First the group dynamic: My parents, who enjoy coasters, but not to the degree of myself, myself a 24yr old enthusiast who suffers from withdrawl in Vermont, and my brother who at 48.5 inches tall seemed to be ready to ride anything.
A quick take on my accomodations. We stayed at Sandcastle Suites, on the park grounds, which has a great location. It is about a 5min walk from the Magnum gate, which is perfect when hitting Soak City, taking back prizes, or just taking a break. However, I was a bit disappointed with the room. I believe ours was a standard room there, which was larger than a normal hotel room with a folding closet door dividing the bedroom area with the living room area. It was fine for the four of us, but I think that had a female friend of mine come along it might have pushed our personal space limits a bit. Ok, enough on the hotel, but in closing while the location, early morning entry, and ticket/parking discounts were great, I would have expected more for ~250/night (even on a holiday weekend).
Now on to the rides:
Magnum: This was our first ride of the trip, and all of us rode. I lost count of how many people in line seemed to be in shock because my brother was riding. I will say as a former ride op, it is amazing how short the height limits really are. Overall the ride was great. I've seen lots of comments that Arrows don't age well, but this is one that is still running well. It got a bit rough on the second hill, but that was about it. However, this was past my brother's limit, so I then had to plan to ride MF on my own.
Raptor: This was about a 35min wait on a Friday night so I couldn't pass it up. As usual the line kept moving so it really didn't feel like 35 min. We sat in the middle of the train, and I actually found the ride a bit rough, disappointingly. However, I got two more rides in during the morning "ERT", one in front, one in back and both rides were smooth as glass.
Now a quick tangent as I touch on the morning "ERT". For those who don't know, CP lets their resort guests and pass holders in a half hour early, with MF, WT, and Raptor(?) running at that time. I question Raptor as I don't know if it's always open early, or just was as WT was down. My ERT got off to a lousy start as WT and MF were both down when we were let in. However, this allowed for two walk-on rides of Raptor. On the second ride I saw MF running, so it was off to the Force.
Millenium Force: This was my first ride on MF, and it was one of the best I have ever had on a coaster. It had a 30min wait at 9am, so I knew I couldn't pass it up (it grew to 1.5hr in that 30min). Once again the line moved very quickly, and before I knew it I was in the station. At the time they were only running 2 trains, but I saw the 3rd (yellow) running later in the day. The lift is incredible. Quiet, smooth, and fast. You only have a few moments to take in the scenery before reaching the top. As the train crests the hill, it feels like you are falling forward, and the rest is just a blur. The rest of the ride is smooth as glass, and non-stop speed. While I would not argue if it were a bit longer, I don't have a problem with its length.
Wicked Twister: I'm always a bit biased against launched coasters for whatever reason. However, while it will never replace a lift driven coaster, WT is an incredible ride. Again I caught this coaster with about a 30min wait. It had been up and down most of the day so I got lucky, I guess. Again a continuously moving line (kudos to the CP crews, great as always). The one thing I didn't like about WT is the lack of a moving floor. I'm about 5'9" tall and had to make a considerable jump into the seat. I didn't see anyone who was close to the height limit, but I would hope they have a step or something for those people. The 3-2-1 countdown on the launch is much appreciated as it is intense (note: the op did have a tendancy to launch on 2). While smooth as glass, I was definately plastered into the seat on the launch. Sitting in row 15, the front spike wasn't much to write about, but boy was the rear spike amazing. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it just seemed like an endless spiral, looking straight down.
Those rides were definately the highlights of the trip. Now here are some comments on a few other rides.
Gemini: This was my brother's favorite, and we finished the trip with a night ride in the front seat. This one was running great and smooth, and a walk on the whole trip.
Iron Dragon: While definatley not the best Arrow suspended on the block, it seemed a bit smoother than in past trips. However, it was definately jerky, and rather bland. Also a walk-on.
Cedar Creek Mine Ride: Enjoyable and better than in past trips. Like ID, this one also seemed a bit smoother than in the past, although it was still a bit rough at times.
Mean Streak: Also same as always. While enjoyable, it was still very rough, maybe even a bit rougher than before. I got the green train both rides, and it was very very loud. It squeeled around every turn. I so wanted to go get a can of WD-40.
I missed Blue Streak and Mantis due to Family commitments, Disaster Transport due to a 45min wait (worth it for Avalanche Run - if it ever got that long, but not for DT), and Corkscrew due to lack of interest.
Overall a great trip. The coasters were running great, and the crews were impeccable at times. I was impressed with their honesty about reasons for rides being down. The park was also very clean. There seemed to be someone with a broom and dustpan wherever I looked.
This trip was also the first time I ventured into Soak City. From my experience as an op at SFWOA, I am definately partial to a separate water park, but have never had the time, or the desire to spend the extra $$, to try it out. It was definately worth it. If you plan on hitting both parks, I recommend the ride and slide ticket - 2 days, both parks, $59/adult (gate price is 42 for CP, and 23 for SC).
Our first stop was the big family size raft slide. A tip on the line, when it splits head to the right side if you don't want to get rained on. The left side goes under the raft lift, and gets dripped on a bit. This slide is great. However, don't even think for a minute this is like the lazy river. Oh no, this was precisely designed to send the raft fast and high into the corners, almost to the point of flipping over. This was the best slide I have ever been on.
Next, concequently was the lazy river, if you can call it that. While it is a nice relaxing ride, there are many opportunities to get water poured on you. There are about 4 waterfalls, and an array of buckets with tip over when full, all at different times. Also there is a wave-induced area near the end of the ciruit.
Eerie Falls (black enclosed tube), was lots of fun. The line is a bit deceiving, so don't worry if it's down to the ground. The tube is really cool, as there are holes to let in light every now and then, and also larger holes to dump water on you as well.
The final stop in Soak City was the speed slides. In the past speed slides have usually hurt my back, these were not too bad. These slides are really fast, and you will catch air over every bump (isn't this a liability??). Very very fun.
That is all. I hope I didn't miss anything in this report. I know I didn't mention any flat rides, but I realized we didn't right any, with the exception of the antique cars.
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