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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Waldameer Trip Report: Park Improvements and Ravine Flyer II's 10th Anniversary

We started our 2018 park season at Waldameer during their opening weekend. As always, visiting this park was delightful. The park had a nice and relaxed crowd, enjoying the park's many awesome rides, and beautiful environment. 
It is awesome to be greeted entry to the park with a view of the park's recent waterpark expansion. They have nearly doubled the size of their waterpark in the last few years. In 2014 they repainted many of the waterslides to look brand new. In 2015, they added a wave pool, which greets you as you enter the park.  In 2016 they added a bank of family waterslides and in 2017 they added a water play area, with even more family waterslides. 
This year they added a bowl slide onto an existing slide complex, boosting the park's waterslide count to 19. Earlier this spring the Mercyhurst University Crew Team, and members of the local Coast Guard unit, gladly volunteered to test out the new bowl slide. The waterpark opens on Memorial Day Weekend. This weekend, as the dry side of the park was opening to the public, legions of workers were cleaning and painting the waterpark. It is immediately evident how much pride the park takes in itself with the effort the park takes in aesthetics and operations. 
 Now headed into the dry part of Waldameer, which opened for the season this weekend. 
This new family ride is the primary addition to the park this year.
They have already announced that they plan to add a Zamperla Mini-Discovery frisbee ride next year, which should be a great addition to this already awesome park. This image is of a similar ride at Camden Park.

Now for some rides on the king of the Waldameer midway and the best roller coaster on Lake Erie, Ravine Flyer II. As always, this coaster was excellent. They do such a fantastic job maintaining this coaster.

 The coaster was hauling through the layout and it is as smooth and airtime filled as it was when it first opened. This coaster is a masterpiece. 
 Next up was a ride on the Ferris Wheel. I could not resist catching this perspective of Ravine Flyer III. 
 The park's Ferris Wheel is so much fun to ride. The views it gives of the park, the lake, and the peninsula.
 Ravine Flyer II is an engineering masterpiece. The Gravity Group did such a fantastic job with this ride.

 The Sky Ride is so much fun to ride. 
 The Comet was built in 1951 and is one of the last coasters ever built by Herbert Schmeck, one of the most illustrious coaster designers.
The park's Thunder River LogFlume, with the spinning Steel Dragon coaster in the background.

 More views of the midway

 Heading back towards Ravine Flyer II on the Skyride
 And it is time for even more rides on the epic RFII
 And for a journey through the awesome Whacky Shack Dark Ride.
 And a ride on the park's X-Scream drop tower. These ARM/Larson Drop Towers are the best in the business. You have no idea when they will reach the top, and the drops are intense. The view from this one really makes it stand out. Larson also makes an excellent swing tower, which more parks should install.

The L. Ruth Express Train.

As always, we had a great day visiting Waldameer. We highly recommend visiting this awesome and affordable amusement park. It is home to the best roller coaster on Lake Erie, and one of the finest wooden roller coasters on the planet. It was a joy visiting this park on opening day. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Cedar Point's Steel Vengeance Skyline Views

Today we take a look at the changes to the Cedar Point skyline with the addition of Steel Vengeance. Just under a month remains until the coaster opens to the pubic. Track work has completed and testing has begun. There is a marked difference in the skyline of the park with the completion of Steel Vengeance. The already massive, 161 foot structure of Mean Streak is now 44 feet taller with its conversion to Steel Vengeance. This makes it tall enough to be noticeably viewed from the front of the park.
Steel Vengeance and Maverick, as viewed from across Sandusky Bay.
 It was just a little too foggy to get a decent view from Huron of the Cedar Point skyline, though it was certainly noticeable.
Parking lot view of the skyline. We have not visited the park since the construction of Valravn. It is incredible that they have built two coasters that are 200+ feet tall in just a few years, and that the park now has six giant coasters that meet that mark.

Note that Steel Vengeance is now visible from the front of the park. Those extra 44 feet give it that extra push. It is still incredible to me just how much change you see in the skyline with the addition of Valravn.

Now for some views from across the bay.

Steel Vengeance and Maverick

 Valravn, Raptor, Windseeker, and more.
 The original big three, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Magnum. 
A view of the entire skyline. It is neat to see the scale of just how far the skyline of the park stretches. From the front of the park at Gatekeeper, to the furthest point back at Steel Vengeance, the midway is just short of a mile long. We can't wait to get back to try out Steel Vengeance!

For more information about visiting the park, check out the park's website at www.cedarpoint.com

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2018 Roller Coaster Calendar

Today we are pleased to announce the release our 2018 Roller Coaster Calendar. This wall calendar features sites and sights from many amusement parks, including Knoebels, Holiday World, Kentucky Kingdom, Waldameer, Seabreeze, Cedar Point, Six Flags New England, Kings Dominion, Six Flags America, Kings Island, Hersheypark, and Kennywood.
This wall calendar is spiral bound and measures in at 17 x 22.
Also available is our book "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip" through the drop-down menu at the top of our page. Thank you for your continued support!

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Knoebels Labor Day Weekend 2017

We closed out our summer with a visit to Knoebels. I am not sure what it is about this park, but it always so magical to visit. 
Impulse cutting through the morning fog. 

After having some lunch at the Alamo Diner, we dropped by Phoenix to experience its onslaught of airtime and fun laterals. It seemed to get better as the day went on. 
The laterals in the turnarounds were really pretty great, especially the third one.

The flyers were as awesome as always.
These Larson/ARM Drop Towers are the best in the industry. No warning on when they will drop and a rapid descent makes these really stand out. In my opinion, ARM Drop Towers and Vertigo Swing Towers outperform their much taller counterparts.
Twister was really flying as well. It was a tough call if I preferred this or Phoenix on this visit. 
The unseasonably cool Labor Day weekend kept swimmers away from the Crystal Pool. The pool will be used for the "Doggie Dive" fundraiser next weekend to close out the pool's 2017 season.
The wicked spaghetti bowl section on Twister.
Flying Turns gliding by.
 We took two rides on the Scenic Skyway

 Now for the big news!
 Brit won coverall at Fascination!
It is the little touches like this that make Knoebels one-of-a-kind

Before we made an encore, we decided to take an evening ride on the Pioneer Express train. When we got out to the woods, a few deer decided to show up!

 We started to head out, but once we saw how incredible the sunset was, we could not resist heading back into the park. 
 We decided to take in the views from the Scenic Skyway. It was a great call.
 The chaser lights on Twister and Phoenix looked awesome.
Knoebels, was as awesome as always and the autumn season will be a great time to visit the park.