homestar92 Posted September 8, 2015 Share Posted September 8, 2015 I just spent my long weekend on a short coaster trip and I thought I'd share a trip report. On Saturday Morning, I loaded my already-packed luggage into Blue Streak's trunk (which the luggage is custom-designed to fit into, filling every available nook and cranny while still allowing the top to be put down) and I put down the top and headed out for my first stop, Waldameer park. I got about 10 miles north of KI before I realized that I had forgotten my free raincheck Kennywood ticket that I received after being rained out on Labor Day weekend last year, so I had to turn back and get it. It cost me about 90 minutes of driving, but it beat paying for admission when I got there. Especially this year. More on that later. I got to Waldameer at about 2PM. There were some spots near the front of the lot that I almost could have fit into, but someone in a Chevy Spark apparently thought their car was so big that it needed to take up four parking spaces. So I eventually found a spot that wasn't too bad and went into the park. There were a HUGE number of cars in the lot, yet the park was not very crowded. Perhaps the bulk of the crowds were in the water park. Anyway, I got in the park and I first walked past Comet and was going to ride it, but I skipped it initially, seeing a line and expecting it to be a one-train deal as junior coasters at small parks usually are (heck, the Junior woodie at SFGAm runs one train and that's a HUGE park). I later found that to not be the case. Anyway, I headed first for Ravine Flyer II. In short, RF2 is incredible. I MAY have a new favorite woodie. It has all the elements I enjoy from Voyage, but skips the parts I don't like as much. The hills over the highway were packed with airtime, especially in the front. The view as you crest the lift hill is breathtaking. I just can't praise it enough. You NEED to go ride this coaster! Waldameer has lots of neat things. Their other coasters aren't too special, but they did allow me to ride Ravine Flyer 3! Anyway, the park also has two great dark rides that are a lot of fun. One is a true old-school dark ride (with no guns!) and the other is a walk-through attraction. In my opinion, it is better than Noah's Ark at Kennywood (again, more on that later...). I also spent $10 playing a game similar to Concentration (I blame Mr. and Mrs. NoChickens...) and won 385 tickets! Of course, I didn't want any of the prizes available, so I gave my tickets to a family who had a few kids and were looking at the prizes available. I don't need cheap trinkets, but they just might make those kids' day. I got in a lap on each of the other coasters and about 12 laps on RF2 before leaving around 6:30 to head to Conneaut Lake Park. When I got to Conneaut Lake Park, I saw very few cars in the lot (25 including mine to be exact. I counted.) though Camperland appeared to be a bit busy. The park was not crowded at all. It was verging on depressing. There was music in the park when I got there, as it was coming from the Carousel and the Music Express ride. But about 30 minutes into my visit, Music Express went down for mechanical reasons and didn't run the rest of the night. Other than the out-of-tune carousel organ, the park's PA system was not playing music, but a football game on AM radio (don't recall which teams. It hardly matters anyway.). This made the park feel very... cold... and slightly off-putting to me, unfortunately. There was almost no personality. Anyway. I enjoyed my ride on the Tumble Bug and the Devil's Den (which I rode over and over) as well as MANY rounds on their Flying Scooters, which I marathoned with no waits. I enjoyed MANY rides on Blue Streak. It's a fun little coaster! The entire front car of the train is not in use, and like the back row of Camden's Big Dipper, lacks seats and restraints. But the ride was fun and the crew was awesome. The ride crews at Conneaut varied greatly. The crews working the Tumble Bug and Blue Streak, as well as the young lady working the food stand were courteous, upbeat, and really made me feel welcome. The crews working the Flying Scooters, the gift shop (where I bought a shirt - perhaps soon to be a collectible), and the Devil's Den seemed apathetic and uninterested. The park was open until 2 AM for guests 18 and older, but after a quick look around, it appeared that the only guest in the park over 18 and not there with small children, was me. I left shortly before the normal closing time of 10 PM to head to my hotel. On the way to the hotel, I passed through a DUI checkpoint and the police officer complimented my "BLU 5TRK" license plate. I assume he thought I was referring to their Blue Streak. I just smiled and said thanks. No reason to tell him that it's actually a tribute to the other Blue Streak. Theirs is certainly good too. The next morning I left my hotel and headed to my favorite park, Kennywood. When I got there, I saw a sign that said Phantom's Revenge would not open. I was upset and considered leaving, but I had a free ticket anyway, so I still went in. I enjoyed Exterminator and the woodies as always. I didn't ride Sky Rocket that day, as the line was very long and I had ridden Maverick very recently and after Maverick, Sky Rocket is a bit underwhelming. I did finally get to ride Auto Race, and I was happy about that. Additionally, I enjoyed my rides on the Bayern Kurve and GranPrix. Sadly, Noah's Ark disappointed GREATLY. Work has been done to the attraction and in my opinion, the experience has been GREATLY degraded. The lower floor of the ark has received a new underwater theme, with fish and sharks replacing the animals that were once down there. Sadly, the fish are all in the typical Sally Corp. bright neon UV reactive colors and it absolutely ruined the attraction. What was once my favorite attraction at any park anywhere is now a disappointing shadow of its former self, which seems to now be a recurring theme among Kennywood dark rides... Sadly, I'm not sure I can call Kennywood my favorite park anymore, and that makes me incredibly sad. With no Phantom and a ruined Noah's Ark, I did not leave looking forward to next year's trip with the same level of excitement that I normally do, but a trip next year WILL still happen as it is now a Labor Day weekend tradition. This morning, I left Pittsburgh and as always, stopped by my old stomping grounds of Muskingum University to say hello to old friends and colleagues, as they still have classes as normal on Labor Day. I always hated that as a student, but now I kind of like being able to visit and knowing that my favorite staff and faculty will all be there. Our new library is coming along nicely, though it is behind schedule. The exterior is finished though, and it looks GREAT! It blends much more nicely with the campus now since its face lift and is a huge improvement over the awful, kitschy facade it had before. The lecture hall on the third floor in the Science Center across from the big lecture hall and next to the "fishbowl" has also been renovated, with the walls painted and new chairs and AV equipment. (I realize that only one person here will know what any of that means, but that one person will hopefully know which room I'm talking about with those points of reference). I spent a few hours hanging out with the Computer and Network Services guys and enjoyed catching up and reminiscing. I love my current job, but that is the best job I ever had. If I could have stayed at Muskingum forever, I absolutely would have! I have pictures, but these are mostly for shark6495, as he is the only other Muskie I know of on this site and I figured he'd enjoy seeing the progress on the library. 6 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.