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Photo TR: Conneaut Lake & Waldameer


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Yesterday, I crossed the border at Fort Erie and made the trek across the I-90 and the I-79 to Conneaut Lake Park, and then back up the I-79 to Waldameer. Contrary to my visit to Seabreeze and Martin's Fantasy Island last year (Photo TR Here) where I waited an hour at the Queenston/Lewiston bridge, there was virtually no wait at the Peace Bridge. The guy at the border patrol was quite clearly very suspicious of a guy driving by himself to amusement parks. I explained to him that I was a roller coaster enthusiast, and it was pretty clear that he had no clue what that even meant. So after he quickly looked in my trunk, I was on my way. This TR, along with the one linked to above, should serve as a nice preview for the Leviathon participants. Once you get through Buffalo, the drive is very easy. Very little traffic, and the weather was pretty much perfect. My first stop was Conneaut Lake Park, which is a bit over 2 hours from Buffalo.

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I see Blue Streak, this must mean....

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...we have arrived at Conneaut Lake Park!

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The parking field is located across the street. Check out the beautiful vintage 1892 sign!

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Check out the beautiful entrance plaza!

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Doesn't that just make you want to take a dip in the pool on such a beautiful day!

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Here's the park map. The rides were a bit late up a running today, so I went to snap photo's first.

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SBNO Toboggan Credit!

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The chain is still in place! Perhaps it's time for a bribe.

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The park maintenance people definitely deserve a raise!

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Hotel Conneaut. I've heard stories this place is haunted.

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Beach Club Restaurant. This area actually looked pretty decent.

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By this point, there were maybe 30 people in the rides area of the park. People however were enjoying the lake.

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Perhaps the ghost of the roundup is now living in the Hotel Conneaut.

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Doesn't the midway look amazing!

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Yeah....maybe not so much.

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The gift shop looked a bit better I suppose.

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Kiddieland would not be complete without clowns!

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Kiddie Carousel.

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Some kiddie caterpillar ride.

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Pony rides.

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And of course, kiddie credit! I chose not to whore myself out today.

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Now time for the full size carousel. Definitely nice to see early 1900's carousel's still in operation.

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They simply do not make them like this anymore.

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Here is some history.

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The park's Turtle/Tumble Bug was down for maintenance today. One of only 2 left in the US if I'm correct. The other being a couple hours to the south at Kennywood.

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Paratrooper...

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...and the Flyers. The park had a couple op's rotating between the half dozen or so flats and a couple more in Kiddieland.

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Conneaut Lake has water slides!

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The new mini golf course actually looked really good.

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Okay, so by this point the rides were open. You could buy a individual ride tickets or a wristband. First stop was this cheesy looking dark ride.

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Usually, I don't really like these haunted style dark rides, but I really didn't want to miss the infamous gum wall! It was pretty cheesy, but not as much as the Coney Island Spook-A-Rama. This is also a Jeff Johnson credit.

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Now, the reason we are here today.

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ACE plaque.

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I took two rides, once in the center of the second car and once in the front car. As expected, this classic coaster is very rough. I noticed there was new wood, I believe after the third drop before the hill into the turnaround, and it definitely made a difference.

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And with that, we are ready to depart.

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Parting shot of Blue Streak from the parking field. As many of us know, Conneaut Lake definitely needs alot of work, and is in serious financial trouble. Some of what I saw definitely makes it look like the park is trying, and the staff was quite friendly, but obviously this park's days could very well be numbered. Waldameer pics to come later. Please leave your comments.

Edited by beatle11
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Cool... you know even being just an hour and a half south of Conneaut Lake I have no idea what's going on with the park. If CLP ever adopts a marketing plan I hope they advertise in Pittsburgh because we wouldn't know it existed otherwise. I like the pictures and I hope you got to visit Presque Isle while you were in Erie.

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Looks like they have a few classics at Conneaut which along with Waldameer is on my 'yet to visit' list. Fingers crossed Conneaut stays open a little longer as there is (alas) no TPR trip for us this year (next year though). Look forward to seeing your take on Waldameer!

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Here's a grand idea, instead of sitting around eating doughnuts, why doesn't ACE give the park some money to restore the Blue Streak instead of just giving them a fancy plaque and a pat on the back?

 

The park's had a rough history, I hope it doesn't crumble, it's been pretty lucky at staying open despite virtually no funds.

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ACE gave $10,000 cash towards the blue streak restoration when that plaque was presented to the park. There is not another coaster club that does more for preservation of classic coasters. Leap the Dips anyone? They had promised 5K previous and upped it to 10K due to it being such a worthy cause. Also I will have you know that donuts dipped in gravy are quite tasty. Blue Streak has been running better and better since coming out of mothballs thanks to STI and the current park operator Adams Amusements. All the years of band aid repairs from previous operators are getting fixed properly to ensure the streak will be around for quite awhile.

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Conneaut is weird. The hotel looks super creepy, I'd love to stay there a night. I'll be visiting for my second time in a couple weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Blue Streak is doing, all I remember are the sunk-in holes and rays of light shining through the tunnel, it was like being in a musty cellar.

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Sorry to say but me this looks like a park that is going to shut down soon. Except for the coaster I can find no rides for me - except for the Roundup if it would be around.

 

So its two spins on the coaster, a Coke or beer at the lake and then heading on. They should try to get some used carnival rides to attract more people. Here we've a safari park Serengeti with a ride section consisting only of used carnival rides - they've a flying carpet, a condor, a Top-Spin, etc - and its a nice day out with younger kids who still dont do to newest thrill-rides. Plus they've a petting zoo with small furry and funny animals.

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Thanks everyone for your comments. Waldameer is about a 1 hour drive north of Conneaut Lake in Erie, PA. I arrived at about 2 in the afternoon, and the park definitely looked busy. Lot's of people in the water park though.

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We have arrived at Waldameer!

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Here is the park map. It actually makes the park look more open than it really is. Waldameer really takes advantage of the available space when the expand.

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First stop, Potato Patch!! They don't do the bacon and cheese fries like at Kennywood. They basically give you a choice of either cheddar or gravy on the side in a dipping container with the fries. Nonetheless, they are still amazing!

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Comet was located next to the Potato Patch, so that was my first stop. I sat in the back of the first car, and the ride definitely was running well. Even a couple little pops of air time. Only 1 train was operating, and the ops were slow as molasses. This would become the theme for the day.

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Going up. It's a great family coaster.

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Okay, no more delays. The reason we are here today. Again, 1 train operation, and slow as hell ops.

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Lift hill into airtime insanity!

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I can definitely agree that this coaster has the airtime and the insane laterals that would make it a top 10 woodie.

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That being said, OMFG does it beat the hell out of you! Part of it is just the insane laterals, but as it seems to be a pretty consistent theme with the PTC trains, they tear the hell out of the track. Two rides was definitely enough with the beating and the slow ops.

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The last credit of the day was a Maurer spinning coaster. I believe this is the same model that Seabreeze has.

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I started going backwards and pretty much ended up that way for most of the ride. It really didn't spin much.

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There were 3 cars running today, and I counted 5 more on the transfer track. Less than half were running! Grrr! Once again the ops were very slow.

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Next up, was the dark ride/Jeff Johnson credit. I had heard good things about this one.

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See, Jeff Johnson credit. In terms of ops, this is an older, low capacity ride, but the operator did his best to keep the line moving. As the name suggests, the ride is very whacky!

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I took a ride on the Skyride next.

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It definitely gives you a nice view of the park.

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Next, I took a ride on the L. Ruth Express.

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Control panel porn! Waldameer only has 1 of these Chance trains in operation, which can lead to some long wait times. However the queue is lined with benches so you can sit and wait rather than stand there for a long period of time.

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Take the tunnel!!

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Now for some photo's of the rest of the park. Here's the kiddie credit I didn't whore myself out on today.

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Very happy riders!

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New hotness for this year. They definitely crammed this ride in next to the kiddie coaster.

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I believe this is a walk through/fun house type attraction.

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Second carousel of the day.

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Beautiful horses.

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Ferris Wheel.

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The park had a nice looking log flume as well.

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Oh crap!

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Definitely, not an acceptable amount of wetness, when you have to drive home for three hours afterwards. As you can imagine, people were dripping wet coming off this thing.

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Drop ride.

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A couple shots of the water park on the way out.

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And that was Waldameer. They definitely have a nice collection of rides, but the ops definitely left something to be desired. Thanks for reading, and please leave your comments.

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Waldameer is one of my favorite small parks, I love the location and they have a pretty decent selection of flats. Ravine Flyer II is insane, although it's slowly getting the Gravity Group roughness. It held out for so long, too! Hopefully years down the road we'll see it with new trackwork and Timberliners.

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Here's a grand idea, instead of sitting around eating doughnuts, why doesn't ACE give the park some money to restore the Blue Streak instead of just giving them a fancy plaque and a pat on the back?

 

The park's had a rough history, I hope it doesn't crumble, it's been pretty lucky at staying open despite virtually no funds.

 

Are you kidding me? I have just read posts up until now and not posted, but this comment is completely out of touch. ACE has done so much to help out the little parks like Lakemont and Conneaut. ACE is the source of grassroots efforts when it comes to the Roller Coaster community.

 

Good trip report Beatle. I actually did not experience any roughness when I rode Ravine Flyer a few weeks ago and I ride it probably on a monthly basis for one reason or another, I'll check up on it when it when I am there in a couple weeks. I have rode it every year since it opened, it still rides very well.

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ACE gave $10,000 cash towards the blue streak restoration when that plaque was presented to the park. There is not another coaster club that does more for preservation of classic coasters. Leap the Dips anyone? They had promised 5K previous and upped it to 10K due to it being such a worthy cause. Also I will have you know that donuts dipped in gravy are quite tasty. Blue Streak has been running better and better since coming out of mothballs thanks to STI and the current park operator Adams Amusements. All the years of band aid repairs from previous operators are getting fixed properly to ensure the streak will be around for quite awhile.

 

Well I'm glad I stand corrected! I knew very well they help, though it had slipped my mind completely about Leap the Dips actually, and any of their helping really. Stupid post by me? Yup. Should have thought it through a bit more.. Not a knock at ACE since they've actually helped I now remember..

 

Waldameer's always been a nice park, loved Ravine Flyer II when I was there. Been going there since I was fairly young, it's grown a lot since then!

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Yeah I end up driving by Waldameer every month or two and it is the absolute best pit stop. Located just about half way on my road trip, nothing to get the adrenaline going again like Ravine Flyer. That is the best thing about the ticket parks, just being able to come in for a little bit.

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Sad to hear about RF2, but it doesn't surprise me. I thought that it seemed to jostle a lot last year and I told my partner that it probably had one good year left on it before it either hurt too much to ride it or they trimmed the hell out of it. I agree that the Timberliners would be nice, but would be surprised if they went that route.

 

Conneaut looks like the same old Conneaut unfortunately. I thought that they were supposed to remove the toboggan? I was also thinking that they removed the Round-Up at one time and then just plopped it back in the field by the bar across from the toboggan - both are major eye sores sitting near the lake. They really need to scrap them out versus letting them sit there to rot.

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Nice report.

 

My only negatives at Waldemeer were the slow ops on Comet (last trip about 8 years ago) and the fact they let a young couple ride Comet holding a six month old baby in their arms!

 

I have never seen that, before or since, and was shocked nobody said or did anything. It may be a family coaster, but holding a baby???

 

You travel enough, you see it all...

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Me and my coaster buds were at Waldameer and Conneaut Lake the Saturday before you (the 9th) and I will say that I loved Waldameer. I have a soft place in my heart for small parks and I thought Waldameer was exceptional. Steve Gorman (the president/owner) came out and talked to our group since we were on a coaster trip. He was very friendly and was willing to tell us about the history of the park and answer any questions. That added to the liking of the park. A very personal touch. I also loved Ravine Flyer II even though it was a little rough. It is now my #4 woodie. What awesome airtime!

 

We also stopped by Conneaut Lake that afternoon on the way to Kennywood. I was shocked by the state of this park. We only stayed at the park for about 45 minutes. We rode Blue Streak once (because it was scary-like we are going to die because it is falling apart, scary.) We wanted to ride the kiddie coaster but the girl at the ticket booth said we had to have a kid and since there was no one there besides us, then that was not an option. Remember, this was a Saturday. We actually only saw about 3 other people in the park and two of them were a couple that were riding the tumble bug. The other was a guy that was taking pics of the tumble bug because they are so rare. That was it. It was so dead. I do not see how this park can stay in operation. I hope that it does but I really don't see it happening. I could see it having some charm with some love but I guess we will just have to see what happens.

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^I didn't think Blue Streak felt unsafe by any means, but it was definitely very rough, as expected. I took two rides, knowing full well that there is a good chance I'll never get to ride it again. I noticed a section with new wood, and the new mini putt looked very nice, so it seems they are really trying, but when you have maybe 30 guests in the park at 1 in the afternoon on a Saturday, it's hard to imagine it will be around for much longer. Kinda sad since the park has so much history.

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^ Now if they'd think about lowering that $85 season pass...hmmmm.

 

On another note, I see that they are having a David Allen Coe concert there on the 4th which should bring in some revenue. $18 for the concert, all rides ( I assume this means Blue Streak too) and a Harley Davidson giveaway entry....pretty good deal. I would bet things could get pretty rowdy there as the night wears on though!

 

Also glad to see they have redone the mini-golf....looks nice.

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