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McSalsa's Coaster Adventures: Back with a Vengeance (CP May 18-20th, 2018)


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Welcome to this huge trip report! I just got back yesterday from a huge CP trip that lasted 3 days. Before we start, I will point out due to the nature of this trip, I may have forgotten some stuff because it began 3 days ago, so my brain has probably deleted a lot of the minor stuff from my short term memory by now, and this might be a little out of order. Nonetheless, I'll try to remember as much as I can. First off, my ride rating system I began using this year:

F- Garbage. I regret ever riding this and will not make the same mistake of ever riding it again!

D- Mediocre. A disappointing, or painful ride, though there might be a little fun here. I might give a D-Tier ride a second chance but it is gonna need to be a walk-on or something.

C- Average. A fun ride, but either there is enough roughness/pain to dilute it, or it just does not blow me away. Will still ride this if the wait is not too bad, though.

B- Good. A ride I enjoy, but it may have some flaws, but I will happily re-ride this unless the wait is pretty crazy.

A- Awesome. These rides leave me with a huge grin usually, and I will ride them over and over if there is a short wait. If there are long waits around the entire park, I may aim for these anyway, as if you are gonna wait, best to be for something worth it. Surpassed only by...

S- Zen. The best of the best. I am usually giddy and my happiness meter is maxed out after riding one of these. Tragically, these are not the most common rides out there, however.

Note: If you wanna take this as a 1-10 system, S=10, A=9, B=8, C=7, D=6, and F=5 or worse.

Now, we have a lot to discuss, so let's get started on this trip report!

We left central Indiana for Cedar Point around 6AM on Friday the 18th and arrived around 11AM. We checked into our hotel, and our room was not 100% ready yet, so we headed into the park. Only a handful of rides were running due to the wind being very strong, I only saw Steel Vengeance, Millennium Force, Maverick, Rougarou, Valravn (went down as we headed into the park), and Corkscrew running as we drove to the Hotel Breakers lot. Our friend who isn't too much into huge coasters was one of the people with us, and he enjoyed Surf Dog at Kings Island, so we ended up starting the day with Pipe Scream.

Ride #1: Pipe Scream

Wait: 5 Minutes

If you have ridden Surf Dog, you have ridden Pipe Scream basically. Other than some different themes, they are the exact same ride, and feel about the same. Still this is a fun ride type, as it drops and spins, and was a decent way to begin our day.

Rating: C

After Pipe Scream, we headed down the Gemini Midway, which was pretty dead since none of its coasters except Corkscrew were working (though because of this Corkscrew actually had a decent wait) into Frontier Town. Steel Vengeance loomed above, and I watched it run as we headed into its section of the park. Then, I noticed Cedar Creek Mine Ride was doing test runs with employees on it, so we headed there since that coaster was our friend's pace, and I did still need the credit.

Ride #2: Cedar Creek Mine Ride

Wait: 30 Minutes (took a while to unload the sand bags and get the ride clear for opening)

Cedar Creek Mine Ride is a OK Mine Train, but it really does not have much thrill factor and is kinda jerky. Adventure Express, this is not. There were a few turns or small drops that felt a tiny bit intense, but not much here. The scenery around the coaster is pretty nice, and the helix is OK. This would probably be a good coaster for kids, or people like our friend who don't do super tall or intense, but it was kinda meh to me. I would much rather ride Adventure Express, as it seems Arrow got much better at Mine Trains by then.

Rating: D

After CCMR, we headed for another ride my sister and our friend wanted to do, the Antique Cars, since there was a set back here.

Ride #3: Antique Cars

Wait: 5 Minutes

Ehh, I did not really like the Antique Cars at Holiday World too much, and while I was a rider and not a driver this time, this set did not seem much better. It's a nice ride for older people or people who can't do anything super intense, but these things seem hard to steer (my sister was having some issues) and ours felt like we had a flat tire. The scenery was pretty nice though.

Rating: D

After Antique Cars, we checked out some gift shops, and met the Steel Vengeance characters for a cool photo-op. Then we boarded the train to head to the Millennium Midway, because our friend wanted to do Iron Dragon and saw it was open on the app. (Note: It was right this time, but the app was horribly wrong at points during this trip)

Ride #4: Cedar Point & Lake Erie RR
Wait: 5 Minutes (for Train)

Yep, still better than Kings Island's train, mainly because they actually still have all the Boneville props and stuff where KI has very little to look at. You can also get nice views of a bunch of the rides in this area of the park, too.

Rating: C

After this, we hit up Iron Dragon as expected. It was open, in spite of the wind.

Ride #5: Iron Dragon

Wait: 15 Minutes

Iron Dragon is probably the best of Cedar Point's more family-focused coasters, as it is a bit more thrilling and much smoother than Mine Ride. It's not super fast or forceful, but swinging around the tree tops and over the lagoon is still a fun experience.

Rating: C

After Iron Dragon, we headed down to the front of the park, to check the wait for Blue Streak, since it was open. It was a hour, so we skipped riding it. I almost broke away from our group, but then I saw...

Ride #6: Wicked Twister

Wait: 5 Minutes

Finally, something with intensity! And it had a very short wait! Scenic and family-focused rides are OK, but this is what I really crave. And Wicked Twister delivered on those cravings with its intense launches and huge drops. I am actually a bit shocked it was even running, with the wind and all. I thought Wicked Twister would be one of CP's more finicky coasters when it came to not-so-great weather, but it seems it is actually one of the tougher rides in the park in that regard.

Rating: A

After Wicked Twister, we were heading back to the hotel to get food, but we saw a interesting flat ride and decided to ride it. (Note: This was edited in, I forgot about it. Oops!)

Ride #7: Tiki Twirl

Wait: 5 Minutes

This ride spins like a scrambler, but also goes up and down on a circular raised platform, which makes it feel a bit different. It is fun, and I was mimicking the Voodoo character from Cedar Point's Halloweekends while riding, since I remembered he rode this in a promo video.

Rating: C
After Tiki Twirl, we were very hungry, but most food stands for whatever reason had monster lines. We instead went back to the Hotel, and ate lunch at Perkins.

Food: Perkins

Perkins was NOT crowded at all, in spite of what the in-park food options were looking like. The food was a bit slow to reach us, and our room became ready mid-wait so my sister and one friend left to go pack up our stuff. They returned, and then the food came. And it was delicious- I ordered a Chicken Tenders Melt Sandwich and Tortilla Soup, and both were amazing. Hot, fresh, and they tasted great. I also had a bit of my sister's salad, she got full, it was also amazing. Worth the wait. (Which was probably due to our food being freshly made, which is a plus)

Rating: A

After Perkins, we checked out our room, and got settled in. Then we headed back into the park, and went to the Millennium Midway for some more big coasters.

Ride #8: Rougarou
Wait: 10 Minutes

I feel this coaster is over-hated. Sure, it does have a little bit of head-banging, but I didn't think it was too much (Invertigo is worse) and Rougarou has a great layout with some nice, intense elements. The first half focuses on large inversions, and feels somewhat similar to Banshee to be honest. After the MCBR though, it turns into a snappy, twisty mess (in a good way). I love me some Rougarou. My sister rode this with me, and she liked it as well, though she got head banged a little more than I did because she is small. Nothing too bad, she would re-ride it she said and felt it was a million times better as Rougarou than it was as Mantis. Also, the ride crew here was doing a epic job- hence part of the reason the wait was super short.

Rating: A

After this (because this was a few days ago now), my memory gets a bit fuzzy. I broke off from the group, because they wanted to go do something, but I don't remember if it was because they went to the Hotel, to get food, or to do Iron Dragon, etc. Also around this point, before we split up, we saw Valravn was doing test runs, checked it out, but it didn't open fast enough so we left. At some point after the split, Valravn re-opened. I did not go to it just yet, however. Instead, I solo rode...

Ride #9: Millennium Force

Wait: 45 Minutes

Millie dropped from a 90 minute wait down to 45 seemingly as soon as Valravn opened. These 2 rides seem to be the GP's favorites, so I guess when Valravn opened up, it really helped Millie out with the crowds. The ride crew here was also doing a epic job of getting trains out, so the line moved fast. The sheer size of the first drop on this coaster is immense and still thrills me with its size alone, even after a few rides on the coaster. I got very nice borderline ejector air on the drop, as I was riding in the back of the car. However, the airtime on the 2 big hills, while decently strong, was not as good as I remembered it being from my 2017 rides. I think the high winds may be to blame, they were coming from that direction and may have slowed the train down just a bit. In spite of this, still a very darn good ride though.

Rating: A

After Millennium Force, I eventually met up with my sister and our friends again, and we went out to get dinner. We found a Little Caesar's nearby, so we got some cheap and decent pizza and took it back to Cedar Point and our hotel. We also went to Kroger, and they got some wine,I as they do drink (they did not too much though and we didn't use the wine until a few days in).  Then we returned to the park, and it was dark out. We headed for Frontier Town, wanting a night ride on Maverick. It was down for mechanical issues. D'oh! So, we sucked it up, and decided to wait for...

Ride #10: Steel Vengeance (DA DA DUM!!!)

Wait: 90 Minutes

Ehh, 90 minutes? Not too bad for a stupid popular coaster at night only running 1 train. However, after the wait was up, we boarded Chess, and got to ride 2018's hottest new coaster, one of the most hyped up rides in years, at least since Millennium Force was new in 2000. Did Steel Vengeance live up to said hype?

It obliterated the hype! Steel Vengeance is crazy, in all the right ways. There was ejector air on the baby hills before the lift! And on every single hill afterwards- all of it was Magnum XL-200 level to boot! The inversions were awesome, it had some nice laterals in spots, and it felt freakishly fast but the airtime is the clear star of Steel Vengeance. From start to finish, this was a super intense, super thrilling, and super fun coaster. The final sections of the ride, where it goes under the structure and you feel like your head is gonna be chopped off while you get still more ejector air, and then the 4 bunny hops were insane. My favorite element? Probably the outward banked ejector hill. But the whole ride is incredible. Very smooth too, even though you still get tossed around a bit due to the very aggressive nature of the ride. The trains are pretty comfortable even though the restraints are a bit tight, but they are tight for obvious reasons of course. Steel Vengeance is my new favorite roller coaster, knocking Maverick off its perch. The Outlaws have succeeded. Now, I hope they can get all 3 trains running, because more people should be able to ride this monster without these huge wait times!

Rating: S+!!!

After that, it was around 11PM and the park was closed, so we headed back to Hotel to sleep and get ready for Day 2. That will come in the next post so this is not super insanely long. Comments and questions about Day 1 are already welcome though. I hope you enjoyed this part of the trip report, because there is a LOT more to come!

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OK, time for Part 2! See Part 1 for Ride Rating System as I am not gonna re-post it for all 3 parts.

I woke up around 6:15AM on Saturday, surprisingly refreshed for 6 hours of sleep, though my legs hurt a bit. We ate some food we brought for breakfast, as well as some leftover Pizza from the day before. Then we hit the beach for a few minutes, and headed for the resort gate near Magnum XL-200. There were a few people there as we arrived at 8:15 AM, but it did not seem too crazy. But by 8:50, there was a big crowd waiting for the rope drop. The national anthem played, but I dunno if I was looking in the right direction because we were behind Top Thrill Dragster and could not see any flags. I just assumed the front gate & flag were in the direction everyone was facing. During the wait for the park to open, I saw Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster do test runs, TTD in particular was a great sight because it was closed the day before. Then came the rope drop, and we bolted for Steel Vengeance. I will make a note that on Friday, only me and my sister rode, but this time a 3rd friend rode with us. We reached Steel Vengeance (we stopped jogging in Frontier Town because it was getting tiresome) and had beaten a OK sized chunk of the crowd, so we started Saturday the way Friday ended!

Ride #1: Steel Vengeance

Wait: 20 Minutes

Even in the morning, barely broken in, this coaster still had nearly all of the intensity and ejector air of the night before. We rode in Digger this time (I went "solo" a train ahead of my sister and friend), but unlike Chess, Digger had nothing to hold on to. So, even though I don't normally do it, it was hands up on Steel Vengeance, at least when I got airtime...until we entered the structure, the head choppers were close enough I pulled them down and even ducked a few times! Still a super epic ride. Also, of note to anyone going to Cedar Point, the lift on this sucker is LOUD. Reminds me of Son of Beast when that first opened in 2000 with the super heavy Premier trains. And it has a Adventure Express-style "tugging" effect on the lift, where it acts like it is struggling to pull the train up. I like that effect, and it is yet another reason I adore Steel Vengeance. BTW it had a 2-hour wait already by the time we got off, so even though we did not run the entire way or very fast at all, the fact we got there at the 20 minute point was good.

Rating: S+ (Still)

After SV, we saw Maverick had opened up (it was still doing some testing as we were heading for Steel Vengeance), so we decided to get that in before ERT ended as well.

Ride #2: Maverick

Wait: 10 Minutes

Steel Vengeance may have taken my #1 spot, but Maverick remains a excellent ride. The big airtime hill after the first few turns gives excellent ejector air, and the twists, turns, and inversions are still epic. The mid-course launch is awesome, plus they have fixed the effects on the inside, which were pretty neat. I'd imagine if you prefer twists and turns, you may still like Maverick over Steel Vengeance, but if you prefer airtime, Steel Vengeance will be your go-to. Both rides are amazing, and CP has a great 1-2 punch in this section of the park alone!

Rating: S

After riding Maverick, I split from the group to go ride Top Thrill Dragster. I got in line. I waited 10-15 minutes, but the line did not move. Dragster then closed down due to a mechanical issue. I ended up leaving the line, which seems like it was the right call because I did not see it run again for hours. I thought there was a major breakdown because I saw water being dumped from the ride on the ground, like it had busted a valve or something, but when it re-opened that was still there so that water is probably coolant or something for the flywheel. If someone is a expert on TTD, and knows what that was I saw, I'd like to know. It was not far from the main entrance to the ride.

With Dragster down, I decided to hit up the other major coaster in this area that was down yesterday.

Ride #3: Magnum XL-200
Wait: Walk-On

I rode from 1-3, the famous "Ejector Seat" I have heard good things about. Even after riding Millennium Force a day before, Magnum still feels very tall, and well I guess it is since it's a 200+ footer. The first drop doesn't have much going for it in terms of airtime, but the view is awesome. The second hill also doesn't have much airtime, but does have a THUNK that you should brace for, and the turn after this hill is a bit slow, giving a nice "hunting" effect, like the train is looking for something to attack. The train "spots" the tunnel below, and here is where Magnum XL-200 really gets going. The airtime hill after the tunnel gives strong floater, and then you enter the Pretzel Knot, which boasts some nice lateral forces. Then comes the ejector air buffet. This section feels like a mini Steel Vengeance, as while it does not last as long (since on SV this is basically the entire ride) you get amazing ejector air on every hill here, and in the tunnels it is incredible. However, because it has a solid bar, it will also hurt your thighs. I have decently thick thighs (I'm not super fat or anything, but they are one of my bigger parts) so it is not really a problem for me, but I can maybe see how this would hurt someone who is very skinny or has thin legs. The ride can also be a bit jerky and rough. But I don't care- the ejector air buffet this ride offers, in tunnels at times, alone is more than worth it. Maggie still rocks, almost 30 years after her debut as the word's tallest and fastest roller coaster.

Rating: S

After Magnum, I decided to go see how long the line for Raptor was, since I had not ridden that yet. I got there and...A HOUR AND A HALF? When Magnum XL-200 is a walk on? I went into the line just to check for sure, maybe the sign was...nope. Hour and a half. Getting out! I headed over and decided to check GateKeeper...30 minutes was the posted wait. Well, that beats 90.

Ride #4: GateKeeper

Wait: 10 Minutes

The sign was off by 20 minutes, in a good way. I can't believe there was a gap this big in wait times between Raptor and GateKeeper, because both are near the park's main entrance and their capacities should be similar (Both are B&M's with 3 32-passenger trains), but there was. Anyhow, I saw my friends in line for GateKeeper (they had the same idea to ride it as me) on the other side of the coaster. I went for the wing that lifts up on the first drop, as I like that side better. I got onto the coaster and rode from near the back. Same fun GateKeeper experience I had from 2017, but now in the daytime! I actually got some airtime on the big hill- nothing compared to Steel Vengeance or Magnum XL-200, but for a Wing Coaster with vests, it was still a decent amount. The near-miss elements on the ride are nice, and it has some fun inversions. Decent G-forces as well, not anything too crazy but you can still feel the G's. A very good ride with a short wait time.

Rating: A

After GateKeeper, the group wanted to ride Blue Streak, so I re-joined them. Oh BTW I beat them onto GateKeeper in spite of the fact I got there later. We looked at the que, it was decently full, but our friend did really wanna ride, so we waited...

Ride #5: Blue Streak

Wait: 45 Minutes

Ouch. I dunno if it was the ride-ops being slow, or if PTC trains suck at loading times, but this line felt slower than Steel Vengeance's! At least the ride at the end was pretty good, though it didn't seem to have quite as much airtime as last year. It was more like a pretty good ride on Racer with only 1 side running. A bit rough, but nothing too over the top considering it is a 1964 PTC woodie. Fun ride, but nothing mind-blowing, and not as good as it felt last year.

Rating: C

After Blue Streak, a storm was brewing on the horizon, so we headed back for our Hotel. We rested up, snacked, and watched as the storm came in and shut everything in the park down. When the rain ended, we were all fairly exhausted, so 3 of us (we left one friend, the one who was doing big coasters, so he could take a nap) and headed for the outdoor pool to see if it had re-opened, since we brought swimwear. The friend who came with us wanted to do the kiddie pool slide for some reason, and I am kinda glad he had that urge, because I saw something I found odd. We got into the pool, and we saw a Seagull. I went up to check out the view from the slides, and found a nest with a egg in it, and a unopened full bag of Frito's chips! I guess when that baby hatches, it'll have some grub. LOL. Some crew members came up, and the slide was shut down due to Seagull nest. I wonder how often Cedar Point has to deal with this.

We reached the outdoor pool, and it was open but the water was COLD, so instead we hit the hot tub. Ahh, man did that feel good on my sore legs. After soaking for a while I felt refreshed and saw rides start doing test runs, so we went back up to our room and began dressing for the park again. I saw Gemini, which had been down until this point, do a few test runs so we went to that because it was our non-huge coaster loving friends favorite ride in the park.

Ride #6: Gemini

Wait: 30 Minutes

It rained again while we were in the station for Gemini, so it went down. The rain stopped after 5-10 minutes, but they had to re-test the entire ride afterwards, so we had to wait longer. At least we were in the station, which kept us dry the whole time. When the ride re-opened, we rode. Last time I rode Gemini, I was on a rear wheel seat, and some dumb woman tried to film the ride so our train was e-stopped outside the station so a ride-op could grab it, killing the racing factor. As a result, I got a rough and not-so-thrilling ride and did NOT like the coaster, but I did say I'd give it another chance.

I am glad I did. No wheel seat this time, Blue Train, and we were racing. Gemini, turns out, is actually quite a good coaster when these conditions are met! I also now understand why the turns are so slow, it is so you can interact with the other train. I caught on and played along. "STROKE! STROKE! COME ON WE GOTTA WIN!" LOL. There was also pretty good airtime, and the final helix is actually pretty darn forceful and good. (Mine Ride's helix was the best part about it, and I love Vortex's helix, so I guess Arrow knew how to do a good helix!) Gemini improves massively, and is now roughly mid-pack in my coaster rankings instead of at the bottom. (I love most coasters so mid-pack isn't too shabby BTW) Also I saw sections of track that looked NEW (and they felt ultra smooth). You can re-track steel coasters!?!? Also, since Arrow is out of business, who is making this new track!?!?

Rating: B

We then re-rode Gemini, because it had no wait once it re-opened. I love how high capacity racing coasters are.

Ride #7: Gemini 2
Wait: Walk-On

I rode the Blue Train again. Ride was about the same as before. Good fun again.

Rating: B

After we rode Gemini the 2nd time, one of our friends got some food at a nearby food stand (fries)- the lines for food were not bad at all, in spite of good sized crowds. The fries were pretty good too, I had a few. However, a 3rd rain wave was gonna come through, so we quickly headed over to do something you can't do at Kings Island anymore.

Attraction: Dinosaurs Alive!

It was nice to see the animatronic dinos again, even if these were not 100% the same ones Kings Island had. You get some awesome views of Millennium Force as well, but sadly it was not running. I learned later it got stuck in the rain we waited out on Gemini, and they had to evac. Ouch. Good thing I rode it yesterday, I thought. This was a fun time-waster. The gift shop was also cool.

Rating: C

After Dinosaurs, we headed down and into Camp Snoopy, hoping to grab a quick ride on a fun flat ride before the rains forced us back to the hotel again...

Ride #8: Tilt-A-Whirl

Wait: Walk-On

A fun classic ride, I would not blame most if they didn't even think Cedar Point had one. Camp Snoopy is kinda hidden away, in its own little area, and you can't even really see it from the main Gemini Midway. This was your typical Tilt-A-Whirl, though the cycle was just a bit short and ended soon after we really began to spin. It also began to rain on us as we rode it.

Rating: C

After Tilt-A-Whirl, we checked out Woodstock Express, which shut down due to the rain, and headed to the car since we were all hungry and wanted food. My sister craved Arby's, and thus that is where we went, and I got the Classic Beef N' Cheddar with Curly Fries. It was good. Then we stopped at a gas station, and they had this big moose dude statue inside I had to check out. They also had Cedar Point ice cream, but I did not get it because all they had was a big box and we could not store it safely without it melting. Then we did a Wal-Mart run, got some quick stuff (including some zipper clothes for our friends) and headed back to the park, as the rain had stopped. What we saw as we drove down the road back to the Peninsula was glorious: buses, lots of buses...LEAVING! That meant when we returned to the park, wait times would be down. I hoped for way down. We entered the park again after we got all our stuff in the hotel room, and my sister wanted to ride GateKeeper again. I was down, since that would surely have a short wait if it was short earlier.

Ride #9: GateKeeper

Wait: 15 Minutes

It was less of a wait by # of people in line, but for some reason, dispatches felt a bit slower and we thus waited longer. Still, 15 minutes is far from bad. I rode the same side, so it felt about the same as before. So for a review, see above.

Rating: A

After GateKeeper, I wanted to check Raptor, to see if the line had gone down much. One of our friends who was doing big looping rides joined me. Well...

Ride #10: Raptor

Wait: 5 Minutes

I love it when amusement parks suddenly become empty. Raptor is the same type of ride as Banshee (B&M Invert) but it gives a very different ride in many ways, since there was a 20-year gap between the two. Both have good G-Forces, but where Banshee is graceful from element to element, Raptor tends to be snappy and aggressive. Raptor also boasts a superior helix, but I'd say I like the set of inversions on Banshee a bit better (slow roll beats out corkscrews, heart loop beats out cobra roll), as well as Banshee's first drop. I think Banshee just barely takes the cake, but only by a hair. Raptor is still an amazing coaster. Also, I made up a song about Raptor while riding it. It is mostly just naming off the elements as you go along though. :P

Rating: A

Our friend who was not doing loops/big coasters rode Blue Streak with my sister while we rode Raptor. Afterwards, we met up, and checked the line for Valravn. It was short. Also, I forgot to do this in the Day 1 section, but it was dark by this point so these are all night rides from here out!

Ride #11: Valravn (Night)

Wait: 10 Minutes (Yup. Park is dead when Valravn is this low.)

Valravn was fantastic once again, but I think the "OMG" factor from the first ride on it has faded away just a little. The vertical drops are still great, and you actually get some airtime on them. The inversions also have some nice forcefulness to them, and the airtime hill does have some actual airtime. I still love Valravn, but with the newness of it being my first dive coaster a bit faded, a few other B&M's (The Inverts, Diamondback, and GateKeeper) have passed it up since the competition between them is so tight and close.

Rating: A

After Valravn, I split off from the group again, as they wanted to ride Gemini at night but I wanted to ride Top Thrill Dragster, since it had re-opened following the 3rd rain, so I assumed it was fixed. I headed over. I waited in the short line, less than 5 minutes. I got on. It remembered it was a Intamin and broke down. I figured I had a bit of time left, so I ran over and rode...

Ride #12: Magnum XL-200 (Night)
Wait: Walk-On

Magnum XL-200 is epic by day, and it is even better at night. The lake becomes a black abyss, and the tunnels become dark terror, the final ones filled with ejector air. I rode from 1-2 instead of 1-3 this time, and got what felt like the same amount of ejector air as before, but the ride was smoother. Maggie is crazy, and she shakes you up and might give you a bruise, but I still adore her.

Rating: S

When Magnum XL-200 hit the brakes, I saw Top Thrill Dragster run again with riders. I ran over. I got back in line, as the line checkers were about to close the line as they were saying "Come get last ride of the night on the best ride in the park!" Checker #2: "No, Steel Vengeance is the best ride in the park." Me: "Steel Vengeance is epic, but this is still great."

Ride #13: Top Thrill Dragster (Night)

Wait: 5 Minutes

This time, there would be no breakdown. The train pulled up, and the cable attached. And then came the launch. I was expecting it this time, as this was my 2nd ride ever, but it still packs a WALLOP. We race into the sky. I scream out "420 FEET!" in excitement and then we come down. 17 seconds after launch, we are on the brake run. A epic ride to end a epic day.

Rating: S

After TTD, I headed back to the Hotel. My friends were in their swimsuits, wanting to hit the indoor pool, so I quickly changed and joined them. We got in the 2nd Hot Tub, and relaxed some more- this one was even warmer than the 1st. We returned to our room as the pool closed, but my sister noticed TGI Fridays was open until Midnight, and she was craving chips. We got re-dressed and headed down there.

Food: TGI Friday's

I had heard bad things about this TGI Friday's, like it was supposed to suck and to avoid it. Well, apparently, they were wrong. We did just order the Loaded Nachos, but they were pretty good, and our server was nice and the food came pretty fast. I jokingly nicknamed the Nachos "Top Thrill Nachos" since I had done TTD before this. A nice snack, and afterwards, I hit the bed and was OUT.

And that ends Day #2. Next up, the final part...day 3...with most of the major coasters already ridden, would McSalsa get the last adult credit he still lacks at Cedar Point, Corkscrew? What will he ride again? What will he choose for his ERT rides? Will he meet a Yak? Find out next time on...DRAGON BALL Z! (LOL) :P

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And now, the finale: Part 3. Before I start this part, I will add I forgot we rode a ride, Tiki Twirl, on Friday. I have since added that into Part 1, so if you wanna know what I thought of that ride, go back. It's between Wicked Twister and Perkins.

Now, same rating system as before, we shall begin Part 3...

We woke up a bit later on Sunday, around 7AM. We had to get our Hotel cleared out, so we cleaned our room up and threw away a bunch of garbage, and took some light stuff we didn't need back to the van. Then, while our friends were still asleep, me and my sister went to...

Food: Perkins (Breakfast)

I had the same meal I got on my first ever trip to Cedar Point, Chicken Biscuits (no gravy) with eggs, bacon, and hash browns. It was delicious, but also very filling, I could not eat all of the 2nd chicken biscuit, but I did finish the meat off of it.

Rating: A

We then went back, met up with our now awake friends, and headed to the front gate. Our legs were a bit sore by now, so doing the Steel Vengeance dash was kinda not a option, we'd get beaten by the "healthy" fresh crowds. Instead, we grabbed a shuttle and headed to the Marina entrance, as we decided to do 2 other rides for ERT.

Ride #1: Valravn

Wait: Walk-On

With everyone else at Steel Vengeance, Valravn's ERT line was super short, so we got a walk-on. This was my first ride on this coaster with the sun up, ironically. Other than that, it felt like it was riding the same as it did in Part 2, save now it was colder out.

Rating: A

After Valravn, me and my sister hit up the other big GP favorite in the park...

Ride #2: Millennium Force
Wait: 10 Minutes

Millie was testing as I headed to Dragster the night before, so apparently whatever broke was fixed for ERT the next day. It was a very chilly ride, as the temps were only in the upper 50's, but without the heavy winds it felt like the ride was getting over the hills a bit better than it was 2 days earlier as the airtime was back to 2017 levels. The speed was fast and furious, with is par for the course with this amazing coaster. My sister actually does love this ride, but she hates the first drop (she has a fear of heights), so I told her she could close her eyes and I would tell her when the drop was over. I wasn't mean, I did just that. :P

Rating: S

After Millennium Force, ERT was coming to a close, so I suggested I could ride TTD again, but this time my sister and friends (all of whom won't do TTD, they are all scared of it) would sit in the stands and watch.

Ride #3: Top Thrill Dragster

Wait: 30 Minutes

This SHOULD have been like a 10-15 minute wait, but why did I wait 30? It was not a breakdown this time. Instead, it was a rollback! The first train they attempted to launch of the day did not make it over, so they stopped the ride, began loading only the front 3 cars, and then launched again. This time the trains made it over, the launches began to get consistent (and trains started to make it over more easily) and the line began to move, a bit slow though because of the reduced # of seats in use. However, I got to skip a chunk of line because I was a single rider, and a empty seat needed filled! The ride was about the same as the night before, save less fear due to the fact I had now ridden a few times. I also got to see my off-ride video my sister filmed, the ride looks so much tamer in video than it does on-ride and in person.

Rating: S

After TTD, our friend who loves Gemini wanted to go ride it, as we saw it begin to do its morning test runs. We went over and waited a few minutes, then the gates opened and we got first train of the day. We also rode twice in a row.

Ride #4+5: Gemini

Wait: Walk-On, 5 Minutes

Gemini was performing about as well as the day before on Ride #1. On #2, we decided to try the middle seat of the very back car. Like on Racer at Kings Island earlier this year, that turned out to be a great choice, as the airtime back there was stronger and more abundant. More fun 70's Arrow goodness.

Rating: B

After back-to-back Gemini rides, we headed into Frontier Town to get some food. I was saving some money I had, and decided to spend it on...

Food: Sidewinder Fries

For anyone who does not know, this stand is near Steel Vengeance, and it's apparently new for 2018. It is NOT on the meal plan, for better or for worse. I got the loaded fries, they cost $12, but with a platinum pass I paid $10.50. The fries themselves seemed to be the same as the spiral-cut fries from Island Smokehouse, which was already good, but these were LOADED with toppings and BBQ brisket. And they were epic, truly worthy of the amazing coasters next to them! And they were served pretty fast, too. Also right before I ate, they had a Cedar Point Trivia challenge. I got 2 of 5 right, but I was close on like 4 of the 5. However, for my time, I got 2...single use Fast Lane passes! B)

Rating: S

After the awesome meal, we did some shopping (I got a cool Steel Vengeance vs. Maverick T-Shirt), then we checked out Maverick which was down for mechanical issues and had been since the day before. The Steel Vengeance actors walked past, I was tempted but didn't pull the trigger to say "LOL, Maverick thinks he is so great, but his coaster is so broken." :P Then we saw Skyhawk, and I stated I wanted to try it. (I rode twice)

Ride #6+7: Skyhawk
Wait: 5 Minutes (1 Cycle) both times

Well, here is another bucket list ride I can say I've knocked off. And, turns out, Skyhawk is very fun with some nice zero-g moments. I do still perfer the HUSS Giant Frisbees like Delirium and MaXair, since they add the spinning element, but MaXair was down all trip and has not operated once this season. I wonder what's wrong with it. After I rode, and said it was fun, my sister and one of our friends also wanted to ride so I rode again on the opposite side. Since it is just a lapbar, it scared them a bit, but they were laughing after the ride.

Rating: A

After Skyhawk, we went into the Town Hall Museum, because I find stuff like amusement park history awesome. :P

Attraction: Town Hall Museum

Inside was a epic Steel Vengeance model that is under construction. Apparently when it is done, it'll actually work and will have a ride-op style panel guess can use to simulate running a coaster! That's awesome, and something I would like to try. The Mean Streak model also remains, so you can do a comparison, though the SV one is MUCH bigger. The actors then also came in here. We got a group photo, and I also watched a bit of a mid-2000's documentary about the park (it had TTD as the newest coaster so it was from that era) they had on a TV. This place is awesome, I wish KI had something like this for its history and stuff.

Rating: A

After the Town Hall Museum, we headed down Frontier Trail, since we had not been down there yet. We ended up stopping when we reached...

Attraction: The Barnyard

So many cute, funny farm animals and camels for some reason! I had $2, and I spent it to get some feed so we could feed the animals. As someone who loves animals, this attraction was right up my alley. Also, yes, I did meet a Yak as hinted at in Part 2. LOL.

Rating: A

After we did the Barnyard, we headed down the Millennium Midway, as I wanted to ride Rougarou since I figured it would be a walk-on. But my sister and our friend who was doing big coasters actually said, because he had yet to ride (again, fear of the height) he wanted to try Millennium Force. Heck, I am always down for Millennium Force!

Ride #8: Millennium Force #2

Wait: 20 Minutes

Fast Lane would not have been much use here, so I saved my tickets. The ride rode similar to earlier, so see that for the review. Our friend did look on the way up but shut his eyes when he saw the actual drop until we were halfway down.

Rating: S

My friends went off to smoke for a bit, so I went and did that ride on Rougarou while I waited for them.

Ride #9: Rougarou

Wait: Walk-On

I rode in the very back car, which had no wait ironically. I can kinda see why though- the headbanging is worse back here, and you don't really get too much in the way of extra G-Forces or snappiness. Rougarou is probably a coaster ridden better from the front, or at least the middle. Due to the extra head-banging (still not terrible but it was more noticeable) this ride was not as good as the first on Rougarou.

Rating: B

I met back up with my friends after Rougarou, and we rode Iron Dragon again for our friend who isn't too into huge coasters.

Ride #10: Iron Dragon
Wait: 5 Minutes

Similar to last time, so for my review, see previous ride. Yeah, sorry I am doing this so much this TR, we got a LOT of re-rides.

Rating: C

After Iron Dragon, we headed down to the main midway, because I wanted to ride Raptor in the daytime (I kinda rode it in quasi-night before and night but never daytime). It was seemingly having a issue of some kind, as they would send this one train empty but then the others would be full. Nonetheless, we decided to ride since it was still open.

Ride #11: Raptor

Wait: 5 Minutes (was 30, used my Fast Lane Passes!)

Raptor was great fun once again, this time with the sun out. We were the first riders put back on the train that was having issues, so apparently it was cleared. I got so much hang time on the first loop, however, that I thought my restraint was having issues (my butt came out of the seat!) and only the seat belt was holding it in place (in reality I have realized if that was the case it would have actually come up noticeably.). A little scary, it even did make me tug on it on the MCBR to make sure it "went back down". Nothing like that on the 2nd half of the ride though. Otherwise, a fun ride. Also on the lift, I looked to the right and saw HUNDREDS of Seagull nests. HOLY COW!

Rating: A

After Raptor, we saw GateKeeper, which had gone down before we rode Raptor, was back up. We headed towards it.

Ride #12: GateKeeper

Wait: 10 Minutes

2 of the seats on the train we were on were blocked off, apparently restraint issues were a bit common on this trip. (We also saw Gemini with the same issue) However, on this ride they felt fine for us. This 3rd GateKeeper ride was the same as before, in fact I even kept choosing the same side (left) because I like going up on the first drop, and you nearly hit the ground on the helix, which IMO makes it the better side. So see previous review in this post for more info.

Rating: A

After GateKeeper, my friends wanted to smoke again, so I went off to do the fun and intense Wicked Twister.

Ride #13: Wicked Twister

Wait: Walk-On

Does ANYTHING in this section of Cedar Point get a huge wait these days, since GateKeeper's wait times have plummeted? Seems like this area would be good to go for on crowded days. I had trouble getting the seat belt to attach, because it was only a few inches long, and the restraint would not lock without it until we (me+ride op) really pushed hard. But it did lock, and I got a fun ride on Wicked Twister. I sat close to the back, and while this made the forwards launch kinda meh (didn't go very high) the backwards one was kinda scary because we went very high. I guess for a "balanced" ride, go for the middle, but for more thrilling individual spikes, choose a front or rear seat.

Rating: A

After Wicked Twister, we took the Sky Ride back, as our friend wanted to do one more ride on Gemini before we left, and I still wanted that one last credit...

Ride #14: Sky Ride

Wait: Walk-On

I rode backwards again, since I feel a little more comfortable that way, ironically. On our ride, we looked over on top of the arcade building and saw yet hundreds more seagull nests! Man, those things LOVE Cedar Point even more than me!
Rating: C

After Sky Ride, me and one of our friends (who was doing big coasters, the one who does not cannot do loops as they make him sick) went and got the final adult CP credit.

Ride #15: Corkscrew

Wait: Walk-On

The park was so dead, Corkscrew was only using the first 3 cars of each train, so I could not ride in 5-1 like I planned. So instead, I picked 3-1. The ride feels taller when you ride it than it looks, and the airtime hill has some nice borderline ejector air. The loop and corkscrews have some nice forces in them as well. However, sad part is, that is the entire ride basically. So while Corkscrew has good parts, it does not have very many parts. Still, this is a historic coaster, and would be a great introduction for younger riders to both airtime and inversions. And now, until they add more, I have all the adult credits Cedar Point has to offer!

Rating: C

After Corkscrew, we walked down the midway some more, and reached our final ride.

Ride #16: Gemini #3

I ended up riding Gemini 5 times total, most of any coaster on this trip. I tried to ride in the 5th car again, but due to trying to race with my friends, we ended up riding in the 3rd car. It was still fun but the 5th car gives better airtime.

Rating: B

After Gemini, it was after 5PM, and it was time for us to start the long drive home. We found a Five Guys on the way, so we stopped and grabbed dinner there, it was amazing as Five Guys usually is. We got back home around 11PM, and I came inside and fell asleep soon after. Well, since I got new credits, that means I have to give my updated Top 10 coasters list because with this and the previous KI trips in 2018, there has been some shufflin'.


1. Steel Vengeance @ Cedar Point (RMC)

Epic ejector air and forceful inversions combined with huge heights and speeds, and a immense wooden structure, creates a truly epic coaster.

2. Maverick @ Cedar Point (Intamin)

Forceful twists and turns, plus some nice airtime hills with both ejector and floater air, and a great mid-course launch.

3. Millennium Force @ Cedar Point (Intamin)

Towering heights and incredible speeds, all done pretty smoothly. Comes with a side of nice floater air, and maybe some mild ejector on the tiny hill depending on your seat.

4. The Beast @ Kings Island (In-House)

Racing through the woods at 65mph on a wooden coaster is a blast, even if it is just straight track mostly. Final helix is epic, best ending on any coaster. Gives one of the best night rides ever.

5. Magnum XL-200 @ Cedar Point (Arrow)

A bit rough, but this ride's forceful pretzel knot and epic ejector air (sometimes in TUNNELS!) will make you forgive that. After almost 30 years, it still holds up.

6. Top Thrill Dragster @ Cedar Point (Intamin)

17 seconds of pure adrenaline, with one of the most forceful launches and largest drops on any coaster out there.

7. Mystic Timbers @ Kings Island (GCI)

A modern woodie, Mystic Timbers sends riders into the woods with its twisted drop and tons of airtime. While not the strongest airtime, it is pretty rapid fire, and the ride does not go straight until the final brakes. Shed ending is so bad and cheesy, it's good.

8. The Legend @ Holiday World (CCI)

A twisted first drop leads into multiple tunnels, nice airtime hills under waterslides, and then the 2nd half gives some very forceful laterals. An awesome woodie. (Note: My last ride on this was in 2013, before the GCI overhaul in 2016)

9. Banshee @ Kings Island (B&M)

A large 1st drop leads into some excellent loops and zero-g rolls, being both graceful and intense at the same time and it maintains its pace until near the end, when the sudden slow roll mixes things up.

10. Raptor @ Cedar Point (B&M)

Another forceful B&M invert, this one also packs a punch. Banshee may have better inversions, but this one is more aggressive and snappy.

And that's my updated Top 10 coasters. GateKeeper and Valravn are still great rides IMO, but they fell out of the Top 10. Mystic Timbers barges back in thanks to some great rides I got earlier this year. Legend drops a bit due to not riding it in a while, I may need to get back to Holiday World and re-ride it to see if it can claw its way back up. And of course, Steel Vengeance debuts at #1.

And now, here are the Pros/Cons of this entire trip...

+Amazing roller coasters. It truly does feel like the roller coaster capital of the world. Besides a flying coaster and modern woodie, there is something for everyone here, from mild to wild, classic to modern.

+Also great flat rides, and a large selection of them.

+Beautiful park. Cedar Point is not themed much, but it is very pretty with vibrant colors and clean walkways.

+Great ride ops. They work fast, and get the trains out fast. I guess that's needed when a park is this popular.

+Great food. Service was fast, and the taste was also great. Kings Island needs to up their game in this area, but Cedar Point apparently has this down.

+Hotel Breakers, as usual, was amazing and had great staff. The convenience of being close to the park is obvious.


-Steel Vengeance, for obvious reasons, was only 1 train. I am not mad and understand why, but hopefully this gets fixed soon because this ride needs to get more ridership!

-MaXair not open. Not a huge issue, I can always ride Delirium, but I wonder what is wrong with its "bro" at Cedar Point.

-High Winds on Friday closing most rides. Not the park's fault, but it led to longer than they should have been waits that day.

I hope you all have enjoyed this HUGE 3-part trip report. Staying at a park for multiple days, especially one as big and epic as this one, was amazing and I hope to some day repeat the experience either at CP again, or some other huge park.

Questions and comments welcome. It is getting a bit late now, so I am gonna rest up, but when I wake up I'm gonna add some pictures we took during this trip here. Anyhow, until then...MCSALSA AWAY!!!:P





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Good stuff; glad you enjoyed Steel Vengeance, Wicked Twister and Valravn*! However, I think we can agree to disagree about Rougarou as I'm not its biggest fan (though I really want to like it...).

*I'd really love to get a Night Ride on both Steel Vengeance and Valravn.

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OK, now for the final part- ENJOY SOME PICTURES. Some of these were taken by me, most by my sister, and even a few by our friends. The last one includes a beautiful double rainbow that appeared on Saturday, after one of the rain showers. It looked like it ended in Canada, LOL. :P














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Near the beach exit of Hotel Breakers, facing GateKeeper and WindSeeker, towards the park's entrance. It's along the beach boardwalk, which will be on the right hand side of the park from the main parking lot.

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