Cedar Point: Mecca of the Cedar Fair park system. Everyone needs to make a pilgrimage there at least once in a lifetime.
We arrived in Sandusky on Tuesday evening, and after checking into our motel and unpacking, took a quick run out to the park to get a lay of the land – and have some supper.
This wasn’t our first trip to Cedar Point, but it had been several years. So we wanted to see what was different.
We cased the rollercoasters and the lines. We read the signs and discovered that many of the roller coasters didn’t allow you to carry anything, you had to have someone else hold onto things, or rent the lockers that were available for a couple of buck per couple of hours nearby.
We also had the one really bad service for a Cedar Fair employee during our trip. There was no line for the Wicked Twister, so we ran up to get on the ride. When we got there we stepped into our cars and pulled down the restraints. They buckle an odd way to any other coaster I have met – on the side. Took me a moment to figure mine out. One member of our party couldn’t get it to go on, so I thought the associate came over to help get the buckle to fasten. But all he said, over and over again, was “the buckle has to be fastened.” At first I thought that meant he was going to help fasten, then I thought maybe there was something wrong with the strap on that seat, so I asked if the person needed to change seats. I finally figured out that the person’s size was wrong and wouldn’t allow the seat strap to fasten, so they were unable to ride the ride – period. But it was very confusing, perplexing, and somewhat embarrassing for the person to merely say “the buckle has to be fastened” rather than explain what was going on. It was totally unhelpful, confusing, and distracting, as well as delaying the other people wanting to ride. If he had only spoken to me and answered my questions, instead of repeating the same line over and over, we could have resolved it amicably and quickly. But by that point, once I figured it out, and the member of our party had to leave the ride, I didn’t want to ride it anymore easier, his demeanor and lack of responsiveness had so changed my mood.
So that was the last ride we tried to get on that night, and instead headed to supper.
Pink’s was a nice place to eat. Their hot dogs were good. I am not sure if they would be as great as the hype says, I think the celebrity and reputation makes the hot dogs “taste better” than they are. Not so well advertised, but just as good, were their burgers.
We got to the park around opening on Wednesday morning. Cedar Point is designed around midways. You enter the gates and go through the Main Midway to get to the other midways. Our first ride was the Sky Ride that took us down through the main midway, and then we started dispersing for rides.
I think we dispersed more as a group at Cedar Point than at any of the other parks. The first focus for many of us was what roller coasters we could get on. Even at opening the ValRavn was longer than we wanted to wait for. So we bounced from one to another looking for good lines.
Others of us enjoyed riding the train, walking the midways, seeing the various sites. We ended up going to Frontier Town, where many of us enjoyed lunch at the Frontier Inn (they had an excellent Buffalo Chicken Sandwich) after touring the Cedar Fair Museum, and seeing these Solar Powered Trash Cans that made no sense to us.
In our previous visits the lines to the Top Thrill Dragster and other roller coasters had been too long to get on. But several of our party (not me) enjoyed the Top Thrill this time. If I had gotten to it in the morning I would have tried it, but by the afternoon I was in a different mood.
While we rode many coasters, my one disappointment was the Maverick. I remembered it fondly from our last visit, but it was never running when we were anywhere nearby that day to ride it and reminisce.
We also missed the boat ride through the swamp that they had the last time but is now no longer there. It seems that the entrance to their dinosaur exhibit took over that spot. Our hope is that they get back to having another water ride experience.
One of the things that was neat to see, on the midways, were the street shows. There was a Bluegrass festival in frontier town, and on the main midway we came across a Mardi Gras themed float. I am not sure which Midway we were on when we saw some acrobats rehearsing some moves for a show – obviously rehearsing because there was no sound and they weren’t in any special outfits. But it was neat to see them doing their practice loops.
We were always looking for the special things to eat that we couldn’t get back home. So I tried the shrimp on the midway. What I missed out on trying was what Betsy had for dinner – the Cheese on a Stick. If I get back again, that is what I need to remember to have.
Some of the other parks had “local fare” restaurants in the park. Cedar Point didn’t have anything like that – because its local fare is carney fare, and they had several good items, like the cheese on a stick, that are worth the experience.
Cedar Fair is land locked, but it is also perhaps the most intense, packed, extensive park in that way. It is hard to describe the full experience in the way it grabs and pulls you in so many directions – like a carnival does.
We enjoyed and had a full day without having a chance to get out to their water park – which is still a separate park from the main amusement park. Cedar Point Shores sounds impressive, and we need to get back sometime to experience it.