TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by GodsOnSafar » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 01:34:22


Having visited Cedar Point twice in May, I admit that there wasnt anything particularly outstanding about the Matt Ouimet-era that stood out in my mind. Slight differences existed, but with things still being installed for the season, you couldnt get the full effect of what it was exactly that Ouimet was shooting for. With that in mind, we booked for another visit squarely in the middle of summer. Often times thats a rarity for us, but to get the full sense of what we should expect at Cedar Point, it seemed a necessity.

We attempted to park in Breakers lot around 930AM Saturday, and found no empty spaces whatsoever. Some people were leaving, but in general, more were looking to park and get going with their day like ourselves than looking to get a move on. I decided not to push my luck too much in this respect, and we made the call after going down a few aisles to head over to Magnum lot and at least get into the park. With not much time left in early entry mode, we cranked out a Raptor ride and beat the crowds in the direction of Magnum to pound out a ride on that as well. Good start given that we expected huge crowds that day. And then, we made the wisest move possible on such a hot day we sat back and relaxed.

In fact, for the next 11 hours, we didnt ride a single coaster in the park. We spent time in the back of the park looking at Gemini but not actually riding, preferring instead to people watch and eat fries. We rounded the back of the park and made a stop for fruit smoothies in Frontier Town before wandering by an epic Millennium Force line and past the fully complete Luminosity stage. A ride on the Skyride brought us by the entrance to the park, where we waited for the third part of our party, Bob, to arrive. Traffic had caused him delays with backups all the way down the causeway to First Street. To begin our day, we visited the arcade for some hot Skeeball action, only to find it disgustingly hot and swampy. We all managed to win plush novelty nails-through-the-head prank things that we thought hilarious for a couple of minutes until we realized we would have to carry the stupid things.

The next ride for our day was Space Spiral: This was almost certain to be our last on the old Von Roll tower. Like had been the case earlier in the year, the auto spiel was rapid fire, the windows a bit dirty, and the air stifling inside. The best aspect of our visit was handing off our novelty plush to a woman who thought they were cute. We soon after hunted for shade while attempting to snack on corn dogs and pretzels from the likely soon to disappear Transport Refreshments, admiring a line for Disaster Transport that likely exceeded 45 minutes. Not today.

Choosing to eschew options for riding at that point citing that every ride in the park had a full queue line, we instead chose to exit and go in search of photo ops. I briefly investigated the watercraft rental options before we chose to instead start walking down the beach towards Disaster Transport. Something I noted later on in case someone is wondering there is a small sign located on the beach further towards Breakers that no one should walk any further, which we noticed after our journey. Interestingly, there are no signs indicating this from the area directly by the Jet Ski rental facility and the big public ramp right down to the beach. Nor is there any security present who will care about you doing much of anything in that area. You will find random beach walkers well, walking. Also, you may find Cedar Point employees making cell phone calls. Aside from that, theres no resistance, and unless you plan on taking a round about way to get to the beach from the Beach Gate, youd never know it is supposedly verboten.

That introduction brings me to my talk of walking along the beach and getting great shots of the park and the coasters, as well as walking right up to Disaster Transport, bereft of any fences for the most part. The fence that exists asks you to not go inside of it, so we didnt. However, you get plenty close enough to basically see the backstage of the ride. The fence behind Disaster Transport has had a huge accumulation of sand over the years, creating a berm that nearly covers the entire 6 foot fence & barbed wire top. Theres clearly a trailer that has been encased in sand as well as a number of bricks and other trash left out by the park. Inside the fence, Halloweekends vehicles have been shrink wrapped for freshness, and an array of go karts are piled under the coaster. Disaster Transport itself and its generally shoddy construction are on full display, with seedlings growing on top of the tube covering the track, especially in the joints where it was added. For almost two decades, its blocked view of the beach and provided substandard rides. Its time.

We walked down clear to the other end of the beach and found ourselves sitting back, relaxing in the shade of an empty Breakwater Cafe patio table, looking out at boats and birds. One thing about Cedar Point that I find frustrating in the criticism of it is when people are doing it wrong; The Point isnt a park you sprint though in 6 hours to get a proper idea of what its like. Theres so, so much to the place, which is why it markets itself as a resort to begin with. Even doing nothing at the park seems to have its charms. The three of us walked back along the beach from Sandcastle towards Breakers before stopping in at the Perkins location inside Breakers for lunch and then breaking off for a couple hours.

One thing Ill definitely put as a negative is the condition of the beach outside the official swimming areas. Theres a lot of trash and big dead fish out there. I know theres a tendency from a lot of guests to discount swimming in the lake, and the boundaries given prevent really substantial water treading anyways, but it would seem to me like Cedar Point really needs to invest a little more time and money into that whole beach aspect to people who arent even going to Cedar Point. Maybe it might even be wise to publicize the beach more? $12-15 parking for the beach area isnt all that far off from a lot of public beaches, and you have the on property FEC (Challenge Park) to make some money off those folks. I seem to remember some chatter about cabanas out on the beach, but those dont seem to be present. There are some clamshell beach chairs set out though. Cedar Point could charge for them and offer a bartender to get drinks thats a popular money maker in the private beach areas cruise ships and resorts own in the Caribbean. It seems like it could certainly work at Cedar Point as well, so Im not sure why they dont go that direction.

Our room at Breakers was essentially identical to the room we had in May a newly renovated Bon Aire room featuring double beds and new furnishings. The beds are still extremely hard and still rate as perhaps some of the worst mattresses Ive ever had the displeasure of laying on, though one of the two mattresses in the room seemed to have a few springs blown out on one side (rough sex? enormous body?) that made it somewhat more comfortable. Still, its nice to enter a room at Breakers and not immediately shake your head about how garbage it is. While the food situation is improving, the accommodations are slower in their advancement towards good. Theyre really the weak link here in the Cedar Point resort arsenal now, much more so than anything else.

The return to the park was timed for a viewing of All Wheels Extreme, a show we hadnt seen at the park in a couple years. Every year a new set goes up in the old Aquatic Stadium, making it ever so slightly different, and this years was actually really, really good. As someone who watched a lot of the X-Games competitions back in the 90s with the old format (before everything took place in a single arena), I actually remembered two of the names Jaren Grob was a big name in in-line skating back in the hey-day, and Trevor Meyer was probably the most important flatlander in the history of that sport. And here they were, working at Cedar Point, doing tricks. Technologically it might not be a great show, but you have guys that are legends out there putting on a show and doing some boss stuff. If I wasnt stoked out of my mind before, I was afterwards.

To chase something that exciting, we went completely sedate. Out in the rarely visited Marina area is the Winnebago, a completely restored boat from the long deceased Cedar Point Western Cruise. The boat has been made seaworthy to operate around Cedar Point, and it provides scenic cruises for $10 ($8 as a discounted rate for pass holders, veterans, et al). The 40 minute ride seems like a bargain; it is calming, cooling, and wonderfully picturesque. Very few parks have anything similar to this.

Once on shore, we re-entered the park and made our way to the Luminosity area to find a place to sit and watch the show. While we were a half an hour early for the performance, all the seats in the bleacher section by Wildcat were taken, forcing us to stand upright during the performance. I visited the new bar setup that was located directly behind us and the control booth and we waited it out. There was a pre-show of sorts with teams of guests doing choreographed dances taught to them in short order by one of the professional dancers. A short delay then occurred, and the show began.

Luminosity is the new star attraction for 2012, and it effectively replaces the Wildcat coaster on the midway. As far as shows go, technologically it is very impressive and quite involved. Theres video screens, lasers, gymnasts, pyrotechnics, a large team of dancers, some complex costumes, live percussionists, camera people live feeding video to the screens around the area, and an amazing sound system. The heart of the show is not very different from the ...

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TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by NightGoa » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:44:13

Excellent perspective. Thanks.

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by David Sandbor » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:13:41


Quote:

> That introduction brings me to my talk of walking along the beach and getting
> great shots of the park and the coasters, as well as walking right up to
> Disaster Transport, bereft of any fences for the most part.

I've never actually walked that stretch of beach, just some of the parts
further up.  Kind of sad I missed that chance, as unimpressive as the
scenery is.

Quote:
> For almost two decades, its blocked view of the beach and provided
> substandard rides. It s time.

Strangely enough, I never thought of its view-blocking attributes.  It
is a good point, and hopefully the view will be better after it's gone.

Quote:
> One thing about Cedar Point that I find
> frustrating in the criticism of it is when people are doing it wrong ; The
> Point isn t a park you sprint though in 6 hours to get a proper idea of what
> it s like.

So you're saying those people are "doing it wrong"?  :-)

Quote:
> There s so, so much to the place, which is why it markets itself
> as a resort to begin with. Even doing nothing at the park seems to have its
> charms.

Seriously, I think I get this.  Our three day weekend there this past
May was quite pleasant, and we didn't try to push it too hard, at least
during the day.  However early and late ERT's did make it a bit less
relaxed of a pace than it might have been.

Quote:
> To chase something that exciting, we went completely sedate. Out in the
> rarely visited Marina area is the Winnebago, a completely restored boat from
> the long deceased Cedar Point Western Cruise. The boat has been made
> seaworthy to operate around Cedar Point, and it provides scenic cruises for
> $10 ($8 as a discounted rate for pass holders, veterans, et al). The 40
> minute ride seems like a bargain; it is calming, cooling, and wonderfully
> picturesque. Very few parks have anything similar to this.

Huh, I didn't know about this.  I regret not having done it.  Certainly
more worth the time than the dinosaurs thing as far as I'm concerned,
even at twice the price.

Quote:
> Honestly, truly, I have no expectation Mean Streak will ever be this good
> again, but I will hold dear to these memories of a Mean Streak that was good
> for a long time.

Wow, this is utterly surprising.  You must have been lucky.  Our one May
ride was decidedly uninspiring, and the brakes down the first drop were
ridiculous.  I think you're right that you're not really going to see
more rides like this.

I've probably mentioned it before, but there was exactly one year where
Mean Streak impressed me.  I know it was not the first year I rode, and
by the end of the 90's I'd given it up for good, so it was sometime in
the mid-90's.  It was the one time where I really saw more than wasted
potential in the ride.

Quote:
> I suggested Mantis as an alternative, having remembered
> enjoying my ride on Vortex at Carowinds, but was rebuked by Meredith, who
> still doesn t enjoy anything about those rides.

She was right.  My May ride on Mantis may have been my last ever.  It
was just terrible.  Green Lantern for me from now on.

Quote:
> Instead, we got in a quick
> ride on Iron Dragon, which for some reason seems less offensive than before
> to me, before the crowds of people were allowed in past the rope.

I've never found it offensive.  Starting with the expectation that it's
not going to be even close to thrilling, you're freed to just have fun
on it.  I actually like it, and though I won't wait in much of a line
for it, I'd certainly take a quick ride any time.

Quote:
> The Intamin
> bobsled coaster is on its last legs. Maybe that s not a total tragedy since
> it was almost universally agreed upon that Mack built a better ride, but it
> is still sad to think that we re coming to a point where no one will be able
> to ride one, regardless of where they may travel.

Yeah, I'm sad about things like this too.  I wouldn't really mind seeing
my last SLC, but Intamin bobsleds are more inoffensive.

Quote:
> We ate at Dianna s
> second location in Port Clinton, where I indulged myself for the first time
> with City Chicken, a Depression-era invention that actually contains no
> chicken, but instead contains pork as mock chicken.

I only first heard of this after moving to the area.  Regional?

--
Dave Sandborg
Remove Spam-away to respond via e-mail.

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by Alan Conceica » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 12:45:07

Even before I get into the reply, let me note that the version with pictures
is up at this link:

http://tinyurl.com/796c52o


Quote:


>> That introduction brings me to my talk of walking along the beach and
>> getting
>> great shots of the park and the coasters, as well as walking right up to
>> Disaster Transport, bereft of any fences for the most part.

> I've never actually walked that stretch of beach, just some of the parts
> further up.  Kind of sad I missed that chance, as unimpressive as the
> scenery is.

I'm sure it'll be around next year, just markedly different in appearance. I
don't think there's any proper way to prevent people from walking the beach
at Cedar Point and I don't see them going about spending the time and money
to police such action.

Quote:
>> One thing about Cedar Point that I find
>> frustrating in the criticism of it is when people are doing it wrong ;
>> The
>> Point isn t a park you sprint though in 6 hours to get a proper idea of
>> what
>> it s like.

> So you're saying those people are "doing it wrong"?  :-)

If this were a visual HTML board, this link would be more effective in my
feeling on the manner:

http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/000/122/bush_doing_i...

Quote:
> Seriously, I think I get this.  Our three day weekend there this past
> May was quite pleasant, and we didn't try to push it too hard, at least
> during the day.  However early and late ERT's did make it a bit less
> relaxed of a pace than it might have been.

Yeah, ERT is great in so much as it gets rid of the giant lines, so long as
the ERT doesn't have that many people. Then it still does. Plus it
compresses the riding you do into a particular time period kinda by force.
Not that I'm complaining about such things, mind you, just an observation
about how it works under those circustances. Plus for me, I go to Cedar
Point regularly enough that it isn't as if I *need* to ride things a million
times.

Quote:
> Huh, I didn't know about this.  I regret not having done it.  Certainly
> more worth the time than the dinosaurs thing as far as I'm concerned,
> even at twice the price.

They honestly haven't done a great job advertising it, but it is absolutely
fantastic.

Quote:
> Wow, this is utterly surprising.  You must have been lucky.  Our one May
> ride was decidedly uninspiring, and the brakes down the first drop were
> ridiculous.  I think you're right that you're not really going to see
> more rides like this.

> I've probably mentioned it before, but there was exactly one year where
> Mean Streak impressed me.  I know it was not the first year I rode, and
> by the end of the 90's I'd given it up for good, so it was sometime in
> the mid-90's.  It was the one time where I really saw more than wasted
> potential in the ride.

I talked about riding it the next day before leaving, but my wife's reaction
was "the rides were so good; why risk having a bad one now?" I couldn't
argue that point. I wonder if the trimless nature was a holdover from
Coastermania the day prior to our arrival.

Quote:
> I've never found it offensive.  Starting with the expectation that it's
> not going to be even close to thrilling, you're freed to just have fun
> on it.  I actually like it, and though I won't wait in much of a line
> for it, I'd certainly take a quick ride any time.

Yeah, it has no line during early entry, for which it is generally always
open. And often on a fairly busy day, again, it churns through the line and
ends up having a fairly minimal wait.

Quote:
> Yeah, I'm sad about things like this too.  I wouldn't really mind seeing
> my last SLC, but Intamin bobsleds are more inoffensive.

Honestly, I would probably be bummed to see the SLCs vanish completely
knowing that there's ways they can change the restraints. It isn't an
outwardly bad layout; I think we're all just so used to the damn things.

Quote:
> I only first heard of this after moving to the area.  Regional?

Upper midwest sorta thing only. Doesn't exist in New England. Can't say I
was a big fan.
 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by David Sandbor » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 20:45:11



Quote:




> > Seriously, I think I get this.  Our three day weekend there this past
> > May was quite pleasant, and we didn't try to push it too hard, at least
> > during the day.  However early and late ERT's did make it a bit less
> > relaxed of a pace than it might have been.

> Yeah, ERT is great in so much as it gets rid of the giant lines, so long as
> the ERT doesn't have that many people. Then it still does.

The ACE ERT's this spring were not bad at all.  Long wait for Dragster,
but that was partially due to its unreliability.  The only other long
wait I experienced was for Jr. Gemini, which is to be expected.

Quote:
> Plus it
> compresses the riding you do into a particular time period kinda by force.

This is true, unless you just eschew the ERT's, which limits the point
of going to an event in the first place.  Still, it worked very well for
me.  I didn't care whether I rode Corkscrew during ERT or not, but I did
want to ride, so it helped to have ERT to pick it up.  On many such
rides (Mine Train, Iron Dragon) I just caught them in the early hours of
the day before there was any significant line (if those rides even
generate much of a line any more except on the worst of days).  ERT was
for picking up the miscellany.

Quote:
> > Wow, this is utterly surprising.  You must have been lucky.  Our one May
> > ride was decidedly uninspiring, and the brakes down the first drop were
> > ridiculous.  I think you're right that you're not really going to see
> > more rides like this.

> > I've probably mentioned it before, but there was exactly one year where
> > Mean Streak impressed me.  I know it was not the first year I rode, and
> > by the end of the 90's I'd given it up for good, so it was sometime in
> > the mid-90's.  It was the one time where I really saw more than wasted
> > potential in the ride.

> I talked about riding it the next day before leaving, but my wife's reaction
> was "the rides were so good; why risk having a bad one now?" I couldn't
> argue that point. I wonder if the trimless nature was a holdover from
> Coastermania the day prior to our arrival.

Perhaps, but if so they didn't enhance the ride in any way for the ACE
con.

Quote:
> [City Chicken]

> > I only first heard of this after moving to the area.  Regional?

> Upper midwest sorta thing only. Doesn't exist in New England. Can't say I
> was a big fan.

For some strange definition of Upper Midwest, since I don't think I ever
ran into it in the Chicago area.

--
Dave Sandborg
Remove Spam-away to respond via e-mail.

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by Shawn Mamr » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:14:49


Quote:
>I've probably mentioned it before, but there was exactly one year where
>Mean Streak impressed me.  I know it was not the first year I rode, and
>by the end of the 90's I'd given it up for good, so it was sometime in
>the mid-90's.  It was the one time where I really saw more than wasted
>potential in the ride.

Maybe 1995?  That was the year of my first (and, to date, one of only
two) visits to the Point, and I remember people saying that they were
surprised how well MS was running.  (It was during Coastermania that
year, if I'm remembering right.  Come to think of it, I think one of
those people was you!)

-s

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by David Sandbor » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 22:15:32



Quote:

> >I've probably mentioned it before, but there was exactly one year where
> >Mean Streak impressed me.  I know it was not the first year I rode, and
> >by the end of the 90's I'd given it up for good, so it was sometime in
> >the mid-90's.  It was the one time where I really saw more than wasted
> >potential in the ride.

> Maybe 1995?  That was the year of my first (and, to date, one of only
> two) visits to the Point, and I remember people saying that they were
> surprised how well MS was running.  (It was during Coastermania that
> year, if I'm remembering right.  Come to think of it, I think one of
> those people was you!)

May well have been then, and may well have been me!

--
Dave Sandborg
Remove Spam-away to respond via e-mail.

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by skiguy77 » Sat, 21 Jul 2012 03:12:49

Quote:

> Having visited Cedar Point twice in May, I admit that there wasnt anything particularly outstanding about the Matt Ouimet-era that stood out in my mind.

Great TR, but the over all impression I get is that it's time to go somewhere else.    What this TR reminds me of, is someone who visits Disney World year after year.    Except in your case, it's CP.  These people become brainwashed.    Don't feel bad, the same thing happened to me visiting the Orlando area until they banned me.   Probably the best thing they could do, because now I visit other places and haven't been back to Orlando since.    

I know you'll go next year for the flyer, no doubt about that.   But move on to something else.    Try a trip to Maui, or a ski trip in the winter to Park City.     Maui is one of the top destinations, and the Trip Advisor forums can help you.  

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g29220-i86-Maui_Hawaii.html

The reason why your girl goes along with this stuff, is because it's fun to get away.   But I bet she'd enjoy Hawaii more.   And you want to do it before you have kids, because once they come along, it's expensive to drag a little one around.  

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by GodsOnSafar » Sat, 21 Jul 2012 06:41:52

Quote:


> > Having visited Cedar Point twice in May, I admit that there wasnt anything particularly outstanding about the Matt Ouimet-era that stood out in my mind.

> Great TR, but the over all impression I get is that it's time to go somewhere else.    What this TR reminds me of, is someone who visits Disney World year after year.    Except in your case, it's CP.  These people become brainwashed.    Don't feel bad, the same thing happened to me visiting the Orlando area until they banned me.   Probably the best thing they could do, because now I visit other places and haven't been back to Orlando since.    

> I know you'll go next year for the flyer, no doubt about that.   But move on to something else.    Try a trip to Maui, or a ski trip in the winter to Park City.     Maui is one of the top destinations, and the Trip Advisor forums can help you.  

> http://SportToday.org/

> The reason why your girl goes along with this stuff, is because it's fun to get away.   But I bet she'd enjoy Hawaii more.   And you want to do it before you have kids, because once they come along, it's expensive to drag a little one around.

Yeah, uhh, we went to the Cook Islands (waaaaay south of Hawaii, waaaaaay less developed) last year. We've got two cruises booked in November and January where I'll pull in a few new "county credits" out in the Caribbean. So it isn't that we don't travel elsewhere. I just authentically like Cedar Point more than a lot of other amu***t parks.
 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by skiguy77 » Tue, 24 Jul 2012 06:06:09

Quote:

> Yeah, uhh, we went to the Cook Islands (waaaaay south of Hawaii, waaaaaay less developed) last year. We've got two cruises booked in November and January where I'll pull in a few new "county credits" out in the Caribbean. So it isn't that we don't travel elsewhere. I just authentically like Cedar Point more than a lot of other amu***t parks.

That's cool.   I was just listening to this song as I read your message.
http://SportToday.org/

CP needs a new theme song.    Let's hope they get a good one for the flyer.

HEY CP, YOU NEED A KILLER SONG FOR THE FLYER QUEUE.    

My gosh, you'd think they would know this, but I have to spoon feed them everything.   Make a few songs that repeat over an hour, because the line is gonna be long.  

Anyway, that's cool you visit the islands.   The Hawaiian islands are still pretty.    Start with Maui then go to the Big Island.  Some people split the stay between the islands.   The people in the Trip Advisor forums will say you need a week for each island, they over do it.   If you go, go, go, you can do it in 4 days per island.   5 days would be about right.    If you didn't see my TR of Maui go here.
http://SportToday.org/

Hey CP, don't forget about that theme song for the flyer.   Make it a good one and make the music loop last an hour, because people are going to be waiting in line for 3 hours.

And Rob, don't forget, I'm riding shot gun with you.    Twisty!!!      

 
 
 

TR: Cedar Point (7/14-7/15/2012)

Post by Dave Althoff J » Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:31:29

Excuse me for responding to a post from July, but...


Quote:
> 3 rides later, our minds were collectively blown. Mean Streak is
> generally bottom tier wood coaster riding. Its the lowest of the low,
> the worst of the worst. Rough, unpleasant, unfun, with the added
> insult of a trim on the first drop. Something was clearly amiss almost
> instantly when passing through the first drop, the train continued
> unabated at full speed. And it wasnt shaking itself to death either.
> As the train stormed through the turns and hit a massive pop of air in
> the last drop before the block brake, my wife and I looked at each
> other with shock. The second half of the ride is still not terribly
> forceful no big laterals or airtime, and the block is on enough
> that it is clearly a detriment but holy mother of god, Mean Streak
> was fun. There was no line either, which meant we could score rides on
> something fun without waiting.

> Honestly, truly, I have no expectation Mean Streak will ever be this
> good again, but I will hold dear to these memories of a Mean Streak
> that was good for a long time. With a proper re-tracking and
> re-profiling of some of the hills in the second half, youd have a
> ride that would at least be credible and liked. Never a top 10 ride,
> but the kind of ride that like Viper at Great America or Lightning
> Racer gets a Why dont people talk about this more? sort of
> response.

Part of this season, it seemed that Mean Streak was running with the
drop trims off more frequently than usual, like perhaps there was an
adjustment made to the speed threshhold at which the brakes kick in.

Anyway, the ride's control system keeps track of the speeds of the
trains, and if a train is running slow, it will shut off the brakes on
the first drop for that train on the next cycle.  Last weekend, I got
supremely lucky.  I got stopped by the railroad crossing, so the ride
was running with very light loads.  The railroad gate went up, and a
whole trainload of people proceeded to Mean Streak.  We filled the
train, and because our train had been nearly empty, and thus slow, on
the previous cycle, we got a ride with a fully loaded train and the
first drop brakes off.

As noted, under these circumstances, Mean Streak is capable of
delivering a pretty good ride.  What is particularly unexpected is that
when the ride is running faster, it also runs a whole lot smoother.  I
sat in the back of the train, and if you kind of sight down the length
of the train, you can see that the whole train is moving as a unit,
running smoothly around the hills and curves.  With the brake on, if you
watch in the same way, you can see that the cars are all bouncing around
separately, the whole train trying to go every direction except straight
down the track.  

After I exited the ride, I listened as the train I had just ridden
climbed the lift.  I heard the distinct sound of the first drop trim
brakes destroying the ride quality for the unfortunate riders who
followed me.

I have to wonder if anybody at Cedar Point has actually ridden Mean
Streak both with and without the drop trims.  The difference in ride
quality, not just those factors that we coaster nuts like, but basic
rideability is so dramatic that, counterintuitively, it feels like the
faster ride has to be doing less damage to both the ride and to the
riders.  So why don't they experiment with the darned thing and let it
run a little faster?  I've got to think that a ride that runs *better*
is going to be *easier* to maintain.  Sure, the forces are going to be
higher in certain spots, but all that shuffling and all those gauging
issues that the ride has had since the day it opened actually go away
with the higher speed!

-- Dave Althoff, Jr.
    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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