I can remember just a few weeks before opening weekend for Six Flags over Georgia in 2010, having just relocated to North Carolina, that I could attend my first opening weekend of any park while returning after a disastrous visit the previous spring for the annual Spring Fling ACE event. I was excited and made plans to leave after work that Friday, spending the weekend in Atlanta. Nine years later, I would return for opening weekend, though I’ve been to the park several times in the years since.
My plans included leaving work early Friday, for which I’d requested and had approved leave for. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to leave work until 5 PM. This made my arrival closer to 11 PM, and wiped out any chance of dinner plans in the city, and due to my own hurried attitude, caused me to leave my debit card at a Wendy’s in South Carolina, which I didn’t realize until I was checking into my room. Thankfully my room was already paid for and I had credit cards and Apple Pay, so my arrival and check-in at the Westin Peachtree was quick and I was in my room in no time.
I did freshen up and head out for a slight bit to have a drink and try to enjoy the evening, but eventually made my way back to the Westin and my bed for the weekend. On Saturday morning I headed down to find the hotel’s breakfast buffet in the lobby. I’d gotten used to the breakfast buffet at Marriott and had toyed with going there, but as Westin is a Marriott property, and the buffet was $10 cheaper, I decided I would give it a go. It was just as good, and different enough. Afterwards I headed up to the room and got ready to head out to Six Flags.
Another year, another Memorial Day trip to Cedar Point. I’m not quite sure how this became an annual thing, and I hadn’t planned on going in 2017, but here it was. My friend Isaac and I left North Carolina on Friday and headed Sandusky, OH. He hadn’t been in many years, but used to work at the park and was excited to return. We arrived in Huron and checked into our room around 7:30 PM, then headed over to the park. Our first stop was Magnum.
Magnum is still one of my favorite coasters. On my previous visit the year before, at the end of the nite I finally got Magnum rides in the dark with the trims off. I’d never experienced that before. But…our first ride of this trip was fairly dark and trimless in the infamous seat 1-3. The ride is brutal, but so much fun. I don’t expect trimless rides, but I’m glad when I get them. We met up with Josh Wozny at the exit and made our way over towards Valravn. After a really great ride on Blue Streak near the back we met up with his girls and got in line for Valravn.
Valravn–This ended up being our only ride on the coaster for the whole weekend, and it was only a 30 minute wait. I was somewhat vocal on how ‘meh’ I felt about this addition. Honestly, I was more excited about the fact that the park was revamping the entrance and area around the ride. I’d ridden Griffon a few weeks prior. So how was Valravn? It was fun. We sat in the second row and I can say that it is probably the most forceful of the 3 US dive coasters I’d ridden. The zero G roll was really good, and you get great views of the park from the top of the lift. Its the best layout for a dive coaster I’d ridden, and its obviously a great addition to the park. But for me, I’m still ‘meh’ about the coaster. I think the renovation of the area around it looks great.
After Valravn we headed back to the hotel. The next morning we woke up and headed to the park, arriving as they were letting in Season Pass holders. After the National Anthem we headed in to Gatekeeper first. I’m not sure why people don’t care for that ride. I think it’s a fun coaster. It was a one train wait for the front on the right side. Isaac really liked it. So then we went and rode towards the middle of the left side. We actually stopped about half way up the lift on our first ride.
Next up we walked back to see what else had opened and rode Millennium Force, which was Isaac’s 3rd giga coaster in about a month. We got the second row with minimal wait. The ride was running slightly rougher than I’d seen in the past, but still very fun.
Cedar Point was really fairly dead. We wanted to ride Gemini but it hadn’t open yet. Actually, most of the rides in the park were up and down all day. I will say, I loved the new app with waiting times. Very useful. We ended up riding Maverick instead. I always like Maverick. The ride is almost perfect.
Up next we rode Mean Streak, then Sky Hawk which I had not ridden in a few years as it was down every time I was there. Then we headed to a short wait for Dragster. I’d never seen such a short wait for this ride outside of ERT before, but TTD never had more than about a 30 minute wait all day. Next we rode the shot side of Power tower, then over to Rougaru. It is actually one of the better floorless coasters, which is funny since it was such a terrible stand-up coaster. Isaac was excited about this one because he hadn’t liked Mantis very much.
Heading out of the park for lunch, we walked over to Breakers to search for a place to eat which we readily found at TGIFridays. My burger and drink were good and it was nice to take a break and hang out for a bit outside of the park. I really do need to head up to CP for a weekend at the Breakers in the next couple of years, as what they’ve done with it is just amazing.
We walked along the beach and went over to the shore for a bit before heading in to ride Windseeker. Next up was Wicked Twister, which, while I was able to ride this time last year, I was denied on this year. Hey, that’s what happens when you sit around post surgery and eat. Following Isaac’s ride we headed to MaxAir which, up until this trip, had been my favorite swinging pendulum ride. It is still amazing, and placed wonderfully in the park. We headed back out of the park for a while again for some downtime which was a nice chance to chill, and before long a storm rolled in off the lake. After the storm passed we headed back into the park for more riding.
Raptor was up next but then the rain came back. We headed to my car and drove back around to Breakers again where we went and had some drinks until the downpour finally stopped and we went back into the park. We found out that the Brews & BBQ event was cancelled, which was a bummer because that was going to be our dinner. Oh well. We did eventually get to ride Raptor, and had dinner at Famous Daves before going back in and hitting up Gemini, Iron Dragon, and then TTD again.
It was getting late, so we were trying to decide on a last ride. But every time we chose something, it seemed to close. Valravn had another short wait, but the ride went down just as we got in line. We opted for a night ride on Millennium Force instead. Once the park was closed we headed back out and left Sandusky for Isaac’s parent’s house for the night.