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Photo TR: Jiggidy Returns to Western PA and Ohio


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I just returned from a bit of a whirlwind of a trip. For the last couple of years, Chuck (cfc) and I have been trying to plan a trip to go to Cedar Point. Chuck has been to most of the major parks in the entire world, but for whatever reason he had yet to visit Cedar Point! So 2013 was the year to do it. We managed to fit it three other parks as well. Those include Kennywood, Waldameer and Conneaut Lake Park. The last time I went to Kennywood and Ceder Point was during TPR's Midwest trip in 2007. The last time I went to Waldameer was TPR's Ravine Flyer II/Behemoth trip in 2008. Conneaut Lake Park was new to me.

 

First, let us start with Kennywood. We arrived at the park right around 6:00 PM, so he had a good 4 hours in the park. All of us had been there before, but I had never been there at night. It only costs $25 to get into the park after 5:00 PM. Kennywood still holds up as one of my absolute favorite parks in the US. It still has that classic old park, non corporate, feel to it. Phantom's Revenge is still in my top 10. It is an airtime machine and I highly recommend trying it in row 2 sometime.....especially at night! Sky Rocket (Credit #427) was new to me and it proved to be much better than I expected. For one, it was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. Smooth, fast and fun! I was able to finally ride my first Bayern Curve (which I had no idea Kennywood had one). It was a blast, especially when the horn goes off to signify that the ride was running at top speed. The shooting dark ride was also new. While the ride itself was quite good, the shooting accuracy seemed to be way off. I am not sure if it was just only our car. Again, Kennywood proved to me to still be awesome, and it was a great way to start off this trip! Onward to the photos!

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My first Silver Airways credit!

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Just what I need to buy. Especially with the word Ohio on it.

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Pittsburgh really does have a cool skyline.

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This is such a unique building.

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It has been far too long. I have not been here since TPR's 2007 Midwest trip!

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Kennywood is one of my favorite parks in the US!

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Something new has been added since my last visit.

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What a cool and very unique looking train.

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Off they go! And it makes very little noise doing it.

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The first tower hill is a lot taller than I expected.

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Sky Rocket proved to be a fantastic ride!

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The launch is a lot of fun.....well the whole thing is a lot of fun!

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Hey wait! I know those people!

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I had no idea how awesome the Bayern Curve ride is! It is so fast and fun...just beware of the HORN!

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This means awesome!

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Phantom's Revenge is still ranked in my top ten steel list. It actually might have gone up a couple of spots.

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Row 2 is simply awesome. Lots of airtime!

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It is a long way up there...I think it takes almost 2 minutes to get the the top.

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It is super fast and super smooth.

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Yeah, I love Phantom's Revenge!

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Best indoor spinning mouse on the planet!

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The dark ride revamp happened after my last visit.

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Creepy! And well done!

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Totally trackless!

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Thunderbolt is still fantastic!

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It still is quite insane!

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Neon Turtle sign as well as Phantom's Revenge.

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This was about as close as I got to riding the electric cars. They broke down about an hour before closing.

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This was the first time I have been to the park at night. All the neon was very cool!

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I ended up running out of time to be able to ride The Racer this time. I will be sure to next time.

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I could not skip out on Jack Rabbit though!

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Jack Rabbit!!!

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It is really fun at night....it gets really dark after leaving the station.

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Goodnight Kennywood! I love Kennywood!

Edited by Erik Johnson
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Waldameer Time! Like I mentioned before I had been to park once before in 2008. That was when Ravine Flyer II was brand new. They had added a few new things since my last visit which includes probably the fastest cycled Music Express in the United States. Seriously the rumors are true, this thing runs at bat-insane speed. I understand it reaches an excess of 25mph and yes you do get quite a bit of airtime on the ride. It was really great to get back to ride Ravine Flyer II. We had multiple rides on it during our visit and it was running super great! A lot of work has been done on it during the off season so it was running just as well (well maybe even better) than it was in 2008! It did not even need much time to warm up. The first rides of the day was just as fast as they were later in the day. It is a great little park (My personal favorite during TPR's 2008 Ravine Flyer II/Behemoth trip). Be sure to visit it if you get the chance. Ravine Flyer II is still a top five wooden coaster in the United States.

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Erie's Land Lighthouse. I like lighthouses as well. Plus we had some time to kill before the park opened at 12:00 PM.

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All about the lighthouse.

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A long list of former lighthouse keepers.

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Proof of my lighthouse credit.

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Yay! I did get the bird!

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Ooooo......Waldameer!

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Here is a map of the park.

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The new Music Express looks so innocent over there, we will get back to that later.

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While the park opens at 12:00 PM, most of the rides open a little later in the day.

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We founds ways to amuse ourselves until some of the rides opened up.

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Almost as good as Boris, Chuck!

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Clowns do not creep me out.

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Ooooo....The Sky Ride is open!

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Comet!

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Random Scrambler photo!

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Random Cameron Photo!

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Again, we will talk about the awesome this is a little later!

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I have to admit I was getting anxious to ride this again!

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There are a bunch of bronze statues in the park.

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I would bet there is over 50 or so of these type of statues.

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The Bill Tracy dark ride is now open!

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Funky little cars!

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Chuck looks really excited!

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It really is a great one, if you like old school dark rides.

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My favorite part!

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Such a cool one!

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Yay! Now open!

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Can you find Waldo?

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Everyone is happy....because they are riding Ravine Flyer II!

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Hands Up, Waldo!

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Thumbs up for Ravine Flyer II!!

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Two of us needed the credit.

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Shameless......though I did the same back in 2008.

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Still super scary!!

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These are still fun!

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The rumors are true. This Music Express is insane! They run it at top speed both backwards and forwards. Yes you even get airtime!! You have to be 52 inches to ride this one as well. The manufacture requires this when run at full speed.

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And I leave you with one final photo of Waldameer.

Edited by Erik Johnson
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That Music Express ride was completely nuts. I felt that I was fused to the side of the car after riding it! Ravine Flyer II, like the entire trip, was excellent, too.

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Great report as always Erik. I would really like to get back to Kennywood. Only time I've been there was in '07 on the TPR Midwest also. Seeing Exterminator and Jack Rabbit brought back so many memories!

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Have to agree about Phantoms Revenge with you. Row 2 surprised us big time and became a go to seat and made that ride so much more than I expected. The boasters on our ghost car were also horrible with aim so it wasn't just your car. Great updates from two great parks.

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Conneaut Lake Park! This was the first time I have been to this park. Both times I was in the area the park was closed that season. I am glad that they managed to reopen it. We ended up spending a few hours in the park after purchasing a $20 all day wrist band. The highlight is certainly Blue Streak. I ended up riding it 4 or 5 times that day. Fun ride, with a very insane violent first drop...especially in the back. I enjoyed it, and it does have some great moments of airtime throughout the ride. Make sure you do not miss Devil's Den, which is one of two surviving rare Pretzel gravity driven dark rides. The Tumble Bug was closed. I am sure they need an expensive part to get it working again. Yes, it is true that the park has seen better days, but they are trying to keep it open. I was certainly glad to help support it and they are trying to make improvements where they can. It is a place to should try to visit whenever you are near either Waldammer or Kennywood. It is located about an hour drive from either one.

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I understand that this sign was restored for this season.

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Looks like we are heading in the right direction.

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These would be the current hours.

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Let us head into the park, shall we?

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These would be the old ticket booths, which are no longer used.

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I am glad to finally make it here.

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Oooo....Flyers! I will have to try these out later.

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This would be the main reason why we are here.

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This way to the rides.

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They have a rare Tumble Bug. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for repairs.

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There it is! The original Blue Streak.

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Yahoo! And it is open today!

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A little ACE history.

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The coaster trains are classic cool.

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See what I mean?

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The coaster was running great! Plus, it is a lot of fun!

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As you can see, it really is buried in these woods.

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The first drop is really insane, especially in the back row.

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It actually is a nice location for a park.

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They have a rare Pretzel gravity driven dark ride. There are only two left.

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That would be the name. And yes, there is a gum wall right before the drop.

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Classic dark ride cars.

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There is a chain lift to get you going, after that, it is all gravity!

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The infamous gum wall!

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They have a classic carousel here.

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The history of the carousel.

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1914! It is 99 years old!

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Here is a better look at the horses.

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Horses.

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I wished that this still worked

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One final photo.

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I found this to be really odd. I guess they got a super deal on them.

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Something seems to be missing.

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Yes, it is a real log cabin.

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Yep, this one no longer operates.

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There was a biker event going on. This would be the entertainment.

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There were a lot of closed facades in the park. I hope that they can continue to make it.

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They do have one of these here, but adults are not allowed to ride.

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It is one of the oldest steel coasters in the world.

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They do have a Witch's Stew.

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I do recommend the train ride.

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Our final ride of the day was the Flyers.

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They continue to spruce up the park where they can. The fence around the Flyers was getting a new paint job.

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Whenever you are at Kennywood or Waldameer, be sure to stop on by. It is pretty close to either, and Blue Streak is worth a visit.

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After I go on the Texas/Midwest TPR Tour of Awesome, I will be hitting up these parks. I was already pretty excited but your report/photos got me more excited. Conneaut looks like a fun place so I hope it can make it through whatever financial problems. I will be sure to spend some dough there to help the cause.

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I enjoyed Conneaut Lake Park more than I expected to, and I hope they can make a go of it. It was pretty funny hearing all the Meat Loaf covers drifting over the park from the bandstand.

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Reading this was very disturbing because just got back from almost the exact same trip. I too did Kennywood, Conneaut and Waldameer last weekend. In fact, I know I saw you guys at Waldameer because I remember the guy in the grey Goliath shirt and I also saw Waldo! My cousin and I got 5 rides on Ravine Flyer II before we headed to Martin's Fantasy Island, Darien Lake, Marineland, Canada's Wonderland and back to Cedar Point.

 

It was my first time to all these parks and I had a blast, I'm glad you did too. In particular the last car of Blue Streak and Ravine Flyer II were freakin' awesome.

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For comparison, here's my pic of the sign from last year. What a huge difference! Glad to see them fixing things up where they can. Hopefully it's not all for nothing.

 

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Yes they did get quite the deal on the Geauga Lake items, All of it was donated by yours truly with the proceeds going towards park improvements. The reception has been pretty good, especially from visiting enthusiasts. Your also right about the bug, the motors are around $5,000 each and it has 6 though it has run on less. One of the great tragedies of the ballroom fire is that there was 12 spare motors for it stored in the ballroom maintenance shop that all went up in smoke. Glad you enjoyed your visit! Come back soon! The bug will back to operating as soon as possible.

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Western PA has some great parks. You can't beat Kennywood's atmosphere and Ravine Flyer is such a gem. I absolutely love Pittsburgh- it's one of the most gorgeous cities in America, and driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel into downtown is almost as exciting for me as some of the rides at Kennywood!

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I absolutely love Pittsburgh- it's one of the most gorgeous cities in America, and driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel into downtown is almost as exciting for me as some of the rides at Kennywood!

 

Could not possibly agree more. I'll be there in three weeks and I'm as excited about that as I am about any of the PA parks I'll be visiting on the way. I remember my first time there back in 2006, having heard all the stories of the dirty, polluted Steel City, and how my jaw dropped when the skyline first game into view...I couldn't believe I was in the right city. It's -so- beautiful...and the people are so friendly too, it's not like any other city I've been to. Now there's a very real chance I might be moving there next summer...the thought puts such a smile on my face.

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I'm thinking of all the times I've been in this area and never gotten to Conneaut Lake, and I'm kicking myself hard for that. Devil's Den is A MUST. (Even thought the gum wall thing literally turns my stomach.)

 

And, yes, Kennywood is a little corner of heaven.

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Awesome TR Erik! So sad I couldn't make this trip with you guys. It looks like you had a blast. All of those parks would have been new credits for me. And of course, the company is par excellance! Guy is sad now.

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