CP May 21-22: A great long weekend trip

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:58 AM
After hearing us rave about CP for years, friends asked us to to together on the Victoria Day long weekend and it was awesome.

This trip was a little different than our normal CP trips. This time we spent 2 days in the park and stayed at a CP resort (a lighthouse point cottage). On our past trips, we stayed in cheap hotels and split our two park days between CP and GL or Kennywood. Another big difference was that on previous trips, we didn't do anything but ride coasters. With two days, we took the time to enjoy the non-coaster attractions at the point.

Day 1 - Saturday May 23:
After driving 6.5 hours Friday after work and another 2.5 hours Saturday morning, we were tired. Since we didn't arrive before gate opening and it was a gorgeous day, we fully expected large crowds. We though we would save TTD, MF and Maxair for Sunday. If you want to read rants about the crowds, see another TR (http://coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=41763). We avoided long lines and had a great time.

Magnum-XL 200 (a bit more rough than last year), Witches Wheel, Gemini (fun, but trains not synchronized for racing), Woodstock Express, Mean Streak (almost smooth in the heat), CP & LE Railroad, White Water Landing (a great flume), Snake River Falls (soaked us), Thunder Canyon (drenched us). Then we checked into our cottage, changed into dry clothes and went for supper. TGI Fridays was too busy and smoky to enjoy, so we tried Midway Market (ok food, lacking cutlery, broken-down dirty bathrooms), Wicked Twister, Disaster Transport (good dark ride, mediocre coaster), Blue Streak, Raptor, Sky Train.
Longest waits: 25 minutes each for Magnum XL-200, Disaster Transport and Raptor
Favorite rides: Magnum-XL 200 (3/4) and Blue Streak-Mean Streak tie (1/4).

Day 2 - Sunday, May 22:
It was a cool day. We managed to pull ourselves together at the last minute and left the cottage at 9:10. We were in the TTD line by 9:20. Everyone rode it, even those who "chickened-out" at Wicked Twister and Raptor the previous day. What a rush! We were out (with pictures) by 9:45 and we went to MF. It was a 25 minute line, but the ride was everyone's favorite. Then we went back to riding everything else: Mean Streak (violent and painful in the cold), Cedar Creek Mine Ride, photos with Peanuts characters, and another ride on Gemini.

For lunch, we took a courtesy shuttle to Famous Dave's BBQ (excellent!). Then we re-entered the park and rode Dodgems, Iron Dragon and Wildcat.

Then the rain started (around 3:00). Maxair and TTD closed. We got wet on Corkscrew and Power Tower. We did a bit of shopping near the main entrance before riding Cedar Downs (fastest carousel I've been on!). We also tried Raptor, but it closed as the rain poured down. Even Disaster Transport was closed due to weather (if someone can explain this, I'd love to hear it). We grabbed some snacks and a sheltered bench before deciding that we might as well go for a nap in the cottage.

As we passed Magnum (just after 5:00), the rain stopped and it re-opened. No napping now. (TTD also re-opened, but we didn't want to join the line with the crazy people who waited since 3:00.) We rode a lot of coasters in the last 3 hours of the day. Magnum (water drops in the tunnels hurt!), MF (40 minute line), Mantis (what's with the brakes on the first drop?), Wildcat, MF (10 minute line), Iron Dragon (twice), Magnum (two more times before 8:00 closing). We were tired. So tired, we took a shuttle from the Soak City gate to our cottage on the other side of the parking lot. :)
Favorite rides of the day: MF (3/4) and MF-Magnum tie (1/4)
Longest waits: 40 minutes for MF at 5:30, 25 minutes for TTD and MF before 10:00 am.

We didn't catch Maxair, but we've been on a very similar ride at Paramount Canada's Wonderland, so we don't think we missed much. If the weather was nicer, we might have made another lap on TTD, but otherwise we have no regrets. :)

Monday morning woke us up with a bang. Around 5:00 am, a big thunderstorm rolled off the lake and into our cottage (at least that's what it sounded like). It was impressive, but we managed to fall back to sleep 9:00 when TTD started testing. The 9 hour drive home on the holiday Monday was long but uneventful, and we need to rest before we discuss another 2,000 km road trip.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:30 PM
Greatwhitenorth,

Nice TR but I was interested to hear comments from the folks you went with. Was that their first time at the park?

1000 Kms... where about in the Great White North do you live?

Kevin Reid
www.PCWjunkies.com

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:37 PM
Victoria Day=Canadian. I'm guessing Ontario
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:58 PM
Kevin Reid also = Canadian. ;)

Ray P.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:43 AM
We're all from Ottawa. MapQuest pegs the driving distance at 925 km each way, but with side-trips and avoiding Cleveland's weekday traffic, we topped 2,000 km overall.

Comments from CP-virgins:

Pros:
* unforgettable coasters - more than they can remember, nothing like anything they had seen before (keep in mind that the tallest coaster at PCW is a boomerang clone, and La Ronde's Monstre is just a bit taller at 130 feet)
* great flat rides
* CP is huge!
* renting a cottage was a great idea - it was nice to stay so close to the park

Cons:
* too much smoking (and spitting) in the park
* food services were pathetically understaffed.
* CP needs signage to direct people to major attractions within the park (such as how to get to MF from Gemini / Camp Snoopy)
* lockers & change rooms near water rides need better signage
* they wished CP had 'Canadian' iced tea (I laughed at this. In Canada, iced tea doesn't taste anything like real tea -- it's more syrupy than sweatened versions of US iced tea and the flavour is totally different. I prefer to guzzle the unsweetened US version whenever I can.) *** Edited 5/26/2005 1:44:49 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:20 PM
Cleveland has traffic? When and where?
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Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:34 PM
Great TR!

Disaster Tranport closes during the rain because I don't believe the building is completely enclosed, and there are some leaks or holes in the ceiling.

How was the walk from your cottage to the Magnum entrance? We are staying at a cottage and June.

I'm from the US and I hate unsweetened Ice Tea, Snapple is the best. I'll have to try some of this canadian tea..

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Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:56 PM
Personally, I hate sweetened tea. And unfortunately, I forgot that's all they serve in the "south", so I was met with a sickenly sweet iced tea in Dale when I went to Holiday World last year.

When you go to CP this "early" in the season, food services tend to be much slower. They do pick up the pace later on, although most of the "fast food" places (i.e. not sitdown) tend to still hae long lines.

I think CP has a few "you are here" signs around the park...one is located between Magnum and the Witches Wheel. But yeah, unless a "newbie" has and refers to their map, it can be frustrating. Getting to MF from the Gemini and Dragster midways is pretty much a 50/50 shot anyway...either backtrack through Frontier Town, or walk around Iron Dragon.

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Monday, May 30, 2005 10:24 AM

Ride of Steel said:


How was the walk from your cottage to the Magnum entrance? We are staying at a cottage and June.


We were in a cottage that appeared to be roughly in the middle of the cottages, half-way between the Camper Village store and the Lighthouse Point pool area. The walk wasn't too long. I'd say it's similar to the walk between Iron Dragon and Gemini. If you walk to either the store or the lighthouse, you can call a courtesy shuttle that will take you pretty close to the Magnum gate (or the Marina gate if you want to avoid Challenge Park or Soak City crowds).

If we stayed in a cottage again, I would walk all the time unless my cottage was west of the Lighthouse pool area (near the bottom of Mean Streak's lift hill).

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Monday, May 30, 2005 1:16 PM
Ottawa eh! Where do you cross into the US at I-81 or Buffalo? Living in Newmarket I go 401 west to Windsor I-75 south then east to Sandusky. Always interesting to hear a first timers comments on a new park.

Thanks,
Kevin
www.PCWjunkies.com

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 4:11 PM

Kevin Reid said:
Where do you cross into the US at I-81 or Buffalo? Living in Newmarket I go 401 west to Windsor I-75 south then east to Sandusky.

Actually, since we tend to travel on Canadian long weekends, we try to avoid holiday traffic on the Canadian side of the border. We head straight down the 416 to the closest crossing, which is at the Ogdensburg / Prescott bridge. This bridge is very quiet since there is no interstate for 45 miles. The benefit is we totally avoid the 401 and the much busier Thousand Islands border crossing.

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