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!
This is quite the view to drive up to!
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.
The keyhole elements are really neat to see and even more fun to ride through.
Here it is!
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.
Steel Vengeance was my first RMC, so I pretty much knew I would like it a lot.
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.
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.
The last time I rode a wooden coaster with an inversion, it was Son of Beast... So this was definitely a major step up.
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.
The queue brings you into the bowl of the coaster and lets you get pretty close to some fantastic fly-by moments.
So much airtime!
Through the supports!
Here are the coaster's other two trains waiting to be given the all clear to return to concurrent service.
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.
I can't get enough.
So picturesque too!
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!
It was surprising to see Cedar Point using custom characters tied into the story of Steel Vengeance roaming the park.
This restaurant was also neat because the walls were filled with signs from old attractions, storefronts and venues.
Steel Vengeance can be seen from many angles inside of the park.
Let's not forget about Maverick...
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.
Brothers in steel...
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!
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.
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.)
So. Ridiculously. Smooth.
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!
Here's a handful of Rougarou photos...
Because there's not much else to say or share about it...
Because it was the only coaster in the park we genuinely disliked.
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.
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.
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).
When in Ohio, eat at Pink's? I'm not sure but it was tasty!
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!"
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.
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!
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.
Another look back at Valravn...
The extended immelman is nice!
King of the Castle.
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.
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!
Millennium Force looks fantastic at night!
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!
That wraps up day one in the park... Day 2 features more coasters and lots of the smaller attractions!
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!
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).
bert425 wrote: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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