Trip Report - CP - Valravn, Dodgem Cars, Barnyard Animals 5.8.16

Monday, May 9, 2016 7:20 AM

I made the trip to CP on 5/8. The park was busy but not unbearable by any stretch. I was able to ride all the major attractions and enjoy a few others in just over 6.5 hrs.

Valravn was just okay for me. The ride itself looks absolutely impressive. Visually it looks like it should be an incredible and intense ride. Its just one of those deals where I was not impressed by the ride experience. I have a much stronger preference for a ride like MF, Magnum, Raptor, Maverick, and Blue Streak. I like rides that feel aggressive. I will ride Valravn again at some point this year. I am not willing to wait more than 30-45 minutes for it. On a separate note the new marina entrance looks very nice. There are also some neat views of Raptor due to the installation of Valravn.

I made it a point to visit Dodgem to check out the new cars. The new cars look amazing and they come with a different restraint. The restraint is a padded bar that for most people would go across their stomachs. You much reach over the restraint to use the wheel. Its a reach for smaller guests. I found the new restraint to be uncomfortable during my ride. I was hit head on, it was a big jolt, my body moved forward and slammed against the restraint. The impact with the restraint was rather uncomfortable. There were far more guests wincing after an impact than laughing. I was a bit shocked by this. I think the more traditional seat belt type restraint was better.

I like visiting the Barnyard Animals in Frontier Town. I was a very unhappy with what I saw at this attraction. The company that manages this attraction was practically non existent. In years past the staff would regulate the number of guests that could enter the enclosure with the animals. It was a free-for-all on Sunday. There were way too many guests in the enclosure. The animals were obviously unhappy and trying to find places to retreat. The most shocking thing were all the guests that were attempting to pick up the newly minted goats and cuddle them like a stuffed animal. I believe that this attraction can be a nice learning tool but I believe the welfare of the animals needs to be taken into greater consideration.

All things considered it was a great day to be at the park. The weather was stunning.

Coastermania (2003-2018). Coaster EXT - Geagua Lake (2005-2007). The Big Chill at The Big House 12.11.10 - University of Michigan v Michigan State University - World Record Attendance for an Outdoor Hockey Game - 104,073. 2016 100th Indianapolis 500 - Sold Out (aprox. 375,000)

Monday, May 9, 2016 9:11 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Nice TR. I like Valravn for precisely the reasons you seem not to. I like a ride that, while fun, is also re-ridable. For example, I find myself capable of only 1 ride at a time on Raptor, Maverick, and Rougarou, while rides like Mil Force, Blue Streak, Gemini, TTD, I can ride over and over again without problems.

We didn't get a chance to even go look at the new Bumper Cars. Anytime a ride gets "updated" I'm always "Cautiously Optomistic." (In the workplace, that term, roughly translated, means BOHICA.) So the restraints are uncomfortable, but how about the cars themselves? Are they faster? Slower? BC's are my sons absolute favorite thing on Earth, and he'd be p1$$ed if they are worse. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Your bit about the petting zoo is kind of sad. I am by no means suggesting that you start filming "Blackgoat" or anything, but have you considered contacting the park with your observation? (notice I said The Park, not PETA) I'm not sure if that's something in their department, or if that's overstepping your boundaries as a park guest, but maybe worth a try if it concerns you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 10:12 AM
Kick The Sky's avatar

If this past weekend at Cedar Point was anything like it was at Six Flags Great America, my guess is that the park was understaffed. There is at least another week before college kids start arriving to staff the park in force. Kids coming out of high school to work there have a few more weeks to go yet. Staffing levels should be normal in a few weeks and those animals should be better looked after. Not saying it is an excuse, but certain things get overlooked pre-Memorial day when the park is getting crushed by people coming to see the latest and greatest and to shake off the winter and get out to the amusement park.

Certain victory.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 5:33 PM
D_vo's avatar

Yeah, the food services were noticeably understaffed, but it's just like you said. A lot of the staff hasn't arrived to the park yet, so it's understandable.

As for ValRavn, I think I'm mostly on the same page. I did like it a lot; enough to where I think I prefer it to Gatekeeper. But it doesn't stack up to Magnum, Rougarou, Raptor, MF, Maverick, or TTD. You do get some fantastic views of the park, and the first drop is fantastic in the back row. Also, the roll has a really strange, but fun, feel to it when you're sitting in one of the end seats. Overall it's very fun, but I agree that I wouldn't wait that long for it.

I will say, now that the vest restraints are standard protocol, I find myself wishing ValRavn had the classic B&M restraints, a la Raptor. I know some people thought they were headbangers, but these rides (Gatekeeper, ValRavn) are so smooth, that there wouldn't be any headbanging anyway. And the classic restraints were much more spacious, so it's a much more comfortable ride, in my opinion.

I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 9:10 PM
Pete's avatar

On the Dodgem cars, the new cars run great. Faster and more responsive. The restraints are a mixed bag but I prefer the old seat belts to the new restraints. The ride does seem to load faster as the ride operator doesn't manually tug on each seatbelt like they used to.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 9:37 PM

I rode the dodgem cars at Dollywood last week, first time ever, and they had those over-the-head bars. I thought they were great- comfortable and certainly much faster for the ride ops. I've always hated those old through-the-arm loops that, for a person of size anyway, can put serious damage to the armpit.
I really like the new, well, re-located Dodgem* at CP and I'm looking forward to trying these new cars. Are they Majestic Cobras?

*as long as it's not a really windy day and the thing fills up with sand...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 9:38 PM

D_vo said:

I will say, now that the vest restraints are standard protocol, I find myself wishing ValRavn had the classic B&M restraints

I'll second this. I've had bad experiences with the new restraints, especially on Gatekeeper. For one, they've always bothered my shoulders and have left me sore long after visiting the park. This week I had an especially bad experience in that the restraint somehow pinned my thigh against the bump in the center of the seat which led to an excruciating ride. Having ridden all three of the US dive machines I can now say that I prefer the "classic" restraints on these rides.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 10:30 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Pete said:

On the Dodgem cars, the new cars run great. Faster and more responsive. The restraints are a mixed bag but I prefer the old seat belts to the new restraints. The ride does seem to load faster as the ride operator doesn't manually tug on each seatbelt like they used to.

That's great news! We will sometimes ride the BC's 10 times in a day. The most frustrating part is waiting for the single ride attendant to meander over to every single car and check the belts. If this improves dispatch times then it's a good thing. And better, faster cars too? Can't wait to go back now. Most likely this weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 1:19 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey Motorcitycoaster fan. I liked your trip report.

Your comment about the barnyard animals is what has me worried about the new barnyard attraction at MA. I would bet that a lot of little kids will want to rush in to see the cute animals, and seeing the way kids act these days, I can bet those animals will suffer from being overly handled. Not to mention the heat and most likely not being treated well.

Cedar Point has had other animal attractions, including a small zoo, and a circus like animal attraction, with exotic animals. Which the park removed due to lack of participation. I think it was called Jungle Larry's or something like that. Not to mention the aquarium which used to have a dolphin show. Some of those animals suffered, and a lot of people wanted them removed.

As for Valravn, it looks like a fun ride. I have been watching videos of it on Youtube, and I would bet that the view from up there rivals any other ride in the park. In mid summer people might just ride it for the visuals. I'm betting that summer lines will be insane when the GP starts to arrive. But, it might also give some other coasters a break in attendance.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, May 11, 2016 1:20 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 2:43 PM

You like to harken back to the good old days of Deer Park, which surprise! was a petting zoo. Do you suppose the animals suffered in the sweltering heat of 1958? Do you suppose the children, with how they acted back then, manhandled the cute animals unmercifully? Bet so.

I'm one step ahead of you, so let's allow that MI currently doesn't have a speck of shade, while Deer Park Funland had plenty. And then let's count on the fact that the park will have a barn structure so the little cuties will have shelter, shade, and a place to sleep and be cared for.
I doubt that these amusement park animals will be any worse off than the ones standing in the actual farmyards and fields down the road.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 4:17 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar


I'm, not sure if you are familiar with Deer Park Funland. In the early days you could walk up and feed and pet the deer. They also had a second duck pond, where you could feed and pet ducks. That is where Bee Bop BLVD now sits, and Zach's Zoomer sits where the picnic pavillions used to be. But, it was many years before they built the corkscrew that the deer area was changed so that you could no longer walk among the deer, you could only feed them over the top of a fence, in a small area no bigger than a small bus.

Deer Park, didn't own the deer, they wondered in from the woods to get free grub, and the park started feeding them, and turned them into an attraction. I think it was when the park changed to Michigan's adventure, and wildwater adventure that they nixed the deer. But, it was never a big draw. The corkscrew was what brought popularity to the park, and the rides that followed.

When the park had the deer, the area where they lived was nothing but woods, so they had plenty of shade. The park bulldozed those woods to build the water park, and the man made lake. That entire area was nothing but forest, and large old trees.As anyone who was there in the 70's and they will tell you so.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Wednesday, May 11, 2016 4:17 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!


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