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Photo TR: Conneaut Lake Park


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Photo TR: Conneaut Lake Park

 

6/3/2006

 

This was a park visit I wasn't so sure was going to happen several weeks ago when Conneaut Lake Park was initially denied a loan. But once a loan came through the park was set to open for another season. Crowds poured into the park over the holiday weekend. Lucky for me and not so lucky for the park, it was a slower day this past Saturday. In general the lake area was quiet due to the cool temps and scattered rain. No surprise the park wasn't all that busy and with a decent number of rides down it was a better time for that to occur rather than the peak July and August periods.

 

This year I bought a season pass at the early discount rate in order to help give the park some startup money. The pass clipped on to your shirt like an employee name badge so it made me feel like an employee in a way. Speaking of employees, they looked more organized with light blue polo shirts and tan pants/shorts. Parking at all lots was just $2. I didn't see a free lot and I didn't see staggered parking rates which I think is good. A flat $2 for everyone.

 

I started the day off by riding the Blue Streak. Conditions were walk on to a one train wait most of the day but to start off we had a half train load. The cool ops gave us multiple rerides early in the day. It was like showing up and getting free ERT.The old school, traditonal atmosphere and attitude was a small reminder of why classic parks like this are so special. Sure they have their issues and people like to get down on parks like Conneaut and Camden, but the park world would be much less interesting without them. Back to my rides, I scored a bunch of back seat rides which is always a tough thing to get with the count 16 (short Vettel train) loading. I must say that I had airtime approaching what I used to get on the bigger NAD trains years ago. It was a nice surprise. There was some new wood on the track at the turnaround.

 

Under and around the Blue Streak, work was underway on the rehabilitation of the Bessemer Railroad. Stones and ties are on site. Donations are still needed but work is underway.

 

I had a chance to enjoy the new Kaylee Belle narrated lake cruise. For $6.50 you get an hour long cruise all around Conneaut Lake. It was very nice and it did a good business based on the limited crowd and hourly departures.

 

The games midway was much cleaner and improved in quality this year. The park now runs the games. Gone are the cheap carny run games and outdated inflatable souvenirs. Also updgraded is the Log Cabin gift shop. Gone are every last piece of redneck and junk merchandise. That old stuff was funny but trashy. Now it is primarily new park merchandise with more items set to arrive soon.

 

The carousel sounded much better this year and it looked good. Extra bumper cars were added and I think it was a wise choice as this ride is fairly popular. The ride still could use some work but at least it has some capacity now. The rehabbed Witch's Stew (Tempest) looks great but it wasn't operational. Strangely Devils Den was closed. The two lawn area rides, the Round Up and Toboggan, were not ready and they may be moving to the midway but I'm not sure yet. If you're looking to the future, I understand a replacement Scrambler, a Chance Rok-N-Roll and the whip from LeSourdsville Lake could be coming to CLP as soon as this summer.

 

I ran into a park rep who recognized me (that's always odd). His crew was filming commercials that will be run in Pittsburgh (much needed IMHO). I asked about the Tumble Bug and he said he kept hearing it was close to being ready yet no work has been done on it recently. So I don't know when the Bug may operational again.

 

In the front of the park the Tilt-A-Whirl, Paratrooper and Flying Scooters were open. I'm not sure if the Ferris Wheel was open or not. It wasn't listed as closed but nobody was on it when I passed by.

 

The park is working to get things going and I am just glad it was open with signs of improvement. While first time visitors may not understand, improvements have already been made which have laid the foundation for future upgrades. Over time these changes will become more visable and appreciated. Until then it's still great to be able to enjoy this classic park.

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The Beach Club and Down Under bar on the beach. Not a bad place to search for mullets.

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Work has started on the Bessemer Railway.

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Here's the classic carousel.

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Witch's Stew looks good but it wasn't open on Saturday.

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Cruising Conneaut Lake on the Kaylee Belle.

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The new Kaylee Belle departs.

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Notice the Dippin Dots cart in front of the Dreamland Ballroom. For CLP, the new DD locations are an improvement. But you can still get old fashioned ice cream too.

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Even though Cleveland isn't too far away, only quality Steelers prizes are awarded.

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The midway has been cleaned up and repainted.

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New wood on the Blue Streak.

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The Blue Streak rolls into the station.

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I was just there May 27, I got front seat on Bluestreak. I thought from all my other rides on the coaster, this would be another plain ride on it, nothing different. Boy was I wrong! The front ruled. Anyways great PTR, and the park looks like it was looking pretty good when you went. It was nice when I went too

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You should of stoped in kiddieland I going to be running the little dipper today but it was not ready so I was on the Turtles. Where did you here about the whip?

 

The whip has been rumored on rec.roller-coaster and the CLP junction site. I didn't walk through kiddieland but is it true they are repainting the Little Dipper? I saw it mentioned on the blog but it looked like it had been stripped for painting from the Blue Streak lift hill.

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Thank you, Tim, for your thorough and informative report. I've never been to this park, but am very interested. I wish them all the best and maybe your report will incourage others to step up and support a national treasure. Keep us posted!

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Yes N'at Man they are repainting the Little Dipper, Not sure what color though it is brown right now but I don't think that will stay. They were also doining alot of work while you were there they were changing supports and footers. It should be open next weekend and the train is to open on the fourth of July.

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Thanks for the report, I'm looking forward to my third trip to CLP this summer, and the first in a while. So many people like to rip on this place, but I always have fun here. Heck, their fresh cut fries are just as good as Kennywood's!

 

-Bryan "back seat on the Blue Streak is wild" Wood

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OMG! I just relized the Dip'N'Dots picture you put up. And when I was there (May 27) eating my awesome Pizza which is right there in that photo also, they were opening the new Dip'N'Dots cart. It was all shiney and brand new!

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If anyone goes there this summer come pay me a visit Sadly they got real strict this week and now I am only allowed to ride op in kiddyland beause I am only 16 but I will be running the little dipper roller coaster. Look for me My name is Ken it is on my emmployee I.D.

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Cool TR, is the Blue Streak's turn any smoother now because of the new wood? I'm just glad things are looking up for them, even if projects are incomplete. Btw, I didn't see you mention the indoor scrambler which is called the Amazing Trip or something, is that still there?

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I'm not sure the Blue Streak is any smoother. If it is it would be on the turnaround. It's always going to be a bit hard on the spine in the back seat but in general I thought the track was in pretty nice shape.

 

The Ultimate Trip is no more and the Scrambler ride used in it is expected to be replaced with a replacement soon (and run outdoors I would assume). A Chance Rok-N-Roll could also arrive soon although the rumored whip from Le Sourdsville is apparently just a rumor. No definitive word on the Bug although I keep hearing around July 4 for the train.

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Where did you hear of a chance rok and roll. And what is a chance rok and roll?

 

The Bug has had work on it. the other week when I was in the Maintmence Department the cars were in there and looked like they fixed somthing und the cars.

 

And the train will be up the 4 of July.

 

And the building was not just in bad shape the roof actully caved in that is the real reson it is not open.

 

And the Blue Streak is running better then ever.

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Yeah, that scrambler did kick some serious ass. Didn't it play music, I remember it being all neon and loud music. It was a really fun ride, no boring parts what-so-ever! I really would like the Taboggan credit though

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Best Toboggan ever!

 

I liked my ride on it last year that the car I was in wouldn't engage the lift with my massive 125lbs in the car. Sent it on its way after I rolled back twice, then stuck me in the next car, which actually would engage the lift.

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