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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video)

TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video)

ray_p ray_p Profile

Posted:
8/5/13 at
10:18:15 AM

Place: Waldameer (Erie, PA)
Date: Friday August 2, 2013
Crowds: minimal
Weather: sunny with a high around 70
Closed Rides: Wendy’s Tea Party

Having not been to Waldameer since Opening Day and with their season coming to an end in just 4 weeks, I decided to take a trip out to Erie on Friday and get some use out of my season pass. It was a perfect day to visit as the crowds were relatively light, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the park was looking especially good even this late in the season.

As usual, my first stop would be the Whacky Shack, as the line is never shorter than it is early in the day. After about a 10 minute wait, I climbed into my car and took the 2 minute trip through the darkness. Whacky Shack was looking great again this season, with all of the stunts in working order and all featuring a fresh coat of paint. I’ve said it before, but more parks really could use a ride like this. Yes, the capacity is a bit low, but the people don’t seem to care as evidenced by this ride’s insanely long lines throughout the season. My attached video features my best Whacky Shack POV yet. Apparently my new camera is better in low light conditions than my old one… which is making me very happy!

Ravine Flyer II was next and as everyone knows by now, it is currently my favorite roller coaster anywhere. Riding in seat 1.2, I was blown away at the smoothness and insane speed the ride carries from start to finish, and the airtime this thing dishes out is beyond awesome. Once the train crests the top of the lift (which boasts one of the best views of any coaster I have been on), it just tears up the track. I can’t say enough good things about this ride, and MAJOR kudos to Waldameer for doing some retracking this year. The ride is running the best it has since it opened in 2008. Absolutely fantastic.

Since the Giant Wheel was off limits to me (being a troublesome single rider and all), I jumped on the Sky Ride and marveled at the changes that this park has gone through in the 22 years I have been visiting. Mr. Nelson has made some great investments in the past 2 decades and the park has really put themselves on the map. The Sky Ride offers a very nice look at this family-friendly park and offers a neat view of the new Music Express area with its fountain and relocated Scrambler. I have always enjoyed Waldameer’s Sky Ride. It’s a long, relaxing ride with plenty of excellent scenery.

Speaking of the Music Express, I headed there next for a spin on the new-for-2013 attraction. Not sure if it’s just me, but it seemed to be running a bit rougher than it did early on in the season. Of course, running this thing at full speed forwards and backwards could have something to do with that… regardless, this is still a wild ride that may be one of the fastest of its kind in the country. The ride op wasn’t quite as annoying as the one on opening day, but they are still asking if you want to go faster and asking you to “make some noise” by screaming.

Since I bypassed the Comet on Opening Day, I took a ride on Herb Schmeck’s classic junior wooden coaster and enjoyed it immensely. The park was running both the orange and green trains, resulting in hardly any wait. This was the first time I have seen two train operation and it’s something the park should have implemented long ago. Comet is running smooth and fast and had several hints of airtime as the train made its way through the heavily wooded course. Good stuff indeed.

My last ride of the day would be on X-Scream, the park’s terrifying ARM/Larson drop tower. I rode facing Lake Erie, so I got a beautiful view as the car slowly climbed to the top. Then without warning, down you go. I honestly don’t know what it is, but the 140-foot drop on this thing feels about twice as long as that on the Kings Island or Kings Dominion giant drop towers. Not to mention my butt was off the seat a good few inches the entire time. Can’t wait to visit Knoebels to try out their new ARM/Larson Tower. I bet the views from the top are just as amazing.

While I didn’t ride much, I did still have a great time and left Waldameer happy. The park was clean, the employees were friendly, and the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves. I hope to visit one more time before the season ends, but if not, I can say that Waldameer’s 2014 season was a good one. I am looking forward to watching this park continue to grow and will spread the word to anyone that listens about what a great park Waldameer is.

I also stopped at Sara's Diner down the road from the park as I had heard lots of good things and that it is an Erie tradition. I guess I'll have to try something other than the chicken fingers next time as they were of the mechanically separated ilk and were quite nasty. The fries were average at best. On the plus side, their orange/vanilla twist soft serve cone was very good, and they had Freestyle Coke machines!

Video of all major rides except Pirate’s Cove and Steel Dragon attached below. Thanks for reading!

* This post was modified at 8/5/13 10:19:35 AM *

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by drachen drachen Profile at 8/5/13 10:46:54 AM
ray_p said:

My last ride of the day would be on X-Scream, the park’s terrifying ARM/Larson drop tower. I rode facing Lake Erie, so I got a beautiful view as the car slowly climbed to the top. Then without warning, down you go. I honestly don’t know what it is, but the 140-foot drop on this thing feels about twice as long as that on the Kings Island or Kings Dominion giant drop towers. Not to mention my butt was off the seat a good few inches the entire time. Can’t wait to visit Knoebels to try out their new ARM/Larson Tower. I bet the views from the top are just as amazing.

Thanks Ray! As always, I really appreciate the video! That shot of the Tilt-a-Whirl with the X-Scream car dropping into frame was fantastic!

I totally agree with you about the ARM/Larson drop towers - they are among my favorites. The drop, and subsequent late braking make these rides what they are. The view of Lake Erie makes X-Scream one of my favorites.

Comet is running two trains? Oh the joy of magnetic brakes!

I'm glad to hear the RFII is running great. While not my favorite wooden coaster, it is certainly up there.

I could use more Waldameer in my life...

* This post was modified at 8/5/13 10:49:11 AM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Friend me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by KevinReid KevinReid Profile at 8/5/13 11:35:24 AM
Thanks Ray for a fantastic TR and Superb Video. It amazes me how fast you can turn a video around. I particularly like how you would show different angle shot of the same ride. That my friend takes pre-planning. What brand and model of camera did you buy?

Regards,
Kevin Reid

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/5/13 12:01:15 PM
Thanks for the appetite-whetter, Ray. All goes well, I'll make my second visit to Waldameer next Wednesday. Revisiting RFII is my priority, as it ranks as my #2 coaster based on my rides in '09. I'm intrigued you said it's running better than it has since it opened. Could it possibly unseat El Toro at the top of my list?

Thanks for the tip about Sara's. I've read good things about it on various boards. Don't know that I'll get there, but the fact they have Coke Freestyle makes it very appealing to me.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/5/13 12:46:41 PM
KevinReid said:

I particularly like how you would show different angle shot of the same ride. That my friend takes pre-planning. What brand and model of camera did you buy?

Thanks Kevin. I'm trying different things with my videos considering this is now like my 5th or 6th Waldameer video and there's only so much you can do! I tried getting some different shots of the rides this time, such as the final shot of Ravine Flyer II from outside the park and the shot of the train emerging from the tunnel. Glad you liked the final product.

My new camera is simply a Canon Elph 330 HS point and shoot. I used the 1080p setting (which only films at 24 fps as opposed to 30) on this and my Idlewild video and I am very pleased with the results. The image stabilization is much better than on my old Nikon S9100 and while the wind pickup is awful, I am overall impressed with how clear everything turns out. I watched this on our 55" LG TV and it looked amazing.

As always, thanks for the compliments (to you and to Drachen and Mike as well). I'm still hoping for a Knoebels visit this year to add to my video collection.

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by Coaster316 at 8/5/13 12:54:18 PM
Great trip report as usual, Ray. I look forward to watching the video tonight. Two comments...

1. I don't recall much about the Waldameer drop tower but Knoebels' blew me away. Awesome airtime all the way down and I admit to be slightly scared on my first ride. I don't personally remember a drop ride like that before...as I'm sure you are aware on these rides you don't stop at the top so your body is still moving upwards when the vehicle starts to fall. Brilliant.

2. I'm sure the video is fine, but might I recommend a trip to Disneyland? I hear some of their employees can be very helpful when it comes to camera settings. (/inside joke)

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/5/13 1:00:26 PM
Coaster316 said:

2. I'm sure the video is fine, but might I recommend a trip to Disneyland? I hear some of their employees can be very helpful when it comes to camera settings. (/inside joke)

Nice one Jeff. And as we all know, inside jokes on coaster forums are the best kind of jokes. :)

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/5/13 6:58:03 PM
Great video & TR Ray! That park always looks so nice. Maybe one day I'll make my way there.

Jen

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 8/5/13 8:07:05 PM
Ravine Flyer is also one of my favorite woodies but I have to disagree. It did not seem as intense as a few years back. Still great though. Seemed to slow down a bit more towards the end of the ride.
Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 8/5/13 9:26:27 PM
chitlins73 said:

Ravine Flyer...seemed to slow down a bit more towards the end of the ride.

I agree with this though I lack the experience to say whether it was faster at the end when it first opened because my first rides were only taken this year.

I initially was tempted to compare the ride to Raven, but really, Raven is a great ride but not nearly as complete as RFII...the three hop sequence beginning with the second tunnel (return hill over the highway) might be my favourite 5 seconds on any coaster anywhere. Very powerful.

I'm still mulling over where to place it, but I think the overall completeness of the ride has it sitting about #4 for me right now behind 3 other CCI/Gravity Group rides: Voyage, Legend, and Tonnere de Zeus. (and yes: I still need to ride El Toro, but Colossos is hardly even top 20 wood for me, so I'm not optimistic that its Stateside cousin is going to crack higher than top 10; who knows though...I've certainly been wrong before).

Thanks for the TR in any case Ray.

Michael W.

Michael W.
209: 62 (20 CCI/GG) / 147
Voyage / Eurosat
Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by jimvid at 8/5/13 10:28:15 PM
Great TR

For Sara's it's all about the hot dogs and the onion rings. You won't be disappointed.

Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 8/6/13 8:09:49 AM
I have nothing (new) to say about (any of) Ray's report(s). I'm simply tired of repeating the same old same old in my replies.
;-)


But as to this...

CortexBomb said:

Thanks for the TR in any case Ray.

Michael W.


It's good to see you getting back into it, Michael.
Hope to see you around and about sooner rather than later!

Mike B.
Re: TR: Waldameer Park (08/02/2013- w/video) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/6/13 11:25:23 AM
CortexBomb said:

I agree with this though I lack the experience to say whether it was faster at the end when it first opened because my first rides were only taken this year.

I should point out that I am very partial to riding in the front of the train on RF2, so perhaps that has something to do with the sense of speed being kept throughout the whole ride. I plan on making at least one more trek out there before the season ends, so maybe I'll try riding near the back and see for myself. :)

the three hop sequence beginning with the second tunnel (return hill over the highway) might be my favourite 5 seconds on any coaster anywhere. Very powerful.

Absolutely! That section is just a blur every time and I love it!


Thanks for the TR in any case Ray.

No problem Michael. Thanks for reading!