Kenny-Meer Extravaganza - 5/30-5/31- Photo Album Included

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 5:51 PM

I got off work early on Friday to pick up another friend, and make the 4.5 hour drive to my friend's house just over the OH/PA border. We met up with another friend there, and enjoyed an evening of karaoke, adult beverages, and wings at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, PA before getting some sleep to get us ready for the awesome weekend that was to follow!

We woke up early Saturday and after a tasty breakfast at a diner in West Middlesex, started off on the one hour trek to Erie. We were happy to see as we approached Waldameer that the parking lot was basically empty. We got our wristbands and oversized hand stamps and headed straight to Ravine Flyer 2. If you live within 5 hours of this coaster, and have not yet rode it, you are really missing out. This thing is still running as great, if not better, than last season. If it says anything, I am around 350 miles from Waldameer, and I have been there 3 times in the past 2 seasons. The ride is a perfect blend of all that makes Gravity Group great, without the extended kidney beating that The Voyage delivers (I know many of you enjoy that). It has awesome airtime, some very intense moments, great transitions, and of course a ninety degree turn for good measure. Given how dead the park was (a bit concerning for a Saturday), we were able to get in all the rides in a fairly short time. We did try out the new Mega Disko, and I was quite underwhelmed. My favorites are still obviously RF2, Steel Dragon, X-Scream, and Wipeout. Steel Dragon (being a spinning coaster) gives a different ride every time, X-Scream is hands-down the best drop tower I have ever been on (sit on the lake side), and Wipeout has the craziest finale of any flat I have ridden (I have dubbed it the spin cycle).

After a few hours of riding we were ready for some food so we headed into downtown Erie for mid afternoon lunch/dinner at The Brewerie. Located in the old Union Station, this place has an awesome location, some great micro-brews, as well as some amazing food. I had the Breakfast Burger (Half pound burger, fried egg, chorizo sausage, and bacon -- your heart will thank you). After our great meal we headed back to the park to get some more rides in on RF2. We also got a bonus credit on the Ravine Flyer 3 thanks to the GM Steve! RF2 got faster and faster as the evening went on, and by the time we had our last ride of the evening, we had taken about 15 laps for the day, as well as 5 or so on Steel Dragon, and multiple flat rides. It was an awesome day. We headed back to Sharon for a late snack/dinner and a much needed night of sleep.

Sunday morning we got up early, and grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds, as well as some Sheetz donut holes (20 grams of fat in 3 donut holes -- crap.) and headed to Kennywood. We were once again happy to find a nearly empty parking lot. Sad as it is, this was my first time at the park, and I must say right up front that I was blown away. It is easily my new favorite park. The ride collection is extensive, and the atmosphere is wonderful. We hit Phantom's Revenge first, and it quickly has taken it's place near the top of my steel list. By the end of the day we had around 10 rides, and each one I liked better than the last. I did notice a bit of "weirdness" at the top of the second hill, but it was much less noticeable in the back of the train (the final kick to the left actually added to the airtime on the drop). Other than that, the ride was uttterly phenomenal to me. I couldn't believe the great airtime and sustained speed. Some of my other favorite rides of the day were the Kangaroo, Log Jammer, Swing Shot, Back seat of the Jack Rabbit, and the Bayern Curve. The "Curve" was the biggest surprise of the day, as I did not anticipate it to be as intense as it was (I could only handle one ride). In reality, it's hard for me to list only a few rides, because I enjoyed almost every ride of the day. The biggest letdown was The Exterminator. It was painful, had most of the effects turned off, and was just boring... not to mention that the operations of the ride were awful. The other coasters (Thunderbolt/Racer) were great for the nostalgia, but the rides themselves were fairly mediocre. We even snagged a ride on the Lil' Phantom. In addition to the rides, I also got to enjoy the famous Noah's Ark walkthrough. It was quite the experience... not at all what I expected, but still very enjoyable. The sound of the whistle on the Ark, as well as the maniacal laughter of Laffin' Sal near the Auto Race will stick with me for quite some time.

The "facepalm" moment of the day came on our first Jack Rabbit ride of the day. I was talking to my friend about how the ride was known for the airtime on the double-down when 2 girls in front of us said "Oh yeah, you gotta take your seatbelt off." Well sure enough, as we crested the lift, they removed their seatbelts, linked arms, and actually leaned over the lap bar as the ride went over the double down. I can't believe the stupidity of some people. They quickly re-buckled their seatbelts as they re-entered the station, but I nearly reported them.

Instead of eating a full meal at the park, I decided to try some of the park foods I have heard so much about. Both the Potato Patch fries (gravy, cheese, and seasoning salt), as well as the Deep Fried Oreos were incredible. However, after those treats, and my meal in Erie, I am in need of some serious dieting and exercise. In addition to all of the above, we had several excellent experiences with employees in the park going above and beyond their jobs to make sure we had an amazing day. I could go on and on about how much I loved this park, but it would take many pages. I can't wait to return to Kennywood very soon. After our full day (11-10) at the park, we drove back to Sharon and failed to find any place to eat other than Sheetz and it's touchscreen glory. Sunday night, we got a full night of sleep before waking up to head back to Indiana on Monday. All in all this was one of the best weekend trips I've ever had. The parks, the lack of crowds, the food, the friends, and the weather were all amazing. Not to mention I got to ride 7 new coasters, and discover my new favorite park. I can't wait to go back.

See the photos from the trip:
The Waldawood Extravaganza

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:44 PM

We were planning on going to Kennywood this year, now we must add Waldameer to our ever growing list.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 5:27 PM

Josh, I am thinking of stopping here just for a couple of laps on RF2 while heading up to some other parks. Do you know what the individual ticket prices are and how many tickets it takes for RF2?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 8:17 PM

I forget the exact cost, but I know last year we looked at doing tickets for our second day, and still got the wristband. I believe it was 5-6 dollars for one ride on RF2, and for 20 you get a wristband. If you go to the park, you should at least get a ride on the 2 other coasters, as well as the drop tower. The log flume is great too... :)

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 2:10 PM

Josh, you really didn't like the Exterminator? I thought it was incredible- best mouse I've ever been on (well, the only mouse-in-a-box, but still). The theming was impressive for a non-theme park, and the ride was nowhere near as painful as its clone here in Orlando.

Did you happen to get a ride on Garfield's Nightmare by any chance? I dubbed it "Nights in White Satin: The Water Ride"- I was thoroughly impressed!

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 2:24 PM

I think the cost is $4.50 to ride RF2. But don't quote me on that.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 5:58 PM

blah blah garbage about removing your seatbelt spoken by morons

This actually occurs with startling regularity. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot they can do to prevent it short of installing security cameras and the like. Fortunately for the more bone-headed of the park patrons, there's not actually enough air on the double-dip to kick them out of the train.

Anywayyy, glad you had fun! Kennywood's my home park and after adding RFII, Waldameer now demands a yearly visit. I agree completely about X-Scream. Best drop ride anywhere. Ever. Period. I wish the Pitt Fall could run the same program. It's scarier AND it the lack of pause at the top technically boosts capacity. Win-win!

Good call going on the night of a pens game too. I love Kennywood and all but if you're a Pittsburgher, you're either at the game, OUTSIDE the game watching on the Trib-Tron, or wrapped around your TV.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Saturday, June 6, 2009 6:01 PM
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Monday, June 8, 2009 4:46 PM

Top Thrill Dragster said:
Josh, you really didn't like the Exterminator? I thought it was incredible- best mouse I've ever been on (well, the only mouse-in-a-box, but still). The theming was impressive for a non-theme park, and the ride was nowhere near as painful as its clone here in Orlando.

My friend who took me to the park (who has been there alot) said that alot of the theming was turned off, and the ride wasn't nearly as aggressive as he remembers in the past. He also said that the loading/queue procedure was awful. So it sounds like some things have changed.

And yes... I did go on Garfield's Nightmare and found it to be quite amusing... Some of the 3D was actually really cool (The giant dog). I was also really impressed with the flume they have there. The first drop with the uphill and "rolling" portion is really cool.

Oh! And regarding the Jack Rabbit seatbelt removing tomfoolery... The on-ride photo is now on the double-down. You would think they could catch some people unfastening their seatbelts with that, but I am guessing the photo booth people aren't too interested in that.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 7:02 PM

^At least Exterminator was spinning. The cars were static during my one ride on it, which is why it's pretty far down in my rankings.

Then again, I've done the mouse at DelGrosso's, and the spinning made me ill, so go figure.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 7:05 PM

Wow, Jack Rabbit finally has an on-ride photo? That's kind of cool. They put it at a good spot, too.

Where's the photo booth?

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Monday, June 8, 2009 8:25 PM

I just made the decision to try Waldameer for the first time today. I have been wanting to go for years and the price was great.

I rented a 2 bedroom cottage next to the park from July 9 - 12. I am sure 3 days around the park will get my family and I enough rides. We are doing other things also during the trip though (Beach and Zoo).

I am kind of excited about the whole cottage experience. I grew up going on vacations to Geneva-On-The Lake. I went there with the family around five years ago. The beach was just rocks and the night life was rough for a family with kids. Kind of dumpy from what my early memories were. Not to mention that Erie View Park is gone as is the Go Karts outside of Eddies Grille. Erie View Park was not much, but a good break in the middle of the day to mix things up.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 10:15 PM

I still love Geneva-On-The-Lake, easily one of my favorite places to spend a summer night. I honestly couldn't care less that there's no amusement park there anymore. Something about the old "run-down" look of the place, and the atmosphere, plus Eddie's grill just makes it one of the best places to be at the end of the day.

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Monday, June 8, 2009 11:31 PM

The Jack Rabbit photo booth is easy to miss. We didn't even see it until our second or third ride. It's across the midway from the coaster loading station near the paddleboat lake.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009 7:34 AM

I always wondered why Phantoms Revenge doesn't have an on-ride photo setup. Also RF2 at Waldameer would be a good place for one. With this everyone wins because the park gets a new revenue source and the visitors have the choice whether to by a photo or not. If they do, they have a great souvenier of their visit to the park.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009 9:03 AM

Phantoms Revenge has a simple place to put an on-ride photo... The long straightaway before the second hill. You would think it would be simple to put one in there, but as of now the only on-ride photos are on Jack Rabbit, Log Jammer, and Garfield's Nightmare.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009 11:59 PM

You should have reported them.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:34 AM

It's difficult to prove, other than if a camera caught them. Unfortunately, like an earlier poster said, it sounds like this is quite common on that coaster. The girls did it quite unashamedly as well. They acted like that's just "what you do" on the Jack Rabbit.

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