Waldameer Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
Now with hopefully less Tyler.
I got up early enough on Saturday morning. It was still very overcast and misty. I left Cleveland going north east, and after less than 90 minutes, I was at Waldameer. That Sirius XM had a Daft Punk special on made the drive go by even faster.
I got to the park and it immediately reminded me of a nicer Camden Park. It was very quaint. I got there around 11:00, but the park didn’t actually ‘open’ until noon, and then they do the rolling open where other rides don’t open till 1pm. After buying my wrist band, the lady at the gate noticed my nifty Gatekeeper jacket and asked how I liked it. I ran in to some other coaster geeks in the park throughout the morning, all very nice.
So I spent the first hour getting around the park, taking some bad photos since the lighting was already terrible, and even sat down for a bit. The park is very quaint, and the employees were very friendly. I’d love to have a park this size close to me for convenient evening coaster riding. And right at noon, the National Anthem played and some rides opened. My first ride was the Wacky Shack dark ride. It was really a lot of fun. Again, reminded me a lot of Camden. The park had some decent flats, but I didn’t feel like spinning a lot during the day. I rode the chair lift around the park and took more pictures. I wanted to ride the Mega Disc-o, but skipped. Heck, there is one at Kennywood, right (Insert ominous tone here)? So after getting back around to the end of the ride, I headed to the Comet, the park’s smaller wooden coaster.
Waldameer Comet-This was a lot of fun. I was in the 2 row. Nice light floater air over the various hills. And there are plenty of hills. Plus the setting is very nice thru the trees. You can definitely feel the history on the ride.
I went and got in line for the drop tower next, which was very good. It drops you as soon as you hit the top, and you don’t stop till very near the bottom. Then, finally, I walked over and waited till Ravine Flyer 2’s queue opened. There was about a train’s worth of people in front of me. When I did finally get in the station, I opted for the front.
Ravine Flyer 2-This coaster is really amazing and packs such a punch for a smaller wooden coaster. The first drop has beautiful views of Lake Erie, and then it’s airtime over the bridge, amazing airtime on the turnaround section, more airtime back over the bridge, airtime up and down, then a slower 90 degree turn that was odd, then you dive back in to the ravine, then up. It’s non-stop. I immediately got on closer to the back and it was even more insane.
After riding RF2 a couple of times I went over to Steel Dragon. It spins, so I didn’t know how I’d like it. I was in line for a bit, but the park just isn’t that crowded.
Steel Dragon-I set on one side wile 2 smaller adult brothers were on the other side. I went up the hill backwards. The first drop was really amazing. We got some decent spinnage when we hit the release. This was my first of this type of spinner, and it’s definitely better than the Gerstlauer spinners and the spinning mice. Highly enjoyable. Not sure why more parks, big and small, don’t have one of these.
I went back over to Ravine Flyer 2 for some more backseat rides. This thing is going to rank highly for me. Smooth, fast, and chock full of airtime. I toyed with another Comet ride, but wanted to get to Pittsburgh. I was going to stop by Conneaut on the way, but didn’t have cell service, so I couldn’t call to see if Blue Streak had opened, as they were re-tracking it. I probably should have just stopped. I did get to my hotel near Pittsburgh around 4:30. Craig and kids were at Kennywood and they said it was packed, Phantom was down, and so I decided to wait till Sunday morning to go instead. I went to bed around 5 and didn’t wake up till the next morning. Side note, the Sheraton in Coraopolis was very nice for $53 a nite.
On Sunday I wanted to hit Kennywood a couple hours and the head home, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. When I went to get gas, my Debit Card wouldn’t allow me to do anything. I had moved money from my checking to my savings as I have a lot of things that automatically draft from my checking, but I didn’t want them all to hit while I was on vacation, so I moved all but a little money to my savings. Nothing recognized the account. No ATM, no store, no nothing. And the stupid number on the card was all automated and there was no one to talk to.
Eventually, I had to drive all the way to WV (about 70 miles) to a BB&T ATM, as there are none in Pennsylvania, just to get the correct number to call and get it straight. Apparently at some point, BB&T didn’t have my savings account attached to my debit card. I toyed with going back to Kennywood, but I was about 90 minutes away at this point, and on my way home, so I drove home instead. Maybe I’ll fly in to Pittsburgh later this year. I really need some quality Phantom time, Bad!
So that was that. I got home around 7:30 and uploaded my pictures. I missed out on 2 parks during the weekend, but in the end, still had a great get away.
Great trip report. I really enjoyed Waldameer when we went, even though it was just a 2 hour stop between Niagara Falls and Pittsburgh. I look forward to my next opportunity to go there. They really know how to run a small park, and keep the charm!
Cool TR! Tell me, was there any airtime on Ravine Flyer?
Hey, he didn't specify less kpjb.Last edited by Vater, Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:43 AM
You guys suck :-P.
I do think Steel Dragon is one of the better of the spinning mouse/cat? coasters, and I much prefer that style where 2 people face opposite directions, rather than squishing 4 together. And I've said here before how X-Scream is one ride that genuinely gives me a split second of fright-based thrill.
Glad you enjoyed Ravine Flyer 2 so much. My annual visit* is usually a starlight admission after work, so I've witnessed many a sunset over Lake Erie from the top of that lift hill. I'm so happy the park seems to be maintaining it properly; every year it has been running well, although depending on weather sometimes it only really kicks into gear in the last car.
*Don't know why I can't get there more often, since it's only 2 hours away.
I wish I had remembered to tell you to eat at Sara's, which is just down the hill from Waldameer (driving under RF2's bridge). Good burgers and curly fries there.
I am now both hungry and antsy to go to Waldameer. Thanks. :D
I agree, Bird. I'm no longer hungry, and have no desire to go to Waldameer, either.
I hate you Josh.
I do wish I had a park like Waldameer closer. It's nice living near Carowinds, but some times I just like having a small traditional park to go to for an evening. And having Ravine Flyer 2 near me would be awesome. I kinda wish I'd stayed longer at the park.
Nice TR, but seriously, luminisity is lame and GateKeeper is the greatest ride ever.
I disagree, I thought the bathrooms were terrible from sprinting.
YOU ALL SUCK!
Nice TR, but seriously, luminisity is lame and GateKeeper is the greatest ride ever.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Voyage and The Beast are the greatest rides ever. Gatekeeper is third. If you're trying to mock me, at least do a good job...
You just refuse to get it...
Here's a thought. If you want to talk about you, start a thread about you. And stop liking everything.Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:55 AM
Seriously, just go away already.
You know what, Tek? I honestly think I enjoyed your trip report better the second time, thanks! Well..., this time I didn't skim.
Nice TR. I also love Waldameer. We used to go there at least once a year, but seem to be slacking as of late. It's a great little day trip for us, and my wife doesn't even have to pay for admission (Cuz she doesn't ride anything.)
RF2 is easily the best woodie in OH, and Comet is lots of fun too. Nothing thrilling or "Xtreme" about it, but something about it just put a smile on my face. Like you said, you can really feel the history. I'll also agree with you on Wacky Shack. I'm not a huge fan of this style of ride, not even the almighty Knoebels one. But this one I enjoy. "Perhaps with your aaaarm still attached..."
Sounds like you skipped the waterpark. WHile they don't have the latest, high tech slides, there is one slide in particular that stands out.
The middle slide, while very short, is quite simply the best waterslide I've ever been on. Launch yourself down it and it's pretty much freefall due to the air you'll get. Crazy.
RF2 is easily the best woodie in OH, and Comet is lots of fun too.
RF2 is a nice long ride, but I believe the majority, if not all of it, is still in PA. :-)
I think its sad that that best wood ride in Ohio is in PA. If only Screechin' Eagle was still open.
Haha... alright... kinda a bonehead move on my part, huh? I guess because it's only 2 hours from our house, I kinda overlooked that little thing called geography. Let's call it the best wooden coaster in Ohio plus 20 miles. (Can't say PA because that would be the Phoenix)
There are many better than RF2 wooden coasters in PA as far as I'm concerned, the Phoenix being the best of them, but not the only one.
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