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Cedar Point Trip: August 31st- Sept. 2nd

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Warning: Tharr be spoilers concerning my experience on Forbidden Frontier; you’ve been warned! Also, I apologize in advance re: the huge blocks of text...

Hey all, MDMC01 here. I took a trip to Cedar Point over Labor Day weekend and had a blast despite the insane crowds; here’s what went down:

Day 1:

So, before I get to the parK; I’d like to talk about the drive up. I drove about 3.5 hours straight through (no stopping) to the hotel. Throughout my journey, I listened to some great music and experienced some interesting things. Early in my trip, I saw someone pull off the side of the road into the grass to try to get back to a rest stop (they missed their exit lol). Also, while I was driving through some Northern Ohio backcountry, my car issued a notification that asked if I wanted to take a break (and had a picture of coffee)- obviously, I didn’t take it up on the offer. Upon getting to the hotel, I found I couldn’t check in until later (which ended being a little after 8 PM- the option for late check-in is always awesome!), so I headed to Cedar Point. Since the chasse was closed due to flooding, I had to take the GP way, which is going over the causeway. I knew the park was packed when cars were parked on the causeway and there weren’t tolls in sight. I finally got in, and as excited as I was, I flitted from one ride and food option (I hadn’t eaten since around 6 that morning) to another until finally settling on Rougarou. It had an hour wait (yes, you read that right; it is usually a walk-on, but that’s how packed the park was!), but I was just happy to be in the park, about to ride one of my favorites again. I got my favorite seat (8-3) and had a great time flying through the inversions and turns with relentless speed. Afterwards, I wandered down to find food (all the lines were long, though) and ended up in the Barnyard. As I was walking through, I noticed that CP has their Slaughterhouse right there (they are setting up for Halloweekends already- more on that later…) and I told an employee how brilliant I thought this was (as KI tried mixing Haunt and animals and well, it didn’t turn out so well…).

After visiting and petting the various animals, I made my way to Forbidden Frontier. This interactive attraction is new this year and I had a blast. You basically go onto this island (that was once Shoot the Rapids/Dinosaurs Alive land) and interact with a cast of characters while exploring the area. Overall, I probably spent 3-4 hours just looking around and talking with the locals. There is one overall “story” (basically there are 2 tribes who sometimes fight, but it’s Truce Day and the treasure map is stolen, which means there is once again conflict on the island. Luca, a Gypsy who is in love with Amelia, is framed and put on trial. And it turns out Amelia’s brother is the one who actually stole the treasure map) as well as other things you can do such as admire the details of each settlement and go on missions (I was told this around the end of Saturday and experienced this the next day)- though aside from the main story, you kinda “make your own adventure”, if you will*. I noticed some people (as in, guests) got really into the story, which was cool to see. Personally, I really enjoyed interacting with the characters and seeing the sights. For example, I told Luca that he should have watched the Spongebob episode where they “borrowed” (stole) a balloon (as he is known the “borrow” things and he was in jail as everyone thought he stole the map). To this, Luca and Kennedy (A British farmhand) exclaimed “Sponge? Like an Ocean Sponge?” and “Bob?”. So, the islanders didn’t know who Spongebob was lol. Also, I really enjoyed looking at the details of Scotch’s boat that ran aground (next to Dragster in the real world - I originally thought this was Omaha’s boat as he was there Saturday); it’s so cool to see all the nautical details. Though all the characters did a fantastic job, I’d say my favorites were Omaha (a travelling salesman) and Luca (a guitar/ukulele playing gypsy). I think Luca looks like Shaggy from the live action Scooby Doo movies. Also, there is a playplace called Highground and the slides are really fast!

Halfway through my Time on Adventure Island, I stopped to get some breadsticks at Wagon Wheel Pizza, which were just ok (there is food on the island, but nothing appealed to me). However, I ended up running into a scareactor before getting food. He was advertising for Halloweekends near Wave Swinger (I think this was the Circus of Freaks maze) and I talked to him about how I  am a regular attendee of KI’s Haunt. I also talked to a Halloweekends manager who was nearby about KI Haunt and the Slaughterhouse placement. I also asked him if they are doing lights on tours for the mazes this weekend and he said no as the mazes aren’t even ready. So, after I got my food, I went back to Adventure Island and watched/participated in the story until the “day” ended at 6 PM (actually the island is open from 11-7, but everything starts to wrap up with the characters around 6). I wished everyone a “Happy Truce Day” and went back to the mainland. I tried to get in line for Millennium Force, but didn’t feel like waiting and then got in line for Rougarou. The line wasn’t terrible, but it broke down, so I got out of line. I walked and checked out other rides (such as Corkscrew and Valravn) that I didn’t end up waiting for the lines were long (and some rides, such as Iron DrAgon and Blue Streak were down due to the light rain storm that occurred as I waited in line for Millennium Force). With that, I decided to leave, but not before going to Guest Services to tell them how much I really enjoyed Forbidden Frontier (specifically, I enjoyed interacting with the characters as well as all the details). Though the park was busy and the day was overall a little crazy, I still had a really fun time at the park.

*Every guest’s trajectory/experience on the island is different based on what they do. As an example, the very first thing I did was to talk to the Elder by knocking on his door. He asked me my name and give me candy (a well as a hard time about why I just took candy from a stranger lol). I then went around to meet the cast, which included a stop at (what I thought was) Omaha’s boat that had run aground. I was curious about a letter by someone named Benjamin who was captured and taken somewhere. I admitted that I was terrible at telling time, so Omaha kindly helped me decode the puzzle so I could figure out the location of this Benjamin fellow (which kinda led to a dead end (the answer was some Reef), but I’m glad I got to interact with him; I got my picture with him later!). Also, Luca asked me to let him know if I saw any gold bars. Though I didn’t find any, I did show him something in the town paper that showed that someone found gold. After familiarizing myself with the lay of the land (I also picked a team (Cayuga, which is all about nature and keeping things the way they are); the other choice is Wapi, which is all about bringing (modern) mainland features to the island, such as indoor outhouses!) and got that team’s symbol painted on me), I was going to leave (as I had seen all of what I wanted to see), but then eventually got caught up in a trial for who stole the map. The mob mentally was big as there were some tween deputies who were really into it and some people had well thought out explanations for why Luca stole the map (He ended up being framed…). There are also daily competitions between the two teams that occur on the hour and after the last competition, there is some story and then a sing-a-long party before sayiNg farewell to the cast of friends. Between competitions, I explored Highgrounds as well as well back to Scotch’s place a few times (Like I said before, I thought this was Omaha’s boat as he was just there Saturday as he’s a travelling salesman; he was mostly at the trading post Sunday) and took in all the many details that line the wrecked ship. I will definitely be back tomorrow for more exploring, as before the last event occurred, I inquired about mail that you can give characters and I found out from the man in a bowler hat (Wallace Lockridge) that characters may assign missions (hence why there’s paper in the houses- these are also for decoding messages hidden in some of the residences). Speaking of names, the cast of characters is as follows: The Elder, Omaha (traveling salesman), Digger, Chess (yes, the Chess from Steel Vengeance!), Commander Etta Fox, Luca, Julian and Nadya (all three are gypsies), Mary Claire (news reporter), Wallace Lockridge (some rich guy who ended up stealing the map), Kennedy (British fellow who is supposedly a farmhand?), Amelia Lockridge (sister of Wallace, in love with Luca Manuluv), Cheeks Munroe (leader of the Wapi) and Scotch (owner of a ship) as well as Otis (a kindly farmer who does not like the Wapi; he made himself king at one point) and Blackjack (again, from Steel Vengeance) from Sunday.

Day 2:

Just got back from another epic day at the park; here’s what went on!

So, I got to the park super early as I knew today would be crowded. While passing the time, I talked to a security guard and a fellow enthusiast about Haunt/Halloweekends and Cedar Point’s coasters. After being let in past security (which, btw has a great system that allows guests to walk through the metal detectors with their bags open) and using the restroom, I headed into the park. The Early Entry lines were forming on the both sides, and I briefly went to the right side as it looked shorter. It turns out this was a Gold Pass only line, so I went back to my Platinum Pass line. After the Star Spangled Banner played, we were let in and I headed straight to Valravn (because of course I did!). I didn’t wait very long and it was great to be riding once again! After that great ride, I headed on down to Millennium Force. The wait was a little longer, but it was an insane ride around Adventure Island as I forgot just how fast this thing actually is (I wonder if this is what Orion will feel like…)! After the ride, my legs were sore and I couldn’t stop laughing as I was just blown away by MF’s sheer speed. Afterwards, I walked the park some more to find Steel Vengeance down and Corkscrew didn’t open till 11. Before my next activity, I decided to hop in line for Magnum XL-200. The line was nonexistent and the greeter noticed my Pokemon shirt and asked “Sir, if you could have one Pokemon with you at all times, what would it be?” I told him Blastoise and he said he’d choose Munchlax. I sat towards the middle front and actually had a really decent ride on it for once. The effects in the last tunnel were cool and I decided to ride again, this time in the back. The line was a tad bit longer this time around, but that was ok. After that airtime-filled ride of being pulled down drops (which included some “Bob SageT”s!), I headed to my next destination: Forbidden Frontier.

Before I start, I just want to say that I love this place and all the things you can do. After getting to the island via raft (it gets harder to pull the raft towards the end!), I spent a good part of the day delivering parcels and telegrams from the trading post to various individuals, including a farmer named Otis who I had not met yesterday (Blackjack was also new to me that day and he mostly carried a (live) “rooster” on his shoulder for some reason). I went back and forth from getting things from Cheeks to delivering things to various islanders in response to their needs upon receiving the packages and/or telegrams. The most interesting package was toward the end, where I delivered some TNT to Ms. Amelia, and Wallace Lockridge carefully put the package away so it wouldn’t explode (I gave it to him as she was at the Emu Farm with Omaha). While I thought the dynamite could be for her paintings (as some artists burn edges to create a rustic look), Amelia was a little shocked when I told her the news and thought someone was trying to blow her place up or something (but she did thank for me for the delivery, as did others, even when they got something disheartening like “rotten fruit”, “dirty laundry”, or a rejection letter (Wallace à Otis, Otis à W. Lockridge and a telegram for Luca, respectively). Just as I did on Saturday, I participated in a few of the challenges, including the water challenge where I tried not to get wet (I succeeded in not getting my fanny pack wet, so there’s that). In addition the challenges and the “main story”, I cracked one of the codes found in a mine/cave (as well as a Morse Code puzzle found at the garrison and a package riddle at the trading post) and found out from Cheeks how the name that is written in symbols has to do with the history of the island (and also, what that possible symbol might look like, which is found near Scotch’s boat- also, while I was trying to crack the code, I talked to Otis and he thought I had two cell phones- I told him one was an iPod, as I took the picture on my iPod while I put the codes’ letters on my phone). Finally, in the time that wasn’t spent running errands, participating in competitions, or watching the story unfold, I got to talk to people (not just characters), which was really nice. Though the experience technically lasted until 6:15ish, there was a rainstorm that kind of cooled things down a little bit, which meant the characters went behind the scenes to wait it out (or back to the mainland). As I mentioned before, during the storms, I took advantage of various shelter including Chess’s Emu Farm (where I ran into two soon to be Screamsters and we talked at length about happenings in the park as well as Kings Island), Buzzard’s Trading Post (it was packed in there, it almost felt like a Haunt thing as I feel like the guy who played Cheeks would make a great Scareactor; also he made a Firefox pun which was good), Scotch’s ship (where I found Jarred (Bour-Jones)!), and Otis’s Farm (where I spent like 30 minutes and demonstrated my sweeping skills as others weren’t cutting it lol).

Also, while walking around the island, I saw Dragster do a rollback and told Otis and Cheeks about it- IIRC, Otis referred to it as a skycar and we talked about amusement parks- I told him that Skycar was the name of a launch coaster somewhere else in the world and that there were theme parks in the UK (where Kennedy was from). Speaking of coasters, I also told Wallace Lockridge that there were two beasts nearby- a Dragon and a Rougarou and that it’s good they’re not on the island; he told me “we have to cut our losses somewhere”). After I got my picture with Otis, he went inside and everyone else’s quarters were locked up and I was hanging out with an island regular as he and I were waiting to see what would happen next. Despite waiting and doing nothing (as Highgrounds was closed as well due to weather), I was still having an amazing time as I was just happy to be on the island and wrapped up in everything. Finally, at 6:05, the story concluded and I thanked everyone (except Otis; he and Nadya (the Gypsy mom) didn’t make appearances*) for the awesomeness. I also told Luca that he, Otis and Omaha were my favorites and gave Luca and Omaha hugs. In all honesty, though, everyone did a great job with their characters and I almost wish I would have learned more from everyone and hung out with more characters like I did with Otis Sunday and Omaha the day prior- I did learn interesting tidbits along the way such as that ChEeks, the leader of the Wapi, can’t read and so Marie Claire and Amelia switch off reading him to sleep. There was also a brief discussion about Shakespeare and how Romeo and Juliet functioned as a picture book - Cheeks says the books he gets read “for funzees” have pictures and so I wondered how the last part was illustrated, lol. Also, during this conversation, Wallace told me to keep Luca and Amelia eight inches apart (as he didn’t like the idea of Luca, a gypsy who steals things, dating his sister).

After leaving Forbidden Frontier for good, I headed off in search of more rides. Before riding anything, I stopped at BackBeatQ in hopes of a pulled pork sandwich. Because they were out of bread(!), I settled for a bowl of Mac n Cheese, which was good and had a unique flavor that is different from the Mac n Cheese at Coney BBQ (at Ki). After eating, I headed over to Corkscrew as I really wanted to try it in 5-1 as I thought it would be decent. Aside from the bucket seats and the weird bend in the seat back, it was an ok ride. Also, they were running one train, so that was affecting the line. While waiting, I remembered that my friend Ryan (a fellow KICer) worked Dragster and I wanted to say hi. After Corkscrew, I went to the entrance and asked the greeters if Ryan was working and if I could say hi. They said he was and called him up (he was at the station and I got to talk to him briefly; which was really cool). Because Dragster was down, people in line thought I was getting a status update on the ride, so they asked if I knew anything and I told them I was just saying hi to a friend, which was hilarious to me!

After saying hi to Ryan, I started walking towards the front of the park and decided to ride Skyride. I was little excited and nervous as I’d never done Skyride before, but it ended up being a really nice and efficient way to get around the park. Once near the front, I decided to stay up there, so I made WindSeeker my next ride. This was a first for me as well and while waiting in line, the ominous looking beach slowly being covered in darkness reminded me of Jaws. When I told the separator about this, she said that she’s swam with sharks before, which was cool. WS ended up being a nice Night Ride and provided great views of pretty much the whole park. I was amazed that WS is actually taller than its next door neighbor, Wicked Twister. Speaking of which, I put my stuff in a locker and decided to give Wicked Twister a spin. I waited for the front and got a tiny bit emotional as I had heard rumors that WT would be getting the axe for something new. It was a great ride with a fast launch and I decided to go again. I rode near the back and it was crazy how much you get twisted around the spirals. I think I’m going to miss it if it does leave (I actually got emotional on the way home today thinking about it…), but I’ve had some great rides on it, including the four ride marathon I did last year. After saying goodbye, I made the trek all the way to the Frontier Fling store to get myself a Forbidden Frontier T-Shirt before leaving the park. It was a fantastic two days at the park (even with the crowds) and I’m really glad I got to experience Forbidden Frontier.




*Speaking of which, I noticed the Elder, Chess and Commander Etta Fox wasn’t there Sunday (though Kennedy did a good job handling a similar role that Commander Etta would have filled, had she been present; also Mary Clare presided over the competitions Sunday as Etta did the day before). Likewise, I didn’t meet Otis or Blackjack until Sunday as I didn’t see them on Saturday. Also, as another footnote, I’ve been told Forbidden Frontier has been getting mixed reviews overall. In summary, I think that while I experienced a lot more of the main story the first day, I learned a lot more about the island and its inhabitants on the second day.

Pictures will be posted later.

In summary, here are the rides and attractions I did over the past 2 days:

Barnyard: 1

Corkscrew: 1

Forbidden Frontier: 7/31, stayed on Adventure Island from around 2 to 6 (with a departure from the island for food); 9/1, 11-6

Magnum XL-200: 2

Millennium Force: 1

Rougarou: 1

Skyride: 1 (from back of Main Midway to front of park)

Valravn: 1

Wicked Twister: 2

WindSeeker: 1

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