Mixed Bag at Cedar Point 5/26-5/27

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:06 AM

This was my first trip to CP in several years, so I was very much looking forward to riding the new stuff and revisiting old favorites I hadn't visited in a while. In lieu of writing a boring full narrative of the two days, here's some notes and thoughts from what turned to be out an equally lovely and frustrating two days.

I'll get the whiny stuff out of the way first:

  • Holy God, CP's rain policy. Just....wow. We've all read about it, we all know about it. And if I didn't live 7.5 hours away from CP I'd plan my trip around good weather, but that's just not an option as I had to have this trip planned out weeks in advance. Monday had drizzle starting around 10am, a short bout of heavier rain around 11, and then off and on drizzle for the rest of the day. Rain started to get heavier again around 7pm.
  • Raptor, Magnum, Gemini, Iron Dragon, Dragster, and Corkscrew were down almost the entire day - all except Gemini occasionally tried to get back online here and there but I didn't see any running trains for more than a few minutes at a time. We never saw Gemini test. Dragster tried to come back on around 1PM but we saw a roll back (with riders) while waiting for Monster and it never came back up.

Needless to say, this was quite a bummer, especially because while there were a lot of great rides still running, we had mostly concentrated on them the previous day and lines were pretty long given the loss of capacity elsewhere around the park. We still had fun for sure, but it was nothing compared to the 100% blast we had on Sunday.

So, let's go back in time to the good stuff on Sunday:

  • The park was predictably an absolute madhouse. Thanks to Fastlane+ we got rides in on all the major coasters except Iron Dragon and Wicked Twister which we saved for Monday. Fastlane is by far the best pay to cut system I've seen at a park, and CP does a better job than any other when it comes to implementation.
  • Gatekeeper is fine. The ride's aesthetics are superior to the actual experience of being on it, but that's ok by me - it's a major crowd pleaser with huge capacity. Gatekeeper's sister B&M across the midway is by far and away a superior coaster, so if Gatekeeper's existence means smaller lines at Raptor and elsewhere in the park, then thank you thank you thank you to Gatekeeper. I'd put it in the lower ranks of all the B&M's I've been on, but a lesser B&M can still be a hoot and a half for sure. I'm 5'10" and wear a 48" inch jacket. I did experience some tightness on my collar bones from the restraint but not enough to really bother me. If I were any taller or had less or a belly holding the restraint up, it may have been more annoying. But no issues here.
  • Maverick is mindblowing. I knew it was going to be good but....wow. Just wow is Maverick good. I'd go as far to say it's the best looping coaster I've ever ridden. My riding partner had some issues with hitting his jaw line on the restraint. I had a little but not enough for it to bother me. I love love love this coaster.
  • Sunday night we got in two night rides in on MF and for me, it's just religious. It's like going to church, you know? Just the sheer awe inspiring speed and power, the strong bursts of airtime, the darkness, the excitement of everybody else on board with you....it's just such a classic, marvelous experience. It's the sort of thing you day dream about at work. I'm doing it a little bit now as I'm writing this, really.
  • Magnum is still my favorite steal coaster. You either just get it, or you don't. No other steel coaster induces such giggles and glee and delight in me, and for that I'd rather ride Magnum than any other. (That is, when it's actually running. Sniff.)
  • Dinos Alive is pretty rad. This was my first time visiting one and I really really enjoyed it. The nice views of MF were cool, too.

One other thing: I'm officially too fat to ride Wicked Twister and Mantis. WT has pretty much always been a struggle for me because not only am I a fatty but I'm just generally big shouldered / chested (yeah that's right, I just played the "big boned" card). Mantis though is a little weird though because I was able to do Green Lantern last fall and I don't think I'm any bigger now. Anyone able to confirm if the harness or more likely the seat belts are different? At any rate, I guess it's time to get serious about losing a few.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:44 AM

I've had rides on Magnum where I've thought afterwords that it's my favorite STEEL coaster. Then I've had rides where I'm like, "So this is why we have B&M hyper coasters made instead." It may be seat selection. Where do you sit on Magnum to get a great ride? It was awful in the very back.

I disagree about your thoughts on Gatekeeper. It has speed, power, forces on the first drop, and the force-less inversions that just leave you mind blown. I think its zero-g-roll has really zero g's. Raptor doesn't have the majesticness of Gatekeeper. I also don't like the timing and almost complete stop of Raptor MCBR. Don't get me wrong, Raptor is my 3rd favorite invert. Montu and Afterburn are better, but it is a great ride. It's no Gatekeeper, though. Opinions are opinions, I guess.

It really stinks that you didn't ride Gemini this trip. When I rode it this year, it went from a high 2 star ride to a medium 4 star ride. That's how much I enjoyed it. It has incredible improvements, and it went from ride if time to must ride. Great air time.

My sister loves Maverick too. It's her favorite ride. I really love the layout, but it's a bit over done. It does have great timing on the launch, air time hill, and inversions, though. It's coaster genius, but not my type of ride. It's still great.

Mantis is a ride I plan not to ride very often. It hurts your groin area more than any ride. OWWW.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:50 AM

Magnum being my favorite steel coaster, I like every seat. I get that it's not for everybody.

We did get one ride in on Gemini but I just wish we had more. It and Blue Streak are where CP's coaster collection goes from really good to really amazing. The lineup is so deep.

Raptor's MCBR was barely kissing the train early on Sunday. I think on our 2nd ride later in the day it grabbed slightly harder but it was still barely noticeable.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:52 AM

I love Magnum, but it depends on which seat I sit. I kind of have to guess, but what is the defined answer for the best seat?

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:58 AM

"Defined?" Perhaps you should consult the OED , Tyler.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:59 AM

Again Tyler, you are asking for a definitive answer that cannot be given. Please stop doing that. You know enough to know that the "best seat" is going to vary by person and preference and desired experience, as well as probably by day and conditions. No one can give you the answer you want.

The good news is that you can decide for yourself by sitting in every seat until you find the one you like! Just like Goldilocks. ;-)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:05 PM

I rode magnum on it's first year of operation, and it was an incredible ride! I say was, because it has not aged well, and my last ride on it was not the best. It seemed very bumpy, and shakey, and slowed quite a bit while going through the pretzle element, and seemed to drag through the return run, where as it used to fly through so fast, you hardly spent any time on your seat. But, Magnum is still a top notch coaster, just needs better care, like a lot of the other rides in the park.

As for Mantis, it is not as great as when it first opened either. Mantis shakes so much, and there is so much damage in the headrest, that it gives me a headache after just one ride. Though it is still nowhere near as bad as Iron Wolf used to be a Great America. Though some spots are very rough. One of my favorite spots on Mantis was the bunny hop just after the inclined loop, as there was a lot of air there, then it slams into the midcourse, and ouch!!! Just too much pain.

I love the Raptor, though it seems to shake a lot too. The cobra roll is pretty rough, and the slam into the station brakes is terrible! I have got a few nice slams to the head coming into that station brake. In 2010, I was riding next to a young couple, and the girl next to me came back to the station with blood pouring out of her ear. Apparently the shoulder restraint had ripped her ear-ring right off her head, and was long gone. No serious injury, but they took her down the the near by restroom, and cleaned up her ear, and took her to the first aid station.

your ears take a pretty good beating on Mantis and Raptor. If it was not for the head banging, I'm sure both would be much more enjoyable. Not saying they are bad coasters. I love riding both of them, but someone needs to design a restraint, that keeps those hard over the shoulder things away from your head. Same can be said for Thunderhawk, at Michigan's Adventure, and most corkscrews.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:11 PM

The best solution for the SLCs is to tear them down. ;)

Mantis is one of my favorite rides at Cedar Point and one of my favorite looping rides anywhere. Just lean forward so your ears are out in front of the restraints. I love the unrelenting intensity.

As for Magnum, just don't ride in a wheel seat. I take the middle row of whatever car and have a blast.

Last edited by sirloindude, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:11 PM
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:25 PM

I find that the only way I can enjoy Magnum is if I ride in the front seat, or in the second seat. If not, I agree with you sirloindude, a middle seat as close to the front of the train comes with less damage. Made the mistake of riding in the very last seat, and came back to the station with a sore back, and pain in my jaw from the relentless shaking and bouncing. Never again.

As for Mantis, my main complaint is the Midcourse. Not fun when you hit it like a ton of bricks. I also always seem to find a seat that pops upward during the ride, where my feet no longer touch the floor, and I get whipped around like a rag doll. Makes for a lot of pain in the lower region, and back, as there is nothing supporting you, but that aweful seat, and the restraint, to the point where I have a death grip going on, so I don't fall out.

I'm short, and I returned to the station once on Mantis, with my feet almost a foot from the floor. Most terrified I have ever been on a coaster. I didn't want to go on it again after that. I mentioned it to the ride op, and they said they would keep an eye on it. The ride closed shortly after I got off, for technical difficulties.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 7:27 PM
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:15 PM

sirloindude said:

The best solution for the SLCs is to tear them down. ;)

You misspelled "taer."

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:01 PM

When I rode it this year, it went from a high 2 star ride to a medium 4 star ride.



Out of sheer curiosity, what distinguishes a low-to-medium 2-star ride from a high 2-star ride?

:)

Last edited by OhioStater, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:02 PM
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:03 PM

It has a lot more air time and smoothness now.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:54 PM

Mantis is a ride I never have a problem with. I also specifically make sure the "seat" is nowhere near me. I'm 6'1 so the shoulder harness is firmly against my collar, but I have enough room to comfortably support myself with my legs.

Magnum (and similarly Beast at KI) is a ride that I will never sit in the 3rd row of any car.

It's hard to suggest better care will fix these rides as age will ultimately make anything rough. It's much more difficult to retrack a steel coaster than a wooden one.

It sounds like a pretty successful weekend given the weather and crowds. I agree that Raptor is the superior ride, but GateKeeper has it's place and will entertain people for years.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 3:11 AM

Tyler Boes said:

I also don't like the timing and almost complete stop of Raptor MCBR.

When was the last time you rode Raptor? It's been many, many years since I've even noticed the midcourse at all, much less come to a near stop. (Not counting the Coastermania a few years ago where my train did stop at the midcourse, followed by a walkdown)

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 7:35 PM

Tyler Boes said:

Mantis is a ride I plan not to ride very often. It hurts your groin area more than any ride. OWWW.

Well,... at least hold off til you've had a chance to use it a couple of times...

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 9:50 PM

Raptor is running completely trimless this year. There's not even the "click" you used to get going through the midcourse in past years.

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