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Geauga Lake - Photo & Video TR - 7.28.07

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For those who don't like reading, music video & pics are below the text.


Geauga Lake never really looked like much on the surface but with seven new credits (eight had Raging Wolf Bobs not derailed about a month before my visit) and also being owned by Cedar Fair (hooray for Maxx Pass!) I had to stop by. And I'm really glad I did!


Let me start off by saying that this park was kind of strange. Its location takes you by surprise - across the street from strip malls in a normal suburban community. The layout was unique - a large lake separates the two sides of the park. The guests were (how do I put this...?) working class (there, that's a nice description) - lots of tattoos, smoking, some mullets. The park regulations were lax - shirtless guys, bathing suit-ed girls (on the ride side of the park).


Since every coaster was new to me, I had a full day planned and decided to start out with Dominator - my first floorless coaster. To my surprise, they were only running one train, so the line moved rather slowly. I thought a one-train operation was very odd considering it was a Saturday in July; you'd figure one of their busiest days of the season. Thankfully, as I was the next to board, they transferred the second train onto the track. Now, one would say (as one did next to me in line) "I don't want to wait while you put another train on the track". This kind of frustrated me. I wanted to explain to her that once they put this second train into service, she could come back in a half-hour and walk on to Dominator...


So, they get the other train into the station and this guy that was waiting for front row with his family (significant wait with the one-train operations) tried to board with a backpack. When the ride-ops told him that he couldn't bring that on board, he had no idea what to do with it; he even tried giving it to someone else in his row to hold on to. You have got to be kidding me! You've been standing in line for how long and didn't notice backpacks, toys, etc. being put into the bins?!? Are you that clueless?!? Did it never once enter your mind, "Um, where am I going to put this while I'm riding?"? Then, after he locates the (huge metal) bin near the exit, the rest of his family starts giving him their glasses, shoes, hats, etc. After all was said and done (and after much eye-rolling and fuming by yours truly), it took this guy three minutes to get all of their belongings into the bin. OK. Rant over. On to the ride.


Dominator kicks a$$!! Loop, cobra roll, interlocking corkscrews; who could ask for more?!? The floorless aspect wasn't as special as I had kind-of-expected - many mega-hypers and mega-twisters have seats so high that your feet don't touch the car's floor, plus the train is going so fast that I didn't even notice that the track was visable. The great part about the ride for me was that the seats were so damn comfortable that you felt like you were traveling at 60 mph in your Lay-Z-Boy. This is definitely a re-rideable coaster and I did ride it a couple times. Thank god Dominator was at a park with low attendance coz if this coaster were at Cedar Point, you'd have to wait close to two hours for one ride! And two rides in an hour would be impossible!!


Big Dipper was the next big (pardon the pun) hit at the park for me. Built over 80 years ago, although it was rehabbed in 1980, this coaster gave one of the best woodie rides I've had ever. The airtime was constant, the pacing was great, the laterals were existent but not too extreme, the speed was fast but not too fast, and the length was perfect. It was a perfect coaster! The padding on the facing in front of you also helped absorb all of the shock to your knees while in the tiny but comfortable trains. This was also a re-rideable coaster and multiple rides beckoned me as well.


After that, you've got Villain (a herky-jerky rough wood hybrid that beat you up pretty good), Thunderhawk (a standard Vekoma SLC that's more painful than a root canal with no anesthesia but not as painful as SFKK's T2), Head Spin (a typical Vekoma boomerang/headbang), and Double Loop (an Arrow umm... double looper).


The Beaver Land Mine Ride kiddie coaster has one of those 20 car trains that are so strange to watch! Seriously, the front of the train is heading up the first hill while the rear of the train is still on the lift! They ran two circuits so this little coaster was pretty enjoyable.


On my walk back from the water park side (which is really nice), I passed by the Raging Wolf Bobs which was still SBNO. It looked in dire need of a paint job but, I'm guessing since there was no indication that it would be running soon, they're probably gonna let this one crumble to dust. That makes me sad coz it was modeled after Chicago's ancient Riverview Park Bobs (I'm a bit obsessed with the history of that park with me being from Chicago and all). Plus, I'll probably never get this credit!


As far as non-coasters go, the park had your standard collection of flats: Flying Bobs (Hay Baler), Top Spin (Texas Tornado), Octopus (Black Squid), Scrambler (Boardwalk Typhoon), Swinging Ship (Bounty), Swings (YoYo's), Magic Carpet (El Dorado with a car shaped um... car), etc.


I checked out the 4D film Legoland Racers (something I never do at parks) which was pretty fun although instead of simulating snow they just sprayed water on you (probably to make us cold). I was also tempted to try the Dino Island II sim/movie but skipped it in the end.


The park does have one of the nicest kiddie areas I've ever seen (I even liked it better than Kings Island) - close to ten rides catered to little kids in addition to a huge maze/slide and a huge foam ball fort.


Overall, Geauga Lake was a lot of fun but I have a feeling it would be less fun if the crowds were bigger. I mean, I got my seven credits before 1 pm and was able to score re-rides and capture lots of memories.


I was kind of skeptical, though, as to how long Geauga Lake would be operating as a ride/water park. I had a strange feeling that rides would continue to disappear slowly or gain SBNO status (Skyscraper was stuck 3/4 of the way up the tower, the old waterpark is still erect but fenced off, the lake ferries were parked at the closed-off dock, there was no water show even though they have a huge stadium for it, and Raging Wolf Bobs) in lieu of focusing on the water park.


And as we know, in the end, Geauga Lake as we knew it will cease to exist. I am especially glad that I was able to visit this park in its last ride-operating season. Now I can possibly pass along memories like my folks did to me about Riverview Park in Chicago. Although somehow, the details of Geauga Lake will most-likely pale in comparison.


Thanks for reading!


BTW: Posted in multiple parts due to large number of pics.


Here's the music video I made with the footage I shot:


This angle makes the turn-around look like an inclined loop...


(...and here)


(Insert caption here...)




Interlocking corkscrews. Yummy!


Time for the second half of the ride...


Second drop (after the MCBR that was barely turned on).


And I love B&M cobra rolls even more!


I absolutely love B&Ms!


Floorless cobra roll = fun!


The Batman building was still visable. They could've painted over it but why waste money on GL?!?


Look mom, no floor.


Over-banked high-speed turn. Awesome!


Symmetical-ish cobra roll shot.


Me under the loop.


Train in the loop.


Sun behind the loop.


I can't tell which track is which; looks like a pretzel to me.


Dominator's beautiful B&M goodness!


The huge loop...


I still can't figure out if I like banked/turning first drops or straight ones. I guess it depends on the coaster. This was a good one, nonetheless.


Dominator heading up the lift.


First stop: Dominator - my first floorless.


The view right after entering the park.


This pic looks like it's from the 80s & rightfully so - Geauga Lake was kind of caught in a time warp.

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Part two:


...like hell!


...but still hurt...


Not as painful as T2...


Most of Thunderhawk's layout.


Why does something that looks so fun feel so NOT?!?


Oh no. An SLC. I don't know if I've fully recovered from T2 at SFKK two months prior...


Peeps are everywhere! Everywhere BUT on the rides!


Texas Twister.


I still didn't fully understand the theming for this ride:


Pretty sign for an ugly rapids ride. So ugly, in fact, that I only took a picture of the sign, apparently.


This barn pretty much sums up the people hangin' out at GL today.


I think I built this arcade in RCT one time. Or maybe it was a candy stall...


Double Loop up the lift & Villian down the drop.


One of Double Loop's, erm, double loops. The other loop's pic is MIA.


Friggin' genius.


...and a double loop.


...a drop...


Amazingly enough, Double Loop consisted of...


Walking under Villian over to the picnic area.


Pretty. Pretty painful, that is.


Now you're closer... That's better.


I see you way off in the distance...


...especially when the sun is setting in the middle of its hill.


Villain is kinda pretty to look at...


Oh boy. A CCI hybrid. I'm officially worried about my health!


Hey! It's the Hay Baler.


...with one of the longest coaster trains in history! 20 cars!! OMFG!!!


One of the longest named kiddie coaster in history: Beaver Land Mine Ride...


Dodgems. Nothing else to say...


The Grand Carousel. At least they spelled it right...


OMG!! Did I spend THAT much time on Dominator?!? Nope. Clock's stopped.


Unfortunately, though, this is the last Dominator corkscrew pic.


B&M corkscrew pics never get old for me.


As you can see, the turn-around is NOT an inclined loop...

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Part three:


Symmetical cobra roll shot. Wow, two at one park. Am I THAT predictable?


Surprisingly, not-as-head-banging-as-I-imagined cobra roll.


Amazing! ;-P




Watch how Head Spin is so fast that Skyscraper doesn't move an inch in the background...


Preparing for descent.


Hooray (not really) for my first standard Vekoma boomerang.


Steve Martin, come out from behind that curtain! (Extra points to anyone who knows what movie I'm thinking of)




Speaking of pathetic...


The old waterpark was fenced off but I found its pathetic-ness.


Thank god this pic of El Dorado is right side up.


One of the best woodie rides of the summer! Timeless!!


After riding it though, I'll NEVER forget its name.


I offended the line checker dude coz I called it "Little" Dipper. Oops...


Big Dipper is older than my folks & they're REALLY old.


The splash it made was so big it landed on the midway. No lie.


OK, you agree? I'm not missing a sign or anything, right?


I think this ride is called Shipwreck Falls. What do you think?


The world needs more of these! I loved this ride!


Hooray! New flat credit: Time Warp.


Note to self: perhaps laying down in the queue entrance to get a pic is going a little overboard.


Yeah, I ALWAYS smile while getting my brains beat in on an SLC...


Toxic water under Thunderhawk. Friggin' disgusting!!!!!!!


Tons of ugly yellow track twisted into a mess = Thunderhawk.

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Part four:


I actually checked out Lego Racers 4D. Not bad!


Thunder Falls from the front. It's pretty sweet, if you're into that sort of thing!


Thunder Falls.


Splash Landing.


The right half of the front of the park from REALLY far away.


The left half of the front of the park from REALLY far away.


Wow. That was a LONG walk!


Finally, I've made it to other side of the park!


The lake show stadium from across the.. you know...


The retired ferries & Raging Wolf Bobs from across the lake.


The floating bridge to take you to the other side of the park.


Dominator from across the lake.


Thunderhawk (the coaster, not the bird) from across the lake. (And, no, the bird is not Photoshopped)


How do I get to the entrance of this building? Fence... Bear... Help!


It looked pretty sweet!


Rocket Sled Ride maze-type thingy...


Cute fountain...


Hot Air Express...


Half Pint Railway...


I don't know why, but the "flowers" made me think of the Wizard of Oz.


A huge area for kids to throw/shoot foam balls at their parents. Cool!


Gotcha Games... which is...


Dippy Diver...


Rocket Relay...


Cute lil Tree Hopper...


Big ole monster trucks... aka Road Rally.


It's one of the nicest kiddie areas around. I even liked it better than KI's.


KidWorks, however, was packed!


This is the most full I saw Starfish all day.

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Part five (aka The End):


Next I ventured into Dino Island II. Wait, where's Part I?


How's it I ALWAYS end up behind these country folks transporting cr*p that's not secured in the back of their trucks?!?


Time to bid farewell to Geauga Lake, figuratively & literally. Thanks for reading this trip report!


So as I'm walking to my car, I notice these wells & a sign hanging on the fence...


Oh yeah, & no Geauga Lake TR would be complete without... drum roll, please... CORNHOLE!


Time to leave but not before the obligatory entrance fountain pic.


Speaking of said park map: I finally found one.


... especially since the Ferry WAS blocked off (& removed from the park map).


I was surprised that this RWB ramp wasn't blocked off...


I almost volunteered to paint the thing!


If they were to re-locate & re-open it, I hope they repaint it!


There was no evidence that they were TRYING to repair or paint it.


Even though it looked like it'd fall down any minute now.


I wanted this credit SO badly!!


It's modeled after Chicago's Riverview Bobs.


It's been sitting here rotting away since it derailed.


However, I don't think I (or anyone else) will be riding Raging Wolf Bobs any time soon.


Hey! I still need this credit!!


This is for all you barbed-wire fence fanatics.


Now I've got to walk BACK to the other side of the park coz I didn't see a shuttle...


I DO understand THIS name: Booty. Oops, wait a minute... it's Bounty.


Or this name: Black Squid. WTF?!?It's RED (& black)! Looks like a Lobster to me...


I don't understand this name: Boardwalk Typhoon.


Pirate's Flight. Nicely themed ride! Although I wasn't aware that pirates flew...


Old-school swings: YoYo's.


Thriller Bees are a slightly different take on the almost-seemingly-guaranteed-to-be-in-a-park-these-days bee ride.


Happy Harbor Nets - a huge happy maze in the harbor with nets... Big surprise, eh?!?


Just in case you wanted to read about how to attract song birds to the water garden, here it is...


I have no idea how I found this fountain/stream thing but it was nice.


(see, I told you: no captions)












Lots of scenery that I will NOT captionize...

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Awesome trip report, and many of those photos were really nice. It saddens me that Cedar Fair killed such a nice park, and in my opinion, I'd rather visit Geauga Lake than Cedar Point.(especially when it was SFWoA) It looked like a nice park with something for everyone. It seems to have had some nice themed areas, and a lot of atmosphere. Sure it had few stand out attractions, but it seems like a park that would have been a lot of fun to visit.

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Amazing pics and a great review to boot!


I gotta stick up a *little* for double loop. Other than the obvious that you noted, I seem to remember a big 'thump' of airtime in the front of the train (in the hollowed out Arrow 'nose') when cresting the hill after the first drop (the 'thump' being your feet hitting the roof of that Arrow 'nose') and a similar event after the 2nd loop.


Man you really hit dead on with the Big Dipper. I had a very rough ride in the back seat in '88 (like grinding) but other than that, BD always delivered a super classic what-a-coaster-should-be ride! I am still floored how CF is treating this ride and GLake as a whole. It's always been a no-brainer that the park couldn't possibly do well for any amount of time after SF came in, shoved a bunch of big coasters miscellaneously around in a small park.


Oh yeah, and I'm still pissed what CP did to the Blue Streak for '94 and ESPECIALLY '95. That was my ride. I hope that's ok to say around here, I get shunned or shussed and made fun of at another certain popular coaster forum that I no longer support (and have deleted my membership there as well).


As far as RWBobs goes... well, I'm from Chicago as well. My mom and uncle, my Grandpa, all told me how wild and all that the Bobs was. Other than a footprint that is somewhat reminiscent of the Bobs, RWB was pretty much NOT much.


I rode the heck outta the thing when it opened in '88 and then it was fast and fun. The 2nd drop had violent lateral-airtime, as did the following speed bump. But the rest of the ride, although rather smooth and fast, really did nothing.


One thing that supposedly was a 'feature' was that front curve (left of the lift) was banked insane, like 70 degrees or something. And it was later de-banked to like 30 or 40 degrees (maybe no longer going fast enough to make a high bank?)


I think I rode it once or twice in the early 90's; it was pretty bumpy and pretty much nothing to ride again.


And why would they paint it white? It looked great natural, with the green and red station (and a big rock with a wolf w/glowing eyes on top of it!).


Big Dipper though, CF will feel the Karma.... It actually is MORE than just '

bizness, money, reality' and "thats life." That's a bunch of crap...

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Great pics, fun captions.


I will also back up Big Dipper. I always thought that was a fun ride. Not the best, but fun!


Ragging Wolf Bobs, honestly you did not miss a thing. I have been on that thing many times, (lived about 25-40 mins from the park at one point) and every time it sucked equally. Looks fun, rides horrible and hurt.


Geauga Lake could have been a really good park. SF did a great job really screwing it up and really making a cluster F of the navigations, placements, etc. The park had tons of land which could have been developed into a vacation destination but the lack of vision killed what could have been. Also they had to find a way to keep the Cleveland thugs out of the park. (Honestly what is it with SF parks and gang’ish people, it’s like magnets)




RIP. Roy Scheider No more fish on a stick…

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