Friday, March 30, 2012

Roller Coaster Physics: The Best Kind of Science!

We all remember parts of our school days, learning about all sorts of things that make the world go round. Some things were more interesting than others. Most of the time, recess and lunch topped the "Favorite Subjects" list. But not for the Fourth Graders at Fairview Elementary School. Yesterday, they would all say their favorite subject was physics! Potential energy, friction, and gravitational forces... sounds like a blast, right? Not really? How about when the President of Waldameer comes and teaches you about physics and how it relates to roller coasters! Now we are taking!
Learning all about kinetic energy and the effects of friction.

To bring a real cool, real world example of physics to the students, Steve Gorman visited the school for an hour of fun taking about everything dealing with roller coasters. With a background in mechanical engineering and over 16 years of experience of amusement parks, Mr. Gorman kept the fourth graders on the edge of their seats while they learned about air time, centripetal forces, and how roller coasters stay on the tracks.

Up close and personal with parts of Waldameer's roller coasters.

Seeing some parts from Waldameer's coasters and learning all about how roller coaster designers use physics to make coasters safe made everyone excited for the upcoming season at Waldameer. With a new appreciating of how roller coasters work, maybe the students will ride the Ravine Flyer II this summer and pay more attention to the moments of greatest potential and kinetic energy and when the most friction occurs between the screams and laughter... then again, maybe not!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Photos From Boonton, New Jersey

Well, it's official. Zamperla IS making Waldameer a Happy Swing for this coming summer! Not that anyone had any doubts!

These photos were taken in Zamperla's Boonton, New Jersey shop as they tested the lighting package they just finished installing. The ride will be the center of attention in Kiddieland this summer with its brilliant white LED lights. This is Waldameer's first time trying out an LED lighting package on a ride.

When designing the ride, most of the standard theming was used from Zamperla, including the wave behind the "Happy Swing" letters. There could have been a dolphin jumping the wave above the "Happy Swing" letters, but after a second thought, there aren't any dolphins in Lake Erie!

The sides of the ride were customized to make this Happy Swing truly Waldameer's with the signature colored logo on the right side. This fits right with the color scheme of the children's ride. And adults, don't worry, you can ride too! Just like the Frog Hopper, the Happy Swing has larger seats to let you ride with your kids!

The ride fits just perfectly into the area in front of the Ravine Flyer 3 kiddie coaster where everyone can see the beautiful ride. You can see all of the construction photos as we prepare for the summer on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Comet Brakes Make Their Final Stop

That is the most brakes I have seen on a truck!
Yesterday afternoon, Velocity magnetics delivered the nine brake sections that will eventually be installed on the 61 year-old Comet. These sleek new brake sections are stacked along the Comet's brake run as two of Waldameer's excelent maintenance staff remove about 175 feet of track steel along the brake run and station. Removing the running steel will allow the new brake sections to be bolted underneath the track stack.

So shiny and new!
Tomorrow, a member of the Velocity Magnetics' maintenance staff will be on site to help install a few of the new brakes. This won't be an easy task. Each brake section weighs about 700lbs each and if you know the Comet, some of the brake run is built over a small ravine. If you ask how our guys are going to install these cumbersome brakes, they all will reply, "Very carefully."