Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Waldameer Trip Report: Ravine Flyer II First Turnaround Retracking

Got our first visit of the season in at Waldameer last weekend, along with some beach time at adjacent and beautiful Presque Isle State Park. Erie is our favorite day trip in the summer, especially with our pups. Sitting out on the beaches, dipping into the water. Dogs are allowed on the unguarded beaches, of which there are plenty, along the seven miles of beach that the peninsula into Lake Erie has to offer. We usually wrap up the day with a few rides on Ravine Flyer II. This is also one of the few parks that allows you to bring dogs in, although the dogs are unable to ride anything like they are at Knoebels, which allows dogs to ride on the trains, carousels, and antique car ride. Waldameer does not allow this, though you can bring the dogs in, which is still pretty awesome. 
This is a relatively quiet year in regards to additions to the park this year, at least compared to other years. Each year they have done really ambitious things for more than a decade, such as pretty much tripling the size of the waterpark into a facility with an excellent collection of waterslides, including a water coaster that was added last year. This park has added to its collection pretty much yearly with the addition of new rides, revamped areas of the park, and so much more. This year looked like more of a maintenance year, adding a few more cabanas, and rebuilding the track first turnaround section of Ravine Flyer II.
There is something pleasant about waiting for the train to pass by on the midway.
CeCe chilling on the midway
Waldameer's main midway has so much of the charm I love about these old time amusement parks. Games, a sky ride running over the midway, concessions, and happy and relaxed people. Waldameer is now the sole survivor in this entire corner of the state, and one of only two remaining traditional amusement parks in all of western PA, with Conneaut Lake Park gone, Lakemont Park in limbo, and all of the parks of Northeast Ohio, aside from Memphis Kiddie Park, being gone. Not only has Waldameer survived, but it has flourished, with innovative attractions being constantly added to the park. 
Ravine Flyer is running great! They rebuilt the first turnaround section this past year, so it is super smooth, while still giving you those terrific lateral forces. This coaster has aged so gracefully, and really feels like it tops it self out in quality each year. 

Last year the back half was rebuilt. Now it really hauls through the end, no momentum loss going into that last airtime hill. Endless pops of out of your seat ejector air, to the point of being brought to standing position. All of this in addition to having some of the most scenic views of any coaster, with a view from above of Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park before you get launched to the moon on the first drop. After all of these years, it remains the best coaster on Lake Erie. 
There is nothing like a well maintained coaster running PTC trains. Nothing comes close to it. The early era Gravity Group coasters and the CCI coasters with PTCs are the pinnacle of wooden coaster construction in my opinion. Between this and CCI's Silver Comet up at Niagara Amusement Park, you have two terrific coasters from this era that are only two hours apart. 
Be sure to check out Waldameer and Ravine Flyer II every chance you get. 

No comments:

Post a Comment