Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Another year, another Memorial Day trip to Cedar Point. I’m not quite sure how this became an annual thing (And I doubt I’ll go again next year), but here it is.
My friend Isaac and I left on Friday and headed up to the area. He hadn’t been in many years, but used to work at CP, and was really excited to get back. We got to Huron and checked into our room around 7:30/8:00 PM and then headed over to the park, parking in the Gemini Parking lot. Our first stop was Magnum. I love me some Magnum. Last year, at the end of the nite, we got some dark Magnum rides with the trims off. I’d never experienced that before. But…our first ride of the trip was a fairly dark, Trimless Magnum ride in seat 1-3. The ride is brutal, but so much fun, and so much airtime. I don’t expect trimless rides, but I’m glad when I get them.
We met up with Josh (Raven Phile) Wozny at the exit and made our way over towards Valravn. After a really great ride on Blue Streak (Near the back, and even though Josh said the back was running rough, we had a great, smooth ride), we met up with the girls and got in line for Valravn.
Valravn-This ended up being our only ride on the coaster, and it was only a 30 minute wait. Before talking about the ride, I was somewhat vocal on how ‘meh’ I felt about the addition. Honestly, I was more excited about the fact that the park was revamping the entrance and area around the ride. I rode Griffon a few weeks prior (as I have ridden many times before). So how bout Valravn? It’s fun. We sat in the second row, and I can say that it is probably the most forceful of the 3 US dive coasters. The Zero G roll was really amazing, and you get great views of the park from the top. Best layout for a dive coaster I’ve ridden, and it will obviously be a great addition to the park. But for me, I’m still meh about the coaster, but excited about how it opened up the area around it. I think it surprisingly looks really great where it is, I like the LEDs on the lift, and it’s a fun, popular ride. The rock work around it and the station look really nice too, by the by.
The next morning we got up and got to the park as they were letting in Season Pass holders. After the morning National Anthem, we headed in and headed first to Gatekeeper. I’m not sure why people don’t care for it. I think it’s a fun coaster. We got a single train wait for the front on the right side, which was really great, and Isaac really liked it. So then we went and rode towards the middle of the left side. We actually stopped about half way up the lift on our first ride. There were some early blocking issues.
Next up we walked back to see what else was open and hit up Millennium Force, which was Isaac’s 3rd giga coaster in about a month. We got the second row with minimal wait, and the ride was running slightly rougher than I’d seen in the past, but still very fun.
Cedar Point was really fairly dead. We wanted to ride Gemini but it wasn’t open yet. And actually, most of the rides in the park were up and down all day. I will say, I love the new app with waiting times. Very useful. So we ended up hitting up Maverick instead. I always like Maverick, and Isaac liked it as well. The ride is almost perfect.
Up next we hit up Mean Streak, then Sky Hawk, which I had not ridden in a few years due to it being down every time I was there. Then we headed to a Dragster queue that was just inside the station. I’d never seen this outside of ERT before, but TTD never had more than about a 30 minute wait all day, and so we got on and rode. Then we hit up the shot side of Power tower. So we Headed over to Rougaru. It is actually one of the better Floorless coasters, which is funny since it was such a terrible stand up. Isaac was excited about this one because he hadn’t like Mantis very much.
We decided to head out of the park and walk over to Breakers to search for lunch, which we readily found at TGI Fridays. My burger and drink were good and it was nice to just hang out for a bit outside the park. I really do need to head up for a weekend at the Breakers in the next couple of years, what they’ve done with it is just amazing.
We walked along the beach and went over to the water for a bit before heading in to ride Windseeker. Next up was Wicked Twister, which, while I was able to ride this time last year, I was denied on this year. Hey, that’s what happens when you sit around post surgery and eat, but I ain’t sorry (Right Bey?). Then we headed to MaxAir which, up until this trip, had been my favorite swinging pendulum ride. But we’ll revisit that a little later. It is still amazing, and placed wonderfully in the park. We headed back out of the park for a while again for some downtime (Viva Brazil!) which was a nice chance to chill, and before long, a storm came in on the lake. After the storm passed (and it got way humid), we headed back into the park for more riding.
We got in line for Raptor, but then the rain came back. We headed to my car and drove back around to Breakers again where we went and had some drinks until the downpour finally stopped and we went back into the park. We found out that the Brews & BBQ event was cancelled, which was a bummer because that was going to be our dinner. Oh well. We did eventually get to ride Raptor, and had dinner at Famous Daves before going back in and hitting up Gemini, Iron Dragon, and then TTD again.
It was getting late, so we were trying to decide on a last ride. But every time we chose something, it seemed to close. Valravn had another short wait, but the ride went down just as we got in line. We opted for a night ride on Millennium Force instead.
Once the park was closed we headed back out and left Sandusky for Isaac’s parent’s house for the night.
Amber finally got her Val-ride, and she loved it. I wish you'd have been able to ride more than once. It's actually even more fun after a couple of rides, and the front is totally amazing in terms of view.
Try as I might I can't snag a front row ride on Valravn. I've been in the back row each time and yes, the view was great. The first drop from the back had some good pull after it cut loose. But the rest of it, while fun enough, didn't knock my socks off.
I've ridden the two other dive coasters in the US and I remember them being more thrilling than this.
I've said this before somewhere, but I think in Cedar Point's never ending quest to have the biggest, tallest, fastest whatever they sometimes do themselves no favor. Lately it's evidenced in rides like Gatekeeper and Valravn that are so wide, so giant, and the inversions are so huge that transitions don't come as quickly and are not quite as snappy as I'd like them to be. Just my two cents. It also occurs to me that any time I've ever ridden a diver I've always sat in the front row, so there's that.
I'd like to echo Tek's sentiments over the new pathway and marina gate. They did a wonderful job with that area and to stand so close to the coasters back there is worth a couple of minutes of your time. (Oh, hello, Raptor!) Even the Cadillacs look and feel different, but certainly not in a bad way. One place where the park excels lately is adding sparkling new attractions while making them look like they've been there all along. Gatekeeper and the new front gate, Windseeker, and even Shoot the Rapids have (had) great plazas and had a finished, polished look from the beginning. I remember back when CP would install a new ride and it was a mud pit until nature took its course.
I've been to CP twice this season and I think the park's never looked better.
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