Geauga Lake: 9/9/06

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, September 14, 2006 1:14 AM
So I don’t really write Trip Reports and I don’t really come to these boards that often anymore. I still love parks and roller coasters though and had a great summer traveling to a few parks and riding some new rides. I figured I’d write something for my last trip though since it took me by surprise.

I had never been to Geauga Lake. I go to school in Buffalo so I’m only about three hours from it. This Saturday my friend and I took the trip down to check it out. I knew going down that Steel Venom would be down. That’s really all I expected going in.

The drive down wasn’t so bad and finding the park was pretty easy. Parking was $9 which was tolerable. The front gate admission was really cheap ($24.95 with tax included) which was a great way to start. Cotton Candy was only 25 cents. That was pretty nice too.

Our first ride was Big Dipper. They were running only one of the two trains so the wait was about 20 minutes. The ride itself was actually a lot of fun. Pretty rickety but not uncomfortable. I liked it. A classic for sure.

Next we headed across the way to X-Flight. We wanted to ride their Boomerang but decided we would hit it later. X-Flight had absolutely no line and was running both sides of the station. There really wasn’t anyone at the park when it opened. It seemed like everyone was in line for Big Dipper at the time. The only problem at X-Flight was that they had the queue blocked off. It was kind of strange. You had to go under a railing to get up to the station. A lot of people were going up the handicap accessible entrance just to be turned away.

We went to the second station and loaded the front car. The ride itself was okay. I’ve now been on all three types of flyers (Vekoma, B&M and Zamperla). I thought the Vekoma cars were pretty comfortable. That surprised me since I had heard otherwise. My favorite riding position between the three models is the Zamperla version. It’s cool. Too bad the ride itself is kind of painful.

So about X-Flight. It was okay. It maneuvered through the course pretty slowly. The vertical loop was great. That was my favorite part of the ride. The helix at the end provided some heavy positive g’s. Not bad. At the end I decided I enjoyed the ride but it could have been better. The simple B&M Superman clones win for me. Love that backwards, lying down vertical loop though.

From X-Flight we followed along the lake. Steel Venom was down and we were going to hit up Head Spin later. So we headed down to Thunderhawk. Down to the green, murky, swamp land. There was only one train operation and everybody and their brother were line jumping. I guess it was just the crowd at the ride though. I didn’t see that anywhere else. We waited about 20 minutes and boarded near the front. I’m not a fan of the new colors. I guess I’m the only one. Yeah it looks “fresh” but I don’t like the yellow and yellow-orange next to the yellow Batman. I think green and teal would have been better but that’s just me.

So I heard the ride was smooth. I did notice it wasn’t as bad as some of the other SLC’s but the head-banging was still there. Great placement for a coaster.

So it was time for Dominator. YAY! I was really excited about this. Now to complain just for a bit. I love the placement of this coaster but really can’t stand the fact that it looks like someone just ripped everything “Batman” off of it and that was it. You could see where the old “Bruce Wayne” letters were and well… the queue just needs some TLC. We boarded the back row instantly. The ride was a walk-on and they were running two trains. Totally awesome.

The back was wicked. Getting ripped over that first drop was great. The loop had some awesome hang time and the cobra roll was silky smooth. I say that because the whole ride vibrated as if the train were crumbling. Kind of strange. That’s all it was though. Just strong vibrations. Nothing painful or uncomfortable. I’ve been on a couple other floorless coasters (Medusa at Great Adventure and Batman at New England) and this was probably the best. It just seemed more powerful than the others. New England’s has that jolt before the second flat spin that I didn’t get on Dominator. I was expecting it because of all the vibrations but the flat spins were nicely maneuvered. Great ride!

So next we headed to Raging Wolf Bobs. We decided to go through all the coasters first before taking re-rides. Later in the day I realized that was a huge mistake (I’ll get to that later).

So I guess this could be the surprise of the trip. The ride was a total walk-on. We went to the back seat and got right in. They were running one train. The other was on the transfer but it was a different kind of train. Our train was the same kind we found on the Villain later in the day. So any way the ride was great. The best part about it was some of the forces going around a couple of the turns. Wow. Great positive and lateral forces. One turn just got more powerful as it went around. The ride wasn’t glass smooth but not too rough at all. I really enjoyed it. It took me by surprise.

So we headed to their western section. Double Loop was our first stop. I was a little worried because I knew this was the first double looping coaster… right? So I thought it might be kind of rough. I was wrong. I’ll change what I said earlier. Raging Wolf Bobs AND Double Loop were the surprises of the trip. The tunneled first turn around was a nice start. The first drop and incline were really smooth and the loops were strong. The helix wasn’t bumpy at all (it looked demented). Although we were sitting in the middle. While waiting I saw people in the front being thrown up a few times. Strong air there. We didn’t get that where we were sitting. Oh and they were running one train but it was a walk-on.

So we passed by the Beaver Coaster or whatever it’s called (we planned on hitting that later) and got on Villain. I had high hopes for this ride. It looked huge and had gotten some good reviews. We headed toward the back. This was kind of a long wait since they were running one train and had a bit of a line. 20 minutes later we got on.

SH*T this ride hurt. Oh man I haven’t felt that kind of pain on a ride ever. From the minute we were going down the first drop we were just bracing ourselves. I mean it really beat us up. One girl got off our train crying. Yikes. The whole time I just wanted it to stop. I could not believe how horrible this coaster was. I was so disappointed. WOW. I’m no wimp either. I actually loved Son of Beast. There’s a huge difference between vibrations and shaking and all out jolts. At one point I thought my spine had bent. It was just that bad.

It was time for food after that disaster. Went back over and grabbed some hot dogs by Head Spin. Wanted to ride that after but while we were eating heard a “We are down for technical difficulties”. So I guess that was out. Went to X-Flight but they told me I had to finish my drink (JUST bought it) before boarding. I figured it was a walk-on so we went somewhere else. We walked over to the other side and did the two theater rides. First was Dino-Island 4-D. I did this when it was at Great Adventure and had a lot of fun. I think I would have liked it more had it been in 3-D at Geauga Lake. The 4-D effects were pretty cool though.

Next was Robots of Mars. That was impressive. The theater it was held in was HUGE. I’m talking auditorium here. The show was great too. I really enjoyed it.

We then walked through the water park. It was open but not too many people were in it. We walked across the floating bridge back to the park side. On the way we fed some of the biggest catfish I had ever seen. It was a good time. Walked through their kids section which was good, minus all the obvious areas where Looney Tune characters and words once were. At this time the park had a lot more people in it than the morning. It was pretty crowded. Good to see.

So we headed to X-Flight. They were now only running one train and the line was in the switchbacks. Not cool. More people so they close one side of the station? Hmmm… We opted not to wait. Went over to Head Spin. That was still down. Went to get on the Beaver Coaster and that was closed too. I wanted to ride Dominator again but one train was stuck at the top of the lift (it had been there since we were over on the water park side). No sign of anyone taking care of that. Walked over to Thunderhawk and that too was down. WHAT?! I was actually pretty pissed at this point. It was like, “why did I come here?” Thank God we had done what we had during the first two hours. Now there were some large crowds and Head Spin, Steel Venom, Dominator, Thunderhawk and the kiddie coaster were down. All of the other ones had gone down to one train operation if they weren’t already at that. Not happy.

So we left.

All in all the trip was okay. I wish we did Head Spin and the Beaver one earlier when they were operating. I also wish 5 of the 10 coasters weren’t down when crowds hit their peak. It started off great but was junk at the end. It equaled out to be an average park visit. I probably won’t be returning but I am glad I finally got down there.

As for other trips I’ve taken this year… Six Flags Great Adventure and La Ronde. El Toro is the most incredible coaster I’ve ever been on. Superman at New England always used to be my favorite. Not anymore. Kingda Ka was a lot of fun. Themeing and colors were better than Dragster but does it really matter? They are almost the same ride anyway. I like them both. I like Great Adventure because it’s beautiful. Golden Kingdom and the new Plaza Del Carnival blew my mind.

La Ronde was interesting. Our friend got her car stolen and the whole park was just chaotic. Goliath was okay. I prefer Nitro but good addition nonetheless.

That’s about it. Just felt compelled to write about Geauga Lake specifically since it was a bit of a disappointment. El Toro was the highlight of the season. You all have GOT to ride that crazy thing. My lord.

*** Edited 9/14/2006 5:20:00 AM UTC by UBRhino***

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Thursday, September 14, 2006 2:06 AM
That’s a bit disappointing to hear. I was considering going there this Saturday for Oktoberfest, but if their going to run one train on everything I might pass.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006 7:38 AM
Sorry you hit the park on an odd day. There were some power issues from the power company that day which brought down several rides at once beyond the parks control.
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Friday, September 15, 2006 10:55 AM
I was there that Saturday also. I went with my boyfriend who hadn't been there in probably 3 or 4 years. He was really unimpressed with the park. We didn't get to ride Head Spin, Dominator, Thurnderhawk, Beaverland or of course Steel Venom (which we wouldn't have anyhow). We passed on Big Dipper and Villain because he isn't a big fan of woods, but I did get him on Wolf Bobs and he loved it.

I HATE Villain. I think it is the worst wooden coaster there is. Way worse than SOB. I almost came off crying the last time I rode it and for the next week my neck was killing me. If they want to remove a coaster, it should be this craptastic one.

I really wish you had a better time at my home park. I do love it, but it needs some TLC in some areas. The whole Steel Venom area is so empty. It needs life put back into it.

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Friday, September 15, 2006 11:25 AM
I'm sorry you had a bad day. I hope we can make that better when you come back (hopefully soon).
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Friday, September 15, 2006 12:32 PM
Sounds like the "Six Flags ghosts" were up to no good that day :)

Just kidding. Actually, this is unusual for this park, as I usually have a good time whenever I happen to get out that way (since CF has taken over). I'd hope you'd give it another chance, as this is not the norm for GL.

By the way, I'm not a local fanboy--I actually live in MD (but I'm still a fan of the place).

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Friday, September 15, 2006 1:34 PM
Yikes, it does sound like a crummy day and I don't blame you for leaving. Having gone to the park 2 or 3 times this year I can attest that this is an off day for the park. I've gone to the park with all 10 coasters operating and if they did go down, it was very brief. The only thing about the park when I went was that it looked like a ghost town. There were more employees on the midways than guests.

Despite this TR and Steel Venom being down I'm still going for closing day in case I don't get a pass next year.

~Rob Willi

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Saturday, September 16, 2006 3:40 PM

UBRhino said:As for other trips I’ve taken this year… Six Flags Great Adventure and La Ronde. El Toro is the most incredible coaster I’ve ever been on. Superman at New England always used to be my favorite. Not anymore. Kingda Ka was a lot of fun. Themeing and colors were better than Dragster but does it really matter? They are almost the same ride anyway. I like them both. I like Great Adventure because it’s beautiful. Golden Kingdom and the new Plaza Del Carnival blew my mind.

La Ronde was interesting. Our friend got her car stolen and the whole park was just chaotic. Goliath was okay. I prefer Nitro but good addition nonetheless.

That’s about it. Just felt compelled to write about Geauga Lake specifically since it was a bit of a disappointment. El Toro was the highlight of the season. You all have GOT to ride that crazy thing. My lord.

*** Edited 9/14/2006 5:20:00 AM UTC by UBRhino***


I'm glad more and more people are going out to great adventure to ride el toro. I was there the first day it opened to the public and was just completely blown away by it. Great Adventure is no great park but they got a winner here with this ride and for that, they get my credit. The ride delivers what they promised. *** Edited 9/16/2006 10:09:29 PM UTC by DorneyDante***

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Saturday, September 16, 2006 4:05 PM
I remember when Villian was the best Wood coaster in the state, GL really does need to do something with the tracking on it... or replace the Gerslaurs... it's getting pretty bad.

CCI made their coasters very intense... if you don't take proper care of them, they will wreck your whole day.

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