Day two of my recent CP trip took on a much more leisurely pace than the first day. I was accompanied by three people on this day: my sister, Shari (Gemini turned Magnum ATL and my favorite person at CP ), and her friend Andrea. I don't know what it is about me and CP, but I always end up with a ratio that is in my favor. This is probably payback for my school being mostly a sausage fest! We took our time getting to the park and arrived just before 11, parking in the Soak City lot. Gotta love riding in an employee's car and avoiding that little $8 parking pleasantry!
We immediately noticed a rare sight: Magnum running two trains. Shari remembered that this was ARC day and that the two train op was to avoid many setups that would have occured due to the large amount of special accesses. Iron Dragon, Gemini, and Corkscrew (the other coasters that can't stack) also ran two on this day. The crews and the volunteers accompanying the kids did a good job of handling things for the most part. Capacity was still far above most other parks.
Our first ride was Magnum where we got to break in another Magnum virgin in Andrea, who had never ridden a coaster before coming to work at CP this season. After a 5 minute wait or so, we took our seats and were on our way. Magnum has been talked about to death so no need going into detail other than to say I still love this ride. It gets a little rough in the pretzle and exiting the pretzle, but the view on the second hill, the sustained ejector air on the third hill, and the blissful ejector pops on the return run are going to keep this ride high on my list for a long time. Andrea liked the ride, but said it was too rough. I suppose all the creations we've had in recent years leave newer riders thinking that poor Magnum is rough. I think it is just fun!
Next it was over to Paddlewheel to visit Andy (2001 Magnum TL) again. He didn't drive our boat, but it was nice saying hi. Paddlewheel is a good ride for older folks or people looking to take a break from thrills. The theming and jokes are a bit lame, but it is definitely just one of the many ways CP offers something for everyone.
After this, it was off for a spin on Woodstock Express. It was about the fourth time I've taken a spin on this and it seemed to have a bit more side to side vibration than I remember. Nonetheless - this ride rocks for small kids and families. There was one kid that was too small to ride alone, but we weren't quick enough to offer to ride with him. He had to go get his sister. If you're reading this, sorry we made you chase after her...
As we were exiting Camp Snoopy, I spotted Chris Fike, the area two rides manager, and waved to him. I wasn't sure if he recognized me to be honest, but it's all good. He came over and talked to Shari for a minute and asked her if we were going to warm up the park for the afternoon since it was a tad chilly. I shook his hand, said good bye, and we were on our way to Mean Streak.
We took the back seat on Mean Streak and it was pretty much the same as the day before - slow and boring, but not really painful at all. I didn't find it to be as rough as it seemed last year, but there just isn't much in the way of forces on this ride because of its slow speeds.
We went over to hit the swings to see if Dustin (another crewmate from Magnum) was there, but he wasn't. Everyone except Andrea took a ride anyway and it made Shari and myself a bit dizzy to be honest. It was probably due to not eating much of anything for breakfast though.
Mine Ride was our longest wait up to that point at about 10 minutes. They still had the middle rows roped off and also the people next to us went to the wrong row so we had to wait an extra train. No biggie - it's only Mine Ride (oh better watch it - Natalie might be reading!). Mine ride is a nice, long, slow family ride and that helix at the end is actually kind of intense! It looked like the trains are coming in to the station a bit faster this year compared to the last few years after the new control system was installed. It still needs to be tweaked a bit more to allow the crew to hit interval with more ease I would think though.
Next we were off to MF and got into what looked to be about a 45 minute wait (just short of the soda machines). It turned out to be closer to an hour with the Freeway people coming in and the crew not hitting interval every time. This was only about the third time they had run three trains so I suspect they've got it down by now. I've gotten pretty good at estimating CP lines, but with Freeway, I'm going to have to shoot a bit higher I think. Shari and I took our ride in 2-1 and the others were in 2-2. The ride at that point was still running a bit slow, but there is no way you can't love the drop on MF. The air on the lagoon hills was not that great on this particular trip, but the hop by the station delivered a good pop. They still had the heaters cranking under the platform to heat up the trains.
After a brief break for some food (I am not at liberty to say where we dined), we decided to hit up Wicked Twister. I was trying to get everyone to go for the back, but Shari wanted to ride up front. As it turned out, we didn't have much of a choice and ended up in the 5th row. I still dig the back more although the front is good too. I like Wicked Twister and I hope whatever problems they are having currently get straightened out - especially before the busy season hits. It may not look like much, but this ride is a lot of fun!
Next we hit Raptor and decided to wait for the front row. I love the visuals up front, but honestly I still think back right delivers a more intense ride. We got to witness a puke cleanup operation which was done much quicker than the MF crew the day before so kudos to the Raptor crew again. Magnum is going to have a tough time staying close if you guys keep it up! Raptor is still my favorite B&M inverted ahead of Alpengeist, Great Bear, Batman, etc.
Next we decided to hit Disaster Transport. I pointed out how they used a lot of leftovers to "theme" DT. Some example include neon lighting from the WT station, leftover fencing from the WT ramp. We even joked that the thing that looks like the dilithium crystal chamber in Star Trek was a leftover piece of VertiGo! I also noticed that the "Hgih Voltage" or whatever it was has been corrected. DT is still DT - a short, but fun ride. I miss the "I'm losing control" and "welcome to Alaska." I wonder why they chose to improve the visual theming, but remove the audio theming.
We decided to check out the Air Force tractor trailer that was occupying the Oceana midway that day. They were handing out frisbies and water bottles to people who could answer trivia or do something cool. My sister did 15 pushups on the midway and got a couple prizes - that was kind of funny. After a 40 minute wait during which we endured an officer who liked to talk way too much, we proceeded into the trailer. Basically it seemed like a scam to get information off of you. I gave them phoney stuff and proceded to only hit one target and crash the plane twice while flying my mission in the simulator.
Next, we walked on to Blue Streak. After the ride, Andrea said that Blue Streak was just a waste. I had to bite my tongue and not lash into her for not appreciating a classic! Blue Streak is a good woodie, but I almost whish it was a double out and back like the Comet at Great Escape (formerly at Crystal Beach) because it is over so quickly. It is definitely running well this year, although not as fast today as on opening day. Pour on that grease!
By this time, Shari had worked up the courage to try WT in the back, but when we went over, we discovered that the wait had ballooned to probably just over 30 minutes. We decided to hit Raptor again since it was under a 10 minute wait. This time we took a ride in the back and it finally dawned on me that the harsh turn/stop at the end of the ride is only bad in the back. So here's a tip for anyone who doesn't like the whiplash stop on Raptor - sit toward the front of the train. I bet if they were to do it over, they'd have made that brake run a bit longer so it didn't have to slow the train before the back of the train finished navigating the turn.
We took a peak at the WT line and discovered that it was still long, so we started to head for the back of the park again. We all tried desperately to get Andrea to take a Space Shot on Power Tower, but it wasn't to be. She watched us from the exit as we shot up on the south side facing the parking lot. She looked at me like I was crazy as I held my legs out and waved to her with a big smile as we blasted off! I bet she's ridden in by now...
We went back to take another ride on Magnum - this time near the back of the train. There was a girl on the crew who got kind of snotty while spieling telling a kid to stop playing with the airgates. If it's a bunch of people doing something, use the spieler to make an anouncement, otherwise, just walk over and tell the kid to stop. It wasn't worth making a scene over. At this point, everyone was getting pretty beat, but I didn't want to leave (and I know Shari didn't either) without taking a spin on Gemini. So we went to do that and then decided to head out to get some dinner. I have to admit, I was kind of sad I missed last ride on Magnum, but I was real tired and I felt satisfied after another great day at CP.
Despite spending all last summer there, I still feel sad when I drive away and know that it's going to be a while before I get back. It's nice to take things a bit slower sometimes like we did on this day. Yes, 14 or 15 rides is a slow day for me! I have to admit that I am very cheap when I go to parks and I don't spend alot on food, souvineers or upcharges. I go mainly to ride, but hoenstly, I still appreciate the whole CP experience. Just the atmosphere, the views, the smells, and now that I've gotten to know some of them better, the people. All of those things contribute to making CP special for me and I love bringing my friends who have never been there before. They are usually amazed. I can't wait to make my next trip out on July 11 or 12 through the 15th. I don't think I'm going to be in the park except maybe one day, but I still can't wait.
2001 Magnum Crew
*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 6/11/2002. ***
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