Conneaut Lake Park is Back!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:14 PM

The last time I was at Conneaut Lake Park (that the rides where open) the Hell Hole was still in operation. Needless to say it had been a long time since I had been there and with it being closed for two years I didn't think there would ever be a chance to ride at CLP again.

We planned on going on Memorial day after going to the Hartville Flea Market. We were at the flea way longer then I expected so we didn't get to the park until 4:20 and the park was going to close at 6:00 PM.

Parking was free due to it being so late. We walked to the main gate and all of the ticket windows were closed. An employee told us that the ticket booth at the end of the midway was open.

The park had quite a few people in it but there really wasn't any wait in the queues. We made our way to the ticket booth and asked about the wrist bands compared to tickets. What would be a better value with the park closing at 6 PM? The guy in the booth was really nice but totally clueless. He wasn't sure when the park was closing or what the cost of the wrist band was. He did say that tickets were $1 each and most of the rides were 3 or 4 tickets per ride (ouch). We decided that the wrist band was the best value. After looking thru some papers he said they were $19.00 each then he said no they are $16 and change each. We paid the $16 each and headed to the Devils Den.

The Devils Den has been my favorite dark ride since I was a little. Everything about its cheesiness is awesome. It did not disappoint. The Devils Den was running three cars, 1, 6 and 7. The ride opp said the rest were missing. Although at the end of the ride I saw part of one in a storage room below the first drop.

Devils Den and Bumper cars had the longest lines with about 8 people on average.

I asked the DD ride opp about the Toboggan. He said that it was in bad shape and was not going to be in operation. He thought that they would be tearing it out soon. He also said that the ride company leased the park from the ticket booth forward. That the old midway to the Beach club was being worked on by the trustees.

We headed to Witches Brew next and guess who was running it, the guy that was at the ticket booth. Lets hope he knows more about the ride then he did their pricing. LOL The Witches Brew was in rough shape but gave a good ride.

Next to it was the Trabant. My partner hates them so he was sitting it out. I walked up and the ride opp said that there has to be two riders in each seat. I have never heard of this before and have ridden a bunch of these. I told Dan and he said he would ride it with me. We got on and the ride opp said "if you feel like hurling let me know and I will stop it". Dan gave me a look and the ride started.

Since not many people where riding, the opps would let the ride go on and on... I loved this, Dan not so much. Dan was very happy when the ride slowed down but I knew it wasn't over. When the ride reversed and started its cycle backwards Dan was about ready to kill me LOL

After the Trabant we walked up the old midway to the Beach Club. It was so creepy and falling apart. The ballroom area was completely cleared of debris. The old fun-house had the front part of the structure standing but the back half had been cleared. The street lights had melted during the fire and looked cool/gross. The rest was closed/ boarded up.

We walked past the Toboggan and it looked to be in as good a condition as Lakemont's. There were no cars on it though.

I wanted to get The Original Park Fries but when we went to the window the guy said they had an oil spill and would be closed for a while. We walked the Beach club and it was busy, the beach had allot of people on it also. The new section of the boardwalk looked great. It will be really nice when it is finished.

We walked back thru the midway and I can understand why they filmed a horror movie there. It is just so creepy.

Back to Devils Den for a couple more rides. We walked around the kiddie part and the rides looked good. The Little Dipper coaster was running but of course you have to be under 54" to ride. Maybe next year (if the park survives) during the ACE Coaster Con 33 we will be able to ride it. I already have the credit from when I was a kid but it would be fun to ride it with my son.

We rode the carousel and then the bumper cars. While we waited for the next cycle on the bumper cars the opp said "I hope this wasn't anything important" he was holding up a nut and bolt he found on the floor of the bumper car area. He then threw it in a bin. It was a very "Adventureland Movie" moment, which in the time we were there we had many. The Bumper Cars were running pretty fast which was cool. I asked the ride opp what time it was and when the park closes. He told me the time and then said "I think I am to stay open to 10 PM", after that he said "when my manager tells me to close I will close". ?!?!?! Does anyone that works there know what time the park really closes LOL.

They had food trailers set up along the upper mid way. There was a fries stand that had good fries. There was a great looking Italian trailer made to look like an Italian Restaurant building. There was also soft server ice cream and milkshakes. We stopped to get a cone and a shake but they were out of all flavors of soft serve except vanilla and they only had vanilla and banana shakes. The milkshake wasn't very good, it was imitation banana flavor and it cost $5.

We rode the famous 1925 Tumble-Bug. It was awesome! We went around so many times. It was just great. Much faster then Kennywood's. This one really can throw you around. The miniature golf was open across from the 'Bug and there were a few people playing.

We rode the 1949 Tilt-a-Whirl, which was running really well and spun you around so many times. It was great. Next was the Flying Scooters which were running well also. They had a Paratrooper and a Farris wheel (cant remember the type name)with cars that spun around. We didn't ride either of these as I am not a big fan.

Rides and Attractions that were not open:

The Log Cabin Gift Shop
The Main Midway
Blue Streak (I hope they are able to get this coaster running next year, it is a great coaster)
Bessemer Railway
Toboggan
Rollo-Plane
The Lazy River
Water Slides
Music Express (not much of it left)
Super Round-Up (I believe the base of this is by the Beach Club but not much of this one is left either)

We had a great time, we rode 8 rides a total of 11 times in an hour and 40 minutes. Plus we walked all around the hotel and Beach club and had some carny food too. It was very relaxed and I look forward to the next time we go.

If you are looking for a big park with perfect manicured grounds this park was never for you.

If you are looking for a laid back cool park that is rough around the edges this is your place.

We will be going back at least 2 more times this summer. I want to stay at the hotel one of them. The whole place is very relaxing. I wish the park the best of luck and hope that people support them this year. Bringing a 100 plus year old park back from the dead is not easy. We all need to support the park this year so that CLP has a positive future.

Last edited by Zakkster, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:03 PM
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 5:43 PM

I think I remember you. I think you you asked me where to by tickets at. Glad you had fun. We stayed open till 7 an hour past the planned closing time. I had to leave at 6:30.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:06 PM

Ken, it was really cool. One of the best times I had a park in such a short time.

When they start working on the Blue Streak, if they need volunteers, I am great with a paint brush and hammer. I really admire what everyone is trying to do.

One comment I forgot to make above is that when we were waiting at the DD the ride opp said that he was so happy to be back. He worked there 3 years ago and was so happy that he was able to work there again. I really have never heard such dedication to a park from one of its employees. There is something about that place that connects with you. I cant wait to get back.

Last edited by Zakkster, Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:06 PM
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:28 PM

For me its the work enviorment and who I work with. Most employees were with me in there 2005 and 2006 and we are more like a family. And having grown up at the park I just want to do what I can to help it keep going for years to come.

And I appreciate your offer to help with have had alot of people volunteer I will be sure to let Tim Lisko know and I will get back to you.

Thanks

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