Trip Report: Cedar Point
May 14 AND 15, 2002
Welcome to the third installment of Eric and David's Spring Trip.
Can I hear some rejoicing, for the first morning of the trip, we left our hotel room to discover NO RAIN! What's better we didn't see any other cars on the Causeway, which prompted us to cruise the cuaseway with the volume cranked ALL the way up, windows open, etc. We reached the Cedar Point end of the causeway to discover that the high $7 parking/toll fee is now an excessive $8 parking/toll fee. We pulled into the lot and pulled into "The Secret Parking Area", where is the secret parking area, well if I told you it wouuldn't be a secret but we arrived at the park at 11AM or threabouts and still had a premium close parking space.
Some time was spent in the Season Pass Building. I must note my surprise when I saw the seaon pass facility at this park known for ultra high capacity. Let's see a cramped room where you fill out your card, then do an about face to pay for it. Lots of options too: Regular? Joe Cool? Combo? Soak City Only? Wood Coasters Only? (just kidding). I went with the plain orange Regular pass. I did note that parking would soak you for $50 more. (The base price is $99, which I understand is a bargain by CP standards) You then go into chamber two which has a total of 4 camera stations. You have your photo taken, and are then told to go through the door behind you. The door behind you puts you out into an 'alley' behind the season pass building. Meanwhile you don't have a pass, there is no signage indicating a pick up area. Even though the same person who took your picture is giving you your pass you can't wait inside for it. I wonder what sort of top secret process they are going through they don't want you to know about.
Anyway, we enter the park, head to ride 1, fail to ride Ride 1 and head back out of the park. Why? To ditch the camera bags which we can tell are going to be more of a hassle than they are worth due to no'loose articles policies on several attractions. We did remember to get the back of our wrist stamped.
We soon re-enter the park and head to the Oceana Midway (big shock there, right?) Not wanting to charge right to the new ride, we first duck into 12E (Dispatch Master Transport or just Disaster Transport) The queue line for 12E has been totally redecorated. We entered the blue hallway, took a left, then a curtain blocks the queue path. Behind the curtain the queue area has been done up in fun-house black lighting. There is even an employee whoose job is to con you into parting with a $1 for "Disaster Transport in 3D" Yeah, right, whatever. I mean I know this ride has been a bad money pit for the park, what $4 million to build, $3 million to retheme, and it stil fails to meet expectations, but is this scam really the right way to cut your losses? We failed to part with $1 bills and entered the first chamber. This was the gate area or departure lounge. Not much is different except that everthing, even the wall posters has been goneover with black light paint. (Which actually required a repainting of the walls due to all the egyptian markings from their halloween event) Then the next passage merely consists of handprints all over the walls, and the floor of the second chamber whihc is almost totaly blocked off has a bizzare blue and orange glowing tile floor. You then go past the warehouse doors, also touched up in blacklight, then the repair bay where the animatronics are gone. I mean lets face it, this 3D stuff is utter nonsense. They want you to buy glasses that will blur your vision so you think its 3D. The line started at the bottom of the stairs and was quite reasonable. We entered the holding area. See there are no seat queues for 12E, they hold everybody at the top of the steps, then 10 people are allowed through the turnstile into holding area 1, then they get moved to holding area 2 behind a chain. Don't expect people to head straight for the seat in front of them when the chain is dropped. You see the clasp for the chain is to the rear of the sled. More than once i have seen the people waiting in back zig zag to the front seat. The whole process is so un-Cedar Point. We boarded our sled and were dispatched to a holding area at the base of the lift, some robot was flashing a warning about "overheating" then we started up the slowest lift hill in the park, with red chasers. A planetarium like starfield greets you at the top of lift 1, and from then on there is hardly any light till the unload station. What this means boys and girls, is that the whole 3D scam is just for the queue area. I bet the operators count how many dorky guests sit in load and just put on the 3D glasses as they sit down in the sled. "We got another one!" The rest of the ride was dark, twisty, and quite frankly short. Not much here, I did note that they must be running several sleds as there are:
Add to that we saw one more sled on the transfer track which is actually outside the buidling. I noticed it from the dining area by the Space Spiral. I also noticed on the serivce walkways on the final brakes a huge pit of discarded 3D glasses. Bet the service men LOVE that. We exited the 12E building and noted that they are taking this Alaska teming a bit far. I mean it looks like CP's midway but its a bit nippy
We then proceeded to Wicked Twister, and noted the 1 hour wait. We decided to pass and come back later. We then started walking back towards Magnum. And as we aproached Magnum we ran into Jerry Dorf, though it wasn't exactly a chance meeting. The three of us proceeded to take several spins on Magnum, in its lineless condition. All seats were taken in the Ejector Seat (1.3), and I feel theat the left or load side seat gets more air than the right. Yes there are new queue gates, but they are not hindering operations in the slightest. There is also another difference. The Spieler is now on the load side of the track, which means the days of 'banging the glass' are over. Cedar Point has taken ride spiels to an artform. Like the line "Welcome Back Magnum Riders If you didn't enjoy your ride, may I suggest Woodstock's Express, I hear its a real screamer"
Magnum was running as great as ever, with massive air on every hill of the return run. By that last tunnel, you start realzing that airtime can "Hurt So Good" Also, a fully extended Magnum seatbelt offers acres of slack room. Several rides later we deiced to tour the rest of the park.
First we looked at the Grey Wall, not much to see, but its about where Dodgems I was. We next headed to Gemini, and its station got a loud paint job. They were only running the orange train this morning, and only loading from the right lane. No gates here yet, and Gemini gave a ride with some nice air, though it did seem a bit sluggish.
After Gemini we entered FrontierTown and headed to the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. With a short wait, we opted to ride in 1.1. Gotta love that nice 42" drop. (yes, I have my units right), seriously though, the Mine Ride still gives a wonderful ride, especially the final helix. I even got the lapbar down without resorting to ankle crossing.
Speaking of fitting into rides, Jerry already reported that he could not fit into either Wicked Twister or Mantis. After my tight fits on Superman: Ultimate Escape I was getting a wee bit worried. We then headed back to Mean Streak.
Mean Streak was a walk on, but we just took whatever seats were empty. I mean its not like it matters, the ride still gives the slow smooth, dull forceless ride in every seat. I will say that I noticed no jackhammering effect.
What this means is I have been all 3 BAD wooden coasters in Ohio this year:
The winner of 3rd Worst Wooden Coaster in Ohio: Mean Streak (at leat its smooth)
The winner of second worst wooden coaster in Ohio: Raging Wolf Bobs
The winner of WORST WOODEN COASTER IN OHIO: Son of Beast
Back to Tame Streak - we rode our nice smoth nothing ride, exited and waited as the train gates came down, then went back up. They must lower the gates as the train pulls into Frontier station in case the brakes fail to stop the train.
We then had to decide whether to travel to the Main Midway by train, or hike. Given the fact that we could stand to loose some weight for WT, we chose the hike.
Sooner or later we got to MF, which we discovered had a 1.5 hour wait. We decided to pass and come back to MF. Which left us walking over to Mantis. Mantis had a half hour wait, It had a report from Jerry that he couldn't ride. Half hour is reasonable, and was actually overstated which is good becuase the ride setup once causing a delay. The ride DJ's seem to be missing in favor of pre-recorded song loops. Anyway eventually we made our way to the station, selected a seat queue (#3) with only two people in it, and prepared for our ride. The ride op came by and asked the couple ahead of us "How many in your party" "Two" "I NEED TWO RIDERS" Hello!! We're right here. Without the cognitve ability to count 4 people in the seat queue, I hope he doesn't run the ride. Anyway, we brushed Mr. Anal Retentive Ride Op off to worry about other parties fo 4 that aren't all together.
The ride spiel for Mantis says something to the effect of not even attempting to fasten the seatbelt yourself. Its a lengthy loading process, and I see they have abandoned train 3 as it is sitting under the transfer table in blue tarps. Anyway, as far as fitting, i was able to fit with slack left in the belt. We soon climbed the lift, and off onto one of the more interesitng stand ups. The vertical Loop, the cobra roo, the high carousel turn, the pain that starts in your legs, the incline loop, the corkscrew, the final fiqure 8 finale. Its wonderful. It's not the most comfortable train, thats for sure, but at least I can still ride.
We then met Jerry at Wildcat, and proceeded to enjoy an extreemly short line for Wildcat, Now imagine this: Eric, Jerry, myself, and a stranger as big as Jerry all crammed into one Wildcat car. I bet we darn near had 1,000 lbs. in that car. In other words we FLEW through the Wildcat circuit without even slowing down, the g-force extravaganza on Wildcat is so impressive and Wildcat is so fun. We then hit the unload station where the car tried its best to overshoot the unload station, I mean it ended with a real sudden stop, with the lapbars unlocked a moment before the sudden stop and deceleration.
After Wildcat we headed over to Iron Dragon, grabbed available seats, and I reminded myself how much fun Top Gun at PKI is.I mean the second pretzel loop over the lake is neat, but the ride is far to gentle with hardly no side to side wwinging.
We then decided to head over towards Power Tower. We took four Power Tower rides, one on each tower. I tried looking up on the Turbo Shot just as it thrust doward, what a dizzing effect. I must give the nod to the Space Shot, the Turbo Drop just doesn't do it for me. I liked the detail, like how the turnstiles matched the center pole color for their side. However the attention to detail does not extend to the Power Tower gift shop where they have model towers in the showcase window. However the towers in the window are three legged toweres, not 4. After some good clean S&S fun. Personally I like Erics way of rating Drop Rides. "If it feels like you are going to be in a serious world of hurt if the brakes fail, its a winner"
After Power Tower we headed to Wicked Twister after discussing food options. Eating in the park isn't exactly what we had in mind, but with the early close (8pm) and all, we still needed a snack.
We headed to the Frier accross from Wicked Twister. Here iopted for Chilli Cheese Fries, and Eric opted for a footlong Chilli Dog. (Jerry opted for cheese fires) These and Pepsi. A snack that ranme like $7.50 Speaking of Pepsi, the vending machine bottles have gone from a high $2 to an OUTRAGEOUSLY OBSCENE $3 You may know why I don't like CP food - its overpriced and it sucks. Witness I sat down at a table and realized I had an order of nasty soggy lifeless fries, covered with a gross cheese cause. The only redeaming factor in the whole mess was the chilli. Jerry said his cheese fires were lifeless and awful, and Eric reported back that his hotdog was nasty, yet the chilli was good. Man, we should have just ordered a bowl of chilli.
After our nauseatingly gross snacks, we headed over to Wicked Twister. Actually I went to WT to have a meeting with Mr. Test Seat
We then see the WT line is posted at about 30 minutes, and we join the queue. The line actually takes about 15-20 minutes. Soon we are going to seat 6 or something like that. I sit down, I asume the position the greeter trained me to assume, and the operator fastned the seatbelt with no problems whatsoever.
The Ride: You can flame me now, but I like Superman Ultimate Escape better. The double twist just doesn't do it for me, and I miss the hangtime on the reverse spike. I mean its a fun ride, but not worth over a half an hour wait.
We continued around and rode 12E again for Jerry's benefit. Space Spiral was down, we made our way up the main midway to Demon Drop.
Demon Drop - a marvel of moving parts, a fun but short drop, and has that ending where it pulls you back into the station gotten rough and choopy. Demon Drop has not aged well. We moved on to Raptor which we discovered was closed all day for wind. No mind, we moved along to Blue Streak where we took two rides a front and a back. I kinda like the front of Blue Streak to the back. 1.3 is nice, and 1.2 performs well too. Blue Streak is performing fabulously this year, its like Blue Streak: Extra Airtime Added.!!!!!
After Blue Streak we took a spin on Calypso, which even plays Calypso music. Speaking of spinning we continued down the main midway and took a spin on the Cedar Down Racing Derby where Jerry's horse finished in dead last. Yes we were fair about this and choose horses so we were all in the same row of four.
After Cedar Downs we headed back to Millenium Force where we decided to endure the posted 1.5 hour wait that turned out to be closer to 45 minutes. And that was with MF setting up and requiring some TLC. On our first MF ride the operator was assigning ALL seats, even the very front and very back. (On subsequent rides, the front and back seats were up for grabs, and we were glad to see the employee who was not allowing you to wait for the back to be reassigned somewhere else.
MF is not the airtime machine that Magnum is. MF is about taking your butt up 310' and dropping it down a rediculously steep incline and YET make the ride so smooth that my non coaster enthusiast co-worker at work loves it! MF is all about raw speed and smoothness, yes it has some nice floaters but thsoe are secondary to the speed, the out of control speed.
We took a few rides before we realized that we hadn't ridden Corkscrew yet. So we headed to Corkscrew and plopped ourselves down in the back car, and Rideman is right, there is no room for your outboard arm. Yet, Corkscrew is fun and outperforms many other Arrow multi-elements.
While back by Magnum, it would have been a Cedar Point Sin not to give it a few more rides. After Magnum, we decided to ride Chaos, all sitting sperately since there was no line for Chaos. The ride ops were accomodating which is a good thing with Jerry and I's bulk. I got a flip or two but nothing to write home about. After Chaos we went back to another ride session on MF. This time I was able to wait for and secure the back seat. WOW, talk about ejector air on the first drop. WOW WOW WOW, its a ride of a different color. It was also noted that CP was not operating Freeway today, what a shame.
We rode MF till about 7:30 on an 8pm close, then headed over to Wicked Tiwster, at least Eric and I did, I think Jerry stayed with MF. AHA - Just what we suspected. Wicked Twister was a walk on. All in all we got 5 WT in various seats during this final half hour. We got as far front as seat 2 and as far back as the next to last seat. What a blast, I mean I still like S:UE better but this can be loads of fun with no watiing. We didn't stop riding till they closed the park. We then slowly made our way out to our car, and out to a local restaurant. BTW: Cracker Barrel on 250 seems to have decent service, I hear that is an issue in Sandusky
We then played Smash TV at our hotel before catching some sleep and then "Darnit - We overslept again!" But hey its BRIGHT AND SUNNY out. Life can't get better. We had a nice breakfast, headed to the park, paid another outrageous $8 parking fee, plopped our car in "The Secret Parking Space" entered the park and headed directly for the train station. We also took our camera in with us and started to videotape the park as we mae our way through. CP allows video to be taken from the train ride which is a plus. We exited the train in Frontiertown and got a locker. A necessity stop later, and we were going to attempt to ride every adult ride at CP (Yeah right, it sounded good, but with a late start and an early close) We started the daywith Mean Streak. The spielr was saying "We're gonna take you really, really high, and drop you really really far, and you'll go really really fast, (cue puking rider in seat 2.1), and you may get really really sick. A delay was had while they santized the car in question.
Then fate does shine twice, right as we were about to board they decided to fill in the middle cars whihc had been roped off before. I must be living right, but make this two rides on Mean Streak with airtime for David. We finished riding Mean Streak exited, and headed to White Water Landing. Yes the logflume, hey I said ti was sunny. We walked through the near empty queue when this bratty young girl darted around us. Then the rideop put the three of us in the same log.
So its Eric, me, and this bratty young girl who won't shut up the enitre ride, laughs artifically, and is VERY annoying. Her presence in the boat also causes tension in that she sat where I was going to sit, way up front. You see there is no middle divider inthe boats at CP. And I don't want to sit in Eric's lapp, but I don't want to get close to the minor girl for several reasons. A very awkward position to be in. And can we smooth this tuntable out some. But the biggest surpirse came on the ride when the whole mountain theming package was GONE. We surived our ride with minimal water damage, but resisted the urge to throw the young girl screemaing at the top of her lungs ina high pitched voice "YOu guys got so wet, HA HA HA" out of the boat.
We exited the White Water Landing looked at Snake River Falls. Hey its suny, but its not THAT sunny! Cross one ride off the list. We instead headed to the Wave Swinger. A fine Wave Swinger ride was had and soon we were going to take a spin on the Antique Cars. I like how at CP you can each take your own car. No forced pairing like at PKI. We then visited the Mine Ride, rode in 2.1, had an operator who recognized us from yesterday, and had a fine ride on the Mine Ride. We then claimed our locker, toured the Town Hall Museum, and then videoed Frontiertown. Next we headed to the Gemini Midway, where we were releieved when we could take our camerbags on the rides. Today Blue side of Gemini was running whih was only fitting so we could complete both tracks. Gemini was ao out first sizeable line, not really long just out past the "Left Lane Closed" sign.
After Gemini we went to Camp Snoopy and scored a ride on Woodstock's Express with no wait, then took a spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl which actually spun nicely. Finally we ended our stop at Camp Snoopy with a ride on the Paddlewheel Excursion.
I had never doen the Paddlewheel before. Its CP's version of the jungle cruise, in thats its played all for laughs. Yep corny, stupid jokes. "Thats The Barber of Sevilie, people don't like him much because he talks behind their back" "There's Elkton John and Cougar Mellencamp" "Thats a light house, it has 35% less fat than regular houses" You can say we have our own Pair of Docks" (say it fast) Yep, corny stupid humor, in other words excatly up Rideman's alley.
We the went to ride Monster and got a little camera bag harrasement, but they still let us ride. We got to watch another sick rider
inicident. We then got the shortest Monster cycle I can remember though I did get some nice spinning going, but nothing like on a Spider. (HW I'll be there in a week!)
We decided to stow the cameras in another locker. The anicent changer by magnum doesn't work. (It's so ancient its still the type you put
your dollar bill on a tray, and push the tray in. At this point it supposed to suck the bill out of the tray, and give you your change. This one just sits there till you figure out your on candid camera. It even flashs the little green "Ready" light.
Cameras stowed we went to ride Magnum, another fine Magnum ride, but with the wait about back to the overpriced Pepsi machines with no lanes open. Speaking of overpriced Pepsi machines, I didn't see any bottle of Pepsi walking the midways...
After Magnum, we took a spin on the Witch's Wheel, where I had forgotten about bracing yourself. We then went over and rode Chaos again, and I got this wierd flip where you do a forwards flip immediately followed by a back flip, Im starting to like it better. Yes we got seated in seperate cars. Next up was the Troika. Don't blink you might miss it.
We then took a ride on Corkscrew, again in the back, another solid ride. We exited Trokia and boarded the waiting Super Himalayah. Folks, CP has hit a new low for short ride cycles. The Himalayah not only has seatbelts and a complex lapbar locking mechanism, it only rns forwards, and it's cycle is approximately : Get up to full speed, give one revolution, slow down. PATHETIC!!!!!!!
Next we headed to Power Tower, or I should say Space Shot as Turbo Drop was up and down all day, and not the way Stan Checkets intended for it to be up and down. A fine Space Shot ride was had, and we headed to Matterhorn. I didn't think more pathetic than the Super Himalayah was possible, but they came pretty close. BTW: Matterhorn should be next in line for orange seatbelts. The ride currently doess not have seatbelts and the lapbars do not lock. Matterhorn was so pathetic we didn't even bother with the Scrambler.
instead we headed back to Magnum, but Magnum was DDM, so we merely grabbed our cameras took video of the Gemini Midway and by Power Tower, and in the Millinum Force Midway before restowing them in a locker by MF.
We then decided to try later on the MF line, and instead headed to Mantis, another half hour wait, but it only seemed like 20 minutes, perfectly reasonable. We went for row 2 and had a nice ride. Yes I could still fit into Mantis. We exited Mantis, and snagged Dragon Iron, seat 1.1, it didn't help the Dragon any. Zigged across to Wildcat, and the line was so short for Wildcat they let Eric and I ride with only two of un in the whole car. One in each seat. This was a more typical Wildcat ride, and I noticed hwo the car is usually brought to a crawl before the lapbar pops open.
About this time we officially gave up on the plan to ride every adult ride, and limited ourselve to the coasters. We headed to Raptor totally neglecting Blue Streak. We went to check the wait on Raptor, and found Raptor to be a walk on. One intense back seat Raptor ride coming up! We then headed over to Blue Streak, and rode in the Schmeck Seat (1.3) The Blue Streak flys with air. We then rode Calypso, and had the most pathetic Calypso ride. I thought the one atAmericana sucked, this one was worse than that. On this particularr ride our pod of 4 cars failed to start rotating. They stood rightwhere they were for the entire ride. How disapointing, I feel gyped, I want my ride tickets back!
We then headed over to Oceana, where we noted an hour plus serious looking queue for WT, no more Freepass tickets available. Call us spoiled but after out WT mini marathon last night, we said "Forget this" and moved on to 12E. 12E the line was so short they were having people go directly up to the cars (after walking through the 3D scam that CP should be very ashamed of), we exited 12E and I verified that the water fountain at the exit of 12E is indded VERY cold, but so is the one at the restrooms as your start down the Frontier Trail nearest MF.
I then took a snack stop for Cheese on a Stick. It was okay, Knoebels is better. We then rode the Space Spiral. Man, that thing is a SAUNA. Just wear your winter clothes, 2001 SRM shirt with the sweat block, flannel shirt, turtleneck, sweater, and heavy coat in here and it may sweat a few pounds out of you.
Can we at least open up a window?????? We got some nice views of the park from the Space Spiral, then went to Raptor for another back seat ride. There were only two of us in row 8 when a boy who I SWEAR could not have possibly been 54" hopped in a seat. The ops didn't say a word and the boy I think is a future coaster enthusiast in the making.
Another fine Raptor ride, can we just do something about that real rough transition from the final helix to the brake run YEOUCH!
After Raptor we were headed to MF. I got some Frozen Custard at the Coaster Creamery. CP's custard is one thing they do right. Rich creamy, MMM MMM Good. Between the Cheese on a Stick, the courtesy water with the Cheese on a Stick, and the Custard it all came to $5.
We found a rahter scary looking MF line, then we saw somethng even scarier, Jerry Dorf. We were supposed to meet him early this morning if we hadn't overslept. Man have we got some explaining to do. We proceeded to ride MF which was running as smooth and fine as ever. Then we claimed our locker, shot video of the MF midway, the Main midway, headed through the Coloseum where I looked at the old shcool games they still have in the back half. CP is getting wise and leaving the back fire exit of the Colloseum open as easy access to WT. We exited the back door, shot some video of WT. Before we knew it the park had closed. WHAT?!? We were supposed to be on the road by 7 at the latest, oops. We browsed the gift shops but wound up not buying anything, I noted the hand dryers in the front gate men's rooms are way OVER POWERED. We then exited the park, and still managed to make it to Van Wert, OH where Eric's parents live in time to see the midnight screening of Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones.
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