Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
I found myself back in Northeast Ohio this weekend sort of last minute visiting family and had the opportunity to do a half day at Cedar Point today. I knew I would be limited to 10am-3pm, but a Friday in mid-July... why was I going at all? I had visions of a full parking lot by 9:45 and getting on two or three rides and calling it a day. Plus, the state is under a heat advisory with "feels like" temps near 100. But it's still a touch cooler than when I left Orlando yesterday morning.
That said, I hit the Cedar Point jackpot. The day all of us CP fans can only dream of. The kind of day that until today, I didn't even think existed.
The whole place was filled with walk ons. And not just the first 20 minutes of the day either. I had two station waits on Millennium Force. A station wait for Maverick at 11:30. Gatekeeper was sending half empty trains. I never saw Gemini or Magnum open the cars that are normally chained off for the first hour or so of operation for weight distribution. I had a train to myself on Mean Streak and later was one of four on a Magnum train. Valravn had a solid hour wait throughout the day, so I skipped it since I got a lap in June and I will be back again in August and October. I also waited about 20 minutes for a front seat ride on Raptor around 1:30, although when we left that too was a walk-on. I'm not sure if it was the heat, the RNC ending in Cleveland, or just the true luck of the draw. But it truly was a "best day ever" today at Cedar Point if you could stand the heat. For a while I wanted to do something I never have done (or even cared about doing) which would be to hit every coaster in the park in one day. Just to say one time I did it. But with the limited time I didn't want to pass up multiple laps on the good stuff just to give other rides a courtesy ride to be able to say I rode them all in one day. I did take courtesy rides on Mine Ride and Iron Dragon. I also got my first lap on Blue Streak in probably two or three seasons and it was running very well.
Compared with my June trip when ride crews seemed a bit lackluster, today felt like the old days. Magnum hit interval with three trains on all four of my laps and the crew was phenominal. Gemini did as well on my rides. Rougarou was getting them out before the previous train even hit the midcourse at times. MF wasn't stacking at all, which I haven't seen in several seasons. The only crew that was terribly stacking for no real reason was Maverick, turning a station wait into an almost 20 minute process. And given the scorching heat, every ride crew was on the ball with good energy, hustle, and adding a good sense of fun to things.
The big negative was the food. Today was one of those days we didn't want to sit down for a full lunch somewhere decent and we were reminded at how crappy the quick service options are. We wound up at the Round Up and got a mediocre cheeseburger and awful food service fries for $ 17.50 after tax and a bottled water. Both the cost and quality were absolutely unacceptable and reflect so poorly on the otherwise better than ever guest experience that can be found at the park these days. You shouldn't have to want to go to a sit down restaurant to get acceptable food at the park.
The walk ons made me feel more like a coaster geek today than I have in probably 10+ years. I can't even tell you the last time I have cared enough to re-ride stuff at a park, but I was power walking from the Magnum exit back to the entrance like I used to when I was a geeky teenager. Usually after a half/three quarter day in a park I am ready to go, but when 3pm hit I stretched it out as long as I could, and I would be happy as a clam to still be there now walking on rides I have never seen walk ons for. It was a fun day. And the crews deserve major props for being awesome in this heat. Even though for me, coming from Orlando, it was still just a *touch* cooler than home, which was better than nothing!
I think the heat has to be a big part of it. We went in the evening on the 21st and if there wasn't the dive-in movie going on at Soak City I would never have left my air conditioned house. We were only in the park from 6:30-8:30pm but got on Magnum, Gemini, Blue Streak 2x, GateKeeper and Raptor as station waits only. I'm sure we spent more time walking between each coaster than we did in line all evening.Not sure what Millennium was because we didn't walk that far before heading back to get our stuff for Soak City. Just those evening two hours had me going through Gatorade like nobody's business and so drenched in sweat that getting my bathing suit on was a major task. Of course by the time the movie was over close to midnight sitting there in the wave pool with the wind off the lake I was actually shivering when we left but it felt so good. During the movie Magnum was often running with only 4 or 5 people on a train.
Magnum was running (at least some) four-rider trains and they still were in three train operation? Now that's most impressive.
Also, it isn't necessary to give roller coasters courtesy rides. You may be as discourteous to a roller coaster as you wish. You may act downright rude, if you prefer. Roller coasters will still forgive you. They're just forgiving that way. 😃
Unless you step into the infield of a B&M invert.
Thanks for the heads up!
I see what you did there...I'll tell you how terrible and insensitive that is after I finish laughing ;)
Nice report. They are really in their prime season right now, so it is surprising to hear the heat seemed to scare away so many people.
I "attempted" to get some food from Round Up last month and was very unimpressed as well. The workers seemed very unorganized and it was unclear where you should be standing in order to place your order. I eventually bailed and went to another location. I also noticed they added some of those self-service kiosks for placing your order. It seemed like there was a good chance you would never see your food if you used it though, at least not without grabbing a worker and asking.
I visited Six Flags Great America outside Chicago on the same day last Friday and I experienced a similar much lighter than expected turnout, presumably due to the heat index warning that was in effect out that way as well. I guess we should add these heat warnings to the same category that a forecast for scattered thunderstorms can make for a deterrent to larger crowds.
The heat warning is actually more likely to keep me away than thunderstorms.
It was hot. But Friday was one of the best days I've had at Cedar Point in the 11 years I've been going.
^ I know, right? I came preparing for a packed July Friday and had more quality ride time than I can ever remember. Even May weekdays can't compare with some of the walkons I had last Friday. Made bearing the heat totally worth it.
Sounds like a good time to visit CP with this heat wave. I'd almost be willing to brave the heat for a day like that. Can always take a break to spend some time at Soak City cooling down.
Being Hersheypark locals it hasn't been any less crowded here. The bad part is they are heading directly to waterpark like we do. We head right for the lazy river and spend a long time in there. Slides that wouldn't have a wait first thing have long lines.
I wish I could take advantage of it but I just don't handle the heat well. Never cared for it and now have to be careful with it for medical reasons. Just the two hours I spent in it before the dive-in had me drained and ready to drop. For those of you that love the heat this is your chance.
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