Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Further Waldameer Improvements: X-Scream Tower New Lighting Package

Waldameer added a spectacular new lighting package in addition to the great improvements they have made so far that you can see in this post:

Watch this video shared by the park. It is truly great!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Must See Non-Coaster Things: Ithaca, NY

Ithaca, NY is one of those most see places. It is incredible all around. The region has dozens of gorges, which are awesome waterfalls. This shot below is from Taughannock Falls in the winter. Any season it is awesome. In the winter you can see scenes like this, or in the summer, in a few of the waterfall areas you can swim, climb up the waterfalls and dive into giant pools under the waterfalls. It is really something else. 

 It is in the midst of the finger lakes, with hundreds of wineries with great views of the lakes and tons of vineyards. This one is Wagner's in Lodi, NY on Seneca Lake
Below is Lower Buttermilk Falls, really a pretty cool place. 

Brit is from Ithaca and we will be heading up there for Thanksgiving and that made me think of how awesome Ithaca is. It is a place you really should take a road trip and check out. The place is really like no other.

Why not look at pretty photos of coasters while you write your appointments down on the calendar? Why not get this as a gift for another of your coaster loving friends? 15% discount for Thanksgiving/Black Friday Gift buying week!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Arrow Megalooper Poll!

4 More days to vote for your favorite Arrow Megalooper! Do so on the right sidebar of the page!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Food for thought: Knoebels Twister turns 15 next year!

Next year will be the 15th anniversary of the building of the Twister. As you may or may not know, this was a rebuilt from scratch remake of the original Mister Twister at the original Elitch Gardens in Denver. This coaster is a joy to ride and add in the fact that next season will be the first full season of Flying Turns, I highly recommend taking a trip to the park, whether you have been to it, or if you have not visited, what are you waiting for?
I don't know about you, but I can just hear the Twister looking at this shot, hear it echoing off of the small valley in the back. I can also just hear a train that will be going through those helix elements in just moments. That thunderous sound is one of my favorite sounds in any park. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Geauga Lake Raging Wolf Bobs Demolition

On today, November 20th, 2013, the demolition of the Raging Wolf Bobs is either close to being finished, or finished completely, with crews on site dismantling the ride. While the ride was not my favorite, it is difficult to watch any ride come down like that. Being from Allentown originally, Dorney's Hercules hit me pretty hard, even though many people did not care for the ride, I loved it. I can relate to the pain of someone whose homepark was GL in seeing this happen to Raging Wolf Bobs.

Photo credit tot he Geauga Lake Facebook Page

Here is a shot from better times of the Raging Wolf Bobs, I can almost smell the new lumber just looking at this shot!
Photo credit to Geauga Lake Today

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Diamondback Before and After

I can't wait to see the full difference once Banshee is set, but in the mean time, we can look at the dramatic skyline change that Diamondback made upon the Kings Island skyline.
Not a perfect comparison, but pretty close. Beautiful!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Waldameer Offseason Updates Newly Painted Waterslides and Ravine Flyer II Retrack Loving! Plus fun along Lake Erie

We went up to Fredonia, NY to visit family and on the way back today, we stopped by a few places in the interesting weather and took in the sights. Among these sights are Barcelona, NY and the wonders of Waldameer in Erie, PA.
We love going through this area. It was weird seeing the grapevines all devoid of growth. Last week they were wrapping up harvesting for the season.  The weather was strange as we were heading back, right on the cusp of a storm line. The skies were truly spectacular. You can see a stray raindrop or two on the window I shot this photo through. 
All along the lake, in every small docking town, they have nice little lighthouses. This one in Barcelona, New York. We stopped for a little while just taking in the beauty of the small docking area. 
The entire area is vineyards, as far as the eye can see. Welch's grape comes from this region. There are also numerous wineries all scattered about. It makes for a really beautiful area along the lake. 
They have a re creation of a War of 1812 boat that they are trying to restore once again. Yeah I know that sounds confusing, but they are doing a funding drive to restore it. As you may or may not know, naval battles actually occurred right on the lake. 
This guy is pretty chill, even in the face of that impending storm. Also quite a bit more chill than it was just about 200 years ago in the midst of the war. Pretty crazy to think about it happening in such a relaxing place.
These three guys were pretty relaxed as well. The winds picked up enough though that they were actually blown off of the posts. 
Not before Brit could snap some shots though! The strangest thing about this storm was that the winds were blowing in from inland. 
Pulling up to Waldameer now, we could not believe how greatly the new colors on the slides made the park stand out! You could see them from almost a mile back!
To quote Rod Stewart "You wear it well" but nothing looks a little old fashioned with these slides!
The park focused even more upon retracking Ravine Flyer II, after this season was arguably as great, or even better than opening season! You can see the extensive retracking they did during the last offseason in the galleries on the Facebook page You can see it during the season, and a visit we made like this last spring. I cannot even imagine how much greater it will run next season! Nothing quite like PTC trains running on a well maintained track!
The ride, and Waldameer itself, were looking really lonely.
The bridge never ceases to amaze me, along with the wooded setting and views of the lake. 
This is a shot you cannot get once the trees are filled in! Also with the fact that the swings actually have no swings, making it look like a  giant spinning top.
The new slide colors look absolutely spectacular!
Front view! Expended enough energy on crutches getting out for the rest of the views, but all I have to say is wow on those colors. I love the multi-colors on the one slide. 
The twisted nature and brilliant engineering on this ride never cease to amaze me! I never took in this view because I was never in the passenger seat going under this before. Simply wow. 
What a drop! You can also see some solid retracking at the bottom!
So this is what Erie folks do? I laughed pretty hard at the strangeness of this billboard. 
Conneaut some other time! Boy I wish it were summer!

It is always fun driving on the Lake Erie Scenic Byway. It is something else with so many interesting things to see. I highly recommend taking the trip through there!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kennywood Sky Rocket Construction

Most shots did not come out too well in this because we were just using our phone cameras, yeah I don't know why we did, but it is what it is. We went just about every week to see the construction. It is always fun to see the huge, permanent skyline changes with new coasters. In this project, they opted to not move the track pieces and place them except for when I was there. They decided to not use cranes and just use me and a ladder to lift and place each individual support and track piece.

For some reason, the bulk of the photos have gone missing, I will update this later once I find the photos, but I will leave you with the final beauty of this project. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cool thing to do for the holidays: Koziar's Christmas Village

While this may not be an amusement park in terms of rides, the walk through exhibits and miniature train area make this an awesome place that is not that far off from a theme park style attraction. In short, Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville, PA is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. There are thousands of lights and all of these lights are actually classic big bulbs. It may be the most wonderful thing I have ever seen. I get as amazed now as I did when I was four years old when I first visited. It is set on a farm in northern Berks County PA, very rural and as you drive you see absolutely no lights, hardly any buildings with lights on and all of a sudden, as you pull up close, you see this onslaught of brightness that is impossible to fully describe.
The spectacular display is located in a valley and as you drive in, you come in through the top of the hill and you see this spectacular beacon of light!
There are handpainted figures throughout the display and lots of little exhibits of them and holiday scenes and cultural displays that represent different nations and cultures along with other holidays too.
The whole thing is set in front of a little pond and the area also contains the farm's barn, farmhouse and other buildings. 
It is hard to tell in this shot, but here is a larger scale miniature train village that is relatively new and in the background you can see one of the barns and another little building all decked out.
Here you see some of the trees and buildings all decked out and you can see a silo up there as well. 
Most decked out, pretty farmhouse I have ever seen. Around this area they have their delicious hot chocolate building where you can warm up for a bit midway through the display. 
Simply wow!
Towards the end of the display, they have a beautiful and large miniature train display with very cool little city scenes in addition to a very large concession stand. I could sit and watch this train display for hours. It is so interesting
I highly recommend checking out this display. It is located north of Interstate 78 in Berks County, PA. This is a very offbeat attraction that is worth a visit as often as you can. Nothing says Christmas better than a visit to Koziar's. They are open now! Until Thanksgiving they are open on weekends and then daily after Thanksgiving! Visit their website at It is also extremely affordable and it makes for a wonderful evening.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

First Generation Knoebels Flying Turns Trains

This little tidbit shot came from 2006. it is one of the first generation Knoebels Flying Turns Trains. There would be two more generations of trains after this, with the third generation being the trains that would come into usage. It is a shame it did not work out with these trains though, they were beautiful. I can't complain about the trains they settled upon because they are pretty beautiful in their own right.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dorney Park "Mixtape" 2006 with Laser Footage

Here is an oldie but goodie from my relatively small collection of videos. Included is a video of our sadly long lost Anton created Laser. I really miss having an intense Anton creation within a day's drive of Pennsylvania. *Hint, Hint any park within 8 or so hours of Pittsburgh!*

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake)

So I was shuffling through an old VHS tape and found this little tidbit. This was from the year/period in which Six Flags ran the park into the ground, having overbuilt it with 5 new coasters and purchased the Sea World side of the lake. This commercial was from a Pittsburgh area Weather Channel broadcast.
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

A look back: 10 years of Dragster!

With all of the fanfare and attention on front of the park, newborn sibling, Gatekeeper, Dragster, as popular as ever as seen in the frequent full queues, especially during this October's Halloweekends Saturdays. People just cannot get enough of the 120 MPH launch, 420 foot tall height, freedom given by the lapbars, the roaring sound and amped up feeling you get from that and the christmas tree Dragster lights and view of Lake Erie, Canada and looking down at Millennium Force. There is nothing quite like the rush of Top Thrill Dragster. I made this video a little while back commemorating this tenth season. It is not much, but it really shows the rush of this ride.

The 2003 opening season of Intamin's Dragster and first few seasons were plagued with some serious reliability issues, but the ride was that good that people still waited for it for hours, as they do today. I remember opening season I waited 3 hours with my family, through two break downs and a full queue just to get an opportunity to ride this giant. It was all worth it! Still to this day I recall the anticipation of waiting for the ride. Thankfully the waits on it today are not nearly that long with many of the kinks worked out from it.
Nothing still quite replicates that thrill, even younger near clone of it two states over in New Jersey. Placement, lapbars and theming say it all for this wonder. 
Dragster is built as the center of the park, making it stick out perfectly among the many coasters the Point has to offer. 
Rumor is that next year this bad boy will be receiving some paint. This is not confirmed, but I heard this so we will find out. It is definitely due. 

All in all, Dragster is a great ride, even if it is super short in length. That rush is worth waiting for and pretty unbelievable. I hope we see a full length ride with that sort of height at some point, but that is pretty unlikely. All in all, after 10 years, Dragster still delivers. I can't believe it has been 10 years already!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

NAD Census Final Results?

The beautiful Conneaut Blue Streak NAD Train
Here is the running count we have on the remaining NAD trains. Add to the list please if you can! Sadly, it seems our count has come to a finale although I wish this were not the case. 

In operation: (Feel free to make corrections)
1) Thunderbolt - Kennywood - 3
2) Blue Streak - Conneaut Lake - 1 remaining after the Beach Club fire burnt the other remaining NAD Train
3) Valleyfair - High Roller 1 train
4) Camden Park, West Virginia - Big Dipper 1 train (Century Flyer)
5) Camden Park - Lil Dipper 1 train (Junior Train)

6) Rye Playland, Kiddie Coaster, 1 (Junior Century Flyer train)
7) Montana Rusa, 2 Trains, Mexico

Sitting Rotting/in a Boneyard: (Feel free to make corrections)
1) Geauga Lake Big Dipper 2 trains

Sitting on display
1) Excelsior Museum, Minnesota. Single car from defunct Excelsior Park coaster 
Photo Credit to Aaron Lesko

Sitting in storage
1) Little Americka has the two Lincoln Park NADs waiting to rebuild their coaster

Unaccounted for/status unclear
1) Lesourdsville Lake Screechin' Eagle trains
2) Cascade Park, Pennsylvania trains. Previously vandalized and left for dead. Person said they saw them at the former park site on display. Status unknown
3) SFMM Colossus original trains are thought to be somewhere

Photo Credit to James Green
We are hoping to find about more, please help us out! The main discussion page is here or you can post what you know on this post. Any corrections on this information would be appreciated and any possible additional whereabouts of NAD trains. They are quickly going towards extinction and we want to know where all of the trains are at.