Cedar Point 7/6 and 7/7, 2005...Bad park operations? I think not...

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Saturday, July 9, 2005 3:07 PM
I will try not to ramble on about nothing in this one, but I don’t guarantee a short report either.

Ive heard so much talk of how park operations have gone down hill overall, but I honestly just didn’t see that, as I’ll explain. This was my first trip to Cedar Point without my parents, so I was pretty excited, and I also took along a friend of mine who has never been to CP. We left central Illinois at 6AM to begin the 400 mile trip to Sandusky. Suprisingly smooth driving the way there, not so lucky on the way back, but Id rather have problems on the way back then the way there. Got to our hotel at 2:50. We stayed at the Howard Johnson right across from the Causeway entrance. Not the nicest place ever, but they were one of only a handful that rents rooms to those under age 21, and we really couldn’t beat that location. We checked in and we were at the park by 3:30.

Now I only get to the park once a year, my first time was in 1999, and I think ive even missed a year or two from then until now, so im not an expert on this by any means, but one of the first things I noticed was how packed the parking lot was. I of course tried to drive up near the front to find a spot, I ended up almost parking in that employee section over on the far right side until I noticed the numbers and the little stickers on people’s cars. I did find a good spot not too far from there though. Going in, it was readily apparent that it was pretty crowded. Blue Streak said a 45 minute wait, it ended up being 30, but that was still far longer than Ive ever waited for Blue Streak.

The rest of this report wont really be in order, I’ll just point out things I feel important and noteworthy. I noticed one time on Disaster Transport the op didn’t check our restraints…do they not need to on this or something? Not that I care, I just found it a little strange. I wasn’t very impressed with MaxAir, the restraints were just a little to, how do I say this…tight for my liking. You really couldn’t get a very good feel for the ride. Raptor was a 45 minute wait in late afternoon, again longer than I remember it ever being in years past. The seat belts on Corkscrew do seem a little ridiculous, and Ive heard talk of how slow the ops are, but they didn’t seem slow to me, I don’t feel it’s their fault. The thing that really holds things up is the fact that they make you check your own seat belts...im assuming this is because of their proximity to the pelvic region? I could of course be wrong on this, someone please correct me if I am.

Ive really gotta commend the Magnum crew, they were doing an awesome job every time I rode it over my 2 days, they always seemed upbeat and fast. The line never extended past the DJ booth and was always less than a 30 minute wait. As for the whole “V” thing, It is a little dumb, but It didn’t seem to slow them down any…most of them just kind of stuck one foot behind the pole while sticking most of their body out the side. The op’s were spieling, and doing a really good job about that as well, joking about how “the tunnel isn’t really on fire, those are just special effects.” I, like many others, can now see how auto spieling hurts a ride. And I honestly don’t think its just us hardcore fans that notice, I do think the general park guest really enjoys the manual spiels, even if they don’t necessarily come on here and post about it. Perfect example, one time on Thursday while on Magnum, when our train was stopped on the break run just before you enter the station, some guy in the back was having a good time, sort of mocking the auto spiel guy(not in a bad way) He said something like this, quite loudly so the whole train could hear it… “Welcome back Magnum riders, how was your ride” then he went ahead and answered himself “It was Crazzzyyy…we got stuck!” We of course didn’t technically get stuck, it was just one of the rare times the crew didn’t hit interval and we were stopped right there after that last tunnel. This I thought was very funny, and just a perfect example of how everyone enjoys the manual spiels.

During our second day we road Disaster Transport again in late afternoon to beat the heat, even though the high was supposedly only 80 degrees, it seemed pretty hot with that sun beating down on you. It was a 40 minute wait, and while we were riding some girl in front of us, immediately after the ride was over way complaining, saying “That’s it?, I waited 40 minutes for THAT” I pointed out that at least it was air conditioned…this comment generated a hearty laugh from several people, but im not sure why because I wasn’t trying to be funny, I was serious.

Ive heard some complaints around about how the food service is slow, but I never noticed that either. I was always served my food very fast, but I’ll admit I never ate at one of the actual sit-down restaurants, and we always ended up eating at times that weren’t normal eating times, 2:30 for lunch, 8:00 for dinner, ect. Now that I mention it, employee morale as a whole seemed high. I seldom saw and employee that looked bummed out or anything like that. In fact there were several occasions that seemed to be just the opposite, where employees would seem to be really enjoying themselves, talking to guests and everything. For example, while waiting for MF late at night after closing, the girl at the bottom of the ramp was joking about how if all of you handnt entered the line, she wouldnt have to be here right now. Now that I type it this almost sounds like an employee complaining, but the way she said it, it didnt come off like that at all. One person said he had to get up for work at 7 the next morning, and she said she's been at the park since 8AM. Another example, on the Mine Ride, one female op noticed a little girl in the train that was very scared…she tried to comfort her, saying how it just has little drops and dosent go fast. Its little things like these that I think everyone notices and I think can really make you have a better day at the park. Another example of awesome employees was on Gemini. When we rode it at 10PM several times in a row on Thursday night the ops seemed to be really enjoying themselves, and I think this really rubs off onto the guests. It was readily apparent, everyone was getting into the race way more then that when we rode it earlier in the day. Lots of people hand slapping, which of course always make Gemini more enjoyable. At one point some kid started the Detroit Basketball chant, and the ride op checking restraints commented on how they lost, and the kid fired back with something else, and it just seemed that the Gemini crew were interacting with guests real well that night. Also during that night, the ride op at one point went through the spiel really fast once, you could barely understand him, and that got a laugh out of a lot of people, including the other ops and the guy doing the spieling himself. The energy in Gemini that night was the most I can remember in any rollercoaster in a long time, and If I had to vote on best crew in the park, my vote would definatley go to Gemini’s crew. We probably would’ve rode it until close if they didn’t stop running the blue train for the night at around 10:30.

We ended both days with night rides on Millennium Force, which of course were amazing. Yes, the MF crew is slower than they used to be in years past, but they still aren’t BAD. They do seem to hit interval from time to time, and for me there’s just something about the MF line that makes the waits seem not as bad, especially if a DJ is spinning tunes. Both times that we rode it at night we got in line at around 10:45 and were off by 11:30, the line was a few rows from the soda machines. The one time we rode it in the day the line was an hour in a half, but there was a DJ going so it didn’t seem bad at all. Getting out of the park that late after closing like that was new to me, it was really strange to walk through an almost empty park.

We decided to save Dragster until our 2nd day and we rode it first thing in the morning. Waited nearly an hour and of course had a great ride. We waited about 30 minutes in line for the Freeway later in the day, got our stamp for 8-9, and when we saw the wait for the front didn’t look very bad, we went ahead and waited. This was my first front seat ride, and ive gotta admit it was pretty amazing, but not quite as good as I was expecting. Im really a MF fan through and through. Its really nice to see Dragster running so well, that thing can really move a line pretty fast when its up and running like it should be.

Going into this trip, I was going in a little worried, after hearing so much about how the park just isn’t the same as it used to be. I came back still being fully impressed, Cedar Point is still the park that all other parks should look to if they want to see how to properly run an amusement park. While the crowds did pick up a lot mid day, they really begin to die out at around 8, and the park cools down and just seems like a much more enjoyable place after that. Another great Trip, I cant wait to go again next season. *** Edited 7/9/2005 7:09:25 PM UTC by stljason1*** *** Edited 7/9/2005 7:17:56 PM UTC by stljason1***

Saturday, July 9, 2005 3:20 PM
I agree, I was at CP on June 23rd, and everything was awesome. Every ride was open(except Chaos lol), I had several ride ops talk to me while I was standing behind the gate that opens and lets you board. I think we've gotten spoiled, and we point out things that a couple of years ago, we wouldn't think twice about.

Anyway, nice TR.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 6:45 PM
Nice TR. Many of the ride ops will talk with you and joke around with you while waiting for a train to enter or leave the station. A few have been there several years now and will remember you if you visit often. Or if you take several laps on a particular ride. It really does make for a better day.

Some people write their TR's and complain about slow service and lines after their first trip of the year. They forget that most of the people are new and still learning their job. Everyone is slow when they begin a new job.

I have had good luck this year as far as service goes. CP has been good, Hershey, Knobels and Dorney have been good. Food service at GADV was sloooowwwww, but the ride ops were good. SFNE was great. This year was my first visit to that park and I was very pleased. Everyone was friendly and service was fast. And I can't say much about SFDL because the power went out, but the ops on SMROS really tried to have fun while we waited for the power to come on.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 7:17 PM

stljason1 said:

Its really nice to see Dragster running so well, that thing can really move a line pretty fast when its up and running like it should be.

I'm still very excited to hear this. The ride's uptime is such a drastic change from the previous years. It used to be a breakdown every few hours, then a breakdown every day, now a breakdown every week. Kudos to CP!!

Saturday, July 9, 2005 8:07 PM
In late May, I was in the back half of the park while Millennium was down for four hours, Magnum was down for about two, but Dragster was running more or less like a champ. Talk about your bizarro worlds!
Saturday, July 9, 2005 11:50 PM
Well isn't that exciting for all of you! Dragster was down all day a couple Mondays ago and I never got a ride.

No, I'm not bitter...

At least I'll be back in Sept.


Sunday, July 10, 2005 2:21 AM
I was at the point May 22-25 and Dragster never went down. The park was deserted when I was there, and in 2.5 days in the park I got 24 MF rides, 13 Dragster rides, and 3+ on every other coaster. I guess I just got lucky. At the end of my first day there MF was a walk-on, they were sending out half-full trains for the last 45 minutes of the day. Needless to say I took advantage of that ;)
Sunday, July 10, 2005 3:03 AM
Restraints on Disaster Transport don't get physically checked. They're checked visually to ensure they're over your knees. There's blacklight responsive paint on the ends of the lapbars that allows the op to quickly see where the bar is.
Sunday, July 10, 2005 10:43 AM

Michael Darling said:
Restraints on Disaster Transport don't get physically checked. They're checked visually to ensure they're over your knees. There's blacklight responsive paint on the ends of the lapbars that allows the op to quickly see where the bar is.

Cool. I never knew that.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 12:55 PM
I've heard this for the last 3 years on Pointbuzz. every year at the begining of the season people complain about the service and dispatch times but when I go in late july to early august every coaster hits it's dispatch time perfectly. The service is also Awesome.
Sunday, July 10, 2005 3:01 PM
For example, while waiting for MF late at night after closing, the girl at the bottom of the ramp was joking about how if all of you handnt entered the line, she wouldnt have to be here right now. Now that I type it this almost sounds like an employee complaining, but the way she said it, it didnt come off like that at all.

Yeah I was there when she said that too. I was in line for Millnium after closing both nights. I was the dude who kept drinkin mountain dews, if you saw me. :)

The dude at the dippin dots stand on July 7th in the morning by Millenium and Mantis was kinda mean, I bought a 4 dollar cup and gave him a 20...he gave me 12 back. So I asked him politely to give me 4 more dollars. He reached in his pocket took the money out and threw it on the table and was like...you know what sir! Have a great day! But in a pissed off and sarcastic tone. Then the guy next to me who was a 40 year old guy buyin ice cream for his kids, he was all nice too. I don't get it.

Plus before this I ordered Bananasplit and Chocolate Mint. He's like..yeah sorry were out. Then I asked for Bananasplit and Chocolate Regular. Finally I found a flavor he had. But as I was walking away the guy ordered Chocolate and he refilled it for him! Now that is rude! *** Edited 7/10/2005 7:01:46 PM UTC by Kyle Fobe***

Sunday, July 10, 2005 9:57 PM
Oh yea I totally forgot to mention...I saw Monty Jasper while waiting in line for my TTD freeway on Thursday. We were standing near the Engine room I believe, and he came walking across from the other side of the midway, said excuse me as he walked through the line, and then entered a door to go into Dragster. Was kinda cool, he had his little name tag on and everything.
Sunday, July 10, 2005 10:06 PM
I'll back you up and say that's cool. CP celebrities.

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