Conneaut Lake Park (6/20/2002)

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 7:56 PM

Having spent the morning at Waldameer Park in Erie PA, we arrived at Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake PA, sometime around 4 in the afternoon. To be honest, we did not really expect much from this park, and by the looks of things at the enterance, we thought we were going to find less than what we expected. We were pleasantly surprised.

Getting our wrist bands, we ventured in. First up was the Paratrooper ride. I always liked these things and my wife suggested we ride this, I gave her no argument.

We then walked onto the main midway and hopped a ride on the Tumble Bug. Nothing exciting by todays standards, but still a fun ride and a trip back to the 1930's.

Across the way from this was the main reason we were there... Blue Streak. Very seldom do you see a coaster using the big old break levers any more. I was sent on by my wife to make a test run. Climbing into the back seat of the NAD train, I was surprised to find that we dipped into a dark winding tunnel before hitting the lift. Once on the lift, up the train climbed and then down one of the steepest dips on a wooden coaster that I have encountered. Believe me, with the ejector seat air, I was holding on tightly. The next two hills were relatively large, but the train did not slow down as it crested them and attempted to eject me again and again. The turnaround was rough but the return to the station was a quick romp over several more air producing hills. I warned my wife that the back seat could be brutal, so she decided to try the front. This was also a painful seat and she said that once was enough.

Venturing down to the end of the midway and the lake, we grabbed lunch... a relatively good sausage sandwich... and listended to some people doing some realy bad Kariokee. At least I hope it was Kariokee because if these people were actually booked singers... well... my wife said they were acutally more painful to listen to than the Blue Streak was for her to ride. It was also at this point that I saw the Toboggan ride was closed. No problem, Ravine Flyer 3 at Waldameer I had not planned to ride but did, so that cancled out missing the Toboggan (besides, I hate those things ) .

Unknowingly we ventured into a ride called the Ultimate Trip. Basically, it is an enclosed Scrambler that moves very fast while strobe lights and black lights flash while some very loud metal / punk / what ever music plays. The music aside, the speed of this scrambler proves that these were not originally kiddie rides as many parks have turned them into today.

Around the corner we hit the Devil's Den dark ride. Nothing scary, but unique. It is an old gravity driven dark ride. After riding it, my wife asked, "is that considred a coaster?" For the count I do not... but technically... Chain left, vehicle travels on a track and is powered by gravity... hmmmm... I couldn't argue if someone would want to consider it one. But to me its a dark ride.

While my wife hit the gift shop, I took a ride on the RoloPlane and then joined my wife in the shop. I was surprised by some of the things in there... alot of nautical stuff. I really liked that full size brass diving helmet in the window... and it was a good price, but I just didn't have the $400 to part with at the moment (I have seen them go for as much as $1,500 ) .

Leaving here we hit the bumper cars. Actually, they moved pretty fast when compared to how many parks tame them down. They have some funky shoulder seat belts that my wife was trying to figure out... the op said "You don't really have to worry about them." (Yes, Toto, I don't believe we are in a corporate theme park anymore) The op was also calling out numbers of cars over the p.a. for everyone to gang up on.

I told my wife that I had wanted to grab a few more rides on Blue Streak before we left and said said she would simply watch. A couple of things... 1) the last seat is brutal, but the next to last is not bad... 2) one of the guys on the coaster crew is seriously warped... funny, but warped... 3) they were suspicious that a ghost named Elizabeth (at least I think that was her name... she is the resident ghost of the Hotel Conneaut) closing one of the doors beihnd the station. Anyway, I had planned to stop riding at 10 total rides since we did have a two hour drive ahead of us. When the train rolled into the station there was no one waiting. The op asked "Want to go again?" Every one shouted Yes. He slowed the train enough to recheck the lap bars and sent us through again, so my ten rides turned into 11. Also on the coaster was some blond haired kid who was power riding that day... when I finished my 11th and final ride of the day, he was on his 67th I believe.

Anyway, as my wife and I headed out of the park, I told her that I wanted to get a ride on the Flying Scooters. I was surprised then to see her climb into the Scooter in front of the one I was in. They were slow moving, but fun. (Can't wait to get to Knoebels later this summer to try theirs).

We left the park very surprised on how much we enjoyed it. It was a step back in time (though the Swinging Inverted Ship near the lake seemed a bit to modern) to an old amusement park in stuck basically in the 1930's to 1950's. It is a shame that this park seems to yearly be in danger of closing and going onto the defunct list.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Monday, June 24, 2002 3:24 AM

The park already closed and stood SBNO for a few seasons during the '90's. They seem to be doing better this year, as there's always at least 4 rows of cars in the front lot (last year I parked by the fence.. every time), there's radio spots for the park, and they just bought 2 (semi) new rides for this year. They are offering season passes, upped the ride-all-day rates, bought new cash registers, and there's usually a lot of guests in the park. I really don't think it's in danger of closing, as it just seems to be getting revitalized :)

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AIM: Pritti Kittie

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Monday, June 24, 2002 4:09 AM

Hey, did that "crazy guy" tell everyone that the only reason to work there isn't "exclusive free admissions" but in fact that you should work there for the "Photo ID"....

And I am glad you heard the signature "Conneaut Lake Park Kariokee", Also, How is the Devil's Den Gum Wall?

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Monday, June 24, 2002 4:18 AM

On the day of our visit the crowd seemed very light... twice the ops for Blue Streak let the train go through a second time with just a quick recheck of restraints. Of course, this was on a Thursday afternoon... I assume things are busier on week ends.

Don't remember any stories about the Photo ID... but he did keep showing everyone this metal pin type of thing as the train dispatched and kept saying something about "gotta find where this piece goes" before giving an evil laugh as the train dropped into the tunnel.

The Gum Wall (and ceiling) is still there at the top of the lift.

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Monday, June 24, 2002 8:09 AM

SLFAKE said:
"2) one of the guys on the coaster crew is seriously warped... funny, but warped...

Was it a bald guy? If so, I know exactly what you mean :)


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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Monday, June 24, 2002 8:58 AM

Is it the guy who makes the evil laugh? We dubbed him the "weird evil carnie guy."

Weekdays at the park are light, and for good reason too. I hope Toboggan opens soon... I didn't get a chance to ride it yet.

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AIM: Pritti Kittie

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Monday, June 24, 2002 9:33 AM

Yes, when I was there a few weeks ago I also met up with the guy with the evil laugh. He makes the rides on Blue Streak much better, especially when he pulled that bolt or whatever part from his pocket and say something like "this part fell off the ride. Don't know where it came from. Hope you make it back alright."

As for the toboggan being closed, don't be surprised if it's closed for a while. They don't exactly have a typical six flags type parts area storage shed and probably had to do a special order for it. Perhaps from a manufacture in another country, which could make processing the order, making the part and shipping it here a very time consuming process, but who knows it could open next week.

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Monday, June 24, 2002 9:42 AM

Oh yes..."weird evil carnie guy.."

Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...........Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! :)

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Area 51:
The Writing's On the Wall!
"Cedar Point is building for the future! More news later this season!"

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Monday, June 24, 2002 9:45 AM
I'm hoping to make out to Conneaut this summer. How did Blue Streaks paint job look? (I was one of the ACE'ers there painting it.)
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Monday, June 24, 2002 10:54 AM

Did not notice a bald head... yes... he is the one who pulls the bolt out of his pocket and makes the comment about "hope you make it back..." and then gives that evil laugh. He was also the one talking about "Elizabeth", the resident ghost.

The paint job looked good but incomplete.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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