Book Purchase

Spring sale on our book "Great PA Amusement Parks Road Trip"

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Conneaut Lake Park Trip Report 2016

Today we take a look at our visit this past weekend to historic Conneaut Lake Park. It was a warm day and we decided to take a swim in Pennsylvania's largest natural lake and sunbathe on the beach before going and doing some riding.

The beach is a delightful place to spend an afternoon.
Before hitting up the rides, we opted to play some games.

There is nothing quite like a ride on the park's carousel. This Harton carousel is roughly a century old and it is the last of its kind. 
We always enjoy taking a ride on it.

Along with the Devil's Den, one of only two remaining rides of its kind. It was great helping restore this ride a few years ago.
The ride operators were having a ton of fun operating this. It is always a treat when you see ride operators excited about their jobs.
Now on to the Blue Streak! Gotta wait for the next train!
The coaster was absolutely flying, moving faster than I've ever seen it run.
You can see how all of the track on the first drop is brand new. They replaced the track all the way from the lift hill to the second hill. Thanks to this work, the coaster flies faster than I've ever seen it go. There was airtime on every hill on the return run. I had never seen it run that well through the second half. Hats off to Lenny Adams and the maintenance team for keeping up this terrific coaster.
All new wood through the entire first drop.

Additionally, they have the train running again! It took quite an effort to get this ride rehabilitated. This is the first time that we've been able to take in a ride on the train. The course circles the layout of Blue Streak and runs deep into the woods surrounding the ride. I love seeing all of these different angles of the coaster. Additionally, most of these trees, if not all of the trees surrounding the coaster are old growth. The coaster is 78 feet tall, and the trees have at least 30 feet on the height of the coaster. These are some seriously huge trees.
Pooh was watching our train ride.
The track heading out of the turnaround
I love this turnaround. Low banked turns are awesome.
Every hill on the return run was packing airtime.
The flyers!
Now for some paratrooping! There is nothing quite like taking some time and riding the different flat rides at the park. 
Especially the Traver Tumblebug. One of only two of these rides that remain, this is the most powerful of the two. It zips through the circle, proving some decent airtime and lateral forces when it traverses its hills.
This was a crowd favorite throughout the day. It is one of those awesome kinds of rides that the whole family can enjoy. 

It was also great seeing the waterpark spring back into life. The lazy river is operational, and they are in the midst of getting the waterslides running again. 
The Hotel Conneuat, one of only a precious few remaining turn-of-the-century summer resorts in existence. This park is such a special place. We highly recommend spending a day at this park, swimming at the beach, riding the rides, and just relaxing. This park has steadily sprung back to life over the last six years. Every time we visit, and we usually visit multiple times a year, this place steadily improves. You cannot beat being able to have a day at the beach and be able to pay ten dollars to ride as many rides as you want. This place is both affordable, and a ton of fun. If you plan on spending the night, the Hotel Conneaut has rates starting at just 45 dollars a night, and the park's Camperland is affordable as well. There are also a number of fun attractions surrounding the park, including Pymatuning State Park and more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Knoebels Trip Report, May 14th, 2016

We happened to be driving along Route 80 last weekend and naturally we needed to make a stop at Knoebels. The weather was looking nasty as we were going, and we contemplating not stopping, but we figured we would take a chance. We got to within a half mile of the park, and the nasty weather stopped. It's been said that there seems to be a weather forcefield around the park, and that certainly seemed to be the case. We ended up spending about two hours at the park, so much for a short rest stop, but it was well worth it. The park was in top form and buzzing as it begins its 90th season as a central Pennsylvania staple. 
The Phoenix standing in all its glory. 
The park's latest coaster addition, Impulse, thrilling riders with its awesome ejector airtime and inversions.
Brit playing our favorite game, Fascination!
And it took her one game to win!
The Lawrence L. Knoebel Covered Bridge, dating back to 1875, in the fine tradition of Knoebels, the bridge was purchased and reconstructed here in the 1930s. 

Flying Turns! This re-creation of a long lost style of roller coaster is still very popular as it enters its third full season.
Now off for a little adrenaline rush before we hit the road on Twister! It received lots of track work for the 2016 season.
The structure on this giant always looks so majestic. As it enters its seventeenth season, it is still the longest coaster in Central Pennsylvania.

There was a pretty nice crowd at the park for a Saturday in May. There is something really special about this park when there is a crowd. The place really seems to come alive.
Twister's station is the most majestic in the business. Between the beautiful wood work, the curved station track, the giant swooping drops of the ride's spaghetti bowl encircling the station, and more, this is easily the most beautiful station that I've ever seen.
Twister was as boss as it always is.
After some more Fascination action, it was time to head back onto the road for the rest of our ride to Pittsburgh. 
 
It is all of the little touches that make Knoebels so special. The fact that they built a covered bridge within the park, to add beauty to infrastructure like this, is something that sets this park apart from the rest. After a lifetime of coming to this place, I always see something new that I take a moment to appreciate. This place is so special, between all of these special details, in addition to people being able to walk with their dogs in the park, Knoebels is a place like no other.