The drive to Waldameer was quick and pleasant, and the park was very easy to find. Even as I drove up, I knew this park was going to be head and shoulders better than Conneaut.
Wow...it's really surprising how two parks can be so night and day different and be less than an hour apart. As soon as I walked in, Waldameer seemed cute and fun and family friendly. And it didn't smell like an attic! It was landscaped well and generally looked a million times nicer than Conneaut.
I was still hungry at this point since I hadn't eaten, but Comet was right there beckoning me, and there was no line!
So I went ahead and rode it. This was another great, fun little woodie. It was buried all within the trees so it was difficult to get a good picture of it. After my ride, I found the Potato Patch, so I got a burger and fries with cheese sauce. When the guy gave me my change, I noticed that he gave me three different kinds of nickels...a Canadian one, the regular looking one, and a new one I'd never seen before. As I mentioned it, I dropped it straight into my cheese sauce! So the guy working there got a good laugh about it with me. My burger was fantastic...it was charcoal grilled, and tasted just like something my dad would make during the summer. Never had a real charcoal grilled burger before in a park, but it was great! The fries were a bit on the greasy side, which is why I don't tend to buy natural fries a lot, but I ate them anyway.
Julie didn't get whacked in the Whacky Shack
I walked around a bit taking in the scenery, when I came upon the Whacky Shack. Seems like everyone who talks about Waldameer says that you *have* to do the Whacky Shack...so I gave it a try. I was so nervous through the whole thing (why do I act like a baby in fun houses?!?! haha) but true to it's name, it really was more just "whacky" than scary. Wonder if anyone has every pointed out that they have "wacky" spelled wrong? :-) Pirates Cove was right next door, but it's a walk through I believe, and fearing another Noah's Ark type attraction, I passed.
I wanted some aerial photos, so I got on the ski lift ride next. It had the longest wait of anything at that park...around 10 minutes. The poor ride op looked so hot and so tired, and he was loading and unloading the whole thing by himself!
Julie on the ski lift, high above Waldameer
It was a very nice ride, which afforded me a few great pictures! The ski lift reminded me of Lake Winnie, which is probably my favorite of the small, independently owned parks I've visited.When I left the ski lift, I decided to make a stab at riding Ravine Flyer 3 without a kid.
There was no one in line...and there had been no one in line when I was on the ski lift either. So I went up to the girl working there and used my sad face and said "Do I really have to have a kid to ride this?" Really apologetically sounding, she said "Yeah, I'm sorry." So I said "Ok, can I just wait here until a kid comes up that I can ride with?" That made her laugh, so she said I could ride by myself, but just once, and I said that once was all I wanted to ride it! So I took a front seat ride, and it's actually quite a bit more interesting than most kiddie coasters since it's above water most of the time. When I left, I thanked her for humoring me.
Woah! Every park in the world needs one of these signs!
With one more fine kiddie coaster credit under this credit whore's belt, I went over to ride Steel Dragon.
I'd never ridden a coaster quite like this before. Other spinning mice are like regular mice, but spin when you hit certain turns. This one loads people on the front and the back, and spins and gyrates most of the time, in sync with the way the track is banking.
It was really a cool coaster since you didn't know which way you were gonna spin next! The cars are beautiful too, with dragons painted on the sides.
I would have loved to have spent more time at Waldameer, but I still had Darien Lake to visit, and it was already mid-afternoon. The rest of the rides were kind of ordinary anyway, but looked fun. It's definitely a park I'd like to visit again when I can spend more time there. I really had high hopes for this park from the way everyone talks about it, and I found it just as cute and charming as I was hoping.