Thursday, July 30, 2009

Waldameer's Beauty

Pictures by: David Gorman
Beauty by: Janet Little

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Imagine the Possibilities

When I was in Imagination Station (located at the entrance to the Merry-go-round) today I was pleasantly surprised at what they had to offer. Gemstone mining, spin art, sand art, face painting - you name it.

This is what surprised me the most - Wally and Wendy Bear shirts that you color yourself. I want to be a kid again.

Our History: 1930-1940

As Waldameer was struggling to survive the Depression in the 1930’s, a chestnut blight killed off many of the majestic trees that gave the park its name. To boost attendance during this tough time, a relatively new phenomena – talking movies – were offered, and with the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the famous Beer Garden was brought back.

The park’s tough times continued in 1937 as the aging Dip the Dips roller coaster was removed and the Dance Hall burnt down. Since funding did not exist to rebuild the Dance Hall, Waldameer built an outdoor dance floor for the 1938 season. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the weather, the new concept met with limited success.

In August of 1938, another tragedy hit the park. The Ravine Flyer got caught between dips, and as a man rose to try to calm his hysterical sister, he lost his balance and fell 30 feet to his death. Alex Moeller’s wife, L. Ruth, was so upset by the tragedy that Mr. Moeller immediately removed the ride, although the station was retained and converted into a picnic pavilion.

As the Thirties ended, the economy improved, and Waldameer once again began expanding. The first priority was to build a new dance hall. Opened in 1940, the new dance hall had a capacity of 3,000. A local contest was held to name the new building and Rainbow Gardens was selected as the winning entry, due to the multi-colored floor tiles in the building.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Dude, Where's Wally?"

Wally Bear: Origins - Part IV

As soon as the bear stepped out of the plant, his life became a whirlwind of new experiences and exploration. He made a mental list of things that needed done:

1. Find a suitable name.
2. Find a hat that fit.
3. Travel the world.

The bear liked the name Teddy Bear, but he wanted his name to be unique. Strolling past a movie theater, he was stopped by a poster showing a map of the country. It read “Across the Continent Starring Wallace Reid”. I wish I could be that guy. I want to travel the continent, the bear thought. The name Wallace intrigued him but it seemed too formal. What about Wally? Wally…Bear. Wally Bear. Now Wally only had two things left to do on his list.

The autumn wind was brisk and this urged Wally on to search for a hat to cover his cold head. He found a hatter and tried on lots and lots of hats. It wasn’t a hard decision. The hatter even personalized it for him.

There was only one item left on Wally’s to-do list: Travel the world. And that’s what Wally did. Because he was one of a kind, surprisingly, people treated Wally extra special and gave him opportunities most people can only imagine.

1919: Attends the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, ending World War I.
1927: Witnesses Babe Ruth break the homerun record.
1936: Helps build the Hoover Dam until its completion.
1944: Advertises the newly invented ballpoint pen.
1957: Reads Dr. Seuss’s new book, “The Cat in the Hat.”
1963: Hears Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
1977: Attends opening night of “Star Wars.”
1985: Scuba dives to see the sunken Titanic.
1993: Visits Waldameer for the first time.

That day, Wally Bear fell in love – with the park, that is. He adored it: the smiling kids, the delectable treats, the entire happy-go-lucky frame of mind. Wally asked us if he could stay, and we accepted. How could we turn down a smiling, singing, dancing giant teddy bear? It was an easy decision, to say the least.

And 16 years later, Wally still happily resides at Waldameer.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Let's Talk Weather

Last week was a great time to be outside. It was sunny, warm, and even reached the 80°s!

Like everything, there was an exception to the week's awesome weather.

Saturday morning and early afternoon was unbelieveable. It started out nice, went to dark and gloomy, then torrential downpour and thunderstorm, and finally to nice again. All in maybe 3 or 4 hours. There was even a river of water in the midway.

Luckily, the past is the past and luckier, next week looks nice. Phew.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Family Portrait

Charlie the Clown is probably one of the most photogenic guys I know. He's always smiling. Besides, Wally and Wendy get their pictures taken so much, they deserve a little break.

Nothing says "Waldameer" like a family picture with our clown.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where I've Been...

So you may have noticed that I've been gone for about a week.

I was hiking on the Appalacian Trail.

Okay, okay - you caught me. I was really in Argentina. But only because I had to investigate Wally Bear's story, to check the facts. Can't be too careful these days.

So, long story short - I'm back.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Last Night

The fireworks last night were awesome! The sky cleared up and you could see everything really well.

Today's weather is looking a lot better than yesterday's, so this 4th of July should be sunny and warm!

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July FIREWORKS

There will be fireworks tonight and tomorrow night to celebrate the 4th of July!

Yay, USA!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Speaking of Wally...

He and Wendy we traversing the park the other day. Luckily, the Waldameer paparazzi got lots of pictures.

Yes - bears can Dance Dance too.

Arcade-ing it up.
Imagination Station's new gemstone mining!