After getting my season pass processed, we drove around perimeter road for a little bit, and I snapped a bunch of pictures.
Afterwards, we went out to dinner, then went back to the Radisson.
I slept through the Sunday morning wake-up call at 6:00 but my friend got it and woke me up. We immediately got dressed and were out by 6:35.
When we got to the Magnum entrance at 6:45, it was no surprise to already see people there. However, it was only about 6 or 7 people, so it wasn't too bad. Shortly after, Spid3erman04 from GTTP came over with a few of his friends and stood behind us. Soon after that, so many people came, and I was pretty glad that we were there when we were.
At 8:55 they let us go down to the end of the tunnel under perimeter road. Since my friend was just a resort guest and I was a Joe Cool member, he was waiting in a different line than me, him being the only one in line. So he got up to the very front of the tunnel and I managed to squeeze in beside him.
Since the national anthem wasn't playing, we tried singing it but the guard still wouldn't let us through. At around 9:05 I heard the guard getting a call over his radio saying we could go through. And we sure did.
I dashed over to Top Thrill Dragster and that's when I realized it: I'm a slow runner. I was the first person at the end of the tunnel yet was around the 10th into the queue. I would've taken a peak at the area and the entrance, but I was a mission: first public ride on Top Thrill Dragster.
The queue was about half-filled with the VIP Drivers. Upsetting as this was, I still waited, and took pictures. Seeing the ride in motion from "inside" the ride is nothing like seeing a picture or any video. Being able to hear the dragster noises and the safety instructions and then silence for about a nano-second and then wham! Dragster noises start up again and the thing shoots across the queue! You can start to see around where the camera is because there's a big wall right there. Then of course, it ascends, crawls over the top, and returns to your other side. No wall here, you can see their expressions. Boy did they look happy.
After an hour and a half we finally make it into the station, along with some other riders. We chose front row of the blue train because I knew we weren't going to be able to ride it again that day; we could see the overflow queue from inside the station.
So we sit down, buckle up, and I pulled the lapbar to "my liking". Then the ride op comes over and fastens it "not" to my liking. After a couple of seconds, I had forgotten about it because the train in front of us (that's right, we were on the second public ride) had rolled out. We immediately followed. At this point my adrenaline was pumping though I returned the "thumbs up" to the ride op, as I always do, but then I turned to fear.
As the train in front of us launched out, my face turned blank, and stunned. The shear terror going through my body right at that moment was more than there ever was in my entire life. Watching it from the grandstands, or the midway, or heck, even the webcams is one thing, but watching it from behind is another. Watching it go and getting smaller and smaller quicker and quicker and then turn up to the sky is awesome, yet terrifying, especially knowing you're up next.
And indeed we were.
Sitting there, sweating, watching the people on the midway staring at us in awe and disbelief, and them taking pictures of our terror...just unbelievable.
Then we kicked back a little, just two or three feet, then we stopped. My neck was shaking. My arms were shaking. At this point I didn't even realize how cold it was, and not wearing my sweatshirt didn't add anything now.
That, was definately the longest minute of my life.
And then it was out turn. Instantly we were going fast. Not knowing what else to think, I just automatically assumed this was the top speed.
But wait! A second later we were going twice as fast. At this point I was convinced that this was the top speed.
But wait! How could this thing go any faster? We were probably going around 90 at this time but I felt that there was no way we could possibly go any faster.
And wait again! We're still accelerating! Nothing to do, nothing to say, nothing to think (no time to think!), we had reached speeds that at one time were unknown to mankind.
And finally we turn up straight to the sky. I must say, viewing the tower from the tower is in NO WAY alike than seeing in a picture, video, or webcam. This is where all that height you've been hearing about happens. When we twisted we no longer could see the tower, and I looked, and we were level with Millennium Force.
Then comes the top hat. Wow, cresting over, looking DOWN on what used to be the glory of Cedar Point. Viewing the entire layout of the blue infant (and yes, I mean infant). But not for long.
Near-missing the tower is awesome, but not as intense as the launch. But still, coming in close, once again, no picture, video, or webcam is anything like it.
Pulling out. Once again, a smooth transition. Knowing where the cameras were but not acting on it made a very natural look.
Slowing down. Rocketing past the queue, seeing anxious riders preparing to board, then coming into a slow and smooth halt. No awe. No silence. Me screaming. Screams of joy. Using the word "God" a lot, probably because I might have seen him.
What a ride.
I got off and immediately and bought my picture. I'm the one that's circled. ;)
Alright, now that the dramatic part is over, the rest of this report will be straight to the point.
After I bought the picture, I bought a "Things to do today" checklist T-shirt and a souvenir map. Then I went back to my locker, put the picture in, took out my camera and took some pictures. The sign in front of the queue said the line was 4 hours, but apparently that's as high as the sign goes. I heard that the line got up to 6 hours. I'm just glad I only had to wait an hour and a half!
Then I headed over to Millennium Force. Let me tell you people, it WAS NOT a walk-on, like several had predicted. We got in line at 11:30, and didn't get on until one, but we waited for the back. Yup, she's just way I left'er. However, she seemed to be running a little slower than usual, but it started warming a little, and it was getting a little faster. Then again, it was the back row.
Next we turned and hit Wildcat. I'm starting to get used to the paint-job, because I didn't really like it on closing day.
(By the way, Mantis is really looking great, but it doesn't look like they've finished)
Next we stood around for a couple of mintues and watched the Ohio State marching, then we took the train around to Frontiertown.
We were going to hit Gemini, but only the red train was running and it was about to go down, so we hit Magnum instead. The line was running pretty smooth, and we only had to wait around 15 minutes. The back row was only running one train for some reason, so we didn't wait for that. Still a great ride.
Then I rode Corkscrew in the back. Total walk-on. It was actually running pretty smooth today. Watching Dragster launching off from on the turnaround to the Corkscrew lift-hill is AMAZING. It just zips across the midway.
I went and sat in the grandstands for a little bit after that, then I went and rode the Giant Wheel to relax a little. I got some great shots of Wicked Twister.
Next I got in line for Raptor at 2:40, and got on at 3:00. The line wasn't that much shorter, yet shorter none-the-less. I waited for the front and it was worth it.
Then I ran over and rode Wicked Twister in the back row. We had to wait about 40 minutes for it. To be honest, I like the middle the best.
Then I went back over to Dragster. There wasn't an overflow queue, but the sign still said 4 hours. I just took some pictures of and around it.
At 5:00 I went home happy.
I brought three rolls of film with me, and you can see the pictures here.
Top Thrill Dragster: If you don't put your head back, it'll do it for you! And um, oh yeah, visit my website. I'll have some Dragster pictures tommorrow. Oh yeah, and register for the forum.
*** This post was edited by Top Thrill Dragster 5/7/2003 6:06:24 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Top Thrill Dragster 6/4/2003 4:26:30 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Top Thrill Dragster 6/4/2003 4:28:01 PM ***
Nice picture lol! Can you have your arms up during the launch?
Oh yeah, and yes, you need to get back to the point. :)
I have seen God, and he lives 420 feet above Sandusky, OH
Lets go Drag racing.
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