Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Park Days: Tuesday, August 30th and Wednesday August 31st
This was our first trip to Cedar Point and we figured this would be a good time to go considering the kids were back in school and it was nearing the end of the season. It turned out to be a great decision. The crowd was down and the weather was perfect.
We departed central Pennsylvania on the evening of August 29th. After about a 5 hour drive, we were crossing the causeway to the park. Talk about an amazing site – even with it being very late at night! We made the short drive around the park to where we were staying – Sandcastle Suites. The lady at the front desk was extremely pleasant and very knowledgeable (a theme that would continue throughout our trip). The room was very nice, clean, and rather picturesque – providing a beautiful view of Lake Erie.
We woke up the next morning a bit late and rushed around to make the early opening for resort guests. It was a warm, clear morning so the walk down the boardwalk was amazing. That was one of the main reasons we selected Sandcastle Suites over Hotel Breakers. Although Breakers is closer, we really wanted to walk the boardwalk. It was a good choice. Somehow we made it on time for the early entrance opening.
So, at this point, the chronological story ends and I’ll just spend a bit of time talking about things individually. I won’t hit EVERY ride – just the big stuff.
Top Thrill Dragster
This was probably the main reason we went to Cedar Point. Earlier in the summer we overheard a conversation between two folks in the line for Hershey’s Storm Runner talking about how Cedar Point had a massively larger version of Storm Runner. Check. This ride is 20 seconds of pure unadulterated intensity. The crawl out onto the launch pad is incredibly suspenseful. What else can be said about the rest of the ride? The launch is jaw dropping, the climb is amazing, and the drop through the 270° twist is crazy awesome. Overall, we ended up getting 6 rides on Dragster between the two days in the park and not once did we wait more than 30 minutes – and we rode in the front row each and every time. Amazingly, we got a ride on every color train. I think that’s gotta be some sort of record! So, in conclusion, this ride is 100% awesomeness – I just wish it was longer!
While MF can’t match Dragster’s short-burst intensity, it does provide amazing greatness for several minutes. This was our favorite ride in the park (although, not by much). Personally, I’m not a huge fan of heights, so the climb up the lift hill was somewhat disconcerting for me. Thank God it goes quickly. The drop is incredible and the ride is extremely smooth with plenty of good airtime on the smaller hills. This is just an incredible ride throughout. We got on MF 4 times total, and again, got to experience the ride on all three color trains. I guess we’re just lucky. Our first ride was on the front seat, but we decided not to wait for the rest of the rides and chose the back instead. Surprisingly, I think we both enjoyed the back seat more. The ride just felt more intense.
We didn’t get on Wicked Twister until our second day at the park. It was down almost all of the first day (the train was stuck on the launch segment). I guess after riding Dragster and MF, this ride doesn’t seem like much. But it’s pretty cool. We ended up riding it twice (back to back rides – there was NO line for it). We hit the front seat the first time and back seat the second time. We prefer the back. Climbing-up the tower backwards just seemed much cooler.
We rode this after our two rides on Wicked Twister and only because we were over there and Maxair had just broken down. The queue line was pretty cool and we actually waited about 20 minutes for the ride. I had a difficult time understanding what was going on during the ride and I kept waiting for something somewhat intense to happen. But it didn’t. Oh well, what can you expect from it? It was cool to get out of the sun for 30 minutes.
By the time we got off Disaster Transport, Maxair was back running. This ride is very cool. I believe I’ve been on a smaller version of it at Hershey Park. This one blows that one away. I was amazed at how fast the ride moves – it just doesn’t appear to be moving that quickly when you’re watching it. This was our favorite non-coaster ride by a mile.
We had been to Dorney Park earlier in the season so our direct comparison to Magnum was Steel Force. Honestly, I don’t recognize much of a difference between the two. My friend prefers Steel Force – I’d say I prefer Magnum. For some reason I feel like Magnum runs smoother and delivers more airtime. I could be wrong about that, but as I’m sitting here writing this, that’s what I remember feeling when I got off Magnum. We rode it twice, once in the front and once in back. AGAIN, both of us preferred the back on this ride. That’s kind of becoming a reoccurring theme.
From the outside looking in, this thing looks like a giant. I guess only an idiot would expect it to be a smooth ride. Call at least me an idiot. After riding the front seat, we spent the next 15 or so minutes trying to find a shop that sold Advil (I’m not joking). I guess overall it’s a good wooden coaster but I’ve been on others that are much less painful. This was one of our first rides of our first day, so it kind of put a damper on the idea of riding the other wooden coasters. So, we never did get on Gemini or Blue Streak (actually, Gemini didn’t appear to be running at all the second day we were there). I sort of regret not riding Blue Streak – about as much as I regret riding Mean Streak.
We hopped on this ride once because it was right next to Dragster and it looked like a classic. We rode the front seat. I guess we can’t say we were disappointed because I don’t think we expected much from it. It’s old, what else can you say. I guess in a way I’d say the ride was painful, but not nearly as bad as Mean Streak.
We waited a good deal for this ride because only one of the swings was running. It’s a good ride, but not near as intense as Maxair. I also had the unfortunate event of sitting next to a 10 year old girl who screamed the entire time. And this wasn’t a scream of excitement – she was downright petrified.
We rode both towers once and waited less than 10 minutes for each. The launch towers give me a headache and I don’t know what it is. So I greatly prefer the drop tower. We had the angle that faced out onto the water which was very cool.
This ride is awesome and I almost prefer it over Millennium Force. The only thing that keeps from saying that it IS my favorite ride in the park is the restraints. They’re beyond painful. We rode this three times and all three times I got slammed into my chair by the harness/bar combination. The bottom bar was smashing me so hard on the thigh that I had what looked like welts for several hours after riding. Enough said about that because the ride itself is awesome. It’s pretty cool to fly up a lift hill that quickly and the drop into the turn is amazing. The turn out of the launch is awesome. This is just an amazingly intense ride packed-up in a small package. I wish we would have gotten on it a few more times but this was the worst line in the park. We waited about 30 minutes each time.
After riding Great Bear and Talon earlier in the summer, we had somewhat high expectations for Raptor. It didn’t disappoint. I’d say this is definitely better than Great Bear but Talon just seemed much faster to me. I doubt they’re very far apart from one another in top speed, but I’d bet Talon’s is higher. We rode Raptor twice, once each day, once in the front seat and once in the back seat. We prefer the front on this ride.
Neither of us had been on a stand-up coaster before Mantis. I’ll tell ya, it’s a weird feeling. This ride was pretty good – a bit hard on the groin region. I thought the ride seemed very smooth. I believe I’ve read where some people find Mantis to be rough. I didn’t feel this at all. We only rode it once, and we chose the back seat. I’d like to get back on this thing in the front some day.
I thought I’d just hit some other highlights of our trip. We ate a few meals at the park and it was very convenient being able to charge it to the room. We ate lunch at Chik-fil-a both days and had good meals both days. We had dinner the first night at the TGI Fridays at Hotel Breaks – great service and good food.
We also played both miniature golf courses at Challenge Park. We’re both connoisseurs of mini golf and hit up as many courses as we can find. These were alright – I found them to be pretty easy. But they were well maintained, clean, and pretty cheap to play.
Overall, this was an awesome trip and we had the time of our lives. The park staff is so friendly at Cedar Point – probably some of the friendliest I have ever encountered at a park. The ride staffs were friendly, knowledgeable, and the ones on Top Thrill Dragster were rather funny. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much waiting in line for a ride.
We were just impressed with everything and we’ll definitely be back!
Thanks for the nicely written and pleasant-to-read TR, Crackberry. Welcome to Coasterbuzz.
Speaking as someone whose home park is the Point (or at least it is at present, now that a certain other park that was half the distance was rudely and summarily closed a few years ago -- but that's another story*), I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Those of us who live within day trip distance of the park tend to forget what an absolute gem we have.
It's too bad you didn't get a chance to ride Blue Streak. As violent and organ-jarring as Mean Streak can be, its little brother is nothing but smooth, classic sweetness with nice little pops of airtime. Oh, and Gemini is only a wooden-structure coaster; the track is tubular steel.
*Wry humor intended.
My author website: mgrantroberts.com
Nice TR, except the part about eating at Chick-fil-A.
Ensign Smith said:
It's too bad you didn't get a chance to ride Blue Streak. As violent and organ-jarring as Mean Streak can be, its little brother is nothing but smooth, classic sweetness with nice little pops of airtime.
Smooth and nice little pops? Used to be rockin'!
Great report. Gemini may not seem running as they have may went down to one-side operation due to slower crowds.
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