So, I finally got myself married a few weeks ago and we took our honeymoon in NorCal the following week. After camping at Portola for a few days, my wife (who likes coasters, but isn't a die-hard enthusiast like I am) let me bring her to CGA before heading home.
This was a first visit here for both of us, but an easy one to make since we both have Platinum Passes and go to Knott's several times a year. Crowds were fairly light that day, since most parkgoers were at the water park. Our first impression was that CGA is a small park that has its own charm. Walking into the park, you're greeted with a fountain, decorative flower bed, a two-story carousel, and a monstrous wooden coaster.
The monstrous wooden coaster - Gold Striker - was our first ride of the day. I had heard great things about it, with some even preferring it to Ghostrider (my favorite woodie). I asked the grouper for back row, but he instead filled both the front and back rows with Fast Lane riders and placed us in the 3rd row. While Gold Striker had decent speed and a fun layout, it had a rattle that detracted from the ride experience. I still really enjoyed it; my wife hated it. We both agreed that Ghostrider is still #1. I wanted to ride again in hopes of sitting in the back, but my wife commented something about needing to have my head examined for wanting to ride again. So we decided to come back later if we had time (spoiler alert: we didn't). 7/10
Next up was the carousel. Sitting high up on a carousel was definitely a neat experience. Per the "weight limit" sign at the entrance, my fat @$$ was too heavy for the horses, so we rode a chariot instead.
Next up was Flight Deck - which was temporarily renamed Hurler, as a kid lost his lunch after exiting the train ahead of us. I love old-school B&Ms, and this one did not disappoint. The first drop delivered a surprising amount of airtime, and the inversions had that classic B&M intensity. It reminded me of the Batman clones - short and sweet. But I still slightly prefer the Batman clones, simply because they do more with their short layout. Flight Deck had several sections between inversions where nothing really happened. 7/10
I was pleasantly surprised to see this park had a sky ride. The one at Cedar Point gave great views of the park, but only went about halfway across the park. Since CGA is way smaller, it spanned the whole park and made for some great photo ops.
Next, we hit Psycho Mouse. It had one of the longest lines in the park, and I couldn't help but think I could be standing in line for Railblazer right now instead of credit whoring the wild mouse. Still, we stuck it out and rode it. We ended up sitting with two little kids who were comforting each other the whole time - while my wife watched them and kept saying, "Aaawwww." As for the ride itself, there's not much to say about it... it's a wild mouse. They're always fun, and the restraints are definitely more comfortable than Coast Rider. 5/10
Next stop was the world's worst wooden coaster - Grizzly. This one had a 20-minute wait and I began to again think about skipping this and going to Railblazer, but curiosity got the best of me. I had to find out how bad this coaster was. And hoenstly, it wasn't that bad. It was completely devoid of any airtime or lateral forces, but it was butter smooth - probably because it was devoid of any forces.
My wife enjoyed it. My only complaint was the Morgan trains - in which the tight lap bar and lack of leg room left me sitting in an awkward position and gave me a backache. 5/10
Finally, we headed over toward Railblazer before I noticed the familiar clickety-clack of an Arrow looper emanating from the trees near the midway. I'm a sucker for Arrow loopers, but just thinking about an Arrow looper gave my wife (who is a foot shorter than me) a headache, so she sat this one out.
Demon definitely felt like an Arrow - two intense vertical loops, followed by two corkscrews - but this is the first one I've ridden that takes the corkscrews faster than a crawl. It was a nice change. That being said, it was definitely the roughest Arrow looper I've ridden. While most of them shuffle from side to side, Demon also lurches forward and backward through the loops. While I usually avoid headbanging, Demon smacked the back of my head into the headrest a couple of times. That being said, I must be a glutton for punishment because I enjoyed it. 6/10
Finally, I had made it to Railblazer. Ho-ly cow, this thing is bonkers! It's non-stop intensity from the first drop to the final brakes. It packs quite a punch for a ride with such a small footprint. My only complaint is I wish it was longer. Hopefully we'll see one of these at one of the SoCal parks in a few years! 9/10
After grabbing some dinner, I then grabbed the last credit of the night - Patriot. I went in with low expectations, due to reviews by other enthusiasts, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was surprisingly smooth, and the inversions had the old-school B&M intensity, but the layout was "meh". But that's not too surprising, given it was, what... the 2nd coaster that B&M ever built...? I did really enjoy the theming, though. The rock work was well done, and the patriotic marches playing in the queue line were fun. 6/10
That's a wrap for this park. While it had a decent ride collection, it could definitely benefit from the rumored 2021 hyper coaster. The ride ops (save for Railblazer) were some of the slowest I'd ever seen, as well. I mean, really... they made Knott's and SFMM ops seem like Cedar Point.
CGA is probably my least favorite Cedar Fair park thus far, but it is by no means a bad park. The other parks were just that much better. Thanks for reading!