CoasterGeff’s Coaster Odyssey 2007
Day One (of Twelve) 06/13/07
Waldameer & Geauga Lake
This was the first day of a twelve day coaster riding excursion. I work evenings (my shift ends at 11PM) plus I wanted to make sure I had taken care of everything before I left as I wouldn’t be home for awhile, so I got a later start than I had hoped for. I hit the road around 9AM, starting from central New York, and headed for Erie, PA to go to Waldameer Park. I made pretty good time and was there by early afternoon. This was the only park on the trip that I say that I have been to before (I went to Kings Island once before but that was in 1978 so I don’t count it).
I visited Waldameer last year and liked it. It is a beautiful old park built on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie, with gorgeous views of the lake and of Presque Isle State Park. I rode the Comet – a small old wooden coaster that is surrounded by so many trees that you can barely see it. It is a fun ride. I also rode Steel Dragon – their small spinning steel coaster. I have ridden it before and have also ridden Seabreeze’s version. I like the ride a lot – the spinning part is fun and of all the spinning coasters I have ridden I like the back to back seating setup that this uses the best. Once I had my coaster credits for this year, I hit up some of the other rides: The Giant Wheel ferris wheel, sky ride, Ali Baba, and their new drop tower X-Scream.
But none of that was why I was there. I was there to check out the construction progress on the Ravine Flyer 2. They have a fairly large sign in the park announcing the coaster for 2008 and giving some details on it. The construction that can be seen from inside the park is very minimal. Even from the top of the ferris wheel right next to where the coaster is going you can’t see more than a few concrete footers as most of the work being done so far is on the side of the bluff and across the street from the park where the turnaround will be. I am really looking forward to riding this when it is done, and am very excited that they are finally actually building it. The park has been trying to get it built since somewhere around 1992.
Across the highway from the park is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center with an observation tower. The building is right next to where the turnaround will be. I decided to go see if I could get up the observation tower to get a better view of the construction site so I went over to check it out. It turns out the conservation center has free parking and free admission. I just walked in and headed for the observation tower. When I got to the tower section I had just missed the elevator so I decided I would take the stairs as it’s not that tall of a tower. About halfway up I realized that was a bad idea but it was too late. I got to the top, caught my breath, and got some nice shots of the construction site.
When I was done, I took the elevator down and headed for a camera shop that one of the park employees had given me directions to. I had bought a new camera two weeks before the trip, and when I got to the park I discovered that the strap that came with it was too short for me. I bought a new strap and hit the road for Geauga Lake.
I arrived at Geauga Lake a little after 5:30PM and, after parking and going to guest services to use to Dorney Park Maxx Pass, I entered the park at 5:45PM. The park was only open until 8PM but I didn’t mind because I was coming back Saturday for CoasterExt. I was there because I had never been to the park before and I wanted to get a few coaster credits out of the way in order to take some of the pressure off on Saturday. Granted it was a Wednesday evening in mid June, but there was hardly anyone there. I started riding coasters, pausing only to ride the ferris wheel to check out the view of the park. By 7:15PM I had ridden all 8 coasters and the ferris wheel! That made front seat rides on 8 different coasters in 90 minutes.
My take on their coasters is as follows:
Head Spin – it’s a boomerang, what more can I say. I got the credit.
Big Dipper – Nice old woodie, not too rough, definitely reridable.
Thunderhawk – Typical Six Flags inverted clone, a little rough (aren’t they all) but I like inverts.
Dominator – While I have never been a big fan of the floorless concept, I am a big fan of B&M coasters. Nice smooth, fun ride.
Double Loop – I don’t quite know why, but for some reason I tend to enjoy the old Arrow loopers. A little rough but fun.
The Villain – I didn’t care for this, it was a little too rough for my taste. However I would ride it several more times Saturday and modify my opinion of it afterward.
Beaver Land Mine Ride – To be honest I don’t remember anything about it other than I rode it. Must not have been that good, but it also couldn’t have been too bad either.
Raging Wolf Bobs – I rather enjoyed this one. A fun woodie that’s not too rough. I’m VERY glad I rode it because by the time I got to the park Saturday it was down for the count.
On my way to ride Raging Wolf Bobs I ran into three guys who asked me to take their picture in front of the sign for the coaster. They told me they were not in any coaster clubs of any kind, they had simply bought season passes from Cedar Fair and Six Flags and then set out to ride 150 different coasters on one trip! And I thought my trip was an ambitious one.
Once I got my rides in I wandered around the park taking pictures for about 30 minutes then headed for the exit where I ended up having a nice five minute conversation with the older woman working at the exit when she recognized my Waldameer hand stamp. I hit the road just before 8PM and headed for Cedar Point. By 10PM I was checked in to the Breakers Hotel and headed down to TGIFridays for a burger.
I didn’t even realize until the next morning that I had goofed at Geauga Lake. I started my trip with a coaster count of 142 and had already ridden the ones at Waldameer. My plan was to get in six or seven credits at Geauga Lake and then make Millennium Force number 150. However I got on the coasters at Geauga Lake so quickly that I accidently made Raging Wolf Bobs my 150th coaster. Oh well. Day one ends. *** Edited 7/6/2007 7:53:03 AM UTC by CoasterGeff***
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