This trip report covers my last roller coaster excursion for 1998. It
takes place at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. I'm going to use 12h time
(!) this go around.
We left home Friday evening at 2:36pm, when my parents picked me up at
school with the trailer already in tow, ready to go.
Cedar Point - Friday, October 9
We drove like mad and dropped off the trailer at the campground as
quickly as possible, and drove back to the park and made it there at
8:47pm. We headed right to Raptor, and were overcome with delight at
finding the queue down to just the bottom of the stairs to go up to the
station! We went for the second row, and enjoyed the wonderful ride. I
just LOVE the seats on Raptor. They are so comfortable, and SNUG. That's
a big thing I like over the Vekoma SLC train design - the seat feels
like it wraps around me on Raptor. TOP GUN at Paramount's Canada's
Wonderland (Vekoma SLC) has seats which feel a lot more open at the
back, it's kind of cold and very mechanical.
For my second ride, I went to the back row and gave that a go. I sat in
the left hand seat. It was delightful! The swing out over the first drop
was fantastic. I very much enjoyed that, and the 'suck' sensations
coming out of the heartline roll. I experienced 'tingle in the nut'
during the vertical loop.
I rode once more, then departed with my parents as I wanted to see how
long the queue for Power Tower was. When I arrived, it was very short
(no queue rails open, not even backed up to the television units). One
Shot and both Drops were operational. I lined up for the Shot side. I
sat with a family of three who'd never ridden before. I gave them some
quick tips on holding their heads back. The little girl was quite
scared, but had her hands and legs out just like me after the first drop
It was inevitable, with such a short line I couldn't help but stupidly
queue up for the Drop side. "What am I doing?" I thought to myself. I'm
sure Dave will tell us how 'delighted' I was to be riding on the Drop
side when I was with him earlier in the year. I sat with three girls
who'd all ridden many times during the day. I was terrified, really. I
had my arms crossed and hands on opposite hand grips and my eyes closed.
The girl next to me said "GET 'EM OUT 'DERE!" As we dropped, I shouted
"OH - MY - GOD" and shot my arms and legs spastically in and out with
the syllables in the sentence mentioned before. I was OK, but severly
I rode the Shot once more before moving to Mantis. Again, little to no
wait. I walked up the platform and RIGHT ON to a train waiting in the
station, 2nd row. I couldn't believe how short the line was. I took a
far right seat (stand?) and locked my shoulder harness down. I watched
with delight as the operator had about 4 buttons pressed at once (for
releasing individual harness sets), with her huge fingernails and arms
crossed all every which way.
I like the drop on Mantis better than the drop on Skyrider, a Togo
standing coaster at Paramount's Canada's Wonderland. The brake isn't
THAT noticeable, either. I'm sure it serves it's purpose though. I
wasn't flung into my harness as I had been earlier in the year - I
wonder if perhaps it was set a little bit lighter for some reason? The
vertical loop and sidewinder (Dive loop, sorry) are quite splendid and I
very much enjoyed that part of my ride on Mantis.
When our train arrived in the station, I looked over to my left and saw
Roz Stevens in line for the front seat! I yelled out her name but I
don't think she heard me. I waited at the bottom of the stairs for their
train to go out and come back, then said hello. She had another ACE
friend with her named Ron who was quite annoying and belligerent, who
told me about how a brake was to be installed on Raptor for the 1999
operating season before the entrance to the Cobra Roll. Say it isn't so!
At the very end of my trip I discovered I wasn't the only one who had
problems with Ron (read on...).
We walked back to Raptor and had three more rides. Somewhere in there,
a train was removed and exchanged for a reason my parents explained
later - an operator reached into the drip pan and extracted a part and
exclaimed "This train isn't going ANYWHERE." We watched the train
circulate, return, glide sideways on the transfer track and slink back
to it's home. It was so cute! The little Raptor went to it's home for a
little rest. Then, the other train got to come out and play! Much joy to
be had here!
For all three rides we sat in the back row. Roz always took the far
right, a seat I understand is the best. I enjoyed the left, but I hadn't
ridden the right-hand seat so I didn't have much to compare it too. On
our last ride, Ron went with some other people and Roz and I did rock
paper scissors to decide who would get the far right seat. On our first
go, we both did rocks. Then we both did scissors! On our third go, I did
a rock but Roz had paper - paper covers rock. DAMN! :^)
We had one final ride, on a train my parents were both on as well. Roz
and I looked at our picture - it was hilarious! I should have bought it,
now that I think about it. We decided to meet up at 2pm near the Magnum
Exit Plaza on Saturday, and we went back to the campground for the
Cedar Point - Saturday, October 10
I had a great, albeit SLOW day. The park was PACKED. I couldn't believe
how busy it was!! Raptor had a 1 3/4h line - HORRID. I didn't do much
except ride Gemini a lot.
I'm not going to go into much detail, but I met up with Roz Stevens,
Dan Haverlock, and Scott Short, and had a great evening with those guys.
We had tons of fun, and couldn't wait for Sunday.
Cedar Point - Sunday, October 11
"Is it sinking, too?"
"I'm NOT cold."
Sunday morning I was so e***d. We left the campground at about
11:26am, and when we arrived at the park we parked in the usual 'Gemini'
lot. My parents walked to Raptor, while I queued up for Magnum. In line,
I saw Scott and Dan, and a little farther down I saw Jerry and his
friend. I got in line and a few minutes later I saw Roz, and she came
and joined me.
We got our first ride on Magnum at 12:14pm. We sat in the front seat of
the back car. The drop was delicious! Next, we tried the Althoff seat at
12:30pm. Our third Magnum ride was again 16 minutes later (talk about
constancy!), and after then we had one more ride and got off at 1:10, a
few minutes late but we arrived at our 1pm meeting place nonetheless.
Sean Flaharty (the Popcorn King), Jim Raimar, Dan, Scott, Jerry, Jerry's
friend (I'm sorry, I don't think I caught his name!), and a bunch of
others (I'm sorry, I'm quite forgetful!) were all there waiting to go.
We all decided to have another ride on Magnum.
After that, we drifted towards Gemini. We paired off in different
trains, and our train (blue) lost. I don't usually ride the Blue train
unless I'm with someone else who wants to; I don't know why I don't ride
the blue side, but it's always been a tradition, I guess, of mine to
always sit in the red train. I feel very 'out of place' on the blue
After our ride, we headed up to Frontiertown to ride Mean Streak and
the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. At 3:40 we got off of the Mantis. We had a
great ride and our group filled the last two rows of the train. Jim and
I both listened with our ears to the support for the carousel turn while
in the station - it was wonderful! Our ride was great, except at the end
I heard Sean, who was in the back row, say something about something on
the back of my seat (stand?). I reached back, and got my hand stuck
right in the middle of a thick spider web. Ick! It was ***!
After that, Roz had to leave. We said goodbye, and we all decided to
grab a bite of lunch at the hot-dog-on-a-stick (Pogo) place near Mantis'
first drop. After a nice and relaxing half hour lunch, we split up into
smaller groups and planned on meeting later in the day. I headed off
with Jim, Sean, and someone else who's name unfortunately escapes me at
this time. We went over to WildCat. I was anxious to ride WildCat again,
to give me a taste of what the 'Fly' at Paramount Canada's Wonderland
might be like next year (there I go again, rattling off about my home
park again - I swear, I'm going to turn into a CoasterBob...). My neck
cracked on the lift hill, but apart from that - this is one smooooooth
At this same time, about 4:00pm, across the park at Raptor, my parents
were celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary by timing things such
that at exactly 23 years after they'd been married, they were siting
happily in the front seat.
Our little gang headed down to Blue Streak next. The queue extended
only as far as to the bottom of the steps. I rode with Sean, I believe,
in the front of the back car. I think I still like the front seat of the
front car on this ride better, but the first drop in the back is great!
While we were on Blue Streak, we saw that Raptor had only about a 1/2h
line, so that's where we'd planned on going next.
On our way, we stopped at a phone booth, and Sean left a message on his
voicemail with the roar of Raptor in the background. I never tire of
watching this bird of prey execute it's maneuvers with such grace and
style. Also, another guy who Sean knew joined up with our little crew,
and we decided we'd go out to Sean's car so he could pick up his coat,
and show us his license plate. Jim bought his Seasons' Pass, and we then
got in line for Raptor.
When we reached the platform less than a half hour later, we had to
decide where to sit. We unanimously agreed to go for the back row. Now
here's where it gets awesome - since I'd never in my life sat in the
right-hand seat, Jim (who would have sat there) gave up his seat so I
could sit there. The ride was FABULOUS. Again, I can't say thanks enough
for letting me sit there, Jim. I'll never forget that.
We got off of Raptor at 5:54pm. I'd arranged to meet Dave Althoff at
6pm, as he was driving up from (Phreezing) Phoenix Phall Phun ...
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