Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Conneaut, Waldameer, Martin's, Seabreeze, NYS Fair
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Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby ejot » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:55 pm

'Allo guys n gals. I'm doing a solo trip the weekend before Labor Day. My itinerary is pretty well locked in, but I could still use some help from the locals and park veterans on a variety of topics.

Here's the plan (now revised- see 1st post on pg2):
Fri 4th - drive out to Meadville PA late at night.
Sat 5th - visit Conneaut in the early afternoon then drive up to Waldameer and visit until close. Drive up to Hamburg, NY for the night.
Sun 6th - Niagara Falls opens extra early all weekend so up early and spend a couple hours at the Falls. Then drive to Martin's Fantasy Island for a quick visit. Then drive to Seabreeze for a quick visit. Then drive to Sylvan Beach for a quick visit, if there's time. It's right on the way home, so no big deal if it doesn't fit in. I'll be getting back home around 2am Sunday night/Monday morning, assuming a stop @ Sylvan Beach.


The whole trip, and Sunday in particular, sounds like a real grind, I know ... I'm up for it, promise!

I'm aware there are nearby parks that are being passed up, only 24h in the day....
Canada's Wonderland & Marineland: not interested in dealing with a border crossing on short time constraints, and both of these parks I'd rather first visit with friends in a coming year. CW especially... will do a big Platinum Pass summer within the next 2yrs.
Darien Lake: didn't make the cut for this short trip because I'm genuinely interested in the other parks more. I'll get here, and it's an easier "sell" for visiting w/ GP-ish friends.
Midway State Park: I totally wanted to squeeze a quick visit here just to look around and soak in some history. But the park's schedule just made it impossible.

My "must ride" list is already pretty stacked, but I'm fine tuning it. Okay, onto my questions. Tackle any or all.

>> Any general or specific advise. Fire away if you've got it.

>> Waterparks. It won't be my main focus but I am a fan. Any unique must rides? I've done all the standard fare stuff.

>> Log Flumes. I know Waldameer's is a must do, and I know you get really wet. This is the one park I'll have time to dry off. But what about Seabreeze? Is their historical flume actually good? How wet? Are you even allowed to ride a flume alone lol?

>> Martin's. Do all the rides (esp Silver Comet) open right at advertised park opening hour, or do they stagger ride openings? I'm hoping to arrive right before park opens and knock everything out posthaste.

>> Seabreeze. Flyers: Bisch or Larson? Are they old? Do they run fast? Also, I'm afraid this place will be packed - thoughts?

>> Single Rider. Are there any marginally-advertised single rider lines or policies I should know about? Other than Flight and Antique Cars at Martin's, are there any rides at any of these parks that are not open to single riders?

>> It doesn't appear Sylvan Beach offers pay per ride tickets. This is a little disappointing for a park of its stature and my timeframe. Can anyone confirm or refute?

>> Will Sylvan Beach really stay open to the advertised 10pm? If I arrived between 8&9 would I even be able to get in?

>> Any must-stop eateries en route?

TIA ya'll!

{edit1: plan now revised - see 1st post on pg2}
{edit2: changing title - will use thread for TR}
Last edited by ejot on Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:33 am.
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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby DirkFunk » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:24 pm

The stuff you could add in:

Enchanted Forest And Water Safari: http://www.watersafari.com/ It has some new stuff (I think Proslide), and it has some old crazy concrete slides a la Action Park. Heated water on almost all of them. If that wasn't enough, a well preserved Storybook Land, classic train, skyride, and more.

New York State Fair: http://www.nysfair.org/. Wade Shows is providing the midway, and a full ride list is available here: http://www.wadeshows.com/event-details.asp?eventID=222. Notables include Comet II (former Old Indiana Schwarzcopf Wildcat), Mighty Mouse (Mount Olympus' Coma Inducing Wild Mouse), Space Roller (Mondial Top Scan), Delusion (Technical Park Pegasus), Flying Dutchman (Majestic built Flying Scooters attraction), Fabbri Mega Drop, and a whole lot more.

Log Flumes. I know Waldameer's is a must do, and I know you get really wet. This is the one park I'll have time to dry off. But what about Seabreeze? Is their historical flume actually good? How wet? Are you even allowed to ride a flume alone lol?


Seabreeze's flume is better than Waldameer's. Hands down, no competition.

Seabreeze. Flyers: Bisch or Larson? Are they old? Do they run fast? Also, I'm afraid this place will be packed - thoughts?


I went on a bright and sunny Saturday last year for Memorial Day weekend, arrived at opening, and banged everything out. Concentrate on capacity lacking rides first if possible. My recollection is one half of the park opens an hour before the other, with the half that opens being the one with the flyers and wood coaster. The flyers are Bisch, they spin fast, but they don't snap. They engineered a shock absorber thing on the end of the cars to allow you to fly however you want without generating all the stress on the ride. It is actually pretty ingenious. Other must do's at the park are the carousel (has a heckuva back story, park also has a small museum in the building and, IMO, the train, which is all sorts of crazy looking.

Any must-stop eateries en route?


I familiarized myself with the Garbage Plate before heading out last year and ended up at Jimmy Z's in Brockport, NY. Basically, a garbage plate is an enormous thing of food with a bunch of condiment and side dish type items stacked on one another with a red hot and/or a burger patty stuffed in there too. It is a Rochester thing for the rest of us in America to shake our heads at. Mine was really good though.

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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby coasterkid124 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:03 pm

>> Any general or specific advise. Fire away if you've got it.


As soon as you get to Fantasy Island head straight to Silver Comet. If you want to ride the train, wait until later in the day. Try to get in as many rides as you can on Silver Comet before the line builds up because their loading policy is really irritating. First off, there is assigned seating. Then while loading first they check seat belts, then they push down the lap bars for you. If you pull it down yourself, they restart the process. The process may have changed, as I have not been here in 2 years. I suggest sitting in the front of the train, because the first drop is the only airtime moment in the back car.

>> Waterparks. It won't be my main focus but I am a fan. Any unique must rides? I've done all the standard fare stuff.


Seabreeze has a nice Lazy River and an Octo-Racer. Also their kids play area is pretty unique.

>> Log Flumes. But what about Seabreeze? Is their historical flume actually good? How wet? Are you even allowed to ride a flume alone lol?


I really enjoyed their flume ride. It takes you through a tunnel with some rapids inside. I believe the drop is still the record holder for steepest log flume drop. Last time I rode, I had three people in my log and only got a little mist/splash at most. I think I did end up riding once alone.


>> Martin's. Do all the rides (esp Silver Comet) open right at advertised park opening hour, or do they stagger ride openings? I'm hoping to arrive right before park opens and knock everything out posthaste.


No rides officially open late, but sometimes when I go Silver Comet is still testing at opening. I would still bet on it opening on time.

>> Seabreeze. Flyers: Bisch or Larson? Are they old? Do they run fast? Also, I'm afraid this place will be packed - thoughts?


They are old fashioned Bisch flyers. They run faster than Larsons, but slower than some models like Knoebels. Seabreeze can get a little crowded but not too bad.


>> Single Rider. Are there any marginally-advertised single rider lines or policies I should know about? Other than Flight and Antique Cars at Martin's, are there any rides at any of these parks that are not open to single riders?


I've had a little bit of a hard time before at Martin's getting on the Crazy Mouse with even two people. The operator claimed you need at least three. But don't shy away, because there will always likely be a group needing another person, or an empty seat pops up.
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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby ejot » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:17 pm

DirkFunk: That's all great info, thanks! Your trip advice is always top notch.

My partner is a huge waterpark fan so I'll save Water Safari for a visit with him. The state fair however, looks like I just can't pass that up.

Seabreeze's carousel will definitely be a highlight; the whole trip kind of gelled around needing to check that out upon learning the story. The museum I was not aware of though... cool. And I'll make their flume a must-do.

Likewise, coasterkid.... very helpful, thanks!
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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby coasterbill » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:31 pm

ejot wrote:>> Log Flumes. I know Waldameer's is a must do, and I know you get really wet. This is the one park I'll have time to dry off. But what about Seabreeze? Is their historical flume actually good? How wet? Are you even allowed to ride a flume alone lol?


Every log flume ever is great and 100% worth doing. ;)

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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby ajfelice » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:59 pm

ejot wrote:>> Single Rider. Are there any marginally-advertised single rider lines or policies I should know about? Other than Flight and Antique Cars at Martin's, are there any rides at any of these parks that are not open to single riders?


Waldameer's Ferris Wheel has a "No Single Riders" policy. If you have a riding partner, it is a must ride especially in the evening.

I highly suggest the Night Rider pass at Waldameer for Saturday the 5th if you plan on arriving around 5pm. As the person making the ride operations schedule for that day, I can tell you that it is not projected to be as busy as Sunday (which has fireworks) but the tentative plan is to still operate rides such as Ravine Flyer II at full capacity. I doubt the line going over 15 minutes that evening, so multiple re-rides is definitely something you can achieve particularly after 9:00pm. You will easily get your money's worth buying this pass versus pay-per-ride using Wally Points.

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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby larrygator » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:42 pm

ejot wrote:DirkFunk: That's all great info, thanks! Your trip advice is always top notch.

My partner is a huge waterpark fan so I'll save Water Safari for a visit with him. The state fair however, looks like I just can't pass that up.

Seabreeze's carousel will definitely be a highlight; the whole trip kind of gelled around needing to check that out upon learning the story. The museum I was not aware of though... cool. And I'll make their flume a must-do.

Likewise, coasterkid.... very helpful, thanks!


Are you familiar with the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda
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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby ejot » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:54 pm

You're right, coasterbill. I won't skip either. It's a bit sad that Martin's is gone now.

Thanks for the great outlook, ajfelice. That is exciting news right from the source. By the way, I always look forward to reading whatever you post, it's always perfectly on point. I'll probably be arriving a bit before 5pm and am more than happy to support such a great park with a full day ride band, no question.

And thanks for the heads up on the Ferris Wheel. "Wheel" definitely be back to get our night ride one day. Maybe combine it with our first Kennywood/Idlewild visit which I dream about pretty much every day. But we're saving that for a longer, relaxed trip.

larrygator wrote:Are you familiar with the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda

Herschell is always just off my radar, one too many kiddie credit denials I guess. I have heard of this. We are incredibly lucky to have all this history preserved in the northeast, and I will definitely put it on the to do list, if not for now then for ASAP.
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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby wildcatroc » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:53 pm

ejot wrote:'Allo guys n gals. I'm doing a solo trip the weekend before Labor Day. My itinerary is pretty well locked in, but I could still use some help from the locals and park veterans on a variety of topics.

Here's the plan:
Fri 4th - drive out to Meadville PA late at night.
Sat 5th - visit Conneaut in the early afternoon then drive up to Waldameer and visit until close. Drive up to Hamburg, NY for the night.
Sun 6th - Niagara Falls opens extra early all weekend so up early and spend a couple hours at the Falls. Then drive to Martin's Fantasy Island for a quick visit. Then drive to Seabreeze for a quick visit. Then drive to Sylvan Beach for a quick visit, if there's time. It's right on the way home, so no big deal if it doesn't fit in. I'll be getting back home around 2am Sunday night/Monday morning, assuming a stop @ Sylvan Beach.

>> Any general or specific advise. Fire away if you've got it.


Sounds like a fun trip! I've done the Conneaut/Waldameer adventure a copule of times now and it's quite feasible. I usually go down to Conneaut for opening and then head up to Waldameer as to arrive in time for the after 5:00 admission rates which still gives me plenty of time to do everything that I want to. Be sure to watch the clock as I've found that I always want just one more ride at Conneaut Lake on the Blue Streak or Tumble Bug and before you know it the hours have flown by! Waldameer is a wonderful park and is full of action. Be sure to pause for a few moments to check out their beautiful gardens and statues as you wander around the park. Be sure to go for a spin on the super-fast Musik Express ride; they really know how to run it well! Their log flume is also excellent!

Seabreeze does a good job at handling their crowds and so even on a busy day the wait times are minimal, so have no fears about the crowds. Be sure to ride Jack Rabbit in a couple of different seats. The front is a lot of fun with a couple of spots of airtime while the back is a bit wilder. The view from the top of Whirlwind is beautiful if you're riding forward up the lift. Also, the Flying Scooters and Log Flume are rides not to be missed. The carousel is beautiful and I just love its story. Be sure to spend some time checking out the history display in the Carousel building.

I haven't been to Martin's Fantasy Island or Sylvan Beach in a number of years and so I'll leave feedback about those parks to others who know them better than I do.

>> Waterparks. It won't be my main focus but I am a fan. Any unique must rides? I've done all the standard fare stuff.


Waldameer has the largest of the waterparks on your trip and looks to be a lot of fun. I visited once about ten years ago and much has changed since then, but I'm willing to bet that there is a good amount of stuff that is unique in there.

Seabreeze has a fun little waterpark that was completely overhauled just a few seasons ago. They some fun slides (octopus racer, cannonbowl, two tube slides), a lazy river, a wave pool and a couple of splash areas. The lines generally move quickly so you can get a good number of rides relatively quickly. The exception to this is the bowl slide (Helix) whose line moves a bit slower. The Vortex (enclosed tube slide) is my favorite of the bunch and the racing slide is also always a blast.

Even if you don't visit the waterpark, be sure to take a stroll through it. There are some great views to be had of the park from that area and you can get a view of Jack Rabbit's final helix from the grassy seating area behind the Wave Pool.

>> Log Flumes. I know Waldameer's is a must do, and I know you get really wet. This is the one park I'll have time to dry off. But what about Seabreeze? Is their historical flume actually good? How wet? Are you even allowed to ride a flume alone lol?


Seabreeze has a neat flume. Be sure to ride twice: once in the front, once in the back. The drop is particularly steep and you'll get a very different experience in each of the seats. Single riders are allowed. You will get, at a minimum, very damp.

>> Seabreeze. Flyers: Bisch or Larson? Are they old? Do they run fast? Also, I'm afraid this place will be packed - thoughts?


I've had many fantastic rides on these Flying Scooters. They are located at a high point in the park and you can catch the breeze off of Lake Ontario on many days which makes for a great ride! They've been around for a good amount of time, definitely longer than Larson has been in the Flying Scooter business. Was Bisch the only other one who made these rides? If so, then it must be from them.

>> Single Rider. Are there any marginally-advertised single rider lines or policies I should know about? Other than Flight and Antique Cars at Martin's, are there any rides at any of these parks that are not open to single riders?


Seabreeze doesn't have any restrictions of this type. There also are no single rider lines.

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Re: Help me plan a NW PA / Western NY trip for Labor Day wee

Postby cal1br3tto » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:00 pm

ejot wrote:Seabreeze's carousel will definitely be a highlight; the whole trip kind of gelled around needing to check that out upon learning the story.

I'm glad I'm not alone in the Seabreeze carousel fanhood. :lover:

I think this region is the biggest unexplored area for me in the US. I have actually seriously considered skipping Martin's Fantasy Island (and I'm someone who wants to ride every wooden coaster), but I'll probably have to make a go of it. I'll definitely try to fit in the Herschell museum, though. Anyway, have fun!
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