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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012)

Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012)

ray_p ray_p Profile

Posted:
9/15/12 at
8:58:53 PM

Place: Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
Date: Friday September 14, 2012
Weather: Clear skies, high around 67
Crowds: about 8 rows of cars in the parking lot
Closed Rides: usual HalloWeekend Friday rides
Demolished Rides since Last Visit: Space Spiral, Disaster Transport
Time Spent at Park: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

I've been a Cedar Point fanboy ever since I was a kid. Over the past several years, my excitement for the park has waned considerably as classic rides continue to be removed and the park's arrogance of being named "Best In The World" every year seems to have gone to its head. Last night however was one of those rare nights where everything seemed to be clicking, and with the extremely low crowd levels, I had the best time at CP in many, many years.

Upon entering the park, it's hard not to notice the vacancy left by Disaster Transport and Space Spiral. A giant fence has blocked this area off from guests (with Troika behind it as well), however the Space Spiral entrance ramp still remains. It's an odd sight to be sure, especially when I grew up with the park and was used to seeing rides in those locations. Next year will be a different story to be sure. :)

First stop during early entry was Iron Dragon, which I didn't ride on my last visit. I walked right up into the station and hopped in the back seat. I know it's unpopular to like Iron Dragon, but I really enjoy this ride. Sure, it's not fast and the cars don't swing much, but it's still enjoyable and the pretzel knot finale over a foggy lagoon made for a nice way to start the night.

I wasn't sure how long the line for Millennium Force would be, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a walk-on. I rode in the last seat and got an awesome ride on "the world's best steel coaster". I actually noticed the dinosaurs from the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit this time, which sort of gives MF a prehistoric theme now during the island turnaround. MF was running great- smooth, very fast, and offering a bunch of airtime on the ride's few hills.

I headed down the Frontier Trail en route to Maverick and noticed the various props set up for the nightly Screamworks scare zone, which included a rocket ship from Geauga Lake's old Traver Circle Swing. The "steampunk" theme looked interesting by day.

As I arrived at Maverick, I was again greeted with a minimal wait of about 3 trains. As on my June visit, Maverick was running a bit rough (seems like the wheels need to be replaced), however the mid-course launch was amazing as always and the airtime on the two main airtime hills was insane. The water cannons were also on during the turnaround after the launch, which is always a neat visual for passers-by.

After exiting Maverick, it was 5:55 and the pesky GP were about to be let in. I considered buying a FastLane pass, but decided to hold off and see how bad the lines would get. Thankfully, I got to save $65 as the rest of the evening would see minimal lines at major rides that I haven't seen in years.

I saw Top Thrill Dragster was operating, so I headed over there and walked right up to the station and had a one train wait. The ride ops here were MUCH better than on my last visit as they were friendly and outgoing. As for the ride itself, TTD still ranks as the best 17-second thrill ride I have been on. The launch is still breathtaking as you propel to 120 mph in just 3.8 seconds. As the train crested the top of the 420-foot tower, the sun was reflecting off Sandusky Bay and the view was simply stunning. But before you can take it all in, you are sent hurtling right back down the other side, twisting 270-degrees in the process. As a coaster, it's not much, but it is definitely one heck of a rush.

I wandered over to WindSeeker next and had just missed a cycle, so I had to wait one cycle to get on. After riding Flight at Martin's Fantasy Island a few weeks back, I will say that the Star Flyer-style rides are definitely scarier rides as the chains and the flimsy swings look very fragile in comparison with the more substantial seats and supports on Wind Seeker. That being said, I have come to like WindSeeker as it offers a fantastic view of the park. Seeing the area where DT and Space Spiral once stood from up here was definitely interesting as you could still see the indentation of where Space Spiral had collapsed on the beach.

As I walked towards Wicked Twister, I debated if I should give the world's only double-twisting impulse coaster a spin as I hadn't been on it in several years. With there being no line, I decided to hop aboard. Wicked Twister makes me a bit nauseous these days, mostly because of the sudden stop as the train falls backwards into the station on its final pass, but the ride is still fun and the leg-chopper visuals twisting up the back tower make for a unique experience.

Cedar Downs was my next stop as it is always a must ride on my CP visits. It's a shame there aren't more of these as Cedar Downs is an absolute blast to ride. My horse lost to 3 other invisible riders next to me. ;)

I took some time out to play some ancient pinball machines in the Arcade and also played Space Harrier and Donkey Kong. I love CP's arcade as they have tons of old school arcade games you don't find very often.

Having not ridden Blue Streak back in June, I joined about 8 other people in the station and took a ride. I know some folks out there think Blue Streak is great, but I have to disagree. The ride is rough, jarring, and doesn't seem to offer much airtime in the spots where you'd expect it. I know it's wrong to say, but I do feel the park's other woodie is running better this year...

Raptor was next and it too was a walk-on. This was almost too good to be true as I have not had walk-on after walk-on since 1996 or 97. Raptor was running great this visit. The inline twist and cobra roll didn't seem as vicious as it has on past rides. Very smooth and very intense. I'm sure Raptor's lines will decrease considerably on busy days next summer when GateKeeper opens.

Having made one full lap of the park, I opted to head towards the back of the park again. Dragster still had a mostly empty station, so I took another ride. I feel that Dragster is a better ride towards the front of the train as you don't seem to feel the cable disengaging as you do near the rear of the train. With the line as short as it was, I probably could have kept riding over and over, but I still had a few rides I needed to knock out.

Magnum XL-200 was a walk on (can you believe it?), so I rode in seat 1.2 and enjoyed a rather crazy ride that shook and rattled and launched me against the lap bar on the return airtime hills. Good stuff, although my legs are still quite bruised today!

Mean Streak is operating this year on HalloWeekends Fridays (perhaps due to WildCat not being in the park anymore), so I took a ride on everyone's least favorite woodie. I had to fight some crowds back here as a rather long line had formed for the park's newest haunted house, Eden Musee (which is located in a new building occupying the former extended Mean Streak queue). On a side note, I have to say that while the building is just a standard building, the facade for the entrance was very well done as it was a replica of the park's original Eden Musee wax museum. CP history buffs will be pleased! Of course I didn't enter as I don't do well in haunted mazes... Mean Streak though was running great. I don't know what it is, but the ride was running far smoother than it has in many years and there is even a sense of speed in many spots. All three trains were running, resulting in yet another walk-on. More crowds were headed to this area as the parks Cut Throat Cove outdoor scare zone is also located here. The pirate-themed haunt meanders underneath Maverick and seemed to be popular with guests.

So now it's 8:15 and I want to ride Millennium Force for my usual HalloWeekends night ride. Being the haunted house wuss that I am, I have two options- either walk all the way back past Gemini, Magnum, etc and then walk down the Iron Dragon midway again, or suck it up and walk down Frontier Trail's Screamworks scare zone. With my legs telling me "hey, enough already", I opted for the latter.

Maniacal, Mechanical Screamworks was actually a huge disappointment. After seeing the props in daylight, I thought they would be used for scares. Instead, you just walk through a bunch of fog and special lights as scareactors walk past in search of people to jump out at. I guess being an old guy by himself worked to my advantage as I had one monster say "hi" to me and that was it. I do give credit to the "slider" guys. That is pretty cool and seemed to be an effective way to scare unsuspecting guests. Yay, I survived a scare zone! :)

Wow, this is a long TR. Anyhow, my final ride of the night was my night ride on Millennium Force where I had to endure a 10-minute wait. And while I still think MF is an absolutely amazing ride at night, it seemed to be lacking something this year... that being artificial fog. There didn't seem to be much fog in the area as Terror Island was relocated (Cut Throat Cove) and even the fog from Screamworks and Cornstalkers didn't seem particularly thick. In any case, I'm still a MF fanboy as it ranks as my current #1 steel coaster.

Other things of note: the park had cool Halloween lights projected on the midway between the far Sky Ride station and Cedar Downs; the Giant Wheel's LED light package was turned on (despite the wheel not operating on Fridays) and looked stunning; Power Tower and Millennium Force both looked great once again thanks to updated light packages; and the park had a Disaster Transport shuttle filled with skeletons placed near Power Tower as a HalloWeekend display.

Overall, it was the best visit I have had to CP in ages. No videos or pics this time... I was there to relax and have fun, and that goal was definitely accomplished. Thanks for reading!

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by NotSo NotSo Profile at 9/15/12 10:37:00 PM
Fun read, because i was there too. Got there at 5:40 and no joke hit MF twice (gate open, one train wait), Mav, Skyhawk, Dragster twice, PowerTower, and Raptor and was back at the car by 7:40 for a couple beers and snacks. What a great night to be there, perfect weather and lines that couldnt be shorter even if you had FastLane. Went back in about 8:20 and hit Club Blood then Raptor front seat with a 2 train wait, unbelievable. Hit most of the haunted stuff with CornStalkers being the longest wait of the day at 22 minutes. Awesome night! Doesnt get much better than that!! Absolutely love the Halloween theme, they really go all out. Had several $9 beers even tho i had a cooler in the car, just having a great time! ..and yes, wife drove home.. best wife ever!

And yeah, not much fog this time, i heard they had a few fights and problems last year though..

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/15/12 11:08:44 PM
Thanks, Ray. Great TR. It's amazing you had so many walkons and such.
Wish I'd been there! It's a bit of a shame that some of what used to be among our favorite "fun" rides are gone now (DT, Wildcat) and yes, Blue Streak isn't so great anymore either. And I'll also agree that the steampunk props look much cooler than the actual walkthru experience. And MF is the best!
Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by squirrels at 9/16/12 9:41:08 AM
Fun times, those HW Fridays. :) You're right, the hooligans don't target older guys quite as much...they know they can't get a start out of you like they can women and kids. I agree that some of the haunted paths were kind of lame when people were focused together. However, if you got enough space between you and the next group of people, it definitely takes on an eerie feel.

MF was fogged out the last time I was there...the coaster kicks arse with or without the fog, but the fog definitely changes the experience.

I think they did some work on Mean Streak since last time I was there...that coaster is notorious for being a pain machine. But I'm glad someone finally agrees with me about Blue Streak...that thing dislocated my spine and my wife's neck. And I told her it'd be "mild". :/ That's the sad thing about "legacy coasters"...not only does the GP use interest, but they all wear with time and become rougher and more violent. As much as you'd like to preserve them all, they DO have finite operational lifetimes. CP has kept this one around for a good while now.

Fahrenheit at Hershey uses pretty much the same cars as Maverick, and people HAVE noticed the rides getting rougher very quickly, much like old Arrow loopers. You're probably right...it's likely something as simple as a wheel-change.

Sounds like a fun time overall. I'm hoping to get there again within the next 2-3 years.

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by gvlaker27 gvlaker27 Profile at 9/16/12 9:11:33 PM
I couldn't help but notice you took your rides on Maggie in the first car, second row and described the airtime the same way I did for Maggie rides this summer: bruised thighs!

Who'da thunk that those seats way up at the front would deliver such ejector air?!?! I used to always shoot for the back of the train, which is still amazing, but I might just have to hit that same seat in row 2 from now on! Toomer was just that good!

Anyone else experience what we did?

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 9/16/12 9:31:35 PM
The famous seat for MagnumXL was always the 3rd row of the first train.That is what I was always told was the ejector air seat!!
Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/17/12 12:27:16 AM
gvlaker27 said:
Anyone else experience what we did?

Yeah, bruised thighs in the first car, in the second or third row.
Seems it's always been that way. I know it was back in 1999.

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by squirrels at 9/17/12 9:44:05 AM
RobLec said:

gvlaker27 said:
Anyone else experience what we did?


Yeah, bruised thighs in the first car, in the second or third row.
Seems it's always been that way. I know it was back in 1999.

It DOES do a number on your thighs. The drops on the return-part of Magnum XL-200 are very aggressive. It's the "ejector" air-time everyone craves, but I can certainly understand people's thighs being beat up.

"Wery Egriessive!" [/Teddy KGB]

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by KevinReid KevinReid Profile at 9/17/12 11:42:14 AM
Ray Nice TR.

No where is my video?

Regards,
Kevin Reid

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 9/17/12 12:06:45 PM
KevinReid said:

No where is my video?

Did you read the last line of my TR, Kevin? ;)

To be truthful, I did shoot a few things that didn't quite turn out and I also stood in front of the non-operating Giant Wheel for about 2 minutes and filmed the cool light patterns the new LED package created. I'm considering putting together a small video of stuff left on the cutting room floor from my 2012 park visits, so perhaps the footage from my CP visit Friday, along with the incomplete footage of Lagoon's TerroRide may be seen for the first time in the not-too-distant future. :)

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/17/12 12:24:26 PM
squirrels said:
It DOES do a number on your thighs. The drops on the return-part of Magnum XL-200 are very aggressive. It's the "ejector" air-time everyone craves, but I can certainly understand people's thighs being beat up.

Personally I definitely prefer Millie's gentle, sustained floating air.

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by sparky sparky Profile at 9/17/12 4:53:45 PM
I don't have much to add other than I'm jealous. The first Friday night after daily ops cease at CP is always a great time to get lots of rides with minimal waits.

I did get a chuckle out of your new "demolished rides" line item, though!

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 9/17/12 4:56:03 PM
Nice TR Ray. I have been to Cedar Point on Halloweekends several times. I've never had that kind of luck on Friday nights, but I have experienced walk ons on Sundays. Mike(beastmaster) and I met up at Kennywood on Saturday and were talking about Cedar Point. He was headed there after Kennywood, to visit on Sunday. Hopefully he had the same luck you did.
Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 9/17/12 6:01:08 PM
sparky said:

I don't have much to add other than I'm jealous. The first Friday night after daily ops cease at CP is always a great time to get lots of rides with minimal waits.


I did get a chuckle out of your new "demolished rides" line item, though!

Reliable sources told me that the weekend before was quite good in the "no lines" department. Meaning Friday night AND Saturday day. I was jealous of them so I made a note of it, just in case I am ready for a CP visit at that time next year.

Nice TR Ray, and I am using "reply with quote" reply because I caught that "demolished rides" line, and LOL'd, too.

Mike. B.

Mike B.
Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 9/18/12 1:04:22 PM
Thanks to everyone for their comments. :)

I have been visiting CP on opening night of HalloWeekends for the past several years and have never seen the park this dead before. I usually wait 30-40 minutes for my night ride on Millennium Force and 15-20 minutes for Dragster, so having walk-ons for 95% of my riding time was a nice change from the norm.

And it's not often I get to use the Demolished Rides tagline, so it was fun to drag it out for this report!

Re: Trip Report: Cedar Point (09/14/2012) by Coaster316 at 9/18/12 3:45:19 PM
Glad you had such a great time, Ray. I'll remember mid-September weekends for future considerations.

ray_p said:

I took some time out to play some ancient pinball machines in the Arcade and also played Space Harrier and Donkey Kong. I love CP's arcade as they have tons of old school arcade games you don't find very often.

Speaking of considerations, I'm strongly thinking of a visit to HersheyPark on Sunday. One of the things that has me leaning toward going is checking out the arcade to see if they still have Name That Tune. Hershey's arcade is (was?) so awesome.