I know, I know....like the world needs another CP TR. But this is a
multifaceted TR, because not only do I talk about CP, I also talk
about a pair of fairs. One I actually rode stuff at, the other had me
walking out the door in a few seconds flat. But enough of the
You know it. You may or may not love it. This is a park that meant a
lot to myself and my girlfriend. We worked there. We met there. We
started dating there. Cedar Fair cut us both a lot of checks, and in
return, it took a lot of ***, sweat, tears, and probably even a few
years from our lives. Those emotional memories of the place are still
there, in spite of all the changes since both of the times we were
last there in 2003 as workers headed home from Commons.
But that was a long, long time ago. Now is now, and the feel of the
park, even to someone who's been almost every day of their waking
existences for 4 months consecutively is that of an almost fresh
place. I don't feel the skeletons, especially given that everyone I
knew who worked there has moved on in their lives, either by leaving
the industry, moving to Geauga and Worlds Of Fun, or just flat out
disappearing into the void of existence. And to that, we both felt
that we could pretty objectively judge the park on its merits today
rather than merely dwelling on the past.
To that end, I'm not going to re-review rides I reviewed a hundred
times. I will tell you that our trip Labor Day weekend was as much
about the mental aspect of merely being there as trying to marathon
anything, which was almost impossible. The crowds were monsterous
Saturday and Sunday. The coasters that I rerode were essentially the
same. I'll try to do it in a more Pro vs. Con fashion instead,
shortening my opinions on individual rides when I feel I should do so.
PRO (First as always):
-Physical appearance of rides and ride park: Its actually a little
better looking than since the last time I went. Iron Dragon and Magnum
have recieved some fresh coats of paint. The show areas were nice. The
walkways were clean as they almost always are. Bathrooms were quite
-Operations: The extra spring in their step was gone now at the end of
the general operation season, but they still put forth plenty of
effort. I've worked the grueling hours, and I'm still stunned how they
can do it.
-Coasters: Coasters are still what they are. I like Millennium Force,
airtime machine or not. There's plenty over the island entrance/exit,
even if it isn't MEGA EJECTOR AIR D00DZ. Gemini is fun. Magnum in 1-3
is still outlandish intense, causing even me to grimace and swear it
off forever (again), though the ride seems somewhat rougher than even
before. I had to pass on Raptor (more on that later), TTD, and Mantis
due to line concerns though. TTD is worth maybe a 30 minute wait for
me, and given that I'd actively have to seek it out to do that, I'm
sorry, it'll wait awhile. Simply not worth it to me personally.
-Maverick (#516): I left this out of the above just to singlularly
review it. Its a coaster that tries to do everything and almost
succeeds. I mean, its a solid ride. Don't get me wrong. It has
airtime, it has inversions, big thrills, theming, that really cool
second launch....at the same time, I hate the restraints because every
lateral move becomes a punch in the jaw. The sharp turns don't work
with the wide out restraints, which seem made for sleep apnea
candidates with 30% of their body fat being located in their
shoulders. I don't want to say it was overhyped, and I'm glad I ran to
it during Joe Cool and only had to wait 30 minutes for the front seat,
but it doesn't make me particularly want to run back to CP. I looked
back at my Hershey TR from last time I went, and apparently many of
the same issues I felt about this I felt about that. I also pretty
much forgot most aspects of that ride, and Maverick began to fade as
soon as I rode Magnum a few minutes later.
-Rides being down: Maverick and TTD were, as expected, down very
often. MaxAir was down all weekend. Raptor only went up at around 5pm
or so Sunday, completely killing any chance of riding that just after
Joe Cool ended. Skyhawk only ran one side, which wasn't entirely
shocking. For large portions of our trip, only one half of one of the
last 4 rides that CP has built was in operation. That's not very good
statistically. I can't entirely blame them for this, however.
-Disaster Transport: When looking for things that I can blame CP for
on the park side, this soon comes up. Consistently changed to be
cheaper and cheaper over time, Disaster ran a 30 minute wait this time
around all weekend. That was pretty shocking. The ride itself kinda
sucked, as there were no 3-D effects anymore: "There are no glasses,"
said a surprised entrance employee. The uniforms are the generic CP
unis now. Most of the theming elements have been removed
entirely....replaced often with nothing. The entrance is the old exit,
and the new exit is the handicapped entrance. Bizarre.
-Food choice: Its been a few years since I was there, and in spite of
all the sitdown restaurants, choice in food at CP kinda sucks. I take
that back. It really sucks. We ate a sitdown meal at Macaroni's,
feeling that an all you can eat buffet with a 45 minute waiting list
and kids sneezing on everything would be a waste of time and money.
Macaroni's proved just as worthless, offering only the same exact
things that you can get in the park: Pizza, burgers, cheese steak, and
hot dog. Oh, and you have to use the fixin's bar. What the *** is
Of course, there are other options. Like TGIFridays. And Famous
Dave's. I don't want to shit on Famous Dave's too much, but c'mon.
Chain BBQ? That's the best you can offer me? Not only that, payment
has to be in the form of a paper slip along with check, because in
2007, Cedar Fair can't get their shit together. Bay Harbor is the best
option for food within the penninsula, and really, they need something
a little bit better than that closer to the hotels, where people
actually stay. Or even at the ex-Radisson Castaway Bay.
Walkup counters are as bad. I like cheese on a stick. A lot. I do,
however, prefer to eat cheese on a stick once in awhile, not 3 times a
day because it is one of almost no available options. There should be
large eating areas with cafeteria style service, much like the
Festhaus at BGW.
-Paying. For anything: Remember what I just said about the slip of
paper? You can only go to like 7 restaurants to have things charged to
your room. And in order to do that, instead of a room key, which you
already carry, you must bring a flimsy piece of paper with the info
written on it. Tickets? They're paper. So are the vouchers for
everything. See, Disney and Universal already have this lock.
Everything is on the room key. Want to buy things and have them
brought to your room instead of carrying them? Room key. Want to go
buy a snack and don't want to pay ATM fees? Room key. Continue ad
nauseum, because its a constant issue. You know how many times I only
had like $10 and wanted food and a drink and didn't want to go running
to find an ATM? Way too many. With only full service taking credit and
the room key being virtually worthless for anything else, it was a
stressor more than anything, one that CP should eliminate completely.
C'mon, you want to make money, right? What better way to do it than
let people charge whatever whenever to their room? Easier than forcing
them to the ATM to pay for more shit. They can see money disappear
that way. Not only that, you cancel out this paper voucher shit.
-Breakers: Sandborg kinda worried me about it, and after staying the
the main section, I can't demand hard enough that something drastic be
done. Start knocking down walls, convert them to larger rooms, maybe
even suites, and be done with it. And while you're at it, knock down
that sorry Amerisuites looking shit at the end of the boardwalk, put
up a 20 story tower with restaurants, deluxe rooms, suites, and the
like. Move the convention center there, even. Give yourself more room
where Ocean Motion and the current diving show is. I'm not saying you
have to be Bellagio, I just expect more than Red Roof at CP. I'd pay
$169 a night for guaranteed quality over $119 a night for mere
Cedar Point seems to be trapped in the past. Still hyping new
coasters, they are stuck in an endless cycle of $20 million dollar
rides that bring less and less new people in. The problem is not
making the local people come for a day anymore. There's too much for a
single day trip, and those who can afford to do so always will. It
will be about getting the 10% of the local population who can afford
more to come for longer to do more things and perhaps relax a lot
more. Its time for CP to reconsider basics of its business plan.
There's no excuse not to have a Fastpass system of some sort, even if
its almost prohibitively expensive for guests. There's no excuse to
have cash only machines in the arcade that take only $1s and $5s when
the average cost for any single game there is .50. There's no excuse
for not having acceptable single rider lines instead of the uproarious
joke that exists at Maverick. There's no excuse for the low quality of
many hotel rooms in the park. There's no excuse for not offering
choices of food that are legitimately interesting. Kinzel has done a
lot for the company already, but Shapiro is right in many ways. The
future of growth isn't attendance, but the percaps that come with
them. And you have to consider doing it without $4 sodas.
We drove around Sandusky before going to the park on Saturday, and my
girlfriend and I ended up eating lunch at Dianna's after a failed
attempt at visiting the Margaritaville outside Port Clinton. That
place had a great downstairs section, with views of a beautiful
waterfall. Now its condemned after an apparent fire we only learned
about afterwards. Dianna's was a place ...
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