TR: Cedar Point 7/17-7/18
My trip started with a long bus ride to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia. I was meeting my girlfriend, Hillary, and the plan was to leave early the next morning and get to Cedar Point right around opening time. Traffic wasn't a problem and the quick two and half hour trip went smoothly. This was my first time to Cedar Point and the drive up to the park was quite breathtaking. We drove around the park to Hotel Breakers where we stay the night (more on that later), got our tickets printed, and headed for the gate just 10 minutes or so after opening to the general public. And so begins:
The first thing we hit to start the adventure was Magnum. I had no idea what to expect but it was right by the entrance we came in at and it was basically a walk on. All I can say is "ouch." I know those 1980's era steel coasters are popular and all and some of them are pretty good but this one felt like it had the shakiness and pounding of a poorly maintained wooden coaster. In fact, I think this was the only ride we did once.
I was hardly worried by the shaky (haha) start to the trip and we started to make our way for the rides near the entrance. I figure everyone just bolts for those when the park opens because they are close and after an hour or two the lines die down a lot. We hit Raptor first and only had to wait about 30 minutes. I love riding in the back on most coasters so we went for the back on Raptor and I remembered that inverted loopers are only good in the front. Not sure why I made that mistake... Anyways, Raptor was pretty fun. I'm much more of a hyper/giga coaster kind of guy but Raptor was a great time. Next up was Gatekeeper. The line wasn't too bad, only about 45 minutes so we waited in line and then we got to the split. Neither of us had been on a winged coaster before so at the last minute I just asked a ride attendant standing down at the split which side she recommended. She said left and in the front, so left side it was. After just a few minutes we were in the loading station and I grabbed outside front seat. The ride was incredible. It was one of the smoothest coasters I've ever been on, but, more importantly, it was just genuinely fun. We laughed during the ride and had an great experience, so we got in line again (and somehow the line had doubled in like 15 minutes). This time I let her take the outside seat. That first wing-over is incredible; you don't want to miss it.
Our second Gatekeeper ride required an hour wait and it was during that wait I realized that the view even from the queue was spectacular! It's right there on the lake and really something to behold. I digress. We got food after our second run on Gatekeeper and then made our way right across the way to Wicked Twister, my first launch coaster. The line wasn't long but it still took some time to get through (only 30 min really) and we lined up to get the very back seat. The launch was pretty intense and definitely caught me off guard. The whole ride was pretty intense actually and it made me a little nervous for TTD, which of course just looms in the background (more, of course, on this later too).
At this point we were able to check in to our hotel room (around 2 I believe). The hotel is really cool and very historic. It's literally right next the park, like a 5 minute walk. It's right on the beach and has a great view. The room was nothing to write home about. Average at best, but I'm certainly staying here again next time I come to CP. Anyone on the fence about staying on the property should absolutely take the plunge! Very worth it.
A quick nap to recharge the batteries and we were once again on our way. We checked the line for Millennium Force: a bit too long. So we checked the line for Maverick: also too long. So we rode Gatekeeper again! And then decided, for some reason, to get back on Wicked Twister. I wasn't sure if I had fun on Wicked Twister or not and I wasn't really eager to ride it after the second time. At this point Raptor was nearly a walk-on so we went on that. Hillary blacked for a couple of seconds so we got off and then took some serious down time to eat food again. Actually we just kind of sat around for a while and people watched while our bodies settled down from a lot of consecutive rides.
We regained our spirit of adventure and started looking for rides we hadn't been on yet that had a short line. Unfortunately, we came across Mean Streak. The ride was about as rough as Gatekeeper was smooth and about 2 minutes too long. I didn't enjoy it but, we got on it again immediately (she loves wooden coasters), this time in the front, but it was pretty much the same for me. Maybe I'm just lacking that certain level of sophistication for classic rides. Oh well. After Mean Streak we went over for Gemini. A short line and pretty fun ride actually. It's always interesting interacting with total strangers just an arms length away and I was really pleased with the whole experience. We got off and hit Mantis right after. The line was short, maybe 30 minutes, so we figured why not. We got in the front this time and the ride was OK but nothing great. Standing coasters are always awkward for me, maybe because I'm 6'4" and cant seem to adjust the harness just right. It wasn't bad though, and I think we had a good time on it. I will say this about Mantis: it's probably the loudest coaster I've ever come across. Anyways, it was around 6:30, and our last real meal was breakfast so we went to the Perkins in Hotel Breakers for some nice dinner. We took our time and then headed back into the park at about 8:00 to hit the big rides we hadn't done yet, and only 3 remained. Here goes:
Longest wait in the park by far. Waited about an hour 15 (not really bad at all) and then got to the loading station. Unfortunately, the seats for our row were roped off on one of the trains so it took double the amount of time just to get on the train from the loading station. The ride itself was pretty fun and the fast launch in the tunnel wasn't too bad at all. But I didn't see what the big deal was or still is. It's fun but some people really go crazy about how great this ride is and I just didn't see it. Next, it was off to...
ME: "That was amazing!!!"
HER: "Yeah I love that ride!!!"
ME: "I'm so excited about roller coasters right now!! Let's go get on the Dragster right now!!"
So the we end the night with...
Top Thrill Dragster
I've been to Great Adventure twice this season. It's kind of the home park I suppose. Every time I go, Kingda Ka is, of course, down for the whole day. Now understand that I have literally had dreams about riding Kingda Ka and I was a little worried that TTD might not be running or might have a seven hour wait in the queue. But when we arrived and I saw train after train after train go up and over, I was in shock. "What's this?" I thought to myself. "Kingda Ka would never open before the hours of 3 pm! What does this Dragster ride think it's doing?!?!" So the whole day the anticipation built and built and built. She really didn't want to ride it and by this time I was pretty nervous my self. We raced over to get in line and made it in at like 9:59. The wait wasn't bad at only around 35 minutes. We went through the line and made it to the loading station where we proceeded to doubt our decision to ride several times, say a few prayers, and wonder out loud why we ever thought this would be a good idea. We got on the train, rolled out, and took off. It's kind of a blur and I don't remember much until we were going straight down but it was something of a religious experience. TTD is by far my favorite ride at Cedar Point.
Anyways, this is getting longer than I thought, and who knows who actually wants to read about my whole trip to begin with! I'll post the second day later (it involves many re-rides of Gatekeeper, TTD, and, curiously enough, Gemini).
Also agree about magnum, just beat up my thighs way too much to enjoy it. Without the beating, i suspect it would have been quite fun.
* This post was modified at 8/4/14 3:31:42 PM *
I agree about TTD being a religious experience!
I have a custom-made t-shirt that shows the Pope on a roller coaster with the words "Coaster Riding Is A Religious Experience" surrounding the picture.
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...