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Posts posted by OrlandoGuy

  1. Thanks again for reading and for the comments guys. I also am digging the advice on other places to eat because, really, nothing we ate at the park was good that trip. I didn't really feel comfortable enough venturing out into Sandusky for food and that road that Great Wolf Lodge is on with all the well-known chains was too far for us--we wanted to maximize our time in the park and spend the rest of it relaxing. But I will definitely have to take everyone's advice into consideration next time! Which brings us to....


    Day 3: Opening Day, Part 2


    So where was I...oh, right. Headed toward the back of the park, on a mission to end our trip with a bang. We hit up Magnum again, and what looked like a station wait actually took a while because of the cluster**** that is the Magnum station. It looks nice on the outside but its diagonal walls and lack of any organization whatsoever makes it a real pain. I love that Cedar Point employs groupers at their largest rides, but when they don't have any sort of crowd control in the stations some of them kinda suck. I can honestly say I would rather be assigned a row than have to wait in a mosh-pit for fifteen minutes hoping that I somehow end up in a row for a seat. It's a petty complaint because most of the employees do an excellent job with this on the other rides, but Magnum is a pain and just one more employee couldn't hurt too much, right?


    Anyway, Magnum, again, lacked the punch I remember. It's a fun ride still, but I was really disappointed considering this was one of the rides I was most excited to get back on. I have a feeling that in the heat of July after it's really broken in, it'll be a different story, but unfortunately I won't get to experience that for myself.


    We continued walking...



    Mean Streak was not only closed the entire weekend, but never ran a single train as far as we could tell



    I don't remember particularly enjoying it, but its structure is so imposing I couldn't help but wanting to ride it


    We made our way over to Maverick, but the ride was down. We sat down right outside of the entrance to think about what to do next, and suddenly our tiredness caught up with us. All our momentum stopped and we just sort of sat and zoned out, enjoying what had ultimately turned out to be a sunny, perfect day (highs reached 72 and not a drop of rain was felt at all). In the time we took to re-charge, Maverick opened back up its line, so we got up and walked in.









    The back half of Cedar Point is like a completely different park from the front


    As you can see, the entire queue (except for a couple small switchbacks) was full up to the bridge, and we waited around 50 minutes or so (although I honestly wasn't really paying attention). Once we got into the covered area, three employees (one with a megaphone and the others with stacks of papers) came into the FastLane queue and started a game for those of us waiting in line. They'd ask trivia questions and give out Fastpasses for right answers, or have random little "achievements" (like un-tying your shoelace the quickest) that could earn you a free Plinko game. I myself got a free Valravn ice cream just for having an American Express credit card on me (unfortunately, I never ate it because it got really cold that night and didn't sound appealing by then). While it admittedly got a little annoying after a while, I think this is really cool that Cedar Point has people do this. They took the proactive step to not only provide entertainment in one of their longest lines, but make it so that you could even get something out of it as well (and it was really tough not to win anything--they even were giving prizes for having Ohio and Michigan driver's licenses). That really is a step above and beyond, especially when they could just say "screw it, make the lines as boring as possible to sell more Fastlanes." Bravo Cedar Point.


    As always, Maverick was amazing, and it definitely gave a better ride this time as opposed to our first rodeo on it--warm, full trains, and we sat right in the back for one of the most out-of-control rides in existence. But, it wore us out, and we decided a quick hour-long siesta in the hotel would be a good idea so that we could make the most of our last night at the Point.






    From the room, we saw Windseeker working...it seemed like this ride was operating just about every time we weren't heading toward it. I'm not too upset about it, but I did think it looked like a cool way to take in the views of the lake and the park, plus being up that high seemed sort of thrilling. We never did make it on, but I thought it was funny that we saw it operating consistently unless we were within a fifty-yard radius of it.


    Before we headed back out for the night, we noticed that the seagulls outside of our window were stuck flying without moving--their wings were working, but they were just floating their in mid-air facing the lake but not going anywhere. It was funny to watch, but it also indicated just how windy it was getting. We prepared to face some downtime.


    Walking back into the park, we indeed saw quite a few roller coasters sit dormant. We did, however, manage to get a look at SkyHawk doing its thing (no trees came in handy with ride planning sometimes), so we went over there. It was crazy just how much the temperature had dropped in just under an hour. We were freezing, and the wind didn't do us any favors. Skyhawk was obviously freezing, but it was so fun we did it twice. Interestingly, on our second time on they stopped it and cleaned a couple seats, then putting them out of commission but letting the ride operate as usual--was this the result of someone throwing up? Or was it a wind/weight distribution thing? Because I ended up sitting next to one of the decommissioned seats and am really hoping I didn't get stuck by a puke seat lol.


    Now, we knew we wanted to hop on Maverick one last time, but the line was still hovering around an hour, and it was about 8:30. We didn't really want to waste time in line so made the plan to do Maverick at the very end of the night. That being said, we trekked over to see if Windseeker or even Raptor was open for spin on either of those.



    Had to stop for the sign picture on the way lol



    Valravn has a solid lighting package to make it an all-around really nice looking ride



    Someone please explain the Downs to me lol. I remember going on it once when I was little and being pretty unimpressed--what makes it so much better than a regular carousel aside from a little bit of extra speed?


    Everything at the front of the park besides Wicked Twister was closed, presumably because of the wind--even Valravn (I remember there being a discussion as to whether or not this ride would be affected by wind, and it seems the answer is yes, unless it just happened to be experiencing some coincidental downtime right then). It was 8:45-ish, and we realized we had not thought about what we would eat for dinner. Put off by our last two lunches in the park, me and my buddy decided we would be straight just eating after the park closed in the hotel--but the girls insisted on eating something right then. So they decided on Auntie Ann's pretzels, right across from Valravn. This ended up taking about twenty minutes. I have no idea why, but it did, which was a real pain because a basic mall location can move a line pretty efficiently. But us and the two groups in front of us practically broke the Cedar Point location. I guess that it could, again, be attributed to opening day bugs, but I mean it was night-time, wouldn't these things have been aptly pre-made by then? Anyway, the twenty minutes we waited for these things put us at just past 9 o'clock by the time we could go off riding...since all of the front half of the park was out, we figured that maybe we could squeeze in another ride on Millennium before heading to Maverick, but with the way it had been breaking down earlier and the sizeable amount of people in the queue, we didn't want to risk missing out on getting to Maverick on time before 9:59 (Maverick was the unanimous favorite). So, we hustled all the way back to Maverick (with an hour-long wait per the mobile app), figuring it would be out last ride of the trip.



    I really liked the lighting and fog on Rougarou, which we saw on the way to Maverick


    So right around 9:10, we got to Maverick, figuring we would be off of it right when the park closed and narrowly missing a second roller coaster ride for the night. Nevertheless, we were satisfied with our decision to close the trip out on, like I said, one of the most fulfilling roller coaster experiences ever.


    But when we entered the queue, the line didn't look to be an hour at all--in fact, the queue was almost exactly half as full as it had been on our last ride--and it was moving at a much brisker pace. Barring any break-downs, maybe we would've been able to get a two-punch finale.



    Say what you will, but it is a really pretty ride, especially from the Maverick queue at night


    In all, we were on the ride in about 20 minutes--no break-downs, no unexpected stalling, just a butter-smooth queue experience. And man, this ride is something else in the dark. The tunnel is especially thrilling, with the near-pitch blackness of it making preparing for the turn at the end almost impossible. It was probably our best ride on it that weekend, and we all got off cracking up at just how ridiculously intense this little ride is.


    By the time we pulled back into the station, it was only 9:45...just enough time to head over for one last ride on Millennium Force.


    Even though Maverick was our favorite roller coaster at the park, there's something about closing a trip to Cedar Point on Millennium that just feels right. My first trip to Cedar Point as a kindergartner was the year Millennium Force had just opened and taken the world by storm--even though I was too small to ride it (or too chicken, I can't remember), I was infatuated with it. The sleek logo, the perfect curvature of the track that you could see all over the park, and the over-engineered and ever-intimidating massive lift structure was enough to make my little coaster-loving mind go wild. It will always be the ride I associate with Cedar Point the most, and seeing it as we drive along the causeway never fails to give me that same sense of awe and amazement that I had when I first saw it. To me, Millennium Force is Cedar Point...though I favor Maverick (and a few other rides), I do believe that objectively speaking Millennium Force is the best roller coaster ever made.








    We got to the line to see that only the ramp was full--beautiful. Again, without incident, we made it efficiently to the station and queued up for a seat toward the back. Before we knew it, we were climbing up into the darkness, getting thrown into that incredible, never-ending first drop, and pummeling through the darkness. It was a cold ride, but it was unlike any other ride I've ever had on anything. True, flying through the dark at 90 mph is always going to be an amazing experience, but I think what really elevated this particular ride was that it was the perfect bookend to what ultimately was a perfect trip. We all got off with huge smiles on our faces. And with that, our trip to Cedar Point had ended.




    Hard as I try, I can not think of a single trip to a theme park that was more satisfying and outright fun than this weekend. While it certainly had the potential to be an unpleasant trip, I thought it was perfect in every way. Even my friends, who aren't the roller coaster geeks that I am by a long shot, agreed that our weekend getaway was an amazing experience. My girlfriend, who was one of the most hesitant roller coaster riders ever when I met her, even just texted me today saying she would do anything to go back. We had perfect weather, perfect crowds, and did the perfect amount of rides, to the point where we left the park on Sunday morning feeling completely satisfied--obviously, we all wanted to be able to go back in, but we didn't feel like we absolutely had to squeeze another day in. We were all good.


    Of course, we didn't do *everything*. We were forced to skip Mean Streak, skipped the kid's coasters for obvious reasons, and skipped Corkscrew, because, well, Corkscrew might be my least favorite ride ever. In the non-coaster department, we only rode the Sky Ride and Skyhawk, mostly because the rest of the flats we can find at Fun Spot ten minutes from our houses. The only things we missed that I am pretty bummed about are Maxair (which was closed the entire trip) and Windseeker (which was also pretty much out of our control). My roller coaster rankings would be:

    1. Maverick, 2. Millennium Force, 3. Top Thrill Dragster, 4. Magnum, 5. Wicked Twister, 6. Raptor, 7. Gatekeeper, 8. Blue Streak, 9. Gemini, 10. Rougarou, 11. Valravn, 12. Iron Dragon 13. Pipe Scream...yeah, Valravn toward the bottom--that's not a slide on Valravn, but more of a testament to just how great this park's lineup is.


    As far as the park itself, it's hard to top Cedar Point's atmosphere. It really is like another world there, and other amusement parks plopped in the middle of nowhere will never be able to attain the feeling Cedar Point has. I've been to plenty of nice amusement parks, but Cedar Point is king--hell, I think it's got a better atmosphere than most of Orlando's theme parks. Location aside, the employees are all very friendly and seem to go above and beyond the call of duty of what's expected of them. The operator at Gatekeeper didn't have to say, "Welcome back Buckeyes" on every ride on Friday, and the three guys who came to entertain people in Maverick didn't have to appease guests who opted out of buying a Fastlane. But they did, and I think that that's great. You hear a lot about service standards at Disney and Universal, and while great, a lot of employees at those parks only seem so service-oriented because they have to be--it's an almost robotic feeling of friendliness. But everyone at Cedar Point seems to genuinely love their jobs and strive to do the best job possible because they take personal pride in their work. I have to hand it to the Ride Ops as being the best employees in the park. Stacking trains was rare (aside from Maverick where it's basically a necessity) and never once was a ride employee not hustling. The lines at Cedar Point (even though we waited in very few) fly by and I gotta hand it to them. If there are any CP employees reading this--you guys are awesome.


    My only complaints would be the quality of in-park food and the maintenance issues. It's probably a good idea that Cedar Point is starting to let third-party restaurants come in and take over--but keep doing that. It's such a good idea that people flock to those places and make them overly crowded. I also think the food offerings were a little too imbalanced, with the majority of places being at the front...spread them out a little! They really don't have too much work to do before they make eating in the park a pleasure rather than a chore. As far as maintenance goes...I get that not every ride can be working 100% of the time. And part of the tradeoff of going on opening and (especially) OSU day is that rides aren't going to be operating totally smoothly. That's totally cool. But I think the way these issues are handled could use some work. For one thing, operators tend to jump the gun a little early with their mechanical failure announcements, prompting people to leave the lines for what end up being quick fixes. The other is the early entry issue--I don't want to sound like a snob, but staying at the hotel is pretty expensive and early entry is a perk that is built into that price; it shouldn't be an hour of standing around waiting for rides to open. Cedar Point's been at this for over 100 years and they ought to know what will have early-morning issues and what won't. It wouldn't hurt to throw a few more popular, yet reliable rides into the Early Entry selection, this would at least give a better sense of value. But like I said, most fixes were very quick, and efficiency is something Cedar Point excels at so even then, I can't fault them too much.


    Like I said...perfect weekend. You locals have an amazing amusement park that I can't imagine would ever get old. I think that 2016 is going to be a great season for the park and I'm thrilled that I was one of the first to break it in. Looking back, there are so few things I could ask for to go differently--our visit exceeded our expectations in every department, and I can't wait to go back.



    One last look before we left


    Thank you guys so much for reading! I've always wanted to do a trip report and this is a great way to document the trip for my own personal pleasure. The fact that you guys read and comment is just a bonus. Hope you all enjoyed it!

  2. Really appreciate all the comments, guys! Thank you all so much for reading. I do agree that a designated pizza lane along the causeway would be a great idea lol...I remember that the lady I called told us to give them about 45 minutes, and it ended up taking around an hour and a half, so when all is said and done, it could've been much worse. Also, as frustrating as Dragster's problems on Friday were, I still can't fault the park all that much, being that it was opening day and it's a complex ride. I believe everyone of you who says it gets better as the season goes on and to be honest, I gotta give Cedar Point props for working as hard as they did to get as many people on as they could.


    Anyhow, it's about time for...


    Day 3: Opening Day

    May 7, 2016


    Saturday arrived and I woke up EXHAUSTED. We hadn't planned our plan of attack too well for Friday and ended up doing a lot of unnecessary walking and backtracking. Like I said, we're all pretty fit people, I work out every day, and legs were still feeling tired the next day. But no matter, we were only there for one weekend, and me and my buddy decided to get up to make the 9am early entry (the girls ended up staying asleep in the room for that hour). Skipping Perkins this time and opting for granola bars in the hotel store, we were out the hotel doors by 9:45 and was greeted to this...



    Quite a bit of difference in the crowd between today and yesterday


    Now, you can see from that picture...the weather doesn't look bad. At all. Regardless, we skipped trying for Dragster (didn't even see it testing) and headed straight to Maverick. The line went down the stairs to the station, but as soon as we got in it, we heard the announcement for mechanical failure. Ok, sort of frustrating but whatever. We decided that we needed to really take advantage of this extra hour and didn't wanna blow it on waiting for a ride to get fixed so we opted out of line and wasted a solid chunk of time to walk all the way down to Millennium Force.




    Here's where I started to get a little pissed off at Cedar Point...Millennium was down too, and the line wasn't let into the queue but rather just a mosh pit of people extending back to the Rougarou sign. I get that things break down, but the problem with this was that literally nothing else was open. Rougarou and Iron Dragon were testing--no vehicles could be seen operating on ANYTHING. The mobile app reported everything being down. Valravn (which we had heard was getting lines up to four hours) was also down, testing with water dummies indicating that there was no intention to have it open on time. Ultimately, we didn't even get into the line for Millennium Force until 9:45. Now, I understand that stuff happens--but to have every single ride in your park (except Gatekeeper--we heard rumblings from other frustrated guests that that was open) during an hour that is meant to be a perk to your highest-paying customers is unacceptable to me. Granted, yes, it's opening day, but the day before ran relatively smoothly so I didn't understand the problem. And if it is a known problem, don't make early entry a perk on opening day, or open up some of the more reliable rides. I had mentioned that we were tired, and we were staying at the Breakers--it would've been nice if that early hour wasn't a total waste.


    Anyway, I think I've made it pretty clear that we had no expectations for today, what with the crowds and weather forecasts. So any ride would be a bonus. We did eventually get on Millennium Force and it instantly turned the morning around--such a great ride!



    Another great view for another great ride


    With a Millennium Force high and a feeling that the other rides weren't opened yet (we looked all around during the ride and saw everything dormant), we queued up again in what was probably only a 15-minute wait. But then...it broke down.



    Stuck on the lift hill--I thought seeing the box to come "rescue" people being used was cool


    Even though it looked like they were going to evac, the box on the lift hill came down empty, and before we knew it the ride was in working order again...maybe a 10 minute delay? Anyway, we got right back on it and had, once again, another amazing ride.


    Right before getting on, we saw Dragster operating with people on it. Who'd a thought that would be one of the few rides working that morning?? So we decided to walk over there, and coincidentally, the girls were headed there from the hotel as well, so we met up with them.



    Saw Valravn finally operating with the first of the general public on the way


    The second we met up with the ladies, Dragster went down. But less than five minutes later, it was up again...so we got in line (all four of us this time). I think the ride went down a total of three times while we were in line, but never for more than ten minutes. The whole wait (with only one set of switchbacks full) took about an hour, but man it was so worth it. And we were glad that the girls got to experience it. So, when all was said and done, we got on Dragster three times total. On opening weekend. One of which was on a predicted thunderstorm day. Maybe I had been overly pessimistic about Saturday....












    Speaking of thunderstorms, we didn't see any sign of them yet, and it was about noon. The weather app on our phones kept pushing the time of the storms back--what was once an all-day thing was now a 4-6pm thing. So we rolled with it, again, with expectations in check.


    One of the rides closed on Friday was Gemini, so we went for that next. I love this ride--could be for nostalgic reasons, but I think it stands up well on its own. The first drop is surprisingly steep, and there's some good air packed throughout the course. Though only the red side was running, it was still a fun ride, one we felt worth willing to ride twice (the line was only about 10 minutes both times).









    Love the retro, pseudo-modern station lol



    Few trees means few obstructions of view when looking across the park!


    I had mentioned that Blue Streak was closed, so while we were banging out newly-opened rides, we decided to hit that up next.



    Snapped on the way to the front of the park


    It actually had a surprisingly hefty 20-minute wait, but I love this one too. It's a classic, and I actually think it was the very first roller coaster I ever rode at Cedar Point at the ripe old age of six years old. Even though it's tiny and rickety, it has amazing airtime and just a fun out-of-control feeling that I can't help but laugh along with as I ride it. Maybe I'm lame, or an unabashed Cedar Point fanboy for liking rides like Gemini and Blue Streak so much, but I always have a good time with them.





    Blue Streak's queue has a new view for 2016!


    By this point, we were all really hungry and struggled to find a place to eat. Johnny Rocket's and Chickie's and Pete's had long lines, and the food stands were chaotic and seemed unsubstantial in their offerings. While the rest of the group was using the restroom near Raptor, I saw the menu for Midway Market--all you can eat, variety, and a $16 fee seemed good enough for me. So we ended up going there for lunch.




    BIG MISTAKE! This food was terrible. One of the food items they advertise is fried chicken--it's really just crispy chicken skin hanging off of a bone. In fact, all of the chicken products here were pretty crusty and just not good. I guess the pasta/meatballs were alright, and I found myself enjoying the egg rolls, but most of the food was really sub-par, as was the service. We didn't have plates for a while, straws were nowhere to be found, and everyone was just generally slow and in their own world. Not to mention, the second we walked in this humongous couple was standing in the middle of the buffet screaming at the employees about something. The included Freestyle refills were nice, but other than that I couldn't wait to get out of there. Strike 2 for in-park meals at Cedar Point, I hate to say.


    With Gatekeeper being one of the underdog favorites of the day before and right next to us after lunch, we decided to head there next. The queue was emptier than it was the day before.



    Love this view, love this queue line even more





    Can't get enough of the fact that this amusement park is on a beach!


    Wicked Twister, another big favorite of Friday, was also on our agenda for today so we went there. While on Friday the wait stretched to the back spiral, today it was a station wait. Oh, and there was still no rain in sight. What was going on?!



    On the way there, I passed Tiki Twirl and couldn't help but think how ugly it looked in its current placement. Before, it was tucked into a corner and fit naturally--here, smack dab in the middle of everything, it doesn't look great.


    While Friday we had sat toward the back, today we were two rows from the front and man, what an experience. That afternoon was all about showing the love for some of the most under-appreciated rides at Cedar Point. But that was enough of that. The late afternoon was drawing upon us and we decided that our last few hours at Cedar Point would be spent on the big dawgs. With Windseeker down (again, it seemed like we missed it by one cycle) and MaxAir not even testing (it was completely still all day Friday as well), we decided that we were done with the front of the park for that trip. And so, back up the midway we went to finish our last (and surprisingly smooth) day at Cedar Point...




    To be concluded...

  3. Thanks guys, glad you're liking it so far! And no, I'm personally a Florida Gator (the best school in the world), but my buddy is an alum of our former rival OSU haha.


    Anyway, onto

    Day 2, Part 2


    So after Iron Dragon we made our way toward the rides situated in the front of the park. On the way, I got some more pictures of Valravn.



    The whole time leading up to our arrival, I had been pronouncing Valravn wrong



    I was pronouncing Valravn with a short "a" sound between the 'r' and 'v'



    But it turns out it's a long "a" between the 'r' and 'v'



    No matter how you pronounce it, this is a fun ride to watch along the midway


    On our way up, we saw a signing booth where me and my friend recognized none other than Archie Griffin, THE two-time Heisman winner, signing pictures. Eagerly, we got in line because it's not everyday you get to meet a sports icon much less at Cedar Point. Of course, as soon as it was our turn to go, the attendant told us that Archie had to leave, but two lesser-known OSU players would remain to sign things. Uninterested in them (I don't even remember their names), we bailed. We only killed about two minutes waiting in line, but I was bummed not to get to talk to Archie.



    Blue Streak was closed on OSU Day, among several other second-tier rides. Bummer, too, because I actually have always really liked this ride




    My girlfriend spotted Wicked Twister testing the second we checked into our room and immediately asked what exactly in the hell it was--to a non-nerd, it is a pretty weird-looking contraption. So we headed there and gave it a whirl. Turns out, she loved it and I remembered how great of a ride this is. It's easy to get overshadowed by the bigger, more prominent full-circuit coasters in the park but honestly, Wicked Twister is probably in my Top 5 favorites at Cedar Point, in fact I think I'd put it right at 5. The launch is powerful, the forces are powerful, and the twists are surprisingly snappy. There's really nothing quite like getting thrust backwards into a 270-degree twist, facing straight down onto the beach, only to fall back down twisting back toward the Earth. This is a heavily underrated ride with a great location to boot. Gotta love that it never draws much of a line too.





    What a view for a roller coaster



    The queue for Wicked Twister allows for some great views of Windseeker




    We then proceeded to Windseeker, but it was closed for mechanical failure. This would become a theme for the trip. So instead, we decided to take our talents to Gatekeeper.



    I love the entry plaza and sign for Gatekeeper



    What a drop, what a view


    This is another one where the opinions of some of the posters on TPR totally confuse me--I freaking love this ride. I mentioned that the last time I had visited Cedar Point was Gatekeeper's opening year, and it was actually Gatekeeper's opening day. We ended up waiting three hours (assuming it would be much, much less) for this ride and I was admittedly disappointed with it considering how much time we had invested into it. Today, however, the wait was just down the stairs and I went in with tempered expectations only to have one kick-ass ride. That first drop is so great, I could almost compare it to a pretzel loop on a B&M flyer. I also love the head/foot choppers, not just in the entrance structure but also with the numerous fences along the ground the lower-level track passes over. I prefer the sensation of flying Gatekeeper gives over that of a B&M flyer, and there is a nice selection of elements that really highlight that feeling. Again, I don't know where 'forceless' comes from, but either way that's not really the point of this ride. I will say, I can sympathize with those who think it's rough because there is a little vibration at some points, but to be totally honest I would never notice it if it weren't for some of the reviews found here. It's my second-favorite B&M in the park.


    As for my first favorite....that would have to be Raptor.



    Raptor dominates the Main Midway








    Raptor was the second-longest line we waited in that entire trip...somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes, which was the longest line we encountered that day by a large margin aside from Valravn. Nevertheless, it was worth it. Man, I had forgotten how much ass this ride kicks. That drop, in the back at least, gives a real nice whip, the loop is taken with a solid speed, and the zero-G and cobra roll are nice and snappy. The mid-course brake wasn't activated while we were there, giving the drop off of that a nice forceful feeling, and the corkscrews are, again, nice and snappy. And that tiny helix at the end is such a great way to end what could've been just another anti-climactic roller coaster ride. I think there are very, very few roller coasters that blend elements and directional changes as finely as Raptor does. It's the only roller coaster at Cedar Point I get off of feeling disoriented, but in a way that is exhilarating rather than nauseous. Again, in any other park this would be a number-1 roller coaster but at Cedar Point it just gets lost in the mix--that doesn't keep it from being one of the most well-crafted coasters ever built.


    By now, our heavy Perkins meal was wearing off and I want to say it was around 2:30 or 3:00, so we figured it was about time for lunch. Having heard great things about the Pink's in LA (and seeing it used as a backdrop for the greatest series of all time, Entourage), we went to check out the Cedar Point incarnation of the Hollywood landmark.







    The Chili Dog



    The Mulholland Dog


    I'll just come out and admit it...I don't understand the hype. The toppings on mine tasted...synthetic, for lack of a better word. But the common complaint among all of us was that the hot dogs themselves were "hard". They took some effort to bite into, something I wasn't expecting from a hot dog (I guess it was the skin on it?). Then when you finally could bite into the sucker, it would sort of explode and make a mess, but not in an appealing, flavorful way. I don't know, on one hand we are all pretty health-conscious and fit people who aren't used to heavy hot dog meals, much less three heavy meals in a row...on the other, I was expecting to enjoy a good hot dog that everyone across the country seems to rave about. I'm going to chalk it up to Cedar Point just not being able to pull it off--after all, we would find the rest of their food offerings to be pretty sub-par also.


    Returning to that feeling we all had post-Perkins, we decided to go easy and take to the Sky Ride to get us back to the middle of the park.















    So few leaves, so much track







    An iconic view with no greenery


    We got dropped off right next to Valravn, where we decided to suck it up, bite the bullet, and wait in line. We knew that lines were long today because everyone in the park seemed to be here (or at Raptor around 2 o'clock for whatever reason)...but after waiting 3 hours for Gatekeeper three years earlier, I didn't want to take our chances with the next day's crowd. So we decided that while we were digesting would be the perfect time to wait for Cedar Point's big new ride for 2016.









    The queue for Valravn affords some great views of Raptor



    Fancy new station




    Though the advertised wait was over an hour, we ended up waiting no more than 45 minutes, less than we had waited for Raptor as a matter of fact. And to be an honest, I'm glad for that. I'm not saying that Valravn is a bad ride--it's not. Again, it would be a star in any lesser park. But unlike Cedar Point's other under-rated all stars, Valravn isn't necessarily 'good', either. The view from the top is incredible, but the drop seems to lack a punch, as does the rest of the ride. It just sort of floated along, and I can't say anything from the ride was memorable besides its incredible view. Now, I do have to say that I am very familiar with Sheikra over at BGT, and I am a huge fan of that ride--its two vertical drops pack forces that Valravn just doesn't (even its final helix feels more forceful than the turnaround on Valravn). Now, there are a couple reasons I can think of for this discrepancy in ride experiences (yeah, I'm more of a nerd than I let on); one is the fact that the brakes on Valravn work differently--the holding brake doesn't really hold the train, it just slowly inches it over the precipice, which makes it lose that punch of the release you feel on Sheikra, and the MCBR feels much slower on Valravn. The second reason is the vest restraints--I don't really have a problem with these as far as comfort or anything like that, but they do really smother you and keep you from getting that feeling of vulnerability you're supposed to feel hanging over the edge of a 200+ foot vertical drop. Dive machines are typically good rides that do cool things, but there are other rides at Cedar Point that do these things better. It's pretty, but it's toward the bottom of my list of favorites at Cedar Point and is, in my opinion, the worst of the B&Ms on property.


    Next, we proceeded to Magnum, which I knew would pack the punch that Valravn seemed to be lacking.



    I've always loved this station


    At one point, Magnum XL-200 was my favorite roller coaster of all time. In my mind, it just did everything so well--it wasn't the tallest, but its minimal restraints and structure gave it a greater feeling of height than comparable rides. It wasn't the fastest, but its ride experience was amplified by the setting along the coast of Lake Erie. It wasn't the most smooth, but it did offer some of the best airtime I've ever felt on a ride. Now, the height and setting obviously still ring true. But the intensity that made me fall in love with this ride seemed to be missing on Friday. What made me enjoy Magnum so much was its unrelenting intensity in the home stretch--while the last three hills still pack a great whallop of airtime, they didn't do everything in their power to eject me from the ride seat this go-around, and that was disappointing. It's still a fun ride, still one of my favorites in the world, but this trip it wasn't the Magnum I knew and loved. I'm hoping it was a seasonal issue and that by the summer time, it'll be warmed up and back to its old aggressive self. You guys who visit more often will have to let me know.



    Full trees or not, Cedar Point is a pretty park




    After Magnum, we walked over to Maverick to give that another go-around but it was down for, you guessed it, mechanical failure. I'm not sure if this was the same breakdown from earlier that morning or if it was a new issue. Regardless, it was out, so we tried Skyhawk instead.






    Another great ride--is anyone surprised? On paper, this ride seems stupid (it's really just a big metal playground swing), but it's just so much fun and honestly one of the scarier rides in the park (being swung up 120' in the air looking straight down is an unnerving feeling). I had a bit of space between me and my lap bar which had me floating out of my seat essentially the entire ride, which just made the experience that much greater.


    At this point, we had done the majority of the Point's essential rides, and the energy was winding down. For the next few minutes, we just wandered a bit, even taking some time to feed the fish in the pond over which Cedar Creek Mine Ride travels over.





    None of the water was on for the water rides, and I really liked the old, abandoned look of Snake River Falls all dried up








    We decided to give Pipe Scream a whirl as we passed it, and it was the first ride I actively didn't like. It just wasn't as fun as it looked. I don't really know how to describe it--it was a little nauseating and kind of tedious. Its one trick wasn't good enough to justify a whole ride in my opinion. Also, I don't approve of Cedar Point considering this a roller coaster lol. While I appreciate what the ride did for the Gemini midway (the re-vamp looks great even though I love the old school and outdated look of it before), it's not something I'll ride again.




    While we had done many major rides, one notable exception was Top Thrill Dragster. We had actually originally planned to hit this ride first thing in the morning, but "mechanical failure" kept it from opening with the park. Throughout the day, it only launched trains very sporadically and when it did, they were empty. Remember that the weather forecast for the next day called for major thunderstorms--I knew that even when it wouldn't be raining, there would likely be wind that would keep the ride from opening. And if by some miracle they let Dragster operate in those crummy, wet conditions, opening day crowds would make the line prohibitively long. All things considered, I knew that we would only have one chance to ride this ride, and it would be today. But, again, as we passed it at around 6:30 pm, it was still not working. We did notice a small group of people gathered around the entrance--I asked if they were lining up because they thought it would be opening soon, but they told us bluntly that they had no idea and that it was just a big crapshoot at that point. So we moved on, hoping for the best later.







    A tangle of steel




    We walked around aimlessly for a while, then made a beeline toward the front of the park to get a Coke from the one Freestyle machine open by Raptor (we really wanted to make the most of those drink wristbands). While we were there, we noticed that Raptor was sending out half-empty trains; I peeked into the queue line to see the staircase to the station completely empty. We chugged our drinks and hopped in line, literally walking right into the back row. I don't know how this went from the longest line to literally nothing in a matter of a couple of hours, but a free ride on Raptor isn't something I'll ever complain about.




    It was around 6:50 and as we walked through the Valravn plaza again, I noticed a large group gathered outside of the marina entrance. Then I remembered reading somewhere on the OSU itinerary that at 7, passholders would be allowed into the park. I realized that our day of minimal lines was about to come to an end. Tired and fearing the masses, we opted to head back to the hotel to take a break, coming back when it got dark and when we could enjoy the Point all lit up.






    On our way back to the hotel, we noticed that the crowd outside of the Dragster entrance had grown considerably--in fact, a line of people stretched from the entrance to the station, despite the queue being closed. Before we even had time to decide whether or not we thought the ride would open soon, they opened the queue. Quickly, we got a spot in line...it looked like we were going to be able to ride Dragster after all.


    The amount of people in line was no more than about 20-minutes worth of people or so...maybe 30 at most. We waited patiently and eagerly--I assured my buddy who hadn't been to Cedar Point before that despite all of the rides we had done that day, this one was going to be unlike anything he had ever experienced before. As we got closer, my excitement turned to nervousness. That launch freaks me out every single time.


    As we got to the base of the ramp leading to the station, we heard two fateful words announced over the PA system..."mechanical failure". We were so close, too close to give up at that point. It was 7:40--we decided that at 7:55, we would abort this mission and go with our original plan to rest in the hotel. And 15 minutes came and went with literally not a single sign of movement from the ride. By 8, we decided to throw in the towel and go back. We were tired, hungry and had little faith that the ride would re-open.


    On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a pretzel stand to get another free soda...only to be interrupted by the roar of a full Dragster train being catapulted up the mammoth structure. We had missed it by about 5 minutes. Seeing the line outside of the queue had grown exponentially since we had forfeited our spot, we decided it wasn't worth it. We had already given the ride practically an hour of all time--we weren't prepared to give it another. Feeling unprecedentedly bummed, we trudged back to the room and ordered some pizza to be delivered.


    Here's where I thought the trip was going to take a turn for the worst--while I was prepared for massive crowds on Opening Day, I logged on to TPR to see numerous reports of insane traffic getting into Cedar Point. Sure enough, I looked out our balcony and could make out an endless stream of headlights jam-packed along the causeway. This meant three things to me--one, that our pizza would for sure be late; two, that tomorrow would possibly be even more crowded than I had anticipated; and three, that our plan to go back to the park later that night would likely be foiled by the surge of passholders flooding the park.


    Sure enough, our pizza was late and the driver said he had never seen that amount of traffic to get into the park. We also had heard rumblings that the hotel was at capacity. Despite the bad news, the pizza was a mood-saver--regardless of how packed or miserable the next day would be, we had a perfect day that day. The weather hovered around 68 degrees all day, there was never a single cloud in the sky, and we rode almost every world-class coaster Cedar Point had to offer. I mean, could you ask for a better day at a theme park? We were happy and we even finished the vodka.


    But around 10 pm (an hour before closing), me and my one buddy decided to just go back out for the heck of it. I mean, who knew when we would be back, plus we didn't want to sit around watching sitcoms with the girls for the rest of the night. So, well-fed and happily buzzing, we ventured back into the park in the dark. Throughout the entire walk from the hotel to the park entrance, we never saw any sign of Dragster running, so we made a decision to go check on Maverick and have a fun late-night ride.









    The Gemini Midway really comes alive at night




    On our way over to Maverick, we heard a noise coming from behind us--a noise that could only be one thing. We turned around to look behind us and sure enough, a Dragster train was getting launched up into the atmosphere...and on the way down, we spotted a train full of screaming riders. I looked at my friend and asked him if we should go for it. "Honestly," he said, "I think we have to."


    I agreed. We made our way over to the enigmatic roller coaster and got in line, where, after roughly ten minutes of waiting, we ended up right where we ended up the last time....only to hear about more mechanical failure. But this time, we waited. And waited. And within 10-15 minutes, it was back up again. Awesome. We inched forward. Made it up the ramp...and again, broken. We weren't giving up now. We realized that this ride could literally not go 20 minutes without downtime, but at the same time, it was only taking 15 minutes or so to get it back up and running. At 10:50 , we were in line for a middle row



    In the station.....


    ...and miraculously....


    We made it on.


    What a freakin' ride. I physically can not help but scream at the launch, and I am not a scream-on-a-ride kind of guy. But that sensation is unparalleled. Then that ride up the tower...so long, so thrilling, you feel like you're entering a new level of the atmosphere. Shooting toward the night sky is one thing, but falling back down in a wicked spiral is quite another. This ride may only take about 30 seconds, but God what a rush it delivers in that amount of time. No other experience accessible to an average person gives you as much of a thrill.


    We got off and noticed that it was 10:58...amped up on adrenaline, we made a unanimous decision to line up again right before the park closed. The line was shorter than I had ever, or will ever, see it at this time, and we got right up to the ramp...only to hear the mechanical failure announcement yet again. This time, however, they didn't give the same spiel about forfeiting a spot in line or being unsure about the length of the delay. Instead, they manually moved every train back, gave the computer a bit of time to reset, and launched the ride again with no problem. It was nice to see them actually make progress on fixing the ride by doing this, and it took a reasonable amount of time to boot back up. We were on again by about 11:10, and left the park with the satisfaction of knowing we had ridden one of the world's foremost thrill rides twice in a row at the end of a day where we figured we would not get to ride at all.



    The next train after we got off ended up breaking down as well, leading us to believe the park seriously needs to re-evaluate this coaster--I mean, what's the point of offering a ride that can't operate 20 minutes straight? But we were too hyped up and happy to care. We scooped another free soda on the way out, and by 11:30 I was showered and overlooking Lake Erie and a lit-up Cedar Point, beer in my hand, maintaining a high that only Dragster could give. Yeah, that Friday was a good day.



  4. Day 2: OSU Day (Part 1)

    May 6


    Today was the day! We were out the room by 10 am and down to the hotel Perkins for breakfast...which ended up being a mistake. Boy, that breakfast was heavy. Maybe it's just because I'm not a big breakfast guy, but boy that thing was rough. Thankfully it never weighed me down.


    If you've never been to an OSU Day at Cedar Point, let me explain. It's an opportunity for members of the Ohio State Alumni Association to enter the park before opening day for a reasonable price...this allows Alumni Association members a chance to have the park all to themselves (along with several OSU activities throughout the day) and gives the park a chance to work out the kinks before opening to the masses. We had the "Ride & Refresh" package, which is a wristband that gives you unlimited soft drinks all day--that was tight, but not as tight as it could've been considering that not everything opens on OSU Day, including several drink stands, most notably all of the Coke Freestyle Machines aside from those at the very front of the park. But we weren't there to drink. We were there to ride with low crowds.



    Arrived at the hotel gate just five minutes before the opening of 11 am and look how few people were there! We were close enough to get a shot of this beauty



    Magnum from the hotel gate. As you can see, the surrounding area is dead and void of grass or any sort of greenery--you're gonna be seeing that throughout the trip report. Apparently winter lasts through May in Sandusky, and this was a very tree-less trip to the normally-lush Cedar Point.



    Going up...



    ...coming down



    The Happy Friar is an icon of Cedar Point, don't care what you say. I've been fascinated with this place ever since my first visit to the Point when I was six years old


    Our first ride of the day was Maverick, obviously. The great thing about OSU Day is how few Alumni take advantage of this opportunity in relation to the size of the park. The ride was a literal walk-on.





    Even the staircase was empty



    How often do you see this?!



    What a view


    Maverick has always been a favorite of mine. What can I say about this coaster that hasn't already been said? It has quite literally everything, and is one of the few experiences that feels completely full. The drop is ridiculously intense, the airtime is aggressive, and maneuvers try to throw you out at every chance, and there's even a powerful launch thrown in for good measure. That being said, the cold morning and empty trains left a ride that was not as intense as I had remembered. This is definitely a ride that gets better as it warms up. Nevertheless, it was a great warm-up to what would turn into a great day. We went to queue up again (which was, again, empty), but the ride went down for mechanical failure. Whatever, it happens, we moved on.





    Our next stop of the morning



    Love these crowds




    Our plan to go on Millennium Force next seemed problematic as we walked the entirety of Frontier Trail without seeing a single train roll by. Sure enough, we were told by the attendant at the start of the queue line that it was down for, yet again, mechanical failure. No matter, right across the walkway was a new experience for me, Rougarou, which I had been anxious to check out.








    Mantis was always a skip from me--Rougarou was a HUGE improvement! We walked right into the back row which had a surprising whip around the pre-drop curve and first drop itself. Having been only on Kraken and Dominator, I'd have to put Rougarou as my favorite floorless and definitely an upper-tier B&M. The unique arrangement/selection of elements is nice, as is the longer-than-average post-MCBR portion, which is full of uncharacteristically snappy B&M turns and fun low-to-the-ground/water curves. I got off thinking it was fun, but the reality is it pales in comparison to the rest of Cedar Point's lineup. In a lesser park, this would be a stellar attraction. But at Cedar Point, I'd say it's the second-least-exciting B&M (that's not a knock on the ride in any way, though).

    On our way to the Rougarou station, we saw Millennium Force working so we headed right over afterward.












    This is a great ride. The last time I rode it, I was not a member of this website. I didn't know about 'floater' or 'ejector' airtime. I didn't know about the name, "Millennium Forceless". That being said, I got on the ride figuring it may not be as fun as I had remembered, considering all of the flack it gets here. I'm happy to say that it was just the opposite--this ride is leagues better than I had remembered it. No, it's not the most intense ride out there but that's completely unnecessary for what the ride sets out to be. It maintains its speed throughout a long and varied course that never once feels boring. As for it being forceless--I don't know where that comes from. The bottom of the first drop (oh that first drop...so long and amazing) pulls some pretty serious G's and keeping your hands up through some of those overbanks is no easy feat either. The final hill also gives a good amount of airtime, especially in the back. All in all, riding Millennium Force is what I would consider the perfect roller coaster--no, it isn't crazy but it provides you with a fast, well-paced journey through an actual terrain rather than just a gravel plot that gives you a great combination of things you can't do in a normal vehicle (drops, swoops, heights, etc.). Plus, that drop....oh man that first drop.


    As great as Millennium Force was, we decided not to repeat it. You see, the weather on this day was perfect while the forecasts for the next day called for thunderstorms nearly all day, plus the promise of overwhelming opening-day crowds. So our goal was to hit as much as possible with as little waiting as possible and that wouldn't be done by marathoning anything. So off we went...



    This is new...Valravn really does fit in well and is a positive change to the Cedar Point skyline. It fits in its spot perfectly and has a great presence in the park.


    Our next stop was Iron Dragon--this ride brings me back to being a kid. Nostalgia is my Achille's heel and I just couldn't pass up a ride on this. Though it definitely isn't the same ride it was when I was too small to peek over the restraints, it was a fun blast to the past. That being said, Cedar Point really didn't take advantage of the swinging feature of this ride at all. My girlfriend even said at one point, "Isn't this supposed to swing back and forth?" Yeah, it is, but this could've been a regular Vekoma kiddie invert and probably given a near-identical ride.




    We continued walking along the main midway toward the front of the park, where Valravn really makes an impact.






    Our next stop would be the rides along the beach, which will come in part 2.....

  5. Hello, TPR!

    This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend at Cedar Point, and had an amazing experience...it was arguably the best theme park trip I've ever been on--it was a perfect combination of crowds, weather and an all-around good time. While everything wasn't perfect, it was perfect enough for us, and I don't see myself having a better time anywhere else any time soon. I ended up taking several pictures (on my iPhone, nothing fancy but I thought a lot of them turned out pretty good for what they are) and decided to share the weekend with you guys. So, without further ado, here's my trip to Cedar Point for OSU Day and the Grand Opening.



    Day 1: Arrival

    May 5

    We (me, my girlfriend, and two of our friends) departed MCO on Thursday morning at around 10:30 am on Frontier Airlines. The flight, in all honesty, wasn't great. I typically fly Delta and this was a far cry from that--the seats resembled lawn chairs and the service was nothing spectacular. We did book the Exit Row which was nice, but aside from that it was a pretty uncomfortable trip. But who cares, we were on our way to Cedar Point!


    We arrived in Cleveland and proceeded to check out our rental car which was a surprisingly smooth process. We ended up with a Jeep Compass, which was perfect because I had been looking to test drive one soon anyway--honestly might become my next car after this trip! Now, I was pretty bummed that I would be missing the Cinco de Mayo festivities with my friends back home, but we made the most of it by stopping by a Chili's and ordering guac, queso, fajitas, tacos, and all that good stuff. We were hoping that the four of us would have a great little fiesta of our own once we got to the hotel as well, but more on that later.


    Before we knew it, we were making our pilgrimage to the Coaster Mecca. The drive was smooth and I have to say that Ohio drivers are some of the best I've ever seen--always using signals, generally courteous, and they actually understood that the left lane was for passing! That's a rarity in Florida, so every time a car would politely move out of the left lane as I approached without a barrage of swearing or middle fingers was a pleasant surprise--we were already off to a good start lol.


    Before we knew it, we were approaching The Point.


    Honestly gotta be one of the world's greatest views




    After making our way down the Causeway, we proceeded around the peninsula toward the Hotel Breakers, which would be our home for the next few days.



    Such a fun drive



    I see a new ride...


    The last time I had been to Cedar Point was 2013--the new ride was Gatekeeper and the hotel was still very much on the older, less aesthetically-pleasing side. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked the Breakers, but it's always been moreso for the convenience factor than anything. However, they did a great job with the renovation--the place is definitely spruced up and seems much "cleaner" without sacrificing its old school charm.



    The Hotel Breakers lobby, where what was old is new again


    I think we were one of the very first people to check in for the season--the lady at the front desk seemed a bit unsure of herself and was definitely working on some pre-season jitters. We also had to walk the Starbucks employees through our orders as they clearly had no idea what was up. Every employee was super nice, though, and check-in was a breeze. That being said, the hotel was creepily empty--walking around gave off some serious Shining vibes.





    Looking up inside of the rotunda


    The most notable difference is in the rooms--as of 2013, those puppies were laughably outdated, and even a little bit on the gross side in some cases. No longer is that the case. In our suite, the furniture was nice and comfortable, the artwork was vibrant and the wood-flooring in the foyer area and the bathroom was a nice touch. The flat-screen TVs were also a welcome addition, considering the hotel was using tubes just three years ago as far as I can remember. The rooms finally belong in the 21st century and we actually enjoyed spending time in the room rather than simply using it as a place to sleep in between park-days as we had in the past.







    Using pictures of Gatekeeper as headboards is a nice touch



    This picture in the bathroom didn't do the hotel any favors in seeming less "Shining"-like lol


    As nice as the room was, the best part was undoubtedly our view. Sit in one seat and you could see nothing but the relaxing Lake Erie waves crashing on the beach. Sit in the other, and you were felt right in the middle of the action of the park. Look out the window, and it was the perfect mixture of both. Watching the rides test from our patio was a surreal way to amp up the excitement for the days to come, and I am sure that no other room in this hotel will ever give us a better view than this one.



    Sorry that it's sideways, I'm not sure why...but you get the idea of how incredible this view was


    After unpacking, we decided to go look around and explore the beach. I think we very well may have been the first people to walk on the beach all season. Our footsteps were the first to disrupt the otherwise perfect rows plowed through the sand, and we were the first to dirty up the pavement leading up to the hotel from the beach after coming back in. Unfortunately, the beach was nothing to be too excited about. The sand was damp, muddy, and littered with bird poop. As many times as I've been to Cedar Point, I've actually never been on the beach before this trip, and although we got some neat pictures, I don't think I had been missing much.












    We ended up all taking naps in the room, with the balcony door open listening to the sound of seagulls, waves and roller coasters. By the time we woke up, it was time for dinner and we made our way down to the Breakers' TGI Friday's for dinner. I had mentioned our initial plan to make up for Cinco de Mayo and party at the hotel--but our $10 drinks at Friday's and the painfully slow service had us second-guessing our plan. Not having any clue of what to do in Sandusky, OH but not wanting to just sit around in the room, we turned to Siri to take us to a liquor store so we could supply our own Cinco de Mayo fuel without having to spend a ton of money or take our chances in a dingy local bar. I took a few pictures on the way off the peninsula...








    (Sidebar: I took a great panoramic shot of the park from the front entrance of the hotel, but it's not loading--even though you can't see it, I have to say it is awesome to step outside of your "home" for the night and be completely surrounded by world-class amusement park rides)


    We ended up about fifteen minutes from the property at a place called Dick's, a convenience store/liquor store combo employed by two of the strangest and scariest people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Would I make the trip back there ever again? No. But did they supply us with cheap drinks? That they did. We made our way back to the hotel with vodka, pineapple juice and sprite and had ourselves our own little Cinco de Mayo fiesta in the room. We were all feeling ourselves pretty quickly, and while the liquor definitely helped, I think the fact that we would be riding some of the world's best roller coasters just one night's sleep later was also a huge contributing factor. We all passed out sometime between midnight and 1 am, with alarms set to make the park's 11am opening for Ohio State Day, which is coming up next!

  6. I asked this before but didn't get any response, hoping maybe someone will see this and pick it up this time.


    I'm flying up tomorrow to get to OSU Day on Friday. Since we couldn't get flights out on Saturday, we are spending the day at the park on Saturday as well. Does anyone have advice as to how to make Opening Day bareable? The forecast calls for thunderstorms so I'm thinking the crowds may stay away, but what do I know? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

  7. That video came out great! This will definitely be a cut above your average dive coaster. I'll be at Cedar Point May 6 for Ohio State Day, hoping to be one of the first to try this thing out!


    On that note, my buddies and I couldn't get a flight home Saturday so we'll be leaving Sunday and getting tickets for Saturday's opening day...I know it'll be a s**t show but are there any tips you seasoned guys have? We'll be at Breakers and have spent a full day there the Friday before, so I will get to every must-do before then, I'm just looking for any semblance of a strategy to make Saturday less miserable than it could be lol

  8. The park caters to a family market. I fully expect this to be as "family friendly" a hyper as possible. It should still be fun, but I think people should go in with realistic expectations.

    I have never understood this because I see the best reaction from all ages on coasters that are very intense. Many people argue that a park "doesn't want a coaster that intense because it won't appeal to as many people" but at most parks, their most intense coaster is often the most popular with the GP.


    I don't see why notable airtime would make this more or less family friendly. At the end of the day it is very tall and fast, and most people will decide to ride it or not ride it based on that, not on the negative G calculation.


    People not interested in coasters will go to SeaWorld regardless, so if anything a standout coaster just helps to expand the park's target customer.


    I agree with pretty much all of this. I don't see how running a big roller coaster with a 54" height requirement a little slower makes it more family-friendly. It's not like the park can say "Hey! We have the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Orlando! But we kicked up the trim brakes!" in their advertisements....people are either gonna ride it or they won't and will decide afterward if they thought it was too intense or not but by then the park already has their money so who cares.


    I get that B&M's are built the way they are for a reason, but I don't think family friendly is one of them. The GP doesn't know what kind of ride a roller coaster is going to give them based on the manufacturer. No matter how fast or slow they run it, it's still the tallest/fastest in the area and it still has a 54" height requirement.

  9. Lol. Theres no algorithm for when a park will get a new ride/roller coaster/any sort of investment. Trying to find patterns from the past will get you nowhere. Making large scale investments isn't predetermined, it's decided upon after market research, evaluating operating efficiency, determining the ROI, etc. This whole website has devolved into every thread overthinking the hell out of everything. Be happy that theme parks exist at all lol.

  10. The posts going after complainers outnumber the actual "complaints" (of which there are actually not that many). Whats funny to me is that you guys all see when moderators have to combat negativity on other threads where it's actually an issue and are so hell-bent on being "good fans" that you shoot down everyone with a slightly less-than-positive thing to say on threads where negativity isn't even that big a deal. Like some of the first posts were attacking complaints that hadn't even happened yet! On some threads, the complaining is funny, but this thread is built on people getting super defensive and taking a proactive stance against a tiny population of posters who have a less-than-thrilled opinion. Lolz


    But to the topic, I think this is a weird addition to CP. Dive coasters are great, dont get me wrong, but I dont feel the need to suck up to it like you guys do. Its big trick is the vertical drop, which two coasters in the park already have. Dont get me wrong, these are GREAT rides (I love Sheikra) but at Cedar Point, it seems a little redundant. Then again, what don't they have there? Not much more they can do, the park has a great variety going for it which is awesome. I also think the layout is the best of any dive machine yet, theming does nothing for me unless it's Disney or Universal...I mean, cmon, what constitutes theming at CP? A couple cutouts and props? That's not enough to make or break a ride. Can't wait to ride (hopefully) next summer. Oh, and that view going into the first drop is awesome

  11. Well, 1964 came and went, and was another resounding success! Crowds have steadily increased over the years, with a 30% jump in attendance over the course of the last three seasons. It's clear that Laguna Island is on the map, and management has made it their commitment to take advantage of this, turning the small-time park into a full-on, national amusement park destination.



    No new attractions were added for the year of 1965...instead, some necessary infrastructure upgrades occurred. For one thing, a good portion of the operating budget went toward training programs for the employees for the inevitable influx of large amounts of guests over the coming years. Customer service is going to be a major focus from here on out, considering that attendance is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace.

    Before this year, guests gained admission to the park free of cost, and instead paid for each ride as they went along. However, that model is being considered largely outdated as of late, and Laguna Island is jumping on the pay-one-price train. Yep, that's right-- admission to the park will now cost guests $20.00, with all rides free upon entering the park.

    The park also added a second ferry dock for guest transportation to the island...wait times often climbed up to 20 minutes for the ferry on busy days, and that's not something that gels with the park's new customer-oriented prerogative. This bumps up the total ferry count from 2 to 4, ensuring that guests will have a minimal wait to get to the park each day.

    Other additions include random little sprucings up around the park. More benches, more trash cans, and more little upgrades to make the park more accessible and accommodating to larger throngs of people. 1965 may not be the most exciting year in the park's history, but management hopes that it will be one of the most important in terms of upgrading the park for the future...


    Here are some pictures of the park's little additions:


    1965 at Laguna Island Pleasure Park!


    The second ferry dock, which will ensure higher customer satisfaction and more efficiency bringing people into the park


    The station for Laguna Island Cyclone has been upgraded as well


    Here's a shot of the Lakeside Racer nestled in the beautiful terrain


    Speaking of Racer, the wall for the Pirate Ride has been painted a more earthy tone to reduce the contrast between the structure and the adjacent forest to make the sight a bit more aesthetically pleasant for riders on the Racer.


    The park is nice and busy, even for a cool day early in the season! Exciting times for Laguna Island!

  12. Assuming human error was the cause, could the ride operator/engineer face legal charges?

    Nope, Deep Pockets Doctrine. The lawsuit will go to Merlin. Nobody's gonna get any money out of a seasonal theme park employee.


    The engineers are not seasonal employees they are all permanent members of staff. Also Merlin will not be the ones taken to court if thats what action is decided to be taken "Alton Towers Resort Operations Limited" will be the ones held accountable not Merlin.


    I meant employee of a seasonal theme park. Is Alton Towers open all year?


    Also, I'll admit that I don't know how Merlin's parks are structured, but the plaintiff typically targets the largest part of the entity they're suing, which is why you'll see people sue Walt Disney World rather than Epcot.


    Either way, the answer to the original question (aka, the important part) is still correct....

  13. ^No way man, B&M sucks Intamin RULEZZZ!!!!! If its not a TOP 5 OMFG ROLLER COASTER WITH SICK EJECTOR AIR then dont even bother, I will not only not ride it, I will AVOID LOOKING AT IT AT ALL COSTS and then I will TRASH IT AS MUCH AS I CAN without even riding it. I will cancel my Cedar Fair Passport if they put in another B&M snoozefest!!!!!! I pay to ride roller coasters, not take napzzz!!!!! Also, since EVERY RIDE I EVEN BOTHER WITH has to be a Top 5 ride, my Top 5 is about 20 roller coasters long but that just shows my dedication to counting credits and spending WAY too much time ranking them!!!


    All hail Intamin!!!! I havent even heard the announcement for KD's new coaster but I can already tell it's just another forceless B&M, YAWN, lemme go do it with a SICK PIC of a naked Intamin

  14. ^I like Busch Gardens and all but if I got to choose to go anywhere I would probably lean toward Cedar Point, GrAdv, or Hersheypark.


    BUT, if you have already been to those places and have a real interest in BGT, you could do a lot worse...it's a great park. Not as nice or well-rounded as BGW, but definitely has the better coaster collection. There isn't one single "bad" ride there. SheiKra, Kumba and Montu are all world-class B&M's, Cheetah Hunt is a lot of fun, Scorpion is a great Schwarzkopf if you'rs into that kinda thing, and then they have a few smaller coasters that aren't so bad either. Plus, they have a great log flume and Falcon's Fury is one of the best rides, coaster or non, that I have ever ridden--there's nothing else like it. On top of that you have some good animal exhibits if you're into that sort of thing.


    Food is also a cut above normal theme park fare here, AND crowds are usually very manageable. If you've already been to the coaster meccas in the more out-of-the-way locations, BGT is definitely a solid option.

  15. ^^^, ^^ well obviously it varies from park to park. I've heard Valleyfair and Dorney have poor atmosphere but I have yet to visit. But Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Cedar Point and Knotts are all very well-kept, clean places that are clearly separated from the "real world". I will admit that I think Six Flags Over Georgia is very nice, but Magic Mountain, Over Texas, and some of the smaller ones just dont cut it for me, and seem very run-down and even dirty to an extent (not like litter in the pathways but general upkeep)

  16. Cedar Fair is the better company to me by far. Yeah, Six Flags has some great rides but they also have a lot of crap (quality vs quantity). Six Flags also seems to be lacking in the flat ride department in a lot of their parks. But the biggest thing to me is the feel of Cedar Fair's parks vs Six Flags. To me, a park should have a distinct atmosphere...once you're there, you should feel like you're in a sort of bubble away from the outside. Six Flags doesn't do this well at all, so many of their rides are just built on the sides of roads and parking lots. Shockwave at SFOT, for instance, is right on the side of the highway...at that point you feel like you'rs just on a roller coaster in a county fair, you lose that distinctive park atmosphere. Cedar Fair makes much more of an effort to create a distinct feel to their parks. The landscaping is better, everything seems fresher, more effort is put into keeping things up to date and clean. Basically, a Six Flags park is an assortment of roller coasters, Cedar Fair parks are actually pleasant places to visit (for the most part).

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