Kennywood/Cedar Point 9/15-16 (Part Two)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:47 PM

After a rather good night's sleep (something I rarely get at home, but got three of on this trip) I headed to Ohio early Sunday morning. I had made a decision to go to Mass in Sandusky rather than Sharon, to increase my chances of making it to Cedar Point in time for Passholder Early Opening. Since I also had to get breakfast, I was on the road slightly before 6am. I hit the Waffle House before getting on the Ohio Turnpike, and was at Sts. Peter and Paul well in advance of the 10am Mass. I was reading the plaque that said Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame foodball coach, had married his wife at the rectory there in the early 1900's..they met while working at Cedar Point (he was a lifeguard.) He also developed the forward pass there, and sent his players, including the Four Horsemen, to train and practice at the Point. I thought that was pretty cool stuff.

I arrived at CP a minute or two after the early opening. I won't dwell on the fact, as mentioned in Part One, that I was unable to ride Wicked Twister and Dragster. I need to lose weight, that's a given. I also should have tried the test seats, but I anticipated no issues, especially on WT, as I ride Possessed all the time. Several years ago, my Walk Of Shame on Millennium Force spurred me to lose a lot of weight, and maybe history will repeat.

Upon entry, I headed straight for Millennium Force, about a five minute wait. That's also about how long it took the attendant to buckle me in for each of my three rides. I could not even come CLOSE to buckling it myself. I felt sure I would have to forgo the ride, but somehow or other, they got me in. Oddly enough, once I was secure, it didn't feel particularly tight. it was running well for all three, all in the back or close. You can see a coupla dinos during the course, but the glimpse is fleeting. The line never got particularly long throughout the day, but those three rides were all I took. I simply didn't feel like struggling with the belt again.

I headed back down the Frontier Trail to Maverick, which was also open for early entry. I got there just as the park was officially opening at 12. I took two rides, both times using the single rider line. First time, about 5 minutes, second, no wait. Rode back once, next to last on the other. Having now established I-305 as my favorite steel coaster, I think I appreciate Maverick a little more than I have in the past. It's a fun ride, with some cool twists and a great tunnel launch. I still don't think I'd wanna wait more than half an hour for it though. The line was in the switchbacks already after my second ride, so I moved onto my next "M."

I understand Mean Streak has had some re-tracking done. I took two rides, neither near the back (that lesson's been learned.) I can honestly say the ride was not painful. But pain is at least a sensation..you're FEELING something. Mean Streak just meandered through the course, with some braking on the first drop. Simply put, the ride is boring and seems bereft of life. I hate to realize this was once my favorite wood coaster.

The best "Oh S***!" moment of the weekend occurred on my first of four rides on Magnum. At the crest of the second (third?) hill..the one after the first tunnel...I thought I was gonna end up in Lake Erie. That's how far out of my seat I was, and the same happed on the return bunnies. I'm awestruck by how good this ride still is after almost 25 years. Took two more before the line grew some (gruesome? It is HalloWeekends, after all) and got another later, after which the ride shut down for some reason.

Took a total of three rides on Gemini, including one where there was no race. It seemed more braked than I remember, and ran a bit rough.

I had really looked forward to riding CP's Windseeker, and the views of the park and lake were, as I expected, spectacular.

I was debating between Midway Market and Panda Express for lunch. The Orange Chicken won that battle. It's actually a better deal than my local outlet for the amount you get, and it was delicious..easily the tastiest meal I've ever had in a park. For some reason the cashier didn't charge me for my drink, which is most certainly NOT included in the meal. I had also hoped to try a hot dog from Pinks, and planned on getting one when I was leaving the park. But they were already closed when I left, closed well before the 9pm park closing time.

Speaking of eating and drinks, the dependable COLD water fountains are not quite as icy as in the past. The streams are also very weak. The best is still the one by Town Hall near SkyHawk, and I found another good one near Camp Snoopy.

I did a few flats, including Witches Wheel and Cedar Downs, which I'd never skip. The lines for most rides were very short all day, although there seemed to be a decent amount of people in the park. Although I couldn't ride TTD, it was practically a walk-on. The only line that stayed really long was Maverick.

This was my first time visiting CP during Halloweekends. I had hoped it would be cooler than it was. Also the Halloween decorations, etc., are probably more effective at night. And none of the outdoor haunted mazes/attractions are open on Sunday until October 7.

I took a little walk on the beach, rolled up my jeans, and dipped into the lake waters. Water was very warm. Also played some Pac-Man, Frogger, and pinball in the arcade.

I had made up my mind on the drive in that I was likely to get a Fast Lane band...for the usual reasons: Short day, don't visit very often, expected lines. I'm glad I didn't spend the $65, though. I would have been using it repeatedly on MF, WT, and TTD...so based on my experiences with those rides this day, it would have literally been throwing money away.

I mentioned the outdoor haunts were not open Sundays yet. But I decided to visit the four indoor haunts which opened at 3, including Boeckel's Eerie Estate which turned out as my longest wait of the day, about 40 minutes. I will rate the four on a scale of Zero-10. Here we go:

Eerie Estate (haunted mansion near Windseeker)..Zero

Eden Musee (Wax museum located near Mean Streak)..Zero

Eternity Infirmary (haunted medical facility located near Maverick)..1. Gets a point for the skills of the guy in a wheelchair in a small room with props managing to negotiate the room without making contact with patrons.

Club Blood (zombie dance club located just inside main gate)..1..Decent looking undead go-go dancers in cages will always score a point with me.

I can't say it was the best day I ever had at Cedar Point, but considering the no-ride issues, it was okay. If I make it back for Gatekeeper next season, hopefully, I'll be 15-20 pounds down. Thanks again to Ken and his family for meeting up at Kennywood, and to the CB'ers who gave me advice on my projected itinerary. I heard Friday night was EMPTY at CP..oh well, hindsight is 20/20!

Thanks for reading, as always.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 3:50 AM

Sorry to hear the indoor haunts were disappointing. I've noticed that this early in the season most Screamsters haven't quite figured out how to pace themselves through three days of scaring, and as such, are noticeably tired on the early Sundays.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:22 AM

That's really interesting to hear, as Eerie Estate is easily one of my favorite haunts. I've never been all that impressed with Club Blood, and I'm interested to try out the Eden Musee. I'll miss the toy factory this year, though.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:40 AM

Jeez. A zero for me would be a brightly lit warehouse with nothing happening inside. :)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:11 AM

The way I figure it, the "Screamsters" as they're called by CP, are still figuring out the best spots and their most effective "moves." I just got no feeling of "not knowing when." Throughout the 4 houses, I experienced no "Gotcha!" moments. As mentioned, this was my first time at HalloWeekends, and I thought Dorney's crew does a much better job, especially in the outdoor Haunts. Maybe I would have enjoyed CP's more if their outdoor attractions were open Sunday, but I can only go by what I saw.

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Friday, September 21, 2012 8:51 PM

Mike - - - > One day you and I are going to end up sitting next to each other on rides we were once denied. I know and feel your pain. The walk of shame and ride deinal can be cruel when it happens, but it could end up to be a great motivater.

Next year will be better. For both of us.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012 6:55 PM

I'm another one who was able to ride Possessed, but not Wicked Twister. Of course, part of that was the ride op on WT tried pushing on the restraint with the "force" of someone testing to see whether an angel food cake springs back.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012 7:40 PM

If by that you mean no effort at all, that's exactly my experience. They barely tried. I know the signs say "You must be able to secure your own seat belt," but the staff on MF really went the extra Mill..I mean, mile.

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Monday, October 1, 2012 3:47 PM

I was at CP yesterday, did MF 5 times over the course of the day, and found drastic differences in the seat belts each time. My first ride, I pulled about 5 inches of slack and it was still kind of loose, but it wouldn't pull anymore. My second ride, I had about an inch or 2, and when we went back for a re-ride (the handicapped gate was open last night, which granted us 3 rides in a row), I sat in the second row, and it would barely reach - I looked at the operator and said "I just rode this 2 seconds ago?" and he helped me, but I just found it strange. My next rides, I was fine, and could pull some slack, but it was still wildly different.

Thing is, I've lost 30 lbs or so since the last time I was there, and I was able to ride then without issue. I'm not a huge guy by any means, especially now - I'm about 6' tall, 220-ish and muscular - if you look at my profile picture, you'll see that I'm not only covered in mud from running a race, but I'm also in halfway OK shape. I think the inconsistencies of the belts are what's causing the troubles, because I could see someone with more than a 36 inch waist having some difficulties with some seats, but not others, and it's not fair to everyone else in line to let someone try different seats over and over.

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Monday, October 1, 2012 4:10 PM

I probably should have tried some other seats later, but that's on me. Actually, considering the amount of Orange Chicken I consumed at Panda Express that afternoon, I might have embarrassed myself even MORE!!!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012 4:39 AM

I've noticed the same inconsistencies. I haven't yet failed to fasten the belt, but the amount of slack sure varies wildly from seat to seat. I've noticed it on Dragster as well, although not nearly to the extent that it was on Millennium.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012 11:11 PM

My few trips to CP, I noticed the belt discrepancy as well.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012 10:44 AM

I might do a little write up on my Halloweekends experience in a few. I had an absolute blast.

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