DelGrossos and Lakemont -- August 11

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Monday, August 13, 2007 9:37 AM
I finally made it over to the two Altoona area parks last Saturday. I first went to DelGrossos and later went south to Lakemont.

At DelGrossos I decided to use tickets rather than get a wristband because the pay per ride is very inexpensive and I was just interested in riding a few rides here.

The first place I headed to was the Crazy Mouse. This is an outdoor version of the same ride as KWs Exterminator. I waited about 10 minutes for this ride. I was disappointed, however, because this ride lacked the speed of the KW ride and had less intense spinning. One thing that it did have was that sense of height that is missing from the enclosed KW ride. I wonder, was the ride trimmed too much? I just have to say, if you want to ride a good Crazy Mouse, go to Kennywood.

The other rides that I rode were two unusual flat rides, the Flying Bobs and the Space Odessey. The Flying Bobs is a ride similar to a Musik Express but with cars that swing. The forward phase of the ride was quite tame but whan the ride went into reverse, it became quite intense. I remember when FBs were quite common at fairs but this is an increasingly rare ride now. The Space Odessey is an indoor Caterpillar in the dark, sans cover but with light and sound effects. This ride moved quite fast and the effects added to the ride experience. Both of these rides were walk ons.

I would like to mention something about the park's antique Carousel. Its a full-sized 3 abreast ride which is unusual because all of the horses are jumpers. The band organ added a nice musical touch to this ride.

I had lunch at this park because I had been told that the park food is generally good. I made sure not to miss the potato salad. This dish lives up to its reputation. It is also sold by the pound for those who want to take some home. DG food prices were very inexpensive for the most part, comparable to prices outside the park.

DelGrossos is what I would call a family park. Its not a place for big thrills like KW or CP. The park was attractive in appearance, well maintained, and very clean. The staff was very friendly. DG also has a small waterpark, go-karts, and miniature golf giving it some of the character of an FEC.

I then made the 20 minute trip south to Lakemont. This park is located next to the ballpark where the Altoona Curve plays. I noticed that the ballpark was quite attractive, sort of like a smaller version of PNC park in Pittsburgh.

Because I planned to do more riding at this park and because of the pricing policies, I bought the $8.95 wristband. Lakemont's ride all day price is one of the biggest bargains in any park.

I first headed to the Slyliner. This is a wooden coaster located just beyond the right field fence of the ballpark. I rode it twice at this time. once in the middle and once in front. The ride in the middle was moderate in intensity but with good airtime on the first drop. The ride in front was quite intense for a coaster of this size. Skyliner was a walk on at this time.

I then headed to Leap the Dips. This was a 20 minute wait because of the low capacity (one 4-passenger car). It is no longer an upcharge, the wristband being accepted. LTD is a great piece of nostalgia but not very intense. Even so, the ride gives a good sense of speed although remaining under 20 MPH and one of the dips has some decent airtime.

I also rode three flats, the Monster, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Round Up. I just want to comment that the TAW wasn't spinning too well. Maybe another rider in the car or an operator that knows when to vary the speed to get the spinning going better would make a difference.

I then returned to Skyliner for three more rides, two in the front and one in the back. There was a two train wait now. The ride in the back was the most intense of all. Overall, this is a very good coaster even if it isn't as high as many others. The appearance of it and the way it rode clearly indicated that the ride is well maintained.

Lakemont has about the same number of rides as DelGrossos but is much more spread out. In some ways, this park looks like a work in progress. Some parts, like the antique car ride, are well landscaped while other areas have an empty feeling. The park was generally clean and well maintained. The staff was OK but not as outgoing as at Delgrossos. This is another family friendly park but has more thrill rides than DelGrossos. Like DG it also has go karts, minigolf, and a waterpark. The park food pricing is more typical of amusement parks in general, higher than DG or KW but lower than the big corporate parks.

Overall, these parks are two little gems that are both worth a visit if you are in the Altoona area. Both are great places for family fun and Lakemont has those two classic coasters. I'm surprised that more people outside of the immediate local area haven't heard of these parks. Maybe with a few additions, they can both become a bigger draw from other areas in the future. The parks are two excellent values with their low prices and the lack of long lines means you can have a lot of fun in a short amount of time. For those visiting from outside the local area, both parks are easily doable on the same day.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 3:47 PM
Are you sure you meant to say Tilt a Whirl ,or Twister? When I was there last year we had the best Tilt a Whirl ride I ever had in my life. We were the only ones on the ride, the op just said gimme the high sign when you want off. We spun like mad, and the cycles all day due to the lack of crowds were phenomenal!

The Twister was the one we found to be lackluster, I don't think a car ever went all the way around more than once. Their Monster was running at wild child speed, too, and spun like mad.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 5:10 PM
Any construction going around Del Grossos for the Revolution?
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Monday, August 13, 2007 6:49 PM
It was the Tilt-A-Whirl. i don't know what was wrong but I only got one or two spins. Maybe a second rider would have made a difference.

One thing that Lakemont should do is replace those flats that are too similar to other rides in the park. A park of Lakemont's size shouldn't have both a TAW and a Twister and it shouldn't have both a Monster and an Octopus or Spider.

.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:44 AM
You didn't try the Toboggan, or Sky Diver? Chooch249, do you remember if you liked those rides, or hated them? You said you went last year. I haven't been on Sky Diver, and I have been on a Toboggan, but it's been so long ago.

The Leap the Dips is cool that it reminds me of that coaster in Roller Coaster Tychoon. I only have 1 and 2 though.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:27 AM
You actually had to wait for other people to finish riding the coasters at Lakemont? When I was there, a Sunday in early June, I had to wait for other people to show up because they didn't want to run them without enough weight. (On the up side, we could ride as long as everybody was willing to stay on!)

I agree about Skyliner being a nice smooth ride, and faster than I expected, but I don't agree about the appearance. I noticed lots of areas that will soon need repainting, and the brake hoses looked a bit rough but hopefully this was only superficial.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 1:04 PM
I would like to go to Altooona. I'm just waiting for DelGrosso's to put the Arrow looper in. It's still in storage? I would also like to ride the Toboggan at Lakemont.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 2:09 PM
I still say that Skyliner is one of the most underrated wood coasters in the country. Coasters that small shouldn't be that much fun!
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:12 PM

john peck said:
Any construction going around Del Grossos for the Revolution?

I'm curious about this as well, Is the track laying around somewhere up there for it, I'm sure they are aiming for 2008, and it wouldn't take much time to put up so they could wait a bit to start anything on it and have it done for opening next year.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 7:51 PM
Toboggan is a very clastrophobic ride that isn't very enjoyable. Don't travel to Lakemon just for that. As for Skyliner I was surprised at the airtime in the back. I think that could be a future fatality.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:27 PM
The Toboggan isn't a great ride, but it's one of the last ones running. The cars on this one are also very well padded. Everybody said that Toboggans are an unbearably rough ride, but I didn't have any problems.

I've had better ejector airtime on Phoenix than Skyliner, and nobody has fallen out of that.

Is Skyliner the only coaster with a dog buried in the infield?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:54 PM
Spinout, I skipped the Skydiver because my son, who was 8 at the time, didn't want to try it. If I recall back to my adolescent years, the best thing that ride was good for was to empty your loose change from your pockets. The wheel was hard to control and it kind of took you where it wanted to, usually a constant upside down.

Toboggan is my personal jinx. As a kid in Atlantic City I wanted to ride it, it was down the entire week. Down each time I went to Conneaut, and down when I went to Lakemont last year.

I want to try one just because it keeps escaping me since about 1970!

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