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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lakemont Park August, 2015

Today we take a look at our visit to Lakemont Park on Saturday. This amusement park is an Altoona staple, with roots as a trolley park dating back to 1894. We always have a blast at this nice little park. Our first stop was on the park's classic Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel. 
 Skyliner is beckoning though!
There was no baseball game going on, but the views of the ballpark from the coaster makes the location of this coaster pretty awesome. This John Allen PTC coaster is an underrated gem. It dates back to 1960, and it was originally built at Roseland Park in Canandaigua, New York, at the northern tip of Canandaigua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York. The park closed in 1985 and Skyliner was disassembled and then rebuilt at Lakemont for opening in 1987. 
Brit had enough after a bunch of rides in the front. I rode a bunch more times in the back. The crowds were really light, so we probably ended up riding the Skyliner about twenty times throughout the night. Works for me for the ride offers some of the strongest ejector airtime out there. The front seat has one huge pop of ejector airtime heading into the first turn around. The backseat had tremendous ejector time down almost every hill! It was running the best that I have ever experienced it. This ride feels like a totally different ride from front to back. Sitting in the same seat for several rides in a row, you can really feel the way that wooden coasters give a wide variation of rides on each individual ride. You can never quite predict what will happen next, which is one of the reasons that I am drawn towards wood coasters. You can ride a wooden roller coaster twenty times in a day and it will give a vastly different ride each time. From day to day the rides are radically different. Skyliner was really hauling during this visit. Very few coasters pack in that much ejector airtime, especially on almost every hill. This is definitely a backseat ride, but the front is pretty awesome too. There you get a better appreciation of the manner in which John Allen designed the transitions on this ride. There is not one part of the ride with a straight airtime hill. All of the smaller hills are designed in a twisted manner, not one bit of straight grading in the airtime hills. This is one great coaster that proves that even with a drop of only 60 feet and a length of only 2400 feet, you can build a pretty wicked ride that is more powerful than rides that are immensely larger. 
 All I can say is wow! This picture really shows how powerful that backseat airtime was.
 The PTC train is beautiful too. The wooden running boards, dark green side panels, and deep maroon interiors really make the train look great. 
 Now on to Brit's favorite game, the Goblet Pitch
And the park's Eyerly Spider is ridiculously fast. We were flat out shocked at how strongly it was running. We always have a great time on it, but this felt was pulling some serious G's this time around. About as intense of a spinning flat that I can think of. 
And over to the Chance Toboggan, one of the last two toboggans operating within amusement parks. Are there any others on the traveling circuit that anyone knows of. I know the Conneaut one is in storage right now. Anyways, this is a fun ride! The original type of coaster with a vertical lift. The seemingly endless turns down the tower on the way down are lots of fun.
Now onto the world's oldest coaster, Leap the Dips. It is pretty amazing to think that this coaster has been around for 113 years. While the drops are only 9 feet tall maximum height, the coaster offers a thrill without a lapbar or seatbelt.
 The ride operator was kind enough to snap a photo for us. 
 The ACE Coaster Landmark sign. These are great for community awareness about the importance of  these coasters. I would love to see the Skyliner get similar recognition as well.
 We took a break from the rides for a little bit and sat along the water where you are welcome to feed the fish and the geese.
 It was Ford day at the park. While I am not a Ford guy, it was cool to see all of these perfect preserved and restored Fords. Definitely some sweet rides
 Now for a round of mini golf. The rail theming is pretty neat, and a cool recognition to the rail heritage of the region.
 Now that is what I call awesome recycling!
 This is the Gallitzin Tunnel hole, an ode to the tunnels in nearby Gallitzin.
 A view of the midway.
 Had the train to myself for four rides at the end of the night. 
Sunset over the Skyliner. Just another awesome Lakemont day. We always love visiting this relaxed and really inexpensive park. All of the park's rides are fun, but the Skyliner offers some world class airtime in the backseat that is about as good as it gets. We probably took at least twenty rides on it on this visit, and it was all out awesome. 

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