Waldameer TR June 3, 2017
Being we live south of Pittsburgh, and less than 3 hours from Waldameer, we try to make an annual visit. Ravine Flyer II is a top 10 wooden coaster for me, Wacky Shack and Pirate's Cove are incredible classic dark attractions, and the area is just gorgeous, along Lake Erie. It makes for a wonderful day trip that is very economical as well.
My 17 year old son Hayden, my 14 year old daughter, Haley, and I left the house at 8:00am. We made a pit stop at Fun Fore All in Cranberry PA. It's a fun center that has a Kiddie coaster credit. My son's and I were up there last summer, but my daughter wasn't with us. The coaster is called Fiesta Express and was my daughter's #354 different coaster. I did join my daughter for that coaster ride. The kids also rode the new 4d dark ride virtual experience. We were there for about 15 minutes and headed north to Waldameer.
We arrived at Waldameer at 11:30 for a noon opening. At noon, only half the rides opened. Most of the better rides, including Ravine Flyer II didn't open until 1:00. Between noon and 1:00, the park was completely empty. If they would have opened Ravine Flyer II at noon, we would have gotten probably 10 rides in that first hour.
The good news is that Wacky Shack opened at noon, so that was our first ride. Wacky Shack is a Bill Tracy dark ride that is kept in pristine condition, and one of my favorite classic dark rides. I actually know the guy, Randy, who is responsible for keeping this ride, and Pirate's Cove in such stellar condition. Every year he adds a little something different to both attractions, and works all year round to clean, paint, and maintain the 2 attractions. Those are 2 attractions we look forward to every year, during our visit.
Comet also opened at noon. It's a Herb Schemeck junior wooden coaster. We grabbed 2 rides on it, and they were actually running 2 trains on it. It's luck of the draw seating, and I was finally able to ride front seat. The back seat is the better seat, but I never got to ride front before.
Last year around this time, my daughter's friend Xavier moved up to Erie, from our home town. He actually lives within walking distance of Waldameer. Before we left, my daughter informed him of our visit, so he met us around 12:45 or so. I'm usually the one meeting people at different amusement parks. It was a change to meet up with one of my daughter's friends.
At 1:00 it was starting to get a tad crowded, but they finally opened Ravine Flyer II, with the red train running. Last year, on Father's Day, Ravine Flyer II was running the best I ever experienced. Well this year, that wasn't the case. Early in the day it was slow, and bumpy. It got better as the day went on, and was running well by evening. I usually prefer the back seat on Ravine Flyer II, but on this visit, front seat was best. Ravine Flyer II is still one of my favorite night rides. It totally darkness in tunnels, with speed and insane air time. Throughout the day we got 10 rides on it, and then got 8 more in that last hour, 9:00-10:00, for a total of 18. It's still a top 10 wooden coaster for me, but I think it's in need of some track work, or train maintenance, or something. It just wasn't as good as it was last year.
Waldameer's other coaster is Steel Dragon. It's a spinning steel coaster, similar to Whirlwind at Seabreeze and Laff Trakk at Hershey. We rode Steel Dragon twice. Our second ride was better than the first, as far how it spun. We also rode their flume Thunder River once. Thunder River is smaller flume, with 2 lift hills, and 2 drops, but is really nice. Probably one of the most underrated flumes in North America.
Waldameer itself is small in space, but is crammed with flat rides. Some of the flat rides we rode during the course of the day were, Wendy's Tea Party, teacups, Sea Dragon, swinging pirate ship, Flying Swings, Mega Vortex, disc O, Titl A Wirl, X Scream, drop tower, and the Scrambler. We also rode the train and the sky ride. We always make a point to ride the Ferris Wheel right at sunset for amazing photos of the sun setting over Lake Erie and the park.
I did take some time during the day to try and get some photos of Ravine Flyer II outside of the park. It took about 45 minutes out of my day, but it's something I've been wanting to do for the last few years, but seem to forget to do it. Also for the first time it seems Waldameer has become pet friendly, like Knoebels. We saw about 20 different dogs during the day in the park, and they now have water fountains for the dogs. My daughter wants to take our dogs next year when we visit.
We stayed all the way to close at 10:00pm and drove straight home. We arrived home at 1:00am with another great visit to one of the most underrated parks in North America. The weather was great, the crowds weren't bad at all, we got to ride a top 10 wooden coaster 18 times, and my daughter got to see an old friend. Can't think of how the day could have been any better.
Thanks for reading,
* This post was modified at 6/5/17 4:47:38 PM *
I love Waldyworld. It was my favorite park for a couple years, still a top park for me. I was actually thinking of going tomorrow so your TR is a nice read for me. thanks again!
I think its been dog friendly for years but I could be wrong, I thought I saw dogs on the train in the past...
So cool that your kids do that with you, that's awesome. My son is still doing it with me, I sure hope he doesn't get sick of it, haha
Park was dead, it was kind of cold and rainy tho. I was only there 20 minutes so.. On my skyride lap looking down at Comet there was nobody in line, 2 people were getting off the train so it was running, nobody in the q tho hahaha. RF2 running half full trains.
* This post was modified at 6/6/17 11:04:35 PM *
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
I'm planning to visit Waldameer for the first time on Thursday for a few hours. Looking forward to it.
The park is a hidden gem Eric. Take it all in.
I'll be there from 5-10 on Sunday so i'll just miss ya.
Have a great time!