So, we finally made a stop at Cedar Point for a "dry park" visit: something I think we haven't done in ten years. With the Florida parks all available to us there was no urgency on the part of the kids to do the park (short of a CP Shores visit a few years back). I live in a family of non-coaster riders to the thought was that we'd be better served doing other things on our time-sensitive trips north.
All that said, the 150th (or 151st) season was cause enough for two former employees to get back into the park. Plus, I was determined to find our midway brick. Mission accomplished and the weather was picture perfect. (Too cool for us Floridians to even consider CP Shores but the lines there were incredible).
It was a pretty nice crowd for a Tuesday. Lines for the more popular coasters were long, as we expected. Out of the gate I will say the park was beautiful. Buildings looking good, landscaping as immaculate as ever, and I was impressed with the amount of asphalt they have eliminated. We did some smaller rides and a couple of games and walked out to the Breakers to see the improvements that had been made there. All the hype is well deserved. I was a FT manager at the Breakers in earlier days when, frankly, it was embarrassing to deal with the regular complaints. Must be nice to be a manager there now. (Hell, must be nice to have A/C in the lobby now).
We did get on a few of the smaller coasters (Iron Dragon, Mine Ride and Blue Streak). All I can say is...wow. What the heck happened in Ride Ops? The efficiency is gone. And, it wasn't for a lack of staffing. I never saw more people working on a coaster platform...nor ever seen a less efficient operation. It took a ridiculous amount of time to load and dispatch a train. (And there are only two trains now on Mine Ride?) Frankly, ride ops efficiency used to be a trademark of the Point but I'd actually rate Universal Studios higher now...and they are pretty bad.
That aside, the staff was generally in good spirits. The salary bump has seemingly helped in both quantity and quality. The restaurants were running well and I will admit that the merchandise (a strength of the new GM) has never been better. If she can learn and improve ride ops in the way she improved merchandise then great strides will have been made.
Rode the new Western Cruise...or whatever it is called now. The story could use some work and there could be more humor...but I'm biased as a former Jungle Cruise skipper I admit. Walked the Island. Honestly don't know what the heck that was supposed to be. I'm guessing few others know either since we were about the only people on the island. It was an excellent staff to guest ratio I guess. The playground is pretty nice...but we missed the target age on that.
Overall, it was nice to be back to the Point. Wish I could have done some of the newer coasters but it wasn't in the cards with my novice riders. Maybe the next time around.
"You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality."
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Forbidden Frontier. While the island is quite pleasant and the performers do their best to be friendly and engaging we never see a lot of guests around when we visit. A handful of new signs have been added on Frontier Trail so the park apparently feels that people aren't finding their way out there. Considering the number of performers needed to staff the experience how long will Forbidden Frontier keep going with its current attendance?
"Thank the Phoenicians!"
That's kind of my feeling too. Each time I go there, its pretty dead. It really would make a nice connecting midway between Camp Snoopy and Frontier Trail with some interesting things to do along the way.
Cedar Point has already proved the impossible that a bridge walkway can be built over Snake River Expedition. Perhaps lightning could strike twice?
On ride ops, its a shame what has happened. It's not the CP of what I remembered of the late 80's and into the 00's where max rider throughput was the priority. Fastlane just makes it worse. I feel like Magnum is the most reliable people eater ride of the park and with Gatekeeper close behind. But everything else just feels like it drags.
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