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“What was and what could be. A work in progress that needs your business.”
Review of Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Conneaut Lake Park dates back to 1892 as Exposition Park. The Park sits on PA's largest natural lake. The unique combination of amusement rides, pony rides, putt-putt, games, indoor and outdoor concerts, a nightclub, historic hotel, and boat tours make it the perfect weekend getaway. Ride the country's 17th oldest wooden coaster, the 1938 Blue Streak, or the world's oldest Tumble Bug. There is no gate charge for our ride area; enjoy our carousel, Devil's Den, full Kiddieland, etc. and only pay if you ride.Look for us on Facebook: Conneaut Lake Park.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed 28 August 2011

This park is a piece of the past. A treasure of a bygone era that was allowed to fall into disrepair. I see this park and the loving care it is now getting and think of what it could be once again. They don't build parks like this one any more and once they're gone there will be no more like them. The day we visited, the park had a reasonable number of guests but still I wonder if it is enough. We had a great time on some of the old historic rides like the Blue Streak, the Tumble Bug, the Devil's Den and the wonderful 1905 carousel complete with band organ. I wish the park well and hope they can achieve their goal of total restoration for both the park and the hotel. Please folks give this place a try with an open mind to what it could be again some day. The main office accepts donations to help with the restoration and they are tax deductible. We had a blast and I know you would too.

2  Thank coastermeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"tumble bug"
in 21 reviews
"lazy river"
in 17 reviews
"wooden roller coaster"
in 12 reviews
"ride pass"
in 6 reviews
"dark ride"
in 9 reviews
"pony rides"
in 7 reviews
"historic rides"
in 4 reviews
"cedar point"
in 10 reviews
"small water park"
in 5 reviews
"devil's den"
in 12 reviews
"piece of history"
in 8 reviews
"beautiful lake"
in 3 reviews
"haunted house"
in 4 reviews
"pretzels"
in 4 reviews
"carousel"
in 31 reviews
"parks"
in 32 reviews
"trustees"
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211 - 215 of 227 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2011

During a four day amusement park/carousel museum tour this week (Kennywood, Cedar Point, Sandusky Merry Go Round Museum, Waldameer, Knoebels) my girlfriend and I stopped at Conneaut Lake Park. I grew up in Erie and visited this park on rare special occasions as a kid. It was a big deal then to me, much bigger than Waldameer. I knew all about the troubled past, law suits, closings and dire financial straights so my expectations this week were tempered.

Let me say that this park IS worth visiting even as an adult. There is a overall feeling that the park is only days from closing. The entrance fountain was off, the main gate unattended. On our visit there were maybe 75 people in the park. Don't let that deter you from visiting. On the day we visited, the ride operators and staff were upbeat, positive and friendly. The snack bar was clean and the food fresh. Of the five parks we visited this week, their hotdog was the best (Smith's, fresh bun, chili and cheese).

This may be your only chance, ever, to ride a roller coaster terrifying not by design, but because of decay. You truly get the feeling the Blue Streak could collapse at any moment or the train could de-rail (it won't). And its not a little or slow coaster, its one any owner would be proud to build a theme park around, and it must have been glorious in its prime, situated as it is in the trees, which makes it even more interesting now. We visited on a sunny Saturday afternoon and had the whole coaster to ourselves, riding it over and over. We even secured our own lap belts and probably could have pulled the lever to release the train ourselves if the operator went on his lunch break. It really was like having our own coaster in our backyard.

Kiddyland is small, there are charred remains of the kiddyland bathrooms still standing after a fire years ago, but the rides are classics and the pony ride has live ponies. Yes they are all past their prime, some with partial blindness and other aliments, but this ride is probably the last pony ride left in the country where the ponies are free to walk the track with just the rider, but no attendant. They aren't tethered or harrnessed to a pole walking in circles. They walk around an equstrian race track, at their own pace, and the children really get a good ride.

The diamond here, however, is the Carousel. Finding this glorious, original 1912 piece, among all the saddness in this park, is really magical. Waldameer sold its carousel years ago for a million dollars to keep their park alive. Conneaut Lake Park has resisted doing the same and needs to be commended for it. The carousel is worn, the horses don't gleam like they do elsewhere, but it doesn't matter. In a way, its good that the park has low attendance and sporadic seasons, as those conditions limit the use and misuse of the carousel animals, helping to preserve them. If you are a fan of historic carousels, you need to see and ride this one before its gone.

Don't go here planning to spend a whole day riding rides, playing games and being entertained by shows and attractions. Don't go here as a destination. There are other parks for that and there is not enough at this park for it to be worth a several hour car ride with kids (unless you are fanatical about antique rides, coasters and carousels). Rather, go here as a side trip like we did, traveling between Cedar Point and Waldameer in Erie or from Pittsburgh to Erie for the beach. Stop at Conneaut Lake Park to ride the old rides that matter. Its free to park and free to get in, so you can stop by often during your other travels. Get tickets, not wrist bands, and pay as you go. You won't feel ripped off if you use the park this way. If enough people come for a few hours of fun in the summer, to eat and participate in real, unpreserved amusement park history like the carousel and to brave the Blue Streak, Conneaut Lake Park may slowly make a come back. It would really be tragic to hear that this park has closed and the rides are gone.

3  Thank lawyerboyleslie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2011

I was at the Park on Saturday May 28th. Contrary to the other post, there were only 3 rides not operating: Tumble Bug, Music Express, and the train. I visited the Park today, and only the train is closed. To truly appreciate this Park, you need to know where it has come from to where it is today. Closed in 2007 and 2008, and the arson that took the ballroom damaged many buildings and the Midway area. But, unlike other parks that sufffered fire (Idora) or tragedy (Bushkill flood) and never recovered or closed and never reopened (Chippewa), Conneaut Lake Park reopened in 2009. A major amount of support and fundraising reopened the Blue Streak and now is being retracked in sections each year. Two new rides were added so far this year. The Putt-Putt just had new surface put in and opened. The Dockside has been renovated, as well as the ballroom in the 1903 Hotel Conneaut. The boardwalk that overlooks the lake is already half redone with new, inscribed boards. The Midway section is getting attention. This Park contains the oldest operating Tumble Bug in the world. The Devil's Den is one of only 2 left of its kind. Kiddieland has 9 rides and live ponies. The Carousel dates back to 1910. The 1938 wooden Blue Streak is one of only 2 of its kind, and an ACE landmark coaster. This Park isn't perfect, but considering all the progress that has been and continues to be made, I think it's a treasure.

8  Thank XmasTravelerPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CP_Management11, Manager at Conneaut Lake Park, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2011

Thank you for your valuable feedback. After several years of being closed, the trust for the park re-opened the historic park and is working diligently to reopen and restore new areas each year. Your comments are very much appreciated and an encouragement to the team as we work to bring the park and all its memories back to life.

We have partnered with several different community business leaders to lease out and operate various areas within the park to assist in facilitating the master plan & renovations to restore the park. Currently a significant portion of the hotel, Beach Club, Dockside, the Board Walk and numerous other areas have been modernized while keeping the integrity of the history and historic nature of the Park.

Again, we appreciate your kind thoughts and we will share this info with our partners to continue to encourage them and to better improve our operations and serve our guests.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2011

My wife and I visited this park on a Saturday in May 2011. We were expecting something like Knoebels Grove, a nice old fashioned "woodsy" park. I guess this place might have been nice at some time in the distant past, but during our visit most of the rides were closed and there were several half burnt buildings throughout the park.

Our ride on The Blue Streak coaster (one of the few open rides) was bone jarring. I'm not sure this ride should be in operation. I think it needs major repairs.

The park has a post apocalyptic feeling. It would make a great set for a zombie movie or maybe a Mad Max type movie. Most of it was either closed or half burnt. However, the wait staff in the cafeteria was friendly and the frozen cheese cake tasted good.

I got the feeling the people who were there were in search of some childhood memories and were hoping to relive the place with their kids. Best of luck if you visit, but I do not recommend this park.

3  Thank mjost7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CP_Management11, Manager at Conneaut Lake Park, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2011

Thank you for your valuable feedback. After several years of being closed, the trust for the park re-opened the historic park and is working diligently to reopen and restore new areas each year. The start of the season is in May so we apologize if all areas were not yet up to your and our expectations.

We have partnered with several different community business leaders to lease out and operate various areas within the park to assist in facilitating the master plan & renovations to restore the park. Currently a significant portion of the hotel, Beach Club, Dockside, the Board Walk and numerous other areas have been modernized while keeping the integrity of the history and historic nature of the Park.

We appreciate your valuable feedback and we will share this info with our partners to continue to better improve our operations and serve our guests.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 May 2011

Almost everyone who has rated this park is looking at it as a "modern" park such as Kennywood or Cedar Point. The true way to view the park is "a historic place with old time charm." Yes its a little pricey and yes its a little run down. But the park is open and most of the rides are being repaired. The reason the rides weren't active in 2010 is because of the ride lease-ees really didn't care! This year Swank stepped in and the Blue Streak is running and other rides are being repaired and will be open by summer 2011. They are really trying! If you want to learn some history and maybe teach your kids, try Conneaut. Unlike other parks you can still feel like your locked in the 1930's. Please give it a try and don't expect to have huge thrills. Expect a VERY memorable, fun and exciting day at Conneaut. Walk on the boardwalk, have a drink at the beach club, stay at the hotel and SCREAM on the Blue Streak!

9  Thank KentRZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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