TRIP REPORT -
Oct. 9 - 11, 1998
I arrived at the park around 6:30pm. As expected, crowds were very light.
The main parking lot was filled out about halfway to the tram tower. What I
found amusing was the fact that parking control wasn't double parking the
rows. First things first, I headed over to Raptor. After that I headed
over to Mantis for a few. Over the night I basically went back and forth
between the only B&M's in the park. Later in the evening, I met up with Dan
Haverlock at Raptor. It was now about 10:30pm. We immediately went into
the Raptor queue. When we got to the top of the stairs, we were stopped by
the ride-op and the fact that a train just stopped on the lift. After five
minutes and a quick spray-n-squeegee of the platform (rider discomfort, if
you know what I mean), the ride was back up, but only the 'dry' train. A
transplanted Blue Streak ride-op at the back dispatch said that they
normally run a train empty for ten minutes when they have to hose it down.
After we finally got on and completed the circuit, we sat on the station
brake run for another ten minutes. The ride-op in the booth came across the
PA saying that they were down mechanical.
After our nearly 15 minute Raptor ride, we headed over to Mantis. Normally
I ride in the back, but Dan convinced me to ride in the 4th row. All I can
say is WOW! With a heavy hit of the drop trims and a partially loaded
train, the hang time in the vertical and dive loops is just amazing. We
rode it couple more times in the 4th row and got the same thing every time.
Needless to say I have a new appreciation for this ride.
Summary - Day 1:
Raptor - 6 rides. Midcourse brakes were hitting really hard. The slowdown
was noticable from the queue. Lines varied in length from on the last set
of stairs to two passes in the queue line. Three trains early, but down to
Mantis - 12 rides. With personal discovery of 4th row hangtime, I've found
a new appreciation for this one. Brakes varied each ride, but usually the
drop trims were very moderate and the mids were heavy. As the line
disappeared, the mids were reduced quite a bit and were sometimes
Lines were not very long at all. Never got longer than the stairs, what I
call a Sandusky Walk-On :) Two trains all night.
Overall - This was my first Halloweekend Friday. If you love CP's B&M's,
get down there on a Halloweekend Friday next year. There are practically no
lines for anything. On the other hand, it's really depressing to look over
the park from Raptor's lift at night and see everything lit up, but nothing
else but Mantis running.
SATURDAY NIGHT: "Is it October 10 or July 10?"
Crowds on Saturday were vicious to say the least. I didn't ride a whole lot
so I can't comment much. The plan was for me to meet a former co-worker and
his family (wife, two kids - one just over 46" and the other which must be
accompanied by a responsible *** - and his brother) at noon at the front
gate. I still needed to get my 99 season pass, so I would do my buddy a
favor and give him my free ticket. From what I've seen previous weekends,
the season pass line would be very long in the middle of the day. I decided
to get there at 9:30am and get my pass. When I arrived, five people beat me
to it. As the morning grew on, the line grew as well. By the time they
opened the gate at 10:30, the line stretched about halfway to the big logo
awning on the ticket booth structure. After waiting to get to the head of
the line and to process my application it was now 10:40. I had time to get
my car over to my usual parking spot (as of late) in the Soak City lot,
enter the park, and get on Magnum's first train. After driving around and
making my way to the Challenge Park gate, I found a long line at the gate.
It was now 10:45. Fif*** minutes later, I went through the usual hopping
to the end of the shorter line and got in rather quickly. As soon as I
entered the park I started on a fast hike over to the Magnum entrance.
About 10 people beat me to it, but I was going to be on the first train.
Now we started the wait. Fif*** minutes. A half hour. Forty-five minutes
went by and still no sound of a test run. It wasn't until about 11:55 when
the first test run went out. We didn't get on the ride until 12:10. Looks
like my co-worker has to wait a little more. By the time I rode and hiked
up to the main gate thru a very thick crowd, it was 12:30. Unfortunately
when I got there, he already bought a ticket.
Since the lines were awful, we only rode a few things: Matterhorn, Troika,
Mean Streak(1/2 hr wait), Iron Dragon (3/4 hr), and Disaster Transport (1/4
hr). Note that all but Mean Streak have a height requirement at 46". It
was really neat to watch a first time coaster rider start out on Jr. Gemini
and ride it with her arms up the whole way, then move on to Iron Dragon and
finish on Disaster Transport and say every time it was over "Can we ride it
again, Daddy?" My friends youngest, henceforth known as 'The Big Guy',
start throwing a tantrum when the ride was over, saying that he wanted to
ride again and question why it was over. Ah, the madness starts at a young
age. After Disaster Transport we decided to play a fun game of 'Find the
Wife', who was tending to the youngest while we were riding. We really
could have used one of those rental personal pagers then. I forget how it
feels to be there with a family, especially with kids. I found my time with
them to be a really fun experience, even with the long lines.
It was now 8pm. I had arranged to meet with Dan Haverlock at this time at
the Magnum exit. Also there were Iain Hendry and Roz Stevenson, both of RRC
fame, whom I met up with earlier in the day. We rode Gemini a couple times,
the Mine Ride, Mean Streak, and Magnum a couple times. By this time the
crowds were a bit lighter and the temperature was a whole lot cooler. With
the fog being generated on the Trail everything in Frontier Town, especially
the Mine Ride, looked really neat.
Now here's where it gets wierd. We decided to give Mean Streak a shot at
night. We had a 45 minute wait. Not too bad. Something I noticed on my
earlier ride. There's a lot of lumber behind the pop machines. There's
also a lot of bolts right next to the lumber. Support bolts and rail bolts.
There's also a gas powered generator there as well. Either this is a
remnant from the random retracking going on thru the season, or there is
going to be some going on in the off season. Does anyone know what's going
here? Now the ride. All I can say is that the night makes it better. It
was the best Mean Streak ride I had this year. The first half was very
good. Nice power through the big turns and lift turn. The back half felt
slow, but looked a lot faster than usual. As I've said many times about
this ride, what's going on with this ride?
Summary - Day 2:
Mean Streak - 2 rides: Early ride - same old Mean Streak. Night ride -
Mean Streak of 5 years ago. Fast and powerful. Not too much air, but a
very good ride.
Iron Dragon - Not much to say. It was fun to hear a first time coaster
Disaster Transport - Still not in Alaska :)
Gemini - Still a great ride, especially at night. Twenty years and still
Magnum - Closed it yet again. Big fun as usual. Serious air on the back
SUNDAY NIGHT: "The Last Waltz"
This day will go down in RRC legend. Members in attendance were, and please
accept my apologies if I forgot anyone, Dan "Ultra-Funky-Super-Bad"
Haverlock, Sean Flaharty, Jerry "The guy with that tattoos and that big
donut" Fleming, Jeff Cook, Roz Stevenson, Iain Hendry, Dave Althoff, Dan
Bishop, Jim Raimar, Larry Scott, Chris Trotter, Jim ?? (I never caught your
last name), and countless others.
At the beginning of the day, Dan and I got a quick 4 on Magnum. At 1pm we
met up with everyone at the exit. After another quick ride (15 minutes -
quick by Saturday standards). We started on a lap around the park with a
really nice ride on Gemini with slapping and everything. On to Mean Streak
which was not the same as Saturday night. Then on to Mine Ride which is big
fun with a bunch of ACEers on board. Then on to Mantis where I missed my
big hang time from Friday night. Must have been the full trains.
After getting a bite to eat (what's the deal of running out of bbq sauce for
the chicken strips?), we decided to split up until later. Two of us could
reach personal milestones that night. Dan H. could hit his 1000 coaster
ride of the season on Magnum and Jim R. could hit 3000. Both wanted this to
be on Magnum, so they needed some filler. Dan, his friend Brandon, and I
went for Corkscrew (10 minute waits) and everyone else went for Iron Dragon,
Wildcat and Disaster Transport. Dan decided that he couldn't take any more
rides on Corkscrew so we headed for our final destination of the season, the
Magnum XL-200, the tallest, steepest, fastest, and best coaster in the park.
Dan needed two rides for 1000 and he did it. To comommerate the event, he
purchased a picture keychain. Way to go Dan!
After the milestone ride, we had about an hour until close. The Magnum
queue was about an hour long and we didn't want to chance missing the final
ride so we decided to take a stroll around the surrounding area for a few.
We grabbed some drinks and started our hike. Along the way we ran into the
rest of the group. They were heading off for a final ride on Gemini. We
just bought our drinks so we had to sit it out.
After Gemini, we entered the Magnum queue and waited. Right before 8 the
crew had started their season-end clean-up: get the stool from the
entrance, move the queue trash cans near the midway, etc. A few minutes
later we heard the phone ring, but no one was there to answer. Soon after,
a crew member showed up and closed the gate. It was now official. Cedar
Point was closed. During the
read more »