Sunday – 8/21
With summer fading fast, and gas prices rising like never before, a good friend and I decided to make good use of our season passes and head for Cedar Point, my first time since CoasterMania in June. After church services and battling hothead drivers leaving the tennis tournament near Kings Island where my good friend lives, we were on the road to Sandusky, arriving about 4 hours later, and getting to Gemini before 7pm.
Gemini (twice: 5-10 min. each)
Rode on both sides, one near front, other near back. I will note that I haven’t been to Kennywood, but this is hands down my favorite steel coaster. 27 years old, and still very smooth, fast, and loaded with airtime. One of my favorite coaster stations, as well.
Magnum XL-200 – 30 min.
I went for 1-3, which I love so much because of the violent airtime on the way back on the bunny hills. I know how some complain about the roughness, but the air and speed make up for it.
Corkscrew – 15-30 min.
Back car, first row. If there was a low point on this trip, this would probably be one of them. Normally, the wait for Corkscrew would be within the station, if not a walk-on. Why so long? Because of the seatbelts that have been added, connecting the OTSRs to the seat base. Also, these seatbelts, when detached, can hit people in the head when boarding or exiting the train.
Power Tower (Up) – 5-10 min.
Not as forceful as the shorter S&S towers, but still fun.
Blue Streak – 5-10 min.
2-1 – Although having been neutered from Coaster Classic status (ratcheting lap bars, headrests, seat dividers), has good airtime and a fast turnaround and rides smooth (at least in my seat)
Raptor – 45 min.
Next to last row – Raptor always seems to have a long line, especially this time, but due to popularity – this is a people-eater, and still one of the best inverted B&Ms out there.
Sky Ride and Space Spiral were down due to high winds.
This was the last night of the Snoopy Summertime Spectacular, it was very entertaining and loaded with great music, as well as a patriotic theme at the end. I would, however, would like them to get rid of the college team section (or at least shorten the Ohio State part, it felt like being at a political rally that I disagree with).
The accommodations for the night were at the Clarion Inn, near the Sandusky Mall. The place looks a little dated, but I appreciated the rate around $50 and the quieter location. For some reasons, however, I was unable to sleep, partly because of some personal and family conflicts that having bad effects on me, as well as having some dessert and caffeine before heading to bed - but at least my friend was able to sleep. At around 4 am, I stopped at the Meijer down the street for some Tylenol PM, but no luck getting sleep.
Monday – 8/22
We arrived at around 8 am, parking in the Gemini lot, and waiting at the entrance used by many of the resort guests – and there seemed to be many of them by the time we got in line for Joe Cool Club and resort ERT. Top Thrill Dragster had many successful cycles, so most everyone went there first. We were expecting some friends from Columbus, who unfortunatlely, were running late, so they missed ERT by an hour or so.
Top Thrill Dragster – 15-30 min.
Second car, first row, red train. Oddly, the differently trains perform different, where red is faster (airtime!), and gold is slow (tendency to roll back). The gold train was not in use, kept on the transfer area.
Magnum XL-200 – 5 min.
6-1 – airtime similar to last night. This ride is so rightly deserving of its ACE plaque.
Mantis – 15 min.
Row 8 (back), outside seat. Intense but not too painful. Did this early because dispatches are time-consuming, resulting in quickly accumulating lines.
Iron Dragon – 5 min.
Had a little crowd, but the quick 3-train operation provides a quick but fun experience.
WildCat – 15 min.
Also having not too much of a line, this is a terrific Schwarzkopf I try to ride once on every CP trip.
Sky Ride (East) – 5 min.
Having some time to kill, we take the Sky Ride, which had a short line on the upper ramp, to the other end, and go eat at the Midway Market. Lunch was $11.95, but we got $1 with the Joe Cool pass, and there were plenty of tables available, so we got started right away, at around 11:30. We got a good view of Raptor, which had an almost-full queue of around 1.5 hours. After eating, we went to TTD to meet our friends, but they are still waiting for the front seat (but are in the station).
Power Tower (Up) – 5-10 min.
After riding alone on PTU, we finally meet up personally with our Columbus friends, who have been seated in the front seat on TTD, and are ready for lanch.
Magnum XL-200 – 30 min.
Great ride, like before, but our wait in the station can be proof how getting groups to line up can suck.
Gemini (twice: 15 min. each)
Rode on both sides, first time in 1-1 (the four of us split in two different sides), second time in 1-2, but different trains each time. Fun as ever!
Mean Streak – 10-15 min.
With crowds as big at as I could maybe remember them, this was my longest Mean Streak wait so far. But still short – my friend and I rode in the back car, first row, while the other two rode in the first row of the car in front of us.
Millennium Force – 1 - 1.25 hour
I have heard the horror stories about MF’s dispatch times and saw the huge queue being halfway full, not to mention noting that FreeWay is no longer, so I was very wary of going this time. The line, however, was consistently moving, and within an hour, we were at the station. We decided to wait for the front seat, which lengthened our wait even more, even noting that one of the seats in the front row were out of order. We did, however, have a strategy – one of us would sneak up when the yellow train arrived, and grab the single seat. I was the first to do so, and my friend followed only 2 cycles later. Our other two friends decided to wait for the front together though, but we were done with MF before too long.
The ride? Purely breathtaking. My MF experience was probably one of the best surprise on this trip.
I was insisting on going to the Snoopy ice show at the Good Time Theatre, but a desire to eat and do other things had us parting ways just before the 6:00 show began, and we began to get back on the road, leaving possibly my favorite park.
Before leaving, I got some good photo shots of Gemini, including one that included both my dashboard and the two trains full of people.
We ate at the Ruby Tuesday at Sandusky Mall, and then drove towards Cincinnati. I wasn’t feeling too great after the hotel stay of no sleep, so I let my friend drive after a gas fill-up in Mansfield, and he drove until reaching his place in Mason (near Kings Island), and I had the energy to drive home to Springdale.
I didn’t have much success in hiding my problems, but they were unable to make my trip a disaster, as Cedar Point was still as great as I remember it being.
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