Aug. 17, 18 and 20, 2013
Three years. Three long years. I hadn't been to Cedar Point since Aug. 22, 2010. It was eating at me. My count on Raptor was stuck at 1,147. I needed to get back, so I asked for several days off from work for a much-needed trip to my favorite amusement park.
I got to the park around 8:30 on Saturday night. Because it was a Saturday, it was busy. I figured I'd only get a ride on Raptor and the new coaster, Gatekeeper. Fine with me. I was coming back twice more. Gatekeeper dominates the front entance. It sure looks nice. I entered the park and made my way to Raptor, my favorite coaster there. The line was 45 minutes long, and I decided to do it. My first ride on Raptor since 2010 would be worth the wait.
It felt so great to be back. I loved just standing in line and listening to the music and the loud roar of Raptor as it went down the first drop. What a great coaster. I got to the station in about 45 minutes and went to the line for the back row. I sat in my favorite seat: 8-4, the farthest right in the back row. The sun had set, so I got a night ride, which is just the best. Spectacular. I love this ride so much.
Now that I got my fix, I went to Gatekeeper to try out my first B&M Wing Coaster. I put my camera bag in a $2 locker and got in line. I waited a little more than an hour and went to the back row on the left side. I wanted that seat because it gets the outside spin on the twisting first drop. Gatekeeper was a pretty fun ride, but it was a little underwhelming. The vehicles are so big, the elements have to be spaced far apart. The keyhole did surprise me, but the rest of the ride wasn't too spectacular. The restraint really pressed down throughout the ride, which I'd heard about. I had my arms up, so I wasn't holding the restraint from continuously pressing me in. They're not the standard ratcheting restraints like on other B&Ms. They're hydraulic, so they can lock at any position instead of having some give. It was a little uncomfortable.
I was tired, and the park was slammed, so I left for my friend's place in Fremont. Though I only rode two coasters, it was a great first visit.
I got to the park a little after early opening and made my way to Raptor. I got two rides then met with my friends. We went to Millennium Force. We were on in about 20 minutes. I sat in the back seat. I love this coaster.
We rode Magnum next. There was a one-train wait, and I got in the ejector seat, 1-3. It's fun, though that seat is really intense. I love the airtime. Next we went to Gemini. Only one side was running, but there weren't a lot of people on the ride. We waited for one train and got on. We headed to Maverick and saw that the line was only in the old White Water Landing station. The wait was a little less than half an hour. As usual, I went to the back seat. The first drop still gets me to shout because it's 95 degrees. This coaster is fast paced with lots of really quick transitions that make it great. Maverick is my second favorite coaster at Cedar Point, and it thrills me every time.
We were hungry, so we went to the Perkins restaurant inside the Hotel Breakers. I got a honey mustard chicken salad, which was delicious. After lunch, we walked on the boardwalk (Kathy and Paul took to the beach) and went in the entrance near Windseeker. Since we were there, we got in line. We waited one cycle and got in. It's a decent ride. It's tall, which is a little unnerving at first, but it's just a big swing. The breeze was nice, and the views were outstanding.
We headed toward Blue Streak, but first I rode Bench: The Ride. It was a crowded Sunday, but Blue Streak didn't have a wait. This was around the time of day that the front of the park was relatively clear, except for Gatekeeper. Blue streak was running pretty well. The airtime is great, as usual. I waved at the people in Raptor's station as we passed by on the bunny hop.
Next up: Cedar Downs, another classic ride I love. Kathy, Jess and I got in a row for a race. Jess barely beat me. Fun. We rode Sky Ride from east to west, then we got on the train for the back of the park and walked in Town Hall, where there was a K'nex roller coaster from a contest. We also stopped at the best water fountain in the park. It's the coldest water out of all the 40-something fountains.
We walked to the front of the park, and my friends called it a day. I met with another friend, George, and we rode Blue Streak followed by Wicked Twister. We parted ways, and I met with another friend, Julie. We got dinner at Famous Dave's. Delicious.
I was pretty beat, so I called it a night. It was great seeing so many friends and riding my favorite rides again. I was taking a day off Cedar Point and hitting Kings Island on Monday. Then I came back and did one final day at Cedar Point.
I got to the park about an hour before opening because I thought it was opening at 9 instead of 10. Sunday was the last day of regular operating hours. Oops. A line started to form, so I got in it and waited for the gates to open. once they did, I got an all-day locker and then went to Raptor. I got five rides in a row before deciding to enjoy the rest of the park. I went to Millennium Force and got on the back seat in about half an hour. Still love it. I was hungry, so I headed to the front of the park. I stopped at Donut Time. Yum.
After my delicious donuts, I visited my friend Paul, the park's woodcarver. He's gotten a nice shop since I last visited the park. Before it was a small storefront. Now he's got a cabin full of his work. We talked for a while, and then I went to the back of the park. I rode Cedar Creek Mine Ride because it was there. I waited two trains for the back seat. It was enjoyable. The park was pretty empty this day, especially compared with my previous two visits.
I walked down the Gemini midway toward the front of the park. I got to Giant Wheel and was told single riders are not allowed, so I rode with two strangers. We went around several times. I rode Raptor and then Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper had only a 30-minute wait, which is great for a new ride. I rode in the back seat again. I held on to my restraint this time, and the ride was more enjoyable. Then I rode the train to the back and decided to hop on Antique Cars. I met with George again, and we went to the front. He went to his car to change (he works at Cedar Creek Trading Company and was in uniform). While he did that, I got three more rides on Raptor. He joined me, and we rode one together. That brought my total from this trip to 13, 10 this day, and my overall count was at an even 1,160. Feels great.
George and I headed back to Maverick, which would be my last ride of the trip. I was pretty tired. Four parks in as many days is exhausting. Maverick had a decent wait, but it wasn't overwhelming. We waited a little less than an hour for the back seat. It was tons of fun. The sun was setting, so I called it a day.
It was great getting back to Cedar Point, and doing it for three days was much better than a single visit. I'm glad I got to see my good friends again and ride my favorite coasters (plus some other rides).