boldikus wrote:Another fantastic update. You should get paid for writing.
Agreed. Strangely Robb is yet to respond to my Paypal request. I guess he's just busy.
Anyway, on to America's Rockin' Non Stoppin' unless a single raindrop be Droppin' Roller Coast!
Believe it or not, Cedar Point was sort of an afterthought for this trip. We knew we wanted to get out to Mystic Timbers, Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World but we didn't really know what we were planning to do on the way home. We had a few different ideas ranging from Kennywood to Knoebels (Please try to get over the shock. You have to understand that Knoebels is like the North Pole and I have a magnet up my a**) but after realizing how close we would be to Cedar Point, our decision was pretty much made for us.
Initially we had planned to do a full day at Kentucky Kingdom, a full day at Holiday World and then stop at Cedar Point for a few hours on the way home to hit the essentials... Millennium Force, Gatekeeper (Brit's favorite) and Maverick and then continue driving. I had already figured that we might end up adding another ride to that list if by some miracle there happened to be a ride that could somehow transport us between the Gatekeeper area and the Millennium Force area all while providing magnificent views of the park and it's beautiful surroundings while providing a family friendly, leisurely ride 92 feet above the main midway but that's just crazy talk. Obviously something like that would be far too awesome to actually exist...
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, right. Anyway, after doing a little more research we decided that we could easily combine Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World into one day. We were prepared to stretch it out to 2 days if the weather didn't cooperate, but since it did we were done with Coney Island by noon on Sunday and wouldn't have to leave Cedar Point until about 4PM on Monday. Hooray for us!
The forecast for Sunday in Sandusky was definitely questionable but we drove up there thinking that anything we got to ride would be a bonus since Monday was supposed to be beautiful and we planned to be there for Early Entry so we could easily get our Gatekeeper, Millennium Force and Maverick rides in then.
Sorry to keep talking about weather but it was a major factor all weekend long. Luckily, the rain at Cedar Point was just that... rain and some mild thunderstorms... no strings attached. Not rain with a tornado that might kill you and your entire family, not rain and 90 MPH winds, just normal weather... thank god.
Our route to Sandusky started on I-71 (actually taking us right by Kings Island again) but we split off in Columbus and took the scenic route the rest of the way to miss some traffic near Cleveland. Once we got past Columbus the temperature started dropping like a rock, down from the high 90's and 100% humidity days we were accustomed to about 65 degrees with no humidity and wind that actually made it a little chilly. I guess we shouldn't have been too surprised by the cold. After all, Cedar Point is the park where you can see Canada from a few of their taller lift hills if you look for the island with the Tim Horton's and the moose on it.
There were pop up showers everywhere and we drove through a lot of them on our way to the park, but when we pulled in to the lot we were happy to see that it hadn't started raining yet (though it was really cloudy) and all of the rides were operating.
We didn't want to get too greedy since we knew it could start raining / storming at any time so after a quick pit stop at the restroom (I mean we did just finish a 4 hour drive and we had to settle for Arby's for lunch 2 days in a row so, you know...) it was off to Gatekeeper!
When we walked up to the queue we were surprised to find that there was absolutely no wait at all. Sure, it's a capacity monster and sure it's late afternoon but we still found it pretty odd. We were greeted with a 3 train wait for the front left wing (left wing, best wing... always) so while waiting I pulled up queue-times and realized that EVERY SINGLE RIDE was posting a 5 minute wait. It seemed like the weather had really scared people away and we realized that if the rain could hold off even just a little we were in for an awesome evening.
Within a few minutes it was time to board so we hopped in to Brit's favorite bird and prepared to fly. Yes, yes... I've heard your b*tching. It's rattly, it's forceless, it's bouncy, it sucks... got it. We don't care. Gatekeeper is awesome and we love the sh*t out of it. The visuals from the lift with the clouds and storms moving in were awesome, the ride itself was running great and as usual we had a spectacular ride on Gatekeeper.
Once we saw the wait times, our plans for the day had totally changed. Initially we figured we'd focus on the main rides and everything else was a bonus but we realized that we basically had free reign of the place and (feeling greedy and seeing it's posted 5 minute wait time) we figured... "What the hell... let's throw out any type of logical plan and go to Dragster even though we live 2 hours from Kingda Ka and ride it all the time".
Anyone who knows me knows that when you're standing at Gatekeeper and I say "Let's ride Dragster" what I really mean is "Let's ride Sky Ride". As soon as I said, "Let's ride Dragster", Brit instinctively turned left and walked past the games over to the Sky Ride and not at all in the direction of Dragster. She's used to my sh*t by now. I love her.
Unfortunately as we walked up to Sky Ride, they went down for lightning in the area. We tried Raptor knowing that Sky Ride generally goes down first, but it became clear that every coaster in the park, Sky Ride and Windseeker were down for lightning so we figured we'd make our way down the midway and look for something else to ride. We knew we were at Cedar Point so we sort of figured that given their nonsensical weather policy it was only a matter of time before we found a ride that was operating with lightning in the area that absolutely shouldn't be while much smaller rides like Cedar Creek Mine Ride were "closed for lightning". Luckily, our instincts were right...
That's right! While tiny rides like Iron Dragon, Corkscrew, Blue Streak and Cedar Creek Mine Ride were down for lightning, their 299 foot giant metal tower was up and running so we hopped in line. After about a 10 minute wait where we assumed sanity would eventually prevail and they would close the ride, we took our seats on the giant lightning rod in the middle of the park.
The ride itself was awesome, you could see the rain moving in from the lake which was a really cool visual and it was hilarious looking at an entire park full of motionless rides (because of lightning in the area) from the top of Power F*cking Tower. When we got off the ride, they still hadn't closed the line (lol) but since we had just seen the incoming rain bands from the top of the ride we ducked into the Dragster gift shop to browse around as the storm passed.
Luckily, this storm was in and out in about 30 minutes and as it cleared we stepped out into a park that was somehow even more empty than it was before. It was still drizzling a bit, but rides were slowly coming back to life. We knew better than to stand around waiting for Dragster so we walked around and figured we'd get in line for Millennium Force.
As we walked up to the ride, we saw a test train come roaring through the final turn and as soon as we walked up to the entrance the phone rang, the greeter picked it up and Millennium Force was open for business.
Never in my life have I seen a Millennium Force line that short during normal operation. On top of that, there was only a 3 cycle wait for the front row so we took advantage and got in line.
As the first train after the rain storm was loaded, the ride op jokingly told everyone to make sure they open their mouths and yell "Muffleheads" at the bottom of the first drop. I had totally forgotten about that, but at the same time there was no way in hell I was passing on a front seat Millennium Force ride with no wait so we were just going to have to suck it up try to go to sleep with the guilt of knowing we took place in a horrific mufflehead genocide.
The same thing happens to me every single time I ride Millennium Force. I think about all of the great coasters I've ridden since my last ride on it, I think of the overwhelming amount of complaining about forcelessness, lack of airtime, rattling and all that sh*t and wonder if this will finally be the time that I ride Millennium Force and come off underwhelmed. I always think that maybe it'll finally be the time that I get off the ride and don't pull back into the station absolutely ecstatic from the fact that I just experienced another Millennium Force ride that solidified the fact that it's my absolute favorite coaster ever and that everything about it is complete perfection.
Holy sh*t I love this ride!!!! Between the amazing first drop, insane speed, awesome overbanks and great location there's still nothing that compares. As usual, Millennium Force provided an absolutely amazing ride from start to finish and as we pulled in the station we looked at eachother with huge sh*t eating (or in this case mufflehead eating) grins and wondered aloud what the f*ck people were talking about. Every time I ride this thing I get off with the same sense of amazement that I had after my first ride back in 2001. Absolute brilliance.
Still riding our Millennium Force high, we were tempted to get back in line and stay there all night but we decided instead to take advantage of the nonexistent lines and continue our lap around the park.
While this ride was never a priority going in, when we got off Millennium Force we couldn't help but notice a Rougarou train flying through the loop with a grand total of 2 people on the train. Unable to say no to that we headed over and walked right on to the front row.
We're big fans of Rougarou. While it may not be the best floorless coaster out there it does seem to be a little more snappy than the rest and it absolutely blows me away that they managed to turn such a pile of sh*t into such an enjoyable coaster just by swapping out the trains. As usual, Rougarou provided a solid ride. It may have been the weather but it seemed like they turned the fog up to the max which definitely made for a cool experience and the sound effects were blaring too which made for a great vibe around the ride entrance area.
After Rougarou (more like Rouga-WOOOOOO because it's so awesome, am I right?) we decided to head back to Maverick. We thought of heading back through frontier trail to check out the new additions like the Pony Rides and Professor whatever-the-f*ck's fantasy fling and to grab some moonshine but the train was pulling up and our laziness prevailed. It was also starting to rain again so it seemed like the perfect way to get back to Maverick and to let the brief rain shower pass.
The train ride is always much better from Frontier Town, but this route does provide a nice view of the lake and of the new Mean Streak. I have to say, that ride looks absolutely crazy but I didn't bother taking any pictures as I knew that by the time I posted this they would be out of date anyway.
When we got to Maverick we were greeted with another station wait and within a few minutes, Brent pulled up to take us on our bullsh*t insane ride to crazy town. For those unfamiliar, the trains apparently have names. I never really noticed until a few years ago when Brit pointed it out to me. The train we rode on that day was named "Beau" which apparently is pronounced "Bo" (as in Natty Boh - oh boy what a beer!
) but being a "Yankee" and not growing up in the south like her I didn't know this and pronounced it "Byew". Three years later she hasn't let that one go.
As the train pulled up, Brit voiced her displeasure because apparently Brent sucks and only Beau is acceptable but she got over it pretty quick as Maverick proceeded to deliver yet another amazing ride. God this coaster knows how to bring the crazy...
After our first ride, we immediately headed right back around to do it again. There were 2 main reasons for this...
1) How often do you get the opportunity to ride Maverick with absolutely no line? For us this is incredibly rare as we really only get out to this park on holiday weekends.
2) We didn't get to ride Beau and Brit was pissed.
As we got back up to the station we were greeted with another nonexistent line. While standing at the queue gates, Brit stared down the track in anticipation waiting to see what would show up. A few seconds later in a scene ("almost") fitting of a dramatic Hollywood blockbuster our bold, fearless hero emerged...
Once again, Maverick delivered an insane ride (though Brit's convinced it was better that time since we were on the "better train"). This ride is absolutely nuts and I can't for the life of me understand why there aren't more Intamin Blitz coasters in America. God I love this thing.
After our successful Beau ride we continued our loop around the empty park. We thought of riding Skyhawk but realized that we could just save it for tomorrow since it never has a line anyway. Mine Ride and Gemini were still down from the rain and (checking the app to see that Iron Dragon and Corkscrew were down too) we figured that they had taken their Arrows down for weather but left everything else open. Whatever...
The exception to this was Magnum but upon further inspection I realized that the reason it was running was because they had taken it down to 1 train so it couldn't crash again (
) so we figured we'd skip that one too. We didn't have a plan at that point but while standing by Magnum, we heard the familiar whizzing and roaring of Dragster and saw a small line forming so we headed over.
It was drizzling lightly and we could have been on one of the first trains but I got greedy and tried for row 1. Unfortunately for us, when we were next to ride the ride went down for rain and after standing around for about 30 minutes waiting for it to come back up we finally bailed. That was a bit of a waste of time, but we knew it was a risk going in. Oh well...
While it was raining when we left Dragster it was a really light rain so it wasn't much of an issue yet. We pulled up the radar and saw that some really heavy rain was on the way but we decided we had time for another ride or two. Amazingly we had managed to ride all of the top tier coasters except for Magnum (which was down to 1 train), Dragster (because of the rain), Valravn and Raptor so we figured we'd make Raptor and Valravn our last stops.
We decided we should probably head to Raptor first since...
A) Valravn is an Early Entry ride so unlike Raptor we knew we could ride it the next day with no wait
B) Do I even need to tell you what b is?
Unfortunately for the second time that day, Sky Ride was going down for weather just as we walked up. I swear, Sky Ride and Dragster were just screwing with us that weekend but (as you probably guessed from the spiffy new avatar) we did manage a ride on Sky Ride eventually.
Even though Sky Ride was down, we still wanted to ride Raptor so we made our way over and found a 3 train wait for the front row. Raptor was down to one train because of the weather so we did spend a decent amount of time in line but about 15 minutes later I was in my favorite seat (front left - left wing best wing) and ready to go. As we stood in the station, we noticed that the rain was definitely picking up but we managed to get on right before it got to the point of being uncomfortable. As always, Raptor delivered a completely insane ride and the light rain only served to enhance the ride experience. Coming in to the weekend I never thought I'd get to ride Raptor with the limited amount of time we had so we were definitely riding high when we got off.
At that point it was raining much harder and we only had about an hour left before the park closed. We thought of leaving, but for some reason I had the dumb idea to ride Valravn on the way out (because riding a 75 MPH dive coaster in the pouring rain is a great idea). I got a message from JRice earlier while he was on break that he was working that night so I guilted Brit into going along with my dumb idea by saying that we needed to go say hi to Josh.
We headed up into the station to find the place completely empty aside from the staff. Josh was joking around with us while we waited for the train to come back (they were also down to 1 because of the rain but we were obviously the only people dumb enough to be in line anyway so it didn't matter). Once we took our seats it started raining even harder but we were committed at that point. As we climbed the lift we were getting absolutely pelted with rain and I came to the realization that maybe Josh was trying to do everyone on TPR a favor by drowning us so you guys wouldn't have to put up with my sh*t any more. Oh well... I survived. A**holes never die.
I have to say, while parts of the ride were pretty painful since it felt like we were being hit with thousands of tiny needles it was also an awesome experience and a super cool way to end our night. Sitting in the holding break with the floodlights shining up at us was really cool since the rain drops were all illuminated and it created a pretty awesome visual. Once we were released and we started falling at the same speed as the rain drops the visual got even cooler. We knew once we flattened out we were going to be in a world of sh*t but in the moment we didn't care at all.
After our ride with the rain showing no signs of letting up and the park closing in about 30 minutes we said goodbye to Josh and headed for our hotel room knowing that we got to do it all again in the morning. While the weather definitely made for an interesting night, we managed to get on a ton of rides in a few short hours and we had an absolute blast of a night at Cedar Point.
Up Next: Cedar Point Day Two!