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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Conneaut Lake Park Update, July 20th, 2014

So on the way back from Cedar Point (Brit's Report and My Report) and Geneva on the Lake, we made quick a stop at Conneaut Lake Park since we were passing right by it. We had a lovely day at the park earlier in the year and we opted to get a few rides in on the Blue Streak before heading on our way. The more Blue Streaks the better is what I say! Why not get both in on the same trip? It was a great decision. Both Blue Streaks are at the top of their game right now and comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. John Allen, the designer of the Cedar Point Blue Streak, was a very different designer from Ed Vettel, the designer of the Blue Streak. Both are phenomenal in their own right. I am glad to say that I love both rides equally. Both have received some serious love over the last few seasons. Additionally, Conneaut Lake Park was more spruced up, with a wonderful volunteer effort over the last few weeks and the donation of lots of flowers and mulch. Every time we visit the park it looks even better. I hope this upward trajectory continues and the impending tax sale does not end up occurring. Onto happier things in the moment though, Conneaut Lake and the Blue Streak! On this rainy day, we were surprised the park was still open. Sure enough, there were some folks at the park.
 Some of the newly redone flower beds and new flowers.
 The carousel looking as beautiful as ever.
I really enjoyed riding in the misty fog.
 Now off to a quick stop to feed the wildlife at the Pymatuning Spillway, the place where the ducks walk on fish!

If you were not able to tell, we are all about randomness when we travel. Be sure to take in these two places, Conneaut Lake Park, and the Pymatuning Spillway. You will definitely not regret it! Also, please go out and support Conneaut Lake so that it can be preserved for future generations. If you purchase a copy of my book through the page, I will send you a free Blue Streak ticket. A portion of the proceeds from the book have gone to support the park. Get out there and support the park!

Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio and the former Erieview Park

On our trip to Knoebels this spring, we took the time to check out something many folks have recommended, the park's Fascination game parlor. Naturally, Brit was hooked, and I enjoyed it as well. So on the way back from Cedar Point, you can see my report here, and Brit's report here, we opted to check out a place in which one of the dozen remaining sets of these games remains, Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio. I had always heard wonderful things about this town, but never took the time to go visit it. Our style of travel is random. We always end up checking out random and different things, and Geneva-On-The-Lake is an AWESOME place. We get there and the main strip is located on a Lake Erie beach for starters, making it absolutely beautiful. The town feels like a giant boardwalk, rivaling those of the Jersey Shore. It feels like Seaside did a long time ago. It is filled with food stands, arcades, amusement rides, and more. Similar to what they do at Seaside, there are different food stands that rival each other, claiming that they are better. The specialty in this town is the donuts, with multiple stands claiming that they are "the original" or "the best in town." We had a blast spending the afternoon in this lakeside resort town.
The lakeside setting is beautiful
 There is a relatively new lodge that is lakeside and looks nice.
 A mini-golf course is the staple to many resort towns like this. No shortage of activities here.
 One of the many donut stands. We only stopped at one. We will have to more times to check out the rest!
 The entrance to the waterpark and patio area for the one restaurant. Below you can see the way it looked before when it was the main entrance to the old Erieview Amusement Park (Photo from the Grassy Knoll Blog) The watersides still remain, along with the original Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel. Everything else was auctioned off in 2006. The park originally opened in 1945.

So below you can see the building for the old Fright Zone dark ride. This ride was designed by the legendary Bill Tracy and featured the only known remaining, Herschell designed, dark ride system. It was once located at the legendary West View Park, near Pittsburgh, but once that park closed they took it on at Erieview. A collector purchased the ride at auction back in 2006 and then it is said that he proceeded to donate it to Conneaut Lake Park. Unfortunately Conneaut closed in 2007, but it reopened in 2009, where it is on the rebound and a fun place to go. Unfortunately, I cannot find any information on the whereabouts of this ride. DAFE has a wonderful write up on what the ride was like at this link. 
 Here you can see the pad for one of the rides. I am hoping that heavy equipment is up to some good.
 The former Dodgems Building. 
 The waterpark still remains, and it had riders, even on this rainy day. 
 The view of the lake from the site. The park's footprint was very small. It would be cool to see a couple rides get added again. 
 The classic Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel still remains and it was running.
 The park is still alive a little bit. They had a crafts festival running on some of the property.
 Now for what we came for, FASCINATION!
 I am not one to take selfies, but this one was too cool to resist.
 Brit was wiping up! She kept winning! Just looking at this photo makes me want to head back there!
 We ate at Time Square and it was delicious! There is nothing like a good sausage sandwich!
Now back for some more rounds!
I highly recommend checking out Geneva-On-The-Lake. The town is very much like a boardwalk town and it really feels awesome. I hope to see more amusement rides get added back to the town, but there is plenty to do as is, with countless games, arcades, food stands, and more. Take a trip to this cool little town. You will be very surprised by it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brit's Cedar Point Report 2014

Brit's Trip Report - Cedar Point, July 2014

I don't usually have the time to write up a separate trip report for each amusement park visit, but since Dave has guilt-tripped me into this, here goes nothing! I mainly focus on taking photos during each trip, so my report will contain mostly photos!  

We headed to Millennium Force for our first ride of the day Friday, in order to ride that while the queue line was still short at that point.

Everyone flying by seemed to be having a blast on MF! MF is always one of my favorite rides due to the spectacular views from the lift hill, but it didn't seem quite as powerful as in the past, but that might just be me!

Mantis approaching the top of the lift hill; I hadn't been able to ride this the past few years due to the long waits it's had in the past, but on Friday, late afternoon, the queue line had dropped down, so I was finally able to get a ride in! Stand-up coasters aren't usually my favorite type of coaster, since the restraints tend to be located as high (or taller than) as the top of my head, where my head bangs against the sides of the restraints too much to make for an enjoyable ride experience. But Friday's ride on Mantis was pretty smooth!

Corkscrew heading down! We didn't ride this Friday, but I love the aesthetics of Arrow coasters and the sound of the anti-rollback clicks as the train heads up the lift hill!

Corkscrew heading through the corkscrew from the right-side view....

...and then the left-side view!

Dave getting his requisite drop tower ride in, although on the up-tower for a change of pace!

We managed to get several rides in on Raptor, since at one point it was a walk-on. I've always enjoyed riding Raptor, but it was never my absolute favorite until this most recent trip. It felt like the ride was much smoother than in previous years, and is now easily one of my favorite inverts (I'm hoping to get to Kings Island next summer in order to ride Banshee for a comparison).

Up, up, and away! Or as Dave would say, "feet kicking the sky!"

More Raptor shots, since this was catching my eye on Friday....

This is my favorite shot from the trip, as you can see from our updated cover photo on our Facebook page.

And we'll segue to Blue Streak with this shot of the Blue Streak train peeking through Raptor's inversion.... 


...and again!

Here goes Dave in the front of Blue Streak....

...and he's still there! I didn't ride Blue Streak during this visit, since I really disliked it last year, but Dave reports that it was much smoother this year compared to last year.

Ok, so now for a series of GateKeeper shots. B&Ms were the focus of my photos Friday for some reason :)

View of the park from the Ferris Wheel.

maXair swinging away!

Wicked Twister twisting on up!

More Wicked Twister and some WindSeeker!

MF going over one of the hills!

Another view of the park from the Ferris Wheel!

Carousel selfie with my camera!

View of the MF drop from the train.

Maverick drop!

Maverick inversion! Not too much head-banging this time around when I rode, after I had to awkwardly brace myself on this ride. I really wish they'd update the OTSRs on this!

Mean Streak! Not too much that was "mean" about this ride after the work they must have completed in the off-season, it was pretty tame compared to when I rode it last summer!

That's Dave with his arms up on Magnum! I love this ride, but cannot tolerate more than 1 ride per day on this due to the restraints bruising my legs, unfortunately. I love the airtime on this ride though!!!

More Magnum!

Top Thrill Dragster! We managed to get in two rides on this during our visit, thanks to one of my three Plinko "Front of the Line" pass wins! Such an addicting game!

View of GateKeeper between the keyholes and the park during the evening! This was a great trip! I love the atmosphere of Cedar Point!