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Labor Day weekend rainy visit/downtime


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Due to some changes in my work situation, we had to re-schedule our previously planned trip from mid-August (the last week of weekday operations) to Labor Day weekend. We were coming from Detroit, so we planned accordingly. Bought gold passes so we could come in for the weekend, maybe come back at Halloween and WinterFest, and already have next year's tickets taken care of. Knowing it would likely be busy, we purchased Fast Lane a week out for Saturday. And...it was a mixed bag. 

Saturday was shaping up to be a disaster. As soon as we got to the park, we were stuck in torrential downpours all morning. We got in one ride on Woodstock Express and Boo Blasters and then booked it to Rivertown to hide out in Brewhouse for an hour or so. While we were there, a ceiling tile collapsed and water started leaking in. Amazingly, several of the coasters were still going; I can't imagine a ride on Diamondback was much fun in the downpour. When the rain started to slow, we decided to head over to Shake, Rattle and Roll for our kids while we waited for more coasters to come up. I waited off so I could hold our stuff while my wife and kids rode. While they were in line, the rains went from a steady sprinkle to an outright downpour, and my kids rode the ride with water flying out onto the midway. My wife was soaked and it was only 1:30 p.m. She'd had enough and decided to head back to the hotel with our youngest to change. Because we'd already paid for Fast Lane, my son and I stayed back just in case anything opened back up. As soon as she left the park...dry skies and even a bit of sun for three hours. Was able to use Fast Lane to do Racer (so smooth now!), Adventure Express (fun, but rough), The Bat (better than I remembered), Banshee (so good), Orion (front row), Mystic Timbers and Diamondback (all great). I tried three times to get on The Beast, but it kept breaking down. 

Met my wife at Festhaus at 5 p.m. I got there a bit early and enjoyed a blue ice cream beer (so sue me; it's pretty good). As soon as my wife returned, so did the rain. But it was more of an annoying rain, not the torrents of before. We did Race for Your Life Charlie Brown, my wife got on The Beast (I stayed off with the kids and then when I went to go on...it broke down again). We did another round of Boo Blasters then went to the front. Caught the firework show, which was great, but the drones weren't working (guessing because of the rain). 

Sunday, the weather had been calling for rain all day, but we only had a brief shower in the middle of the day. It was busier and hotter, and we didn't have Fast Lane (but we did have parent swap). My son got his first ride on The Beast, which he loved (and I love the work the retrack has done). But throughout the day, nearly every roller coaster went down at least once (Diamondback was down all day; ironic, since it was the only one that didn't seem to close before the previous day). I've actually never seen it like this -- at one time, Orion, Racer, Beast, Banshee, Diamondback and Flight of Fear were all down. And it didn't seem to be weather -- other large rides were going, and they kept doing test cycles. I'm not complaining; my guess is  it's the end of the year and maintenance crews/parts/whatever are down. We still had a good day -- was just odd. 

Only complaint I had was that, given it's the end of the operating year, much of the staff seemed to be phoning it in. A clerk in the Snoopy Boutique clearly didn't want to be there and would just point us to the credit card machine. The clerks at the Starbucks were rough; one lady asked who a particular drink was for (wondering if it was her own) and the kid just shrugged and said "I don't know" and walked away. Probably end of the year malaise. 

But still, despite the hiccups, a good trip with some good rides. Might come back down one weekend for Haunt and give it a try. We did NYE at Winterfest last year and are considering doing it again. 

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