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My PA Park Odyssey This coming summer...


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Well, I've finally figured out what I'm going to do for my summer vacation this year. I'm going to head down to PA, and hit three different parks, 2 I've never seen before, and 1 that I haven't been to in about 6 years.

 

First, I plan on hitting Altoona, and Lakemont Park, on July 17th. I've seen all the TPR videos of the place, and I'd love to stop by for a day, and check out both Leap The Dips, and Skyliner.

 

Then on the 18th, I'll be heading over to Pittsburgh, and into West Mifflin to see Kennywood. I've not been there for years, and since putting in Sky Rocket last season, I felt that this year should be the year I finally go back.

 

I'll be staying near Pittsburgh until the 20th, then move on up to Erie, and hit the other park I've never seen, Waldameer. The presence of Ravine Flyer II alone made this park a no-brainer for me. I'll be staying in Erie until the morning of the 22nd, when I make my way back home.

 

I've already taken care of my accommodations in each town, thanks to hotels.com, so I'm just posting here to see if anyone has any advice in regards to tackling any of these parks. How has Kennywood changed since 2005, and what kind of crowds can I expect at Lakemont and Waldameer? Anything else you guys could post to help me carry this out would be greatly appreciated.

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If you are doing Lakemont, take half the day and head @ 10 miles up the road to DelGrosso's. They are also free admission and tickets, or POP, and apparently some of the best park food out there. Also between Altoona and Pittsburgh, in a quaint little town called Ligonier is a small traditional park, Idlewild. Maybe worth hitting up since you are in the area......

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I know about Idlewild. I don't know if I'll be going there, but it seems like a nice little place.

 

I had no idea DelGrosso's was that close to Altoona, so I'll have to keep them in mind too. If the park food is that good, it may be worth the extra trip for me.

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Yeah, in my opinion, Lakemont was good solely for Skyliner and Leap the Dips. Honestly the rides were pretty much run horribly (they didn't even look to see if everyone was in cars, let alone checking seat belts) One of the operators was asleep, another very close to it. I understand it's a boring job, but that's a bit ridiculous...

 

I would say for sure try and go to either DelGrosso or Idlewild. I've never been to DelGrosso, but I've heard very good things about it, and Idlewild is a classic park, I've been there many times even in my teen years and thoroughly love every second of being there. Tons of classic rides, two good coasters, waterpark, quaint, well run, extremely beautiful, and one of the most historic parks in the country. I recommend going to either of them. Because it'll be hard to spend a whole day in Lakemont. Prices aren't too high at either of those parks, if any admission is charged.

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OK, thanks for telling me that. I'll probably visit DelGrossos on the same day I go to lakemont, since I leave Altoona the next day. As for Idlewild, I'm going to be staying a couple of nights at a Holdiay Inn Express in Sharon/West Middlesex, which is about an hour from Pittsburgh. I've been there before, and I know the route to Pittsburgh from there pretty well. I'm not sure how far Idlewild would be from there, so I'd have to check, to see how I could fit both Idlewild and Kennywood into my schedule for both the days I'm staying there.

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If I remember correctly it's a good hour and a half about from Kennywood to Idlewild. Quite a bit of the roads between Pittsburgh and Idlewild/Lakemont are small and slower moving.

 

Idlewild is close enough though to be done along with Kennywood in the same day. If you're at Kennywood for a couple days, a trip out to Idlewild wouldn't be too difficult to do.

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http://www.delgrossos.com/events.html

 

Looks like July 17 is one of their "big" events. These are a great time at the park because it keeps majority of people off the rides and over at all the goings on!!!!! Also means that Lakemont will pretty much be a ghost town.......

 

Well, that's good to know. That means I can make a quick sweep through Lakemont, and then go enjoy Del Grosso's. I lucked out with the date's I've picked so far.

 

I'm also thinking that when I leave Altoona, I may try to head over to Idlewild first, then head up to Kennywood before finally getting to my hotel in Sharon. Then,I'll probably go to Kennywood early the next day, then consider maybe returning to Idlewild, depending on how things go.

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While I agree that Lakemont might be hard to spend a full day at (even endless re-rides on Skyliner, which they allowed last time I was there, will get old after a while, and don't forget that Leap The Dips is an upcharge now, and also that you need at least three adults to load the car, or at least you used to), DelGrosso's doesn't offer much to adults except the food. And the spinning mouse of course. (If you're into waterparks, it might be a different story. I don't know much about DelGrosso's waterpark, because I don't do waterparks.)

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Well, after driving for 4 hours from Ithaca down to Altoona, I probably won't be in much of a mood to rush from ride to ride anyway. I'll probably head to lakemont first, try to get in a ride on Skyliner and Leap the Dips, then just look around for a bit, before moving on to Del Grosso's, where I'll hit the spinning mouse, the Space Odyssey (I love indoor spinning rides!), and then just spend the rest of my time eating and relaxing.

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I'd say you should try and spend a whole day at Kennywood. If you are thinking about heading out from Kennywood early to go to Idlewild, I'd say it's not worth it, Kennywood pretty much has everything Idlewild does, even though lines are a little longer and it's a little pricier. But if you're planning on spending about a day at each, hit Kennywood first day, and perhaps a majority of the next at Idlewild. You'll be able to ride everything major without the need to rush from ride to ride. Lines aren't bad there. It's a perfect day to not get all worn out.

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Haha... yes... Insane air time!! And try avoiding the rows with no lap-bars... Those two don't quite work together! (Last I went there were literally a few rows that were missing lapbars! They didn't even block them off!!)

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Definitely do DelGrosso's in the evening. As far as Space Odyssey, think Idlewild Caterpillar only in the dark with cheesy black light effects and music....

 

Oh, that's fine, hehe. It sounds a lot like Cosmotron at Knoebels, and the Ultimate Trip, which used to be at Conneaut. I loved both of those.

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Haha yeah, I akways says it's not about the rides, it's about the experience. Who cares how 'good' something looks, or how fast it goes, if you have fun?

Edited by grrt
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The one thing I've learned from seeing the TPR crew, in all their expeditions, is that you can have just as much fun, if not more fun, in smaller parks. They just seem to have a kind of charm that the big, corporate parks seem to lack. It's because of TPR that I decided to finally see Knoebels a few years ago, and I haven't regretted that decision since.

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If you go to Giant Eagle they have Discount Kennywood Tickets for sale, it should save you close to $10 or so provided prices haven't changed this year.

Discount Idlewild tickets can also be purchased at Giant Eagle, savings of $2.

If you happen to have AAA they also used to sell discounted tickets to both parks.

 

To get to Ligioneer from Pittsburgh, Take 376 towards Monroeville then the PA Turnpike towards Harrisburg. Take Exit 91 Donegal, Turn Right and follow Route 711 over the Mountian and down into Ligioneer. Turn Left at the red light at Route 30, go about 2.5 miles and Idlewild is on the left. ETA from Kennywood to Idlewild, provided there is no construction via the Turnpike that day about an Hour and fifteen minutes.

 

Don't forget the Potato Patch fries at Kennywood. It's a tradition out here

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If you're going to stop anywhere else, be sure to get yourself a corndog from The Lucky! That or Deep Fried Oreos... You won't be disappointed with Kennywood I assure you. Through the years it's held up remarkably, and still holds its spectacular atmosphere and stay-with-youd-ness. It doesn't have biggest or 'best' but the charm and personality of the place makes everything there at least 20 times better than if it was carelessly thrown in a Six Flags park.

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Oh, I already know that I love Kennywood. I went there a couple of times in the 90's, and again in 2005. I still remember my sister, only 3 years old when we went in 95, wanting to go on the jack Rabbit, because she'd seen it in Kennywood Memories so many times. My parents finally took her on, and at the end, she cried, saying "I don't want it to be over." That same sister dragged me onto my first top spin, the King Kahuna, in 2005. I've created a monster now, lol.

 

And the Lucky still exists? I've seen it in the documentary, but there was another kind of food stand in its location when I went there in the past.

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Yepp it still stands. It's right by the Potato Patch, it's been there for decades. Not quite sure the exact year.. You'll still enjoy it as much as you did in 2005 that's for sure. It's more refined. (Not the corn dogs, the park!)

Edited by grrt
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