May 23, 2015
On Saturday we got up early and after some motel issues we were off to the park. After stopping for some breakfast at McDonalds we headed down the causeway. After parking back by Gemini we headed into the park which wasn’t actually open yet except to Platinum Passholders and hotel guests. Walking down a mostly empty Gemini Midway in the early morning was nice. And we had a great day ahead of us with Fast Lane. We headed over to Maverick to see about getting in line once the park opened, but because I had a Platinum Pass, they let us both get in line for the ride.
Maverick–The wait was maybe 15 minutes. I’d never had a front seat ride on Maverick that I could remember, so we got in line for the front. First the obvious, the new restrains were really comfy. My love for Maverick never waivers. That first drop really was great and the airtime was amazing. I felt the ride was running a bit slow on this trip, but that’s okay. I missed the lights in the tunnel launch. But it was still such a well rounded ride and I wish there were more rides like this in the states. It seems like if parks aren’t interested in Intamin that Mack can make something just as good.
Next we were going to keep the magic going by heading to Millennium Force, but it was stuck on the lift for quite a while. We had Fast Lane, so we knew we could come back later so we headed front entrance so that Doug could see the rest of the massive park by way of the Sky Ride. There were tons of school bands in the park performing, which was also nice. We took pictures and then headed out the front gate for more pictures. There was such a shift in people flow now that the front gate had been renovated and it was so much better, and way more photogenic. We headed back in and used Fast Lane for Gatekeeper.
Gatekeeper–Most people were very ‘meh’ on Gatekeeper, but I liked it. There was amazing hangtime on the first drop/inversion, and airtime on the hill heading to the front gate. And the Zero G roll was really great. The other roll over the entrance was great as well. I liked Gatekeeper. I think Wild Eagle is better, and X Flight was really good too. I’d probably rank Gatekeeper 3 out of the wing riders I’d ridden up to that point. It was a fun ride. I also really liked the plaza around Gatekeeper. The ride was really well done and I loved the sign and how it faces out into the lake.
Since we were already close by we decided to take a chance on Wicked Twister. I’d never had a problem with the ride before, but when I went to Coastermania a couple of years ago I wasn’t able to fit since they’d shortened the seat belts. This time, though, I had no issues as I’d lost some weight.
Wicked Twister–Impulse coasters still kind of scare me. I love them, but they scare me. I always feel like we’re going to go off the end track going forward, and then you never know when you’re going to stop going backwards. But it’s all great fun. I wish more of these had been built.
MaxAir was next was we were quickly able to get on using our Fastlane. It didn’t take but one cycle to get on, and I really love frisbee style rides. We had a few good spins and then we were off to ride Millennium Force.
Millennium Force–We opted to sit in the second row since there was little to no wait. One thing I do like about the Intamin giga coasters is the quickness to the top. That first drop is always great with an amazing view of the lake. I really like MF, even if many people think it’s overhyped. You head into the over banked turns and, even though the airtime isn’t super aggressive like most Intamin coasters, there is airtime on the hills. But I like speed. Plus the small hill by the station was finally giving some airtime.
After Millennium Force we walked up to the park’s classic wooden coaster, Blue Streak. Man, I know they’re building new stuff in that area, but that particular dead end needed opened up. Hopefully it will be opened soon.
Blue Streak–The first time I rode Blue Streak I thought it was okay, but after they did some work to it a few years ago, it’d been running amazingly well ever since. Every hill had good airtime, and the turn around throws you around a bit. The return leg was just a tad rough, but really aggressive in a good way.
Apparently everyone with a Fast Lane headed to Raptor next. The line for Fast Lane wasn’t obnoxiously long, but still longer than I’d wanted to wait. World Famous Coaster Enthusiast Josh Wozny was also in the park and I saw this on my Instagram account while waiting for Raptor, so we planned to meet up after.
Raptor–This ride had always been solid. It’s no Afterburn or Montu. I even like Silver Bullet and Talon better, but it’s a very solid ride. I love the mostly straight drop. The sequence of inversions and lack of stopping on the mid course made the ending really intense, but in a good way.
We walked back to Frontier Trail to meet up with Josh, Amber, and the kids. They were sipping moonshine, but instead of getting some drinks we discussed food. We were going to go to Chet & Matts since I’ve heard so much, but then we decided that since I, and of course Doug, hadn’t seen the Breakers renovation yet, we’d head over to there. We walked back to leave out the Magnum gate and around to Breakers. I’d never actually been over by the hotel before, so this was all new to me. I’d seen photos, and obviously wanted to see the renovations.
Wow. I can’t even tell you how beautiful it was. I’d only heard about what it was and should have been, but seeing what it was now was amazing. First, I loved the boardwalk area leading up to the hotel area. Then you get to the grand entrance of the hotel facing the beach. The fire pits with the carousel horses were nice touches Walking in, it looked so charming. A true seaside resort, but very modern and well done. I loved the rotunda. We explored the inside all the way thru to the car entrance facing the park. That’s where we found out for sure that Thunder Road at Carowinds was going bye-bye, so I’ll always remember that text.
Tomo was where we had dinner, and it was fantastic. After dinner we walked over to the new bar inside Breakers, which was nice. I had an Old fashioned. It was very good, and think I may have had another drink after, but I don’t really remember, as we sat and talked at the bar and then outside on the patio. They’d really made a nice gathering area outside. Someone in charge finally knows how to bring in guests for longer stays, it would seem.
Heading back in the gate we walked by the new beautiful picnic pavilion. They were setting up for Brews & BBQ, which I’ll get into in a bit. We walked over to Windseeker next, which was very cold at the top with the lake breeze. Then Josh took me up to the top of the Coliseum, which I’d always wanted to see, and never knew it was open to see. I took a few pictures and then off we were. My phone was starting to die at this point, and I considered going back to charge it, but didn’t. Josh and clan went to ride Blue Streak after we stopped for a bathroom break, and Doug and I went to the Ferris Wheel for a quick spin. Then it was time to go to the Brew & BBQ festival.
This was exceptionally nice and the new pavilion looked great. There were 146 beers to try, and I tried many of them, as well as almost all of the different food; I didn’t try the catfish. Although the meats I had were good, as were the sides, the BBQ sauces all seemed to be out of a bottle, which was disappointing. My only other complaint was the lack of knowledge about the beer that the people handing out samples had. A little training would have went a long way here since each station only had so many beers, but otherwise, it was great fun and we spent quite a bit of time trying different stuff. We left from there and went to put our phones in the car to charge.
Arriving back in the park I headed to Dinosaurs Alive, not so much to see Dinosaurs, but to get some pictures of Millennium Force since I’d never been on the island before. It took me just a few minutes to go thru and shoot pictures while Doug when to ride the kiddy coaster. Doug still needed his Corkscrew credit, so I waited on him to ride as I didn’t feel the need to. Then we decided to Fast Lane our way on to TTD. Another thrill, but man is it just not much of a coaster. You do get to see a great view at the top though.
After that we headed back over to finish up drinking and eating at the Brew & BBQ festival. I met a nice guy that worked at CP that had a Fury 325 shirt on, someone from the park had picked it up for him whilst in Charlotte for Media Day. We left the Brew & BBQ festival and walked over to the Derby Racer. This is such a fun ride and I really want to ride the ones in New York and the U.K. some time. After riding we took a stroll back to Maverick for a night time ride. And of course, it delivered once again.
I will comment here on the state of Cedar Point’s operations. It was a big difference from my previous visits, and not in a good way. There’s the familiar scanning and all clear junk from Six Flags, and it wasn’t needed at Cedar Point, a park that I felt had capacity and operations down to as much of a science almost as much as Disney. It was ridiculous. They were so slow loading Maverick that, even with a Fast Lane, it felt like they were loading soooo… slow. It was way too slow compared to how safely and efficiently they used to do it. So because of that, we stood and waited and waited and waited before they let people in to ride. It was annoying. Plus, I really wanted a nite ride on Millennium Force, which would have been easy to do seeing as how we got in line with Fast Lane for Maverick 30 minutes before the park closed.
So we got our nite time Maverick ride, which was great but it’d be better with tunnel lights, then we got off and started huffing it with 5 minutes till close over to Millennium Force. I didn’t know if we would make it, but I’d never had a nite ride and really, REALLY wanted one. So I power walked while Doug kind of scurried behind me. I was sweating and kind of ticked off that we were having to do this when in the past it wouldn’t be a problem. Thankfully, we made it just in time.
Millennium Force at nite was really very different. It was nice and cool, and much like Magnum, there was so much darkness when looking out at the top. After we got our nite ride in, Doug and I slowly meandered back to the Magnum gate to the car. We headed to the motel that I’ll never stay at again and went to sleep. The Brew & BBQ festival was a great success, and the park wasn’t too busy. Having said that, had they not decided to get their operations in line with the ‘industry standard’ that Six Flags had in place, I think things could have been better, especially having a Fast Lane. But we got a decent amount in. I love Cedar Point, have since my first visit. I didn’t expect to get back up there again so soon, but the possibility of not having to stand up and ride Mantis, while having a more comfy Maverick ride was too good to pass up. Eventually, though, I may have to stay a nite or two at the Hotel Breakers.