Wicked Twister media day

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, May 2, 2002 10:46 AM

Cedar Point
Wicked Twister media day
May 2, 2002

It's 4:15 a.m. and I'm huddled under a quilt, watching TV with my wife in the basement. The tornado sirens woke us up a few minutes ago. Funnel clouds have been spotted in my county, and now we're just waiting for the weather service to call off the warning so we can go back to sleep.

They finally do, at 4:50 a.m. My alarm is set for 5 a.m. so there's really no point in going back to bed, but I do anyway. My wife wakes me up at 5:45 a.m.; she's ready for work.

I get a shower and put on my official cold weather coaster-riding outfit - jeans, black boots, T-shirt, fleece. As I step outside to leave, I notice it's extremely muggy and probably close to 70 degrees already - and it's only 6:30 a.m. I feel overdressed. But my wife assures me it'll be colder by the lake. I trust her.

I start driving from north Columbus in my Toyota Avalon. Well it's not mine, it belongs to Enterprise Rental Car, but as far as I'm concerned it's mine until my VW is out of the shop. I'll never be able to afford this car, so I enjoy the drive.

I usually take I-71 to Route 250, but this time I took U.S 23 to 98 to 4. Much faster, and fewer towns... but I can't believe how many times the train tracks cross the road.

The drive of about 2 hours and 15 minutes always seems to take longer than it is. I arrive just before 9 a.m., after stopping in Bucyrus for a cherry Mello Yello (they don't have this in Columbus). I also bought a "Pibb Xtra," whatever that is. I'm a big fan of tasting new beverages. Haven't tried it yet though.

The CP skyline is as exciting as ever from the causeway. I show my media pass at the gate and they direct me to a special lot right beside Demon Drop.

When I open the car door, I find out my wife was right, as usual. Brrr! It's no more than 45 degrees and spitting rain.

I walk, shivering, through a small gate. I check in and am handed a pass and a neat reporter's notebook with "Wicked Twister Media Day" on it. I meanader through the park and pretty soon the featured attraction stands tall before me.

But first I have to pee. I can't hold 20-oz. of Mello Yello and ride a coaster multiple times, silly.

So now, business taken care of, I join the gathering crowd. News cameras are everywhere, waiting for the opening speeches. I see RideMan and say hi to him. Shortly thereafter a seagull craps on both of us. I think he got it worse. Then Sean F. sees me and comes over. He says he's been here since 5 a.m. riding.... crazy enthusiasts! Then I recognize Shaggy from his Coasterbuzz profile pic and introduce myself. Good to meet you, John. I kept my camera in my pocket while riding as promised. ;)

I also see Jeff (Putz) several times, and I want to introduce myself, but each time I see him he is either talking to a reporter or with friends. So I don't bug him. Next time, dude.

Before too long, someone from Cedar Point PR is introducing the speakers: the CP president (or was it veep?), Bill Linkenheimer of ACE, and the president of Intamin, who was a no-show. After they speak, there is a ribbon-cutting, and we're off.

I see that WT is noticably taller than S:UE. I wait through one train cycle. The first train out throws up sand from the beach underneath. Another bird craps on me.

Then, the first ride is over and I head for the back of the loooong train, and get in the fourth seat from the back.

"Recheck harnesses, recheck harnesses."

That would be the theme for the next 5 minutes. Apparently there are some minor problems. But soon they're worked out, and we launch.

Intense launch, and we fly up the first tower. Almost no twist this time. Back through the station, and the LIMs really kick in this time. Up the back, and the positive Gs are intense. The twisting begins as soon as I hit vertical. A full 360. Back through the station, and the cold air rips at my face. Up the front spike again, and I get about 3/4 twist this time. Down again, and slamming up the other side again, I get another full twist. Here's the best part of the ride: looking down into that twist. I didn't think the visuals would be so neat. The legchoppers are amazing.

Finally we coast through the station once more, up the front spike, and down into the brakes.

I am ecstatic. Incredible ride. If you think you have ridden WT if you have ridden S:UE, you're wrong.

I exit and immediately jump back in line. The front and back seats are reserved for recording video and audio, respectively, so there's a line for the second-to-last seat. I wait it out.

It's worth it. Almost a twist and a half on the back spike.

Once more I exit and circle around. This time I opt for an immediate ride in the fifth seat from the front. WOW. The whipping action into the front-spike twist catches me off-guard. You can really feel the forces pushing you through that twist.

Ugh. Three times in a row proves a little too much forward/backward action for me, and I feel nauseated. So I start walking around the park. I notice it's 10:30 a.m. and wonder if the free food is being served yet. Not that I could eat - too sick - I just wanted something hot to drink. I wander towards food, stopping to take several photos.

Johnny Rocket's is where the free food is. I sit at the bar and peruse the media guide to CP coasters I picked up at the media tent. I get a Mountain Dew instead of coffee, as I sit there so long before they take my order that I've warmed up.

I hear the manager threaten to turn up the music, so I leave with my drink. I check out the TV feed room, then go back for one more ride.

This is a big mistake, but I'm glad I did it. I ride in the third-to-last seat. This time, as I'm at the highest point, I raise my head and look down at the station. What a beautiful view.

Now, as I exit, I feel really, really sick. I immediately grab a bench, feeling like the wussy peeps from RCT. It's cool though, 'cause I get to look around, drinking in all the reporters taking interviews and cameramen setting up and such.

I consider taking another ride but opt against it. Four was enough. I decide to leave - it's about 11:30 a.m. I could get home and enjoy my day off, rather than throwing up.

I see Sean F. again on the way out... he tells me to e-mail him about the PKI video shoot in a couple weeks. Sorry, man, can't do it. Good to talk to you a little though.

So I begin my long drive home, staring in the rearview mirror at Millennium Force and wishing it had been open as well.

I won't bore you with the details of my drive home, suffice it to say that north central Ohio drivers are extremely slow. Fortunately, there is no such thing as hills or curves up here, so you can easily pass 5, 6 trucks at a time. :)

Thanks for reading.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 10:57 AM

Nice preview.....

Is the queue line setup huge?

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Dayuum, Your HOT!

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 10:57 AM
Good TR, were any rides testing?

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 1:59 PM

Coastrr, the queue did not seem large enough to me. It is a long rectangle with about 8 rows, if I remember correctly.

MikeMir, I did not see any other rides testing except the ferris wheel.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 2:04 PM
Thanks for the MDR, Den....(Media Day Report)....WT sounds to be much more than "that similar ride at Six Flags"...;)

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....teachin' people about towel safety and proper towel usage...it's important!

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 4:34 PM

Den,

What part of Columbus are you in? I'm over in Gahanna, and got that siren wake-up call too. Darn tornadoes...

Nice report!

Jim

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My K'Nex Coasters

Coming to Wyandot Lake in 2003: Sea Dragon's Revenge

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Thursday, May 2, 2002 5:46 PM
Hey Den, I live in Worthington (Oh and JimmyBob, I teach in Gahanna)...wish I could have made the trip today. Sounds intense. How is the view of the lake? It's been like 7 years and I still miss working at CP...I think I'm going through withdrawals. Wife is PG w/twins and on bedrest. Won't be making it anytime soon.
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Thursday, May 2, 2002 7:17 PM

You should've jumped in and introduced yourself! I did so much standing around it wasn't funny. Between sat truck engineers on crack and newspaper reporters on deadline, I was always waiting for someone.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Friday, May 3, 2002 5:26 AM

jimmybob, I live on the north side, just north of Cooke Road and just west of Karl Road.

Giantwheeljay, the view of the lake is great. It's really neat that the ride is built over sand. The end of the queue is probably no more than 100 feet from the water. So you teach in Gahanna? I work a lot with Gahanna schools in my job, I edit the Gahanna News weekly newspaper. Where do you teach? EDIT.... oops, I notice from your e-mail that it's Middle School East.

Jeff, sorry I didn't introduce myself.... I'm pretty shy about such things. Next time!

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

*** This post was edited by Den on 5/3/2002. ***

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Saturday, May 4, 2002 3:04 PM

I see that WT is noticably taller than S:UE. I wait through one train cycle. The first train out throws up sand from the beach underneath. Another bird craps on me.

Ahem! I thought I made it VERY clear when I said it was WATER that fell on us! :)

Joe, who thought that was gross.

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"I have a flashlight, enjoy the show!"

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Saturday, May 4, 2002 5:37 PM

Dennis,

Great TR! Nice to see you again. As Joe can testify, I was REALLY feeling my 30+ rides on that coaster yesteday morning. Heck, I will still feeling it this morning. I wasn't exactly sick, but more in a 'third person mode' where it felt like I was walking behind myself. Yea, I know. Pretty confusing sounding but that is what it felt like.

I think the reason I felt so odd wasn't exactly because I took 30 rides but more to the fact that I took in 10 rides without getting off the train in the afternoon. Every other ride I got in I had time to settle down from the brief walk back around to the station.

When you mentioned the funnel clouds in Grove City, I was stunned. Just as Joe and I were leaving Grove City that morning, it was looking real nasty out. I mentioned to Joe that we had classic tornado weather.

So, we left two possible twisters to the South, to experience two very real twisters to the North. Go figure.

Nice to see you got home OK Joe.

-Sean (Oh, Oh, did I just open up a can of worms with that? What's next? "Why isn't it called Wicked Twisters?") F.

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Monday, May 6, 2002 8:53 AM
Sean, if it was called "Wicked Twisters" we'd have people adding it twice to their track records. ;);)

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2002 7:44 PM
Den, Did you bid in the aution or did they invite acers?
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 5:08 AM

Neither... they invite people who have a relationship with the park.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 6:30 AM
Actually, I wouldn't say my relationship with CP is good... I don't really know any of the brass there. However, I *am* a member of the media; that's why I got an invitation. I'm an editor at a group of newspapers in Columbus.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

+0

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