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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Fruits of Our Labor: Our "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip" Book

Our book has received a great reception and we could not be any happier with how things are shaping up. We worked hard to create a book that could help raise awareness for all of the great amusement parks and attractions Pennsylvania has to offer. An aim of ours is preserve. I have worked at running and restoring amusement rides before and unfortunately, due to a medical condition of mine, I am no longer able to do that or work in my trade as an educator for the moment. I am working to chronicle the joy of visiting Pennsylvania's great amusement parks through raising awareness. The state's parks include Kennywood in Pittsburgh, Knoebels in Elysburg, Dorney Park in Allentown, Waldameer in Erie, Hersheypark, Lakemont in Altoona, DelGrosso's near Altoona, Conneaut Lake Park, Idlewild in Ligonier and Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster.

The book covers the joy of visiting all of our state's great amusement parks and creates a great blueprint for taking a road trip or to simply expand knowledge about the heritage of our great parks. We include with interviews from folks that have enjoyed these parks for a lifetime along with interviews with ride manufacturers, designers and builders, and pioneering park managers that have ensured that these parks are still with us today instead of them having gone the way of places like the late San Souci Park, Rocky Glen Park, Harvey's Lake, Angela Park, Willow Grove Park and Rocky Springs Park.

There is so much interest in these great parks, their history and inexpensive getaways. We cannot afford to lose more of these great parks. We see the hole in the community when a park, roller rink, drive in theater or something else is torn down. One of the main goals of this book is to help stop more of these great parks from closing. Pennsylvania has more wooden roller coasters than any other state with 17. 

The joy of visiting an amusement park and the work involved in bringing that joy are the focuses of my book. Amusement Parks, just like books, are a wonderful place to just let go from the stresses of life. The joy of hearing the emanating sound of a band organ from a carousel or the rush of a coaster train hurtling by you with thrilled riders is what this book is all about. 

With each purchase of the book through the drop down menu on this page, we will send you a free Conneaut Lake Blue Streak ticket or a Lakemont Leap the Dips ticket. A portion of the proceeds from the book go to support those parks.

                           Lenny and Joe at Conneaut Lake              Lakemont's Leap the Dips  
Throughout the book we cover each park, some of their great attractions, their history, the joy the parks bring to folks, interviews with folks, places to stay around the parks, and interesting things to do that are local to the parks. By the end of the book, you will have a solid blueprint to create a full trip or some great weekend trips to visit the state with the most wooden roller coasters and some of the most spectacular carousels.

Seeing this whole book process come together has been so rewarding. It was great talking to park managers like Dick Knoebel of Knoebels and Paul Nelson of Waldameer along with ride builders and designers such as Mike Boodley and Chris Gray of GCI, Tom Rebbie of PTC, Charlie Dinn, Chad Miller of the Gravity Group and others.

Reviews: What some folks have to say about our book:
A review by the Allentown Morning Call Newspaper

What other folks have said about the book:

"I was really impressed with the content in your book.  Once I saw that interviews with park and ride company owners and representatives were in it, I just had to get this one for myself.  Heck, I learned things about my own place of work, Waldameer, while reading your book.  Your section on Knoebels was a favorite as well. Overall, the content itself was more than worth the price and those interviews are something you can't find in other roller coaster or amusement park books. Congratulations!" 

-Andrew Felice of Waldameer Park

"I really enjoyed your book. Of course knowing me, my favorite section was the Knoebels chapter. I also really enjoyed the PA ride manufacturers history. I liked hearing how hard the guys at PTC are working as well as Great Coasters International. They are the spirit of the amusement industry. The Waldameer bit was good too. The owner (Paul Nelson) reminds me a lot of Dick Knoebel being a hard worker and really putting a lot of effort into his park. I really would like to visit Waldameer. I keep saying SOMEDAY!! Conneaut Lake Park reminds me of Bushkill having such a unique and very rich history. I know they can survive and I hope ever attempt is made to keep it preserved. Dorney has a very unique history and I NEED to get there. Its close to me, probably about the same distance as Hershey, maybe a bit more. I want to thank you for taking the time to write a book, especially with the unique history PA has to offer."

-Leighton Brown 

"I recently bought and read,  "Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip".  It was a hard book to put down.  Not only was it chock full of interesting information, it was well written and fun to read.  This book enabled me to recall cherished memories of my own visits to amusement parks, and visit others through the eyes of the author.  Anyone who loves amusement parks will LOVE this book.

I hope there is a sequel. "

-Lynn Staude

Bethlehem's Moravian Book Shop was kind enough to host us for a book signing event on February 2nd, 2014

So be sure to check out our book, you will be sure to have a great plan to visit some parks and learn things about parks, their history and the hard work many people have put into ensuring that all have the chance to experience the joy of an amusement park. The book is available using the dropdown menu at the top of the page.

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