TR: CP [27.10.13] (Closing Day 2013)
TR: CP [27.10.13]
I'd not originally intended to visit Cedar Point this season. The park is my old home park, the one I visited the most growing up, and I only get the motivation to go there every few years now. But I was heading back to MI on vacation and it was the last day of the season, so hey, why not?
The weather was unusually nice on Sunday after a rather biting week of wind and occasional rain in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. I arrived around open at Noon and scooted off to the mini parking area next to Gemini, unsure of how vicious the crowds would end up being.
Starting in the back of the park I quickly got rides on Magnum (5 mins for back seat), Mean Streak (walk on, no surprise) and then a pretty short 30 mins for Maverick.
Magnum, as ever, is my favourite ride at the park. Part of it is my personal history, having seen it built, then shooting sparks on the air hills opening season, and now its status as a modern classic, but the other part of it is that the ride still scoots. It still has power, solid speed, and ridiculously vicious bumpy triangular air hills.
Mean Streak actually wasn't running bad. First drop trim was on moderately bitey mode, but the train maintained a decent amount of speed on the front half before petering out, as it usually does at the end. Sign me up for steel retracking and mild reprofiling on this ride, with full speed like it had when it opened and a few more drops sprinkled in it could be a lot of fun.
Maverick is also still providing solid rides. I've only had a handful as they installed it after I was most actively visiting the park, but I continue to be impressed by the intensity and compact nature of the layout.
After those rides, I wandered toward the front of the park. I hit Millennium Force en route (50 mins, though 20 was due to yellow train being taken off for mechanical and then put back on just in time for me to ride). MF is still running smooth. I still love the station and aesthetic. I still always wish they had done more with the speed though.
Heading up into the park I stopped off at Blue Streak for a spin. The track is a little bumpy, but the ride still provides nice helpings of air, and the walk-on ride conditions don't hurt either. One of the true classics at the park.
After that, I finally made it to Gatekeeper for my first rides. I was anticipating longer lines, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't that bad. I think the wait was about 40 mins or so to the station for my first ride, maybe 10 less for my second with additional wait time as I queued for the front on the outside left, then outside right on my second ride.
I'd not been on a wing coaster before and wasn't sure what to expect. The sensation that the ride offers is interesting, though to me not really any more exposed than standard B&M inverts.
The layout itself for Gatekeeper is longer than I expected with a nice mix of speed and inversions. There are some moderate positive G sections and a decent sort-of airtime section (hard to really experience much of it with the way the restraint system covers you).
I tried both front outside seats, and I can't say that I liked one appreciably more than the other. I think the left was most exaggerated on the first drop, but other than that they seemed fairly close to identical.
The ride itself is what I would rate solid but unremarkable. I think I would rate it below Magnum, Maverick, Blue Streak, Raptor, and Millennium Force (in that order). It's a good introductory type of ride for families, but I think for that demographic they probably would have been better off making it about 30-40 feet shorter to get more kids onto it.
I'm still not exactly thrilled that they took out Disaster Transport for this (mostly because DT in its original Avalanche Run guise was my first coaster) but I don't dislike the fact that it seemed to help keep more people in the front of the park when it first opened, so back entrance patrons can sneak more early rides. And I do have to say, it's visually striking the way they have it set up at the gate. But from now probably once per visit for me, and I would not wait for longer than an hour in any circumstances.
After my rides on Gatekeeper I wandered over to Raptor, which was around 40 minutes because they had roped off the last two rows, making each train hold 24 instead of the usual 32. I opted for the front because of this rather than my usual back, and enjoyed the customary speed and intensity that the ride dishes up.
After that I wandered toward the back again and in a pique of whimsy hit some rides I hadn't been on in years, Iron Dragon and Corkscrew. Both are rides I hit a lot as a kid, but rarely get on now. ID continues to deliver a mild but pleasant visual of its area of the park. I do like the swinger rides, and they're starting to become uncommon. Corkscrew, as always, is about the first air bump and the quirky 70s station to me. I briefly considered Dragster, but from ID the queue looked to be at least 45 minutes+ and I will not wait more than 30 tops for the Stratas, so I skipped it.
After that, I went up to ride Gemini. I'd forgotten that the iconic Gemini banners that used to hang in the station (my favourite coaster station anywhere, I love the industrial brutalist style) were taken down. The ride itself was solid as always, some good air spots and fun though I never enjoy riding it as much when it isn't racing.
I closed the night with two more circuits on the back seat of Magnum. I love the coaster most at night, the roar of the first tunnel and the feel of the cold wind on your face is still as thrilling as it was when the ride first opened.
Overall, it was a solid day at the park. By mid-day the crowds were moderately heavy, but I was able to easily get in everything I wanted and left about a quarter of an hour before the park closed. A good close to the local coaster season for me, and for CP in general.
399: 92 (28 CCI/GG) / 307