Halloweekends at CP, 10/12: A new perspective

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Sunday, October 13, 2002 6:09 PM

Even though I live in Columbus, this was the first trip to CP for me since May 2000, not including this year's media day. This trip was really different for me. Most times when I go to parks, it's with my wife, who knows a lot about coasters due to me forcing information on her constantly, or my brothers or other friends who are pretty much jaded with coasters and can ride without cracking a smile.

This time, I was supervising the high school youth group from my church. Some of these kids had never been to CP, and many of the ones who had been hadn't ridden Millennium Force.

The result was, I had more fun last night than I've had at a park since going to Holiday World last year. Everyone was so pumped for every ride, and I just joined right in. Who cares if Drop Zone is taller than Power Tower? None of these kids did; they just had fun on what they were riding and didn't complain about headbanging, roughness, whatever. It's an attitude more coaster enthusiasts should adopt.

Anyway, from the beginning. We left the church in Columbus at about 2 p.m., five adults and 10 teen-agers crammed in a 15-passenger van. The drive up was pretty funny, with the nonstop chatter. We stopped at a Shell station near the park to use the bathroom, and someone had left a "present" on the toilet seat... ha.

When we got there at about 4:30, the parking lot was completely packed. Most people were surprised, but I wasn't really, since I had read some trip reports from Saturdays last weekend and heard it was packed then too. The youth minister dropped us all off and I got to charge $360 worth of tickets on the church credit card.

So we go in the gate and head straight for Raptor, just like everyone does. I decided to just go with the flow this time and not try to influence people's decisions about where to sit and what to do, in the spirit of easy-goingness or whatever. So I didn't say anything about maybe riding something else first and just got in line.

The sign said 1.5 hours and that was pretty accurate. We passed the time by doing fun high school things like mullet-spotting and playing that game where you make a circle with your fingers and punch anyone who looks at it.

I never, ever, ever ride Raptor anywhere but the front seat, but once again due to keeping the group together and not wanting to hold anyone up, I got into the third row with two other sponsors.

Raptor performed perfectly as usual, even in a middle seat in the third row. Still my favorite steel coaster.

Next was MF, but we stopped to get pizza first. I was one of the first in line, so after I got my slice, I walked by myself to the arcade and saw that no one was playing DDR. I desperately wanted to play, but I saw that most people had their food, so I didn't get to. Oh well.

We got to MF and were told the wait was 1.5 hours. In the end it was more like 2 hours plus. It was pitch dark when we got on. The trains zooming by the queue really got people pumped, including me.

This is still an incredible ride. In the second car, I got great air on all three hills.

Our group was split up on this ride, and when we got off, there was so much fake fog in the air that it took us 10 minutes to find everyone. We started to make our way to Magnum via the Frontier Trail. I was really impressed with how scary it was in there. You couldn't walk 2 feet without being accosted by some ghoul, and it was really really dark, with only freaky pink and purple lights. Our girls were screaming their heads off.

We finally found Magnum and the wait was an hour. Since we had planned to leave at 10 p.m., we went on to Power Tower, which most people wanted to ride more.

At this point the new coaster construction started coming into view. The unfinished tower, I'd say, is nearly 200 feet tall already. It really does look much bigger in person. Even if it's just a top hat and brakes, it'll be awesome.

I answered a ton of questions from the kids at this point about what it was, and they started to realize I was some sort of coaster expert :) so they started asking other questions, like how does Power Tower work and how tall is MF, etc. I answered them all to the best of my ability and felt pretty smart. :)

BTW, throughout the night I casually asked a few employees if they knew what the new coaster was. Most just said no, but one woman said she heard it was supposed to go 133 mph. I took it with a grain of salt, but who knows.

So 12 of us got in line for the "down" side of PT, while three kids opted for the "up" side, where the line was like half the length. Everyone was super-pumped for this, and I yelled till my throat was sore along with the rest of the group... great fun. In the end it was about a 45-minute wait, but worth it... best PT ride I've ever had.

After that ride, about half the group went off to find a haunted house, while me and the rest of the kids went to ride Wicked Twister. I had kept my mouth shut up until this point but some kids said they wanted to wait for the front seat. I convinced them that the back was way better. :)

This line was long too... 45 minutes plus. Some kids took seats near the back, but me, one girl and two other youth sponsors waited for the very back seat.

Is it just me or did the first climb up the back tower used to go as high as the second one? The second climb was awesome, but the first climb we hardly got half a twist. Anyway it was still lots of fun, and everyone who had ridden before in the front agreed it was better in the back.

Now it was 11 p.m. and we were late. We met at the gate with the haunted house people, who as it turns out never found one to go to, so they just sat around and talked. I really wanted to see if I could get in a game of DDR before we left, especially since we had talked about it on the way up and some of the sponsors wanted to see me play, but it wasn't to be. We left at around 11:15, and the park was still packed and buzzing.

Everyone slept on the way home except me, the driver and the youth minister. We did Seinfeld trivia and quoted "Best in Show" all the way back. Returned about 1:30 a.m. very sleepy.

Conclusion: Halloweekends is a great time, despite the insane crowds. Get there if you can. Thanks for reading.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Sunday, October 13, 2002 7:00 PM

Great TR. Nice to see people like yourself taking the time to spend with kids and help keep them out of trouble. Too bad you were not able to arrive at noon to enjoy more rides. Maybe next year.

Millennium truely is a great ride at night as is Raptor and Magnum. I hope that your Church group and make this a yearly trip.

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The worst day at Cedar Point is better than the best day at work.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 8:07 AM

Nice. I enjoyed reading it. Call me crazy, but im a High Schooler and ive never heard of that circle game...sounds...interesting...:\

133mph? I find that hard to believe, but I guess anything is possible. I just hope we dont get our hopes up so much only to be let down with the stats being not as high or fast as we thought.

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Kennywood Park, America's finest traditional amusement park.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 9:51 AM
I'm also a high schooler and never heard of it either.
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Monday, October 14, 2002 10:31 AM

Well - I first heard of the game in eighth grade, that would be 1989. It was me and the 29-year-old youth minister who started playing it, but most of the high schoolers knew what we were doing, so I just assumed kids still play that game. Guess not.

You two should start it at your school. Just make the "A-OK" shape with your fingers, and if someone looks at it, punch them twice in the shoulder. We always played where if you didn't look at it, but you could stick your finger through the circle, you got to hit *them* twice. And about a hundred other stupid rules. ;)

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 12:17 PM
Maybe its just me, but it sounds like a game that just gets kids mad at each other...or something...:\

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Kennywood Park, America's finest traditional amusement park.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 12:21 PM

My 13 and 15 year old cousins still play that game. It's also shown up on Malcom in the Middle in the last couple of years. It's alive and well.

Yes, stljason1, I think that is the entire point, and it's *great* fun.

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"Tell everybody waitin' for a Superman that they should try to hold on best they can." - The Flaming Lips "Waitin' for a Superman"

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 3:45 AM

Den said:

We always played where if you didn't look at it, but you could stick your finger through the circle, you got to hit *them* twice. And about a hundred other stupid rules.



Yup, yup, yup. There's also a variation where you lightly trace an "X" on a part of someone's body, usually on their back, and if they don't wipe it off in time, usually three seconds, they get punched as well. I know this spread quite a bit in Kentucky but I'm not sure if its gotten as far as the circle game.

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 6:05 AM
Oh man that circle game is awesome.

We always played that in line at CP too, it passes time nicely. (my little sister ended up with some nice bruises from my cousins though)

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 6:12 AM

Ravenguy - we did the X thing too. Only if you made a mark that wasn't a full X, but they wiped it off, you still got to hit them.

Also, you could draw a circle on someone with your finger - as many circles as you could draw before they said "stop," that's how many hits you got. We also had about a dozen finger shapes that meant different numbers of hits.

And of course the classic "Two for Flinching." ;)

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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