On the way up 250 (for once I followed the highway signs to the entrance--why not? I hadn't since about 1977 and there wouldn't be any traffic) I passed HoJo #1 and thought, "Oooooh.....good thing I didn't book that one." Ironic, no? At least the first one had AAA approval, not that it means much. The Maingate HoJo was just a dump. Not only was it a dump, it was too late in the day to change without paying. I silently thanked God the almost-as-picky-as-Playette CBaby wasn't around to see this.
But beyond exhaustion and disappointment was the underlying question...why was I here? I grew up at Cedar Point, I had visited every summer since 2000 and had just done it to death IMHO. Since my last visit, I had visited six new parks...and that was before the 100 started. New parks held the prospect of discovery, of adventure, of everything CP didn't at this point. Frankly, I debated with myself over and over whether I would visit at all...or whether I would any longer than it took to ride WT. Finally, I decided I would attend only because I had never attended Coastermania PM ERT.
It seemed a good idea on paper...but in reality I was tired, disgusted with myself and then confronted with WT's failure to open. Wonderful. I fell three coasters behind schedule yesterday and one more today. SFGAM's queues also left me both deeply worried about boarding 7 coasters at SFWOA Saturday and too exhausted to drive to WOA for a headstart at the same time.
LEFT: 1:20 am feeling like....well, keep reading.
PARK APPEARANCE/ATMOSPHERE: Much more crowded than I had hoped. CoasterMania 2000 took place during a student day, so by this time Raptor was a walk-on. This year school was out for summer and Raptor was a 45-minute wait. This didn't help my mood much either.
Perhaps I should also bring up another crucial subtext here--my discomfort with coaster zealots / enthusiasses. Nothing made me cringe quite like standing outside of CP for the 2000 MF ERT. While there were some nice family types I could identify with, I was also awash in a sea of weird T-shirted, button-wearing, iron-on-patch swathed misfits who'd make your average Trekkie cringe. I was fully expecting the Greasers to drive up in a convertible and start beating people up for lunch money. I don't need to do this for validation or a sense of belonging--I just wanna have fun. Yeesh.
So in addtion to the other discomforts, I'd have to face my worst fears again.
RIDE QUEUE TIMES: In hindsight, not that bad. Not a ghost town, but no SFGAM either. In fact, I still boarded 10 of the CP 15 in this time. Considering WT was down and I wasn't going to ride the kiddie coasters or Corkscrew (with a near-clone in my backyard), that's a pretty good number.
BEST EXPERIENCE: Meeting big-time famous TV star Raptor Jo and her entourage of toadies :P. (obviously a joke) To tell the truth, it was remembering who I am and why I wear the Ray-Bans. Keep reading. You'll see.
WORST EXPERIENCE: Well, what did I miss? WT down, tired, uneasy amongst the geeks, crappy hotel....oooh wait, I missed one. I went to Midway Market and got service barely better than I got at SFGAM. Can you believe that crap? Worse yet, my server didn't exactly vanish--he was spending all his time hitting on the three young girls at the table right behind me. And to think this goofball really did make his living on tips. He'd better save my table scraps for dinner...
MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: DT's queue. First of all, it's still just a slight bit 3D behind polarized sunglasses. But mostly because it felt like the second coming of the late, great Fun House. I wish they could include a crooked room...
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: I think the dead horse I've been beating wants a rematch.
COASTER RANKINGS (during normal operating hours)
REALLY QUITE GOOD:
Blue Streak, for which you will wonder why. Frankly, I don't rate this coaster highly amidst the whole universe of wooden coasters. I don't dislike it as much as I'm upset with what it's become. I find the PTC trains an atrocity. VF's High Roller outruns it and outguns it even when every brake's biting.
So why am I listing it so highly? Not for the ride but the experience.
I took the back seat where I'd find at least a pop or two or air. A young teen guy asked if he could accompany me and I accepted. He asked me if I had been on MF. "Not yet", I said....and then the fun began..."but I think I'll ride it later. See, there's this weird group or rollercoaster geeks here today....(big obvious double-take at the pin he was wearing)...ooooh, sorry. Looks like you're one of 'em. Well, anyway these geek people are going to ride MF later on tonight anyway."
"We aren't geeks. You're stereotyping a lot of people," he protested.
"Geeeeeeks! You heard me. Look at them, wearing their little buttons and T-shirts and arguing about how tall every little rollercoaster is on the planet. Keeping score of how many coasters they've been on..."
"47," he shot back. Oh, that really helped his cause.
"Clicking around like dorks on their little roller-coaster web sites...."
"Uhm, making their OWN Web sites." Somebody's getting a little denim vest for their birthday.
By this time, we were on the return run...so I 'fessed up and told him that I had been to 4 parks yesterday, had 78 coasters under my belt and wouldn't go home until I had 100.
"And you're not a geek?"
"I don't know....but at least I'm in deep denial."
Thus began the return of the 'Playa.
Disaster Transport, even though the audio (best part) was missing. It's just cheesy, campy good fun. I slipped in the front row for this one since it's mostly visual. Funny to say about a pitch-black ride, huh?
Mean Streak, most likely because I tend to rate this coaster against itself. While a Labor Day 1999 ride was a painful, square-wheeled, overbraked bore, this was probably the best run I've had in recent times. Airtime? Oh please. Painful? Sure. But it had a good run after the midcourse, even though the brakes were biting hard.
Raptor, which starts with the best 1-2-3 punch in inverted coasterdom (vertical loop/inline twist/cobra roll) and then falls asleep. IMHO coasters don't ramble or meander, they Raptor around. So close....just a steep drop into a tunnel after the midcourse and an undergorund inversion away from being the world's best. Sigh.
COLD FRIES BAD
Cedar Creek Mine Ride, which I can't believe I was once afraid to ride as a kid. To tell the truth, I've always been a big fan of its 720-degree helix finale...I just hate waiting for it.
I tried not to think about the Mine Ride '99 crew shirt logo (and won't tell you, either) when the two gals behind me took their seats...but I couldn't help it when we began to climb the first lift and I noted (out loud) that we were moving slower than the passing train.
I had great fun idiot screaming on those little 2 foot drops and mind-numbing straight track sequences....what else are you gonna do? Funnier yet, the two gals scolded, "No, no.....don't scream yet." So of course I'd go silent during the 'thrilling' parts, which just made them scold me more.
Draggin' Iron, and you shouldn't have to ask why. Believe it or not, the brake on the first drop was wide open during CoasterMania 2000. Not this time. The pretzel was merely okay.
Gemini, which would be in the RGC category if not for the Gemini curse. Good air in the back seat and a nice helix finale, but I have never been on a train that raced since 1991. Yes, you heard correctly.
I'm sure it's a curse because the three trains before mine raced neck-and-neck, but the minute I climbed on board....forget it. Four rides, no racing. Screw it.
Worse yet, I was barred from entry on that final racing train by a anti-social, pale bald enthusiass in a black Chang T-shirt. Just a few minutes after finally buttoning on my CoasterMania pin, I removed it once again. I had no desire to be associated with someone like him.
JUST PLAIN AWFUL
Mantis, to which I reluctantly give this rating to for the first time. I took a half-dozen rides before closing and found it a completely different beast than my daytime rides in previous years. It blew through the course with enough speed to eliminate all hang time in the inversions and magnify its poorly-designed, Arrowesque transitions. I suppose a few night rides on a graceful, immaculate design like Montu or Kumba will change your point of view significantly.
COASTER RANKINGS (CoasterMania)
Magnum, which until now I had never boarded at night. I scored no fewer than a dozen rides. My first was in the front row and unbraked. I spent some quality time in 3-1 and the back row, too. It quickly became a walk-on after MF opened.
Better yet, there was no one around like the Gemini cue-ball. Everybody was friendly and there to have a good time. I found the people keeping lap counts on bits of paper a bit bizarre, but as long as they were sociable.....so what?
This coaster was astounding to say the least. If you ever wondered why Magnum was ranked #1 for so many years, this is why. Easily worth the trip all by itself.
Magnum ripped my 'favorite hyper' ranking from Raging Bull's jaws.
MF, though it still couldn't recapture my #1 steel rank from Kumba....but not for lack of trying. Lines for MF were long; I only got two rides. While waiting, Tony and his GOCC pals chatted me up about joining the club, getting on the Discovery channel and who was who...including Jeff Putz.
Sure, JP's gonna act like he didn't know on the board now, but he recognized me almost immediately as we passed on the exit queue. We talked very briefly about CoasterBuzzCon, as I hadn't purchased a ticket....but if I could get to PKI before 11 am, he'd sell me one on the spot.
Fianlly, I trudged back to the crappy motel. In the bathroom, I realized that instead of a bathtub, I had a whirlpool tub for two. Oh well, why not? I filled it up and let it rip. Might as well find the silver lining here, too.
This would become another critical factor in the trip.....but more on that later.
The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.
*** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya 6/3/2003 2:57:56 PM ***
Great TR! (P.S. I beat you Todd!)
'Playa- I can't agree more with some of your feelings on enthusiasses. It's a shame sometimes to even think of associating myself with most all of them (oh wait, I don't!)
Jeff, those clean Ford Taurus driving college kids sure are cool though... ;)
CPlaya, I just about died laughing at your description of the guy on Gemini! I don't really attend any enthusiast events, so I can't comment on the majority of them. Some of them seemed real friendly though when I talked to them last year. There were a few that I could see being real annoying though.
2001 Magnum Crew
You know, it's weird that I'm finding more and more "enthusiasts" that are like "normal" people. Hang with us, Playa... you'll never have more fun than with us beer drinking, hoochie watching, karaoke singing, family toting enthusiesque types.
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"
I love roller coasters, and I need psychiatric help. Or a roller coaster.
I went to Midway Market and got service barely better than I got at SFGAM. Can you believe that crap? Worse yet, my server didn't exactly vanish--he was spending all his time hitting on the three young girls at the table right behind me. And to think this goofball really did make his living on tips. He'd better save my table scraps for dinner..
was it a guy named Dudley?? if so, he waited on us in May and in an hour's visit we saw him TWICE. i actually complained to the supervisor about the bad service. never had to do that before.
Just call me MPG...
Interesting TR. I especially like how blurred the line between "coaster geek" and "normal person" gets - it's so easy to be normal, until you realize you're spending hundreds of dollars on travel, hotels, and park admissions, and can tell which B&M inverted pulls the most G's - in tenths - from the first ride.
I'm normal, too...;)
Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...
LOL on Jeff's and Chaindog's posts. Beer drinking? oh, no! Someone said, BEER!
Let's see, 27 hours, 22 minutes and 30 seconds from Summer Trip #1. 24 hours, 22 minutes and 10 seconds from riding Screechin' Eagle at LeSourdsville!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!
Am I normal, or an enthusiast?
I'll give you a hint: No pins, No T-Shirts, No jackets. Just coaster riding sunglasses.
There's nothing like a woodie...
My brother and I aren't that dorky about coasters to wear pins and all that crap although he's always loved keychains, so whether its a park or some other place, he gets one, so its not just for coasters or anything. I think we each only have one park t-shirt. Mine says "Millennium Force Survivor" and he just got a Great American Scream Machine shirt from Six Flags which does look really cool. I don't think either one of us will ever wear the shirts that much since we have no desire to show them off or anything, but its more fun with friends and to say I've been here and usually they're always interested about the park, so its good to tell them how our trip was. We're nowhere near enthusiasses, but sometimes Danny is an A in general. He's ok though. Not as bad as he used to be. ;)
1) Always try to break down sections into paragraphs
2) Be a good CB citizen(like I'm a good example, ha! ;))
3) No short terms(like ne1 or how r u? or anything), best topics, and follow the TOS.
4) Don't talk about me. :)
5) Have fun! I made her a coaster freak this weekend!!
Jeff, those clean Ford Taurus driving college kids sure are cool though...
2001 Magnum Crew
Ahh yes, the Ford Taurus driving college kids. Don't know any of those do we? :)
I think that you are way too negative... At Cedar Point, you're just supposed to relax... I'd say that that's a pretty great trip
Who said that it wasn't? I think you need to look past your horror that anyone would say "Ugh, CP" and review the TR again. I playfully teased a couple of people, did some idiot screaming, made people laugh and had a good time.
I suppose what I didn't spell out was that I recalled the difference between being the fun and waiting for it to come and plop in your lap.
The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.
*** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya on 6/23/2002. ***
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