park of my dreams,” Butler said. “It all takes time and, true, a lot of money is involved, but it’s well worth it and it pays off in the end.”