Jeff's avatar

I never seem that inclined to write a trip report unless I go with people that either don't go that frequently or have never been. Friday night, Stephanie and I brought in a friend of hers from grad school (Ann) and her martial arts buddy. She had never been, he had not been in many years, so it was essentially a new park for both of them.

They arrived at 9, by which time we had been on a few things already, and finally got something at Donut Time. Very well done. Good signage and decor. The pricing is ridiculous, but not surprising given the captive morning audience. What's really funny is that they charge you more for a large cup of hot water to use with the same tea bag.

When Steph's friends arrived, it was obviously getting late, so we tried to blitz through as much as we can. First was Raptor, which Ann correctly identified as a cousin to Batman at SFGAm, the park she knew best. She loved it. The late-season crew is a lot speedier since the first Friday night. Great to see!

From there it was Blue Streak. On one hand, I wish they'd lube up at least the turn around because those trains were shuffling all over the place. On the other hand, despite the lack of lubrication, the things was absolutely flying. I mean, you could hear just how violent it was when the upstops grabbed on to the track. Blue Streak has quickly become the hidden gem at the park since its last rehab.

Next was our second spin on Wicked Twister. (And yes, we noticed the utility survey marks along the games midway.) I don't care what anyone says, the ride's firing sequence is somehow different since it reopened. It's like the biggest boost comes at the end of the second pass (forward and back) instead of the beginning or middle, because you can feel the acceleration just before you go vertical. I love this ride. I like impulses in general, but this one is my favorite, especially near the back on that second pass backward.

Next through CarnEvil for a second time. It's still lame, and the barkers are horrible. Good idea, really bad execution in an area that's too large to scare in.

Power Tower drop next, where they ran both towers. I love the view of Millennium Force and Mean Streak and Dragster from the ride. Seems like we had more time than normal at the top. Maybe it was my imagination.

Dragster was down, loaded. What a shocker. Ann wouldn't get to ride it that night.

Next was an unfortunate event. It didn't ruin anyone's night, but it might have. Ann had a small backpack/purse, and she entered the line with it. I didn't think anything of it because, well, I don't carry anything at the park so I don't worry about it. The girl working entrance was napping on the rails and not really paying attention. When we went to load, a platform operator told Ann she couldn't ride with it. We had been waiting a bit as they put the third train on, so I was a little pissed. The op told her she could go down to the lockers and put it there, then come back up the exit and ride. Obviously she waited for us to ride and gave the bag to Steph on return. When she explained to the blue tag that the other operator allowed this, he seemed kind of pissed. I guess it all turned out OK, and I don't have a problem with the policy, but if the entrance worker wasn't napping, the whole situation would've been avoided. Good thing the op on the platform had a good head about her.

As for Magnum itself, the word on the street is that they've done some retracking. I'm inclined to believe it's true on the first drop and the pretzel. Either that, or they're using really spongy new wheels, because it was a pretty smooth ride. It delivered as always, seat belt super tight to avoid lap bar bruises.

We looped around through the back and went through the Fright Zone. The guy doing the skull gate is top notch. He's a really good heckler with the little kids. Overall the screamsters do a nice job. That particular night, the temperature and humidity was so perfect that the fog never went anywhere. Really crazy stuff!

Finally we hit Millennium Force. Ann and I went solo. As it turns out, she wanted to ride front seat, which I was kind of opposed to because I knew it would build the total wait to an hour. In the second unfortunate event, they over-booked the front queue by about 16 people. We were the first to go, so after an extra half hour of waiting, we didn't get the front. No big deal for me, but Ann was clearly very disappointed. I guess I'd chalk it up to having a crew not entirely familiar with judging the queue length.

Overall, even with a seriously healthy crowd, the park ran really well overall, even food service. We had a good time, and I'm looking forward to closing weekend.

One sidebar... we obviously got out around midnight. Walking back to the Soak City lot, we passed two people, seasonals, and absolutely no one at the open gate. No one in the ticket office, no one at the turnstiles. No security at all. Anyone could have walked into the park and gone anywhere they wanted. There was no one. That's kind of screwed up, and someone deserves a memo for that.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

I agree with you on WT. The acceleration just before vertical was very noticeable. I have become a convert to that ride this year. Don’t know what has changed but I have become addicted to it. I do have to say that the back is by far better than the front. Not sure what to think of Magnum lately. Maggie has always been my second favorite coaster at the Point, just behind Raptor. But the last several rides (September thru October time frame) have been downright boring. The bunny hills which in my opinion make the ride so good have not been giving me any air time at all. I am beginning to wonder if the park has changed something due to all the thigh bruises that I am always hearing about. Why can’t people just learn to tighten the belt? Granted I probably look like a total idiot when I cinch the belt as tight as I can make it but hey I am not the one crying about the ride beating me up! Anyway, could the supposed retracking have affected the bunny hills or are they seriously overbreaking with the trims or am I just unlucky and keep getting temperamental rides? Regardless, Maggie better get her act together next year or she will be demoted by WT!

Jeff's avatar

Must be the seat you're sitting in. My ride was in the second seat, not even the ejector, and it was crazy.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

DemonDroppin''s avatar

Jeff said:Next was our second spin on Wicked Twister. I don't care what anyone says, the ride's firing sequence is somehow different since it reopened. It's like the biggest boost comes at the end of the second pass (forward and back) instead of the beginning or middle, because you can feel the acceleration just before you go vertical.

Very true... I also rode it Friday evening. I hadn't ridden WT since the summer and was shocked at how high the train reached the second trip up, very noticeable in the front seat.

The Amazement Park

I have been riding in the second row just like I always do. Hopefully it is just me and all will return to normal next year.

The security thing is kinda weird, too... You'd think that CP would keep at least a few people on guard at the gates...

Yeah, Especially these days with the threat of a suicide bomber walking in.

That would be bad. Maybe the wait doesn't matter at that point. What else can you do to remain safe?

MrScott *** Edited 10/26/2004 10:46:59 PM UTC by MrScott***

Mayor, Lighthouse Point

Jeff, there has been track work done on Magnum. Most noticable is at bottom of 1st drop. Opening HalloWeekend I noticed bright orange on the left rail. It looked like they replaced a section of rail only. Two weeks later I noticed the opposite side was done as well.

As for the pretzel,no visible changes to me. But riding a little better (as long as you stay out of ejector on blue train)!

Something else I noticed this past weekend was possibly a couple of trims were replaced. Either that or they just happened to look cleaner than the others!

New rails on the drop?

Maybe those orange tubes that sat in the field across Perimeter Road from MF's unload station all summer really were new track for Magnum!

Hah! That's all we joked about when standing around during downtime. Who says seasonals don't know anything! *** Edited 10/28/2004 3:56:53 PM UTC by LustyLil***

-Lusty Lil

They are just short sections at bottom of drop. Only the rails. Actual spine and track ties look the same.

I too saw those bright orange rails beside Perimter Road, and just knew they were for Magnum. I mean, what other ride is colored like that and needs just a small sections of new rails.

We would try our hardest to not let anything into our line, especially when it would actually become substantial, but people would always try to hide things from us or end up having some article of clothing covering it up. Generally we would catch a lot of things at turnstyles and send them down to a locker. Unfortunately, there were often times that some of the people and entrance wouldn't be quite as observant as others.

-B.S. Civil Engineering, Purdue University

Jeff: Very true of Blue Streak- she has a lot of personality for a coaster... If you only ride her once in a while, like me, you just don't know what to expect. It seems the hardware (wheels, bearings, doo-dads) gets worn to the point where you notice the violence, but still not wiped out to the point where it slows the train. That is what makes old rickety wooden coasters so exciting, charming, whatever you'd want to call it. When Giant Dipper here in Mission Beach gets any kind of repairs, she's usually different (even different sounding sometimes) on the next ride. Even minor service/repairs can make astonishing differences on these 'woodies'. I guess this can also be a pain if you are trying to operate the coaster at maximum capacity with minimal down-time all summer long, all while trying to maintain a reputation for safety (like CF).

Are you sure nobody was observing the Soak City gate when you left? CP police and CF employees not dealing directly with guests are very good at keeping out of the public eye, as well as blending in with guests, if need be. It's always nice to have a friendly face bid you a good night on the way out, but some employees are to leave work promptly at the scheduled closing time while others are clearing less-secure areas of the park. Unfortunately, it takes more staffing to close the park than it does to run it on days with lesser attendance (like Halloweekends and rainy days). This is made worse because Cedar Fair chooses to accomodate all waiting riders and those seeking munchies/drinks after closing time. (THANK YOU!!!) They also have 'employee ride night' during closing time on some summer nights, so they can be quite understaffed at times. I doubt very much if anyone (someone mentioned a terrorist/bomber) could spend an autumn night in CP unobserved. There are night employees around (more in the summer months) and the police force keeps busy at night, as well. I'm sure there are many policies and some sophistated surveillance equipment/procedures in place that they (management) don't want just anybody knowing about and they probably use these routines vehemently every night at closing. I would imagine the perimeter security is even tighter during the off-season November thru April. rob

Jeff's avatar

No, trust me, the open gate was not a rare occurrence, and I could tell you stories about it...

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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