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

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

Postby DirkFunk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:53 pm

Bumping this TR for a request for MOAR

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

Postby ejot » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:31 pm

Apologies for the intermission. Currently 32-hrs deep in a marathon CAD session fueled only by coffee, Haribo, and ...uh..one other thing. The joy of new product development.

Haven't forgotten this TR and moar will be on the way. :airtime:
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby cal1br3tto » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Great report and I await your next update! Enjoyed your sarcastic, yet ultimately respectful take on Conneaut Lake Park. If I don't get back there, that's life, but either way I seriously miss it and hope for the best. I didn't "get" Waldameer and its rides the way most people seem to, but I'm not baffled by the love, either, and Comet is a little gem. They certainly have a good thing going and I'll be happy to return someday.
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby Philrad71 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:41 pm

That sucks about the carousel museum...still haven't been there myself.

Looking forward to MFI and the evac report.

Tim Horton's is huge here in WNY. There always seem to be a full drive-thru at our local stores, but if you walk into the store, you can usually walk right up to the counter...silly lazy Americans! :lol:
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby ejot » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:33 pm

With Martin's locked into the GPS, I was off to Grand Island, arriving about fifteen minutes before the 11:30 park opening. Figured this would be plenty early to get into the park pretty quickly and easily. And indeed, there were just seven people (groups) ahead of me in the ticket line.

Fifty-five minutes later, I was in the park. :roll:

The young lady buying tickets in directly front of me was trying to pull up a $5-off coupon on her smartphone. She was getting no cell/data service, and instead of just giving her the discount, the guy behind the counter leaned back and watched her struggle for several minutes. Finally she gave up trying and asked if she could get the discount without showing the coupon. After being refused, she began peppering the employee with bursts of impressive vitriol and profanity. It was going to be a good day.

So now onto the front gate, where another attendant would check your ticket and stamp your hand.

Of course another guest, directly in front of me, gives her some kind of ticket she is unfamiliar with. So after an extensive consultation with her neighboring employee (also stopping that line), she comes back and proceeds to tear a barcode out of the center of this lady's piece of paper. Without creasing it. A quarter of an inch at a time. I counted: She spent over a minute dissecting this lady's ticket, giving her back something that looked roughly like a dog chew toy, well-used.

Once in, if you had a bag and were feeling honorable, you could stand in an angry mob with no queue markers or control, waiting for bags to get checked, a sign for all of which appeared nowhere. Or you could just walk around to the right with your bag and no would notice at all. I stood in the mob. People were cutting. People were yelling. People were confused and accused. It was an all-around ugly scene. With all faith in humanity completely crushed, I was finally in the park.

Things didn't improve much from there.

The spinning Wild Mouse might be the ker-chunk-iest coaster out there. Just incredibly unpleasant.

My ride on their star flyer was quite nerve-rattling, starting with confronting the most brazenly obnoxious line-cutting child I have ever come across. I'm sure we've all experienced some "twisting" type action on star flyers, especially in unevenly loaded seats. Yeah, well... that started happening ... then got worse, and worse, and worse... until I was spun around 360degress with the chains all twisted together above me. Then I untwisted the other way and spent the whole ride spinning around like a rubber band model airplane propeller.

Let's go to the pics for the rest of the story.
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I headed first to Silver Comet and found a virtually empty station. "Are you running?" I ask one of the stylishly-outfitted ops. "Oh yes, just waiting for a few more folks," she says as I spy one couple in the front row. "The owner would KILL me if I ran the ride with three people in it," she finally clarified. The way she enunciated "kill"... I'm not so sure she was speaking figuratively.
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The queue is as well shaded as the rest of the rides area.
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Once the train was about half full, we could finally ride. "I'm actually in a really good mood today," the same op says to her co-worker as they do seatbelt checks. Once to the back, step two of this intense loading procedure was initiated. "Okay everyone, HANDS UP! DO NOT TOUCH YOUR LAPBAR, we will close it for you. I reapeat, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR LAP BAR. We will be coming around to put it down."

What does the girl directly in front of me do? Yeah....

Said operator was no longer in her good mood. And the first train of the day was not yet even out.
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So how was the ride? It was OK, but way under expectation. I feel like this coaster can't really "decide" if it wants to be an out-n-back or a twister. Which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but in this case resulted in too many tightly configured but uninspired turnarounds.
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Like the morning after some extra-spicy texmex?
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This was the best ride in the park, and quite intense. You really get whipped around once the seats start spinning. I just wish there was a little more room for putting hands up.
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An ersatz carshow was a clever use for the presumably non-operational units. The ride was non-single-rider, which makes sense, except the line was like six people long. Then again, most of the cars were not on the track.
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I waited ten minutes for this to happen. That's how much I was enjoying Martin's Fantasy Island.
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The canoe ride was actually quite picturesque. I did not partake.
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This show was painfully bad. Probably why the 26oz jumbo beers were sold directly next to the seating area. The costumed child at stage left was not actually part of the show, but I applauded his enthusiasm.
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More parks need fun building designs like this.
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I really did like the Hawaiian-style outfits the ride operators all had. That has nothing to do with this picture.
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So I decided to take a train ride. If the passengers looks bored, it's because we've already been waiting about ten minutes, and would wait another ten until every. single. seat. on the train was filled.
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Finally we got going. Then we stopped and the conductor fiddled with the train for a few minutes. This cycle repeated itself.
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Eventually the train would go no more, and we were all politely asked to leave. Sorry for the anticlimactic "evac" :P
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Creepy &*#% yo.
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Let's move on!
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Next up! Duffs & Seabreeze.
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby coasterkid124 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:45 pm

Thank you for reminding me why I haven't been to the park in 2 years, despite it being about a 20-25 minute ride away. I love the cute little story town feel of the park, but the operations are horrible, and seems like have gotten worse.

The Silver Comet is obviously my main reason to go, but the loading procedure just isn't worth it. In the amount of time it takes to dispatch one train, I used to be able to marathon 6 times. Also, as much of a back seat rider as I am, the only seat on the ride with airtime (besides the first drop) is the front seat. With assigned seating, that is nearly impossible too.

They have a few unique rides there, like Mind Warp and Full Tilt, but Crazy Mouse runs like crap and so does the Zamperla swing ride. And they also have been removing a bunch of rides without good replacements.

I really don't mean to pick away at the park, but this trip report reminded me of some of the horrible procedures that makes it too aggravating to visit. This is a place where I spent a lot of my childhood, and I would like to see it return that way. Thanks for posting!
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby Philrad71 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:32 pm

This show was painfully bad. Probably why the 26oz jumbo beers were sold directly next to the seating area.


The 26 oz jumbo beers are probably the best thing about Fantasy Island. :lol:

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad time at the park. I never really understood the weird rules that they have for Silver Comet...like your somehow wasting money if you run a train half empty? I don't get it.
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby ejot » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:00 pm

^Being one stop on a multi-park trip, I wouldn't even say I had "bad time" there - it basically served as comical interlude between a few very nice parks. It was worth the stop just for Mind Warp which was great. Now if I'd made a day trip (even as a local) and tried committing a whole day to enjoying the place with friends, then I'd be pretty bummed.

What shocked me more than anything was the clientele. Waldameer and Seabreeze had some of the friendliest, most respectful crowds I've seen. Smack in between them at MFI were some of the most consistently classless, vulgar, inconsiderate guests you could imagine. This, coming from a Six Flags regular.

I don't understand the resistance to sending sparsely populated trains either, but I'm finding it a pretty common philosophy at the smaller, independent parks. Maybe there are worries about trains valleying, to which I would be completely sympathetic.

^^I'd forgotten about the assigned seats on Silver Comet, something that usually bothers me. For my second ride, when there was a small queue built up, I actually ended up assigned to the front seat. My first time having such luck.
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby coasterkid124 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:14 pm

I'm really surprised to hear about the crowds. I never really caught anybody causing issues at MFI, but then again things can change in two years.

As for the vallying, I know their old Schwarzkopf Wildcat had a few issues with it. For those who remember, Cedar Point's had the same issue. This is most likely why there is the minimum rider policies on Comet and the Mouse. Not that those coasters ever vallied, but if they were to, MFI doesn't have the big equipment on site like big parks do to winch them back in.

A rental crane could take a couple of days to get there, then you need a crew to move it back. That would be a big blow to the park if Comet went down, because its their "star" attraction.
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Re: Trip Planning & Photo TR: NW PA/Western NY- Labor Day

Postby DirkFunk » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:46 am

My assumption is that the owner is hyper concerned about wear and tear on the ride and sees the possibility of cutting back on several hundred dispatches a year as saving him thousands over the long run in track/train maintenance. I think that's stupid, but that's me.

Also I'm really happy I didn't bother with going to MFI a couple weeks back when I was debating doing so, because yikes.

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