Idlewild Fri 8/17

Associated parks:

Took my son to Idlewild kind of on a whim, the decision maker was an old friend I havent seen in a few years was playing that evening with his band... so, we headed out for a day of riding as well.

First off, it was Italian Festival Day (hence the reason for the bands in the first place). Crowded would be an understatement. I think this day is the annual attendance buster. Took 45 min just to get parked. (Also route 30 was a mess, took almost 2x longer to drive from Pgh than I remember)

The goods: Most of the crowds must have been in the soak zone, because if all the cars that were packed in (temporary lots with portable generators/lights were set up way up on the hillsides) would have been in the ride part, it would have been hour waits for everything.

The park is still very charming, very clean (unbeliveably so for the crowds that day), with some neat old flats. The flats seem maintained well (the Tilt a Whirl has seen better days, more on that later) but all in all impressive. Spider was fun, as was reliving the old WVP memories of riding a Caterpillar with working canopy and fan. Mouse was cool amongst the trees, and the night ride on the Rollo Coaster was a thousand times better than our day ride.

The bads: The ride cycles were horrible. Really worse than anywhere I have ever seen. Maybe this due to the large crowds today. Maybe 4-5 revolutions of all the flats... Caterpillar, Tilt A Whirl, Spider, Flying Aces. Really short cycles. The Round Up may have been the only one I recall giving a reasonable ride cycle.

The Tilt a Whirl looked like the probably once-attractive paint job (unique, looks like a lot of it was hand painted) was fading away, looked primarily shabby on the plasticwork above the rails moreso than the actual cars.. but what a horrid TAW ride! 1st ride we took the car NEVER made it all the way around ONCE! Not even once. 4 revolutions it was over. Phhtt. This was the only ride that seemed like it was ready for some serious maintenance or something. It just felt as if it hadn't been lubed or painted since the seventies. Very unlike the rest of the park in appearance. Just looked and felt bad. And the gravel spot they picked to dump it gave it a real carney feel. Squeeeeeeeeallll.........

The Howler was down. I have never seen that flat anywhere else, and would liked to have ridden. Oh well.

My general take on the park.... It is very clean, very attractive (landscaping, structures, lighting) but in my opinion (as a non-water park attendee) the POP is really pretty steep unless you are a soak zone lover as well. It just doesnt justify what you pay vs what you get ride-wise. I wish they would construct a decent adult-type woodie somewhere, it looks like they have plenty of land. The way the park is set up right now, I think a pricing option is in order vs the current POP. I think a Waldameer type option (ride band, water park, or combo) would be more fair at this park.

Also, I would have preferred they kept the Huss ride, that new Flying Aces looks like a home made attempt of a Flying Scooter with a sail that barely budges and never gets up to any speed (4 revolutions youre done). Also not a light bulb on the thing. Looked very home made.

Their new flying scooters looked so much like the classic version, but apparently not.

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