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Photo TR: Toft's & America's Roller Coast


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As an ice cream enthusiast (and card carrying member of ICE), I frequently travel to far off regions of the country to sample different ice cream establishments. I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. But my number one ice cream parlor has, for a long time now, been Toft’s Dairy in Sandusky, Ohio.

 

What makes Toft’s so special? It’s not just a high percentage of butterfat. It’s also the fact that they’re one of the very few dairies left that still cook their vanilla base rather than cold whipping it.

 

Toft’s has remained family-owned for over 100 years, with just three parlor locations: Sandusky (adjacent to the dairy itself), Port Clinton, and Fremont. So when news reached me of a new, fourth location--located inside the world’s largest amusement park--I just had to see for myself.

 

This is my report:

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Now that's what I call a successful trip. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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I'll have the "Herd of Cows," please. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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Yes! Despite all the mechanical problems, brainless "safety" policies, and complete indifference to anything that can't be marketed as the biggest of something, Cedar Point now has a Toft's and that makes it cool.

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Didn't ride Maxair on this trip, but I do like it. CP also has an observation tower. Maybe we can use that to find this pesky ice cream parlor!

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Kiddy Kingdom, Wicked Twister, Giant Wheel, Troika, Disaster Transport, and Maxair.

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Looking down the beach towards Magnum. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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The Giant Wheel offers a nice view of the park.

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How much does CP like seatbelts? This is their Ferris Wheel.

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Disaster Transport's load station.

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In fact, thanks for making me feel like a huge fat ass in general. I've never had any problems at any other park. But at Cedar Point, I constantly feel like I'm on the verge of being kicked off half the rides.

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Normally, I like Intamin Impulse Coasters. But this one hurts me. The problem is the tiny little seatbelt. I basically have to pull the restraint down so hard on my chest that I can barely breath to get the thing buckled. Note: not my stomach, my chest. Thanks, CP.

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If you look closely, you can see Smisty at 9 o' clock.

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My gosh...it's almost...themed.

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Planet Snoopy...not to be confused with Camp Snoopy. Because that's how big Cedar Point is.

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That one got in the wrong box. So Misty bought it. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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A sort of photo op playground thing inside the gift shop.

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The various wares.

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Smisty really enjoyed the Snoopy Boutique.

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Corkscrew being its normal uncomfortable but photogenic self.

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You definitely know you've ridden something.

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What can I say about Top Thrill Dragster? It's really fun, but almost too intense.

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Baby, I'm ready to go!

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Or maybe it's finally just old enough that it's crossed over into "funky" territory for me. Whatever, I liked it.

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In fact, for the first time ever, I actually wanted to ride again. That's some serious sign mojo.

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I think I finally found a seat I like on Magnum: the penultimate one.

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I tend to be pretty forgiving about downtime. But, at a certain point, it sort of has to become the park's fault. Something was definitely not right with the amount of downtime we experienced. On the other hand, the new sign really improved the ride.

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Ooh, pretty. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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It's kind of like the Jungle Cruise. Er...well, I did say "kind of."

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This ride shrinks a bit every few years. It may be the closest thing CP has to an immersive ride experience at this point.

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Woodstock Express: Now with seatbelts that must be individually released by the ride operator!

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I think this photo gives some of the flavor of the park.

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Gemini only ran one side both Monday and Tuesday--often with quite a line (probably because of all the downtime on the more popular rides). Still, that's a disappointment I wouldn't normally expect from CP.

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Whereas going from the back of the park to the middle will take you through "Boneville." I recommend both.

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The train ride has two stations. Going from the middle of the park to the back will get you some good views of Millennium, Maverick, and Mean Streak.

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Cedar Creek, presumably.

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Arrow: "We're Just Guessing"

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The best of CP's three (admittedly similar) car rides, the Antique Cars.

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It was really fun, but (like most of CP's flat rides) ridiculously short. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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Skyhawk...as opposed to a groundhawk.

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Snake River Falls. Dig the ride op climbing the lift.

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Where Cedar Point sends its history to die. (In truth, I did see more nods to the past throughout the park than I ever have before. I was actually kind of impressed.)

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Mean Streak. Um...it was better than Maverick.

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It was like getting kicked in the nuts and karate-chopped by a little gay ninja the whole frigging way. Once was enough for me.

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Also, the transitions would have sent Ron Toomer back to his drawing board.

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Making the prospect of strong airtime considerably less appealing.

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I don't know if it's my weird body shape or what, but my nuts were completely squashed by the seat horn just sitting in the station.

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All that's left of White Water Landing.

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So...I'm not quite sure how to say this...but Maverick sucked.

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I went out of my way to take this. So he'd better appreciate it.

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You are guilty of liking Knott's more than Cedar Point! We shall leave you here until we've ruined Knott's enough that you change your mind! (Photo by speedmetal.)

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This always makes me happy. Now if I could just find that ice cream shop....

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The Frontier Trail kind of ruins CP's concrete and trashcans theming.

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In case you're wondering about the layout. Or need to buy me a gift for some reason.

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Well, the people in the front liked it. How did the rest of you like it in the rear?

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Other than the seatbelts being shorter and some random pirate theming on the island, the ride is still the same: Awesome.

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I don't think Misty liked it on our first ride, but it grew on her.

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New thing: On nearly every ride, the operators say "check" to you as they check your restraint. It's really odd.

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My favorite roller coaster since the day it opened.

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Two trains is relatively easy at Cedar Point.

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Banshee

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We never made it onto Wildcat, unfortunately. I was hoping the park would be slightly less busy than it turned out to be.

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Misty surprised me by really liking Iron Dragon.

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This photo pretty much sums up the park for me: Lots of coasters and lots of concrete.

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And they aren't kidding. One of the few things left at CP that might be described as "funky."

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Cedar Point has three seperate car rides. None experienced significant downtime while we were there.

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Raptor looking squashed above Cedar Downs.

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This was our choice for lunch on the first day, primarily because it was one of the few places that hasn't been turned into a Panda Express or a Subway. And I'm normally against that kind of thing--however, I'm pretty sure that's how I got my Toft's here, so I guess I have to give CP a pass on that one.

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Such an odd looking ride.

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Here we are stuck on Blue Streak.

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Almost all of the rides were plagued with significant downtime during the three days we were there. (I find it best to spread my ice cream eating out over several days.)

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Raptor and Blue Streak, as seen from the marina.

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Coolest coaster tag line ever: Raptor Rules The Sky!

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I think Cedar Point ignores their rich heritage far too much. So I always appreciate little acknowledgments like this one.

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Misty's first visit to Cedar Point.

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We got there a little early. We do that.

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Though Cedar Point has never really been my kind of park, it's hard to argue with a skyline like that. Plus, there's ice cream over there somewhere! (Photo by speedmetal.)

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They even have a Millennium Force flavor. I didn't try it, though. I mean, come on, vanilla? I'd be laughed out of ICE. I'll stick with my Caveman Chocolate, thank you.

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This is a small. (Sorry, I ate a little before I thought to take a picture.) Price: $2.55 with tax.

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The inside.

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Hooray, we're here!

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Excellent TR. It seems like your complaints about the park are similar to mine (it's a HUGE CONCRETE SLAB with tons of coasters).

 

Its funny though that Millennium Force is your favorite ride and you think Maverick is overrated. Personally, Maverick is my number 2 steel coaster and I think Millie is ridiculously overrated

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Wow, awesome report and pictures! I've had Toft's a few times, but never been to one of their parlors other then the one at CP. It's good stuff, and it looks like I should try and get to the one in Sandusky sometime soon.

 

If you ever come to my hometown of Columbus on a future trip to Ohio, definatly go to this place called Jeni's Ice Cream. A visit there is kinda like a culinary experience itself, since they feature flavors made with ingredients not found in typical ice cream. They have some great stuff, like Wildberry Lavender, Savannah Buttermint, Cherry Lambic sorbet and Lemon with Blueberries to name a few. All of their ice cream is made fresh and naturally as well, with a focus on local ingredients. By far my favorite ice cream.

 

Anyway, sorry about Maverick. I can see where your coming from, it's really a ride so wild that it can be rough depending on your physical characteristics or the way you ride it.

 

That's a shame about all the downtime too, and that's pretty common every year during the first week of the season. Things get drastically better after that though.

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I liked this TR, I totally agree about the slab of concrete and over-enforcement of safety. I don't entirely blame CP though, I think the park probably gets a larger amount of people who come on vacation and turn their minds off than most other parks, and a death there would most likely be national news, so they have a tiny bit of reason for the safety precautions.

 

It's strange though, Maverick is my favorite steel coaster, partially because I loved the transitions. The horseshoe roll is my favorite element ever, and everything else about the ride (the banking in particular) is so perfectly done IMO.

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A line for Wildcat? Seriously! Yet the line for MF looked really short! Unless you took that early in the day or late in the day.

I also could never understand their seatbelt policy on almost every ride. But don't feel bad, it looks like you fit perfectly on the Giant Wheel! LOL!

Was this on a Saturday? You gotta expect lots of people here, I mean it is America's Rollercoast.

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Dude those first few shots of the Dairy parlor brought back tons of memeories when I worked at the park during Halloweekends. When those of us still in the dorms but not in school, were bored we would usually head off toward somerandom destination and usually end it with some Toft's.

 

 

Also, one of the rides I worked on was indeed Paddlewheel so THANK YOU for showing some of that. I miss speileing and almost dying driving into the rocks. Oh man learning to drive those boasts was a pain! lol they are not on tracks unlike some other parks so it takes talent and skill to drive the boat, spiel and act (well, those of us who were actually any good...)

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A line for Wildcat? Seriously! Yet the line for MF looked really short! Unless you took that early in the day or late in the day.

I also could never understand their seatbelt policy on almost every ride. But don't feel bad, it looks like you fit perfectly on the Giant Wheel! LOL!

Was this on a Saturday? You gotta expect lots of people here, I mean it is America's Rollercoast.

 

The shot of MF's line was actually during early entry, as we bought Platinum Annual Passes. And, no, not a Saturday. We went in briefly on Sunday night, then all day Monday and Tuesday. I figured the lines would be fairly short during the first week of daily operations, but there were lots and lots of school kids there both days. And, of course, all the downtime made the lines for the things that were working that much worse.

 

I discovered Toft's while working at the park, also. I was on the opening crew of MF back in 2000. I had never been to the park prior to working there, and just figured that I would love it. Instead, I found the place highly mediocre. I liked my ride, though.

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Wow...very nice pics of CP with little extra's of the flats that usually don't make it into the TR's. Great job!

 

I fully agree with your assessment of Maverick. Not sure why the year it opened, I did not have any problem with headbanging and being jolted around. Last year, it was quite painful and I gave it multiple chances in the front, back and middle.

 

Also agree with MF. It is still ranked my #1 steel and it is always a must-do ride in the front seat (left side) at night during every visit. Then, of course...follow that up with an ice cold beer at Lusty Lil's/Red Garter Saloon!

 

Sure wish they would run Mean Streak for just one season without the trims. I would like to experience it at least one more time where you really felt like the trains were out of control. Glad I got to ride it back in the day when it was a little more "mean".

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WOW! I must say you have some amazing pictures! Its kind of sad to hear all the "bad" things that happened to you during your trip. When I read this...

So...I'm not quite sure how to say this...but Maverick sucked.
I about fainted. I have never met someone who did not like Maverick!! I was so shocked! ...As for...
New thing: On nearly every ride' date=' the operators say "check" to you as they check your restraint. It's really odd.[/quote'] Its something we were suppose to do last year, but no one really did. This year they are cracking down on it and you seriously MUST say it. It is suppose to be a reminder to yourself that you just checked the seat. I enjoyed your TR and hope you enjoyed your trip!!

~Matthew

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I have never met someone who did not like Maverick!! I was so shocked!

 

Yes, well, Misty and I seemed to be the only ones. Everyone around us loved it. *shrugs* I guess that's why they make chocolate and vanilla.

 

It is suppose to be a reminder to yourself that you just checked the seat.

 

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. A reminder to yourself...that you're doing what you're doing? I really wonder about Cedar Fair sometimes. My theory was that it was to draw that guest's attention to the fact that you had checked their restraint--which is also stupid, but I like it better.

 

Yes, though, I did enjoy my visit. It's not, ultimately, my kind of park--but it's still better than sitting on the couch...or working.

 

On a side note: It's funny to me how many enthusiasts seem to think that Millennium Force is "overrated," yet it placed #2 in the US in Mitch's most recent Steel Coaster Poll. Kind of makes me wonder what "overrated" even means....

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^I wonder if that's just what they're telling CP Employees.

 

This 'CHECK' procedure actually started at Knotts after the woman fell out of Perilous Plunge. No one could confirm that the employee 'checked' the woman's restraint, so they implemented a policy where the ops now have to yell 'CHECK' after checking each restraint so that the rider and everyone around hears that their harness was in fact...CHECKED!!!

 

So annoying!

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I have small case of OCD when it comes to locking doors, so if I ever had a job as a ride op I would probably say "check" to myself even if it wasn't required

 

Woodstock Express has had those stupid seatbelts for a few years now, annoying, but once you get the credit not exactly worth riding again.

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^I wonder if that's just what they're telling CP Employees.

 

This 'CHECK' procedure actually started at Knotts after the woman fell out of Perilous Plunge. No one could confirm that the employee 'checked' the woman's restraint, so they implemented a policy where the ops now have to yell 'CHECK' after checking each restraint so that the rider and everyone around hears that their harness was in fact...CHECKED!!!

 

So annoying!

 

I think they do that at Canada's Wonderland too. The reason they ask you to check it yourself I think may have to do with lawsuits too. If an accident happens, they want to try and stay out of it so you don't say its their fault.

 

Woodstock Express has had those stupid seatbelts for a few years now, annoying, but once you get the credit not exactly worth riding again.

 

I think it's to deter curious little kids from standing up midride.

 

 

Also, nice shot of Disaster Transport's loading station. I've never seen a picture of the inside before!

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Great Trip Report!

 

If I may ask a question when did you go? That looked like a rather huge crowd for so early in the season but that may have been for all the downtime you experienced. I'm rather scared I may not get on everything now if the coaster downtime is that bad when I get there. I'll only be there about 2 and a half days and I hope to ride everything at least once and my favorites twice or more. I guess I should just prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best at this point.

 

Also what are the address's for the Toft's outside the park so I can put them in my GPS and take a visit while I'm there, I love ice cream too!

 

Again though great trip report, I worry for my poor boyfriend at this point in riding Maverick, I sure hope he survives(joking mostly but we plan on hitting it first and if it's that bad wow what a terrible first coaster but I won't know till I ride it of course) I should be fine but who knows.

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Great Trip Report!

 

If I may ask a question when did you go? That looked like a rather huge crowd for so early in the season but that may have been for all the downtime you experienced. I'm rather scared I may not get on everything now if the coaster downtime is that bad when I get there. I'll only be there about 2 and a half days and I hope to ride everything at least once and my favorites twice or more. I guess I should just prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best at this point.

 

Also what are the address's for the Toft's outside the park so I can put them in my GPS and take a visit while I'm there, I love ice cream too!

 

Again though great trip report, I worry for my poor boyfriend at this point in riding Maverick, I sure hope he survives(joking mostly but we plan on hitting it first and if it's that bad wow what a terrible first coaster but I won't know till I ride it of course) I should be fine but who knows.

 

2.5 days is plenty of time assuming rides are running the majority of the time. If things are going good @ the park, even on a busy day you can get on most rides. First day Maverick opened in 2007 I still got on pretty much ever ride except 3 coasters (Woodstock, Disaster Transport, Wicked Twister). 2nd day I was there hit everything else, and as you said hit the best rides again.

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You see that is just one of the things I dont like about Cedar Point. You would think it would be slow opening week, and BOOM here come all the kiddies, and all the damn busses in the parking lot. It's very hard to plan a trip here around the crowds, it just depends on luck I guess, but you must go here early in the season regardless. I went last week of May- after Memorial Day, 2 years ago, and made out pretty good. There were some school groups , but not many, and they leave early (thank god). It just amazes me that pretty much any other seasonal amusement park you go to very early in the season is not crowded at all, but not this park.

Funny though I did Kings Island first, then CP and KI had less people in the park on a weekday.

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This 'CHECK' procedure actually started at Knotts after the woman fell out of Perilous Plunge. No one could confirm that the employee 'checked' the woman's restraint, so they implemented a policy where the ops now have to yell 'CHECK' after checking each restraint so that the rider and everyone around hears that their harness was in fact...CHECKED!!!

 

Ha!

 

Why not just have a camera overlooking the train recording throughout the day. That would prove weather the restraint was checked or not...

 

Maybe they just want their staff to lose their voices regularly?

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^I wonder if that's just what they're telling CP Employees.

 

This 'CHECK' procedure actually started at Knotts after the woman fell out of Perilous Plunge. No one could confirm that the employee 'checked' the woman's restraint, so they implemented a policy where the ops now have to yell 'CHECK' after checking each restraint so that the rider and everyone around hears that their harness was in fact...CHECKED!!!

 

So annoying!

So thats the real reason?! It makes much more sense than what they tell us! I knew it was asinine that I had to remind myself I just did what I really did!!

~Matthew

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If I may ask a question when did you go?

 

Monday, May 18th & Tuesday, May 19.

 

Also what are the address's for the Toft's outside the park so I can put them in my GPS and take a visit while I'm there, I love ice cream too!

 

The best one (and the closest to Cedar Point) is the dairy itself, located at 3717 Venice Road, Sandusky, OH 44870. Make sure you post an ice cream report!

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Nice TR! I loved the focus on Ice cream. I too am a Ice Cream enthusiast, but I admit I'm also a bit of a snob. I'll definitely try Toft's the next time I go out to CP.

 

My favorite shop so far is a small Boston chain called JP Licks. All natural, lots of fat, homemade goodness. I, though, am a big fan of "plain" flavors. One of my big turnoffs with Ben & Jerry's is they cram too much stuff in the Ice Cream. I want the focus to be on the flavor and texture, as a perfect Vanilla or Chocolate is incredibly complex and satisfying, you just have to really "taste" it.

 

Some of my biggest turnoffs with Ice Cream are food coloring (I will not eat Mint ice cream that is green, etc), gums/preservatives that make the texture "gummy", and a lack of the best quality ingredients. I, to, believe that the vanilla base should be cooked. I believe that they should NEVER use a standard vanilla extract, I prefer the use specific beans (Madagascar being my favorite) over extract. Extracts don't belong in ice cream.

 

My favorite brand of store bought ice cream (really, the only brand I'll eat) is Haagen Dazs - Vanilla being my favorite flavor. It's incredibly complex, rich, has that golden, nutty Madagascar vanilla flavor, and has the absolutely perfect texture.

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