Home > Pennsylvania > Lakemont Park > Leap-The-Dips

Leap-The-Dips
Website: Lakemont Park Homepage
Ride Type: Wooden Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 3.8000
TPC Overall Rank: Rides need more than 25 reviews to be ranked.
Reviews: 23
Last Review: 9/7/2008 9:09:00 PM
In User Top 10: 0 times.
User Tracker Count: 55 times.
 

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4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up shag9004 on 9/7/2008 9:09:00 PM
Date Ridden: Summer of 2008. Times Ridden: 1 Welcome to a short review on the most significant coaster operating today. Well, that may be a little dramatic, but Leap-The-Dips is the oldest operating coaster in the world. It has been in existence since 1902 and thanks to some TLC from the current ACE organization is still running wonderfully. The ride itself is known as a side-friction coaster in which the car continuously bounces along the track at a whopping 7 MPH meandering along and at times &quot.leaping the dips&quot. which are tiny 4 -5 foot drops along the track. There is only 1 car which seats two riders in the front and two in the back. Think of the typical Santa Clause sleigh minus the package of presents in the back and you have the Leap-The-Dips car. There are no restrains/seat belts as one climbs in, is pushed to the lift hill by the 14 year old ride op, and off you go. The ride seems fairly lengthy mainly because it is so slow. However, for a coaster of its age and historical importance it is a fun and smooth ride. Lakemont Park itself is a small park with three coasters including the Starliner which overlooks the local minor league baseball field. We entered on a weekday morning and paid 3 bucks for a ride all day wristband. We only had about an hour but it was an hour and 3 dollars well spent. I am confused as to why the park does not market this ride more. Being the oldest coaster in the world, they have an excellent drawing card to bring in visitors as the park is located right off the freeway. A few billboards and a cheap ride ticket for the Dips would bring in even non-enthusiasts who wanted to simply say they had ridden the oldest operating coaster. I absolutely loved the ride. I actually debated on giving it a 10 as there is nothing in the world to compare it to but decided on a 9. It is definitely a ride I personally will never forget. I hope and pray that this wonderful little piece of Americana continues its run for another 100 years.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up 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.

4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Timberman on 8/17/2008 5:18:00 PM
I&#39..ve ridden Leap-the-Dips a number of times over the years but could never bring myself to review it. Here is a coaster that truly deserves the overused designation of being in a class of its own. It is also, as many have said, a can&#39..t-miss experience for the devoted roller coaster enthusiast. Yet can one fairly take into account this ride&#39..s historical significance and singularity when trying to rate it against other undeniably more sophisticated and thrilling installations? In this case, I would say yes. My personal approach to reviewing roller coasters is to rate them not along a defined set of characteristics or elements but as an experience that is more or less moving, significant, or memorable than other similar experiences. I will adjust somewhat for such characteristics as nostalgia, artistic merit, trailblazing significance, or excellence in one or more of my favorite coaster attributes. On the whole, however, I try to capture the overall impression the ride left on me, an admittedly capricious and unscientific measure. Judged by this rather obscure standard, Leap-the-Dips is certainly among the highlights of my track record, and a ride whose considerable merit should have broad appeal, although perhaps for reasons that may vary from person to person. If you think that all this ride offers is historical significance, however, you are seriously underestimating the fun to be had.

First, the ride. What really prompted me to review this coaster at long last was that I was totally unprepared for how much faster and more exciting the two circuits I experienced yesterday were than any I&#39..ve had since Leap-the-Dips was restored and reopened in 1999. The speed off the lift was more like that of a Wild Mouse than the stately shuffle I had come to expect. This added some nice lateral forces, although certainly not a Mouse-like whipping effect. What impressed me most, however, was what that speed did for the titular dips, those wonderful little depressions in the track that turn an otherwise pleasant sight-seeing trip into something approaching a thrill ride. Suddenly, the coaster&#39..s quaint, quirky sobriquet made perfect sense. You literally do leap the dips when you hit those depressions with a nice head of steam. What makes the ride even more fun is that the dips get deeper and more boisterous as the circuit goes on, with one double-dip in particular likely to have you reaching for the grab bar. That&#39..s another thing. That grab bar is the only restraint on the ride, which is why, on our most memorable trip, we were able comfortably to seat two adults and four kids in our leaping, diving little coach. Vice-like and unnecessary restraints are perhaps the single most deplorable aspect of modern roller coasters to me, and to enjoy unencumbered even the relatively tame forces of Leap-the-Dips is so liberating a breath of fresh air as to be worth a full point in my rating. When I&#39..m pinned two inches deep into vinyl and foam, I don&#39..t care what sort of what sort of neck-stretching, rocket-like &quot..uplift&quot.. a 70-mph ride has to offer. It will never activate my coaster-loving neurons like being flung into the air and splayed over my seat, even at 14 mph. I actually sustained a few bruises leaping the dips yesterday, a circumstance caused wholly by my bony frame and stubborn insistence on riding with my hands up. The coaches themselves, besides being the most handsome and classy in the business, are also very comfortable and well-padded and should provide less skeletal riders one happy landing after another.

Another reason I love this ride is that it offers the perfect venue for a full-sized coaster credit to those budding enthusiasts not yet ready to graduate to something like the Pheonix or Jack Rabbit. Big drops and speed are still too intense for four-and-a-half-year-old T2, but respectable height coupled with manageable velocity and the primal joy of being lofted skyward hit exactly the right note. Not only that, but the whole Timber nuclear family could fit three-across for some priceless coaster bonding and shared fun. That puts LtD in a vanishingly small cohort of rides and is worth another point to this proud coaster dad.

All the other stuff that impressed me you&#39..ve alrady read about in other reviews. This ride is beautiful to look upon, and perfectly complements not just one of the neatest collections of vintage rides in America, but at $9.95 for a one-day &quot..Ride and Slide Pass,&quot.. one of the country&#39..s greatest entertainment bargains. We were fortunate to visit during a classic car and street rod rally, adding to the park&#39..s already surreal sense of timelessness. If that weren&#39..t enough, I was stunned to find an original, fully-operational Space Invaders video game in the arcade, still allowing kids to save the earth for 25 cents.

I&#39..m not a student of physics or coaster technology, and I don&#39..t know why Leap-the-Dips was running in such fine form during yesterday&#39..s visit. The explanation may have have been as simple as getting the right weight distribution in the coach, but if so, that lightening struck twice with no forethought on our part. Whatever the case may be, the ride came alive for me as never before, and a coaster so well known for preserving a treasured note of the past had me thinking only of simple, unrestrained fun in the here and now.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up T-Rex on 12/31/2007 8:55:00 AM
Good old classic coaster that Im glad Lakemont resurected. The ride is in excellent condition and the cars looked great and were comfortable as well. Having no restraints was cool and while the ride lacked major drops, it did actually gain some decent speed during the ride and there was even a little air time.

5 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up adriahna on 11/12/2007 7:03:00 PM
I was utterly charmed by this unique, and deeply historic, little side-friction gem of a roller coaster. I was lucky enough to get the days first ride in, after enjoying a lengthy gander at the wonderful loading station (the little set of "stalls" in which extra cars wait their turn is really something), as well as the great displays focusing on Leap-the-Dips historic importance. The ride itself? Unlike anything else, to be honest. Picture sitting comfortably in a little couch, being pushed by hand onto a lift hill complete with wooden rollback bars, and then letting gravity pull you through a series of polite turns, with the occasional, assertive light-airtime dip thrown in for good measure. The coaster gains a bit of speed from time to time, and is actually surprisingly spicy at moments - I found myself laughing out loud at the sensations created by this rather wacky coaster, thats been hanging around since the centurys turn. Give or take a few years. Highly recommended - and yes, a total must-ride for coaster junkies.

3 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up sowinski on 8/12/2006 12:07:00 AM
A unique ride to be sure, but not in a thrilling way. The sled like cars with no restraints are pretty sweet. How often do you get to ride a piece of history? The lack of a modern style queue area is also unique. One for the ages, but it clearly illustrates that coaster engineering has come a very long way in delivering a thrilling coaster ride.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up no cars go on 6/10/2006 6:58:00 PM
Leap-the-Dips, what an interesting coaster. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to ride this hands-on coaster museum. When I was first in line, all jumpy and excited, the ops overloaded the car and jammed the lift hill - right in front of me. I almost cried! But after a ride on the train I went back in line and it was fixed. I was going CRAZY. I was so happy, yet nervous that it might break down again. The seats are SO comfortable and it is like a trip back in time. I screamed on 2 of the bunny hops, not of thrill, but of fear that the car might fall right off the track. You can feel the car bump back and forth off the sides of the track. Overall, it is a lot of fun and every coaster enthusiast must go on it.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up larrygator on 9/21/2005 11:16:00 PM
I didnt expect much of a ride, just a history lesson. However, this is a fun and enjoyable little coaster. It looks like something you can build by yourself but many people have taken a lot of care in bringing this ride back to life. While it might not be thrilling by todays standards, the lack of restraints adds to the excitement. The air you get in certain spots is reminiscent of driving your car over a swooping hill a little too fast.

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coasterwom on 4/16/2005 1:09:00 PM
This is a coaster that has to rode by all enthusiasts. Gives good air time on the hills and good speed with a loaded car. The cars are classics with no seat belts or lap bar. This coaster cant be compared to the modern coasters built today. The best part is they have to push the car to the hill in the loading station and they use the old braking system to stop the coaster. Its also the oldest coaster in the world. Leap the Dips is a wood roller coaster. (side friction). It was built by E. Joy Morris. It is fast, fun, rerideable, it has a large capacity, and a long duration.

4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up coaster05 on 3/12/2004 6:18:00 PM
Like everyone else its hard to rate this ride. But it is the best side friction coaster out there. I gave it a nine because I dont want to go 10 happy. The best way to phrase it, its like rideing a roller coaster museum. If you are in Altoona make sure to ride it.

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