Monday, April 28, 2014

A Refresh of Family Classics

Traditional Family Fun has been the name of the game here at Waldameer and Water World for 118 years.  Many of our rides, slides, and attractions have been enjoyed by multiple generations.  As much as we all enjoy that flashy new ride or slide, we take pride in our traditional family rides.  Going into 2014, Waldameer has been hard at work since Labor Day of 2013 to keep our family classics thrilling riders for generations to come.  This week, we are putting the finishing touches on two refresh projects for two of our popular classic rides.  Between these two rides, there are 60 years of Family Fun. Let's see what's new for these venerable family classics.  It's a 2 for 1 Special on our Park Improvement Map!
Click Image to Enlarge.  Only one more surprise for 2014 to go!
Paratrooper is undergoing a beautiful repainting project that could fool anyone as a brand new ride.
A nice sunny day to dry all of the wet paint.  
Once we are done painting the blue and yellow decorations, we can reattach them and add the "parachute" chairs back on.
In addition, Paratrooper received an upgraded centerpiece for a much more visually appealing night ride experience as we won't have to fuss around with old lights going on and off anymore.
Can't wait to see Paratrooper spinning at night with the new centerpiece!
Furthermore, Waldameeer has made a policy revision on Paratrooper that is much more convenient for our guests.  After a careful safety analysis, beginning in 2014 footwear without backs is now permitted on Paratrooper, and guests will have the option of removing and holding onto loose footwear if they desire to. No longer will anyone find themselves disappointed that they could not ride Paratrooper due to their flip flops or shoes without backs. 
2014 will be Paratrooper's 41st Season.  Check out this rare photo from a 1973 newspaper article!
Now onto Wipeout! Squishing riders since 1995...
Wipeout in its early days.  Strange not seeing Ravine Flyer II towering over.
Closing in on almost 20 years at Waldameer, Wipeout was due for a makeover.  Our backdrop was getting a little faded, and some lights needed repaired.  For the 2014 season, a colorful new backdrop was designed using your photos from our Photo Contest in 2013!  Maybe yours will be featured? Secondly, once the sun sets in the evening, you will find that the dazzling light show will sparkle like new again.
Work on the new backdrop is underway.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!
Be sure to check out the progress of these family classic refresh projects when you stop by to process your Season Passes for 2014!  Our Office will be open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-4:30pm and Satuday from 10:00am-3:00pm.  We are less than two weeks away from Season 118!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Grand Entrance to Family Fun

Sometimes Waldameer and Water World needs to make a difficult decision in the best interest of our guest experience.  While developing a solution to address the needs of our growing attendance, we needed some extra space. That extra space was occupied by a ride that has been a part of Waldameer's Kiddie selection since 1983, Mini Enterprise.
Mini Enterprise 1983-2013.
Due to declining ridership and a need for a 2014 expansion space, Mini Enterprise will no longer be operating at Waldameer.  However, Mini Enterprise is not headed for the scrapyard. Our friends from another family-owned park, Alabama's Splash Adventure Park, are pleased to offer a home to Mini Enterprise as a part of their children's area expansion.
Mini Enterprise may not be that huge, but they needed some heavy equipment.
We have lift-off!
The Helicopters and UFOs have a long flight ahead all the way to Alabama.
All packed up.  The last view we will ever have of Mini Enterprise at Waldameer. Sniff. Sniff.
What might be replacing Mini Enterprise?  Our 2014 Park Improvement Map will guide the way.
Click to Enlarge
Yes, we are doubling our Ticket Booth capacity!  Not only will you find shorter lines when getting your wristbands, but by popular demand there will be express lines exclusively for Season Pass Holders! Due to the extensive design process and busy list of other off-season improvements, we will complete this project over the course of the Summer.  But you may be wondering, why is one entrance to the park getting new ticket booths, but not the other?  Well, let's just say what's coming in 2015 will be so huge that we need to completely re-route how you enter the park from the Peninsula Drive Parking Lot.  Once we have the new parking lot and entrance configuration complete, we can build yet another section of brand new ticket booths in time for 2015.
Mini Enterprise's former location won't be empty for long!
But we aren't finished yet!  2014 will be the last season for our original ticket booths next to Merry-Go-Round.  This change will probably be the best example of addition by subtraction at Waldameer you might ever see.  No more congested midways!  Just think about how nice it will be to not have to squeeze your way around others, or how easy it will be for strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs to pass through that part of the park!  It will truly be a breath of fresh air.
2014 will be our last season with our existing Ticket Booths.  Just imagine how nice that wide open Midway will feel.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Things Are Heating Up in Time for the 2014 Season!

Sunday would have been Water World weather when we reached the high 70s!
What a perfect Saturday afternoon to be in the park! Well, almost perfect since Waldameer and Water World is not quite ready to open yet, but we are making excellent progress with this beautiful warm weather.  We couldn't ask for a better work day in April at 67 degrees.  This week we found some more new projects and preparations. Sky Ride was slowly turning to warm up for all 33 cars to be reattached, the Midway Games Team is hard at work sorting new prizes and tuning up each game, and our reliable Maintenance Team was busy painting, changing light bulbs, and twisting nuts and bolts as more rides came back to life.  Also, yet another park improvement construction project got underway to provide some relief when the weather doesn't cooperate.  Let's take our weekly walk in the park to check it all out!
Comet is the first of our coasters to be assembled for Summer.
All L. Ruth Express needs is a conductor and some passengers.
All 20 Gondolas are unwrapped and ready for riders.

Great to see our Midway Games are slowly coming back to life!  I heard there are tons of awesome new prizes this year!
Flying Swings is ready for flight clearance and Wendy's Tea Party just needs some visitors for Tea Time.  SS Wally isn't too far behind.
Sky Fighter received new paint on all eight planes
How do we prepare Sky Ride? Simply put: inspect every inch of cable, run the ride without the cars for a long time to "warm it up," and hopefully this week we can start adding all 33 cars.
But we still aren't quite there yet!  Dodgem is still packed with "visitors" waiting to come out to enjoy the warm weather.
Keeping in mind the old saying, "April Showers Bring May Flowers," we have yet another mini construction project ongoing.  Unfortunately, sometimes the April showers follow us on a few occasions throughout the summer.  In order to provide more comfort to our guests when the occasional rain shower occurs, we decided we needed to better control the water running off our buildings.  Let's take a look!
With new gutters and downspouts installed on the Dodgem (seen above), Merry-Go-Round, and Arcade Buildings, there will be no more "walls of water" rushing down when the occasional storm passes through, because no one likes getting more wet than they have to. Hopefully, we don't have to rely on the new gutters too often!

Until next time, enjoy the warmer weather!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Waldameer Awakes from Hibernation

Ali Baba took the honor of being the first ride ready for 2014! Just look at those bright new colors!
The snow has finally melted, and Waldameer is springing back to life as Opening Day is just over a month away.  The silence of Winter seems like a distant memory as we are hard at work with Spring cleaning, ride reassembly, and a few more construction projects.  Before we know it, rides will be humming with their Springtime inspections and testing, Showtime Theater perfecting three new shows, and a giant tractor-trailer will be arriving with thousands of prizes and stuffed animals for our Midway Games.  Everyone in the park seems to have an extra hop to their step as we get more and more excited for another fantastic season of family fun.
Happy Swing leads the way in Kiddieland's reassembly.
Scrambler took no time to be ready early for its 50th Season!
Sea Dragon saw some open water on Lake Erie for the first time in months.  The excitement jump-started the first of our "nautical" rides to be ship shape for 2014.
Those repainted Tilt-A-Whirl cars sure sparkle like new.
You would never know Flying Swings had it's top canopy ripped apart by a Winter storm.
Not long now until the New West Ballroom Restrooms are complete.
Pardon our dust, but this is what me meant by "Doggie Drinking Fountain." All 9 of our Canine Mascots--Cricket, Franklin, Gunner, Lexie, Lola, Maiden, Trooper, Tucker, and Winnie--can't wait to test it out.
Wally and Wendy Bear headline our waterslide makeover on our 2014 Souvenir Cups!
The big change we mentioned a couple weeks ago has begun.  However, Wally and Wendy said they aren't quite ready to share all the details just yet.
With each passing day comes more and more progress as we are now in the home stretch for Opening Day. We might be taking a short break on new rides and slides for 2014, but without a doubt, this has been one of our busiest off-seasons to date.  The race against time to Opening Day has officially begun!

Don't forget! Our office is now open six days a week for Season Pass Processing.  If you can't make it after school or work on the weekdays, make sure you take advantage of our Saturday hours from 10:00am-3:00pm to avoid the long lines during the first week of May through Opening Weekend!