We were supposed to go to Lakemont on a July 4th road trip to Pittsburgh but since we ran short on time, we decided to attend Ridefest on Sunday, October 10th, heading 3 hours west before heading five hours east. Needless to say, it was worth it.
Skyliner is one of those coasters you very rarely hear anything about. A few people have told me it was a good ride but other than that, it seems largely ignored by enthusiasts. This always made we wonder whether Lakemont is one of those parks that very few people visit or if the coaster really was lackluster and people simply didn't want to be down on a preserved coaster.
I was glad to find that the Skyliner was a fantastic ride!
First of all, it has that great first drop which provides back seat airtime that only a select few coasters are able to provide. There is air in the front seat on all the rises into the turarounds, air in the back on all the drops. The drop behind the lift hill was particularly wonderful. It has that great descending turnaround behind the station and great laterals on the final turn into the brake run, which is oddly angled towards the right.
The track was well-lubricated and there was no bad track on the entire ride. The trains appeared to shuffle through the turnarounds but they were all smooth and fast. The train is a true PTC relic- nice padded seats, lap bars that sit way up high (but still make it almost impossible for someone to stand up) and a complete lack of seat belts, headrests and seat dividers. The lack of TPM also helped... riders were allowed to exit the "loading" side of the train on the platform and an empty seat. That's assuming that someone was waiting for your seat... if there wasn't, you were allowed to re-ride to your heart's content.
The western PA ACE region put on a nice event. It included lunch in the Casino and lots of Leap The Dips ride time, not to mention photo opportunities beneath the structures of the two wood coasters. But while all that was well and good, the Skyliner made the day for me. Definitely one of the best wood coasters that no one ever mentions.
If you like FUN wood coasters, do yourself a favor and go to Lakemont next year. You won't be sorry.
Plus, I really dig the location with the stadium. That has to make for one of the coolest baseball game backdrops anywhere.
I'll agree that it's an oft-overlooked ride. It gets lost in all the great wood of Pennsylvania. In PA, it may not even be in the top 10. I'd venture to say that in Ohio, it'd be top 3.
If it wasn't at such a crappy park, it'd definitely receive more attention.
In fact, I'm feeling it belongs in the bottom of my top-20, going by the rides I got yesterday. There is something to be said for a fun coaster that you can easily spend an entire day riding.
Well, that was my sad, sad story of when I was still "GP." If I had only known what a gem we were standing right in front of, and simply declined. ***sigh***
You should really get back there and spend a few hours. Now that LTD is running, there is really no excuse! ;)
<---has driven 6676 miles for coasters this year...but I've only gone over the Rockies once, LOL!
If it is wood and less than 150 feet tall then I can safely say I love it EVEN though I've never been on it!
I agree that Lakemont Park as a whole is crappy, but a few wonderful secrets are waiting to be found there. Skyliner is one of those rides in which it's looks are decieving.
I grew up in Altoona, and I have often wondered if my love for Skyliner was biased. I have wonderful memories of this ride. I remember getting off of work, driving a few miles to get to the park, feeding the fish and ducks, and then riding Skyliner a few times. I would do this 2 or 3 times a month; just spend a few hours alone at Lakemont Park to get away from the crazyness for a while.
I remember a HUGE pothole at the bottom of the third drop just before the insane turnaround. That pothole was really painful. Even though it has been smoothed out, I can still feel it a little.
I could write a 10,000 word story on why I like this ride, but I wont :) *** Edited 10/12/2004 4:23:34 AM UTC by dexter***
A coaster like that really makes me wish that I had a small park near my house to spend a few hours at and unwind. Like you said dexter, just to get away from the craziness.
My mother had an extra exciting ride on the Mad Mouse--the brakes were wet, and her car slid right through and smacked into the back of an empty car. She was the test pilot to see if the brakes were dry enough yet (it was raining when we arrived); I guess they were still too wet. :)
The airtime in the backseats are awesome. I feel like the seats are just dropping from under me like a drop ride. Its the oddest yet coolest thing. I have to hold on. Its grand! Awesome ride!
Also, when I was there, Leap the Dips was closed but still worth it!
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