Photo TR: Toft's & America's Roller Coast

Searching for the world's best ice cream at Cedar Point.
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Photo TR: Toft's & America's Roller Coast

Postby Electerik » Sat May 23, 2009 8:19 pm

As an ice cream enthusiast (and card carrying member of ICE), I frequently travel to far off regions of the country to sample different ice cream establishments. I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. But my number one ice cream parlor has, for a long time now, been Toft’s Dairy in Sandusky, Ohio.

What makes Toft’s so special? It’s not just a high percentage of butterfat. It’s also the fact that they’re one of the very few dairies left that still cook their vanilla base rather than cold whipping it.

Toft’s has remained family-owned for over 100 years, with just three parlor locations: Sandusky (adjacent to the dairy itself), Port Clinton, and Fremont. So when news reached me of a new, fourth location--located inside the world’s largest amusement park--I just had to see for myself.

This is my report:
Hooray, we're here!
The inside.
This is a small. (Sorry, I ate a little before I thought to take a picture.) Price: $2.55 with tax.
They even have a Millennium Force flavor. I didn't try it, though. I mean, come on, vanilla? I'd be laughed out of ICE. I'll stick with my Caveman Chocolate, thank you.
Though Cedar Point has never really been my kind of park, it's hard to argue with a skyline like that. Plus, there's ice cream over there somewhere! (Photo by speedmetal.)
We got there a little early. We do that.
Misty's first visit to Cedar Point.
I think Cedar Point ignores their rich heritage far too much. So I always appreciate little acknowledgments like this one.
Coolest coaster tag line ever: Raptor Rules The Sky!
Raptor and Blue Streak, as seen from the marina.
Almost all of the rides were plagued with significant downtime during the three days we were there. (I find it best to spread my ice cream eating out over several days.)
Here we are stuck on Blue Streak.
Such an odd looking ride.
This was our choice for lunch on the first day, primarily because it was one of the few places that hasn't been turned into a Panda Express or a Subway. And I'm normally against that kind of thing--however, I'm pretty sure that's how I got my Toft's here, so I guess I have to give CP a pass on that one.
Raptor looking squashed above Cedar Downs.
Cedar Point has three seperate car rides. None experienced significant downtime while we were there.
And they aren't kidding. One of the few things left at CP that might be described as "funky."
This photo pretty much sums up the park for me: Lots of coasters and lots of concrete.
Misty surprised me by really liking Iron Dragon.
We never made it onto Wildcat, unfortunately. I was hoping the park would be slightly less busy than it turned out to be.
Two trains is relatively easy at Cedar Point.
My favorite roller coaster since the day it opened.
New thing: On nearly every ride, the operators say "check" to you as they check your restraint. It's really odd.
I don't think Misty liked it on our first ride, but it grew on her.
Other than the seatbelts being shorter and some random pirate theming on the island, the ride is still the same: Awesome.
Well, the people in the front liked it. How did the rest of you like it in the rear?
In case you're wondering about the layout. Or need to buy me a gift for some reason.
The Frontier Trail kind of ruins CP's concrete and trashcans theming.
This always makes me happy. Now if I could just find that ice cream shop....
You are guilty of liking Knott's more than Cedar Point! We shall leave you here until we've ruined Knott's enough that you change your mind! (Photo by speedmetal.)
I went out of my way to take this. So he'd better appreciate it.
So...I'm not quite sure how to say this...but Maverick sucked.
All that's left of White Water Landing.
I don't know if it's my weird body shape or what, but my nuts were completely squashed by the seat horn just sitting in the station.
Making the prospect of strong airtime considerably less appealing.
Also, the transitions would have sent Ron Toomer back to his drawing board.
It was like getting kicked in the nuts and karate-chopped by a little gay ninja the whole frigging way. Once was enough for me.
Mean Streak. was better than Maverick.
Where Cedar Point sends its history to die. (In truth, I did see more nods to the past throughout the park than I ever have before. I was actually kind of impressed.)
Snake River Falls. Dig the ride op climbing the lift.
fpP1068517.JPG opposed to a groundhawk.
It was really fun, but (like most of CP's flat rides) ridiculously short. (Photo by speedmetal.)
The best of CP's three (admittedly similar) car rides, the Antique Cars.
Arrow: "We're Just Guessing"
Cedar Creek, presumably.
The train ride has two stations. Going from the middle of the park to the back will get you some good views of Millennium, Maverick, and Mean Streak.
Whereas going from the back of the park to the middle will take you through "Boneville." I recommend both.
Gemini only ran one side both Monday and Tuesday--often with quite a line (probably because of all the downtime on the more popular rides). Still, that's a disappointment I wouldn't normally expect from CP.
I think this photo gives some of the flavor of the park.
Woodstock Express: Now with seatbelts that must be individually released by the ride operator!
This ride shrinks a bit every few years. It may be the closest thing CP has to an immersive ride experience at this point.
It's kind of like the Jungle Cruise. Er...well, I did say "kind of."
Ooh, pretty. (Photo by speedmetal.)
I tend to be pretty forgiving about downtime. But, at a certain point, it sort of has to become the park's fault. Something was definitely not right with the amount of downtime we experienced. On the other hand, the new sign really improved the ride.
I think I finally found a seat I like on Magnum: the penultimate one.
In fact, for the first time ever, I actually wanted to ride again. That's some serious sign mojo.
Or maybe it's finally just old enough that it's crossed over into "funky" territory for me. Whatever, I liked it.
Baby, I'm ready to go!
What can I say about Top Thrill Dragster? It's really fun, but almost too intense.
You definitely know you've ridden something.
Corkscrew being its normal uncomfortable but photogenic self.
Smisty really enjoyed the Snoopy Boutique.
The various wares.
A sort of photo op playground thing inside the gift shop.
That one got in the wrong box. So Misty bought it. (Photo by speedmetal.)
Planet Snoopy...not to be confused with Camp Snoopy. Because that's how big Cedar Point is.
My's almost...themed.
If you look closely, you can see Smisty at 9 o' clock.
Normally, I like Intamin Impulse Coasters. But this one hurts me. The problem is the tiny little seatbelt. I basically have to pull the restraint down so hard on my chest that I can barely breath to get the thing buckled. Note: not my stomach, my chest. Thanks, CP.
In fact, thanks for making me feel like a huge fat ass in general. I've never had any problems at any other park. But at Cedar Point, I constantly feel like I'm on the verge of being kicked off half the rides.
Disaster Transport's load station.
How much does CP like seatbelts? This is their Ferris Wheel.
The Giant Wheel offers a nice view of the park.
Looking down the beach towards Magnum. (Photo by speedmetal.)
Kiddy Kingdom, Wicked Twister, Giant Wheel, Troika, Disaster Transport, and Maxair.
Didn't ride Maxair on this trip, but I do like it. CP also has an observation tower. Maybe we can use that to find this pesky ice cream parlor!
Yes! Despite all the mechanical problems, brainless "safety" policies, and complete indifference to anything that can't be marketed as the biggest of something, Cedar Point now has a Toft's and that makes it cool.
I'll have the "Herd of Cows," please. (Photo by speedmetal.)
Now that's what I call a successful trip. (Photo by speedmetal.)

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Postby megamatt » Sat May 23, 2009 8:48 pm

Great trip report. =)

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Postby Wood Dragon 1988 » Sat May 23, 2009 9:04 pm

Excellent TR. It seems like your complaints about the park are similar to mine (it's a HUGE CONCRETE SLAB with tons of coasters).

Its funny though that Millennium Force is your favorite ride and you think Maverick is overrated. Personally, Maverick is my number 2 steel coaster and I think Millie is ridiculously overrated :lmao:

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Postby Franc » Sat May 23, 2009 9:30 pm

I prefer MF over maverick.

Thanks for the report. (Memories from last summer *sigh* )

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Postby Maverickrocks » Sat May 23, 2009 9:33 pm

Wow, awesome report and pictures! I've had Toft's a few times, but never been to one of their parlors other then the one at CP. It's good stuff, and it looks like I should try and get to the one in Sandusky sometime soon.

If you ever come to my hometown of Columbus on a future trip to Ohio, definatly go to this place called Jeni's Ice Cream. A visit there is kinda like a culinary experience itself, since they feature flavors made with ingredients not found in typical ice cream. They have some great stuff, like Wildberry Lavender, Savannah Buttermint, Cherry Lambic sorbet and Lemon with Blueberries to name a few. All of their ice cream is made fresh and naturally as well, with a focus on local ingredients. By far my favorite ice cream.

Anyway, sorry about Maverick. I can see where your coming from, it's really a ride so wild that it can be rough depending on your physical characteristics or the way you ride it.

That's a shame about all the downtime too, and that's pretty common every year during the first week of the season. Things get drastically better after that though.

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Postby King of Ka » Sat May 23, 2009 9:41 pm

I liked this TR, I totally agree about the slab of concrete and over-enforcement of safety. I don't entirely blame CP though, I think the park probably gets a larger amount of people who come on vacation and turn their minds off than most other parks, and a death there would most likely be national news, so they have a tiny bit of reason for the safety precautions.

It's strange though, Maverick is my favorite steel coaster, partially because I loved the transitions. The horseshoe roll is my favorite element ever, and everything else about the ride (the banking in particular) is so perfectly done IMO.

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Postby tanthonyam » Sat May 23, 2009 9:49 pm

A line for Wildcat? Seriously! Yet the line for MF looked really short! Unless you took that early in the day or late in the day.
I also could never understand their seatbelt policy on almost every ride. But don't feel bad, it looks like you fit perfectly on the Giant Wheel! LOL!
Was this on a Saturday? You gotta expect lots of people here, I mean it is America's Rollercoast.

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Postby RCFreak » Sun May 24, 2009 1:08 am

Dude those first few shots of the Dairy parlor brought back tons of memeories when I worked at the park during Halloweekends. When those of us still in the dorms but not in school, were bored we would usually head off toward somerandom destination and usually end it with some Toft's.

Also, one of the rides I worked on was indeed Paddlewheel so THANK YOU for showing some of that. I miss speileing and almost dying driving into the rocks. Oh man learning to drive those boasts was a pain! lol they are not on tracks unlike some other parks so it takes talent and skill to drive the boat, spiel and act (well, those of us who were actually any good...)

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Postby Thelegendarymatthew » Sun May 24, 2009 1:35 am

A lot of shots I haven't seen there before.
Nice Photo TR!
I was a bit surprised when I saw that you chose Mean Streak over Maverick. Your the second person I've met (first being Cyclone Man) that didn't enjoy the ride.

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Postby Electerik » Sun May 24, 2009 7:21 am

tanthonyam wrote:A line for Wildcat? Seriously! Yet the line for MF looked really short! Unless you took that early in the day or late in the day.
I also could never understand their seatbelt policy on almost every ride. But don't feel bad, it looks like you fit perfectly on the Giant Wheel! LOL!
Was this on a Saturday? You gotta expect lots of people here, I mean it is America's Rollercoast.

The shot of MF's line was actually during early entry, as we bought Platinum Annual Passes. And, no, not a Saturday. We went in briefly on Sunday night, then all day Monday and Tuesday. I figured the lines would be fairly short during the first week of daily operations, but there were lots and lots of school kids there both days. And, of course, all the downtime made the lines for the things that were working that much worse.

I discovered Toft's while working at the park, also. I was on the opening crew of MF back in 2000. I had never been to the park prior to working there, and just figured that I would love it. Instead, I found the place highly mediocre. I liked my ride, though. =)


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