CP Halloweekend 9/26-9/28

Associated parks:
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Monday, September 29, 2008 4:52 AM

Friday, Sept. 26th

Got a late start out of Chicago at 10am on Friday morning for our last CP trip of the season. Promptly got pulled over for speeding in NW Indiana and that set us even further behind (not to mention the price of the ticket). So many troopers were out on 80, especially around Toledo. BTW, I don't approve of speeding and don't like to do it, but I do live in Chicago where you will be forced off the road if you don't keep with the pack and PLUS, I was running late to CP! Fear not law-abiding drivers, I'm sure I will pay a pretty penny for my lead foot this time.

Still managed to get to Sandusky (obeying the limit for the rest of the journey) and into our motel room by 4:30. We arrived at the park, parked in the Soak City Lot and were walking up to the Magnum gate just as they were opening at 5. The line wrapped back around by the putt-putt course and back towards Breakers by this time. It took us until about 5:20 to actually get into the park.

Headed of course for Maverick and only about a 10 minute wait. This ride had lots of vibration that I've never noticed before-must have been the particular train we were on because we did not notice this at all during ERT Sunday morning on "Brent". Not sure what train we rode on Friday.

We then walked the trail and waited about 15 minutes for MF. Then walked on and got our first '08 ride on Wildcat. We decided to check the line for Dragster and It appeared to be at least 45 minutes, so we skipped it and had a great ride on Maggie instead. Then we went for dinner at Friday's in Breakers, which was practically empty at this time (around 7pm). Saturday at the same time it was totally packed.

After dinner, and a trip to the car for a jacket as it was pretty windy and cool, we went back in the Magnum gate and headed for Terror Island just at 8pm. We loved the idea of being on MF Island and thought it was well done. My favorite element was the boat that appeared to be on fire the way they had staged it with the fog machine inside and the lighting. Walking under MF as the trains sped by was nice too.

CarnEvil was next of course since it is right there after leaving Terror Island. The wind was blowing the fog away pretty badly and less screamsters than I remember from last year but I think I like it better there in Camp Snoopy, especially with Terror Island there too. The fright zones are now more evenly spaced throughout the park. I think they should run Gemini on Fridays now because of this though.

We headed back to Frontier Town and waited a cycle for Skyhawk. If only they would just double the ride cycle already! Still a great ride. We didn't want to wait for Cornstalkers, so we passed it up and headed through Fright Zone. Nothing new here really. Seemed like fewer monsters, but no surprise. It must be quite a challenge to find staff period and with the addition of Terror Island, that spreads thinner the staff they do have. Still the spookiest area of the park at night though and it holds fog the best.

We decided on a MF night ride and waited about 30 minutes for it. It was so cool flying around MF Island with all the fog and lights and people walking around Terror Island. After MF we saw some of the Monster show in front of the big screen by Dragon. Speaking of that big screen...I didn't notice this last year, but it was so annoying this year...there is a floodlight by Wildcat that shines through the coaster and casts shadows of it on the screen and almost totally washes out the screen to the point that you can barely make out the projected image--very annoying, especially since we wanted to see some of the Illinois/Penn State game they were showing on Saturday night. After watching a bit of the show, we walked on PT red, Rode Magnum again, then headed up near the front.

We lucked into a walk-on for Maxair just as it was opening back up after some downtime, then walked through Pharaoh's Secret (very short wait). DT was closed. We waited a cycle for WT, then walked through a mostly fogless Fear Faire due to the wind. After FF walked on Raptor and Blue Streak. Blue Streak gets better and better for me. I just love it more and more. A little of that FF fog had settled into some of the BS dips and that was nice while riding.

It was about 11:10 or so by now but we managed to walk through Fright Zone again and found no wait for Cornstalkers (which was so nice compared to WW Canyon! Thanks CP!), grabbed a walk-on for Skyhawk, hit CarnEvil a second time and made it to TTD just in time to enter the line and find only a station wait for our first Halloweekend Dragster ride. Perfect way to end the day.

It was a great Friday, but those 7 hours flew by fast!

Saturday, Sept. 27th

Again, running late and cutting it close for ERT. OH NO! We decided to park in front and enter at the Marina gate so we could get MF in since that front lot was filling up fast and there were LOTS of busses. MF line was at the top of the ramp. We went right for Maverick after, but the queue house was already in full switchbacks and people were just pouring in the entrance, so instead we waited a cycle for Skyhawk and had our ride just as light rain began to fall. We headed around back to TTD. It was about 11:50 and people had already queued up along the fence and back to the station in anticipation for the line to open. It didn't open as the light rain kept steady. A lot of people did leave the line, but the rain did not let up. It never got very heavy, but they kept making the announcement that Dragster "could not and would not open in ANY precipitation, even a light sprinkle".

We decided to take the Sky Ride back up front and leave the park for the duration of the rain. As we left the point we could see just how busy it was going to be. The front lot was already quite full and there were still just tons of cars streaming in. We drove to the mall, ate at Ruby Tuesday's, shopped at the mall, Best Buy and Meijer for a few hours before heading back to the room to change clothes. Thankfully the rain had stopped by now and we were walking back in the Magnum gate a little after 5pm. We had wanted to ride Mean Streak, but when driving around to the Soak City lot, I could see that the MS line was actually in some of the switchbacks in the middle of the ride structure that-in four years of going to the point-I have never seen used. So we ruled that out. We walked back there anyway though and caught the train to the Dragon midway. We quickly got out of "ride-mode" and went browsing in Pagoda and Snoopy Boutique, then spent some time in the Arcade mostly at the vintage pinball machines as always.

We walked up front and finally rode something--Demon Drop. Thank you for not having a line DD! We then walked all the way back to Magnum. I had spilled Coke all over my shirt, so we went to the car in the Soak City lot so I could change. Then for some strange reason, we decided to move the car to the front lot and re-enter there. Stupid idea. There was some reason for it at the time but I can't remember what now. Front lot was still very full and we had no luck finding a decent spot, so we drove back to SC lot and went in by Magnum again.

It was 8pm now so we went right for Terror Island again then CarnEvil. We had a beer at the saloon in Frontier Town, then headed for Fright Zone. We literally squeezed into Red Garter for a second beer during the show then headed back up front and found that some of the less popular ride lines had started to ease up a bit now that the fright zones had opened. We got a ride on Dragon, took the Sky Ride up front, rode Troika, walked through Fear Faire (fog was much better tonight with less wind). Then we got another Blue Streak ride in. Love those foggy dips! We then walked back through Fright Zone and CarnEvil and finished the night with a fantastic night ride on Maggie.

Yes, it rained early. Yes, it was probably the most crowded day I've ever seen at CP in my four short years of visiting (keep in mind, I always try to visit on traditionally slower days each time I go). But still, we had a great day. As far as crowds go, I actually prefer the fright zones with a bit more of a crowd (minus the baby strollers and toddler wagons that is). It's just more fun for me with more people.

Sunday, Sept. 28th

Finally, made ERT without too much of a rush! Held back under the Magnum tracks until about 10:05. Just a few cycles for our much smoother Maverick ride on Brent. MF was next with a line only mid-way down the ramp. TTD was also only a mid-ramp wait. I was so happy to be on the first fully-loaded train of the day....BUT, alas, no rollback! I'm cursed. I want a rollback, dang it! Then PT Drop for a cycle wait. Maggie was next and packed a punch in 1-2 today on the bunny hills. Rode the Sky Ride up front but Raptor and Maxair had lines that were still a bit long for us, so we had our one DT ride of the trip with only a 1 train wait. It was getting close to our designated park departure time for the long drive back to Chicago, so we headed to the Dragon Midway and caught the train back to MS for a walk-on, bought some junk at the $9.99 or less store, then out for the long, sad drive home knowing it will be at least 8 months before we see the CP skyline again.

I really loved the addition of Terror Island, the relocation of CarnEvil, and especially the re-vamp of WW Canyon to Cornstalkers. As always nothing but pleasant interactions with all the staff we encountered. Everything seemed to be running very well. One thing I did see that I feel deserves a mention is one of the screamsters in CarnEvil going out of his way to make sure an older gentleman in a wheelchair and his family had a nice experience while in that area. The group consisted of the wheelchair-bound gentleman, his adult son (I assume), and his two small grandchildren. While remaining in character, the screamster apparently had offered to take the older man's wheelchair and guide the group through the zone. This left the young father free to walk through holding hands with one child, while the other kid rode in grandpa's lap in the wheelchair. The screamster remained in character, gave gramps and the kid a fun-but careful-ride through the foggy area while simultaneously still scaring other groups along the way. It was a very nice touch and I'm sure was much appreciated by the people he was helping. It's mostly the little things like this that keep CP a place worth visiting again and again.

Biggest complaints for the trip were: NO IRON DRAGON MIST AT ALL for the whole weekend and we missed the parade.

For those of you planning a final Halloweekends visit, my advice would be to plan big rides and Cornstalkers for Friday; secondary rides, hotel time and fright zones for Saturday, and plan at least a few hours Sunday morning for re-rides and the big rides you may have missed on Friday and Saturday. But what do you need me to tell you that for? If you read this website you already know all that!

Ride on, people!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 5:42 PM

Your visit is exactly the way to go. Friday night hit the ERT and ride all the big ones until closing. Save the haunts for Saturday night.

We figured this out in 06 and tried it again last year. We just take Friday off, head out at

Good to see that the fright zones are improved this year and customer service has improved (less the exorbitant pricing for mediocre food).

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 6:27 PM

^Or you could do both on a Friday night, it wasnt hard with no lines anywhere.

Ill never go on a Saturday again if I can help it.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:51 PM

Maverick consistently gets bad around the fall time. Last year it was horrible in September and October. The vibrations and rattling just made it un-enjoyable.

This year it is no different. You can just HEAR it.

The ride must really tear those trains up because no other ride runs that bad from season beginning to end!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 7:49 AM

I noticed that not all the trains were bad. I forgot which train it was but I got a great smooth ride on that one. The second train I was on was really bad when it came to vibrating, but I thought the ride was still great.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 12:16 PM

SteveWoA said:
Maverick consistently gets bad around the fall time. Last year it was horrible in September and October. The vibrations and rattling just made it un-enjoyable.

This year it is no different. You can just HEAR it.

The ride must really tear those trains up because no other ride runs that bad from season beginning to end!

Fahrenheit must be shaking off the tracks then now!! ;)

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