On the road by 6:30 am, the plan was to stop at the McDonald's in Oregon for coffee and mcmuffins, but we were rudely surprised to see there was nothing but dirt where McDonald's used to be. Must be a trend as the White Castle near our house was also a pile of dirt. I didn't notice whether they were rebuilding or not. Guess we'll figure that one out next year.
We were happy to see TTD testing when we pulled into the parking space near Gemini at 8:45 am, and TTD was our first stop when the gates opened to JC and hotel guests at 9 am.
We were in the 4th train of the day, green, in the second row, with Ian and Donna in the row behind us. From our pre-launch position, we watched the train before us launch and literally race across the tophat instead of the usual gentle roll over.
Whether that previous fast run was a factor in our launch speed or not, I don't know, but when our train launched and we climbed the tower, the front of the train barely made the first curve of the tophat before we felt the weightlessness of hangtime and erupted into ecstatic cheers as we realized we were going to rollback. I'd been hoping for a rollback since TTD opened.
I think it was rather obvious to the ride op that no one was concerned from the cheers and handslapping going on from all of the occupants. The re-launch, though was one of the fastest we've ever been on, and like the train before us, we literally sped over the tophat and had a pretty strong brake at the end.
The disappointment of the day was Catherine discovering the test seatbelt for MF was even shorter than two months ago...and this after she'd lost even more weight. I suspect they shortened the belt on the test seat once again, but even though MF was a walk-on, she didn't want to take a chance of trying and being embarassed on the platform. I rode with Ian and Donna, then let them ride again while Catherine and I waited.
It took a ride on Mean Streak where Catherine noticed how much more slack she had in the belt before the sting of MF left. We rode MS twice because we had such a great ride in the gold train the first time. More speed, more squealing, but it was far from lethargic and even provided a couple of pops of airtime.
Some of the other highlights include laughing and reminiscing at the dead ride graveyard, even more so for me since I'd been going to CP since 1966 and remembered most of the "dead" rides. It was great seeing the Schwabinchen lady again.
Most everything was a walk-on. We even got a second ride on TTD in mid afternoon (generally the busiest time of the day) with only a 20 minute wait. It was funny seeing people lined up for Freeway when the lines were so short to begin with.
Catherine and I rode some old favorites we hadn't done at CP in a while, including Scrambler, Tilt-a-Whirl, and she even braved the Giant Wheel. Ian and Donna rode Woodstock Express for the first time and Ian admitted it was more fun that it looked, even for a "kiddie" ride. We wore our sunglasses on Disaster Transport to make it feel even darker and Ian mentioned DT seemed more "out of control" than normal. The "captain" of our boat on the paddlewheel excursion delivered the old corny jokes with much enthusiasm, added a few I hadn't heard before, and it was a much more enjoyable ride than the last one we had where the captain was monotone and disinterested. Lively ride ops certainly make it a better experience.
We went through U.R.Dade, Lair of the Vampire and Pharoah's Secret haunted houses, putting Donna first figuring she'd be the funniest to watch getting jumped at, although Catherine got surprised once herself. Lair is better than Toxic was, although none of the houses really frighten me.
Of course, I had to have some moments of craziness to remind Ian how embarassing it can be to go to CP with mom. It helped there were a couple of songs from Rocky Horror Picture show playing on the midways (Rock Lobster and Time Warp) that had routine dance moves that I was familiar with from science fiction convention dances (i'm proud to say I've never seen RHPS all the way through).
We had muffins and iced coffee for breakfast at Donut Time, and Catherine suggested burgers at Famous Dave's. I was impressed by the food and the service, and liked the burger enough to search out a Famous Dave's in our hometown and try the BBQ.
We left around 6:30 because I had to get Ian and Donna back to their dorms in Ann Arbor. I took the turnpike to US-23 and was amazed that people were travelling at 80 mph! I thought the speed limit on the turnpike was 65 mph. I pretty much stuck to the middle lane to avoid the much slower trucks and stay out of the way of the people racing by. There were a lot of "weavers", people cutting in and out of traffic and causing people to hit the brakes because of it.
I can't imagine the turnpike is much safer than Route 2 under those kinds of driving conditions. Sure, I'm not as likely to be hit head on by some a$$ trying to pass on the two lane stretch, but I think I'd rather take my chances on that brief 2 lane road at 60 mph than having someone pull an assinine move at 80 mph.
Congrats on the Dragster rollback as well!
The disappointment of the day was Catherine discovering the test seatbelt for MF was even shorter than two months ago...and this after she'd lost even more weight. I suspect they shortened the belt on the test seat once again..
Unfortunately, the seatbelt on MF has not been shortened any from it's length on opening day.
If the discrepancy cannot be attributed to wearing different clothes, you most likely happened upon the seat when the belt was slightly stretched out. Although it is replaced regularly, the 300+ pulls it receives on an average day start to strech the belt out.
Do they replace the belt on the test seat frequently??
CP Dude, it's good to hear they are rebuilding the McDonald's in Oregon! After all these years using that as our halfway stopping point, it was quite disconcerting to see it gone.
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