Waldameer Park (6/20/2002)

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 7:25 PM

We arrived at Waldameer Park in Erie PA around noon on Thursday after a morning drive form Erie (where we stayed Wednesday night) to Ashtabula OH and then back to Erie (photo stops for Lake Erie light houses).

At first we wondered how to enter the park. Once in the parking lot (free parking here), we walked through an open gate and into the main part of the park. What was funny was that the building that looked like the entrance was basically in the middle of the park. We got our "all day" wrist bands there and headed off for the Comet.

This little coaster you can get a good view of as you enter as you have to walk by the length of it in to get to the main midway of the park. Not really expecting much from a coaster of this size, I figured it would be a good ride since it was a Herb Schmeck coaster from the 1950's. I was not dissapointed. Nothing spectacular, but nothing bad. (Did Schmeck ever design a bad coaster?) The trains were bench seats, but they were smaller than normal trains with this being a Jr.

My wife and I then headed over to the Ferris Wheel for some good photo ops of Lake Erie and Presque Isle. At the base of the Wheel was the kiddie coaster Ravine Flyer 3. A sign said that adults could only ride when accompaning a child. Well, I walked up to the ride op and told him I did read the sign, but could I hop a ride? He said he didn't care, so I jumped in the back seat and had the train all to myself. Okay, so it is a kiddie coaster, but it is a jerky little thing, a lot "rougher" than the jr. Comet sitting near by.

Next up was the little Sky Ride that travelled the lenght of the park and then Wacky Shack dark ride. Nothing scary here really, except a few of those surprises that make you scream simply out of surprise. It was a fun ride through. What we found laughable was the corny recording played over and over again at the entrance... a "creepy" voice warning riders "I will be watching you... if you throw things at me or misbehave you might lose your wrist band... maybe with your arm still attached."

Near by was Pirates Cove, one of the few remaining dark walk throughs. Again, nothing really scary, but it was fun.

The surprise of the day was Thunder River Log Flume. This was a surprisingly good ride for a park of this size. Right out of the station you drop down a dip and into a fast moving course through a tunnel. Winding around a bit, you go up the first lift and then drop down the first drop ("Little Thunder" ) . You then make a turn and travel up a larger hill and down the larger drop ("Big Thunder" ) . People waiting at the bottom can use coin operated machines to create "Water Blasts" that will also get you wet. Lucky for us no one was there to blast us and we stayed relatively dry.

A quick ride for me on Ali Baba (Flying Carpet)... at Least I think that was the name of it, and we decided to call it a day here and headed back to our car for the drive south to Conneaut Lake.

The crowds were light and all rides were practically walk ons. Only Wacky Shack and Thunder River had any lines at all.

All in all, a good little park for its size.

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 6/23/2002. ***

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