May 21, 22 and 24, 2016
I started on my favorite ride at the park, Raptor. I waited about 20 minutes for the back row. This was ride No. 1,161. Feels good to push that counter. Raptor was repainted with its original 1994 scheme in the offseason, and it looks spectacular. It's running the white wheels too, so it's loud. Love that roar.
Valravn was down, so I walked past it. The new midway here gives great views of Raptor that were unavailable before. The cobra roll looks nice.
I went to Millennium Force and waited about half an hour for the back seat. Since it was dusk, I got some bugs on my face. It's great as always, even with the bugs. I love the speed of it. It was a little interesting riding it after Intimidator 305. They're similar heights and speeds but are totally different animals. I like Millennium Force more, though. Intimidator 305 is almost too intense. MF is easily reridable.
I was tired, so I decided to do a lap around the park and then go to my hotel in Fremont. But Magnum was a walk-on, so I rode in the ejector seat. Then I rode Raptor five more times because I had to. I headed to my car and drove to Fremont, where I was staying. It's good to be back.
I met my friends Jess, Kathy and Paul at the entrance around 8:30 a.m. Since I had a Platinum Pass from Kings Dominion, I was able to get in for early entry. We went to Valravn and got in line. We waited under 15 minutes and went to the back row. This would be my third dive coaster, after SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa and Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
It's an enjoyable ride. The hold before the drop is fun, like on the others. I really like the turn to the block brake because it's fast and steep. The drop off the block isn't as steep as I expected, though you can hardly tell when riding. I think Griffon's is steeper. The dive loop is taken at a good speed. The roll next is probably the best part of the ride. There's a lot of hangtime in it. It's followed by a diving turn to the left and an airtime hill with some nice negative G's. The new restraints don't take much away, though the older style on Griffon and SheiKra leave a little more room for movement.
Valravn is fun and a real crowd pleaser. When it operates (it went down several times during my visit), the line extends far beyond the queue area. It's a good addition but isn't anything spectacular. Griffon is my favorite dive coaster, followed by SheiKra and Valravn. I kind of wish this one also had a water splash. 6/10.
We went to Gatekeeper next. Paul and I rode in the front seat on the left side. I had the outside seat. I'd only ridden this in the back, so I figured it would be fun to be pushed instead of pulled. It was nice. Chilly but enjoyable. I think I prefer the back seat, especially the big flip down the first drop. It's still a rather underwhelming coaster.
We went to Millennium Force. The wait was around 15 minutes. I rode in the back seat with Kathy. Fun as always. Rougarou was next. I had only ridden this as Mantis, and it never really interested me. Riddler's Revenge is about the only standup coaster I enjoy. I got in the back row after a two-train wait. Rougarou is a big improvement over Mantis. It's smoother, the brake down the drop isn't on, and it's more fun and comfortable. The layout isn't the best (it didn't change), but the floorless design is better. 6/10.
Iron Dragon was next. Why not? It's a fun suspended coaster. We waited a train or two for the back car (Kathy and I sat in the front row of the car). We took Sky Ride to get to Raptor. After Raptor, we went to Pink's for hot dogs. I got a spicy Polish dog for $7.39 with my season pass discount. It was good. I had to eat it with a fork and knife because it was hard to handle.
Then I rode Bench: The Ride. We then rode Blue Streak. The wait was less than five minutes. It's a classic coaster with nice airtime. I like it every time. We went to the new Valravn midway by Raptor's cobra roll, and I hugged my favorite coaster at the park. We walked through Frontier Trail, where we saw a turkey on the midway by the petting farm. We exited by Magnum and explored Hotel Breakers, which had been overhauled. It looks great inside. We walked on the boardwalk along the beach and entered the park again.
We rode Raptor, and then Jess and Kathy headed out to go home. Paul and I took the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad to the Frontier Town station and got in line for Maverick. We waited around half an hour (through the entire White Water Landing station and a bit of the outside queue) for the back seat, my favorite seat. The 95-degree drop is excellent there. Maverick is a solid ride. The new padding on the restraints improves on an already good ride. We went to the front and rode Raptor twice, then we parted ways. It's always good to see my friends. I got in my car and drove to my friends in Tipp City outside Dayton for my trip to Kings Island.
I got to the park before opening. I was alone this time. It's good to get to the park in the middle of the week in case the weekend has crowds. I started on Valravn for early entry. Back row. I went to Millennium Force and waited about 20 minutes for the front row of the back car. No bugs this time. Maverick was next. The wait was only in the White Water Landing station, so it was maybe 20 minutes. Back row, of course.
I stopped by the Cedar Creek Trading Co. store to see my old friend George. We worked together when I was a sweep here in 2005. Then I rode Pipe Scream, the Zamperla Disk'O on the Gemini Midway. I waited one cycle and sat in an outside seat. The hill in the middle is great when taken at full speed, and the spins in the towers are enjoyable and offer new rides. This is a fun ride, though not a coaster. Not sure why the park calls it one.
I walked on to Magnum in the ejector seat again. I went to the front of the park and got on Wicked Twister after about a three-train cycle. I rode in row 15. That way I get the view when in the back twist. I like this coaster.
I was hungry, so I got a bratwurst and a Yuengling beer at a stand on the Millennium Force midway. It cost $17.70. Oof. Good beer, though. After eating, I walked along Frontier Trail and talked to Paul the woodcarver. I rode Antique Cars, which has a low capacity, but I only waited about 10 minutes because the park was empty.
I walked to the front of the park and rode Raptor because I hadn't ridden it yet and it was after 2 p.m. I rode Blue Streak in the back seat after waiting a single train. Then I went to Cedar Downs, which is probably my favorite carousel. In 2013, the ride had awful music playing over the speakers instead of the usual derby sounds. This year the derby sounds are back, though updated. It sounds like it's from an actual race. Nice touch.
I rode Millennium Force in the back seat (30-minute wait). Then I went to Raptor for my last ride of my trip. This ride was in my favorite seat: eighth row, right side. The first drop in that seat can't be beat. Your legs kick out in the predrop, and the swing out pulls you down and out. Lovely. Raptor is so good. This was my 1,172nd ride (12 total this trip).
It's always good to be at Cedar Point. It feels like home, I can catch up with friends, and I get to ride my favorite coasters. This vacation was needed and worth it.