Inside Waldameer Park – Off-Season Tour
For most amusement parks up North, the fun stops after Halloween. Pennsylvania is a prime example, making thrills for coaster fans far and few between. Luckily, some parks are extending their seasons deep into December for special events during the holidays. Winter tours are hard to come by, but provide a glimpse into park operations, and gives a front row seat into the up and coming expansion projects. This past weekend, we had an opportunity to explore Waldameer and Water World park in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Waldameer is home to the Ravine Flyer II Coaster, voted the 6th Best Wood Coaster in the World every year since 2008 at Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards.
Our first stop was to the maintenance garage where coaster cars and restraints are dismantled and rebuilt as soon as the off-season began. Here, the Ravine Flyer II and Comet cars have been completely stripped down to their individual parts.
The next stop of the tour was the water park expansion site where we caught a glimpse of other storage locations for park attractions.
For the 2016 season, Waldameer will add Kidz Slide ‘n Spray Zone featuring 8 different children’s slides, this is phase II expansion to Water World following the addition of the wave pool in 2015. Construction crews are hard at work getting all underground work completed before the first big snow hits.
Afterwards, we were taken to see the construction site. Steve Gorman, President of Waldameer, allowed us to view where the machines create the exhilarating waves for the Wave Pool, which also included the filtration system for the pool.
Next, we viewed the wave pool’s functions, we traveled back to the Ravine Flyer II where we walked under the station. We also went inside of the mechanic’s shed which is used for the trains during the season as well as the final brake before the train rolls into the station.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Steve Gorman and the rest of the Waldameer staff for providing us with this inside look of winter days at Waldameer Park.
Waldameer’s 2016 opening day is set for May 7th.
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