Page 88 of 149

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:38 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Cedar Point

Once Yukon Striker was announced, I long targeted Memorial Day weekend for a trip to Niagara Falls. My girlfriend and I planned a weekend of Canada’s Wonderland, waterfalls, gloriously tacky tourist traps, Tim Horton’s, and (at my request) the last of its kind Bailey Auto Sled.

I was intrigued by Pipeline Express at Wild Water and Wheels. It looked like a death trap bred from the illegitimate relationship between a mountain coaster and an alpine slide. It looked too screwed up to skip. I figured time was running out for the coaster, so it was time to make it a priority…until the park announced its closure one week before our trip.

But don’t worry, we made a last second fallback plan. The smart decision would have been to just spend an extra day at Niagara Falls. The stupid and fun decision was to drive an extra four hours to America’s Roller Coast. Care to guess what we picked? :lol:

Mike and Emily 1.JPG
Of course I had a bug in my beard.

With each visit to Cedar Point, I've downgraded my hotel. First it was Castaway. Next it was Breakers Express. Last year, I had a luxurious four night stay at the most Econo Lodge of Econo Lodges. But this time, I used rewards points on for Hotel Breakers.

I figured the convenience would be unmatched. And I was correct. What I wasn't expecting was for my “basic room” to be a four room suite with a beach view and a jacuzzi.

However, I realized I made a mistake. The room was so nice my girlfriend wanted to stay there for the day. :lol: But eventually we made it to the park for the second half of early entry.

Hotel Breakers View (Day).JPG
Does a view at Hotel Breakers mean you get a park view?

Or a beach view?

Steel Vengeance decided to sleep in, so we went to Maverick for early entry. I commonly refer to Mack launch coasters as jacks-of-all trades. Maverick was the original jack-of-all trades. It's a relentless smorgasbord of forces- crazy ejector air, wild laterals, graceful inversions, and one heck of a launch.

I was shocked and slightly disappointed my girlfriend didn't get the full Cedar Point experience where your face turns into a human fly swatter, but that happened later. Maverick does a little of everything and it does everything well. 9.5 out of 10[/]

Maverick Corkscrew.JPG
The inversions are the most unremarkable part of the ride. And they're still quite good.

We made it to Millennium just before park opening and cruised through the queue to find only a 4 train wait for the front. That’s the only place to ride this if you ask me. The sense of speed whooshing through Millennium Island is incredible.

I know this ride is often called overrated, but it’s perfect to me. You have an epic drop, a very forceful overbank, and 3-4 good moments of very un-Intamin like floater air. And this is without losing an ounce of speed. I always hit the brake run with a big bug-eaging grin over my face. [B]10 out of 10

Millennium Force Drop.JPG
Millennium Force > I305. Come at me.

I gave my token ride to Rougarou on the way by. At any other park, this would be a standout ride. At Cedar Point, it's just another coaster I hit about once a trip.

Rougarou is a decently forceful floorless with an odd layout, particularly the inclined loop and the second half. However, my girlfriend hated everything about it. I found the ride smooth outside of 1-2 transitions, but she was on the shorter side and lost a battle with the OSTR. 7 out of 10

Rougarou Inclined Loop (Close).JPG
Easily my favorite part of the ride.

My girlfriend was both excited and terrified to try Top Thrill Dragster. She likes coasters, but her greatest fear is being evacuated from one. So like any good boyfriend I assured her that wouldn't happen here. I mean the worst that could happen was a rollback or that we get stuck atop the tower and some maintenance guy will push us over. :lol:

I don't usually buy on-ride photos, but this one was too good to pass up. We took our first ride in row one and the launch is lunacy. It styled my hair like Elvis and as for my girlfriend's reaction, I'll let the photo speak for itself.

Top Thrill Dragster On-Ride 3.jpg
I swear she liked it.

Much to my surprise, she loved it! In fact, it was her favorite ride of the trip. Top Thrill Dragster may be short, but it's a true adrenaline rush. You have that incredible launch, a breathtaking view plus airtime at the top, and crazy laterals on the drop. 8.5 out of 10

Usually Dragster is a one and done for me. I love the ride. I really do. But I stop trying after my first ride considering all the reasons it can go down- rain, wind, mechanical, curse of the Intamin cable, etc. This time that wasn't an option since it was her favorite ride. However, we hit the coaster jackpot. Dragster refused to go down all day.

Top Thrill Dragster Climb.JPG
Turns out my girlfriend is a speed demon.

I had a suspicion Emily wouldn't appreciate the triangular airtime hills of Magnum and I was correct. I heard Magnum added some padding to the lap bars, but it had barely any effect. The airtime on the return leg is simply too strong and cannot be contained. I personally love the insanity of this airtime.

Magnum is a stark contrast to the other hypers out there. The transitions are rough around the edges, but the brute force of the airtime keeps me coming back for more. Just make sure you keep that seatbelt tight! 8.5 out of 10

Cedar Point Shores Aerial.JPG
Shot courtesy of my hotel. Breakers is seriously awesome!

By this point, we saw Steel Vengeance cycling. And I'm guessing the rest of the park did too since the FastLane queue was about 40 minutes. The smart thing would have been to come back later, but I couldn't hold off riding my favorite steel coaster any longer.

I was intrigued to see how the metal detectors would impact dispatches. The good news is that they do not! They set the metal detectors up at the base of the stairs in both the regular and FastLane queues. Guests with no metal are given a green stamp. Guests with metal (phone, keys, etc) get a red stamp and need to place those items in a zippered pouch by their feet during the ride. I commend Cedar Point for testing an alternative where I can keep my phone in line.

Steel Vengeance Structure.JPG
I couldn't get this shot last year.

The bad news is that dispatches are still glacial. Yes they have the third train now, they were double stacking most of the day. The hang-up wasn’t the pouches. It just seems the process to lift the heavy RMC restraints and check the belts/restraints is quite tedious. The employees got into a rythym at night and got the regular queue under 30 minutes, so I hope that's a sign of good things to come.

In terms of the coaster, it was running even better than my rides in 2018. The first half was the same, a blitzkrieg of ejector pops, sustained ejector airtime, and hangtime. It's everything RMC does well on a much larger and grander scale. Those two camelbacks in particular are the standouts to me. The power and duration of the airtime is only matched by coasters like El Toro and Expedition GeForce.

Since it was a cooler day, the MCBR was off. This meant the train absolutely hauled through the second half. Not that Steel Vengeance doesn't already haul, but some elements felt distinctly different. The drop off the MCBR now offered powerful ejector air. And the barrell rolls transformed into whippy, lateral-heavy elements. The rest of the airtime felt no different- aka it felt like I was riding a bull hell bent on launching me into orbit. 10 out of 10

Steel Vengeance Entrance.JPG
Also new for 2019 at Steel Vengeance is this Golden Ticket sign.

Steel Vengeance Drop (Day).JPG
This drop is seriously underrated. I think the rest of the ride overshadows it, but it's one of the best parts for me.

By this point, we realized we hadn't set foot in the front of the park. You know a park is stacked when you could ignore half the park and still have enough for an entire day. I wasn't sure which B&M we'd start with, so my girlfriend made it easy and picked the Monster Jam Thunder Alley attraction. :lol:

The capacity of this temporary attraction was dreadful. The main queue hovered around 60-90 minutes all day. It did have a single rider line and we were seated together after the grouper couldn’t find a party of two in the regular line.

Now I’m going to be frank, we hated this ride. Car geeks will have an orgy riding a monster truck and the kids were cheering the entire ride. But both my girlfriend and I found it to be a the perfect recipe for car sickness- a slow, bumpy ride in a piping hot vehicle. 2 out of 10

Monster Jam Vehicle.JPG
I guess we can say we've now ridden a monster truck at least.

We then rewarded ourselves with a graceful and glass smooth flight on Valravn. I noticed on this visit that Cedar Point was assigning rows on most of their major coasters. And most rides honored seating requests. The lone exception was Valravn, as we were directed to the back row.

The popular opinion seems to be to bash the B&M vest restraints on dive coasters. While I do prefer the old restraints on this type of coaster, the difference isn't so severe that it completely ruins a coaster. You still get plenty of airtime on both major drops. And until Yukon Striker opened, I think Valravn had the best layout of the dive coasters. The hangtime in that zero-G roll is pure bliss. 8 out of 10

Valravn MCBR Drop.JPG
Check out the (less photographed) 90 degree drop.

Valravn Bunny Hill (Side).JPG
Airtime? Maybe?

Up next was Blue Streak, one of my guilty pleasures at Cedar Point. Why is it that no one talks about this coaster? Yes it's dwarfed by everything else in this park, but it has great pops of air on every single hill. I feel like if Blue Streak were at a smaller park, it would receive a lot more attention. 8 out of 10

Blue Streak Lift.JPG
Blue Streak is an airtime buffet.

Emily decided to sit Raptor out (Afterburn made her queasy and she was still recovering from Monster Jam), so I took a quick lap on the green bird. Last year, Raptor ran amazingly well. I had never gotten rides as forceful as I did last year. Maybe it was the cooler day, but Raptor's first half seemed to lagging a bit.

The second half was snappy though. I love the final sequence with the leg-numbing with the corkscrews, helix, and snap into the brake run. I enjoyed Raptor and it's about an average invert with how it was running, but it has the potential to be in the upper echelon. 8 out of 10

Raptor MCBR Drop (Aerial).JPG
I just love the paint scheme on Raptor.

Our last major coaster was GateKeeper. I know people bash this ride for being too slow and graceful, but I love the camelback, ginormous corkscrew, and inline twists. But it does show some balls at the beginning with that wingover drop. The Gs on the pullout are no joke. 8 out of 10

I was bummed to discover the GateKeeper booty shorts were no longer offered in the ride's gift shop. But crisis averted! I found them in the main gift shop later in the day. I really want to know who buys these things. Someone must if they keep stocking them. :lol:

GateKeeper Keyhole (Far).JPG
I can't imagine Cedar Point's entrance without GateKeeper.

Since it was dinner time, we opted for a sit-down meal at the Melt. I have heard nothing but good things about this place and it exceeded my lofty expectations. If you can finish an entire sandwich from this place, you deserve to call yourself an American.

Melt Sandiwch 1.JPG

Melt Sandwich 2.JPG
These sandwiches were both massive and delicious.

We ended the night with rerides on Maverick, Dragster, and Steel Vengeance. We did want to get a night ride on Millennium Force, but the walk-on FastLane queue at Steel Vengeance was too rare an opportunity to pass up. Steel Vengeance's superstructure combined with the speed and lighting is a serious mindbender. I don't even think a compass could tell you which way is which.

Steel Vengeance Sign (Night 2019).JPG
Still the best steel coaster I've ever ridden.

Oh and we also took our time strolling down the Frontier Trail earlier in the day. We both loved seeing the goats, but the highlight was undoubtedly watching the tortoises stuffing their face with strawberries. I never knew I needed to see that until now. :lol:

Goat Eating.JPG

Turtle Eating 3.JPG
My life is now complete.

To fully experience Cedar Point, you really need two days. With just one day, we had to cutout the great flats and old Arrows (my girlfriend breathed a sigh of relief here after Magnum). But we had enough time to get multiple rides on all the standouts.

Cedar Point is just far enough from me that it makes more sense to fly...assuming you book your trip in advance. However, when life gave me lemons (a closed, janky credit at an obscure park in Canada) I made lemonade (visiting arguably the world’s best park). I’d say we did ok.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:28 am
by Intamin_coyote
Great report as always and thank you for sharing.

Ah Rougarou... I must say, this has got to be the coaster where my opinion of it differs the most from that of many people. Personally, I love it. But hear so many negative things of it (rough, headbanger, and/or "meh".

Mantis was up there for one of the least favorite coasters I've ever ridden, but Rougarou honestly might be top 20-15! If I was completely oblivious to the history of this park, I probably would not be able to tell that its over 20 years old or that it used to be a standup (well, besides the inclined loop being a giveaway :lol:)

I remember riding it in its "debut" year (2015), and being pleasantly surprised at how a simple retrofitting took what was my least favorite coaster at CP into one of my favs. But then in the years following, I was legitimately shocked at the reviews it was getting (and still get). I honestly though "did I just ride it on a good day or something, or a good seat?" But sure enough, after a four year hiatus from CP, I finally rerode it last Wednesday, multiple times in several different rows, and once again found it as nothing but delightful. Glass smooth with some decent forces, and interesting layout...

However, the caveat to all this I suppose would be that I'm tall enough to where headbanging is practically nonexistent on all rides and restraint systems. But that having said, Rougarou's transition seems like they are smooth enough (per a typical B&M) so that most headbanging wouldn't happen anyway (in contrast to Arrow transitions), which is why I'm still a little surprised, but I digress...

Once again, great report and glad you had fun!

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:59 am
by Canobie Coaster

Having learned how to ride B&M stand-ups without discomfort over the past year, I sort of wish I could have experienced Mantis. That being said, Rougarou is going to be more comfortable and more enjoyable for most.

I do enjoy Rougarou, but I know plenty who don't care for it. I know I have to brace myself a bit for those transitions at the end and I think that may be a reason why my girlfriend wasn't a fan.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 am
by Canobie Coaster
Conneaut Lake Park

I felt like I was walking into a warzone with Conneaut Lake Park. I decided not to warn my girlfriend so she could form her own opinion, but apparently I used my Hotel Breakers “get out of jail free” card by visiting this park.

By all accounts, the park is on the upswing. Granted that’s not hard when you’re on the precipice of closure, but you can tell on social media the park is trying its best. I just think they’re in a difficult position. The locals are accustomed to the dirt cheap $5-10 admission, but can they really turn a profit essentially giving the gate away for free?

In its current state, I could see many deeming this place a ghetto death trap. I put on my Camden Park “so bad it’s funny” glasses (and lent a pair to my girlfriend), so we spent a majority of our visit laughing at the oddities you’d never see at a corporate park.

Here we go.

Admission Booth.JPG
We visited on the most expensive weekend of the year. Just look at those prices.

Take the Blue Streak for instance. To dispatch the train, the operators needed to manually push the train out of the station. That alone is rare. But I’ve never seen an operator do this while carrying a drink. I guess they have some good water in Conneaut. :lol:

Blue Streak Operators.jpg
And he didn't even spill a drop.

In all seriousness though, the two operators at the Blue Streak were some of the nicest I’ve encountered at any park. They were constantly joking and interacting with the guests. About a third of the jokes were at the expense of themselves and the other two thirds were at the expense of the ride they were working.

So how did it ride? I’ll start by saying that it didn’t track very well. Every valley was littered with jackhammering and any change of direction was downright violent. This didn’t bother me since the seats were ultra-cushiony, but it was a one and done for my girlfriend. Just keep that in mind.

But if you ride in the back, this thing has some legitimately terrifying airtime, particularly on the first three drops. Here’s a slow-mo play by play of these airtime moments.

- Train violenty crests drop.
- Body starts to ride upwards into seatbelt.
- Seatbelt is so loose that it might as well not be there.
- The effing seat itself starts to get airtime.
- Rider’s thighs smash into buzz bar.
- The rider shouts a profanity.
- The seat spanks the rider in the bum.
- The rider and seat return back to the train together.
- Vibrations in the valleys.
- Rinse and repeat.

I heard good things about the first three drops of Blue Streak and they delivered borderline standing airtime. The return leg’s airtime wasn’t as intense, but almost every drop delivered at least some sort of pop.

I grabbed a repeat ride in the front and realized I made a grave mistake. It was almost as bumpy as the back with almost none of the airtime. There was a great burst of air entering the turnaround and maybe one or two feeble pops on the outward leg, but that was it.

If you have a high tolerance for rough and tumble wooden coasters, you’ll love Blue Streak in the back row for its airtime. They don’t make them like this anymore! I definitely enjoyed it, but I had to tap out after a few rides. 8 out of 10

Blue Streak Station.JPG
This ACE coaster classic is the reason to come to the park.

Blue Streak Drop.JPG
Don't be fooled. This drop is one of the most terrifying out there.

Blue Streak Valley.JPG
It'll rough you up, but it's worth it for the air.

Blue Streak Bunny Hill.JPG
Blue Streak is pretty difficult to photograph because it's tucked back in the woods.

The park has another undisputable coaster in Little Dipper, but adults aren’t allowed on it. Adults can ride a disputable coaster in Devil’s Den. It’s one of those gravity powered haunted houses with a chain lift, short little drop, and a series of hairpin turns.

But the most well-known and infamous feature of the Devil’s Den is the freaking gum wall. Most parks would have a zero tolerance policy having their classic dark ride lined with bubble gum, but of course Conneaut Lake Park proudly advertises the dang thing.

And that leads me to the most hypocritical of ride signs ever. In tiny font, you can see the obligatory “keep arms and legs inside the car at all times”. However, another sign 10 times larger tells riders to “Stick it to the Devil” in reference to the infamous gum wall.

We chose to keep our hands to ourselves to avoid contact with germs. And this was successful until we literally came face to face with the ride’s scariest effect. I do have to commend the park on the other effects though. They were well timed and well lit so they could be appreciated in all their tacky glory.

If you count this as a coaster, it’s unremarkable. But as far as dark rides go, it’s about average. And it’s in surprisingly good shape considering some of the other buildings at this park. 6 out of 10

Devil's Den Sign.JPG
I can't believe they're proud of the gum wall.

Devil's Den Drop.JPG
They even made a slogan around the dang gum wall.

Beyond that, the park has a collection of older flat rides. The most notable is a rare Tumble Bug. You also have a classic carousel, flyers that regrettably could not be snapped, bumper cars, and a few spinning rides.

Carousel Pavilion.JPG
The 1910 carousel is a beauty.

Witch's Stew.JPG

I guess shirts are optional at Conneaut.

It seems a majority of the park’s funds have been dedicated to restoring the rides because not a single one was down. Alternatively, there was one midway between the beach and main midway that simply looked bad. I hope this is the next area that receives attention because it really needs it.


Closed Shop.JPG
This midway could use some TLC.

Arguably the oddest thing we saw all day was a patron who patrolled the midway in slippers collecting chunks of asphalt into a Dollar General bag. At first we thought it must have been an employee trying to beautify the park, but it was just some random dude unaffiliated with the park. Oh Conneaut. :lol:

Asphault Pick-Up.JPG
WTF is he doing?

The one gift shop that was open had some unique merchandise though. Beyond the usual assortment of shirts, cups, and magnets, I found some old time portraits and a hand-carved, hand-painted figure of the Blue Streak. The latter currently resides in my living room.

Blue Streak Model.JPG
This is now one of my favorite pieces of coaster merchandise.

Since we visited on a 90 degree day, the water park and beach were considerably busier than the rides. Almost all the locals were burnt to a crisp playing beach volleyball, but they looked to be having a blast.

Ferris Wheel Overview.JPG
The Ferris Wheel was the lone ride by the lake and I love the placement.

Those sunburns...

For maximum convenience to the Conneaut Lake Park resort, you have Hotel Conneaut adjacent to the park. The place had a distinct horror movie vibe to it, but apparently it has a 7.6 star rating on Someone braver than me can try staying there, but we went with the tried and true Days Inn.

Hotel Conneaut.JPG
All I can think of when I see this is the Canobie Lake Hotel haunt.

Conneaut Lake Park feels frozen in time. It has a great history and the turnaround according to locals has been immense. I wish them the best since Conneaut has an excellent setting (the lake/woods combo is really relaxing) and a great collection of retro rides.

Last but not least, from my girlfriend, avoid the bathrooms. Apparently they were comparable to a porta-potty. Neither had running water, the stench was pungent, and the floor was damp. I decided to hold my bladder until we reached Waldameer from her review.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:29 am
by coasterbill
:lol: Enthusiasts love to look at Conneaut through rose colored glasses so it’s nice to see an honest report of the place. I’m glad they’re on the upswing but it’ll be a long time before we ever bother to go back there.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:43 am
by Canobie Coaster
We could have very easily spent the whole day pointing out everything wrong with the place, but the classic ride collection is a redeeming quality of the place. That being said, I feel like people should know just what they're walking into.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:01 am
by cfc
I spent a few hours there once, and enjoyed Blue Streak, Devil's Den, and the Carousel. They were painting the fence around the flyers, but they let us ride, anyway.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:04 am
by Canobie Coaster
If I went back, Blue Streak would be the unquestioned reason. The airtime in the back row is spectacular.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:06 am
by coasterbill
I rode it once. We didn't derail and die. I felt like I successfully tempted fate and I would be dumb to do it again. :lol:

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:30 am
by Canobie Coaster
I tempt fate every time I drive into Boston. The Blue Streak is child's play by comparison. It's not like the coaster chucks pieces of its structure into the queue like that abomination at Clementon.