Conneaut Lake Park and Kennywood

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:18 AM
This is a 3 part-er from 2 trips into Western Pa. I apologize for the Kennywood, since everyone seems to have been there this summer.

The Conneaut Lake Park, one is however, quite good.

Kennywood June 25th. Evewrything was Peachy. Thunderbolt, 10/10. Racer 10/10. Jack Rabbit 10/10. Incredible wooden rides in the heat. Raging Rapids. Had a group of kids who have been to my park, and liked it. 9/10. I really got soaked. Wallet was wet well into July.

Ate the fries in Lost Kennywood to avoid lines, and added the chicken strips. Fried chicken is delicious. Rode the Turnpike for the first time in years. 8/10. Had photo with Cookie Monster driving car. He had a license. Overall, 9/10.

Kennywood August 12th. Hot hot hot. Had lunch at West View Pizza Pavillion. Great hot sausage sandwich. 8/10. Phantom's Revenge is still awesome. 10/10. Thunderbolt, no line. 10/10. Walked across to Racer. Dollar for dollar, Kennywoods best woodie that appeals to the public. I am just happy I am not fat, as who could fit into the seats. A bit tight. 10/10. Log Jammer was a walk on, and in the heat? Anyway, 9/10.

People were playing the shooting gallery just to get wet, but not riding the Log Jammer. Go figure. Did Jack Rabbit. 9/10. Overall trip, 8.75/10.

Saturday evening, Aug 13th, off to Conneaut Lake Park. Yes I worked here in college, and yes I love this park. You can actually hear snow falling in the winter on the lake it is so peaceful. Anyway....

Parked across the road, saw puddles. I just missed a large storm. I do miss Mid-Western thunderstorms. Admission gate area was lit up with the fountain shooting high.

2 rides were not operating, and waiting on parts. The Bug and the train. Very resonable issues. The ferris wheel closed during the storm and did not re-open, and the Rolo-Planes operator walked off for a bathroom break. That was the only down-side.

I did ride the Tobaggan, which was standard, and then I took a ride on the Blue Streak, again, probably one of the most underrated wooden coasters in the Northeast. 6/10.

I rode the last car on the original Vettle trains. Very comfortable and smooth. A company donated all new wheels for the train. I was able to digital-record the ride. Very smooth. 10/10. 10/10.

And, a perk to very few parks, I was able to walk down to the beach and get a beer under the Beach Club. And stand on the docks. Beautiful. Walked through the Hotel Conneaut. Clean is not a word I could describe. The lobby was immaculate. Staff was dressed in Victorian garb, and the place was busy. The hotel bar was closed, but open normally, and it has air-conditioning.

All the remaining rides were operating, and you were able to walk up and see the ballroom, and walk out onto the decks over looking the midways. What a view. The games were well stocked, and full of prizes. I know there is a CB member who's uncle runs the games, and he does a good job.

The gift shop was stocked and loaded. I actually spent over $100, and not sure how. Huge selection of the old stuff, like they sell on their website, and lots of Steelers stuff, too.

Cliffhanger Falls and Otter Creek River were closed, but I walked through, and they were clean and well maintianed.

The park was in decent shape, people were friendly, and everything was open that could open. They have fall and Christmas events planned, and I will try to make it back in the area. Overall, 9/10. *** Edited 8/16/2005 4:35:45 PM UTC by Agent Johnson***

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:18 PM
Glad to hear you had a good time at CLP. We were there on the 3rd. There were like 6 rides down: Train, Bug, twister(witches brew) , scrambler(ultimate trip, yo-yo and the music express.
I've always liked that park and that area of PA, it's like a second home.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:58 PM
I also had a great stay at the new Holiday Inn Express at the I-79 Meadville interchange, and a solid dinner at Chovi's. Its a quite area that is not too removed.

I am still baffled that Barbara J is retired.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:25 PM
Is this Barabra J?

http://www.pbase.com/rollergator/image/44765486
I only got to know this lady as "Grandma", and she brightened my day infinitely more than I did hers. The elderly gentleman running the carousel also helped "make the park"....that was one of the things I loved about my first visit to Knotts, and missed on subsequent trips. Older people with smiling faces are some of the greatest people around, and really are an important park of the atmosphere at an older "traditional park"... :)

I *will* be returning to Conneaut...hopefully get to stay in the hotel next time...you might even say I'll be *haunting* CLP...;)
*** Edited 8/17/2005 3:27:39 AM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:23 AM
^Ah yes, gotta love Grandma. She was the best! I miss her. :-)

The visit to the Hotel Conneaut was a NICE surprise. I am definitely staying there next time I am up in that area. The lady at the front desk was ESPECIALLY nice, and humored me with stories of "hauntings". :-P

Sweet!

Cool TR, Agent Johnson!

-Tina

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:28 AM
I meant the lake sternwheeler, Barbara J. I did not see it, and park literature says it was retired in 2001. Does anyone know why? Or where the boat went?
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:00 PM
The Barbara J was unfortunately a causality due to estate differences. From what I remember, the original ower passed away and none of the siblings were interested in continuing running the ship. They tried to sell it, but wanted an arm and a leg for it which was unreasonable given its current condition which needed a lot of work. I believe CLP had some interest in it, but punted because of the asking price.

It sat unsold for some time, and I believe there was a falling out with CLP and the siblings and the park ordered them to remove the ship from the dock area underneath the Beach Club. The Barbara J was moved to another dock/inlet on the lake and sat there to rot for a while. I'm not sure what happened to it after that.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 4:16 PM
That's a shame, as that was a great 45 minute ride. I first did that 'cruise' in 1985, and Bert and Bill Hilton were running the boat. They had a chemistry that was unmatched.
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