Cedar Point 8/17-8/18/08; LOOONG

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:44 AM
I know there have been a million and one trip reports on Cedar Point, but since I am a first-timer to the park, I'm gonna let this one rip anyway. I noticed so much good and so much bad about this park that dangit, I want to share.

8/17

When I finally arrived in Sandusky, it reminded me somewhat of a beach town without the crowds. I was charmed by it, and I'm not quite sure why. Then I turned onto Cedar Point Drive and got to the lake and was blown away. I didn't know that it would actually be PRETTY, as parks tend to make the surrounding area ugly (Great Adventure's coasters all hang out by a gigantic, barren parking lot...Cedar Point's got the whole parking lot thing too obviously, but it just looks better). The park looked so cool perched on that peninsula, and seeing that combined with sailboats and beach was just really awesome. So far, so good.

I took a friend's suggestion and parked in the Soak City lot. Again, I was thrilled by the winding road with coasters on my right and beach on my left. Plus, the Soak City parking lot was so small that even though I was in the second to last row, the walk wasn't bad.

The first hairy thing to happen: The attendant at the ticket booth at Soak City told me the wrong way to go to get into the park. I ended up IN Soak City. Luckily, my season pass wouldn't scan and they just waved me through, so I didn't even need a hand stamp to get back OUT of Soak City. Still, wouldn't you know the right way to get into the park when you get asked the same question a million times a day? Then I found the correct entrance, and the girl at the gate made me get out of line and go get a complimentary ticket. Not a big deal, but where's the consistency? I was only mildly irritated, but my irritation grew when I looked for the line to Magnum for 20 minutes on arrival. There's no signs. No marker. I saw the station, and I saw the photo-hocking booth, but not an entrance. Finally I saw a huge crowd of people in front of a gate, and there was a sign with tiny little letters that said Magnum XL-2000. Yay, right? The line looked ridiculous, at LEAST an hour wait, but man did that line move! I was on a train in 20 minutes. Crazy props to the ride ops!!! :)

Magnum (4.5/10; 1 ride) Now, I'm going to tick some Magnum fans off with this blasphemy, so if you are a Magnum junkie, you may want to skip this part. I know what Magnum XL stands for. It stands for X-tra Large piece of sh**. Sure, the scenery is gorgeous, and the layout was fantastic. I'll give it that, but I'd rather sit on Rolling Thunder for an hour than ride Magnum again; it was THAT rough. There was a moment on every single airtime hill that would give such a jerking thump that I swear I felt my brains slap back and forth in my head. I felt like I was on a Vekoma-boomerang-on-crack coaster. I wanted to give it another chance, but I honestly was scared of it after that. Maybe I got a bad seat/bad train? If you took Steel Force's superior drop and smoothness and Magnum's awesome layout and scenery, you'd easily have a breathtaking ride. However, I'll stick with Steel Force.

Top Thrill Dragster (9/10: 1 ride) I decided to make TTD my 50th coaster. Sure I've been on Ka, but TTD's reputation is much more stellar, and I'd heard people say they were sorry they made Millennium Force their milestone coaster (which was the original plan). On TTD, I missed the entrance as well, but that was because I was too busy looking at all the theming. Well done, Cedar Point! After I walked by the gate (twice), I finally hopped into line....at the third set of switchbacks out of four. I groaned, thinking I had at least a two hour wait, but get this: 45 minutes. How is that possible? I mean, even with as many trains as they were running (I think four). You wait twice as long with Kingda Ka. Again, props to the ride ops. Plus, these ride ops were FUN. The announcer guy kept saying things like, "this is the tallest structure in Sandusky. Taller than the buildings IN Sandusky. So imagine the tallest building in Sandusky and then imagine falling off of it. That is what you're going to be doing in...ohhhhh...30 seconds or so?" I hopped into my seat in the middle of the train, and man was it comfy (and I fit FINE, thank you very much). So free, so open...what was I getting into? I was actually pretty scared, even though I had been on Ka. Then those traffic lights went from yellow to green, and DAMN! DAMN!!!! I actually FELT that launch. Ka is so rough from start to finish that the launch actually doesn't feel as fast as the smoothness that is TTD. Plus, the restraints (or lack thereof) make you feel like you're flying. Then that headchopper effect on the way down actually made me kind of fetal when I ducked. LOL Superior ride. Blows Ka away.

Wicked Twister (8/10: 1 ride): I was expecting a slightly wilder version of Voodoo, I sat in the very back seat just to be different than my usual front seat. Oh MAN did this ride blow away my expectations. On the highest point in the backseat, I was so shocked that I almost peed a little. *snicker* That had to be the weirdest, most different sensation I've ever had the pleasure of having. I got a nasty one-two headbang on the way back down from that last back twist, but I think Intamin did that on purpose to knock some sense back into WT riders. Whew!

Raptor (8.5/10; 1 ride): I get it now, guys. While my first ride on Raptor was not as "scary" as Talon, Raptor still knocked off all the other B&M inverts down a peg for me. While the entrance to the cobra roll was a headbanger, as well as the re-entry to the station, the ending helix alone was enough to make me crave a re-ride. I swore no re-rides until I did every coaster in the park that I could, so I didn't do a re-ride on this day. However, that helix made my legs feel like they were going to snap off at the knees. Cool beans!

Blue Streak (6.5/10; 1 ride): I almost broke my re-ride policy for this because it was a walk-on and because...well, I really liked it! It was way too short, but there was NO roughness that I could really feel, and it made me even more sad that Dorney has no good wood. I turned around to get a re-ride and just then, the train got stuck on the lift hill. Never go to an amusement park with me if you want sunny weather and multiple re-rides on ANYTHING. I have managed to shut down Toro twice, Ka when I sat in the car, and a few other things. Hehehehehe...

Iron Dragon (6/10; 1 ride): Call me a dork. I liked this ride a lot. Fun "junior" coaster, it gave my aching head a rest, the little drop surprised the heck out of me, and there were little stomach swooping dips all over the place. Plus, weaving through the trees that close was cool.

Can anyone tell me what's up with the disgusting dark teal water on ID and Mantis though? It conjures pictures in my head of Lake Springfield from the Simpsons movie.

Mantis (4.5/10; 1 ride): Mantis, oh Mantis, you break my heart. I so wanted to love you...you're a B&M coaster and my first standup coaster, and you started off great. Your drop and your first loop made me say, "Hah!" to all the naysayers. Then it was all downhill from there, Mantis (no pun intended). You will likely give someone a traumatic brain injury, and you are likely to be the worst B&M on the planet. If your drop and first inversion did not exist, you would earn a 3.5.

And that's it from day 1. Things I noticed about the park: there are many many trees in certain parts of the park, and that was a nice touch. However, most of the buildings look sort of farcical (sp?) and run down. Like they were made of cardboard and papier mache. I dunno, maybe it's just me. The ride ops, as I said, were excellent on every ride, asking the riders how they liked their experience, throwing in jokes, and BOOKING on those safety checks. I also noticed that every one of them said "check" after a restraint check, which I liked because I knew that they registered that they checked me. Good logistics, CP! :) I didn't really do food the first day because I was only there for a few hours before checking into my hotel and heading out to Red Lobster for some crab legs. All in all, a great first day. Had I not forgotten sunscreen and fried a nice juicy red, I would have stayed longer. More in the second half! *** Edited 8/20/2008 5:07:14 AM UTC by bunky666***

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:22 AM
I'm pretty sure Magnum coined the term "ejector air". I think you discovered why it did. What time did you get to the park? If Magnum had a line, it must have been afternoon? The turnaround and return run can be downright violent if it's hot out and Maggie runs all day. There can be a dramatic difference if you ride at 10:30am vs.10:30pm. Also, wearing your seat belt as tight as possible will reduce the "thigh bruising".
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:08 AM
I DID have great air time, but I rode around the "rough" time apparently...I rode at about 3:30 pm. And it was only about 83 degrees, but it felt like 90, so heat index must have been a factor...I'll likely get on this again if I visit next year, but I'm not 100% sure. I want to give it another try...I've just heard so many wonderful things about it, and I can't believe that many people could be that wrong.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:55 AM
^^Fine....stay away, and help keep the lines short for us Magnum lovers!! ;)


bunky666 said:

Ka is so rough from start to finish that the launch actually doesn't feel as fast as the smoothness that is TTD....Blows Ka away.


BUT....in all fairness, you've still never had a smooth KK ride yet!! ;) Nevertheless, TTD is still better.


I also noticed that every one of them said "check" after a restraint check, which I liked because I knew that they registered that they checked me. Good logistics, CP!

Are you being sarcastic or not?? Because if not...."Check!"...hey bunky, I just checked your MF restraint from my desk!! LOL! Seriously, only REALLY checking it is what matters, verbally saying it means nothing. (just ask some politicians!! ;) )

*** Edited 8/20/2008 2:19:38 PM UTC by tigellinus***

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:10 AM

bunky666 said:


Magnum (4.5/10; 1 ride) Maybe I got a bad seat/bad train? If you took Steel Force's superior drop and smoothness and Magnum's awesome layout and scenery, you'd easily have a breathtaking ride. However, I'll stick with Steel Force.


I'm actually going to go with the bad seat/bad train theory. I just rode Steel Force 3 weeks ago and received the nasty ejector air followed by the painful slamming back down to the seat on the bunny hops while riding in the back seat. I expected this because the ride is similar to Magnum. What I didn't expect was riding again in the front seat and experiencing NONE of that but getting good floater airtime, so I'm going to ride Magnum up front the next time I'm at CP to see if it's better there.

Tom

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:22 PM
Tom, the sad thing is I was only in the third seat of "Maggie"! Maybe she was pissed off that day. LOL

However, Steel Force is AWFUL from the back with that ejector air/slam combo. I'll never do that again because there's no NEED. The front gives a beautiful ride.

Tig, when I wrote the trip report, I actually debated saying something about the ride ops just saying check as a habit...they were the most thorough ride ops I've ever seen. Not one ride op on one ride would just tap the lapbar/OTSR, they'd dig for seatbelts if the belts weren't showing, and they'd staple whenever necessary. It DID occur to me that the check thing was just a kneejerk verbal confirmation having nothing to do with actual safety, but I never noticed a single ride op NOT being extremely careful in their job. I felt safer than at any other park.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:35 PM
^^What??...and there's a problem with completely NOT getting checked on El Toro's backseat (which is common if op's are taking 5 minutes to staple in a should-be-unfit rider).

OR getting the simple "touch" on Nitro?!...yeah, touch it to make sure it's there so your eyes aren't deceiving you!! LOL! Gotta love how fast and loose some parks are even if it's unintentional!

However, I shouldn't complain as I only try to ride with the loosest of restraints if possible. :)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:36 PM

bunky666 said:
Tom, the sad thing is I was only in the third seat of "Maggie"! Maybe she was pissed off that day. LOL

I'm no expert, but I believe that's known as the ejector seat (1-3).

It's absolutely the most agressive seat on the ride.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:53 PM
Gonch, yeah, I had heard that, so I sat there thinking I was in for a real treat! LOL. I have tigellinus to thank for that one. Ehehehehehehe....

Tig, yeah, Great Adventure scares me with their checks. However, I'm such a scaredy cat about a restraints popping open that if I don't get my restraint checked, I WILL flag someone down to have it checked. Luckily, I've never been that unfortunate to NOT have my seat checked. Still, what freaks me out about Great Adventure is sometimes they will unlock a section of cars because someone wants to get off or hand a loose article to a non-rider or something and then they don't recheck. That's freaky! Never saw THIS at CP either.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:16 PM
Don’t worry Bunky 666 you are not alone on your feelings about your first ride on the Magnum XL 200. Seven Years ago to this very day actually I had my first ride on it. It was the second ride of the day and it was not warm out at all that day. I would describe that experience the exact same way. The amount of jerk made it one of the worst coaster rides I have ever had. If not the worst. I never did go back on the Magnum that day or the next. I went back to the park two years later in 2003. I was encouraged by some people to go ride on it again. I almost backed down b/c of the horrible ride I had before, but instead I did it anyways and it was actually an enjoyable and great ride. I even ended up going on it again that day. When I look back at it, I try to just pretend that that first ride never happened. I guess the Magnum does really have some bad days.

To me the Mantis is just like TTD and KK, in that it has to be done in the front row. I love the first drop and the turnaround when you’re on top of the lift hill from the front seat. It really is worth the whole ride. The second half of the ride still is horrible *** Edited 8/20/2008 5:16:38 PM UTC by GIGAFORCE01***

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:34 PM
I was in the second row for Mantis, so I didn't get that benefit. If I can ever be talked into riding it again, I will ride there. And I think you're right about Magnum. That many people can't be wrong. In fact, out of all the rides I heard people talking about while AT the park, Raptor and Magnum were the most enthusiastically touted. People were foregoing night rides on MF and Maverick to ride Magnum.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention on both TR's: I heard a guy in the line for Gemini telling his friend over a cell phone that most of the rides at Cedar Point are kiddie coasters and that he stood up for half of them. He said a ride op told him to sit down and he argued that the rides weren't dangerous and he continued to stand up. Haven't heard any accident reports from Cedar Point for the 18th, so I assume he was full of crap or he got lucky. And this guy was NOT small....he was a HUGE black guy, looked like a football player...at least six feet tall. Also apparently not the brightest tool in the shed. Glad there was no decaps at CP that day due to high idiot factor.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:18 PM
It's a shame you didn't give Magnum another try some time in the two days you were there, and it's a shame you didn't know that by sitting in a non-wheel seat (second row of any car), the ride is 100% smoother and more enjoyable. I have worked at Magnum for the past two summers. It is my baby - my #1 steel coaster. Got nearly 100 rides on her this season, but you'll NEVER catch me riding in a wheel seat... and the third row of any car is the worst. Combine a non-wheel seat with a loose lap bar next time you ride and you'll have a new mindset, I promise you.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:21 PM
The first and third seats in every car on Magnum are above wheels and tend to be a bit more rough. I always look for a middle seat in each car.

And yes, 1-3 is the ejector seat and, IMO, the most painful seat for thigh bashing on the return trip. If you get back to CP, try 1-2 or 2-2 and you have a completely different experience.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:42 PM
Next time I have the opportunity to get out there, I will keep all this in mind and re-do Magnum. I DID, after all, staple myself into the car. It's no wonder my head and my thighs hurt after this ride, from the sounds of it. I wish I had known these particular facts before riding. Eh, next year. or maybe for Halloweekends this year if I can get up enough cash for gas. LOL
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Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:57 PM

LdScotsman said:


I'm actually going to go with the bad seat/bad train theory. I just rode Steel Force 3 weeks ago and received the nasty ejector air followed by the painful slamming back down to the seat on the bunny hops while riding in the back seat. I expected this because the ride is similar to Magnum. What I didn't expect was riding again in the front seat and experiencing NONE of that but getting good floater airtime, so I'm going to ride Magnum up front the next time I'm at CP to see if it's better there.

Tom


Maybe it's a matter of size and weight. I ride Steel Force in the back seat almost exclusively and I've never considered the airtime to be violent. Strong at times, but not violent. It was bordering on violent on Magnum but I still didn't get any pain from it, in fact I much preferred it over Steel Force. My girlfriend, on the other hand, said it was painful, she would only ride in the front after that, and she prefers Steel Force.

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Friday, August 22, 2008 2:15 PM
Somebody needs to create a spreadsheet listing the best seats to ride on every coaster. :)
Everything people have posted is good info to know. And I definitely prefer riding Steel Force toward the front.
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Friday, August 22, 2008 10:30 PM
RGB, are you volunteering? ;)
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Friday, August 22, 2008 11:26 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
Somebody needs to create a spreadsheet listing the best seats to ride on every coaster.

Do the Keebler Elves tell you how they secretly bake their cookies?!?!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008 8:58 PM
Sure, Kevin, if you want to contribute toward my travel expenses... strictly for research of course. :)

tig, you can handle the part about hollow trees.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:22 AM
.....there made from the little termites that were eating the tree.
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