See, all through the years, I have had a sort of unwritten policy about going to CP on the weekends, and that is, to never do it. But my friends wanted me to go with them, and I wanted to as well, so I decided to grin and bear it.
Last year my family and I had gone to visit these friends in Minn., and had gone with them to Valleyfair! while we were there. That was a nice little park, but certainly not CP! They had not been to the Point since the early 90's, so they hadn't ridden a lot of the newer rides. So there would be a lot of new experiences for them.
I had resigned myself that this would be a much more laid back trip than normal, since my parents, the other guys' mom, and my young sister were all going. We arrived at the park just before 10:00, and leisurely took our time getting into the park. That was very hard for me not to run for the MF, but I kept my cool and waited while we dropped off stuff at the picnic area and walked up the main midway. (I never realized how long that thing was! ;-)
There were signs up all over the front of the park about how Dragster wouldn't be running, and I had already know before going anyway, so we weren't even thinking about riding that. I did hold out hope, since people had reported seeing test runs the day before, but I wasn't betting the family farm on it.
So MF was the first stop of the day. We were a group of 7, but my mom was unable to ride, so we were an even 6. The time was estimated at 1 hr. 15 mins., but I told them it would probably only be about 45 mins., and that's what it ended up being.
The biggest ride they had been on before was Wild Thing at VF, so MF was quite the beast to them (truthfully, it's quite the beast compared to anything!). I rode with one of the two friends named Josh, and we got as close to the back as we could. It was a great ride, and they enjoyed it very much. Josh said he wanted to ride it again later on in the front, and I said we might be able to. It was cool to see the first-timers' excitement upon getting off.
We got a Freeway stamp for the MF, which was for 7-8 already. That was when we had planned to leave, as they needed to get back since they were leaving the next day for home. We decided that MF would be our last ride of the day.
Next up after a bathroom stop, we went to the Iron Dragon. There was a longer wait than I'm used to, but it was only like 10 mins. While we were riding it, I noticed that TTD had a full station, people on trains, and an ever increasing line queue. I yelled at Josh who was in front of me that we should go over there, and he agreed.
When we got off, we wanted to make a mad dash to the ride, but nobody else wanted to, thinking the lines wouldn't be worth it or something. So Josh and I went on our own, agreeing to meet up as they went to the Magnum later.
By the time we got to the Dragster, they had closed off the line queue again, as the ride had failed top launch, stranding a train of passengers. The line outside the line queue was not really long by the time we joined it, although there was a good number of people in front of us.
After a short while, they announced the ride was down again, and didn't know if and when it would be up. They recommended we go and ride their 67 other "exciting" rides. I don't know if there is really 67 other "exciting" rides, but whatever. We decided to wait it out, at least until the rest of our group made their way down the midway on their way towards the magnum.
As the time dragged on, more and more people left the line, both inside the queue and out, and we moved closer to the gate. I had brought my Game Boy Advance, so I was able to amuse myself for part of the time, and the wait didn't seem so bad. Besides, while we were waiting the rest of the group wasn't doing much, so we weren't missing anything.
One thing I just have to say is there is a really great ride up named Matt who works on the Dragster, who was roving the line while we were waiting, and talking to whoever wanted to. That was nice to see. On top of that, the last time I was at CP earlier this year, he was working in the station on TTD, and I got the chance to talk to him while I was waiting for the front. He was very friendly, and I just wanted to give him props for being such a great ride op, and enhancing the line waiting experience.
To make a long story short, we ended up waiting for about an hour and 5 minutes until they made a test run. After a successful launch with passengers after that, we were led into the queue by Matt, and into the station. By this time, there was only 8 people in front of us outside the queue, and only about 40 people in the station.
We waited another 10 - 15 mins. and then got our chance to launch. It was a great ride, and a great surprise since we hadn't planned on riding it. Josh loved the ride, and it immediately became his favorite. We sat 3d from the front, so I have now rode in the front, 3rd from front, and 3rd from the back. Next time, I want to try the very back.
From the Dragster, we met up with the rest of our group on the way back to the Magnum, and as they watched launch after launch, you could tell they wished they had come with us. My dad even said he wished he had. ( And my enthusiast brother blew off the trip altogether because he thought it wouldn't be open - he was sure bummed!)
For the sake of space, here's a brief run-down of the rest of our trip:
Magnum: 20 -30 minute wait, great ride, even my mom got to ride for the first time and she loved it! That was cool!
Gemini: Both sides operating two trains, still a 15 - 20 minute wait, great ride.
Raptor: 45 minute wait, 2nd to front, still a great ride!
Disaster Transport: 20 minute wait, got the 3D glasses just for the heck of it, pretty lame! Ride was nice, but my friends were surprised by how short it was. They do seem to be trying to revive some sort of theming.
Wicked Twister: Got to the ride and it was closed for "routine maintenence", went accross to the Chaos, and got in line. The ride got operational again, people started lining up, and we joined them. Walked on from there. I think this is a great ride, and don't notice this "slow-down" that others have mentioned. My friends thought it was great as well.
Blue Streak: 5 minute wait, got some wicked air time, one of the best rides on it I've ever had!
Mantis: Waited about an hour (longer than I'd ever wait if it wasn't for my friends who had never rode a stand-up), it's a pretty good ride still, even though it can be a little jerky.
We finished up the day with our Freeway ride on MF, which cut the wait to 15 min., got a great ride on that as always, and it was the perfect way to end the day.
On our way out, I picked up a TTD shirt, and the new Ceder Point-opoly board game (a great idea if you ask me!), and some others got elephant ears.
All in all the lines weren't as bad as I'd envisioned them, even though they were more than when we normally go. But we got to ride everything we wanted to, and didn't even stay the whole time! Plus, getting a ride on Dragster, which consequently was down more than up the rest of the day after we rode it, was a great surprise and added to an already better than expected day!
Once again, CP delivers a great amusement day! Thanks for reading and bearing with me!
Take care and God bless!
Secondly, for future reference, start with Magnum early in the morning. Most people start at the front and work toward the back. You can usually marathon Magnum for about an hour. Saturday it was a two train wait right up until noon. Gemini was a walk on at 8:30pm. Blue Streak was a walk on at around 6:00pm, but usually starting at 4:00pm you can walk into the BS station. Also around 6:00pm, Raptor was at about a twenty minute to a half hour wait.
I usually start the day at Power Tower, where you can pretty much walk on in the morning (do the down side first, it fills up quicker). then head to corkscrew, for a walk on, Magnum for as many as you want, then Gemini, Mine Ride, and Mean Streak. Usually you can have all this in before 11:30am. After that, you get to wait like everybody else.
Also, Raptor and Blue Streak usually have their shortest lines after 3:30pm, and the Iron Dragon line tends to thin out later in the day. In the mean time, if you have a season pass, and you know you're going to be back, you can take a little time out to see the shows, which is a good way to cool off, and avoid the busiest times in the park.
Again, these are just suggestions.
Scooby Doo and The Haunted Castle...MUCH more fun when you have ride partners!!!
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