Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
This was without a doubt the greatest weekend I’ve ever spent at Cedar Point. Better yet, at any park. I’ll start from the beginning.
Friday morning at work, I looked at the weather forecast for the weekend… 70% chance of rain Friday, Isolated thunderstorms all day Saturday, and rainshowers all day Sunday. Crap. At that point I was seriously considering not even going, as I live in Chicago and it’s a 4.5-5 hour drive. But seeing as I would be paying a fine if I canceled my hotel reservation, I decided to just brave it out. One of the best decisions I’ve made to date.
I arrived at the park right at 6:00, and went straight to Coral Courtyard for the evening social hour. I met up with my friends in a MASSIVE line for the food. As it turns out there were close to 1,500 enthusiasts at CP this year. Yikes. Nonetheless the food was very enjoyable again (can’t go wrong with unlimited boneless wings!).
Then came the keynote with Walter Bolliger and the film fest. Mr. Bolliger was nice, though his accent was very thick. Then came the film festival, which was very enjoyable for me since I was spending my weekend with Adam (TTD 120mph), whose video ended up winning. If you haven’t seen the video, it should be up on YouTube at some point. Very funny video.
The first night went without a hitch.. The rain held off the entire evening, and during the ERT we got 3 quick rides on Magnum (first one was trimless and delicious), and one each on Mantis and Raptor. Alan (Kyurthich) and I tried to get on Dragster, and we made it to the point at which we were next to get on… but then it went down mechanical. After about 10 minutes we decided to move on and come back later. So we got back to Dragster at about 12:15 to try to dead-weight it, but alas we didn’t get any rides.
Saturday morning, we arrived at Millennium Force at about 6:25 to find it already operating. I decided to just power-ride MF through the majority of that ERT. I ended up getting 9 rides on MF, 3 on Skyhawk, and 2 on Maverick during the morning ERT. Fantastic! We went to Dragster after that and just waited for it to open. A one-train wait for the front seat was very nice :P And to my surprise, it was sunny! Still no rain…
After dragster we hit a few rides before deciding to go up to the front of the park.. This is where the day got really interesting. Rock Band Live premiered yesterday, and we decided to check it out. We walked up to the table to find an employee that Adam knew telling us to sign up quickly for the auditions, so we said “sure, why not.” Our band name was The Chucks. That’s another tale. Basically the contest was set up in a tournament format, with “American Idol”-style judging after each performance. Since we were the last band to sign up, we saw all the other acts perform before us in the first round. We ended up getting lucky right away, as our first-round opponent didn’t even show up. So on to the 2nd round we went.
Our opponents in the 2nd round were doing okay.. It was very apparent that the judges were wanting a lot of personality while you were playing the game. The difficult part was that during the first 2 rounds, the song you played was random. In our case, I didn’t know either of the first 2 songs, so I was just doing my best to rock like a true guitarist. We were fortunate again in the 2nd round, however, because one of the band members on our opposing team failed out of the song. Nonetheless we received rave reviews for our performance, and we moved onto the finals.
Now things were getting hairy.. the other team in the finals was VERY good.. the guitarist was really doing some great showmanship, and after their performance they laid their guitar to the ground and acted like they set it on fire. Great idea. The good part about the finals, though, was that we got to pick our own song. In our case, we selected “Any Way You Want It” by Journey. When I went out there, I put everything on the floor. I was just trying to constantly move around and even sing the song while trying to just not fail the song. At the end of the performance, I knew we had done well. But it was up to the judges. The other band came out, and after some deliberation, the judges were ready. Tony gave a long talk, and right at the end, he announced that the first winner of Rock Band Live was…. The Chucks!
As our reward, we won the following: Single-day passes to the park (we ended up giving these to the runners-up as we all had platinum passes); A $25 gift card to Hard Rock Café; A copy of Rock Band (in my case, the XBOX 360 Beatles edition); and most importantly, a 4-hour VIP tour of Cedar Point to be used any time this summer. This includes front-of-line access to all rides for each band member and one guest. When I found out we had one all of this, I was simply ecstatic. Not to mention, we would get to play on stage as part of the show!
So at 1:45 we showed up for the show, and were told we would sit near the front and be brought on stage by one of the cast members. The show started, and sure enough, they came down and brought us onto the stage as the “new band” for the manager in the show. He instantly started to dress us as one of the Rock Band characters.. in my case it was the really tall “goth” character, so I had to wear this absurd long black trechcoat. I was trying to stay in character, but it was so funny I couldn’t help but laugh. After that, they put us on a mobile “platform” and we got to play 3 songs as the new band. Then at the end of the “battle of the bands” we played one last song as a joint band, and we just got to really ham it up for the audience.
Overall, Rock Band Live was simply a fantastic experience from my standpoint. I didn’t really get to see too much of the show as we were being given instructions through a lot of it. But the stuff I did see was really enjoyable. The “leader” of the other band was hilarious and the dancers/singers did a great job as well.
The rest of the day was a pretty quiet day at the park, with a lot of people leaving because of the rain forecast.. but it didn’t really rain at all until the literal last ride of the night for us. A few spotty patches of drizzling were enough to shut the rides down a few times, but nothing major.
I went into the weekend wanting to get 12 rides on Millennium Force; I ended up getting 18. So in the end, I can’t say enough about this trip. To think.. I almost didn’t go….
Curious, what did you wait for MF and the other rides during ERT? You mentioned how many rides, but not the length of time you waited.
We almost went this year, but held off... We go to the park so often and wait so little at times, that we are basically spoiled. I am sure it would have been a blast though...
We went Sunday and the park was dead. Near walk-on for MF and the rest of the rides had little to no waiting. So it worked out for us as well :)
Nice TR, sounds like you had a great time!
Hey Steve I was at the park for Coastermania and there were almost no waits for any rides during ERT. TTD had maybe a 5-10 minute wait and then went down but the park was generous enough to keep it open until 12:15am after it started working again. Magnum was a walk-on. I'm sure Mantis and Raptor were walk-ons as well but I did not ride them during ERT. Saturday morning was amazing. 5-10 minute wait for MF, and then walk-on for Maverick! Never thought I would see the day were you could just walk right into Mavericks station but this was the case during ERT for Maverick. Did not ride Skyhawk but did not see a line for it during ERT.Saturday night all four rides they had open, Maxair, DT, WT, and Blue Streak did not have lines. They were all walk-ons. It was fabulous!
It was indeed an awesome experience. All I really did was Maverick, but I got about 8 rides in, and met two awesome guys, Nick and Collin. Of course, then I was a zombie the rest of the day :P
Yeah the longest wait was Millennium in the early part of ERT, because it was the only ride open. But even then, it barely got past the unload station, so it was only about 5-10 minutes. Overall the ERT was immensely better this year than last year. We even got a "zen" ride on Mantis.. the only riders on the train.
Another good thing was that the bugs weren't too terrible. Last year they were incredibly abundant.. this year they were there, but not enough to make things gross.
I love the "zen" rides. I got 2 in a row last Thursday on Mean Streak @10am. I was skeptical at first about the Rock Band thing. Turned out it really wasn't horrible like I thought it would be.Congrats on winning.
My favorite part of Saturday morning was standing 10 ft away from the track on MF at the bottom of the first drop. I can't even put into words when you see that train coming straight at you from 310' and pass within 10 ft of your face at 90+mph, I'm glad they ran about 4 trains during the photo walk. I also noticed that the 3rd support column on the over-bank has a nice constant wiggle like wicked twister.
ERT- 8 rides MF, 2 rides Maverick, 4 rides Skyhawk before 9am! By my 8th MF ride, Bob was on his 20th! A lot of single riders this year, without them the line would have been much longer. I think. Good time had by all.
Thanks Rollerman87, I had a great time riding Maverick with you!
I don't get the rockband thing. What do you have to do? It isn't that stupid video game is it? It's basically just Merlin set to music. Do you sing? what do you do? How many people watch you perform? I probably would pass on it, but I'm curious if it is something that will be going on all season...or what?
You also didn't mention anything about Shoot the Rapids. I know, it's kind of a pointless ride, since Snake River Falls is pretty much the same type of ride. Was it open? or are they still working on it. And, what about Demon Drop? What's going on there.
I might go to Cedar Point later this summer, or I might go on a hallow weekend. But, the only thing that might interest me is more rides on Maverick, Raptor, and Top Thrill dragster. I am also interested if Mean Streak has improved. It was absolute crap last time I rode it.
I also heard that Disaster Transport is going to be removed. Anything being said about that?
And, what about Demon Drop? What's going on there.
Just a little out of the loop, huh? ;)
^^wow. lots of questions. Umm,Yes the Rock Band Live show is based on the video game. Basically you and one or two friends can "audition" by playing the game while acting like an actual band for judges, and if they deem you "worthy" you get to play on stage in the show. The CP Live E people do all the singing, so you sort of just stand up there and rock out to a few songs while in the show. As for how many people watch, it's a show at the park, so I guess it depends on the crowds that day. In our case I'd guess about 200. And I believe it will be playing for most of the summer.
Shoot the Rapids was still in "lifesize model of a flume" mode, although on Sunday I did see a boat literally sitting in the trough before the first lift. Not moving at all, so either the water wasn't moving or it was stuck there.
As far as I know Disaster Transport isn't going anywhere. Anything else is just speculation.
^My only question is, what chick ride ops do you have a thing for or slight crush on? While my fav's from last year Sarah on TTD and Kelsey on MF are not back, Bre from Maggie is...if you at all dig redheads.
I haven't really been paying much attention to the parks in the last couple years. I went to Michigan's Adventure last summer, and I think I went to Cedar Point. But, if I recall the last time I went to Cedar Point Demon Drop was still there. I rode Maverick and Top Thrill Dragster, and had a great time.
The last I heard Demon Drop was being relocated to Dorney Park, after speculation that it was going to be moved to Michigan's Adventure. So, my question about Demon drop had to do with, what would be going in it's place, and if there was any new construction going on there, or if they were doing anything with that location at all. But, since I have not been there recently, as far as I know, Demon Drop was still there the last time I went.
But, seriously the only parks that interest me are Great America, Kings Island, la Ronde, and Canada's Wonderland. As I have not been to those in years. Oh, I should also include Holiday World, as I have been to all the parks I mentioned, except for HW. Mainly to ride the Voyage, but, it looks pretty pricey for it's size. Just Like Michigan's Adventure.
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