DelGrosso's and Lakemont, 6/10/07

Associated parks:

Our main objective was Lakemont, but we decided to stop at DelGrosso's since it was there. Even though the park had been open for food for hours and advertised that rides opened at 11, it was closer to 11:30 til all of the major rides were up and running.

Wacky Worm: lets adults ride without kids, although my legs were almost too long to be comfortable. You get two laps of the track.

Crazy Mouse: seemed to be braked a lot, but was still fun. Going down the biggest drop backwards on one trip was more forceful than I expected from going down it forwards.

ex-Revolution: there were no signs of any construction. In fact, we only saw one piece of track on a trailer behind the sauce factory on our way out of the parking lot.

Tipton Railroad: lamest train ride ever.

Food: great. Get the potato salad.

Then we headed to Lakemont. We went to Leap-The-Dips first, but there were only two of us and they wanted to have at least three people in the car. Since the park didn't seem to have a lot of visitors, we decided not to wait just yet. We rode the Toboggan a few times. I had read that it could be rough and requires defensive riding, but I didn't have any problems, although I was glad that the lap bar was heavily padded. The scariest part was going up the lift on my back. Then we went to the Skyliner, and had to wait for a few more people there too but didn't have to wait too long. We were a little wary of this coaster, despite its size, because it resembled the Dorney Thunderhawk which was terribly rough. But Skyliner is newer, even though it doesn't look like it, and rode pretty well. With a well-loaded train there was airtime on the first hill in most seats, and on other hills in the front and back seats. It felt like the Hershey Comet, although not as long. The best part was that they let us re-ride as many times as we wanted as long as nobody was waiting for our seat, and if there was we just had to switch seats.

The kiddie coaster wasn't allowing adults to ride, but it's pretty lame anyway. The Wacky Worm has a more interesting layout.

Finally we made it to Leap-The-Dips and didn't have to wait too long for other riders to come by. This was the most comfortable seat I've ever had on a roller coaster. It ran faster than I expected, especially when we had four adults in the car. Even though it doesn't run a train, the back seat of the car seemed to land a lot harder on the two largest dips than the front, in fact with a heavily-loaded car I got a double bounce once. The coaster was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Waiting for extra riders wasn't that bad because it led to a lot of interesting conversations when other enthusiasts showed up.

We rode the train ride at Lakemont too. It was a lot better than DelGrosso's. It isn't as long as Knoebels, but it goes along a stream and woods so there were a lot of animals hanging around. Speaking of animals, we walked over to the bridge to the water park and there were lots of paddle boat riders hanging out there feeding the fish. It was quite a sight seeing the huge carp fighting for food.

Lakemont impressed me a lot more than I thought it would for the size of it. The only advice I would give visitors is not to arrive too early or too late unless you have enough people in your group to ride the coasters. Also, don't miss the model train club exhibit in a building next to the entrance and gift shop.

I ave been hearing so many good things about Lakemont lately, especially in that long thread that is still going. It is so remarkable that a park can be so low-priced and still have some really good rides.

If this park could continue with the landscaping improvements, add a darkride, bring in a Carousel, and put in a couple of other flats, they would really have something. Now it is up to more of us to come to this park and support it with our patronage. It's probably the most affordable amusement park in the country.

I will just have to find a way to overcome my concern about the gas prices and get to both Lakemont and DelGrossos again. Altoona certainly has something special compared with most other similarly sized cities.

Arthur Bahl

Lakemont is in an unusual position for a small, indy park. Usually, when a park gets to the stage Lakemont is, they start thinking about adding a coaster to round out the line-up of rides. But Lakemont already has two great 'marquee' coasters in LtD and SL. This is a fairly luxurious position to be in, as they can instead think about other types of rides and non-ride investments to bring in more folks. I think this wonderful little park could have quite a bright future.

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