Steel Vengeance is a wife beater

Thursday, June 7, 2018 11:15 AM

I have a big Cedar Point trip planned for Fourth of July week with the whole family, including my wife Amy and our two daughters, however it had been awhile since Amy and I got to enjoy some time by ourselves, so we decided to take our own mini vacation last Sunday, June 3. Think of it as a scouting expedition: mom and dad would check the place out, make sure everything was as it should be, and then we would all come back in a few weeks. That’s how we pitched it to our girls, anyway.

The original plan was to do CoasterMania, but I was delinquent in buying tickets, and when it came time to pull the trigger I was deeply saddened to see that the event was sold out. So, onto Plan B. We left Indianapolis on Sunday morning and arrived at the park around 2 o’clock. We stayed at Breakers for two nights in a one-king-bed room and spent most of the afternoon on Sunday and all of Monday at the park. I normally prefer to do a beat-by-beat trip report, but I didn’t take any notes and my memory is terrible, so I’ll just share some general thoughts.

Sunday at the park was sublime. A rain storm had apparently just passed through when we got there, so that probably drove some people away that never returned, but holy cow was the place empty. Actually, the midways had their fair share of patrons shuffling about, but the coaster lines were very short. To me, that’s the perfect balance. A park that is truly dead, where there is just no one there, is kind of sad. I enjoy the energy that comes from big crowds, and there is pleasure that comes from people watching and seeing lots of families and big groups of people having a good time (or fighting – that’s fun to watch to). Millennium Force was maybe a three-train wait, and Dragster’s line was to the bottom of the ramp. Also, the front seat queue for Millennium no longer has that little jog that goes behind the operator’s booth to the edge of the platform, so that shaves probably six to eight people and thus about 10 minutes off the front seat line.

We left the peninsula to make a quick shopping trip and grab some dinner. Sandusky has a Five Guys now. Rejoice!

Monday was definitely more crowded, but the weather could not have been better. Low 70’s, light breeze, not a cloud in the sky. Gorgeous. The lines were still manageable, but noticeably longer than the day before. We ate at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, which I thought had been removed from the park, but now it’s back, or something. Anyway, I was pretty happy to get a full meal with two sandwiches and two fries for under 15 bucks. The drinks are what kill you, so if you can skip that then it’s really not a bad deal.

I spent some time at Cedar Point Shores, where I went down a bunch of slides and Amy sat and watched me go down a bunch of slides. I love me some waterslides. The newest addition is Point Plummet, which features four slides where you crawl inside an alien capsule thingy and the floor drops from under you. Awesome! Did that one five times and absolutely loved it. The floor drop is exhilarating and the slide tubes are very smooth and comfortable. There was a kid on the platform that was too old to be chickening out that totally chickened out after he saw how it worked.

I can’t say enough about Hotel Breakers. Amy and I love the place. They did a spectacular job with the renovation, and now this behemoth of a hotel feels fresh and vibrant while still maintaining its charm. The beach area right outside the rotunda has been turned into a great hang out spot, with fire pits, a bar, and a bunch of fun activities, including oversized Jenga, oversized beer pong, oversized Connect Four, and regular-sized volleyball. So much fun.

Overall, I was able to get a lap on all the major coasters except for Gemini. Amy and I got two front-seat rides on Millennium and one on Dragster. I gotta say, Cedar Point’s coaster collection is getting ridiculous. It’s an embarrassment of riches. When I went for the first time in 1995, the best rides were Raptor and Magnum. Now, the park has 10 legitimately top-shelf coasters that any park would be happy to have. It is truly amazing, and should not be taken for granted.

Well, that about wraps it up. Thanks for reading!

Oh yeah, Steel Vengeance.

I’ll say this much: I absolutely loved the first half. The drop is incredible, the first big turn that is slightly underbanked gives some nice, sustained airtime, and the second big turn that is waaay underbanked (the engineers must’ve gotten their signs wrong for the banking on this turn) is, shall we say, special. Then there’s the 540 degree roll, followed by a quick turnaround into the stall roll/dive. That is just a spectacular sequence. I was giggling like a mad fool throughout the first half. However, as the ride went on, it was becoming clear that Amy was not enjoying herself. When we got to the station, she couldn’t wait to get off. One comment in particular sums up how she felt: “They ruined Mean Streak!”

I know.

Now, I get why she didn’t like it. She’s not into being thrown around like a rag doll. (By the way, is that all you can do with a rag doll? Just throw it around? I’ve never had a rag doll, but I would think you could play with it and have tea parties and stuff.) The seats and restraints aren’t the most comfortable. The ride has numerous moments of extreme ejector air, and her thighs were pretty bruised up. Also, she’s given birth to two human beings, and I’ve heard that that can sometimes mess your body up. She adamantly declared that she wanted nothing to do with the thing for the rest of her life, and that I should feel guilty for enjoying something that abused her so thoroughly. Point taken.

With all that said, I don’t really know how I feel about Steel Vengeance. It was hard for me to enjoy it knowing that my wife was most definitely not enjoying it. I need a few more laps on it before I can render a verdict. It is fairly exhausting, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I mean, the ride can still be fun, but whereas Steel Vengeance drains you, Millennium Forces energizes you. I could ride Millennium all day; I don’t think I could do more than a few laps on Steel Vengeance before needing a break. That’s the difference, but that’s just me. I’m sure the coaster enthusiast community will eat this ride up, and it will surely vault to the top of many lists and polls, but I’m not sure the hoi polloi will have the same reaction. It’ll be interesting to see in a few years if this ride’s popularity starts to wane a little bit. Maybe it won’t. Maverick is of the same ilk, and it’s still drawing big crowds a decade later. I guess time will tell.

Anyway, great time at The Point, as always. Can’t wait to go back!

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 1:15 PM

I've heard a couple of enthusiasts claim that Alan Schilke designed Steel Vengeance, especially the second half to be 'unmarathonable.' Whether or not that's true I don't know, I haven't talked to him. But if that's the case...

Why not just keep Mean Streak?

With that said, SV is an amazing ride. I rode it 4 times on Media Day and found myself done after the 3rd ride. I followed my group of friends for my 4th ride and had some regrets during the mid course and didn't enjoy the second half. Call me old, call me soft, maybe even ask for my enthusiast card but I'm starting to be okay with not riding it for a while. I've been to the park twice since Media Day and I get the same feeling on the mid-course after my one and only ride for the day. Even with a little bit of trimming on the mid course my legs weren't having any more.

For someone that might not be a hard core roller coaster rider? I could definitely understand them not enjoying it. Thankfully Maverick and Millennium Force are a short walk away.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 1:17 PM

I had the same feeling about Voyage. It's definitely top 5, but I cannot ride that thing more than 2 or 3 times in a row without needing to ride the bench afterwards.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, June 7, 2018 3:55 PM
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Thursday, June 7, 2018 1:29 PM

It's a comparison I made to myself as well.

I find SV more re-rideable than Voyage ever was.

That's not to say I'd marathon SV - Jeff and I did back-to-back laps and I was tapping out - but with a little breather between laps, I was able to muster 6 or 7 laps on media day morning. I've never done that with Voyage - a couple of laps and I'm done...period.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, June 7, 2018 1:30 PM
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Thursday, June 7, 2018 1:55 PM

It's a good comparison. The back halves of both rides are very similar. The big difference is that Steel Vengeance is butter smooth, whereas The Voyage is, in addition to being very aggressive, also fairly rough.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:24 PM

That's the 2nd time today that someone has remarked on the discomfort of the ride. One of my FB friends who's a hardcore coaster enthusiast posted something about her thighs being so badly bruised by SteVe that if offered a re-ride she probably would have declined. And here I was thinking that I've got to get back to CP to ride it; now I'm not so sure. As to Voyage, 7 years ago I rode it 7 times almost consecutively and afterwards felt as if I needed a chiropractor. I doubt that I could manage more than 1 lap now. At the age of 66 I find myself becoming increasingly injury prone. Last year I sustained a rib contusion on Boulder Dash and this year got beaten up by The Beast so am approaching every coaster with some degree of trepidation.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:41 PM

It's nowhere near as rough as Voyage, I don't think. Not even close.

It's every bit as intense.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:45 PM

SteVe

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 3:09 PM

https://pointbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/your-guide-to-names

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 3:11 PM

Oh man, I can't wait to complain about the re-rideability of SteVe and Voyage later this summer. Sounds like I'll have to take another 15 year hiatus from coaster enthusiasm after that trip. ;)

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 4:12 PM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

I've heard a couple of enthusiasts claim that Alan Schilke designed Steel Vengeance, especially the second half to be 'unmarathonable.' Whether or not that's true I don't know, I haven't talked to him. But if that's the case...

Why not just keep Mean Streak?

It's not like Mean Streak was something you could marathon either. I rode it once a year, whether I needed chiropractic services or not.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 6:44 PM

I like intense rides, and these reports of SV being "un-marathonable" make me happy. There aren't too many coasters around that just flat out kick your ass. CP has plenty of other coasters to camp out on; hopefully they don't neuter this one due to complaints. At least not til I can get up there to try it out...

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 6:47 PM

I gotta be honest with you, I'm starting to like SteVe just because it annoys people so much, and because the park officially said not to abbreviate it. Stick it to the man!

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 7:39 PM

I love when people say the parks "neuter" the good rides. If a ride that formerly did not have a trim now has a trim, there is a legitimate reason for it. Whether it is for a better ride experience or structural integrity of the pieces and parts that make the rides, parks aren't spending money to install trim brakes just to piss off enthusiasts. Regardless of what you hear from the crowd at any coaster event meal.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 10:06 PM

I had a feeling even during construction that there'd be a segment of the population that would not really take to Steel Vengeance. I mean let's be serious, people voted Millennium Force best coaster for how many years in a row? If you ask me, that ride is a total snooze fest and I'll take Magnum, Maverick, Raptor, etc over it any day. To each their own. I don't think I'll get the chance to "marathon" Steel Vengeance for quite some time, but I'd love to try it if the opportunity arose. I got three laps opening weekend and then five more Memorial Day weekend. I can't get enough. To be honest, it makes some of the other great rides at CP seem kind of ho hum in a similar way that Dragster seemed to at first in 2003. Eventually things even out and you begin to appreciate everything else again too.

I agree with the Voyage comparison. These are two rides that are long enough that I really don't feel cheated when I finish riding them, nomatter how long the line was. Steel Vengeance is almost two complete rides by duration and number of elements. I love it. And my wife does too (I think). :)

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Friday, June 8, 2018 12:29 AM

The neuter comment was directed at what they did to original Mean Streak over the years. Or things like the removal of the loop on SoB,rework and changes to I305, or removal of post-tunnel element on Maverick. Last one a bit extreme :) I understand things have to be done when rides don't perform as expected, but still a bummer when intensity must be reduced, just MHO.

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Friday, June 8, 2018 12:36 AM

SteVe just is not creative, really it’s just lazy. SVen is a much more fitting abbreviation given its meaning. It fits all the criteria SteVe does (as in it includes sequential letters from the name). Not sure why SV is too difficult to use. Anyone using SteVe is someone I don’t care to associate with.

New feature suggestion: block users or block posts that include certain keywords (like SteVe)

Last edited by ldiesman, Friday, June 8, 2018 12:37 AM
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Friday, June 8, 2018 7:19 AM

SVen is 20% more lazy than SteVe.

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Friday, June 8, 2018 9:24 AM

“They ruined Mean Streak!”

*files for divorce*

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Friday, June 8, 2018 10:59 AM

kpjb said:

I gotta be honest with you, I'm starting to like SteVe just because it annoys people so much, and because the park officially said not to abbreviate it. Stick it to the man!

I'm going to start calling it Frank. Or maybe Harold. Just because.

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