Skyliner
Website: Lakemont Park Homepage
Ride Type: Wooden Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 3.5882
TPC Overall Rank: Rides need more than 25 reviews to be ranked.
Reviews: 20
Last Review: 6/29/2008 8:59:00 AM
In User Top 10: 2 times.
User Tracker Count: 57 times.
 

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4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up ads102 on 6/29/2008 8:59:00 AM
It is amazing that this coaster is as well-kept as it is considering how trashy Lakemont Park is as a whole.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up T-Rex on 12/31/2007 9:01:00 AM
Easily the best ride at Lakemont and a good coaster in its own right. The car looks great as it supports the nearby Altoona Curve baseball team and the only restraint is a buzzbar. The first drop gave some good air and the second drop gave amazing ejector air. Afterwards came a few hills and turns that gave good air for both front and back seat riders.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up adriahna on 11/12/2007 7:09:00 PM
Its got Character, thats for sure. With the ballpark alongside, the Skyliner is ideally located within Lakemont - heck, it even gets in on the spirit of the thing, with the words "GO CURVE" painted along the vintage trains side. As for the ride itself, I was pleasantly surprised - its what Id call a classic example of a darned good woodie. Bits of good airtime, some nice speedy moments, great dips and it gives a suitably long ride. The station is pretty sweet, as well - vintage wooden setup, with incandescent lamps that start there, and run along the coaster hills (I really wish I had been able to ride this thing at night). Attractive, fast, surprisingly fun to ride - this ones a keeper, to be sure.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Got_it on 11/1/2006 11:52:00 PM - User's Top Ride #8
The Sky Liner is one of those coasters that really takes you by surprise. Sitting off in a field all by itself sitting only about 60 high (I think) it has many step drops and quickly shifting lats, this coaster packs a punch. There is some great first drop air time on this one. Defiantly a must ride if you go to Lakemont (if not only because its really one of the only decent things to ride in the park.)

Funny story When we were going around the first turn a big chunk of the train flew off and into my lap, I showed the op and he said "oh stuff falls off of this ride all the time" and threw it in the trash.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up sowinski on 8/11/2006 11:50:00 PM
The location at the edge of the ballpark is quite unique. This coaster makes the walk to this edge of the park worthwhile. The coaster gives a good ride in the back with a decent out of control feeling and a pretty smooth ride. When I wanted to go for a second ride on this coaster there was noone else around. The ops told me that they needed more people to run it, so I waited a few minutes until another rider came by and one of the ops got in a car to make 3 riders. Afterwards, not too many people were coming by and the operator showed me the controls and explained how the ride operates and told me a little history about the coaster, as well. Definitely, the best ride at this park.

4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up larrygator on 9/17/2005 9:31:00 PM
Sitting out in right field about 420 ft from home plate of the Altoona Curve is a white wooden structure called The Skyliner. I board a train towards the back of this classic coaster with just a buzzbar, no seatbelts, no seat divider. It does look very imposing, as we descend the first hill everyone gets floater air followed immediately by ejector air up the next hill. You gets lots of side the lats throughout the ride. As we are pulling into the station it does appear to me that the coasters is slowing down, so I brace myself for a quick stop but the ride op sounds like he is yelling "how about one more time". The whole train is hootin and hollerin as we go through another run, as we approach the station it appears the train is still moving at a good clip and the ride op is yelling the same thing as we zip through the station. The other passengers are still pretty excited. In the end the ride op proceeds to run us through 6 circuits, I love it but the of the passengers are quite upset yelling at this kid as I exit the station. These cars are also beautifully painted with the Altoona Curve logo and the letters G-O-C-U-R-V-E spelled out. A very nice touch

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up beastboy on 8/2/2005 11:39:00 PM
Not too shabby. Decent airtime, decent speed, and the visual of the ballpark is really cool and very unique. A classic coaster and a coaster any enthusiast should be proud to have on their ride list (especially since Leap-the-Dips was closed when I went )

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coasterwom on 4/16/2005 1:21:00 PM
This is a wood double out & back roller coaster.It delivers alot of airtime and has alot of hills. This is a classic John Allen coaster built in 1960. It was transported to Lakemont in 1987. Its a fun coaster to ride. I prefer to ride in the front of the car however, because its smoother. Its a must ride for an enthusiast.

4 Rating
+3 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Timberman on 11/30/2004 7:37:00 PM
No surprise, adult roller coaster enthusiast that I am, I have never been above teenage mellow drama. This tendency reached its apex (or nadir) in the 8th grade, when I spent an otherwise unproductive school year reading the entire SE Hinton canon. Ponyboy, the protagonist of her signature work, "The Outsiders," provides an apt analogy for the Skyliner. The Skyliner has not had an easy life. Its suffered neglect and dislocation. Just as Ponyboy was shunned as a Greaser by the socially advantaged Socs, the Skyliner is often berated and dismissed by those accustomed to a more refined roller coaster experience. Although innocent and sensitive by nature, the Skyliner can nonetheless lash out violently at those who trifle with it or refuse to show it the proper respect. Its the product of a time and place where you made your rep getting physical with people, and if they couldnt hack it, that was their problem, not yours. But Ponyboy and the Greasers discover that if you insist on confronting the world on your own terms, the world usually wins. Your honor and pride get you killed, and the ethic you fought for is demeaned as obsolete, a relic. Ponyboy was a Greaser with the heart of a poet, but he was never truly at home in either world. The Skyliner is the handwrought work of instinct and genius making its way in a world dominated by computer-modeled behemoths designed by dueling committees of engineers and lawyers. That world now threatens to overwhelm its elemental beauty and goodness. Stay gold, Skyliner, stay gold.

Translation: This is one of the last of a handful of truly old-school roller coasters in design and operation (at least it was as of 08/03). I first rode the Skyliner in 1987, after it was moved to Altoona, PA from Roseland Park in NY. John Allen, an acknowledged master of coaster design, is responsible for the Skyliners layout, and although it is not his very best work, it still delivers many of the hallmarks of the classic wooden roller coaster experience. First, the cars have no seat dividers, headrests, or seatbelts. You can squeeze as many people into a car as will fit; (skinny) moms and dad can ride with a kid. The only restraint is a single position lapbar that lets you experience the rides considerable laterals and negative Gs in all their unencumbered glory.

The Skyliner looks deceptively tame. Its not. You will experience serious ejector air on this ride. If youre sitting in the back seat, hold on. Although the ride is not particurlarly fast, the breaking on the Skyliner is (or at least used to be) nonexistent, so you hit the air-inducing elements at full steam, something almost unheard of for a wood coaster these days.

The operation of the ride is decidedly laissez faire. On one memorable occasion, I saw one of the lap bars of another car literally snap in half during boarding, and the ride op (who was maybe 15) simply had the person move to a different seat -- no big emergency, no stopping of the ride, no attorneys parachuting to the scene. On the flip side, the rides maintenance has been spotty, and Lakemont could take a lesson from Knoebels in this regard. I fear that if hasnt already been "modernized" (read: tamed) since I last rode it, its only a matter of time. Until then, its an indispensible link to an era to which well never return. For that, I give an eight.

Update: 9 July 2007

Im bumping my rating back up to a nine after several outstanding rides today featuring grab-the-lap-bar-for-dear-life airtime coming off the first drop in the back seat. When I complain that El Toro has no real airtime, this is exactly what Im talking about. Anyone who thinks that wooden roller roller coasters havent lost something with the nearly universal adoption of individually ratcheting lapbars, seatbelts, headrests, and seat dividers needs to experience this ride.

Props also to Lakemont for the excellent running condition of Skyl

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coaster05 on 3/13/2004 3:52:00 PM
Im going to stay with a 7 review now, but it looks like it could be higher after my summer trip. Lakemont was my first smaller park I ever went to. If you havent been to small parks give them a try. I got there at opening and went 15 minutes before i saw a customer, that was very cool. I drive about 9 hours to get to this park and I found it so worth it.

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