Waldameer Opening Day 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012 12:38 AM

Hello my fellow coaster lovers,

This year is going to be an interesting one for me, as I am moving out to Yellowstone for the summer. I am trading my roller coasters, park fries, and cotton candy for hiking boots, grizzly bears, and softball. Anyhow a month ago I begun the coaster season by going to the IX Indoor Amusement park, nothing of spectacular proportions, but was able to get a coaster down.

Today I convinced my mom to tag along with my dad and I to head to Waldameer. Since the park has free parking and entry, I figured it would be a safe bet in case she did not ride anything (which she didn't). First change I noticed when purchasing the wristband was the park has gone to ALL cashless except for the ticket booths. Meaning you either have to use a credit/debit card or buy a Wally Card. My personal opinion is that in general the cashless idea is pretty good, as most people don't use cash anymore anyhow. Some places I saw had a $5 min. on card purchases, but the wally card had no limit.

After buying the wristbands my dad and I decided to make Ravine Flyer II our first stop.

Ravine Flyer II: 15 minute wait (back seat)

Started off the day right with a back seat ride on this amazing coaster. The ride received some much needed TLC in the off season and I don't remember a coaster running that smoothly since when my dad and I went on Blue Streak right after the track had been greased. The normally jerky parts just weren't there, and my only complaint was for a while the second to last row only had one side working.

Later in the day we rode the front seat with another 15 minute wait....and again running beautifully smooth.

Headed to see if Steel Dragon was running (but at the time it was not) so we headed toward the bumper cars.

The bumper cars were the longest wait we had at about 20-25 minutes, not bad considering the park was pretty crowded. A lot of people were processing season passes.

Next up was good ole Comet, but not so ole anymore...

Comet--15 minute wait (back seat by sheer luck)
Comet is the coaster which is first come first choose, so never really know where you are gonna sit. Luckily for me, I was able to ride back seat. Comet had some new and interesting changes which are both good and bad I suppose. The whole shebang is now automatic, from the brakes to the buzz bars, to even the ride rolling out of the station. No more watching the ride attendants push and pull the big blue levers. The bad though is the buzz bars do not always work properly and you will hear the attendant push the button 3 sometimes 4 times before they work. And on release sometimes the attendant has to auto release them.

Saw the cutest thing though, there was a little boy, no older than 4 or 5 who was on the very front and put his arms up the whole ride. A young enthusiast in the making for sure.

Bought some mozzarella sticks and a dippin dot float (paid too much), and my mom bought a candy apple and a big cup of coffee (it was worth the $2.35 for the size of the coffee I think), and noticed Steel Dragon was finally running.

Steel Dragon---15-20 min. wait.

There were only 3 or 4 cars running, and they weren't being fully loaded, which I believe can be attributed to some of the issues the coaster was having. Every so often the attendant at the controls would have to leave and go down to the car in the braking area to push the train back into place, so the wait was longer due to that and cars not being fully loaded. The train was having sensor issues, as well as not lining up correctly. My dad and I went on a fully loaded car, and ended up being so stuck that maintenance had to come tinker with the car in front of us earlier. Not quite sure the true problem.

Overall it was a pretty fun time, saw some of the prom kids who were having prom at the park in the rainbow garden room, little coaster enthusiasts, guys and kids with mullets. Coaster enthusiasts, weird people, so just another day in paradise...haha. For an opening day, things went pretty smoothly, save for Tilt A Whirl not being open, the Steel Dragon having issues, and the bathrooms being absolutely disgusting.

Next trip---Cedar Point next friday...then drive out to Yellowstone.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012 9:59 PM

As a "Red Shirt" on opening day I can say it was bittersweet. The great turnout was fun to watch, but the opening day glitches were magnified as a result. This was the busiest opening day management could recall. It wasn't busy at all in comparision to July-August Saturdays, but a decent Tues-Wed crowd. Today, Mother's Day, was much slower like a May day is typically.

Unfortunately Tilt-A-Whirl is awaiting some parts from the manufacturer. Steel Dragon, however, ran 100% better on Sunday.

RFII was giving spectacular rides earlier in the week for test runs, and it is as smooth as it has always been.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:15 PM

I've been amazed at Waldameer since my cousin first took me there, it is sad that tilt a whirl is not working, but the fact that I have yet to be truly disappointed with the park speaks wonders.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:07 PM

I'm headed up to Waldmeer for a weekday afternoon in June (flying to Pittsburgh from Texas). Any tips or hidden "must-do" attractions? Obviously RF2 is at the top of my list. Any discounts available?

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:08 PM
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:34 PM

Comet is a modestly fun old woodie, and Steel Dragon is one of the better "spinning mice" I've been on. (Man, that sentence could sound bad out of context.) The drop ride, XScream, gives me a genuine "I'm actually kinda scared for a split second" thrill every time. So far, I've yet to go crashing through the floor. I'm not big on dark rides, but Pirate's Cove and Whacky Shack are kinda fun.

That paragraph basically summed up my typical Waldameer visit -- minus the part where we end up riding Ravine Flyer over and over. :)

Not sure about discounts since I normally go after work and do the after-6pm admission, but there's a $3 discount if you buy tickets through their website.

ProTip: Ride RF2 at sunset. The view from the lift hill is absolutely beautiful.

Last edited by birdhombre, Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:35 PM
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:30 AM

Note about June weekdays: The park is open 10:30-7:30pm so an evening trip would be pretty early evening. "Nightrider" discount is on days when the park is open until 10:00pm(weekends in early June and every operating day after June 15).

Must dos besides RFII are definitely Whacky Shack, Pirates Cove, XScream, and Steel Dragon. However, don't forget Giant Gondola Wheel, L. Ruth Express, and Thunder River. Also, if you can handle the spinners, I highly recommend Flying Swings because of its perfect location literally on the "edge" of the North End.

Don't forget to say "hey" to me on the midways. :-P

Last edited by AJFelice, Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:30 AM
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:37 AM

Yeah. I'm planning on leaving Pittsburgh about 1 pm which should get me there around 3 or so. I figure 4 hours should be enough for me. I'm not as spry as I used to be and I need to drive back to State College after the park closes.

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