Since the year 2000, I've been making an annual pilgrimage out to Cedar Point in order to ride some REAL coasters (my home park is SFGAm). I was obviously more anxious to go this year than ever with the opening of Top Thrill Dragster! Unfortunately, this years trip could have been much better. My roommate and I arrived at Hotel Breakers on Sunday afternoon (5/11/03). This is the first time that we chose to stay at breakers as we normally crash at the Radisson Harbor Inn. Luckily, we managed to get a room on the 7th floor in the breakers tower facing the park, which means we could easily see TTD, Magnum, MF, Gemini and Mean Streak from our bedroom! (The night shot of TTD at the link below was taken from our hotel room). We started off by getting our season passes, which took around 1 hour. Once we got into the park, we ran to the dragster, only to find out that the ride wasn't running due to the high winds. Believe it or not, none of the following rides were running: Millennium Force, Magnum, Raptor, Mean Streak, Gemini and probably a few others. So, we only managed to get on Wicked Twister, Power Tower and Mantis. Wicked Twister seems to be tamer than last year. Power Tower was the same as always and Mantis ran exceptionally smooth.
Now, one benefit of staying at a CP resort is that you get to enter the park early. On Monday, resort guests were allowed to enter at 9:00, which is a full hour before the gates are open to the general public. We figured that this ERT on TTD would make up for not being able to ride it the previous day. WRONG!!! The winds were even STRONGER than on Sunday, so TTD was down all day due to weather conditions (along with the other big coasters). Grrrr... 1.5 days at the park without 1 ride on MF or TTD!!! At this point we looking high and low for something to do other than pack it up and head home, so we opted to check out a local pizza place / bar (Cameo's), hit the hottub at the breakers then ended the night at a club called the Tea House of The Dancing Lady.
After 2 days of not being able to ride TTD, we knew that Tuesday would be our day. The weather had cleared up, we saw the ride testing early in the morning from our room (it woke us up) and we had 30 minutes of ERT before the park opened. Sure enough, we ran through the gates at 9:30 only to find out that Dragster was once again closed....this time, it was to shoot a TV commercial. The staff said it would open up at 3pm. We made the most of our time and made it on all of the other rides we've been wanting to ride. At 2pm, we relaxed at the Red Garter and checked out the new show for this year. It looks like most of the crew is new this year, but once again this show ROCKED! The musicians/vocalists at the Red Garter always put on a great show! One of the female vocalists really stood out along with the rhythm section.
It was now time to ride the Dragster... There were many delays between launches and there still seem to be some bugs in the system. The tree lights work correctly occasionally (assuming the train is ready to launch). Two of the trains had to be evacuated at the launch/wait positions then backed up into the station. One pleasant surprise was the radar gun + display they have to show you how fast the train is going. I had a question on RRC awhile back about bringing a radar gun to the park to verify the 120MPH, sure enough, they have one built into the ride! We finally made it onto the ride, second row of the fourth car of the green train. Once we were at the launch position, the christmas tree went dark (our train didn't launch when it should have). So there we were just sitting while listening to the engine revving soundtrack. Then, the countdown lights came on and counted us down (very quickly!). Before we could blink, our car flew down the track. If you're in the front row, you can see the magnetic breaks lower before you take off, which gives you a good clue on when you're going to launch. Otherwise you just have to wait and stare at the light tree as the suspense builds. The speed is amazing, the acceleration is incredible and the view is phenominal. Unfortunately, it's over before you know what hit you. I would still vote MF as my favorite coaster as the ride is much longer and still delivers high speed and a big drop.
Since we only rode the dragster once on Tuesday, we figured Wednesday would be our lucky day. Perfect weather forecast, ERT, and no commercial. Once again, we dashed off through the gates at 9:30 only to find out that they were shooting another part of the commercial until 3pm. The commercial shoot on tuesday used around 10 onride cameras and some "traditional" cameras on tripods. It was rather impressive as they were custom building metal brackets for all of these things right there on the spot. They had tools galore, a bunch of hard shell cases with equipment and a drill press in the loading station. The commercial shoot on Wednesday was an aerial shoot along with more "traditional" cameras. Check out the photos at the link below..... They had a remote controlled helicopter with a camera attached to it flying by the track / crest of the dragster!! As cool as it was, it meant that we weren't getting on the ride yet again (we had to leave by 2:00).
In a nutshell, we rode Dragster once in 4 days....not too impressive. I'll definitely have to make another trip out there later in the season.
Here are a couple of pictures from my trip: (I think this link will work....)
Race for the Sky
Top Thrill Dragster
Cedar Point 2003
if u want 2 find me look in every house that has ice cream, italian candy,reddi whip, and a loud sterio
So, if you saw a pink Adidas jacket, and pink shoes, or a shirt that said *Pretty Kitty* that was me......
Ask me about my new house!
AIM: Pritti Kittie
God bless Intamin, Company that I love. Stand beside her, and ride her, from the opening to the closing of the day.
The hotel is literally a 2 minute walk from the park, so you can come and go as you wish (which is great if you have several people in your party and just a few want to go swim, rest, eat, grab a jacket or do something else. I love being by coasters, so the extra $$$ was worth it in my opinion. We came back to the park at around 2am one night and noticed that the cleaning crews were driving around in the park and magnum was transferring trains. The park never sleeps!
Unfortunately, my trip consisted of tons of bad weather and commercial shooting. Breakers is great assuming that the park is open. Since it was too cold for the beach and none of the rides were running for two days, we actually found it INCONVENIENT as we had to drive out to town to find things to do. I can't hold these circumstances against it though and would definitely stay there next time, assuming they don't hike up the prices too much (I think they vary greatly depending on when you go).
Here are some photos of and from the hotel breakers. Believe it or not, I forgot to take a shot or two of our room, but something is better than nothing. :)
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