Cedar Point- The Return (5/29/02)- very long

Associated parks:
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Saturday, June 8, 2002 6:51 PM
This is copied from an email post I made to the roller coaster talk email list that I'm a member of, so if it's formatting funny, please forgive me in advance. I'm just to lazy to go back and fix up this big long thing. Oh, also sorry in advance for a few lines that people on our list might get but are more obscure here. yes, there are a couple of inside jokes running through here. :-)

Also a brief note of history. This is for my second trip to CP. The first was back in Oct and was not a good trip in any ways. That one it was raining, CP had no signs up saying anything was closed. The lady at the window told me everything should be open. I paid my admission to get in only to find everything but 4 rides closed. Then they closed the park 1/2 way through it's operating day. In the end, after a few very polite phone calls, letters and emails, not only did I not get a refund (no surprise there) but I got absolutely no response from the park at all. (just a simple sorry would have been nice). So, figuring that was an aberation, my goal on this trip was to see what CP was REALLY like, and to make up for my "lost admission money" on the last trip. ;-)

** start actual trip report here **

Well, finally feeling caught up on the emails and so forth, so it's time to start out the grand trip reports from this last week. So here goes,
and happy reading. Oh, and if you don't want to read about the coasters, then at least catch the end of the report for the overall stuff.

Cedar Point- Wednesday, May 29th
The people- Me, Brian (AFLAC!), and Josh
Weather- partially cloudy for most of the day, though we did have a few
brief showers. Nothing bad though.
Crowds- very light. Almost everything was a walk on.
Scoring- I'm going to use a 1-10 scale with 0's being really bad and
negatives meaning "taer is down now!"

I arrived on a red eye flight at Cleveland at about 7am, where Brian
picked me up from the airport. We headed over to his place for a short
time where he and Josh rested a bit more. No way was I sleeping though,
cause I knew if I hit a pillow I wasn't moving again. By the end of the
day I had reached close to 40 hours without sleeping, but was still
going strong, surprisingly enough.

Once Brian got up, we packed up and headed out to Sandusky, arriving
shortly after the park was opened. Paid our $8 parking (not far off of
Six Flags prices, and more than at some of them), flashed our passes at
the gates and walked on in for my return to CP and see if it's really
what people said it is and if they could make up for my "lovely
experience" last October.

Our first stop was Wicked Twister where we took a couple of rides,
including one in the AFLAC seat (next to last row, right side). This
was my first impulse (S:UE would have been but I got bumped on my
planned flight the night before) and it was a great, fun ride. Going up
and looking down at the beach spinning below you was a neat sensation.
However I do think that my lack of sleep affected me some as I didn't
find it as thrilling as I thought I would, and actually felt like I
enjoyed the straight climbs on the other 2 impulses that I rode later on
in the trip. But based on how I was feeling at the time I rode it would
get a score of around 7. Who knows, if a chance for a reride ever comes
up that might climb, but for now...

From there we walked next door to Disaster Transport, which as luck
would have it turned out to be coaster number 100 for me. Josh loaned
me a pair of the 3d glasses that he had found, which did make the empty
queue more interesting to see. We got up to the front and hoped right
on to a sled waiting for us and took off for the trip. The glasses came
off shortly after the first hill and I didn't' wear them the rest of the
way, but they did make for some interesting visuals. I never did hear
the "welcome to Alaska" spiel that is supposedly part of the ride, but
it sure wouldn't have made sense as it feels much more like a space
themed ride. In any case, CP obviously has some learning to do on how
to theme a ride. DT is a moderately fun ride, but seemed very short.
It also didn't seem to have the fun that I recall having on the other 2
bobsled rides I've been on (SFMM an SFoT), and even had different types
of seating than those did. While it's not a bad ride by any means, I
wouldn't call is a great one either, so it hit a nice solid 5.

We took a quick ride on the Schwabinchen (trabant), which is one simple
flat that I've always enjoyed, then began walking around the park a bit
more, eventually making our way to our next coaster and getting ready
for our run of Arrows.

Corkscrew was next, and is a typical Arrow loopscrew with one loop.
Short, to the point, and I'm still enjoying the arrow corkscrew
elements. There was a little banging, but not a lot, and nowhere near
the complaints that I hear so many give (something I found true of
almost every arrow on the trip, with one notable exception at PKI). But
once again a middle of the roader- nothing bad, but nothing great
either. So another 5. We then took a break at the troika (another of
my favorite flats from when I was a kid) and headed to the next coaster.

Next up was the big mama Arrow, also known as Magnum, and that somehow
made it's way on the Discovery top 10 (I don't know how except for the
CP'ers that can't think). For all those with strong views about Maggie,
I'm not in either camp- I neither hate it nor love it. You could tell
that when it opened it was one awesome coaster. But you could also tell
that it has deteriorated some (maybe it's due to that sinking. ;-) )
The airtime hills on the return run did hurt, but not as bad as some
say. But the description of them being shaped like /\ /\ /\ is pretty
appropriate. But once again Maggie managed to hit a solid 5 for me
(anyone seeing a pattern here yet)

Next we popped our way over to Gemini, where they were only running one
side all day. Being a racer, it would have been nice if they had been
racing. Let's see, hows that line go- "If you're going to build a
racing coaster Six Flags, then stinking race it!" Oh, whoops, wait.
It's not Six Flags. My bad. :-)

Anyways, Gemini is a fun coaster with a couple of great drops mixed in
with some very boring track moments that would be much more fun with a
train next to you racing along. While I'm sure it would get higher
ratings if it was racing, there was enough bumping and boredom to place
Gemini with a solid... can you guess.... wait for it.... 5!

After this we took our break from Arrowdom with a quick trip on the
woodstock express, a custom Vekoma roller skater that while longer still
rides like a typical skater. A great ride for the kids, and one that my
kids would love (you knew that was coming!) but for me gets a big fat 4.

Then it was back to Arrow once again for the Cedar Creek Mine ride. I
didn't realize that it used to be blocked for 6 trains, but now only
runs 3 (nudge), but it's pretty typical of an Arrow mine train. It
delivered a performance pretty equal with that of it's counterpart in CA
in terms of ride thrills, but without the landscaping you see around the
hills of SFMM. And with a lot more trims. But once again CP pulled out
all the stops and scored a 5.

However, after this it was finally time for CP to break out of it's
scoring slump and we headed over to that bid pile of wood nearby known
as Mean Squeak, er, Streak. MS was squeaking away real bad, and it's
real obvious where it gets its nickname from. We hopped on and
proceeded to head up the lift hill and started down it only to
encounter a trim right on the drop. Now if you know me, trims on drops
are one of my biggest beefs, and CP and Dorney are the only parks I've
encountered that. Not a points winner in my book. We then proceeded to
slam, bang, jackhammer, and squeak our way through the course and
several more trims. When I say this coaster is a pile, I mean pretty
much that. It scores a big 0 from me (for those interested, Psyclone
out west is a -1, yes it was that close) Or in RRC terms, taer it down!
ugggggg. (sorry, that last comment just popped to mind)

At this point we were gettting pretty hungry, and I was hoping for
something beside mediocrity, so we decided to grab a bite to eat.
Looking at the map we decided to try Dastardly Dan's with it's BBQ
ribs, chicken and Pulled Pork. Closed. Well, forget the pulled pork
then. Instead we headed out to the Midway Market where we ate at the
buffet for $10 each. With a big selection on the buffet (tacos,
burgers, pasta, pizza, ice cream, CHEESECAKE, and a lot more, and all of
it tasting good, I can say that it was definately in teh good park food
category there. So score one for CP in the food department.

Next up was one of those coasters that everyone talks about- Raptor! We
took a few rides on it, since the lines were low. Raptor has some great
spots, with the drop off the midcourse being one of my favorites along
with a great helix. But it has one major problem that just kills this
ride- the snapping brake turn into the final breaks. If it didn't knock
you out during the ride, it sure tries to physically knock you out here.
It would be a great coaster without that neck snapping, head smashing
moment. But because of it it drops down a bunch in my book.
Additionally, even as good as the rest is, even if they fixed that spot
I don't think I'd enjoy it as well at Batman: The Ride. Without that
horrible brake it'd probably be an 8. With it I'm not sure whether to
put it in the 4 or 5 range. To put it simply, that brake bit hard.

So we decided to try to rest my head and hit up what may have actually
turned out to be one of my favorite 2 coasters in the park: Blue Streak.
We were Schmecking all over this John Allen coaster (meaning we rode in
seat 1.3) and I absolutely loved all it's great moments of airtime,
including a couple of great big shots on the return trip. We got in a
bunch of rides here in two different shifts and I just loved this old
piece of wood. Please, Schmeck me some more and pop me back in and out
of that seat! Definately one of the highlights and one earning a 9.

From here we hit up Wildcat, which is a pretty typical model, running
well, and fun, but with a hard shot in the brakes at the end. If they
would extend the braking and let you get off in the same spot where you
get on instead of having an "unload" area, it would probably help it a
lot. But as it is, it scores a 4

Finally we made it around for the one that everyone talks about, and my
110'th coaster- Millenium Force. Throughout the day we managed to get 3
rides on MF, including one using their new Freeway system (which works
exactly like Disney's Fastpass except that they stamp your hands instead
of giving you a piece of paper). With 2 rides in back adn one ride in
the second row, I can say that MF is one great coaster. It's got a
great pullover in the back that gives you a big pop coming down if you
pull your feet up as you get to it (a trick I learned from Brian), and
after that it's all speed. In fact that's pretty much all that MF is,
is speed. There's one little speedbump by the queue line that gives you
a brief burst of air, but that's about all that it does. Ideally, being
the airtime monger that I am, I would have liked a lot more air on it.
Perhaps if they'd extended the end of the coaster enough to put in an
airtime shot or two before the brakes? If you're looking to go fast,
MF is your coaster, but if you're looking for something else, you
probably won't find it here. As it is, it still gets a 9 just for being
the awesome piece that it is. But in the grand scheme of things (since
people will ask), I rate it about the same as Goliath since they are
such different beats (Goliath is all about smooth G's as opposed to just
being as fast as it can).

The last coaster we hit was one right accross the way- Mantis. My first
problem here was with the operator who was busy gabbing away on his
microphone (shut up already!). My normal routine on standups is to put
my toes on the lip of the car so I have room to move without being
emasculated. However that wasn't good for the op who had me move my
feet back. Ok, not a problem and I stood up in a normal fashion for
him. Not good enough. He wants my feet so far back that I'm falling
forward and keeps waving at them (actually hitting my leg a couple of
times) until I finally growl at him that if they go any further back I'm
going to fall over. So then he pulls up on the seat. Great, thanks.
Good think I already have kids. He was the only employee I had any
problems with at all during the day though.

Anyways, back to the ride. Having now been on at least 6 stand up
coasters, I can easily say that Mantis is far and away the worst of
them. From the lousy trim on teh drop to headbanging that is far worse
than any Arrow I've ever been on (shame B&M), Mantis is from begining to
end one of the biggest piles I've ever been on. It easily earned the
dubious -1 and falls pretty easily among the worst coasters I've ever
riden. Just ask the sore head and neck I had afterwards. ouch.

We walked around some more, checked out the museum, and closed out the
night with another ride on MF before heading out. We didn't ride Iron
Dragon or Power Tower since I caught them on my last visit back in Oct.
(don't leave, I'm not done yet. now comes the important part!)

OTHER THOUGHTS, CONCLUSIONS, ETC.

Things I liked:
The food. Chost (cheese on a stick) was good, well at least when it
didn't take them 4 tries to cook it right. :-)
The park has a great selection of flat rides and things to see and
do. Very easy to keep entertained.
PEPSI instead of that blasted coke-a-cola pop.
Clean park with efficient staff. They weren't the incredible
outstanding people that some make them out to be, but there certainly
wasn't anything wrong here either. Not outstanding in any way- good or
bad- which is still good.

Things I didn't like:
That stupid op on Mantis.

The headsets that they've got someone yakking away into on almost
every coaster. At first it was kinda neat to hear someone describing
the coaster. But most of the time they're reciting facts that would fit
just as well on a plaque somewhere, and they do it non-stop. I don't
need to hear on every ride how they're going to "send you up to a height
of ** then zooming down at a speed of ** while you experience a
thrilling ** G's on your way thorugh a course that is ** feet long"
Blah blah blah, non-stop. I honestly wondered if they could breathe.
It would be ok I guess if they could show a little originality in what
they said and maybe interact with people in line, but as it was it just
got real old real stinking quick.

Speaking of interaction, do they really have to scream at the end of
so many coasters, "how did you like your ride?" Especially the crappy
ones. Yep, always nice to hear people get off of Magnum and respond
with, "uggg, I didn't".

Oh, and Cedar Points peevishness with not crossing yellow lines,
even where there are loading gates, was really kinda silly. Magnum has
loading gates, but you can't cross the yellow line that's 3 feet behind
the gate either. Isn't that a bit ridiculous?
Not a big beef, but I'm not to keen on how often they assign seats
and don't let you line up for a specific seat other than the front and
back. I understand that it helps keep the station from being
congested, but I like feeling like I have a choice of seats, not that
I'm being herded like cattle.


And since so many will want to know, how does it compare vs. SFMM?
Here I would call it a tie.
SFMM has more outstanding coasters than CP does. CP has a huge edge
on mediocre ones though. :-)
But on flats CP wins there hands down (even though they run their
Chaos at the slowest speed I think I've ever seen).
Staffing and cleanliness I would call it dead even. Though CP does
have a little edge in food selection to.
I would love to be able to compare shows, but didn't have time to
catch any of CP's.

So that's my report. Thanks for reading this big long monster.

George Burnash

-------------
Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down.
But with God, life is one thrill ride that you'll never regret being on.

*** This post was edited by Sir Willow on 6/8/2002. ***

+0
Saturday, June 8, 2002 6:55 PM

I am really scared to go on Raptor now :-O

Is it just this year that the turn is that bad?

*** This post was edited by GhettoCoaster on 6/8/2002. ***

+0
Sunday, June 9, 2002 1:14 AM

))Schmeck me some more and pop me back in and out

I love this, that's a great term to use for those little air busts. I'm sure Herb would have been amused.

+0
Sunday, June 9, 2002 5:29 AM

your stories changed about CP everychance they get, SirWillow. I have no clue why you even p osted it

+0
Sunday, June 9, 2002 7:10 AM
What's up with Mantis these days? It used to be so smooth.
-------------
Bake 'em away toys.
+0
Sunday, June 9, 2002 3:28 PM

Dunk said:
"your stories changed about CP everychance they get, SirWillow. I have no clue why you even p osted it"

Huh???

Well, lets see, I posted it because people like to read trip reports and see what experiences others had. I thought that some might like to read mine.

And I'm really curious as to what stories changed about CP, and how they change every chance I get. Since I'm sure that Jeff wouldn't really want that posted up, please feel free to email it to me at sirwillow77@hotmail.com Cause I'm really clueless as to what on earth you are refering to as changing.

-------------
Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down.
But with God, life is one thrill ride that you'll never regret being on.

+0
Sunday, June 9, 2002 3:44 PM
Surprisingly, Chang at SFKK is hella smoother, and Look Ma, No Trims! That said and done, I think Mean Streak isn't as bad as most say it is, but the definate wood in the park is Blue Streak. What a great ride...

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Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society-Chicago Chapter

+0

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