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 Review of Leap-The-Dips @ Lakemont Park
0 Rating Posted by: coasterf42 on 8/18/2008 2:19:00 PM
First of all, I would like to thank the American Coaster Enthusiasts, Coaster Con 23, the ACE president, the ACE president in 1992, the ACE founder, the ACE buffet, the ACE plaque makers, and the future site of the ACE museum. For without them this very ride would probably not exist today, and we would all die side-friction virgins after living a terrible life without this historical piece of true American history………………okay, in all seriousness, I will now begin my real review……warning you it will be long…..so throughout my very short coaster &quot.career&quot. a select few coasters have really intrigued me, and almost seemed to calling me to ride them. These coasters were usually old, traditional coaster that people have labeled &quot.historic&quot. for one reason or another. Many of them get good reviews, on this site and others, encouraging me to get my butt out to these rides, before they pass there peak, or even worse, get demolished. A few years ago, Phoenix at Knoebels seemed to call out to me across the World Wide Web. I was able to ride it in each of the past two years, both times easily enjoying the best rides of my coaster life. For even longer than I yearned for Phoenix, I have been trying to get to Coney Island New York, and ride their famous roller coaster before it may meet its ultimate doom in a few years. Lakemont Park&#39.s Leap the Dips admittingly has not really called out to me in the same way some of these classics have. I&#39.m not exactly sure why, but any classic coaster fan has got to have their eyes set on riding a coaster some 15 years older than the next oldest living coaster. Perhaps Leap the Dips didn’t seem as good as Phoenix, or as endangered as Cyclone. Whatever the reason, my opportunity came to ride Leap the Dips in an odd set of circumstances. A modern coaster site called Theme Park Review was more intriguing to me than Leap the Dips itself, as this fairly new coaster &quot.club&quot. (that is very much not a real club) seemed to be getting unprecedented praise by nearly everyone associated with the group. When an opportunity came for me to go on a short trip, starting just 3 hours from my house, I finally jumped on it, after months of debating weather to go or not. I ended up having the time of my coaster life on the trip. I almost forgot that on the 5th and final day of the trip, sandwiched between two other park visits, our bus was scheduled to arrive at one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and we would be given the opportunity to ride the oldest roller coaster in the world. The ride was closed to the public for a group from California to film the ride from 4:30 to 5:30 or something like that…..rumors soon spread around the park, that a group from Hollywood was filming a new movie on Leap-the-Dips. The reason for giving this very long and seemingly unnecessary introduction is to put into perspective how I felt when I rode the thing. I was tired, yet excited, on a &quot.theme park&quot. tour making a three hour pit stop to &quot.credit whore&quot. Lakemont. Looking back, I probably didn&#39.t pay enough due respect to Leap the Dips, after all it is an ACE COASTER LANDMARK ZOMGFTW. I only got to ride once, but I would certainly have gone more had their not been a Toboggan to ride and cheap merch to buy... The ride looks very good for being 100 years old. Makes me think that quite a bit of wood was replaced by the hard work and suffering ACE members that re-forged this ride in the 90s. The carriages (well, carriage, considering only one is used) are so incredibly unique for an operating coaster, and are quite roomy, comfortable, and basically completely unrestrained. You can&#39.t beat getting pushed out of the station and onto the lift hill through the use of human hands-I&#39.ve never seen that before in &quot.normal&quot. operations on a coaster. Whatever anti-rollback devices are, the ones on the lift hill deserve getting all excited about-you just don&#39.t see them every day. So, all these weird little things about this &quot.piece of history&quot. make it something special, and also get the rider a little uneasy. I actually can&#39.t remember too much about the actual post-lifthill part of the ride, primarily because I was laughing and talking the whole time, asking other coaster-geeks what &quot.anti-rollback devices&quot. really are, posing for my spot in the Hollywood Blockbuster, etc. I do remember some very frightening 1-story dips, and a few spot of airtime-I can&#39.t really complain about anything. It was so funny to hear the riders in the backseat-they seemed to think the ride was one of the roughest in history. I only rode in the front, and didn&#39.t think it was overly smooth, but certainly not painful in the slightest. Actually, I think Leap the Dips is now &quot.calling&quot. me more than ever to go back to Altoona and take a backseat ride to see what all the crying was about. All joking aside, Leap the Dips is now a legend in the roller coaster world. I can appreciate it even more after I have ridden it, and feel very privileged as a classic coaster lover to ride the oldest living coaster. I hope Leap the Dips lives on forever, and at the present time, it actually doesn&#39.t look too endangered.
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