One Last Day of Summer

Cedar Point: Went to Cedar Point for my annual end of the season/no wait time ridefest.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 3, 2007 at 10:14 PM
The end of summer bums me out. The warm weather leaves, everything outside dies, and the parks close for the regular season. What a perfect oppurtunity for one last trip to Cedar Point. The kids are already in school, the air not too hot, and hey, I'll feel better because I'm getting one more day of summer.

For those new, I've always preached that the end of August is one of the best times to go to the Point for two reasons. There are no crowds, and the hotels are cheaper. Yeah the park closes a little earlier, the beach is dead, and a few low volume eateries, shows, and shops are closed, but I came to ride, and ride I did. We've all heard rider ratings for many of these rides, so I'll give a quick comment and rating for the following rides

Millennium Force-10...Still the best ride in the park. It hasn't lost a step.
Top Thrill Dragster-9...That launch never gets old.
Magnum XL200-8...Getting up there in age for an Arrow coaster, but still running smooth and strong
Mean Streak-7...Recently retracked so smoother than before, but still rough in some spots.
Skyhawk-8...Who knew a giant swingset could be this fun
Iron Dragon-6...Seems even slower now with the overstock of 70 mph plus coasters in the park
Wildcat-7...They just don't make portable coasters like they used to. Glad to still have an original around to ride.
Disaster Transport-3...A lovable pile of crap though. I rode it because there was a zero wait time.
Wicked Twister-7...I'm not usually a big fan of shuttle/launch coasters, but the 70 mph launch made it cool.
Maxair-8...My favorite style of flat ride.

And Maverick. I'll write a little bit about this one. The park had a few problems when it opened earlier this summer with new track and such, but these problems are history now. Cedar Point has finally proven to themselves and the industry that a coaster doesn't have to be hundreds of feet tall to have a huge thrill factor. This ride is the parks second 10. It delivers on every level, from the 95 degree first drop, to the compact high banked turns and inversions that make you feel as if you are going about 200 mph, to the launch in the middle that isn't Dragster speed, but enough to make you remember. It's the best new ride of the year. They hit a home run with this one.

Some of the other things I noticed. Raptor was closed for the day (bummer) along with various other rides that are used for Halloweekends. Most of the staff left were foreign exchange workers, all of whom were very polite and were taking good care of their little spot of the park. There were some very subtle signs of cost cutting around. The beach needed cleaned up a little bit from the onslaught of seagull feathers and human beings, and there were a few things laying around. Some of the coasters are ready for a paint job, and staffing was pretty bare... although this had really no effect on customer experience. I'll chalk most of that up to end of season/low volume cost control. My wait times? 20 minutes for Millennium Force, 25 for Maverick, 15 for Top Thrill Dragster, 15 for Magnum, and even less for everything else. Not too bad considering that these rides command at the very least an hour wait only a week before. The park looked great as well, clean and well taken care of. It really didn't hurt that there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was about 82 degrees with a lake breeze blowing in. I also caught the tail end of the rock show at the Red Garter Saloon. I don't really like seeing some of my favorite songs turned into cheesy show tunes, but I'll hand it to the performers for being good at what they do. Overall a great visit to the park. I enjoyed every minute of it. I got my one last day of summer.

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