So, on July 25th, three friends, my brother, and I left the Chicago area for my third trip to CP. This was my first trip "on my own," so to speak (ie: without at least one parent), so I was pretty excited. We left around ten, and got to the hotel (in Bellevue) just before four. I had stayed there the previous year, and had been throuroughly impressed with just about everything. This year, it didn't go as well: At the front desk, I was informed that the lady I had spoken with on the phone had booked me for August 25th and 26th, not July (This after telling her twice to make sure it was for July). As there were no rooms, we ended up in a motel eight miles farther away from the park. One, not-so-nice room, as opposed to a really nice suite: But we did pay a bit less.
After that less than stellar start, we were all pretty happy to finally get to the park. We had three Buy-One-Get-One-Free coupons for Starlight tickets, so we hooked a random person with no coupon to round out our group of five (whoo-hoo! Karma!). I had heard that Raptor gets lower later in the day, so we hit that first. Forty minutes after entering the line (twenty less than I had ever waited for it before), I got my first coaster ride of the year.
And what ride! Raptor was, as always, great. Smooth intense, and very, very long, this ride is simply a work of art. Some rides are just random collections of loops and hills; Raptor is deliberatedly choreographed for maximum thrill. Ah, this is why I put up with all the hotels and hassles.
Highly invigorated by a ride unlike any they had experienced at Grteat America, my friends were eager to follow my lead. I directed our little posse over to Blue Streak. True to my experiences, it was virtually a walk-on. Blue Streak was a good, old-fashioned, rip-roaring ride. Great stuff. Maybe a tad rough, but who really cares on a ride like tha?. After that, there was some discussion about dinner, but we decided to put it off. Instead, wwe headed for Corkscrew. Of course, when we saw the short line for Power Tower, we had to take in this small distraction. Marcy picked the side that shoots you down. I had only been on the Space Shot side before, and was rather impressed by this new experience. After Giant Drop at SFGAm and Tower of Terror at Disney World, I didn't think a drop ride could do that. But the real deal with Power Tower happened in the line.
The entire time, I had been eyeing the unmistakable profile of Top Thrill Dragster. No train, as far as I had seen, had crested the hill, or even made an attempt. But while waiting for PT, the glorious sound of revving engines suddenly blared across the Midway. Almost a minute later, it happened: A train (empty) shot from the launch zone, and made for the hill. Wow. Even at our distance, we were more than impressed. We were stunned. Dragster's main hill is simply indescribable, even with pictures. Seeing something so close suddenly appearing so far away, so high, and so quickly is just incredible. Unfortunately, it only ran (with people) three or four times before a roll-back.
After Power Tower, we took out belated ride on Corkscrew. True to form, it was a walk-on. The ride was a tad rough, of course, but very, very fun (I simply love that little bunny hop before the loop). My only real complaint with it is length: It's far too short. After Corkscrew, we had a belated dinner at Coaster's. Far overpriced, of course, but the diner theming was rather fun. We all managed to cram in a booth, and amused ourselves seeing how many of the tunes listed in the jukebox we recognized. Three of us (myself included) hopped right onto Iron Dragon (another walk-on) after dinner, while the other two waited for their stomachs to settle. ID was a pleasure, as always. I didn't miss the trees as much as I thought I would, and the water finale seems to get better every time. We hopped right back on again, after convincing the other two to join us. It was generally agreed that this ride is a good post-meal activety.
I had caught a glimpse of Mantis' line from Iron Dragon, and had seen several empty snakes: Therefore, it seemed logical to try that one next. It was about a forty minute wait. As I have found typical on that crowded boarding station, the line for the second row was merely a one train wait, so one friend and I managed to snag it. The ride was what I had remembered: Intense, intense, intense. This time I actually noticed the incredible hang time in the first loop, but I have to say my favorite part is still the dive loop. All in all, it's a decent ride.
After Mantis, there was only one thig to do: With the second largest coaster in the country right next door, where else would we have gone? Millie's queue was about an hour ten. We whiled away the time discussing the nature of art, and before I knew it, I was seated in the very back seat (unfortunately, I was stapled, so I didn't really experience whatever airtime might have been there). As we got in, my friend asked me, "So, what's the big deal with this ride, anyway?" I rattled off a few statistics to him, but I think it only really hit home as we crested the hill, and he "said" something I'm not supposed to print here (it began with "S," and was preceded by "holy"). Great, great ride, especially in the dark. Not quite as intense as Batman: The Ride, but just as fast-paced, and much, much longer.
Millie had left us on a high, but with closing time fast approaching, we decided to end on that positive note. We had the whole next day, so we weren't in a rush, after all. A leisurely stroll down the Midway and a long, long drive to the motel finished things off, and we rested ourselves for a full day of coastering.
To be continued...
I hear America screaming...
Keep your Arms Down, Head back, and Hold On!
The Millenium Force ride Ops: Squishing you where it counts since 2000.
Track Record: 62 coasters at 17 parks.
I hear America screaming...
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