Trip Report: Wyandot Lake
"A classic in every sense of the word"
Ah, its time for a change of pace. Yesterday (8/14) was Cedar Point, and 4after my shot on the Thrillshot we didn't pull out of the Challenge Park parking lot till almost midnight, and didn't get hope till the WEEEEE hour of the morning.
Wyandot, I knew was no thrill park, it would be a nice relaxing way to start the morning. Besides I had a Six Flags season pass, and who could turn down a free rollercoaster ride or three.
The nondescript entrance leads past a waterpark and into the Columbus Zoo parking area. From now on, Six Flags parking lots shall be operated by outside firms. Parking at Wyandot is a very reasonable $3. The parking area is mostly gravel and between the Zoo and Wyandot. We were soon walking towards the front gate of Wyandot, and with Batman's asistance I was soon walking the main midway.
My host suggested I have a Caramel Apple for breakfast at the Caramel Apple Stand. This is the Caramel Apple stand whose front door bears the sign "We do NOT sell Caramel Apples"
We took the first turn to the right, and out there on its own little island just past the Bumper Cars lives the Sea Dragon. The Sea Dragon is a friendly little creature, I suppose it once belonged to the Columbus Zoo (rideman:confirm/deny?). This particular acquistion came from John Allen, and in fact is the oldest surviving John Allen coaster.
Observing the queue for the Sea Dragon it was apparent that this was youth camp day at Wyandot. Luckily the group size was small enough, and mostly interested in the waterpark that they did not pose a threat to our day, After a short wait I was in seat 3.2 and Rideman was in 4.1. Sea Dragon is very similar in appearance to the Junior Woodies located at a Paramount Park nearest you (Unless, of course, that happens to be at PGA)
With several crucial differences. Sea Dragon is truly a Coaster Classic. The ride runs 1 PTC Junior train with manually operated lapbars, and none of the optional equipment installed. In fact you can still see the varnished hardwood floor in the cars. A further look at the station revealed Big Old Brake Levers. Red, White and Green. Closer inspection revealed that the ride was actially being operated with the manual Big Old Brake Levers. All this and two stop loading with a single operator put in charge of the whole attaction.
The train soon left the station , we passed under the ride safety sign, and up the bright white coaster. Cresting the top of the lift hill, we made the first drop, and as we proceeded on its tame family oriented course, something appeared to be missing on the turnaround above the station. Oh yeah, that trim brake, glad too see that not all Ohio parks have a Wood Coaster Trim Brake Fetish. Another point of interest occured on the final apporach into the station when the train suddenly lurched into a dip I wasn't quite expecting. Way back when on Beastie I recall a nice final dip behiund the Boulder Bumpers. PKI decided a longer final brake run would fit that spot better. It is so nice to be able to enjoy that final dip again. Then we came into the unloading platform and were stopped smoothly by our skilled operator on the skid brakes.
Weee, this is Fun!. It's not a thrill machine, and not a G;' force monster, but this is pure fun laidback coaster entertainment. We rerode until another camp group decided to hit the Dragon all at once. Besides there is more to parks than coasters.
Deciding that we weren't interested in the water attractions, and beyond the hand painted mural behind the rather lame bumper car ride, we decided to head back to the flat rides area. Wyandot is an insteresting layout. Kind of like a big cross. One arm of the cross contains the water park, the other arm is kiddieland. The top of the cross is the rides midway, with the front gate shops and the Ferris Wheel at the base fo the cross.
We entered the main rides midway (Although the Dodgems/Sea Dragon and Grand Carousel along the path to the waterpark make a might fine midway in there own right), the midway we were headed to looked like something out of a classic amusement park. Spider, Tilt A Whirl, Scrambler, and Frolic. All the rides at Wyandot have either animal or nautical themed names. We noted the Spider was out of service today, so started with the Tilt-A-Whirl, then the Scrmabler. It was the first time I had seen a seatbelt on a Scrambler. We slapped ahnds on the Scrambler but only once, before the ride got up to crusing speed.
This was the spin ride warm up, to get up ready for the King Frolic. Frolic is an old ride, replicas of which are made by Wisdom under the name Heartflip. The concept is real simple inside a small suspended tub are two chairs, two seatbelts, and a wheel. The contestants, in this case Rideman and myself clib into the hot seats, and fasten the seatbelts. Then as the ride starts you utilize the wheel in the center of the tub to spin it as fast as you can. Something like a Teacups ride with suspended tubs. We had the tub going so fast smoke was coming out of the bearings, and the surrounding park became a blur. and everything was happy, hey I can take this. Then a certain rider who shall remain nameless decided "Let's suddenly reverse the rotation of the ride tub" Ohhhh, okay I'm a man I can tough this out, I can feel the breakfast I didn't eat swimming around. Then after another eternity the namless rider reversed the direction again. The Frolic tried to take me down but it could not get the knockout.
This does not, however, mean that I was not ecstatic that our next attraction was to be something a bit more tame, a pinball machine. Wyandot has a Stern High Roller Pinball in excellent condition, and we each played a few games of it. Rideman may get the Frolic crown, but I think I won the Tommy Wannabe Crown. What was that Dave, i got the REPLAY on the first ball! It was the first time I had to take a break right there in the middle of a pinball game. You know catch the ball on the flipper, and hold it there a while till you adreneline rush calms down.
We much enjoyed the pinball break, and followed it up by returning to the Sea Dragon so that we could be sent up and down hills ourselves for awhile,
After riding the Sea Dragon we made a stop in a certain peach colored building before heading out of the park to head to our next destination, the Ohio State Fair. But I couldn't help but get a chuckle out of seeing someones inner tube, with the following printed by the handles in big letters "LEFT HAND GOES HERE" "RIGHT HAND GOES HERE"
If you are every by Columbus, and need a that classic coaster experience, or a wind down, from that SFWOA, CP, PKI in a weekend or die marathon, this will help get you back into that laid back relaxed frame of mind.
Oh, and if you see a rider carrying a pocket confuser, stay away from the Frolic.
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