Kennywood/Cedar Point Report 9/15-16 (Part Two)

Cedar Point: The Cedar Point report!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM
After a rather good night's sleep (something I rarely get at home, but got three of on this trip) I headed to Ohio early Sunday morning. I had a made a decision to go to Mass in Sandusky rather than Sharon, to increase my chances of making it to Cedar Point in time for Passholder Early Opening. Since I also had to get breakfast, I was on the road slightly before 6am. I hit the Waffle House before getting on the Ohio Turnpike, and was at Sts. Peter and Paul well in advance of the 10am Mass. I was reading the plaque that said Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame foodball coach, had married his wife at the rectory there in the early 1900's..they met while working at Cedar Point (he was a lifeguard.) He also developed the forward pass there, and sent his players, including the Four Horsemen, to train and practice at the Point. I thought that was pretty cool stuff.

I arrived at CP a minute or two after the early opening. I won't dwell on the fact, as mentioned in Part One, that I was unable to ride Wicked Twister and Dragster. I need to lose weight, that's a given. I also should have tried the test seats, but I anticipated no issues, especially on WT, as I ride Possessed all the time. Several years ago, my Walk Of Shame on Millennium Force spurred me to lose a lot of weight, and maybe history will repeat.

Upon entry, I headed straight for Millennium Force, about a five minute wait. That's also about how long it took the attendant to buckle me in for each of my three rides. I could not even come CLOSE to buckling it myself. I felt sure I would have to forgo the ride, but somehow or other, they got me in. Oddly enough, once I was secure, it didn't feel particularly tight. it was running well for all three, all in the back or close. You can see a coupla dinos during the course, but the glimpse is fleeting. The line never got particularly long throughout the day, but those three rides were all I took. I simply didn't feel like struggling with the belt again.

I headed back down the Frontier Trail to Maverick, which was also open for early entry. I got there just as the park was officially opening at 12. I took two rides, both times using the single rider line. First time, about 5 minutes, second, no wait. Rode back once, next to last on the other. Having now established I-305 as my favorite steel coaster, I think I appreciate Maverick a little more than I have in the past. It's a fun ride, with some cool twists and a great tunnel launch. I still don't think I'd wanna wait more than half an hour for it though. The line was in the switchbacks already after my second ride, so I moved onto my next "M."

I understand Mean Streak has had some re-tracking done. I took two rides, neither near the back (that lesson's been learned.) I can honestly say the ride was not painful. But pain is at least a're FEELING something. Mean Streak just meandered through the course, with some braking on the first drop. Simply put, the ride is boring and seems bereft of life. I hate to realize this was once my favorite wood coaster.

The best "Oh S***!" moment of the weekend occurred on my first of four rides on Magnum. At the crest of the second (third?) hill..the one after the first tunnel...I thought I was gonna end up in Lake Erie. That's how far out of my seat I was, and the same happed on the return bunnies. I'm awestruck by how good this ride still is after almost 25 years. Took two more before the line grew some (gruesome? It is HalloWeekends, after all) and got another later, after which the ride shut down for some reason.

Took a total of three rides on Gemini, including one where there was no race. It seemed more braked than I remember, and ran a bit rough.

I had really looked forward to riding CP's Windseeker, and the views of the park and lake were, as I expected, spectacular.

I was debating between Midway Market and Panda Express for lunch. The Orange Chicken won that battle. It's actually a better deal than my local outlet for the amount you get, and it was delicious..easily the tastiest meal I've ever had in a park. For some reason the cashier didn't charge me for my drink, which is most certainly NOT included in the meal. I had also hoped to try a hot dog from Pinks, and planned on getting one when I was leaving the park. But they were already closed when I left, closed well before the 9pm park closing time.

Speaking of eating and drinks, the dependable COLD water fountains are not quite as icy as in the past. The streams are also very weak. The best is still the one by Town Hall near SkyHawk, and I found another good one near Camp Snoopy.

I did a few flats, including Witches Wheel and Cedar Downs, which I'd never skip. The lines for most rides were very short all day, although there seemed to be a decent amount of people in the park. Although I couldn't ride TTD, it was practically a walk-on. The only line that stayed really long was Maverick.

This was my first time visiting CP during Halloweekends. I had hoped it would be cooler than it was. Also the Halloween decorations, etc., are probably more effective at night. And none of the outdoor haunted mazes/attractions are open on Sunday until October 7.

I took a little walk on the beach, rolled up my jeans, and dipped into the lake waters. Water was very warm. Also played some Pac-Man, Frogger, and pinball in the arcade.

I had made up my mind on the drive in that I was likely to get a Fast Lane band...for the usual reasons: Short day, don't visit very often, expected lines. I'm glad I didn't spend the $65, though. I would have been using it repeatedly on MF, WT, and based on my experiences with those rides this day, it would have literally been throwing money away.

I mentioned the outdoor haunts were not open Sundays yet. But I decided to visit the four indoor haunts which opened at 3, including Boeckel's Eerie Estate which turned out as my longest wait of the day, about 40 minutes. I will rate the four on a scale of Zero-10. Here we go:

Eerie Estate (haunted mansion near Windseeker)..Zero

Eden Musee (Wax museum located near Mean Streak)..Zero

Eternity Infirmary (haunted medical facility located near Maverick)..1. Gets a point for the skills of the guy in a wheelchair in a small room with props managing to negotiate the room without making contact with patrons.

Club Blood (zombie dance club located just inside main gate)..1..Decent looking undead go-go dancers in cages will always score a point with me.

I can't say it was the best day I ever had at Cedar Point, but considering the no-ride issues, it was okay. If I make it back for Gatekeeper next season, hopefully, I'll be 15-20 pounds down. Thanks again to Ken and his family for meeting up at Kennywood, and to the TPI folks who gave me advice on my projected itinerary.

Thanks for reading, as always.

From Rob Pastor
Posted September 18, 2012 at 6:34 PM
I seem to remember pictures in the Cedar Park Museum of Knute Rockne & the Notre Dame players practicing the forward pass on the Cedar Point beach. And, yes, Magnum sure does have a great out of seat sensation. Cedar Point is a beautiful park in a great setting. If you like coasters its an excellent park. But it's a bit weak on entertainment and theme attractions.

From James Koehl
Posted September 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM
Mike, I wish I could have joined you at Cedar Point. It sounds like you had a pretty good time, a few bumps, but still a good time. Better time I had working that day!

From James Rao
Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:36 PM
Mike, I always enjoy your reports. They are candid, honest, and thorough. Thank you for sharing.

Now, about that diet you mentioned... step one: no more Awful House! Seriously, bro, even if you (for some strange reason) like the taste, you must know that crap is deathly bad for you! For the love of God and the taste buds He created, from one TPI-er to another, I beg of you, please stop!

From Bradley Keith
Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:58 PM
I'm a Waffle House fan as well. I like to go at midnight, sort of as a breakfast. Maybe it's not the nicest, but seriously, the waffles are pretty good. I get addicted to food at the least clean restaurants... I love the Doritos tacos at Taco Bell. I'm scared for my health, but the food at both of those places... I find pretty good. The people at Theme Park Review in general also like WH. I'm not a TPR fan, because I think maybe they're a little immature, but we have something in common.

From Carrie Hood
Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:13 AM
I'm with everyone here, Waffle House is one of my little guilty pleasures. I'd probably eat there more often but the closest one to me is a 45 minute drive. I've also found it depends a LOT on the Waffle House, some are better then others.

I haven't heard great reviews about Cedar Points Halloween event the last few years. At least from people who have a clue what their talking about in a haunt. I was more impressed with Kings Island myself, they at TRIED. Though I admit I'm looking forward to see if Busch Gardens Williamsburg has improved their offerings.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:32 AM
Yeah, Carrie, as I've mentioned before, NJ is Waffle House-less. So Jim Rao can sing its evils all he wants, but it's not like I have it very often. It's kinda like a restaurant version of Gibbles ;)

Dorney's Haunts put Cedar Point's to shame. I would give CP the benefit of the doubt, though..this was the first weekend, and the actors are still finding their marks and best spots, and working on their timing. If any of the outdoor mazes had been open, perhaps my opinion would be different.

From James Rao
Posted September 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM
@Mike I don't mean to just pick on Awful House, that's just our standing joke. There are plenty of "dining" places people visit frequently that offer absolute drek in the guise of food (Panda Express, which you also mentioned in your thread, is another such abomination). However, if you just "splurge" at this greasy spoon once in a great while... hey, more power to you. I was just reacting off your "weight loss" comments.

Further, there are plenty of better places to get the same type of food, but at a better level of quality. I just say, "expand your palate a bit and try something new...." One of my favorite things to do when I travel is eat at new places...local joints that are popular in the area and found no where else. And if they can be healthy options, too, well, that's a plus!

According to most of you, I guess I'm "spoiled". There are Awful Houses at every highway exit in the Midwest. Usually right next to a sleepy little no-tell motel managed by a relative of Norman Bates.... That's quality.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Sorry..clicked too long!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM
James said: "I don't mean to just pick on Awful House."

Yes, you do. :)

James ALSO said: "There are Awful Houses at every highway exit in the Midwest. Usually right next to a sleepy little no-tell motel managed by a relative of Norman Bates.... That's quality."

Ahhhh...a slice of Heaven on both ends.

From James Rao
Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM
One man's Heaven is another man's Super Size Me!!! ;p

From Ryan Spann
Posted September 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Right now I'm really debating whether or not to head up to CP for the Halloween event. Based on this TR, it wasn't too much of a thrill... but it is still only September. This this isn't until near the END of October, so I guess it should be more alive by then. Also, I've gotta say that your weight story is something I went through earlier in the year, but that's different now!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
If you go after Oct. 7, the outdoor haunts will all be open all three days, so it should be a lot better. I understand Saturday is a mob scene X 10. I'd like to say the belts were shorter, because my dimensions are pretty much what they were in '10 when I fit on everything easily. But that would sound like an excuse. Have a blast when you go!

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