Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Idlewild's Rollo Coaster

Situated near Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Idlewild and Soak Zone was founded in 1878 by Thomas Mellon, as a campground along the Ligonier Valley Railroad. Idlewild is the oldest operating amusement park in Pennsylvania, third oldest in the United States, and twelfth oldest in the world.

The Mellon family owned and operated Idlewild for over 100 years, expanded the park from that small campground to thriving amusement park. During the fall of 1937, the park contracted the Philadelphia Toboggan Company about building a wooden coaster

A formal proposal was drawn up on Dec 8th, at a cost of $3,600 and that proposal was approved at a directors meeting on 12/22/37. Designed by Herbert Schmeck, the 908 foot long Rollo Coaster was built with wood cut on park property, using a sawmill built nearby specifically for the project.

Located in the Old Idlewood section of the park, on the parking lot side of the Merry-Go-Round, Rollo Coaster's design takes full advantage of the terrain, allowing the hills of the coaster to get bigger after the 1st drop.

The rides outbound leg runs through the woods on the top side of the hill and the inbound leg runs along the bottom

While there is a lot of fun, quirky attractions at Idlewild, at 72 year old young the classic Rollo Coaster is still the star attraction, offering thrilling rides to enthusiasts of all age