Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Last night (5/6) was Season Passholder preview night. After dinner at Chet and Matt's, we (5 total) got to the front gate around 6:30. Doors were to open at 7, but they were already letting people in, as there was an ungodly sea of people outside the gates.
We knew better than to head straight to Valravn, so the first ride was on Raptor. Despite the massive crowd, Raptor was a 15 minute line. From the lift, we could see that VR's line stretched all the way back to Gatekeeper.
After that, walking down the Midway, Boogie had a great idea: "Let's drive the antique cars. They go right under Valravn!" So that was a new twist to the old ride and kind of fun. After that, the family we were with wanted to ride Rougarou since they didn't go last year. Now I don't know if it's coincidence or what, but Rougarou seems to break down quite a bit. It was broken down when we got there. We headed over to MF, but that line was well over an hour. At this point it was already 8, and the event only went from 7-11.
So we queued up for Valravn, which now only stretched back to the midway fountain. The line moved pretty quickly. I wasn't sure, given that the trains only seat 24, how much of a people eater it was going to be, but it seems to move quickly. The station does have a giant screen with a "Time in station" timer, as well as a seat diagram where each seat turns green as it's locked. (Does anyone know why they went with 8 row seats instead of 10?)
Once you get inside the actual queue, the wait is about 1.5 hours, wasn't really paying attention. Our total wait was just about 2.5 hours. Not too bad, really. We waited over 3 for Gatekeeper opening day. Unfortunately, they were assigning rows, so we got the back. Granted, the back is a great ride, but we were all hoping for the front.
The ride itself? Count me as one of the jaded tools who was initially less than thrilled by the announcement. I've only ridden Sheikra and was underwhelmed. It was for my son and his friends family, however, their first Dive Coaster. By today's standards, I kind of feel the concept of "Dive Coaster" is obsolete, what with 90+ degree drops being quite common these days, including one just through Frontier Land and another even closer on the beach. But like I said... jaded coastertool... read on...
Boy was I wrong! Simply put, Valravn blew me away! The view (even from the back you can look straight down.) is amazing. The drop is powerful and fast, and the elements are graceful and exciting, while not exactly groundbreaking. CP absolutely has a winner on their hands here, and I'm excited to have this new coaster less than an hour from our house! In addition, I was completely impressed with what an imposing structure it is up close. You stand directly under the tallest part of the ride and are surrounded, it seems, by track.
If forced to say something bad, it's that the brakes are horrible. Both at the top, the midcourse, and especially the ending. They are jerky, uneven, and quite uncomfortable in their operation. Not a dealbreaker, but they only stood out because I've never felt brakes that bad on any other large and expensive coaster.
Oh... and seriously Cedar Point... no new bathrooms by your new signature ride???
Okay, anyways, after VR, we had about 5 minutes left til park close, so the 2 boys and myself hightailed it back to Raptor for a second ride. 5 minute line. As most of you know, Raptor at night is something else. It's faster, smoother, and they usually shut off the midcourse.
Overall a fun, if abbreviated night at the park. I look forward to many more visits and rides on VR through the summer and fall.
Nice to see SOMEONE had fun Friday night! I think I read somewhere that Valravn has 8 seats per row opposed to 10 because the vest restraint seats are wider so the chassis will only support 8 seats across.
But then again, what do I know?
Our total wait was just about 2.5 hours. Not too bad, really. We waited over 3 for Gatekeeper opening day.
Bahahaha! Really? Not too bad?
You're quite mad, you know.
"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025
Even if I had been there, no way I would have waited those wait times for Valravn this weekend. Even for a brand new ride, my limit is probably about an hour. It's the same reason I didn't really start riding Millennium Force until 2001, Dragster until 04, and still hardly ever ride Maverick despite it being a favorite. Even for my favorite coasters, I just can't justify a multi hour wait.
Opening days are, for my son and I, an exception to the rule. We'd never wait that long again. We know what we're getting into, make the choice to come to the park anyways, and are perfectly fine with it.
There's a different feeling too, among the crowd. Everyone is having a good time and no one is complaining, because we're all "quite mad" and we know it's a special event. It's similar to that large group euphoria when you're riding coasters over and over in pouring rain with a bunch of strangers who are just as crazy as you are.
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