Specific Type: Wooden Junior Coaster
In Erie, Pennsylvania sits a small but sometimes crowded amusement park known as Waldameer Park. The park started out as a picnic and company park area in 1896 and has since turned into a family fun get-together stop in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The park has had many rides and attractions and is known for their dark rides that many say are excellent. The park is also known for their ACE Classic Coaster landmark known as Comet.
Comet was built in 1951 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, who of course was building the great classic wooden coasters that are all still around today. This junior wooden coaster was designed by Herbert Schmeck. Schmeck designed the coaster to be just like many of the other junior coasters with a layered figure eight track that would include some small airtime hills, but still be gentle enough for every member of the family to ride. To put his mark on this coaster, Schmeck wanted to build this one taller than the others and that is exactly what he did.
Comet has two PTC trains that hold a total of 16 guests at a time. The park would only operate one train because the coaster used manual skid brakes until 2012. In that year, Velocity Magnetics did an upgrade on the braking system adding magnets and other means to help stop the train. This allowed the park to feel comfortable operating two trains on busier days. The trains are colored green with seats that are black. There is a seat belt and a single lap bar that comes down on both guests.
Riders board the trains inside of an old fashioned wooden station and begin their journey on the 1300 foot track. The train veers to the right and up the very small chain lift to a height of 37 feet. At the top you can view the trees and foliage around you as you drop 25 feet into a turn to the left. The train then plummets down into another drop before being thrown up out of your seat on an airtime bunny hill. The train hits a trim brake that slows you for a right hand turn and then another drop. After the drop, guests get a smile and giggle as they hit two back to back bunny hills and now under the first turn that guests began the ride on. The ride turns to the right, down a small hill and finishes with another double bunny hill. The train then hits the brakes and slowly comes back into the station.
Make sure you take time to ride Comet while visiting the famous Waldameer Park. You will not be disappointed.
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