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2020 Summer Roadtrip

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Sat, 7/18: Drive to Sandusky, OH, hitting Camden Park and Columbus Zoo on the way

I don't know how much you've looked into it, but keep in mind that this will be an expensive credit for what it is. Zoo Parking and Admission will be required and set you back about $40-50. The coaster ride itself is only a couple of dollars on top of that. The coaster is very similar to the Ghoster Coaster/Woodstock Express junior woodies.


Of course, it's your trip and your money so you do you. Just didn't want you to show up thinking it could be a quick, cheap credit stop.

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Sat, 7/18: Drive to Sandusky, OH, hitting Camden Park and Columbus Zoo on the way

I don't know how much you've looked into it, but keep in mind that this will be an expensive credit for what it is. Zoo Parking and Admission will be required and set you back about $40-50. The coaster ride itself is only a couple of dollars on top of that. The coaster is very similar to the Ghoster Coaster/Woodstock Express junior woodies.


Of course, it's your trip and your money so you do you. Just didn't want you to show up thinking it could be a quick, cheap credit stop.


Awesome, that is great to know that I'd have to pay admission to the zoo to get to the coaster . However, looking online it appears to only be $14 and parking is $10, but $26 is still too rich for my blood for a non-unique credit.

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If you're not planning to stop at the Columbus Zoo on that leg of the trip, then the drive from Kings Island to Camden Park to Cedar Point is just about the same distance as it is from King Island to Indiana Beach to Cedar Point, so that might be an option to consider since you seemed interested in Indiana Beach earlier before taking it out when the trip got shortened. I'd much rather spend a half day at Indiana Beach than Camden Park.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tue, 7/21: Drive to West Mifflin, PA, hitting Waldameer and Conneaut Lake on the way.

7/21 should work with no issue for Waldameer, but Conneaut Lake will not be open, it's only open on Thursday - Sunday.

Not a reason to not do your trip like that, but something to at least keep in mind (spend more time traveling/more time at Waldameer without feeling rushed to get to Conneaut Lake)

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This isn’t something that’s likely too practical for you, but at The Columbus Zoo, you can park at a park and ride near the zoo and take a specific bus in for $2 each way and get admission to zoo for $3. So it would be $8 plus like $2 for the credit. The zoo itself is well worth a visit imo.


The bus has the major downfall of not running often so it’s only practical if you plan a visit for a lot of the day. Wanted to at least let you know about it. It’s rdally no hassle otherwise and saved my girlfriend and I $36.


Info: https://www.cota.com/zoobus/

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  • 5 months later...

Well, COVID-19 destroyed this trip, but I'm at least able to salvage some of it:


-Day 1, Fri 7/10 - Drive from Newark, DE to Mason, OH.

-Day 2, Sat 7/11 - Full day at Kings Island (date reserved in their system)

-Day 3, Sun 7/12 - Another full day at Kings Island, if I can make another reservation after I check in on my first. If not, then a putt-around day, probably going to Dave and Busters to cash in my 100,000 tickets on a PS4 since all of my local D&Bs are closed.

-Day 4, Mon 7/13 - Drive to Sandusky, check in the CP's Express Hotel, go to CP for whatever hours they might still be open.

-Day 5, Tue 7/14 and Day 6, Wed 7/15 - Two full days at CP. With the expected operations shortfalls, this is necessary.

-Day 7, Thu 7/16 - Drive home.


I'll also likely be doing a day-trip to Hershey at some time in August, and might take a 3-day weekend to do Kennywood.


Thanks again to all who provided advice throughout; hopefully it'll come in handy when I try this tour again in 2021.

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Looks good to me. With 2 days at Kings Island, I'd probably knock out the drive Sunday night as well and stay somewhere cheap closer to Sandusky.


See you at Cedar Point. I'm starting at Kennywood instead of KI.

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I had to do something similar with a chance, early june trip (still no payments back from Plum benefits and working advantage) week long holiwood nights, to CP, KI, KK, and KW with some other stops for other things has turned into a July 9-13 trip of KI, KK, CP (hopefully for two days but that depends on their rules) KW, and then returning in August for HW, and maybe IB?

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  • 1 month later...

If you’ve read these reports in the respective parks’ threads, there’s not much new here for you, but I figured I’d compile my July 2020, COVID-pandemic-influenced, amusement park road trip into one place for your enjoyment. I’ll be cutting out a lot of the COVID-procedure stuff from this report, and there will very likely be more pictures here than in those threads, with one exception. Enjoy!


Kings Island Day 1 - Friday, July 10


If you’ve been following along, you’ll recall that I originally had quite the grandiose plan for this year – a 21 day, 22 park whirlwind that would’ve taken me as far south as Atlanta, as far west as Indiana, and as far north as Canada. Needless to say, reductions of time off from work cut that trip down to 16 days and 18 parks. Then COVID hit, and the world ground to a standstill. But, as June ended, there was a glimmer of hope…two of my favorite parks would be opening in early July. So, to make the most of what I could this summer, I made a plan for a week of social distancing, face masks, and coasters at Kings Island and Cedar Point.


I had intended to be on the road to Mason, OH, super-early but of course over slept, not getting on the road until slightly before 8 AM. I am proud of myself though, as I made the nine-hour Google Maps estimated drive in a tad over seven hours and forty-five minutes, even with four or five bathroom stops, arriving right around 4 PM. Got checked in to my hotel, set up my computer, and checked the KI website for a reservation – sweet, I could get in at 4:30. So I did, and found very light crowds. Quickly in to the park, to Guest Relations to activate the drink plan on my Platinum Pass, and then off I went.




From there, it was into the park. As you can see, very, very dead International Street at 4:40. Made my way to Area 72, got my boarding pass for Orion (5-6:00 timeslot), and decided to kill some time on Flight of Fear. It took 21 minutes, including ride time, from entering the queue to walking off (all of my "ride wait times" will be in this format). When I was done, it was time to ride Orion for the first time! They took the boarding pass right at the start of the queue, and honestly didn't seem like they were even looking at them, so I'd guess that any pass would work at any time. This took me 15 minutes for the front row. What did I think of it? See HERE for review and HERE for a ton of pictures of the new Area 72. When I left, they were no longer handing out boarding passes, and I would later be able to walk right in without a boarding pass.


Next up was Beast, which was awesome as always despite it being daytime. 20 minutes total for the front row. I feel like they added a new trim to the first uphill after the initial drop and turn, but I could be mistaken about its newness. From there, it was over to Mystic Timbers (skipped due to line, estimated at 20 minutes), Diamondback (skipped due to line, estimated at 20 minutes), and decided to cool off with a ride on Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (7 minutes).


I'm sure I've been on this as a kid when I came here with my parents in the '90s, but I couldn't recall being on it as an adult, so figured what the hey and went for it. Great flume, though with only me at the very back of the boat, there wasn't too much splash. Luckily the "surprise" at the end got me sufficiently cooled down. From there I went to grab a grilled cheese from Tom + Chee, and checked Diamondback's line again - same length. So, I made my way back to Orion and got my second ride, this time in the back (10 minutes).


By the time I got off the ride, it was 6:45, so I started making my way back towards the front of the park and grabbed a walk-on ride on Backlot Stunt Coaster, which is worth it when you don't have to wait. All effects were working, even the fire. On the walk out, I had 5 minutes before closing, so I glanced at Mystic Timbers line and still found it unreasonably long, so I called it at night and headed back to my hotel. Not a bad trip for two hours and twenty minutes.


Some additional pictures from Day 1:



Poor old Vortex spot...



I guess that's one way to enforce social distancing - only install 1/3rd of the seats!


Kings Island Day 2 - Saturday, July 11


I’m there early, walking through the gates as soon as my 10:30 reservation would allow. I figured I'd make my way towards the Planet Snoopy side for the rope-drop to be able to get Mystic Timbers and Diamondback in early...only to find the entire park open to wander through. No rope, no security, no nothing.


So, I camped out in a shady spot in front of Mystic Timbers and waited 25 minutes for the ride to open it. I was first in line, so the front row was mine. I even got the snake monster/"She's a Man Eater" ending, which I hadn't gotten before in all of my previous rides. Made my way over to Diamondback, on and off in 15 minutes for the back row).


Then it was off to the Miami River Brewhouse to get my all-day dining wristband and my first meal of the day. As it turns out, they don't sell the all-day dining there (at least at the bar where I was seated), but I could buy it on my phone. Which I did, and of course the employees and supervisors had trouble getting it to work, but let me eat anyway. Ordered a pub burger (double-cheeseburger), which took ten minutes to come out, and a couple of adult beverages and I was on my way.


Proceeded over to Action Zone for Banshee, which I got the back row as a walk-on. Awesome as always. The Bat was next; got row 11 and it took 15 minutes including the hike to no man's land to ride it (only like a two train wait once I made it to the station). After that, it was Drop Tower time (30 minutes on-and-off). I can now proudly say that I've been on every non-tilting version of an Intamin drop tower that I know of - Gen 1 at SFGAdv, Cedar Point and now Dorney; Gen 2 at Carowinds, Gen 3 at Kings Dominion, and finally the Gyro Drop at KI. For some reason I always thought it was just a regular Gen 3 at KI so I always skipped it.


Moving on, after that it was time for another meal (every 90 minutes with the all-day dining plan, and I get my money's worth), so I decided to give La Rosa's Pizza in the Festhaus another try. Took ten minutes from when I walked in to when I sat down with my food. Terrible mistake...the breadsticks were okay as they usually are, but the pizza was over-sauced with their tangy crap and horrible as usual. You'd think I'd learn my lesson from prior experience at KD and KI, but every now and then I figure...hey, they might have learned. Being a New Jersey shore area native, I'm very sensitive about my pizza. Also of note, my dining pass also would not properly scan here, so once again a supervisor was called over. They gave me a wristband and "tied it to the dining plan," or so they said. Also worth noting, the animatronics on the front of the Festhaus were stationary all day.


Continuing on to more rides, next up was Adventure Express, which took 30 minutes start to finish, rode in row five. Next up was Racer. I ended up on the red side, front row, on-and-off in nine minutes. Notable here is that the entire turnaround has been re-tracked and rode very well. You can kind of make out the re-tracked area here:




The rest of the ride, eh it's Racer. You know what you're signing up for. After Racer it was around 2:30, and I swung by Orion to get my boarding-later pass, which was for 5-6:00.


Queued up for Windseeker, waited three minutes, and as they were bringing down the previous cycle, "Sorry guests, Windseeker is closed due to high winds." I'm not sure if it reopened at all today, but I did see it cycling empty a few times. I had some time to kill before my next meal, so I took a lap on the KI & Miami Valley Railroad (seven minutes waiting).


Next meal time was up, so I headed to Tom & Chee for their awesome grilled cheese...except now neither my wristband nor voucher on the phone app would scan as valid. The girls there sent me up to Guest Relations, where after ten minutes or so, they sorted the problem and out I walked with a valid all-day dining wristband for the first time of the day. Back to Tom & Chee, and the grilled cheese took about five minutes to come out. Shot up to Woodstock Express, seven and a half minutes on-and-off in row seven, and then checked out Flying Ace Aerial Chase and found it with a long wait, so skipped it. For now, it would remain the only adult-rideable credit at this park that I didn’t have.


Decided to try to give Windseeker another shot, as the wind at ground level had at least calmed down, but it was still closed so I took a lap on Kings Mills Antique Autos (nine minutes). One cute thing I just noticed - the license plates on each car spell out a ride name and the year it was installed.


After that, it was around 4:15...I still had another 45 minutes to kill before my Orion reservation. Checked the park app for wait times, and Beast was only 30 minutes and not that far from where I was, so there I went. I should not know not to trust those wait times, since it took me 54 minutes, on-and-off, for a ride in row 14 (if I can't have the front I need a non-wheel seat, and 5 and 14 were the only ones they were filling).


Got off, and it was 5:30, time for Orion...or not, as I saw an approximately 40 minute wait in the queue. Gave my pass to the attendant manning the entrance and said "here you go, for someone who might come up without one," bought an Orion shot glass for my collection, and made my way back to Miami River Brewhouse for another pub burger to get my fourth meal (came out in around seven minutes), and made my way out of the park at around 6:15.

The park was a lot busier today, but still less than a normal summer Saturday. When I got back to the hotel, I added Orion to my spreadsheet-o-coasters, and realized that it was #148. If I could add one more new coaster before getting to Cedar Point, Steel Vengeance would be my 150th, which is kinda cool. Thus, I made it a mission to get a ride in on Flying Ace Aerial Chase the next day.


Kings Island Day 3 – Sunday, July 12


My reservation today was for 11:00, but I was still at the park before 10:00 just to be safe. My goals for today were to hit what I didn't on the past few days (including that lap on FAAC) as well as get second rides on Banshee and Mystic Timbers, and a third/fourth on Orion and/or Beast if possible. The weather forecast when I left called for thunderstorms starting at around 3:00, so let's see what I can do with that.


I'll admit that I tried to sneak in before my reservation time at 10:25, and was promptly rebuffed. So, in I went at 10:55 and made a bee-line to Orion to try to snag boarding passes. Upon arrival at the entrance to Area 72, they were holding the crowd back in the Coney Mall section until around 11:15. Oh no!




Orion was stuck - one train about 1/4th of the way up the lift, one just before the station, and one right at the start of the 100-foot-tall break run. Upon approach, the crowd was informed that Orion was down and that they weren't issuing boarding basses at this time.


Oh well. Off to Racer Blue side, which was a walk on for row 11. The turnaround does not appear to have been re-tracked on this side. Up into Action Zone, for Invertigo. I normally skip Vekoma boomerangs of any variety that still have the old restraint styles, but figured what the hell. Walked on to row 10 (backwards facing for the first half) and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. From there, to Banshee, which took 22 minutes on-and-off for the back row, including two empty trains cycled through for cleaning.


From there, it was now after 11:30 so off to Subway to buy my day's dining plan and get the first meal. 15 minutes, including line time, for a turkey sub. I glanced to Orion and saw it still stuck in the same spot, so off to the other side of the park. On my way, I saw Flying Ace Aerial Chase with a minimal wait, so I hopped on and got all adult-without-a-kid rideable credits at this park and ensured that SV would be #150. Took a total of 15 minutes for row 9; I could have gotten the front row but figured I'd let the child behind me enjoy that - it might have been their first coaster ever.


It's now right around noon, and I make my way over to Mystic Timbers to try to get my second ride of trip, only to find it down. Oh well. On my way to Beast, I see that Diamondback and White Water Canyon are also closed, and an employee is standing out front of all food restaurants. As I approach the Beast's walkway, I see the arcade is dark - power failure on the entire south side of the park, from the start of Rivertown by Planet Snoopy all the way to the start of Coney Mall. Perfect.


I glance over to Orion and see it still stuck in the same position, but Windseeker is running with people. I'm on and off within 20 minutes (one cycle wait). I make my way back into Rivertown, find it still without power (I've still got 20 minutes until my next meal availability anyway), so I kill some time with a walk-on lap on the KI & Miami Valley Railroad.


When I get off, I see that power has been restored but both Beast and Mystic Timbers are still down, so grab a grilled cheese at Tom & Chee and I decide to walk a whole lap of the park. While passing Area 72, I see that Orion is still closed, so I make my way to the Miami River Brewhouse for some tasty adult beverages until my next meal is available, and grab a pub burger (if you can't tell yet I'm a very picky eater, often being likened to a five year old). Once done, around 3:15, Mystic Timbers is still down but Beast's line was around an hour, so I decided to call it a day. Orion had started cycling empties at this point, but my two rides on Friday were enough. On a positive note, the weather held out and it was beautiful all day that I was there.


And that wraps up my two and a half days at Kings Island, my first real amusement park trip of 2020. All in all, a great trip over the two and a quarter days spent there, with multiple rides on my favorites, and another “giga” under my belt. It was off to bed early to try to make it to CP for opening on Monday. Would it happen? Stay tuned!

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Cedar Point Day 1 – Monday, July 13


We begin this journey at four o’clock in the morning in Mason,OH. To make it to Cedar Point for opening, I’d need to be on the road at 6:00, so that’s what happened. After three and a half hours of half highways, half country roads, I had arrived at Cedar Point at around 9:15. My reservation for today wasn’t until 10:30, so I decided to take a drive around the island to see if non-hotel guests would be allowed to use the resort gate; we were not. So, back to the front, sun-tan lotion’d up, and made my way to the substantial health screening line at 9:50. Note that they were selling "face coverings" outside from a little booth for $2.00; I didn't see anyone buy one so I'm not sure what type they were.



Yeah I think I got there in time LOL.


In case you forgot yours.


I figured I’d try to sneak in early right as they opened the gate at 10:00, so after the gates opened and the crowd had died down some, I walked up to the ticket checker and provided my pass, which was scanned and I was waved on through. Perhaps they’re more lenient here than at KI?


Either way, we all know about the “access pass” situation for Steel Vengeance, Maverick, and Millennium Force. I first thought about hopping in the SV standby line, but decided instead to wait for an access pass – I was probably 50 people from the front. By the time I left the line, noon-1:00 pass in hand, it extended all the way back to the train crossing – absolutely huge. The Maverick access pass line was almost as long, and not yet moving, so I decided to head to MF to grab the access pass for that then head back for Maverick’s, which would put me almost at the right time frame for my ride on SV. Arrived at the back of the MF line right as it started to move, and a few minutes later I had my pass for that ride (also noon-1:00).


On my way back to the Maverick line, I swung into Panda Express – one of the food locations that was open – to grab an all-day-dining wristband. I tried to cash in my first meal at Wagon Wheel Pizza, but they were not yet open despite a sign indicating that they should have opened a half hour prior. The only two food locations open at this time (around 11:30) in Frontier Town were Panda Express and Hate Chicken, so I was out of options. Made it to Maverick, grabbed my pass (2:00-3:00), and by then it was 11:45 so I dumped 90% of what I had on me in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo and plopped down in the developing line for noon access pass holders for SV. Noon rolls around, and I make my way up to the station after about 15 minutes and find myself at the head of a grouping, so hooray for front row. You can read my thoughts HERE and HERE in the CP thread, but overall I was unimpressed. A great ride? Sure. Top 5 at Cedar Point? Nope.


After riding SV, I quickly stopped in to the now-open Wagon Wheel Pizza for a slice on my meal plan. MUCH better pizza than that at Kings Island, that’s for sure, but until it was my turn they only had one window open and the line was four groups deep and barely moving. This will be a recurring theme for the day.


I made my way down to Millennium Force, and was l0cker-in to l0cker-out in 47 minutes. Note that I entered the queue at around 12:42, so towards the end of my “group” of access passes. Somehow I lucked out and got the front row, my preferred seat, on this too.


By this time, my second meal was about due, so I began searching…and did not find; more restaurants on the meal plan were closed than open. I am quite non-happy. A quick trip to Guest Relations for a refund on my dining plan resulted in me actually running in to the #4 of the park, who provided the best customer service I’ve ever gotten at an amusement park, and we chatted a bit about my experience thus far. Great to meet you, Stephanie X!


By now, it was just after 2:00 and time for Maverick. Made my way in and all the way to the bottom of the stairs before encountering any other people, and a few brief minutes later was up at the grouper. Rows 3 and 6 of the second train remained vacant, so I asked if I could go to the back row (the best spot on this coaster), but the employee was initially like “no” and “we can’t take requests.” So, I relented and walked up to row 3, while row 6 behind me remained vacant. I looked over at the grouper, who kind of nodded his head in the direction to signal I could move, so I thanked him. Apparently the next group was more than 2 and didn’t want to split up. Thank you very much to them.


Awesome ride as always, still my Number One, and to make it even better, it suffered a breakdown as we pulled into the brake run. Apparently the two trains prior to mine didn’t want to dispatch. So, as we waited for maintenance to come out and do their thing, I kept silently begging for an evacuation. Being evac’d from my favorite coaster would be something. Sadly, no evac, but we were given exit passes that say “good any day” for our trouble of sitting in the sun for 15 minutes.





After this (just before 3:00), it was time for some more food, so I made my way to Melt (along the way noting in the app wait times of 45-90s minutes for Magnum, Valravn, Raptor, and Gatekeeper – the only other coasters operating (Iron Dragon had been running but was currently broken down). Had their basic grilled cheese (of course) with a side of mac & cheese, and a delicious if not mixed strong enough Jack & Coke.


After Melt, I decided to check out SV and Maverick to see if I could grab another access pass (I was initially told at both locations that they would give out another bunch at 3:30), but no dice at either ride. Having been up since way-too-early-for-vacation and feeling a bit tired, I decided to call it a day and head to my hotel and check in.


All in all, a day that started out not so great turned out to be pretty good, despite only getting on three rides. The way I see it, I’ve got two more days to try to hit everything I want to.


Cedar Point Day 2 – Tuesday, July 14


So, my game plan going into today was similar to my plan for yesterday - snag all three access passes first thing, then schedule the rest of the day around that. Using the same route (Steel Vengeance line before they start handing out the passes, then down to Millennium Force and then finally back to Maverick), I got 12:00, 1:00, and 3:00 times respectively.



A good balance.


Again, as with day one, by the time I was done grabbing passes, people just started lining up for the 12:00 SV entry, so I grabbed my spot in line (3rd) and once again walked right up to the platform. One train later, and I was on, this time in the back row. While it is a better ride in the back than the front (dat airtime), I stand by my original assessment - underwhelming. After having some great rides on Gatekeeper later in the trip, SV is, for me, a solid #6 at Cedar Point and #2 RMC behind Twisted Timbers. Sorry not sorry.


I grabbed a slice of Pizza from Wagon Wheel again, then completed my MF time slot (front row, 40 minutes in line plus 15 before they would let the 1:00s in) and then had some time to kill, so I walked around checking ride times (all too long) and finally went to Melt and had their cheeseburger, which was awesome as expected. Surprised though that the burger was just a regular circular patty and didn't take up the entirety of the bread.


Made it back to Maverick at around 3:15 (my access pass was for 3:00-4:00) and saw most of the outdoor queue filled up, so I decided to find a shady bench to lay down on until 3:50, when I entered the queue and walked right up to the second-from-front line of the out door area. Oh well...57 minutes for the back row, and awesome as always.


From there, my goal was to blitz all of the remaining operating coasters, lines be damned. That went as follows:

-Cedar Creek Mine Ride, 27 minutes for row 3 (didn't have the choice to a non-wheel seat)

-Magnum XL-200, 27 minutes for row 13 (same thing here, was only running two trains)

-Iron Dragon, 27 minutes for last row (I could've sworn there was padding on these seats in the past, but not anymore)

-Gatekeeper, 28 minutes for last row right side (greyed out a little bit on the bottom of the drop loop, which was cool)

-Raptor, 55 minutes for row 7 (largely delayed on the brake run due to a protein spill on the train ahead of me).


No, I did not make up those times...I ran the stopwatch on my phone on each, and all of them except for Raptor were 27 or 28 minutes and some seconds. Freaky. Anyway, this proves that it is possible to ride all operating coasters in a normal COVID-shortened day without Fast Lane. You just need a plan, plenty of stamina, and a little luck.


On a side note, I never noticed this cute sign on CCMR listing out the distances to the other Arrow Mine Trains in the Cedar Fair lineup. Kinda cool.





So, all I had left at this point was Valravn, which had I gotten off of Raptor at a reasonable time, I could have made it in line before 8:00 for. Sadly, I walked out of Raptors exit ramp at 8:06, and then walked against the entire flow of traffic over to Valravn just to confirm that it was closed. Oh well, that's why I have a Day 3.


Got back to the hotel and took a cool shower, and then it was off for my first trip ever to the Thirsty Pony. Wow. Awesome place, reasonable prices, DELICIOUS food - I got a Goopy Burger - a regular hamburger dripping with Cheez-Whiz. For someone who routinely takes his cheesesteaks in Philly as "American and whiz, wit-out," it was glorious. Sat around there shooting the shit with a couple from western New York (about a 3 hour drive from CP) and a guy from Indiana about coasters, COVID, life, all while downing some yummy adult beverages. Ended up closing them out (which was at midnight, reasonable for a Tuesday I supposed), stumbled back to my hotel and off to bed for Day 3....


Cedar Point Day 3 – Wednesday, July 15


Starting this day out, I only had 3 goals:

1. Get on Valravn

2. Get a second ride on Raptor and Gatekeeper

3. Try to get on Dragster, which had been cycling the day before.


So, with this in mind, today was a lot more laid back. I didn't bother with SV or MF access passes, only getting one for Maverick. After I grabbed the pass, I shot down to Valravn and got in line. 52 minutes later, and I was complete with my back row ride. This was more out of completion-ism than anything else, I've never been a fan of B&M dive coasters...the two that I've been on (this and Griffon at BGW) just don't do enough with their layouts.


Back up to Maverick for my access pass usage, which I walked right up to the indoor queue area. This took a total of an hour and 28 minutes for front row start to finish. Probably 30+ minutes of that was a shutdown while I was in the queue (at least in the shade), during which they had to do an evac from the brake run.



Lucky dogs!


But, I stuck it out (what else would I do?) and eventually got on the front row, which is awesome. Not as great as the back row, but I already had two rides there this trip, so I figured I'd sample the other flavor.


Back to Melt for another grilled cheese/mac & cheese combo, then off to Raptor. On and off in 29 minutes in row 3. From there it was onto Gatekeeper, where I walked right up to the platform, but sadly they had just started their cleaning cycle. So, it took 21 minutes, again for the back row right side. Again, greyed out a little at the bottom of the initial drop loop.


All this time, I was watching Dragster like a hawk. I had even saved my Exit Pass that I got on Day 1 just for that ride. Sadly, though it was cycling earlier in the day, now it was quiet. I walked by the station and asked the employees if there was any chance of it opening today, to which they replied no but they were hoping for tomorrow. Bummer. Or maybe that's just a line they're told to say?


Either way, I was hot, and tired, and had accomplished everything I set out to with this Cedar Point trip, so it was time to call it a day. I hoofed it back up to the SV gift shop to buy the shot glass for my collection, then tried to take the train to save my legs some of the walk back, but after waiting 10 minutes and the train arriving, it was full by the time I got to the front of the line. Oh well....made the long walk back to the front of the park, every now and then glancing at Dragster, hoping for some signs of life, to no avail.


Back to my car, and to my hotel, ending my first amusement park trip of 2020. All in all, despite the first day feeling like a disaster at the start, once I tempered my expectations and came to realize that there's no way they would be operating at the same level that Kings Island was, I had a great time. Three rides on Maverick, two on Steel Vengeance, Millennium, Raptor, and Gatekeeper, and at least one lap on every other adult coaster that was operating is nothing to be sad about. Really the only closed coasters I truly missed being able to ride were Dragster, Gemini, and Rougarou (Blue Streak and Wicked Twister are meh and Corkscrew can die in a fire).


Since my trip, more and more rides have been opened, and I’ve managed to swing some more time off from work, so prepare for a shorter re-do of this KI/CP trip the second weekend in August!

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