Idlewild, Lakemont, DelGrosso's (7/6/2002)

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, July 6, 2002 7:15 PM

Okay, so it is a long TR... but I talk alot... and also you're getting 3 for the price of 1 so don't complain.

With my wife working a weekend shift at the hospital, I hopped in the car and headed west on the PA turnpike (with her blessing I might add).

First up: Idlewild

Seeing that they open at 10am, I made sure that is when I arrived (its a 3 hour drive for me). However, I didn't know that the rides do not start until 11am. So, I had an hour to kill. I made my way to the "back" section of the park called Old Idlewild where most of the rides are (at least everything except kiddie rides) and "killed" an hour walking around, snapping some pictures and watching the park come to life. I spend a good bit of time watching the daily checks for the Trinado ride (looks like some unholy union of a Enterprise and Falcon).

From where I was stitting I could see the lift hill of the Rollo Coaster. When I saw a train that was filled with people go up the hill, I ventured over. The train of this coaster is unique. No seat belt (you don't need one) and no ratcheting lab bar or buzz bar, just a fixed position grab bar. Anyway, I sat my self down in the next to last seat. This is a uinque little coaster. Only 900 feet long, it seems longer with its ground hugging course through the trees. A good first half and a rather intense turn around (for a coastre if this size) but a slow and crawling return trip. Anyway, grabbed a back seat and front seat ride and then moved on.

The Wild Mouse was next. Never saw one like this (a Vekoma Mouse). Anyway, it looked to be interesting... had a different layout than most wild mice and the setting in the trees looked to add some good visuals. However, it was HEAVILY breaked. After one slow ride, I decided to move on.

Grabbed a quick ride on the Trinado and also the Catepillar. I was not expecting much from the Catepillar, but this is one of the last of its kind ... and I think the only one around in the US at least to still use its canopy. Not thrilling, but hey, where else an you ride one of these.

The line for Rollo Coaster was about a two train wait when I checked, so, with two more stops ahead of me, I decided to pass up a 4th ride.

All in all, Idlewild is a nice park, very shady, vere quaint, very well kept and very well run. If you have kids, it is a great park. And I can undrestand why the Mouse may be breaked as it is (keep in mind FAMILY park)

Stop 2: Lakemont

Not sure when I arrived, around 1:30 I guess. There was an actual line up to get your wrist bands! Anyway, this was the longest line I waited in all day. First stop was Leap the Dips. Hmmmm... when we were here 2 years ago the Dips was included in the ride all day price, but not now (could the op have messed up 2 years ago and let us ride with the all day band?) Anyway... what was a not very thrilling but very fun ride in May of 2000 was a slow, bumpy and not very spectacular ride in July 2002. What happened with this coastre? It seems like they made all of that effort to repair/rebuild it and now they don't seem to be taking very good care of it. Anyway, grabbed a second ride before going over to Skyliner.

Again I ask... what happened to this coaster? The first drop is still packed with wild air time, but the 2nd turn around near the station concerned me. The car seemed to be moving oddly on the tracks... lots of side to side shifting. I decided to grab another ride. When I was waiting in the station, I noticed that the entire structure shook when the train made the station turn. I know all wooden coasters shake, but this was to the extreme! Once I boarded the train, I also noticed a split beam in the station roof. Granted, this is not a track support... but if this is split... hmmm... got me to thinking. While it is probably perfectly safe, my paranoia kicked in and two rides were enough. Of course the single op on the Skyliner would probably not have even noticed if the entire structure collapsed around her... attentive as she was.

After a brief encounter with a malfunctioning ATM machine in the gift ship, and some less than helpful employees (especially the girl working in the gift shop), I decided to make my exit.

What happened over these past two years. My wife an I were impressed with Lakemont on our first visit. Now I found a very dumpy little park... two coasters that do not seem to be getting the care they deserve, and some of the most useless, slow and even a bit rude employees I have encountered (so much so that I was half tempted to count the number of flags out front... they only had 2).

Final stop: DelGrosso's

While Lakemont in its slipping state was the dissapointment of the trip, DelGrosso's was the surprise. Walking in from the parking area you have to pass between the water park and go kart track. I am not much for waterparks, but this didn't look too bad for a small park. First stop was to get my wrist band. The woman who was working the booth was very friendly.

A cross walk leads from the water park (and parking) area to the main midway / amusmement park side. It was a quaint and pretty little park. At first I thought it would be packed... there were several group picnics and one family reunion in full swing, but while there were lots of people, it did not seem crowded and all rides were walk ons or just a one cycle / train wait.

First I hit Space Odessey. Second Catepillar ride in one day. This is enclosed in a domed building. Not canopy comes up, but flashing lights and loud music play. Not sure if it was an optical illusion with the lights spinning the opposite way of the cars, but it seemed like we were really moving! Next up was the Sea Dragon. Okay, a standard swinging ship, but I like these things.

The main reason for my visit was next... the Zyklon, which, obviously, is your standard Zyklon model coaster. It's a 2 trick pony, but what two tricks they are. I found it a little odd that the ride crew had to push the 3 car train out of the station... but oh well. Anyway, I was not expecting much... just "one for the count", but the first drop caught me off guard. Out of your seat air! (in the back seat). I was expecting to be slammed down heavily at the bottom, but to my surprise it was very smooth... and the trip to the top of the next hill was very fast. The second drop provided some good air and a smooth transition. The helix that followed was also pretty fast. However, heading in to the 2nd helix, a trim almost brings the train to a complete stop. The rest of the ride is slow and uneventful. But with those first two drops, I decided to grab a re-ride.

After Zyklon, I hit a few more flats... Paratroopers (another favorite of mine... these were an evil lookin orange and black color with a seat belt and non locking bar that just laid down across the front of the seat), Flying Bobs (very slow forward, fast backward) and Roulette Wheel (Standard Trabant made to look like... guess what... a Roulette wheel). Before leaving, I grabbed three more rides on Zyklon (tried the front... missing that good air... so the last two were in the back).

After buying a milkshake for the road, I headed for the parking lot and headed home.

I liked DelGrosso's. I wasn't expecting much but was really surprised. It is a small park, but it is a very pretty park. The buildings are all in very good condition and well taken care of. The ride ops were average to better than average. If you have kids, it has a good selection of kiddie rides... and for us "big kids", its ride selection while not exactly thrilling, is good for the price of $7.95.

Over all it was a pretty good day. Two new parks and one return visit to a park (dissapointing it as it was), 400 miles on the road (round trip) in 12.5 hours.

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Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/6/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/8/2002. ***

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Sunday, July 7, 2002 6:43 AM

I am surprised that you did not find Lakemont as good as before. I have been there now in 2000, 2001, and mid-June 2002, and found 2002 to be the best year for me. L-T-D and Skyliner both ran great for me, and I did not notice any of the problems that you had mentioned. In fact, the L-T-D rides I had were the best I ever had.

The only thing I can think of is maybe a park like that does the offseason rehabs, but really doesn't do much during the season unless there is a major problem. I do not know though. Sorry to hear that Lakemont was not the same Lakemont for you.

And yes, Zyklon is a great first drop ride, but they need to ease on the trims big time.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 4:14 AM

SLFAKE said:

The Wild Mouse was next. Never saw one like this. Is it an Arrow? (gotta check the RCDB) Anyway, it looked to be interesting... had a different layout than most wild mice and the setting in the trees looked to add some good visuals. However, it was HEAVILY breaked. After one slow ride, I decided to move on.



Idlewild's Wild Mouse is a Vekoma, originally located at Alton Towers. The ride was relocated to Idlewild in 1993. Also unusual is the slanted lift hill. I found Idlewild's Mouse to be a fun ride, even if it was a bit on the heavily braked side.

ProgRay

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Monday, July 8, 2002 4:39 AM
For whatever reason, my mind was drawing a blank... I kept thinking Arrow, but I knew that did not sound right.

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Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP".

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Monday, July 8, 2002 3:29 PM

These are my home parks. You must have hit Leap-The-Dips on a bad day. When I ride it, it is fast and exciting. It is the only ride worth re-riding at Lakemont. I really feel that Lakemont has no charm.

DelGrossos on the other hand is one of the most charming park I have ever been to. Lately it has really been modernized and cleaned up and they have some of the nicest employees I ever encountered. I sometimes take my nephue and his buddie there and we all have a blast. I have no complaints about DelGrossos but if they ever decide to build that rumored junior woodie, they will triple how I feel about them.

I have only been to Idlewild once but I was very impressed, For a kids park.

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KoRn is the Mellennium Force of ROCK

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Monday, July 8, 2002 3:41 PM
Nice TR! Those parks sound cool.

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-Sean Newman
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
Nitro Laps:105
B+R Launches:28

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Wednesday, July 10, 2002 9:46 AM

SLFAKE said:

Seeing that they open at 10am, I made sure that is when I arrived (its a 3 hour drive for me). However, I didn't know that the rides do not start until 11am. So, I had an hour to kill. I made my way to the "back" section of the park called Old Idlewild where most of the rides are (at least everything except kiddie rides) and "killed" an hour walking around, snapping some pictures and watching the park come to life. "


You could have spent that first hour in StoryBook Forest with Snow White, the Old Lady in the Shoe, and others :)

But seriously, it is good to hear you had a good time at Idlewild. And while the Wild Mouse may be a bit slow, it is definitely much more confortable that way. When it moves too fast (such as when the brakes are wet) then it hits the curves too hard and becomes very rough. That, is why it never runs in the rain.

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Friday, July 12, 2002 8:07 AM
That sounds like a fun idea hitting three small parks in one day, but they're small parks a good ways away from my house, so I don't think I'll make it to any of them, but who knows. Sounds like you had a lot of fun, but Lakemont sounded disappointing (bad day I guess). There's a cool show Great Old Amusement Parks (also on video) with clips from Idlewild and Lakemont that you should check out.

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Top books:"Rusty Bedsprings" by I.P. Nitely,"Half-Mile to the Outhouse" by Willy Maykit and Betty Wont, and "Spots on the Wall" by Huflung Pu.

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Friday, July 12, 2002 8:29 AM
Great TR! On the caterpillars I know that when I visited Canobie in 2000 its canopy was working. In addition, there are at least two newer versions of the Caterpillar made by Mack in the US. There is one at Myrtle Beach Pavillion (http://history.amusement-parks.com/users/adamsandy/MBP/cater.jpg) as well as one that I think Pugh shows used to own but was recently sold at auction.

Adam
http://history.amusement-parks.com

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