From 2008-2014, my family always took an annual trip to Cedar Point. It was without a doubt a highlight of the summer for everyone. Unfortunately, life happened and we had to take a two-year hiatus. But, we finally got back to the park on Friday, July 21 for a day trip.
We arrived around 9:30, and parked close to Blue Streak's turnaround. I had never used the marina entrance before, but a tip on Coasterbuzz convinced me that it's a good place to start with the addition of Valravn. We had purchased ride and refresh tickets online, and I couldn't be more pleased with what it offered. Being able to have a drink in line is a great way to beat the heat. That being said, the lines were not bad at all. Because of that, re-rides were had in bunches. Since we were able to ride many things multiple times, I'm going to talk about them individually instead of in the order that we rode them.
We started out the day with our first rides on Valravn. I came in expecting it to be similar to Griffon and Sheikra, but it pleasantly surprised. I really appreciated having a dive loop as the second inversion just for something different. The roll thing was a little gimmicky, but it was a good ride. This was the only ride that we wished to have gotten a second ride on. The wait was about 15 minutes, which I would say is well worth it in the morning. Later on, the posted wait was 45 minutes, the longest of any ride. One thing that I couldn't get over was how nice it looked. It has really changed the skyline of the park more than I thought it would.
Iron Dragon is always a nice family coaster. We waited about 10 minutes for it shortly before it closed down for VR. I considered doing the VR myself, but the rest of the family was not interested, so I'll probably end up waiting until it's a more refined product before trying it.
Rougarou was the other coaster that we had never ridden before. Hearing many of you talk about the headbanging on the second half of the ride tempered my expectations, but I didn't find it to be that bad. As for the first half of the ride, the inclined loop was very enjoyable. Maybe it's just because it's unique, but I really liked it. In the future, we will probably ride it on every visit with its short waits.
Millennium Force was a ride that we ended up on three times, including our first ever night ride on it. There's really not much to say about it that hasn't been said before. It's just an awesome ride, and the fact that we never waited more than half an hour was just fantastic. At night, pretty much every train was coming back coated in bugs, but that didn't take away from the experience too much.
Maverick was the ride that we rode the most during our visit. We had two morning and two night rides, never waiting more than half an hour. In my opinion, it's a near perfect ride. I can't really think of anything that could make it better. My one wish after riding Intimidator 305 was that its restraints would be on Maverick, and now there they are.
Skyhawk is my favorite flat of all time. I had forgotten just how high up that thing goes. The restraints being so minimal make it an even wilder ride. We rode it twice. I enjoyed the views of the ride formerly known as Mean Streak very much as well. That thing is going to be insane.
Gemini was running both sides, but they were struggling to fill either train. We rode in the back for the first time, and it was a little rougher than expected. Gemini is normally a ride I enjoy very much, but pain was involved on this ride. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the TAER IT DOWN!!1!1!!! group, it just disappointed.
From a suggestion on this site, I rode Magnum in the second to last seat, and it was wild! The airtime coming back was incredible. Unfortunately, a guest had dropped something in the station and it went under the track. With the policy at some rides being to retrieve lost articles immediately, the crew shut it down. This happened while we were still on the course, so we had a painful stop on the brakes just after the final tunnel. I really don't understand this at all. I guess it's a little more understandable because it wasn't the result of someone taking something on the ride with them, but still shutting down the entire ride?
We rode TTD twice during the day. The first time, it had not been operating for about an hour when I saw a train launch. We got in line right away, and they started boarding trains shortly after. The second time, the wait was about a half hour. Hats off to the crew here, as they were working very efficiently.
We rode Power Tower once on each side. I used to prefer shot, but drop is growing on me, because you're able to see the park a little bit more than on the shot side. It was a walk-on for both sides.
Windseeker is a ride that used to scare the daylights out of me, but I really find it enjoyable now. We rode once during the day, and once at night. The night ride was almost magical. Seeing the whole park and then the inky blackness of Lake Erie and then the park again was unbelievable. It's definitely worth a ride on every visit.
There was a time where I thought that Wicked Twister was the most underrated ride in the park, but it doesn't do much for me anymore. I rode in the second to back row, and I remembered the ride being better when you are that close to the end of the train, but it was just alright.
Gatekeeper was a ride that I had always thought to be forceless but I rode back right twice and that changed the narrative for me. I even got some decent floater airtime on the camelback. The second ride was the third to last train of the night before it was shut down for fireworks so that made it extra special. There were only four other people on that train.
MaXair used to be my favorite flat, but Skyhawk passed it on this visit. I've always loved the negative-Gs at the top of the swing and then the slam at the bottom. We rode once during the day, and then again at night. One thing that bothered me a little bit on the night ride was the extremely bright light that illuminates the bottom of the disk. It shined in my eyes on every swing and was less than pleasant.
Raptor was honestly the biggest surprise of the day. In the past, we had skipped it if it had more than a 15 minute wait, but it proved to be far more forceful than I remembered. We rode once during the day and waited about 20 minutes because someone puked. It was also our last ride of the night. When we were boarding the train, the fireworks show began, and the lift hill faced directly towards them. It was an exceptional ending to an exceptional day.
The strangest thing that happened during our day was at Blue Streak. Half of the family was on one train, and the other half (including me) was on the other. We were just boarding when the ride host suddenly said that the ride was going down for mechanical reasons. We had already had our restraints checked and everything when they got us out and sent the train empty.
One thing that really stood out to me about the park is that there were a lot of people present, but the lines were not that long. The park has so many awesome rides that are spread out to a point where you would have no idea it was a Friday in July. I'm expecting this to only be increased by RMC Mean Streak opening in the back.
In the end, we really couldn't have had a better day. We rode everything we wanted multiple times with the exception of Valravn. The weather was right around 80 degrees most of the day and there were few clouds in the sky. We ate at Famous Dave's for the first time, and it will probably become a mainstay in our trips. The day really reminded me of just how wonderful the park really is. There's really nothing like it anywhere. All I can do now is hope that this trip becomes an annual affair yet again. Thanks for reading.
Loving Maverick since 2007!
Sounds like you had an awesome day and from what it sounds like the park was empty. I thought Fridays would be more crowded
I agreed with what you said about Power Tower, I usually prefer being shot up vs down, but it doesn't really feel like you are being "shot" down. more of a brings you up there and it just lets you go
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