Waldameer Park and Water World, Erie, PA - August 7, 2004

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Monday, August 9, 2004 2:03 AM
Waldameer Park and Water World, Erie, PA - August 7, 2004

So it's Saturday morning, and there is nothing is sight to do, it's time to fill the hours. So I call up some friends, and ask if they want to take the 50 minute journey to Waldameer Park.

We arrived at the park around 1:30 PM. This place is tiny, and packed. We went to Steel Dragon first, since that's the only reason I wanted to go there. 30 minute wait. My first impression with this ride was, "Was that it?" I was expecting so much more. So I walked away somewhat disappointed.

From there we went into Water World. Great collection of slides. I was actually more impressed with their slides and water rides then I was with Geauga Lake's. The lines moved very fast since there was a bit of a chill in the air. The only wait was for a giant hot tub type deal, which we all decided we didn't need to experience.

Here comes my very first experience with bad Guest Services. I rode a tube slide; it was all fun and games, until I got hurt. It was nearly my 10th time down the slide, when I lost control of my tube, I was flipped over, and I cracked my head on the slide wall, really hard. When I landed in the splash pool, and stood right up. I grabbed my head, looked at my hand, and it was covered in blood. I got a whistle, and point from the guard, who told me to get out of the pool. I figured she wanted to look at the cut or something on my head, nope. She just wanted me out of the pool so others could slide down. I asked her where I could get some first aid, and I got a vague point to the left.

So I walk unguided to the Park office, where I got some ice, no Band-Aid, no "Sorry for your bad experience.” just some ice. And I was unleashed back into the park. It was now 5 PM, and I was done with Water World.

We all decided to take a drive down to McDonald's for some dinner, since the lines for even the food places were crazy. We arrived back at the park around 6:30PM for some rides.

I found the layout of Waldameer to be very sloppy. Small midway, with lines feeding straight out, so getting though the people waiting in the lines is just a big hassle. Maybe extending queue lines would be something to look into.

We finally waded our way to a ride, Ala Baba (Magic Carpet/Rainbow deal). This looked like it was going to be a happy ride; I've never been on anything like this, so I figured I could give it a shot.

Nightmare with Guest Services Part Two.

I board the ride, just to notice that it's just one long restraint, all with attached shoulder harnesses, steel, just steel, no padding, and no height warning, just steel. Well, the ride operator pulls down the restraint, and this is where I found out that being 6'5" tall, is too tall for this ride. My shoulders are being crushed, and I just scream and scream at the operator, telling him that he's going to break my collar bone. He just continues to push and push, meanwhile hurting me. So finally I over power him, and push the bar up. Then he decided to yell at me, I was not even going to stand for that, so I yell back. Then he walks over, and tells me to get off the ride. So I told him that was my intention. I get off the ride, and he follows me, and calls me a few names, so I turned around and called him a few names. Then he grabs my wrist, and rips off my wristband, I'm sure he didn't mean to, but he also ripped off my medical alert bracelet. That didn't make me very happy at all. I waited from my friends on the ride, and then I went back to the Park Office. This time I wasn't as friendly, and I wasn't bleeding. After a ***** session, I got a new wristband, and a nice Waldameer Sun Visor.

After we left the Park Office again, we decided to go on some rides that didn’t look height unfriendly. We rode Wipeout, Sea Dragon, one of the best Ferris Wheels I’ve ever been on, and The Spider.

Then I found the dark rides. I don’t know why, but I’m a huge fan of dark rides, and lucky I, Waldameer had two! First we rode Wacky Shack; this had to be one of the BEST power-car haunted houses I’ve even been in. It was very long, and very cool. If you like dark rides, you have to check this one out. Then we walked on over to Pirate’s Cove. This is a walk through fun house, which I thought would never end. It was lots of fun though. I give Waldameer two thumbs up for their dark rides.

After the darks, it was time to give Steel Dragon another spin, this time, I wasn’t expecting a great ride, but it delivered one. I was very surprised that time around. I got the true fun out of it. Since it was so fun that time around, we decided to give it one more ride. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to ride again. My hair dried, and poofed up and I was then too tall to ride. That’s alright though, I got a good ride out of it, and I didn’t want to spoil it.

From Steel Dragon, we ran up to the front of the park to get a ride on the train, and then Comet. Now Comet is a great little woodie. Not too fast, smooth, and nice little pop of air in the front. Three rides were enough for us, but I now claim it as one of my favorites.

We saved the best for last, Thunder River. Thunder River is hands down, the very best log flume ever built. Now I’ve been on Disney’s and Universal’s flumes, but nothing came close to Thunder River. It was just pure fun. Two fantastic drops and lots of splash. It was a great way to close out the day.

Overall, I really didn’t like Waldameer Park. It had a sloppy layout, and the park has no concept of crowd control. Guest Service is just terrible. I’m sure I will visit the park again, simply for the dark rides, Comet, and Thunder River, but otherwise, I’ll keep my distance.

Edit: Minor Typo *** Edited 8/9/2004 6:04:43 AM UTC by DS***

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004 11:34 AM
I made a trip to Waldameer on the 5th, and I too agree that there staff sucks! Now I will say, I can't remember his name, but he was working at Pirate's Cove and he was nice.

I was the same way after riding Steel Dragon the first time "was that it?" I loved the ride don't me wrong, but I just thought it was a very short ride. I guess because how fast the ride went:)

Waldameer's two dark rides...that's basically why I try to make a trip out there every year so I can ride/go thru them.)

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