Cedar Point Halloweekends Kickoff 9/13/13

Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:32 PM

Headed to CP for the event this past Friday. Turned out to be an awesome event. The amount of free stuff was amazing. It was Holiday World-esque.

Got to the park at about 3:45pm. -1 for CP parking attendants parking cars in the bus parking spots. Those spots do not have near enough room on the sides to open your car doors! Very breezy fall day, was 92 degrees just a few days earlier. Headed to the guest services building where they were handing out lanyards and meal tickets. They then let us directly into the park from there. Note that admission was completely FREE for being a coaster club member.

GateKeeper and Millennium Force were open for ERT from 4-5pm. Both allowed re-rides if no one wanted your seat, otherwise the exit ramps were open. More people were riding MF than GK from what I could tell. We grabbed 4 GateKeeper rides, then headed over for 2 Millennium rides. Could have ridden either one about 10 times if desired.

Our meal tickets were from 5-6pm so we headed over to Midway Market which was closed to the public for the event. Dinner was FREE, and when inside an attendant asked if we wanted alcohol tickets. We declined, but yes there was FREE beer/drinks with dinner. While we were there some of the Peanuts characters came inside and milled about. Witch Lucy, Masked Snoopy, and Franken-Linus were all there.

During dinner, Tony Clark came in and introduced Jason McClure who is taking over as General Manager at Cedar Point. Jason was previously the GM at Dorney. Jason made his way around talking to folks and getting pictures, etc. At about 6pm, the Midway Market was getting pretty packed, with the new crowd of people coming to get dinner. Tony kindly asked those of us who were done to "get out". On the way out we saw John Hildebrandt eating with a large group. Seems like there was a lot of family/friends of staff around as well as enthusiasts.

Outside the Midway Market, they had FREE draw string souvenir bags for us. The bags contained a FREE Halloweekends hoodie, and a FREE Halloweekends winter hat.

We made a trip to the car to put on our new swag, then headed for our early entry to Zombie High School at 7pm, which is located right near the front of the park. I thought it was very well done. They had a ton of props from a school, including desks, globes, a full lunch service counter, lockers etc. The strobe-light locker room at the end which is filled with hanging jock straps that you can't avoid touching was hilarious.

We headed to the back of the park for a Maverick ride, which was a 45 minute wait. The capacity of this coaster just cannot keep up with its popularity. We were rewarded for out wait with the best Maverick ride I have ever had in 50+ rides. It was super smooth, big air time, great transitions. Still a fantastic ride. I vote for ERT on it for any future events.

Got in rides on Raptor, Magnum, and Dragster also. None was more than a 15 minute wait. Raptor and Magnum were running 2 trains, but might have switched to 3 as the crowds increased. Gemini, Mantis, Mine Ride, Wicked Twister, and Corkscrew were all not operating. We left at around 11pm after visiting a few of the outdoor scare zones.

A few stats:

GateKeeper: 4

Millennium Force: 2

Magnum, Raptor, Dragster, Maverick: 1

Indoor Haunts: 1

Outdoor Haunts: 4

Awkward moments with ACE-ers: 3

"Single Riders" spotted with clothing that misspelled "Millennium": 1

Overall a fantastic event put on by Cedar Point! The fact that it was basically FREE was unbelievable to me. I hope that the park considered it a huge success and does it again!

Last edited by Pagoda Gift Shop, Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:43 PM
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Monday, September 16, 2013 5:47 AM

Yeah, this is my first year doing these enthusiast events, and I can't believe what CP is doing for us. Thank you to everyone involved. I had a blast, and I hope to attend more events like this in the future. I've been seeing CP in new ways this year, and it's all because of events like this and the new friends that I've made. :-)

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Monday, September 16, 2013 8:38 AM

Did the best Maverick ride ever have anything to do with your enthusiasm for the event? Everything seems better when you're getting free stuff and VIP treatment!

I'm bummed that I was out of vacation days, otherwise I would've made an impromptu trip for this event, and I would've made MF my beyatch during that hour of ERT. Sounds like it was a good time.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:18 PM

It is a big boost to the parks rep, to offer a free event to coaster enthusiasts. Because it leads to free PR, as the enthusiasts talk about their park visit with their friends, and will most likely discuss their visits on public forums like this, twitter, and facebook. Which will eventually lead to future sales.

Take my purchase of a Cedar Fair season pass. Would have never bought one, if I had not talked with other enthusiasts who had them, and what actual value they had. I also thought about going to Halloweekends, but ended up having problems with my teeth, and needed to get to a dentist pronto!!

All the free perks are just gravy, and telling others about them, will bring in future guests for the haunt. They are also banking on those people who belong to coaster clubs, bringing in non coaster club members who might have to pay for the event. Plus the odd chance that those people might spend some money in the park, if any. May seem like it is a free deal, but at some point, a butt in the seats, might equal a sale.

I worked at a brand new Burger King, and ot our grand opening, we gave away $15,000.00 worth of food free, we also offered wine, cheese and crackers, and free toys for the kids. Plus coupons to come back for more free food. We pretty much gave away everything in stock. The following week, we made $35,000.00 over and above the $15,000.00 we gave away. So, it all comes back in future customers.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:22 PM
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:33 PM

What wine pairs well with a Whopper with cheese, no pickle?

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:35 PM

Okay, better question. What wine doesn't pair well with a Whopper with cheese, no pickle?

Last edited by kpjb, Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:35 PM
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:38 PM

Mad Dog 20/20 - to both questions.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 2:43 PM

From what I could tell, the event served several purposes for Cedar Point. There were definitely some photographers and small film crews around. Being the kickoff day for Halloweekends, I'm sure they were getting all of the promotional stuff done so they can use it next month and in the future.

I'm still not positive on who exactly the non-coaster enthusiast guests were. I think it was maybe a few media folks, family members of CP executives, etc, but the enthusiasts seemed like the dominant group.

The free hoodie and hat were over-the-top awesomeness. Free admission and a meal were fantastic, but the free gear took things to the next level of goodness, especially when you consider that CP announced this event just 2 weeks prior.

The Maverick ride was not better simply because of the event. I've been to several BooBuzzes and had E-RT on Maverick. This ride just seemed to be the best one I've had. The 45 minute wait was kinda a bummer for a fairly slow Friday night. Seems like Maverick wait times tend to be 1.5-2x those of most of the other popular coasters.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:47 PM

I know CP was trying to use their new coaster to sell FL+ passes, but the first thing I'd do next year is swap GateKeeper with Maverick for FL+. The crews are pushing through trains about as fast as they can. That line used to move pretty fast with wait times comparable to the other majors. Maverick just can't handle the extra stress of Fast Lane that a ride like GK could.

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