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. 

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