Waldammer, Conneaut next week? Crowds?

Saturday, July 9, 2011 5:28 PM

Me and my friend are planning a short trip to PA next week. I've never been to Waldameer or Conneaut, and am wondering what crowds are like. Also, the Conneaut website says Blue Streak is down this weekend, but I cannot reach them to find out if it will be up next week. Every time I have tried to get to that ride, something has happened (like lightning, for example).

We could also skip that part of the state, and simply head directly to Knoebel's, I have a feeling we could spend a longer time at this park.

Leaving Chicago Monday night at 7pm, stay in hotel 1/2 way to first destination, all day Tuesday and Wednesday to ride, and must be back in Chicago Thursday at 2pm for Beth's work. Hmmm... what would YOU do?

Saturday, July 9, 2011 8:27 PM

I believe Conneaut is only open Thurs-Sun.

Sunday, July 10, 2011 10:54 AM

I wouldn't worry about missing Conneaut Lake because the Blue Streak is totally brutal. On the other hand the Revine Flyer 11 is totally out of control in a good way.I was at Waldameer on July 2nd. It was real hot that day . They were running two trains and I never had to wait more than one train.

Sunday, July 10, 2011 1:28 PM

I wouldn't worry about crowds at either place, especially Conneaut. Waldameer may have a busy looking parking lot but we found most of those folks were either at the waterpark or picnicing. It's tiny enough to make it doable.

If you dig small parks with more of a local feel then these parks are for you. When you ask what would we do, are you saying the choice is these 2 parks OR Knoebels? I guess I would recommend Knoebel's over these two, especially if you've never visited. However, it sounds like you dont have enough time to make it to Elysburg and back and enjoy it thoroughly.

For a swing thru Pa., I recommend Kennywood, Conneaut, and Waldameer as a western trip, and Knoebels, Hershey, and Dorney together for an eastern trip. My driving trips from Columbus to Knoebel's have always seemed excruciatingly long... from Chicago? No thanks.

Where ever you decide to go, have a blast, be careful, and let us know.

Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:41 PM

Hope to see you at Waldameer! (Granted they have me on Ravine Flyer II or Steel Dragon) Crowds will not be an issue during the week. One train operation on Ravine Flyer II is still less than a 10 min wait on Tues-Thurs.

Monday, July 11, 2011 1:07 AM

I stopped at Waldameer on the way home from CP last trip and Ravine Flyer II is absolutely fantastic. Just a really awesome little woodie that will be sure to leave you smiling at the end, I could not say enough good things about that ride. The view in the front on the first drop was beautiful and there was no line when I went in June with 1 train operation. However I really don't see Waldameer being a full or even half day park, but I only was there for about an hour when I went so the park could have more to offer than what I saw.

Monday, July 11, 2011 1:18 AM

^Don't they have an old fashioned coaster/dark ride like the one at Camden? If yes, I cannot wait, that thing was a BLAST! Flyers, and a couple other coasters? I'm careful about little parks, particularly the older ones. From a trip to Lake Winnie years ago, I find that I need a long time in an old park. Now Michigan's Adventure, that's a 2 hour park.. or Six Flags America :(

Monday, July 11, 2011 1:59 AM

Well, I didn't have a whole lot of time to stop as it was a spur of the moment stop on my 12 drive home from Kings Island. I couldn't really stay for an extended period of time as I had already put my girlfriend through 2 days of coastermania and one of KI. So she was extremely coastered out already and I'm lucky I got her to get on Ravine Flyer. But just based on Ravine Flyer II alone I would recommend going to Waldameer, the park seemed like a really cool small park with more to offer than what I was able to enjoy. An extremely refreshing change of pace after 3 days at big CF parks. Next trip I make out to CP I plan on making Waldameer part of my plans so I can better enjoy the whole park as opposed to just Ravine Flyer. I am just now starting to branch out from SF/CF parks and really look forward to going to these smaller local parks.

Last edited by NitroRider, Monday, July 11, 2011 2:04 AM
Monday, July 11, 2011 2:16 AM

CoasterDemon said:
I find that I need a long time in an old park. Now Michigan's Adventure, that's a 2 hour park.. or Six Flags America :(

You're doing it wrong.

Monday, July 11, 2011 10:31 AM

Honestly... I'd go to Waldameer, period, out of Conneaut, Waldameer, and Knoebel's (Shout heretic all you want *ducks*).

Reasons are simple: Waldameer has Ravine Flyer II, Waldameer has Ravine Flyer II, and... no, but seriously. RFII.

Half joking aside, Waldameer is absolutely a day-able park. Plan on going to the waterpark for a few hours (it's small and non-extraordinary, but not ever seriously crowded, and there are a couple seriously fun slides back there), and you'll still have plenty of time to do everything in the park, and hit your favorites multiple times. 3 coasters (incredible, quirky, and classic, respectively), a great drop tower with views over Lake Erie, a *classic* dark ride, and a fun array of flats (Disko, Swings, Flume, etc.) make this a can't-miss for me. Great atmosphere, free parking, cheap admission and cheap eats too.

Conneaut... unless you're dying for the Blue Streak credit or are feeling charitable, this place is a pass for me. There's just not enough there, operations are miserable, etc. Don't expect to get a straight answer as far as whether or not Blue Streak will be up until the day of (and that's *if* you can get a hold of a human). They know as well as you do that if you're calling to ask, your business depends on the ride being open.

Now, Knoebel's is a great park, but other than atmosphere and slightly larger size (but I'd argue not substantially more substantial ride lineup) it's not worth the extra drive. Remember, this is PA... Chicago to Waldameer is just under 8 hours, whereas Chicago to Elysburg is another 3.5 hours east.

Plus, for me, Phoenix is the main draw there coaster-wise as Twister has become unrideably brutal (and this is coming from a guy raised loving the original Steel Phantom), and with the waterpark at Waldameer, it's really a wash as far as the rest of the park in my opinion. Still a *great* place, but the driving might get strenuous given your timeline.


In your situation, I would...

Tuesday - Drive to Pittsburgh, spend day at Kennywood, hotel in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday - Drive to Erie (~2 hrs), (stop *briefly* at Conneaut along the way if desired) day at Waldameer, drive back towards Chicago, hotel in Ohio boonies somewhere.

Thursday - sleep longer / wake up later than if you'd stayed in PA, drive to Chicago, still be back in plenty of time for 2PM work deadline.

But that's me. That'd be doable without being exhausting, and you'd get both your proposed parks in, no problem, plus a bonus day at Kennywood. You could also substitute Knoebel's and Elysburg for Kennywood and Pittsburgh on Tuesday if desired, though that would mean more driving and skipping Conneaut for sure on Wednesday.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Monday, July 11, 2011 1:53 PM
Monday, July 11, 2011 11:12 AM

Hey Billy

When are you planning on going to Waldameer? I am going home to the Erie area this week and will be hitting up Waldameer as well - probably Friday, but maybe Thursday or Saturday.

EDIT: Oops... never mind. Just re-read your initial post and it looks like you'll be headed back to Chi-town on Thursday. Have fun!

Last edited by TiggerMan, Monday, July 11, 2011 11:14 AM
Monday, July 11, 2011 1:46 PM

If you were to ask me, those parks are not worth the drive. But this is your trip.

With that said, if you're in the area, stop at Conneaut! Everyone drools over the abandoned amusement park photos and videos, here is one that you can go in and still experience. It's worth a stop if you're within an hour and have the time. It's not "amazing" in the way people think it's going to come back and be as great as it once was, it's amazing because of what it once was and what it looks like now. Waldameer won't be bad on a weekday.

Have fun!

Monday, July 11, 2011 2:36 PM

eightdotthree said:
If you were to ask me, those parks are not worth the drive.

Very refreshing to hear someone say that.

Monday, July 11, 2011 2:46 PM

^I feel that way about Cedar Point, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Dorney, Michigan's Adventure, Six Flags America, Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds, so I understand the sentiment :)

Monday, July 11, 2011 3:19 PM

I just got back from both of those places this past week We stayed in Erie for a few days. Waldameer was fun, the Ravine Flyer 2 was fantastic. The longest I waited was 10 mins with only one train on the tracks.

As for Conneaut Lake. I ran down there on Thursday to ride the Blue Streak. They are only open Thurs-Sunday. So that will not work for you.

The Blue Streak broke when I was on it. I was the only person in line for a few mins and the ride op said he just greased it so he needed more people or it might might not make it back into the station. One other guy came up and he said he needed more so he asked some workers to get on too. We got about 3/4 of the way up, there was a loud crash and the train jolted pretty hard. It went a few more inches up and stopped. We had to walk down. The ride op said it was the anti-rollback dog.

Id just go to Knoebels if I were you. I liked Waldameer, but it's no Knoebels.

Last edited by ebskoot, Monday, July 11, 2011 3:28 PM
Monday, July 11, 2011 3:23 PM

^Thanks for all the input, everyone :)

I *finally* got ahold of someone at Conneaut, and Blue Streak will be down for 2 weeks. The website says it will be down on the weekend (the one just past) so I figured it would be up by now. Talk about frustration....

Googling to find out how far to Knoebel's now :)

edit - Kennywood, we are going to Kennywood instead :)

Last edited by CoasterDemon, Monday, July 11, 2011 3:36 PM
Monday, July 11, 2011 3:29 PM

CoasterDemon said:
^I feel that way about Cedar Point, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Dorney, Michigan's Adventure, Six Flags America, Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds...

Which is pretty typical in enthusiast circles.

That's why 8.3's comment was so refreshing.

Monday, July 11, 2011 3:33 PM

I Just wondering if that counts as a ride if I only make it through the tunnel and most of the way up the lift?

Monday, July 11, 2011 3:38 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

CoasterDemon said:
^I feel that way about Cedar Point, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Dorney, Michigan's Adventure, Six Flags America, Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds...

Which is pretty typical in enthusiast circles.

Really? I find the opposite to be true. Everyone in a rush to get to Great Adventure and CP. Never thought of myself as typical, oh well :)

Monday, July 11, 2011 3:41 PM

Dude, if I had to pick someone off this board to represent the typical coaster enthusiast, you'd be on the short list. :)


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