Cedar Point Opening Day 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013 8:59 PM

We left at 4 am to get to the point. We got there at 7:40 am. You'd think that Gatekeeper wouldn't be much of a problem when they let us in the park. It was. We were only 100 people back to get in the park. First problem: there were two early entry lines to get to the park, and they randomly opened 5 extra lines to get in the park at 5 minutes before 8:30. There were people entering those lines from our two lines to get in the 5 new ones. So we went from about 100 back to 750 back. Second problem: the 5 extra lines were meant for resort people, and the other 2 were for plattinum. Third problem: after they let the people in it was a free for all to Gatekeeper and it took longer to scan season passes, so we didn't get to Gatekeepers line until it was 4 hours long. It was all queued up and a line going around the carosal all the way to the Marina entrance. To that far back it was about 6-7 hours, we heard. We bailed and went to Millenium Force. We were only to MaXair far back. Again, we would have had a 4 hour wait.

Millenium Force was a compromise. (Never said that before). Still got on by 9:20 am. MF was shakey and not that fast, well it felt slower than normal. Not the best MF ride, but any MF ride is good.

Next, headed to TTD. We waited for 20 min, then it broke down. Ride ops say it is experiencing technical difficulties. We don't know how long it will be broken down. Ok... is it closer to 5 min or 2 hours? We don't know. Alright. Thank you. (I didn't say the thank you). We settled for Power Tower.

Then we went to Magnum. It breaks down, same story. Errrr. I was started to get ticked off. It was amazing because the tone in their voices. It was almost rude. :-(

We were like: ok. Can't something be managable? The park was crawling with people. By the was, I met with some Acers, and they were nicer than you guys said they were. I had good chats with them. Then I met a tpr-er. He was nice also.

We decided to check Maverick, which was broken earlier (of course). We thought we'd get lucky. We got on with a 70 min wait. 3 rides in 3 hours. Gives me the chills...

At least Maverick ran well. It was smoth-ish and faster than expected.

We then rode Mean Streak. I was optimistic but they had really un reasonably trims operating on it. It was boring, slow, and bumpy. It's slow as ever.

We saw Magnum testing. (We also watched TTD get 3 roll backs in a row. Lol). We ate an elephant ear (the we is me my dad and my sister. She'd never been to CP and wanted to ride TTD bad.) We saw Gemini with a SHORT wait. (That means 20 minutes on a day like today.) We road it and boy is it running well. I got so much air time and I was sitting in the back. Take that advice.

Magnum, we skipped. It was opperating, but my sister saw TTD might be open. Nope. We watched it go and another roll back. 5 in a row. We settled for power tower. It was 1:30 and I told my dad and my sister that we came here to ride Gatekeeper. We have to ride it even if it's 4 hours. Nothing else has good wait times. They said Ok. We waited 3 hours which was shorter than earlier in the day.

Now to analyzing Gatekeeper...
CP's best coaster. Hands down. I would wait 3 hours for that. I wouldn't for MF. I did ride the front car left side, which was just insane. Well we were waiting for it, they had to stop the ride 4 times because of people throwing up on it. That's how intense it was. The key hole and the first drop were best. The camalback hill wasn't the best part liked I dreamed. I really felt disoriented in a good way after riding.

After the Gatekeeper, we rode Magnum. It was good. Then, it was 5:30 and we wanted another MF ride. We had to leave at 8:00, so we had time. We waited in line for 1 hour and 30 minutes and it broke down. Same garbage as usual. "We know nothing and won't tell you anything and want you to just stand here and do nothing or get a fast lane to ride another ride." (Paraphrasing)

We were ticked off. We saw TTD get another roll back. We decided to leave. 8 rides in 9 hours with one of those being early entry. :-(

Bad things CP did:

-slow ride ops at MF.

-opening the extra 5 lanes to get in the park to mess up the people who there early and allow the late people to get in before us.

-making 8:30 am a free for all.

-having a 20 second opening ceremony of two fireworks.

-dumb ride attendants.

-fast lane was sold out. That means lines moved SLOW for the rest of us.

-again, CP messed up. They hit the jackpot with Gatekeeper, making so much money, but failed to impress us with anything else. The ride ops were rude (except at GK) and we were messed up by those 5 extra lanes opening for 8:30. I heard that some general admission people without early entry getting in early.

I've learned my lesson: get a cbuzz club card and go to media day. Never go on saturdays, nor opening day. At least GK was my favorite steel coaster ever. If it was terrible, my rant would have been twice as long.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:26 PM

I had my fill of GateKeeper (Great Ride!) on media day, so when i go next time i will continue my old routine of Maverick, MF, TTD for early ERT.

What you listed are the reasons i never go for opening weekend, especially with a new roller coaster in the park!

Give the ride ops a break! Im sure they are more frustrated than you that the ride went down because now they get to answer the same question 100's of times with the same answer of "we don't know how long it will be down" and getting the same reaction you gave them. When a ride breaks down, the ride ops job is probably the equivalent of the person in charge of dealing with lost luggage for the airlines.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:34 PM

Never go to a park opening day, and try really hard to never go to a park on a Saturday.

I would be disappointed too. Will you be able to go back to Cedar Point this year to do all the things you didn't get to do?

Of course giving a kid fresh out of high school and living away from their parents for the first time the authority to tell people what to do over a loudspeaker while working in a fast paced and highly stressful environment is going to cause them to sound rude. That part of Cedar Point's charm. lol

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:38 PM

I have a plattinum pass, and I'll be back 5 or 6 more times. Also I will do Michigan Adventures and KI both multiple times too.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:39 PM

Your criticism is nonsense. What did you expect to happen on opening day when they haven't opened a new coaster in six years? ERT? Did you really think with that giant shiny gate they were going to funnel everyone through one line, so you could get in sooner? Your expectations were ridiculous.

And for the record, I found the MF crew to be tip-top.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 9:46 PM

Ok, MF's crew wasn't slow, but it wasn't fast either. Gatekeeper was worth the wait and it's crew was incredible. The main complaint is the opening of the extra gates and the opening stuff.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:08 PM

CP always lets everyone early in on opening day, always. Platinum Pass ERT starts on the second day. There are too many fan boys (and lets face it, most of the people there on opening day have Season Passes anyways) for them to do otherwise.

You should never try to enter the main gate, there are better, more secret ways to get in, one of which is either closer to Gatekeeper then the main gate, or at least as far.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:23 PM

Do you think GK will have no wait during Plattinum ERT?

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Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:44 PM

If you get to the line in the first 30 people, yes. I suspect it will just be like other new rides, be at the front of the gate, get a ride in <15 min, and then move on to MF, wait <30 min and then either choose to ride Maverick next or wait for TTD to open.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:57 AM

We were there today too. Arrived at the gate a few minutes after 9:00. Saw the fireworks go off from the toll booths. Joined the GK line around the entrance to Raptor at about 9:15. (Like Tyler said, it went from Raptor forward around the carousel, and back to the ride.) That long part of the line moved fast as they (I'm assuming) opened the queues inside the waiting area.

All said and done, we waited 3:30. That's the second longest I've ever waited for a coaster, but nowhere near the 5:15 on TTD's opening day.

Yes, the GK crews were friendly, even letting me leave the line to pee while my son held our spot. Worked some funny banter into their spiel too, which I always (okay, sometimes) enjoy. They did seem to stack the trains quite a bit and I felt the line could have moved slightly faster, but hey, it's opening day, right? I'm not going to complain about the wait because, yeah, we knew what we were getting into. I had no delusions along the lines of Tyler's (sorry) which is why we didn't even try showing up earlier. Around 11am or so, when I left the line to pee, the line appeared even longer, full queue, back around Johnny Rockets and who knows how much further. But later in the afternoon the ops were calling it at around 2 hours.

So needless to say, this was our only ride. We decided to wait the extra few minutes for the front row. Front right. The slow turn under the track was every bit as awesome as I thought it was gonna be. And the rest of the layout? Superb. You can tell a lot of thought went into this design. The elements all flowed together very nicely and both keyhole passes were awesome. And being in the front row, the visual effect was great as well.

Last year, on Wild Eagle, I felt that while it was a well engineered ride, the wing aspect did very little for me. I actually prefer to sit over the track, even prefer the middle seats to the outers on a B+M. I like the visual effect of speeding over, or under, the track. It adds to the sensation of speed, and I like to look at the track in front of me as it curves, bends, etc. But I really enjoyed riding on the wings of Gatekeeper. I think partly because of the drop, and partly because there are so many built in effects to take advantage of the wing concept. The keyholes are the obvious ones, but there are many more head and leg choppers as well throughout the course.

But here's where I get negative. I sat on the inside seat while Boogie (the kid) sat on the outside. Remember, this was the front row, but my seat vibrated the entire ride. I honestly could not believe it. In the front row? I cannot help but compare it to Wild Eagle, which was glass smooth in the front, but vibrated in the back. Part of this, I think, may have been the cold weather. It never got above 55 today and all of the coasters in the park were running slow. Did anyone notice this on media day? It was a lot warmer that day. So far, I'm the only one I know complaining. I asked Boogie if he felt his outer seat ride was rough,and he said no. But he was on such a high during the ride that I don't think he would have noticed a sledgehammer upside the head.

So to sum up... what can I say? I think this is a fantastic new ride, a great addition to CP, and I cannot wait to ride it many more times, albeit with shorter waits.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 1:05 AM

Also, re-reading Tyler's TR, it seems your estimates on the waits are a bit off. As I said, we waited 3:30 first thing in the morning and it sound like we joined the line after you would have. I can't imagine it ever reached 6-7 hours simply because when we got off the ride around 12:50, the line was no longer out of the queue gates. According to the ops, a full queue is worth about 2 hours.

I'm glad you did manage to get in a ride, because they closed it, and many other rides, around 7 pm for high winds. We left after that.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 8:45 AM

Tyler Boes said:

Next, headed to TTD. We waited for 20 min, then it broke down. Ride ops say it is experiencing technical difficulties. We don't know how long it will be broken down. Ok... is it closer to 5 min or 2 hours? We don't know. Alright. Thank you.

How long have you been an enthusiast and when have you ever gotten an answer to "how long will it be down?"

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 10:15 AM

My estimate was wrong. We were lined up until Maxair, which would've been a 1 hour wait. We probably shouldn't have bailed.

And apollo, I expect them to at least tell me what's wrong with the ride.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:08 AM

It's times like this I wish I were a ride op. I'd give answers like "Eh, an axle snapped causing the rear car to derail. But it's ok, the riders were air-lifted to the hospital with only minorly severe injuries, and they're expected to pull through."

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:31 AM

You were lined up until maXair did what?

Tyler, you can expect all you want, but you will never, ever hear a ride op tell you what's wrong or how long it will be. And that makes sense. The more they say and guarantee the more they set themselves up to be wrong which will piss an angry crowd off even more. And mechanical issues are never discussed with the GP. Can you imagine that can of worms?

"Sorry, we're down due to mechanical difficulties. We're working to have the ride up and running as soon as possible, how long that will be is unknown. You're welcome to wait, but remember, if you leave you will lose your place in line. Sorry for any inconvenience"

That's all you're likely to hear. The only time you might know what's causing a delay is if someone throws up.

You never should've left that line. And next time park in the back and go in the beach gate by Windseeker, then sprint to the ride.

I wish I could share your enthusiasm for the ride. I respectfully disagree that it's CP's best coaster hands down. And if GK is your favorite steel coaster ever, you need to come with me!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:59 AM

I like Voyage and Beast more than it, though.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 1:18 PM

When I worked at Cedar Point, we were specifically trained not to say what was wrong. The main reason for that is that mentioning what the problem is could cause undue panic with a guest who is already uneasy. You as a Ride Op might know it's not a big deal, but many of the guests do not.

Also, as mentioned before, if you try and start spouting off what's wrong with the ride or how long it will be and you're wrong, you look like a tool and people might get angry.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 4:45 PM

Also, about 82.6% of the time the ride ops have no idea what's wrong in the first place.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 4:54 PM

Tommytheduck said:

Remember, this was the front row, but my seat vibrated the entire ride. I honestly could not believe it. In the front row? ... Did anyone notice this on media day?

My experience was that any of the inside seats (regardless of row) were butter smooth, but the outside seats could get bumpy. Nothing terrible, but not what I'd call "smooth" either. However, the increased intensity (and fun!) of the forces in the outside seats almost makes up for it. You may be right about the weather making a difference; it was 55 when we first rode around 5 a.m., but I didn't ride the front or back until later in the day when it was a delicious 75 degrees.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013 5:13 PM

That's really unfortunate to hear that Cedar Point is once again screwing up early entrance by letting in season pass holders instead of platinum pass holders.

It's also really terrible to hear that so many people throw up on GateKeeper, really disgusting.

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