Cedar Point - 7/23/03

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, July 24, 2003 8:46 PM
The final stop in the "Super Roller Coaster and Robot Weekend" was none other than Cedar Point. The parking attendant gave us the little pink slip that said Dragster would be opperating today. The rain was supposed to hold off till the evening, if it even came. It would be in the lower 70's. This would be a perfect day...

We got to the park about 9:00 and got in line at the gates. Not a lot of people, but enough to give us a significant wait for Dragster if it opened on time. At 9:30, we were let in. We took our place in the Dragster line at the fence next to the Iron Dragon pretzel (but before the corkscrews). At 10:00, the first train launched...and rolled back. Ten minutes later, the same thing happened. Finally at about 10:40, another train launced and it cleared the tower. After a few more tests, the gates were opened and the first sets of riders were let on the ride (11:00ish). We reach the end of the actual line, right were the line seperates into front and back train, and the ride proceeds to break down . At about 11:20, things started to move smoothly again (this was after passengers were stuck in the train and a wheel brushed some sort of valve, knocking it off of whatever it was resting on, to hang by the the tubing and start hissing...apparantly it didn't affect anything adversely though, unless it became a problem later on). We get into the station and decide to wait for front, but quickly back out after realizing it would be another hour. We opt for second row (second train) instead. Then another breakdown. This one took a while. We noticed earlier while on the midway that there was one brake fin on the launch that wasn't retracting. This must have been the problem because there were mechanics in a cherry picker working on something on the launch around that area. Finally, at about 12:20, the ride reopened and ran smoothly for a while. We got our ride at about 12:30 and while not the best ride I've every been on, it certainly is a rush. Its really neat to be able to look down on Millennium Force and see it so small. The downward spiral is great if you're in the left seat too.

So finally we can enjoy the rest of the park. Magnum had a 20 minute wait and still provided a wonderful ride.

Gemini had about a 10 minute wait for front side. Still very smooth, except for the end of the helix finale.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride is still fun, but the smaller people in the car caused my great discomfort...I'm larger than average and that darn single position lap bar squeezed me pretty good.

We then decided to go to the Town Hall Museum for the first time ever to see the Gemini banners and find models of Blue Streak, Mean Streak, and the log flume. I never knew they existed, but they were very cool.

We then headed over to Mean Streak and had the longest wait we've ever had (20 minutes). The back seat provided very little air, but least it wasn't as rough as I remember it (2000 was the last time we were there).

After lunch, my brother and I decided to go on the Space Shot side of Power Tower since we have entered our "no fear" stage and will try any flat ride or other ride. We've done smaller Space Shots (Indiana Beach), but weren't sure what to expect on the much larger largre counterpart. The launch was very smooth and quick. I could be heard saying something like this: "This is nothing! This is nothing!" Then we hit the top and catch major air: "There's something!!! Oh man...there's something alright!!!!" Pretty funny, but you kinda had to be there.

Back to Raptor for a 15 minute wait. Here is where I take points away from Cedar Point. For some reason, the ride attendant was cramming people into the station. There was a large line for front, and because of that, he was not allowing anyone else to wait for the front row. There was absolutely no need to pack the station like that, especially with a short line like that. I really haven't experienced anything like that anywhere else. As for the actual ride, it has now become my favorite inverted. We sat in the fifth row and I never once hit my head on the restraints. It was an absolutely perfect ride with many G's andno brakes throughout the entire right (not even midcourse).

Blue Streak had no wait at all and is still easily the best wood in the park. I just realized that the train at MIA said that Shivering Timbers is the only Out and Back wooden coaster in the world....if thats the case, what is Blue Streak!??!

Disaster Transport had a 30 minute wait. Don't pay for the 3-D glasses...there are no effects at all. Just enjoy the ride and the darkness...its more fun that trying to see stuff that whizzes by.

Wicked Twisted didn't seem to be running at full speed...therefore we deemed it to be too similar to Vertical Velocity and not worth the 30 or so minute wait. We instead waited for the Giant Wheel and I was able to take lots of good pictures of everything.

Back to the middle of the park, it was time for Iron Dragon and Wildcat. Both are still good rides. Wildcat had a longer wait that expected (15 minutes), but it IS a Schwarzkopf...=)

"Top Thril Paddleboats" was next. We did this instead of Mantis and Millennium Force because it was about 7:00 and didn't know what time it closed. The jokes were as bad as ever, but I did get my new signature from the ride. While in line for this, Dragster rolled back with riders...not sure if it was the first time of the day, but the ride had been down for a pretty long time during the middle of the day. It certinaly wouldn't be the last time.

While in line for Mantis, we saw at least 4 more rollbacks. There was one train that rolled back two times in a row. I wished to be on the train so much. Mantis gave a decent ride, much better than my last time. There were actually some seagulls that perched on a support next to some track that didn't budge when the train whizzed by.

Over to Millennium Force for a 45 minute wait and a twilight ride. While in line, Dragster rollec back at least a half dozen more times, but eventually ran 15 successful trains in a row. Millennium force provided a great ride, maybe better than those that I had when it opened. I got second row and a face ful of bugs...including two embedded in my glasses. An interesting time to say the least. Kinda wierd to never open my mouth to yell, laugh, or just smile though.

Now 10:00, the debate about Dragster started. We headed to the line and as we got there, it rolled back, therefore closing the line. It actually remained closed until 11:00, with two test runs at 11:00. The few of us on the midway that were in line were let in when it reopened. Only one set of switchbacks was in use. Whatever was fixed this time worked for the rest of the night as we got the third from last train of the night at 11:40. Only one roll-back happened while we were in line. It seems faster at night, but its just not as good because you can't see anything.

Overall, Cedar Point is still my favorite park of them all. Dragster is fun, but not worth more than an hour wait. If it breaks down, leave and do something else and come back at night when the line is short. Its odd to have screeching tire sights and sounds without the theming on the train, but its still a nice touch. The grandstands are the best part. For the parents that don't want to ride, its a great place to sit and relax. Dragster is easily the best spectator coaster. If you want to have some fun, get in line after a breakdown and join the rest of the crowd as they cheer or sigh as the train does or doesn't crest the top of the tower.

Just for the record, stalling at the top is very possible....one train needed about 6 more inches and it would have. It stayed up for there for a very long time before rolling back down the launch side...maybe 7 second up there. That was probably the most exciting launch of the day. And as for the rollbacks...one happened with a speed of 122mph, so either something was wrong with the launch (as the ride shut down for mechanical inspection near the initial launch point) or there was a lot of wind up there. We were also told that they intentionally roll back in the morning to find the minimal power needed for launch.

15 hours at Cedar Point were enough for one day...but it already feels like so long ago.

Kev

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"And we are now passing under Millennium Force, which, with the arrival of Top Thrill Dragster, is now...just blue."

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Thursday, July 24, 2003 9:44 PM
I also was there that day, I was wearing a white Cedar Point shirt with the park on it and walking with a girl.

I was excited to see dragster running. I also noticed the one fin kept sticking up. Roll backs were making the entire park cheer anywhere.

Force as always was my ride of the day.

Wiicked Twiter was down for repairs early but when we rode it, It was running full power. Front Seat and Rear seat were worth it.

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Rollie Coaster Army

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Thursday, July 24, 2003 11:27 PM
I know it must seem frustrating to be told you cant' wait for the front seat of Raptor, but it isnt' just mean ride attendants. When the queues for the front seat are full, there isnt' really anywhere to put other riders wanting to ride in the front without congesting the line into the station. With both front seat queues full, it's about a 20 minute wait, usually you're better just to try again later. Heck 8-4 (back right) is the best seat anyway.

As far as the congested station. When we'd fill up the station that's only 2-3 trains per row. If we didn't try to fill it up as much as we could when there was a pause between dispatches, the station would empty and we couldnt' always fill the seats fast enough. You have to bring 32 people into that station every 48 seconds, which the way most people move into there, doesn't allow a lot of room to maneuver. Add in the fact that when the front line queue isnt' full, about 1/4 walking in will jump in line for the front, it gets even harder to fill the station. Believe me, you figure out fast how to pack the station when you can, so you dont' get yelled at for having an empty station with not enough riders.

Anyways, just clarifying the reasoning behind those points. It isn't evil ride attendants trying to make you peeved/uncomfortable.

When at the point, I didnt' get to see any rollbacks on Dragster, but I did get a fair share of waiting in line during breakdowns. It sure would be nice if they could at least get a DJ there. Heck, take Raptor's. He was only ever there in the afternoons when Raptor's line was uber-short, never in the morning when we actually had a wait.

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Kyle
-Raptor Crew-
2000-01

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Friday, July 25, 2003 1:32 AM
I know what your talking about for the Raptor, its not the fact the the front queue is full its the fact the whole $$%^^^#%%$@ platform is packed with no where to go period, I really had a problem with that last week, if the moron running the line would hang on 30 seconds for the next train to load then there wouldn't be a problem, I just usually ignore them and stand in the line I want, for raptor theres no point on riding unless your up front, believe me ignoring them seems to work, its been working for me for years, cuz if you don't acknowledge the fact there talking to you and dont look in there direction what the heck are they going to do, so far nothing, right. I've have also learned don't be picky as far as your seat choice for TTD just go for the shortest, because it breaks down to much and could cost you many additional hours.

And I second that about TTD being the best spectator coaster, I have never seen people just stand and stare, esp when they first get near it for the first time. As for TTD its a fun ride but I still take a conventional coaster over it, its so fast you can hardly notice your 420 feet in the air, but the queue line is kinda depressing, everyone enters pumped up and after a few break downs, everyine seems like the lifes been drained out of them,

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Ride the Conneaut Lake Blue Streak!

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Friday, July 25, 2003 3:55 AM

I just have to wait for the front seat on TTD, it seems twice as fast.
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Keep your Arms Down, Head back, and Hold On!
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Friday, July 25, 2003 10:26 AM
Oh, believe me back right is so much better than the front. You have to do the front a few times just for the view, but Raptor packs so much more of a punch in the back right. Ask anyone on the crew or anyone who rides often.

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Kyle
-Raptor Crew-
2000-2001

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Friday, July 25, 2003 11:45 AM
Inverted coasters in particular need to have a significant front row waiting area. The experience is totally different in the front row and the demand for those seats is always very high. parks should be sure to include a significant waiting line for that row. The front row waiting line on raptor is designed rather poorly and was most likely an afterthought due to the fact that this was one of the first inverted coasters. It seems that most parks now installing inverts accomodate for this issue.

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I like roller coasters.

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Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:44 PM
Blaster, you are right about the station and the lines moving that fast. I'm used to Batman at SFGAm with two trains and a ride that takes less time to complete than it takes to load. The third train doesn't speed up thing THAT MUCH, but it certainly does make a difference. The way he was pumping people into the station...they did seem to get through as fast as they came in. But he could have been nicer about it. I guess that was the problem...he was acting more like a traffic cop than anything else. That may have been more useful on Dragster...I was very surprised to see lines for every row on Dragster when Millennium Force is still whatever row you happen to get (at least you can wait for front and back now).

It is kinda wierd that the front row line for Dragster is so short. Batman at SFGAm (the first inverted) has always had the line for front split on the steps (well, at least since I've been going on it).

One more thing about the spectator aspect of Dragster - it was definitely like nothing else I've ever experienced at an amusement park. Cedar Point may be on to something here...but it wouldn't work with any ride. The grandstand gives parents a nice place to wait while their kids wait in line. My parents loved watching the reacations of people waiting to be launched...acting all macho, and then the brakes go down, and they clench their restraint like its not closed at all! Even while in line for Millennium Force, people were getting into Dragster and whether it would make it over or not. Maybe they should open up a wagering station....

Kev

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"And we are now passing under Millennium Force, which, with the arrival of Top Thrill Dragster, is now...just blue."
*** This post was edited by Mr Doom 7/26/2003 11:47:54 PM ***

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