We were through the tollbooths at about 9:40 and my sister proceeded to get her two day pass, we hit the bathroom (long trip ya know), and join the mass of people waiting to get through the front gate.
Our first ride of the day was Wicked Twister. It never fails that people in line are talking about the saying towers! We had about a 2 train wait and took row 15. I like this ride a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather ride Magnum, MF, or Raptor, but it is definitely better than I was expecting. The back spike is my favorite, looking to the right and seeing all of the park below you, and then being twisted and seeing the lake and the park spin beow you. It's just intense. There really isn't any other way to describe it. We took a second quick ride up toward the front, which my sister actually liked more than the back. I still prefer being "screwed in the rear" though. One thing I noticed is that the WT station really has no energy whatsoever. Despite its great location on the beach, the sterile spiel, lack of "Welcome back, how was your ride," etc really makes it seem less exciting than it should be.
We decided to head to the back of the park, but on the way, we walked onto the Space Shot Side of Power Tower. The seatbelt buckles seem to be broken in better now than they were on opening day and I didn't look like a moron trying to get it off!
Magnum was calling our names so we decided to ride in the ejector seat! It was great seeing Nancy, one of my crewmates from last year back working the greatest steel coaster of all time. The crew looked much more confident today with the new signaling system (airgates, front to back thumbs up this year, dispatch enable button, and high clear given to signal the control op that everything is ready) and were running three trains flawlessly as usual. The train wasn't full for our ride so it was a bit rough - much like a test ride! But still, the return run was filled with glorious ejector air. We took another spin, this time in 6-2, which is probably my second favorite seat!
Next it was over to Paddlewheel to see Captain Andy (last year's Magnum TL). My sister and I were the only ones in the boat so we shot the bull about CP gossip and such. We stuck around for a second ride with some other people to hear him spiel.
Next was Gemini where I saw another one of my close friends from last year, Shari, who is the ATL over there. Took a ride near the front of the train. Gemini was not racing today due to extremely small crowds and was running just two trains on the red side. I love Gemini. I consider it to be about my fourth or fifth favorite ride in the park behind Magnum, Raptor, MF, and maybe WT.
Went to the back of the park and hit Mean Streak. The first drop trims were on. The ride did not seem as rough as it was last year, but it is so slow that there really aren't any forces, negative g's or lateral g's to be had. It was tolerable to ride, but really not much fun to be honest. Saw Chris, who worked Magnum last year for a while before going to Paddlewheel.
Millennium Force was up next and I was pleased to see it was running all three trains and had about a 25 minute wait. My sister was complaining about being tired all morning and I didn't see how she could be tired at CP! I had not slept the night before and I was fine! I was hoping maybe some giga-coaster goodness would wake her up. Got the blue train (uggg!). First drop was incredible as usual, but the rest of the ride was a bit disappointing. Did get air on each of the three hills, but it was not as strong as it was last year. I didn't notice any unusual sloppiness in the train like others have reported though. They're still using the terrible autospiel in the station.
Back to the front of the park via the Skyride we went to hit Raptor which had about a 10 minute wait for back right. I didn't notice anything unual on the drop on this ride, but on a later ride I would. Raptor was awesome as always, delivering a disorienting ride from start to finish. I love the little pop of airtime right after the "straightaway." The helix finale is one of the most intense finishes I can think of.
We hit Blue Streak before a trip to the car for some snacking. Blue Streak was still running awesome, but not quite as good as opening day. The ride is still good enough I found myself wishing it was a double out and back!
After resting in the car, we came in and hit Wicked Twister in the middle of the train. The middle is actually cool because you get some twist on both ends! I'd almost say I found the middle to be better than the front. Back is still my favorite though.
Short lines throughout the park meant that marathoning just about any ride was possible, so guess what, I decided to take a whole bunch of laps on Magnum! My sister sat out after two (I rode about 6 more times solo) and around 4 o'clock, I brought her back to the hotel. We were supposed to stay at the Dusk 'til Dawn, but there was a sign on the door that said to go to the Ramada. So we got a $90 room for $38. To be honest though, there was nothing so special about this hotel, but it got the job done. I took about a half hour nap and headed back to the park solo around 5.
I hit Magnum and then went over to Gemini and made plans to meet Shari at closing. I met up with Mark from the Magnum crew and we took a ride on Millennium Force near the back and were about to take a second ride when there was a puker. The MF crew looked extremely flustered and we let about 5 minutes pass. They had hardly gotten started so we decided to head back to Magnum. We got four rides in, including the last train of the night. Captain Andy came over and provided some antics to make everyone on the crew laugh.
Headed over to Gemini to meet Shari and ended up going back to the Commons for a while and eventually going out to dinner with her and a few other employees at Applebees. They messed up our orders which was kind of surprising since we've normally had really good luck at Applebees. I didn't end up getting to bed until about 1AM and honestly I didn't sleep a whole lot because I was looking forward to day two of our adventure. I will tell you about that tomorrow.
To sum it all up, day one at CP consisted of small crowds, nearly perfect operations, meeting old and new friends, and lots and lots of riding! It's days like that are going to make me really regret being back home this summer.
2001 Magnum Crew
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