Photo Trip Report: Cedar Point 8/14

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Photo Trip Report: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby CenturyFlyer » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:17 pm

Over my time as an amusement park fan, Cedar Point has been one of the parks highest on my bucket list. Despite living only three hours away, it took me a long time to finally visit, but now that I've finally been, I can really see where all the hype was coming from - it's my new favorite park! Even with Top Thrill Dragster being closed, I was still able to have a fun time because come on, the rest of the park has tons of spectacular rides (So many small parks would die for just one of these things. Enjoy the pictures, and please know that I'm not a big fan of analyzing every moment of a roller coaster ride, as I just like to enjoy the experience, so I'm sorry if I don't provide too much detail in that regard. Also, pictures were taken with a combination of my phone and camera, so sorry for the variability in quality.
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SO iconic - is this for real? Is there any better opening statement to a theme park anywhere?! At the bag check, security was just letting people stream through the metal detector, which I found interesting. I had considered walking down the lakefront to the entrance close to Magnum, but since it was so close to 10, I figured we could just enter here.
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I think Conneaut Lake Park needs an entrance like this.
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It was really awesome seeing so many iconic rides - both on the skyline as we drove up and in the park itself -that I'd heard about for ages.
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I was wondering how much of an opening "running of the bulls" there was going to be. When the rope was wound up, it wasn’t a full-out stampede like I thought it might be, but there were some runners obviously in a booking-it kind of mood... and I did run myself.
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It doesn't feel like a mile when you're running through an amusement park!
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It was especially cool to go past Gemini and equally as awesome to get a first glimpse of Steel Vengeance, but I quickly noticed that no trains were cycling through the course. On the path leading up to the ride, there was a noticeable amount of people walking the other direction, which wasn’t a good omen; however, it did lessen my disappointment when I saw the sign saying that Steel Vengeance was closed for Early Entry that day. (Now, I realize that Early Entry was already over at that time!)
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Of course, though, we were still at the nation’s “Roller Coaster Capital,” so I got in the queue for Maverick, a much-hyped ride. This was also my first impression on the true friendliness and efficiency of the Cedar Point employees. I know that most probably know about this, but on every major roller coaster (even the mine ride), I was really surprised to see a worker circling the platform with a headset, saying the safety spiel and just generally moving things along. It not only moved trains through quicker but also provided some positive atmosphere. Rows were also assigned on most of the big coasters. (Kennywood, can we do that with Steel Curtain?)
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30 years!

Steel Vengeance was still clearly idle at this point, so I walked over to Mangum. Magnum was one of the most storied coasters at Cedar Point for me, and my ride on it did not disappoint. The middle rows of the train were closed, so I got in row 5.3, purposely picking a .3 seat.
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Thoughts on the ride itself? The launch up the first hill created a quick and strong start, and the drop right afterward was surprisingly steep. The following low-to-the-ground turns lasted for a surprisingly long amount of time, and I even grayed-out for a bit during this part! It took me off-guard when the train didn’t stop during the mid-course launch, and the railroad-crossing effects here were a nice touch. Once we hit the brakes outside of the station, I felt the whole track sway underneath me; initially, I thought people in our train were swaying the car, but I quickly realized that it was actually the train right below us entering the tunnel for the mid-course launch!

The inversions and ride in general were taken at a fast and furious pace, which was what I was expecting, but it was still a whole lot of fun.
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The first hills were tons of fun, and I was floored by the air provided on the third one. I did realize, though, that Magnum isn’t a “hands-up” kind of ride. Trims engaged going into the turnaround, but these would prove to be almost necessary, as the bunny-hop finale is seriously one of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced on a roller coaster. Yes, there’s plenty-o-airtime, but this was a type of airtime that I had never experienced before. Magnum forcibly picked me up and threw me down here, but for me at least, it was a kind of “rough so it’s good” sort of feeling – it reminded me of a wooden coaster, but that probably makes no sense to you! The lights in the final tunnel and music on the brake run were also very cool. Overall, I really enjoyed Magnum and based on this one ride, it has earned my #3 coaster spot at Cedar Point. I wish I could’ve taken a second lap!

Back in Frontier Town, Steel Vengeance was still closed, but there was a worker out front saying that the ride was undergoing “mechanical issues.” Helpful. There were already people waiting outside the entrance, and the worker said that they probably had about a 20-minute wait. (What kind of ride has a 20-minute line even when it’s closed?!)
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After taking another lap on Maverick, (which had the famous “Mr. Six music" was playing on the “FunTv”s in the line) I looked into the Town Hall Museum.
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This SV model is so big! It would be really cool if the trains were able to run around the track. Does anyone know if this ever happened?
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And... right next to the Steel Vengeance model is this one of Mean Streak, tiny in comparison.
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I really loved this original Arrow concept model for White Water Landing.
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I found this to be a nice, if a little outdated (Ha - that will be remedied in 2020!) collection of displays that focused heavily on old souvenirs and photographs of the park. All amusement parks should have a museum!
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Cedar Creek Mine Ride, my first-ever mine train coaster, was a relaxing bit of fun that had some nice moments – a person in front of us was reaching up and trying to touch the wood the times the track closely went underneath itself, and the dive toward the water and the helix at the end were highlights.
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Wandering back through the area, I noticed that the chain on the hill of Steel Vengeance was going, and low and behold… a train was climbing the hill, with people in it! This was majorly exciting to me, so I made a break for the line.
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Steel Vengeance was the coaster that I had been most excited for at Cedar Point. After an hour in line (with FastLane) I was finally climbing the lift of this thing!

First off, the first drop was incredible! The 90 degrees portion here felt a lot longer than what it probably actually was. As for the rest of the coaster, the airtime was by far the most extreme I had ever experienced on any ride, anywhere! Although the air felt a little too aggressive on this first lap (if that can be possible), I still really enjoyed it. My favorite element was probably the smaller of the two outward banked turns that occurred about halfway through the course. And of course, that course ;) is a long one! Just when you think it might be slowing down a bit - into, say, maybe just some “simple” ejector airtime hills, there’s another inversion or 90 degree turn! Leaving the station, I felt extremely exhilarated, as Steel Vengeance had become my favorite coaster of the day thus far.
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I got a cheese-on-a-stick in Frontier Town and then walked down Frontier Trail, a nicely wooded area for a park as big and pavement-filled as Cedar Point.
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I thought the narration about the grinding process here in the gristmill was a nice touch.
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Okay, time for yet another of my biggest bucket-list rides of all time!
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Look ma, it's a giga coaster!

While in line, it was a real kick watching the trains fly by at what looked like such an incredible speed.
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I took my inaugural ride with a lady who seemed interested that I’d never ridden Millennium Force before, but she said that it was her favorite coaster at Cedar Point. And, after my first trip, I can say that I absolutely agree with that statement! Glancing initially at the layout, Millennium Force doesn’t look to be the longest or craziest, but there’s just something about this ride that feels right. It’s graceful and intense at the same time, and the first drop is one of the best that I’ve ever experienced. The tunnels are awesome, too, and I can imagine that they would be even better at night. There’s some wonderful floater airtime, and as said previously, the speed just feels like it never lets up. Millennium Force is now my favorite steel roller coaster.
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Since it was right across the midway, I rode Rougarou. The first drop trim brake either wasn’t working or just not noticeable to me, and the rest of the ride was really fun, with the intense, low-to-the-ground portion being my favorite part. I would’ve loved to have experienced this ride (or any, for that matter…) as a stand-up coaster. Rougarou was enjoyable, but it’s funny how such a huge ride is pretty much overshadowed by a park with so many other coasters.

Also, like most of the other roller coasters, Cedar Point had three trains on the track here. I love a park with good efficiency, and this was the first park I had ever seen operating three trains on any coaster, anywhere!
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Time for an Arrow Corkscrew.
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I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but it was actually okay. The ejector airtime on the second hill was certainly the highlight – by far the best I’ve experienced on any Arrow! The transition into the double corkscrew was the only truly unpleasant moment on this ride. Corkscrew is a good ride, and Cedar Point should keep it around, if just for the historical and aesthetic value of it.
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Nice station banners; Gemini has them, too.
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Even with it's short length, the Sky Ride makes this part of the midway.
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Cedar Downs was my first-ever Derby Racer, and I’d say that this was the non-coaster ride of which I was most excited to try. The racing feature, in which the horses dart back and forth, is the reason this ride is so great. It’s great fun to have a competition to see who will end up in the front position, and the horse race announcing soundtrack they play helps heat things up! This has to be one of the most fun flat rides anywhere, and I found the whole machine to feel faster on-ride than what it appears to be from the midway.
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The horses here are so much larger than the typical carousel horse, but that's probably just exaggerated by the extended legs.

What a fun one, and with no line to boot!
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This building is about as historical as you're going to get at Cedar Point, which is kind of a shame, but I guess all parks find their niche. I had a chance to poke my head into the old ballroom on the second floor, and it was eerily quiet!
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Being one of three Calypsos left in North America today (I think...), Tiki Twirl was on my list to do. Holy mackerel, was this thing intense! It moves at a much faster clip than a Scrambler, making it a definite jewel in the park's flat ride collection.
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Lakefront Ferris Wheel
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I got in line for Wicked Twister, my first Intamin Impulse coaster. I have to say that Wicked Twister is probably my least favorite of the big coasters at Cedar Point. The sensation of twisting straight up into the sky is fun, but the moments where you start to incline upwards into these twists really painfully drove the lap bar into my crotch. Maybe my restraint was just too tight, but based on this experience, I wouldn’t care if this ride was removed from the park at some time in the future.
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I took a lot of pictures while in line, as the two spikes provide lots of opportunities to do so.
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I walked next door to ride my first ever (What else is new?) wing coaster, GateKeeper.
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I thought that it was funny how all the coasters with no floor had signs warning you not to extend your feet. Wait, but that’s the fun of these rides! Gatekeeper’s first two inversions felt very quick to me, but the near-miss “keyholes” were by far the highlight. Now, THIS is the type of moment that makes you think twice about those “feet extension” warnings! Gatekeeper was a pleasant ride that I could definitely ride over and over.
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Cedar Point has two old carousels, and this Dentzel one is by far the nicer of the two.
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Right across the midway was yet another super-renowned coaster, Raptor. (Again, the amount of spectacular rides here is incredible!)
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Vertical Loop
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Props to the crew here for being the most enthusiastic in the entire park. Raptor was my second inverted coaster to date, and the intense series of elements right after the lift - vertical loop, roll, and cobra roll all in quick succession - got this one off to a solid start. The second half after the mid-course had nice pacing, and the snap into the final brakes took me off guard. It doesn’t quite match the intensity of Alpengeist for me, but Raptor is a great ride that I can imagine was revolutionary when it opened.
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Valravn, the park's dive coaster, was next up for me. I was the first person assigned to the back row of the train, placing me on the end of the row. Of course, this didn’t quite allow me to fully appreciate the hang over the vertical drop, but I still had a great view nonetheless. As I understand, Valravn is the United States’ biggest dive coaster, and that, combined with a funky third inversion that provided quite the sensation, rank Valravn over Busch Gardens' Griffon in my book.
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Blue Streak is the lone woodie in a park filled with steel rides (Would it really hurt them to add a GCI?). I got two successive rides in, and I found this is not to be the type of coaster where the back seat provides a better ride. Yes, there was definitely airtime in the back, but it was of the unpleasant type that picks you up and slams you back down, over and over again. The turnaround had some of the most painful shuffling I’ve experienced on any roller coaster, and the return trip was just as bad as the first hills.
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I wanted to like Blue Streak, so I went again in the middle row of the last car, which certainly provided a much smoother ride. The jackhammering on the turnaround was definitely still there, but it was to a much lesser degree this time. The rest of the ride was pleasant, allowing me to actually enjoy the airtime. So all in all, Cedar Point’s lone all-wooden coaster can’t hold a candle to Conneaut’s ride of the same name and variety, but it’s a solid ride in itself.
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It's great that the Sky Ride didn't have a wait.
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Good views to be had up here.
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This is a candid shot of Charlie Brown invading Cedar Point.
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Corkscrew is very photo-worthy.
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One of the other “classic” (aka 50 years old) Cedar Point rides was next for us, the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad. It's cool beyond belief that there are real steam trains here.
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Oh, I'll be back someday. (With the 16 open coasters, my coaster count reached 99 this day. Wouldn't TTD have been a good hundredth?)
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Steel Vengeance - you really notice how the structure sways when you watch it!
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On the train, the run from the front station to Maverick was okay, but the second leg of the journey was perhaps the greatest surprise of my entire day at Cedar Point. I had known about the skeleton-populated “Boneville” that the train travels through, but I wasn’t expecting the sheer amount of animation that was in each scene. Sure, it was all simple and sometimes crude, but these nicely maintained scenes are really the closest thing that you’ll get to a darkride at this park. (which is too bad...)
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I was expecting just a small grouping of buildings – not the seemingly endless sequence of humorous displays that this train ride offers.
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These scenes, along with the radical steam-operated train locomotives, make the Cedar Point Railroad my favorite amusement park train anywhere.
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Twisted mess of Rougarou
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Power Tower was something that I was interested in trying.
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I did the Space Shot side, and the sudden drive to the top certainly was exhilarating, but that was really all there was to the ride. The loss of anticipation that you get on a traditional drop tower was noticeable, but I did enjoy my first S&S Space Shot.
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The Corkscrew station looks great.
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I didn't ride, but I still took pictures.
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Woodstock Express
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Camp Snoopy is the best of the three kiddie areas in the park.
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I had ridden Gemini earlier in the day and had experienced a very rough ride, so I took another spin on the other side hoping to get a different result.
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I'll bet that this structure looked massive when built - now it looks almost out of proportion with so many big rides surrounding it!
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Here's those old-school station banners.
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Unlike my first ride, I rode in a non-wheel seat, and this choice made a positive difference in the smoothness of the ride. Apparently, there was supposed to be a crazy head-chopper moment on this one, but maybe I’m just used to them from Phantom’s Revenge, as I don’t recall it specifically. The upward helix at the end had some nice force. Sure, the ride still isn’t anything to especially call home about, but I found Gemini to be a fun racing coaster that even jumps a spot above the Kennywood Racer in my book.
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This was a ride that I hadn’t heard anything especially good about, and I can see why that was the case. The line looked long throughout the day, but at this point in the evening it was a bit shorter, so I decided to wait it out. It actually moved surprisingly fast. Up the lift hill, the first drop on Iron Dragon was probably the second-best part of the ride. Sort of like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the swinging sensation wasn’t really noticeable to me, with the only section during which I could obviously tell it was happening being the lagoon section, which was probably the highlight of the course.
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Iron Dragon would be my last new roller coaster of the day.
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The best part of the ride for me, however, was the high angles at which the cars swung at when they hit the brakes. Besides that, though, Iron Dragon (Draggin’ Iron?) is far from my favorite coaster at Cedar Point.
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Skipping ahead a bit... at about 9:00, I ran to the back of the park to get a night ride in on Steel Vengeance. This night ride was very, very good! Much better than my daytime ride, and it had less aggressive airtime, allowing SV to climb up a few spots in my count.
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I wasn't expecting it, but I actually got to take two successive spins on this thing! On the second ride, I rode with a coaster fan from Florida who had been spending multiple days at the park, with that day being his last. It was also his first time at Cedar Point.

Steel Vengeance at night is loads better, making it a must-do on a trip to the park, not to mention a perfect ending to my day.
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Midway Carousel - this pic and the next got mixed up.
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Millennium Force sunset - I tried to take a second ride at around this point in the evening, but I was only in the queue for about 10 minutes before empty trains started to be dispatched because of some issue. It didn't reopen for the rest of the night.
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This evening ride on the Giant Wheel occured before my Steel Vengeance night rides, but I thought that it would be a better conclusion to the report.
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Troika from above
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The full moon gave some nice photo opportunities.

And with that, my first ever trip to Cedar Point was in the books. It was a truly amazing and eye-opening experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I still can’t possibly begin to fathom the number of legendary rides that I rode over just one day. The other components of the place – operations and guest service high among them - were top-notch, as well. If I was to return in ideal circumstances, I would have multiple days to spend here, but I was certainly able to do most of what I wanted to accomplish in just 12 hours. So, after such an incredible time at the Point, I can safely say that it’s now my favorite amusement park ever.

I get that this report probably wasn't the most interesting to people that have been here lots of times, but I still hope that you were able to get something out of a first-timer's perspective. Thanks for reading!

Andrew M.
(CenturyFlyer)
Last edited by CenturyFlyer on Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:38 pm.
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Re: Photo TR: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:28 pm

Great photos! Millennium still manages to be special in a park crowded with excellent coasters. What changed my view on it was a front seat ride. Wow. Day or night it's epic!
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Re: Photo TR: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby bert425 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:08 pm

Those are some great pics, looks like a lovely day you were there.

and bwaaa-haaa-haaa. . another convert to the cult of Cedar Downs!


(when you next go back, ask at the counter in the Museum, they will give you a neat little souvenir button - even tho it will be your 2nd time)

and ya GOTTA go by the petting zoo to get a pic with Samson
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Re: Photo TR: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby thrillseeker4552 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:52 am

Great report! I love Cedar Point. My last visit was in August 2017 and we had some bad luck with weather and ride closures so I'm really itching to get back soon, especially to get on Steel Vengeance! And with Orion coming to Kings Island, going back to Ohio is looking even more attractive than ever.
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Re: Photo TR: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby CenturyFlyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:37 pm

bert425 wrote:Those are some great pics, looks like a lovely day you were there.

and bwaaa-haaa-haaa. . another convert to the cult of Cedar Downs!


(when you next go back, ask at the counter in the Museum, they will give you a neat little souvenir button - even tho it will be your 2nd time)

and ya GOTTA go by the petting zoo to get a pic with Samson


Darn, I should've asked on here to figure out all these things BEFORE I went! I like that they do "first-timer" buttons. I thought the Disney parks were the only ones that did that! And yeah, Cedar Downs blew me away!

Thanks all for the comments!
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Re: Photo Trip Report: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby bill_s » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:30 pm

Let me clarify, this was fastlane-less in mid August (though mid week)?

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Re: Photo Trip Report: Cedar Point 8/14

Postby CenturyFlyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:08 pm

bill_s wrote:Let me clarify, this was fastlane-less in mid August (though mid week)?

Nope, I had Fastlane Plus.
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