Day 12 -- Cedar Point (Day Three) Saturday, August 10, 2013
Lesson of the Day: Be a good ambassador for TPR and for the enthusiast community as a whole. Our tour shirts and TPR name badges were easy conversation starters with other people at the parks, especially when waiting in line for rides. There were plenty of opportunities to share stories about the fun of our hobby, the distances some people traveled to participate, and the place on the internet we call home. I know there are a lot of people who like to separate a dichotomy between enthusiasts and the general public. While I'm not a huge fan of that distinction, we -- as the big-time park tourists -- absolutely had the chance to make a good impression on the everyday visitors. Hopefully we were all successful.
Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad (Full) Power Tower Space Shot (x2) Blue Streak Raptor Gemini (Red) Millennium Force (Front) (Exit Pass) Blue Streak Raptor Top Thrill Dragster
Day 12 -- Cedar Point (most of Day Three)
It was difficult to wake up on the last park day of the trip! I knew that Friday -- with 17 unique coasters and 13 rides on Millennium Force -- would be impossible to top. With no specific goals for Saturday, I opted to take it easy, especially after a pretty late night. I didn't even get out of Hotel Breakers until 1145 AM.
Saturday was sort of a difficult day in a few respects. Half of the TPR group had already departed for Cleveland, ready to catch flights to their home destinations. The 40-ish TPR members still remaining were tougher to locate among the huge Saturday crowds. Attendance was indeed the largest I'd ever seen at Cedar Point, though it had been a very long time since I went on a Saturday in the middle of the summer. Because of the crowds, Fast Lane was not as effective -- turning completely impossible lines on the major coasters into waits that were still pretty bad. I did start to wonder if perhaps they had sold a few too many. Finally, it was far and away the coolest day of the entire trip, with temperatures only peaking out in the mid 70s. I had considered taking Saturday as an opportunity to finally visit Soak City, but despite the light crowds in the water park due to the cool conditions, I opted to stay dry.
I first met up with Bas and Werner for some photography at the front gate and marina. After that, I headed to the south end of the beach for some different angles of GateKeeper and Wicked Twister. As rain started to look like a possibility, I decided to catch a ride on the train, which I knew would be one of few attractions still in operation. As I made a complete lap from the front station, the rain did come down, with the large crowds unable to cycle through the park's roller coasters.
My train ride finished at 315 PM, as the weather had begun to improve. I went for a walk along the frontier trail, exploring all of the shops and buildings, and taking some pictures along the way. I ran into one of the short Frontier Folks shows near the southeast end of the trail, with three performers acting a short skit. I was also impressed that the three actors stayed in character before and after the show, as they continued to interact with park guests.
I was on the frontier trail when Tony Clark announced he'd soon be holding a Tweetup for a few prizes, which I certainly hoped to get in on. I was perusing the Town Hall Museum at 425 PM when Tony hinted that the meeting would be held near the front of the park. I quickly headed out and started walking in that direction, learning shortly thereafter that he was at Hurricane Hannah's next to the front gate -- a full mile from the museum in Frontiertown! I arrived at 443 PM and was just in time for the Tweetup. I was also the only person to show the winning tweet as a text message on an ancient flip-phone! For my knee-busting walk across the entire length of Cedar Point, I was rewarded with a few items.
The standard prize for all Tweetups in 2013 was this commemorative coin. It measures two inches in diameter.
Here's the back of the coin, which celebrates the introduction of GateKeeper in 2013.
The coins are very special, with only 500 created, and each one individually numbered. My coin is #216. The coins were, as far as I know, not available for sale anywhere in the park.
Tony also passed out skip-the-line passes for several coasters. When Millennium Force -- my favorite coaster -- was offered up, how could I say no?
Thank you, Tony!
Needing a short break, I went back to the hotel just after 5 PM. I headed back to the park and went on Power Tower (Space Shot) twice, Blue Streak, and Raptor -- all with minimal waits, thanks to Fast Lane. I decided to try Pink's for dinner, but wasn't particularly impressed. I've never been a fan of places that throw the kitchen sink on a simple item (like a hot dog), emphasizing style and excess over actually being able to eat the thing. The sunset made for some outstanding colors in the sky, so I headed to the beach at about 8 PM to take advantage of an outstanding photo opportunity.
I'll stop here to get caught up on pictures. My next post -- which will be the last one -- will include the rest of the Saturday report, in addition to a few items from Sunday and a brief review of the two weeks as a whole.
Joe Cool Cafe -- remember when this was Macaroni's?
Cedar Point is an old place with a lot of history. Helen Keller even has a connection.
This is one of the park's most historic structures -- the Cedar Point Coliseum. It was built in 1906. The first floor houses an arcade.
The second floor of the Coliseum is a large ballroom, which was almost completely empty at the time I walked through.
The Coliseum is on the National Register of Historic Places.
A recent Cedar Point logo painted on the wood floor.
The art deco styling of the Coliseum ballroom is pretty awesome.
The south second-floor exit offers a nice view of the Kiddieland Carousel.
Cedar Point has three carousels, all of which with rich history.
This one was built in the mid-1920s. It first operated at Hunting Park in Pennsylvania, and was acquired by Cedar Point for the 1968 season.
The Cedar Downs Racing Derby is perhaps the park's best-known carousel, and it really moves quick.
This one began its operational life at a park near Cleveland, before moving to Cedar Point in 1967.
M. Balming and Assoc. -- HalloWeekends advertising on the main midway.
Let's check out some wait times -- two hours for Raptor? Welcome to Saturday in early August.
I met up with Bas and Werner for some shots of the vastly-revamped front gate area. This view to the northeast has changed completely since my last visit!
The new Guest Services building straddles both sides of the front gate. Just behind it to the left is the ancient storage/restroom building that hasn't changed since I first started coming to the park in the 1990s.
This, of course, is the most striking of the many differences at the front gate.
Keyholing over the entrance is a brilliant design move. My complaints about the ride aside, they hit a home run with the aesthetics.
People head into the already-crowded park.
This building (just left of the entry plaza when facing the front gate) is also completely new, replacing the old restrooms and season pass area.
Flipping through the tower.
This is the key shot with all of the new elements -- the orange-tile buildings, the LED board, the new blue sign, and a brand-new B&M barreling through the towers. It's hard to even envision what this place used to look like.
As I saw someone else point out, the wall styling on these buildings and the Banshee station is virtually identical -- only the colors are different.
Welcome to Cedar Point.
No birds on the new blue sign!
Here's a view of the revamped ticket-scanning area. Yes, the "pit crew" was hard at work on Dragster, as we had just seen the night before. They got it running well before the end of the day!
Happy park guests on GateKeeper.
Werner's got the camera ready.
One more keyhole shot.
A look back at the new entry plaza from the front gate.
Zoomed in on the LED board.
Cedar Point: "The Queen of American Watering Places."
Kiddy Kingdom is easily one of the most dated sections of the park.
I have to admit -- I miss the spherical fountain that used to be here! I know it moved to another park, but I can't remember where.
Raptor through the trees.
Time to head out on the marina pier for some more photography.
First, let's check the weather forecast.
Millennium Force rises over the boats.
Four coasters in one shot, two of which in operation -- not that it's tough to do that at Cedar Point.
WindSeeker high above Famous Dave's.
A couple boats head out of the sheltered marina.
The sign says "Have a Safe Day Boating." How safe can you be on one of those tiny motorized rafts?
Heading out to the other side of the park to catch a launch on Wicked Twister.
Time for a walk on the beach...
...or a launch up a 200-plus-foot twisted spike.
It makes sense, since it was early in the day on Saturday, that these were the longest lines for GateKeeper that I saw during our three-day stay at Cedar Point.
Coming out of the Immelmann.
It almost looks like a big pretzel.
The inverted drop looks so strange, but it's not as intense or interesting an element as I was hoping.
Heading further south on the beach to switch up the angles a bit.
Coasters reflecting in the water.
Not exactly a perfect beach day, but still some interesting views.
Good timing on this one -- Wicked Twister, GateKeeper, WindSeeker, and Magnum are all in operation.
Here's the view further south on the beach. Yes, there was a bit of wind, so the waves were coming in.
Back in the park and preparing for a ride on the train (Myron H., to be specific).
Here's why -- the rain was just starting, and most of the rest of the park was shutting down.
A huge line for Millennium Force turned into a huge stopped line, thanks to the rain.
The rain forced the temporary closure of Millennium Force, and yes, they stopped a train 20 feet outside of the station. I don't know why they opted to hold them on the lift hill, but they all got a good soaking.
A view of the awesome first drop from the train.
Looking out over Sandusky Bay.
Downtown Sandusky from the train.
A straight-on angle of Maverick's first drop and launch tunnel exit.
Maverick was also on a brief hiatus.
Mean Streak had temporarily closed as well, and this may be the most ridiculous picture I took on the entire trip. Those people are all standing around outside of Mean Streak, waiting for it to re-open at some undetermined time in the future, so they can wait in line for another 45 minutes, and then ride Mean Streak. I can't believe I just typed that.
You Are Dead. Ha ha ha.
Nice view of TTD from near Camp Snoopy on the train tracks.
Millennium Force and Shoot the Rapids from a similar vantage point.
Our Thursday evening photo tour took us past these props near Mantis, but from the train ride, I got a chance to see them in action.
Off the train now -- how long is the wait for Millennium Force? Two hours.
Here's the park's oldest engine, Albert. It's on display near Millennium Force.
There are still plenty of craftsmen and craftswomen on the frontier trail. In addition to the blacksmith, there are people working with leather, wood, candles, and plenty more.
Irons in the fire.
Fort Sandusky on the frontier trail.
The Frontier Folks put on a show...
...in which a bumbling moron gets shot.
Myron H. heads past the frontier trail.
Millennium Force was about to resume operations -- here's the yellow train shooting blanks.
A view over the petting farm area, which I believe has been significantly improved for 2014.
Cedar Point is one of just a few amusement parks in the country certified as Storm Ready by the National Weather Service. I am always happy to see large venues with well-marked storm shelters.
A water wheel at the far end of the frontier trail.
Bottles in the wall.
Snake River Falls -- a classic splash boat with no shortage of water.
Unfortunately, they wouldn't let any non-riders on the bridge or deck areas, so my photo opportunities were limited.
So much water that the boat can't even be seen.
That's a pretty big wave.
Next up -- a tour of the Town Hall Museum in Frontiertown. Or, the Post Office of Miller City, Ohio -- established July 18, 1883. Miller City is a small village about 50 miles southwest of Toledo.
Tons of old artifacts set up in the General Store area of the Town Hall Museum.
Cedar Point has won a few Golden Tickets.
Here's the winning K'Nex roller coaster from Cedar Point's Math and Science Week. It's called "Sinuous," and it was designed by Riverview Community High School (Grade 9) in Riverview, Michigan (near Detroit).
The museum has scale models of several rides, including Blue Streak.
They also have a model of the "New for 1982" White Water Landing, built by Arrow/Huss. I miss the ride, but I'm certainly not upset at what replaced its physical location. I'm more upset at what they built to replace its slot in the park's lineup.
The Automatic Wonder -- Steinle's Sandusky Clock. 12 feet high, 9 feet wide, 2000 pounds. Over 40 animated figures, and built in 1897.
American LaFrance's Steam Fire Engine #496.
The Armored Horse from the Denzel Kiddieland Carousel. This is part of a small display set up through the Merry-Go-Round Museum in downtown Sandusky.
I love maps, and there were several old maps in the Town Hall Museum. My favorite was a topographic map from 1900, but it was tough to photograph. I also found this one -- a detailed Ohio Inspection Bureau plot of the park from 1935. This is the southeast section of the park, and it looks like the Coliseum is the only remaining structure. The coaster labeled "Cyclone" is in the spot now occupied by GateKeeper.
Hotel Breakers still looks fairly similar to the plot shown here. The "Bon-Air Inn" section is where we stayed on this trip, and it was obvious it was one of the oldest parts of the structure. The lobby and the rotunda have changed very little, but several of the surrounding structures were removed or altered significantly.
After my quick walk to the front of the park for the Tweetup, I headed back to the hotel, stopping to get this classic WindSeeker shot on the way. I know it's not an uncommon thing, but it's still amusing.
Not a bad view from a hotel room bed, is it?
Much fewer people in the water today.
Cloudy skies and temperatures in the 70s will do that.
Oh, look what's running again!
...or not blurred.
Do they still use that "Race for the Sky" tagline?
A word of advice -- keeping your mouth wide open on a fast Cedar Point coaster is sometimes not a good idea. Ride TTD or MF in the front row at night and you'll know why.
It's pretty exciting, though.
Coming down from the tower.
Heading for the finish line in a one-vehicle race.
Another group survives!
Oh, there's also this coaster just behind it. There has to be a better use for that plot of land.
Corkscrew had a 45 minute wait. Corkscrew.
Power Tower on Fast Lane, however, had no wait.
Interesting angles under the tower.
Aesthetically speaking, this is the S&S tower to which all other S&S towers are compared.
Raptor heads into the second half of the course.
Raptor's vertical loop. Vertical loops are fun. Much better than cobra rolls.
Even with Fast Lane, the three big Intamins were still long waits. Not so for Raptor, which was usually just a couple cycles.
Blue Streak was also a quick trip to the station platform with Fast Lane, though the line was short even without it.
Take a look at the picture in the Blue Streak logo letters...
Disaster Transport survives another day! Long live Dick Kinzel's shoe size!
No long line for Blue Streak, but it was running quite well.
Blue Streak's station in all its simplicity.
GateKeeper as the light begins to fade.
The Wicked Twister sign, as sunset approaches.
I probably spent too much time taking pictures on the beach already, but the colors were pretty awesome.
Cresting the second hill on Magnum.
WindSeeker flipped its lights on.
Hotel Breakers in the sunset.
TTD is on fire.
Sunset over the hotel.
The best picture of any TGI Friday's ever.
Magnum in the sky.
The south end of the hotel.
A line in the water.
Orange, red, and blue.
Still a few people out in the waves.
Very, very orange.
Another view north.
Would have been an awesome time for a ride on Magnum.
Bright towers at the south end of the park.
The Hotel Breakers rotunda.
The view from my hotel room window just keeps getting better.
One more shot of TTD to close this "most of the day" photo set. The final batch from the trip will be posted this weekend!
This was quite funny as I had no idea Cedar Point had a farm area so I was pretty surprised when I saw a chicken crossing our path. I hadn't seen one in a long time and it's quite strange now because if you ask me when was the last time I saw one the answer would be: "Last August in Cedar Point" which sounds a bit odd.
The Mr Freeze coasters should have speakers playing the sentence: "Let's kick some ice!" right before each launch
What does one say after riding a Batman clone? The G force is strong with this one.
That Saturday at CP was probably the busiest amusement park I've ever seen. I just ended up walking around, napping, eating with friends, etc... I think I only rode Raptor and Blue Streak. Would've ridden TTD, but Robb jinxed it and it broke down.
rcjp wrote:Haha! My last ride of the day (on the day I left CP last summer) was TTD in the front and, well, all I can say is that my t-shirt still has the marks, my dad even took a mosquito in one of his teeth.
My "favorite" part is thin film of liquid residue. Just wash it off and try not to think too hard about it.
Barge84 wrote:That Saturday at CP was probably the busiest amusement park I've ever seen. I just ended up walking around, napping, eating with friends, etc... I think I only rode Raptor and Blue Streak. Would've ridden TTD, but Robb jinxed it and it broke down.
I rode both of those twice. Blue Streak had a short line in general, and Fast Lane helped a ton on Raptor. The major attractions were 30-45 minutes even with Fast Lane, and I think saw a 60 at one point on TTD (a couple hours after it opened). Taking it easy that day was definitely the best choice.
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