Sunday, July 2, 2023

Waldameer Trip Report: New Water Coaster Update & Continued Epic Ravine Flyer Trackwork

I will start things off by saying that Waldameer is a perfect amusement park. The park is continually adding and improving with every chance that they get, which is rare within the industry, let alone within the tough economic headwinds that this region of the Rust Belt has faced for more than 40 years. They get some kind of addition annually, no matter what. Whether it be a flat ride, park improvement, or a new slide or attraction in their booming waterpark, they are constantly improving and perfecting the park. 

Brand new track through the back portion of the coaster.

They have one of the best wooden roller coasters in the world with Ravine Flyer II, and have maintained it perfectly since it debuted. This Gravity Group creation with PTC trains is pure perfection. Somehow topping itself each year in excellence. They have track work down to a science, utilizing ride timing and data in direct conjunction with the Gravity Group to target areas of the ride to build new track for each offseason. The end result is a perfectly maintained wooden roller coaster that breaks in and shines in perfection every single season. 

There is nothing quite like a wooden roller coaster with PTC trains for a feeling of absolute perfection. I've ridden this almost every season since it was new, and can say that this year the coaster was so twisted and out of control that I did not even know what was coming. Extremely fast, full of airtime and laterals, perfectly placed tunnels, and views of Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park that are unmatched. 

The other thing that really impresses me as well is that they have retained the classic feel of the park along the main midways. It feels like a step back in time when you walk through the main midway of the park as you head to Ravine Flyer. It is perfectly shaded, there is a sky ride that extends for the length of the midway, and there are old midway games, arcades, and snack stands that remind me of parks that have either completely closed, or other parks that have been gutted to the point of no longer being recognized on older midways, like Dorney Park has. None of that sanitized feel along these midways, and I am glad the park has retained that character. 

The expansion of the waterpark has transformed it from being a really fun regional waterpark into a world class player. No waterslide exists within 5 hours of this park that is remotely like this new waterslide. The growth of this waterpark has also been pretty incredible. Rocket Blast is the yellow slide within this view. The other thing the park has done to maximize space is through utilizing pads on the older slide towers to pack as many slides into the space as possible.

It is hard to believe that most of the things in view here were parking lot about ten years ago. 

The waterpark has about tripled in size, with 32 waterslides, with the bulk of these added in the last ten years, in addition to a wave pool, water play areas, and more. Water World is a bonafide world class waterpark contender now. The clip at which they have expanded is spectacular. 

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