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Photo TR: Cedar Fair Trip 2017

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Hello everybody,


I am usually not one to do big trip reports like this, but I just got back from a fantastic vacation with my family that involved several awesome roller coasters, so I thought I'd put together a four-part photo trip report.


We live in Southern California and tend to alternate between Six Flags and Knott's season passes every year. Last summer we took a vacation to a few Six Flags parks on the East Coast, so this year we decided to splurge on Cedar Fair Platinum Passes (with meal and drink plans) and visit some Cedar Fair parks on the other side of the country. We visited four Cedar Fair parks: Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, and of course, Cedar Point.


Only two of these parks were new to me (Carowinds and KD) since I visited both KI and CP back in the summer of 2014. However, three years was enough time to convince us to head back to these awesome parks, being that Rougarou, Valravn, and Mystic Timbers would all be new hotness for us.


Including the two travel days, our trip was 10 days long. That may seem long, but for four Cedar Fair parks, each a good distance from the other, that means a lot of driving and not much room for error. Luckily, we were quite lucky with weather--at least until Cedar Point. But more on that later.


The vacation was actually pretty straight forward. We flew into Charlotte, worked our way to each of the four parks, and flew out of Cleveland. We passed by a few close-by parks (particularly Dollywood and BGW), but in an effort to minimize costs for the trip, we decided that doing a Cedar Fair-only vacation was the way to go. Those other parks are all the more reason to visit again in the future.


Enough rambling. Let's get started with Part I of the trip report: CAROWINDS.


Part I - Where the Carolinas Come Together


Our flight landed in Charlotte on the evening of July 26th, and we arrived at Carowinds that night to catch a little "preview" before our full day at the park on the 27th. We spent time in the park for about four hours that night, all day the next day (from open to close), and a few hours in the morning the day after (the 28th).


First impressions were GREAT. The park has a wonderful atmosphere. It has a gorgeous skyline (massive B&Ms ) and really something for everybody to enjoy. Oh, and, you know, Fury. Yeah, that's why we were here.


I figure I'll just give my brief review of each coaster below before moving on to photos. Enjoy!


Afterburn: HOLY CRAP. This ride completely blew me away. I was expecting a fairly average B&M Invert with some intense moments, but it was so much more than that. This ride instantly jumped up to the top of my list for B&M Inverts, at least until I was able to get on Banshee again and re-evaluate. But until then, it blew every other Invert I've ridden out of the water. Love it, love it, love it.


Carolina Cyclone: This was a fairly average Arrow looper. As expected, it was rough. It was still tolerable though. It pretty much turned out exactly how I expected.


Carolina Goldrusher: It's a mine train. Nothing else much to say about it.


Flying Ace Aerial Chase: Yuck. What a poor excuse for a "family" coaster. It was rough. Like, really rough. How do children ride this without getting headaches? The one at KI is at least a little better due to the less bulky restraints.


Flying Cobras: YAY! I finally rode a Boomerang I enjoyed! It was quite good. It is by far my favorite Boomerang and very re-rideable. I love the trains, the theme, the colors--everything. It fits perfectly in the area. All Boomerangs should be like this.


Fury 325: WOW! What an amazing ride. This is by far the best B&M of the 2000's, at least that I have ridden. It's tall, fast, long, smooth, and comfortable (yes, I know, that's what she said). It is by far my favorite B&M out there and is easily a top 5 coaster (even though I don't keep a list). Millennium Force doesn't even compare. Bravo, Carowinds. You have a winner.


Hurler: Probably the most mediocre wooden roller coaster I've ever ridden. It's not very rough but not very smooth. It has a little bit of airtime but nothing crazy. It's a forgettable ride. RMC! RMC! RMC!


Intimidator: This ride turned out much better than I was expecting. It has some really solid airtime and is much better than Diamondback, IMO. It's very different than Fury, and the rides complement each other very well. Nitro is still my favorite B&M Hyper that isn't Fury, though.


Nighthawk: Bleh. Having now ridden all 3 Vekoma Flying Dutchmans, I can proudly say this is by far the worst. Firehawk and Batwing are much better. The first half of the ride is alright; it's the second half that killed me. It sure has a nice placement in the center of the park, though.


Ricochet: Definitely one of the better Wild Mice out there! It's very hard to top Hershey's, but this one comes awfully close. However, it has a TERRIBLE loading procedure. This is the first mouse I've seen that loads ONE car at a time and has both a seat belt and a lap bar. Even Coast Rider at Knott's is more efficient. But aside from the atrocious throughput, it's a really good mouse. Love the colors as well.


Vortex: EWWW. PLEASE Carowinds, slap some Floorless trains on this sooner than later. It's right there with Apocalypse at SFA for my least favorite B&M and probably least favorite coaster. It's tired, old, clunky, and rattly. It needs help ASAP.


Woodstock Express: Your basic Cedar Fair kiddie wooden coaster. It was actually quite fun in the back row! But those cars sure are a tight fit.


I'll briefly mention my thoughts on the flat rides as they come. On to photos!



En route to Charlotte!


I see you!


It's so MASSIVE!


But I promised myself I would ride Intimidator first! It was difficult, but I did it!


NOW it's time!


I've waited two years to walk in this queue! The ride was AWESOME!


I had no desire to immediately hop on Vortex yet...


Decided to check out Ricochet!


GREAT mouse with a TERRIBLE loading procedure.


We then checked out Windseeker. Anyone know why the ride runs such a weak cycle? The other Windseekers on this trip ran WAY faster. This one barely spins fast enough to let the cars swing out.


We then went to Afterburn! The entrance is a little hidden and "off the beaten path."




Pretty much the worst family coaster I've ridden.


We ended the night with our first and only ride on Nighthawk. Ouch!


That's about all we rode on our little "preview" night. Now on to photos from our big full day at the park.



Good morning, Fury! Up bright and early for early entry.


I'm ready!




What a beautiful sight!


After ERT we gave Carolina Cyclone a shot. It was "bleh." But my little sister got over her fear and rode it!


Electro-Spin was fun and had no line. My third Top Scan! I love these rides.


I needed some more Afterburn. This ride really was the "underdog" of this park for me.


Best Boomerang I'd ridden!


Oh boy...


I can tell you that this line was NOT worth it.




A surprisingly good drop tower! The ones at KD and KI are obviously better, but it's better than Power Tower!


This place had GREAT food. And it was a great deal for the meal plan. Not just quality but quantity too! The brisket was AMAZING.


Back to Intimidator! Better than Diamondback, but not as good as Nitro.


Love Nighthawk's location, but hate the ride.


More Fury!


Cirque Imagine was also quite good! I'm not much of an "entertainment" person when it comes to theme parks, but I enjoyed this one. And it was nice to sit in the AC and take some time off the feet.


Back at Afterburn because it is THAT good!




Front row on Intimidator was actually very good! Maybe even better airtime than in the back row?


My first enterprise ride. It was lots of fun! I wish the cycle was longer, though.


Holy crap. That was amazing! Terrifying, but amazing. Worth the money!


Back at Fury because it's Fury.


Rides at dusk were even better!


County Fair has a great atmosphere at night.



I took this photo when it was in the middle of flashing. Good timing, right?


Last ride of the night! And it was awesome!


We then spent just a few hours in the morning in the park before driving up to Doswell. We mainly just went for ERT and some last rides on our favorites.



Such a unique turnaround.


Nice to look at, but not to ride.




Goodbye, Carowinds. Not sure when I'll be back.


Overall, I REALLY love this park. But the one thing I couldn't help notice was that the rides were either awesome, or mediocre and rough. Fury, Intimidator, and Afterburn is a GREAT top 3, but after that point, the rest of the rides are just...eh. Flying Cobras was a solid Boomerang, and I love Drop Tower, but the rest of the rides were pretty forgettable. Floorless Vortex would help tremendously, and I'd love to see a big GCI at the park one day, but considering how much the park has grown in the last 5 years, I can't help but be impressed. Those top 3 B&Ms make the trip worth it alone, so get out to Carowinds and RIDE!


Thank you for reading! PLEASE post your thoughts below. This is my first major trip report (even though I've been around here for almost 5 years ), so let me know what you think!



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Great report! I loved my visit to Carowinds last year. Fury is truly an amazing coaster, but the rest of the park isn't too shabby either.


I didn't notice Windseeker being any slower than the ones at Kings Island and Cedar Point when I rode them within a week last year. Not sure if they slowed it down recently or if you rode on a bad day.


Intimidator is the only B&M hyper I actually prefer in the front. The back row's airtime is killed by that trim brake.

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Weird about Windseeker.


I haven't been there since 2005, but then I noticed that their coasters (besides afterburn and the new beemers) were really so-so.


Vortex was okay but painful as was Cyclone... and I love Arrows, but that bumped and vibrated like crazy... so disappointing. Hurler did nothing for me, which is weird because Thunder Run at KK is so good.


I would also love to see a GCI in the back of the park.

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Your Windseeker photo comment, makes me wonder how slow yours was actually going? When we rode the one at Cedar Point

back in June, I thought it was "painfully slow" and none of the seats "swung out," as I thought they would. It was a "nice ride,"

and easy for seeing the scenery, etc. But that's it. Very disappointed by it, and I would take a StarFlyer (for more excitement)

over this, any day.


Great TR. Looking forward to your visit to KD.

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Thanks for the comments, everyone.


Windseeker was VERY slow. In fact, for about half of the trip up and down the tower, the gondola wasn't even spinning. It definitely felt like a glorified observation tower, and it became even more noticeable once we rode the ones at KD, KI, and CP, which all ran at regular speed.


Intimidator was definitely stronger in the front row, but weirdly enough, I think I prefer Fury in the back. Just goes to show that you can't judge anything until you ride it!


Part II (Kings Dominion) should be up tomorrow evening. Glad you guys enjoy it so far.

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Nice TR! I'm looking forward to reading your report from the rest of the parks. I think Carowinds, Wonderland, and King's Island are all pretty top-heavy in terms of quality modern coasters. These parks have solid headlining thrills from Cedar Fair & great family sections, but also a lot of middling rides from the Paramount days that haven't aged too well or are just kind of there now. I appreciate Paramount for biting on a lot of prototypes and early renditions of coaster styles, but rides like Vortex and Nighthawk get exposed for how relatively unrefined they are with Fury now in the same park.


The 6th- and 7th-best coasters at Cedar Point, whatever your ranked list looks like, are still pretty darn good coasters. At the former Paramount parks, there's a pretty big drop-off after 3 or 4 solid coasters. I think they're all good parks, but they still have some updating/rounding out to do. At Carowinds, the vest restraints on Cobra are a nice example, and I hope there's an RMC Hurler conversion and floorless Vortex before another brand-new coaster is added.

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Great report so far! Thanks for posting it. I've always love Carowinds, but haven't been in a few years (no Fury for me yet.)


I, also, absolutely love Afterburn. That batwing is just amazing.


One thing about the park, I've always ended up going to at least one show every day I've visited just to get in out of the heat.

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Thanks for the comments, everybody. I really appreciate it. As promised, here is Part II.


Part II - The Greenest Cedar Fair Park


Seriously, this is one of the first things that caught my eye with Kings Dominion. It's so GREEN!


Then again, I am from Southern California, so I am used to brown, brown, brown, and more brown, but Kings Dominion's landscaping and vegetation really took me by surprise. It is WAY more "foresty" than its Ohio counterpart.


I really enjoyed my visit here. Some areas have so much theme and charm that you forget you are in a Cedar Fair park. This is what really separates it from Carowinds for me, since that parks feels much more..."Cedar Fair." It really is a well-balanced park, and I would say that it exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. It also helps that we had GORGEOUS weather for our "big day" at the park.


As always, here are my brief reviews for each roller coaster in the park. I will post my thoughts on the select flat rides throughout the report.


Anaconda: This was a pretty average Arrow looper. To be honest, the more of these Arrow coasters I ride, the more they start to all feel the same. I'm 5'9", so I sit at a perfect height where the harness rests perfectly on my shoulders to prevent any headbanging, but not tight enough to staple me. It had some rough spots, and the whole butterfly element is really awkward, but I do think people make this ride seem way worse than it really is. Honestly, I would ride this over any crappy B&M Stand-Up like Vortex or Apocalypse. The slow corkscrews over the water were, by far, the best part of the ride.


Avalanche: This ride was pretty interesting because I've never ridden anything like it before. It was a fun family coaster, and my little sister had a blast on it, but it's pretty much a bunch of helices. I was surprised they were running three trains on it, though.


Backlot Stunt Coaster: I love these rides. It's just like the one at Kings Island (which I rode in 2014), and they are great family coasters. Smooth, fast, exhilarating but not terrifying, and all around a fun ride. The first helix is pretty forceful as well.


Dominator: This was a great Floorless. But to be honest, I'm not completely sure what to think of it. I like that the layout has the inversions spaced out with other elements in between, but I also really wish the ride had a zero-G roll. If it had that one element, it would be my favorite Floorless by far, but I think for that reason, I still prefer Bizarro at SFGAdv. Still a great ride and VERY photogenic!


Flight of Fear: Based on my ride in 2014 on the one at Kings Island, it felt exactly the same. Very forceful and fun, but also quite jerky and uncomfortable in some spots. I definitely prefer Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America. Wow, I can't believe I actually prefer a ride at Six Flags America. That's suprising.


Grizzly: Honestly, this ride didn't impress me too much. It was quite jerky (not exactly rough, but more like the ride had square corners and turns), and it threw me around quite a bit. I LOVE the setting though. It is the Beast's little brother.


Intimidator 305: ALKDJDALSKDJLSAKFJLASKDJLAKSJDLKASJFLKJSD. Sorry, but that is my reaction to the ride. This ride completely blew away every expectation I had. This is the ONLY ride I have ridden that made me black out. I've ridden MANY forceful elements on coasters (Tatsu's pretzel loop, Skyrush, El Toro, KK / TTD, etc.), and NONE have made me black out except for freakin' I305. Seriously, this ride kicks your a$$ about 50 times. I really can't decide if I like this ride or Fury more, but when given an opportunity to ride either one, I think I would pick this one. I don't rank rides because it is so difficult for me to put a list together, but I think I may have just found my new #1. I think I need to ride Skyrush again to make that final, but who knows when that will happen. We seriously need more Intamins in the US. I305 kicks all sorts of a$$, and I love it. Although, side note, I did notice that the train runs much faster during the day when it is "warmed up" rather than in the morning. Everything after the trim braked airtime hill is much better in the middle of the day, and that is when it kicks you butt even more. Seriously, I know this ride is 7 years old, but bravo to Intamin and Kings Dominion. I didn't think I could black out, but the freakin' Intamin gods made it happen. I305, you sonuvabitch.


Rebel Yell: This was actually REALLY good! I mean, it's nothing to write home about, but it was super smooth on both sides, and it had some solid airtime. It's the perfect "medium" wooden coaster, and racing makes it all the more fun.


Ricochet: Definitely a better loading procedure than its sister at Carowinds, but not quite as good of a ride. It's a mirrored version of my home Wild Mouse (Coast Rider), and it makes me wish Knott's ran their mouse like this one. It's pretty average though. Not super slow, but I wouldn't call it fast either.


Volcano the Blast Coaster: This ride was pretty much exactly how I expected it to be. The launch is great, and shooting out of the Volcano is awesome and gives some great hang time, but everything after that is fairly repetitive. I even got some ear bashing in some places since it isn't quite as glossy smooth as the B&M Inverts. Still a solid "second-tier" ride.


Woodstock Express: No different than the one at Carowinds. Fun little ride, especially in the back.


Alright, now on to the photos. We visited the park for 1.5 days. We spend about a half day at the park in the afternoon/evening of the 29th, and our beautiful full-day at the park was the 30th. Enjoy!



I can already tell how green this park will be by the sign alone.


If Kings Island had 100% more trees, this is what it would look like.


We headed to Dominator first. It had no line, and we walked right on the back row.


It's a great ride; I just really wish it had a snappy zero-G roll.


Volcano was next up. This ride unfortunately had more of a line, but it only took about 45 minutes.


Fun, but a little rattly and repetitive. I'm glad it was open though!


We wanted to ride I305 next, but it was having some hiccups with the restraints on one of the trains. We decided to check out other stuff and come back later.


This was just like the one at Kings Island, although it was only running two trains.


I love this ride's sign and placement in the park, but the coaster itself was quite jolty and violent.


We then headed to the opposite side of the park to check out Avalanche. It was alright, albeit unique.


We got to I305 just in time. It opened up about 10 seconds after I took this picture!




Drop Tower opened up as well. This is definitely my favorite drop ride that isn't Lex Luthor or Zumanjaro.


Ricochet was solid. The ones at Carowinds and Hersheypark are better, but at least this one loads two cars at a time AHEM CAROWINDS.


RMC Hurler update as of 7/29/17. I didn't really pay attention if there was anything new or not since I was so busy checking out the rest of the park.


Mondial sure does great light packages.


Oh, and this Windseeker sure was seeking wind. It ran full speed, unlike its sister at Carowinds.


Delirium was FUN, especially at night. Not quite at the same level as KI's Delirium or MaXair though.


Eiffel Tower at night.


We then headed back to our hotel to get some sleep for our big day at the park tomorrow, and boy was it a good day.



Back at the park the morning after, and it was BEAUTIFUL outside. The best weather on this trip was this day.


We trekked back behind Dominator to get to I305, since we wanted to ride that during ERT to beat the crowds. I don't know if it was a "shortcut" or not, but it seemed shorter, and we wanted to book it to Volcano and I305 as fast as possible.


Intimidator was HAULING A$$ today. Holy sh*t.


We also rode Drop Tower again because it had a short line and we loved it.


We wanted to ride Dominator again, but the line was spilling out of the queue, so we passed. The beautiful weather really drew crowds.


But it's still fun to take pictures of. And I was too impatient to wait for a train to come.



Again, too impatient for a train.


I then headed to Anaconda...alone. Nobody wanted to ride, and I can't blame them.


*heart eyes*


Swingin' high on Delirium.


Sorry Coasterbill, but we couldn't get a ride on Shenandoah Lumber Company. The line was a little too long, and we wanted to check out other things. It's all the more reason to come back in the future.


We then headed up to the Eiffel Tower to take some photos. This park really is beautiful.




I really can't emphasize how beautiful the weather was this day.


This is one of my favorite photos I took on the trip, oddly enough.



We wanted to ride Volcano again, but the line was well over an hour. I was content though, since I had had four rides on it already, which was enough for me.


Dominator ended up being our last ride of the day. We started and ended in the same place!


Goodbye, Kings Dominion. You were good to us!

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Great report! KD is one of my home parks, so I'm always glad to see positive reviews. It seems that enthusiasts have recently been giving Fury more praise than Intimidator; I still haven't ridden Fury, but my intamin fanboy-ness is happy that Intimidator measured up to it for you!

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Great reports! It sounds like you had a great trip. I'm looking forward to reading more.


I think Carowinds, Wonderland, and King's Island are all pretty top-heavy in terms of quality modern coasters. These parks have solid headlining thrills from Cedar Fair & great family sections, but also a lot of middling rides from the Paramount days that haven't aged too well or are just kind of there now.

I share your sentiment mostly, but I can't necessarily say I agree with you in reference to King's Island. I think there are several decent mid level rides like Flight of Fear, Stunt Coaster, Racer, The Bat, and Fire Hawk (If you're into that kind of thing.) You could also kind of consider Mystic Timbers as a mid level ride compared to giants like Diamondback, Beast, and Banshee. The park also offers a nice variety of flats and water rides. I think Kings Island has one of the more well rounded collection of rides and coasters in the country.

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Like always, thanks to everyone for commenting. I really appreciate it.


Sorry it took me so long to write up Part III (Kings Island). I got my wisdom teeth out recently, so I've been dealing with that. But without further ado, here it is. Enjoy!


Part III - Land of the "B+" Attractions


This pretty much sums up my thoughts on Kings Island. Keep in mind, I have visited this park before (in July 2014), but after three years, and visiting MANY other new parks since then, I have developed a fresh opinion of Kings Island. Like the title says, it is essentially the land of the "B+" rides.


What I mean by this is that the park does not have one stand-out "A" ride. Banshee, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, and the Beast are the "top tier" rides at the park, but none really sticks out above the rest. Carowinds has Fury 325, Kings Dominion has Intimidator 305, but Kings Island has several--or none--depending on how you look at it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since I think that is what many people like about this park, being it is VERY well-rounded with a lot to offer for everybody. Their "top tier" rides are just, like I said, a bunch of "good but not AMAZING" attractions.


Kings Island really is a wonderful park, though. It definitely feels a little more "Cedar Fair" than Kings Dominion, but it still has plenty of charm with a very friendly atmosphere. I was excited to check out Mystic Timbers, since it was the new hotness for me, but I went in having moderate expectations for the ride. I wasn't expecting the next El Toro, but I was anxious to compare it to my home park's renovated GhostRider, since I knew that ride very well.


As always, here are my brief reviews of each roller coaster. These are based on my 2017 visit, so anything I experienced in 2014 I will simply leave out.


Adventure Express: I would consider this one of the better Arrow mine trains I've ridden. It was quite smooth and had an interesting layout. Even though the ending is pretty bad, I enjoyed the small amount of theming on the lift.


Backlot Stunt Coaster: Exactly like the one at Kings Dominion. Definitely one of the best family coasters out there!


Banshee: As much as I LOVED Afterburn at Carowinds, I still think Banshee takes the cake for my favorite inverted coaster. The first drop, the final inline twist, and the ride's length are the standout features for me. I also really enjoy the restraints and think they work well on inverted coasters. It was glass smooth, just like I remember, and flowed very well. In my opinion, the back row is the place to be on this ride!


Bat: This is, by far, my favorite Arrow suspended coaster. It is fast, smooth, and super swingy. It is a solid notch above Ninja for me, and two notches above Draggin' Iron. Great ride!


Beast: During the day, this ride is fairly average. Venturing out into the middle of nowhere is very unique and fun, but the coaster itself is, to carry with the theme, "good but not great." However, as most people know, night rides is where the Beast really shines. I wasn't able to get a night ride back in 2014, so I made it a priority to get one on this trip, and I am SO HAPPY I did. This thing is FANTASTIC at night. It's essentially a whole new ride. My brother and I rode front row at night, and it was definitely a highlight from the entire trip. Absolutely amazing. The ride feels 100x faster, and even though I know the ride layout pretty well, I STILL couldn't tell where we were going. You know, I think if Kings Island were to have an "A+" attraction, it would be the Beast, front row, at night. No other ride I've been on can even compare to that ride in those circumstances. It's a beast, pun intended.


Diamondback: When I rode this back in 2014, I thought it was a GREAT hyper coaster. But now that I've ridden many new hyper coasters since then, both Intamin and B&M, Diamondback just didn't quite do it for me. I think Intimidator and Nitro are both quite a bit better. In fact, the first half of Diamondback is actually quite good, but the second half is where the ride turns into a snooze fest. It is also the rattleiest B&M Hyper I've ridden (still not ROUGH, but quite a bit rougher than many other hypers I've ridden). Also, the trains look like they survived a fire. Seriously, I know it costs money, but I am very surprised that a park the quality of Kings Island, which is one of the biggest parks in the chain, allows arguably their biggest attraction to look like, well, crap. Some of the seats had fresh seats and/or lap bars, but it is REALLY unappealing to step in a seat that is about to turn completely black. I really hope the park replaces all seats and restraints on all three trains soon. I have heard so many people, both at the park and on the Internet, comment about this. The trains are just really, really ugly. I honestly expect Kings Island to keep their biggest roller coaster in better shape visually.


Firehawk: It is WAY better than Nighthawk and exactly the same as Batwing. It's not as good as the B&M Flyers (I'm a little spoiled with Tatsu not too far from me), but they are still solid rides (not Nighthawk). I don't know what Vekoma did between 2000 and 2001, but it worked.


Flight of Fear: I actually didn't get a chance to ride this this year, but I remember it being quite jolty and intense. The one at Kings Dominion felt exactly the same. Good rides, but the combination of intensity and roughness is what keeps this ride from being in the top tier of rides at the park.


Flying Ace Aerial Chase: Better than the one at Carowinds since the restraints are a little less bulky, but it's still a pretty bad family coaster. These Vekoma SFCs should really get those lap bar trains.


Invertigo: OK, seriously. I hate most Boomerangs, and I hate every SLC I've ridden, but apparently combining the two makes a ride pretty good? I liked Invertigo quite a bit. It was smooth, intense, and fun. And I still don't know why, but it's way better than Stinger at Dorney Park for some reason. I'm glad I rode this ride again.


Mystic Timbers: Here we go, the new hotness. To be honest, it was good. Not great, but good. I still prefer GhostRider at Knott's. I enjoyed all the little pops of airtime hills, but the ride felt like a very good "medium" wooden coaster. The shed was a glorified brake run, as we all know. It's definitely a unique ride and a nice addition to the park, but it doesn't quite rank in that top tier of wooden coasters for me.


Racer: Rebel Yell is quite a bit smoother, but the Racer is still fun. Classic.


Vortex: I pretty much have the same opinion of this as I have of Anaconda. It's just another Arrow looper. I didn't get much headbanging, but it's definitely jerky and clunky. One ride was plenty for me.


Woodstock Express: Again, the exact same as the versions at Carowinds and Kings Dominion.


Now on to the photos. We spent one full day at this park (the 1st) and a few hours the next morning (the 2nd). Enjoy!



I didn't really get an "entry" shot for Kings Island, sorry. But first thing we did was book it to Mystic Timbers for early morning ERT!


It was a good, but not GREAT, wooden coaster.


We then headed to Banshee towards the end of ERT, but this ride really didn't have a line throughout the day anyway.


LOVE this ride! My favorite inverted coaster!


The crew was pumping out trains like there was no tomorrow. Many times the train had to CRAWL up the lift hill and wait for the other train to clear. By far the best dispatches in the park.


We did Drop Tower while we were here. Not quite as good as the one at Kings Dominion, but it's still great!


The Beast in the morning was quite sluggish and rather boring. Night rides are infinitely better!


Diamondback was good, but it doesn't quite measure up to Intimidator or Nitro, IMO.


I love the splashdown, though.


Vortex was your average Arrow looper. Intense and unique, but clunky and rough.


But it at least had great operations! 3 trains with little stacking!


We then headed back to Banshee to get another ride, and also to ride Delirium because I LOVE giant frisbees!


We did Bat while we were over there. One of Arrow's best!


Finally, an Eiffel Tower shot. The overcast weather was quite gloomy, but at least it didn't rain.


We wanted to get another ride on Mystic Timbers. It had a 30 minute line, which surprisingly was the longest in the park. We had no need to buy Fast Lane.


Diamondback thru the trees!


You know, even without the very worn seats and restraints, I just don't like Diamondback's trains in general. One of my least favorite color schemes on a coaster train.


I like taking photos of Vortex, but not so much riding it.


Rebel Yell is better, to be honest.


But it's still fun classic goodness.


Firehawk was next. I remember it being quite good.


And it was, especially when compared to Nighthawk.


We then headed back to Action Zone for more Banshee. It's still pumping out trains like crazy!


And I had to ride Invertigo, just to see if it's still tolerable. And it really was good!


The Tower of Dropping!


The weather started to clear up a little in the late afternoon.


And of course, we had to head up to the Eiffel Tower to take photos. Beautiful park!



275 feet up!



We couldn't forget about Backlot Stunt Coaster!


GREAT family ride!


Vortex clunking around its track.


Diamondback plunging.


I love good light packages!


And we ended our day at Kings Island with a front row night ride on the Beast!


We then headed back to our hotel after a long day. We were back up in the morning for just a couple hours to get a little ERT on Mystic Timbers and some last rides, then we headed to our final park of the trip!



Back or a little ERT on Mystic Timbers, then we're off!


Can you guess where we're heading next?!


Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think, and post your comments!

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Nice report! I'm confused as to how you can say that there are no "A" rides here, but Banshee is your favorite invert?


Our opinions differ, which is fine. If I were to rate King's Island's rides A-F, to me, Banshee, D-Back, and Beast are A rides, with a solid B ride selection. Glad you had a good time. Night rides on beast are awesome. Especially front seat night rides.

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Nice report! I'm confused as to how you can say that there are no "A" rides here, but Banshee is your favorite invert?


Our opinions differ, which is fine. If I were to rate King's Island's rides A-F, to me, Banshee, D-Back, and Beast are A rides, with a solid B ride selection. Glad you had a good time. Night rides on beast are awesome. Especially front seat night rides.


When I think "A" rides, I think Intimidator 305, Fury 325, Maverick, RMCs, El Toro, Skyrush, etc. Banshee is my favorite Invert (and I will admit that if I HAD to choose a favorite coaster in the park, that would be it), but that doesn't necessarily mean it stacks up with the aforementioned coasters.


I hope I'm not giving off the impression that I do not like the park, because I REALLY do. They just don't have that big "star attraction" that other CF parks tend to have. And like I said, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It really has one of the most well-rounded coaster collections out there.

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Nice report! I'm confused as to how you can say that there are no "A" rides here, but Banshee is your favorite invert?


Our opinions differ, which is fine. If I were to rate King's Island's rides A-F, to me, Banshee, D-Back, and Beast are A rides, with a solid B ride selection. Glad you had a good time. Night rides on beast are awesome. Especially front seat night rides.


When I think "A" rides, I think Intimidator 305, Fury 325, Maverick, RMCs, El Toro, Skyrush, etc. Banshee is my favorite Invert (and I will admit that if I HAD to choose a favorite coaster in the park, that would be it), but that doesn't necessarily mean it stacks up with the aforementioned coasters.


I hope I'm not giving off the impression that I do not like the park, because I REALLY do. They just don't have that big "star attraction" that other CF parks tend to have. And like I said, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It really has one of the most well-rounded coaster collections out there.

I see where you're coming from. I often wonder if the park will ever get a giga, being in such close proximity to CP. God knows there's plenty of room.

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Nice report! I'm confused as to how you can say that there are no "A" rides here, but Banshee is your favorite invert?


Our opinions differ, which is fine. If I were to rate King's Island's rides A-F, to me, Banshee, D-Back, and Beast are A rides, with a solid B ride selection. Glad you had a good time. Night rides on beast are awesome. Especially front seat night rides.


When I think "A" rides, I think Intimidator 305, Fury 325, Maverick, RMCs, El Toro, Skyrush, etc. Banshee is my favorite Invert (and I will admit that if I HAD to choose a favorite coaster in the park, that would be it), but that doesn't necessarily mean it stacks up with the aforementioned coasters.


I hope I'm not giving off the impression that I do not like the park, because I REALLY do. They just don't have that big "star attraction" that other CF parks tend to have. And like I said, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It really has one of the most well-rounded coaster collections out there.

I see where you're coming from. I often wonder if the park will ever get a giga, being in such close proximity to CP. God knows there's plenty of room.


I'm highly skeptical of a giga coaster as well. In a way, I feel like Kings Island sort of "balances out" what Cedar Point lacks. For example, the plethora of wooden coasters, a B&M Hyper, a flying coaster, good family coasters, etc. I would actually be VERY surprised if this park ever got a giga, for the same reason I would be surprised if KD ever got a B&M Hyper.


Both CP and KI really are great, and with a Platinum Pass they can be a good "one-two punch," and between the two parks, they pretty much hit every possible coaster category.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright! I am back. I recently moved off to college, so I have been busy getting organized here in my dorm room for the past week, so I had to put this report on hold. But here I am ready to go.


Here is the fourth and final part of my Cedar Fair trip: the one and only CEDAR POINT!


Part IV - America's Rockin' Roller Coast


I definitely have quite a few stories to tell about our visit to this park. Lots of crazy things happened (mostly with weather), so this will be the most "eventful" couple days when compared to the three previous parks on this trip.


On Wednesday the 2nd, as you saw from the Kings Island report, we spent the morning at that park for Mystic Timbers ERT and some last ride, then we booked it and drove the 3.5 hours to Cedar Point and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there. The next day, Thursday, was our full ERT-to-close day at the park, and we spent a few more hours at the park the morning after (Friday) before catching our flight home that evening.


I have been to Cedar Point two times before: in 2014 and 2012. So GateKeeper was not new to me, however Rougarou and Valravn were. More on those two rides later.


I really love this park a lot. They already have an unmatched coaster collection, and once Steel Vengeance gets added to the mix, no other park can come close to Cedar Point in terms of quality AND quantity.


As expected, here are my brief reviews for every coaster in the park. Even though I had visited the park two times before, these reviews are based on my 2017 visit, just like with Kings Island.


Blue Streak: This is a great little classic wooden coaster. Like most of these older three-bench woodies, as long as you ride in a front or middle row, it isn't too rough. It has some solid airtime and was quite enjoyable. It's unfortunate that this is the only woodie left in the park though.


Cedar Creek Mine Ride: It's just another mine train. I would consider it one of the more violent ones I've ridden, but it's nice to see it popular with families after so many years.


Corkscrew: If you read about my thoughts on Carolina Cyclone, Anaconda, and Vortex (KI), then you can likely predict my thoughts on this ride. It's a jerky old Arrow, but I was able to enjoy it more than others due to my body shape and height.


GateKeeper: I only rode this once (in the back row), and I don't understand the complaints that this ride is "bouncy" or uncomfortable. I don't have an issue with the restraints, and the ride was perfectly smooth. In fact, it was probably *too* comfortable and smooth. I hardly ever get naucious from rides, but something as smooth, comfortable, and long as GateKeeper almost did it for me. The first drop is fantastic (especially in the back row!), but the rest of the ride just floats and twists around. It does what it does well, but it just doesn't carry that thrill factor that I prefer in rides.


Gemini: I think this coaster(s) is one of the "hidden gems" of the park. It is very smooth, has some solid airtime in some places, and racing makes it all the more fun. I hope this ride stays around for a while, with all the rumors of Excalibur leaving.


Iron Dragon: Or as I prefer to call it, Draggin' Iron, because that is exactly what it does. It's a nice family coaster, but in terms of Arrow suspended rides, it is in the bottom tier. Ninja is better, and Bat is even better.


Magnum XL-200: LOVE THIS RIDE! During my visits in 2012 and 2014, I didn't understand why so many people like this ride. I found it rough and painful, and with Millennium in the same park, it was no comparison for me. However, for some reason, I love this thing to death now. I rode it a couple times in different seats, and every ride I had was great. I almost didn't ride this ride at all, but I am so glad I did.


Maverick: This was my first time riding Maverick with the new vest restraints, and WOW do they make a difference. Those hard restraints were the one factor preventing this essentially-perfect coaster from becoming my favorite ride of all time. However, I have ridden lots of great coasters since 2014, so Maverick doesn't quite make it up to the top now, but those restraints are 1000x better. Cedar Point made a great move with those. Otherwise, there's nothing I can say about this coaster that hasn't already been said. It has almost everything, and it is probably the most well-rounded and "complete" coaster I've ridden. With Steel Vengeance next door, who would every want to leave Frontier Town?


Millennium Force: One major reason I was so excited about this entire trip was that I would be riding all three American giga coasters within 10 days of each other, so I could have a fresh opinion on each one. Millennium Force, as expected, is my least favorite of the three gigas. It's still a fantastic ride, but it just isn't quite on the level that Fury 325 and I305 are. However, I do think this is the most re-rideable coaster of all time. I wouldn't be able to re-ride Fury or I305 all day, but I could sit in any seat on Millennium Force for 24 hours straight and never get tired of it. Oh, and the lift hill and drop is freakin' awesome. It's not my favorite giga in terms of layout and intensity, but is by far the most re-rideable and "throw your hands up and have fun" coaster I've ridden.


Raptor: I had forgotten how good this coaster was. I think I still prefer Banshee and Afterburn, but I can't help but appreciate Raptor's length and variety of elements.


Rougarou: I had ridden Mantis, both in 2012 and 2014, and all I can say is that Rougarou is a HUGE improvement. In terms of Floorless coasters, I think I would put it right behind Dominator and Bizarro, but compared to the pile of crap this ride used to be, Rougarou gets a thumbs up in my book.


Top Thrill Dragster: Unpopular opinion coming through. I love this ride, but for some reason I can't explain, I still prefer Kingda Ka. Maybe I can notice the extra height, speed, and length, but every single time I ride TTD, I am always a bit underwhelmed at how short it is. Obviously I wasn't expecting a long ride, but it just doesn't feel as complete as its Six Flags counterpart. TTD has better restraints, a better theme, and a WAY better capacity, but Kingda Ka just feels more "intense" in my opinion. I probably sound like a complete idiot, but maybe someone else feels the same way? Here is how I look at it: if I had an open front row seat on TTD and an open front row seat on KK right in front of me, I would take Kingda Ka in a heart beat. TTD is a great ride, and is definitely in the top 5 of the park, but for some reason I can't explain, I just like Kingda Ka more. That's the best way for me to review this ride.


Valravn: This ride actually surprised me quite a bit. My very first ride was in the back row, and even with pretty low expectations, I was a bit underwhelmed, but the front row is WAY better. The drops are good, and the inline twist dive around zero-g thingy is great, but like most people, the biggest drawback about this ride for me is the restraints. I like them on Banshee and GateKeeper, where the ride has moments of positive g-force or accentuated elements that may require them, but on a ride like Valravn where the drops are the key elements of the ride, stapling your entire body down doesn't exactly make those drops better.


Wicked Twister: I think this is another "hidden gem" in the park. It's a very fun ride and is definitely a step up from the standard Impulse coasters.


Woodstock Express: A Vekoma family coaster with a terrible color scheme. That's about it.


Phew. Cedar Point sure does have a lot of coasters. Now on to the photos. Like I said, we spent Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday, and Friday morning at the park.



Here we are!


Let's go!


Crossing my fingers for good weather these next couple days.


Thanks to Valravn, we can now get some new angles of Raptor!


Valravn had quite a line, so we decided to wait and ride it tomorrow with Fast Lane.


Our first ride of the day (evening) was Maverick, and we caught a glimpse of Steel Vengeance.


We wanted to ride Dragster next, but it also had a line. We didn't ride much the first evening since we knew we were getting Fast Lane the next day.


We decided to just leave since we were tired from Kings Island and driving, and we wanted to get some sleep before our big, eventful day tomorrow.


That concluded out few short hours the afternoon/evening before our full day at the park. Here we go...



And here we are, up bright and early for our big day at the park with Fast Lane.


ERT time!


We were going to do Valravn during ERT, but apparently a LOT of people have Platinum Passes, and they weren't taking Fast Lane until park opening, so we waited again.


Instead we went to Millennium Force!


I love the way this ride loads and unloads. It puts through tons of people with all three trains running.


Peeking above the trees.


Maverick was waiting for us!


LOVE this ride so much.


We then finally got around to riding Valravn. Good ride, but not AMAZING!


We then had to give GateKeeper some attention. At this point in the day, the park just opened, so we were going ride to ride, so some of my pictures were a little rushed.


We then took a ride on the Sky Ride, because we had to!


I love Wicked Twister's placement!


We then, finally, were able to ride Dragster! Just a small wait with Fast Lane.


Lookin' good with its new paint job.


I spy with my little eye... a massive kicka$$ RMC.


SO GLAD I rode this.


The Tower of Power.


The only four-legged S&S tower.


Rougarou was next!




An improvement over Mantis, but not the best Floorless. First half was good, but the second half had some ear-bashing.


We then went over to go on the park's other '90s B&M, also rocking a fresh paint job.


MaXair was next! It had a much longer cycle than Delirium at KI.


The BEST Windseeker!


The weather started to go a little downhill, so we headed back to Millie since I had only ridden it once by this point.


Artsy 2.0.


We then headed to Maverick. STORY TIME!


OK. So we got in line for the front row of Maverick. They then ceased operations. We checked our weather radar, and it said there was a huge storm coming. So we thought "Oh great, we might as well leave." Turns out, they didn't cease operations because of weather, rather it was because of them transferring off a train. I thought "Oh wow, they're gonna run this thing in the rain." At that point, we saw lightning in the distance, thinking they would immediately close the ride. They didn't. We were next in line and boarded into the front row. We SAW lightning and heard thunder, yet they were still gonna send us through. We went through the ride, and when we reached the brakes, we could literally see the storm start to loom over us. I was 99% sure I was going to be struck by lightning.


As it turns out, our "pair" of trains (since they send them out in pairs) were the only two trains to cycle. They then announced inclement weather and ceased operations... but we were still on the brake run, so unless they wanted to evacuate us, they had to send out all the trains in front of us in order to get us back in the station... in full on lightning and thunder. It was starting to rain and hail too. So we were sitting there on the brake run, with 4-5 trains in front of us, watching the dark clouds cover our heads, starting to get really sketchy. We then proceeded into the station and exited the ride, and as soon as we left the gift shop, it started POURING! I'm from California, so I'm not super familiar with the severity of storms Cedar Point gets, but to us, it was HUGE. I unfortunately don't have too many photos of it as its worst, rather I took a video, but I took some right before and after when it was at its worst. That 30 minutes of waiting, riding, and exiting Maverick in the lightning, thunder, and rain was probably the most memorable part of this entire trip. It was terrifyingly awesome.



It really was scary.


The weather got a little crazy after that.


At this point, it was a little before 9:00, and with the park closing at 11:00 and weather not clearing up too much, we weren't sure if we were done for the day or not.


We were wandering the park trying to find SOMETHING operating.


We were running out of luck...



CEDAR DOWNS WAS OPERATING! I was told this ride is really good, and honestly, if we hadn't had such a crappy storm roll through, I don't think I would have ever ridden it, but because it was the only thing open, I had little choice. And it was awesome! NO SEATBELTS?!


We then heard TTD test a little bit as the weather started to clear, but it rolled back twice in a row.


We figured we were outta luck at this point...


But then Magnum opened up!


And so did Valravn!


We then headed out of the park since it was about to close at this point. I tried to get a good fireworks shot, but none of them turned out really well.


That concluded our big, eventful day at the park. We were crossing ou fingers for better weather the next morning. And it was... for a little bit.



We were back the next morning for a few rides before our flight this afternoon!


We got our last rides on Valravn!


And then it started to RAIN (and hail) AGAIN!


We headed bank to the front to see if Raptor was running. It wasn't, so we headed out.


I was a little bummed we had to leave the park and end the trip on a sad note, but it was still lots of fun, and we rode everything we wanted to. Lots of new memories!


Thank you everyone for reading. I had lots of fun writing up these four reports, so let me know if you enjoyed them. Please post comments!

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Awesome report and photos! Thanks for sharing. Too bad the weather didn't work out for you, but sounds like you had a good time anyway.


This part of what you said about Millennium Force is why I think it's the best roller coaster ever built:


I do think this is the most re-rideable coaster of all time. I wouldn't be able to re-ride Fury or I305 all day, but I could sit in any seat on Millennium Force for 24 hours straight and never get tired of it. Oh, and the lift hill and drop is freakin' awesome. It's not my favorite giga in terms of layout and intensity, but is by far the most re-rideable and "throw your hands up and have fun" coaster I've ridden.
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