CP 5/23-5/25 - Dragster stalls on tophat

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:07 PM
I just got back from my first trip to Cedar Point. (Monday – Wednesday May 23-25) First of all, the park and rides were amazing. My friend and I had a great time. The park on those days was absolutely empty. Pretty much all rides were walk-ons (including several walk-on Millennium Force rides in a row). As a result, I am sure that some of my opinions are skewed. I am more likely to like a ride after not having to wait in a line than after waiting 45 minutes. Anyway, you get the point – on to the trip report.

We left Chicago around 7 am on Monday morning and got off of the highway in Sandusky around twelve thirty local time. The second that we pulled off the highway, it started pouring. I was expecting some rain on Monday, so this wasn’t a big surprise. However, by the time we pulled into the parking lot, the rain had stopped. The rain was perfect, it was just enough to keep people from the park. We checked into the Hotel Breakers and quickly went to the park. We walked to the gate by soak city and tried to use the season tickets that we had purchased online. However, we were told that they could only be used at the front gate. (I have no problem with that, except that the tickets should have said that). We asked the people what the best way to get to the front was and we were told to walk around the back of the park to the camper village and wait there for a shuttle. So we walk back there and see no signs for any shuttle. We decide to ask inside the camper village office and we are told that the shuttle comes around every once in a while. I ask if it comes by anywhere in particular and they said, “no, it just comes by where ever.” Anyway, a couple minutes later we see a bus go by so we flag it down and get on. I attribute this to it being early in the season and some of the employees might not know all the details yet.

So we finally get into the park around 2 o’clock. The place is dead. We are able to ride every rollercoaster in the park that day (most several times).

Blue Streak: This is a great little wooden coaster. At a park like Cedar Point, this ride can easily be overshadowed. However, it was smooth fast and had some great moments of air. As there was never a line, we tried most seats and liked the second to back the best. A general theme that we found was that the second to back on most of the older coasters were the best seats because you are not on the wheels.

Iron Dragon: Wow, is this a boring ride. The ride had only a few redeeming characteristics – 1) it was not painful for an older arrow coaster with otsr; 2) it offered a good view of the line on dragster; 3) I cannot think of a third good thing. Anyway, the ride wasn’t bad, just boring.

Wicked Twister: This ride never had a line anytime we were there – I even road the front without a wait. Considering there was no line, it was fun. I probably wouldn’t wait for it, but a fun ride.

Gemini: This was a ride that we loved. (second to last row was the best). We rode this ride when it was racing and when it was not – the racing aspect adds a lot to the ride because those long slow turns are more fun while people are high fiving and yelling at each other. Anyway, not the world’s best ride, but with no line, we had a lot of fun with it. One annoying thing about the park was how they would block off certain rows on trains. (I understand blocking the last few rows in the early morning on dragster so that it has an easier time clearing, but on rides like Magnum and Gemini, it was kind of absurd to block off the middle of all the trains.) At one point I asked one of the ride attendants why they were doing it on Gemini. They were only running one side and had blocked off the entire middle of the train. (It was still only a one or two train wait J. I can think of many reasons why they would want to do this: evens out the weight distribution of the trains, etc… - however, the reason I was given was stupid – “We do it to slow down the line. We do not want people to get through lines too quickly.” Seriously, that is what they said – and they were not kidding.

Mean Streak: Ouch. Only rode this ride 3 times and I cannot give you a rational reason why we rode it more than once.

Wildcat: We loved this ride. Never had a line, but it was sooo much fun. Those first two drops are just perfect. This is a great little coaster. The mine ride: Rode it because it was there – nothing special.

Raptor: We loved this ride as well. As I am from Chicago and SFGAm is my home park, I am most used to Batman. Some of the rides that we got on Raptor were near Batman intensity but longer. This was B&M in their prime before some of their rides lost their intensity (I know that they just build what the parks want, but I miss the intensity that is missing in some of their newer rides – like in Silver Bullet).

Disaster Transport: Had incredibly low expectations for this ride – I mean low. As a result, we actually didn’t hate this ride the first time we rode it. Wasn’t anything to write home about, but wasn’t terrible. The effects were not existent, but it wasn’t as rough as I remember Rolling Thunder at SFGAm being.

Magnum: I lost track of how many times we rode this ride. As long as you were not on a wheel, it was great. (We liked the second to last row the best). I had always wanted to ride this ride – however, I had heard that it had gotten very rough in its age. I did not find that to be true. I really had a great time on it. (However, on the other hand, one of the people I was with found that he kept hitting his knee on the front of the car. He is six two and I am six one. Apparently, that extra inch made all the difference.)

Mantis: I am used to Iron Wolf so I know how to ride a B&M stand up. We thought it was ok, but were not able to ride it more than once a day. Corkscrew: The only rollercoaster that we refused to reride.

Millennium Force. We loved this ride. We rode it in just about every seat. There was rarely a line of more than a train or two. At one point the height checker at the start of the line was begging people to ride. The front seat has the most amazing view on the first drop but the back was our favorite. A couple of our rides were in the rain and that hurt. However, we still got right back in line. While I would have loved if it were longer and used some more of that speed that it has when it hits the breaks, this right was near perfect in intensity. First of all, this is the first ride where I have ever greyed out a little. It happened every time on the pull out of the first drop. The roughness of the ride was also just right. You really could feel the speed, but it was not painful in anyway. Compare this with raging bull, which I also love, and get what I mean.

Dragster: We rode this ride many times as well. Also loved it. However, I can see how people might be disappointed after waiting a couple hours. However, for a five minute wait, it is an incredible ride. A couple comments about this ride. It is very tempermental (not that that is a surprise) It closed down several times because of what the ride operators called “the slightest sprinkle.” The feeling of acceleration is amazing on this ride.

On the second day, I got up and went into the park for the early riding session for hotel guests. While waiting to enter the park, I saw the most amazing thing – and this is where the topic gets its name from: We were watching the ride test when one of the cars started to slow down a little too soon. As it was cresting the top, it didn’t look like it was going to make it. It slow to a crawl, but instead of rolling back, it just STOPPED. That is right, the right stalled on the top of the top hat. I quickly pulled out my video camera and started filming – if only I had gotten the launch as well. Anyway, someone had to take the elevator up to the top and push the ride over the edge. It was quite funny. The ride operators said that that is only the second time ever that that has happened. This weekend I will put that video on the web.

Anyway, that slowed down testing – but they still got the ride open at 9:20ish. I was sitting front row on the first launch of the day. This was my first front seat ride and I was excited. We I was sitting on the “outside” seat so I had a great view of the speedometer. We hit only 121. As we got near the top we were going pretty slowly and stopped. Since we were in the front seat we had already crested and started to go down the other side. However, we did not have enough speed and I got to experience a rollback. The drop on the roll back was great. (Actually felt some air).

One last thing about Dragster that says a lot about CP. It rained for a lot of the afternoon on Tuesday and Dragster obviously closed. The park closed at 8:00 but at about 7:30 (after it stopped raining) they started testing dragster. They got it open at about 7:45 and kept the line open till about 8:15. I was really impressed that they did that.

Maxair: This ride was actually down most of the day on Monday. There were workers on top of the ride working on it. Anyway with about 30 minutes to the park closed, they got it up and running so we went over to it. We saw them run it once and then it broke down again – plus, the line was full. We decided to ride an empty wicked twister instead. When we got off, we saw them clearing out the line for Maxair – so we figured it was done for the night. However, about 45 seconds after clearing out the line, they reopened it. So we walked right into the line and onto the ride. It was fun ride, however, it had been a really long day, so we were ready to call it a night after.

General observations:

Everyone in the park was incredibly friendly. Here is an example that happened several times: we are sitting eating some food when an employee comes over to ask how our day is going and if we need anything – napkins, etc… Little touches like this are greatly appreciated.

Empty Seat policy/length of lines. As I said, the park was empty so there were lots of times when there would be no one in our seats when the train would pull back into the station. The park has a very strict policy that no matter what – you have to walk around to re ride. I am not arguing about this policy. Although it was annoying, I completely understand why it is enforced. However, if this is the case, the lines should have gates that allow you to walk from the exit back to the station without going all the way around. (An example of this would be the old Shockwave line). This was incredible annoying with rides like Magnum where the exit is pretty far from the entrance.

Anyway, this trip report is getting way to long so I will rap it up by saying that we had an incredible time and any complaints were just knit picking. The park was great, the staff was great, the rides were great, and the (non)lines were incredible.

Edit: Fixed paragraphs *** Edited 5/26/2005 8:11:16 PM UTC by jpb***

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:11 PM
Longest single paragraph on the PLANET!

Could you click 'Edit' and break it up a bit for us, please? Thanks!

-'Playa

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:12 PM
Sorry about that - copied it from word and thought the paragraphs would come over as well.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:24 PM
maXair broke on sunday night, last ride of the night - I was on it with my group if 15 people I was at the park with.

We were swinging and spinning and it just kind of stopped spinning and reversed directions about 3 inches and clicked/locked. So, I'm now facing sideways and swinging only to realize that I don't hear the motors going anymore.

The ride shut off its power and we rocked back and forth for about 10 minutes finally coming to a stop.

About a half hour later, they had us parked again and out of our seats, but the ride was down all day monday. Hmmmm...

-Josh

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:27 PM
It opened at the end of the day and was fine all day Tuesday and Wednesday.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:35 PM
Still kind of weird. A couple of people that were on the ride said they heard something funny, but I'm pretty sure that was the ring locking in place.

-josh

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:06 PM
That must have been neet to see Dragster stalled like that. One day last year when I was in line it stalled for about five or six seconds and then rolled back. I think someone leaned back to get the roll back ;)
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:40 PM
Can you explain to me how exactly one "leans back" on a roller coaster where the seatbacks go all the way up your body? Just thought I'd throw that to the wind.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:49 PM
When I rode dragster opening year they were only loading the first 3 cars of the train. After I rode it understood why. When we got on the tophat it sat there for at least 10 second before inching its way over. Had the last car been loaded I am sure that we'd have rolled back. Damn! No such luck, but it was cool to sit up there for a little.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 11:03 PM
Good TR. A tip on copy/pasting TRs: If you use Notepad, or copy/paste to Notepad first, then correct any formatting on it, then copy/paste to Buzz, it keeps your formatting from Notepad. Learned that the hard way!

Cedar Point has Guest exp. down, IMO. When I was there this summer, I got a morning ride on TTD, right after the park opened (and a pre-opening break down). Then it was down most of the day. Then, even though the park closed at 10, they kept TTD's line up and open till closing, and it still had a 2 hour wait. I got on around 11, an hour after the park closed.

That is good customer service.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 11:40 PM
I was there Tuesday and Wednesday also. Best 2 days ever. Crowds were very light. Rain helped clear out even more on Tuesday. I would like to see the re-ride policy calmed down some on slow days. I did 10 rides in a row on Raptor, and it took an hour, most of the time going through the line. Great days!!! MaxAir was awesome!!!
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Friday, May 27, 2005 12:03 AM
Crazy, I was also there from 5/23-5/25, and I am also from Chicago (Evanston). It was so weird seeing TTD stalled at the top! And did you ride MF the last operating hour on Tuesday? I got 10 rides the last hour and a half, they had the gate open the leads right from the exit platform back into the load station so we didnt have to walk around. Great experience at CP.
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Friday, May 27, 2005 2:58 PM
I was riding Millennium Force at that time. I didn't see any gate and I walked around. Oh well, not that big a deal.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 7:52 AM
So, did you get a chance to post the video of the stall and if so where is it? I was there this past weekend and saw my first rollback in person.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2005 12:48 PM
I was there on Friday (27th) til Monday (30th), and Dragster was down for most of Friday and Saturday. Actually Friday nite it was running, but the wind brought it down again. We waited several hours in the station house until they finally called it quits (about an hour before close). The management came through the station house and gave us all two passes for other rides in the park (not TTD, but anything else). If this was a SF park, they would have just closed the ride .. period.

Sunday was a good day for the Dragster, but the sun and the lines forces us to head to Geauga Lake instead. It was like a vacation from a vacation :)

On Monday morning, we got into CP early (as a resort guest), but the Dragster was down. They were not even testing it. And then the strangest thing happened... they gave us ride stamps at 9:15 a.m. for the Dragster from 5 to 6. TTD stamps are usually handed out in the afternoon, but they rewarded us for being there early even though the ride was closed.

Was I upset I only got on Dragster 3 times this trip? No way! Every trip you get on the Dragster is worth it. When it's running, jump in line, and then jump on. I missed a roll back by 1 train, but then again, they closed the ride two trains after I got off. It's so tempermental, that I feel lucky for each launch I get.

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:11 PM
hey, when you get the video up, will it be on this post or a new one?

sorry if its already up somewhere and I just couldn't find it.

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 7:36 PM
Hey,

Sorry, I have been really busy this weekend and I wasn't rushing because it didn't really seem like anyone was interested. But I will really try to find it in the next couple days and will make a note here when I do.

Just be warned - I doubt the video is ground breaking. Like I said in the TR, I didn't take out the camera until after it stalled. However, it is still interesting to see a train stalled on the top hat.

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 9:08 PM
When I was at CP in August of '03, during test (which is all that was done throughout the day) the train stayed at the top for around 4-5 seconds before rolling back down. It was pretty interesting to watch, especially from the top of the drop side of PT (would have been better without the red side disrupting my view).
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Monday, June 6, 2005 6:43 AM
jpb,

Please do post the video. I would like to see it. It would not be ground shaking but interesting to some of us.

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Monday, June 6, 2005 10:16 AM
I would like to see it too. I have seen it rollbacked but never have seen it stayed at the top.
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