I love early Sunday morning drives to CP. Traffic is minimal so moving through the construction areas on I-75 in Michigan is a piece of cake. We made good time and arrived at the park a couple of minutes before Joe Cool entry at 9 am, happy to see a relatively empty parking lot and drove Perimeter Road around to park by Gemini. Catherine was amazed to see the construction for Project 2007 first hand for the first time.
Our first goal was Skyhawk, and again, I giggled all the way through our two walk-on rides as I did the first time I rode it. I think it's a fantastic addition to the park and Frontier Town. Catherine's assessment was "Skyhawk Rocks!" MaXair, our second ride of the day, still wins out slightly due to the longer ride time, though.
I really think an additional full swing would make Skyhawk a better experience, which seems to be the general concensus of people while exiting. I heard quite a few "great ride, I just wish it was a little longer!"
From the number of people filing into the park by 10:30 am, it looked to be a busy day, which didn't surprise me considering Coastermania was Friday and I suspected there were a large number of out of towners who opted to make it a weekend affair. But that all began to change as it began sprinkling around 11 am. We opted to spend that time in the arcade where we dropped a couple of dollars worth of quarters into various games to earn enough tickets for....CANDY! Silly us!
I believe that 30 minute rain shower may have helped convinced some of the overnight guests to head home as the park seemed less full of people afterwards. It looked pretty grey, but by 1 pm, the sun was trying to peek out. The longest wait we had all day was a 20 minute wait for Raptor early on.
We rode Disaster Transport, Cedar Downs, Dodgems, Blue Streak, Power Tower, Corkscrew, Magnum, Gemini (only one train operation all day *major pout*), Cedar Creek Mine Ride, another swing on Skyhawk, Mean Streak, and imbibed in some 25 cent cotton candy before breaking for lunch. Blue Streak and Mean Streak were running very fast and I'm sure the overnight rain helped the wood.
Since I hadn't done the space shot side of Power Tower in my previous two trips, that was a must this time, and we had some people sitting in front of us for CCMR and Wildcat who were happy to scream in fright along with us!
Magnum! WOW! It was running so fast and smooth!! The train was flying trim-less through the pretzel turn and the airtime on the bunny hops was extreme. We managed three rides on Maggie.
The one spot of disappointment in the day was lunch. We took in the 1 pm Divine Divas show at the Palace Theatre, with the intention of getting some lunch, but it appeared no one was interested in serving that side of the room. So, after the show, we went next door to the Chuck Wagon. Catherine's chicken fried steak was cold and I asked for a 1/4 chicken, white. Rather than giving me one of the 1/4 pieces already there, the server literally ripped apart half a chicken by hand to give me my quarter white, but took half the white breast with it, so I was left with a slightly dried out wing and very little breast meat. I complained, but was told "That is what a quarter piece is". I wasn't overly impressed with the meal, and at $11 with the drink, I think we'd have been better off at Midway Market.
We had another bout of sprinkles around 4-ish, and since we were close enough to our Gemini parking spot, we opted to wait it out in the comfort of my car. We could see clear skies moving in, and once the sprinkles let up, we went back into the park for another round.
While walking by Dragster, I could see the line wasn't long enough to reach the vending machines, and Catherine suggested I grab a ride and she'd occupy herself with Matterhorn and Power Tower. I'd no sooner got into line with an older gentleman who was also a single rider when they announced TTD was down mechanical. We looked at each other, trying to decide if we wanted to wait it out, but the line was only just past the ramp, and with the announcement, a lot of people ahead of us opted to leave. We decided to wait it out. As luck would have it, Dragster was only down for 10 minutes, and 10 minutes later we were in the station in line for the last row after having two people let us in ahead of them doing the queue shuffle in order to ride with their friends.
We rode Iron Dragon and while on the lift, I was amazed to see the line for Millennium Force ended at the foot of the ramp! So, once again, I made a solo ride.
We moved to Mantis and Catherine remembered why she rarely rode Mantis in the first place. It was also running fast and trimless, but the headbanging was pretty nasty. Even my attempts to lean into the turns didn't help much. why can't they cushion OSTR's a little better??
Ocean Motion was still making clunking noises like it was on my trip a week ago and really cuts back on the smoothness I've come to expect on the ride, but since there was no one waiting in line after our ride, the ride op was convinced by the nine of us on the ride to give us a re-ride, asking the queue op to rotate the turnstile another nine times. That was really cool, unexpected, and certainly made 9 more guests a bit happier. It reminded me of the "old CP".
Speaking of which, I have to say the ride op interactions are way up this year and you can see and FEEL the difference in the reactions of the guests, and I'm not just talking us coaster geeks. People are cheering and clapping not only when they return to the station, but when they leave the station. It adds so much to the entire ride experience. I realize CP is a corporate park and must be run as such, but there is a reason Holiday World provides a much better "experience" with less thrills. Employee interactions make a much larger impact than you'd think.
*gets off her soapbox*
Of course Catherine and I can't go to CP together without the obligatory ride on Chaos, across from WT. Catherine, like on MF and TTD, is just shy of being able to get the seatbelts to click, but she's so close, we expect she'll be able to ride all three come fall. There was literally no one waiting on WT, so again, I took a solo flight.
MaXair called to us again, so we jumped in line for another "spin". Although I couldn't hear what the kids were saying next to Catherine as the ride was slowing down, I did hear her response "thanks for sharing" followed by a sheepish apology. Apparently the kid next to her was complaining about not being able to "feel his nuts" while on MaXair. ROTFL!!!
By this time the line for Raptor had become a walk-on and we decided to wait for a front seat flight. When we returned to the station, Catherine saw Matt and Kara waiting in the station, so we parked ourselves at the exit to catch them when they got off the ride with several current/former(?) CP workers. Kara and Matt were in desperate need of cotton candy, so a walk to the space spiral area for a cotton candy orgy was in order and afterwards we took up an entire train on Disaster Transport and got another fast ride with them on Blue Streak.
We left the group at Dragster and caught another ride on Magnum on our way to the Frontier Town Trading Company. The sun was just getting ready to set around 8:30 pm when we left the park with sore feet, tired legs, but feeling especially relaxed and pleased with the entire day.
We stopped at Max and Erma's in Sandusky for a bite to eat so we were on the road home an hour later than planned with Catherine taking catnaps and my body drugged with a couple of caffiene filled Excedrin that kept me alert. I made a stop at the newly renovated Rest Area/Welcome center just north of the border in case traffic got bogged down through the construction, but it was smooth sailing. We hit the driveway just after midnight, two very sore, very tired, but very
Overall, it was the best of the three trips I've made so far, with the one outstanding exception being the food service (or lack thereof) at the Palace and the Chuck Wagon. Normally we do Famous Dave's or Midway Market (which is especially cost effective with the Joe Cool discount), but my goal is to try a few more of the in park sit down places. I'm definitely marking Chuck Wagon off my list.
Each station feels alive again, like how I remember it from being a kid.
Although, I wish for MF they would get a nicer sound system that would allow for the ops to talk over the music, similar to what a DJ would do. I hate to sound like every other CP fanboy, but that MF music really added to the excitement of the ride.
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