Wow. The only word I can think of after my first ever visit to “America’s Rollercoast”, Cedar Point. I have wanted to go to Cedar Point for a long time. I said I’d go last year, but that didn’t happen. This year, I was determined. So I set a date early on, had to change it once, but kept it static the second time. I was going to the Point before the year ended.
August has been a busy month for me this year when it comes to coasters. And as happy as I was about going, I wasn’t as excited before going as I thought I would be. I guess it was because of hitting so many coasters at the beginning of the month at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom and Paramount’s Kings Island that I just wasn’t as excited before going. So on Monday, August 16, I packed up my things and headed north. The trip could have been shorter.
I was staying 2 nights at Geauga Lake since I was visiting there as well, and Cedar Point doesn’t have a place for tent camping. The directions I had were not very good, and I spent well over an hour trying to find my way to Aurora. But once I was there, I set up my tent, got ready for bed, and set my alarm for the next morning. I wanted to get up early so I could be at the park before opening.
As the morning progressed, I woke up and went for a shower. The facilities at Geagua Lakes Campground were much cleaner than my stay at Kings Island’s earlier this month. If everything I hear is true and they build a new one in a couple seasons, maybe they could take lessons. There were 2 shower/bathroom areas here, but alas, the back one that I was near didn’t have any hot water. Oh well, I just went up to the other one. I was on my way around 7:30 am.
My directions to the Point weren’t very good either, but I made sure to get good directions before I left the camp ground. In about an hour and a half, I was in Sandusky. Sandusky OH was different than I expected. It was a nice area, none the less. As I was traveling along, I passed by the “Ghostly Manor” haunted house. I had just picked a brochure up for this on the way to Cedar Point. Had it been opened that evening, I probably would have tried to hit that on the way back, I love haunted houses. But alas, it was closed.
I followed the traffic towards Cedar Point. The excitement started to build. Things on the peninsula and causeway were much different than I pictured in my mind, but were much better in real life. Then I had a true Griswald moment. I saw the park for the first time in real life. It was beautiful. I was really excited at this point.
Eight dollars to park, but I was actually pretty close to the gate. It was 9:30 am, the park hadn’t opened to the public yet, but there were crowds of people waiting in line for tickets. I got in the shortest (though it ended up taking forever due to the ticket guy being slow and not knowing how to work anything) line there was. The people behind me had an extra coupon for $10 off, and since I had forgotten to find one, I was appreciative that they gave it to me.
Once thru the gate, I saw a sign confirming what I already suspected to be true since I had seen a few launches: “Top Thrill Dragster will be running today…” I was now very happy. One thing that I missed out on was getting a park map. I didn’t see any at the entrance, and they didn’t give me one when I paid to park. That wasn’t good because Cedar Point is huge compared to anything I’ve ever seen before. I was familiar with the layout, but the walk ways were a bit confusing.
Still, my first mission for the day was to get in line for Dragster. I knew if I waited later that it could break down, and it was running already for resort guests. It’s not hard to find the entrance to Dragster, mostly because the ride is so visible in the park. I came around the part of Iron Dragon that is over water near the midway and saw that the line had already gotten to that point. I expected a couple hours wait, and though not happy about it, I decided now was as good a time as any, since it would be a shame not to get the chance to ride at all. One thing I noticed standing in line was how crowded the park was.
I didn’t know it was only 9:30 am and that the rides weren’t opened to the public yet, but the lines I saw were long, and there were tons of people. The day was rather comfortable, with the temp. not too high, and that constant breeze from the lake. The line for Dragster wasn’t moving (but that was because it wasn’t opened yet…), and then all of a sudden I heard why it hadn’t launched for a few minutes come over the station house speakers, “Top Thrill Dragster is down due to mechanical reasons. We do not know how long the delay will be, and are sorry for the inconvenience.” I was not happy to hear that, but myself and the people in front of me decided we’d stay in line, since it may not be down for long. After a few minutes of the line getting shorter, I noticed the maintenance guy come to work on the ride.
He walked up the launch track, disappeared, and then a bit later came back. I kept expecting to see a test launch, but there didn’t seem to be any. Dragster was down for about 30 minutes or so, and the line had dwindled. I was informed that the actual line for the public hadn’t been opened yet, and we were almost to the entrance to the line when all of a sudden, they started loading trains without a test launch! This was my first time seeing a launch this close.
The Dragster launch spiel came on; everyone cheered, and off the first train went. They started launching trains consistently, and then let the public into the line. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was that I had forgotten to get a strap for my glasses, so when I got in line, I had to leave my backpack and glasses back. The actual wait till we got to ride was maybe 40 minuets.
Top Thrill Dragster: (Clint’s Tallest, Fastest coaster ever) I got in the train near the back. I will commend the ride ops on not letting a train go with any empty seats. They made it clear in the station that single riders would be put together, and that was fine by me, but the person I rode with had hopped in line with me before they found me a partner. He was pretty cool. We boarded the second train in the station, and I secured my restraints. This is the first time in a long time I’ve been this nervous on a coaster. I almost felt like backing out, but knew I wouldn’t.
The two trains headed out to the launch, and it was almost time to go. I was really nervous and excited about finally getting my first ride on Dragster. We rolled into position, and I held on for dear life (something I rarely do on coasters). I couldn’t see a thing, but I knew when I felt the train roll back a little that we were getting ready to launch. Then it happened. As soon as we started to go, I started screaming, but I couldn’t keep it up as the launch was just too fast!
Going up was thrilling, and going over the top was blissful. I remember going down and into the spiral, but I don’t remember it doing anything for me. Still, it was an incredible ride, and something that I’d do again and again and again if I had the chance. I was still shaking from the launch and hill when I got off, and that’s the feeling I look for in a coaster. The breaks weren’t too forceful, and after I was off, I was ready for my day at Cedar Point.
Since I didn’t have any set plan for attacking the coasters, I decided to hit Millennium Force next. I got my back pack and glasses, and wondered around a bit. Going into the Dragster store, I bought a key chain and a strap for my glasses.
I got over to Millie a few minuets later, only to find the line closed. The ride was down due to maintenance, and they didn’t know how long it would be! Was this going to be the theme of the day? Again, I decided to wait it out, and only waited about 5 minuets till they let us get in line, and there weren’t many people waiting. I don’t know what was going on with Millie, but it seemed like trains weren’t dispatching very much.
I wanted to get a Fast Pass for Millie, but they must have given them all out by this point. I put my back pack into a locker and off I went. The wait to ride was a good 2 ½ hours, but I knew it wouldn’t get much better, so I decided to wait it out. The line DJ was decent, and though he kept saying that everything requested needed to be ‘family friendly’, I found that “Lady Marmalade” and a few others were not what I’d want my children listening to if I had any… I finally got into the station after an eternity of waiting.
I usually have a front seat first and back seat on re-rides rule for new parks, but I knew with the weekend like crowds there on a Tuesday that I’d have to break this rule, so I got in line near the back.
Millennium Force: I got on near the back of the train. Again, good job to the ride ops for filling up every seat. I had a single rider jump in line with me, and things were fine. It’s amazing how quickly the lift on this thing gets you over the top! Then, when you start to fall, it feels like you fall for a long, long time. Into the first over bank was fun, then into the tunnel. The first hill was an airtime lovers dream! This ride is very fast, and I don’t care what people say, I didn’t think it was too short. Every hill provides awesome air, and the cut back at the end was very interesting.
I really enjoyed the ride, esp. since I had my glasses on and could see. I’d love to do this at nite. Maybe next trip…
After riding Millie, I headed over to see about Magnum. The line wasn’t really long, but I figured I’d get a Fast Pass for that and Dragster when the kiosk opened around 2pm. Next I went over to see about the line for Wicket Twister, but it was very long.
Instead, I needed some cool down time, so I headed over to see what Disaster Transport was really like. I had heard for some time that its days are numbered, that it sucks, bla bla bla, but I wanted to see for myself. The wait time was about 15 minuets. The line was moving quite nicely, and the queue was very cool and comfortable. Yes, the themeing is very 80s, but it was a welcome from the sun.
Disaster Transport: Okay, so it could use an update to the theme. And yes, it would be nice if everything worked, but I liked the ride very much. It was fun, and to me was a lot better than Avalanche at Kings Dominion. My only real complaint was that the ride was not as air conditioned as the queue was. It was weird going in thru the different themes, even if I did feel like I was riding a fair ride from the late 80s. I doubt Disaster Transport will be going anywhere, as it is a great family ride that still draws in a decent amount of riders.
This was the first surprise of my day, and I really enjoyed it. Well, that was over and done with, so I walked around a bit more.
At this point, I walked by Dragster because I hadn’t seen it launching for a while, only to find it down, and 2 maintenance guys working on the launch track. I knew I needed to go get a park map, but first I wanted to try out my first S&S space shot, so I headed to Power Tower.
The line wasn’t long, and since I’ve been on Drop Zone already this month, I decided to be shot up instead of down.
Power Tower: (Space Shot) Drop Towers scare me. Really. I ended up on the side that I wanted, looking out towards the lake. The guy that was beside me was a little on the hefty side, and since he couldn’t fit in the restrains, didn’t get to ride, which left me by myself. The car rose into position, I held on for dear life, and a few seconds later, we were quickly going up the tower.
This was absolutely insane! I would much rather get launched up than drop. The stop at the top and then bouncing up and down was loads of fun, and my first time on anything by S&S was absolutely wonderful. I’d do this again plenty more times if I had the chance.
Now it was time to go to the front and get a map. When I was walking along the midway, I saw 2 gentlemen who appeared to be management for the park standing out side one of the shops. I walked right by one, looked at his gold name take, and realized I was looking at Dick Kinzle. I had heard about him plenty, but now at least I know what he looks like.
I kept walking, got my map at the front gates, and at this time I decided it was time to get my Fast Passes for Maggie and Dragster. But first it was time to get some stuff out of my back pack, so I did that first. Unfortunately, Dragster was down still. I went to the kiosk to get my hand stamped, but there was a sign stating no passes would be issued for the day. Bummer!
Oh well, I got my one ride, and it may not get up again, so I headed back to Magnum when heard a train launch on Dragster. As it rushed by, I heard people going “Uh Oh!” all around, and when I looked up, Dragster’s empty train was rolling back down the hill. Man I wish I could have been on it! I walked over and got in line for my Magnum stamp.
While I was standing there, Dragster launched another empty train which did make it to the top of the hill…and stopped. It was only stopped for about 3 seconds when it finally made it over. No more test launches went on for a while. As I was getting my stamp for Magnum, the guy said that Wicked Twister was giving stamps a well, so I went there next and got stamped.
So I came back around thru Frontier Trail, saw that Millie’s line was still way too long for a re-ride, and noticed that Iron Dragon’s line was rather short. This would be my second Arrow Suspended Coaster, so I went for it. The line was about 10 min.
Iron Dragon: While not the most thrilling coaster, and definitely not as good at Top Gun, Iron Dragon wasn’t that bad. It was weird that they let me take my backpack on with me. But please Cedar Point, NO MORE RED AND YELLOW COASTERS in one area!
Though it isn’t very fast, it was fun. The two lifts were cool, and the last element over the water near the midway was interesting. That, and I got to see all the poor people in line for Dragster, which was still down. Not the best coaster in the park, but a good family coaster/starter coaster.
After all that running around, I decided it was time for food, so I went to Coasters for some fries with cheese, malt vinegar, and Old Bay seasoning. Then I figured that it was time for my first inversion of the day, so I got in line for Corkscrew. I stopped by the Dragster lockers to put my backpack in, since I was hoping that maybe Dragster would be up by that evening, and I could get one last ride before I left, and thus my back pack would be right there.
Corkscrew: This was an okay coaster. The more I visit parks, the more I realize that I don’t like inversions. I got near the front, and the first hill after the drop provides some decent air. The inversions were smoother than normal Arrow coasters, and I didn’t have any head banging, but there were still some jerky parts. Its fun going over the midway on the corkscrews, but this isn’t a ride I’d rush back to next time I’m at the park.
Next up it was time for Mean Streak. I walked back to Mean Streak, going by Gemini and a lot of other rides. Cedar Point is really a nice park. Its clean, well maintained, the buildings are well kept, and the food smells wonderful. Mean Streak is another coaster I had heard lots of negative things about, but again, I wanted to form my own opinion. The line was about 20 min. long.
Mean Streak: This is such a pretty coaster. It really is odd how there are buildings within the inner structure for what ever purpose they serve. I got in line for my first front row seat of the day. I didn’t have to wait long.
As a train came into the station, the front row only had one seat opened, and since I was the only single rider in the front row queue, I got to go ahead of 4 other people. I love being a single rider! Mean Streak is big and fast. I did not like the trim on the first hill, but otherwise, I don’t see how people say this is all that rough. Granted, I was on Son of Beast earlier this month, but this wasn’t even as rough as Hurricane Category 5, and I liked that coaster.
But just because it wasn’t rough didn’t mean it was a lot of fun. Sure, I’d ride it again, mostly due to no one in line, but it wasn’t anything spectacular after the first part of the first drop. It’s a shame, too, and I always looked at this coaster as a kid and thought “Wow”. I think the only correct way to build really tall, really fast wooden coasters is not to make it a twister/terrain/figure 8. The forces and speed just kill the structure, so an out and back with the same height and speed seems best to me. A neat addition and I’m glad I finally rode it, but nothing too thrilling, though not as bad as people say it is.
At this point it was almost 5:00 and that was the hour that my two Fast Passes were good for. I headed back to Magnum first since I was closer and got in the Fast Pass line. I merged right before the station making about a half an hour wait only about 10 min. Though I got in line for the front, a single rider was needed, so I was in 1-3 with another guy and on my way.
Magnum XL-200: I like the look of the station, but it was full and finding where you want to get in line is confusing. But this was Magnum, and I’ve heard mostly good things for what was to be my first full blooded Arrow Hyper. The first drop was, to me, as good as Millie’s. But Magnum…Sweet Magnum…What did my thighs ever do to you? They love you like I love you, but you left them hurt and in pain! This coaster is airtime incarnate. Every hill, every bump ejected me. I pulled my lap bar and seat belt tighter than the ride ops did, and I was still out of my seat on the hills.
That’s all fine and dandy, but the restraint really hurts the thigh. Can we get Phantom’s trains on this? Please? Even through all the pain, I still liked it. I seem to remember mist or fog or something in one or two of the tunnels, am I making that up or was it really there? Still a good ride that could use some better lap bars.
One Fast Pass down, another to go. I was looking forward to my first impulse coaster, and since this was tallest and all, I was excited. I got in the Fast Pass line and after that only had about a 15 minuet wait for a really long line. This was definitely worth getting the stamp for. When it was time to board, I was in the second row. Not too shabby! I really like how this ride is on the beach, very beautiful setting.
Wicked Twister: The first launch was fun. Going up the spike and twisting vertical was a new experience. The kick back and then falling back and twisting was disorienting and fun as well, and doing the same thing again up the back spike was cool.
The second launch going further was a little more fun, as it looks like you’re going off the tracks, and going up the back spike and seeing the ground was way too cool. This made my first time on an impulse worth the wait, but now I can’t wait to get back. Thankfully I only had to wait one day for another go at another impulse coaster.
Since it was getting late, I figured I’d go ahead and get some more inversions out of the way. I should have gotten in the short line for Wildcat, but got in line for Raptor instead. I would regret skipping over Wildcat this time later… Raptor was supposed to be at least an hour wait, but instead turned into about 40 minuets.
While in line for Raptor, Dragster started testing and then launching, so that was a good sign. I got in line for the second row, and off we were.
Raptor: Good coaster! I like inverted coasters for the most part, and this is definitely one of the best. I liked that the first drop was not just a curve like Top Gun or Batman. The inversions, though a bit nauseating for me, were well placed and really intense. Plus the midcourse break was off all day making the last half of the ride just as fast and fun.
This could almost knock out Top Gun for my favorite invert, but doesn’t. Still a great coaster, and one I’ve waited to ride for quite some time. I think my favorite parts were the Cobra Roll and Zero G Roll, but over all the whole coaster is great.
Since I wasn’t very far from Blue Streak, I felt it was time for more wood. The wait wasn’t very long for this classic coaster, so I decided to hit the front for what would be the second and last time of the day.
Blue Streak: I love classic wood coasters. Blue Streak had some nice pops of air, and its location in the park was nice as well. I was out of my seat a couple of times, and this is definitely something I would ride again next time I’m at the park. This was fun, classic, and every wooden coaster should at the very least be as good as Blue Streak.
Something I’ve been doing lately at parks is riding the trains if it has one. I decided that it would be better to sit on the CP & LE railroad on my way to the back of the park, enjoying the sights and breeze, instead of walking. Once back in the back I wanted to ride Gemini. The line wasn’t very long, so I got in line for my first time on what I thought to be an oversized Arrow mine train.
Gemini: Did I just say ‘oversized Arrow mine train’? Boy was I wrong! This was the biggest surprise for me in the park! A definite re-ride on my next visit, maybe a few times. There were some hand-slapping going on, but not on my side of the train as I was too far. This had some fun hills, great first drop, and was over all a lot of fun. I came off still smiling, something I don’t normally do…
After that wonderful experience, I headed over to Woodstock express. This was defiantly the only poor spot of capacity in the park. One train, one op, and lots of kids. But I like kiddy coasters, so I waited it out.
Woodstock Express: It was fun, but something I’d probably skip the next time. Let the kiddies have this one; I’ve got other fish to fry. The first drop was kinda fast, and it sped thru the course. But still, it wasn’t as fun as Taxi Jam.
My last tangible credit in the back of the park, and that was Cedar Creek mine ride. The line was longer than I expected, but it was getting dark, and the air was nice and cool. I waited my turn, laughed at the funny ride ops, and got on in the middle of the train.
Cedar Creek Mine Ride: Why couldn’t Carowinds have these trains? The trains were comfy, and the ride was better than Gold Rusher, but still not as good as Adventure Express. It was kinda fast, with that wonderful bit of speed track (?) over the water. All in all it was fun, but don’t know for sure that I’d hop back on again.
I walked thru Frontier Trail again and went back to Millie to see how the line was. 2 ½ hours still, so I decided to skip my nite ride there. I still needed to get Mantis and Wild Cat, so I headed to Mantis first. I had tried to ride earlier in the day, but the line was too long. It looked shorter now, and the op at the entrance said it was only a few minuets wait. Boy was she wrong…
Mantis: What should have been no more than 30 minuets tops was over an hour, and that was starting at 7:45. I think I got on the ride around 9:00 pm. The 3 people in front of me were annoying, and when I caught the one girl smoking, I bought had a fit.
Mantis is like a halfway neutered Change. It wasn’t a bad coaster, but I’m not a huge stand up or inversion fan, so I’ll likely be skipping this next time. It is forceful, and placed nicely in the park, but nothing too excitable. I don’t see what people complain about when they say its painful and all, but I just didn’t find it that exciting. One thing that ticked me off was that they were sending plenty of half empty trains with that kind of wait! Why it important on Magnum and Gemini, which both had short waits, but not on Mantis which had a freakin huge line?!?
After that way too long of a line, I wanted to hit Wild Cat and Demon Drop, but Wild Cat was closed. Oh well, I’ll have that to get me back to the park maybe next year. I should have gone to Demon Drop, but I figured I’d be at Geauga Lake the next day, and they have the same thing. T
hat would be my second regret of the day, but I wouldn’t know that till the next morning. So, instead of all that, at 9:30 I got in line for Dragster yet again. It was launching consistently and the dispatches were quicker than earlier in the day. They said it was at least a 2 hour wait, but I could see for myself that it wasn’t.
I guess Cedar Point felt pity on all of us poor guests since Dragster was throwing a Diva Fit all day, so they let us get in line. I watched the little bit of fire works that went with the laser show from line, which ended up being about an hour.
I wanted to get a front seat ride, but they were closing that line down when I got in the station, so I was in seat 3, since I was a single rider.
Dragster, at nite: Dragster at nite was even more incredible! I don’t think I saw a filled train go below 123 mph all day, and at least one go 125 mph (it flew over the top). The launch was great at nite. Going up the hill was amazing with my glasses on, and the top was still blissful.
I want one of these in my back yard, please. I went to the lockers and got my stuff. All of the other rides had closed down. I was going by the station as they were loading the last trains of the nite, but the one ride op wouldn’t let me get on, and there were plenty of empty seats between the last 2 trains. I was kinda mad, but got even madder when she yelled and told some kids that had just got off they could get back on, as they were heading down the exit.
It wouldn’t have been any problem to let me get on; I was right near the exit! Oh well. My feet were hurting, and I had about an hour and a half ride to Geauga Lake to sleep. I stopped at Burger King for some food, and off I went. Final Thoughts-Cedar Point Rocks! I had a blast, and even with their Dragster problems, the park had the rides up as much as possible all day.
I didn’t see one closed ride the entire time. I had a blast, and will be going back to the point in the future. I was most surprised by Gemini and Disaster Transport. I think I liked Dragster and Millie the best, I love launches and I love speed. People say they don’t have enough flats. I think that yes, they could use a Giant Swing, a Giant Top Spin, or some other giant rides, but to me, the park is darn near perfect. I didn’t even mind the so called lack of trees. Oh, and they aren’t running out of room, either;)
Edit: Edited format. Why dosen't it keep the Format the first time?!?
*** Edited 8/19/2004 10:09:45 PM UTC by TeknoScorpion***
Yes Aurora and GL need better signage and directions. I got so confused and lost trying to find SFWOA last summer...and that was after I had already exited the interstate. I'm sure I must've driven around an extra 20-30 mins trying to find the park. Maybe CF will correct that situation. Did you by chance visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland?
Next time, try a front seat ride on both MF and TTD. It will just blow you away!
But do try and catch a front seat ride on Dragster. It literally blows you away. My eyes were watering each time.
I was surprised at how crowded the park was Monday and Tuesday. My friend and I assumed that all the rascals were gonna be back in school...but it was the busiest I had ever seen the park...but oh well, we definitely got a ton of rides in and also got to see Snoopy on Ice and the Summer Spectacular...I was surprised at how much we accomplished between the two days.
I took a couple of pics...but none are as good as the ones we took in the parking lot. Who knew putting pringles on your closed sunroof while sitting in the car watching seagulls swoop down to snatch them could make you laugh so hard. I have a life, I promise! *** Edited 8/20/2004 2:43:58 AM UTC by Glitch01***
Glad you got in pretty much everything, but night front on MF, night front TTD, and pretty much everything else are godly coaster experiences.
If you want a TTD in your backyard, come move up to NJ with me. ;)
And one other debate I can finally put to rest, BTW: Magnum is, infact, orange and silver. Even though its faded, its still orange, which was a shock to me as I always thought it to be red.
Another great camping spot is Traveland Camp Sandusky, about ten minutes from CP. Not quite as inexpensive as Crystal Rock, but very nice, and a super easy drive from there to the CP causeway. My first CP visit was last August, and I'm planning my next visit for next summer (this year it's Superhero Celebration 3 at my home park, SFNE - sadly a full-time job and a side business keep my ass away from my favorite twisted steel except for once or twice a year). *** Edited 8/20/2004 9:56:18 AM UTC by pete4winds*** *** Edited 8/20/2004 9:58:35 AM UTC by pete4winds*** *** Edited 8/20/2004 9:59:44 AM UTC by pete4winds*** *** Edited 8/20/2004 10:00:28 AM UTC by pete4winds***
You haven't experienced airtime until you've ridden S:ROS at SFNE. MF merely floats over its hills.
But yeah, that moment of seeing it all for the first time gave me that funny feeling in my tummy. Now if only I could find a girl that looked like janet to do the same for me;).
I definitely took under 10 pictures at Cedar Point this year! I usually like to be creative and come up with fun shots, but this year I just wanted to relax and not carry anything around with me (that I'd need a locker for). But those pictures are from the same day TeknoScorpion went.
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