Sunday, March 9, 2014

Coasterbash Updates: Our Book, Conneaut Lake, Kennywood, Six Flags Great America, Waldameer, Idlewild, DelGrosso's

For starters I would like to thank everyone for supporting us and our new book, "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip." The outpouring of enthusiasm for the book has been wonderful. I thank the folks that have purchased our book at these events, online and in stores. It is greatly appreciated and nice helping to support Conneaut Lake and Lakemont. Thank you very much guys. We have a new E-Book online for only $9.99 and in full color at these links:
E-Book at Lulu
E-Book at Amazon

Print editions are available using the drop down menu on this page, at any of our listed stores and through Amazon. Any purchase made on this page will have a portion of the proceeds will go to support Conneaut Lake and Lakemont and you will get the choice to get a free ride on Blue Streak or on Leap the Dips. If you purchase it on our page I will send it with the book. If you purchased it anywhere else, send me a photo of the receipt and I will send you a ticket of your choice.

Yesterday afternoon and evening we had the privilege to enjoy the great Coasterbash in the South Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh. The event was wonderful with park representatives from Delgrosso's, Conneaut Lake, Waldameer, Idlewild, Kennywood, and Six Flags Great America plus Tom Rebbie from PTC. The representatives were wonderful. I did not go to take pictures so excuse the quality and quantity of them.

DelGrosso's came and told us about the flat ride they were teasing. It will be a brand new Musik Express. They also talked about the events they have planned for the year and their expansion of their already awesome food lineup. If you have not checked out this park, I recommend taking the trip. They have a plethora of fun rides, including an awesome carousel, they run great events, and have some of the best food around. The same family that owns DelGrosso's tomato sauce also owns the park.
The DelGrosso's Carousel

The next park up was Conneaut Lake Park, represented by Lenny Adams of Adams Amusements and Jack Moyers, the chairman of the board of Trustees. 

The outlook is positive. The park will open this year and they have many great events planned out. The job fair for the park will be on May 3rd this year. They will also be holding an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids prior to the park opening. The park opens to the public on May 23rd and will have a number of cool events including the ever popular Ghost Lake Halloween event and the carousel organ gathering with folks taking a bunch of organs and playing them at the park. There will also be events such as an antique car and transportation show and more.

Tom Rebbie from PTC was there and talked about the same things he did at Eastcoaster. They are busy in the shop making new trains and revamping many others. 

As we talked about before, the Kennywood Racer trains were fully revamped over the last few years, fitting in with the park's theme of taking great care of their wooden roller coasters. They have rebuilt over a third of both Racer lift hills and done other aggressive work to the other wooden roller coasters. Rebbie's revamp of the Racer trains over the last few years is now complete. PTC has also revamped both the Mean Streak and Blue Streak trains. Blue Streak will have a big 50th birthday bash at some point this year at Cedar Point. They are continuing their great revamp plan for the ride. 

The White Cyclone is a massive traditional wooden coaster that was actually built by Intamin in 1994. It is 5577 feet, making it the third longest in the world after the Beast and the Voyage. They ordered new trains in 2004 and ordered new trains again for this season. They are very cautious with their trains and I would imagine that regulation has something to do with it as well. This park is also home to Steel Dragon 2000, a huge Morgan creation, that lost a wheel from a sheared axle in 2003. The coaster stood standing but not operating for three years after that. I would imagine the park is super cautious after that accident. Last year they actually replaced the original Morgan trains on Steel Dragon 2000 with a brand new set of B&M trains. I am not sure if they have strong regulation in Japan or if it is for public perception. The Intamin Thunder Dolphin at a park in Tokyo threw a bolt in 2010 and did not reopen until this past August. 

We also heard from Jeff Croushore from Idlewild. He is quite a character, having delivered his whole presentation in the style of Mr. Rogers, completely doing the skit of walking in, changing his sweater, changing his shoes, doing an introduction, feeding the fish and talking to "picture-picture." It was extremely entertaining. Expect a surprising announcement from them in the near future. 

Jeff Filicko from Kennywood was a character as usual as well. He gave us updates on the small improvements the park is getting this season. The biggest thing is the conversion of the original carousel building into a sit-down restaurant. It will be a Johnny Rockets. I think another popular choice they could have put in would be a Primanti Brothers or something along those lines, but I digress. 

The beautiful old roof will be preserved and open, creating a nice and bright setting. The other big improvements include the new headlights on the Thunderbolt trains and the great work they are completing with the aggressive care plans they have put in place on the wood coasters.

The next generation of the Gorman family presented for Waldameer. He talked in detail about all of the park improvements for these season including the usual and awesome retracking work on Ravine Flyer II, the breathtaking LED lighting package installed on the drop tower and the fantastic bright colors they have painted onto the waterslides. If you look at some of our previous posts you can see just how spectacular the work they have done on their rides is Their maintenance should be the envy of the industry, the example everyone should follow. You never see faded or flaking paint at this park. Every year you go you are guaranteed to have a better experience at Waldameer than the year before. They have an aggressive waterpark expansion plan that you will hear about in the future. Think huge. It will be spectacular and expanded into the current parking lot. They are expanding the parking lot into the land of the hotel that they recently acquired. 

Six Flags Great America drove 8 hours to be at the event. The presented their fantastic looking new coaster, Goliath. I believe they revealed the name of the RMC named inversion, "Zero-G Stall," their take upon the Zero-G-Roll. 

All in all it was a very fun event with lots of food, great vendors and great people. Best of all, Jim Futrell and I traded books with him getting our "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip" book and us getting his new Waldameer Book. His book looked great leafing through it. I cannot wait to sit down and read it because it looks great. 

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