It’s a _____ Minute Ride

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When you add the clock‘s measurement to a roller coaster ride, there’s some added intensity. Whether the ride is 2 minutes and 20 seconds or just 17 seconds, several bodily explosions of pure adrenaline are felt from your scalp to your toenails.

It took more than 17 seconds, but I did conquer my fear of coasters.

I spent some vacation time at Cedar Point a.k.a the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” I had no idea this was true until I stood under the official sign.

Why would I decide to go to here?

Part of it had to do with my mother finally signing off on some ultra-rare vacation days and having the freedom to go on a family vacation. The other part had to do with me going someplace new. I love travel and I love seeing a bit more of planet Earth.

I found out that I actually love riding roller coasters.

Who knew?

I let a bad experience make me fearful of ever riding again. Short story: I rode a rickety coaster years ago that ended up giving me a serious migraine and partial ear ache. After that, I was always hesitant.

What I’ve learned: It doesn’t hurt to try something again. You might find that your views, tastes, and overall perspective have changed.

In any case, I thought I would give a breakdown of Cedar Point. Maybe you won’t go, will go, or have been and can share in the experience?

Here’s the short end of things in case you don’t want to read a 10-page essay comparing ticket pros and cons. I’m closing by rating the rides below, so if you get bored, scroll to the end.

 

Day of the Week

Tuesday and Wednesday

What We Purchased

  • Two-Day Tickets $90 each (x4)
  • Parking: $15 per day (x2)
  • Motel 6 Lodging: $99 per night (x3)
  • Small Icees $4 (x2)
  • Traditional Funnel Cake $7
  • Fruit, chips, Clif bars, Subway, etc.

Things We Quickly Became Aware Of

  • We needed the printed ticket confirmation letter for each person for both days.
  • A majority of people select tennis shoes as their preferred footwear, for obvious reasons.
  • The lines were not as long as Disneyland. However, line length might be dependent on the weekday. For our trip, we found that Fast Pass was sort of unnecessary.
  • There’s a colorful tram system that can take you halfway through the park.
  • We didn’t do any of the drink or meal plans and bought funnel cakes and ices in the evenings before the park closed. During the day we made trips to the car to eat the cooler goodies we brought. Park food was hella expensive. I think I saw someone having a BBQ cookout in the parking lot to save money.
  • There were some water fountains sprinkled throughout the park. Some worked, some didn’t. We didn’t buy water and we were happy to note that the water in the water fountains was actually cold.
  • Tuesdays are the “off days” for Luminosity and other park shows in mid-July/August.
  • There is a beach entrance.
  • Always get stamps before leaving the park if you plan to come back to the park later in the day.
  • Bathing suits are not allowed in the Cedar Point area. In Splash City, swimsuits are chill.
  • Take as little as possible into the park to minimize loss, theft, and unfortunate events on coasters.
  • Storage bins for riders are usually only for shoes, not purses or drinks. We just brought ourselves in the park and lived in the moment.

 

Splash City

It was stinkin’ hot. I forgot my bag of clothes at home in an “I thought you put it in the car” incident, so I had to buy a new swimsuit the day before. (Hate shopping for swimsuits.) At Splash City there are “laydown” waterslides and “tube” waterslides. These aren’t official designations for the rides. This is just how I categorize. I rode the tube slides with the individual floaty tubes provided because I don’t like water shooting up my nose on the “laydown” waterslides. Unlike Great Wolf Lodge, Splash City doesn’t have the two-person tubes. However, Splash City does have a huge waterslide with 4-person tubes.

There’s also this weird “sled” waterslide where you grab this blue foam strip, hold on tight and get lots of water in your face as you slide belly-down. It was awesome, but the water in my face was blinding.

The wait time for the water slides were surprisingly long. In the last ride, I waited a full hour, if not more. If there were a Fast Pass for the waterpark, I might have considered it. I don’t think Splash City has their ride timing down to a science. The upside was that I didn’t have to wait on the two Lazy Rivers. They were easily my favorite ride. I enjoyed the chill-factor of bobbing up and down like a pale cork in a wavy pool.

Cedar Point

Again, freakin’ hot. I wore half a bottle of sunscreen and a t-shirt to keep my shoulders from re-roasting after a previous sunny excursion. All of my belongings stayed in the car. I only slightly regretted not bringing my shades. However, I was super happy about my decision to wear tennis shoes over flip-flops, even if I did end up with a blister from all the walking.

We closed out the day’s rides (I rode most, but not all the roller coasters.) by being audience members for the Luminosity show, which involved dancers and acrobats flying through the air on floating dreamcatchers while performing iconic rock hits. There were a lot of fireworks, flames, and hoopskirts.  The Luminosity event finished with a DJ starting a nightly dance party.

Later we used the beach entrance at nightfall to attend the Beach-Glo party where there was a lot of Cupid Shufflin’ going on. I learned how to do the “running man” and touched some Great Lake water. The party concluded with some fantastic beach fireworks whose smoky shadows probably choked up the riders on the Ferris wheel. Then my sister and I ran over to catch the last few minutes of Mirror Mirror, which was the featured movie at the beach.

At that point, my feet wanted to quit their job. Since the park was closing, I let them.

 

The Rating of the Rides

  1. Top Thrill Dragster Second-tallest and third-fastest coaster in the world. However, it was my favorite coaster because of the intense adrenaline rush and the fact that I couldn’t stop smiling after riding it. The feeling can only be compared to a rocket launch into space coupled with sky-diving. I would highly advise riding this at sunset. The 45-minute wait? Who cares?
  2. Valravyn The tallest dive coaster in the world that breaks nine other records. No big deal. I waited in line for 1.25 hours for a ride that makes you wait in agony for four seconds at the plummet-point’s edge. A LOT of waiting, but the ride was amazing. (Dumb word choice, but what can you do?) I also ended up being super photogenic in the ride photo with my thumb and forefinger poised thoughtfully on my chin while smiling daintily at the camera.
  3. Millennium Force This is voted as the top coaster in the world by fans. I agree. It is, quite frankly, the perfect coaster. The dips, twists, turns, and plummet points are crafted to perfection. You could almost want to kiss the creator(s). The 45-minute wait was worth it.
  4. Gemini This is a racing coaster, so think Cars Land in Disneyland. If you don’t know that ride, then just picture a blue and a red coaster street racing, but not street racing. I loved the smooth ride despite the vintage wood structure. Oh…and I think my coaster won.
  5. Corkscrew As traditional as this coaster was, I loved it. It loops a full three times in succession and then dips into the park so that you are feet away from other park-goers. This was my first Cedar Point coaster. Not a bad way to start things off.
  6. Iron Dragon I can use the word “chill” in a sentence to describe this coaster. Because, it was. It was a nice in-between ride to split up the mega-intense roller coasters. It helped me nurse my motion headache. This one gets bonus points for having the option of virtual reality goggles. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to fill out the registration paperwork and test the aforementioned virtual reality goggles.
  7. Gatekeeper This is a heck-of-a-long ride. You don’t know how long 2 minutes and 20 seconds is until you experience it. I’m on the fence on how I felt about the length. Props to the ride for having a “right Twix”, “left Twix” thing going on with the splitting line. It’s a wing coaster by the way. And if it wasn’t obvious, it is the literal “gate keeper” of the park.
  8. Magnum XL-200 People said that you could see Canada on this ride. I was too focused on the first intense drop…and the tunnels, which make the ride intermittently reminiscent of Space Mountain at Disneyland. In other words, you spend spans of time in utter darkness where you don’t know where you’re going and think your head might possibly be cleaved off. I’m glad I’m short.
  9. Raptor I felt like the prey, which means that the coaster delivers in its promise to make you feel small and helpless. I got onboard without looking at the coaster track and had no idea what to expect. There are tons of thrilling inversions on this floorless coaster. It operated at the speed where you can just barely distinguish between up and down.
  10. Rougarou I’m really not sure what a “rougarou” is. Judging by the slash marks in the name, it’s some kind of predator. Like the raptor, it has that floorless effect and tons of inversions to make your brain dizzy. Again, I felt like the prey. The Rougarou was similar to the Raptor, but faster, which made the inversions harder for my existing motion headache to process. Was I up or down? Was it day or night? Dude, I don’t know.
  11. Blue Streak: OUCH.This shook a few shillings loose. I warned people away from this one, because no one warned me. It wasn’t just a few brain cells; I feel fairly sure that my whole brain detached from its brain stem. My sister and I had to lay down for a few minutes after this jarring ride. Blue Streak needs to retire.

 

 

 

 

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