I was previously under the impression that amusement parks have a time-limit, above which you’d be disoriented and bloated, delirious from the combination of high fructose corn syrup and terrifying yet magnificent thrills. This conclusion was based on personal experience and a logical conclusion that there is only so much abuse a body can take... but they don’t think it’s abuse!
We started with dinner at Friday's in Breakers. Didn't get to be in our favorite waitress' section (Liz), but got a newbie who seemed borderline nervous. She did a good job. Food was a bit cold.
After leaving Friday’s we have to go and stop off at Disaster Transport because I have not ridden it yet. Jeff was right – LAME. And for me to say that, you know it’s true. If a coaster is going to be in the dark, call me crazy, but make the damn thing DARK! 3 out of 10 on that one.
We picked up our CM buttons at GS then went to FD's to meet The Artist Formerly Known As Old Timer Tim, his wife Lois and Pete. Joe the bartender used to work in Bubbles.
I had a vodka and cranberry. Some people tell me that a drink or two gives you guts to get on rides. That’s right! I admit it! I don’t ride roller coasters, OK? I met my boyfriend on the internet and I don’t ride roller coasters! Ah, it feels good to get that off my chest.
Famous Dave's seems to get off to a rough start every year, but once they settle into a groove, it's a pretty cool place. The snooty marina crowd that isn't snooty enough to go to Bay Harbor for drinks seems to prefer it over Friday's, probably because it's closer. The only down side is that it doesn't have the capacity that Friday's does. Either that, or it's just really more popular.
So being that everyone I am with has been on every ride in the park a million times, but doesn’t feel the need to COUNT the actual number of times (thank god), they will go on Iron Dragon with me. It’s slow, it’s low… It’s just my speed. Jeff talks me into riding in the very front seat. I have never done this and I am very scared. But he always holds my hand (we’re lame, I know) and Tim is just making me laugh so I know I’ll be OK. It was a great ride, even though the bugs were out. Good thing it’s not scary enough to make me scream. Since we were in the front car and ID (that’s Iron Dragon, I just made that one up) is a suspended coaster, but not fixed, we were swinging around quite a bit at the end. Tim says we got lateral G’s. Jeff later tells me that is NOT what a lateral G is, it is more like when you go around a tight turn and the force pushes you outward. Tim probably knows this Jeff says, but he is just mocking us. Mocking the coaster enthusiasts? Whatever. I give this ride a 7 out of 10.
It's no secret that I think Wild Cat is capable of some serious ass kickery, but I don't get on it much because the capacity isn't great. The line was just short enough to justify getting on, and I figured that Cath would be able to handle it.
So Jeff and I got the last ride on Wildcat for the night. How cool is that? OK, call me crazy but does Wildcat seem a little rickety to the rest of you? I mean, it’s rickety! I felt like I was going to fly right off of that thing! Not my favorite, but definitely exciting. I give it a 6 out of 10, just because that’s not the kind of terror I want to feel on a ride.
It's hard to explain why the general public likes coasters with inversions, yet enthusiasts are airtime whores (well, in the US, anyway). There was no way in hell that I was going to get Catherine on Raptor any time soon, but she certainly was compelled to get something under her belt. Naturally, Corkscrew is an OK starter coaster in that regard.
Next we had to move on to Corkscrew and I will tell you why. I have never gone upside-down on a roller coaster and I know the Raptor goes upside down. The Raptor is Jeff’s favorite ride (next to MF of course) and I want to ride it before the summer is up, but I need to know I can go upside down first. So we go over to the Corkscrew where Lois has told me I will have to forgo my sassiness and take off my big hoop earrings because my head will get slammed around (people do this for fun?!). My Britney-esque cuteness goes down at least 15% without my earrings, but hey this is love... I have to do it. Jeff warns me about the big pop out of my seat after the first drop so I was ready for that. The first upside-down was pretty much straight up, so not too bad, but it did disorient me. The spiral curly thingies down the midway, now those just made me sick. I felt like a pancake must feel as it is being flipped in a pan. I tell you, my tummy was not right for the rest of the night. Bummer, huh? 5 out of 10, Corkscrew! I would have given you a three, but I don’t want to punish the ride for my weak stomach.
Coastermania has a reputation for having ERT, where the "E" stands for "extended" instead of "exclusive." To be honest, I don't think the crowd was all that big, because there were lots of chances to ride like crazy. We started at the back.
It was time for ERT and Jeff was convinced the Gemini would be my new favorite ride (after Iron Dragon – I just love it!) if I rode it during ERT. Well, we went down there and the thing wasn’t open yet! Some of the other fanny packs were getting restless, BUT the most beautiful thing was happening. We turned around and the cottonwood was coming down just like snow! It was swirling around on the pavement and catching the light in the lamppost. Unbelievable. Made me think of my favorite Cole Porter song… “Let me be by myself in the evening breeze. Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees. Send me off forever, but I ask you please, don’t fence me in.” It’s funny that in a fast-paced place like CP, you can find moments of beauty and stillness like that.
Catherine had previously been on Blue Streak and she liked it. I explained to her (since she was immersed in geek culture anyway) that rides have a different personality at night, and Blue Streak had suddenly come back to life a few years ago after the Canadians worked on it.
We met up with Pete then and headed over to Blue Streak. After all, if we couldn’t go on Raptor (sorry all you other coaster geeks, some of us had to work in the morning!) we were gonna hit the Streak. Man, we sat all the way in the back and it was bumpy as hell! It was much faster than when we rode it a few weeks ago, too. We were just flying out of our seats. Negative G’s abound! We could only do it twice before we were feeling beat up. We went to the Gemini next. Jeff was right, this ride is very smooth. Of course I did not like the first drop. I looked over the side as we were going up, and it was overwhelming vertigo. Coaster riding is not in my blood, I am sure of it. I am told what makes the Gemini so cool is that you can slap hands with the people on the other train. BUT they didn’t do a great job dispatching the trains so even though we were “racing” we lost by a long shot. Bummer. PLUS I didn’t have a hair tie, which is not a problem on some of the smaller rides, but I needed it on this one, because my hair kept whipping in my face. So far we have on the girlie list: take off big hoop earrings, and remember your hair tie. Gemini gets a 7 out of 10 from me. Jeff was right it was very cool but a little too tall and scary for me right now. I might need to work into it. Jeff and Pete went on Magnum. I opted out (tummy still messed up from the Corkscrew – I am a wussy) and Jeff said it was a good thing I didn't go... the brakes were not on!? Now I am sure to coaster people this is a thrill, but to me it just seems dangerous. See, there must be a reason they HAVE these brakes, yes? Anywho, I didn’t go and I am glad for that.
We went to the Gemini next. Jeff was right, this ride is very smooth. Of course I did not like the first drop. I looked over the side as we were going up, and it was overwhelming vertigo. Coaster riding is not in my blood, I am sure of it. I am told what makes the Gemini so cool is that you can slap hands with the people on the other train. BUT they didn’t do a great job dispatching the trains so even though we were “racing” we lost by a long shot. Bummer. PLUS I didn’t have a hair tie, which is not a problem on some of the smaller rides, but I needed it on this one, because my hair kept whipping in my face. So far we have on the girlie list: take off big hoop earrings, and remember your hair tie. Gemini gets a 7 out of 10 from me. Jeff was right it was very cool but a little too tall and scary for me right now. I might need to work into it.
Jeff and Pete went on Magnum. I opted out (tummy still messed up from the Corkscrew – I am a wussy) and Jeff said it was a good thing I didn't go... the brakes were not on!? Now I am sure to coaster people this is a thrill, but to me it just seems dangerous. See, there must be a reason they HAVE these brakes, yes? Anywho, I didn’t go and I am glad for that.
The ride on Magnum was in fact one of the fastest rides I've ever had. I don't know how many hundreds of times I've been on it, but I do appreciate its personality. With almost no wind and no trims, you knew it was going to be fast. The next train was well up the lift by the time we crossed the safeties. I'd love to know the time, because it had to be in the mid-50's. Make no mistake, this is why I pull the seat belt as tight as possible, especially in the ejector seat. I don't need to be abused by the lap bar.
A walk along the beach (how much romance can we pack in to one night?) and we’re on our way out of town, but not without a milkshake from Steak & Shake. What an awesome, awesome trip. Bravo, Coastermania. None of the rides may have been a 10 (I have to leave something for MF, right Tim?), but the night was a 10/10 for sure. *** Edited 6/7/2006 1:03:36 PM UTC by Jeff***
My 3 1/2 month old son Jacob got to experience his first enthusiast event, I never gave the poor kid a chance to be normal, heh!
Great Lakes Brewery Patron...
Glad to hear Maggie was haulin'. I think I'll have to save my return to CP for a future Coaster Mania. I forgot how amazing those brakeless rides are. And it sounds like the ERT crowds are tolerable again.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
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