July 30 and 31, 2008
Rex started the RexandtheBeast.com trip to Cedar Point by flying out of Denver, Coloradointo Louisville, Kentucky on July 30, 2008 to meet the Beast. The plan was to leave early Thursday, July 31 to drive to Sandusky, Ohio—home of Cedar Point. However, Rex’s other job got in the way and we didn’t get moving until 6:00 p.m. A five and a half hour drive in front of us.
On the drive, we had a great time talking and laughing about previous trips and about the anticipation of hitting Cedar Point. We also had time to crank out a new segment on the Audio Journeys with Rex and the Beast podcast on the drive. That new segment is called “Anatomy of an Attraction” and the first “Anatomy of an Attraction” we recorded on the drive will be up soon.
So, we rolled into Sandusky about 12:30 in the morning…and realized we needed some supplies for the videoing and other work to be done on Friday. So, we headed to a local Wal-Mart for those supplies. Supplied up, we headed to our room at the Breakers, which required a great drive through Cedar Point after dark. The lights running up the side of Blue Streak and Magnum XL-200 made for a beautiful and exciting drive to our hotel.
We arrived at the Breakers about 1:15 a.m. The Breakers is a great old hotel built in 1905, with a lot of character and history (although missing a few modern items, like air conditioning in the main parts of the hotel). Our room was adequate with a great room of the pools and the beach. A little musty smelling, but the location more than made up for any limitations—although next time we may try the Lighthouse Point.
August 1, 2008
9:00 – 11:59 a.m.
So, a little tired, we get moving around 9:00, heading over early to take advantage of the extra hour you get when staying at an on-site hotel. We took some pictures and video as we headed into the park and then went straight to Millennium Force, the coaster the Beast was most looking forward to. We had about a 30 minute wait, and were rewarded with a great ride–pure speed with an awesome first drop (310 feet). You also get a great view of the park and Lake Erie going up the lift hill.
Then we moved on to Mantis (stand-up coaster), which only had about a 10 minute wait and which we both found a little rough on the head and ears (lot of motion). A couple of nice turns, but overall not a great ride. Next up was Iron Dragon, a classic old-style suspended coaster (similar to the Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain). No wait. Pretty lame ride, but interesting for historical purposes.
We then backtracked to the back of the park to ride the wooden coaster Mean Streak (top speed of 65 MPH). Now, Rex and the Beast are both huge fans of woodies, and generally recommend the back row in a woodie for the air time and more violent movements, but this was crazy. We both agreed that this was the most painful ride we have ever taken. The drops caused bouncing so intense that we both felt that our ribcage and chest were going to burst. It was amazing. We wondered why it was a walk-on with no wait, and the pain seemed to clear that up!
After Mean Streak it was getting to be late morning and we were looking forward to Hurricane Hannah’s and meeting some other Cedar Point fans at 1:00…but there was still riding and work to be done. In between all of our rides, we take a lot of video for our videos and a lot of pictures, both of which you can see on our site in the next couple of days.
So, on to Cedar Creek Mine Ride, a fairly straight-forward runaway mine themed minor coaster, and Gemini, a racing coaster with two trains that looks like a woodie but is on metal tracks. Both had very little wait times and were OK rides. We especially enjoyed Gemini, where we got to do some good-natured trash talking with the other train as we raced around the track. We won by about 4 inches.
12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
So it was around 12:40 and we had our meeting with any other park goers that wanted to say hello coming up at 1:00, so we headed toward the front of the park to Hurricane Hannah’s. We had a great time getting to talk to some other theme park enthusiasts, and look forward to meeting others at the next park. But we had to move on; we had a lot yet to do.
We actually ate lunch at Midway Market, where we were served by a really nice server named Abby. You can see Abby, her manager Steven and a few others on our Cedar Point video at RexandtheBeast.com. It was about 2:00 when we finished lunch. Onward!
While we were at the front of the park, we decided to hit the coasters in that area (as well as the Sky Ride). So, we hit Blue Streak, another woodie that restored our faith in wooden roller coasters. It has been around for over 41 years and stands up well as a fun old-school out and back coaster. Again, a very short wait and a very good ride.
By the way, the weather was hot but awesome all day. Rex got a little bit of a burned forehead, but the forecasted thunderstorms did not appear until later that night (which made for a great night’s sleep…we love thunderstorms at night).
Next was Wicked Twister. This was one of the surprises of the trip for us. A great ride, you ride a coaster track back and forth 5 times on a horseshoe trajectory with a neat twist on both sides.We really enjoyed this ride, and it has a pretty intense first launch (72 MPH).
Another surprise came on the next ride, Disaster Transport. This is listed as an indoor coaster, but is really more like an indoor toboggan ride similar to Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland.It had a couple of track elements, but mainly rolled freely down the “bobsled” track. On another note, this had a fairly nice queue. Many of the thrill parks and amusement parks put very little thought into the queue lines (as opposed to Universal and Disney, where this is a big deal), but I thought they did an okay job with this one. Some blacklights, fluorescent paint and other neat items. A fun ride that I look forward to doing again.
We then hit the final coaster at the front of the park, Raptor, an inverted coaster. This was a good ride, but made us both a little woozy. Therefore, we decided, since it was about 5:00, we decided to take a quick break for dinner and some rest at out room at the Breakers, so we grabbed a quick pizza and sandwich and took a quick breather.
7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Coming back from our break, we hit Magnum XL-200, a metal coaster that was once the tallest in the world. Again, we had about a 15-20 minute wait, not bad at all. Rex had been looking forward to this coaster and was thrilled to have it exceed his expectations. As a matter of fact, this was Rex’s favorite ride in the park, and the Beast is trying to decide between Magnum XL-200 and Millennium Force. Magnum has a great drop and gets great speed, but what really sets it apart are the great bunny hops at the end of the ride. There is some unbelievable airtime and great speed through there. Bottom line, we loved it, and it was one of the few rides we had an opportunity to ride twice.
So. The time had come. We had been watching Top Thrill Dragster run all day and had been girding ourselves for the time when taking on that launch and the amazing run up and down the 420 foot twisting arch. Our hearts were beating and palms were sweaty as we stood in the queue for about an hour waiting for our chance to ride. Over and over we saw the launch and laughed at the intensity of it. Finally, our turn came. We were in the second set of seats and were sent forward to the starting line. Quickly (thankfully), the starting lights flashed and we were off on a 120 MPH launch with an amazing 90 degree up and 90 degree twisting down. It was a truly amazing ride. Both the Beast and I rated this as our 3rd favorite ride at Cedar Point (behind Magnum and Millennium Force). But it is clearly #1 for intensity!
9:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Well, with Top Thrill Dragster sapping our energy, it was time to move on to some evening pursuits. We headed out to a haunted attraction that we passed the night before. Ghostly Manor, which is rated in the top 10 walk-through haunted attractions in the country.
This was an amazing experience, and will be discussed in a separate post in the next few days.
August 2, 2008
Well, we went back to Cedar Point around 10:00 to hit Maverick and shoot some video for our website. The queue for Maverick was really long all trip, and this morning it was at an hour and forty-five minutes. Since we had to leave by noon to get Rex back to his flight, we didn’t have time for it and will have to hit it on the next trip. But we did get some great video, so if you get a chance, check it out in the video section in the next few days (the editing will be done soon and it will be up in the next few days).
Cedar Point goes down as one of the favorite parks of Rex and the Beast. It was a great trip and we look forward to having a little more time to spend there on the next trip.
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