We left the house about noon and started the 2 1/2 hour trek from Massillon, Ohio to Erie. It was a beautiful day so the drive didn't seem so bad. We arrived at the park around 3 and was suprised at how busy they were. There seem to be several company picinics and other assorted groups at the park that day. We started off by letting Britt get in a few rides on the Scrambler, Ali Baba and Wipeout. She was going to ride the Spider, but while she was in line some of the lightbulbs started flying off the ride (craziest thing I ever saw). So they shut it down and maintenance was there on the double to check every bulb and had it up and running in about 1/2 an hour. This was my chance so I got in line for Ravine Flyer II (RFII). The line was all the way out past the entrance sign by about 20 people. Suprisingly I only had to wait about 30 minutes and being a single rider I got called up from the line and grabbed a second to last row ride. I have heard nothing but good reviews of the RFII and I have to agree this is one of the best rides I have been on in quite sometime. With over 120 different coasters under my belt it is hard to suprise me with anything new. however, RFII may not be the biggest or the tallest but the quality of this ride is the best I have seen in a long time. From the moment the chain lets go to the time you hit the break run it is non-stop action.
We contiunued on riding other classic rides like the Paratrooper, Whacky Shack, Sea Dragon and others over and over. The proudest moment of the day for me was when Britt came to me and said she sould ride Steel Dragon with me (she does not like coasters, but since this one spins). So off in line we went. we only waited about 15 minutes and as we were loading into the car I asked her if she wanted to go up the hill forwards or backwards. Another suprise, she said backwards. As we were climbing the lift hill I looked over to see how she was doing and her eyes were as big as silver dollars. I thought oh no she's either going to hurl or pass out. As we were riding her mom was waving at us and I tried to get her to wave back, but she said "there is no way in HELL I am taking my hands of the bar". When we got of the ride she was laughing and having a good time. NO hurling and NO passing out, so all was well.
We stayed at the park until closing. This is the first time in problably 20 years that I had done that. I forgot how much the atmosphere changes at night with the lights and sounds. It brought back memories for me of Idora Park (Youngstown), Geuaga Lake (70's-80's), and Chippewa Lake when I was a young man and would spend a lot of time in the parks around home. I never realized how much I miss the ambiance of a small family park and watching the little ones enjoying the thirlls for the first time.
If you have never been to Waldameer I highly recommend it. Don't expect the big park thrills, but you will remember why we all love our parks so much.
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