Lunch TR: Geauga Lake 6/1/06

Associated parks:
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Thursday, June 1, 2006 1:06 PM
Today the plan was more to walk around and check out the place. Only a few dozen cars, unfortunately, in the rides-side lot, but lots of buses again.

I did sneak on Dominator, this time in the second row. It was pretty rough too, so I don't think my experience on Tuesday was an issue of seats. Again, it's in the turns where it hurts. Not an industrial-piercing-friendly ride. I'm kind of discouraged by this because I really like the ride, and I'm starting to think that it's not rough for any reason that the park can overcome.

Anyway, I'm still struck every time I come in the entrance how the park has atmosphere. The people, the music playing, the landscaping... it's just a really good first impression. What's weird is that the atmosphere is on and off throughout the park. Part of the reason for that is the ongoing transition, part of it is the haphazard way that Six Flags put stuff in (the park has zero "flow" to it). I guess another contributing factor is that the place is just so damn big. Seriously, when you look around, you really appreciate how much unused land and buildings they have on that property. It's huge.

There are at least two awkward areas still in transition. The first is the old water park area, which I thought would be history this year. The other place that's "weird" is the area behind the big slide tower where there are a handful of flat rides and the film and simulator. I also noticed there's a lot of land west of the new wave pool, which you can't really hide, but it's kind of a mess.

They're running an electric golf cart on the path behind the red house, which I assume on busy days is for grandparents, tired mothers and the like. That's a nice touch.

The new wave pool area is huge! I miss the old style mother-wave pools you could body surf on, but this one still puts up a nice wake. There were more lifeguards than there were people in the pool, and the procedure they follow to monitor the pool is insane. Safety is no accident though, so I'm not complaining.

I really think the water park is the gem of the park overall. I wonder how it handles capacity in the busy part of the year. Let's face it, there really is no other direct competition in the area anymore, and this place is like gold. I hope that attendance can justify some additional slides in the future.

Despite the small crowd, I was impressed that pretty much everything was running in terms of rides. That alone makes a huge difference from the old days, where you'd get half a park on a light day. Not many choices in terms of food, but it's mostly the same stuff everywhere anyway. They need to paint and/or clean up that 60's style joint. It's looking weathered.

All things considered, the park is looking better every year, and when you consider the bargain they scored when they bought it, there's little doubt that it'll be solid in the long run. They just need to figure out how to position it, and I think that's as the greatest water park in this part of the country. It's not there yet, but I think it's getting close (not that the local audience would know any better anyway).

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Thursday, June 1, 2006 1:12 PM
Sounds like things are on the up and up at GL. I've only been once and it was last year, but, I really didn't notice the roughness of Dominator that you and others are experiencing. I rode it at least 5-6 times, but, in your defense, it's the only floorless I've been on so I have nothing to compare it to.
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Thursday, June 1, 2006 3:17 PM
Jeff has got the dominator right, its not knife through butter smooth any more, but i think it isnt something that can change with work in a few areas like the corkscrews. The wheels still i think need work, or something underneath it because it isnt running as well as in past years, but still not bad. I also have to agree that the old water park area should have been worked on a bit, take a look at it when on the back end turnaround on the big dipper, the area has like nasty standing water in areas and all in all is kinda disturbing, but still, it has time to play out, but i think the park is really been running great. I said it before this as far as ride operation goes and maybe not atmostsphere to others, but to me is much better than the other parks in ohio to this point. I really enjoy this park much more and appreciate the things that have went on. Jeff, it would be nice to use that extra land back by the tram area to add a few rides so that ride area near the water park looks transitioned at least.

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Thursday, June 1, 2006 10:09 PM
Hey Jedff I thought I saw u walk on the deck of Dominator. I'm glad ying around, we're makling constant strides to do better and better every day.
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Thursday, June 1, 2006 10:34 PM
My personal pet peeve right now is the fact that they seem to run a LOT of Cedar Point commercials in the area. Even those fancy electronic billboards along the freeways advertise CP. Where's the Geauga Lake commercials and billboards at? I haven't seen many commercials and that's rather sad when you think that the park wants to attract more guests.

How does this relate to Jeff's TR?

All things considered, the park is looking better every year, and when you consider the bargain they scored when they bought it, there's little doubt that it'll be solid in the long run. They just need to figure out how to position it, and I think that's as the greatest water park in this part of the country. It's not there yet, but I think it's getting close (not that the local audience would know any better anyway).

The only way people are going to know about how great Wildwater Kingdom is and how much cleaner and better the overall park is is to let them know about it.

May I add that Kennywood is now advertising in the Cleveland area. There is a billboard along I-71 northbound near W. 65 St. exit. *** Edited 6/2/2006 2:37:32 AM UTC by X Factor***

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Friday, June 2, 2006 12:00 AM
Yeah it does seem kinda disturbing to be honest. Geauga Lake is getting less press here than kennywood. Also though is they have ran a commercial on the radio but you have to be lucky to catch it.
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Friday, June 2, 2006 1:09 AM
This isn't exactly regarding your trip report, but how come no GL TR'S mention Steel Venom or Double Loop? Does SV still have the hold on the back spike? I plan on visiting GL this summer and would like to know.
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Friday, June 2, 2006 5:54 AM
Is it possible that some of the smaller parks are impacting GL? There could be some families that decide to go to Waldameer instead because of the many family-friendly rides not to mention the park's affordability (not to deny the fact that GL is relatively affordable but with free gate and parking and low POP, WP might be on to something). Also Conneaut Lake had a banner weekend especially on Sunday with the Doo-Wop event.
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Friday, June 2, 2006 9:17 AM
When I was @ GL on Monday (Memorial Day), the holding brake was used on Steel Venom... and the only ride that "broke down" was Double Loop, which I didn't understand since I got the last ride on & didn't notice any problems.

The waterpark is coming along nicely & all... but I don't see how that section really makes the park. There still is a limited amount of things to do there, and less than half the slides from the old Geauga Lake/Worlds of Adventure carried over. Only the "Hurricane Mountain" did... but the Shark Attack sits idle on the ride-side & I guess the scrapped the other set (thank God, they killed the back) & the drop slides.

If you're going to handle large crowds on hot days, you need a little more variety. I still HATE how they handle their lazy river boarding procedure. Like I mentioned in my TR, you almost have to fight for a tube. The weaker human of the pack can stand there for 15 minutes waiting for a tube while the more agressive will get one in 2 minutes.

I'll definately agree the music playing throughout the park is a nice touch. They use decent JBL speakers just about everywhere as it's loud & clear. I just don't know their mind-set on having the floating bridge where they have it now. They still have the two ferry boats sitting idle near Wolf Bobs that now cannot be used.

I'm just not too much of a fan of their layout, because it's sometimes easy to get lost in certain sections looking for something. I never was a fan of that, and when I was new to the park at night... it was absolute chaos finding out where I was going!

I got a question for those that have visited frequently...

They have large fish in the water... same with Darien Lake, almost as if they stock it... but I also noticed a couple fishermen out in a small aluminum boat with a motor on the East side of the bridge. Where did they come from, and isn't that like shooting fish in a barrel? Wouldn't fishing in the lake itself be prohibited or doesn't Geauga Lake own the entire lake itself?

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Friday, June 2, 2006 2:05 PM
The Lake is public. A guy owns a small piece of property off of route 43 where there is a picnic pavillion, and a dock. It's nestled perfectly in between the two sides of the lake. Anyway, when he fishes, he doesn't usually get too close to the bridge, and thats where all the exotic carp fish are because everyone is feeding them.

I frequent the park weekly, and I've never seen him pull one of those out of the water. FYI yes the fish were added to the lake by the park. Albeit ages ago, just now you can see them out in the lake, instead of the one area Sea World had set up to feed them, which was when there was no brigde over the lake.

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Friday, June 2, 2006 2:54 PM
"They still have the two ferry boats sitting idle near Wolf Bobs that now cannot be used"

the ferry boats are up for sale from what i understand, so they will not be used at geauga lake anymore.

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Friday, June 2, 2006 3:10 PM

Arthur Bahl said:
There could be some families that decide to go to Waldameer...
The average Clevelander has no idea that park exists. I've still not been there myself.
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Friday, June 2, 2006 3:44 PM
Did you catch a dipper ride? How is it running?
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Friday, June 2, 2006 3:47 PM
Those giant carp fish are called Koi. At those sizes, they're about 200 to 300 bucks each.
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Friday, June 2, 2006 5:07 PM
Yeah thats it, Koi. Thanks for the reminder!
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Friday, June 2, 2006 5:39 PM
I don't think that small park area is owned by one person but is owned by a group of people who live right across from the park; some sort of community group.

I think Six Flags tried to purchase the land at one time but the residents refused.

X Factor

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Saturday, June 3, 2006 8:25 AM
Waldameer might consider promoting itself in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Buffalo areas, especially after RF2 is opened.

Meanwhile, this park appears to be a better park for families with younger children than either CP or GL. Most of the rides are ones that the kids and parents can ride together. They include a good junior woodie, historic dark rides, a flume, a sky ride and some family friengly flats. There is also a waterpark and a kiddieland and lots of trees.

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