We're on the road for Expedition '02. We always like to start with Cedar Point because it gives us a framework for evaluating the others. Since it's mid July, and people have been offering their evaluations all summer, I won't waste space repeating what everybody else says. I'll only comment when I differ with the majority, evaluate a ride most people skip, or have a peripheral comment which might give future visitors something to think about.
Breakers : I know everybody thinks it's too expensive, but we really like this hotel. It's right on the beach, you can look out your window at coasters, you can stop back by the room for a mid day break, and you get early admission to the park. Plus we stayed two nights, and as part of our package we got one day's admission to the main park and one day's admission to the water park for both of us. So we got to ride the second day for free, which sort of balances the room cost.
Golf : This is a great miniature golf course. We were a little disconcerted, however, when on the 16th hole our balls disappeared in the tunnel, and the girl at the desk just shrugged and said, "Yea, that's been happening a lot lately. There's not much we can do about it." So our game ended early.
Grand Prix : It's a kick driving those go karts around that track. Worth a stop.
Water Park : Not in our top 10 water park list, but it does have a neat family raft slide.
Into the main park...
This park is well laid out and they have room for additional expansion. Their Kiddieland (Camp Snoopy) is kind of interesting. It maybe should be called Teenybopperland. They have some rides over there which nobody else thinks of as kiddie rides, such as the TiltaWhirl, Swings, Swans, Riverboat, Log Flume and Woodstock Express. Shows how our perspective on ride intensity is evolving.
Woodstock Express is a great little coaster. It reminds me of Disney's Barnstormer. We rode it several times.
Meanstreak receives lots of criticism on this board, but we like it. If nothing else, it's a beautiful construction just to look at. I'd love to have a scale model of it. Yes, it's a bit rough, but not as rough as the Wildcat, which everyone loves. If it were in almost any other park, it would be their centerpiece.
Gemini. Like Meanstreak, this ride gets lots of negative comments, but it's always fun.
Blue Streak. What a great coaster. Why is this ride never featured on Discovery or Travel Channel specials ? It's a pure, elegant design and we could ride it over and over.
Iron Dragon. Yea, I know, this is not the Big Bad Wolf. But it's a tremendous family coaster, especially on those drops through the trees and the turns over the water.
Wildcat. This ranks right up there among our favorite Rodent Coasters. However, they really do need to re engineer the braking run into the station. It's like hitting a brick wall at 60 mph. Somebody's going to get whiplash and sue the park. Gently slowing a ride down is easily done these days, and CP needs to do it.
The Mine Train. We like Mine Train rides and consider this maybe third best in the East, behind Indiana Beach and Carowinds.
As far as all the steelies are concerned, well, they've been analyzed to death on this board all season and, in most cases, for several seasons. I defer to the hundreds of other riders' opinions.
Moving on to other rides ...
Cedar Downs. I've ridden Carousels all over the country and this is the most unique. The horses actually race, it's so big there's a flowerbed in the middle, and the ride ops give you a long time.
Swings. I hate these seats. I like swing rides but I can't get comfortable enough to enjoy this one.
Log Flume. Weak. The canoes are cute, but it ranks among the least exciting flumes we've seen.
Train. A great train ride. Ranks right up there with Kings Island and Disney.
Rafts. Fair. A solid river rafting experience, but not in our top five.
Scrambler. This is always one of our favorite rides, a nice break between coasters. CP's version is one of the better ones for speed, comfort and length of ride.
Ferris Wheel. Big wheels are becoming an endangered species and this is a good one. It is especially good for views out over the beach and Lake Erie, the whole park, and Twister. Allows great photos.
Turnpike. A nice auto ride. Probably one of our five favorites.
Swans. Nice concept, but much much much too short. They just need a bigger pond. Put them over in the same river as the steamboat.
Steamboat. Not many parks have these anymore, but this one is too short. The biggest problem is the idea that the pilot is supposed to be a comedian. His humor is truly bad.
Bumper Cars. Nice version. Floor is a bit too small and ride time is a bit short but the cars are in good condition and the ride ops are excellent.
TiltaWhirl. Located in Camp Snoopy as it is, CP has its TW slowed down somewhat, and the ride is shortened, but it's in good shape, very comfortable, and very smooth.
Balloons. Another ride somewhat modified for Camp Snoopy but still pleasant. These balloons spin easily and fast, which many versions no longer do.
Shows. CP does a good job with both the major shows and the little demonstrations, like the glass blowing and the blacksmithing. It adds a neat touch some parks don't have.
Food. It helps to be able to step back over to the Breakers for a regular restaurant lunch and dinner. The food in the park itself is, as usual, overpriced and not very heart healthy.
Staff. We found the staff very pleasant, efficient and focused, more so than at many other parks.
Lines. We were there on two weekdays. Of course, with our early entry, we had no lines, and as the day progressed, they gradually got longer, but they never got long enough to cause us problems. The longest line we encountered was on the Wildcat, but we did all the major coasters first ahead of the crowds.
Summary : This is just one of America's great parks, deserving a visit once a year from anyone who likes parks and has the time and money to make the trip.
I went yesterday on the 14th and the 15th and every ride is a walk on. I rode Raptor 15 times!
I've never heard anything bad about Gemini. And BTW, Wildcat isn't a mouse, and never will be.
Trekkerpark, nice summary, liked how you talked about other rides than the normal ones always talked about. Agree slightly with you on Mean Streak, it does kind of suck, though. I mean, it would be awesome, but Cedar Point has a fetish with putting brakes on it every twenty feet. If they would take the brakes off, I think it'd be so much better. Completely agree with you on Blue Streak, completely underrated. One more point, on the food. If you haven't been to the Midway Market, try it. Sit down, all you can eat buffet restaurant, for $10. I think it would be a good restaurant outside the park, let alone having it in the park. Thanks for the summary.
Nice to see someone rate the flat rides and Soak City for a change. Personally, I like Soak City just as a place to chill out in the mid afternoon when lines in the park are longer. Wave Pool and Raging River for me.
You mentioned the Mean Streak model. I hope you checked out the Museum in Frontier Town. They have a model of Mean Streak there that is just awesome.
I'm also glad to find someone else who likes Blue Streak and Cedar Downs as much as I do. I've been riding Cedar Downs since it opened in the late 60's, and I STILL ride it every trip. Blue Streak was the coaster that broke my coaster fear, and I've always enjoyed it. Maybe it's the nostalgia factor.
I disagree about the CP&LE comparing to PKI though. I think the theming on the trip back to the midway is much more extensive than the one or two buildings PKI has. The humping skeleton is a gas (although years ago he actually "climbed" the fence). Another note of nostalgia: When I was a kid, the CP&LE used to be hit by "robbers" on the ride from the midway to Frontier Town.
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
MF Maniac : We'll have to try that food outlet next time. Thanks.
CP Lady : Yes, we did see that model, and you're right : it is awesome. Wouldn't it be neat if all parks had professional modellers build models of their coasters and put them under glass at the entrance to the coaster so we could examine them while standing in lines ?
Oh, and on the Train. I was ranking the equipment itself --- the engines, cars, crossings, station --- more than the scenery around it. Most parks have toys, but Disney, CP and BGW took actual trains and restored them and PKI had equipment specially made at the old Pittsburgh Locomotive Works.
*** This post was edited by Trekker Park on 7/21/2002. ***