Sunday, July 28, 2019

Visiting Conneaut Lake Park, July 2019

For us, it is not summer without taking at least one ride up to Conneaut Lake Park. This laid back park has been slowly, but steadily on the upswing since it reopened in 2010. This year, thanks to contributions from the American Coaster Enthusiasts Preservation Fund, Blue Streak's train received brand new wheels. Additionally, the park debuted an adult sized Ferris Wheel, and a child sized one. 

Our day was largely spent floating around the Lazy River for the afternoon, strolling the midways, riding their nice flat ride collection, and riding the rails on Blue Streak, the park's legendary mayhem machine.
 It is awesome to see the midways lively again. The park always has crowds on the weekends, something that many people have worked countless hours to build up. The revival of the park, especially over the last six years or so, has been really remarkable. 
 They seem to make the Devil's Den better each year, with more gags and and non-stop action. The gravity fed carts also move so quickly that you feel lateral g's on each of the ride's many tight turns. 
 The games midway. They have added a few new games in the last year or two, and this midway feels more connected to the main part of the park with the addition of the Ferris Wheel near the lakefront.
This part of the park was once the most underutilized section. It is extremely scenic, with a view of Pennsylvania's largest natural lake, and a beach and docking area for recreational boaters. They just added the new docking area, though it would be nice if they could make it go perpendicular with the shore instead of horizontally across the end of the beach area. 
The view from the Ferris Wheel
 The beautiful Hotel Conneaut celebrates 116 years of hosting visitors on the shores of Conneaut Lake.
 The Boardwalk and Beach area.

 Conneaut Lake Park's beautiful TM Harton Carousel, the last remaining carousel of its kind. This beautiful machine is more than a century old and we ride it every time we visit. 
 One of the finest parts of the classic Blue Streak coaster is how it is just surrounded by the woods. Many of the trees predate the coaster's construction back in 1938. They are also believed to predate the Scenic Railway coaster that previously occupied this site. Hurtling through the woods on a Blue Streak train is a wild and out-of-control experience that is vastly different on each individual ride and in each row. For controlled mayhem, ride in the second to last row. For absolute mayhem, ride in the backseat. It is sure to be one of the most intense coaster experiences that you will ever have.
 The park's Travel Tumblebug is one of only two remaining units of its kind, and it is the fastest by far. Ejector airtime is sure to be had once this thing gets fully rolling. It is probably our overall favorite ride at the park, amongst the park's small, but great selection of rides.

 We spent most of the afternoon floating around in the park's lazy river. 

 Did I hear you say that you wanted more Blue Streak photos?
 The exit of the ride's turnaround. This is a pretty wild spot to experience in the last row of the train.
 At least one, if not all three, of the first three hills are sure to provide some serious ejector in the last row of the train. Not quite as strong as it was a few years ago, but it is still pretty solid.
 The paratrooper is always a favorite of ours.
 As is the Tilt-A-Whril
 And the park's flyers. These have received some love recently, with a new paint job and a seemingly faster and smoother ride than before. They were already fun, and now they are really good and snap-able.
 Brit getting ready to fly!
As always, we had a blast at the park. If you have not visited this park, you need to check it out if you want to have some nice and relaxed summer fun. If you have visited the park, what are you waiting for? Get back and check out the improvements and enjoy the park's many classic rides.

For more information on visiting, check out their website at

Monday, July 8, 2019

Steel Curtain Views

Since our last update, track construction has been completed and testing wrapping up. It is set to open this weekend and it is testing around the clock. Things are coming together nicely and finishing touches are being worked on as we speak. The photos speak for themselves on the latest progress. 
 The massive inversions should be quite fun.
 Banana roll action!

 This is one of my favorite spots to take in the action of the park from outside the park boundaries. It is located across the river in Braddock and you get a great view on so much of the action at the park.
Now we head into the park itself. This view is from the parking lot. The new coaster is seriously imposing from all angles and really builds anticipation when entering the park. As you get closer to the ride itself, the ride feels tucked into a nice corner without imposing upon the classic feel of the park.
This prototype coaster feels like the synthesis of S&S design elements, with Arrow influences. The tallest inversion is referred to as a Drachen-Fire Dive Drop, alluding to the Arrow influence, but its appearance and drop look similar to the quirkiness of an S&S El Loco.
 This spot will be so exciting on the midway.
 The signs are in place.

 The midway entrance coming together.

We are eagerly waiting to ride!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Seaside Fun at Family Kingdom & Myrtle Beach

A seaside setting, a classic John Allen/PTC coaster creation, a classic carousel, nice carousel, and lots of fun flats are pretty much a sure way that I will end up being drawn to a park. Family Kingdom is one of my favorite places to check out. In my opinion, this is the highlight attraction of Myrtle Beach. If you are staying within the center of the main area of Myrtle Beach, Family Kingdom is located within walking distance. Through most of the summer, the park is open in the evening hours through midnight, making this a natural stop during or after any long evening walk on the beach. With evening wristband options, and free admission/pay as you go options, the flexibility of visiting this park is perfect for unplanned and random adventures on beautiful summer evenings in the area. For a more detailed look at the history of each ride, check out this previous article of ours. 
A view of the park from the beach and Wither's Swash, the point at which a local creek meets with the ocean, bringing in tidewater. There is something so magical about this park, especially as the sun goes down. Visible are some of the slides from Myrtle Splashes Waterpark, the park's 100 foot Chance Ferris Wheel, and the beautiful Swamp Fox, one of the finest John Allen and PTC creations that is out there. 
We ended up spending the better part of a week in Myrtle Beach, and ended up spending time at the park on each of these days. Did I mention how much I love Swamp Fox? Everything about this figure-eight coaster is great. It has a zippy layout with airtime that ranges from light floater to extreme ejector. It is also meticulously maintained and one of my overall favorite wooden roller coasters. It is a shock to me how underrated this classic is.
Additionally, the lighting at the park, specifically the stunning LED package that the park has on its Chance Yo-Yo, really reflects nicely off of the white supports of the coaster, coupled with he classic chaser lights. The climb up the lift hill, and the slow turn at the top of the structure lead to a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. 
Heading out for a front seat ride! I definitely enjoy the front seat the most on this coaster, though the backseat provides slightly stronger airtime. 
A view from the top of the ferris wheel
The park's awesome Hopkins log flume.
A daytime view of the park. Since most of the visitors at Myrtle Beach are on the beach for the bulk of the daytime, the park opens in late afternoon on each day, though the waterpark opens earlier.
Just down the beach, the Myrtle Beach Skywheel stands at 187 feet and is adjacent to Plyler Park and the boardwalk area. The boardwalk is home to the classic Gay Dolphin Gift Shop, several excellent arcades, and the Myrtle Beach Thrill Park.
The view of the Grand Strand from the Ferris Wheel
Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel and the thrill park at night from the beach.
Back to Family Kingdom and its own fun arcade.

The park's classic PTC carousel. The mechanism was moved from Asbury Park, NJ, with new horses cast from its original lot.
I'm in the front seat!
Brit on the park's Chance YoYo
Family Kingdom is a great place that is well worth spending some time at, along with the rest that Myrtle Beach has to offer.