Cast of Characters:
Tim: Turks & Caicos Islands, age 30
Allison: New Jersey, age 30
Scott: NYC, age 28
Ryan: Toronto, Canada, age 27
We drove to Sandusky from Santa Claus, IN after visiting Holiday World on Friday. I think the drive took us about six and a half hours with an additional hour for the time change. We pulled into Breakers Express just after 11:00pm. After scorching all day at Holiday World with 90+ temperatures, we were quite stunned to get out of the car in 72 degree temps. I was really nervous about Breakers Express after reading lots of conflicting reports online. But, the lobby was very clean and bright, the staff was very attentive and assigned us a room in a matter of minutes. She said it would be best driving around to the back lobby, but we decided to walk. Besides, how far could the room possibly be? : )
After walking down the corridor which seemed to go on forever, we realized why she told us to drive. But, no big deal - we found the room. After attempting to use our keys in someone else’s door for several minutes, we finally got into our own room. It’s funny how room keys only work in your own door. : )
The room was clean, but frigid. So, we turned down the A/C and got ready for bed. Besides some stains in the carpet and just run of the mill furniture and bedding, the room was good. We weren’t expecting a Ritz Carlton, so it was better than we expected. We all slept REALLY well and were ready to get our day started in the morning. The only real complaint I’d have with Breakers Express would be the kids. It was a tad noisy in the morning with kids running around and doors slamming. But, it wasn’t really that big of a deal. If you’re looking for a place close to the Point with early entry, I don’t see any reason not to recommend Breakers Express.
Oh yeah, we were going to head off to McDonalds for breakfast, but the line for the drive thru had about ten cars in it and the interior counter was packed with people. So, we hopped back into the hotel lobby and partook in their pay continental breakfast. We had some donuts, muffins, coffee and water. We then all took some ibuprofen for the plethora of rides we were about to experience and headed off to the park.
We got to the toll plaza and stayed all the way to the left per our instructions. I told the two girls that we were there for VIP. It was hysterical because the one girl was all like, “Ooooohhhhhhhhh, VIP. Can I come with ya’ll?” while she snapped her finger and circled her arm through the air. We were all cracking up in the car. They were both very friendly and a fun start to the day. After they checked we were on the list, we headed off to the marina lot.
We found our marked spot and walked over to the entrance gate. We were about ten minutes early and didn’t have tickets, so I notified the guy working that we were there for VIP. He said they normally show up at 10:00 and to wait. So, we hung out and chatted. After everyone else went in at 10:00, I started to get nervous and went back to the employee and asked him to call someone. He called and said no one was there. So, ten minutes later I asked him to call again – still no answer. At this point I was starting to get angry because we were all overly anxious to get on with our day and couldn’t even get in to the park. Since the guy didn’t know anyone else to call, I grabbed a park map, called the number on the back and talked to the switchboard. Thankfully a really friendly lady answered, found the appropriate people and said they’d be down to meet us shortly. She couldn’t have apologized any more than she did, so we were ok at that point.
On the drive from Holiday World, we were all discussing what our escort might be like. We had no idea what kind of employee they would put with us or what the dynamic between our group of friends and a stranger would be. So, needless to say, we were quite nervous. However, that all vanished as soon as Emily (our escort) showed up.
We let her know our main intention with doing VIP was to get on as many rides as possible. So, off we headed to Top Thrill Dragster. On the way, Emily asked us where we wanted to ride and how many times. We asked if we were allowed to sit in the front row and she said of course. So, we walked up the exit, Emily talked to the ride op, and after about two trains, we were seated in the front two rows. Of course, as we pulled into the load station, we got a bunch of strange looks and comments. But, everyone seemed pretty ok with it. We continued this process three more times, once more in the front and twice in the back. In between each ride, we waited an average of about two trains before getting back on. I’ve never ridden in the front row of TTD before mainly because of the antagonizing wait. But, WOW. The front seat was amazing. You don’t really get airtime on the hill in the back, but in the front it’s insane. We all loved it.
We then headed off to ride Corkscrew once, Magnum twice and Gemini once. Since two of our group had either not been to Cedar Point, or not ridden everything, we tried to hit up Jr. Gemini purely for the credit. Needless to say, the ride op was a little surprised to see the five of us. Ha ha!! She had to call the office (or something) and we were politely told we could not ride unless we had a child with us. Since we didn’t want to look like pedophiles by asking around the midway for children, we decided to pass on Jr. Gemini and Woodstock Express. We’ll have to kidnap the kids next year! : )
Then it was time - time for Maverick. Or, for those of you in Ohio, it was time for the Maverick. : ) As most of you know, the station looks amazing. They did a really great job on incorporating the old White Water Landing station into the queue. So, up into the station we went and waited for the next trains to come in. Since it was all of our first time on this ride, we decided to take the front row in the first and second train. That way we all got front row for our first ride.
I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed the first time around. I put my arms up knowing that it would hurt. But, I wanted to experience it anyways. Well, like I thought, it hurt a ton. I still have bruises on my arms from the stupid restraints. But, I thought the drop, airtime hill, horseshoe roll, tunnel, and Stengel dives were all awesome. The tunnel would be stunning with the fog/smoke/mist or whatever it was. But, I have a feeling that’s not coming back. I also thought the ride would be pure perfection without the annoying OTSR, but again, I doubt that will ever happen.
We then rode back row a couple of trains later. Meh! Personally, I thought the back sucked. There was some wicked vibration in the back of the trains that felt like the wheels or bearings or something needed to be replaced. It distracted me from the entire ride it was so annoying. I held on this time, but my neck kept slamming into the restraints. Maybe I have no neck muscles or something, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep my head securely in the middle of the OTSR. On Mantis and other B&M coasters, I just push my head against one of the restraints, then I don’t have banging. But, with the Intamin restraints, that’s not possible. It was still fun, but definitely not my favorite ride in the park.
We took one last spin in the front row on two different trains. Allison and Scott were in the first train this time, and Ryan and I were in the second. Ryan and I began up the hill, there was a strange noise, we lurched forward and then started our slow rollback to the bottom of the lift. I was a tad confused since I then saw Allison and Scott continuing their way through the second half of the course. So, there was no stoppage in tunnel. I’m still not sure why we rolled back, but whatever. I got my first rollback on any ride, so I was happy! After several minutes, we finally launched back up the hill and completed the circuit without fail. Front seat holding on was MUCH better than my other two rides. So, I’ll remember this for next time.
This is when I tried to get a cheese on a stick. Much to my chagrin, they were unable to make them. So, I settled for a pretzel and glass of water. We offered Emily some food, and were amazed when she said she wasn’t allowed to eat in the park. I’m not sure why this is, but since she was going to be with us for thirteen hours, we asked her when she could eat. We discussed her trading off with someone else or us sitting down somewhere to eat and giving her a break. So, we decided we would sit down somewhere later in the day. We made sure to tell her to let us know if she was hungry because we felt bad she couldn’t eat.
We then headed off to ride Skyhawk several times, Mine Ride once and took the train up to the middle of the park. Skyhawk is still one of my favorite rides, but I wish the cycle was longer. The one minute just doesn’t seem long enough at all. I’ll keep hoping and praying that CP is able to lengthen the cycle sometime in the future. : )
On to Mantis. It was miraculously smooth. We rode this again later in the day and we weren’t so lucky. I’m not sure what it was, but it was like a completely different ride the second time around. I’ll have to remember that next year!
Millennium Force was up next. I’m not actually sure how many times we rode this. But, you can’t really beat MF as far as our group is concerned. We tried the front (which none of us had done), the back and I think somewhere in the middle. Like all the other rides, we got off after our ride, waited a couple trains, and then got back on. This is what we were instructed to do by the park, and we were completely fine with that. But, apparently the MF crew didn’t like us sticking around, and told us to leave. So, we left. It’s not like we were upset. But, the way they told us to leave made it seem like we were deliberately breaking the rules or something. Regardless, we had some amazing rides on MF and had no problem leaving and coming back again later.
I’m pretty sure we then took a couple rides on Iron Dragon and Wildcat, several on Power Tower and one more on TTD. Since Emily wasn’t allowed to eat in the park, we made reservations to sit down at Game Day Grille and she went back to the office for a break from us crazies!
Game Day Grille was good. I was quite impressed. We purposely picked this restaurant because we didn’t want to frequent ANY chain restaurants at the park. So, Fridays, Famous Dave’s and Johnny Rockets were all out. But, we had a great meal, we thought it was very affordable and then hung out on the patio and watched people for a bit before meeting back up with Emily.
While we were waiting, we noticed a TON of people smoking. I didn’t mention it before, but there were people all over the park smoking. It was actually worse this year than any prior year I’ve been to the park. I know the park was busy, but I didn’t see one sign saying that smoking was prohibited. They really need to do something like Holiday World does with banners all around the park promoting the park as smoke free. I’ll give the guests the benefit of the doubt and say they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to smoke. I knew and still never saw any signs. So, I can see how the average guest would be oblivious to the rule. Emily got major bonus points though when she asked one gentleman to put out his cigarette because he wasn’t permitted to smoke. Have I mentioned how much we loved her? : )
Blue Streak, Raptor, maXair, Disaster Transport, Wicked Twister and Chaos were then on the list. Raptor was awesome as usual. The cameras were really cool, but they never worked for the front row on ANY of our rides. Actually, I think one half of the row was working (albeit in a green fuzzy haze) on one ride. The rest were all blank. So, we weren’t able to get a photo or video.
Against my better judgment, we rode Disaster Transport. Thankfully we didn’t have to use the queue. But, the ride was no better. I was sorta stunned the ride was pitch black. But, they lit up the lift with those crappy fair lights? What is that about? Why not have the lift be pitch black too? The ride itself was pretty good. I’ve always liked the ride, but despised the theming. But, oh well.
Emily convinced us to all ride in the back of Wicked Twister even though we always ride in the front. I’ll be honest and say the back was really fun. The last push up the back tower was intense! Thanks Emily.
At this point, it started drizzling. When I say drizzling, we felt single drops of water on our arms like every other minute. But, it seemed like every single coaster in the park went down. Thankfully we had already ridden everything at least once (except Mean Streak which we were intentionally saving for last!). We didn’t want to injure ourselves at the beginning of the day – that’s for sure. But, we ended up at Mean Streak anyways since it was the only thing running. It was running one train. We actually heard the queue was three hours. The last time I remember the queue being that long was opening season. But, we rode, and we actually liked it. We were all stunned. But, we figured out if you sit straight up, don’t touch the seat back and hold on to the bar, it doesn’t hurt.
We rode Skyhawk a couple more times in the rain (I LOVE this ride) and took another spin on Mine Ride. Maverick was still busted. We later found out it was down for mechanical for almost six hours that day. Luckily we got on when we did. We were hoping for a night ride too, but I guess that will wait until next year. I then tried for another cheese-on-a-stick to be denied one last time. Apparently that food stand closes early. : ( Since we were in the back, we decided to ride Mean Streak again. The ride ops there (mainly Kyle) were really fun, so we were like, “why not?” It wasn’t as good this time. We decided to ride second row and second to last row so we didn’t inconvenience the other guests too much. What we discovered was the second row in each car is way rougher than the first row in each car. Again, we’ll remember that next year!
At this point, the night was almost over. So, we decided to hit up MF one or two more times before we left. This is where the big fiasco of the day occurred. What we didn’t realize at the time was that MF was down for mechanical and rain for quite some time before we got there. They were transferring off one of the trains as we walked into the station. Then the trains sat idle for a couple minutes and they decided to start loading again. Well, the ride ops decided to put us in the front two rows and also a couple rows of disabled guests right behind us. We asked if we should wait a couple of trains before getting on and they said to just get on. As soon as we stepped into the train, the entire load station and queue started booing. Then they started chanting “bull sh1t, bull sh1t”. It was a little nerve racking. But, we had an amazing night ride anyways.
After this is when we realized the coaster was down for a long time right before we got on. Had we known that at the time, we probably would have come back a little later. We loved the front of the line access, but we were trying to be “fair” to everyone else by letting trains pass and not always picking the same rows. Sometimes people got into the row which was supposed to be for us, and we would just wait for the next train. It wasn’t really an issue. We weren’t trying to screw people, just ride as much as we could and take advantage of a perk the park offered.
We had one last ditch effort to see if Maverick was open, but it was still closed. I believe it was 10:50 at this point. From Maverick, we saw a train of people crest TTD. So, we took off running to the ride to see if we could get there before 11:00. Unfortunately, as we approached, it broke. LOL!! Oh well. We took one last drop ride on Power Tower and called it a night.
- Our VIP escort, Emily, was the best person we could have had with us that day!
- The weather was absolutely beautiful.
- VIP was totally worth it! I’d recommend it to anyone.
- Brad (Maverick), Elliott (TTD), Kyle (Mean Streak) and the girl with big white sunglasses (Raptor) were our four favorite ride ops of the day. They were fun to chat with and made our time at their rides very enjoyable. The deserve promotions.
- This was one of, if not THE best day we’ve ever had at Cedar Point.
Like I said before, if you can only make it to Cedar Point once a year and it happens to be a notoriously busy day, do VIP if you can afford it. It was worth every cent.
Like I said before, if you can only make it to Cedar Point once a year and it happens to be a notoriously busy day, do VIP if you can afford it. It was worth every cent.
(it warms the cockles of my heart to read that)
Thanks for the VIP TR.
Also, I am not too familiar with the plan or the perks of Cedar Point's VIP, but you were kind to get out and give the regular peeps a turn.
That says a lot about YOU and your friends!
Your comment "This was one of if not THE best day we've ever had at Cedar Point" made me think about the whole pay-to-cut / qbot / is it fair debate that never seems to end on this site.
Would this day have nearly as perfect if you didn't have the option to pay for the perks you got? Keep in mind, I'm not one to talk, and I (when need be) am a gold bot weasel.
(5 minutes Later) I just looked it up. Your crew spent $1400 for the fantastic experience you had. That's some mega cash. I spend about $65 for a gold bot. It's not front of the line access, but it's all the makings of a good day. I just can't see a typical family of four doing VIP.
I'm glad you had a perfectd day. May I ask if you tipped Emily? (By the way, if I was an employee, that is the position I would want.) *** Edited 8/23/2007 4:41:36 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***
Last year I went with nine friends and we had a ton of fun. We happened to luck out on a Friday in August with average to short queues. But, waiting in line can be just as much (if not more fun) than riding the rides. So, it all depends on the day, the experience and who you're with. It takes something really dramatic to happen for my friends and I not to have a good time at a park.
Most of the queues on our VIP day were 1-3 hours long. So, we would have barely got on 7-10 rides in a 13 hour period - not including the drizzle shut down of the park. Would we have had fun, most definitely. We always do at Cedar Point. But, we just had so much fun with Emily, the ride ops, and the different rides all day that made the experience priceless for us.
The escorts aren't allowed to accept tips from us. But, we're taking care of saying thanks to Emily outside of the park.
So based on the $1400 price someone mentioned above, it was $350 a person.
What all was included with this? If it was just admission and unlimited access to rides, it seems Six Flags has a much better deal with their VIP program.
You get two on-ride photos per person, priority parking, priority seating at restaurants and shows, plus the escort. For us, it was a bargain.
However...slow days aren't common, and doing this on a Saturday in July or August would be priceless!!
My two questions to you:
1. Assuming she's still there next year, could Emily be requested for a VIP escort?
2. Did you get any access to "executive bathrooms"? I could have sworn I read somewhere that either the VIP at SF or CP had some perk where you had access to a luxurious, air-conditioned, and completely clean bathroom in a VIP lounge or something...that would be TRUE VIP treatment! (plus Emily could definitely get another break! :)
I'm sure you can request escorts, but I doubt the park can guarantee anything. Keep in mind, these people have "regular" jobs too. So, I'm sure who you get assigned has a lot to do with how many other VIP groups are in the park that day and what their other responsibilities are that day.
I've never heard of executive bathrooms at any park. But, I can assure you we got no access to anything like that at Cedar Point. LOL!
The one minute just doesn’t seem long enough at all. I’ll keep hoping and praying that CP is able to lengthen the cycle sometime in the future. : )
Ugh. My wife and I are not going to the park until late October this season, and it is disappointing they havent given SkyHawk the "MaxAir" treatment.
Glad you had a blast!
That sounds kind of frustrating seeing as how much you had spent for this program that is offered by the park. What was Emily's reaction during this?? Did she have anything to say about it to you guys, or anything to say towards the MF crew? If you guys went back later it must have not been too bad.
I think we were at MF three different times throughout our day at the park. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night. We averaged three rides per visit.
Would we have been happy with more rides? Of course! Were we happy with nine? Uh yeah - totally!
edited for grammar *** Edited 8/23/2007 7:51:09 PM UTC by halltd***
Was Emily pretty hot? Is that why you liked getting stuck with her all day? Any pictures of her?
Front of the line and just stay on access is quite hard to beat.
I just know that I would NEVER do either with my family. Just too expensive. Since they don't offer the VIP for a single rider, I don't think it will ever happen for me.
Thanks for the lengthy, detailed and unusual report. (I'm just glad I didn't have to pay a premium to read it!)
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