TR: Cedar Point 09/13/2013
Place: Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
It’s HalloWeekends time again and Friday night marked the kickoff of Cedar Point’s 17th annual Halloween event. The park was definitely busier than it was last year on Opening Night, but my longest wait was only 15 minutes, so I’d say it was definitely a good night. I have no idea what order I went on the below rides, so I will just work from the front of the park to the back.
GateKeeper (wait time- walk on for most seats, about 5 trains for the front). It was a definite shock to see CP’s big new ride have such a small line, but that may have had something to do with the fact that the crew was just pumping three trains in and out as fast as they could. Major kudos to them. My first ride was in row 7, left outside seat. The ride was much rougher than I remembered back in May, almost to the point of having a jackhammer effect. Thankfully riding in the front right outside seat on my second trip more than made up for the first ride. The front offers amazing visuals, a smooth sensation of soaring through the air, and even some airtime on the large hill following the first two inversions. Cedar Point also seemed to have improved the restraints as they no longer clamp down on you during the ride. GateKeeper is a very good ride, but I still rank it below at least 3 other steelies at the Point. The ride does look amazing at night as the trains soar over the main gate.
Raptor (wait time- 10 minutes). Raptor was its usual rambunctious self on Friday night, running very fast and rather intense. Perhaps I just haven’t noticed it in the past few years, but the cobra roll had its original strobe-light effect working again. The end turn into the brakes is still a bit abrupt, but overall, this 19-year old invert hasn’t lost it yet.
Blue Streak (wait time- walk on). I wasn’t expecting much out of the 49-year old Blue Streak as the last few years haven’t been that great. Surprisingly, the Streak was running pretty well on Friday night with some good pops of airtime and minimal roughness. The ride op seemed like she’d rather be anywhere else other than operating the Blue Streak though. She came across as very condescending in her little spiel.
Cedar Downs (wait time- walk on). Have to ride it every time I visit the Point. Awesome as always, even with the lame music which I have grown to like more and more each year.
Iron Dragon (wait time- walk on). Since I missed this back in May, I took a spin on one of the few remaining Arrow suspended coasters left. The first half is pretty pointless as the ride doesn’t really do anything. The second half is where the action is as the cars swing around the lagoon. I know it’s not a favorite amongst the enthusiast community, but I like the Iron Dragon and hope it has a few more years left of its “useful service life”.
Millennium Force (wait time- walk on first ride, 10 minutes second ride). My first ride was during Early Entry and was great as always. My second ride was at 9:00 and was interesting. There was a nice cloud of fog near the first drop as much of the fog from CornStalkers and the Frontier Trail was blowing towards the bay. Right after the island turnaround, I felt something hit my face. It felt like a branch, but it was a liquid of some sort (I assumed water). The kid in front of me thought someone hit him, so he got it too. It was very odd to say the least. Aside from almost losing an eye, Millennium Force at night is simply awesome.
Maverick (wait time- walk on twice). Like MF, I rode Maverick during Early Entry, so there was no wait at all. Maverick is a great ride with some intense twists and turns and the greatest mid-course launch of any ride I have been on. Of course, it has the only mid-course launch that I have been on too. :) I wanted to ride at night since one of the park’s outdoor haunts takes place underneath, but the posted wait time was 30 minutes.
Mean Streak (wait time- walk on). With three trains running, there were more empty seats than people riding Mean Streak. I think that Mean Streak is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be. As long as you ride with your back off of the headrest, it is surprisingly decent. Yes, the train shuffles quite a bit and there is some roughness, yet I can name at least 5 other woodies that are just as bad or worse than this (and if anyone asks, those would be GhostRider, Wild Beast, Mighty Canadian Minebuster, Hershey’s WildCat and Gwazi).
Magnum (wait time- walk on). Riding in a non-axle seat makes all the difference in the world here. I rode in seat 1.2 and was pleased at how smooth the ride was, even during the triangular bunny hops at the end. I can’t think of another coaster where one of its hills has you off your seat (and perhaps even the track!) for roughly three seconds like Magnum’s third hill. Awesome stuff.
Top Thrill Dragster (wait time- about 3 trains). I hit Dragster right around 6:00, so the ride was just opening up. Dragster is Dragster. Launch real fast, go up, come down, hit the brakes. I was surprised it was running so well with it being as windy as it was.
Power Tower (wait time- 5 minutes). Since I hadn’t been on this S&S tower complex in several years, I took a ride on the Space Shot side and enjoyed it immensely. For some reason I like the shot side better than the drop side. Maybe it’s because I’m spoiled from having ridden Waldameer’s awesome ARM drop tower so many times, but Power Tower’s drop is pretty tame.
I also took a stroll through the Maniacal, Mechanical ScreamWorks scare zone on Frontier Trail and like last year, came through unscathed. Actually, I wasn’t the only one that did so as the characters inside seemed more concerned with talking to one another than actually jumping out at passers-by. The slider guy at the entrance was doing his job well, but aside from that, there was really nothing to scream about. Over at the CarnEvil scare zone, I had to laugh at the “chainsaw” one of the clowns was using near the entrance. It played a recorded chainsaw sound and the blade lit up and flashed. Now, I’m pretty easily frightened, but being chased by a toy chainsaw isn’t really that scary!
Overall it was a great time at the park. While I don’t enjoy haunted houses, I do enjoy HalloWeekends. The atmosphere at the park is great and the decorations are always a lot of fun, even if it did seem like there were less of them this year.
Thanks for reading!
My wife and I have visited CP several times in the month of September and have enjoyed short lines there as well.
I plan to be there again in two weeks (last weekend of Sept) for a Great Ohio ERT event. Anyone else planning to be there? I'm hoping the weather will be better than we had a couple years ago.
We hit Dragster 4 times in a row from 11pm-11:30pm, last 2 without leaving the station. That ride really has become very reliable over the years, "lawn ornament" ppfft whatever!
I think BS is running great this year. Very underrated woodie.
Maverick is always the longest line of the day, and its not because of capcity, they pump the trains out great. Its the longest line because its so damn fun.
We rode Magnum in 1-3, and i wonder if i wasnt restrained, on those last hills, how far the train would actually throw me. I'm thinking i'd fly at least 50ft in the air.
Nice TR RayP
oh yeah, we got a hell of a view of Mavericks first hill on the CutThroatCove walkthrew. Like 15ft from the train, wish i had my camera. Rare look right there.
* This post was modified at 9/17/13 3:15:26 AM *
I'm glad you got on Iron Dragon again. I remember our rides back in the day quite fondly and would be a can't miss when I get back to the park. Also good to hear that Blue Streak and Cedar Downs are in good shape.
Thanks for posting the report.
I read reports like this and wish someone could "beam me up" (wouldn't have to be Scotty) to be there right then so I could experience CP as you did.
Short lines, good weather, and just because I haven't been to CP for years...plural, not sure how many...what a win it would be, can't plan those kinds of visits.
And hanging with you wouldn't be bad either...