Day 11 -- Cedar Point (Day Two | First Half) Friday, August 9, 2013
Cedar Point is getting really good at fast dispatches!
...or it's just some post-editing photo trickery.
I'm going to save the lengthy full review of Cedar Point for the next post, but I just have too many pictures to get through from August 9, so I need to break it into two parts. So, the Artifacts, Lesson of the Day, and all that other stuff -- should have that done by early next week, as I try to get this whole thing completed before the next TPR trip begins.
That's certainly not to sell the first half of Friday short! We started the way with another awesome TPR exclusive event -- a backstage photo tour of GateKeeper. I'll save my thoughts on how the coaster rides for later, but I think the entire enthusiast community is in agreement on how awesome it is to take pictures of. I can think of few coasters as photogenic as this one. Our tour led us around the station and directly under the inverted first drop. We got some awesome views of the coaster's beach-side segment from very close up, and a rare eastern view of the keyhole element, looking nearly straight-on through the opening.
The Millennium Force and GateKeeper backstage tours were really great for the photographers of our group. Anyone can take a shot from the midway, but these extra privileges set up through TPR are a huge part of what made the trip worth it!
The rest of this photo set contains a small sampling of photos I took from Hotel Breakers in the mid-afternoon. I thought it was important to document the state of the hotel in 2013, because it's going to look completely different by the time I make my next trip to Cedar Point (likely 2015 or 2016). It's a building with a great location and a lot of history, and I'm really happy to see that Cedar Point respects both of those aspects.
Not much else to say for this part, as I want to get to the pictures. Stay tuned in a few days for the second half, with a review of -- and I know I'm making up a word here -- the coaster-est day of my life.
Additional pictures and bigger versions of these images can be found here and here.
How'd you like to wake up in the morning and have this out your window? That was the view from my room at Hotel Breakers!
Walking the halls of the Hotel Breakers wing.
Just a short walk to the park through the hotel lot.
On my way to GateKeeper, I just so happened to find TPR member (and current Cedar Point employee) Marcel taking an early-morning spin on Iron Dragon.
Now -- at the front of the park, here's a bird contemplating the mess of coaster track in front of him.
...but how did we get back here behind these walls?
Backstage photo tour of GateKeeper!
Keyholing from angles we've never keyholed before.
The final helix.
Back to the station.
We were basically able to get directly underneath the first drop, which was a whole lot of fun to photograph.
The sky helped too -- broken clouds that scattered out during the tour, giving us an awesome mix of white and blue that meshed awesomely with the same colors on the ride.
Wing Coaster hairtime.
Rotating off the lift.
TPR's got the cameras out and ready to go.
Pulling out from the Immelmann.
A full view of the 170-foot lift hill.
Heading down the 164-foot first drop.
The trains do look awesome.
Racing off into the sky.
A very high inversion.
Empties in row two!
Over the "airtime" hill. The sky just looks great here.
More hairtime down the hill.
The corkscrew sets up the approach to the front gate.
In between the keyholes.
A sharp angle.
We got up close for an awesome view of the keyhole elements from the east side.
Flipping through the first tower.
Skimming past the towers on the return pass.
GateKeeper on the inbound leg.
Front row guy is feeling the intensity. Second row guy is sleeping.
All of us wanted shots from this awesome angle.
Another shot of the hill.
A view with the rest of the park in the background.
GateKeeper against the clouds.
Coming off the brake run.
Coming off the Immelmann.
Back over to the first drop for a few more shots.
The wide trains and twisted track make for an interesting appearance on the track.
Definitely a strange and awesome angle to shoot from!
Thanks so much to TPR and Cedar Point for setting up the tour!
Now back into the park for some more shots from the beach area.
Wicked Twister has always been one of my favorites.
It's a ton of fun in the front and back.
The view of the south spike from the GateKeeper plaza is pretty awesome.
Speaking of GateKeeper, here's a wide view of the new plaza area.
The big 12E has finally been retired.
It's a nice sign, too. Three-dimensional with several layers.
It was still morning on Friday, and with GateKeeper being brand new and near the front of the park, the long line wasn't a surprise. This was the longest I saw the line all day.
Sonic the Hedgehog?
Heading over to the Sky Ride for some more slightly-aerial photography.
The main midway looked awesome as the clouds continued to dissipate.
Raptor dives over the midway.
Cedar Point and Snoopy.
Big wheel in the southern Sky Ride station.
This may be the one tiny area of the park that hasn't changed at all -- not just since my last Cedar Point trip a few years ago, but since I first remember coming to the park in the 90s. There's the brand new coaster, front gate and assorted buildings, and the removal of Demon Drop. Yet, here's the front fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, rentals, and restrooms -- they haven't been touched.
A view of GateKeeper doing its thing from the Sky Ride station.
A view to the south. The parking lot was maybe half-full, but still filling up.
Blue Streak rises over the marina.
Blue Streak crests the hill, with downtown Sandusky in the background.
I've been waiting years to get this shot, and I got it! Now, what are the chances of lining this up with a train on either of the two rides? How about both of the rides? Nearly impossible, I'd guess.
Another view of the marina, with the Sandusky Bay coal docks in the background.
Coasters on the west side of the park.
Several tall towers just to the north.
A beautiful view over the open waters of Lake Erie.
Another look over to GateKeeper.
Raptor and Blue Streak.
WindSeeker looks great from up here. Just a little bit of elevation adds so much to a photo like this -- raising the level of the water in the background.
Another Sky Ride car floats on by.
I was taking pictures of Power Tower after I got off the Sky Ride, but I noticed something only when reviewing the pictures later. Take a look at where the train is on Dragster...
...and look at it now! Yup, I'd accidentally taken pictures of a rollback.
The iconic Cedar Point water tower.
Corkscrew makes the turn at the far end of the circuit.
Corkscrew doing what it does best.
I know it's not a great ride, but it takes up so little space, and you get pictures like this!
Another view of the corkscrew on Corkscrew.
Iron Dragon over the lagoon.
Dragster prepares for a launch.
Keep arms down, head back, and hold on.
Are these guys "ready to go?"
Dragster? Check. Dragster sign? Check. TPR member taking a picture? Check. Are we ever going to see Bas' pictures? I hope so! Guy's got talent!
Dragster heads over the top hat.
This is about as far as I could push it without the zoom lens, which was still sitting in St. Louis back at the City Museum.
Cedar Point's tallest structure -- it's very yellow.
Now for some history in Hotel Breakers. I love this old-style postcard picture!
The steamboat A. Wehrle Jr., en route to Cedar Point.
Oh yeah, try to imagine one of these things getting built today. Maybe in Scandinavia.
I won't post the whole set, but I thought this timeline of the hotel and the park was really well done. It's an entire history lesson!
Here's the main lobby of Hotel Breakers.
Another view of the lobby.
A chandelier at Hotel Breakers.
Stained glass of what appears to be Sandusky, Ohio.
The big rotunda at Hotel Breakers, just a short walk from the lobby.
Four levels in the rotunda.
The bottom of the rotunda.
Heading out to the deck that overlooks the pool and beach.
A view out to the open waters of Lake Erie.
A look southeast toward the hot tub. WindSeeker makes an appearance.
The pool at Hotel Breakers.
The small protected swimming area on the Lake Erie beach.
A view out to the Sandusky / Cedar Point Breakwater, and the lighthouse on the end.
Heading back through the hotel, and coming up on another famous TPR location.
Where is this?
Crazy junk on the walls? Cheesy slogans?
Must be Friday's.
Can't beat the view, though. Magnum drops just to the north...
...and WindSeeker flies off to the south.
Out in front of the pool at Hotel Breakers.
The main hotel tower is sure to look different whenever I make it back to the park.
Take a trip out to the beach. You don't even have to be a hotel guest to do it!
Parasailing over the beach -- I'm sure the view is incredible.
Fun fact: Lake Erie is the shallowest of the great lakes, and the fourth smallest in surface area (only larger than Lake Ontario).
Another Cedar Point / Hotel Breakers history lesson. I bet Professor Albert Cook was a huge star.
Looking south along the beach.
WindSeeker, Wicked Twister, and an airplane.
The view off to the north.
This picture almost looks two-dimensional, like from an old side-scrolling video game.
WindSeeker down low.
WindSeeker up high.
WindSeeker coming back down again.
Time for our farewell dinner at the Cedar Point Convention Center. Sad? Bittersweet? Perhaps -- but part of another great day on the trip. Check back soon for the full report and the second half of the pictures!
simon8899 wrote:Great Cedar Point pics. Wanna stay at the Hotel Breakers myself - any recommendations? Do they have a good evening bar?
Well, there's TGI Friday's, which TPR at least knows how to make fun. We stayed at Breakers during one of its last pre-renovation years -- I think the rooms are all undergoing a major overhaul over the next off-season and the place should look completely different in 2015. It's not cheap but it's a question of how much you like the convenience of having your hotel right there. If I were planning to have two (or more) full days at Cedar Point, I'd think its worth it.
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