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Cedar Point TR

Posted: 8/14/16 at 5:32:38 PM
Views: 1795

Ever since ValRavn was announced, Cedar Point was on our radar for 2016. Cedar Point was offering an online deal of buy on ticket at full price, get a second ticket free. You had to use these tickets between August 6th and August 20th, so I decided to take advantage of it. Original plans were to go on Wednesday for a day trip. My son is a life guard at our local public pool and was supposed to work on Tuesday. They called him Tuesday morning and said he didn't have to work. So I called Motel 6 in Sandusky made reservations, packed up the car, and headed out to Cedar Point on Tuesday.

We arrived at Cedar Point on Tuesday evening a little after 5:00 PM and paid for a discounted Starlight admission. We get in gate run to ValRavn, it's down due to mechanical problems. We waited about 40 minutes, still down. Finally we got out of line and went and rode Blue Streak. Once again Blue Streak is running great this year. For me it's one of the most underrated coasters in North America. I would even go to say it's a top 20 wooden coasters, and my favorite John Allen coaster. It has ejector air throughout the entire ride. I ride Blue Streak more than any other coaster at Cedar Point. I just love that ride.

After Blue Streak, check ValRavn, still down. So we head to Gatekeeper. Last time Gatekeeper was down, and my youngest son, Hunter didn't get to ride it. In fact my youngest son rarely goes with us. His coaster count is 136 now, but he will always go to Cedar Point when we go. It was also his first wing coaster. We waited about 15 minutes for Gatekeeper and rode in the back seat. It was smoother than I remember, but felt slower than I remember. I still like these wing riders, they're very fun, and I love the vantage point you have when riding.

We get off Gatekeeper, ValRavn is testing. We literally run over to it and get in line. Now there may have been 100 people in front of us. The open the ride. Now we've ridden Griffon and I told the kids we will be on in less than 10 minutes. Nope, try almost 30 minutes. People just starting pouring in behind us, and few hundred Fast Lane Users. Not only does Fast Lane make the regular line move at half the rate, the dispatch times were pathetic, especially being there are no bins for people to put stuff in. Coasters like Banshee and Fury dispatch trains at lightning speed. Not ValRavn. Now we did wait the extra time for front row, and I'm glad we did. My daughter was on an end seat. I was in the middle of the train in the front row. We finally get strapped in and climb the lift hill. The view is breathtaking of Lake Erie from the top. The first drop is great, but after that, I was actually a little disappointed. The inversions are large, wide, slow, draw out, with very little Force. The air time hill goes up, you start getting a little air time, but the hill doesn't go down far enough. ValRavn is not a bad ride and I think it's a nice addition to the park, but Griffon at Busch Gardens is much better. I was just expecting something better. I still wanted to ride it again, but we all agreed that 30 minutes would be the maximum we are willing to wait for it. It's extremely popular with the GP, so the line was always more than hour long both days we visited. So, unfortunately this was our only ride on it. One more thing I want to complain about is I couldn't believe how many empty seats there were on each train that was dispatched. It's like the ride ops, can't count to 8, which is the number of seats on each row. All in all I'm glad we went out and rode it. A few years from now, when the newness wears off, we'll be able to ride it again, without waiting that long.

After ValRavn we headed for Millennium Force. The line was only about 20 minutes. We rode back seat in the red train. My rides on Millennium Force were fantastic last year. Our first ride on MF that Tuesday evening wasn't nearly as good. It felt a little slow and even had a little shake in it. We would ride it again the next day in the back seat of the blue train and that ride was much better.

After Millennium Force it was dark. My kids brought it to my attention we never rode Maverick at night. So we headed back to Maverick. Once again the line was only 20 minutes and we got front seat. Now Maverick is my favorite coaster at Cedar Point and a top 10 steel coaster for me. Our night ride on it was epic. It actually has moved into my top 5 steel coasters after that night ride. Getting launched in that tunnel at night felt faster than Dragster. We did ride Maverick again the next day in the front seat again.

We closed the night with a few night rides on Magnum, all in the back seat. Magnum had been my favorite coaster to ride at night, until our ride on Maverick. Once again our night rides on Magnum were exceptional. I know Magnum is a little bumpy, but that ejector air time in the tunnels of darkness is just heaven for me. The park closed at 11:00 and we headed to the hotel.

The next day, we headed for Dragster for our first ride of the day. We had to wait 6 trains for front seat. Top Thrill Dragster is a coaster that grows on me every time we visit. I used to like Kingda Ka more, but KK has developed a terrible shake and I really like the freedom of Dragster's lap bar.

We grabbed a ride on Rougarou and signed up for VR on Iron Dragon. You sign up at noon, sign release forms and they give a time to return. Our time to return was 5:40. Well at 5:40 it was pouring down rain and rained until 7:00. Iron Dragon never did reopen, so we didn't get to do the virtual reality.

We did ride Mean Streak one last time in the front seat. The thing I will miss most is the view of Lake Erie as you climb the lift hill. Our last ride on it was actually good. It's the best ride I've had on it in a long time.

We did ride Raptor and rode Blue Streak a few more times. Wait times for the popular coasters on Wednesday were longer than Tuesday. Most wait times were 45 minutes or more. We did have to fight rain Wednesday afternoon. I actually bought a souvenir, a model of Top Thrill Dragster that you build. I put it in our roller coaster room. We also rode Cedar Downs, The train, and the skyride.

I'm really glad we made this a 2 day trip. This trip cost me more money than I was wanting to spend, but you need 2 days at Cedar Point to get everything in, unless you visit during the weekdays in September, then you just stay on coasters. I think from now on, we will go to Cedar Point during those weekdays in September if I'm home off the boat. If I have to work then we are just not going to visit. The place is just to crowded any other time. We had a lot of fun, but it's getting as expensive as Disney. This was the first time, in a long time, we visited not having Cedar Fair Platinum Passes. Next time we visit we will have Platinum Passes. We left the park 8:00 Wednesday and drove home with another story to tell and more memories made.

Thanks for reading,
Ken

Re: Cedar Point TR by RobLec RobLec Profile at 8/15/16 9:32:30 AM
Thanks for the TR. This is the first year in quite a while that my family did not visit CP, though we do have PP's again this year (mainly because we intended to visit Carowinds for Fury, but that didn't happen either). Anyway, we weren't really stoked about ValRavn because we rode Sheikra and Griffon in their opening years and ValRavn didn't look to be that much better, and probably not worth a special trip.

My older son and I went to CP in 2014 specifically so he could ride Gatekeeper, but unfortunately it was down all day. Sound familiar? To this day he still hasn't experienced a wing coaster. My wife an I have done Gatekeeper as well as Thunderbird and the one at Dollywood several times, and though they are a different ride experience, again probably not worth a special trip just to ride once.

But what we did notice (and were deeply disturbed by) was the impact that Fastpasses had on wait times. As far as I'm concerned that has ruined CP for me. I used to be able to tell wait times for MF and Mavie just by looking at the queue, but now what was once a 30-40 minute wait is now well over an hour, and at my age I just can't be on my feet that long anymore. Just a fact of life.

I think other parks have done a better job implementing a fast pass system by limiting the number of times that they can be used on a particular ride, but at CP, mobs of kids with fast passes can just ruin your day. It's another way for CF to milk the GP for more money and makes me question the value of renewing our passes.

Re: Cedar Point TR by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/15/16 11:39:19 AM
Thanks Rob. I totally agree Fast Lane has ruined Cedar Point for me. I also used to able to tell how long a wait time was by looking at the line. Now it's become double the wait. I've been to about 85 different parks and most have a cut the line upgrade. Cedar Point's is the absolute worst of any Park, as far as affecting the regular line. I'm not against them selling the update, but they need to put a limit on how many they sell each day. I even considered getting Fast Lane, but at $80 a piece for my kids and I, that's $320 plus admission to get in, parking, and food. That's more expensive than Disney. It's a shame, because at one time Cedar Point was the the absolute best in the industry of moving people through the lines. Now they are the absolute worst at it. It's their goal to get high attendance, but they should have a better plan to manage that high attendance. Cedar Point used to be my favorite park, by a large margin. Now if you go on a rare, uncrowded day, it still is one of the best parks in North America. I find myself as get older, not able to tolerate long wait times. I have more fun when we visit other parks that are no crowded and you literally stay on coasters, without leaving the station. The sad part is that the GP doesn't seem to mind and keeps coming through the gates. The only way this will change is if attendance decreases because of it.
Re: Cedar Point TR by mucciared at 8/19/16 12:14:50 AM
Thanks for the trip report. The execs at Cedar Fair must've figured out they make more money (FastPass sales) by making the line times longer.

My wife and I went to Wonderland this summer (late June) and couldn't believe the wait times. Ten years ago the ride ops used to hustle and got those lines moving. This year, they would send out trains with empty seats despite long lines and the second train waiting on the brakes run.

I'm really not happy about it. Wildebeast is 30 years old and NEVER had more than a 10-15 min line all the times I went. This year, nearly 30 minutes. My wife and I caved and just bought the FastPass. Expensive, but there was no way we would've been able to do everything we wanted without it.

Profit before people I guess.

Re: Cedar Point TR by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/20/16 9:56:19 AM
I've read that Canada's Wonderland has one of the highest attendance for a seasonal park, even higher than Cedar Point. I've been to Canada's Wonderland 3 times now. My first visit all wait times were 20-30 minutes. My other 2 visits the park was dead. My only wait longer than 5 minutes was for Guardian. Memorial Day is a great time to go to Canada's Wonderland because it's open, but they don't celebrate Memorial Day, so the park is usually dead.