Cedar Point whirlwind tour (June 21, 2005)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 4:50 PM
As we pulled out of the parking lot of Wyandot Lake, Michele (my wife… and navigator for this trip) was looking at the map and said “If we take Rt 4, it will take us directly to Sandusky and we can then take Rt 2 west to Port Clinton.” Continuing to look at the map, she asked “Since we skipped Kings Island today, do you want to stop at Cedar Point… just so the day won’t be a ‘total loss.’” She then called ahead to see if there was any discount for visiting after a certain hour and found that it was only $27 after 5pm. That would give us a good 5 hours. We had decided to skip Cedar Point this trip, opting to visit it perhaps next summer and spend two or so days there. However, while it was not planned a 5 hour stop was better than no stop. Besides, if we liked it, we decided we could stay over another day. So, the light house visit at Port Clinton would have to wait.

We arrived and parked in a space relatively close to the front gate just a little before 5pm. By the time we arrived there, it was 5 so we paid our $56 and entered. The crowd seemed moderate. We knew this would be a whirlwind tour, so we decided to hit as many coasters we could, starting with Raptor and working our way around the park.

So… in order...

Raptor: The line for this coater was out of the station and in to the first “switch back” of the queue, but it was moving. With two trains running, it was a relatively short wait. Knowing time was not really on our side, I decided to take the 2nd seat rather than wait for the front seat (my preferred seat on B&M inverts). Good news! Last few B&M coasters I rode I had a bit of a problem with the restraints. I could get the OTSR down, but I was just a fraction of an inch short on seat belt to latch it… I needed to have an op push it down slightly to get the belt to latch… but not this time. Watching what I have been eating these past we months must have helped because I sat down, pulled the OTSR down and latched the belt with no problem! Anyway… enough about my personal victories…. Onto the coaster. A fun ride certainly, packing a lot of elements into the course. Would still have liked the front better for the visuals, but for a non front seat ride it was very good.

Blue Streak: Walk on. Back seat. Pics of this coaster do not do it justice. It looks like “ho hum” little out and back, but it is a rather good ride… fast, just on the edge of being “out of control”, with good pops of air.PARAGRAPH Disaster Transport: 15 minute wait. Fun little bobsled style coaster in the dark. Loved the lift hill lighting. Would I ride it again? Certainly. Would I wait long for it? Probably not.

Michele (who had decided to give coasters a rest today after Superstition Mountain at Indiana Beach the day before) was waiting for me near the entrance to Wicked Twister. I walked to the entrance and, after hearing the stories about the restraints, decided to try the test seat. Not even close. Oh well… at least I lost enough weight to be “comfortable” on the non big boy seats of B&M coasters. I’d continue to work on things and hit Wicked Twister another day.

Seeing how far down the entrance to Corkscrew was, Michele told me to go ahead, she would catch up.

Corkscrew: Walk on. This one surprised me. I knew it had a loop and corkscrew, but I always thought it was a “production” model (like Steamin’ Demon at Great Escape). I didn’t realize that it was custom job until I actually saw it. A good ride for its age.

TTD: Was closed. There were people waiting in the station, but the queue was closed and an announcement was being played that it was “temporarily down” for mechanical reasons. So, I moved on.

Magnum XL-200: Short wait. First thing I thought of when I saw this was how much it reminded me of Steel Force at Dorney. Well… the paint scheme, the “hyper” label, both being in a CF park… and that is where the similarity ends. First thing I noticed was how the Arrow trains on this coaster were much different than the Morgan’s on Steel Force. I thing SF trains are some of the most comfortable around. Magnum’s Arrow trains were not.

Anyway… great visuals from the lift hill. Fun fist drop too and not too bad of a second hill. But after that it lost me. The turn around, while looking interesting is just “so so” (not like Steel Force’s great helix). The worst part of the ride followed. The air on the return hops to is of the violent type… the train goes up, the train goes down, but because of the transition, you want to keep flying upward… and the only thing stopping you is your seat belt and lap bar which grabs you by the front of your thighs and slams painfully down into the seat. I usually don’t make comparisons between coasters and parks… but in this case I did. Suffice it to say, I enjoy the floating air and gracefulness of Dorney’s Steel Force over CP’s Magnum.

Michele caught up to me near Gemini. She found a place to sit while I grabbed a quick ride on Woodstock Express. Fun little “family” coaster, nothing more, nothing less.

Gemini: Walk on. I rode it first in the back seat. It was okay, but that was it. Perhaps I was still smarting form Magnum, but I found things a little painful back here. I then re-rode in the other side and picked the 4th seat (1st seat, 2nd car). What a world of difference! Great ride. I would assume that with a few re-rides I could really grow to like this coaster. There was one point where my train and the other train were side by side and racing. Wild experience to see the other train rushing along side of yours.

I then took a brief stop to eat. Michele had a slice of pizza and I had a Steak Sandwich and fries from the one restaurant / food stand on the other side of the RR tracks from Gemini. Very good for park food. Michele then found a bench in front of the antique cars while I headed toward…

Cedar Creek Mine Ride: Walk on. A tight fit (but it’s a mine train… what did I expect), but one of the most interesting mine trains I have encountered.

Mean Streak: Walk on. Front seat. Perhaps that front seat is what made the difference. I was expecting to suffer a fate similar to what Hercules used to dole out at Dorney Park. I was surprised to find how smooth this coaster actually ran. On the other hand, it does prove that quantity over quality is not always a good thing. Its big, its impressive looking, but it’s rather a lack luster ride. Of course, the breaks on the first drop could have something to do with that.

I met up with Michele again on the bridge in front of the “Shoot the Chute’s” type of ride (Dorney calls theirs “White Water Landing”, not sure what CP calls theirs). It was starting to drizzle a bit and it was then a long walk toward the front of the park. With time dwindling now, Michele again told me to go ahead and she would catch up. She walked leisurely while I walked at the double quick to head toward the last few coasters.

Mantis: Walk on. The way the seat was contoured, I thought I was going to be in a lot of pain. Let’s just say… things were kind of crunched. Any guys out there who have ridden a B&M (or any) standup will know what I mean. I was expecting to be able to hit the high notes in the national anthem after this ride. I was surprised that no harm was done. However, other parts of the anatomy did not do as well. I am talking about my ears. I never experienced true “head banging” until I rode Mantis. Even the roughest Vekoma SLC is not as bad as this. I never had to check to see if my ears were still attached after I got off a coaster until this ride. Rode it once… never again.

Iron Dragon: Walk on. An okay coaster… not very thrilling though. However it was a good relaxing rest after the mugging that Mantis gave me.

Wildcat: Closed because of the rain (which had stopped for the moment).

Michele was now sitting at a table under an umbrella near to the RR crossing between Mantis and Millennium Force. After a brief stop there, I headed for MForce. The queue, which had been stopped earlier because of the rain, was open again. I radioed Michele and told her I was getting in line… they said it was an hour wait… and it was a little after 9pm. She said she was going to head toward the entrance of the park and look around the “Snoopy Boutique”.

Millennium Force: 40 minute wait. The line took up the set of switch backs just before the long ramp that leads to the station. It took about half an hour to move half this distance. I was prepared for the full hour wait. However, at that time the sky opened up with heavy rain and the crowd really dispersed. I decided as long as they were running the coaster, since I was already wet, I would wait. After the rain and the less hearty of the crowd running for cover, the wait was only 10 more minutes.

Sitting down, I was a bit concerned. I heard the horror stories about the tight restraints and the ½ inch of belt rule. I was struggling to get my belt closed. The op came by to check restraints. No help from him (and I expected none… I had of heard the “you have to be able to buckle your self in” stance)… though he did give me pointers on how to make the belt fit. It clicked closed. He then said to pull the seat belt tight. It hardly moved. No ½ inch. He said to keep pulling… but nothing. Hardly any belt.. .certainly not ½ inch. I said “Oh well… looks like it isn’t going to happen… at least I tried.” The op then stood up and pushed the T-bar closed, made sure it was locked and moved on and I was secured. Wasn’t srue what happened… I was expecting to be turned away… but I wasn’t. Did common sense win out over the absurd regs of Intamin? (then again, considering how I probably would have been fine to ride in MForce’s first few years, before the new “regs”… )

Anyway… off we were. That’s one tall lift hill… and eerily quite. And the view from the top is incredible… and a bit unnerving the first time as your start hurling to the ground. After that the ride was pretty much a blur to me. It was over very quickly it seemed. It moved so fast that I didn’t realize that I had passed through the overbanked curves. It was a fun ride… didn’t exactly blow me away... but still a fun ride.

By now the rides were shutting down as it was 10pm. I made my way toward the front of the park and collected Michele at the “Snoopy Boutique”. We were both parched so on the way out we stopped at food stand that was still open. An employee was cleaning something and he motioned us toward the other window. We waited there behind a few people. Just as we got to the window, the employee there said “He will take care of you” and stepped away. We stepped to the first window we were at. We asked the person there why he told us to go to the other window. “Cause I was busy” he said. Not feeling like dealing with his attitude, we turned and walked a bit further. We bought a Pepsi “for the road” and headed for the nearby exit and our closely parked car.

All in all it was a very fast visit, only good for one ride on 12 of the 16 coasters, but considering how we were not even going to stop this trip, it was still much better than I had hoped for.

I can’t say either one of us have fallen in love with Cedar Point as so many have, but then again mine is not a fair assessment since we were so rushed. We did the entire park in only 5 hours, when I always said that this is a “two day” park. What we did see we liked. The front of the park had that “concrete” feel, similar to the way CF paved over parts of Dorney, but the areas beyond MForce and Corkscrew there seems to be a personality there.

Our next visit here will be more leisurely so we can give the park the chance it deserves. We are talking about staying at one of the properties on the peninsula (either Lighthouse Point or the Breakers) to spend two days at the park and experience what it has to offer… flats, train, coasters more than once, etc. All in all, with the exception of Mr. “Cause I was busy” (all employees at all parks were friendly and courteous except for him and his rude behavior), it was a good visit.

Even got to see the Cedar Point Light House from the hill of Mean Streak.

(Edited to correct names of Iron Dragon and Wildcat) *** Edited 6/30/2005 1:43:29 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:12 PM
Great TR. Glad to hear you got on MF. I think that if you can get the belt buckled, you should be able to ride. It will make things easier.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2005 11:45 PM
Iron Wolf is really Iron Dragon. Galaxy is Wildcat. ;) I'm glad to hear you got your ride on Millennium Force. I know a lot of people are ho hum about the overbanked turns but I love the heck out of them. I haven't been to Dorney to give Steel Force a try but I'm really trying to work out a trip within the week so I can compare it to Magnum and SF's helix looks sweet. You got a lot of rides in for being there only 5 hours, good TR!
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Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:05 AM
The bunny hops on Magnum, which you said were the worst part of the ride, are the things that make myself (and many others) keep riding over and over every year. To me, Steel Force(less) seems boring after Magnum. But to each his own. :)
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Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:33 AM
I just wish the restraints didn't way two thousand pounds... that's all.
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Thursday, June 30, 2005 9:48 AM

macho nachos said:
Iron Wolf is really Iron Dragon. Galaxy is Wildcat.

Not sure where I got "Iron Wolf" from... but I just finished a TR on Indiana Beach and I must have been thinking about their Galaxi. Now that I stop and think, I can see the ride in my head and should have known that CP's was a Wildcat.

As for the "painful" bunny hops on Magnum... We had been on the road from around 11am that morning... having travelled from Kings Mills to Sandusky (with a short Wyandot Lake pitstop)... we were also trying to hit as many of CP's coasters as we could in 5 hours. Perhaps I was a bit tired... perhaps just not in the right frame of mind. Like I said... next trip we are planning on giving CP a full two days to take our time and not be so rushed.

Still... I do prefer "floating air time" over "slam you into your seat" airtime.

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Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:17 AM
Don't know if you were sitting in the middle of the car or over the wheels on Magnum, but I've found that makes a difference. I refuse to ride in the back as well, because that seems to make the airtime a bit more violent as well.

Just a note about OSTR's on inverts...my husband has never had a problem on Raptor, but he had difficulty on nearly every OSTR at SFGAm, including Batman, V2 and their drop ride. I suspect the OSTR's on Raptor might be a little larger than the norm, or the seatbelts longer.

And I'm glad you enjoyed Blue Streak. I have a real soft spot in my heart for that coaster.

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Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:38 AM
Well, here is my history with OTSR's on inverts (and Floorless)...

Up until last year, no problem on any B&M invert or Floorless or Sit Down. Not a loose fit, but I could buckle them myself. (Inverts included Great Bear, Talon, Dueling Dragons, Montu, Alpengeist... Floorless included Kraken... Sit Downs included Kumba and Incredible Hulk)

Last summer (after gaining some weight) and my first visits of this summer... I could get the OTSR's down, but the belt was was a fraction of a fraction of an inch short of closing. From a seated position I did not have the leverage to get the OTSR down enough to secure the belt... it required the op pushing slightly from in front of me to get it to secure (big boy seats were no problem). (Inverts included Great Bear, Top Gun at Carowinds, Batman The Ride at SFGrAdv... Floorless included Medusa at SFGrAdv).

However, after losing a few pounds since my last SFGrAdv visit, I could get the belt latched on the inverts or floorless myself... (invert was Raptor, Floorless was Dominator at Geauga Lake). On Wicked Twister I only tried the test seat and found it would not close, so I bypassed the coaster, but on Steel Venom at Geauga lake I could get the belt latched with slight help of an op (I was a fraction of an inch short of closing... I had to pull the OTSR down from the top of the shoulder section to gain the micron of distance needed for the op to close the belt).

So... I'm hopefull.

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