Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I think we should call 2009:

The Year of the Wally Bear.

Hmm. Yeah, I'm liking the sound of that. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ask and You Shall Receive

Upon your request, the most up-to-date photos of our various new attractions and the things that are keeping us busy.

The layout for the Mega Disk'O.
Construction of one of two new groves. This is Eastern 3.

And this is Middle 2.


The tracks of the L. Ruth Express will be extended. The train's course was altered last year as well, in order to go underneath the Ravine Flyer II.

One of four new midway games for the 2009 season. As you can see, this is basketball (The old midway basketball game is being replaced with a different game).

Whack-A-Mole!

Ahoy! It's the treaure chest game for Imagination Station.

LOTS of new prizes.

And finally, the Steel Dragon ride structure has been completely repainted and the cars are being stripped and inspected.
Oh, and a few more things...
  • Improved parking in lot
  • New RF II merchandise
  • The Comet cars are being refurbished
  • NO SMOKING! (2008 Clean Indoor Air Act - September 11, 2008) We will have designated smoking areas for smoking guests.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greetings From Across the Pond!

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my new foreign friends!

As of today, the blog has visits from Canada, Germany, and Switzerland!

We've obviously had visits from here in the U.S. but some have been as far as California and Florida. Maybe they're jealous of our Erie weather...and then again, maybe not.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where in the World?

I'm not talking about Carmen Sandiego...


or Waldo...



I'm talking about YOU!
Now, everyone can see the geographic span of Waldablog readers across the state, country, even the world! Just click on the map on the bottom of the right column. I just added it today, so there aren't any dots yet. But just you wait!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Facelift!

I changed the blog design and the color scheme. I was getting sick of the old one. And it was a little unoriginal. But this is the new Waldablog! I hope you like it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Calling all Facebookers

I just created a Facebook page for the park! Search "Waldameer and Water World." There's two pages about us but the official one is by that name. It has all my blog posts too. It's pretty spiffy.

Now you can also visit us on Facebook! What are you waiting for? GO!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Just For Fun

I found this picture while looking for coaster cartoons...


Thanksgiving's Over...

and I've finally recovered from my turkey-induced coma. I had forgotten how much I love food.

In response to your questions:
1. No, Wally Bear doesn't eat turkey. He's a vegetarian.
2. His favorite Thanksgiving dish is cranberry sauce.
3. Yes, he woke up from hibernation just for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here are some more specifics on the new stuff we're getting next summer:
  • Gem Mining in Imagination Station
  • 4 Midway games - basketball, football toss, whack-a-mole, and treasure chest pull
  • Giant clock (similar to the one by Ali Baba) near the new ride
I gotta go - I smell leftovers

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This Just In: New For 2009!

Here's a list of changes you'll see next summer...


1. NEW "MEGA DISK'O" RIDE -

Will be behind the Sky Ride turnaround. Riders sit on seats on a large disk that spins at the same time it travels back and forth on a ramp, going 50 feet up in the air, then back down.

(These Mega Disk'O rides are at other parks.)




2. NEW PICNIC GROVES

3. NEW EXPANDED FUNNEL CAKE STAND

4. NEW MIDWAY GAMES

5. NEW LANDSCAPING

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dearest Waldablog Readers,

First, I must thank each and every one of you who graciously stopped by to see what we've been up to. From the Gift Shop to X Scream to the Bermuda Triangle, we've had our fun. It's been quite the adventure.

So, whenever you're homesick, bored at work, or feeling glum, stop by and visit. I don't know if there will be anything new, but, heck, there's always Memory Lane. I'll always remember the time you shoveled in that funnel cake all by yourself. And when you practically threw up after the Wipeout. When you looked like an oompa-loompa in those funhouse mirrors. And of course when your eyes wouldn't stop watering after the Ravine Flyer II. (Note: If none of these memories are yours, consider it your homework for next summer.)

I'm gonna (sniff) miss you guys.

Thanks for our best season yet!


Until next year,

Waldameer

Thursday, September 4, 2008

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT!

You've waited long enough (and if not, then pretend). You may know more than you think from my teaser clue...but here's the long and short of it. Ready? The surprise announcement is...there are three surprise announcements. Tricky, huh? I'll break it down for you:


PART I:
We all know the Ravine Flyer II has received great reviews from customers, coaster enthusiasts, and coaster clubs. However, it has yet to receive any international recognition. Until now, that is. Yesterday, owner Paul Nelson and president Steve Gorman traveled to the Amusement Today magazine's Golden Ticket award ceremony in Florida.

A little background: Amusement Today is one of the leading publications covering amusement parks in the world. They conduct a survey among amusement experts and award Golden Tickets annually. Golden Tickets are highly regarded and sought after in our industry.

The Ravine Flyer II won the BEST NEW RIDE FOR THE 2008 SEASON!


PART II:
Amusement Today didn't stop there. Paul Nelson was recognized as PERSON OF THE YEAR. The Person of the Year award is the publisher's choice and it commends Nelson's steadfast dedication and personal commitment to Waldameer Park as well as the Erie community. Nelson had the vision, belief, and perseverance necessary in order to achieve one of his highest dreams and aspirations: the installment of the Ravine Flyer II.

The best part of it? Nelson didn't know he had won the award. Everyone involved kept it a secret while he went to Florida expecting only one Golden Ticket! Surprise!


PART III:
Due to the enormous success of the Ravine Flyer II and the park's best season in history, Paul Nelson already has his sights on Waldameer's next great attraction. Both Nelson and Gorman will be checking out the POTENTIAL NEW RIDE while in Florida. Will be ready for the 2009 season? Nothing definite yet.



Congrats to Paul Nelson and his impressive legacy!

Whew! That's about all we know for now. I'm sure I'll have more to tell later...Stay tuned.

In Their Own Words

Amusement Today put it well:

"Paul Nelson made Waldameer a career and success story.

Paul Nelson had the best of both worlds. At the young age of 11, he began work at Waldameer Park in Erie, Pa. Little did he know that a friendship his mother had with the parks owners would result in him having two sets of parents and a career at the park. At that young age of 11 he made a promise to the then owner of Waldameer, Alex Moeller, that he would take care of his wife, Ruth, should he die before her. The Moeller’s had no children and he wanted to make sure the park would be secured for the future. To do that, the Moeller’s adopted Paul, with the blessings of Paul’s mom. He honored that promise taking care of Ruth and his mom until their deaths, all the while inherting and running a park.

During his 51 year tenture, he knew the park needed its famous and signature Ravine Flyer wooden roller coaster brought back to life. What he didn’t know is that would take 15 years to get the coaster approved to be built. But like every other challenge he has met in life, Paul met the coaster challenges with open arms. He resolved issues with neighbors, the state, wetlands and more. He endured three different coaster companies, but kept the same designer, Larry Bill. Finally his building permit was granted. Eighteen months later the Ravine Flyer II made its debut. With a daughter and son-in-law working in the park, Waldameer’s future has never been brighter. Amusement Today is honored to name Paul Nelson as our 2008 Person of the Year."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We're Famous!

Mike from ErieBlogs.com was kind enough to ask me for a quick interview about myself, the park, and the blog.


I just want to say: THANKS MIKE! THANKS ERIEBLOGS.COM!

Monday, August 25, 2008

You Can Count Them On Your Fingers

WARNING: YOU MAY NEED A BOX OF TISSUES!

Unfortunately, we only have four (4) more operating days...

Friday, August 29 - Monday, September 1.

So, gather up the kids for one last hurrah (or maybe four?) this summer before they do their homework or that project they haven't started anyway.

Summer is almost out and school is almost in!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT UPDATE

It's been declared top secret so I can't even give clues :(

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Save Some Dough!

Some upcoming promotions...

This Tuesday through Friday (8/19 - 8/22):

Bring one non-perishable food item per person and receive $5 OFF THE COMBO PASS (regularly $21.95).


Next Friday through Monday (8/29 - 9/1):

Bring a coupon (from your local newspaper or waldameer.com) and receive your second Combo at $2 (basically, it's BUY ONE COMBO, GET ANOTHER FOR $2).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last Chance To Sit Back and Relax

As our summer is coming to an end, so is your chance to enjoy our Showtime Theater!

The entertainment is free of course and we have 3 different shows:

Rockin' the Country (2:00 and 7:30 PM)
A knee-slapping good time featuring a variety of country hits.

Wally and Wendy's Wacky Wild Adventure (3:30 and 6:30 PM)
An eye-opening journey of magic and wonder starring your favorite furry friends.

Retroactive (5:00 and 8:30 PM)
A psychedelic mix of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

A kid's photo opportunity with Wally and Wendy is also offered once daily.

And for those who rather be singing themselves than watching, there's KARAOKE! It's open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30 to 8:30.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Countdown

Starting tomorrow, there's only 13 more Waldariffic days left of summer!

Our last operating day is Labor Day, September 1. Of course we're closed Mondays (except holidays), but we're also closed August 26-28.

School combo tickets are be good August 19-September 1. If you want to use them now, you must pay the difference ($9.95) or you can always save them for next year and pay to upgrade ($0.50).

Wally Bear is already getting ready for hibernation so he'll be ready for next season!

Find That Statue Conclusion

CARISSA and SARA are still dancing in front of Pizza Beach in Water World.




I must say we've covered lots of Waldameer's permanent residents. However, I think I'll let you enjoy the rest of summer and let you take a break from statue hunting.

Have fun and soak up the sun while you can!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Survey Says:

You are the Ravine Flyer II!

Ravine Flyer II (new kid on the block) - 85 votes - 37%
Comet (oldie but a goodie) - 62 votes - 22%
Ravine Flyer III (just a grown up kid) - 42 votes - 18%
Steel Dragon (new and unique) - 35 votes - 15%

Thanks to the 224 people who voted!

10 Wateriest Slides

(based on water capacity in gallons)

The final part of our comparing slides segment...

1. Endless River: 143,500 gal
2. Awesome Twosome: 45,500 gal
3. Midnight Plunge: also 45,500 gal
4. Bermuda Triangle: 28,800 gal
5. Raging River: 28,520 gal
6. Wild River: also 28,520 gal
7. Relaxation Pool: 10,500 gal
8. Giant Body Slides: 10,400 gal
9. Free Fall Slide: 2,160 gal
10. Speed Slide: also 2,160 gal

So that being said:

Over 66 Free Fall Slides = 1 Endless River
About 4.5 Giant Body Slides = 1 Midnight Plunge
About 1.5 Bermuda Triangles = 1 Awesome Twosome
About 14 Relaxation Pools = 1 Endless River

Saturday, August 9, 2008

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT

Will be revealed at the end of the month.

To Be Continued...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wally Bear Spotting

All this talk about Wally got me wondering. If you haven't been to our park yet (shame on you first of all), how do you know that our 113-year-old bear (and his friend) actually exists? Well, here's the indisputable evidence:





(Here we are during the groovy days of summer. Probably the 60's.)

I know what you're thinking: No, these photos weren't staged like the moon landing and Big Foot.

Wally Bear Ages Well

Not bad for 113. That's how many candles were on Waldameer's birthday cake this year (I had to put them all on. After the 73rd candle, it's like clockwork). 113 seems ancient to anyone, even to 113-year-olds. But don't worry Wally, nowadays 113 is the new 100. Speaking of age, Waldameer is the:
  • 27th oldest amusement park in the world
  • 5th oldest trolley park in the world
  • most fun 113-year-old you'll ever meet

Oh, and Wally won't pinch your cheek, I promise.

Find That Statue 4

CHUCK and DEVON were at the Big Rigs kiddie ride across from the Gift Shop. They haven't moved since.



Today, I pranced around with CARISSA and SARA. Why? Because I couldn't contain my Walda-Joy, but more importantly: Where was this?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Welcome to Water World: Part II


The impressive Bermuda Triangle in all its glory.


An elephant?! Sign me up!


Can't think of anything to say so...(insert funny caption here)


Break a sweat without even moving! Comes with free tan or sunburn.


Is that the Walda-Skyline? X Scream, Lake Erie, Ferris Wheel...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Have You Earned Your Wings?

Have you ridden the Ravine Flyer II yet?

If so, leave a comment telling us about your ride, your favorite part, etc.

If not, you can still leave a comment about what you think the ride will be like.





Remember When...

...the Gift Shop was tiny?


2005 Season


2006 Season

So much more space for...


Waldameer cups, shot glasses, and mugs,


RF II tee shirts,


RF II towels,


lots o' hats,


Hot Lockz hair extensions,


Hot Lockz again and temporary Airbrush tattoos! Visit your local Gift Shop for more infomation!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 Longest Slides

While we're on the subject of the waterpark...(please hold your applause until the end)

1. Endless River: 630 ft
2. Raging River: 382 ft
3. Giant Body Slides: 375 ft
4. Awesome Twosome: 349 ft
5. Midnight Plunge: 315 ft
6. Wild River: 280 ft
7. Speed Slide: 251 ft
8. Free Fall: 228 ft
9. Bermuda Triangle's side slides: 160 ft
10. Bermuda Triangle's center slide: 81 ft

So that being said:

About 8 Bermuda Triangle's center slides = 1 Endless River
About 2.5 Bermuda Triangle's side slides = 1 Giant Body Slides
About 1.5 Speed Slides = 1 Awesome Twosome
About 1.5 Free Falls = 1 Raging River
2 Midnight Plunges = 1 Endless River

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Test Your Knowledge

We've had a few Walda-History lessons about THEN, but what about a challenge about NOW?

Warning: If you cheat and look ahead at the answers, Wally Bear will cry.

1. We have two dark rides: the Pirate's Cove and the ________.
A) The Shanty Shack
B) The Whacky Shack
C) The Spooky Shack

2. Star 104 ran a Sky Ride contest a few years ago. What did contestants have to do?
A) yell to as many people as possible
B) ride as long as possible
C) name as many rides as possible

3. What two rides have been named by the public?
A) Steel Dragon and Ravine Flyer II
B) Thunder River and Steel Dragon
C) Steel Dragon and X Scream

4. Who is Wally Bear's furry friend?
A) Wendy Bear
B) Wanda Bear
C) Whitney Bear

5. Which does not belong?
A) Dodgems
B) Bumper Cars
C) Flume

6. You can get a great view of ________ on the Ravine Flyer II's first hill.
A) Canada, eh!
B) Lake Erie
C) Your life flashing before your eyes

7. Besides horses, what other animal is on the Carousel?
A) gazelle
B) lion
C) dragon

8. What is the most amazing game in the world? Hint: hammer + strength = winner
A) American High Striker
B) World's Strongest Man, Woman, or Child
C) Hit That Thing Really Hard

9. What is one food item we do not offer?
A) kettle corn
B) Dip 'N' Dots
C) elephant ears

10. What century was Waldameer established?
A) 18th century
B) 19th century
C) 20th century


ANSWERS:
1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. A, 5. C, 6. ABC, 7. C, 8. A, 9. A, 10. B

0-3 Correct: Wally Bear Wanna-be
4-6 Correct: Wally Bear Wiseguy
7-9 Correct: Wally Bear Winner
10 Correct: Wally Bear Extraordinaire

Find That Statue 3

Patience and Fortitude (who share names with the lions guarding the NYC Public Library) are at the entrance to the Steel Dragon.


I stumbled upon CHUCK and DEVON discussing their favorite rides. Where was I?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome to Water World!

...Where all your dreams come true! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)


Our head lifeguard, the Bog Watch Frog. If you need anything, just ask.


FYI: You might not see the view during the Midnight Plunge...half of it is pitch dark. But if you want the scenic route, take the Awesome Twosome, which is blue-green.


A raining mushroom? Yep, with a turtle and whale to boot. Riding them is optional.


For the brave, there's the one on the right. For the daredevils, go with the left.


Looks pretty peaceful now...just you wait. They don't call 'em Raging River and Wild River for nothing.


What a view! That's about all you do in the Endless (or Lazy) River.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Find That Statue 2

Did you find BRIAN, EMILY, and DAVID? They are next to the Showtime Theater and in front of Thunder River and Pirate's Cove.


I had a nice chat with PATIENCE and FORTITUDE today. Do you know where they are?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Interview With the Prez

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Waldameer's president Steve Gorman for a quick interview.

Q: How would you describe Waldameer to someone unfamiliar with the park?

A: Waldameer and Water World is a traditional family-oriented amusement park and waterpark with a casual, safe atmosphere. We have 28 rides and 11 water slides along with midway games, food stands, gift shops, and live entertainment.

Q: In your opinion, why do people keep coming back to the park, customers as well as employees?

A: We have a good variety of attractions for all ages, at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is friendly. Employees are treated as family.

Q: How can a small family-operated amusement park compete with larger park chains such as Six Flags? Does Waldameer offer something they can't?

A: We don't really try to complete with the big parks. We have successfully made our own niche by offering free parking, free admission to the amusement park, shorter lines to attractions, and a variety of admission packages to suit different family budgets.

Q: What is your fondest memory of the park?

A: Opening new major attractions such as Thunder River, Steel Dragon, X Scream, and, of course, the Ravine Flyer II. It's a great feeling to complete the project and see the smiles on the people's faces after they experience their first ride.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Do have anything else you'd like to say to the Waldablog readers?

A: Come out and ride the Ravine Flyer II!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mini Walda-History Lesson 2

Class, the topic for today is the L. Ruth Express train.

Q: Now, does anyone know how the ride got its name? Any takers?

A: The train is named after Lydia Ruth Moeller, wife of Alex Moeller, the former owner of the park.

Q: What is the theme of the tunnel that the train passes through once on its way to the station?

A: A silver mine. The tunnel rock has streaks of silver that shimmer when the sunlight hits it.

Last question:
Q: Next time you ride the L. Ruth Express will you bring your headlamp and pickaxe?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're Movin' Up

I published a post regarding the Ravine Flyer II's international standings in CoasterFanatics.com's 50 Best Overall Coasters and 25 Best Wooden Coasters listings earlier this month.

As of today...(drumroll)

The RF II is now:
4th Best Overall
3rd Best Wooden

We moved up one slot in each of the categories! We're almost the best of the best!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Find That Statue

Okay, kids, ready? I spy with my little eye: BRIAN, EMILY, and DAVID.

Where in the wet, wild, and wonderful world of Waldameer are they?



The next installment of Find That Statue will have the answer...