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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: Big Chills and Bigger Thrills (Cedar Point 10/28/2017)


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Hello everyone! As you may have read in the off-topic... uh, topic... I went to Cedar Point for the 1st time ever on September 16th for my sister birthday. While we were there, while we were waiting on the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad to show up, she entered a contest. A few weeks later, she got a phone call and found out we had won. The prize? 4 Cedar Point tickets, with included Fast Lane Plus and Fright Lane. So suddenly, we were going back to Cedar Point. She ended up liking the on-site cottages at Lighthouse point, and one of the friends we were going with said they looked nice too, so she just went and booked them even though she said she was wanting something cheaper than Hotel Breakers (the cottage was like $10 more). Then, a week or so before the one day we could make the trip, she and her friends decided to book a single night at Breakers Express simply so we could drive to Cedar Point a day early and not have to wake up at 5AM and drive that long. So much for trying to use cheaper hotels. Thanks to everyone who gave us suggestions and advice though.

Now would probably be a good time to explain my ride rating system as usual...



8=Very Good







1=Hot Garbage

0=INFERNO Garbage

As a side-note, since my last trip to Cedar Point, I realized I had to tighten up my ratings so that there would not be so many 10/10's, so for example while in the past I would give a typical ride on Racer a 8/10 now it would be a 7/10. This does not mean I liked the ride any less, I just wanted more room between the best rides and the ones that are just pretty good. Anyhow, now to the rest of the trip report.

On Friday, we headed to our friends house and packed some stuff up. While there, I saw about 25-30 ducks walking down the street and heading for a neighbor's house who according to one of our friends feeds them. It was a sight to behold. We finished packing, grabbed some food at a nearby McDonalds, went back to our house because my sister forgot the tickets (D'oh!) and then hit the road. During the drive the rain began, and the temperatures began to drop. We arrived at the Express Hotel around 11:30PM, and we got our room and headed in. It was actually a bit bigger than the room we got at Hotel Breakers, and IMO was a bit cooler. Though it had the negative point of not being on-site. We then slept, woke up, and got some doughnuts and took our stuff and checked out. We still got ERT though, which was a plus. We then got McDonald's (Doughnuts did not fill us all up), and headed to our cottage. It was small on the outside but seemed bigger once we came in, and was quite nice to be honest. We then got a shuttle to the front gate, and redeemed our tickets, Fast Lane, and fright lane. We then headed into the park with the intent to ride Maverick, but one of our friends (the same one who was trying to get over his fear of coasters, he had a major victory later on) saw a ride he wanted to hit up first...

Ride #1- Cedar Downs Racing Derby

Wait: 5 Minutes (1 Cycle)

This was a nice flat ride, though it was not terribly intense or super thrilling it does have some fun factor to it. I liked how during the ride, they played audio of an actual horse race. I also thought it would be a littler faster based on the off-ride videos I had seen, but it was still much faster than a old-school Carousel. A fun ride to start the day.
Score: 6/10 (Note: Remember, Harder to get high ratings now! 6/10 not that bad anymore...)

After the Derby (I came in last), we headed on down the Midways. The train was not open yet so we had to walk all the way to Maverick. On the way, I noticed something that worried me: I had not yet seen a single coaster running! Flat rides were testing, even giant ones like WindSeeker or MaXair, but no coasters. This worried me. We got to Maverick and saw...it was closed. There was a line built up outside it, and I even asked the ride-op who said clearly it was too cold but once the temperatures got higher Maverick and the other coasters would attempt to open. We headed into the nearby restrooms since some us had to go, and we checked out the awesome Town Hall Museum. The models of Blue Streak and the now-defunct Mean Streak were awesome and I even think they were to scale with each other. We then headed out and I pointed out that wooden coasters tend to be able to run in colder temperatures versus steel, so we would check to see if Blue Streak was open. But, to get to Blue Streak, we would ride...

Ride #2: Cedar Creek & Lake Erie Railroad

Wait: Walk-On...it was arriving as soon as we needed it!

This time it was daylight, so all the cool creepy fog effects the train had last time were gone. The skeleton dudes were still cool props and stuff though. This is a good way to get from Frontier Town back to the middle of Cedar Point.

Score: 6/10

After that, to get even closer to Blue Streak- as well as to see what else if anything was running- we rode...

Ride #3: Sky Ride
Wait: Walk-On

In a surprising twist, I am more comfortable going backwards on this ride. I also was looking and yes, Blue Streak was open! And to my shock, so was a 2nd coaster...Wicked Twister! We still decided to do Blue Streak first though since our not-quite-comfy with coasters friend can handle and liked it.

Score: 6/10

We got off the Sky Ride, and headed to Blue Streak.

Ride #4: Blue Streak
Wait (with Fast Lane): 45 Minutes (W/O: 75 Minutes+)

The main reason for the huge wait was they decided to add the 2nd train and then had to do a bunch of test runs. However, those ended, and we got on near the middle of the ride. The train climbed the lift hill, and I wondered what a wooden coaster would be like in these cold temperatures. Well, cold of course. But also still very fun. We got tons of airtime similar to last time save like one hill, but one airtime moment had a near-disaster event: my sister's glasses, which she never got a strap for, flew off and landed in the car! She tried to save them with her feet but they slid up into the front of the car. We hit the brake run and thankfully, the people in the front row of our car found them, and they were un-damaged. I guess Blue Streak will teach my sister not to ride without a glasses strap next time. On nearly all coasters after this, she took her glasses off and put them in her pocket. The ride was very fun and packed with thrills however, and no bad stuff happened to me (I had a strap for my glasses) so I loved the ride.
Score: 9/10

After Blue Streak, we were all a bit hungry again, so we headed to a nearby restaurant, Chickie's & Pete's...

Food: Chickie's & Pete's

I got the Chicken Tenders, and my sister got the Crab Fries and the "Blue Streak" alcoholic beverage (considering what had happened just prior I found that ironic). Our other friends got huge cheesesteaks, but I found out those cost $21 each! Holy expensive food compared to my $9 chicken tenders! We also got overpriced sodas as we forgot our drink bottles from the last trip at the cottage. The food came to us fast and hot, and my chicken tenders were great. My sister gave me some of her fries as she got a huge bucket, and they were amazingly delicious IMO. Her drink was just OK, it was Banana flavored, and it was not even Blue! Our check also took forever to arrive, which I think was due to the restaurant being a bit busy and being understaffed at the time. This was also the only food I ate in the park itself, well save some cheese fries later on a friend got that have gave me, which were also amazing so I now think Cedar Point has amazing fries.
Score: 8/10 (would be a 9 or 10, but they were slow on the check)

After we ate, our friends wanted to go smoke, and I was told since we had Fast Lane Plus I should go get a quick ride in on Wicked Twister. Great idea, I thought. I'll be back in 5 minutes!
Ride #5: Wicked Twister

Wait: 40 Minutes!?!? (Must have been 2 1/2+ Hours without FL+)

Well dang I did not expect that to take so long. The ride crew was a bit slower, and with only Blue Streak as the other coaster option, the normally not-so-long line for Wicked Twister was immense. My sister even finished smoking and came up to the ride exit and we were chatting when I finally got on, which distracted me from the launch! And wow, Flight of Fear has NOTHING on this launch! POV videos do not do this ride justice. Wicked Twister is very fast and forceful, and dropping nearly 200 feet back and forth is great fun. Way, way better than Invertigo, and it was pretty smooth to boot! Also it did not "Intamin" (aka break down) once while I was waiting for it which is always a plus. :P

Score: 9/10

As I was waiting in that stupidly-long-even-for-Fast-Lane line for Wicked Twister, I saw Magnum XL-200 had began to do test runs, which warmed my freezing cold heart in the hope it would open. Then, my sister (when she came up to the exit) did so because they saw Valravn was doing test runs as well! The coasters were coming to life! We stopped in the Snoopy Gift Shop to warm up (PS: This shop was awesome but we did not get anything) and then we did some more checks...and my sister's favorite coaster was open. We headed down the Frontier Midway and saw Millennium Force was also testing, which also made me happy but that was not the ride my sister wanted to do...we got to that minutes later.

Ride #6: Maverick
Wait: 5 Minutes (W/O FL+: 2 Hours...EPIC TIME SAVINGS BATMAN!)

Seriously, just looking at the line we skipped thanks to Fast Lane Plus was crazy. Maverick itself? Even crazier. I had heard that this coaster was basically Backlot Stunt Coaster on steroids, and that turned out to be pretty true, and BLSC on steroids is awesome! Maverick had some nice crazy ejector air, only a bit weaker than what I got on Magnum about a month earlier, and lots of sweet twists and turns. The mid-course launch was also epic and intense just like it was on Wicked Twister. Also just like Wicked Twister, Maverick did not go down once this time. Guess there were no Bees due to the cold. :P (Then again we did also only have to wait like 5 minutes...)

Score: 10/10!

After Maverick, we were pretty cold so we decided to head back to our cottage and rest for a half hour-hour or so. Our non-big coaster friend wanted to ride Cedar Creek Mine Ride but it went down and as we passed it, I saw why...MINE RIDE HAD VALLEYED IN THE HELIX! This was the first time I have ever seen a coaster do that. It didn't re-open after that and I cannot really blame Cedar Point after seeing that. So we stuck to our plan. I also spotted Top Thrill Dragster of all rides do a test run, but it did not send a 2nd train for a while so I assumed it may have failed and closed again. We first headed to Hotel Breakers to catch a shuttle, but got Hot Chocolate on the inside that was great but was also so hot it burned my sister's throat a bit! Then we headed to our cottage on the shuttle, and rested for a bit. I watched some of The Nightmare Before Christmas which had come on, but after around 30 minutes or so I was warm again and wanted to go back and ride more coasters since they were starting to open now. I agreed to meet up with the group around 8PM at the cottage (Spoiler: I re-united before then at a different location), and headed out on my own...

As I made my way towards Magnum XL-200 from the Soak City lot, I saw TTD send more trains out, but then I noticed TTD had people on it! Not getting to ride it was a big buzzkill on my last trip, so I walked fast, got in the park, and showed my wristband to the ride op and entered the line. I waited 15 minutes, thanks to FL+ in spite of them only using the first 3 cars of each train so it would not rollback. I got on. We rolled out. The engine sounds played. Arms down...head back...WA WA WA. Our train rolled back to the 1st launch section where the 2nd train is usually when it launches, just in front of the main station, and stopped. I feared TTD had remembered it was a Intamin and had broken down...but, turns out, it was just a minor seatbelt issue on a guy in front of me!

Ride #7: Top Thrill Dragster
Wait: 15 Minutes+5 Minutes for Minor Issue (Without FL+ I guess it was like 2 hours or something, not sure but it was a big line...)

The cable car hooked up. The brakes came down. It was happening. The sound effects played again. And then...LAUNCH. Holy Toledo, even the forceful launches on Maverick and Wicked Twister did not prepare me for this like I thought they would. It was like a crushing force was pushing against my body. I blurted out "OH HOLY CR##!"- I apologized to the guy who rode with me for my colorful language- a dad with 2 teenage daughters, he understood 100% though. We rocketed up the 420 foot tower, which actually felt good because the forces were removed. But then we were sky high, and I looked down on the pewny Millennium Force...WAIT, THAT IS NOT PEWNY HOLY COW! Then we came down which was like Wicked Twister times two. And then, at last, the brakes. Wow. It was only 20 seconds, but what a thrilling 20 seconds! Most intense coaster I have ever been on. Conquering this monster felt like an achievement. 

Score: 10/10!

After finally overcoming Top Thrill Dragster, I decided I would go ride Millennium Force next since I knew what the wait would be with Fast Lane Plus. I walked over and got in line...

Ride #8: Millennium Force

Wait: 30 Minutes (W/O FL: 1 1/2 Hours- a savings of a whole hour!)

After chatting with a girl and her boyfriend in line, we reached the station in about 30 minutes so my prediction was correct. I got to ride the the very last car this time, and got good floater air over the 3 huge drops (especially on the 1st drop- 300'+ of floater air!) and the final baby hill had borderline ejector air from this seat. The speed was still crazy fast, but it was also cold so the ride was very cold. It was epic, though I would still say my 1st ride (a night ride around a month ago) was better since it had the night ride "boost" a lot of rides get. Still 10/10 worthy even in the daytime though!

Score: 10/10!

After Millennium Force, I considering riding Valravn since the people I were chatting with recommended it and said front row was THE row to do. But I knew my sister really wanted to ride it, so I wanted to wait and ride it with her. Instead I decided I would ride Magnum XL-200 next. I headed over to Magnum XL-200, and I ran into my sister and our other friends...who were also heading to Magnum XL-200! So we re-grouped much earlier than planned...

Ride #9: Magnum XL-200

Wait: 15 Minutes (W/O FL: 30-45 Minutes? I didn't get a good look at the line...)

Here is our non-big-coaster riding friend's big achievement for the day: he rode Magnum XL-200! And he thought it was OK! Even though he still refuses to ride anything with loops and stuff, since those make him sick, and he still won't ride giant rides like Millennium Force or Top Thrill Dragster this was still a big step. As for my experience on this ride: pretty similar to last time during the daylight, but the cold temperatures must have slowed the ride at least a bit because the ejector hills at the end were a little bit weaker, though still pretty darn strong. The ride was also very smooth considering the age of the ride. Though our seat selection could also have done that. As I tried to exit the ride, my lap bar kept trying to come back down, and I tripped trying to leave the ride car (did not get hurt though)- it was like Magnum XL-200 did not want me to leave! Sorry baby, I must go ride other rides...

Score: 10/10!

After Magnum XL-200, we headed over to ride Valravn. However, when we were about to board, GateKeeper began testing for the first time and Valravn broke down. We headed over and waited a few minutes to see if GateKeeper would open, but it looked like it might not. Raptor also did a few test runs but then nothing. Valravn re-opened, so we went back there since the Fast Lane Plus line was very short...by now, it was also dark out.

Ride #10: Valravn (Night)

Wait: 5 Minutes (W/O FL+: 3 HOURS!!!:o)

This was probably the biggest perk of having Fast Lane Plus of the entire trip- we waited 5 minutes for a coaster that had a 3 hour wait in the regular line! As for Valravn itself...it is AWESOME. We rode front now as I had been suggested earlier, and hanging over the edge gives a very Drop Tower like experience. The drop itself has lots of airtime, not quite ejector but pretty darn strong floater. The inversions are forceful and much faster than the POV's suggested, and the airtime hill actually gives very good airtime. This is actually my new favorite coaster made by B&M so far! Now I understand why so many here on KIC keep asking Kings Island to build a Dive Coaster...

Score: 10/10!

After the epic Valravn (which also includes a nice photo op spot with the huge throne) we decided to go get a night ride on Maverick, since my sister said the ride she got at night years ago was incredible. So we headed over there, and rode Maverick a 2nd time! We had to go through a scare zone to get there though, but it was pretty fun to be honest. Then we reached our goal...

Ride #11: Maverick (Night)

Wait: 15 Minutes (W/O FL+: 75 Minutes)

The regular wait had decreased drastically from earlier, which I assume was from more rides being open and haunts opening, but a few more people had FL+ now so we had to wait a bit longer. But it was EASILY worth it! Maverick was great in the daytime, but at night, it becomes incredible! The airtime felt even stronger than before, and with areas of the ride now being dark you can't see the twists coming as easily. And the launch tunnel becomes pitch black, save the cheesy yet fun "exit" signs all over it, giving it a bit of a Flight-of-Fear vibe in that area. Millennium Force got to be my favorite coaster for a month, but now, Maverick is my new #1. Steel Vengeance is gonna have to be outstanding in many ways to surpass this...granted it might, that thing looks amazing too...

Score: 11/10!!! (Still broke the scale, even with the more restrictive ratings!)

After we rode Maverick, I was planning to head back to the cottage since I was feeling a bit worn out, but when we stopped near Magnum XL-200 to use the bathrooms we found out that Raptor and GateKeeper had both opened! My sister really wanted to ride GateKeeper, and I wanted to get the Raptor credit. So our friend who had faced his fear and rode Magnum earlier, who did not really wanna do haunts, left and we went to go ride the 2 B&M's. But, on the way, my sister saw a scare zone she wanted to do...we thought it was a haunt at first though.

SCARE ZONE: Blood on the Bayou

This Haunt was cool, and a bit creepy. It was awesome how you get to walk under Iron Dragon (which had opened but had a 45+ minute wait so I never rode it since it lacks FL), Rougarou (never opened, though a train was left on the lift halfway up), and Top Thrill Dragster (was still running and looked to be running strong all day once it opened- the new cable car must be working great). Also we saw the funny and amazing Voodoo screamster from Night of the Living Fed again in here! Also, there was a first for me: normally I do not get "targeted" by these guys, but one of them actually followed me around creepily for a bit. I had fun here.
Score: 9/10 (would be a 8/10 but +1 for having Voodoo!)

After BOTB, which set us back quite a bit, we ended up at Raptor, since we were on that side of the Midway. It was finally time to ride my 2nd B&M Invert after Banshee...

Ride #12: Raptor (Night)
Wait: 10 Minutes (W/O FL: 30 Minutes)

Woah. Same coaster model, very different experience. A lot changes in 20 years I guess. Where Banshee is very graceful, yet forceful, Raptor is very snappy and transitions much faster from element to element, sometimes so fast I did not have time to register them! It was also a bit rough in spots, but I wasn't too bugged by that. My sister did not like it because her restraint locked at a point where she could still move quite a bit, and she strongly prefers tight restraints that feel 100% safe. I felt fine but I am not bugged by a not-so-tight restraint. I enjoyed Raptor quite a bit, nearly as much as Banshee, but I think I would still give Banshee a very tiny edge because I prefer the Pretzel Loop on Banshee to Raptor's Cobra Roll, and Banshee has that amazing slow roll at the end. Raptor is awesome though in its own right.

Score: 9/10

After Raptor, and my sister calmed down a bit, we headed to GateKeeper which has the vest restraints she adores. (TBH they are comfy and prevent head banging)

Ride #13: GateKeeper (Night)
Wait: 15 Minutes (With or W/O FL, it was useless for once!)

For once, there was not enough of a regular line so our FL+ was worthless. But it was a short wait anyway. I rode from the middle this time, and it was still pretty forceful and still very fun, save the airtime hill gave pretty weak air this go around (I could feel some, it was just weak). The keyhole element remains awesome, and the first drop is crazy with that twist. A great ride.
Score: 9/10

After GateKeeper, I agreed to do 1 more Haunt (we still thought Blood on the Bayou was a haunt at this point) so we headed over to Hexed, which was nearby, before I too returned to the cottage.

HAUNT: Hexed

My one Haunt of the night, and while it had a lot of cool props, there were not many screamsters in here at all. My sister who loves Haunts was very disappointed. In fact, when I talked to her later in the evening she said most of the Haunts at Kings Island are better in her opinion. I thought Hexed was OK, but then again I am not into Haunts that much so I was OK with not being scared and looking at the cool props.

Score: 6/10

After that, we headed to Valravn's exit and had our friend grab his van and come get us. I stayed with him and went back to the cottage, and our other friend and my sister went off to do Haunts for 1 hour. Later they came back, and I found out myself that you can actually watch FUN TV on the Hotel TV's. It was offline though because the park had closed. My sister came back, we ate some food we had brought from our house or gotten at stores on the way there, and we fell asleep. I woke up at 8AM the next day, the others followed after, and we packed up the van and left after having an awesome trip. A 5-hour car ride later, we got home safely.

Since I rode quite a few new coasters yet again (I had barely ridden half of these yet on my first trip), here is my updated probably end of 2017 Top 10 Coasters so far:

Note: I have only been to Indiana Beach, Kings Island, Holiday World, and Cedar Point so far and am missing a few coasters from some of them.

#1- Maverick @ Cedar Point

#2- Millennium Force @ Cedar Point

#3- The Beast @ Kings Island (Favorite Wooden Coaster, Broke Fear of Coasters in 2009)

#4- The Legend @ Holiday World

#5- Magnum XL-200 @ Cedar Point

#6- Top Thrill Dragster @ Cedar Point (An epic 20 seconds but it is only 20 seconds)

#7- Valravn @ Cedar Point

#8- GateKeeper @ Cedar Point

#9- Banshee @ Kings Island

#10- Raptor @ Cedar Point

Some epic coasters got knocked out of My Top 10! Mystic Timbers, Diamondback, The Voyage, and Blue Streak must now accept Top 15 status. Wicked Twister was Top 10 for a brief period, then I rode Maverick and it fell out, it is my #14 ahead of Blue Streak. Getting in my top 10 is gonna start to become hard now that I have been on 31 coasters and will probably ride more in the future. Also I only need Corkscrew (was stuck on its lift all day closed), Cedar Creek Mine Ride, and next year's Steel Vengeance to have ridden all of the coasters at Cedar Point. Anyhow here are my final pros and cons....

+Fast Lane Plus seems very worth the $150, granted mine came free

+Park Worked VERY hard to get as many rides open as possible it seemed, even when there were mere hours left before closing

+Food at Chickie and Pete's was very good, and the fries I got both there and outside were awesome

+Both Express Hotel and Lighthouse Point Cottage were great hotels

+Amazing Roller Coaster selection. They don't call it "America's Roller Coast" for nothing!

+The Intamins actually behaved most of the day and didn't seem to go down too often!


-Brr...super cold weather. Not park's fault, but still a con.

-Huge crowds in spite of this. Had I not had Fast Lane Plus, I would have had a much worse day.

-Issues getting rides open, though I suspect a lot of it was weather, at one point your coaster choices were Blue Streak or Wicked Twister. GateKeeper and Raptor did not open until very late.

-Food places seemed understaffed based on what we saw at Chickie & Pete's

Thank you for reading this pretty long trip report. 2017 was a great year for me coaster-wise, my best one yet IMO. Though it may not be over just yet if we visit KI for Winterfest, and based on this CP trip, I will ride Mystic Timbers in 35-degree weather! Though I fear it will have a huge line. Anyhow, comments and questions welcome as always. MCSALSA AWAY!!! :P


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