Alright! Time for the long anticipated* finale of our Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 trip report. (Please note that the term “long anticipated” implies that anyone actually gives a sh*t, a statement that I cannot actually confirm or deny)
After finishing part one of this report, I realized that I neglected to mention our weird a** hotel room and felt like I probably should. We never stay on property because it’s expensive and we have Platinum Passes anyway so we don’t need to do so for Early Entry. In addition, we were really only making this trip to begin with because we had a metric f*ck ton of Choice Rewards points so we were sticking with Choice which meant we needed to head over the causeway and out to Milan Rd / 250 which is the main drag in Sandusky.
Since we left before closing we considered stopping in to one of the local spots like Thirsty Pony or Chet & Matt's since we’ve still never been to either of them but since we were completely soaked from our Valravn rain ride and subsequent walk to the car we decided to grab something and eat in our hotel room instead so we could change and dry off a little. As a side note, I’m also completely skeptical of Chet and Matt’s and wonder if it’s actually good, or just good for middle of nowhere, Ohio but since I haven’t tried it I’ll keep my pizza snobiness to a minimum. It’s hard to be snobby about anything when I’m about to tell you about this hotel that we actually slept in
When paying for hotels we usually splurge a little more now and try to travel like respectable adults since we earn so many points for our stays, but when actually using those points we revert to our old ways of staying in weird a** joints like the Sandusky Econo Lodge.
When we walked in to the office (notice I didn’t say lobby) we were greeted with a small room about the size of a bathroom with a tiny desk and 2 women sitting behind it… one of which never actually spoke and just sat there petting her cat Dr. Evil style.
Behind them there were a few loud a** washing machines running full blast and another cat sleeping on top of one of them.
The woman handed me my card and told me to go to room 102… and then excitedly said “No… TWO-02!!!” and told me I was upgraded to the suite for being a Choice Privileges member. We walked back to the car and drove around to the back (per their instructions) asking ourselves how the hell this place even had a suite and if “202” meant it was upstairs since we couldn’t figure out how this place even had an upstairs. We rounded the corner and (after coming face to face with a huge gargoyle since it backs up to the Mystic Manor Thrill Center, whatever that is) we found a small door which led us through a cramped hallway, past some more dryers and up the stairs to the suite.
The suite itself was super weird, it kind of seemed like at one point it was an apartment for the guy that owned the hotel but it was sort of okay. The floor was creaky as hell, the bedding looked like it was straight out of 1975 and the room was unnecessarily large with 2 couches (don’t get excited, they were super old and sh*tty) in the living area and beds way over to the side. The entire room featured beat to hell orange shag carpet. I don’t know if I’d say this place was necessarily bad, but it was probably the weirdest hotel room I’ve ever seen in my life and it felt like the guy that owned the hotel went on vacation for Memorial Day weekend and told them to rent out his apartment while he was gone and tell people it was a suite because they wouldn’t know any better. It was clean, and it was kind of cool but what the actual f*ck was that place?
Anyway, enough about that. We woke up Monday morning in our weird Airbnb style hotel room and looked out the window to find something astonishing. Sun! And Blue Sky! Shocked at this incredible weather phenomenon that we were starting to think only happened in movies and in picture books we got up, headed back over the causeway and got ready for another great day at Cedar Point.
We had a clear plan going in to Early Entry and it’s a plan that would make most enthusiasts cringe because it’s strategically terrible so I’ll share it with you just because I can’t help myself. Since we had already had some great rides on Millennium Force and Maverick and since we knew we wanted to save Millennium Force for our last ride anyway, we figured we’d ignore the Intamins and focus entirely on the B&M’s for the duration of Early Entry.
We walked down to the marina gate and made it just as the National Anthem started playing, so when the gates opened we were in a great position to beat the crowd to Valravn. We had ridden Valravn the day before but we really wanted a ride where we didn’t have to deal with pelting rain so this was definitely a priority for us. Within 5 minutes we were back in the station and in line for the front row. The groupers on the ride always seem to accommodate requests when possible which is nice and between the great operations (obviously since Josh was back at the panel in the morning since he never sleeps… like ever) and super-wide trains the front row line absolutely flies. In no time at all we were all clear, out of here and on our way up the massive lift hill.
I have to say, this ride really is excellent. The view from the top of the lift is breathtaking (possibly the best in the park), the dives themselves are great and I love that barrel roll at the end of the ride. I know a lot of people are underwhelmed by modern B&M’s but we really love Valravn and it really was a perfect addition to Cedar Point’s already stacked lineup.
After our morning dive we headed over to Gatekeeper for the rest of Early Entry. Since we were leaving at 4:00 (since we had to drive back to New York that night) we knew Early Entry was our best chance to get some rides in since we wouldn’t be around late enough to take advantage of the short late afternoon lines it usually gets. We also wanted a ride on Maxair and (since we had the same issue there) we figured we could get in line a few minutes before 10:00 and score a walk-on there also.
The plan worked out really well as we managed two awesome front seat Gatekeeper rides (god I love that thing) and ended up on the first Maxair ride of the day. After getting to ride two of these things that weekend my mind is absolutely blown by the fact that there aren’t more Huss Giant Frisbees in America. They’re amazingly powerful, fun and overall kick a** rides and every time we ride them we have an absolute blast. Every Frisbee ride is good, but these things are a special kind of awesome. Aside from maybe “It” in Wildwood (simply because of it’s lap bars and coked up ride cycle) Maxair is definitely my favorite Frisbee style ride by a wide margin.
After Maxair (and a quick pit stop at the food place by Gatekeeper to take advantage of Cedar Fair’s cool new drink cup plan) we decided it was finally time to stop dicking around with these B&M’s and flat rides and ride a ride that’s awesomeness was truly fitting of the only park douchey enough to ever refer to themselves as “The Amazement Park”. We love Gatekeeper, Maxair and Valravn but we wanted amazement dammit and amazement we would get…
Nobody was even fooled by that setup were they? I feel like everyone’s on to me by now… I need to up my game. Anyway, Sky Ride has it’s typical full queue but a full queue is really only a 10 minute wait so we were more than happy to wait it out and take a nice leisurely ride to the middle of the park. Thanks to the crazy amount of rides we had the previous day we were actually pretty relaxed and were sort of going at our own pace with no real plan (as evidenced by our completely f*cked Early Entry strategy).
Sky Ride provided a great ride as always and allowed for some nice photo ops while we enjoyed the breeze and fantastic views (Say what you want about Cedar Point, but it’s hard to beat that location). As a nice bonus we ran into blakelemay23 (who was the one catching our cabin). Nice to meet you!
After our ride in the sky we figured it was time to hit the other ride that had tormented us the day before, Top Thrill Dragster. Unfortunately this ride was far from done f*cking with us so after about 30 minutes the ride decided to sh*t itself while we were standing in the sun on the ramp heading in to the station.
Any time you get in line for Dragster you know this could potentially happen but it was definitely starting to get a little irritating. We waited for awhile until enough people left that we were almost in the station but at the top of the ramp we found a ride op holding everyone on the ramp making it impossible to ever actually reach the shaded station. Seeing a sliver of shade, everyone pretty much piled in to a tiny spot at the top of the ramp and after about 45 minutes of being way too close to sweaty people and seeing no action at the ride we bailed. Clearly Dragster just wanted to be a dick all weekend
After our high octane race for the exit and finally giving up on the 420 foot tower of downtime we decided to hit up a super tall, high speed coaster that actually worked… Magnum. To be fair, “we” didn’t decide on anything, “I” decided to ride Magnum. Brit decided she’d rather die and decided to ride Witches Wheel instead.
Brit and I have never agreed on Magnum, ever since I learned the seatbelt trick I’ve loved the ride to death but she still thinks it’s rough and has no interest in riding it. You read that right, the person who’s absolute favorite ride at Kentucky Kingdom is T3 thinks Magnum is rough but who am I to judge?
After about 30 minutes of standing in the Magnum queue, staring up at Dragster and thinking “that f*cking thing better not launch now that we bailed” I reached the station.
I was honestly pretty torn when I got up there. Part of me wanted to go to 1:3, but since I was a single rider I knew there was a really good chance that if I did that I’d wind up sitting with a pain in the a**, socially awkward coaster enthusiast who would dork out about coasters the entire time we were in line and possibly throughout the ride (why do they always do that? Lol). On the other hand I wasn’t wearing any coaster stuff so I figured if that did happen I could just pretend I knew absolutely nothing about coasters and completely ignore them.
Against my better judgement, I got in line for 1:3 and within minutes I heard someone walking up behind me saying “Ah so you’re waiting for the EJECTOR SEAT” are ya?”.
I pretended not to hear him but eventually turned around and saw a guy in a tie dyed Ghostrider shirt with a Cedar Point sunglass strap who immediately asked if I saw what RMC was doing to Mean Streak and how tall I thought it was going to be… then before I could answer he said he heard “The GP” saying they were tearing it down and he couldn’t believe they didn’t notice all of the new track.
Why anyone would walk up behind a complete stranger who wasn’t wearing any coaster stuff (I had actually worn a Dollywood hat to the park but I had it in my pocket since they don’t have bins) and assume they would know what any of that sh*t meant is beyond me.
Despite how I come off, I like talking coasters with other enthusiasts sometimes as long as they shower regularly, have some basic social skills and don’t take themselves too seriously and walk around like they’re better than everyone else because they know who RMC is. I could tell pretty quickly that this guy was THE WORST kind of enthusiast as all he wanted to do was complain about “the GP” so I made it my business to do everything I could possibly do to piss him off with "GP" questions before the ride started.
I said that I wasn’t sure what RMC or Mean Streak was and explained that I was riding alone since my wife and kids (lol) were afraid to ride it since they heard that “this one had an accident a few years ago”. He immediately felt like it was his duty to inform me that the accident took place on the brakes and wasn’t a big deal but I just went on to say that they didn’t want to ride “The Raptor”, “The Big Swing” or “The Water One” (of course referencing Shoot the Rapids) either because they had accidents too but I figured it looked fun so I wanted to ride it since we could see it out of the hotel window (and then proceeded to point to some room we can’t afford in Hotel Breakers).
This of course set him off on a 5 minute long speech that I could easily tune out as long as I occasionally dropped in an occasional “yup” or “oh okay” which made the rest of the wait a lot more entertaining. Finally the train pulled up, we got in and I proceeded to ask him “If this one was scary” just in time for the loud A$$ lift hill to drown out his inevitable long-winded answer.
As for the ride itself, it was awesome as always. The ride is definitely a bit rough, but the awesome views and tremendous airtime more than make up for it. I know this ride has plenty of haters, but I’m a big fan of it.
As we pulled back in to the station I took off as quick as possible and (thankfully) didn’t see that guy for the rest of the day.
After Magnum we were definitely running short on time but we figured we had time for a few quick rides before heading over to Millennium Force so we scored a quick lap on Gemini (of course sitting in separate trains on the inside track so we could slap hands… Brit’s train crushed ours by the way) and a quick ride on Skyhawk on the way. I’m a big fan of both of those rides and an even bigger fan of the fact that they rarely ever seem to have lines. We wanted to ride Maverick but it was posting a 120 minute wait so instead we decided to head down Frontier Trail and end our weekend with a bang (or a rattle depending on who you talk to) on Millennium Force.
The wait time was posted at about 90 minutes so we were definitely doing some clock watching while in line but in the end the fact that we had an 8 hour drive ahead of us was never going to deter us from getting one last ride on Millennium Force no matter how long it took.
When we reached the station I did briefly consider riding in the back so we could get on the road, but (because I can’t help myself) we decided that another 30 minutes was a small price to pay for ending our awesome weekend with a Millennium Force front seat ride.
The anticipation kept building and after what seemed like an eternity we finally boarded the front row. I swear, no matter how many times I ride this thing it always feels like my first time ever riding it. As always, by the time we hit the brakes we were absolutely speechless. The drop is great, the overbanks are great, the speed is great, even the lift hill is great. This ride is absolutely world class and it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
… well okay, maybe not the “perfect” way, but the “perfect” way was down for wind on our way out so it would have to do
Up next: Our June trip to Universal Orlando, Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa!!!