Blue Streak is such an awesome coaster. I really hope they can pull that park back to where it belongs. It is so beautiful there and its hard to find a park with so many trees and shade.
I may not know everything about coasters... what I do know is they are my life... Home park: Six Flags America Favorite park overall: All Walt Disney World Parks Favorite Steels: Maverick, Millennium Force, Sky Rush, Talon, Poltergeist, I-305 Favorite Woodies: Iron Rattler, Phoenix, Roar, El Toro, Jack Rabbit, Thunderbolt, The Raven, The Legend TPR Trips: Northeast 2011, LeviaTHON 2012
I really hope that CLP can survive, but each year I go, I walk away with many doubts. It is definitely encouraging to see the revamped signage and some painting going on in the park though.
I don't think that I'll ever forget them running BS in snow flurries at night last year when we went to Ghost Lake...I can honestly say that it was one of the most terrifying coaster rides I have ever had!
Did anyone check out what brews they had at the Meatloaf bike rally? The bar on the lake is pretty ghetto, but you can usually get a decent drink there. The one year they did an Oktoberfest, they had Southern Tier Pumpking as well as some PA micro-beers in bottles.
OK, I'm back from Japan (which was excellent), and I have an annoying case of jet lag; therefore, I may as well start wrapping up the Cedar Point portion of this report. I think this is the longest I've ever let a TR sit unfinished.
So, what did I think of Cedar Point after finally getting around to visiting this Mecca for coaster enthusiasts on the Lake Erie? I liked it--a lot. While I don't think I would trudge up to Sandusky, Ohio every season, Cedar Fair's flagship property is an excellent amusement park with standout operations, and a bit more "personality" (that is, quirkiness) than I expected. I enjoyed myself there quite a bit.
That being said, the park's hotels do seem to be stuck in the 1970s. We stayed at the Breakers, which features adequate rooms (think old "Best Western" level) and its own early entry into the park through a side gate. (We were able to get in quite a few rides on Maverick before picking up our Fast Lane Plus wristbands the first day, thanks to this perk. ) Food options at the Breakers, such as TGI Fridays and Perkins, are only adequate, at best, but still a better alternative to what you find in the park. (We ate at Pink's Hot Dogs, which was pretty good--probably the best lunch option inside Cedar Point.) So, as a resort, I think it could stand quite a few upgrades (especially based on the prices it charges), but maybe that's not a high priority for Cedar Fair. What you're paying for at the Breakers is the convenience of being so close to the park, and it was nice to be able to head back in the afternoon for nice rest. And, hey, they had some good beer at TGI Fridays.
Cedar Point really does set the template for many of the chain's other parks--a lot of rides plunked down, with a little theming here and there. The Cedar Creek area was particularly inviting and offered lots of shade and pleasant landscaping, while the Midway (where Gatekeeper is located) is the usual vast expanse of concrete. This reminded me a bit of Kings Dominion, with it's pleasant Old Virginia section and hot-as-blazes Grove.
But what about Cedar Point's big claim to fame as "America's Rock-and-Roller Coast"? How does its huge selection of coasters stack up? Here's what I think from best to worst.
Maverick--Yes, Gatekeeper may be the "new hotness," and Millennium Force is a lot bigger, but Maverick is the star at Cedar Point. I think this is the best of Intamin's launched rides (but, to be fair, I have yet to ride iSpeed in Italy). The layout is excellent, with plenty of airtime to be found, and the second launch from under the station is particularly intense. Any park would be hard pressed to top Maverick.
Millennium Force--Although I prefer KD's I305, I like MF a lot, and it's a great ride. It's as smooth as glass, with some nice airtime to go with those high-speed curves. It's not as good as Expedition GeForce, but it'll probably crack my top ten.
Top Thrill Dragster--This is the best of the "one-trick pony" high-hat coasters. Just intense enough to be fun, yet still comfortable. It's especially good after dark.
Raptor--After riding a series of disappointing B&M inverts (such as Silver Bullet and Patriot), it was so refreshing to ride an older model that still "gets it." Raptor achieves a good balance of smoothness and intensity, and while it isn't quite at good as the Six Flags Batman clones, it's a better ride than, say, Alpengeist. Odd color scheme, though, for a vicious bird of prey.
Blue Streak--For me, this was the biggest surprise of the park. Blue Streak is a good, old-school woodie that still delivers plenty of airtime as it bounds over its hills at a surprisingly high speed. It's a cut above Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion.
Magnum XL-2000--Yes, this old, 200-foot-tall Arrow ride is a bit clunky. But it still delivers some crazy airtime (more so than the Morgan Hypers). And you have to like the "1970s Tomorrowland" feel of the trains and station.
Wicked Twister--I think this is the best of the Intamin impulses. It goes pretty damn high up both spikes.
Gatekeeper--I really wanted to like this ride more than I did, but I think Wild Eagle tops it. GK starts out well with its slow, twisting drop, and the keyhole element is fun. But the second half isn't very interesting. (A helix into a long brake run was the best they could do?) Plus, unlike Wild Eagle, the restraints really put the squeeze on me--very uncomfortable. It does look great, though.
Gemini--OK, this bizarre, racing Arrow Mine Train is easily the weirdest ride at Cedar Point. It looks sort of like a woodie, but is actually a steel coaster that sort of acts like a woodie. Not great, but interesting.
Iron Dragon--This old Arrow suspended has a great first drop, but I now understand while everyone calls it "Draggin' Iron." The late Big Bad Wolf was a much better ride (as are Flight Deck and Ninja).
Cedar Creek Mine Ride--Yet another grouchy old Arrow Mine Train that seems designed to crack the maximum number of kneecaps possible during a cycle. Definitely no Thunderation.
Woodstock Express--Cute little family coaster, complete with a "train engine," a ringing bell, and Woodstock. OK for what it is.
Corkscrew--Yet another old Arrow (this time a loop screw). Most of these rides are more like endurance tests than coasters, and Corkscrew is no exception. Looks pretty when it careens over the midway, though.
Mean Streak--I actually had some hope after the first drop that this ride would be OK. But it got progressively worse from drop to drop and curve to curve. Not quite as bad as Son of Beast or Bandit, but definitely bad enough.
Mantis--It was really tough deciding which was worse: this steaming pile of B&M or Mean Streak. I decided on Mantis because 1) it's a stand-up coaster and 2) you get plenty of headbanging from the OTSRs (at least Mean Streak doesn't have those). To be clear, there are plenty of B&M rides that I think are great, such as Nemesis, Montu, and Griffon. But those stand-up coasters . . . ugh (for the most part).
We hit all the park's car rides, too, which were OK, if not particularly interesting. Cedar Downs, the old old Derby Racing ride, was a fun blast from the past (haven't rode one of these since I visited Blackpool with TPR back in 2006). We spent some time in the park's museums, too, which offer a nice respite from a busy day. I wasn't too impressed with Shoot the Rapids, though--yes, you get fairly well drenched on the drops, but there's a decided lack of "white water." (Escape from Pompeii is a much better water ride.)
One other thing to note: Fast Lane Plus is your friend. We bought this for our first day at the park, and were very glad we did, as we got in all the coasters easily. There were pretty hefty lines throughout the day, particularly for Maverick, Millennium Force, Raptor, and Gatekeeper (this one was slammed pretty much from opening). A word to the wise.
Here's a look at a great pair of days at Cedar Point.
Good morning, Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force. Did you sleep well after having people ride you all day?
At this moment, a strange tremor was felt in the Force--or maybe it was just gas.
Hmm--I think I saw this sign on a dispenser in a truck stop men's room.
Now here's how Derek and Daron like to start the day.
I see "the good" and "the bad," but where's "the ugly"?
There's definitely nothing "bad" about this . . .
. . . unless by "bad" you mean "great."
Just ask these happy people.
Or just ask Erik and Derek--they'll tell you.
The "gunshot" water cannons are a nice touch.
Let's see . . . pet farm . . .
. . . or Millennium Force? Tis quite a quandary.
Looks like Erik has cast the deciding vote--sorry, pet farm.
Is there no love for the pet farm?
Hell no, there ain't! (At least not at the moment.)
Damn, I wish all these people had gone to the pet farm. I would've got on Millennium Force a little quicker.
Even water-filled dummies choose MF!
Yep--these guys know what they're doing.
And speaking of the company that knows what it's doing . . . Top Thrill Dragster time!
Behold the power of Fast Lane Plus.
I think this ride and Xcelerator are the best of the Intamin launched, high-hat coasters (although I prefer the Maverick/Speed Monster-type rides).
Blue Streak--a pleasant surprise.
Yes, all it does is go up and down, out and back--but it does it very well.
Ah, back when B&M still knew what it was doing when it came to inverts. Raptor is a very good ride.
It even dares to be pink.
Again, Fast Lane Plus is your ______ (fill in the blank).
It appears that Daron comes from a long line of master thespians.
We were heading for Gatekeeper, but were distracted by hot dogs. One must keep one's priorities straight. Long line for Pink's, too, but Fast Lane did us no good there.
Fast Lane Plus was essential here, though.
Yes, Gatekeeper is now in 3D! Be careful, lest the pictures that follow poke your eyes out!
Yes, I would've been even more disappointed if I'd been stuck in this line.
GK starts putting the squeeze on you here.
Sigh! I wanted to like this ride more than I did. Wild Eagle was better.
But GK was rougher and less comfortable (at least for me) than its cousin in Tennessee.
The first half is better than the second . . .
. . . but once you reach the climatic keyhole, it's rather disappointing.
Well, best get moving. Them other credits ain't gonna ride themselves . . . or will they?
It's good to know that Cedar Point has water.
Oh, good lord--time for the oh so cleverly named Corkscrew. (Well, Cedar Point is the Nagashima Spa Land of Ohio.)
Looks right purty when it screws over the people, though. (Hmm--that doesn't quite sound right.) More is yet to come!
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