Alternately titled: When you love wooden coasters so much, you plan your holidays around them.
I wanted to do something fun during Memorial Day Weekend that wouldn’t require us to hemorrhage money or drive long distances, and I realized that it had been a hot minute since we last ventured out to Erie. There is a small, family amusement park there called Waldameer which isn’t THRILLING but it does have a couple dark rides and one wooden coaster in particular that I remembered to be relatively breathtaking.
Look, I have a sickness, OK? I just love have my body battered on wooden coasters and counting the bruises the next day.
The first thing we did after getting our ride-all-day wristbands was ditch Henry and run toward the Ravine Flyer except that we went the wrong way and wound up in Kiddie Land and then had to pretend like we meant to do that when Henry caught up with us and asked, “Where are you going?” when he knew damn well that we went the wrong way but had to be a fucking Poindexter about it.
Ugh! It doesn’t even matter if he’s behind the wheel of a stupid Faygo truck or on foot at an amusement park – he’s a fucking direction snob!
The park was nearly empty so I wasn’t too shocked to see that the Ravine Flyer was running ONE TRAIN OPS* and this wouldn’t have been too terrible considering we were practically walking right onto the platform, however, the dispatch was nearly as slow as Trump trying to sound out a four-syllable word.
*(There’s this one coaster channel on YouTube that I love and one of the guys, Logan, is always screaming ONE TRAIN OPS and that’s his Instagram name too so people are always tagging him when they’re at a park and experiencing one train ops, but my favorite was the time someone tagged him in a picture of a hotel breakfast buffet that had two waffle irons but one was broken and their hashtag obviously was #onewaffleops and why did this make me LITERALLY GUFFAW and elbow Henry?!)
At least they have great classic rock playing in the Ravine Flyer station….
…courtesy of these assholes, I guess. For a long time, Chooch thought the Ravine Flyer was actually called The Bob & Tom Show..??? So now I have to take his picture next to the sign every time we go to Waldameer.
So, my first ride on this thing after four years was definitely something to savor – I forget how exhilarating the first drop was and how much fun it is flying over the road. It was worth the visit, but I have to be honest — we have ridden quite a few EXCELSIOR WOODIES since our last visit with the Ravine Flyer, and because of this, it was a little bit less write-home-worthy.
The first half is definitely the best, but the trim brakes definitely bring it down a few notches and there was some weird pacing in the secon half. Still, this coaster is pretty fucking fun!
What I love is that as you’re ascending that first hill, you get a stunning view of Lake Erie. It was very foggy and overcast on this day so we couldn’t see it the first several times we rode it, but by evening, there it was – a huge expanse of water making me dry heave.
Henry is our Instagram Husband when we go to amusement parks and he is getting really good at standing in the perfect spot and patiently waiting for that one sweet shot. And if we’re unhappy with his attempt, we just get back on the ride and he has to keep trying until he gets it right (see: Whacky Shack).
I only had one bad experience at Waldameer on this day and it was when Chooch and I were about to get into line for another go when some young kid, like elementary-aged, leaned over a railing and spit onto the ground, missing me by a fraction of a centimeter. I’m not kidding, I was so close to getting marked by some Erie yokel and I was PISSED. I stopped dead in my tracks and screamed for Henry to come over, I don’t know why, not like he would ever in a million years even dream of defending my honor, and I hysterically explained to him what had happened. I was still waiting for the kid to exit the ride (you have to walk down a wooden walkway that turns a few times, and he was at a higher level when The Spitting occurred) so I could point him out to Henry and honestly I was considering confronting his dad, when some guy meandered over to us and said, “Are you talking about how that kid almost spit on you?” and then to Henry, he turned and said, “I saw it—it JUST MISSED hitting her” and I was like THANK YOU, DO YOU WANT TO BE MY NEW BABY DADDY because at least this stranger who had been casually sitting on a bench gave a shit about keeping my flesh free from boy-spit!
“IT’S NOT THAT I DON’T CARE, I DIDN’T SEE IT HAPPEN!” Henry cried in defense, but it was too late Damage was already done. Henry cared less about me getting spit on than a stranger did.
(That guy wasn’t too bad looking either, although he kind of gave off hunter vibes and ew no.)
“Is it that kid in the orange shorts?” Henry asked, suddenly trying to be super involved in my trials and tribs. I nodded and he said, “Yeah, I don’t think his dad is going to care” but I didn’t get a chance to see the dad.
The first time Henry took this picture, he only got half the sign in it and I started yelling, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHY WOULD YOU NOT THINK I WANTED THE WHOLE SIGN IN THE PICTURE WHEN I SAID TAKE OUR PICTURE STANDING BY THE SIGN????” and some guy was totally spectating Henry being emasculated, so that was cool.
My favorite seat on this was definitely the back, and my favorite ride on it was when IN THE AIR TONIGHT BY PHIL COLLINS started playing right as we were loading into the back seat. That song paired with the anticipation of getting on a roller coaster? Perfection.
We rode it over and over that day, even in the rain, to the point where it was actually giving me a headache. I lowkey panicked internally, wondering if my rollercoaster days are numbered, but then Chooch groaned, “Ugh, I’m starting to get a headache.”
Although, he may be 13, but he sure does have a plethora of elder maladies.
We managed to get Henry to ride it one whole time because he didn’t get the ride-all-day wristband so he had to pay FOUR DOLLARS to ride it ONCE. Cheap ass bitch. I started bitching again about that kid who nearly spit on me and wished out loud that I could have said ratted on him to his dad, and just as our train was leaving the station, Henry pointed and said, “Lol, there he is right there!” and pointed at some burly doof waiting in line next to Public Spitter and he for sure looked like a man who was still hanging onto his high school football glory days and all the concussions that came with it.
Yeah, for once I’d have to agree with Henry — I don’t think confronting him would have gotten me anything other than a second chance of being hit with spit.
Anyway, riding the Ravine Flyer with Henry was fun because I got to scream in his ear the whole time, and actually, I screamed so much that my scream was actually taken away halfway through the ride—maybe by God? I’m not sure, but it was almost like someone ripped my voice right out of my mouth and I couldn’t muster a single screech after that.
I outdid my own goddamn self, I guess.
Be back soon with more Waldameer bullshit!