CP 5/27: Rough start, better finish

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005 12:43 PM
I hadn't made my May weekday trip in two years. Last year we were busy trying to get our house sold, this year, just busy with Life. The Friday of the Memorial Day weekend was my last shot, so I figured I'd better get to it, even though I wasn't sure it was all that great of an idea. I don't often get there without the family in tow, and wanted to hit all of my "only Dad can/will ride 'em" rides before the season wore on too much farther.

Didn't arrive until 11:00---had some last-minute work-related stuff that had to get done first. I didn't park too far back, and there were only two rows behind me when I left at 6:00, so despite the many many busses, the crowds weren't that bad.

That was good, because Millennium was down from 11-2 (at least---it may have been down all morning as the queue and station were completely empty.) To add insult to injury Magnum was down from at least 12:00-1:30, with a short crane by the lift hill. This left all the crowds in the front half of the park (which I had planned to avoid until mid-afternoon) or in line for Dragster, which miraculously was running, aside from two rollback-induced burps and a single 20-minute outage. So, despite the advertised 1.5 hour wait (with outages, closer to 2), I figured I may as well hop in, as I'd covered everything else in the back half.

After this, I wandered around to Mantis/MF, as I had stamps for both of them from 2-3. The latter was still down but testing, so I hopped on Mantis with optimism. The Mantis crew is running well; even with bouncing, sitting, and otherwise-incapable-of-getting-in-a-standup guests, they were keeping stacking to a minimum. Kudos to them!

From there, over to a now-open Millennium Force. It hadn't been open long, as only the first block of swtichbacks was full, and the line was advertised at a half-hour. I cashed in my stamp, bypassing the switchbacks, and STILL waited 35-40 minutes to get on the train, staring at the station with several multi-minute dispatch times in the interim.

Now, I realize that the operational policies have made this ride nearly impossible to load on time, and that Millennium has now surpassed Mantis as the bane of all ride operators. But, the crew just doesn't show that sense of urgency that most CP crews exhibit. If they've given up already, this early in the season, it will be interesting to see how painfully the lines grow in peak summer. For me, I'll probably pass it by unless I have a stamp or am there early in the morning with a minimal line. I can't imagine waiting in that glacially moving line at its normal length.

I'm now off of Millennium, and am having a pretty poor day, heading to the front of the park to get maxair and whatever else is easy before heading home.

And, here's where the day finally gets good.

The front half of the park was quiet---possibly because everyone and their brother had been waiting for Millennium to come up, and was now waiting in its slowly moving line. The one exception was maxair; its queue was full both times I rode it, but that was still only a 15-20 minute wait, which I can live with. Fun ride, and a great addition to the park. I'm looking forward to many more rides over the years. Given the short queue, it will be interesting to see what happens during the peak summer season.

Add to that a 10 minute wait for the money seat on Wicked Twister, and two sub-15 minute waits for Raptor's Row 8, and I left the park with a smile on my face.

On a final note: the crowd was heavy with high school trips. I didn't really put it together until the end of the day, but they were all on their best behavior---not one annoying teen moment that I can recall, and many pleasant good-natured kids.

*** Edited 6/1/2005 4:49:25 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005 12:57 PM
The Millenium load time is absolutely horrendous. When all three trains are stacked, it's horrible. I did not get on the Force on my trip (Fri - Monday) until Monday afternoon, and even then, I was horrified with how slow they were at getting the trains out.

After we got off the ride on Monday, my husband used a free ride pass and went back up into the exit to ride again. Even with using the exit, and being a single rider willing to take any seat, it took him 25 minutes to complete his next ride. That's sad.

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