Four Days at Cedar Point

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, August 31, 2002 12:47 PM

Introduction:

This trip to Cedar Point has been a long time coming for me. From August 26th to the 29th I spent an amazing four days at America’s Roller Coast – Cedar Point. It was my first time to the Point and it was a long six-hour drive from just outside of Toronto, Canada to Sandusky, but every second was well worth it.

We stayed on site at one of the cottages of Lighthouse Point. The cottage was extremely nice and its convenience could not be beat. It was slightly on the pricey side at 150 dollars a night. However, when you subtract money that would have been spent on food, gas and parking, it is fairly comparable. We opted to purchase season passes because it would be the cheapest option. We were greeted with the most amazing first impression of the park when we drove down the causeway. The goal of this trip was to ride every single ride the park had to offer for an adult – in other words conquer the park. I decided that each roller coaster should be ridden at least twice – once in the front and once in the back. This was by far the absolute best vacation I have every taken!

My Scale: Since this is only my second trip report I am still updating my ranking system. I do not like to compare different types of rides to one another. Instead I take the ride for what it is worth. I may have given Iron Dragon a better mark out of 5 than Mantis but that does not mean that I liked it better. You see, Iron Dragon is supposed to be a more gentle swing through the forest – and this it does very well.

To the good stuff:

Demon Drop: 3/5 (walk-on, 2 rides)

I was really impressed with this ride. It offered the same (albeit shorter) feeling as the second-generation Intamin free fall towers and great positive g’s during the turn out. The ride was loud and somewhat jerky. However, I felt that this added to the intimidation factor of the ride. Does anyone know how Demon Drop’s capacity compares to that of a second-generation free fall’s?

Raptor: 4/5 (walk-on/5 min, 6 rides)

This was my third B&M invert and did not disappoint - this ride is truly great. Since my trip to IOA was in my pre-enthusiast days I did not have the foresight to ride DD in the front rows (I know, I know). The front row is definitely the money row on this extreme (ly smooth) beast. I loved to first drop/loop/barrel roll combo. There was (extremely) slight head banging in the cobra roll due to its quick change in direction (this in no way distracted from this amazing element).

Cedar Downs: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This is a neat take on the traditional carousel. The racing action really added a "giggle" factor to this ride. More parks should invest in this type of ride.

Power Tower: Space Shot – 4/5, Turbo Drop – 3/5 (5 min/10 min, 7 rides total)

I really enjoyed both sides of this tower. I give the edge to the Space Shot side because I found the Turbo Drop to be weak in comparison to the Intamin Drop towers.

Iron Dragon: 3/5 (walk-on/5 min, 2 rides)

This ride was actually pretty fun. I have heard a lot of negative comments about this ride, but it is not meant to be a high-octane thrill. I feel that is meant to be a nice gentle swing through the forest (and that is exactly what it delivers). It may not be an intense Top Gun/Vortex like suspended coaster, but it is (in my opinion) equally as enjoyable due to the fact that is much smoother than it’s more extreme counter parts.

Mantis: 2/5 (walk-on/10 min, 4 rides)

I was somewhat disappointed with this ride. I found it to be a rough and uncomfortable ride (in no matter what position I tried riding). I found that the Togo stand-up coasters provide a more interesting ride with a better (more open) restraint system.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride: 3/5 (walk-on, 3 rides)

This ride had some of the weirdest transitions – but that is where half of its charm comes from. I thought that this ride had the "giggle" factor that all family attractions should strive to achieve. I really like this ride for some odd reason!

Gemini: 4/5 (walk-on, 4 rides)

This is definitely the hidden gem of the park. I thought it was smooth, exciting and just plain fun. It has a great first drop, air filled bunny hills and a surprise 5th drop. The only part lacking in this ride was the weird helix finale (some odd transitions there). I think that every park should have some sort of racing coaster.

Magnum XL-200: 4/5 (walk-on/5 min, 6 rides)

I do not see how anyone could do anything except love this coaster. It was shockingly smooth and intense. It has a great pretzel turnaround, superb tunnels and great ejector air. I love Arrow’s speed hills. I even managed a breakless ride in 1.3 (the ejector seat!).

Witches Wheel: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

I have been on a Huss SkyLab, but never an Enterprise. I found the two experiences to be very similar. I liked the fact that the wheel does not start to slow down till the ride is nearly back in its horizontal position (unlike the Orbiter (SkyLab) at PCW). The orange strap is truly a stroke of genius – it greatly improves capacity.

Chaos: 2/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This is one weird machine. Maybe I am spoiled because I have a Mondail Top Scan at my home park, but this just didn’t do "it" for me. The restraints are quite unusual as well.

Troika: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This ride has the "giggle" factor that I was talking about. It is reminiscent of a Scrambler and a Spider (Monster at CP) at the same time. This ride seems like it would have a good solid capacity (if there were a line that is) and it is surprising more haven’t popped up.

Millenium Force: 5/5 (15 min/1 ½ hours, 10 rides)

Wow. My first ride I decided the extra wait for the front would be worth it – and I was dead on. I have no idea how people can complain about the lack of airtime. The three bunny hops and the entire first drop were laden with great airtime. I always wondered what an 80-degree drop would feel like because I think even 60-degree drops (a la Gemini) feel steep. Well, I found out what an 80-degree drop feels like – it feels like a 90-degree one!

Schwabinchen: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

I’m still not exactly how to pronounce the name of this unique flat. I was a little surprised about the sexiness of the ride in the generally family-oriented Cedar Point – but it is in good taste. I was expecting this ride to have a lot more "lurching" than it did. The strong forces really slid me the to outer part of the seat. Half the fun came from trying to combat this force.

Disaster Transport: 3/5 (5 min, 2 rides)

I can’t for the worth of me figure out how anyone could complain about this ride! Sure, the theme isn’t Cedar Points finest – but it’s not like there is much of it anyway. I, for one, think the ride is attractive from the midway. I think enclosing the ride was a great idea and I am sure it is much more thrilling in complete darkness than when it was open. It was a pleasant surprise.

Wicked Twister: 4/5 (walk-on/30 min, 6 rides)

Although I am going to avoid using a certain catchy phrase that has been circling, I too prefer to back seat. I managed to snag four amazing rides right after a short period of down time without waiting a single second. This was my first Impulse – and hopefully not my last. I hope that the problems surrounding this ride can be remedied and down time kept to a minimal. I was impressed that when the ride was down that you could see maintenance workers scaling the towers and the crew used that time to wash down the platform. I was shocked at the amount of sea gulls flying around the front spike. A simple plastic owl would easily prevent a Fabio from happening.

Mean Streak: 2/5 (walk-on, 3 rides)

When I first rode this I was expecting to get the thrashing of a lifetime. I did not find this ride to be rough. It was a little rickety (hello, wood) but no more so than any other wooden coaster I have ridden. I did find the ride to be long and boring. It just meandered and crawled through the entire coarse. It has potential, it just needs a little lovin’ and it could be great.

Thunder Canyons: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This is a pretty typical round raft ride. I liked the fact that the lift was the first thing (not the last), the worst part of the raft ride at PCW is waiting about 10 minutes for the lift to bring you into the station. I managed to get off this ride bone dry. I hate to compare rides, but this ride doesn’t even begin to compare with Bilge Rat Barges or Kali River Rapids.

White Water Landing: 3/5 (10 min, 1 ride)

This was a gentle canoe ride that finished with a nice last drop. It is quite a nice long ride and is very relaxing. Does the round loading platform increase the capacity that much? It just seems like it is a waste.

Snake River Falls: 4/5 (walk-on, 3 rides)

This is a very tall, steep and wet ride. I really like how, when traveling up the lift, you can see the other boat cresting and then dropping out of sight. The wave on the bridge is very forceful too. The only bad part of this ride is the long trek back to the station from the exit.

Blue Streak: 4/5 (5 min, 2 rides)

I really like this ride. It am truly an out and back fan. The ride seemed to maintain its speed very well. I love the fact that the lap bar has a handle so that the ride op can pull up on the lap bar (I’m used to a heavy push down). The only problem with the trains is those nasty headrests (talk about VOUT!). I was a little shocked when I realized that Cedar Point was only using one train operation on this ride (gasp!).

Calypso: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

Quite the good little ride. I like the shape of the tubs. The strong forces really jam you into the side of the tubs though – still great fun! With the blaring music on the other hand, I was impressed that the ride op was able to keep the cylinders of the nearest shotgun out of his mouth.

Matterhorn: 3/5 (walk-on, 2 rides)

In this day and age, I was thoroughly shocked when I realized that the lap bars don’t lock. I really liked it when the tubs swing out at the tops of the hills.

Wild Cat: 4/5 (2 min, 1 ride)

This ride does not sound as nearly as smooth as it is. Anton truly is a genius. I personally think that rides with a single car are lots of fun. The drops seem that much more thrilling. Great helix! Be prepared for the sudden stops though!

Giant Wheel: 3/5 (3 min, 1 ride)

Cedar Point chose the perfect location for this ride. It fills the (visual) void of Wicked Twister perfectly. It offers a great view of the park. The load/unloading was not a tediously slow as one would expect from a typical wheel.

Space Spiral: 2/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

Does the cabin of this ride really need to be enclosed? It makes for a pretty uncomfortably hot ride. The information in the spiel is very interesting. I was surprised at how tall it is, this certainly doesn’t look like the tallest ride at the Point.

Ocean Motion: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This is you typical Huss Pirate. The faux wood on the bottom of the boat is very impressive. For some reason this did not give me the weird feeling of a full bladder that other similar rides have. When sitting in the end seats it is fun to extend you legs a little to get great floating hang time (the ride ops had no problems with people doing this, unlike some other parks I have visited).

Scrambler: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

This is yet another attractive ride. Believe it or not, this is my first Scrambler. The restraints may look uncomfortable, but they are actually very nice. I like to near misses with the other cabins and with the inner structure.

Dodgem: 4/5 (3 min, 1 ride)

The best Bumper Cars style ride that I have ridden. The cars had plenty of power and the perfect number of cars on the floor. I vastly prefer the rectangular floor to the round "one direction" ones.

Super Himalaya: 2/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

For a ride that follows a double up/down pattern, this ride sure didn’t do much. I didn’t even know what the ride was called till I rode it because of the lack of presence of this ride on the park map. Still fun though.

Corkscrew: 2/5 (walk-on/5 min, 2 rides)

I was a little shocked at how painful this Arrow ride is in comparison to the Arrow/Huss ride that follows a similar layout at PCW. The first bunny hill offered sustained ejector air. I think it is neat getting a lot of airtime in OTSR because your knees really lift up high. The corkscrews offer a neat midway view.

Sky Ride: 3/5 (walk-on/5 min, 4 rides)

This ride offers an unparalleled unique view of the park (and most notably Raptor). My favourite part is when the car starts to roll down the ramp in the station and catches the cable in just the knick of time (I got that feeling for some reason).

Monster: 4/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

Although PCW has a seemingly identical ride, I much prefer Cedar Point’s version. This ride has a surprising amount of quick spinning. The ride op best put it "If you don’t like spinning – you’ve gotten on the wrong ride".

Paddle Wheel Excursion: 4/5 (10 min, 1 ride)

Every park should have at least one ride with corny jokes. I hope that the rumors of its demise for next season turn out to be false because this ride is a nice break from the rest of the park.

Antique Cars, Turn Pike Cars, and Cadillac Cars: 3/5 (5 min, 1 ride)

Out of the three car rides at Cedar Point, I liked the Turn Pike Cars the most, then the Cadillac Cars, then the Antique Cars. I found that the Cadillac Cars offered the greatest controllability. I may have felt stupid riding such a ride, but sacrifices must be made if one wants to conquer every ride in a park (I enjoyed myself more than I let on).

Wave Swinger: 3/5 (5 min, 1 ride)

I remember reading somewhere that the Wave Swinger is the most recognized amusement ride in the world. I had a little problem with the loading of this ride because it seems to lower closer to the ground than other Wave Swingers do. I felt like I had me knees up to my ears when I was sitting.

Swan Boats: 2/5 (3 min, 1 ride)

These were not the most maneuverable paddleboats I have ridden. It didn’t help that some other people decided that following the seemingly obvious path around the fountain and back was not for them. Trying to get around people is not exactly an easy task.

Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad: 3/5 (5min/10 min, 2 rides)

I found it a little weird (at first) that Cedar Point would have places where a railroad actually cross pathways, stopping all foot traffic. I was impressed that it was actually a real steam engine. The two trips offer very different views. As the train passes near Millenium Force it was weird to see almost an entire trainload of passengers lean over and look up, way up, all in unison. I also liked the scenes of all the skeletons – an unexpected surprise.

Kiddie Kingdom Carousel: 3/5 (walk-on, 1 ride)

Basically just your average Carousel. The particular rabbit that I was riding only had a footrest on one side, which made for a somewhat uncomfortable ride (I don’t hold that against the ride in anyway). The figures where very nice (not just your typical horses either).

Midway Carousel: 3/5 (3 min, 1 ride)

This is a very old Carousel that spewed nice music into the front entrance area. I was partially shocked and grossed out by the real hair for the tails of the beautifully carved horses. However, the hair is better than the gaping hole in the derriere that would be left if the hair was removed.

Overall Impressions:

Atmosphere: It’s not too hard to ooze a great atmosphere when you are as old as Cedar Point is. However, even in the newest sections of the park, the atmosphere is impeccable. Cedar Point is a very attractive park. I love the colours of Demon Drop, Raptor and Scrambler.

Cleanliness: This is a very clean park. How could it not be? There is no excuse to even think of dropping garbage because there is a trash can every two feet

Ride Collection: One of the finest. I can now see why Pointers are not the biggest flat ride fans however. There were not many modern flats (other than Chaos). I really like the classic flats though.

Accommodations: Unbeatable. As I said before, nothing can beat the practicality and connivance of the cottages at Lighthouse Point!

Staff: This really is where Cedar Point shines. With very few auto spiels they really let to staff go all out to make the waits go quickly. The ride ops were really good at matching up single riders and still running the rides at the highest capacity without acting like programmed robots.

Final Thought: This was (by far) the absolute best vacation I have ever had the pleasure of taking. I know that Cedar Point fans are the parks biggest critics, but come on people, look at how lucky you are. People complaining that Magnum is rough – you know what I would do to have Magnum at PCW! What is the point of being a coaster enthusiast if you knit pick every little coaster to death to the point were you don’t enjoy it anymore. Just try and realize how lucky you guys really are! That’s just my opinion.

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The Other Siebert

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Saturday, August 31, 2002 2:44 PM
Whoa, that sounds like a great trip! Great report. A long report but not boring!!!
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Saturday, August 31, 2002 2:57 PM
Good TR!

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone/B:TDK

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Saturday, August 31, 2002 4:16 PM
Great report!

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LocoBazooka--Sevendust, Nonpoint, Stereo Vent, Mushroomhead
Korn Tour (With no name)--Korn, Puddle of Mudd, Deadsy

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Saturday, August 31, 2002 4:28 PM
Great trip report! I'm glad you had fun!

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What would we all do if roller coasters became non-existent???

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Saturday, August 31, 2002 6:10 PM
Nice TR, man. Very comprehensive!

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- Peabody

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 11:54 AM

The ride ops were really good at matching up single riders and still running the rides at the highest capacity without acting like programmed robots.

I gotta disagree. For the most (notice I said most, not all) part, the ride ops *do* seem like robots to me. Don't get me wrong, they move the lines pretty quick and all, but sometimes they just aren't personable since they're trying to get you on so fast. I'm not sure that I care that much, but just wanted to point that out.

On the other hand, there are some excellent employees there who I have become friends with because they were outgoing and actually cared to talk. So, like I said, they're not all robot-like, but if I had to name a park that had ops like that, it'd be CP no questions asked.

Other than that, gotta agree with your TR about everything. I'm glad you liked MF that much!

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It tastes like burning.

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 12:06 PM

I really enjoy long trip reports like this. It gives me a lot of information about all of the parks. Don't think that all the hard work you put into this report will go to waste. Long TR's are the only good ones. I really don't like when people post a TR that says

"I went to SFNE, Superman was great, Cyclone was rough and Batman made me dizzy. The park was dirty." TR's like this aren't worth reading.

I like explanations and that TR was awsome!

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"Life is like a roller coaster; there are ups and downs and it's over all too fast."

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 12:21 PM
It's weird, one TR will say that Corkscrew is smooth, and the next will say that it's rough. Is this a hit or miss coaster?
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TOGO!
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Sunday, September 1, 2002 12:53 PM
I think it is basically how you define roughness in your own opinion. I personally do not think Corkscrew is all that rough. Sure, the Corkscrews can put you threw hell, but if you go with the turns, its not that bad.

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Cedar Point 2003, and it begins...

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 1:04 PM

Thank you all for your comments. It was a great trip (as if you haven't figured that out by now).

Legendary, maybe I was just looking to find the best in the employees, but I had a lot of them strike up conversation with me - more than any other park I have visited previously. I got a lot of questions about my "AmusementPark.com" shirt (the site may be crap but who can turn down a free T-shirt?)

As for Corkscrew, if you re-read what I said, I did not say it was rough. I said it was painful. Being just over six feet tall the restraints really pinched my shoulders hard.

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The Other Siebert

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 6:32 PM

I tend to agree with Drew regarding the operators. In some instances (kiddy rides, monotonous duty...) they can seem a bit unhappy, but the coaster ops seem to be having a pretty darn good time with the riders. I mean, compare Cedar Point, where an op gets a headset, to pretty much any Six Flags park. If you get a good op, they can make you laugh while you're waiting in the station.

And, possibly most importantly, they really do move you through. When I rode Raptor about a month ago, I remember counting no less than 6 employees on or around the station platform. They get you in, out, and back very quickly.

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"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
http://www.loopscrew.com

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Sunday, September 1, 2002 6:45 PM

An observation about CP capacity...the ride ops on the coasters are incredible. There is purpose in their movements. The coasters are staffed with enough ops to maximize capacity and eliminate stacking. The audio loop on Wicked Twister was interesting. It seemed the ops knew just where to be at each point in the recording and worked to keep up to dispatch the train on cue.

As an aside, was at SFGAm, crowded park on a holiday weekend and the extremely popular Viper had 2, that's right, 2, ops. How do you do that to your employees, not to mention your guests? But props to those Viper ops - the best I've ever seen at GAm.

As for capacity on the flats at CP, I again noticed that each ride had at *least* two ride ops, but of course capacity will be outstanding when you run the SHORTEST CYCLES I'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED AT ANY PARK, ANYWHERE!!!

Sorry, did I shout that? But come on, 30-45 second cycles?

*** This post was edited by IBsteve on 9/1/2002. ***

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