Old wooden roller coasters endure, even with new steel rides

Posted Friday, August 24, 2012 10:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff

With the summer theme park season winding down, many park operators are turning their attention to the future, laying the groundwork for new thrill rides that promise to climb higher, drop faster and stimulate even more adrenaline. Not Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pa., or dozens of other smaller parks around the country where century-old roller coasters give riders “thrills” of another sort entirely.

Read more and see video from NBC News.

Friday, August 24, 2012 11:37 AM

When I went to Lakemont for my only visit in 2009, I paid a discounted "after 5pm" admission following a DelGrosso's stopover. I did not have to pay per ride on Leap The Dips. Article says it's $2.50 per lap on top of park admission. Is that new?

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Friday, August 24, 2012 12:34 PM

If you didn't pay it was a fluke, the extra price has been that way since it's restoration.

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Friday, August 24, 2012 12:37 PM

Yeah, I forget how much I paid to get in, but I got 5-6 rides on LTD, which I enjoyed immensely. It was like riding on a rolling sofa.

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Friday, August 24, 2012 12:42 PM

^You are aware that the ride's rebuild was done by a furniture manufacturer, right?

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Friday, August 24, 2012 12:51 PM

^^I can't tell if you're serious or not, Gator. But it would actually make sense to me.

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Friday, August 24, 2012 1:09 PM

Totally serious! "A carpenter specializing in restoring furniture was hired to oversee the restoration and managed to retain 70 percent of the original lumber. Restoration finished successfully and the coaster reopened on Memorial Day, May 31, 1999, and has remained open since."

Source: http://www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Coaster.html

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Friday, August 24, 2012 2:12 PM

Mike Gallagher said:

It was like riding on a rolling sofa.

Where have I heard this before?

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Friday, August 24, 2012 4:12 PM

Dunno, but that's how comfortable it was to me.

And thanks, Gator, for that tidbit. Great stuff!

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Friday, August 24, 2012 7:51 PM

I have not yet ridden LTD and watching that video makes me want to ride it that much more! I was last there in early 90's when it was sitting dormant with weeds growing through it. I am coming up on my 500th roller coaster hopefully early next year and would love to make it Leap the Dips. That would be a great milestone for me.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012 11:55 PM

Leap The Dips is a great classic ride. It's not very fast. The rickety factor makes it more intense then it actually is. There are some nice pops of air. All the while you feel like you're riding on a lazy boy recliner with no restraint whatsoever. The Lakemont, Delgrosso trip is one that I'd recommend to any enthusiast. Both are nice little parks.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012 9:39 AM

The upcharge pricing didn't go into effect until 2010.

Looks like it was discussed here at that time:

http://tinyurl.com/9atnaj5

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Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:50 AM

I've never been to Lakemont or Delgrosso's, but I've been nearby many times. It seems whenever I head east, once I'm done with the major parks I'm short on time, tired, and anxious to get home. Shame on me, too- I value smaller parks with nostalgic rides and attractions. I'll definitely make it a point to work 'em in next time.
I have a question about Leap the Dips for those that have been recently. Since it was saved and painstakingly restored in 1999, has the park been able to keep up necessary repairs, paint, and the like since then? I know Lakemont realizes what they have there, but as we all know even large parks with plenty of money tend to let things slide. I hope it's stayed in like-new condition and won't fall into disrepair again. Just wondering.

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