CP opening day...3 rides, 8 hours

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Sunday, May 4, 2003 6:25 PM
You might think from the tone of my thread title that my friend Daisuke and I had a terrible day today at CP...let me assure you, that was not the case!

Arrived at the park at 9:45, which was obviously too late. RAN to Dragster and hopped in line. We were then informed that the line was at least 4 hours, and probably closer to five, by the very kind uniformed CP employees. What the hell...how often do you get to be launched from 0-120?

So we waited. Red, Green, and Blue were running-not sure why three trains were sitting unused on the transfer. Any possible way you can think of to pass the time, we did. Except for count launches and get pissed off, which is what a gentleman about 4-5 spots away from us in line did. I loved his reaction to the sign that says Dragster holds 16 riders-"These idjits can't even count right!" Nice.

Finally, after 5 hours, 15 minutes, Daisuke and I are directed to the second row of the blue train. Normally, there is some music and a warning to keep your head against the seat rest and to put your arms down (I am guessing that there is either a camera watching the train, or some sort of infrared sensor that can tell when riders raise their arms, because "ARMS DOWN" is blasted over the speakers. For some reason, our train didn't get this greeting. The brakes went down, the train rolled back slightly and...

BANG! I was plastered to my seat by the most intense launch I can possibly imagine. Just when I thought I really wouldn't be able to stand it anymore, the launch released and we went up the hill, twisting as we neared the top. The height of the ride doesn't seem anywhere near 420 ft when you are riding-the speed of the ascent renders your brain unable to accurately determine your distance from the ground.

Quickly, we were over the top and spiraling back toward terra firma (I consider this an inversion, BTW...don't know if anyone else does). The speed seemed nearly as intense as we reached the bottom of the hill, searing down the track to the brakes. I couldn't control my reaction-I was pumping my fist, yelling, screaming to anyone who could hear. This ride is unlike anything any of you have ever experienced. It is simply awe-inspiring. All I can say is that I hope it doesn't ruin other coasters for me, and that after a 5+ hour wait, I was ready to wait another 5 hours to experience it again-it's that good.

However, lunch was calling, and so we travelled back to the midway for some pizza, shadowboxing and laughing our way down the path. Was that ride REALLY what I expected? Could anything ever top it?

After eating some overpriced pizza, we skipped (literally) over to Wicked Twister for a 45 minute wait and a backseat ride. This ride has been neutered. What was once a top five ride for me is now just "okay." The train barely makes it 3/5 of the way of the front spike-I wouldn't even waste my time to ride in the front. I hope that this was just a reaction to our Dragster ride, and not a serious disappointment by a previous fave.

Not to be deterred, we rolled over to Millie. Behind us in line were a few 'Buzzers I couldn't place, but we had an intermittent conversation regarding Arrow Dynamics and my propensity for graying-out on the first overbank. I had never ridden Millie in the front row before, so we decided to wait it out. After about 1 hour and 45 minutes, we were strapped into the front seat and ready to rock and roll.

How odd it is to look UP at another coaster while on Millie. Normally, I think that I would have had some feelings of anxiety riding in the front row of Millie for the first time, but my recent Dragster experience was telling me that I could really handle anything without being too surprised or scared.

How wrong I was! That drop in the front row is killer, to say the least. It felt as though we were actually bending more than 90 degrees down the first hill, and to make it even better, I didn't gray-out on the overbank :). Fantastic ride-I got off just as enthused by Millie as by...Draggie??

Shivering from the cold (yes, we're stupid enough to wear shorts in 50 degree weather), we ran back to the Speed Zone to pick up some Dragster gear, and we headed back to the Santa Fe for the trip back to Columbus. I called my wife right away to let her know what she missed by opting to stay home today...I'll be "dragging" her back the next visit (apologies to Gator).

I apologize for the damn near giddy tone of this report. Those who've read my reports in the past know that I tend to be somewhat somber in writing them, but I just can't help myself. Dragster is SICK. You won't believe just how great it is until you ride. Run, don't walk, to your car and get to CP immediately. You'll be glad you did.
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SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

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Sunday, May 4, 2003 6:46 PM
5 hour wait? 5 HOURS?

. That wait time is just sick. Were the rest of the coasters small waits due to Dragster?

If I lived near the park and was a regular , I would probably wait until the hype settles down, although the whole season will probably be insane lines for it.

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Sunday, May 4, 2003 6:51 PM
Wow that sounds great, I wish I could be there. Did the Longaberger company picnic effect your trip planning? i still can't believe they rented out CP for what would have been opening day!! TTG sounds like it is everything it is said to be! I can't wait to ride it myself. Oh btw did the dragster rollback when you were waiting? I would love to be on one of those awesome rollbacks. But anyway I wanted to say that I have "grayed out" on the second hill of Millennium Force a few times and wondered if it happened to anyone else. Do you have any idea how long the line for MF was during the morning? Is it true that TTG pulls all the popularity away from MF making the line shorter. I guess I'll find out soon enough. School gets out in less than a month anyway.
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Sunday, May 4, 2003 7:39 PM
Chitown, the waits were so long because Dragster's capacity was so poor-I heard a park manager say it was around 250pph. Other lines were pretty much as normal.

No, Dragster didn't roll back, but I sure wish it had :)
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SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

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Sunday, May 4, 2003 7:46 PM

Chitown said:
5 hour wait? 5 HOURS?

If I lived near the park and was a regular , I would probably wait until the hype settles down...


Ahhh! There you go! MF had 4 hours waits at the beginning of the 2000 season. We went in mid/late July and waited between an hour and an hour and a half.

I'd expect the same sort of thing to happen to TTD lines. That's why we're going in late July.

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www.coasterimage.com

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Sunday, May 4, 2003 10:01 PM
5 hours? Try 6 1/2! We got in line at about 1:30 pm and got off the ride at 7 pm. They had some downtimes, but didn't make any announcements in the queues, which was kind of annoying. They were really nice with the line though, letting people take bathroom breaks by giving them potty passes. Not the typical SF "pee and we revoke your season pass" thing. All in all, TTD was AMAZING and I'd wait another 6 1/2 to do it again!

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NICK

WOOD: It does a body good.

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Monday, May 5, 2003 4:58 AM
I rode TTD twice, the second time being at the end of the night. Someone was saying they were running slow on purpose, but that rumor can't be confirmed. What a great ride! Escpecially in the front row. ;-) I do think that the ride is better during the day when you can see more of the landscape below...

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CBClub member #30 and #364 (renewal)

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Monday, May 5, 2003 5:10 AM
I just opted to skip it, I figured it's opening day, the trains are not at their full length nor are running capacity, and they still need to make the ride more consistant. 5 hours just isn't worth it to me, and I have a season pass up there, so it's not like I blew my only shot. ya' know?

I guess the 5-car trains will return by this next weekend, from what i heard. After watching Twister run, i decided to just skip it completely.

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Monday, May 5, 2003 5:27 AM
It's good to hear at least that the last train is back on the property. One of the ride ops said they had to ship some portion of it back to Switzerland, which sounds kind of odd to me, but whatever.

I have a feeling that even next weekend will be very different since they will have had a lot more quality time with the ride.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"Pray that your country undergoes recovery!" - KMFDM

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Monday, May 5, 2003 7:55 AM
A few friends who are employees and those who are usually "In the Know" all told similar stories about the yellow train having parts shipped home. Apparently "bad things" happened during testing and that's why the train isn't on the track right now.

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James Draeger
-in search of a new signature
*** This post was edited by Draegs 5/5/2003 11:56:37 AM ***

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Monday, May 5, 2003 8:07 AM
Only 2 trains were on the transfer. To tell you the truth I was extrmely impressed with how the coaster ran.

The only major downtime was for a wire that came off a contact. Other then that it ran consistently all day. Slowly but surely.

It was very busy day for opening day. 3 hours for Drasgter and I was in line at 9. But in the front seat, holy geez.

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Ah what the hell.....Magnum What?

S:ROS blew me away

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Monday, May 5, 2003 9:13 AM
Magnum Force hit it on the head.. (we have to remember that CP just recently took over the ride) things will get much, much better with time!

I don't think I saw one person get off this thing... GP or any of "US" that were there yesterday that didn't think this was a *Religious Experience*

So I think it is safe to say, yes the line was long ... but it was worth it in so many ways! (no dissapointment here!)

We had a great time waiting at night.. Started a wave ... everyone was a really good sport while waiting
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and you know what, I'm possitive once they strapped someone in... and Launched they're arse down the track, they forgot about that wait altogether!!..

CP has out done themselves once again !

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"Rock over London..Rock On Chicago..Wheaties, Breakfast of Champions"! -Wesley Willis

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Monday, May 5, 2003 9:23 AM
I've been trying since we got off TTD yesterday morning to find a way to describe that launch. BANG! is the closest I've seen so far. You literally go from a dead stop to a breath stealing speed.

I'm surprised you thought WT was "neutered" My son and I both felt it was much more intense than it was near the end of last season. The GOOD news is my hubby fit this year after losing 40 pounds. He said it was the most satisfying sound...hearing that seatbelt click so easily into place.


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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
http://www.webtechnik.com/ebony/CPLady.htm

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Monday, May 5, 2003 5:21 PM
I just got some of my photos developed, and I realized the yellow train was nowhere to be found on them. I guess it WAS only 2 trains on the transfer...thought for sure I saw three, but I HAD been standing in line for 5 hours.
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SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest
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Monday, May 5, 2003 5:51 PM
It was good to "unofficially" meet you too in the Millie line :) Nice TR. We survived 2 TTD laps, and the wait was worth it for a night ride! Lotsa down time, but when it was up, it was spectacular. Can't wait for full capacity operation.

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Brad Sherman
The Headless Horseman awaits thee in 2003!
Arrowed!

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Monday, May 5, 2003 6:50 PM
Just over 6 hour wait here. Did anyone else notice that each train was missing a car (only 12 per train, instead of 16)? The first 2 rows on the platform were blocked off as well. CP has not totally taken over the ride yet. Intamin engineers are on site with their laptops still connected to the ride system, and it looks like it'll be that way for awhile.
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Monday, May 5, 2003 7:06 PM
GREAT trip report. It's really fantastic that someone really "gets" the point about visiting during the grand opening - 5 and a half hours - who cares when it comes to Cedar Point! What would you be doing in five and a half hours at home? Sleeping? You can sleep when you're dead.

I am planning on visiting the Point twice in May - the second time I am visiting, I am taking along a coaster enthusiast friend of mine who's NEVER been to Cedar Point before. Can you imagine? His wife doesn't like coasters and they've lived here for quite a while.... I think half the fun sometimes is just taking along someone who's NOT been on the newest coaster at Cedar Point. But imagine, getting to experience RAPTOR, MAGNUM, MILLENNIUM FORCE, and yes, TOP THRILL DRAGSTER for the first time, all at once! I think it will be too much sensory overload for my friend. Lucky bastard. I can't wait! The only thing is....maybe we should save TTD for last so he won't be disappointed by anything else (as if that would even happen anyway - like Raptor is some huge slouch...yeah right).

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Monday, May 5, 2003 9:40 PM

Mark W. Baruth said:


That drop in the front row is killer, to say the least. It felt as though we were actually bending more than 90 degrees down the first hill, and to make it even better, I didn't gray-out on the overbank :). Fantastic ride-I got off just as enthused by Millie as by...Draggie??



I gotta agree, Mark! I was in the front of the 5th Top Thrill Dragster car launched Sunday (supposed to be the 4th car, but there was a foul-up in directing us to the cars) as part of the Red Cross Inaugural Rider charity auction (which raised over $30,000 for the local chapter of the Red Cross, I understand). The launch was....literally breathtaking. I bought my picture from that ride - something I've never done before, and you can see my face (cheeks) being distorted by some combination of acceleration and relative wind velocity! Up to the top in seconds. I was fearing I might piss myself looking straight down from the top but...acually, because of the 270 degree twist on the way down, you see a lot of track not all that far below you. Intimidating, but not "bodily function control losing" type intimidation. And then the ride was over. 20 seconds. And yet...AWESOME!!! And well worth the donation to get there with no real wait.

Before we launched, the park opened to the "Joe Cool" club members, who get in a half hour before the general public. I hung around after my trip for about 5-10 minutes to get my photo, then walked over to Millennium Force, getting there about 9:30. I was about 8 feet from the covered part of the platform when I joined the end of the line, and was admitted onto the platform after the next train. I figured I'd never have a better chance for sitting in the front of MF, so joined that line. We got kinda ticked off when we finally figured out that they were only running two trains, and one had test dummies in it, so it was taking quite a while to move the "front seat" line forward. Fortunately, after about 10 minutes, the unloaded the dummies and the line began to move quickly. I then got to move up suddenly when they called for a single, and I was off up the hill! As I said above, I agree with Mark about the view down the first hill at MF. The view from the front of MF down the hill was, in my opinion, much more awe inspiring than that of Top Thrill Dragster, because you are looking 300 feet down to see something beneath you. And MF is moving slower (or seems to) when only the front cars are over the peak, giving you longer to apprehend your fall and demise.

Anyway, it was 10 am when I was off of MF. I next went to Mantis, which actually had one of the longer waits of the day - 1 hour from the time I entered, until the ride was over, including wait for the front "seat".

From there, I took the sky car back to my favorite ride in the world, Raptor. I think it was about 3/4 hour to ride that, including wait for the front (which is truly an order of magnitude better place to ride Raptor than any other seat). I got off there, and went and got my hand stamped for riding again between 2 and 3. Then I decided to go take a quick turn on Wicked Twister, and got a rear seat (which I think is best on WT, since, I believe, you end up higher than the front ever does) with about a 1/4 hour wait.

I walked back toward the rear of the park, got my other hand stamped for another ride on Mantis between 2 and 3 (also). I rode Gemini (front seat) - about 20 minutes, even though they were only running one train, and Magnum (front seat, about 1/2 an hour). I was appreciating the heck out of thow people waiting in line for TTD, instead of going to the other rides.

Next I was going to go to Mean Streak at the far end of the park. I took the train over, and went to a food place and got an elephant ear (yummy lunch!) and some napkins to roll up and bite on when riding Mean Streak (a mouth guard to protect my teeth/crowns).

But before I went I figured it was getting too close to 2:00, so I hopped back on the train, and went back to the other station, and got in line at Mantis. Pretty quick and easy wait - about 20 - 30 minutes, including a fairly long line for front "seat" again. I then hustled over to make it back to Raptor about 5 minutes to 3:00. Waited in the line, and decided to try Raptor in the rear, just to see if was wrong. NOPE! The front is DEFINITELY the best place to ride Raptor. Many coasters, I don't care that much where I ride (I was riding all fronts and backs, because I had the time), but the ride on Raptor is at a totally different level when you are in the front row.

From there it was back to Mean Streak, which, surprisingly to me, actually had a pretty long line (3/4 hour, as I remember). Usually, during a weekday opening week, you can pretty well run all the way up to the loading platform without encountering a line at Mean Streak. Met a guy from Florida up in Detroit on business who had sense enough to come out to Cedar Point on his day off, and rode the front of Mean Streak. After that I was pretty much done with all my "mandantory" rides, so just accompanied my new acquaintence as he went to all the rides he wanted to ride - Magnum (back seat), Gemini (I don't remember where), Wicked Twister (rear seat again - grand total of 15 minute wait), and then we went over and got in line for Millenium Force just before park closing at 8 pm. About 10 minutes after 8, I remember hearing some people behind us remark that this was going to be their third ride of the day. Of course, they had arrived at 1 pm, and then waited in line for Top Thrill Dragster many hours. Anyway, we waited for the rear seat on MF, and got it, rode it (also awesome from the rear seats) and were out of the park by 9 pm.- some 14 hours after I arrived at the park (7am for Red Cross function to begin). And another season at the Point is underway!!! Whoot!


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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 4:56 AM
I'm probably going to CP July 14, 15 and 16, a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Is this a good time to go in that crowds shouldn't be too much of a concern? Are there any tips that someone could share so I can maximize my experience and see everything? Thanks.
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