Edit: this visit was yesterday September 2, 2021. Not 2020. Sorry.
I’ve been looking for a date to visit the park all summer. Truthfully, the news and the reports early on were enough to keep me home and the heat later in the summer was too. But I haven’t missed a season since 1963 so, realizing daily operations was drawing to a close, I decided to get busy. I was grateful to see reports of low crowds and manageable visits, so I chose yesterday September 2- a beautiful sunny day. I left the house around 6:15 in order to arrive in time for Platinum Early ride time
Legacy Walk: was my first stop. I searched in vain for my brick last year, but this time there was a scannable key to the layout and a Courtesy Corp station for assistance. I tried for a minute but saw Ride Time slipping by so I put it off til later. I spoke to the fellow at Courtesy Corp (who was not dressed in a polyester jacket and hat like Hot Dog on a Stick, which is how I remember the previous all-female crew from the 60’s.) He was awesome, suited for the job, and said it was a pretty good gig for the summer, in spite of long hours.
Rides: starting with Millennium Force and working my way around I managed 20 rides total. I haven’t been feeling great lately so I was moving kind of slow and with the park being so empty I didn’t care. My longest wait of the day was Steel Vengeance and that was because it was right at 10:00. That ride is so strenuous, I didn’t find it as enjoyable as usual. I thought the locker thing worked out well once I figured it out. (If anyone should ask, my seeky code word will always and forever be Stroopwaffle.) I waited and rode with a nice guy from Toledo who has developed a limited coaster hobby. He was quite knowledgeable though and fun to talk with. My apologies to the ride crew for being the ass who pulled his bar down. (It wasn’t the first time I earned that coaster reprimand).
Frontier Town: It looks really nice back there and adds a professionally-themed touch to the park. It just gets better and better. There’s been discussion about the new restaurant coming in ‘22 and so I started thinking about was Golden Palace/Lusty Lil’s and the saloon. It looks a little worn out (it is an original FT attraction) and could be reimagined with a larger space, better food, a bar, and a larger modernized place for some Live-E. There’s plenty of room to expand. It seemed so desolate yesterday, probably due to low crowds and no show in the theatre.
Drink Plan: is seriously the best add on I ever purchased. I dropped the meal plan a while back- it was too much food for me. But the drinks are great to have and yesterday they had plenty of locations open. Pro tip: if the Freestyle locations are busy go into a restaurant and sidle up to a cashier who’s between orders. I did that a lot yesterday and didn’t have to deal with strangers on top of me, kids making a mess, or bees everywhere.
Three Point Challenge: gone? A reaction to Covid? I noted the one in Frontiertown is something else but failed to see if the other locations were open. I’ll check my guide. (Disclaimer- I don’t handle a basketball well so it’s not like I play. I do like to watch though)
Wicked Twister: I got a little tear on my eye when I saw it’s pretty blue legs looking all neglected with peeling paint and such. Do you suppose anyone told her she’s on her last days? The ride was a walk on but plenty of people were clearly taking their last rides and getting goodbye photos. I did all that except ride- I haven’t fit in that ride for years.
Lakeside Midway: looks primed for a re-do. There was some kind of temporary use for the stadium spot but I’ve said all along that it’s the perfect location for the large, nighttime stage. Tiki Twirl looks a little raggedy and I wonder about its future. I rode it and it was great, fast and twirly. But it needs paint. Anything on that side of the park suffers abuse from wind and sand- it’s a given. I laughed when I heard the Windseeker crew talk about sweeping and shoveling the massive pile of sand in their queue. I suggested sand sculptures and they liked that idea. Maybe ‘22 will bring the return of maXair. And maybe the entire midway will see more improvements.
Arcade: I walked through for the first time in years. What impressed me was how fancy and elaborate redemption games have become. They have a similar look to the high end slot machines in actual casinos. I didn’t bother to get a card so I didn’t play but I saw Wizard of Oz set to drop a bunch of prizes so I was tempted.
Pagoda: is one of the best of the retail updates. It holds everything I enjoy and would purchase. I love the retro merch and all the Cedar Point-related stuff. The kids at the register were hilariously agape when I pointed out my photo in Ken’s history book. Their own parents probably weren’t even born in ‘74.
After a couple more coasters, dizzying flats, and some french fries (my favorite) I relaxed in the setting sun. Oh, I did find my brick and got my fat ass down on the ground along side of it for a selfie. The photo was less than successful but the really awful part happened when a young man came running over to ask whether I was all right and could he help me get up. He must’ve though I had fallen and couldn’t get up. And I actually would’ve welcomed the help, but I was so indignant I chose to struggle like a water bug on its back.
Employees: The workers everywhere were awesome and it was so nice to see, especially after staffing horror stories from early in the season. A couple of things come to mind: a promise of 20 bucks an hour can’t have hurt. The other is that Cedar Point has clearly (and suddenly?) relaxed their appearance code. For the first time ever I saw workers with tattoos, hair, piercings, makeup, and non-gender conforming looks, instead of being made to look like the Courtesy Corp gals of the 60’s. Everyone got along fine, like one big family and I loved the fact that there was time to converse with a few. It made me confident in the youngsters coming up to take over the general work force. And no one attending the park that day seemed to have trouble with whatever the employees had on their backs, their heads, or their faces. It was wonderful and exactly as things should be.
I saw a couple of employees handle problem customers with skill and grace. I also witnessed a Karen in the Wild incident right on the midway. Apparently Karen was offended that the girls at the Taco stand (formerly Frozen Custard location) shut their windows as she was on the way with an order. She pounded on the door and windows until they came out. What transpired there was just this side of abuse. She yelled and pointed her finger in these girls’ faces while they tried to explain that they were closed and should’ve been closed 5 minutes ago. Then she detained them further by demanding to talk to (wait for it…) a manager. And not the one on duty trying to help her. It was awful. And it’s a good thing she didn’t catch my eye during this tirade because I would’ve chosen to take her on myself. This was over a taco. But the girls remained composed and polite, so good for them. I might’ve lost my job had it been me.
I stayed til almost closing time. There might've been 10-15 rows of cars in the lot so the closing-time crush to get out wasn’t an issue.
I was so glad to be back at the park and left very satisfied with my experience. I wish there were more days like that in the season.
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