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,


Thursday, September 4, 2008


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:

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!

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!

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."