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Photo TR: Adam's first trip to Cedar Point


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After years of daydreaming about visiting, watching Travel Channel documentaries about the place and regularly checking cheap air carriers to get myself to Sandusky, I along with a group of friends finally pulled the trigger to make a Cedar Point trip happen! I've been incredibly familiar with the park's coasters over the years but other than that, I knew almost nothing about the park, its history or what else it contained besides its major attractions... What I experienced exceeded my expectations in most areas and really made for a great two day trip to the park.

 

Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room... Yes, Steel Vengeance was only running one train. It is entirely disappointing that a park of this reputation would have a challenge with a brand new ride and not have it resolved shortly after the incident... And even more disappointing was the removal of Steel Vengeance from Fast Lane Plus (the primary reason we bought it in the first place). But that being said, the operations team worked like crazy to dispatch trains as safely and efficiently as possible and in doing so, they were able to keep the wait under two hours throughout our visit. We only rode Steel Vengeance twice because of the extended wait times but it was absolutely worth waiting for and I can only imagine how quickly the lines will move once all three trains are in rotation. From a coaster standpoint, the ride was unlike anything I'd experienced and it would likely sit at the top of my coaster lists if I ever bothered to sit down and map them out. The track is incredibly smooth, the airtime is relentless and the inversions are intense in the best way. One of my favorite parts of the coaster was the elements within the second half where the inversions take place throughout the support structure, make it visually indistinguishable to tell which side is up while you're flying through it all. We waited a collected 3 hours for the two rides we got in on Day 1 (we opted not to wait on Day 2) and I would absolutely say it was worth it.

 

We decided early on that we were going to get the Fast Lane Plus, along with the All Day Dining and All Day Soda packages just as a matter of convenience since we had a lot to accomplish in two days. I'd highly recommend all three options! The Fast Lane Plus presented more value at some coasters than others because of the location of the merge points in the queue. In the case of Millennium Force, the merge was behind the point in which the last guest of the standby queue was standing, so it was basically like we were getting in the normal line. In the case of Top Thrill Dragster, we were able to bypass almost 20 minutes of queue and be on the ride within five minutes of time. Some of the other Fast Lane Plus-eligible attractions either weren't offering Fast Lane access on that day (Gemini) or weren't open at all (Maxair). Overall, I feel like we got our value for the major time saved on several of the coasters. The All Day Dining and All Day Soda packages were both great values for our two day visit. Considering most entrees and a soda cost about $15 - $17, the $80 we paid for two days ended up saving us a little bit of money (plus we didn't have to worry about handling cash or card, just scanning our wristbands).

 

For my first visit to Cedar Point, I enjoyed it much more than I could have expected. The park employees were all extremely friendly, welcoming and operating the park efficiently. There were a few hiccups with some of the rides throughout our visit and there's obviously the challenges with Steel Vengeance, but we never let that stop us from having a great time! The park is rich with hidden history that you just have to look closely to spot--something that I never expected to find in a Cedar Fair park, so in that way I was pleasantly surprised. The lineup of coasters and other rides is really something special with some standouts among them. I definitely thought going into this that I'd only need to visit Cedar Point once in my lifetime, but after this trip I definitely think it'll be on my radar to consider visiting every few years!

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This is quite the view to drive up to!

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The last time I rode a wooden coaster with an inversion, it was Son of Beast... So this was definitely a major step up.

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I had seen photos of Gatekeeper and the new entrance complex for the last few years but it was definitely different to be standing in front of it in person.

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The keyhole elements are really neat to see and even more fun to ride through.

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History!

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Here it is!

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Even though Steel Vengeance was running a one-train operation and we had to wait two hours for our first ride, this thing was absolutely worth every second.

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Steel Vengeance was my first RMC, so I pretty much knew I would like it a lot.

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I don't really keep tabs on what I've ridden nor do I actively rank coasters anymore, but I would probably say that Steel Vengeance is the best coaster I've ever ridden.

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The thing is ridiculously smooth despite the incredible speed at which some of these twisted elements are approached and the 27 seconds of airtime are relentless.

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Despite only running one train, the operation moved pretty efficiently! We waited two hours from the point in which we got in line to the time we got off of the ride, but the first half hour the ride wasn't running at all, so 1.5 hours of operation time to get us on the ride.

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The queue brings you into the bowl of the coaster and lets you get pretty close to some fantastic fly-by moments.

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So much airtime!

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Through the supports!

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Here are the coaster's other two trains waiting to be given the all clear to return to concurrent service.

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The location of the coaster (and the park) on the shores of Lake Erie present a really unique environment to take in from the rides.

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I can't get enough.

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So picturesque too!

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We purchased the all day meal deal for our two days in the park, and this brisket was the first meal we had under the plan. It was delicious!

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It was surprising to see Cedar Point using custom characters tied into the story of Steel Vengeance roaming the park.

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This restaurant was also neat because the walls were filled with signs from old attractions, storefronts and venues.

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Steel Vengeance can be seen from many angles inside of the park.

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Let's not forget about Maverick...

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I love Cheetah Hunt closer to home in Tampa, but Maverick was relentless and powerful in a way I hadn't experienced before on a launched coaster.

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Brothers in steel...

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One of the park's original carousel pavilions still exists today even though it isn't currently in use! I love neat history like this!

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Even though Steel Vengeance was the thing that finally got me to pull the trigger on going to Cedar Point for the first time, it was Millennium Force that I had seen on Travel Channel specials growing up that had always put Cedar Point on my watchlist.

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THROUGH THE TREES!!!

 

(Sorry, this is a throwback to a time when I was an eager fanboy obsessed with the subculture and in-jokes of TPR and I reverted for a second... Regaining my composure now.)

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So. Ridiculously. Smooth.

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I really loved Millennium Force more than I expected! It isn't the best thing I've ever ridden, but it was super unique, smooth and really fast!

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Here's a handful of Rougarou photos...

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Because there's not much else to say or share about it...

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Because it was the only coaster in the park we genuinely disliked.

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Iron Dragon wasn't anything special compared to some of the other Arrow suspended coasters, but it was still neat to get to ride another one, considering they are becoming increasingly rare.

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Valravn was my third dive coaster (after Sheikra and Griffon) but it was probably my least favorite... Not that it was bad, but I felt like the overall experience on Sheikra is the best of the three.

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Gatekeeper was something I didn't expect to enjoy nearly as much as I did... I'd not been on a B&M Wingrider before, but everything I had seen and read indicated that they were fairly forceless and uninteresting. This one took me by surprise because, while it wasn't intense at all, the sensation of sitting outside of the track, combined with the hyper-smooth maneuvers really made for a fantastic experience! The initial drop and the keyhole/gate elements were definitely my favorite parts of the coaster. We enjoyed it so much it ended up being one of the two coasters we rode the most on the entire trip (the other being Maverick).

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When in Ohio, eat at Pink's? I'm not sure but it was tasty!

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It is kind of surreal getting to walk under an old Arrow corkscrew... Part Rollercoaster Tycoon nostalgia and part, "where are all the nets? This would never be allowed in Orlando!"

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Corkscrew has some classic charm and it is really nice to see that the park has maintained it so well despite its age. The coaster ran fairly smooth for an Arrow.

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Having ridden Kingda Ka before, I knew what to expect with Top Thrill Dragster but I was no less excited to ride. Despite it having inconsistent operations throughout the weekend we were able to ride it twice without any problem!

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The introduction of Steel Vengeance to Cedar Point brought the addition of new thematic elements and details that tie the Frontier area of the park together. These posters can be found in Maverick's queue.

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Another look back at Valravn...

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The extended immelman is nice!

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King of the Castle.

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I didn't get the chance to try Chickie's & Pete's while I was in Philadelphia... Though when I tried it in Cedar Point, I can't say it lived up to the hype.

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We were able to ride Steel Vengeance one more time at the end of our first day in the park and only waited about an hour despite the one train operation. The night ride was even more insane than our opening morning ride. This coaster is pure insanity in the best way!

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Millennium Force looks fantastic at night!

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Only at night was I able to recognize the white/grey color scheme that pairs with Valravn's more-visible orange and blue paint. It is a nice touch for sure!

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That wraps up day one in the park... Day 2 features more coasters and lots of the smaller attractions!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Always cool to hear a new visitor's opinion to parks like this. I haven't been in a couple years but am planning to visit one of these weekdays (hopefully once they have multiple trains on Steel Vengeance. Great detailed report!

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Love your Reports, Adam, and will have to go back and read thru this one completely (other than just looking at the pics and skimming your bullet points). . but based on the pics if looks like you had a great time.

 

 

question: did you not ask in Town Hall Museum for a "1st time visitor" pin?

 

it was a very unexpected perk, but I treasure the souvenir (the Museum Curator and I were chatting and I mentioned it was my 1st time there after dreaming about the park for years. . and he gave me one -- and another one for Bill who was resting outside waiting for me to spend as much time as y'all did in that fantastic museum).

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question: did you not ask in Town Hall Museum for a "1st time visitor" pin?

 

I’m popping my cherry June 1st and probably the Sunday thereafter. I’d love this. Please provide more info. Thanks!

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question: did you not ask in Town Hall Museum for a "1st time visitor" pin?

 

I’m popping my cherry June 1st and probably the Sunday thereafter. I’d love this. Please provide more info. Thanks!

 

it's in the History Museum in Frontier Town (over near Skyhawk).

 

When you go in, mention to the folks at the counter that it's your first Visit, and they gave me this (attached). . . . don't go in just to ask for a button tho, as Adam says, the museum is FULL of interesting history from CP (when I was there last year, one could get a photo op in Gemini train too for it's anniversary, not sure if that's still set up tho).

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Great start of your trip to CP, Adam! And that History Museum is full of wonderful stuff, including models, tons of glassware and china prizes given out back then, too. Definitely worth some time in there. And pretty quiet too, so it's easy on the ears while you're in there.

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A display of rare (and breakable) Cedar Point arcade prizes in the Museum.

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Great report! A shame to hear Rougarou wasn't enjoyable. I actually thought that was one of the better floorless coasters since it was reasonably smooth when I last rode it and it had a funky layout for a floorless.

 

Every report of Steel Vengeance makes me more excited to eventually ride it. I haven't seen a single bad review of it.

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Great report as always Adam, I've got a Cedar Point trip planned for September and I'm sure this will be one of many reports I read over the summer to amp up my excitement.

 

Interesting to hear tour take on Valravn, it "looks" like it has the best layout of the 3 north american dive machines I was surprised to say you enjoyed it the least.

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question: did you not ask in Town Hall Museum for a "1st time visitor" pin?

 

I’m popping my cherry June 1st and probably the Sunday thereafter. I’d love this. Please provide more info. Thanks!

 

it's in the History Museum in Frontier Town (over near Skyhawk).

 

When you go in, mention to the folks at the counter that it's your first Visit, and they gave me this (attached). . . . don't go in just to ask for a button tho, as Adam says, the museum is FULL of interesting history from CP (when I was there last year, one could get a photo op in Gemini train too for it's anniversary, not sure if that's still set up tho).

 

I've spent many an hour in there waiting for the rain to pass! So many things to look at. And it now houses the only Mean Streak in its original form! (the model )

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question: did you not ask in Town Hall Museum for a "1st time visitor" pin?

 

I’m popping my cherry June 1st and probably the Sunday thereafter. I’d love this. Please provide more info. Thanks!

 

it's in the History Museum in Frontier Town (over near Skyhawk).

 

When you go in, mention to the folks at the counter that it's your first Visit, and they gave me this (attached). . . . don't go in just to ask for a button tho, as Adam says, the museum is FULL of interesting history from CP (when I was there last year, one could get a photo op in Gemini train too for it's anniversary, not sure if that's still set up tho).

 

I've spent many an hour in there waiting for the rain to pass! So many things to look at. And it now houses the only Mean Streak in its original form! (the model )

 

Of COURSE I took a pic of it

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Great report, great photos. I likewise had CP on my radar since Millennium Force, but it was Valravn that got me to commit and go. I hear often that the two East Coast ones are better, but they're so far away that I appreciate having one close. It's a great ride. Gatekeeper is a good example of why you don't listen to enthusiast complaints. It's fun, different, and exciting even if not intense. Love all the photos of Steel Vengeance; what an RMC to pick for your first one!

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Thanks, Adam, for giving me a glimpse into what it feels like being a first-time visitor to Cedar Point. I've never been there, but it's always intrigued me with its lineup of coasters!! I also so much enjoyed your commentary on the park's history. From the Pavilion to the museum, its great that Cedar Point takes genuine pride in its history. (I love the 'old prizes." As a collector of dog memorabilia, I have some of the old Chalkware figurines. Inasmuch as the stuff is amazingly fragile, today's coaster vibrations would probably knock them off the shelves of those old game booths!

 

Alice

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Our second day at Cedar Point was more about the smaller attractions (though we got in a few extra rides on some of the coasters) and experiencing more of the historical elements of the park...

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Our second day began with a similar view as the first, albeit a little more rain.

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The Peanuts!

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I wish I had ridden Raptor earlier in the trip because it ended up being one of my favorite coasters in the park.

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So very Roller Coaster Tycoon!

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"Angle of Decent"

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It is really is something to marvel at.

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From the ground, the structure only looks so tall when you see a train shrink as it reaches the top of the tower and get larger as it descends back to the ground.

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The Gemini Midway is a neat little section of the park.

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When in Cedar Point, eat cheese on a stick.

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It is exactly what the title describes... And in a weird way, it is really good.

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I love the super retro Gemini station!

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The park recently introduced some merchandise inspired by past attractions.

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I really wish the park still had Fascination. It was one of my favorite "neat" experiences I enjoyed while visiting the East Coast parks years ago.

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I'm a sucker for these kind of fortune teller experiences.

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Taking a ride on the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad was a great idea!

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The skeleton show scenes were a really pleasant surprise!

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I never expected to see something like this in a Cedar Fair park.

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It is kind of neat to see huge coasters in view from a serene section of the park.

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These animated scenes are really awesome in a quirky way!

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I was especially intrigued by the site of Shoot the Rapids, which was demolished two years ago.

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The ride's station and a small section of the trough out of the station was retained, but the rest of the area was reworked to make way for Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling.

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Even more skeletons along the railroad tracks.

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And more!

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A different look at Rougarou.

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Klassy.

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I totally bought this (and the Raptor model)!

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The arcade was absolutely huge!

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Wicked Twister and Windseeker share a great location on the shore of Lake Erie.

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Wicked Twister ended up being a really fun surprise of a coaster, though for the first time on any coaster, I barely was able to get the resraints to close.

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Despite all of the challenges these rides experienced in their first few years, I've always wanted to get the chance to experience Windseeker firsthand.

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While it wasn't operating on our first day, I was thrilled to see it running during our second (and last) day. And the ride was well worth doing at least once!

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Cedar Downs Racing Derby was another charming experience I didn't expect to find here.

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The fact that such a unique ride system was developed in 1920 and is still operating nearly 100 years later is astounding. And the ride is really fun!

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I couldn't resist the opportunity to ride a classic flat ride like this!

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Props to the ride ops crew for pumping up the energy before the ride even started!

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I've been told something like this used to live at the Mall of America before it became Nickelodeon Universe.

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Millennium Force towers over almost everything in the park!

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Worth every penny.

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Funny enough, the first thing I noticed was that this exact model of Vekoma roller skater is a clone of The Flying Unicorn/Flight of Hippogriff at Islands of Adventure. The only difference besides the train is that that coaster is higher off of the ground to enable the queue to pass underneath the track.

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Cedar Point is apparently known for their hand cut fries... They did not disappoint!

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I just can't look away!

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Over in the park's museum, we spent a good deal of time just looking through all of the content around us. A model maker was actually building a fun, functional model of Steel Vengeance while we were there!

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And here is a model of Mean Streak. Definitely neat to compare the two now that Steel Vengeance is open.

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Blue Streak is also represented with a model in the museum.

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This model was neat because it shows the Frontier section of the park with its original log flume. Some of the structures are still standing despite the new rides that have been added since.

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Funny enough, the Travel Channel special about Millennium Force I watched years ago was playing in the museum.

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I couldn't resist.

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An automated violin!

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The story of this massive handmade clock was astounding. There are no schematics or plans as to what was designed. Its creator made all of this from his mind's design alone and Cedar Point has restored it as far as they can without starting to guess or deviate from what the existing design indicated was next.

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The park's arcade was once home to a massive ballroom for dance parties.

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A Tumble Bug!

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More on those dance parties!

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Cedar Point's equivalent to E-Tickets?

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They had a suspended monorail! I'm curious to learn more about this!

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More delicious food in the Frontier section of the park.

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I always love when parks have cool, live craft demonstrations like glass-blowing for guests to enjoy.

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LLAMAS!

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I had to get one more cheese on a stick before heading out!

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I managed to get one ride in on Raptor before the sky opened up again and I'm so glad I did. Easily my new favorite B&M inverted coaster!

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And thus, our trip to Cedar Point was over! I've got a more detailed writeup of my thoughts on all of the rides and attractions we experienced, coming up shortly for those that want to read it!

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great continuation of the report, Adam!

 

and love to see how much you enjoyed the museum too. .. .oooo I hope that working Steel Vengeance model is still there when I go in a couple of months.

 

 

 

ETA: and YAY for the Cedar Downs love. wOOt wOOt !!

Edited by bert425
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