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Christian's Coaster Adventures 2017


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With me moving down from my hometown of Manistee to Ypsilanti (both in Michigan), which puts me four hours closer to lots of amusement parks, I have decided that I will spend several weekends that I have no plans on going to parks throughout the Midwest.

 

Kings Island (6/11): Below

Tigers game (6/17): http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1801558#p1801558

Cedar Point (6/25): http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1803024#p1803024

Manistee carnival (7/1): http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1805451#p1805451

Cedar Point (7/30): http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1810963#p1810963

Kings Island (8/6): http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1812833#p1812833

 

Kings Island 6/11/2017

 

I had always wanted to go to Kings Island, so I decided to take the first opportunity I had to go down there and make the trip down. However, the trip didn’t go fully as planned. I’ll sum it up in three parts:

 

The Good: Light crowds, Kings Island has quite a bit of shade, every ride I got on was a walk-on or a near walk-on

The Bad: The heat, the heat, the heat (95 degrees plus humidity = not a good time at a park)

The Ugly: Me spilling protein on The Bat, ending my day early before I had the opportunity to get over toward Diamondback, the Beast, and Mystic Timbers

 

My day started with an early wake-up at my apartment. By 6:30, I was on the road. First things first, I had to stop and get breakfast. I saw a sign for a Waffle House near Toledo. I have seen many Waffle House signs while driving to/from Florida in the past, but I had never eaten at one, so I decided to eat at this one. The food and service was very good, but I think I ate too much.

 

After breakfast, I hopped back on the highway and had an uneventful drive to Kings Island. I started getting really excited when I saw the Eiffel Tower come into view a few miles west of the park. Traffic was not bad at all getting in. I had paid for my parking and admission tickets online, so it was a breeze getting into the parking lot and into the park.

 

Once I got in the park, I saw that crowds weren’t heavy and a sizable portion of the crowd turned right at the first path toward Mystic Timbers, Planet Snoopy, and Soak City. I continued straight down the main path, eventually making a left toward the X-Base. I was going to head to Firehawk first, but I didn’t see any movement there at the time, so I instead rode Flight of Fear as my first coaster at Kings Island. It was a walk-on (and this was an hour after opening). I did see that the line for it got longer later in the day (probably because it’s indoors). Flight of Fear is a decent ride that would be much worse if it had OTSR’s. It ended up being my second favorite ride in the park.

 

After Flight of Fear, I went over to Racer and walked onto the Red side, as that was the only side that was running at the time. Racer is a fun ride that was not too bumpy and has some decent airtime. While riding it, I saw that Firehawk was running, so after I got off Racer, I headed over to Firehawk, which was another walk-on (in fact, I limboed between railings as the line was THAT short). It’s a very interesting ride, but can be disorienting.

 

I decided that it was time for a drink break, so I splurged and bought one of those free refill all day souvenir cups. I did end up getting my money’s worth as I refilled it at least five times in my short time at the park. After the drink break, I headed to Adventure Express, which may have had the longest wait of any ride I got on (two trains). I didn’t care for Adventure Express. It was my least favorite coaster of the ones I rode and I will probably skip it on future Kings Island trips.

 

I took another drink break, and I saw that the blue side of Racer was running, so I decided to get in line (another walk-on!) and ride the blue side. The blue side of Racer isn’t as good as the red side, but I still like it better than Blue Streak (Cedar Point).

 

After another drink break, I decided to ride Banshee, which was a surprising walk-on for new-ish hotness. Of the coasters I did get to ride at Kings Island, Banshee was by far my favorite and actually ended up #4 on my overall coaster rankings (only behind Millennium Force, Incredible Hulk, and Maverick). Despite the very short lines, Banshee was still pushing out three trains and almost all of the other coasters I saw were running at least two trains.

 

The next part is where the day got ugly. I decided to ride The Bat, which was also a walk-on (the walk up to the station is about five minutes from the entrance). I had only been on one Arrow suspended coaster before (Iron Dragon), and the Bat is much more thrilling than Iron Dragon. However, as the train pulled into the station, I puked all over myself and the train car. After getting out, I struggled my way to the exit where an employee promptly called first aid as soon as he saw me covered in vomit.

 

First aid picked me up and carted me over to the first aid station, where they washed my clothes while I washed up. They gave me a shirt and shorts to wear while my clothes were being washed, so I put that on and walked over to Boo Blasters, which was another walk-on. However, after riding that gentle ride, I decided I wasn’t going to ride anymore. I spent the rest of the time waiting for my clothes to be washed and dried either in the waiting room at first aid or in shady spots around that area of the park (mostly in front of first aid or under the Eiffel Tower).

 

Once my clothes were cleaned, I decided to make a bee line for the exit as it was a HOT one (91 degrees when I got to my car at almost 6pm). On the way out, I told some of the people at first aid that I will be back at Kings Island to ride the rest of the coasters when it’s not 90+ degrees out and humid. I tried to drive back home, but I wasn’t feeling the best, so I stopped for the night about 20 miles north of Dayton. I felt quite a bit better the next morning, so I was able to make the rest of the drive home and then go into work.

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My breakfast choice: Taco Bell or Waffle House?

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Waffle House it is!

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For my first time at Waffle House, one of the servers told me to wear this (too small) hat for the entire time I was there, which I did.

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I see the Eiffel Tower in the distance!

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This was needed on the hazy, hot, and humid day I went on. The only problem was having to leave it on the station platform or in a "fluffy bunny", which you still had to pay $2 even if you were only using it for 10 minutes.

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Crowds were light on this day!

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First aid was very busy today. I was hoping this wasn't going to foreshadow my day, but it did :(

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Adventure Express is not a good ride. Very bumpy and jerky, but I do give credit for theming!

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This ride was surprisingly a walk-on despite being new-ish hotness (and also my new #4 coaster!)

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Banshee >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Son of Beast

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Found this 1975 map hanging in the first aid office. How many of these rides still exist today?

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Took this when I got back into my car just to show my parents how hot it was (91 degrees at almost 6pm, so it was likely close to 95 for the high)

Edited by cparkes92
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sorry you weren't feeling well, if you aren't used to that kind of heat, yeah it could get to you.

 

(and to be fair.. it most likely could have been the Waffle House, not the heat ).

 

glad you're feeling better tho!

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AWESOME! Sorry about the heat bothering you though. I'm from the Alabama and let me tell you, IT'S HOT DOWN HERE! LOL. I'm used to it, so when I travel to parks up north I feel as if it's the best weather ever. Yet everybody else is burning up. Strange, but true.

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Wow that sucks. Sorry I laughed at your misfortune in the KI thread, it just seemed to comically come out of nowhere.

 

Overall good (albeit short) report! At least it seems like you had a chance to get some good riding in before the mishap.

 

I saw a sign for a Waffle House near Toledo. I have seen many Waffle House signs while driving to/from Florida in the past, but I had never eaten at one, so I decided to eat at this one. The food and service was very good, but I think I ate too much.

 

I f*ckin' LOVE Waffle House. But the problem with WH is that its always too much food. Always. Of course I always get the "All Star" which is like 3 eggs, 2 waffles, 2 hashbrowns, 2 pieces of toast, a bunch of bacon, sausage, etc etc. It's always too much, but I always (try to) eat it all.

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Glad you enjoyed the little bit of KI that you got to experience. Definitely come back for more, there is so much more. It's not often that you get as lucky as you did with walk-on's like that. To bad the day didn't last longer for you, sounds like it would have been a perfect day at the park.

 

The heat can do a lot of crazy things to people and everybody reacts different to it, especially if you are not used to it. I think I am in the minority that actually loves the heat, bring on the 100 degree days, I have no issue with it.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Waffle House did in fact help out with that, mixed with the heat. We used to stop at Waffle House every time we would drive down to Kentucky Kingdom, it never failed us that someone in our group would end up getting sick at some point throughout the day.

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sorry you weren't feeling well, if you aren't used to that kind of heat, yeah it could get to you.

 

(and to be fair.. it most likely could have been the Waffle House, not the heat ).

 

glad you're feeling better tho!

 

Thanks Bert! Looks like you had a fun first time at Cedar Point!

Wow that sucks. Sorry I laughed at your misfortune in the KI thread, it just seemed to comically come out of nowhere.

 

Overall good (albeit short) report! At least it seems like you had a chance to get some good riding in before the mishap.

 

I saw a sign for a Waffle House near Toledo. I have seen many Waffle House signs while driving to/from Florida in the past, but I had never eaten at one, so I decided to eat at this one. The food and service was very good, but I think I ate too much.

 

I f*ckin' LOVE Waffle House. But the problem with WH is that its always too much food. Always. Of course I always get the "All Star" which is like 3 eggs, 2 waffles, 2 hashbrowns, 2 pieces of toast, a bunch of bacon, sausage, etc etc. It's always too much, but I always (try to) eat it all.

 

I had a peanut butter waffle, two scrambled eggs, a double hashbrown, 2 pieces of toast, and a piece of bacon. And yes, I did eat it all.

Glad you enjoyed the little bit of KI that you got to experience. Definitely come back for more, there is so much more. It's not often that you get as lucky as you did with walk-on's like that. To bad the day didn't last longer for you, sounds like it would have been a perfect day at the park.

 

The heat can do a lot of crazy things to people and everybody reacts different to it, especially if you are not used to it. I think I am in the minority that actually loves the heat, bring on the 100 degree days, I have no issue with it.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Waffle House did in fact help out with that, mixed with the heat. We used to stop at Waffle House every time we would drive down to Kentucky Kingdom, it never failed us that someone in our group would end up getting sick at some point throughout the day.

 

I don't think WH did help matters that much. For my last two trips to Cedar Point, I've had Tim Hortons on the way there and had no problems. Also, it wasn't as warm those days at the Point.

 

Speaking of heat, I remember one time (2004?) when my family and I went to Cedar Point and it was super hot that weekend.

 

Speaking of Cedar Point, that will likely be my next park (my parents gave me two tickets with FL+ for Christmas this past year). Later this summer, I hope to get to the following parks, hopefully on weekends when it's not 95 degrees:

Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World (likely one trip)

Indiana Beach and Six Flags Great America (likely one trip)

Waldameer and Kennywood (likely one trip)

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The worst time I've gotten nauseous at an amusement park (and it wasn't from something I ate, or the flu, or whatever ruined the end of my trip to Dollywood last year and screwed me out of three more night rides on Lightning Rod), was actually ALSO at Kings Island, and it was a super hot, and muggy day. My solution, that likely prevented a protein spill (still have yet to ever do that at a park - made it out of Dollywood at least!), was to go into the air conditioned Starbucks, and actually lie down for a bit and recuperate. It worked for me, and I was back at it by the end of the day. Just an idea for the future, if it happens again. Hit the A/C places, and give it an hour...

 

Nice future itinerary, BTW! Those are some great looking trips, and you should have a blast at all of those parks! (Indiana Beach was fun when I went at least... I've heard it's gone downhill since then...)

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The worst time I've gotten nauseous at an amusement park (and it wasn't from something I ate, or the flu, or whatever ruined the end of my trip to Dollywood last year and screwed me out of three more night rides on Lightning Rod), was actually ALSO at Kings Island, and it was a super hot, and muggy day. My solution, that likely prevented a protein spill (still have yet to ever do that at a park - made it out of Dollywood at least!), was to go into the air conditioned Starbucks, and actually lie down for a bit and recuperate. It worked for me, and I was back at it by the end of the day. Just an idea for the future, if it happens again. Hit the A/C places, and give it an hour...

 

Nice future itinerary, BTW! Those are some great looking trips, and you should have a blast at all of those parks! (Indiana Beach was fun when I went at least... I've heard it's gone downhill since then...)

 

I'm glad you made it out of Dollywood and KI without a protein spill! Also, all of those would be new to me, with the exception of SFGAm (and my only trip there was 2005, when Deja Vu was actually running (!))

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The next installment is not coaster-related, but it is to a place with a Ferris wheel and a carousel.

 

Detroit Tigers game 6/17/2017

 

On Saturday, my father and I went to a Tigers game. Their home field, Comerica Park, has a Ferris wheel and a carousel behind the seats.

 

My father had a meeting in Flint on Monday, so he decided to drive down to my apartment and spend the weekend with me. He arrived at my apartment around 1pm on Saturday. When he arrived, we sat around figuring out what to do. He had the idea to go to the Tigers game, which started at 4pm. He bought the tickets, which ended up quite decent (4th row behind home plate), from his phone. With those tickets bought, we hit the road for the short drive to Comerica Park.

 

The drive was uneventful, except for me struggling to download the Stubhub app in order for the tickets to be scanned. I eventually got the app downloaded on both my phone and my dad’s phone, but it took a while to get it downloaded. Once we got downtown, we parked the car at a lot about three blocks west of Comerica Park, which was $10 to park (cheaper than amusement parks!) although the lot itself was gravel. We got to the park about an hour early, so we killed time by staying cool in the concourse. About 15 minutes before first pitch, we went down to take our seats, which were in the fourth row behind home plate. We were supposed to be in seats 5 and 6, but the people in seats 1 through 4 didn’t show up, so we were able to spread out so we weren’t on top of each other.

 

The game itself was relatively uneventful, except for a brief rain shower in the second inning that did not last long enough to warrant a rain delay. During that shower, we went up to the concourse and got ice cream. By the time we got our ice cream, the rain had stopped and we returned to our seats. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when both teams scored in their half of the inning. The game was tied at 1 in the bottom of the 6th when Miguel Cabrera hit a home run to right field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

 

However, the Rays would score twice in the top of the 7th inning to take a 3-2 lead, which they would hold. Even though the Tigers lost, my dad and I still had fun. Three hours before the game started, I had no idea I would be going to the game. I’m glad we decided to go to the game.

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A big tire along the side of I-94 in Dearborn.

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Jimmy Smokes! (Jim Leyland, a fan favorite manager who used to smoke in the clubhouse)

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View of the field.

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Leyland!

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The fans love him!

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Leyland with the kid throwing out the first pitch.

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Game time temperature (warm, but still cooler than my Kings Island day last week)

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Umpires.

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View from my seats.

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I didn't know players could use the number 0 in baseball!

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Miggy!

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JD! (JD-Mart is doing much better than K-Mart)

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The in-seat menu. (we didn't take advantage of it)

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The other side of the in-seat menu.

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J-Up!

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Shout out to GVSU! (My alma mater has a building in view of Comerica Park)

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Andrew Romine at bat (my sister loves him)

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Miggy's up to bat!

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In case you didn't know, Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown in 2012 (he led the AL in batting average, home runs, and RBI). Coincidentally, this was the at-bat in which he hit a home run.

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The scoreboard is very nice!

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1. Probably the first #0 I've seen in baseball.

2. I feel old that players younger than me are in the majors!

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Retired numbers.

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Jumbo Diaz pitching. He is the heaviest player in baseball (listed at 280 lbs, but likely weighs closer to 320 lbs)

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This dude was MASSIVE! (He is 6'4")

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K-Rod (Francisco Rodriguez) tasked to keep the deficit at one. He managed to do so, despite struggling mightily at points of this season.

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I am from Cincy, Jumbo Diaz used to pitch for us for a couple years, not a great pitcher. Massive is an understatement for this man, I had the opportunity to meet him, I don't know if I have ever seen a baseball player as big as him. However he is an extremely nice guy, signed a bunch of stuff for my son.

 

Stadium looks really nice, I love going to other stadiums, Detroit is still on my list of stadiums to visit.

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You may already know this, but that big tire is actually more closely related to theme parks than many people would realize because it used to be a Ferris Wheel at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

 

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The 1964 New York World's Fair is the same World's Fair where Disney's 'It's a Small World' and 'Carousel of Progress' made their debut along with La Ronde's carousel and Six Flags Great Adventure's skyway.

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Curious to know if your drink refills were soda or water? Sounds to me like you got dehydrated at the park.

 

I have been to parks before when it's that kind of sweltering heat and it can be more of a chore than fun. Our trip to Holiday World was hotter than the sun, but with the awesome water park and ability to get free drinks, I was able to stay plenty hydrated with tons of ice water and a couple of Power Ade's throughout the day.

 

Another time we were at Carowinds and I think it was like 95 with 100% humidity. We did the water park for a while, caught a show and then left for a few hours to go grab a bite to eat, a couple of beers and then headed back to the hotel for a rest. We went back in the park from like 7-10 and it cooled down quite a bit once the sun started to set and everything was pretty much a walk-on because the few people that were there during the day, must have headed out around dinner time.

 

Then one time at Dollywood when it was in the 90's, we did the Splash Battle a couple of times and along with that soaking, their other water rides and cooling down in the shows, we were able to stay cool for most of the day.

 

You really need to have a solid game plan when you visit a park in that kind of heat, or things can turn ugly really quick!

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Curious to know if your drink refills were soda or water? Sounds to me like you got dehydrated at the park.

 

I have been to parks before when it's that kind of sweltering heat and it can be more of a chore than fun. Our trip to Holiday World was hotter than the sun, but with the awesome water park and ability to get free drinks, I was able to stay plenty hydrated with tons of ice water and a couple of Power Ade's throughout the day.

 

Another time we were at Carowinds and I think it was like 95 with 100% humidity. We did the water park for a while, caught a show and then left for a few hours to go grab a bite to eat, a couple of beers and then headed back to the hotel for a rest. We went back in the park from like 7-10 and it cooled down quite a bit once the sun started to set and everything was pretty much a walk-on because the few people that were there during the day, must have headed out around dinner time.

 

Then one time at Dollywood when it was in the 90's, we did the Splash Battle a couple of times and along with that soaking, their other water rides and cooling down in the shows, we were able to stay cool for most of the day.

 

You really need to have a solid game plan when you visit a park in that kind of heat, or things can turn ugly really quick!

 

My drinks were Diet Coke. Kind of a not so good decision in hindsight.

 

The weather for tomorrow at Cedar Point looks very good for coasters! High in the low 70s with a slight chance of showers late in the day. *cue Chuck Mangione's song "Feels So Good"*

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Just catching up on this report now. It looks great.

 

That's really cool how well-themed of a ferris wheel they had back for the fair. Then I couldn't believe that guy was actually named Jumbo Diaz when I saw him at Fenway earlier this year.

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Cedar Point 6/25/2017

 

Today I went to Cedar Point for the first time this season. My grandma gave me two tickets (with FL+ included) that can be used on any day (except Saturday) before Labor Day, so I decided to use one of them today after looking at the weather forecast, which was MUCH more favorable than my ill-fated trip to Kings Island two weeks ago.

 

The day started early again, and I had breakfast at the same Waffle House I stopped at on the way to Kings Island. This time, I didn’t have as big of a breakfast (I had basically a breakfast grilled cheese with bacon and egg along with a hashbrown on the side). After breakfast, I headed over to Cedar Point. I took the scenic way from Toledo, taking OH 795 to OH 51 to OH 163 to OH 2 through the beautiful small towns of Genoa and Oak Harbor. That way, although taking longer, is much prettier than the Ohio Turnpike.

 

Once I got into Sandusky, I planned on taking the $10 passenger ferry from downtown to Cedar Point. However, as I pulled into the parking lot at the ferry docks, the ferry was pulling out, so I ended up driving to the Point and paying the $20 to park. The good news about getting to the park at 9:15am is that I had a very good parking spot (third row back from handicapped parking). Once I was parked, I applied sunscreen (which is very useful for me as I am a redhead) before going into the front area of the park.

 

The nice thing about Cedar Point is that before the park officially opens, they open the front gates and let people go as far as where the path to GateKeeper splits off. This is likely done so there isn’t as much of a queue at the turnstiles and security booths.

 

Once the barricades were removed, I saw people literally running to Valravn and toward the back of the park (Millennium Force and Maverick most likely). With my FL+ wristband, I decided to take it a little easy and ride Cedar Downs first thing. I had passed by it many times, and after seeing how much Bert loved it when he went to the Point for the first time, I decided to ride it. I thought Cedar Downs was quite good and a ride that I will likely reride on future Cedar Point visits. The hardest part was trying to get my leg over to the other side.

 

After Cedar Downs, I went to Iron Dragon, which doesn’t have Fast Lane, but was nearly a walk-on in the morning. (The line got longer in the afternoon, and I left before the VR started.) The next coaster on the agenda was Millennium Force, which was a fairly short line (FL+ didn’t really make a difference at this point). Millie is still my favorite ride at the park and my #1 coaster. I like how almost everyone rides the entire thing hands up.

 

After Millennium Force, I hopped on Rougarou, which was a walk-on and is much better as a floorless than as a stand-up. I didn’t know this until after I got off, but the people in the row in front of me were from Traverse City, which is about 60 miles from my hometown of Manistee. Once I found that out, I had to talk to them for a little bit and I even got a selfie with one of the people in the group!

 

I then headed back to Millennium for another ride. Millennium is one of those coasters I could ride all day if I wanted to! After Millie, I headed toward the back of the park. First, I took a break to have some Dippin’ Dots, which were good as usual. Next, I started heading back toward Maverick, but before I rode that, a group of young women wanted to ride Wave Swinger and they needed some people to ride with them, so I was a nice guy and volunteered to ride with them. I had never ridden a Wave Swinger ride before, but I found this one to be fun. I rode twice, the second time also with some of that aforementioned group.

 

Now I finally hit Maverick, which was a near walk-on for Fast Lane users but an hour wait for regular customers (the first ride where FL+ came in handy). I feel that Maverick is a much better ride after the restraint change with much less head banging. After Maverick, I took some pictures of the RMC Mean Streak construction site before heading off to Cedar Creek Mine Ride, which had a very short wait. The Wave Swinger group was in the train before mine, so I waved at them as they went off. CCMR is a much better mine train than Adventure Express IMO despite CCMR being 22 years older!

 

Next on the agenda was Gemini. Remember the girls from the Wave Swinger? They were getting in line for Gemini (which was a station wait), so I joined them for Gemini. The group had seven, so I evened them out as four went on blue and four went on red. I was on the red side for this ride. On this ride, the blue side very narrowly won. After this, I said thank you to that group for letting me ride with them and I went back in line to ride the blue side. This time, the blue side won handily. It’s impressive that in 1978, Gemini was the tallest coaster in the world and in 2018 it will be the tenth tallest coaster at Cedar Point. That shows how far coaster technology has come since them.

 

By this time, it was only 1pm and I had already gotten in 11 rides (!!). At this time, I took a decent length break to sit in the shade and drink a bottle of water. After this break, I walked through Camp Snoopy and half thought about riding Woodstock Express (I already have this credit, so I decided not to). Then I decided to ride Pipe Scream, which I had never ridden before. Pipe Scream is not a coaster, but I think it’s a fun flat ride. After Pipe Scream, I headed to Magnum, where I sat with a family of three which included one of the kid’s first ride on a major coaster (she had just hit 48”). Magnum was actually riding decent today as it wasn’t super rough. Magnum likely has the most airtime of any coaster in the park for now (Alan Schilke’s new masterpiece may take the cake when it opens next year).

 

Next, I headed toward the front of the park, and while on the way there, I decided to ride Corkscrew (a walk-on for FL) and Power Tower (shooting down side). Corkscrew is a ride that I will likely not ride again until next year. It looks super nice, but it’s rough (but not as bad as Michigan’s Adventure’s Corkscrew) and the trains are very hard to get in and out for someone tall. Power Tower was fun, as I was sitting on the side facing the front entrance. After Power Tower, I took another break for a water and a pretzel.

 

After the break, I had my biggest FL+ win as I was able to skip a nearly 2 hour line for Valravn. With FL+, I was on Valravn in less than 10 minutes (!!!!). Valravn is a good ride, but not as good as the two Intamins on the left hand side of the park. The drop is kind of scary, especially when they hold you at the top for a few seconds before releasing. Next up was Blue Streak, which was a near walk-on with both FL+ and regular. Blue Streak is quite rough, so it’s another coaster I probably will skip on future visits this year.

 

Next was a trip back to Millennium Force for my third Millie ride of the day. This time, FL+ was a help, as it shortened an hour wait to a 15 minute wait. I noticed Wicked Twister was running after being down most of the day, so I headed there after Millie. I almost got walk of shamed (I have a large chest), but the ride op was able to get the belt to click to the restraint. WT is kind of disorienting with the twists on both sides, but it is a fun ride. It would have been a little more fun if the restraints weren’t so tight.

 

The last ride of the day as GateKeeper, which had about a 10-15 minute wait with FL+. It is a fun ride, however, I was stapled so I felt like I couldn’t breathe while on the brake run. After this, I left the park and headed into Sandusky for dinner at Cameo Pizza, which is a locals place near downtown Sandusky. I had a pizza with pepperoni and bacon along with breadsticks. I ordered enough so that I could take some home and have it for dinner the next two nights at work (I work second shift). Cameo Pizza is very good. It’s kind of like an old school sports bar in the middle of town.

 

After dinner, I had an uneventful drive home. It was still light when I got home.

 

I was able to get on every operating major coaster at least once as well as four non-coasters in my seven hours at the Point today. Also, I didn’t spill any protein and I never really felt like I was going to vomit at all (the cooler weather definitely helped).

 

Side note: Raptor, Top Thrill Dragster, Skyride, Lake Erie Eagles, and WindSeeker were closed all day when I was there due to high winds (Raptor may have been mechanical as the sign didn’t mention high winds as it did at TTD and the other rides; some of these may have opened after I left). Also, Wicked Twister was down mechanical at points today, but I was able to get on it eventually.

 

Final Scorecard

Millennium Force 3x

Wave Swinger 2x

Blue Streak

Cedar Creek Mine Ride

Cedar Downs

Corkscrew

GateKeeper

Gemini (Blue)

Gemini (Red)

Iron Dragon

Magnum XL-200

Maverick

Pipe Scream

Power Tower (Shoot Down)

Rougarou

Valravn

Wicked Twister

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Saw this rainbow on my way to Cedar Point, not far from my place.

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The front entrance.

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Charlie Brown and Snoopy are hanging out with the band!

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The band!

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Cedar Downs. A fun ride that I rode for the first time today. I will likely be riding it on future visits.

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Crowds were light in the morning, but picked up later in the day.

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How many coasters do I see in this shot? At least six (Valravn, Iron Dragon, Rougarou, Millennium Force, Corkscrew, Top Thrill Dragster). RMC Streak may be visible as well.

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Iron Dragon was a near walk-on in the morning, but got up to 30-45 minutes later in the day (before the VR started).

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Fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo.

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At this time, Millie had a somewhat short wait for regular.

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Rougarou: Much better as a floorless than a stand-up.

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Selfie with a fellow Northern Michigan native!

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"Excuse me, but do you know any stats for RMC Mean Streak?"

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Wave Swinger is a fun little ride.

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Werner Stengel rules!!

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Maverick did win the Golden Ticket for Best New Ride for 2007. Valravn should have won in 2016 (Lightning Rod should've been ineligible for 2016)

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RMC Mean Streak (or whatever it will be called) is looking impressive!!!

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All hail Alan Schilke! (This will be Schilke's first ride at the Point as the five Arrows were all Ron Toomer designs)

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Cedar Creek Mine Ride: We're Better Than Adventure Express, Corkscrew, and Blue Streak!

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CCMR is in decent shape for a nearly 50 year old ride.

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Can't wait for this to open on May 5, 2018 (yes, I just looked up the date for the first Saturday in May as that has been CP's opening day for the past several years)

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ACE picked a very good spot to put this plaque honoring Toomer, as five of his rides are at Cedar Point and this was their first record-breaking coaster.

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Snoopy picture! (Yes, I booped him in the nose before this picture)

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Probably the best themed frog hopper I've ever seen!

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Hard to believe that at one time, Gemini was the tallest coaster in the world and had queue lines measured in hours! In 2018, Gemini will be the 10th tallest coaster at Cedar Point

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Pipe Scream: Not a credit, but a fun ride.

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Magnum was the first coaster over 200' tall. Look how things have changed since then! It's likely in 2018 that Magnum will be the sixth tallest coaster at Cedar Point (depending on how tall RMC Streak is)

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Magnum has to have the longest lift hill of any coaster I've been on.

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Cedar Point Shores still had some people in it despite the weather conditions.

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Corkscrew is a bad ride, but looks really good!

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No signs of life at TTD all day.

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Valravn records sheet.

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Fast Lane Plus allowed me to skip the 105 minute line for Valravn and get on in about 10 minutes.

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Raptor didn't run all day while I was there, but I did notice people were lining up outside the entrance waiting to see if it would open up.

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Blue Streak is a historical coaster, but it has not aged well.

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I feel sorry for the people that had to wait in that long line for Valravn.

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Coaster's Drive-In looks very nice!

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Wicked Twister was down for a portion of the day, but it ended up running before I left, so I got a ride on it. Almost got walk of shamed, however.

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I was surprised to see that many people on the beach when it was about 70-75 degrees with a steady breeze. In fact, I saw a few brave souls go into Lake Erie.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Manistee National Forest Festival Carnival

 

Last weekend, I went back home to Manistee for a couple of days. Every 4th of July weekend, a small carnival comes into town. It usually has about 10 rides, many of which have been traveling the carnival circuit for years. I didn’t go on any of the rides, as they were all $3-4 a pop (not worth the $$ IMHO). However, I did see people riding them (usually teenagers or younger). I also saw quite a few wristbands, which gave people unlimited access for $20. The best thing about the carnival in my opinion is the food carts that come along with it, selling all the fried foods you would like!!

 

Despite not riding anything, I still got pictures of almost every ride there. Notice the lack of any credits (not even a powered one!). However, if there were a coaster, I wouldn't have stooped so low to ride it.

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Hurricane, a swinging rocket ship ride.

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The Sizzler, which is your standard scrambler ride. The name Sizzler makes me hungry.

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Tornado on the left, a spinning Ferris wheel-type ride on the right.

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The wave swinger.

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A Paratrooper. How many of these are left?

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The actual Ferris wheel on the left, a kiddie carousel on the right. That Ferris wheel has fewer seats than the RCT1/2 Ferris wheel (which was also quite small)!

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They had live horses for riding around in a circle!!

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A giant slide and a kiddie fun house.

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They couldn't get enough room to spell "hillbilly" correctly!

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Elephant ears!!!! The only thing I bought at the carnival (and also the only thing worth it IMHO).

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There's nothing like the sketchiness of a carnival. That Hillbilly Fun House looks amazing.

 

I didn't get to go in, but I think it would have been disappointing.

 

"a spinning Ferris wheel-type ride on the right." = ROCK-O-PLANE!

 

Great report. Thanks for sharing it all. So far.

 

That Rock-O-Plane name sounds somewhat familiar.

 

Not sure what (or when) my next park will be, but it will likely be Cedar Point or Kings Island (redemption tour!)

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The only ride there, and a bad one to miss, was the Rock-O-Plane in my book. Sketchy and fun. I never pass one up. They are getting rare.

 

I'm not a big fan of spinning rides in general.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cedar Point 7/30/2017

 

My second trip to Cedar Point this season occurred yesterday. I was using the second ticket of the gift my grandma gave me. It was another fun day, but it was warmer (and busier) than my last trip to the Point in late June (but not as bad as my Kings Island day in regards to temperature).

 

After a Waffle House breakfast, I decided to bite the bullet and take the Ohio Turnpike over, even though the Turnpike is one of my least favorite roads ever. This would come in handy later as I saw a group of gas stations just off the Turnpike with regular unleaded prices much cheaper than the rest of the stations I saw. Also, taking the Turnpike allowed me to make the ferry dock in time.

 

Instead of driving all the way to the Point, I decided to take the passenger ferry from downtown Sandusky to Cedar Point. I almost missed it as I forgot my park ticket in my car. Thankfully, my car was parked very close to the dock so I was able to sprint back to my car and get the park ticket before the boat left. The boat ride over was uneventful. It only took about five minutes to get over to the Marina dock (and I saved $10, as parking is $20 and a round trip boat ride between downtown Sandusky and Cedar Point is $10 with free parking).

 

I arrived at the Marina well before park opening, so I went through security at the Marina gate. Before I could get in the gate, I applied sunscreen to myself while sitting under Valravn. When 10:00 hit, the first thing I did is get my Fast Lane Plus wristband. After I got my wristband, the first stop was Raptor, which was closed last time and had a short wait this time. Raptor is a very good ride for a 23 year old B&M, which was also the first large inverted coaster built.

 

After Raptor, I decided to put my sunscreen in a “fluffy bunny” at the very front of the park as it was taking up almost my entire fanny pack and I didn’t want to go the entire day with that. After getting a fluffy bunny, I Von Rolled to my next ride, Top Thrill Dragster. Both Sky Ride and TTD were closed on my last visit due to high winds. Thankfully, the wind was lighter, so both were running. Speaking of TTD, it looks like it was running pretty consistently most of the day (I’ve heard all the stories of people missing TTD, however, it seems like every time I’ve been to Cedar Point since 2003, TTD has been running a good portion of the time).

 

TTD, which was about a 10-15 minute wait, is always a very fun and exhilarating ride. After Dragster, I went to Magnum, which was a station wait. Props to Magnum’s crew for running three trains this early in the morning (it was about 11am when I got to Magnum, and the middle two cars were blocked off at this point). My ride was quite fun. I was in the middle row of the back car, which gives very good airtime. Magnum might have the most airtime moments on any coaster at Cedar Point (for now, anyways).

 

After Magnum, it was time for lunch, so I decided to try the Frontier Inn, which is basically an off-brand Chick-fil-A that is open on Sundays. The chicken I had was decent (it was very hot when I first bit in, but had cooled down by the time I finished them). After lunch, I checked out the Town Hall Museum. I had never really checked it out before, so I found it very interesting with lots of old pictures and models of the Point over the last nearly 150 years.

 

The next stop was Maverick, which was about a 10 minute wait with Fast Lane Plus. Since the restraint change to a softer harness, I like Maverick a lot more than I used to. In fact, with the good rides I had yesterday, I am considering swapping Maverick and Hulk, which would move Maverick to #2 on my coaster list, only behind a coaster I would ride later in the day.

 

Next on the agenda was a railroad ride to the main midway station. Following the railroad ride, I went on Rougarou. I had to wait a while here as the ride went down a few trains before I got on because of a protein spill (thankfully it wasn’t me this time). After that delay, I headed to my #1 coaster, Millennium Force, which was good as always. I also love the breeze you get while in line after a train passes by!

 

After Millie, I walked down the Frontier Trail with plans to hit Maverick, Gemini, Magnum, Millennium, and Valravn again before leaving. It started off well with another good ride on Maverick (on this ride, I sat next to a Kings Island employee and told her about my misfortune when I went there on that near 100-degree day in mid-June and that I was planning on going back before the season ends).

 

On my way to Gemini, I stopped by the guessing game and had my weight guessed. The guesser (who was from Michigan) was quite low on my weight, so I won a prize. I decided to get a Cedar Point pillow. With the pillow in tow, my plans for the rest of the day were altered. I dropped plans for second rides on Magnum and Millennium, but still rode Gemini and Valravn. Gemini is always a fun ride, especially when it’s racing (which it does most of the time unless it’s super slow). Following Gemini, I walked all the way to the front of the park to ride Valravn. After I put my new pillow in a fluffy bunny, I got in the about 20 minute Fast Lane Plus line. Valravn is kind of scary, but fun.

 

After my ride on Valravn and my retrieval of my pillow from the nearby fluffy bunny, I decided that I had ridden everything I wanted to ride, so I got my sunscreen out of the all-day fluffy bunny at the front of the park and Von Rolled toward the back again. I still had time to kill before the ferry back to Sandusky departed, so I decided to hop on Cedar Downs for a fun little ride. After Cedar Downs, I left the park and waited for the ferry in the marina shop (which has some tables for people to sit at to get out of the heat). When the ferry came, I was the only person getting on, but a few groups were getting off for a night at the Point (the ferry was coming from Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island).

 

When the ferry got back to downtown Sandusky, I decided it was time for dinner and headed to Chet and Matt’s, which I had been to before years ago with my family. It was still as good as it was then, and I also took leftovers home for dinner.

 

Even though I didn’t need gas that bad, I still decided to go back to that area with the stations that were in a gas war. I shunpiked by using OH 2, US 6, and US 20 back to that group of stations. The station I went to was the cheapest of the bunch, as they were selling regular unleaded for $1.95 per gallon (the other stations involved were $1.96 to $1.99 per gallon). After getting gas, I had an uneventful rest of the trip home.

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First things first, breakfast at Waffle House!

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Jetting to Cedar Point on Jet Express!

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First ride of the day: Raptor!

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A fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo.

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Sky Ride is open!

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Of course I had to take a selfie of me Von Rolling down the main midway.

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Raptor from the Sky Ride.

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Never got over to that area yesterday due to time constraints.

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Self explanatory

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TTD dominates over the park.

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Winner's circle!

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In its 15th season (!!!) of operations, TTD is still the 2nd tallest and 3rd fastest coaster in the world!

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RMC Mean Streak is not all that the Point is doing next year. They're also expanding the Hotel Breakers.

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RMC Streak's back side

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Off-brand Chick-fil-A is open on Sundays and much more expensive. You win some, you lose some.

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The sign of quality. Also passed by a huge Heinz factory in Fremont, OH on my way home.

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Decent for theme park food, but quite expensive.

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One of the models in the Town Hall museum was of the OG Mean Streak, which was the world's largest wooden coaster when it opened.

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1999 Cedar Point map. I could tell it was 1999 by the presence of Camp Snoopy and no Millennium Force.

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Hands up on an old Gemini car!

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Oh, the odd machines they had in the olden days!

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A VERY OLD map of Cedar Point!

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We explored the Town Hall museum together. Susan (left) is a ginger and Brianna (middle) took my Gemini car photo.

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Stengel twistiness!

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FL+ allowed me to skip this long wait!

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A lot of people have offered to tame this wild ride since it opened in 2007.

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Schilke twistiness!

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It's already taller than the original height! I think RMC Streak will be over 200' tall.

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Construction crane!

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One of RMC Streak's inversions.

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The sign of quality when it comes to roller coasters.

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Boneville!

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More Boneville!

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The saloon is on fire!

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Loop de loop!

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Even though Millie is no longer the Golden Ticket's best steel coaster, it's still my #1 coaster!

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Millie baby!

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Maverick ride buddies Annabelle (left) and Michelle (middle). Both have worked at Kings Island, which will probably be my next park.

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MMM, good pizza!

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Gas war! This station had the lowest gas prices in the entire state of Ohio!

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Kings Island 8/6/2017

 

As many of you already know, I went down to Kings Island in mid-June on a 95 degree day. Needless to say, that did not end well. However, I redeemed myself on Sunday by going back to Kings Island and managing to get out of there intact and with every credit (save the steal-a-kid coaster) checked off.

 

I arrived at Kings Island at about 10:30am. There was a light rain at the time, but most rides were still running. Despite the rain, it was much more comfortable weather-wise (only about 70 degrees most of the day). The first ride was Woodstock Express. After about a 15-20 minute wait, I was on. Woodstock isn’t a bad junior coaster. It may be the worst wooden coaster at Kings Island, but it beats Blue Streak at Cedar Point easily.

 

Next, I headed over to Diamondback and got in that line, which took about 45 minutes. Diamondback is a very good ride with lots of airtime which puts it into my top 5. After waiting in that line, I decided to bite the bullet and get Fast Lane Plus, which was well worth the $80 it set me back (more on that later).

 

I was hungry, so I decided to try Skyline Chili at the front of the park. I had a 3-way (cheddar cheese on top of chili on top of spaghetti noodles) and it was good. It took me probably 15 minutes to get up to order, mostly due to the person right in front of me having a very complex order for his entire family.

 

After lunch, I went up the Eiffel Tower and took a few pictures of the park. Everything looks so small from the top of the tower! Parks with towers like these (that actually operate) get points in my book!

 

I decided to come down from the Eiffel Tower around 1:00pm so I could start my credit run around Kings Island. Here is where Fast Lane Plus comes in real handy. On many coasters, Fast Lane Plus takes you right to the station. In addition, there were very few people with FL wristbands at KI (unlike Cedar Point, where it seems like ¼ of the crowd has a FL bracelet of some kind). I was able to get 16 rides in between 1pm and 6pm thanks to FL+. Almost every ride in this timeframe was a walk-on or near walk-on.

 

The first coaster in the credit run was Backlot Stunt Coaster, which is a very fun launched coaster with some nice theming elements. After Backlot, I headed to Vortex, which was awful. My shoulders were banging on the harness most of the ride and I couldn’t wait for it to end. At least it was a walk-on with FL while the regular line looked to be about a half hour.

 

Next up was WindSeeker, and I can see how this ride gets its name. At the top of the tower, there was a nice breeze and a nice view of the park. After that, I headed to the Beast, which I found somewhat enjoyable and not as bad as some people make it out to be. On my way to Mystic Timbers, I decided to take a lap on the Kings Island Railroad, which goes into the woods and behind Mystic Timbers and White Water Canyon.

 

After finishing the railroad, I hit Mystic Timbers. MT is by far my #1 wooden coaster as it was smooth and forceful with plenty of airtime and laterals. I would love to see a GCI come to Cedar Point as they need a decent wooden coaster (Blue Streak sucks).

 

After a second go-around on Diamondback, I conquered Flying Ace Aerial Chase, which is way better than Vortex. Following surviving the junior Vekoma hang and bang, I wasted about a half hour on Woodstock’s Whirlibirds, but I had to ride them as I didn’t know such a ride existed in real life (I thought it was only in RCT; they’re just as slow in real life as they are in the game).

 

The next stop was Invertigo, the full-size Vekoma hang and bang shuttle. I didn’t find it to be bad, but I found it to be disorienting at times. It has a nice color scheme! Next, I rode Drop Tower, which also gives a very good view of the park at the top, but follows it with a very fast drop. I preferred this to Power Tower at Cedar Point.

 

The Bat, in addition to being the coaster I spilled protein on last time I was at KI, is the only major coaster at Kings Island not to have FL at all. That, combined with one train operation, led to a 45 minute wait. At least the queue is in the trees and lacks a switchback section! The Bat is a decent ride that is much more intense than Iron Dragon (the other Arrow suspended coaster I’ve ridden).

 

Following the Bat, I hit up Banshee for a very intense back row ride, followed by return visits to the Beast, Mystic Timbers, and Diamondback to finish my day at Kings Island.

 

In my last installment of this series, I mentioned that I had found cheap gas. Well, on the way back yesterday, I found cheap gas again, this time along I-75 just south of Lima, Ohio. This station was $1.99 per gallon while most other stations near I-75 were in the $2.19 range.

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Trying Skyline Chili for the first time.

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A bunch of old phones lost on Diamondback.

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A giant mound of cheese on top of chili and spaghetti!

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This clock actually works!

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Finally got to ride the Beast!

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Banshee's first drop.

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Drop Tower, Xtreme Skyflyer, Delirium, Banshee, and the Bat.

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WindSeeker was aptly named today.

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See previous caption.

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Planet Snoopy.

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The parking lot.

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Vortex: Hurting Tall People for 30 Years!

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I bet this photo has been posted on here hundreds of times by now.

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Just like RollerCoaster Tycoon.

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A stream runs under the Bat's queue line and station!

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One train ops = long wait.

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Didn't eat here, but likely would have if I had eaten dinner in the park.

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Flying Ace!

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Even Woodstock Express has a TV in its queue!

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Choo choo!

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Managed to avoid first aid today!!

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Two good coasters at KI.

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Hang and bang!

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This must have been put together prior to Kyrie falling out with LeBron and Kevin.

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Mystic Timbers' station.

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Vortex's station looks very neat!

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Diamondback's station.

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Vortex looks good, but is utter trash.

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Out of the tunnel on Backlot.

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