Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Former Keystone Park, Sayre, PA: A Postcard View

Opening in the early 1900s and closing in 1919, Keystone Park was once located in the town of Sayre, PA, right on the New York and Pennsylvania border. This trolley park was created by the Waverly (NY), Sayre, and Athens Traction company with the intent to boost weekend ridership. According to this book, the park was home to a number of primitive attractions, food stands, and the most popular attractions at the park were the shooting galleries. The additional postcard images in the book oddly remind you of a park located two hours due south, Knoebels. Postcard from my personal collection.
Keystone Park
 "Published by Dimock & Sullivan, Sayre, PA
The park was home to a figure eight coaster, similar to Lakemont's Leap the Dips. Here is an image of the park's coaster from RCDB. The cited source of the postcard image is from the Sayre Historical Society.
A very limited quantity of our 2015 Roller Coaster Calendars remain, and we are lowering the price from $12.00 to $9.99. They are available through

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Winter View of Kennywood Park

I had a little time on my hands the other day and stopped to take some photos at Kennywood after some snow.
Could use some touch up! An odd shaped top hat element for optimal airtime.
The cutback element! I would love to see more of these. I prefer them to overbanked curves.
 Lots of dormant fun! Two of the best coasters out there in this picture! Lots of cliff diving on these two gems, Phantom's Revenge and Thunderbolt. 
 Now over across the ravine from Jack Rabbit and Racer. Here is one of the old industrial buildings that Kennywood purchased on this tract of land. I hope to see some cool expansion down this side of the ravine. Some photos from down in this area can be seen at this link.  I can only imagine the possibilities with terrain coasters being built down this side of this cliff.
Here you can see Racer and the Log Jammer in between Racer's hills. The photo on the left is from the offseason in 2014 and the photo on the right is from the 2015 offseason. Notice all of the new wood on Racer. The rehabilitation project has continued on Racer in which one section of the lift hill has been rebuilt. Kennywood does a tremendous job taking care of their wooden coasters. 

 The 2014 photo is from the second year of the rehabilitation project. This year is the third year. The hard work really shows in how well the coaster runs.

You can see the continued heavy work. 
 I can just imagine it being summer and standing in the station, hearing the trains roar by. 
 I can only sit, daydream, and wait for more days like this.....

A very limited quantity of our 2015 Roller Coaster Calendars remain, and we are lowering the price from $12.00 to $9.99. They are available through

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lakemont Park Winter Views

On our way to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg yesterday, we made a quick pit stop in Altoona to get some snowy sunrise views of Lakemont. Baseball's summer green grass has been replaced with snow. The Altoona Curve AA Pirates Affiliate plays in the ballpark, and Lakemont's underrated Skyliner looms over the outfield.
Those of you from New York State may remember this coaster from when it was located at Roseland Park that was once located on the northern tip of Canandagua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in Central New York.
The Chance produced, Toboggan, is the yellow cylindrical structure on the right side of this photograph. It is one of only two remaining operating units in the world. The park's Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel is on the left. 
The toboggan is in the center of this photo. The white coaster in the back is Leap the Dips, the world's oldest operating roller coaster. It was literally zero degrees at this moment, so it was time to dip back into the car! I can't wait for the park to reopen in the spring!
A very limited quantity of our 2015 Roller Coaster Calendars remain, and we are lowering the price from $12.00 to $9.99. They are available through

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dorney Park Update, January 2nd, 2015

It is always a strange sight to see a park in full winter dormancy. There was not even a peep on the property on Friday. Naturally we must stop to take pictures when we pass by. The main parts for the new Larson made, Cedar Creek Flyers, are still staged in the parking lot.
It is such a far cry to hear complete silence in this spot, as opposed to the clacking of a train going off of the end of the chain on Steel Force, the rush of the train plummeting down the first drop, the sounds of a Thunderhawk train rushing through the twisted course, the screeching sounds of a Possessed train's LIM launch motors, and the squealing of dozens of thrilled riders. The compact nature of this valley area of the park lends itself to lots of emanating pleasant sounds
 Talon! Home to my first job way back when. The main entry plaza is looking lonely. It is so odd seeing it so barren.
 After all of these years, the giant Steel Force is still one of the most picturesque coasters out there. Zoom test!
Yeah I don't care for zooming in too much, but it is fun to do sometimes. You can see the star that they set on top of the coaster for the holidays, in addition to the FAA and locality mandated aircraft warning lights for aircraft safety.
 120X max digital. 

 Dominator zoom test! This is fun!

 Strange clouds. It was around noon time, and there was a pinkish hue to the clouds as if it were sunset. Very odd. It fully cleared up as we continued our ride back to Pittsburgh.
 The clouds dissipated that quickly.
 The Cedar Creek Flyers will be debuting in the midway across from Stinger when the park opens in May.
 Thunderhawk standing proud at 92 years young amidst the giants. 92 years and countless generations of families have enjoyed this coaster. I am glad that it still receives love from the park.
 Nothing particularly special about this picture, something captivated me about it though. Lots of coaster action in this photo I guess.
 So the last time we checked, this was the edge of the paved overflow parking for the park. It still remains that way.
This tract of land was purchased in the last year or so by the park. The area that was being graded in the last year has now been fully sodded, had a rope fence installed, and a shed put in. I don't think we will be seeing any action in this area, considering the growing parking needs that the park demands on the busiest days, but I would love to see it happen. The edge of the property has concrete median barriers added, presumably to prevent out of control cars from I-78's westbound on-ramp from careening into this section of land. Here is the progression of work on the section of land:
A significant amount of bulldozing was necessary to flatten out this land. I presume this is for parking, but keep your fingers crossed that some expansion is brought out to some of this land at some point.
 Big difference in the excavation!
Now for the final product on this day with weird cloud cover and lighting.
There is a pretty large amount of land back here, but it gets mostly filled on the busiest days. If further large expansion happens and it cuts back on overflow parking, they will need to come up with a solution.
 I crudely outlined the area on Google Maps right here of the land within the expansion. The area that run the width of the highlighted area to the top of the photo, is all under park control, although ordinances limit what this land can be used for.
This is the area on the other side of the road. It has been utilized for overflow parking for decades, although I think a modern wooden roller coaster would be ideal over here. A while back when a wooden roller coaster was predicted to be constructed instead of Possessed, the newspaper even picked up a story about the excitement around this rumor. Maybe the new Cedar Fair management can pick up upon the enthusiasm the community has for wooden roller coasters and follow through with a design from Great Coasters International, or Gravity Group within this section of land that could perfectly house a coaster.
A very limited quantity of our 2015 Roller Coaster Calendars remain, and we are lowering the price from $12.00 to $9.99. They are available through