Our first "real" Cedar Point visit, with Diana's first Dragster ride

posted by Jeff | Sunday, June 7, 2009, 1:30 AM | comments: 2

Opening day was a total wash-out, with rides on Power Tower and Paddlewheel. Last night was more about "work" to shoot video about Starlight, though we did get a spin on Maverick. Diana got all dirty pulling crap out of the back yard landscaping, and we decided, what the heck, let's go back. We'll do Soak City, and then I'll shoot the other video that I needed later. We arrived a little before 4.

I haven't been to Soak City since, I dunno, 2000 I think. It has been a very long time. The thing is, it hasn't changed since then, aside from the addition of rental cabanas. It was totally new for Diana. Unfortunately, it was a bit cooler there, but it wasn't busy at all. With the heated water and all, it was still a lot of fun. The midges were pretty bad, but we managed. We jumped in the wave pool, Eerie Falls, the "interactive" lazy river and Bubbles. The drinks are ridiculous in price, and midges were seriously bad, but whatever, we can say we did it. That whole adult area is in dire need of some paint and general clean-up, and not just because of the bugs.

After an hour, we had enough, as the sun decided to hide. We thought we'd hit the Japanese place in Breakers, but felt the pricing was a total rip-off, and we passed. Hibachi food is not exactly gourmet, and especially not at $20 a plate, without drinks. But then, Cedar Fair food pricing is generally out of control anyway. Even Midway Market is up to $16.75.

We crossed the park and went to our favorite place, Famous Dave's. Famous Nikki, one of the bartenders, has a fabulous new haircut since opening day. Service was decent, food was as expected, and the pricing is only slightly higher than the outside world. And of course, we didn't leave hungry.

We got up to the front of the park for the first time, and hit the gift shop to find nothing particularly new and eye catching. I did see a black Maverick shot glass I'd like to add to the collection. We also went to pick up our Coastermania T-shirts at guest services, only to find they didn't have any left. Fail.

Our first ride of the day was Sky Ride, or, as Diana puts it, "the buckets." I don't know if it was because they had more tubs on or what, but it seemed like it was going extra fast. Next up, we hit Iron Dragon and Wildcat, neither of which has much in the way of lines. In fact, the park was uncharacteristically thin on crowds for a Saturday.

Our next ride, again with short lines, was Dragster. I hadn't been on the thing since 2005 I think, because I just can't justify waiting for it. I think Cath and I got in line for it in 2006 only to see it go down mechanical. It was also Diana's first time. We did it front seat. For me, it felt familiar despite the years since riding, and while certainly enjoyable, I maintain my feeling that it's just not interesting enough to wait for. Diana loved the launch, but really freaked out on the way down and grabbed me. Almost bought the on-ride photo! Alas, we finally got our credit on that ride.

From there we hit Power Tower, which was a one-cycle wait. I'll always love that ride. From there, we headed back to the car for a little break. I had impractical shoes, and Diana had a weird blister, and frankly we were both a little beat from the previous day and various instances of exercise/yard work. But we wanted to hang in there to get that Starlight video.

I've gotta tell you, now that I've spent some quality time just viewing it, Starlight Experience was definitely the right move. They've clearly only scratched the surface of what they can do with it, but even now, it gets a ton of oohs an aahs as soon as people come out of that Millennium Force tunnel. The winter section is easily the most spectacular, and it's the place where they do the most animation with the lights. Down at the other end, they installed some lasers, which I assume are low power so as not to blind people. They have a little fog to show them, but not quite enough. I think starting from Frontier Town is best, because it gets better as you go.

Overall, it was a nice half-day at the park. Got a bunch of rides in, had food and generally took everything at a relaxed pace. And we finally got the water park!

Maverick was down maybe most of the day, and as we were leaving, we noticed a small army of Ohio Edison people there. My guess is they hosed the electrical supply to the ride, and that's why it was down.



June 7, 2009, 8:33 AM #

I have yet to get there, but I've been so busy trying to update mom's house. I considered going today, but thought it might be a busy weekend with Coastermania geeks. I see that may not be the case, but I've got another room to paint today.

I suspect most of my trips will be this fall, but I still need to get that platinum pass processed. I think it's not having anyone to go with me that makes it less appealing right now.


June 8, 2009, 9:44 AM #

Maverick was up Saturday from Early Entry until at least 1:00 pm-ish (when I stopped riding) and was also up around 6:30 when I rode again and with the best capacity I'd ever seen!...Pepsi machines to station with the building queue full in just 35 minutes! I heard it went down for the night around 7:30, but was back up Sunday morning a little after 10:30.

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