I had a four day vacation coming up and had been reading over at GTTP for some time that the last week of Aug. was one of the best times to go to CP since most of the schools are back in session so I said, “What the heck.” Boy did I ever get a surprise when I finally got there after the nearly 7 hour drive.
Monday (Day 1) I arrived at the park about 4 in the afternoon. After paying the 8 dollar parking fee, (which by the way, why doesn’t CP discount the parking fee after a certain time of day like they do their admission prices?) I headed on into the park to find that there was a very light crowd. I headed on over to WT (15 minute wait) and sat 2nd to the last row. Nothing like getting “screwed in the rear” on this ride! :) Since the wait was so short, I figured I might as well take advantage of it. After my second round with WT, I got in line for Corkscrew. I hadn’t ridden it since ‘00 and had heard a lot of great things about the tremendous pop of air you get when you sit in the very back seat. This was no exaggeration. I was really shocked to rediscover this ride after nearly 2 years of non-riding. After Corkscrew, I just couldn’t resist a couple of rounds with PT both sides. The upshot is a great deal of fun but that down shot (IMO) is the absolute most scary thing in the park. I pulled myself together after PT and decided to just wander aimlessly about the park and the shops to get ideas on what to buy while on my excursion over the next couple of days. I ended the day early with a lap on Raptor in the back seat left side. Is this thing insane or what? :)
Tuesday (Day 2) I had made my mind up that I was going to go ahead and get to the park by opening to hit MF early. I still had this notion that the park was going to be really busy for some reason. NOT! Got into the park and there was quite a line built up for MF as they were not allowing anyone but Resort guests and JC people in the queue even after the gates opened. Finally after a 40 minute wait (or so) I got on MF in the first available seat. (about the middle of the train I think) What a way to start off the morning. :) After disembarking the train, I got in line for a Freeway stamp. (5-6) I meandered around the park hitting this and that and these and those. Shopping here and there for goodies. I had never ridden Troika before and I wanted to get in a ride in it’s “old” spot so I hit it for a round. I have a big soft spot for rides like Troika for some strange reason. I took a spin on the Witches Wheel. (another old time favorite of mine.) Then I decided I had to do MS. I have really been doing a lot of lurking around lately and reading up on MS and I decided to give it one more good try before I totally wrote it off. I sat in the seat and never let my back touch the padding (or lack thereof) and what a difference it made! I actually liked that ride! By now it’s going on a little after 4 o’clock so I decided to kill some time and ride it before utilizing my Freeway stamp. I must tell ya’ that I really favor sitting on the left side of the train and doing the “lean out” thing. All that changed. I got in line with my Freeway stamp, and decided to go for front seat. Here I am in the very back of the line (and it’s a REALLY long line mind you!) and all of a sudden the ride op in the booth asks if there are any single riders for the front seat. I vehemently raised my hand (like the huge nerd I am!) and she let me jump all the way to the front. I was stoked by this time. Now remember, I usually favor sitting on the left side of the train but this time, I was going to have to sit on the right side. This changed my view on the matter considerably. There’s nothing like leaning out on that first turnaround. It’s just insane! After that lap, I decided it was about time to head on back to my “home” and call it a night.
Wednesday (Day 3) I went to the park late. I was sore as all heck from MS the day before. That certainly didn’t stop me from riding Raptor for 5 laps in a row as it was a walk-on each time. WT had a short wait so I hit it a couple of times too. MF got me for one lap then it was off to do some snooping into Area 51. I snapped some really good pictures with my disposable camera and just did some all-around nosing about. (not too nosey as to get in trouble, just curious) I got a lap in on Maggie. How could I resists when it was a walk-on? I decided to explore around a bit so I headed out to Challenge Park. I had never done this before so I was in for a surprise as far as picture taking was concerned. Snapped some major pictures of Maggie. After that I hit Gemini for a couple of laps. (lost one race, won one race) Got some excellent hand slaps in. Called it a day.
Thursday (Day 4) I had been thinking about how cool it would be if someone took you up in an airplane and flew you around CP so you could take pictures earlier on Wed and Thursday morning, I decided to inquire about it at the local airport. Sure enough sightseeing flights were offered at a really reasonable rate! $33 per person for two people or $43 for one person for a 15 minute session of flying time that included one circle around CP and then a quick flyover of the city if Sandusky. I just had to do it. The pilot was a really cool guy and we chatted about CP for a little bit before going up. I told him I wasn’t really interested in the city itself and he said that if I wanted to, he’d just circle around CP for me. I readily agreed. I gotta tell ya’, if your looking to take pictures from a different vantage point, this is the only way to go. My video turned out SO good and all the pictures did too! I recommend this highly to anyone even ascertaining the idea. The pilot was so cool, instead of a quickie lap around the park, he circled it 3 times for me! It was just so thrilling. It made me wonder though, why CP hasn’t latched on to this idea like PKI and their helicopter rides they offer? They would make a KILLING! Since I had ridden just about all I wanted to, I decided that my final day was going to be devoted to shopping in the park and picture/video shooting with my digital camcorder. I got some really impressive shots of Area 51 among other things. I took plenty of photos of the track behind MS and in the Soak City lot too! I just couldn’t stand going to the park and passing up MF on my last day so I ditched the camera in a locker and headed off for 3 mind boggling laps on MF. I had to hit good old Draggin’ Iron, and PT too. Gemini fell victim to my riding prowess as did Troika and Raptor. I left the park with the feeling that I really had accomplished something on my 4 day journey. And I really think I did. :)
Highlights: extremely light crowds, (one lady at the season pass counter said it was the lightest crowd she had ever seen) low wait times, snooping around Area 51, sightseeing around town, lots of shopping, all the great attitudes from the park employees and guests, and last but not least, the airplane ride.
Lowlights: Having some guy in front of me tell his two kids, “Six Flags in Ohio has a ride just like WT only it goes straight up in the back and it’s the tallest ride in the WORLD!” (I really had to bite my tongue on that one!)
Proud member of the Frequent Flyer Club of CBuzzCon '02
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