Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

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Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby shivtim » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:19 pm

Back in August, I decided to take a trip to some Western Pennsylvania parks and visit Conneaut Lake amid rumors it might be closing forever. I'd been to some of the parks in the area before, but not since the late 90's, so there were plenty of new credits! I met up with Stacy (Naina21) and in less than 48 hours we visited Fun Fore All, Kennywood, Idlewild, Lakemont, DelGrosso's, Waldameer, and Conneaut Lake.
First things first: Caught a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh after work on a Friday.
First stop - Fun Fore All! Yes, this was a credit whore stop. I have no shame.
The one and only credit at this FEC just north of Pittsburgh. Not the first Fiesta Express I've been on...
It's a small but well kept park, with just a couple of kiddie rides, some bumper boats, go-karts, and an indoor arcade.
Park map!
Next stop, local beer! Found a little brewpub called "Shu Brew" in the next town north of my hotel. Pretty tasty!
The random hotel I got on hotwire had a big atrium lobby. It was in a place called Cranberry Township, near Mars, Seven Fields, Economy, and Zelienople. Pennsylvania is weird.
I met up with Stacy Saturday morning and we went straight to Kennywood. I hadn't been since 1998, so there was lots of new stuff.
Exterminator has low capacity, so we headed here first. What a great mouse in a box! I unexpectedly enjoyed this a lot.
I love that Kennywood has so many classic rides... even if operations leave something to be desired.
It was still really overcast and threatening to rain. Phantom's Revenge wasn't open yet, almost an hour after park opening.
But Sky Rocket was open! This was a fun ride. It has a weak second half, but is overall really enjoyable. It broke down right after we got off it.
Awww, a kiddie whip. So cute!
Even this deadly ghost is adorable!
What time is it? Credit whore time!
Wheee! I feel less weird about going on kiddie coasters when there's another coaster nerd riding with me. :)
Finally the skies cleared and Phantom's Revenge opened... with one train. After an hour wait, we got to ride. Excellent ride, but Superman at Six Flags Mexico is my favorite Morgan coaster (unless you count Chance/Morgan, in which case Lightning Run wins by a landslide).
We were a bit short on time, we both already had all the credits, and the park was starting to get crowded, so we hit the road for our next park. OK, one last shot of Phantom's Revenge from the parking lot.
Next stop: Idlewild. This park was new to both of us. The atmosphere near the entrance was great - lot of trees and vaguely "mine town" buildings. The park was very busy and full of families.
Stacy's 175th coaster!
Coaster time! This is a really neat old family terrain woodie.
Next up was the bizarre Wild Mouse.
Such a weird little coaster. It was formerly at both Weiner Prater and Alton Towers.
The cars are really cute! There were only two operating, so the line moved *very* slowly. It's a rough, weird weird weird ride. Watch out for the brakes.
Part of the lift hill is tilted. Not the structure, just the track is purposely tilted to the right. I told you it was weird!
Had to get some potato patch fries. They were OK. *ducks* Idlewild was a great family park. It's definitely a bit pricey, but is much larger than I thought it would be and has great atmosphere and some neat rides. We could have spent a little more time wandering around, but we had several more parks to visit and wanted to stay ahead of the rain. Next stop, Lakemont!
We arrived at Lakemont a bit before a baseball game started in the park next door. There was a lot of traffic and people - we crossed our fingers that the park wouldn't be crowded.
Landmark sign near the front of the park. I already had all of the credits here since they literally haven't built anything new since I last visited in 1998.
Hmm... the park was empty. I mean EMPTY. There were maybe 12 other people in the whole park. 20 if you include employees.
Skyliner is the second oldest woodie in the park.
Could use some maintenance. Check out the baseball game in the background. Americana overdose!
It's still a fun ride.
Lakemont could really use some TLC! I know we hear a lot about Conneaut Lake possibly closing, but this park is probably on the endangered species list too.
Kiddie coaster credit...
DENIED. Apparently they have a strict "no adults" policy. They didn't used to, because I remember riding this in the late 90s.
Stacy rides the Toboggan. I smartly sat this one out. Storm clouds were moving in again...
An awesome mural of various foods that aren't for sale in the park.
Ummm... tapeworm?
Time to ride the world's oldest roller coaster.
Leap the Dips is a classic. A terrifying, about-to-collapse-or-fly-off-the-tracks classic.
When we were just about to leave, we saw a wedding party. Check out those heels!
OK, I guess not all of the park looks bad. There are some decent parts.
Our final stop of the day was just up the road at Del Grosso's. I visited here back when it was called Bland's Park. Now it's a spaghetti factory or something.
It's night and day between Del Grosso's and Lakemont. Lot's of landscaping and well kept rides here.
First stop, Wacky Worm. And not just any Wacky Worm...
My 600th coaster! I think it's completely fitting that it's a Wacky Worm. Wouldn't have it any other way. :)
The park has a small drop tower.
And lots of flat rides. This operator was bored since it wasn't very crowded (thanks to the threat of rain).
Ran over to the Crazy Mouse and got in a quick ride. Look at those clouds!
These clown games are creepy.
More creepy clowns! Ah!
After getting the credits, we got some ice cream credits. This counts as two ice cream credits, right? Swirl?
Lots of Italian-ish food in this park, since the owner is a jar of spaghetti sauce. I think.
Ewww, "Murf's potato salad"??
Bye bye Crazy Mouse!
Bye bye scary drop tower! Bye bye scary clouds!
After driving through a downpour, we made a quick stop at Fun Fore All so Stacy could pick up the credit.
Guess what our final stop of the night was?
Primanti Bros, the famous Pittsburgh area sandwich place.
They do not mess around. My sandwich had turkey, ham, bacon, cole slaw, french fries, tomato, and a fried egg on it. It was a delicious heart attack on a plate. Nice ending to a very long Saturday! Two more parks to go...
Last edited by shivtim on Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:11 am.

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Re: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby shivtim » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:27 pm

Our final parks of the weekend were Waldameer and Conneaut Lake. I was a little anxious about timing, since neither park opened until noon, and I had to get back to the airport in the early evening. Stacy was staying in PA to visit family and hit up Hersheypark, and hopefully coaster #200!
Obvi the first stop of the day was Tim Horton's. It was August, but they already had pumpkin donuts!
Mmm, Timbits! I wish we had these in the South. Don't take THo's for granted, Great Lakes people!
Made it to Waldameer a bit before opening.
It was already starting to get crowded, even before opening.
Hmm, Ravine Flyer has a sign that it doesn't open until an hour after park opening.
AHHH! More clowns! What is it with this state?
Well let's go check if the kiddie coaster is open.
Comet was the only credit open, 45 minutes after "park opening." It was a fun little ride.
Lifeguard frog has an attitude!
The dark ride was fun.
We got in line for Ravine Flyer, which was about to open. It was a great ride! Smooth with lots of airtime. It's in my top 15 woodies. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it - it's hard to photograph from inside the park.
Steel Dragon still not open to the public...
Next we went back to the kiddie coaster, which was finally open. I loved the setting over water.
Yay, credit whore photo!
Steel Dragon finally opened too. Standard spinner.
This was a fun little walk-through.
Parting shot of the Comet as we headed for the exit. Waldameer is a weird park. It has an excellent woodie and some unique rides, but the park operations were awful. It's a pretty small park, but I have a feeling they'll keep expanding.
Our final park of the weekend - Conneaut Lake. This was pretty much the main reason for the trip, since the park might be closing. I'd heard a lot of bad things about the park and good things about Blue Streak, so I was intrigued.
Looks good so far. Look, lawn maintenance!
Hmm, the entrance is a bit deserted. It was empty, you just walk through and buy your tickets at the back of the park.
First missing ride.
Not too busy yet. A little run down but not bad.
Look, a coaster! Through the trees!
Blue Streak beckons, but first we have to go buy tickets.
Another partially missing ride.
After we bought our $5 all-you-can-ride wrist bands (what a great deal!), Connie told us we could ride Blue Streak.
View from the Blue Streak station. It wasn't crowded, but there was a healthy amount of people. I'd heard a lot of stories of this park being completely empty all of the time, but I'd say there were well over a hundred people here.
The Blue Streak station is a little run down. Pay no attention to the tarp.
If this is what the running train looks like, what does the tarp-covered train look like? Blue Streak was fun. Great airtime, but a bit rough with a few jolts. Still a great ride and it would be a shame to lose it.
Next we went to Devil's Den. What a unique, fun ride!
There are no brakes on the ride. This guy stops you.
They encourage you to stick gum to the wall.
So... is it a credit? Not in my book, but there are arguments that could be made. It has a chain lift, and then is powered by gravity on a wooden floor. That guiderail in the middle isn't powered, it's just a guide. And check out those shopping cart wheels!
Time to go to Kiddieland!
Another credit whore moment. Except... DENIED. Another "absolutely no adults" coaster.
This part of the park was less crowded and looked kind of abandoned.
But this part was busy, with live music.
SBNO Toboggan in the field.
Corkscrew, or Toboggan?
The train was stuck in the tube.
This ride is definitely never running again.
Coaster porn!
It was kinda neat to be able to just walk up to it.
Reverse POV!
Rusty rail rider. (sounds like a cocktail, or something dirty)
EWWW. What is it with the Pepsi?
The gift shop had lots of Geauga Lake merchandise for some reason.
Another ice cream credit. Yum.
They've got a classic tumblebug too.
Crowds continued to pick up as we were getting ready to head to the airport.
One last stop at Blue Streak!
First drop goodness.
Seems Legit.
So, Conneaut was interesting. It is indeed run down, but wasn't as bad as I expected. There were definitely areas with fresh paint and new benches and landscaping, but then there were abandoned rides just sitting around. I hope this park doesn't close though, because Blue Streak and Devil's Den are two great attractions.
Bye Pittsburgh! Hope to see you again soon.
Made it back home. :)

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Re: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby djcoastermark » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:54 pm

It is so wonderful to see that PA still has some wonderful old style parks. It reminds me of ohio way back when. There used to be some many cool old time parks that are sadly now gone. We all as park and coaster nuts really need to patronize these last few gems that are left. Yes, they may not have the newest,biggest and greatest, but boy oh boy, those parks were all about having fun. Let's not let those few places die. patronize them, for the amusement parks history is quickly fading. thanks for the pics. these parks are on our list to go next year! :b

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Re: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby JRice92 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:42 am

This was a great TR, It's really cool that you did all these parks in just one weekend. I hope Conneaut survives, Blue Streak is a great coaster i'd be sad to see gone.
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Re: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby rcjp » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:19 am

Nice report!
shivtim wrote:Part of the lift hill is tilted. Not the structure, just the track is purposely tilted to the right. I told you it was weird!

Now why would someone do that? :omg:
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Re: Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby DaMarkSta » Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:28 pm

Awesome trip report Paul! Shame I couldn't join you guys this weekend as I was stuck working but looked like a lot of fun!

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Re: Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby WFChris » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:44 pm

I need to go on a Pennsylvania trip. It's just...other than the coasters and theme parks I have zero interest in visiting that part of the country.

Also, you plugged Superman at SFM so I had to reply & bump your thread :lmao:
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Re: Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby rubysparkles » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:54 am

Great trip report, all these parks are on my list to visit. Really enjoyed your pictures.
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Re: Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby jynx242 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:52 am

Thanks for this report! Looks like a FULL weekend, but I'm kinda' jealous.


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Re: Photo TR: Paul and Stacy visit Western Pennsylvania

Postby thepoint4life23 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:04 pm

About how far from Pittsburgh are these parks? Beside Kennywood i know that's right out side of Pittsburgh I would love to do a trip like this one weekend!


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