Lakemont Skyliner Love Thread

Monday, October 11, 2004 9:51 AM
I rode a fantastic PTC wood coaster in the heart of PA this weekend, but if I didn't mention the coaster in the title of this thread, you'd probably be thinking that I have the Knoebels Phoenix on my mind.

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.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 10:16 AM
I totally agree about Skyliner. One of those really fun woodies that no one seems to mention. I had heard nothing about it and was very surprised to ride it when we visited Lakemont this year.

Plus, I really dig the location with the stadium. That has to make for one of the coolest baseball game backdrops anywhere.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 10:30 AM
The whole complex impressed me. I was led to believe the park would be some barren field with no trees... while there were some very open areas, there were also quite a few shade trees, especially over the antique car ride by the Skyliner's turnaround. The Casino is a beautiful building with tons of character and that stadium is one of the most impressive minor league ballparks I have ever seen! I would love to go there, watch a game with the Skyliner in the background and finish off the day with a few rides.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 12:22 PM
Another Skyliner lover here...although I think LTD is even better than that! Went to Ridefest last year and I agree, the park puts on a nice event. I'd be there every year if I didn't live 2000 miles away.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 1:47 PM
The first couple times I went to Lakemont, the stadium hadn't been built yet. It really does lend a classic feel to the coaster having it there, though.

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.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 1:55 PM
It's in my PA top ten. I'd rank it below the Knoebels coasters and Hershey's Lightning Racer but above anything at Kennywood.

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.

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Monday, October 11, 2004 3:07 PM
The Lakemont Skyliner has to be my biggest "coaster regret." It was in 1998, 2 years before I would have called myself an "enthusiast" and I was in central Pa, visiting family (Lake Raystown area). My then girlfriend (now wife) and I were looking for something to do, and someone suggested Lakemont Park. It was a quick trip, maybe only 45 minutes or so, and we were there. We saw the then defunct "Leap the Dips" and the very old-looking (but running) Skyliner. After walking around the park, we decided the whole place wasn't worth buying the all day pass, and we left. We both thought Skyliner looked "Old & Rickety" TM and therefore probably wasn't safe.

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***

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Monday, October 11, 2004 3:45 PM
To be honest, it does look a little rickety- it could use some paint as much of it is flaking off. But the ride is far from it, delivering a ride of quality comparable to wood coasters in Santa Claus and Elysburg.

You should really get back there and spend a few hours. Now that LTD is running, there is really no excuse! ;)

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Monday, October 11, 2004 5:04 PM
2000 miles Bass? What's the big deal I thought that kind of mileage was a day-trip for you? ;)
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Monday, October 11, 2004 6:10 PM
The Rockies make my car tired, Boblo. ;-)

<---has driven 6676 miles for coasters this year...but I've only gone over the Rockies once, LOL!

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Monday, October 11, 2004 9:19 PM
I agree that Skyliner is a fine coaster. I've always felt that the best ride was up front though where you get a real nice launch at the top of the second hill.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 9:53 PM
Add me to the list of Skyliner lovers. Its in my Top 20 on Mitch's ballot.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 10:34 PM
I love Skyliner. It's in my top 5. If you ever go to the park, plan to go on a Thursday. It's their least busiest day and you can get on Skyliner and not get off for a long time. My past visit I was able to get 13 straight runs through it. 26 that day.
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Monday, October 11, 2004 10:46 PM
I love it too! I can't wait to ride it! :-)

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!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:22 AM
I once had a sig here at CB that said something like, "Skyliner is underrated". In other words, Me too!

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***

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:33 AM
I didn't feel a pothole, just a whole ton of forces. It's strange... most of the drops have long stretched of track between them and the next hill but there is no space between that drop and the turnaround, making for a very tight radius. I loved the way I got thrown from the seat and immediately got pushed back into it. It was one of my favorite elements on the coaster.

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.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004 8:27 AM
Count me in too. I love the very last seat on that first drop. Wow! I haven't been to the park since the year before Leap The Dips reopened (1998 I think). The whole reason I planned to stop there was from the Roller Coaster Weekend video mentioning the surprise airtime in the back seat on Skyliner. Wish I could have ridden LTD. I had to settle for watching them refurbish it and a ton of rides on Skyliner. We were only there for about 4 hours, but I manage about 15 rides on that gem.

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. :)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 12:55 AM
I love the Skyliner. That is one coaster in the back seat I prefer to ride holding on, not hands up. When I was there, the front seats were closed because they were shocking people. Don't ask me.

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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