We arrived in Sandusky just as the park closed having had a nice visit with Turnberryknkn et al. and driving to the point.
Hotel Breakers is behind the park between Corkscrew and the Lake. It is an older hotel with memories of its more grand times and retains quite a bit of charm even in todays hustle bustle world. In the wing we were in, there are no elevators (yes, the hotel is that old) and no electronic door keys. We each got a large key fob with the room number on it and a key. The room is not huge but is sufficient with a queen bed, small table w/2 chairs, small dresser, TV, and a luggage rack for the suitcase. The door sticks a little but it almost adds to the charm of the location. The bathroom has a step up to the toilet and shower (no tub). We settled in, explored the beach breifly (open until midnight), Java did some laundry and I passed out.
We did run into a few challenges with the hotel and when we mentioned them at check-out the staff was horrified and felt so bad (I was starting to feel bad for not telling them sooner). The seat on the toilet was a bit lose and when it slid sideways I got a blood-blister on my thigh from the pinch. They had also plugged the alarm clock into the wall-switch controlled outlet which turn the alarm off.
The hotel is sort of leggy in some ways with longish hallways leading from the center area. There is an internet friendly place, the pool, the entrance to the beach, an arcade, a laundry, and a few restaurants to choose from. There is beautiful old-looking glass in the windows and some stained glass pieces in the lobby. The lobby also has a television with Peanuts on for most of the day and the list of what rides are opening early for guests the next morning. Having Snoopy wandering around just adds to the overal ambiance and fun. He looks so cute in his nightcap.Cedar Point
The next morning we were up fairly early since resort guests get into Cedar Point an hour before the GP. Not all rides are up (unfortunately) but it is still a chance to get in line early. We decided to wait on Maverick so we headed away from the stampede (it makes the running of the bulls in Spain look decorous almost) and headed to Millineum Force
. We made good time (walking fast but not running), up the stairs, onto the platform, passed the back breaks where the ride-ops were still pouring water out of the weight dummies from the test of train 2, and onto the blue train. First ride of the day. WHEEE (we also got the 2nd ride of the day on that train), then off to Raptor
which shut down briefly in the rain (paranoia due to Magnum probably), got a ride on that, and decided to head to the Top Thrill Dragster
line. We got there about 5 minutes before park opening so we were in a good spot. We ended up near the back of our car. Waiting for the launch is a bit intimidating (to say the least) but it is VERY smooth and the twist is interesting and boy do you get a great (but brief) view of the park from 400 feet up.
By now the park was open (we got to see them shuttle lines in TTD to allow for the larger crowd. Very nicely handled. So we went to visit Corkcrew to get that over with (I am not a huge fan of Arrow Dynamics Looping steel coasters). But ended up in line for the Power Tower
(a boingie ride where you are shot up as if on a released rubber band and bounced a bit before coming back down to earth). Another fine view of the park later and we headed towards Corkscrew
. The Corkscrew treated me as I expected it to. The bucket seat-backs are not the same size as my back and end up pushing on my upper shoulders (not fun). The horsecollar puts pressure in weird places as well. However, it is a bit of history and worth 1 ride ... I guess.
We stopped by Magnum XL-200
(which is a ride I usually adore) and the line was 2.25 HOURS???!!?!?! Holy Bizarreness Batman. Why would a ride that is over 10 years old be running a line almost as long as the one that opened this weekend??! I found out later (a couple of days) that the reason was that Mags had a 'problem' on Saturday. One of the trains ran its breaks and hit another train in the station (bad train, no biscuit). This meant that both of those trains were removed from service to figure out what happened and do any repairs. This left one train on circuit when they re-opened (no chance of another train bump if there is only one on the tracks). This left a LONG line. *sigh*
So, we continued on around the park and ended up at Gemini
(red side) which is a wood structure, steel rail hybrid coaster. As the name implies, it is also a twinned coaster but unlike some it isn't a true twin. The tracks are slightly different lengths so that one side will always win. It does share the trait of the Kennywood Racer that the tracks are next to each other so that the coasters will pull ahead/fall behind depending on who is on the inside of a particular turn. The only mirroring is the final helix. However it is fun and packs some nice air-time in (though I could use a little less in the lateral department). The weird thing about this ride is that it rides like a wooden except for its eerie silence. The wheels just whisper on the rails and if the riders are quiet, all you hear is a gentle swoosh as you go around the circuit. (Bit of trivia, the style is Arrow's Special Coaster Systems - like this Steeplechase in the UK http://www.rcdb.com/ig795.htm?picture=2
We stuck our noses in the general direction of Maverick and decided that the line wasn't worth it and headed to the Cedar Creek Mine Train
. They were still getting her warmed up (slowly opening more and more of the train). This is a true mine-train feeling coaster with lots of turns and dips. The track structure looks more like what you would imagine a mine exit would look than some. Giggle. Then since we were right there, we hopped on the antique cars
that are next to the Mine Train. We decided that I would drive and we appreciated the nice scenary and covered bridge. The goose hissing at us for getting 'too close' was such a realistic touch ... of course since it was a live goose, I was very careful to be prepared to stop if it did something stupid.
Then we wanted to head to the other side of the park and decided to take the train
. This was a good choice, I didn't remember how much scenary and automatrons they had. The rearing skeleton horse was cool, the puns were bad but the ride was fun (and a chance to sit and enjoy the scenary. That is one nice thing about this park, the 'family' rides are mixed in with the 'thrill' rides and while there are kiddie sections (2 of them) there are things you can do with kids/family all over the place.
Next stop was Mantis
. The people smoking in line were very annoying and the water around the ride was seriously gross (why do people throw their trash on the ground/in the water instead of in a trash can ... it isn't like there aren't a good number of trash cans on the property. I managed to get a pretty good position in the restraints so I didn't get beaten up too badly but the G-forces were pretty intense.
Off to Iron Dragon
which unfortunately needs some TLC, it was dragging a bit on some of the sections (I could hear the rumble of the not quite perfectly aligned tracks). Sort of like how some wooden coasters will squeal when they need minor re-tracking? Or how some will 'walk'. Still a nice ride and one of the few Arrow types I enjoy. And it is one of the few suspended coasters left (they are a bit of a maintenance nightmare from what I hear).
Next stop? Wild Cat
- I heart Anton Schwartzkopf. He made the most fun coasters. They aren't huge, they aren't world record setters but they are just plain FUN! Up, down, around, a little air here, a little air there, here some air, there some air, everywhere a little air. This rides like a galaxy and I do love them (and miss the KD one).
By now we were hot, tired, hungry, and a bit cranky (sorry Java). So, we headed off-site to Damons for Ribs. YUM! The first time Java had ever seen me really chow down was when we went to Damons in 2000. I was very proud of myself for finding it without any directions. It was nice to sit and relax. We watched the boats in the marina and the people going to and fro getting ready for the summer sailing season. Then it was back to the park.
We hit the dodgems (WAY too loud in the music) and made the stop at Cedar Downs
. This is the last Racing Derby in this country that still races (one of two that exist at all). What is a "Racing Derby" you ask? Well, it is a carousel ride with horses posed like an old English print (legs outstretched), the poles come from below and are fitted into long slots (maybe 4 feet). As the ride turns, the horses move up and down (like most carousels) but they also slide forward and back within their slots so that they 'race' past each other then fall back and surge forward again. http://history.amusement-parks.com/racingderby.htm
gives some history on the ride type (and some diagrams).
Then aw-shucky-darn we were right next to Blue Streak
I guess we will just have to ride it. Oh the pain and suffering. This is a truly classic coaster and runs like a dream. Her job is to give you a smooth ride and good air. She has done this for many years and I hope she continues for many more. I do regret that the arcade (and former dark ride) next to her is now gone. After that, we tried the Calypso
and I managed to survive it and still be able to walk. However, I needed to recover on Blue Streak.
Then it was off to the Kiddie Carousel
for another break. This time on a bear. We then wandered over to Wicked Twister
which I wasn't sure if I would like (I don't do well on the whole going backwards thing. However, it was VERY fun so we did it twice then wandered to the Arcade that had some vintage games (Pac Man, Galaga, Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, etc.).
Back towards the exit to the hotel and a stop by Gemini for a ride in the rear of the Blue side. It was a bit rough and we headed out having had a very full day in the park. The buffet dinner at the hotel was reasonable but not great. Then back to the park again (have I mentioned that we appreciated being able to walk to the park from the hotel? We did.
We stopped by Mags and went ahead and rode it. It was rougher than I liked and much rougher than I remembered. We decided to head to Mean Streak
which I remembered as being much rougher and more jerky than Grizzly on Grizz's worst days. I don't know what side of the bed that coaster got out of that morning but it was running FINE! We rode it, ran around, got back in line, and rode it again, then one more time for Good Measure. Front seat and flying free. WHEEE!
Then we headed back to the hotel, I showered and passed out.