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Coastermania 2008! - Photo Trip Report


tdtmf
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Greetings from Texas!

 

I have been a big fan of the site for just over a year, but this is the first time I have filed a trip report. A bit about us before we get started with the trip report. Sally and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary in May. We are both in our mid 40’s and even though I have been a big coaster fan my entire life, Sally is only a year and a half into her obsession. The first coaster she ever road was the Manhattan Express in Las Vegas….and the only reason she did that was because we were on our first trip together and she didn’t want to look like a chicken sh*t. To her credit she also road the High Roller and Big Shot that trip. And almost 10 years later, on a still night in Vegas, you can still hear her scream echo throughout sin city. She lost her voice for 2 days after riding the Big Shot.

 

Flash forward 8 years and I had to go to Orlando for a business trip. Sally tagged along and really sucked it up – deciding that she didn’t want to be a bench sitter all weekend long while I rode coasters. We started out small and by the end of the trip we had ridden just about all the coasters in Orlando. I knew I had her hooked for good when she wanted to re-ride the Hulk immediately after we finished our first ride.

 

We were home two weeks when she “made” me take her to Six Flags Over Texas. Then it was off to Southern CA for Thanksgiving ’08 where we did 16 coasters in 4 days. And she was getting more and more brave, riding Tatsu (2x) and even X. Early on however, her obsession was focused on one ride. A ride we had seen on TV (& the famous e-mail that goes around every year or so) - and just 3 years ago she couldn’t believe people actually pay money to ride – Top Thrill Dragster. That is the ride she always talked about. The one she had to ride. So when we heard about Coastermania, we packed up and headed to Ohio.

 

I had been to Cedar Point about 10 years ago and had a blast. Magnum was the newest ride at the time and was certainly the biggest thing I had ever ridden. Besides that and riding the Raptor 2x, I don’t recall much of the first trip. We arrived on Monday afternoon and checked into the Hotel Breakers. For anyone that hasn’t stayed there, the place is ok, but the room we were in was really run down. However, the drive around the park to get to the hotel was amazing. It really builds the excitement! We were in the park by 6 pm and went straight to the Raptor. This has always been one of my favorite rides and I was thrilled to see that the line was no more than 15 min. In fact, until Friday, for Coastermania, we never waited longer than 20 minutes for anything other than TTD, MF and Maverick. It was really amazing. The weather was overcast and not too hot. The threat of rain probably helped with the crowds, but we got to ride everything that we wanted as many times as we wanted. Early June is defiantly the time to go to the Point.

 

We hit the park again Tuesday morning for early ride time @ 9am (the real reason to stay at one of the park’s hotels) and rode all day. On Wednesday we drove into Cleveland and went to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and then down to Canton, OH to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A great day except for the 2 hours we spent parked on Highway 77 because some idiot was threatening to jump off a bridge onto the highway. On Thursday we went back into Cleveland and went to the Zoo, which was really nice. We made it back to the park in time to ride Raptor, Maverick, Millennium Force and Dragster before it closed for the night.

 

Friday & Coastermania came & so did the heat. Because we had ridden all the rides the night before that were going to be open for ERT starting at 6am we slept in (knowing we’d be up late that night). I have to say that the park did a great job of hosting the event. They gave us all really nice hooded sweatshirts (who knew it would be the first day of the year to hit 90 degrees), cups for free drinks all day and a great lunch (with caramel apples and saltwater taffy for everyone!). During lunch we struck up a conversation with Big Mike. I didn’t know who he was at the time (I have since read his thread), but saw on the back of his t-shirt that he was headed to Oklahoma this year (where I grew up). What a nice guy.

 

The Q&A before lunch was fun, even though there were no big announcements made (like what/when the next big coast would be). I wish I got the names of everyone that was on the panel. It was obvious that they loved coasters and their jobs. Some of the questions were about service issues individuals had experienced and without exceptions, they said “see us after and we’ll take care if it”. They said they had a 5 year plan but wouldn’t tell us anything about it! They did hint about some things (1) they would love to build a ride that starts/goes out over the lake, (2) they love big dark rides, (3) they love big wooden roller coasters. they are not out of room to add more costers & (5) they want to retain their title of roller coaster capital.

 

Friday night, right at 10pm a storm came through. We had actually just been locked into seats on Mantis and were ready to leave the platform when the call came down that everything was to shut down immediately. It looked for awhile like they might actually shut down the park for the night and we would all miss out on our ERT on Maverick (a surprise last minute add), Gemini, Gemini Jr, Magnum and TTD. After about 25 minutes of some pretty heavy rain the clouds cleared and the rides started up. For those of you that haven’t been in a park for ERT at night, it is an amazing thing. No crowds, hardly any lines & everyone is a real coaster fan. It was truly magical. And a great end to our trip.

 

One last note, when we finished up lunch with the group, I went up to the gentleman that hosted the Q&A earlier in the day to thank him for a wonder time and lunch. There was a gentleman standing next to him that I hadn’t previously seen and not wanting to interrupt their conversation, I said my quick thanks and headed out to the park. As Sally and I were walking out I saw the 2nd gentleman again, whose name tag said “Dick” and asked him what he did within the organization. He said he was the CEO. Turns out it was Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. He was the nicest, most unassuming guy. We chatted for a minute until he stopped to have his picture taken with a family. It was great capper to a great day.

 

Guess that’s it for the talk’n. Here are some pics from the week. Enjoy.

 

Tom

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the first sign you see!

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like a mirage!

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getting close!

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magnum from the hotel parking lot

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doesn't look so rough from here....

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The drive around the park to get to the Hotel Breakers is cool. It give you a very different view of several rides; Blue Streak, Millinium Force, Mavrick, Mean Streak & Magnum. One View gives a great contrast of the old & the new.

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toll booth love

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We went straight to The Raptor! This is one of my favorite coasters - anywhere. It was amazing that there was no more than a 15 minute waite all week - until friday and the coaster groups showed up.

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the screen on the left is where they show their night time movie thingy

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they ought to have a contest to see who can get the most rides in one pic!

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a great way to see the park

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during the q&a it was revealed that the demon drop is indeed for sale. i bid $100 dollars, which got a small laugh from the group, but no deal (i would have gone up to $350)

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ever get tired of the picture guys always asking to take your pic? i started beating them to the punch. it drove sally crazy, but some of them thought it was funny. these two were great fun.

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a very small crowd on a monday @ 6pm

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...but we had to go to the front to pick up our season passes

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the secret back gate - for hotel guests!

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Hotel Breakers - nice on the outside!

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sally & her obsession

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a great old ride

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during the 5 days we were there, the ride was down several times. they always worked as fast as they could to get it running again. usually it was down for no longer than 30 min or so.

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i took easily 100 photos of the dragster...i did try to edit a few out...

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the dragster is really like the eiffel tower in paris, you can see it from almost any where in the park and it is always captivating!

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an amazing ride. and we did get to see a rollback! at the q&a someone asked how they could get a rollback and everyone cheered. the panel said the best chance is to get there early on a cold day. we saw ours after the ride was down for about 30 min.

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the launch!

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check out the two in the first row. no matter how many times the announcer said "sit straight up with your head against the head rest" she couldn't do it. bet she had a headache (or backache) when it was all said & done

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the longest lines were for the dragster, but never longer than 45 minutes

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it would suck to get stuck like this!

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i gotta be the first person EVER to take this shot! the cork screw is an ok ride, but it really is amazing how close you can get & how much it adds to the atmosphere of the park

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the best airtime in the park

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amazing how smooth this ride is in comparison to magnum

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i love the lift system that speeds up the climb. and that first drop is something else.

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millenium force is an amazing ride. we road it 4x. we met a great couple from ohio while standing in line on friday night.

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this is really a fun ride. and even better at night.

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my only lift hill shot. the rules seemed to be a little more relaxed on the iron dragon.

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i could swear that the last time i was at the point there were more plaques. we only saw a couple this time.

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a neat view from the beach at the hotel, w/the magnum poking out at the far end

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long , slow lift hill....

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the first time we road magnum it was so, so rough. we swore we would never it ride again. that held until the ERT on friday night. there was no line so we gave it another shot, and it wasn't nearly as bad. infact, we got to re-ride as there was no one in line behind us. a much better ride when you know what to expect.

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snoopy is everywhere....

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all week long there was this white stuff falling off the trees. it was so heavy at times that it collected around polls, looking like snow. there were also the mosquito-looking bugs that came out every evening. they didn't bite, but made for tasty treats as you came down a first drop.

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during the q&a it was asked if they were thinking of taking down the mean streak and replacing with a smoother bigger woodie. nope - it ain't going nowhere.

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the mean streak does earn it's name. so rough sally would ride the 2nd time with me. good thing, it was even worse the second time.

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sally would still be there riding the maverick (& dragster & mf) if we didn't have jobs to go back to.

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smooth vs. rough. guess which is which!

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the fast lift and first drop are fantastic! not the biggest drop in the world, but the angle is thrilling.

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i have to admitt that i wasn't overly excited about the maverick - until we road it. what great fun. we road it 4x - all in the front row. the only way to go on this ride.

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there was never more than a short line for the mantis. a fun ride, but a little rough at the end.

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one last dragster pic....

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and finally, a couple nite time pics.

 

i stopped to take this pic late one night as we were coming back from a day trip to cleveland. as soon as i got out of the car a security guard pulled in behind us. i thought i was in trouble but the guy said he just wanted to make sure we were ok & to take my time. a really nice guy.

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the owner of the feet in the previous pic.

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while in line for the gemini (red car), i looked up and saw this.

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lot's of screaming people.

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there seems to be lots of room in the far back part of the park for more coasters. it's rather quaint, but i'm not sure why there christmas, candle and china shops at a coaster park....

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now she says "i wish we had ridden that"

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this did look like great fun (to me. sally, not so much)

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let's finish the park pics with some of the flat rides. i was amazed at how many there were scattered throughout the park. we didn't ride a one of them...except the sky ride. guess we have to go back!

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it is so obvious that these guys love their jobs. and enjoy interacting with customers.

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i am sorry for not having the names of the participants at the q&a. if anyone knows, please feel free to add them

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the wildcat was the only coaster not open while we were there....and no one would say why. at the q&a the panel mentioned an "incident" but didn't elaborate. they did say the the ride was not going away & would re-open as soon as they could make adjustments.

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i luv me some blue streak! there was never a line & we even got to re-ride once.

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...so twisted.

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so wicked....

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there are still a number of rides that harken back to the days of an old time family park.

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that same day we drove down to canton and went to the pro football hall of fame. sally loves football (but the wrong teams) as much as i do. i am a lucky man.

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they wouldn't let us take pictures inside...so this is it for the hall

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we went to the rock 'n roll hall of fame one day. i've been a couple times before, this was sally's first.

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as soon as we got to his display, this bear walked over to the log, sat down and posed. he worked us pretty hard for a treat, but we had nothing to give.

 

that's it. hope you enjoyed the report. td

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i have been trying forever to get a good cheetah shot. they are usually hidding in the back of their pens. i got lucky and this one was up close and i could get a good angle.

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we also took a day trip to the cleveland zoo. a really nice - and spread out zoo - it was the first day of real heat, so the animals were pretty lazy.

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this is a great museum. you could spend all day here. so many cool things. they had all the superbowl rings. go cowboys!

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kinda creepy from the outside, really cool once you get into the room

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Just thought I would comment and mention that I love those pictures of Raptor, for a long time I kept wondering what the "helix" on Raptor was and I couldn't think "A helix on an invert, no!" Well thanks to your picture I now know that there is one and wow does that look fun! One of the other pictures of Raptor looks like it's moving when you scroll down which I thought was cool.

 

Nice Photo Trip Report! I really hope I can make it to Cedar point one of these days. Everyone says it's overated but I want to know for myself, hopefully next year.

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Awesome PTR!!! I havent seen so many pictures since last years TPR Trip. That is great that you were able to make it down to the Zoo and the Rock N Roll and Football Hall Of Fame, it is always good to go there. I got to get back there again. BTW, Cowboys SUCK!!! GO STEELERS!!!

 

--Chris

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all week long there was this white stuff falling off the trees. it was so heavy at times that it collected around polls, looking like snow. there were also the mosquito-looking bugs that came out every evening. they didn't bite, but made for tasty treats as you came down a first drop.

 

Those bugs are really annoying. I think they're mayflies. Their's so many because when their young they live in the water and when they become adults, in summer, they come out of the water to annoy all the people at Cedar Point. They are the worst when riding Millennium Force, Mean Streak, Magnum, and Wicked Twister. Basically any ride near the water.

 

Last year at Coaster Mania, when I was yelling going down the hill of Millennium one went into my throat, at 90 mph , and I didn't stop coughing the rest of the day and all night. So you can still scream or shout on the rides, just wait until you get above 30 ft. or so.

 

-Kyle-

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Your TR really got me excited for my upcoming trip. Thank- you for sharing since your pics were AMAZING - great job - thank you for sharing.

 

Did they say anything noteworthy during the Q&A? I'm disapointed MS isn't going anywhere - it's beautiful - especially at night - but god, that's it.

 

And like you, I could ride MF, TTD, Maverick, Gemini, Magnum, and Raptor all day !

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thanks so much for the thoughts on the trip report. since it was my first one i was looking for feedback.

 

thom25:

thanks for the nice comments about the photos. i really appreciate it.

 

i can't think of anything of real importance that was brought up in the q&a. we were all hoping for an announcement of some kind, but it wasn't to be. there was some talk about a "fast pass" type of system, but the room booed the idea, so i doubt they'll add one. also, someone asked if they would make it easier for single riders to skip most of the que...the thought of which didn't go over very well with the group either. everyone thought singles should have to wait in the long que and only get to spit off once they reach the platform.

 

one of the big wigs said they have a soft spot in their heart for mean streak, and it would be tough to take it down. then he mentioned that they have a lot more room to add than people thought.

 

chmilo24/chris:

now now, let's be nice about the football teams! i have to live with a steeler fan so i get enough of that at home! sally is both a steeler & panthers (don't ask) fan.....some years are better than others for me. & i'm feeling pretty good about this one!

 

eltorogirl84:

glad the pics of the raptor helped i have a few more if you want to see them. i can't imagine c.p. being overrated. we had a great time. the small crowds & weather helped quite a bit, but the coasters are great. yeah, they don't have an "x" or "tatsu" flying coaster, but there are so many others - and 4 great one; dragster, millennium force, maverick & raptor (& many would argue that there are at least a couple more that would fall into the great category). absolutely you should go yourself. if you like flat rides, they have so many of those as well.

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Thats one of the best TR's I've seen since I signed up. Great job. I noticed that picture you took of the midway near the Old fashion Burger place (where you pointed out the movie screen, and corkscrew was on the right). I noticed it, because I took almost the exact same picture (a bit more zoomed in on mine) when I was there, how weird

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This is the Picture I took, when I saw your picture, I was so surprised *Reduced quality from resizer

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The kind words were well deserved.

 

What I don't get is why people would want singles to wait with everyone else while trains are dispatched with empty seats. It appears misery truly does enjoy company !

 

And while I understand peoples distain for fast pass type systems, there has to be a way in this day of technology for people to stand in line virtually and do something else in the park (like spend money).

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The kind words were well deserved.

 

What I don't get is why people would want singles to wait with everyone else while trains are dispatched with empty seats. It appears misery truly does enjoy company !

 

And while I understand peoples distain for fast pass type systems, there has to be a way in this day of technology for people to stand in line virtually and do something else in the park (like spend money).

 

hey thom25: i think the thing with singles is the perceived abuse that takes place. couples or groups will avoid the long wait in que and split up to ride. whereas it would be ok for them to ride as singles if they waited with everyone else. i don't think i disagree with that thinking.

 

as far as the "fast pass" i think the objection had to do with watching people just walk up and get on the ride after having to wait in-line for a long time. it might have something to do with not wanting to pay extra for the privilege, but i don't think so. i've used the "fast pass" a couple times myself and like them. and you are right, it has to be a good money maker for the park - people are not in line so they can spend $ of games, food & souvenirs + the cost of the pass itself.

 

Thats one of the best TR's I've seen since I signed up. Great job. I noticed that picture you took of the midway near the Old fashion Burger place (where you pointed out the movie screen, and corkscrew was on the right). I noticed it, because I took almost the exact same picture (a bit more zoomed in on mine) when I was there, how weird

 

hey signal,

that's funny about the photos being close in angle. i thought about that when taking the pics and in choosing which ones to post. however, there are some places in the park that just scream for you to shoot...the causeway and the shot of the corkscrew being the 2 most obvious. i tried to include as many different shots as possible. and i am sure i haven't seen (or can't remember) every pick of cedar point posted here!

 

and i agree with what you said about the reduction in quality in posted photos. i was shocked at how fuzzy some of my pics look when posted. i played with them a long time to try to improve them, but couldn't figure it out. of course, some were very big files to start with as i have a 6mp camera.

 

ADMIN EDIT: Double post merged into one. --Colin

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Hey there!

 

I noticed you are new to TPR, so welcome! However, your grammar and punctuation so far have not been all that great. It's in your posts, and all of your pictures which make them very hard to read. Please try and work on that, here is the TOS which I suggest you re-read concerning grammar and spelling. Thanks, and enjoy TPR!

 

Colin

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Wow amazing TR! Isn't Cedar Point wonderful? Yeah I wasn't too excited on riding Maverick but when you get on it's one of the wildest rides you will ever ride! But you're wrong on the front being the place to ride, it's all in the back...

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Great trip report, I really like the pictures! I was there this past week too, but I didn't know about Coastermania, otherwise I might have stayed longer!

 

thanks so much for the thoughts on the trip report. since it was my first one i was looking for feedback.

 

thom25:

thanks for the nice comments about the photos. i really appreciate it.

 

i can't think of anything of real importance that was brought up in the q&a. we were all hoping for an announcement of some kind, but it wasn't to be. there was some talk about a "fast pass" type of system, but the room booed the idea, so i doubt they'll add one. also, someone asked if they would make it easier for single riders to skip most of the que...the thought of which didn't go over very well with the group either. everyone thought singles should have to wait in the long que and only get to spit off once they reach the platform.

 

one of the big wigs said they have a soft spot in their heart for mean streak, and it would be tough to take it down. then he mentioned that they have a lot more room to add than people thought.

 

chmilo24/chris:

now now, let's be nice about the football teams! i have to live with a steeler fan so i get enough of that at home! sally is both a steeler & panthers (don't ask) fan.....some years are better than others for me. & i'm feeling pretty good about this one!

 

eltorogirl84:

glad the pics of the raptor helped i have a few more if you want to see them. i can't imagine c.p. being overrated. we had a great time. the small crowds & weather helped quite a bit, but the coasters are great. yeah, they don't have an "x" or "tatsu" flying coaster, but there are so many others - and 4 great one; dragster, millennium force, maverick & raptor (& many would argue that there are at least a couple more that would fall into the great category). absolutely you should go yourself. if you like flat rides, they have so many of those as well.

 

^ I don't really think that Cedar Point would benifit from a fast pass system. Before I went, I was nervous about going to such a crowded park and having to wait in line for hours, but despite some crowds the lines were all pretty short. Plus, I feel that a fast pass system would only slow the ride operations down (they tried something similiar a few years ago and everyone complained about it, including the ride ops). As far as a single rider line, I think the one on Maverick works well enough. Its too short to make people want to abuse it, but it does its job making sure all the seats are filled. Moreover, the only ride with a lot of empty seats going out was Raptor, but that was because they were loading it so fast that they didn't have time to wait for single riders in the queue.

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I thought the execution of Cedar Point's old system needed work, but I loved the fact knowing I'd go to MF at a particular time and have a shorter than normal weight. It rocked in my opinion, given it's a 12 hour drive for me to get to the point. Regarding Raptor and empty seats, I think it's more of a function of 4 across seating.

 

As an avid snowboarder and snowboard instructor, ski areas all over the country have a single rider line and it works very well imo. It guarentees the lift's capacity is maximized minimizing the wait time.

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As far as a single rider line, I think the one on Maverick works well enough. Its too short to make people want to abuse it, but it does its job making sure all the seats are filled.

 

I agree, the single rider line on maverick works great. That way, if there is a longer line (30+ min) the single rider has to wait in the bulk of the line before breaking off to the singles line.

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Wow amazing TR! Isn't Cedar Point wonderful? Yeah I wasn't too excited on riding Maverick but when you get on it's one of the wildest rides you will ever ride! But you're wrong on the front being the place to ride, it's all in the back...

 

Do you prefer the back because of airtime? I guess I think first about the unobstructed view. I'd be interedted in knowing what you think - and is it that way for all coasters?

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Cedar Point makes for some of the best Photo TR's

 

Other parks may be "prettier" but CP has something about it.

 

Yeah, it really is amazing for shooting. We didn't have blue skys until the last day, which helps a lot.

 

I saw that you were from Salina, KS. I went to college there @ Marymount. It isn't there any more (not my fault!). I graduated in 1984 and only made it back a couple times after that. I just heard about a reunion for next summer. What coasters are there in Kansas that I should try to ride when I am back?

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Great trip report, i love that park. Ahhh dragster, i miss you.

The bugs are mayflies, and i believe the white stuff, was the pollen/seeds from the cotton wood . I saw it too, its everywhere.

 

Thanks! Glad you liked the report. I've got a buddy moving to PA in a couple months. What parks/coasters are in your area that we should hit?

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