Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Headed to Sandusky for the 2nd annual Halloweekends kickoff night sponsored by the park. After parking at around 10 till 4, we headed to the guest services building where a healthy line was already formed. The first big group was led over to GateKeeper around 4:15ish. The line moved fairly well and we were soon inside and headed over as well.
Seems like many people have their fill of GateKeeper at this point. The park was graciously giving us free bright orange Halloweekends hoodies this year. We picked ours up and took a no wait ride on GateKeeper. At this point it was about 4:45 and a large group of people were already forming to head to other areas of the park at 5:00. A ride or 2 on GateKeeper seems like more than enough for most after 2 years of operation now. Part of me thinks that is a bit sad for the newest coaster in the park, and wouldn't be the case if we were almost anywhere except Cedar Point.
Our meal tickets were for the 5:00-6:00 hour, but given that early entry rides were also during the same time, we opted to make a quick lap of the park and then return to Midway Market. We made it all the way back to Maverick for a walk-on and re-ride in the same seats. We then hightailed it back to Midway Market, getting there around 5:45.
We were a bit confused to find 2 large lines at the door of Midway Market. We walked up and asked what was up and found out that one line was the 5:00-6:00 line and one was the 6:00-7:00 line. Clearly there were a lot more people than last year! We got in the door right around 6:00 where Tony Clark and others were directing traffic. The buffet didn't have its usual fare, but instead was mostly pizza and pasta offerings. This was probably good considering there was already a major back up in terms of people and seating. I don't think the 6:00-7:00 people started getting inside until 6:30ish. I was a little surprised many of them chose to continue waiting as I would have bailed to find food elsewhere, free or not.
At 7:00 we headed to Hexed to check out the new haunted house. Again the line was considerable when we got there, further evidence that attendance was way up for the event since last year. The attention to detail was amazing as usual and the scare actors did a good job. I thought the major weakness was that the "witch" theme isn't quite as strong as some of the other houses (hospital, school, wax museum, old mansion). Several rooms looked so cool I wish you could hang around a little longer just to admire them. Most of the screamsters were female, which makes sense for the witch theme, but it was a little hard to tie every room together.
A light drizzle hit the park around 8:15 which shut down most of the rides for an hour or so. Attendance in general was lighter than in years past. We caught the Midnight Syndicate show at 9:00 and Skeleton Crew at 11:00. Both shows were excellent and highly recommended. Midnight Syndicate wasn't what I expected, which was an all music show with some video highlights. It was much more interactive and Halloweekends specific, which was totally cool.
The new Tombstone Terror-tory walk through area seemed pretty small in the area near Maverick. At around 10:45 when we walked through it, the screamsters outnumbered the guests 2-to-1. All of the other areas start at point A and end at point B, but this one doesn't really have anywhere to go except Mean Streak (which was closed). Having several shops nearby also means there might limitations on the amount of fog that is used. I wonder how much the development of this area was caused by the closure of Fear Faire at the front of the park.
I tried again in vain to find a 50th anniversary Blue Streak shirt. There are like 15 different GateKeeper shirts and tons of Magnum, Millennium, Maverick, and Dragster, but none of pretty much anything else. I think I visited gift shops I haven't been in for over a decade.
Overall we had a great time with the lighter crowds and all the perks done by the park! Thanks to Cedar Point for hosting this again this year! Personally, I would have no problem with the park dropping the meal from the event if the attendance is too high. We are there to see what's new and the meal is a very nice gesture by the park, but not at all a requirement for an already awesome event.Last edited by Pagoda Gift Shop, Saturday, September 13, 2014 9:28 PM
We were there last night too, but did not take part in the event. The orange hoodies look like they are pretty good quality.
We entered a few minutes after 6 and saw the massive line for Midway Market and were quite surprised. Took a walk-on on Raptor and came out to see even more people in line.
Not much else to add. We were bringing a friend from out of town, so concentrated more on hitting up the good rides. Walked most of the Walk-Thru pathways, but none of the haunted houses. Hexed sounds like it might be worth checking out based on your TR.
The fall coaster season is my favorite time of the year, and I love going to parks in the cool weather like we had last night.Last edited by Tommytheduck, Saturday, September 13, 2014 10:34 PM
I have to say hexed was very well done. The amount of time and detail they put into it made it look better than most haunted houses. The first actual room has alot of potential to scare people. I wanted to actually climb the stairs in the entrance. Alas there is no upstairs.
With all the people eating, my mom and i decided to ride most of the coasters. Most were walk-ons. Besides millennium force and the rain\mist. Magnum was having its moments last night and we never got to ride.
Other than that great event. The walkthroughs are still just silly fun. Most of the actors are still getting into form so its hit or miss right now. My favorite moments are in blood on the bayou with the tethered actors. All in all great event, light crowds and a great start to the fall season. Btw i totally dig the 1980s inspired magnum shirt in the emporium gift shop.
Yeah the only real "waits" were for the mazes. Probably 20-30 minutes for some of them. Everything else was 10 minutes or typically less.
What, no mention of a certain enthusiast's Utter Meltdown? ;-).
Nice tr. I wanna go up during the fall one year.
We went back to CP again last night (Fri) and I thought I'd follow up in here since it doesn't warrant its own TR. This time we did less riding and more HW stuff. Caught the last half of the Skeleton Crew show as we walked around, and I have to say, it was pretty neat. We rarely watch shows, except the All Wheels Extreme, which my son can't seem to get enough of. (It's a good show, though)
We also saw the Midnight Syndicate show. Can you believe that I've lived in Ohio and have been going to CP for 15 years now and had never even seen the inside of that theater? We walked by, peeked in the doors because they were open, and said, yeah, what the heck, it starts in 3 minutes. Not a bad show. It was entertaining, but I don't need to see it again. It's a bit long and seems a little stretched out at times. But a nice mix of illusions, heavy metal, and humor.
Oh, and we hit up Boo Hill. Even though Boogie is way too tall now, we've gotten to know one of the ladies that works there pretty well after years of doing that attraction. So we walked through, said hi, and she still gave us some candy.
Then we checked out Hexed. It was fun. The rooms are very well detailed. In fact, it reminded me of a scarier version of Boo Hill. Not much difference from the other haunted houses, but still fun.
Next was Zombie HS. This is still both of our favorites. I don't know why, but it is just so much fun. Probably because it's set in a place we are all familiar with, High School. The others, (asylum, witch house, haunted mansion) are places we've seen on TV, but we've all, or at least most of us, graduated H.S. I'd also say it's the goriest attraction at CP, but it's done in a humorous way. The cafeteria is the best. But if you were only going to stand in one long line for a haunt, make it Zombie HS.Last edited by Tommytheduck, Saturday, September 20, 2014 11:59 AM
I went Friday and Saturday too. Have to say that CP just constantly ups their Halloween Game. Midnight Syndicate was not my cup of tea, but it was an impressive production. I still have a soft spot in my heart for the show that used to take up residence in the Ghoul Time Theatre, and is now at the Palace Theatre. I think bringing that show to a smaller stage really livens it up, and they have some fantastic talent there this year, both the lead male and female singer are really good (and can belt the hell out of Burning Love.)
Edge of Madness was also fantastic as usual. The only thing that I question though is that both of those shows go every hour for 5-6 hours on Saturday, that only gives the cast >30 minutes between shows (after they do their meet and greet,) with how many people pack in to that park for Halloweekends you would think CP would loosen the purse strings a little and pay the cast for an additonal 2-3 hours to give them some more time to recover between shows.
I purchased the Fright Lane pass yesterday, those Skeleton Key rooms were a lot of fun and a nice change of pace, all of the scare actors involved are also clearly the cream of the crop in each of their house and look like they really enjoy doing what they are doing. All of the scare zones were of course their fantastic selves, but my favorite zone is Cut Throat Cove, while Millenium Island will always be a better location, the area under Maverick is secluded enough to work with and the actors were fantastic. It is also helped by being a one way scare zone, something that I realize could not be replicated in any other zone without totally messing up guest flow through the park (well maybe they could do it at Carnevil.)
All of the fog generated on Mil Island when Cuthroat Cove was there made for absolutely amazing Millennium Force rides. I truly miss it. That alone made Halloweekends worthwhile.
We all should've hooked up. I was there Friday and Saturday as well. I've been so busy this summer I'm embarrassed to say it was my first visit to the park all season. And after many years of hearing what a great night Friday is to go, especially early on, I decided to give it a try.
Don't ask me what I thought about the haunts, I don't do them. All my life I've been a big chicken s**t about stuff like that. It would've been an ideal situation as the lines for the houses were predictably short, but I went for the rides. I wasn't disappointed. Let's see...
Gatekeeper, maXair, Windseeker, MF, Maverick, Magnum, Wave Swinger, SkyHawk, Eagles, Pipe Scream, Raptor, pretty Monster, Blue Streak, TTD, Scrambler, Power Tower, Dodgem, Iron Dragon, and that may be it for Friday. Many of those rides were multiple and most were a station wait if not a walk on. It was awesome, and even with the short hours I got all that in at a relaxed pace, was able to tour the entire park, get something to eat, and go back to my truck for a sweatshirt. I also went to each haunted house to check out the line and watch people go in and out. Truth told, most people coming out of the houses seemed a little bored.
Some random thoughts:
They did a cute thing on SkyHawk for re-rides. Since it was so slow they were only loading the red, or, the front side, both arms. After the nine-swing sixty second ride, if you wanted a re-ride you could get up and move around to the back and ride the blue side. After that you had to exit and go around. Just about everybody took advantage of it.
Magnum XL 200 has to be one of my favorite rides on the planet, and just might be my very favorite at the park. Friday night the coaster was just rollicking- fast and full of airtime. The turnaround was out of control and the return trip had everyone laughing and screaming the whole way. I don't understand the detractors out there in the enthusiast community, and there seem to be many that complain about the ride being rough, painful, or even boring. Nonsense. Of the sisters it was the original, and while the others are good, Magnum is still the best.
Fresh Cut Frys, for some reason, are the best French fries anywhere. And sorry, kpjb, even better than Kennywood's. Cheese and ketchup. Yum.
I really enjoyed the Gemini midway and the new stuff there. I attended media day for a short time but only got to ride Pipe Scream, so I was glad to see that one and the other two rides so accessible. The L.E. Eagles were fun, for a Larson ride, and I flew pretty high. My favorite, though, had to be Monster. Not only did they paint and re-light the ride, but they must've given it a mechanical overhaul as well. I've ridden that ride since it debuted in 1970 and it's always been kind of lame and not very spinny. Friday night's ride was fast, smooth, and spun me so fast at times I was dizzy. It was a nice long cycle and I had a blast on it. I also stood for quite a while and watched a steady stream of people shell out 25 bucks apiece for Slingshot- it's a beautiful ride and looks like a lot of fun. Maybe someday.
I left the park about 12:30 and got a great walk up after-midnight rate at Express. It was clean and comfortable. The next day I got up and went back to the park for some early ride time and to catch a few rides I'd missed due to Friday night closure. I also stopped to see my old friend Paul, the woodcarver on the Trail. Last season he did a beautiful replica of a Cedar Downs horse for me, so I had given him a wish list of other things I wanted. To my surprise and delight he had five of my six items ready for me to pick up and had been wondering as to my whereabouts. So I walked away broke, but with a Space Spiral, a White Water Landing boat, a Pirate Ride car, a Western Cruise lighthouse, and a 6 inch Miss Schwabinchen. Left to be completed is the Earthquake car, and he's working on that. (If anyone out there has a decent picture of the Earthquake car, please let me know. Turns out a good shot is extremely hard to find)
I walked thru Hotel Breakers to check out the progress. The rotunda is torn up and closed to the public. The pool has seen its last days. The Bon Air is still hanging in there but looks so forlorn compared to the sparkling wings that have had their exteriors completed. Buh-bye, Bon Air. (sniff) From the renderings in the lobby it looks like the new hotel is going to be really nice.
So, Saturday was jammin' at the park. Not as busy as it might be for a Halloweekends Saturday, but busy enough so folks were spending 110 bucks for FastLane. They should've come with me on Friday! When I left the park around 3P on that gorgeous afternoon I can assure you there were more cars coming in on the causeway than were going out, and the main parking lot was completely full.
So, all in all I had a wonderful time and was so glad I finally got up there. I'm gonna try it again before the close of the season.
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