On Sunday morning, two friends (Sata and Martin), my wife Lori, and I piled into the Santa Fe at about 8 AM to head towards Sandusky, OH from Columbus. Sata was a CP newbie, so we decided the goal for the day would be to ride all the coasters they would let us ride, understanding that Jr. Gemini wasn't going to possilble.
Before anyone asks, yes, we knew it was Gay Day, no, none of us are gay, and no, I saw nothing that shocked and horrified me. Please don't make this TR into a debate about homosexuality, ok?
Instead of the normal 23-68-4 route, I tried the 71-250 path, and found that I was able to make it to the causeway in just a shade under two hours. Now, I had prepared myself for the possibility that Wicked Twister would not be running, and had planned the day without it. But as I was paying the parking fare, I saw the train go up the first spike and yelped, "Wicked Twister is running!!!" This so shocked the parking booth attendant that she turned around to watch the train cycle the course, causing honking and screaming from the cars behind me.
The relative emptiness of the parking lot at 10:00 was also a welcome sight. Having bought our tickets ahead of time at AAA, we bypassed the long ticket lines, dodged 3 different photographers wanting to take our picture, and headed right to....
Wicked Twister (#62)! The line was, unbelievably, about 20 minutes long. I had been expecting about an hour's wait for this big, beautiful impulse. The setting along the beach is striking, and the positioning of the queue allows you to watch the train climb the back spiral over and over again. I wanted to ride in the back row, but all four of us wanted to ride together so we ended up in the third and fourth rows of the train. Wow, what a rush! The launch seemed much stronger than that of WT's brother down the coast.
Having experienced the ride near the front, we ran back around to get a ride in the back. Another 20 minute wait, and then a lap in the 2nd and 3rd rows from the back. As others have said, no comparison. Being yanked up the back twist is extremely powerful-it's a unique feeling to *gain* speed going up an incline. The way the trains are set up, the seats in front of you don't obstruct your view of the beach and of Oceana as you spiral backwards. I really can't say enough about this ride-in the back of the train, this is my favorite Ohio coaster.
Getting the big guys out of the way early, we headed over to Millennium Force. It's easy to forget the impact this giant coaster has on people when you've ridden it as often as most of us have, but it was great to see my friend Sata just staring at the hill throughout the 50 minute wait. Other than Millennium Mania, this was the shortest wait I've had for MF in the middle of the day.
The trains seemed to be going slower through the fly-by than I remembered. I was glad to see all three trains cycling the course...yay for CP capacity. The choice of music in the queue was interesting, to say the least.
Anyway, on to the ride. We took the last two rows in the last car, and Sata was literally sweating. You could tell it wasn't an enthusiast event, because NOBODY was waiting for the back seat, yet the line for the front seat was probably an extra 30 minutes. Overall, I'd say the ride seemed a little slower than I remember it. Still amazing speed and incredible g-forces at the bottom of the first hill and up into the overbanked turn, but not as intense as I remember.
The line for Mantis was overflowing as we exited MF, so we headed for the back of the park instead. We had lunch at the Frontier Inn, and my pizza was nothing short of horrible. I should have gone for the calzone. Oh well. I liked the "make your own salad" option, but the young Latvian man behind the counter was struggling with the language barrier just a bit, so I pointed.
Next up was the real "mistake by the lake," Mean Streak. Not surprisingly, it was a a walk-on, and not surprisingly, it was wretched. After the mid-course, it was more boring than any other coaster I've ever been on. Incredibly, the crew was stacking trains. The only poor crew we encountered all day, they mumbled through the spiel and forgot to check my lap bar. Please, for the love of God, fix this ride! I still have great memories of the early '90s on this beast, and I keep hoping that someday, I'll get another of those rides.
Walking towards Gemini, I almost forgot about CCMR. After a 5 minute wait, we got into the back car. Now, none of our group is a large person, and we were all squashed by the single lap bar that inexplicably must come down to the same height in every car. The ride itself was running well, with good speed at times and a relatively smooth ride.
Next up was the mine ride on steroids, Gemini. Another walk-on ride, and some great air to boot. However, the ride doesn't appear to be aging well. I don't remember it being quite so rough the last time I visited. However, my train was victorious, so I came away feeling pretty good about the lap.
We walked across the midway to get our first ever laps on Woodstock Express (#63). I was expecting a good ride after having taken a lap on its brother at IOA earlier this year, and I got one. I actually prefer this coaster to several of the big ones at CP. The best part about this junior coaster is the on-ride photo, which had a super-imposed Woodstock. My wife also got her photo taken with Snoopy, which made her day.
Magnum loomed above us after our junior ride, and we waited about three trains for the Arrow hyper, riding in the back two rows of the back car. Ouch. The first two drops were fine, but the pretzel turn started the roughness and it continued throughout the tunnel and the bunny hops. The brakes slammed on after the last hop, and mercifully our lap ended. I would now drop Magnum to my number 4 hyper, after AC, MF, and PR. They need to replace those square wheels with some round ones.
Next up for our foursome was Corkscrew. Unbelievably, they were running 3 trains. Yay CP capacity again. A walk-on ride with some pretty intense Gs in the loop(Lori grayed out), and some headbanging. A one-trick pony, to be sure, and we would have passed on it if not for the attempt to ride all 14 coasters.
The gray-out caused us to take a break before heading over to Iron Dragon, and gave me a chance to check out Area 51. Nothing new to report, I'm afraid. It's a much larger area than I was visualizing after reading TRs on this board, easily large enough for an Xcellerator/TA2K type ride. I'm looking forward to the news "later this year."
Allrighty, everyone's up and feeling good at this point, so we headed over to Iron Dragon, and another walk-on. I've taken laps on three Arrow suspendeds (BBW and Top Gun) and this is by far the worst. I think we would have had a more intense ride on the railroad. Oh well, Sata got it for his count, and the mist at the end was nice considering the rising temperatures.
Across the midway to Wildcat and a 15 minute wait. The line for Wildcat allows for some great people watching, so it moved quickly. I hadn't taken a spin on this Anton creation for about 10 years, so it was a welcome revisit. Good speed, nice G-forces, and some good smiles. I'll make a point to take some laps on this every visit from now on.
I can't say the same about Mantis, however. The line was much shorter than earlier, so we got into line for a roughly half-hour wait (I tried Legendary's joke here..."Is the wait really fifty minutes?"). I normally skip this B&M stand-up, but Sata had never been on a stand-up, and the quest for all 14 was still looming, so we joined the line. The loading procedures on this ride are wretched. Why can't you clip your own safety belt? The ride op literally yelled at me for doing so, unbuckled my belt and rebuckled it.
The theme of the day was back row, and we took another back row lap on Mantis. Boy, do I hate that trim on the first drop. The ride is tolerable after that until the MCBR, at which point the ear abusing begins. This was probably my last Mantis lap. Please box up this coaster and ship it in trade to SFKK for Chang.
11 down, 3 to go...so Raptor was up next. Miraculously, this was a walk-on for every seat except the front or back. So we took row 6 and took a flight on the big, green bird. To my surprise, this lap sucked. Very little speed, head banging, and a hard squeeze on the MCBR. I leaned forward at the end of the helix to avoid the hard right to the head into the brakes...unfortunately, I was the only one in my party to do so. Ouch again. If I were judging Raptor solely on this lap, it would be my least favorite B&M invert, and I might even prefer Serial Thriller @ SFWoA over it. I'll give it another chance another day.
Well, the roller coaster gods, having blessed us with a Raptor walk-on, punished us with a 30 minute Disaster Transport wait. Bleh. I wanted to shake people and tell them not to waste their time, but oh well. We passed the time in the queue by purchasing the 3D glasses and doing poor Scooby Doo and Shaggy impersonations. Once again, the back row was mine. Every time this ride started to get fun, it slowed down again. A good coat of WD-40 on this track would make this a fun ride...that, or replacing it with a mid-sized CCI.
Finally, we made our way to the beautiful out and back Blue Streak. A three car wait for the back row, and I was off for the best BS lap I've ever had. Loads of airtime, great speed, and a nice end to the CP 14. To people who complain that CP doesn't have a good woodie, take a lap on BS this year, and you'll change your mind.
Power Tower beckoned to us, so after some Dippin' Dots (I don't like Raspberry), we took one Space Shot and one Turbo Drop. I have this terrible fear that the plastic seat is going to break under me on the Drop...whew, I made it through another one. I don't enjoy Power Tower as much as Drop Zone down at PKI, but I think it scares me a little more.
We intended to head back home at this point, but we couldn't resist a back seat lap on WT. We split up our group so that we all could have a back seat ride on the aqua and sun yellow beauty, and man, was it worth it! I can't remember having more fun on a coaster. I have to get back to BGW soon to see if I have more fun on WT or AC-or I need SFWoA to build an AC clone ;)
Demon Drop beckoned, and with a walk-on ride, how could I resist? Lori sat this one out after I related the urban legend about the train going off the track into the ticket booth (yes, I know it's not true). A fun ride to end our trip. I still think it's more intense than the current generation of Intamin/S&S drop rides.
Well, we did what we set out to do. 14 coasters in about 7 hours, some good, some bad, some outstanding. For those of you who have ridden S:UE or V2 and think you don't need to make the trip for WT, think again. The twisted spike beats the hell out of the brake anyday.
Thanks for reading!
Proud CB club member
Mean Steak and Mantis definately fit into my "piles" category. I wonder if you had the same jerk of a ride op on mantis that I did, but I was far from impressed with the crew on that coaster- especially in comparison to some of the others in the park.
Next time you are there, try "Schmecking" the Blue Streak- ride in car 1 row 3 (the last row of the first car). If you think you got air in the back, wait til you ride in 1.3. A ton of air there. Blue Steak was easily vying for my favorite coaster in the park along with MF. (WT was ok, but I was 1/2 asleep when I rode it, so don't count my reaction there).
Thanks for the report.
Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down.
But with God, life is one thrill ride that you'll never regret being on.
The majority of the ride ops were great, especially those on WT. It's a shame that the Mantis crew is so poor.
I'll give that a shot on BS next time...thanks for the tip.
Proud CB club member
You know, I think that working Mantis has to be demoralizing because they probably take crap from people who don't know how to stand up and from their bosses that the capacity isn't high enough. It's like a no-win for them.
I hear you about the pizza back there at Frontier Inn. It's the most inconsistant food in the park. I've had it when it was fresh and outstanding (Halloweekends) and at other times it was outright nasty.
Sounds like you had a good day. It's unfortunate that the low-volume days are coming to an end now. Where'd my spring go?
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
And another fantastic review of WT. I think Intamin has perfected the impulse with this incarnation. I'd love to ride it sometime. I guess I'll have to "settle" for Xcellerator!
Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!
2001 Magnum Crew
2002 Ride Count: S:ROS 4, Predator 3, Viper 2, ME 1, Boomerang 2,Kraken 8, SWF 10
Check out CoastNY at coastny.cjb.net
Proud CB club member
You must be logged in to post