Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waldameer: The Early Years

I've gotten a few questions about the park's beach and the original Ravine Flyer so I thought I;d address both together.

These are excerpts from "Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania" by Jim Futrell, director and historian of the National Amusement Park Historical Association. He knows his stuff like nobody's business.


"During Waldameer's early years, the park consisted of two areas. At the top of the slope, 70 feet above Lake Erie, was a 10-acre picnic grove with swings, hammocks, and athletic fields. But most of the activity was concentrated on the beach at the bottom of the slope. Linked to the picnic grove by a 1,000-foot-long boardwalk, the beach area featured a swimming pool, a 110-foot-long bathhouse, a pier, a water slide, canoes, and rowboats."


"As the amusement park industry entered its golden age in the 1920s, George Sinclair, who owned Meyer's Lake Park in Canton, Ohio, came to Waldameer Park and built the park's largest roller coaster, the Ravine Flyer. Opened in 1922, the Ravine Flyer made use of the park's topography to create drops of up to 80 feet, and it traveled over the road that ran in front of the park."

If you're interested, pick up Jim's book; it's a good read!

Name the Ride Contest

The naming of the Mega Disk'O has officially begun! The winner gets a Waldameer picnic for 24 people on June 14, 2009.

You can submit your name for the ride through your favorite radio station: Bob 94.7, Star 104, Rocket 101, or 93.9 The Wolf.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brand Spanking New!

A shipment just came in! It has stuff for the Mega Disk'O surroundings. Here's a quick peek:

No, not a giant watch. It will soon to be our second clock tower. The other one is in front of the Ali Baba.

We adopted some more bronze children to play in our park.

We didn't kidnap them, I swear. We just haven't taken off their protective masks.

We should probably take off that plastic on his book too. He's been staring at that plastic the whole trip!

It may look disorderly now, but, trust me, everything will look fine and dandy when the Mega Disk'O is opened!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inside the Gravity Group

Hopefully by now you've all ridden the Ravine Flyer II. You've certainly read enough on the blog to know about it. You've seen pictures of the construction...but what do you know about the RF II design and designers?

Well, don't worry; you'll find out soon enough. The Gravity Group is the company that designed the coaster and they do a podcast with their designers. This week's podcast is all about, you guessed it, Waldameer and the RF II. Besides the designers, their podcast has an exclusive interview with Waldameer owner, Paul Nelson.

It's not all facts and figures. To my surprise, it was pretty entertaining and the designers are amusing.

Gravity Group's Podcast

On the Gravity Group's website, they have a portfolio of all their coasters. They include RF II design renderings, construction photos, and a video of the ride.

Gravity Group's Ravine Flyer II Portfolio

Thanks Gravity Group for an awesome coaster!

MORE Nostalgic Postcards

Ed Kindle has kindly uploaded a few more old Erie postcards featuring Waldameer. They make up a wonderful postcard collection that shows old-time Erie. Thanks again, Ed!

Waldameer Beach

Figure Eight

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some More Construction

The latest picture of the Mega Disk'O ride is here! Once again, too big to fit on the blog so click here to see it on Facebook.

By comparing the last two pictures, you can see there's no snow in sight! But this is Erie, so keep your fingers crossed.