Waldameer - July 15

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 7:40 PM
I finally made it to Waldameer. I got to the park about 12:45 and bought my wristband. After the opening 15 minutes later I made it to the line for Ravine Flyer II.

RF2 is everything that was expected and more! It goes up the chainlift and provides a great view of Lake Erie as the top is reached. After that -- Sheer insanity. Big drops, fast turns, tunnels, airtime, and everything else that a coaster like this could possibly deliver with no trims to slow things down before the final brake run. It's my new number one woodie among those I have ridden. I was to ride it six times throughout the day. The ride crew was efficient with trains going out quickly even though only one train was being used. Wait times were 10 minutes or less.

I was to ride two of the other coasters as well. Steel Dragon is a fun coaster with its spinning making for an unpredictable ride. Its surprising how so much coaster could fit into such a small footprint. Then there was Comet. It's just a junior but it does have some mild airtime on some of the little bunny hops. It's a good family ride and a true classic with that unusual curved station and manual controls. I didn't credit whore RF3 but it appears to be a great kiddie coaster.

Two other rides I was interested in were the Tracey dark attractions. Whacky Shack is fun with its effects and stunts although some of the paint has become dull over the years. Pirates Cove is an interesting walkthrouch with mazes, stunts, tilted floors and other effects. It reminds me a lot of the old Boot Hill at West View years ago.

The Ferris wheel gives a great view of the lake, Presque Isle, and the park. I rode it twice, facing in different directions. X-Scream is the parks drop tower. Its different from the Intamens that I have ridden because there is no hold time at the top. It drops as soon as the top is reached.

Thunder River was a nice flume although I still prefer Kennywoods Log Jammer. It's still great to find such a ride in a smaller park.

I was impressed with the way some of the flat rides were running. The Tilt-A-Whirl gave me the best rides I have had on one in a long time. Lots of spinning. The Spider turned out to be my favorite flat here with planty of spinning along with the up and down and around movement. The Wipeout was run the way that it should be run -- both forward and backward. Take that, Kennywood.

One of the biggest surprises was the La Ruths Express Railroad. This Chance CP Huntington train heads over to the Ravine Flyer II area and returns. Just when you expect it to return to the station it heads out again through the well-shaded picnic areas. The ride is long! 13 minutes from start to stop. Some good news, by the way -- no more junkyard!

I stayed until 7 pm, getting several more rides in on RF2 just before leaving.

The park was uncrowded with short waits and many walk-ons. Whacky Shack had the longest wait, probably because of low capacity.

Waldameer is clean and well maintained. The park is more compact than Kennywood but is well landscaped. The only shortcoming I noticed was the park food. Not enough variety and not that great. It was also priced higher than Kennywood although considerably lower than the big chain parks. The park has abundant picnic areas much like many other PA parks.

Overall this park has much to recommend it. RF2 is putting it on the map. I noticed many visitors from. far away (North Carolina, Minnesota, Nevada) as well as from nearby places. Its another of those nice, smaller parks that provides such a change of pace from the megaparks. Hopefilly it will continue to get better in the future without losing its charm.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:55 AM
If I actually get my vacation that I am requesting for August, and IF I do a western tour rather than a southern tour, I will be hopefully hitting Waldameer before Cedar Point. From everything I have heard about RF, I really can't wait. This year has been a surprising year for me because I have ridden more wooden coasters that I was truly impressed by rather than steel. Steel is all starting to feel the same to me. I'm really wanting to try this ride out. Plus, I love to spin, so the Dragon sounds fun as well.

Good TR!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:24 AM
It's ironic that the blah food reviews keep pouring in for Waldameer. This has to one of the easiest parks to go outside of to get a decent meal and be gone less than an hour. Unless you are a pureist I would save my park food purchases for the snacks before leaving.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:21 AM
Hey Arthur, I was there on the 15th as well. I arrived at 3pm, took 2 rides on RFII, and then left. I was driving between Detroit and Elmira, NY and decided to stop by and try it out. It's a great ride!!!!

I am catching a flight out of Detroit tomorrow, so if anyone is interested, I will be at the MF EFT tonight at CP.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:55 AM
I honestly can't vouch for the food there either, because I think I only ate it one time the first time I was there 4 years ago. Since that time we ALWAYS bring our little grill and a cooler full of hot dogs, burgers, chips and pasta salad. Just being able to wheel that cooler (yes, I AM roller cooler cooler roller guy) into the park, stake out a pavilion and come back to it whenever is tremendous. It's not like it's a far walk either. Arthur mentioned that it was more compact than Kennywood, that's a HUGE understatement. The ride area of Waldameer is flat out SMALL, but they pack a bunch of GOOD stuff into that area without making you feel claustrophobic.

...and ride times? Are you kidding me? 3+ minutes on the Paratrooper? That Tilt is the best I have ridden, the Wipeout is nuts, Sea Dragon is the best swinging ship I have ever ridden, two to three minutes on the Scrambler. About the only bad ride in the park is the Dodgems. Worst I have ever ridden.

Nice TR by the way Arthur. :)

Tom

*** Edited 7/17/2008 3:57:04 PM UTC by LdScotsman***

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:15 PM
It's true about how compact the park is. You can easily walk from one end to the other in five minutes or less.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:19 PM
Hey gang, I'm going to try to work in a two-hour stop or so this Friday. Can anybody help me out with what to expect as far as lines for RF II and how many rides I should prepare myself for? I've never been there before and since I won't be able to go there again for a while, I wanted to go when I could get 4 or 5 rides on it in a few hours. Just wondering if that's realistic or not on a summer afternoon, especially on a Friday. Also, what other rides there should I hit? I also could hit it next Tuesday instead so that's why I'm inquiring about lines.

Thanks!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:50 PM
If you go during the week, the lines for RF2 should not be too long. I was there on a Tuesday and the wait was about 10 minutes during the daytime.

Other rides you should definitely ride during a 2 hour visit are are Steel Dragon, Whacky Shack, and the Ferris Wheel (great view). Even during a short visit like you plan, buy the ride-all-day wristband becuase you will come out ahead after 5 or 6 rides.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:53 PM
Thanks Arthur, sounds good. I don't know anything about the park so that was what I was looking for, just any idea on what the park is like. I'll mark down those rides and that's good to know that I should be able to get a few laps in on RF II in not too much time.
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