Conneaut Lake Park -- 5/25/2003

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Monday, May 26, 2003 6:28 PM
It's funny. I haven't felt motivated to write trip reports lately (I've been to two "events" this year already, Knott's Solace and Coasterbuzz's own Con at SFGAm, and didn't write up reports for either of those.)

This weekend, though, I was at a significant (non) Event. After all their trials and tribulations, Conneaut Lake Park opened! I didn't make it to Conneaut at all last year, and this winter was regretting that when it appeared the park wouldn't be opening. When the news came that the park WOULD be opening this holiday weekend, I swore to myself that I would make the relatively short trek up there.

The park was actually surprisingly crowded, which was a good thing to see. It certainly wasn't "crowded" in the sense of a busy day at Cedar Point, or a Six Flags, or even Kennywood (the longest I had to wait for the Blue Streak was 3 trainloads), but there were quite a large number of families walking around hitting the rides. I hope this trend continues and picks up.

Now, not all was perfect. A fair number of rides were not operating yet. Among the rides that were down were the Tumblebug, Witch's Stew (not sure what the generic name for this is), Yo-Yo, bumper cars, and Round-Up. The Roll-O-Plane was operating, but only part of the normal cycle (it wasn't doing the portion where the ride "lies flat"). In a nice show of class, the park was handing out $2 vouchers to people buying a wristband, good at any food stand, "to make up for the rides that are down". You don't often see things like that at the big corporate parks. :)

Many important flats were quite operational. I took spins on the Flying Scooters (managed one small "snap", which the operator applauded), Paratrooper, The Ultimate Trip (an indoor scrambler that is worth checking out, although if you're sensitive to strobe lighting it may be best to skip), and the Trabant. I also took a ride on the park's Carousel, which even had the ring dispenser. (I got 9 out of 10 rings, mistiming one and watching it drop to the floor...)

Most of the rides that were operational were sporting great-looking new paint jobs. The Tilt-A-Whirl, for instance, looked very good.

And, of course, all the coasters were running. The Blue Streak was sporting the gorgeous restored train. The two-bench cars sport fixed grab bars, thick comfy leather seats, and leather straps. The tracking is still a bit rough, but this is still great fun, especially towards the back, which provides some great air down the first drop.

The Toboggan (or "Corkscrew Coaster" according to one sign ;) ) was a new credit for me (#231 :) ). The location for this one, near the lake, looks good. A number of younger children were really enjoying this one, running back around to ride again.

Also running was the Devil's Den, the "is it a darkride or is it a coaster?" attraction. (In my book, it's a themed coaster, like an early predecessor to Exterminator). The major "gum wall" is still there, of course. I was once again denied the credit on their kiddie coaster, the Little Dipper. I honestly couldn't remember if I had ridden it or not, so I lined up. I got as far as sitting down before the operator came over and told me I was "too big for this ride". Oh well, I tried. Someday...

Overall, I spent a few hours in the park, taking pictures and riding rides. It was great to be walking through the park, listening to comments by the various patrons -- more than once I heard someone say "This place has so much history, we should come back more often..."

I agree.

--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"I can't believe I just left a nuclear weapon in an elevator." -- Farscape

Monday, May 26, 2003 7:03 PM
I agree too, and will be making the trek across the state this year to visit and stay at the park. Sounds like you had a great time. Keep the small parks going.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:44 AM
Greg- the Witches' Stew ride is a Watkins Tempest. I rode it once and that was enough for me!

I had no idea Conneaut had a ring dispenser on their Carousel. That is just way too cool and I will be sure to take a spin on it when I visit this season.

Glad you enjoyed the park and had a great time. I can't wait to go myself sometime next month.

ray p.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 8:02 AM
kpjb's avatar I'm not surprised that there were so many rides down... actually, I'm quite surprised that they're open already.

During the winter, the park had to lay off all of their maintenance workers, and couldn't call them back until they got their "big check."

Because of this, most of the winter maintenance is horribly behind schedule. From small things like painting to serious issues like NDT'ing parts, none of it was even started until about a month ago.

I give them credit for working their butts off to get the place up and running so quickly, and I'm sure they'll work just as hard to finish their work on the remaining rides.

It's nice to see the place open... I don't know how many more of these "scares" the park can take.

Come on, fhqwgads!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 8:12 AM
I believe this is the first year for the rings on the carousel. Now I can practice for when I go to Knoebel's!

Don't ask me if I'm in a bad mood; I naturally look "mean." I don't ask if you're goofy because you have buck teeth.

AIM: Pritti Kittie

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:33 AM
Were you with couple of kids by chance? I remember seeing someone in a CoasterBuzz T-shirt, and someone in a shirt that said "I got airtime on (insert wooden coaster here, can't remember which).. I was working Ring Toss most of the weekend (ACK)

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:47 AM
I had the CBuzz shirt on. I was there by myself, but ended up riding the Paratrooper with a little boy who needed to be with an adult (his mom was sitting nearby and thanked me afterwards -- guess she hadn't realized he was THAT small until the op insisted...)

Had I known that was you on ringtoss I'd have stopped to say hi. Sorry 'bout that ;)

--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 1:34 PM
Yea... I was gonna yell something, but I had to pick up more of those god-forsakin rings... They really need to make the ringtoss finger friendly!

Ill be there again at Ring Toss most likley this weekend. If not, anybody who goes, look for me. Ill either be at Star Dart, Ring Toss, or Milk Can pitch (game sucks, lol)

Ill be wearing a fake name tag thingy with a weird name on it. Along the lines of probley Mae, Howard, Fay, Ralph, Herb, Blanche, Chuck, etc.. (you get the point)

Hope you had a great time at that damn park ^_^

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:58 PM
It is a neat little park with a great history. I just don't see how much longer it can go from financial crisis to financial crisis. I wish Kennywood would buy it. I think it would fit in well with their general philosophy and style, and their management and deeper pockets would stabilize Conneaut.

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