CoasterMania!

Associated parks:
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Saturday, June 8, 2002 8:20 PM

I've been to CoasterMania the past 2 years, and 3 previous times overall. The first time I brought my brother Adam (this was quite some time ago, actually). Then Matt joined me. Then last year I went siblingless (but met up with Raven-Phile and 2Hostyl instead).

This year, my youngest sister, Liz, went along for HER first CoasterMania.

Ok, I'll say it right now. "ERT" was, of course, hardly "exclusive" if you were trying to hit Power Tower in the morning, or Millie at night. But if you were over on Mean Streak at 10, or Magnum at midnight, then it felt pretty darn "Exclusive". As I always say, though, if you think of the "E" as EXTENDED, rather than exclusive, it helps your perpective on things (getting in the park at 7:30am and riding till 1am? It's hard to argue with that even if there ARE ~2000 other people there with you...)

So Liz and I drove out on Thursday night after work, and checked into our room at Sandcastle Suites. I love the Point hotels -- they may be expensive, but sometimes it's just worth it. More on that later.

We left the room around 6:45am on Friday, and had to wait for a shuttle to the front gate. Oddly enough, there was (apparently) only one shuttle running. By the time it got to Sandcastle Suites, there were more CoasterMania attendees waiting for it than it could accomodate -- I know it was early, but Cedar Point really needed more than one shuttle going. Still, we got to the front gate in plenty of time to....

Wait (briefly) to pay to get in. I have a season pass, but Liz doesn't, so we had to buy a button/meal ticket for her. As it turns out, this detail would really confuse the girl at the window. She gave us our buttons and meal tickets, but *neglected to give us a ticket for Liz*. I didn't even think about it, thinking our buttons WERE our "tickets", until I got to the gate, where they were asking for our season passes or tickets.

Problem. We didn't HAVE one for Liz. The woman at the gate wasn't about to let us in without one. She called over a supervisor, who said "ANOTHER one? Do you remember who you bought your admission from?" All I could tell her was "the girl at the rightmost window." Fortunately she waved us through, and we were in the park...

Our plan was to meet up with LoriU and her husband Steve, Steve's coworker/friend/fellow nut Joe, and our other friend Joe and his wife, Josh (Raven-Phile). Of course, coordinating a group that large is difficult as heck, but we all saw each other early on. The group grew and shrank multiple times over the course of the day, the core being the above plus Vince (Wiredog) and Tammy (Mrs. Wiredog) (but not necessarily all at once), with the odd smattering of STChick, ArrowGuy, CoastermanMike, and others.

First ride of the day?

Blue Streak (2 laps, both during ERT, 1 ejector) -- This is where we were meeting, so this is where we started. 2 quick laps, once in the ejector seat (1.3) for Liz and myself, proved that yes, it's running well, but it was also squealing like crazy. Just add oil, perhaps?

After BS, we headed over to

Raptor (1 lap, back row) -- Still a good inverted, and nice to hit that early in the morning. Last year I did a 8-lap mini-marathon to start the day, but today we declined, instead heading over to...

Mantis (1 lap) -- This may have been our token lap for the year. Not bad, but it just doesn't appeal to me. Interestingly enough, Liz and I got off saying "not as bad as we remember" while Lori got off saying "it just gets worse and worse!" Neither is a terribly positive reaction, yet still so different. Odd, but funny.

Next up, Power Tower. We elected to be shot down, since both Down towers were running (although I generally prefer Up). We'd return later in the day for that Up shot.

By now, the morning ERT session was drawing to a close, so we wandered over to line up for Millennium Force. The CoasterMania attendees were being lined up in one line, Joe Cool and resort guests in another, with the Joe Cool to go before CoasterMania (but CoasterMania to still go before the GP, which actually made sense and was fair). Since our group of the moment consisted entirely of resort guests, we got in that line for my first Millennium Force ride of the year.

Millennium Force (1 morning lap, 1 evening ERT lap) -- My first thought was that I couldn't believe how quiet Millie seemed compared to my memory of it. Once we got on the ride, though, we discovered it was in fine form. By the time we got off, it was exactly 10am, and the park was just opening, so we went to the back to hit the coasters back there before the crowds worked their way in.

Mean Streak was closed. By now we'd heard this was the substitute in case Wicked Twister didn't open, so we weren't phased. Instead, we decided to grab a late breakfast (or early lunch depending on your view) of that mystic icon of amusement park food -- Cheese on a Stick. If there's one thing my home park (Kennywood) needs, it's to bring back this item. Take a piece of white cheese, skewer it, dip it in the same batter that corndogs are coated with, fry, and serve. Not the healthiest meal, perhaps, but I love them. So did Liz, who was sampling this delicacy for the first time...

Satisfied, we headed over to

Cedar Creek Mine Ride (1 lap) -- our first ride of the "public hours", one quick lap with plenty of cheering.

Next up, Gemini? Single side and a line out to the midway changed our minds -- we instead hopped on

Woodstock's Express (1 lap) -- The train in front of us was filled with STChick's group, then it was our turn to take over a train. While in the back kiddie section, we also hopped on the Tilt-A-Whirl (my 4th different Tilt-A-Whirl in 10 days) for some good spin-n-puke action.

By this point, it was nearing 11 and Steve wanted to go get his entry for the photo contest, so the group broke off a bit. Those of us who were left would hop on Corkscrew and Wildcat (1 lap each) while waiting. Both these older coasters still give fun rides, and were worth hitting. After this, we headed back to scope out...

Gemini (1 lap) -- By now, both sides were running. The group that had split off got in line a bit behind us, so we were back together. Our ride actually raced, complete with hand-slapping action (the fact that another group of enthusiasts, including Sean Flaharty, Legendary, and company, were in the other train didn't hurt). While we were there, they added the remaining 2 trains to gear Gemini up to full 6-train, people-sucking glory. Why they hadn't done this earlier we weren't quite certain of, but they did do it.

By now, it was already time for the picnic lunch. The offerings were much better than last year's -- the chicken and potato salad were back, for one thing. The candy apples and caramel corn on the tables was much appreciated, as well. I took this time to show off my custom "Wicked Twistee" shirt to a few people (a reference to a joke over on GTTP referring to the webcam spider). Steve didn't win anything for his picture, unfortunately.

At this point the group was ready to take a breather. I went in search of a "Mufflehead Swat Team" TShirt, and was successful -- $4.95 on a clearance rack. They only had XXL shirts left, which will be WAY too big for me, but for the price AND a design I really wanted, I decided to get one anyway. Then on the way out to our room, Liz and I decided to take a spin on

Disaster Transport (1 now, 2 laps total) -- This is where we had our only real encounter with annoying patrons. A group of 4 girls with THICK city accents was behind us. One of them, who had one so thick it sounded forced, tried cutting in front of us and 2 girls in front of us, urging her friends to join her. The girls in front of me told her to go back to her friends (who hadn't moved and were actually pretty apologetic-looking). She looked away from us and kept waving her friends on. I told her that if she didn't move back to her friends, I WOULD talk to the ride op (we were approaching the point where they sell the 3d glasses) and have her ejected. With a glare, she rejoined her friends -- I was NOT about to back down. Yay me

Next up, a nap. Staying at the Point has advantages I actually watched TV and read, as well as a quick catnap. Via the benefits of Mr. Bell's invention, we coordinated with Steve and Lori to meet at TGI Fridays in the Breakers at 6:30. A 40 minute wait sent us back into the park instead, where we hopped on Disaster Transport again (Steve & Lori hadn't ridden), this time without any attempted linejumpers.

Now we were hungry, though. We decided to check the line at Macaroni's. The place was EMPTY. I feel a bit bad for our waitress, who had to put up with a pretty rowdy group (myself, Liz, Josh, Joe, Steve, and Lori, all refreshed, hungry, and perhaps just a bit raunchy). She delt with us well, though, and earned a good tip for her efforts.

By now, the park was starting to thin out a tad. We hit Iron Dragon, Corkscrew (lap 2 for some of us, lap 1 for others), a few flats, and the Up side of Power Tower. At this point Liz and I decided to head back out to the room real quick to grab another layer of clothing, getting back in the park just before 10pm, and we were off to

Mean Streak (2 night ERT rides) -- lights out, but trims on. It was still fun, though.

Next, we headed over to line up for Millennium Force. Yes, now. Why? Well, for one, we didn't want to rattle our backs too badly, and we knew that's where everyone else would want to go later.

Once the ERT for Millie started, we took one ride. Night rides on Millie are phenominal, of course, but there was still one major Cedar Point coaster we hadn't ridden yet. So, we were off to...

Magnum XL200 (7 night ERT laps) -- yes, this is where we closed out the night. Maggie was in good shape. The padding may be a bit stiff, but I love this ride still. It's not the BEST "hyper" out there, but it DID define the genre.

Maggie shut down at 12:30am. Millie was still running, but we all decided to call it a day -- we were DRAINED, and had still managed a respectable number of rides.

So, my overall take on CoasterMania? Not the lapcount-padding of days of yore. We'd hoped that the new "1 guest per club member" rule (instead of 3) would cut the crowds down a bit, but it didn't seem to. Still, it's hard to argue with reduced admission, lengthy extended ride times, and free food.

Will I return for even more CoasterMania action in the future? Probably.

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 6/9/2002. ***

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Saturday, June 8, 2002 8:25 PM

Man was coastermania fun! I hope I'll get to go next time. I was going crazy all week waiting to ride millennium force in the front seat. I even woke up in the middle of the night and instantly thought "Millennium Force in the front seat" It was worth the 50 minute extra wait.

mmmm.....millennium force

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 7:54 AM
Nice TR.

I share your view on the ERT. My wife and I joked and said, "this should be called EQT (Exclusive Que Time)! This was especially true on Millennium Force.

We had a good time but, after attending SRM last weekend it was somewhat anticlimactic.

Also, my sister and brother-in-law were not able to attend (like last year) because she is 5 months pregnant! They are our best friends, so it was just not the same without them.

I was glad that MF was finally running up to par! It was running fast as ever. We rode the forth "public" train in the morning. Awesome!

Magnum was full of air (as always)! The trims were grabbing hard, but it still managed good air on the return.

I have to addmit that Raptor is not as high on my list as it once was... Montu is now hands down the best invert, IMO. However, the Raptor crew was in HIGH gear! WOW! No stacking.

We, like everyone else, were disappointed that Wicked Twister was down all day. We have been to the Point 3 times so far, and have only ridden it once! Oh well.

GregLeg, after looking at your picture, I think we spotted you in the MF que. Was that you wearing a purple jersey?

All in all it was a good time. Will I return next year? Probably. ;)
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So many coasters, so little vacation time....

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 8:29 AM
Were all three trains running on MF and how long was the wait? CP should have all the coasters opened for coaster mania to thin the lines out a little bit like SFGADV does for the coaster celebration . I've been to the last four Coaster Manias and last year the wait for MF was about a 45min wait with 3 trains running .
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Sunday, June 9, 2002 8:47 AM

They had all three running, which i was very glad to see, and the wait ranged from 30 to 45 minutes (atleast when i was on it). In the morning we were the fourth train out for Joe Cool ERT and then at night we were the second train out for coastermania ERT. It was awsome.

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Somedays it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 4:12 PM

I was a great day indeed, except for the excessive stapling throughout the park. I barely got the seat belt fasten on Gemini and the ride op slammed the bar down on me so hard I had a stomach ache for a little while after. I realize it's not Holiday World and I don't even bother to try for a little extra room at CP, but they were definately taking it a little too far on Friday. Especially when we did not experience this at all on our first trip there a couple weeks ago, we were quite surprised by it.

*** This post was edited by loriu on 6/9/2002. ***

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Sunday, June 9, 2002 6:27 PM

loriu said:

I was a great day indeed, except for the excessive stapling throughout the park. I barely got the seat belt fasten on Gemini and the ride op slammed the bar down on me so hard I had a stomach ache for a little while after. I realize it's not Holiday World and I don't even bother to try for a little extra room at CP, but they were definately taking it a little too far on Friday. Especially when we did not experience this at all on our first trip there a couple weeks ago, we were quite surprised by it.



It was the theme throughout my visits in both 1998 and 2000...

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