Cedar Point: Closing Day (First Time!) - Part 1

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 6:43 PM
Where do I begin?! My obsession with Cedar Point started in about 1995 or 1996. I was about 10 years old and had bought my first Rollercoaster book called “White Knuckle Thrill Ride”. That book featured Raptor, Mean Streak and Magnum XL 200. They also had a small section dedicated to the layout and construction of Mantis. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. Every summer I’ve begged my parents to take me with little success. The thought of driving upwards of 9 hours to go to an amusement park just didn’t appeal to them. Well now I’m in college. That means I’m independent and more importantly, 5 hours closer to Cedar Point. I spent my freshmen year begging my friend from Niagara University to take me. We went to High School together so she understands my obsession with rollercoaster’s. After having little success with that, I decided to trap her. I bid on two Cedar Point tickets on e-bay and, to my surprise, I won them. Now we had no choice.
We HAD to go to the park before the end of the 2004 season. Well my friend has this obsession with going home every Columbus Day weekend to work at the Lake George Steamboat Company for the weekend. That and our midterms scattered throughout the rest of the month forced us to take the trip on closing day. Originally the trip was planned for Saturday. However, thanks to all of your Trip Reports, I ended up going on Sunday, closing day. It was certainly AMAZING.
On Saturday night, my friend from NU came over. UB (my college) is about half an hour closer to the park than hers. We took a quick trip to Tops and then went to bed. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve though. I was WAY to excited to fall asleep. That, combined with the fact that my roommate came back at 3AM drunk and eating a loaded hoagie from Jims Sreakout, made it hard to sleep. Well before I knew it my alarm went off. It was 5 AM and we had to get going. I woke up Alicia, hoped in the shower and we were off. We took a quick stop at Tops to get ice and were on the I-90 West around 6:30AM. Lucky for us it was the end of Daylight Savings so we got and extra hour of rest.
The drive to the park wasn’t too bad at all. We got lost in Cleveland for a minute. That’s sad considering we had to stay on the same road throughout the entire city. We got back on track and arrived in Sandusky a little after 10AM. We had made really good time.
Sandusky is nothing like I expected it to be. I was picturing a small scale city. Instead it was more like a small, country town. It was nice. Once we were on the road leading to the parking lot I was in awe. The view of the park from the road is amazing. Millennium Force looks so beautiful on the edge of the water. We paid our $9 for parking (ouch!) and proceeded to park. The park was already open but there weren't many people in the parking lot at all. The view from the parking lot was equally impressive as the one from the road. To see all the rides together in action is something great.
After parking RIGHT next to the entrance, we walked right in with our tickets. One thing I noticed was that Cedar Point was the first amusement park I had been to in a while that didn't have metal detectors. Boy this was a good thing. It made going through the gates extremely fast.
Alicia and I had been talking about what ride we would "run" to first. Well first of all, we got to the park after it opened. Therefore, running was not necessary. Second, I was so overwhelmed with excitement that I just HAD to ride the first ride I saw...
We walked up to Raptor's queue and I tried the test seat. I don't know why. I had no trouble with this restraint and I never had in the past. Well all was well so we proceeded to the queue. The sign outside the entrance said 1/4 hour wait so we were stoked.
After reading some of your trip reports I had expected lines over an hour! Well the wait wasn't even 15 minutes. It turned out to be less then 10. The park had two trains on the track. We grabbed a row close to the front for our first ride of the day.
At this point in the day it wasn't even 11:00AM yet. The wind was blowing like crazy and it was absolutely freezing out. For those who went to the park I was the only idiot wearing a T-shirt and gym shorts (getting on rides easier = less layers). It was brutal.
Raptor:
Going up the lift hill was amazing. To think I was actually riding Raptor! The first drop was wonderful. It was quick and powerful. The loop and zero-g roll were the typical B&M bliss and the Cobra Roll, who many say is getting rough, provided a wonderful sensation.
The helix leading to the MCBR was disappointing in the sense that it was nearly forceless. The dive down from it was really great though. The first corkscrew was quick and gave a little head banging but nothing bad.
The part of the ride that bored me was after the first corkscrew. It reminds me of the flat track after the helix on S:ROS at SFDL. There should be a quick turn there or something. The dive down into the second corkscrew and the actual corkscrew were great. The final helix had some strong G's and was a great way to end the ride. Going into the final brake run was really kind of abrupt and rough. Nothing too bad though.
Ride Rating: 8 (0 to 10)
Well to our surprise we spent a lot more time on that final brake run than we wanted to. Apparently the ride broke down and they were waiting for maintenance to come. Mind you, the train behind us was already on course until... MCBR! The second train came to a halt halfway into the MCBR. If only that could have been ME on that train I would have LOVED it.
The Raptor employees were making frequent trips to us on the brake run to make sure we were okay. That was appreciated. There was an annoying girl on our train who was complaining the whole time and saying stuff like, "Michelle I want your ghana!" (whatever that means). Ok so the word "saying" is not appropriate here. She was YELLING! Cedar Point should definitely have metal detectors because of this girl. If anyone were to ever bring a gun into the park believe me; they would have shot this girl.
After about 20 minutes of freezing temperatures on Raptor, we FINALLY rolled into the station. I was hoping for a re-ride because of the incident but didn't get one.
On our way out I realized that because of the break down, Raptor's queue was literally non-existent. I wanted to go back on but Alicia was ready to move on. I understood.
While walking down the main midway I couldn't help but smile. The park was really beautiful and the Halloween theme was really great. They had a section of tombstones solely dedicated to past rides at the park. I thought that was funny. Most of them had a
date they were "born" and a date they "died". One of them didn't though. They had a tombstone that said "Vertigo: 2001". I chuckled when I saw that. What a short life that ride had.
It was time for Dragster. Earlier in the day, while I was stuck on Raptor, I noticed a rollback on Dragster. After that I hadn't seen any trains going up the tower. I was afraid it may be closed. As we approached the ride we suddenly saw it. A train was launched! This was certainly our next stop. 
At this time in our trip, the weather had gotten MUCH better. The wind had died down and the sun was coming out. It was a complete turnaround. I made a mistake earlier when I said I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Well I was but I DID bring in my sweatshirt
as well. There was no way I was going to take it on Dragster with me though.
As we approached the test seat I became very nervous. It always sucks to have to try it out while a bunch of people are standing there watching you. It's also very nerve-wracking. What if I couldn't fit? What would I do? I sat into the sat and grabbed the belt. I knew right away I would be okay. It took me a second to get it buckled but it still fit and was SOMEWHAT loose fitting. I was STOKED. Before we entered the ride I asked the employee at the front of the queue if I could take my sweatshirt onto the ride. She said, 
"Do either of you have a zip-up pocket that it could fit into?"
Oh. My. God.
She did NOT just say that. While trying to hold back the emotion of extreme laughter, I said "No". She proceeded to tell us that we needed to get a locker. That was a bummer. We paid $1 (not too bad) and got our locker. I put my sweatshirt and my disposable camera in there and we were on our way.
The line for this ride wasn't long at all. Well it was certainly long but not near what I expected. Right as we entered the queue the ride broke down. This was a bummer. A slew of people left the line but I pleaded with Alicia to stay. She had no complaint to that. It was now 11:35 and I said that if it didn't open back up before noon, we would leave and come back later.
Well, about 5 minutes later and the line maybe 50 people shorter, the ride opened back up. It was definitely a quick breakdown.
It wasn't 20 minutes later that we had entered the station. I don’t really remember how many cars were on the track. I’m pretty sure it was 4 but there could have been 5. I did see one train on the transfer track though.
I was SO nervous about the seat belts still. Sure I fit, but what if they asked for slack? I was originally going to sit on the left. However, the employee checking the restraints on the left side was REALLY coming down hard on the slack rule. At the last minute I changed my mind and sat in the far seat. I got into the seat and didn't have much trouble with the seatbelt. It went one quite easily. I pulled down the T-bar, which seems to be an improvement over the ones currently on the hyper coasters, and waited. The girl who was checking the restraints came over and told me she needed to see some slack. GREAT. It shouldn't have been too hard to get but I was so nervous that I was fumbling over the restraints. I don't know HOW I did it, but I after a while I looked down and there it was... a good inch of slack. 
After that the ride op asked if I had a zip-up pocket to put my glasses in. Oh... so maybe that's what the employee at the front of the queue was talking about. Well in order to spare myself any trouble getting on rides, I wore thin gym shorts to the park. Alicia didn't have zip-up pockets either. I had two options. I could either let someone else who HAD zip-up pockets hold onto them or something about getting off the ride and waiting. I really didn't listen to the second option seeing as option one was fine with me. The ride op asked the kid in front of me if he could hold my glasses and he had no problem with it. Meanwhile, the ride op on the left side of the train was only halfway done checking the restraints. I'm still REALLY happy I didn't sit on that side.
So we were OFF! I couldn't believe it. I was actually on Dragster. I had prepared myself going into the park that I wouldn't get on Dragster, MF, or TTD and here I was, on the world's tallest and fastest coaster! Truly amazing.
Dragster:
We were train one in the station so we quickly pulled up to the launching area. Before I knew it I saw the lights... 
yellow - yellow - yellow - GREEN!

I could have SWORN we started launching before the lights even turned green. The launch... well... I have no words. The sheer power is indescribable. I DID notice that you stop accelerating quite a ways before going up the tower. I wasn't expecting that.

The vertical ascent was AWESOME. There's just something about going straight up that is surprisingly thrilling. I don't recall getting any air going over the top and because I didn't have my glasses on, I really couldn't see much. The downward spiral was awesome too. For some reason though, it couldn't match the vertical ascent. The ride was quick but it was AMAZING. Pure bliss. It's definitely one of my favorite coasters.

Ride Rating: 9

I realize this Trip Report is VERY long. I started writing it as soon as I got back so I couldn’t help but be detailed. I’ll post the other sections later. Stay tuned…

Edited to change "breaks" to "brakes". ;)

*** Edited 11/20/2004 1:54:05 AM UTC by rentzy17***

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 9:04 PM
Rentzy,

You weren't seeing anything. I have noticed being launched before the green lights lit up on more than one occasion.

Depending on where you sit you may notice the slowdown at the end of the launch. It isn't as noticeable in the front as it is in other seats. Also, there usually is a LOAD of airtime depending on how fast the train goes over the top.

To be honest, I like going over slow so I can take in the view a bit longer. Going over faster sometimes scares the hell out of me.


-Sean

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Friday, November 12, 2004 1:09 AM
It's so cool to see the park through the eyes of a first time visitor. It's like losing your CP virginity all over again. :) Cool TR, post the rest of it soon, we're all hanging by a thread! <no pun intended>
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Friday, November 12, 2004 1:19 AM
Rentzy, i know exactly how you feel dude....ask Kristin Marie or HeyIsntThatRob....they took me to CP for the first time back in 2002...i cried when i saw Magnum for the first time from the parking lot,lol:) defintely cant wait to hear how the rest of the day went....i hope you got a trimless ride on maggie...boy does she move when that happens :)

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Friday, November 12, 2004 7:36 AM
Do they still have a ton of ride ops?

At SFDL I'm used to 2-3 ride ops per coaster.

On Raptor for example, they had a ride op for EACH ROW. Each operator only had to check like 4 seats. Whats that like 8 ride operators plus a person in controls plus a person at the entrance plus a person letting people into the station. Thats like 11 people for one coaster. WOW

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Friday, November 12, 2004 9:51 AM
When I was at the park they had a totall of 6 ride ops in the Raptor station.

There were two people in the control booth, two people for the front half of the train and two people for the back half of the train. For the first half of the train one person would check the right two seats and one person would check the left two seats. That same technique was implimented for the back half of the train as well.

I'm glad you guys like the TR so far. :) I'm going to post part 2 tonight when I get back from my statics exam (provided I survive it).

*** Edited 11/12/2004 2:52:41 PM UTC by rentzy17***

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Friday, November 12, 2004 1:37 PM
Great TR man!

I really love reading TR's from first-timers. Glad you had such an awesome time! I know I did that day.

Keep 'em coming!

-Tina

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Friday, November 12, 2004 10:04 PM
Why thank you! :)

It certainly was an interesting start to the day. Getting stuck on Raptor in the freezing cold wasn't fun but riding Dragster brought the day back up. I still can't believe how quickly the weather changed either. It went from crappy and freezing cold, to nice and semi-warm.

Oh and by the way, I just posted part 2 to this trip. Check it out! ;)

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