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 Review of Ravine Flyer II @ Waldameer Park
3 Rating Posted by: fergusonat on 6/21/2008 11:36:00 AM
Ever since Ravine Flyer II was first announced last year, it has been one of the top priorities on my ever-growing to-ride list. My entire family lives in the Pittsburgh area, and I visit at least once every summer.....so the prospect of having a Gravity Group woodie within driving distance of Pittsburgh was mouth-watering to say the least. I desperately tried subduing my expectations, but as the date drew nearer, it became painfully apparent my attempts were futile: I was expecting this coaster to be one rockin’ mofo

Luckily, my fellow coaster enthusiasts, I am happy to report that this mofo, is indeed rockin’

First of all, I’d like to make it well known that it doesn’t matter where you sit on Ravine Flyer II. Over the course of 12 rides in a wide variety of seats ranging from the very front to the very back, I am glad to report that there is top-notch airtime to be had in any seat. Now onto the blow-by-blow review:

View at the top: Absolutely beautiful. There’s no better way to crest the top of a coaster than gazing out onto a huge body of water. Definitely sets a great tone for the rest of the ride

First drop: Excellent. The backrow definitely provides a stunning whipping-action and dishes out some serious airtime. The front provides a very heavy, hanging sensation.

Bridge Bunnyhop #1: Great airtime... very surprising. Upon looking at the layout when it was first released, I was less than enthused about the bridge hills. They didn’t look airtime-worthy at all, but nothing could be further from the truth. Powerful and stiff floater-airtime

Turnaround: This was one of the biggest highlights of the ride for me. The left-right shimmy provides a startling jolt of ejector airtime along with powerful lateral g’s. Also, the train barely loses any steam at all as it crests the turn around and plummets back towards the bridge

Bridge Bunnyhop #2 and ensuing bunnyhills: Probably the best part of the ride for me. Even at the start of the day before the ride heated up and really started rolling, these bunny hills provided serious sustained airtime that hovers bizarrely between floater and ejector air. I can’t really put my finger on it. Regardless, the ass-cheeks leave the seat. Amazing.

90-degree turn: Another highlight of the ride and a first for me. Great maneuver and traversed flawlessly by the PTC rolling stock.

Final bunnyhills: The ride finishes strong, but not as strong as it could have. A few punches of airtime can be snagged before slamming into the brakes.

Ravine Flyer II just got better and better as the day progressed. Much like Boulder Dash, the ride got more and more intense as the rails heated up in the afternoon heat. With each ensuing ride, it climbed further and further into the ranks of my Top 10 coasters. By the peak of the afternoon, this thing was rambunctiously jolting riders to and fro like rag dolls...a fantastic fusion of classic charm and modern edginess. As of June 20th 2008, Ravine Flyer sits at #3 in my Top 10. Waldameer has a masterpiece on their hands.

Review Comments

fergusonat on 6/21/2008 11:41:14 AM said:
Disregard this post... I have a review written, but an error repeatedly pops up every time I try to copy and paste it into this box. I have no idea why it isn't allowing me to post it >_<
fergusonat on 6/21/2008 11:54:49 AM said:
EDIT: I ended up having to copy and paste it one sentence at a time.............. bizarre
Timberman on 6/21/2008 3:05:25 PM said:
I agree on all points, except I have to say my best ride was in the front. Strangely, this was where I experienced the greatest airtime. The trips over the bridge really surprised me. They look like filler on paper, but they ended up being a highlight of a ride that has no dead spots. Ravine Flyer II is easily one of the best coasters of its size I have ridden, and I believe it will only get better.
fergusonat on 6/21/2008 9:01:25 PM said:
^Yeah, I mean... I'd have to agree either the front or back provided the highest quality airtime, but I rode the middle quite a few times, as well, including my first ride, and the airtime was great even there. I was bummed because they stuck me with a single-rider in the absolute middle, but I soon found out that Ravine Flyer is a solid ride in any seat. My last ride was in the front, and it was certainly one of the best. I found the final bunnyhills to be a little better in the back...
Timberman on 6/22/2008 8:51:41 AM said:
I like that they try to fill up each train, but the signs stating that single riders have to sit in the middle seats are a bummer. Happily, these were not strictly enforced, and people seemed to be able to wait for whatever seat they wanted. What felt like my fastest ride on RFII was actually in a middle seat, and I agree that it's a great coaster from any place on the train.
PhantomNik on 6/25/2008 1:33:05 PM said:
Seeing all these glowing reviews for RFII is great, and it means I simply need to take a drive up to Erie and experience it this summer. As a Pittsburgh area resident myself, that short drive is too good to pass up for a coaster that's being raved about this much. Waldameer has always intrigued me as a place I'd like to check out, and with RFII now on board that clinches it. And how great for a small park like this that they finally have this winner after all the crap they had to go through just to get it approved. GG is really making a name for themselves with these wooden coasters over the last few years. Good old Kennywood would be all the more perfect with one of those puppies added to the mix!
fergusonat on 6/26/2008 10:10:16 AM said:
^Dude, that's brilliant... a terrain driven Gravity Group woodie would be the perfect blend of classic charm and cutting edge modernity that Kennywood thrives on. I'd like to see what else GG can do with all-wood, however, because I'm not convinced steel-structured woodies age well
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