The Comet Rollercoaster was officially open for business in 1948. The famous wooden coaster was constructed with a large chunk of materials from “the Cyclone”, another famous coaster from Crystal Beach. The Comet is arguably the most popular attraction from the Crystal Beach Amusement Park.
Designer Herb Schmeck (who had much to do with the revitalization of the Cyclone years prior) created the Comet as part of three coaster series. The Hersheypark “Comet” (1946) and the San Antonio “Rocket”(1947) each share similar track design and features as the Crystal Beach Comet.
Most thrill seekers that road the Comet would tell you that the best part was climbing that first 96 foot hill while gazing down on the lake water. Right as you began to descend, you could look up and get a great view of the Buffalo Skyline accross the lake. In the year 1985, the park actually modified the trains of the Comet, splitting them in half, so that one could ride facing backwards or forwards. This really made it 2 rides in one!
The Crystal Beach Comet used three 4-car, 3-bench trains. Designed in the ‘double out & back’ style, 29 metres high, with a drop of 27 metres, 1280 metres long. These strong measurements made it the longest in the Schmeck Comet Series. Originally, the trains inluded windscreens on the front cars and bars on the the sides of the seats to aid riders in entering and exiting the cars. The ride open on May 22, 1948. When the Crystal Beach Amusement Park Closed, the Comet was sold for $210,000 and moved to the Albany area park ‘the Great Escape”.
In 1975, the Smithsonian Institute rated the Comet in it’s top 10 coasters in the world.