I was looking forward to our Cedar Point weekend for, well, two weeks because that’s all the advanced planning we did with this one. Typically, I would NOT go to a park of this caliber on a weekend, let alone during a holiday event, but we purchased Cedar Fair platinum passes for the 2020 season and they’re available to use for the remainder of the 2019 season too. You have to go to one of the parks to get the physical cards and CP is only 3 hours away so we figured why not just go, make a weekend of it, and even if it’s super crowded, we can just go back whenever we want since we have the passes (which includes free parking and early entry too!).
I was fully anticipating a park at capacity but look, we’ve been to three Asian theme parks at this point and you do not know the true meaning of “park at capacity” until then let me tell you. I mean, a three hour wait for the Viking ship at Lotte World is next level.
And that was just on a random Monday!
Fair warning: my moods swung faster than any of the pendulum rides there that weekend, but I didn’t want this blog post to be all stabby & crabby so I waited a bit to sit down and collect my thoughts, and I realized that the good outweighed the bad and I’m already jonesin’ for a return trip!
Instead of dwelling on the negative, I’ll just get it over with before diving into the pictures and good times: rides were breaking down left and right all weekend long, starting with the very first one we were in line for! Look, I understand that it was late in the seasons, the rides were tired, the mechanics of modern rides are so computer-driven that the slightest deviation will shut down operations — I APPRECIATE THIS BECAUSE “SAFETY FIRST” AMIRITE? But when it happened 5 times to us on the first day (Maverick, Blue Streak, Magnum, Gatekeeper, Steel Vengeance), it was just very frustrating. I didn’t have a problem with waiting in lines for these rides, but when I’m 45 – 60 minutes into it and that dreaded announcement comes on, go fuck yourself Cedar Point. A park of this size and stature better have maintenance men living in bunkers beneath all the rides, you know what I mean?
This place was operating like every pathetic piece of shit park I ever tried to construct on Roller Coaster Tycoon, where I spent the whole time picking up my maintenance guys and dropping them off on whatever ride was smoking at the time.
OK, there. It’s out of my system now. I had my hissy fit inside of the park too (Magnum went down while we were in the station and then two dumb bitch lesbians totally line-jumped and I tried to stop them but they were too busy jamming their hands into each others’ back pockets to care and the other people who got line-jumped were too engrossed in their phones to care and I just fucking lost it and left the line like a fucking toddler because that’s where I am emotionally these days. I’m waiting for my second serving of pureed peas, Henry) and so we left in the afternoon so I could cool off and come back down to earth with the stable people.
Here are some highlights from Day One though! (The two biggest highlights were Millennium Force & Steel Vengeance so I will sing my ode to them separately.)
A Korean food truck inside an amusement park, shut up and take Henry’s money.
Chooch and I both had the Tofu Cup and Henry ordered nothing because he knew he was going to have to eat our leftovers. I was so sure that I was going to finish all of mine though but as usual, eyes bigger than stomach, blah blah blah. Look, my lunch at DisneySea was definitely postcard-to-home worthy, but this was a real close second as far as amusement park lunches go. I was so content. (I mean, until right afterward when we were in line for Blue Streak and it broke down right when we were the next group to get into the station BUT I SAID I’M DONE COMPLAINING THOUGH.)
Chooch’s review: “The cabbage was surprisingly good.”
Before I threw a fit.
I took this picture while waiting for Henry and Chooch to catch up to me when I was storming out of the park, lol. God, I love being dramatic. If only everyone knew the real me haha.
We came to the park around 6 that evening. These passes are great because you get free parking so leaving and coming back AIN’T NO THANG.
Except that now we had to park a trillion miles away but hey, we’re walkers so this was fine.
Now that I was calm and plied with pizza, I was able to really see this park. No, I mean, REALLY SEE IT. Like, it’s pretty fucking beautiful. Not DisneySea-levels of beauty, but fuck if Lake Erie doesn’t trick you into thinking you’re actually beachside. Like, with a real ocean. I always forget how great that lake is.
Chooch and I immediately into line for Gatekeeper, which was right, well, by the entrance gate, because the app said that the wait time was only like 30 minutes. I think it was actually less time than that, though. Since Gatekeeper is a wing coaster, the line eventually splits so you can choose which side of the ride you want to sit on. Chooch was adamant about choosing the line that would put us on the lake side so he started to go to the left but I’m a Big Dumb and went to the right, thinking that it was the line that would put us closer to the lake since it was, well, closer to the lake, forgetting that the ride MAKES A TURN when it leaves the station.
So Chooch was correct and he cried out, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” and abandoned the left side to fetch me, but now it was too late because we were both in too deep in the non-lakeside line. Sorry bud.
Luckily, THE RIDE FUCKING BROKE DOWN as soon as we made it back to the break run, and now we WERE on the lakeside. So while we sat there, stranded, for 25 minutes, I leaned over and said, “There’s your fucking lakeside view, buddy. SOAK IT IN.”
Yep, we figured it was par for the course that we actually get stuck on a broke-down ride. I mean, the odds were in our favor at that point.
Meanwhile, Henry the Good Parent was on the ground somewhere, waiting for us. He said that he heard the THIS PIECE OF SHIT RIDE IS BROKE DOWN announcement ,he waited for us to come filing out of the line with all the other people and when he didn’t see us, that’s when he realized, “Oh shit, they’re on the ride.” LOL yep that was us, just restrained and hanging out against our will, while the sun was setting and the cool lake air was chilling us to the bones.
Nicholas, my favorite ride operator, came to visit us several times to give us canned updates (“Sorry guys, we’re waiting on maintenance”) and basically take the wrath of angry park patrons while the other guys were inside the operations booth tossing a football back and forth. Assholes.
Nicholas was super nice though and I didn’t fault him for this at all. He was really scrambling out there, trying to make everyone happy. So definitely one of the things that helped balance out my disdain over the unpredictability of the rides was the friendliness of the staff. Visiting other parks as often as we do always makes the surliness/blankness/ambivalence of Kennywood employees so much more apparent. I love Kennywood, it’s my home park, but I really wish they had friendlier staff.
Henry took pictures with my phone while we were stuck on Gatekeeper.
Cool pic, Hank. I think we all know what the subject of this picture is
You would think that I would have been on the hunt for desks to flip by the time we were released from Gatekeeper, but I was just numb to it all by then so when Chooch was like, “CAN WE FINALLY GO ON SPAGHETTI NOODLE*???” I mumbled, “Sure why not.”
*(This is what he called Wicked Twister all weekend.)
The standby for this was only 5 minutes and we got front row.
Wicked Twister is an impulse coaster, the kind that launches you and sends you up a twisting track to the dark heavens, drops you back down so you’re flying backward into the station and then up the twisty track on the other side. It does this like three times and IT WAS TERRIFYING. I don’t usually get “scared” on roller coasters, but this one gave me fucking chills and I screamed like I was in labor. There was a guy behind us who laughed, “Damn, these bitches be SINGING!” and I fucking KNOW he was talking about me, lol.
Look at the dumb noodle fucker! I just shuddered at the memory.
We don’t normally go to amusement parks for the Halloween shit because I’d rather go to a regular haunted house, but even though we didn’t do any of the haunts here at Cedar Point because the lines were outrageous (we expected that though!), it was still a lot of fun being there at night with all the creepy displays and fog. Plus, they were playing REALLY DOPE music too, like shit from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Midnight Syndicate was even performing there! EVERYONE KNOWS THEY MAKE THE BEST HAUNTED HOUSE SCORES.
And I heard two different Cure songs too while we were there. Cedar Point, you killed it in the ambiance department. Mwah!
And now you have to imagine three hours of nothingness because that would have been the time we were in line for Steel Vengeance. YES IT BROKE DOWN WHILE WE WERE IN LINE. But, Steel Vengeance will get his time to shine in a separate post, as I said before. Ahem.
The rest of the night, what we had left after the Steel Vengeance time-suck that is, was spent giddily riding Magnum twice (I forgot how phenomenal this coaster is, it’s been so long since I last rode it!) and SCREAMING at how creepy/awesome the lake looked from that ride at night, dragging Henry on Gemini where he tripped and fell getting into the seat and hurt his back and leg and made sure we didn’t forget about it for the rest of the weekend (#HenrytheMartyr), and then even got a last minute ride on Top Thrill Dragster! (I hate that name so much.)
This ride usually has enormous lines all day, but we were walking past it on our way out at 11:30 and it said it was only a 30 minute wait. The employee at the ride entrance said that as long as we were in line, we’d get to ride it even if it was past the park’s midnight curfew. So we were like, “Well shit, yeah!”
And the line ended up only being about 15 minutes long!
And then we were on it, listening to the damn thing revving, and suddenly I was like, “HOLY SHIT WAIT LET ME OFF I CHANGED MY MI———————————————————————————————nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd” as we were launched 120mph in 12 seconds.
Yeah, this was also something I’d file under SCARY AF. The launch was so forceful that I couldn’t even scream and then I wondered, “If I piss myself, will it just get pushed back inside?” But the best part is that I spent so much time that day, every time we walked past, dwelling on the launch, fixating on it, letting it fester in my imagination, that I never even considered the second part of that fucking ride — coming down off that towering top hat. IT IS REALLY TALL AND YOU GO STRAIGHT UP AND THEN PLUMMET STRAIGHT DOWN THE OTHER SIDE.
It gave new meaning to the phrase “I was shook” that is FOR SURE. I couldn’t get my body to stop trembling after we got off this damn thing!
Oh yeah, Henry didn’t ride it. Apparently he was going to but he had to go put his MAN PURSE in a locker and we left him because we didn’t know he wanted to ride it with us LOLOL.
Now it was 11:59PM and we for sure were on our way out of the park, but one of the monsters of one of the haunts was all, “Hey, psst, you guys wanna come in here? You can be the last group of the night!” so we did and it was pretty cool but again, amusement park haunts tend to not scare me that much because it’s so big and commercial. It was still fun though! The scare actors did a good job for it being the end of the night.
I had to take a picture for my coworker who was running a 10K that weekend because that’s her last name and I was like “Hope this isn’t an omen!” She’s only been in our department for a few months but she has already learned that I’m kind of a jerk. She seems OK with it though.
We went back to our hotel room and fucking crashed after that. I was glad that the second half of the day picked up or I would have been so sad. But oh don’t worry because the next morning would change all that. Cedar Point was like surfing Sybil’s brain waves, I swear to god.