Geauga Lake 7/2/07- Nice Trip

Associated parks:

My friend from back in college (man I’m getting old to say that) flew in from Long Island for our now annual Knoebels/Hershey Trip. It started out 3 years ago where we just met at Hershey since it was in the middle of us, but has since grown a bit. It’s a fun way to see each other and catch up since road tripping and hitting parks is a great 1-on-1 activity. The Day before did some Cleveland activities like the Rock Hall I though GL would be a fun stop on the way out to Elysburg,

After a stop at Target, we arrived at the park about 1pm. The park was un-crowded but not completely dead as the midways had a fair amount of people at them. It was rather mild out so I figured there weren’t many people here for the waterpark. It felt it was about what the old GL has on an average day which is probably a good sign.

I was at the park earlier this year, and I can say besides a few rough edges the park is one of the cleanest around. The landscaping is well done and while no real themeing it presents itself well.

As we entered the park my friend spotted Dipper and demanded a ride, which I of course obliged. I should note she if defiantly not an enthusiast but loves wood coasters compared to steel (which is why I added Knoebels to our little gathering ;)), which to me bust the myth that only “enthusiast” care for wood coasters. We walked on to the front seat and Dipper ran pretty well. Nice pops of air on every hill and while not the smoothest thing in the world, for an 80 year old coaster is pretty good. Later we re-rode in 1-3 and it was a tad rougher, but still fun.

Next we rode the flume and while there was only 20 or so people in front of us the wait took 15 minutes. I didn’t care much about the wait since everything in the park was a walk on or 2 train wait. However what I found odd there was 4 people working the ride with only one side was running. So 1 person was unloading, 1 was loading, and the other 2 stood by the loader outside the control booth looking beyond bored. There was no grouping or even telling people to get in the boat so some stood for a bit wondering if it was OK to get in. After an average flume ride we noticed the line had gotten huge as it wrapped around the queue house a few times. I should note my trip in May yielded a 30 minute wait for ride because of 1 train operations and slow load times. While I’d say the dispatch times had improved since May, my one concern is if people decide to start coming back and you catch this park on a busy day the lines might get ridiculous and turn people off from the park once again.

Then it was on over to a front seat ride on Thunderhawk. The ride was really smooth, fun, and somewhat intense. I wonder why all SLC’s can’t ride like this. Then onto Villain, which I’d say is running faster than it was early this year. When I rode in May it was slow, but this time it ran a tad faster with more of an edge. Still not nearly as good as when it first opened but still fun. Later in the day we re-rode in the back seat a few times and that is the place to be as it yields a wild ride. A few of the drops provide some massive ejection back there. Yes it’s fairly rough with all the shuffling but tolerable for a few rides.

Dominator is probably the marquee ride in the park. The first half in the back left seat is still incredible, worth a trip to the park itself. While not rough, I can’t figure out while this is a “newer” B&M it feels like it’s running on a flat tire at times. It was like that the last few years of the SF regime and still like that today. Also the crew was hustling getting the 2 trains in and out fast, well done.

After the main coasters we rode a few flats and rerode the coasters again. I noted that Haybaler has a nice long cycle and the Carousel dose not have a functioning organ. DO any CF carousels have these things working anymore? Raging Wolf Bobs was of course closed and there was no activity going on, which is a shame because after the re-track I think it’s a fun little ride. :(

On our little trip there was a vast difference in food service at GL, Knoebels and Hershey. GL was definably on the low end of the spectrum. Food and drink prices are rather high and to top it off, none of it looked that appetizing. There was basically just your usually mix of Pizza, hot dogs, fries, etc that probably all came from freezers. The only thing that looked remotely good was a turkey leg that looked like it had been sitting on a grill for hours. We had goodies from the West Side Market in a cooler in the so we skipped all the food.

They had a special on the 3 point challenge normally $10 for $5, which is probably not a special but more like a please come and play deal since nobody was doing it. I played 3 times and scored 4-5 each time to win a set of powerpuff girls for my lady friend ;). What I like about this game is as a fan of basketball in general, this is something you can’t do at home. There are no painted lines, scoreboard, and racks lined up in my driveway so for $5 win or loose I had a blast each time. What makes the game somewhat difficult is the 2 baseline shots are the hardest in the game and the balls are hard to grip and different weights. On the parks end of the deal, even if you are a pro you’ll have to shoot 75% or more to win a prize that probably cost more than $5 on their end. What was hilarious though the workers were trying to make deals to get people to play. If you made the 3 money balls regardless of the other shots, you get an Eric Snow jersey. Poor Eric Snow. :)

Overall a great trip to GL and defiantly worth a visit. I think the park will do just fine as people are coming back and having a good time it seems. For what it’s worth my Friend who I went to Nearby Kent State with noted that she enjoyed the park now more than when it was Six Flags.

We left about 7 to make the trek down I-80 for Knoebels the next day. I picked up some R134-A coolant at target and recharged my AC in my car which made it ice cold. If your AC’s a little week, you pick up a kit for like $15 it well worth it compared to a garage which will charge around $100. There was little to no construction on I-80 so we made great time.

Next TR-Knoebels! *** Edited 7/6/2007 8:14:30 PM UTC by Joe E.***

The Dipper still stands out as one of my faves. Not enormous, but really fun. It's fairly long, too. I rode it last year and don't remember it being rough to any real extent... although after getting off that nasty Villain, a round in a demolition derby would have been smooth by comparison. Ugh. Three days of rib pain.

Only thing that stinks about the Dipper is if it rains, it's shut down for most if not all of the day. Whatever...she's old, and has my respect! Thank God the powers that be throughout Geauga's ownership never got rid of it... I still like it a lot. :)

Yeah I heard that about Dipper and rain and that’s strange. Under Six Flags they would cut it down to one train if there was chance of rain, but it would still run. The worse thing that could happen is it might slip through, but not a big deal with one train. If Hershey can run 2 trains in the rain on Comet with skids certainly you’d think they can get 1 going on dipper.
The silent band organ on the carousel worries me. I hope it was a just a one time thing as Geauga Lake has a fantastic organ. Cedar Point doesn't give a crap about band organs and I sure hope that mentality didn't carry over to Geauga.

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