Janis and I went to Waldameer back in 2001. She had been there as a child many times, that was my first time at the park. It was one of those parks that you may hit once and not return once you got the coaster credits. Then they had the Comet and Ravine Flyer 3 kiddie coaster (which they let us ride). I knew they were hoping to build the Ravine Flyer 2, but it seemed it wasn't going to happen. So I honestly thought I would never return.
I saw the plans for the Ravine Flyer 2 about 2 years ago, I have to admit, on paper it didn't look like a design I would be thrilled about. I am very happy to say I was 100% WRONG... It was one of the best wooden coasters I have ever been on.
We arrived at park opening, Janis's brother (Bob) lives 2 miles from the park and he met us at a local Steak N Shake for lunch, and he had printed a coupon for buy one get one in for 2 bucks. So we were very happy to get in for about half what we had planned for. We arrived a couple of mins before the park opened, 1pm. We got our wristbands and it was off to the Ravine Flyer 2. It was Friday and they were only running one train. I understand that is the normal operation on weekdays. The line was about 20 mins long for our first ride. The first cycle we took, I knew the ride was good, but like most wood coasters it had to warm up through the day.
As we made our way to the top of the lift, which seemed kind of short, once we got to the top the view of Lake Erie was incredible and the much longer drop was even more incredible. It had an almost perfect curve to the right all the way down. It had a very good break over and was a fast and furious drop was plenty of speed. It was so fast I really didn't pay any attention to going over the road the first time, I did notice the 2nd time and for a second I thought it was the first cross over and I briefly looked for the 2nd, later when I realized that it was the 2nd cross over I had to laugh at myself. The climb back up the ravine was fast and full of air time and laterals through the course. It throws you in every direction at least once. You have very little time to catch your breath before the next element hits.
The coaster got better during the day and the night rides were insane. This coaster (night and day) is 2nd for me only to the Voyage. I think the Gravity Group really knows what a coaster enthusiast wants. They seem to satisfy everyone’s wants and needs in a ride.
We managed to get about 18 rides on the Ravine Flyer 2 during the day and evening.
We also rode the Comet twice, its a very nice junior coaster and is well maintained and has aged well. I love how they have kept it loading on a curve and still operates with the hand lever.
The Steel Dragon was added since our last visit, so we got another coaster credit. This was a big surprise to us, we knew it was there now, but we didn't know it was good. Most little steel coasters (we just nicknamed all little steel coasters "mousey coasters"). Most of those style are jerky and sometimes painful, but not this one. It was glass smooth, the perfect curving first drop is something Mike Boodley would be proud of. The spinning was well placed and made sense in the ride. It was just a fun coaster that kept us laughing during the circuit. I would take one of those over a MACK Mouse any day...
Other rides we rode at least once were (and in no particular order). The freefall twice, the fun house walk through, the dark ride, the Spider, the Ferris Wheel, the train, the sky ride, the log flume, the tilt a whirl and just about every other adult ride in the park.
We met up with some friends in the area that we have not seen in many years and had a great evening of riding.
The Ravine Flyer is a wonderful new coaster and I have ranked it my # 2 wood coaster. I am very glad Waldameer finally beat the odds and was able to build this wonderful wood coaster.
On Saturday we went to Kennywood, first time in about five years. I will be writing another TR on it later tonight or tomorrow.
I've got to say that Ravine Flyer II knocked down many long time favorite woodies down a notch in my list.
I agree, RFII is a great ride.
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