May 12-13, 2007

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Opening day.

    This was my first opening day at any park. I left my apartment about 40 minutes before the park opened to Joe Cool pass holders. I took the Chausee because I figured the main road to Cedar Point would be busy. It took me an extra few minutes, and I arrived at the park about 9:20. I walked by the Ohio State marching band as it played at the park entrance.

    I beat some crowds because I have Joe Cool, and I headed to Raptor. Because Maverick wasn't open, my first coaster of 2007 would be my favorite and most-ridden coaster. Awesome.

    I waited about five minutes, and I got in my favorite seat: back row, right side. My 706th ride was excellent. I would have ridden again, but the flood gates opened, and the line started building up. It was time to head to another coaster. The park got rid of the on-ride photo system and added two small video cameras to each row.

    Millennium Force! I crossed the train tracks separating the Mantis midway from the Millennium Force midway, and I saw a friend of mine I met my last season working at the park. Millennium Force Tony was standing by the exit, and I walked up to him. He recognized me and was totally surprised to see me. Not many people other than my former co-workers knew I moved just 30 miles away from the park.

    We got in line. In about 15 to 20 minutes, we were in the station and boarding the train. We sat in the middle car. It's got good floater air because it's in the middle. The first drop is amazing, and the rest of the ride is taken at high speeds. I love Millennium Force because it's so fast. The wind rushing by is excellent.

   I left Tony to ride MF a few more times, and I decided to go look at Maverick. This ride really stands out. It passes by the midway, and there are some great views of it. I can't wait for it to open. The theming looks pretty good, and it should be fun going through the canyons and going through the heartline above the water. There's a cool sign at the entrance that has pretty realistic fake cactus by it. The ride's entrance also stands out. The sign at the entrance doesn't have any information on it except what conditions should prevent you from riding.

    I walked through the back of the park to Magnum, which I rode after I ran into another person I hadn't seen in a few years: Jerry, aka "Scary" Jerry. We rode in the ejector seat, and we even got the fast train, but the winds coming off the lake and the trim brakes slowed the ride down a lot. There was hardly any airtime. I was unimpressed. Magnum needs to warm up a bit.

   I walked to the front of the park and checked out some of the new things like Hurricane Hannah's. My last year working here, it was Hofbrau.  I took some photos of Raptor and headed down the main midway. I got on the train to see how Maverick looked from it. There are some good views of the ride on the train. Myron H. was running.

   I got off the train and watched a cycle of Skyhawk. I didn't ride because the line was a little long, and I've heard it's got a low capacity. But both sides were running.

    I ran into the group of friends again, and we decided to get ice cream at the new Ben & Jerry's. It replaced the Ice Cream Parlour, which I thought was a shame. Toft's ice cream is really good, and it hit the spot on a hot day. I got a cup of strawberry ice cream, and I asked if they were going to get Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream. They laughed at me. The ice cream was all right, but it was a bit expensive for such a small cup. It was $5. But I did get more scoops than the others. Yes! Maybe I'll get a sundae next time I go.

    Oh, and on our way to get ice cream, a girl stopped Jerry because she wanted to get a picture of him. So I took a picture of her taking a picture of him.

   I walked around taking pictures of things like the empty Cub Cadet showcase and the lack of landscaping.

    I went to the Game Day Grille where I met Tony and his gang of friends. I had never eaten in that restaurant. I got chicken tenders, which were pretty good. It was good to sit down inside and talk with a bunch of people who share the same interests.

   After a good dinner, I decided to ride Blue Streak. The wait was about 20 minutes, which wasn't bad on such a crowded day. Blue Streak, as well as other coasters I noticed, has boxes in the station for guests to store their loose articles. It looks like the park took the idea from Raptor. It was a good move. I visited my friend Christy, who works on Blue Streak. Her shift ended at 7, and the park closed at 10, so we hung out.

   We rode the train, wandered around and looked at Maverick, then we headed to the front to ride maXair. The line was sort of long, so we hopped on Troika. Troika's fun. It's like a crazier Scrambler. We went to the back and rode Woodstock Express, which has video cameras on it too. I pretended like I was terrified. I love doing that on kid's rides.

   After that fun ride, we headed to the front of the park and rode Cedar Downs. I named my horse Butt the Enforcer. He lost. We went to Cadillac Cars, which is a nice way to relax. It was night now, and things were winding down. MaXair's line was shorter, so we got in line. We had to wait for a ride host to rotate to the entrance to let us on.

   MaXair seemed to be running a bit longer than I remember. It's a fun ride, though it was a bit chilly. We went to Space Spiral to finish the night. The ride host told us we were on the last ride of the night. Awesome. I got the last ride on Space Spiral on the first day the park was open.

    I only got a few rides in because it was so crowded, but I really didn't mind. I've got a season pass, and I can visit on weekends. Opening day was really a reunion day too. I had fun, and running into old friends was great.

   What a good day to begin the season.

Sunday -- Day 2.

   I got to the park about 9:15 a.m. It wasn't as crowded as before, and I was able to get seven rides on Raptor before the park opened to everyone else. My feet were in pain because of all the walking I did yesterday, so I wasn't able to run to the entrance to get more rides.

    I got on Blue Streak. It's running so well. The retracked areas run smooth, and the airtime is amazing. It was better than Magnum the day before. I really can't wait for Blue Streak to break in. Night rides may be really good.  

    I met my friend Raptor Dave by Magnum, and we went to Midway Market for lunch. It's a good place to eat, but as a former sweep, I'm not sure a buffet is the best idea for an amusement park, if you know what I mean. One of Dave's friends joined us, and he just had coffee. He's a 76-year-old man with a heart of gold. He had some good stories, and he was a lot of fun.

   We went to the train, which was Dave's first ride of the season. He really enjoys the train. Judy K. was running today, and it seemed to be running well. The engine was refurbished for this season.

   After looking at Maverick and anticipating its opening, we went to Gemini. Gemini is one of those all-around fun rides. It's not the tallest or fastest, but it's extremely fun. We rode in the blue side, and I got on the right. I let Dave sit in the left so he could slap hands, and I sat on the right for the best headchopper in the drop before the block brakes. I love Gemini.

   We went to Woodstock Express so I could show Dave the cameras. We waited a few trains and got in the back seat. It's a fun ride. The video was funny because we were talking during the whole ride.

   Magnum was next. After a wait of maybe five minutes, we were in the ejector seat in the red train. It was running better than yesterday, but the trims were on. The airtime was great, but I still think Blue Streak rivals it so far. It ought to be better when it's not windy.

    I saw a bunny and took its picture.

   We decided to hit Cedar Downs, which is a super fun ride. Butt the Enforcer lost again. Come on, Butt! You're 0-2. Why?

   Blue Streak was a short walk away, so we went there. The wait was almost a walk-on. We got in the third row of the first car. Christy was working, so I bugged her, which is always fun. Blue Streak was amazing. It's really flying over the hills, and the retracked parts feels great. Dave enjoys the tiny hill after the turnaround. He likes the rails because there's a spot of rust on the top because the wheels hop over the track. The airtime's that good there.

   Dave had to head out about 5:30. The park closed at 7 that night, so after parting, I headed to Raptor. I needed to get some more rides in.

   I only got five rides because the line was moving between five minutes and 20 minutes. I also stopped to talk to the ride host at the entrance, Kesha. She seems like a lot of fun. My total ride count was 12 for the day, 13 for the weekend and 718 overall. I'm going to get 1,000 this season.

   This was a great opening weekend. Despite a really bad sunburn, aching feet and legs from miles of walking and a crowded first day, I had a blast. Meeting old friends, riding my favorite rides, and just being in the park is all I need. I'll be making lots of visits this season.

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