We went to Lakemont Park in Altoona for exactly one reason: to ride “Leap-The- Dips”, the oldest operating roller coaster in the world. It is also the only side-friction roller coaster operating in the US – such construction gives the feeling that the coaster could fly off the track at any moment. We finally arrived only to see a small sign on the ticket window: “Leap-The-Dips is not open today.”
I immediately flashed back to the movie “Vacation” and felt like Clark Griswold at Walley World. The lady at the box office said, “I’m sorry – the coaster is old. It might be fixed in a few days.” We did walk over to Leap-the-Dips, which looks like it’s being held together with Scotch tape. Vivian exclaimed, “I’m glad this thing isn’t working – you might have been killed!”
Lakemont feels like a creepy deserted amusement park you might find in an old Scooby-Doo episode. There were more employees than guests at the park, and the employees look bored and depressed. We did ride Toboggan, a portable enclosed coaster, and Skyliner, a wooden coaster from the 1960s that bordered the minor league baseball stadium next door. They do have some classic carnival rides, paddle boats, a small water park, and an arcade, but overall, I would stay away, unless you really want to ride Leap-the Dips. We quickly departed in our Dodge Mystery Machine before some ghoul in a rubber mask started chasing me, Daphne, and Shaggy around the park.
Lakemont Roller Coasters ridden: 2
Total for the tour after four parks: 24