Our plan was to make a weekend of BooBuzz and head up to CP on Friday afternoon and comeback Sunday. The plan was to leave home around 3pm in hopes of getting to CP around 6-ish and get the most of the Friday night tickets that were included with the Lighthouse Point package dealy-o. Without getting into ugly details we didn't leave until almost 6pm and we got stuck in ugly traffic on the way.
We arrived at the park around 9:20 and found a line to check in. After a short wait we found our cabin and were pleased as punch with out decision. Being the coaster tool that I am, I found our location right under Mean Streak to be pretty cool. Added bonuses included the Dragster-view entry and the sweet loft action. Good stuff and we'll definitely book again for future CP trips.
So we get all of our crap inside and head for the park. We hit the Magnum entrance just before 10pm figuring 2 hours in the park isn't as good as the planned 6 but it's better than none. The park was as dead as this non-local has ever seen it. Knowing the back half of the park is fairly dead with the limited Friday offerings, we headed towards the front of the park to hang out and check the Halloweekends vibe.
As we apporached Dragster we noticed next to no line. What the hell, right?
I took my daughter for her first TTD experience. She's only 8, but she's pretty jaded to the whole coaster thing at this point (TTD would be #186), so it was good to see her a little nervous for a ride. Just a 15 minute wait and we were poised to launch. The usual TTD action - it's such a hard ride to qualify. It is indeed a blast and leaves you immediately wanting more, but sitting here typing this with a full 36 hours since my last ride, I have lukewarm feelings about the one-trick ride it gives. It really is the coaster equivalent of crack. Once you have it you want more and more and more, but quit using and beat the withdrawals and you wonder how you got so into it in the first place. Weird.
Neither of the kids wanted to do any haunted houses or scare zones, so instead we picked up so walk-on (or near walk-on) laps on Blue Streak and Raptor. (I wish I could give more feedback on the rides, but it was late, cold and generally sluggish on the coasters)
We still had another 45 minutes (give or take) until things shut down for the night, so I split from the rest of the family and checked out Carnevil on my own. Decent enough, but really the environment doesn't lend itself to scares nearly as well as Frontier Trail does for the Fright Zone in that part of the park. Still the Screamsters were working their butts off and getting the job done.
From there we hit a few of the shops that were open then scored some fries and hot chocolate (it was friggin' cold out!) and then caught the last car of the night on the Cadillac Cars.
The park began shutting down and we made our way to the Magnum gate, through Challenge Park, all the way across the parking lot, stopped at the Camper Village shop for munchies and finally got back to our cabin around 12:25...only to find our key was no longer working. My wife headed back to the registration building to find it empty. There was a phone there and it apparently rang back to Sandcastle or Breakers where we were told someone would be along with new keys shortly. We stood outside the cabin in the cold fall air for nearly 40 minutes before someone showed up and got us inside the cabin. By the time the kids wound down and crashed it was nearly 2am. Great, only 6 hours until we gotta be up for BooBuzz.
The next morning we crawled out of bed, underestimated the morning cold, jumped in the car and made our way around to the main gate to get hooked up for the day's event. The park wasn't anticipating anyone needing a child's admission (yeah, we're those idiots :) ) and it took a few moments for them to scrounge up a ticket, but we were hooked up. We ran into Barry (who seems to be the only guy we consistently see at Buzz events - and a guy my wife genuinely enjoys talking too) and talked a bit. And I was lucky enough to run into Playa when I had to head back to the car for a minute - so even before things began it was cool to run into familiar and friendly faces. :)
We committed ourselves to ERT on Dragster and headed that way. With two kids and only one big enough to partake, we tend to alternate laps with my daughter. My wife took the first lap and Tina (coasterqueenTRN) caught us waiting and said hi. (no Gonch-by this time ;) )
After 4 or 5 laps each on Dragster and being a tad underdressed for the cool morning lake air, we decided to skip out a hair early and rather than a lap or two on MF, we headed back to the car and then drove back around the penninsula to the cabin for a quick change, left the car at the cabin and made the parking lot walk to the Magnum gate. We beelined to Jr. Gemini and let the kids score a couple laps. Then did a few things in Camp Snoopy before heading for the back of the park.
In the back of the park we checked out Maverick - good stuff going on there. Can't wait to see (and sample) the finished product next spring...especially when I see screwed up stuff like this. :)
Since it was day and the scare zones were scare-free we decided to circle around Frontier Trail. We passed Skyhawk - which looked like a blast, but was running just one arm and already had quite a line.
After a nice stroll down Frontier Trail, we got near MF and realized the place had gotten real crowded, real quick-like. You could easily see that this was going to be a seriously busy day and the midways were quickly filling.
My only thought:
Where the hell do I get a Q-bot around here!? ;)
We caught the Sky Ride down the main midway and stopped to check out the whole Wizard's Wishes thing going on in front of Kiddy Kingdom. Really good stuff and top notch work going on - I can't say enough about the quality of the characters. Of course my kids had to get in on the fun.
(And they wished for a Motorcycle and a Dog...WTF!? I only question it because they each have had their respective wish previously in their lives. We had to give the dog away when we moved to Florida in 1999 and my brother and I trashed the mini-motorcycle Santa brought for X-mas 2004 sometime last summer. Kids...go figure. :) )
Then we continued over towards Maxair and the Wicked Twister midway to find a Maxair line that filled the queue and then stretched all the way back the midway almost to the entrance to Carnevil. It was sick. The kids wanted to see the area in the safety of daylight so we walked through and found ourselves back where we started our Sky Ride.
I checked the time and realized I had to skedaddle back to the Cabin to do this week's podcast. I left the family to deal with the crowds and hoofed it to the cabin to find Greg waiting for me. We hung out unti Jeff and Catherine strolled in. We had a pretty good time recording this week (so check it out) and finished with just enough time to get back to the Coral Courtyard for lunch where I met back up with the wife and kids.
Good food, more conversation, catching up, putting faces with names and that sort of thing. Good times.
At this point my son decided he didn't want to see the Screamsters get made-up at the Good Time Threatre, so he and my wife headed back to the cabin for a quick breather and we made our way over to the threater.
*Of important note: we followed Dick Kinzel and John Hildebrandt down the boardwalk after lunch and they both began picking up any garbage they saw along the way. Off of benches, off the ground, off the fence. These guys are the real deal, folks.
We then headed to Dragster to hang out and watch the ride a bit while waiting for the others to return from the cabin.
When they got back we made our way to the train station right under the big screen and did a full circle on the CP & LE RR as darkness slowly took over the sky. It offered some good views of Maverick along the way.
With the nighttime festivities just kicking into gear my daughter wanted to check out Carnevil, so we headed up to the front of the park again and found that with the large crowds the scares were harder to come by. Definitely better with less guests roaming.
Still plenty of time left in the night, but with a family that was cold and had a lack of sleep creeping up on them, I decided that we all needed cheese on a stick. :)
We moved along to the front corner of the park by Disaster Transport and by now lines for everything - rides, food, haunted houses were ridiculous. We snagged a table and grabbed some of the stupid-cheap cotton candy to amuse the kids and my wife jumped in line for cheese on a stick. The service couldn't have been any slower. There was one line to wait in to order and then you moved to another line to wait to receive your order. The whole thing was totally unorganized and there was no system in check to assure that you requested the same food at the counter of the 'receive' line that you paid for at the counter of the 'order' line. (don't ask me how I know that for sure...but I do ;) )
All in all, it took 23 minutes from the time my wife got in line until we walked away with our deep fried cheesey goodness. The whole situation was beyond ridiculous and words cannot convey the frustration.
We strolled around the area for a few minutes and quickly realized we just did have the patience, nor cared enough, to wait in the lines for any of the rides or haunted houses and with the kids tired and cold & me still wanting to check out the Fright Zone and get a few more photos before calling it a day we decided to split up. I went off to finish my exploration of the park and everyone else went back to the cabin.
I headed up the midway and stopped for a minute to catch a little of The King Dapper Combo before moving on.
As I approached the Mantis entrance a train neared and the gates came down blocking the path. A large crowd gathered waiting for the pth to clear and soon the gates went up and complete mayhem broke out. It was wall to wall people moving in both directions with no order or sanity. The crowd swarmed like some weird organism with pushing, cursing and near-riot-like fervor. I was so glad the kids weren't with me because it was totally nuts. You just had to go with it. People were pressed against each other, others were shving to get ahead. From the opposite direction an equally out of control and large crowd did the same. I seriously feared someone being flat out trampled.
In an orgy situation it may have been a lot of fun, but in a theme park crowd trying to get from point A to point B and vice versa situation it was borderline dangerous.
I broke away from the madness at the very first opportunity and took some pics of the Halloweekends decorations along Frontier Trail until it passed.
I finally made my way to the entrance to The Fright Zone and was really impressed. This scare zone blew away Carnevil. That's not to put down the screamsters in Carnevil, but the Fright Zone guys just had such a better environment to work with. Lots of nooks and crannies to hide in. Tons of fog to obscure views. Lots of well placed lights to emerge from. I could've spent hours there just off to the side watching them scare guests.
I made my way out of there and stopped by the Town Hall Museum to warm up and because it's been a while since I've looked around.
I got back to the cabin around 10:30 to find the kids asleep. We wanted to indulge in some late-night, kids-are-asleep, junk food munchies and were told pizza couldn't be delivered to the cabins (?) and decided to snag McDonald's.
Park near closing + McDonald's outside the park = almost an hour to get food back to cabin. :(
I had planned on taking the tripod outside and getting some more night shots, but with a belly full of grease, little sleep and a long, cold day of CP fun I found myself not wanting to leave the warmth of the cabin and crawling into bed. A little bit of TV and I was out.
Sunday morning we took our sweet time getting out of the cabin and weren't on the road until after 11am. Just for kicks we decided to take 250 all of the way out, but before we even really got going, found ourselves way too amused at the prospect of cheeseball souvenirs and falling victim to the irresistable charm of the Shirt Shack...come on, it was our last chance for souvenirs. Or so the sign claimed.
Needless to say, we spent a long while browsing. (man, I miss those souvenir shops in Florida - really, who buys this stuff?)
Ummm, I guess this is where it ends. I wish I had something better after all of that. We left the Shirt Shack and drove home.
Fun fact: Start at CP and follow 250 for 17.2 miles. In that time you will pass no less than 4 McDonald's restaurants. That's an average of one every 4.3 miles!
I knew you were supposed to be there but had no idea who you were. Also saw Hostyl and thought it was Hostyl but never got the guts to ask if it was him! Duh!
Next time I should just walk up to everyone and say "hi, I'm Raptor Jo" ;)
As for the weather, thank goodness I still had my hat and gloves in my coat pockets from Beast Bash or I would have frozen during AM ERT!
My hubby and I were on the 1st train of the day got the rollback! We knew it was going to be a great day after that! :)
The TTD ERT made the event for us!
Only rode my baby 1x but it was great seeing the crew again! Line WAY too long for me after that!
It was great seeing Bryan, Mr Kinzel and Mr Hildebrandt too. I am going to miss Dick (yes, he told me to please call him Dick-how come my hubby gets mad when I call him that?? ;))
His personality made CF what CF is, I seriously doubt anyone else will ever really take his place. I will really miss seeing him around the park :(
We ended up riding the train round trip 6x. No clue why, just to allow us to sit and see the sights and crowds without having to mess with the crowds. Plus I got to see the ride sup John every time too. I can't believe I worked on Raptor with him in '00. He will be a CP Lifer, I am sure of it!
Blew $380.00 on season passes for next season. I am still pissed about them deciding on no parking passes on the passes next year. That is crap. CF could have easily offered 3 park parking (CP, KI and GL) on the parking pass and just made the "P" a certain color. Same for just one park, or two. I still have to buy 2 parking passes for GL and KI yet. If I wanted to get passes for every vehicle we own that would be 3 for each. I already told my hubby we will need to put like $100.00 aside for parking for next year anyway. Sucks!
When my hubby mentioned that to the season pass person he handed us a self addressed form to park ops. The gentleman said everyone is complaining about the same thing. I don't think it will change since the facts of the passes are already posted on all the parks websites and the passes are on sale.
Still sucks---ok enough ranting for today!
Although we didn't make it till closing (long drive there, long drive home, horses and dogs at home waiting on us, plus crowds were INSANE) we had a great time! So glad we went.
My thanks to Jeff for a great event! :)
Lifetime Raptor flights: 1163 :)
Gonch, awesome TR! Thanks for writing one here so I don't have to. :)
I remember seeing the Shirt Shack but have never went in. I have GOT to get one of those boob salt and pepper shakers. That has to be the tackiest of everything TACKY!
Real nice TR Gonch...LOVE the Virtually Queued T-shirt....and the lack of "edit" notification tells me your html skills are FAR superior to my own... :)
The parking pass thing might annoy me too, but I have to wonder -- would I REALLY visit EACH of those parks enough to warrant getting the parking pass for all of them? In my case, probably not, but at $10/visit just to park, I can see it adding up real quick...
Hey Greg-didn't you miss out on the rollback cause you waited for the next train???
Hubby and I visit CP and GL at least 10x season. As for KI, it is our home park and since it is now CF we will probably visit it at least 5x or so, so it is to our financial advantage to buy the parking passes. Not to even count the trips made when someone else did the driving! :)
Lifetime Raptor flights: 1163 :)
The boob stuff is pretty funny. You've gotta be kidding. Who wants a boob-shaped mug that says "Sandusky, Ohio" on it?
Oh it's even better than that! Notice the nipple has a hole in it. That hole went clear through so that the liquid inside would come out when tipped.
I think it was a boob creamer!
Put that out this thanksgiving and have a holiday to remember.
...and the lack of "edit" notification tells me your html skills are FAR superior to my own...
Yeah, now I just need to fix the typos...or not.
The back of the VQ shirt reads, "The real me is waiting in line for another ride" :)
I need to make that my pic new profile photo.
I have never seen CP so crowded in the dozen or so times I have been. I usually try to visit during mid-weekl, early in the season to try to help avoid the lines. What I saw Saturday was plain ol' crazy. I was wondering if anyone has any sort of estimate to the number in the park on Saturday?
Ironically, the opposite occurred on Sunday. I have never seen the park so empty. I didn't even know it was possible to be so empty. MF was almost a walk on all day, even with only 2 train ops.
Anyway, well written Gonch!
Word of advice people, if this dude's stories are true, do not trick-or-treat at his house. ;)
What an AWESOME Trip Report! One of the best I've ever read here!
I would love to have spent more time with the Buzzers but Gonch is right in that, without name tags, it is so very difficult to know who the other Buzzers are!! Of course, when you blog under your own name, you don't have that problem! Barry Williams is Barry Williams, unless, however, you are, in fact, Greg Brady. . .
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. . .
Anyway, my friend Ryan and I had an INCREDIBLE WEEKEND with a Friday night @ Kennywood before making the trek across to CP Saturday morning. The Big Chill notwithstanding, the event was a gem from start to finish. Good luck anybody trying to top a double ERT session on TTD and MF. It just ain't gonna happen anytime soon. . .
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as someone mentioned above, there was this pervasive sense around noon that the park was about to become busy. . .very, very busy. You could just sense it as the hours ticked by. Around 4 pm or so, the "crush" was upon all of us and by the time we got to lunch, I knew it was going to be a wild park-packed night. We wound up getting in 11 of the coasters and a number of great flat rides and threw in the towel around 7 pm or so. I am not one for the "crush" and will generally avoid having to undergo the herded cattle mentality.
Still, it was great to see everyone that I did know and hats off to Jeff for a great job. I look forward to the next Buzzer event and hope to see all of you there as well.
Gonch, I love your wife as well (ah-hem). You both are incredibly funny, warm and fun people to hang out with. The kind of people that I know I must spend time with. Since you are so close to now, maybe that can happen? I gave you a reprieve from the usual Barry J. Williams tomfoolery though because you had your youngin's with you, I thought you needed to do the Dad thing as much as possible. I'll save my madcap ways when I have you both to my myself in the future (that sounds vaguely lurid and I don't mean it to be so!)
Does anybody know what the actual attendance figures for that day wound up being? We were very curious to know what their final attendance wound up being.
Anyway, Happy Fall to all,
...I thought you needed to do the Dad thing as much as possible.
Yeah, we usually have the kids in tow. They dig it. I feel bad that it seems like I cut things short with people sometimes when everyone is in tow.
Occasionally, we find someone to stick the kids with when we feel like flying solo. (I'm hoping to maybe, possibly, kind of swing that situation if Jeff puts together this event "east of here" that he's hinted to once or twice) - so maybe I can offer up a higher quality "Gonch-time" then. :)
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