Waldameer 5/17/2008

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 9:53 PM
Met some fellow buzzers today,Phantom George,Ken Jones and A.V. Matt. Only got to talk to Matt for a few minutes before he headed uot for Martin's in Buffalo around 5pm. But saw everyone else thru out the day. I really suck at this so I will keep it brief.

Every ride was a walk on except the flyer which had a very inexperinced crew barely managing 5min dispatch times. They got a little better by the end of the day going a little under 2 minutes. Because of poor dispatch times waits ran up to 45min when the should have been 20. I will let someone describe the ride but I can tell you it got ALOT more aggessive in the final rain at sunset. Here are some photos for you to ponder.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 11:46 PM
I think the slow dispatch was not from an inexperienced crew necessarily, but how they are trained to load/unload the train.

First off, they wait until everybody clears the station before opening gates. Second, they only check belts on the riders on the first pass. Then they walk back to the front of the train and then they lower and check the bars. Unless they somehow change this process, two train operation will be stacking constantly for good periods of time.

But maybe you are right... As they get more experienced they will do everything a bit more efficient, maybe letting people load sooner and check bars a bit faster. Either way, I find the dual-check a little time-consuming (at this point).

On another note, the ride was a blast. I absolutely loved the first half and wish it kept going. If so, it would probably be my #1 woodie :) But the second half once it comes up the hill becomes a bit lack-luster. A very fun, solid ride, but the second half tones down quite a bit.

I liked the new PTC trains (stadium seating, offering slightly more legroom in the back of each car), which if I overheard correctly, allows the train to articulate a bit better. Either way, the ride was extremely smooth and the tracking was impressive.

Overall, it was an impressive ride!

*** Edited 5/18/2008 3:52:31 AM UTC by SteveWoA***

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 12:56 AM
Got out of work at 6pm in Cleveland, drove straight there through rain the entire time. Got to the park at 8, bought four tickets. At that point it was still raining. Got in line, which was short. And right before boarding, the clouds parted, the rain stopped and out came a huge double rainbow. Perfect! =o)

The Ride was amazing. Kind of disappointed that I bought 4 tickets, and only got to ride twice before they shut the coaster down at 830.

Going back tomorrow with a friend to use the other two, and explore the park further.

Would love to Add Ravine Flyer II to my track record. Unfortunately it is not listed under Waldameer Park yet on this site. =o/

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 1:33 AM
I drove out from Pottstown, PA early Saturday morning and arrived at Waldameer at around 1:30pm. Great park! I got my credits, including two laps on RF2 and tried a few other rides.

13 years of waiting and I finally got to ride RF2. It starts out great, although doesn't really kick you out in the back seat down any of the drops (big minus for me), but some nice air and laterals between the bridge and the upward turnaround. The bridge is good sustained floater air both directions. The following two bunnies were kinda weak, but noticeable. The rest of the ride was just a little too slow to deliver the goods.

The ride needs time to break in. I think it will improve significantly by the end of the summer, but right now it's much like Renegade...starts off strong although a little to GCI-y for me (doesn't have any bite to it), then runs out of steam. Sadly, it's nowhere near my top ten right now, but I think it can make the cut after some break-in time.

Nice meeting some new faces there today. I shared my first RF2 ride with Phantom George after pleading with the ride attendant to let me wait for the backseat.

Since RF2 wasn't showing any sign of getting better anytime soon, I left at 5pm after meeting up with Ray and Jeff for a bit and headed to Martin's Fantasy Island to ride another new (to me) woodie...Silver Comet, then finished the day at Darien Lake where I got the surprise of the day....Predator rocked! I've heard nothing but bad reviews of it, even from people who like intense woodies like I do. It must have changed, 'cause it was GREAT! Best of the four wood coasters today. I'd put RF2 next tied with Silver Comet, then Waldameer's Comet (which was a very fun jr. woodie). I hope Predator continues to improve. It must have been outstanding when it was new!

I look forward to returning to Waldameer later this year (maybe August) and seeing if RF2 can deliver the goods a bit more. I think it can!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 8:35 AM
I have to agree with A.V. Matt about needing to break in. I'll ride it again in a few weeks to see if it loosens up. I had some doubts about the design which proved to be correct and the weak part of the ride. After the lifthill crossover you still have nice momentum that gets wiped out by the rise before the 90. Reversing these elements would give the ride the boost it needs. A ground level 90 switchback ala Crystal Beach Cyclone with a little rise before the sixty footer to give some negative/lateral G's would completely change it demeanor.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:27 AM
Got to Waldameer right at 11. All the media was there doing there usual media thing. They did not let the public start to ride RF2 until a good bit after 12. Then there was the wait and the painfully slow dispatch times. I did not get my first ride until about 1:20 after the line that would of been 15 to 20 minutes anywhere else was about an hour. The other thing that got me other than the dispatch times was they did not let you wait for a specific seat. Now for the ride. Great addition For Waldameer! I think this is the one thats putting them on the map for people who have not been there before. First ride was third from the back. First hill is great along with the nice floater across the bridge. Then the turn around was nice tossing you side to side setting you up for the second drop back across the highway. This was my favorite part of RF2 as the airtime back across the bridge into the double up was excellent!! Then back on top it starts to lose some steam but still better then your average woodie. Into the turnaround setting you up for the 90 degree angle which I thought was a little slow moving down the final drop back up to the final two bunnies with very little air then the brakes. Very solid and a good ride. I figured I needed the very back to get the whole experience but was afraid i would not get to with there sear policy. That was until A.V. Matt invited me to join him in the last seat. I was more then happy to take him up on his offer. Is was pretty awesome to take his first ride with him plus being backseat. RF2 performed a little better in the back but was still not quite there yet. After that the line was even longer then before so we decide to hit the other attractions Waldameer had to offer. Great selection of flats with a spinning mouse and a nice jr. wood. The highlight for me was the Wacky Shack. These type of darkrides have been getting harder to find since i guess there outdated. Then we had dinner outside the park with Rsscbell and his family, Matt Jones, and my crew over at Syd's restaurant. Great food and good times were had by all. I would also like to thank Rsscbell (Randy) for making us feel welcome like we were part of his family. He also gave me a piece of the blue steel netting that covers the bridge over the highway. Nice collectable that you can't find in any gift shop. After dinner went back to the park and of course the clouds opened and it started to pour!! At least the lines were now short and i was not going to let rain spoil my fun!! got the back seat, got to the top of the lift and whoa... RF2 turned into monster!!! The ride this time was nothing like before. It was borderline insane!! Now the ride did not let up! This is what I wanted. It hit the 90 like with great force and was amazing. I wish A.V. Matt could of got this ride cause it would of changed your view in a second. It was ALMOST like a mini Voyage! Got 4 more rides in before they shut the line down. These 4 were absolutely AMAZING! Left the park with a smile on my face all the way back to Pittsburgh. What a Great ending.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:32 AM
Once again, the 90 degree banked turn is about the weakest element of the ride (just like the first two on Voyage). IMO, the extreme banking is only good for high speed turns like Hades' and the third one on Voyage. Otherwise, they feel very slow and kill the pacing. Even a slow turn feels fast when the laterals pin you to the side of the car.

It's a good family coaster right now (which maybe is what they wanted it), but I think it will develop some attitude eventually.

I wish we could fast forward to a couple of years from now and see how it's doing. Anymore, I'm finding new woodies to be too smooth and wishing they felt like they'd been there for a while. Seems like Boardwalk Bullet is the only one to have a real "woodie feel" out of the box, based on reports of the choppy tracking.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:38 AM
Grrr, wish I could have gotten a "rain ride"! But glad to hear the ride's potential was shown. That gives me confidence it will eventually be much better on a consistent basis. Great riding with you, George. And the Wacky Shack was very cool, as was the Pirate's Cove dark walk-through.

I also really liked how the trees around the Comet jr. woodie surrounded the ride in the way the trees at Adventureland (Iowa) surround the skyride. Really neat "tunnel through the trees" effect. And the kiddie coaster was completely above water with fountains--neat setting and a fun credit to boot. :D

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:35 PM
Well, I'm dissappointed to hear that the 2nd half doesn't keep up the pace of the first half. Then again, I thought the 2nd half of the Voyage was too much of a good thing, so maybe I'd think the Flyer is just fine.

Of course, it is the rookie season and it will get better with age. The last rookie woodie I rode was Legend, early in 2000, and it was much improved 7 years later... (yeah, it took me that long to get back there)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:09 PM
No doubt it will get better as it ages. I guess it's true what some people say about wood coasters being a lot like fine wine?

Boulder Dash- which I often consider my favorite wood coaster along with Phoenix- took a few years to become a great ride. Knoebels Twister, after almost a decade of operation, somehow manages to get better and better each year. I'm a bit disappointed to hear Ravine Flyer II isn't a top-tier ride as I expected it to be, but I'm not worried about it eventually becoming one.

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Monday, June 16, 2008 12:06 AM
Walked down to the park with my daugters tonight at 9:15 pm to see how RF2 rides at the end of a warm day. There was enough peeps around that none of the rides were running empty and had a couple in line. Paid my $13.50 for 9 tickets and almost had a freebie ride as the attendant did not check us for wristbands.

I handed her the tickets and she looked as if to wonder why I gave here so many. I pointed towards my daugters and took my seat. Now the only lights on the ride are little tube chasers going up the lift which do not wash out the view. It looks strange to see the campground with all the lanterns and sting lites around trailers and in the trees below. Almost looks like the park continues down.

First drop and crossover delivers as expected but I do not slam my thigh or knee on the jog up to the 2nd drop. I sill felt the latterals but a smooth flow that wasn't present on opening day. Smashed knees/thighs is my number one factor affecting re-rideabilty. The return run seems like one long tunnel after dark which is another plus for me. Shoot up the back curve and get a small shot of air that virtually non-existant on opening day croosing the lift. Even got a little of the rise before the 90. Now the 90 does nothing for me

and never will and kills the oppertunity for air going into the sixty foot drop. There is enough speed for 3 little poofs of air on the track before the brake run. They are not pops but they are noticable. They just felt like speed changes and not air on opening day.

I hope my nephew come here soon so I can get in another full day of riding before the company picnic which tends to be very crowded.

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