Monday, June 4, 2001 9:11 AM
Well, the weekend got off to a horrible start. Wednesday night I was packing my bag for the trip, on the theory that I could just cut out of work on Thursday, swing home to feed my pets, & hit the road.
Running down the checklist. "Toiletries? Check. Clothes? Check. Meds? Check. Camera? Camera? Um, camera? Oh s***!"
My new camera, an excellent (and expensive!) Kodak DC4800 digital camera, was nowhere to be found. I knew I'd had it at Kennywood for the Phantom's Revenge Media Day, but realized that I couldn't remember seeing it since then. Checked my computer, the shots from that day are here, so the camera made it home after that shoot, but damned if I can recall what's happened to it since. Needless to say, I was quite annoyed. And of course I'd loaned my old camera (which I'd managed to hold onto for 4 years without losing!) out and didn't have sufficient time to get it back.
Sigh. I'm still hoping the camera will turn up somewhere, but I can't find it in my apartment, nor my office at work. This isn't exactly a tiny Elph camera, so it's not like it's under some papers or something. No clue what happened, not like I would've LEFT it somewhere. Sigh.
During the drive from Pittsburgh to Cedar Point, the bad mood over the camera gradually faded into antipation for my 3rd CoasterMania, only to return briefly while listening to the Stanley Cup game on the radio (770AM out of NYC -- faded in and out through the drive but mostly listenable)
I arrived at Sandcastle Suites at around 10:00pm. I checked in without incident, and discovered that I had indeed been able to get there before my roomies (2Hostyl and Josh). This was my first stay at the Suites, and I'd probably stay again -- the room was nice, if a bit smaller than I expected, but it was cheaper than the Breakers and still on the Point. Breakers Express is still the best deal of the Cedar Point-owned properties, though.
loriu and I had discussed how to meet up beforehand. She, her husband Steve, and their friends Joe and Leah were staying at the Camper Village. Lori and I had briefly considered the idea of meeting on the shuttle to the front gate in the morning, but then abandoned that idea as impossible to coordinate -- we would instead meet at Blue Streak at 8. So who do we end up sitting next to on the Friday morning shuttle but Lori. Heh.
Ticket purchasing was very simple this year -- nothing like the MASSIVE line I ran into last year. Lori said she had to wait for the rest of her crew to get up, and would meet us again at 8 at Blue Streak as planned. So Josh, Jeremy, and myself went in and hopped on Raptor for first ride of the day. In the rain. Then we started working our way over to Blue Streak, where Josh spotted Lori. We all hooked up, starting a trend of a slowly-growing mob as the day progressed.
A lap on Blue Streak (2 for Jeremy and Josh), and a token ride on Mantis, we decided that it was time to try to hit the Ripcord. The CoasterMania flyer clearly stated that Ripcord rides were $8/person from 9 to noon, so we walked back there around 9:30, to discover that we couldn't get out to get on Ripcord. Probably a misprint on the flyer.
We consoled ourselves with first train out on Magnum. I was in the back seat. When we returned to the station, there was nobody waiting for the back row, and none of the ops asked me to get off, so I stayed on. :)
Then it was time for Ripcord. My flight was Josh (his 2nd skycoaster), Jeremy (his first), and myself (my first). I LOVED it. I don't think I'd pay the full upcharge for these, but I'd definitely do it again for $8 :)
After that, we switched gear (the weather had cleared up) and went back into the park, and hit Chaos, Magnum again, Gemini, CCMR, Mean Streak, Iron Dragon, and Cedar Downs.
Then it was time for lunch. This was not exactly spectacular -- hot dogs & beans. Eh.
After lunch it was time to hit Millennium Force -- we figured we may as well get one lap in for the newbies before the ERT started. The wait was only about 45 minutes, as it turned out.
After that, our group (which had grown to 16) headed towards the back of the park. Lori, Steve, Joe, and Leah decided to head back to their camper for a rest before the night got going. They missed a takeover on CCMR (with us hammering like the Tiki dolls on Adventure Express at PKI on the lifts, complete with "You Will Pay!" chant. I'm not sure whose idea that actually was, but it was FUNNY!)
After that I decided to head back to the room for a powernap, and grab something warm for the night. On the way out I grabbed an Elephant Ear, which was far more satisfying than the franks & beans had been (not that I'll turn down free food ;) ) Jeremy returned to the room shortly after I did. We met back up with the gang at the Magnum gate at 6. One group decided to go to TGIF's for dinner, while our original morning group minus Josh decided to ride some more. We were able to get rides on Woodstock, Corkscrew, Power Tower (up -- only 1 Space Shot tower was running at the time for some reason), Disaster Transport, and Raptor before deciding to grab a quick dinner before the ERTs began.
Then the ERTs. We started on Magnum, which I love. After 3 laps, we decided to head back to the Force, where we squeezed in 5 laps before the line was cut off.
Jeremy, Josh, and I staggered back to our room ridden out and happy. Josh decided he had enough energy to drive home, so he took off at that point.
Overall, a very satisfying day. I love CoasterMania, which to me is as much about the company as the rides themselves. Yes, it IS possible to get more rides on emptier days (and for that matter, we weren't terribly "efficient" in getting rides as it was -- we could've crammed a lot more in there if we'd wanted), but to me that's not the point. We had FUN.
Final tallies by my count, for the curious (other members of the group had slightly different counts due to rerides, splitting off, etc.)
Blue Streak: 2
Cedar Downs: 1
Disaster Transport: 1
Gemini: 1 (we'd planned on marathoning on this but never quite got to it)
Iron Dragon: 1
Mean Streak: 1
Power Tower (up): 1
Woodstock Express: 1
*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 6/4/2001. ***