Small PA Parks - Request Assistance

Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:59 AM
I hate these type of topics, so please forgive me for starting one. First, some background: I'll be taking a trip to PA from Northern VA to visit three parks I've never been to on Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. I'm reserving Monday for an all day visit to Knoebels. Sunday I want to hit Lakemont, and one other park. Problem is, I'm having trouble deciding which one. I've done what research I can online, but I would like to get some of your opinions to help me decide. I've narrowed it down to either Idlewild or Williams Grove, but I'm possibly open to other suggestions as well (I will not go to Kennywood, Hershey, or Dorney, as I've been to all three fairly recently). Distance is a concern, as I don't want to spend too much time between Lakemont and the undecided park driving, and miss out on time in the parks. I'm aware of the coasters each park has, I just don't know them, if you get me. Which, in your opinion, has the better collection? Which park has the better atmosphere? Better assortment of other attractions? What should I not miss out on?

Thanks in advance...

Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:09 AM

DelGrosso's is just a few minutes from Lakemont. Ever consider that?

Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:28 AM
Rumor has it Williams Grove may not open next season. At least not under existing management.

Lord Gonchar, thanks for the info. I've been considering making a trip to Lakemont but will have to work a trip into DelGrosso's as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:32 AM
Vater - I'm doing a very similar trip in the same area over Labor Day Weekend:

*Friday - Knoebels
*Saturday - Lakemont, Del Grosso's, Conneaut
*Sunday - Kennywood
*Monday - Williams Grove, Clementon. We may also make a brief stop at Hersheypark on Monday depending how full the parking lot looks.

The problem with adding Del Grosso's on Sunday is this: what do you do after you've done both Lakemont & Del Grosso's and you realize you still have 1/2 a day left? Idlewild would be an option but since you're not doing Kennywood does it make sense to continue heading west, especially if your next destination is Knoebels?

As for "Idlewild or Williams Grove?" I can't answer that as I've never been to WG -- well, I've been there but it was closed! But since your plan is Knoebels on Monday and you want to minimize driving it makes sense to head east from the Altoona/Tipton area and visit Williams Grove.

Hope that helps!


Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:41 AM
I would suggest a Lakemont/Delgrossos on sunday and a Dutch Wonderland/Williams Grove on Saturuday.

Knoebels is a full day park.

Chuck, who says those two park combos are easily doable

Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:45 AM
Chuck - Vater said he's reserving Monday for Knoebels...all day Monday.

As for Williams Grove possibly closing I've heard the same: that the park is for sale and may close.


Thursday, August 26, 2004 11:56 AM
I had considered DelGrosso's, but I kind of ruled it out because it lacked something Idlewild and WG don't--a Schmeck woodie. Plus, it seems really tiny; I can't see myself spending more than an hour there, and that's being generous. However, do you think I'd have time to Lakemont, WG, and DelGrosso's?
Thursday, August 26, 2004 12:04 PM
That sounds reasonable to me.

For as far out of the way as Idlewild would be on this trip, I don't think it would necessarily be worth it.

Come up from VA, hit WG - head over to Altoona/Tipton and do Lakemont/DelGrosso's - continue north and hit I-80 east to Knoebels.

Just how I'd do it :) - although it is one big circle, so I guess any combo works out roughly the same.

(disclaimer - obviously, check park hours and such to see which way makes the most sense for the three stops in one day portion)

*** Edited 8/26/2004 4:08:56 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Thursday, August 26, 2004 12:27 PM
Not exactly close but Waldameer is a really cool park with a junior woodie, new MS spinning mouse, walk through fun house, and a dark ride.
Thursday, August 26, 2004 12:29 PM
That actually sounds good, Gonch. Pretty cost-effective, too, since DelGrosso's ride tickets are only $0.50 each. My wife and I should get in and out while only dropping a couple bucks each.

Too bad we'll missing each other all weekend, Moosh. :(

Thanks a lot for the help, guys...all I needed was a little guidance!

coasterfanatic - yikes! Waldameer is quite a bit out of the way. I'd actually pick Conneaut Lake over it and a couple of the parks I'm going to visit, but that's just not feasible on this trip, unfortunately. Maybe on my next trip to Kennywood or the Point.

*** Edited 8/26/2004 4:36:06 PM UTC by Vater***

Thursday, August 26, 2004 12:37 PM

Vater said:
I had considered DelGrosso's, but I kind of ruled it out because it lacked something Idlewild and WG don't--a Schmeck woodie.

And the Junior Woodie at Waldameer is a Schmeck, one of the state's four (Waldameer's Comet, HP's Comet, Dorney's Thunderhawk and of course Knoebels' Phoenix.)

The old Cyclone at Williamsgrove is I believe the only surviving design by Oscar Bitler.

Thursday, August 26, 2004 1:02 PM
We almost went to conneaut lake on our east coast trip, but they were closed on tuesday.

I was kinda bummed couse I wanted to ride there coaster.

Thursday, August 26, 2004 1:16 PM
Whoops...thanks for the correction, SLFAKE. I did actually know that, though I guess after researching all these small parks I started confusing them with one another, and somehow got it into my head that WG's Cyclone was a Schmeck.

However, don't forget PA's fifth Schmeck, Idlewild's Rollo Coaster.

Thursday, August 26, 2004 1:37 PM
Yeah... I did forget that one...

I thought there were more than 4... but I just didn't think of Rollo Coaster.

Thursday, August 26, 2004 2:07 PM
The old Cyclone at Williams Grove is I believe the only surviving design by Oscar Bitler.

Ride that one while you can!!

Thursday, August 26, 2004 6:40 PM
Because you never know!

(although I have not heard the rumors of the park closing after this season)

Thursday, August 26, 2004 8:04 PM
I don't know about the park closing, but I do know the Hughes' are looking to sell.
Thursday, August 26, 2004 9:27 PM

I have done lakemont and williams grove in one day.If you go to Idlewild your going to have to shell out for a full/half day just for a couple hours.

lakemont and williams grove should cost $15.00

or likely less.

Friday, August 27, 2004 1:39 AM
I rode the Cyclone just a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, it was an interesting experience. I sat in the 3rd seat and have never experienced such a violent ride on anything. Ever. I've flipped and totalled a car, but this coaster was more violent. No lie! ;)

What's cool about this coaster though is the fact that it's been through hell and high water (excuse the cliche) and is still standing.

Friday, August 27, 2004 11:14 AM
Vater - FYI, I've done Idlewild, Lakemont, and Del Grosso's in one day quite easily! Start at Idlewild and work your way east.



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