Two years ago, I went to Geauga Lake (then in the "SFWoA" chapter of its life) and rode the classic Big Dipper- a John Miller out-and-back that I had high expectations of. A lot of roughness kept me from enjoying the ride, the only thing making it look better in my eyes being the awful wooden creation known to most as Raging Wolf Bobs. But my Ohio friends insisted that the Big Dipper was in fine form this year and that I needed to get out there and ride it. Which I did.
And they were right!
I'm talking airtime on every hill, ranging from extended floaters to extreme ejector moments. Smooth track from the curve out of the station to the unload area. And a pair of fine vintage trains that feature standard lap bars, no seat dividers and lots of padding (almost TOO much padding- but that's a minor complaint). Simply put, it is pure heaven for those that love classic coasters. Considering that I went to Indiana for the first time this year, me claiming that the Big Dipper was one of the surprises of my 2004 season is saying an awful lot.
So here's your chance... bring on the praise! I know a few of you have some nice things to say about this one.
Big Dipper is one of the craziest wooden coasters I've ever ridden. It ranks up there with Lightning Racer, Wildcat and Roar in my book (I'm a GCI fanatic). The airtime from the back seat or front seat is Jackrabbit-esque on the return trip, and the entire ride is just a pure giggler. I can't put praise into many words, but, 9/10!
It's a real shame it doesn't work more consistantly. I can't see how much there is to break on it though!
I rode this bad boy in 2001 and it blew me away. The second best coaster in Ohio in my opinion! I don't think my ass touched the seats on any of the hills. To think that this thing's top speed is 35 mph....it feels a lot faster.
The ride is a pure giggler. It doesn't let up- it keeps on popping you out of your seat right up to that last speed hill which delivers some really insane air. I can only imagine what the double-dip was like!
Gonch- You sound just like I did when I rode the thing back in '02. It definitely ranked near the bottom of my list because it was pretty uneventful and bumpy for a standard out-and-back. Do yourself a favor and make sure you get to GL next year because if the coaster runs like it did this year, you are in for a treat. Out of my 56 ridden wood coasters (all of which have different rankings except for my two #1s- Phoenix and Boulder Dash), it ranks somewhere near #10.
*** Edited 11/1/2004 9:11:02 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***
I'm not sure of how extensive the retracking was but whatever they did, it worked! Let's just hope that those classic trains are kept and not replaced with PTCs with racheting lap bars, headrests and seat dividers!
Its so great in the front car, while I think the others offer some back breaking valleys on the first two drops. I hope they retrack that first section as they did the turn cause once you hit that retracked section its pure bliss.
The cars are hard for me to get in though, my knees press in the padding. If it wasnt cedar fair I would wish for some new trains, but I know we would get the Blue Streak treatment.
All I can say about it in 2001 is, "Yep that ride sure was crap!"
BUT with the retracking job they did this past off season...This ride is TOTALLY different. I'm talking Ford Tempo vs. Dodge Viper!
The way they figured out how to pick up the speed on the return is night and day compared to last year. Before that turnaround KILLED the speed and momentum BIG TIME. This year, it picks up speed and LAUNCHES you over every hill on the return run! Before, I could ride the front seat and have a little fun. Now, I ride it felling like I'm gonna get launched into the Wave Pool right next to it without kidding!
I DEFINTELY see CF/GL adding new lapbars on this ride with the force of air it now has. Before it wasn't an issue, but with the amount of air this thing now produces, it's lapbars MUST be freakn' out the big wigs at CF.
Even that last little hill that didn't give any hit of air last year, now launches me up into the lap bar. That thing has so much speed now going into the turn before the station, it's a shame!
I thought they did a great jobe with Blue Streak when it got retracked, but that ride now has nothing with Big Dipper's retracking.
The first car, front seat by yourself is the place to be!
Years in past many people can barely survive the middle and back of the train due to the roughness of the ride. Now, I actually got to ride the back this year, and enjoyed it. It gave probably worst beatings than SOB in years past, but that sure fixed whatever was wrong with it. It's now my second favorite wooden coaster in Ohio, right below the Screechn' Eagle!
I've always liked the coaster. But it has gotten a lot better over the last couple of seasons. I don't remember the ride running as good as it did this year....ever. Without a doubt(IMHO), it's the best woodie in the state. Now if we can get that other Miller coaster running near Hamilton, we'd be in business.
Wood Coaster Fan Club - "Sharing a Passion for the Classics"
I've didn't expect them to put padding in, I've ridden the Big Dipper Before, It was kinda shaky, and whippy. This year I rode it, wow, lots of air time, awesome seemed like it was renovated a bit, operater control changes, and the padded seats, I love the Big Dipper! i give it an 9 out of 10! :)