Cedar Point - June 22-24

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, June 30, 2005 11:50 PM
After years of anticipation, I finally got to travel to “America’s Rollercoast” in Sandusky, Ohio for three days of great rides and fun. I was in awe as I first crossed over onto the Cedar Point peninsula and couldn’t wait to start riding. My June trip was last week from Wednesday the 22nd to Friday the 24th.

The weather was beautiful all three days, with Friday being over ninety degrees and everyday being mostly sunny. I really couldn’t have asked for a better trip and better riding conditions and circumstances. My family and I stayed at Breakers and although our room wasn’t in the best location, the hotel was comfortable and in a wonderful location. We got some kind of package where we had two free starlight and fun day admissions, $30 Munch Money, a two-for-one at the water park (I went here for a few hours and had fun, although it’s not that big), and some putt-putt and go-kart passes. I’d have to say that it’s worth staying at Breakers for the sole reason of being within feet from the park gates. Getting in an hour early was also wonderful and afforded me some Millennium Force rides with no waiting.

In lieu of recounting every step of my days, which I don’t remember, I will just review the rides and tell a bit about my experiences on each. Although cliché, the rating scale I will be using is one star (*) to five stars (*****). I believe my five star coasters at this point are Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England and Storm Runner at Hershey Park.

Magnum XL-200 – This ended up being my first ride of the trip as my dad and I hit this on the way into the park using our Starlight tickets on Wednesday. I love the way the coaster is situated along the water in some parts, it really gives some nice visuals. As would become evident, Cedar Point loves using all available trains and Magnum was no different and running all three. Over the course of the trip I sat second row, middle, and back. I waited no more than ten minutes for this max and twice it was a walk-on. As for the ride, it was good but I have been jaded be newer mega-coasters from Intamin and B&M. After ascending the hill and plunging over, you get pretty nice airtime in all seats, especially the back. The drop is long and forceful and I got some floater air on the second hill. The following track was a bit of a mixed bag, as the pretzel was rough even though it had trims before it and some of the airtime hills were better than others. I will say that the ride finished with a bang: the final bunny hops had my out of my seat the whole time. For some reason I had the preconceived notion that Maggie had a midcourse break, guess that’s Steel Force confusing me. Overall, Magnum is a strong ride and I’m sure its age has made it a little rougher. I actually enjoyed my ride up front better because the back was a bit rough. Also, don’t sit on a wheel seat, it beats you up. Overall, I give Magnum XL-200 ***3/4.

Iron Dragon – Although I hate to admit it, all those “Draggin’ Iron” claims are true. This ride just isn’t that special, although it makes a nice family ride. It seemed a little rough, especially compared to Big Bad Wolf and Top Gun at P.K.I. The first part of the ride is a snooze, but after the second lift it gets better. The pretzel over the water is fun and the cars get some nice swing in this final area. The ride does look quite nice where it’s located; however I think I would have preferred the old paint. Cedar Point ran three trains on this as well, making it a walk-on for me. ***1/4

Mantis – I have heard a lot of negative things about this ride and it seems whenever somebody mentions what Cedar Point coasters they liked, Mantis isn’t one of them. Well maybe I’m just forgiving, but I really enjoyed Mantis. I ended up riding six or so times over the course of my trip, including front row and back row as well as middle seats. The ride gives somewhat varying experiences, and I found full trains are a lot smoother. The front is cool due to the visuals, but the back is smoother and more intense. The drop break was on a bit, but I can’t complain because this thing is damn intense anyway. I love the turn before the drop, the drop itself, and vertical loop. There’s a bit of shake after the loop, but the dive loop is still fun. The turn above the station is intense and the inclined loop is smooth and quick. The pop of air after this is somewhat forceful and fun despite a little roughness. The twist into the breaks is sharp and the breaks were not on that much. The corkscrew and following turns were pretty intense and reminded me a bit of S.F.O.G.’s Georgia Scorcher. Don’t know why but some rides brought the train to a complete stop on the first set of breaks, which hurt. Since there’s only two trains, how about making these not stop the train dead! The third train (actually train 2) was under tarps below the track. I’m surprised they don’t leave it on the transfer table and just change up trains every once in awhile. Also of note is that the crew was very good on this, they often had one train on the lift before the other hit the final brakes. They also made sure everyone was comfy in their seats. Mantis gave an intense, fun, and overall good ride experience. Although rough spots (after the loop, into the break run, in the final “mess” of track) are present, the coaster provides an intense experience not found on today’s B&M’s. ****

Corkscrew – Always one for classic Arrows, I remember riding the Myrtle Beach Pavilion’s Corkscrew in my youth. Cedar Point’s Corkscrew also seems to get a lot of negative buzz, but I didn’t dislike it. The drop is decent and I got some nice air on the hump, there’s a shake into the loop, but the loop itself is nice. The corkscrews are a bit rough, but nothing overly awful. The ride is short and getting old but still quite fun. It probably has one of the best locations at the Point and looks great spinning over the midway. I didn’t realize this ride even had three trains but Cedar Point ran them all. Because the crew was a little slow, they often stacked the trains. Always a walk on, two rides for me. ***1/4

Wildcat – Cedar Point’s resident tacky fairground coaster is actually a damn fun ride. Wildcat is very smooth, fast, and a neat little coaster. I liked the wild helix, dips, and quick stop. Although the ride isn’t that visually appealing, it was certainly a fun near walk-on ride for my family. ***1/2

Mean Streak –One negative thing about Cedar Point is that they trim their drops (i.e. Mantis and this coaster), and I think this one is more affected than Mantis. Another coaster that seems to get maligned, possibly because it’s a Dinn, Mean Streak is nowhere near the powerhouse woodies like The Beast, Lightning Racer, Ozark Wildcat, Balder, etc. but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this ride. Running three trains, Mean Streak is a massive coaster and looks great from the midway; I bet the line was really long when it extended through the cattle pens in the middle of the layout. Always a near walk-on, I rode front, middle, and back (not such a good idea) and got five laps. The first drop is very nice, or it would be if it weren’t trimmed so much. You lose all momentum, but at least it makes the layout smoother. After that, the turns and drops are pretty standard, but the ride gets going once it starts its backtrack and after the midcourse. The front is smooth and gives some decent pops of air, but the train isn’t going fast enough on hill crests for ejector air. The back is a bit rough for my tastes and has the shakes of Carowinds’ Hurler that I don’t like. Overall, this coaster is kind of an oddball, it’s huge and fast, but the layout is more for speed (which is trimmed) and not for airtime. It’s a long ride and unique, and overall I enjoyed it. I must get my fire-proof suit on because I’m about to get flamed for giving this almost the same rating as Magnum. ***1/2

MaxAir – What an awesome flat ride! MaxAir didn’t make my stomach hurt one bit and the ride is fast, tall, and loads of fun. I really love when the axis rotates as the pendulum is at full swing. I can see why people like this ride so much! I waited twenty minutes each time. It was broken a bit on Friday but I rode when it opened. MaxAir has great capacity with a fifty seat ring. Do not miss this when you are at The Point. ***** (for a flat ride)

Disaster Transport - Kind of tacky, kind of cool theme. The ride itself is more intense than I thought it was going to be, but very short. It's nice to ride to get out of the heat, but I wouldn't wait very long. ***

Wicked Twister - I fell in love with V2 at SFMW and Wicked Twister is also great. Although I liked V2's straight back spike with brake better, the double twists are fun. Backseat is the best because I like twisting all the way up the back spike. Never over a ten minute wait, I rode front, back and middle. The crew on this was great and had trains leaving the station every two minutes. The location of this ride is incredible. ****1/4

Raptor – Hands down, best crew in the park on this ride. Raptor was running three trains and most times, you could get a nice view of the train ahead of you doing the flatspins and helix finale while on the lift hill. After my first ride, I was a bit disappointed and felt the ride was a little rough, but after another turn, I realized I must have been crazy. Raptor is the most intense inverted coaster I’ve been on and I rode at least seven times, with a five ride marathon the final night. I rode front, back, and middle and I like front and back the best, of course. Raptor is a very neat ride to watch and looks very nice on the midway. (Did they paint this ride in the last few years?) As for the ride itself, it starts with an incredible drop, loop, and barrel roll combo into the cobra roll. There is a little shake in the front half, but nothing major. After the helix into the brakes which don’t trim at all (great that they do this now, in a video I watched the park had brakes on quite hard in the past), the train rockets into the intense finale which features two flatspins and an intense helix. I loved the violent Vekoma turn at the endJ; it really adds character and gets everyone on their toes. Raptor definitely deserves a solid ****3/4

Demon Drop – 1st Generation Intamin drop ride, ‘nuff said. Actually, this is quite a fun ride and much better than the one I rode at Six Flags Over Georgia. While the car is a little confining, the ride has a different atmosphere than Power Tower. ***1/2

Power Tower – Another great S&S Tower under my belt. This one is taller than Dorney’s (at least I think it is) and quite intense. I rode shoot up and shoot down and I find the shoot down side more intense because you get the anticipation before the plunge. Walk-on and a great ride. ****1/2

Water rides - Their raft ride was the first I have ever ridden that actually takes you under the waterfalls. The slash down flume was also fun. Props to the crew for helping an elderly and disabled lady ride. She loved it and I'm glad she was able to ride. ***1/2 for each.

Gemini – This was a surprise because I had no idea how fun this coaster was going to be. It features some nice airtime and a cool layout. I like how red and blue can both win depending on their start from the station. The wheel seats are a little rough on this ride as well; however my whole family had a great time. It is interesting how Cedar Point piled on Arrow coasters during the time this ride was built. ***3/4 Cedar Creek Mine Ride – Also a fun Arrow ride, I found this one a lot more comfortable than Six Flags over Georgia’s mine train (recurring theme, huh) and enjoyed my ride. They were only running two of the three trains, however they would have stacked big time with the third on. The first half is kind of blah, however the drop over the water and helix at the end are fun. ***1/4

Millennium Force – Seemingly unknown to park guests that it even exists and not popular at all, Millennium Force just isn’t worth waiting over five minutes to ride. Sorry, bad joke. I will start by saying Superman Ride of Steel is still king in my book, but this ride is damn close and damn good. The drop is amazing; I’ve never had that much air on the way down a drop before. Overall, Millennium Force is built for speed and it accomplishes its goal. The overbank is fast and intense and I love the ground hugging turns. I got some air on the side by side hills, but most came from the bunny hump at the end. This ride is wonderful because the whole train can put their hands up without worrying about being beaten around. This ride also gets the most applause I’ve ever seen a ride get. Every train that returned to the station had thunderous applause from its riders. Running all three trains everyday, the crew was a bit slow and sometimes stacked, however the ride line moved quickly and was never over an hour. I rode all three trains and felt red was the best and most intense, followed by yellow and blue. I also felt that blue was the roughest, although rough is relative for this smooth ride. I am 240 and 5’11” and had no problems with the seat belt. I never saw anyone get kicked off from this ride, but I did see a lady asked to leave from Blue Streak (lucky her) and a man from Dragster. I could always buckle my own and pull at least 1.5” of slack and I could have gotten more. My advice on the belts, don’t pull all the slack out if you are having trouble, leave a little in a snap the belt tight, that way you won’t have to pull slack when its already buckled. Being such a great ride, I spent two of my final rides of the night in the backseat of this thing and go three rides in a row including front row in the morning at 9:00. This ride was also the last of my trip and a fitting way to leave in style (I got a little misty eyed leaving the station for the final time :) ). *****

Blue Streak. – Eck. As much as I wanted to like this ride (I even liked Mean Streak) I just could only handle it once. Way too rough, reminded me of Hurler at Carowinds. It wasn’t the good, woody rough, but the chiropractor and should be retracked rough. Please Cedar Point, do something about this. **1/4

Top Thrill Dragster – Ah, the illusive rocket coaster. All I have to say is where the hell was I when this got stuck on the top hat, in lala land? I rode this all three days and don’t ever remember seeing it perched up top. I know it broke down a while my second day but wasn’t sure why. Having ridden Storm Runner and Xcelerator, I was excited to experience the tallest…well almost the tallest ride in the world (and tallest currently running). Getting right to the point, Dragster is short and sweet. The launch is incredible, although not as abrupt as the other Rockets or Hypersonic, and it feels like the speed increases forever. The tophat is also amazing and although to me, 400 and 300 feet don’t feel that different, the view is incredible. I do believe that one thing Dragster has over Ka is the lapbars because it is incredible to have such freedom, especially being flung through the downward spin. Depending on the launch, air is possible at the top, but not frequent. I enjoyed my front seat rides the best, but the back was more intense. Overall, Dragster is a one trick pony, but damn can it ride. I never saw and never got a rollback, but the blue train was trying hard. The park ran five trains with the gold being off the track the entire time (do they ever run gold or all six trains?) and the line was at most an hour. I rode this as the final ride my second day and I observed weird operations that evening. The crew only dispatched trains every five minutes or so, pulling only on train onto the launch pad and leaving all others in the station. This made the line move very slowly. I suppose this had something to do with the ride’s tophat hijinks and they didn’t want it to go down. I also got stuck in the front seat for thirty minutes Thursday morning when the tire drive malfunctioned. The brakes went down and then back up when we were going to launch signalling a problem. The maintenance men came and replaced something under the tires that move the train on the launch pad. After this and about twenty minutes, our train moved back to the start position where it was before and launched. This ride was great because everyone clapped upon our return. I think I’m lucky to have gotten six rides, two in the front seat. I also got my picture from my thirty minute ride for memories. ****3/4

If you have read my novel thus far, you probably can guess that I had a great time at the Point. I am a little sad that my trip is over because I was waiting so long for it. I did, however, have a blast and will return as soon as I can. It is nice to go to a park that runs all their rides’ trains (well most of them), has friendly staff, mostly lively crews, and really cares about its guests. Let's just say the operator spiels about "how was your ride" took me by surprise. Guess I spend too much time at Six Flags. (Just kidding. I have had other great experiences, this one is just the best so don't think I'm bashing all other parks)

Cedar Point is now my favorite amusement park, I have been won over: Cedar Point ****3/4 (five stars here would be very hard to achieve)

Pros:Great rides, nice crews and staff, beautiful location, semi-reasonable prices.

Cons:Not too many, although I would have liked another launch on Dragster after the breakdown.

Below is a link to some photos. Being more concerned with riding, I only took a disposable camera and the pictures aren’t that great after being scanned. However, I do like my Iron Dragon and Force shots.

http://photobucket.com/albums/y54/willh51/Cedar%20Point/

*** Edited 7/1/2005 3:53:15 AM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 7/1/2005 3:59:21 AM UTC by Willh51***

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Friday, July 1, 2005 12:08 AM
YOU had never been to CP before? Did I read that first sentence right? Wow....

Great TR. FYI I'm pretty sure Wildcat is a park model, not fair. They sure aren't the only park to have one.

I agree with your Millie vs. SFNE Supes assessment. Millie is fun but I don't know how anyone can like it better than Superman.

*** Edited 7/1/2005 4:19:36 AM UTC by Mamoosh***

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Friday, July 1, 2005 12:49 AM
Yup, first time there. My mistake on WildCat, I just assumed it was made to travel.

I think the one thing that Superman has that Millie doesn't is diversity. And it has more airtime, so that is a huge draw. Anyway you serve it, both are kickass.

*** Edited 7/1/2005 4:49:56 AM UTC by Willh51***

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Friday, July 1, 2005 8:26 AM
Sometimes in the mornings in the spring and for coaster events, you can get a trimless ride on Magnum :)

Sometimes Raptors blocking brakes trim more than others. Someone told me once that it depends on the weather but I don't know if it is true or not. Raptor always seems to have the best crew. Sometimes the train dosn't even fully stop in the final brake run, it just slows down and continues into the station. Magnum crew is probably second and MF crew third. It is not really the crews fault on MF. Even though you didn't see it, I am sure that they had seat belt troubles and that is why you saw trains stacked.

Raptor, Mantis, Wildcat and Magnum have all been painted in the last few years. They are still finishing up Magnum as I am sure you noticed the turnaround was not freshly painted.

They never run all six trains on TTD. They said that it just doesn't work well. They do rotate them though. I'm surprised that the gold train was parked all three days.

Glad you had a wonderfull trip.

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Friday, July 1, 2005 10:44 AM
You are right about Millie, I do remember now that sometimes the ops would stay at a row for awhile. That must have been seat belt problems.

I did notice that Maggie's turnaround wasn't painted. When did they add the breaks before this?

I was probably too harsh on Maggie above, I think because my last ride wasn't very good. My first two rides were a lot better. I will say that it had the most airtime of all the Point coasters.

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Friday, July 1, 2005 11:20 AM
The amount of Raptor's mid-course trimming depends on the rate of speed of the train entering it. ALL trains are slowed to the same speed. Enter with a fast speed, trimming feels high; enter with a lower speed, trimming feels slight; enter with a speed lower than the exit speed, no trimming at all.
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Friday, July 1, 2005 12:04 PM
At coastermania ERT, I found Magnum to take the cake from Millenium Force since Magnum had NO TRIMMING at all. We went so fast over those bunny hills, especially 1-1, that my legs hur and had bruises the next day after 15 rides. I wish they would run it the same way all the time. Glad to see your first time at the park was as good as mine 3 years ago. (BTW magnum was a *****1/4 that night IMO)

Cam

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