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Cedar Point's Chilly Chill Out


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$40,000, over 800 participants, and a day full of fun later, Cedar Point's 2017 Winter Chill Out was a success! I was thankful to be able to attend this amazing event again, and it was as great as ever. The park did an incredible job hosting it, and all of the staff deserves a huge thanks for their time given for this event to even be able to occur. I'm sure many of you have already read updates and seen pictures, but I figured I'd go ahead and write up my own experiences and thoughts, as well as sum up the main highlights and share my own pictures. 

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I was in the 10:30 group, and after light snacks and beverages, we were broken up into smaller groups and had staggered park tours. Both of our tour guides were very friendly and it was clear they both loved their jobs. We departed Midway Market and were able to check out one of the merchandise warehouses. It was one of the no-photo zones, but it was really cool to see and learn about about this side of park operations. It truly was crazy how many boxes and deliveries there are to go through--I give that entire department so much more respect and credit for what they do. 

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It was chilly, but at least the sun was out a little bit at the start of our tour. We headed over by Valravn to enjoy its beauty and regroup before continuing on farther. 

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We went inside Snoopy Boutique to find the store mainly empty besides some shelves and racks of plastic-wrapped souvenirs. It was strange seeing the store so barren, and then went next door into an equally empty Sweet Spot. All of the kitchen equipment and machinery gets taken apart and receives maintenance over the off-season in preparation for the new round of sugary, chocolate goodness being created.

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One of the best parts of seeing the park during the winter is to get glimpses at random ride parts scattered everywhere and seeing the park in a general state of disarray. While everything is orderly and organized, it's still crazy seeing ride cars and carriages disassembled and placed throughout the midways.

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To be continued...

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The only disappointment discovered at the event was the removal of all the large trees near Panda Express. My family and friends almost always sit and relax under their shade every time we go to the park since they provided a cool, beautiful place to take a break. This area now looks so open and lacks charm. One of our tour guides said that they were removed due to being dead/diseased or dying, which is very unfortunate. Their absence makes a huge (negative) impact on this area, so I hope the park replaces them and makes an attempt to add more charm, landscaping, and shade.

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Next we stopped by the new location of Ripcord--or should I say Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling. I was skeptical of the site choice but I have to admit, after seeing it in person, I feel like this is a really good spot. Visually it will be very entertaining to watch (I imagine it attracting large crowds like SlingShot often does), and I appreciate the theming/nod to the park's history. My only critique right now is that all of the water from Shoot the Rapids was remove underneath it. I was hoping for the ride to swing out over some type of water, but it appears as though the land has all been filled in (besides the lagoon) and seems like it will be solid ground. Despite this, I feel like the area will still look nice. Plus ridership will increase by having it in this location. I do still hope that this area receives some other type of major investments in the next few years since there is a lot of remaining potential in addition to just this relocated upcharge attraction. 

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I thought this was a cool shot of the junction of some of Millennium's supports at a specific section of its first overbanked turn. It's fascinating to think about the engineering and design that goes into rides like this.

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Snake River Falls was looking a little...riverless.:P

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We continued to walk past Mine Ride after a brief stop in front of Skyhawk. Our group wanted to all sit inside a Snake River Falls boat that was on the midway for a picture, and one of our guides actually called to check if we'd be allowed to. Unfortunately we weren't able to (it makes sense due to safety/liability/not wanting to break the boat), but hey, at least we tried! 

In front of Mine Ride we had to enter another no-photo zone until we looped around down by Gemini and Witches Wheel, but any pictures taken before the no-photo sign were allowed. Which is where I captured this perfectly legal, rule-abiding picture of Mean Streak. I really am so exciting to see its transformation and find out what it will become.

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We were then able to actually walk underneath Gemini which was really cool. I loved getting a totally new perspective of the coaster from inside one of its turnarounds. 

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To be continued...

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The tour continued by stopping next to the Cedar Point Shores construction site. We didn't get to actually go through it but still had some good perspectives. There's a lot of work to be done but I'm sure they'll be able to get it all finished in time for its opening toward the end of May. It was cool to see the construction of several buildings like the new restaurant and to see the vertical progress of Point Plummet. In addition, the at-grade crossing and new entrance gate by Magnum are coming along and look a lot different from what that area used to be like. (Goodbye Tunnel of Love.)

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I really am glad the park is finally getting their waterpark up to par. For such an amazing amusement park, it needs a waterpark to match in terms of quality. While I'll have to experience it in person to find out for sure, it even sounds like the park is putting a lot of emphasis on aesthetics. We were told that extra consideration and thought is going into adding more shade, better connecting views of the beach, increased seating, better landscaping, and a lake resort theme throughout. I'm very excited to see the finished product.

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We were also able to see the construction of Hotel Breakers' new 6 story, 158 room addition. It will include a direct indoor connection to the rest of the hotel, a pool, and consist of standard rooms with a large amount of rooms with connecting doors to cater to large groups/families. 

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Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this section of the tour (and of the entire event), was seeing Mean Streak in person. While in the CP Shores area, we were able to get a good view of Mean Streak 2.0's 1st element that has been a hot topic online lately. Again, all pictures I took of Mean Streak were in approved photography areas. All I can say is WOW.

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This coaster is truly going to be fantastic, I can already tell. I feel like the park will have a winner and will create one of the best coasters in its collection, if not even the ultimate best.

To be continued...

 

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Front here we had lunch in the Lakeside Dining Room. There was a delicious salad bar, soups, pastas, cookies, and cobbler. It was great to sit down, relax, and warm up before going to the Q&A session. Tony and Jason hosted it, and gave a presentation that summarized the new changes coming to the park for the year. Highlights included:

-New "Lights, Camera, Action!" show in the Jack Aldrich Theatre.

-Return of Luminosity with all new special-effects and acrobatics, as well as continuing to offer diverse music in order to appeal to all ages.

-Cedar Point Express Hotel has a nice refreshed look and logo that includes the Gatekeeper keyhole flyover. Some pictures of the ongoing renovation were also shown.

-Bottle-less Season Drink plan--still have the option to purchase a souvenir bottle, but another choice is to not have to worry about the hassle and inconvenience of carrying around a bottle by receiving a new disposable cup each time a drink is ordered using the all-season drink pass (via scanning your season pass). 

-The Battle for Cedar Point is returning and will be expanded with more queue trivia and entertainment.

-This year's tweetup coin will feature the Cedar Point Shores logo.

-Beginning this year, all CoasterMania participants will receive a commemorative pin with the year.

-Coaster Campout is returning again in May.

-Melt Bar and Grilled, the Cleveland Based extreme grilled cheese restaurant/bar will be coming to the park. All because of a tweet jokingly sent out by Tony, Melt replied with serious interest to open a location. It will replace Joe Cool's cafe, the ugly "Wendy's greenhouse" windows will be removed and an outdoor patio will be added. The contract was just signed at 4pm the previous day, and the restaurant is expected to open toward the end of May.

-Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling's new name and location was given (although I'm sure everyone already knew and had seen it), and we were also shown its logo. It seems very steampunk but looks really cool and combines mechanical/frontier elements. It will remain an upcharge attraction.

-Barnyard is receiving a new entrance, will be expanded, and new animals will be added including another camel and I believe also an ox. 

-Pony rides will be added in front of the Blacksmith based on feedback and guest surveys.

-Somebody asked if there were any plans to bring Midnight Syndicate back, and the vague/hint responses by Jason and Tony made it seem like there could be some possible plans for that, although they didn't confirm it.

-Virtual Reality will be returning to Iron Dragon for several months beginning in June I believe and after 6pm when the park is open until 10pm or later. No paperwork or registration will be required unlike last season. Based on Samsung's requirements, the minimum age to ride with Virtual Reality will be 13. It will be the same animation as last year.

-A picture of Mean Streak taken from what looked like the bottom of the first drop looking up toward the first element was shown. We were told that more details will be announced when it is beneficial for the park's business, which does make sense. But still it's torture for all of us!

Following a short Q&A session, prizes were given away including ride promo VCRs, bags, Mean Streak goodbye pins, and other random stuff. The 10:30 group was the last to be dismissed, and since there were still plenty of extra giveaways, Tony let everyone from my group pick something out before leaving.

Following this, we went into one of the ride maintenance buildings. It's always really cool to check out, and it's crazy to see all the coaster trains dismantled with various parts all over the place.

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The entire event was such a blast, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. While it ended up being really chilly and windy, that couldn't stop our fun and enjoyment. The hard part now is just waiting until May for the park to open! On the way out, we received an insulated bag, calendar, scarf, and light up foam wand. Everything was greatly appreciated.

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See you in a few months, CP!

 

 

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2 hours ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

Great trip report with some awesome photos! We actually were in the same group, coincidentally. It really was a wonderful event!

Hope you had a great time too!

19 minutes ago, MDMC01 said:

Good read; sounds like a really cool thing CP does. I'm curious about those promo VCRs/VHS's; care to elaborate? :)

I didn't look too closely at them but I believe they had Millennium Force and maybe Raptor. Not entirely sure what they were but I think they had the original advertisements/ride promo videos for these rides.

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