Location: Erie, PA
Enter the “Woods by the Sea” if you dare. This motto you may hear if you find yourself in Erie, Pennsylvania. Waldameer Park is a Pennsylvania legend and one of the oldest parks in the country. The park is free to enter and includes bustling Midways, well-manicured grounds, and covered picnic areas where you can enjoy a family meal together. The park also has amusements and attractions that you may ride with the purchase of an armband or individual ride tickets. The park is currently owned by Paul Nelson and was originally opened back in 1896.
Waldameer Park actually started off as a picnic area in 1896 before it was leased by the Erie Electric Motor Company and renamed it Waldammer. The park flourished as a company picnic area and eventually a small amusement park that included a few small rides and a carousel. The park is not known for big coasters or high thrills, but attractions that will appeal to everyone. Rides include two dark rides; one that is even two stories tall. The thrill part of the park really didn’t surface until 2007 when they added a drop tower called X-Scream and then the wooden coaster known as Ravine Flyer II in to 2008. The addition of the coaster increased attendance by 20 percent and it quickly became the most successful season in history.
Today the park boasts 4 roller coasters and an assortment of flats and dark rides. The park also includes Water World which is a waterpark that does incur a fee to enter. Ravine Flyer II was a blessing to many of the locals because it brought back a coaster to the famed Peninsula Drive after the original was shut down and demolished after an accident in 1938. Next time you are on the shores of Lake Erie, travel to Waldameer and speak German so that you can make your way out of the Woods by the Sea.
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