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I spent two days at Cedar Point

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I spent two days at Cedar Point

Old 08-04-19, 07:46 AM
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I spent two days at Cedar Point

Cedar Point, for those not aware, is an amusement park known for having one of the best collections of roller coasters in the world. The park is an on island in Lake Erie in Sandusky, OH which is about an hour west of Cleveland. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere but the location on the lake is great: you get views all the way to Canada on many rides, there's a large beach right in the park, and the park has a general seaside feel. The park owns five resorts, I believe, one of which is directly adjacent to the park and pretty nice.

Almost every coaster at this park is either a current or former world record holder of some variety. The rides at this park are big, intense, minimally themed and for enthusiasts. There's also a lot for smaller kids to do, a large collection of flat rides and a number of water rides. The park is very clean and well maintained, almost at Disney levels of spotlessness. The food is in general a cut above most amusement parks but hardly "gourmet". The queues are mostly shaded but this place can be very hot on a summer day, plan accordingly.

Cedar Point is reasonably inexpensive to visit. There are many hotel/park ticket/dining packages that represent good deals. Also, the park offers a "Fast Lane" line skipping pass, which is fairly expensive given the price of entry tickets (a top of the line Fast Lane pass is $120/day for all rides) but absolutely worth it. Fast Lane is particularly valuable at this park as few people seem to buy it and the general entry lines are long. A Fast Lane pass frankly changes the nature of the park: you can relax because you know can walk on most everything and you're not stuck out in the sun in lines all day.

As I mentioned, this is a place for roller coaster enthusiasts. There's a good reason it's a destination park for people all over the world. Here's my ranking of the main coasters there:

1. Steel Vengeance: the newest coaster in the park is also the best, and according to many people is literally the best coaster in the world. This is a giant hybrid coaster made by RMC, if that means anything to you. It's a retrack of the old Mean Streak, which was terrible, but it's totally unrecognizable. Steel Vengeance is extremely intense, relentlessly so, in fact almost comically so. The ride has almost 30 seconds of airtime, the most of any coaster. You are out of your seat throughout the ride. You are a ragdoll on this ride, just accept the airtime and go with it. Incredible ride and the best coaster I personally have ever been on.

2. Maverick: deceptively powerful Intamin Blitz coaster with two LIM launches. This ride snaps you back and forth through a very powerful set of maneuvers while still being comfortable. The second launch, 70 mph in a tunnel into a tight left turn, is simply incredible. The ride also is very reliable and has high throughput. They were running six trains when I was there and I rode this 10 times.

3. Top Thrill Dragster: 420 feet tall, 0-120+ MPH in less than four seconds. This coaster is so impressive to see that there are actually stands for people to watch the trains launch. A front seat ride on Top Thrill Dragster is, bar none, the most intense moment I've ever experienced on a roller coaster. You're 400+ feet in the air before you understand what happening to you. Then you fall 400+ feet straight down at 90+ mph. Wow.

4. Valravn: the tallest dive coaster in the world. Holds you at 200 feet before falling at 90 degrees and going into the second largest inversion in the world. Has a terrific 270 degree zero-G inversion midcourse that hangs you in slow motion. Tons of fun, hurt by very long lines.

5. Gatekeeper: the largest wingcoaster in the world. Has the highest inversion in the world. Like any wingcoaster, this is very smooth and has minimal airtime. The ride has powerful positive Gs and several great near-miss moments flying through keyholes. It's also the best looking coaster in the park with a beautiful blue and white paint scheme and minimal supports.

6. Gemini: 41 year old hybrid racing coaster. This was a terrific palate-cleanser ride to mix in with the bigger stuff around the park. The trains are right next to each other throughout the ride and the interaction is lots of fun. There's also a reasonable amount of airtime, some great head-chopper moments and the ride is surprisingly smooth. Classic amusement park stuff.

7. Millenium Force: only at Cedar Point would a 300+ foot tall Intamin Gigacoaster be the seventh best coaster. This ride is absolutely huge. You hit 93 mph at the bottom of the first drop and never drop below 70 mph throughout the ride. The trains also are very "low cut" and the only restraint is a lapbar, making you feel very exposed throughout. The issue with this ride is lack of intensity. Yes it's huge, but there's no airtime at all, very little G-force and no surprises in the layout. Still, it's huge, fast and powerful.

8. Raptor: a very large inverted B&M coaster, one of the first inverted coasters ever built. If you've been on any Batman at Six Flags, this is essentially a larger version of that. The best parts of this are the great cobra roll turnaround and the powerful double helix at the end. Not a head-banger despite the old school over the shoulder restraints. Never has a long line.

9. Magnum XL-200: yes, I have to rate this classic Arrow, a world record holder for tallest coaster when it was built, at #9 . I love this ride but it's starting to show its age. It's very rough in spots and uncomfortable. The giant first drop is relatively shallow and feels old school at this point. There is a great turn-around that makes you feel like you're about to be dumped into the lake, the beach-side location is the best of any coaster in the park and there's some great airtime on the bunnyhills coming back to the station but I just didn't really enjoy this.

10. Rougarou: the old (extremely uncomfortable) Mantis B&M stand-up was given new floorless trains and rebranded Rougarou. In any other park, this would be a headline attraction, here it's just kind of there. Does have some of the stronger positive Gs in the park and a couple of nice inversions. Also, it's a walk-on all day even in crowded conditions. Not bad, but hardly memorable.

11. Blue Streak: a 1964 woodie that is surprisingly fast and powerful. I actually really like this ride but it has a fatal flaw for me: it's tremendously uncomfortable. The restraints absolutely bashed my thighs and the sides of the seat dug into my torso. If you fit better into this ride (I'm 5'10", 160 lbs), you will likely enjoy this a great deal.

12. Iron Dragon: a fairly enjoyable little family suspended coaster. Nothing memorable but a great first coaster for kids.

I didn't ride:
Corkscrew: a very famous, very early Arrow looper which looks great but I know is very rough and head-banging. No thanks.
Cedar Creek Mine Train: one of the oldest steel coasters still in operation anywhere, not interested.
Wicked Twister: I personally despise these back-and-forth LIM-launched things.
Any of the junior coasters, of which there are several
Any of the water rides, of which there are several, a couple of which are supposed to be very good. Didn't want to be soggy all day.

I didn't go on any flat ride because there are too many coasters to waste time. I should have gone on Windseeker, their giant tower swing because the views are supposed to be the best in the park, but I didn't. I didnt go to any of the shows, of which there are many. I didn't ride the train and I should have.

Other things I liked: the wilderness trail which is shaded, quiet and well themed. The Town Hall museum, which is actually very well done and interesting. The Skyride, which saves you having to walk the entire midway and gives great views. The shady spots to sit, which are everywhere.

Two things I didn't like: the arcade which used to be full of great vintage stuff but is now almost entirely redemption game BS, the merch which was not great anywhere,

Anyway, that's it. If you like coasters, you need to visit this park at some point. It's a great place.

Last edited by Hiro11; 08-04-19 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 08-04-19, 08:45 AM
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Old 08-06-19, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
10. Rougarou: the old (extremely uncomfortable) Mantis B&M stand-up was given new floorless trains and rebranded Rougarou. In any other park, this would be a headline attraction, here it's just kind of there. Does have some of the stronger positive Gs in the park and a couple of nice inversions. Also, it's a walk-on all day even in crowded conditions. Not bad, but hardly memorable.
Back in the 1990's, Mrs. Altair and I visited Cedar Point and our first ride was the then-new Mantis (now called the Rougarou). It's where we both discovered that we can't ride inverted coasters at all. Absolutely screwed up my wife's equilibrium and totally blitzed our two day visit. After that, we rode the ferris wheel a couple of times, saw the shows, and dealt with my wife's motion sickness the entire ride home. Total freakin' disaster. I'm glad you had a great time! Cedar Point is a coaster fanatic's dream come true.
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Old 08-07-19, 12:06 AM
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I was there around 30 years ago. Very long lines at most rides. I eventually rode one coaster and some other stuff with bearable lines. Admission was $18. Now it's "as low as $50."
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Old 08-07-19, 05:34 AM
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Inexpensive is not what I would call it. For the price of a weekend staying at an attached hotel, we instead spent an entire week in Myrtle Beach.

Haven't been there since I was young. Magnum XL was new when I was there last. We waited extra time to get the front seat. Had plenty of time to chat with the folks behind us. We finally got on and it was a great ride. As we got off, we looked up and later found out that the people behind us were on the train that got stuck at the crest of the first hill for over 2 hours. One more and that would have been us.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:31 PM
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This was a fun read, thanks. I'm not a big amusement park enthusiast, I haven't even been to six flags in probably a decade, but just reading about it brought back some great memories. I might have to make the trip.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:40 PM
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I visited about 15 years ago and despite not really being into amusement parks since I was a teen, I had a really enjoyable time.

We went during the week and there were virtually no lines. I think we went on a Tuesday or Wednesday. So that's my hot tip.
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