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Airtime

Oncoming readers, remember to keep your hands and feet inside of the blog

By Craig Webb Published: May 21, 2014

My love of roller coasters and amusement parks started some 40 years ago. It began at the then small family-owned Conneaut Lake Park in Pennsylvania.I was in that awkward stage where I was too big to hang out in Kiddieland, but still not quite ready for the big kid rides.After much consternation and a threat from my dad that he would not get back in line again if I chickened out at the platform one more time, I reluctantly climbed inside my first roller coaster. I held on to my ol’ dad for dear life as the Blue Streak sped its way up and down the hills giving me plenty of “airtime” as I bounced around the seat. I screamed the whole way back to the station then promptly got back in line for another go around.From that point on there was no turning back. Every summer meant a trip to Conneaut Lake or Geauga Lake in Aurora or Waldameer Park in Erie, Pa.The parks were popular company picnic destinations – back when those were still annual rites of summer.Thanks to my grandfather working for old Conneaut Dock Company that meant either a trip to Waldameer or Conneaut Lake.My dad worked for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and its picnic was always held at Geauga Lake.It was at Geauga Lake that I rode my first steel coaster, the Double Loop. It was also the first coaster that I had ever ridden that went upside down.I remember being as nervous to ride it as I had been to ride the Blue Street just a few years earlier.Geauga Lake was always packed on CEI day. It was not uncommon to have to wait an hour to ride just about everything including the famous Big Dipper.One year, CEI decided to move its picnic across the lake to Sea World. The crowd was so large that day many of the concession stands ran out food. The next year, we were back to Geauga Lake.It was a rare treat to make it Cedar Point with its big collection roller coasters.I remember waiting more than two hours to ride the Gemini the year it opened. Now the racing coaster is practically a walk on most days.Aside from roller coasters, I also hold a sentimental spot for dark rides – an unfortunate rarity theses days in Ohio.Cedar Fair has stripped the once staples of amusement parks from its properties.Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is still a hold out – at least for now - at King’s Island. Cedar Fair took out the Scooby Doo theme after it purchased the Paramount chain of parks.“Airtime” will serve as a blog destination for those who love amusement parks as much as I do. I will share news from Ohio’s parks and other destinations along with some news from parks throughout the country. I will also share “mini reviews” of the parks I visit.So keep your hands and feet inside of the blog until it comes to a complete stop. 

 

My love of roller coasters and amusement parks started some 40 years ago. It began at the then small, family-owned Conneaut Lake Park in Pennsylvania.

I was at that awkward stage where I was too big to hang out in Kiddieland, but still not quite ready for the big kid rides.

After much consternation and a threat from my dad that he would not get back in line again if I chickened out on the platform one more time, I reluctantly climbed inside my first roller coaster.

 I held on to my ol’ dad for dear life as the Blue Streak sped its way up and down the hills giving me plenty of “airtime” as I bounced around the seat. I screamed the whole way back to the station then promptly got back in line for another go around.

From that point on there was no turning back. Every summer meant a trip to Conneaut Lake or Geauga Lake in Aurora or Waldameer Park in Erie, Pa.

The parks were popular company picnic destinations – back when those were still annual rites of summer.

Thanks to my grandfather working for old Conneaut Dock Company that meant either a trip to Waldameer or Conneaut Lake.

My dad worked for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and its picnic was always held at Geauga Lake.

It was at Geauga Lake that I rode my first steel coaster, the Double Loop. It was also the first coaster that I had ever ridden that went upside down.

I remember being as nervous to ride it as I had been to ride the Blue Streak just a few years earlier.

Geauga Lake was always packed on CEI day. It was not uncommon to have to wait an hour to ride just about everything including the famous Big Dipper.

One year, CEI decided to move its picnic across the lake to Sea World. The crowd was so large that day many of the concession stands ran out food. The next year, we were back to Geauga Lake.

It was a rare treat to make it Cedar Point with its big collection roller coasters.

I remember waiting more than two hours to ride the Gemini the year it opened. Now the racing coaster is practically a walk on most days.

Aside from roller coasters, I also hold a sentimental spot for dark rides – an unfortunate rarity these days in Ohio.

Cedar Fair has stripped the once staple of amusement parks from its properties.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is still a hold out – at least for now - at King’s Island. Cedar Fair took out the Scooby Doo theme after it purchased the Paramount chain of parks.

“Airtime” will serve as a blog destination for those who love amusement parks as much as I do. I will share news from Ohio’s parks and other destinations along with some news from parks throughout the country. I will also share “mini reviews” of the parks I visit.

So keep your hands and feet inside of the blog until it comes to a complete stop.

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