Lakemont, IW, KW, GL, & IB 7/31-8/4

Associated parks:

Time for family vacation so we went east for the first time. I really enjoyed the wooded hilly terrain of PA. Sure beats the corn deserts of central illinois. My girlfriend didn't like the highspeed downhill driving as much as me.

7/29 After driving all day from illinois to altoona, we spent about 3 hours in Lakemont. It was a treat to Leap the Dips. We loved this ride and wish there was more maintenace on it. We could see some rotted wood here and there but also some fresh wood from repairs. We all rode the toboggan once. I haven't rode one since I was a little boy, girlfriend and her girls had never seen one. Skyliner, damn this thing was horrible. We rode everything else and felt like we got our money's worth.

7/30 Headed for Idlewild. Possibly the best family park I have ever been to. I can't complain about anything. Could ask for a bigger woodie though! Excellent location, shading(as the day was roasting hot), good water park, killer selection of rides. Great food(but it haunted me and my girlfriend the next day). Fell over laughing as my girlfriend went nuts over Daniel Tiger on Mr. Rogers ride. Must have been a childhood thing? She even bought a stuffed one. Can't say enough about the catterpiller. Classic ride with plenty of time to moosh the outside rider. I wish this park was closer to illinois so we could go there more often.

7/31 Kennywood on a scorching day. We took the advice of people on the forums and headed straight for exterminator. First riders of the day! Great ride to start the day. We then went clockwise around the park. Swingshot-Damn that thing kicks butt. Rode it twice on both sides. Scared the heck out of the girls on their first ride. Pitfall-standard tower, okay ride. Phantoms revenge-good coaster but a little to short for such a big ride. Turtles-gotta love a classic ride. ThunderBolt-very good, loved how it dropped out of station and was gone. Aero 360-we have never seen one before and loved it. Girls rode it twice, once for me and girlfriend. Racer-almost excellent, just wish it was longer. Me and older girl slapped hands in one turn and people thought we were wierd. their lose. Jack Rabbit-keep the double down and scrap the rest. Old mill-please scrap that garfield crap and restore this ride to something classy. Kangaroo-another classic that still thrills.

After having visited I can see how this park is so beloved. We rode everything we could and the water rides twice because of the heat. The worst part was our dinner from Idlewild catching up with girlfriend and me in the afternoon and keeping us within sight of a bathroom for a couple of hours. Having been to both IW and KW, I can now say that KPC gets it right when it comes to amusement parks.

8/1 We decided to take a break from the parks and try some white water rafting on the middle youghiogheny river. It was another roasting hot day and the ice cold water felt good. Too bad the rafting part sucked. I have went class 3 rafting while I lived in washington state. The women have never been rafting. About 30% of the trip we had to pull or drag our raft over the rocks because it was to shallow. It was a class 1 beginner river but it still didn't have any rapids to speak of. It was a long 7 hours on that river. If I would have thought it was going to be that bad, I would have went back to Idlewild for the day.

8/2 Headed toward GL from Laughlintown, PA. As we got on the turnpike, I didn't know that you had to get a ticket from the stupid little booth. Would have been nice if there were some big signs to say so. When we got toward the ohio border, I had to pay $22.75 toll. Probally the cost of the whole turnpike? As we entered ohio, they had nice big signs that said "Please get your ticket here". Thank you ohio. As we arrived at the cabin, we decided to take a day off. It was another roaster of a day and we were whipped from the heat of the last three days. We thought about going to Erieview since it was close by but didn't. Wish we had since it's now closing.

8/3 Geauga Lake on a much cooler and sometimes rainy day. Got there at opening and started working around the park. X-flight-Good ride if you've never been on a flyer. Too bad we were spoiled by coasterbuzz SFGAm Superman event. Rode it once and done. Headspin-credit. Steel Venom-wasn't running :( I personally love this style coaster, women hate it. Big Dipper- Ouch, i'll take my credit. Villian-Double ouch, we all paid for that credit. Double Loop-another credit. ThunderHawk-another credit. Train had to be disbatched 3 times. 1. boy in front to short, mother argues about it. 2. A girl in middle decides she feels sick. 3. boy in back to short, he climbed out of seat with harness all the way down! Damn these operators sucked. Raging Wolf Bobs-finally a woodie that was reridable. Only the shuffle in retracked turn sucked. Dominator-Finally a coaster that we rode many times. Thank god for B&M.

The water park was time well spent except for the salty taste in the wave pool. Yuck! The park had a nice atmospher and layout but the crappy coasters almost kill it. I could almost see SF smiling like a used car salesman as cedar fair signed on the dotted line. To me, CF needs to work on the rides and try to bring them back to rideable condition.

8/4 Headed back to "The Soybean Capital of the World" and made a quick stop at IB for dinner. We checked out Splash Battle and decided to skip it. It looks like there should be more to it. The kids area is finished and looks good. On opening weekend, it was just a area full of pipes in the ground. After dinner, it was a couple games of air hockey and ddr, a bag of taffy, a frozen banana, 3 italian ices, and out the door.

God, please let there not be a heat wave during our vacation next year.

Damn Cornfields

In the back row, Skyliner has comparable "butt-off-the-seat" airtime to Jack Rabbit's double-down. Plus you can't beat the view of the baseball stadium right next to the coaster. That park is a treasure.

You should have make a visit to DelGrossos while you were at Lakemont. They have a spinning mouse like Exterminator only outdoors. This is a beautiful, well maintained park even if it is a bit small. It has a free gate and is less then 20 minutes from Lakemont. The rides are inexpensive. $10.95 for ride-all-day or $2 for the spinning mouse and $1 for most of the other rides if you prefer to pay for rides individually. This park is said to have good food as well.

If you ever get to New England, go to Lake Compounce. This is another Kennywood Entertainment park having many of the qualities of their two PA parks.

Arthur Bahl

Sorry, but I'm still chuckling over the turnpike thing. Thanks for your donation to our state highway system. :) Maybe you drove through an EZ-pass lane where you wouldn't get a ticket?

I've never, ever been able to drive straight through a ticket booth getting on the turnpike. I usually get stuck behind someone who has to open their door and practically climb out of their car to get the ticket. Can't miss the fact you need to grab a ticket that way.

Other than that, hope you enjoyed your visit to PA and plan on coming back. (I should get a commission from the PA Visitors Bureau)

^LOL, that's why, even though I live outside Cleveland and Ohio does not have EZ-pass, I am the proud owner of one. Our familiy's recent trip to Sesame Place, Ocean City, MD and Martinsburg, WV which is currently our standard vacation, is the reason for the purchase. I figure I save roughly 1/2 hour if not more in Delaware and Maryland alone at their various toll booths for bridges and toll roads.

The other good part about it is that high speed lane at Warrendale. After getting passed by 20 cars in a big freakin' hurry I get to wave as they sit in the backup as I breeze on by, and then get to see them again 30 miles down the road! :)

You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

Wow.... didn't like the Skyliner?

My son and I rode that something like 13 times the day we were there! Even the front seat has incredible airtime.... in the back you get it going down the first hill, up front you get it at the peak of the 2nd hill... either way, it was awesome! It's a pretty predictable ride, but fun.

And for an older woodie at a low budget park, it rode really smooth, I thought......

bsr241 , you’re not alone on your feelings for the PA pike. Found this in Overdrive Magazine for year 2005.

For the second consecutive year and the fifth time in a decade, Pennsylvania leads our worst roads list. Among the chief complaints: the conditions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-78 and I-80, and poor signage. The Turnpike, also known as I-76, is further ripped for its high tolls.

I-80 though was voted most improved highway which I agree with. That’s actually one of the nicest drives i've been on to and from KNoebels/Dorney/Hershey, NYC and back :).

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