August 18, 2004
I was So so so tired when I got back from the point late Tuesday nite/early Wed morning. Infact, about 20 minuets from GL's Campground, I had to pull off of I80 and take a 15 minuet power nap.
But even though I got in late, the park wasn't opening until 11:00 am, and I was counting on it not being very crowded, just as I've heard from recent reports. I slept well in the tent, even thru the torrential (sp?) downpours occuring in the pre-dawn hours of the morning.
But around 11:00 am, I woke up, quickly packed up camp, and headed over to the showers. I probably took at the very least a 15 min. shower in the warm water. After getting dressed and brushing my teeth, I headed over to the office to get my free Geauga Lake parking pass.
I hadn't driven past the park yet on the trip, so I still hadn't seen any coasters or rides. But getting over to the park I could see just about everything the park had. The skyline was very nice, and I was excited to see Steel Venom, X-Flight and Villian.
I pulled into the fairly empty lot and got my things ready. As quickly as I could, I walked up to the gates to get my ticket, but forgot the $8.00 off coupon I had in the car, so I ran back for that.
Once in the park, though, I just had to look around. I liked what I saw! Geauga Lake is a very beautiful park, even if it does need some paint added to the coasters, but hey, I understand that this will come eventually under its new ownership.
I felt very comfortable at the Lake. Infact, it felt very much like a Paramount-esq park. Everything was very clean (I even saw employees scrubbing the brick walk ways during the day). And as I figured, the crowds were very very light. Good for me, but I hope that in the next year or so the park's attendance has a huge increase. It is a very deserving park, once Cedar Fair completes the change over.
Upon getting in the park, I decided that my first new experience would be a first ride on a floorless, so I headed over to Batma....err...Dominator over in "Power City". It looks like alot of fun, and this would be my first every B&M sitdown/floorless coaster. I'm glad I've heard mostly good things about it, and so I was excited.
Dominator: Dominator had an empty station for the most part. There was about a 1 train wait for the front, and the ops (which were very good, btw) had 2 trains running. I like the approach to the lift hill, which seems to be huge going up. The drop was amazing, and the loop was intense. It was a different kind of feeling sitting with nothing but the track in front of you!
The twists and turns are taken at great speed, and the inversions were alot of fun on this coaster. The mid-course breaks barely caught the train, and going over the hill and into the corkscrews, we were traveling fairly fast. This was the first time I'd ever been thru interlocking corks on a coaster, which was neat visually. Dominator is defintly one of my new favorite coasters (found alot on this coaster trip...), and I knew getting off that I would be back for seconds.
So after a nice experience on an inverting coaster, I decided that I'd go and do the other thing I was looking most forward to in the park, Steel Venom, but on the way over, I noticed Head Spin with no line. I had never been on a regular Boomerang before, so I was kinda looking forward to this.
Head Spin: (Tekno's First Boomerang) This was not as bad as I was expecting. I love invertigos, and this was almost the same experience, just on top of the track. It wasn't rough, and I'd do it again if I get the chance. The first drop really got my butterflys going, and the backwards drop was fun as well. The inversions were intense, but fun. No headbanging for me, so this was another credit down!
Since I was right beside Steel Venom, that was my next choice to ride. The que for Steel Venom was empty, and very confusing at first since there wasn't an op at the enterance like there were on every other coaster, but on my later visits there was a guy sitting there.
Steel Venom: There really wasn't anybody in the que here either, yay for me! The ops were very fast and polite, and I only had to wait for one cycle for the front. Having ridden Wicked Twister the day before, I was anxious to compare that to my second impulse.
I got in and strapped in. This was one of the only coasters at Geagua Lake that gave me that feeling of excitement/anxiety/dread that quite a few of Cedar Points coasters did. Then it was launch time. Going up the front spike in the front was cool, the launch was powerful, but not anything compared to my new favorite launch on Dragster. Still I was having fun. Going back thru the station and getting a backwards launch was different.
We went up the back spike, got that wonderful kickback feeling, and back thru the station, another launch, and much farther up the front twist. That was fun. I had been watching it launch since I got in the park, and was looking forward to the break on the back spike. I was a bit anxious for it, thought it didn't seem to stop for long, it was still long enough. Going up the back spike and catching, it didn't seem to catch hardly at all, and I was thinking as we were going down face first that it felt kind of weird.
I don't know if I was right about it barely catching, but going back thru the station, the coaster started to break. Just as I was about 10 feet from going back up the twisted spike one last time, the train stopped completely! I've never actually been on a coaster when its done something like that before. The ride ops hollard and asked if everone was okay and we all said yes. We may have sat there for about 2-3 min. in all. They told us we would be rolled back into the station shortly.
When we got back to the station, the area supervisor (?) told me I could get back in line and ride again if I wanted to, everything was all right. I declined for now, but I figured I'd be back a bit later.
So after that I headed over to X-Flight. This was my third and final Vekoma Flyer. I rode Batwing in its opening year and liked it. I rode Borg earlier this year and liked it, but the theming was spectacular. Now it was time for the last one in a series, and the one I never thought I'd get to ride.
X-Flight: Only one train, but still very little waiting. I didn't get a front seat ride on Batwing, but got both front and back on Borg. I decided that I'd do a front seat on this one as well. I still don't see a problem with the restrains, my only complain is slight roughness and my head being below my feet. But the dispatches were fast and so was the lift hill.
Whats to say I haven't said before? Yes, its fun. The loop is intense (though nauseating...), and its a decent coaster. I liked the location of X-Flight better than Batwing because it dosen't look like it was just dropped in a field in the back of the park. X-Flight is a little rough, and I knew it wasn't a re-ride, but I was glad to get the last Vekoma Flyer under my belt.
So next I headed over to Big Dipper. I was looking forward to this classic coaster, and I wasn't disapointed, per se.
Big Dipper:The trains were comfy with all that padding. I would have enjoyed it more had I not just gotten off of X-Flight, I was feeling a bit uneasy, but still there was quite a bit of airtime, and it was better than Mean Streak. Fun in the front seat, but it was a tad bit rough. Not that I care alot, I like classic rough wood.
After my first wood of the park, I was in the mood for some food. I went over to a stand and noticed they had something I've been wanting to try since I heard about it: Cheese on a Stick. Yum! I got my cheese on a stick and some water, and sat down over by El Diablo. I probably should have taken a spin on that when I was finished as its actually a flat I like, but I didn't. I then flirted with the idea of the monorail as I've not been on one for a long long time, but headed over towards Villian instead.
Villian: My third CCI coaster, and so far my favorite. Again, not much of a wait, but this was the longest wait all day since the line was right at the top of the stairs going into the station house. This could have used a second train like Dominator, but oh well. Still, it was only about 15 minuets wait for the front, if even that.
Wow! Villian is defiintly a top 10 woodie for me, and my biggest suprise of the park! I loved the drop, the speed, the airtime. This is what a great woodie should feel like;). I was coming out of my seat, and I was stapled in! The train was fairly comfortable, I think they were the same as Twisted Twins rolling stock. I liked everything about the ride, and can't tell you much about the layout as I was having too much fun riding to take notice.
So after that blissful experience, I headed over to Beaver Land Mine Ride (ya'll know I had to ride the Beaver;)).
Beaver Land Mine Ride: I had never done this type of kiddie coaster before. It was actually rather fast, and you get 2 trips on the circuit before the train stops. The train is really long, that was the first thing I noticed. It was nice speeding thru the course, and it had a rather twisted layout. The best part about it, though, is that its my namesake, so its gotta be a great coaster;).
I was now at the part of my trip where I only had 3 coasters left, and three that I wasn't looking forward to very much. I was apprehensive about Thunderhawk. Don't get me wrong, I like SLCs, but I had already felt my stomach get a little sour on X-Flight, and didn't want to feel sick the rest of the day. Double Loop dosen't look all that thrilling either, and it has inversions and possible headbanging. Then there was Raging Wolf Bobs, which I haven't heard anything good about. I actually thought I'd better get it out of the way first, so I went back to Raging Wolf Bobs.
Raging Wolf Bobs: What has a great layout and could be a really fun coaster, but has a terrible first half? You guessed it, Raging Wolf Bobs. I rode the front, it had one train with 4 ride ops in the station. The layout is fun, the trains and nice, but they need to finish re-tracking this thing before I'll ride again. I felt like I was in a blender the whole first half of the ride. It jarred me way too much, and I was not enjoying it at all.
But then we got to the second half, which shows me that it could be a great old woodie. Hopefully Cedar Fair will get this classic re-tracked within a short amount of time. Otherwise, you won't see me on it till they do. It really is as bad as people say, a very skippable ride, but another credit in any case.
After that I needed water. I got some and walked around a bit. I flirted with the idea of going across the lake and walking around, but decided against it for now. I could spend alot of time at Geauga Lake, and unlike Kentucky Kingdom earlier in the month, I liked the park alot. I do hope they get their attendance up soon, though. It is very charming there.
Anyhow, next up was Thunderhawk. First, I must say that with the paint job, it looks good, but I feel that eventually some color changes will come with new ownership. I also liked the area under the ride. It could use some weed wacking, but it was still very nice right by the lake, with the queue underneath the coaster.
Thunderhawk: My third SLC, second for the month, and possibly my favorite overall. It wasn't very rough at all, and I do love the layout. I was again in the front, with very little wait. It was a 1 train op, but the ride ops were kind of slow on Thunderhawk.
I still would rather have different wheel assemblies, and this one has 10 rows instead of T2's 7 and SFA Mind Eraser's 8, so that was new.
Nine credits down, one more to go. I like Arrow coasters, but I'm liking inversions less and less, so I wasn't looking forward to Double Loop. Plus it has the stigma associated with the recent restrain "incident". Double Loop as well as Dominator were sending out trains all day that had only 1 rider in the front. I wanted a ride by myself, and almost got it, but oh well...
Double Loop: This was definitely one of the smoother Arrows I've done, till you hit the helix. This was my second Arrow in 2 days to have a drop without a turnaround at the top as well. The loops were smooth and intense, the coaster was faster than I expected, and everything but the helix was very nice. Another one down, and I'd actually ride this again next time.
Okay, so with all 10 coasters now in my track record, it was time for re-rides. I decided I'd do a spin on Dominator from the back, so I went there next.
Dominator, again: I could almost power ride this ride. The floorless aspect doesn't come into play much from the back, but it was still fun. A little faster and more intense in the back. I could have done this again when I got off as no one got in line for my seat, but it was almost time to go and I had 2 other re-rides I wanted. I do like how the floor comes up for the floorless coasters. I had heard about this many times before, and am glad I now know what it looks like in person.
I ran back over to Villain for a quick back seat ride. I got in line at Mr. Hero's subs for water, but they wouldn't give me any, so I went to another stand. I should have bought a key chain or something, but didn't. I got in line for Villain, which, btw, has some cool theming for the line.
Villain, from the back: The back definitely has more air and speed, but I didn't enjoy this ride so much. Mostly that was due to the fact that I almost lost my case for my glasses out of my pocket since the ride was so intense.
Had I not grabbed them when I did, I'd have lost my regular Rx glasses (had my Rx prescriptions on), and tha'ts $400 down the drain that I can't aford right now. Still one of my favorite new coasters, but next time I'll either stay in the front, or leave my stuff in my pocket in a locker.
I wanted more cheese on a stick, but passed by and went back over to Superman...err...Steel Venom for a back seat non-breaking down ride.
Steel Venom again, and again: I got on the back this time for a full ride. The first launch isn't that powerful, but the subsequent ones are. I cold tell a big difference this time on the break on the back spike. We did come to a stop this time, and no breaking on the return trip, so we went up the front spike one last time. I think I actually like the back better, farther to fall on the back spike!.
I got off, but the queue was still empty. I asked a ride op if I could get on in the middle, and she said they aren't supposed to let me, but that no one saw so I could and she wouldn't say anything since the train was near empty. The middle wasn't much different. Another coaster I could power ride all day were I to take the chance.
Well, it was time to leave, I had a 6 hour trip home and had gotten enought rides for the day. Geagua Lake was a great trip I'm glad I made. I hope that the park's attendance picks up substantially, and that Cedar Fair gets the kinks worked out.
I was suprised at some of the theming, esp. the kids section, the top spin, and other things. Some of the best theming I've ever seen in any park (granted I've yet to hit a Universal or Disney). Loads of fun, and a strong coaster lineup.
Six Flags missed the boat on this one. Extreme Potential for a great park, with great rides and good theming. Glad its in better hands now. Next time, though I will spend more time there and go over to the other side of the park. Overall, though, a great experience!
Edit: Formatting. *** Edited 8/21/2004 11:25:13 PM UTC by TeknoScorpion***
I noticed XF gets smoother and smoother throughout the day. It can be pretty rough in the mornings... Usually though in the afternoon it gets really really smooth and picks up its pace alot, at least I believe so!
Overall, though, it wasn't a bad coaster at a really great park:).
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