CoasterGeff's Coaster Odyssey 2007 - Day 2 (of 12) Cedar Point 6/14/07 VERY Long

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Sunday, July 8, 2007 1:32 AM
CoasterGeff’s Coaster Odyssey 2007

Day Two (of Twelve)

06/14/07

Cedar Point!

I had never been to Cedar Point before, and didn’t figure I had a shot of riding all 17 coasters during CoasterMania so I came a day early. I was staying at the Breakers and had checked in the night before so that I could get into the park an hour early. My goal for the day was to get as many coaster credits as possible so that I could relax and just enjoy the experience of CoasterMania on Friday. I entered the park just after 9AM and headed for Maverick. The ride op at the end of the queue said it was a 40 minute wait already, but I figured it would only get worse so I got in line. The wait ended up being around 35 minutes and then I was on. The “lift hill” felt kind of odd, but I didn’t have much time to think about it before we were over the top. I really enjoyed the ride. It’s not the “est” of anything, it’s just a real fun ride with a nice layout and plenty of twists and turns, plus that midcourse launch. At the time I couldn’t compare it to their other coasters because I hadn’t been on any others yet.

From there I went and rode Skyhawk. I had ridden the smaller version at Kennywood and wasn’t really impressed with it, but this thing was different. Apparently size does matter. After that I headed over to get in line for Millennium Force before they let in the rest of the world. The line was only about a 15 minute wait for the front seat – apparently everyone was still over in line for Maverick. I was by myself and ended up paired up with another single rider. We were barely onto the lift hill when he pulled out his camera, set it on video and started recording the ride. All I could do was sit there thinking that if this idiot gets me in trouble I’m going to be pissed off. He held the camera in front of his chest for the whole ride, which distracted me from really enjoying the ride, which is a shame because it is quite a ride.

By the time I got off Millennium Force the park was open to the public. I sat down to look at the park map and decided on a course of action. I would work my way up that side of the park until I reached the front, then I would head back the other side. That meant that Mantis was next. This marked the first point where the park’s operations impressed me. As I approached the entrance to Mantis I saw that the line came out of the station, down the stairs and filled 2 switchbacks. The sign at the entrance to the queue said ¼ hour. I didn’t believe it and said so to the ride op as I entered the line and checked my watch. 12 minutes later I was on Mantis – in the front seat! I have been to my share of parks and had never seen a line move like that. As for the ride, I really enjoyed it. I see a lot of people going on about how painful standup coasters are, but this was my third standup (the first two were Togo standups) and I have found that as long as I make sure that the “seat” is adjusted just right they are fairly comfortable.

Next up was Iron Dragon. My take on suspended coasters is that they are a very tricky animal. I think that because you have the car under and around you and the track above you, there is a level of perceived protection (be it real or not) that provides a feeling of security that is difficult for the ride to overcome. You just don’t feel as exposed and vulnerable as you do on most other types of coasters. While it was not a bad ride, it pales in comparison to the only two other suspended coasters I have ridden – Vortex at Canada’s Wonderland and Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Europe.

From there it was on to Wildcat. I have a soft spot for Schwarzkopf coasters – they just have this sort of cool, old school feel to me. The line was moving fairly slowly (they usually do for the single car type coasters) but that just meant that it moved at the speed of a normal line at most other parks. When I was halfway up the first part of the ramp these two kids came up and very politely asked if they could cut in front of me. While being impressed that even the line jumpers there were polite, I said no anyways. The people behind me also said no, so they just slipped in front of the people behind them when they weren’t looking. The ride itself was fun. It is by far the largest Schwarzkopf coaster I have ridden and I quite liked it.

At this point my left heel was starting to really bother me. I had been trying to ignore it but that wasn’t working. I stopped to see what the problem was and discovered that the padding at the top edge of the heel had worn out and the plastic piece inside the back had worn a hole through my sock and had started to wear a hole in my heel. Back to the hotel to change shoes (and put a Band-Aid over the “hole” in my heel) then right back to the park – I was on a mission.

Coming back into the park I walked up the beach and in the entrance by Wicked Twister. Since I was right there, I modified my plan and headed for Wicked Twister. I was more apprehensive about this than I was for any other coaster in the park. I have only found two things about any ride that bother me – spinning clockwise (counter-clockwise doesn’t bother me, go figure) and going backwards. I can’t even sit in a backward facing seat on a bus or train without getting nauseous. I wasn’t sure how I would handle the backward parts of the ride, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from riding it. It turns out that, like the boomerangs, the backwards parts were short enough that it didn’t bother me. I definitely couldn’t ride it more than a couple of times in a row though. I had never ridden one of these types of coaster before. It was fun, a bit of a one trick pony, but a fun little trick.

Next up was Disaster Transport. While I have never read anything good about this ride, I realized afterward that there was something else I had never read about it – what type of coaster it was. Since it’s an indoor coaster and I couldn’t see any of the track, I was about a third of the way through the ride before I realized it was a bobsled coaster! While it certainly won’t be making any of my top 10 lists, it wasn’t the horrible thing that most reports I had read made it out to be. I actually felt that enclosing the ride enhanced the ride experience.

I decided at this point to take a short break from the coasters to check out the view and take some pictures, so I went a rode the Giant Wheel then the Space Spiral. The view of the park from the top of the Space Spiral is impressive. Since it was right there and the line was pretty short, I rode Maxair next. Like Skyhawk, I had been on smaller versions, but this was something else. Again, apparently size does matter – at least when it comes to thrill rides. One more ride then back to the coasters. I headed over to Demon Drop. I am very rarely intimidated by the look of a ride, but this thing just looked old, creaky and dangerous to me. I rode it anyway of course. Having never ridden one of these before (I seem to be typing this a lot) I don’t know if it intentionally feels like it could break down any second, but that was certainly the feeling I got.

OK, back to the coasters. I headed for Raptor and got in line. I am a big fan of inverted coasters (even the Vekoma ones). I just like the sensation of hanging under the track with your feet swinging freely. I am a front seat rider in general, and especially on inverted coasters. Up to this point, all of my rides for the day had been in the front seat. I have heard some people claim that they think you get a better ride near the back of the train so I thought I would give it a try. While it was interesting to not be able to see any of the track elements coming, I still prefer the front seat. That being said, Raptor is a typical B&M invert, which is a good thing. A nice smooth ride and a lot of fun.

On to Blue Streak. I am a fan of the classic wooden coasters in general and of John Allen’s designs in particular, maybe because my first coaster when I was a kid was the Skyliner at Roseland Park. Blue Streak didn’t disappoint me – just a nice classic woodie ride.

After Blue Streak I stopped to ride Cedar Downs. I had previously ridden the only other one in the U.S. at Rye Playland. Cedar Downs seems to run a lot slower than Rye’s does, but it’s still a cool old ride.

Corkscrew was next, and this was the second point where the operations impressed me. Corkscrew is a classic Arrow looper and the line wasn’t all that long, but the station was full. The ride op with the microphone was doing a great job of keeping the people in line entertained and distracted from the wait. He kept randomly yelling out “Whoop! Corkscrew!”. He had all the kids in the line doing the same thing. It made what would have been a boring wait in line fun and interesting. The ride itself was typical of an Arrow looper – I enjoyed it.

I headed for Top Thrill Dragster next but it was down, so I went and got in line for Magnum XL-200. The line was the second longest of the day to this point, behind only Maverick’s. It filled up the switchback area out to the booth in the middle of the line. The booth wasn’t manned – apparently they didn’t expect the line to get that long on a Thursday afternoon. I found myself wishing the booth had been manned as there was a young man a couple of people ahead of me openly smoking in line. As he was about 6’ 4” tall I elected to not say anything and just give him some space. I told myself that if he lit up a second one I would say something, but fortunately he stopped at one. Again when I got into the station I was impressed with the ride crew. The ride op with the mic was clearly having fun and kept going on about the three and a half foot drop leaving the station. The ride itself was good but I didn’t feel that it lived up to all the raves that it gets (read my report for CoasterMania when I get to it to see my revised opinion).

Of course when I was halfway through the line they got Dragster running, but by the time I got to it the line was already over an hour. At this point I was hungry so I decided to go back to the hotel and get some dinner at TGIFridays. While having dinner I reviewed my progress for the day and realized that it was only a little after 6PM and I had already ridden 11 different coasters! I couldn’t actually get every coaster ridden in one day, could I? I decided I was going to go for it.

Back to the park through the entrance by Magnum and headed for Gemini. I should explain that I count almost all racing coasters as two credits. The way I see it, if they have two separate sets of track then they are two coasters (Racer at Kennywood therefore counts as one). I went to the red side first and rode in the front seat. The structure of the coaster(s) is impressively larger than I expected. The ride was fun and not too rough. I got off and got right back in line to ride the blue side. Since I was pushing for time I settled for the second seat. Still a good ride.

It was finally time for the coaster I was least looking forward to – Mean Streak. I am not a fan of rough wooden coasters and this one has a reputation for being just that. I got in the front seat, the train headed up the lift hill, over the top and into a trim brake on the first drop? I had never seen that before. The kids in the seat behind me apparently hadn’t seen that before either as they began talking about how there must be something wrong with the ride. I explained that there was nothing wrong; it was just a brake that was supposed to do that. While it won’t be on any of my top 10 lists, it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had expected it be. Maybe the trick is to go in with really low expectations.

Over to Cedar Creek Mine Ride for number 15. I liked this ride. It is nicely themed and a good mine train coaster. From there I went to Woodstock Express. I was expecting this to be a kiddie coaster and was surprised by its size. It is not big by any means but it is not a kiddie coaster. I opted for the back seat as I didn’t think the front seat would be significantly different. Not a bad ride for what it is. I skipped Jr. Gemini as I rarely ride kiddie coasters, and I’m not sure they would let me ride it anyway.

Only one coaster left – Top Thrill Dragster. I got to the entrance to the queue at about 8:15 and Dragster was down again! There were two people waiting outside the entrance to the queue and since I didn’t need any other credits I decided to wait and hope they got it running. The ride op at the entrance to the queue was very nice and I enjoyed just standing there talking to him for a while. He told us something that really impressed me. Apparently a couple of days earlier Dragster had gone down late in the day and they eventually gave up on getting it running at about 10:45PM, 45 minutes after the park had closed. Rather than tell the people who were still waiting in line “Oh well, sorry, have a nice night”, they actually walked them all over to Millennium Force and let them ride that instead. Later when I asked him about the video on YouTube of the train stalled at the top he told us that in the manual for the ride it actually says that if that happens, do not send another train out to bump it over the top! The scary part is that I could see someone thinking Hey! That could work! Finally at 9:20PM they got it running and opened the queue. By this time a lot of people who had been in line when it broke down had given up and left, so we went right into the station. At 9:30 I was waiting to launch in the front seat. I have ridden Dragster’s big brother at Great Adventure so I knew what to expect, but it is still an amazing ride. One word of advice if you are going to ride in the front seat of Dragster after dark: don’t open your mouth. I got off the ride with bugs splattered all over the front of my shirt!

So to sum it up: twelve and a half hours, 17 different coasters, plus SkyHawk, MaxAir, Cedar Downs, Giant Wheel, Demon Drop, and Space Spiral. While I’m guessing that there were quite a few people in the park for a Thursday in mid June, it never once felt even remotely crowded. The park is just so big and has so many rides that it can handle a lot of people. One other random note: while there were a few rides that I saw down at different points throughout the day, every single one of them I later saw running. Overall I was very impressed by the park, the only minor annoyances for the day were all stupid guest related and not the park’s fault (I would have been shocked if Dragster hadn’t gone down at some point during the day). So that does it for my first ever visit to Cedar Point. I promise that the trip reports for days 3 through 12 of the trip will be shorter :)

CoasterGeff

Edited to put in paragraph breaks that disappear everytime I paste my TR in. *** Edited 7/8/2007 5:39:46 AM UTC by CoasterGeff***

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Sunday, July 8, 2007 1:45 PM
What about Mean Streak? Did you ride that? I always skip it anymore. I rode it at the beginning of the season, and came off with a sore back. They should tear it down, and put a GCI in its place.
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Sunday, July 8, 2007 2:57 PM
Yes I did ride Mean Streak. It's in the TR but I understand how you could miss it. Sorry the TR was so long. Here is the excerpt about Mean Streak:


It was finally time for the coaster I was least looking forward to – Mean Streak. I am not a fan of rough wooden coasters and this one has a reputation for being just that. I got in the front seat, the train headed up the lift hill, over the top and into a trim brake on the first drop? I had never seen that before. The kids in the seat behind me apparently hadn’t seen that before either as they began talking about how there must be something wrong with the ride. I explained that there was nothing wrong; it was just a brake that was supposed to do that. While it won’t be on any of my top 10 lists, it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had expected it be. Maybe the trick is to go in with really low expectations.


Like I said I was expecting it to be worse than it was. I actually found it kinda tame.

CoasterGeff

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Monday, July 9, 2007 10:11 AM
Sounds like you had a great day. I am curious though, how did you do 17 different coasters and skip Jr Gemini? :)
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Monday, July 9, 2007 10:15 AM

CoasterGeff said:He held the camera in front of his chest for the whole ride, which distracted me from really enjoying the ride, which is a shame because it is quite a ride.
I've had the same experience on MF, only the camera was being held by someone sitting in front of me. It sucks.
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Monday, July 9, 2007 11:57 PM

Sounds like you had a great day. I am curious though, how did you do 17 different coasters and skip Jr Gemini? -Tim

Here's how:


Back to the park through the entrance by Magnum and headed for Gemini. I should explain that I count almost all racing coasters as two credits. The way I see it, if they have two separate sets of track then they are two coasters (Racer at Kennywood therefore counts as one).


I know this upsets some people, but it's my count and I'll do it my way :)

CoasterGeff

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007 7:39 PM
Sounds like you had a good day. Surprised Magnum had a long wait. I usually can walk into the station and the line starts at the stairs.

Seemed like your first trip wasn't a complete disaster. I feel bad for your first MF experience. When someone records the ride, it's a buzz kill on the other riders around them. Especially if they don't sit in the front.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007 2:38 PM
I really didn't find your report to be all that long. Here's some of my commentary on it:

We rode Swingshot and Skyhawk in the same week and if Skyhawk is taller, it didn't seem to make any difference. The program was so short on Skyhawk and took so long to load, that the ride was just plain lame. Swingshot lasted much longer and therefore, I found it to be much more thrilling.

Here's how I dealt with someone who was video-recording on Phantom's Revenge at night. Even though we were all the way in the back and he was up front, I found the bastard at the exit to the ride showing to the footage to his friend (and they were in their late twenties I'm guessing?).

I confronted him and told him how dangerous it was what he was doing. He tried to use the excuse of "I helped build the ride and I had a secure grip on the camera the whole time." I told him it didn't matter, that he was still putting everyone else's lives in danger. Amazingly, Kennywood has no policy against videotaping on rides in their park map.

Lastly, Thursdays are a slow day at Cedar Point so the park probably wasn't all that crowded, and there's nothing wrong with that!

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