Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Spooky Surprise for 2014

A Waldameer "Rite of Passage" is having the courage to take on the dark and spooky Whacky Shack.  For many of our first rides we clinched onto our parent or sibling next to us, or we covered our eyes until it was over.  Eventually we mustered up the courage to open our eyes and see the creepy creatures, corridors, and optical illusions firsthand, and finally we were even brave enough to take the spooky trip alone.
Here is a Throwback Thursday gem for everyone.  Whacky Shack in the early 1970s.
For over 40 years Whacky Shack has prided itself on maintaining a very traditional dark ride experience. However, to keep you on your toes we have added some extra surprises over the years to stand alongside the classic "stunts" developed by the legendary Bill Tracy who designed and helped construct Whacky Shack in 1970.  For the 2014 Season, we have made some creepy updates to one of Whacky Shack's haunted scenes.
Whacky Shack completes our 2014 Park Improvement Map!
Right out of the spinning barrel you find yourself into what seems to be a dark, secluded corridor.  Around the corner you find a mysterious door guarded by an ghostly skeleton figure.  Apparently this Apparition thought that some of us were too curious about what could be behind his door that he summoned Whacky Shack Historian and Artistic Expert, Randy Skalos, to make is guarding presence more intimidating.  Let's see what became of this haunted makeover.
Early stages of the corridor's makeover.
Working with wildfire paint sometimes requires work to be done under only black lights.
The mysterious old door took on a more eerie glow.
The Apparition guarding the old door now glows with a new gory green.
Why is this door so important to be guarded by an Apparition?  This door is a integral piece of Waldameer's storied 118 year history.  This door was located on an old cottage where our current maintenance building is today. The cottage was home to members of the Moeller Family who owned Waldameer for several decades before the Nelson Family took over.  In efforts to preserve the heritage of the family's cottage once it deteriorated, it was decided that the iconic door would find a new home in the recently constructed Whacky Shack, and be forever guarded by an Apparition.  While not a Bill Tracy original scene, no one can deny that no ride on Whacky Shack is complete without encountering the Apparition guarding this historic Waldameer Treasure. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Mad Dash to the Finish

Some of you may have stopped by the park these past couple weeks for Season Pass processing, job applications, or employee orientation and thought to yourself, "Is Waldameer really going to be ready by May 10th?"  But never fear, the last couple weeks before opening are what we call "controlled chaos."  You may be also asking yourself, why didn't we get started on some of this stuff earlier?  Well those questions should be referred to Mother Nature, but please ask nicely since we are all wishing for a warm and dry Summer.  I sure hope you have a pair of old shoes and some clothing that you wont mind getting a little dirty, because we are about to sort through some of this controlled chaos.
The North half of the park looks ready for guests!
Whacky Shack has opened its doors for a sneak preview of some spooky updates.  All inspired by the unique mind of the Legendary Dark Ride Designer, Bill Tracy.
Rumor has it the classic Bar Scene is getting some creepy new company.
Ravine Flyer II's first riders are ready for dispatch!  Keep your eyes and ears out early this week for RF2 to roar back to life.
Paratrooper is complete! Freshly painted, but maintaining its traditional colors.
The walls have come down, and our new West Ballroom Restrooms are 99% ready.  Hello Assistant Rides Manager Ryan!
It appears that most of Waldameer seems ready to open tomorrow! But not so fast, the South End of the park needs to do a little catching up.  No worries, like we said, it is all "controlled chaos."  In preparation for new ticket booths, future Water World expansion, and eventual paving of our Peninsula Drive Parking Lot, the South End has become an all-out construction zone.
Foundation work continues on the future location of new ticket booths.
What a trench!  New drainage pipes are being laid down to help alleviate the amount of water on the midways in the event of a passing rainstorm.  Also, we needed to lay some groundwork for Water World's 2015 expansion.
Good thing our crews are working fast.  By Saturday afternoon, the trench was practically gone.  The magic of controlled chaos.
It's a mad dash to the finish, but we have no doubt in our minds that Waldameer will be ready for its 118th Season come this Saturday.  It has been a long eight months, but all of these upgrades were very much worth the wait. See you this weekend!