Welcome to the CP Rundown blog! Here, you will find blogs and editorials on all different types of Cedar Point topics including rides, history, and upcoming attractions.

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Cedar Point Possibly Adding a Third New Ride for 2014?

Posted in Blog.

For the 2014 season at Cedar Point, we know we can expect two new rides, Lake Erie Eagles and Pipe Scream, to debut on the Gemini Midway, and we also know that renovations are in-progress on Hotel Breakers. However, recent findings on the website of the Federal Aviation Administration are hinting to us that another surprise may be in store for the 2014 season.

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Slingshot coming in 2014?

According to the FAA website, Cedar Point is seeking approval for a 236-foot-tall slingshot ride. The coordinates given on the filing, when plugged into Google Maps, point to an area near the restrooms by Gemini, thus making this slingshot ride a part of the Gemini Midway expansion. Also worth noting, the filing on the FAA website lists 1/28/14 as the date the entry was received and also provides details such as “2014 Sling Shot ride” and also shows a work schedule of 3/07/2014 to 6/07/2014.

This recent finding on the FAA website is sure to raise some questions. Is this ride confirmed for 2014? Why is construction expected to start in March and end in June 2014? Was this ride a last-minute decision to add to the 2014 Gemini Midway expansion? What will it be called? Will this attraction be free of charge, or will there be a fee to ride it? What manufacturer will build this ride? Are there any more surprises for 2014? Hopefully, Cedar Point will be able to confirm this soon, thus answering some of these questions.

For those of you not familiar with slingshot rides, they are known to be one of the most exciting vertical amusement rides in existence today. Passengers are propelled over 100 meters at speeds around 160 kilometers per hour. Unlike RipCord, the Slingshot machine is powered by a patented spring propulsion device incorporating up to 720 specially designed springs. Some Slingshot designs manufactured by Funtime are able to propel the passenger capsule more than 150 meters high. Other designs are available that have a passenger capacity of around 240 passengers per hour.

Another possible surprise that could be seen taking place at Cedar Point is an expansion of the Lighthouse Point cabins. Cedar Fair CEO, Matt Ouimet, said back in November that Cedar Fair was looking to improve and expand their on-premise resort options. “In 2014, this will include the addition of our very popular cottages and cabins at select parks,” Ouimet said in the company’s 3rd Quarter Conference Call. Kings Dominion was one of those select parks, as their Camp Wilderness is currently closed for upgrades. It appears that a Cedar Point document was mixed into Kings Dominion’s site plan application, with a floor plan showing 2014 expansion plans for Lighthouse Point.

If you listen to the interview that Tony Clark did with “In the Loop,” you may also find some hints for future park plans. Based on the information we have found, we can only speculate that these are some additional plans for the 2014 operating season at Cedar Point. We can neither confirm nor deny these plans at the moment. But, we are hoping that, sometime in the near future, Cedar Point will provide us with details as to whether we will see these additions to the park for the 2014 season.

 

By Jordan Smith

 

Cedar Point 2014: Events to Remember

Posted in Blog.

Ever wonder what it would be like to ride Millennium Force after the park closes? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of spending the night inside the park, sleeping under the stars. This year, Cedar Point is heightening the fun (If that’s even possible)! From February until the beginning of October, Cedar Point will be hosting a plethora of events that are sure to put smiles on the faces of both young and old.

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© Cedar Point

WINTER CHILL OUT

On February 22nd Cedar Point is hosting a winter tour of the park. Now I know what you’re thinking… Why on Earth would I ever want to tour the park when it’s closed? Well, even though none of the coasters, flat rides or even bathrooms are open, the park is still a wonderfully beautiful place to tour. Imagine the site of miles of track covered in glistening snow just waiting for you to snap photo after photo. The tour includes a small luncheon at Castaway Bay, a Q&A session, a tour of the Gemini midway (where the new rides are currently being built) and a T-shirt commemorating the event. The event, which costs $40, will benefit Give Kids The World, a charity for children with life threatening illnesses. Register for this event at cedarpoint.com/chillout

 

GEMINI MIDWAY MEDIA PREVIEW

Here’s your chance to experience the new rides at Cedar Point before they are open to the public. On May 8th, Cedar Point invites you to a media preview of Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles. While the schedule is still being finalized, generally a media preview consists of light snacks, television crews, radio stations and lots of fun riding the new rides. Come say hello to the CPRundown staff as we conduct interviews and take photos to share with our fans. Maybe you can even join us for a ride or two! Although admission to the park is free, you must be a card carrying member of a recognized Coaster Club in order to register for this event (Clubs listed at the end of the blog). The schedule for this event is not finalized but we hope to see you there!

COASTERMANIA

Every year Cedar Point dedicates a day to jam pack as much fun as they can into less than 24 hours. On June 6th, Cedar Point will be hosting Coastermania, a day filled with Exclusive ride time, tons of food and lots of surprises. Although this event is not finalized, it is sure to have hours of coaster riding time before and after the park closes. Right now, Cedar Point is offering you the chance to decide which rides will be open for the event. As usual, you must be a card carrying member of a coaster club, but for this event, you may bring one guest. Visit cedarpoint.com/online-fun/coastermania- to vote! Registration will be at the front gate the morning of the event.

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© Cedar Point

COASTER CAMPOUT

This year a brand new event will be taking place at America’s Roller Coast. On July 18th, Cedar Point is giving all card carrying Coaster Club members a chance to tent camp inside the park! Bring your camping gear because after the park closes for the day, it’s time to set up and then enjoy some exclusive ride time on a few great rides. When you wake up in the morning and pack up your tent, you will again be spoiled with more coasters before the park opens. Park admission is required but the event itself is free! Be sure to register starting February 5th on the Cedar Point website. The staff of CPRundown will be there rain or shine!

RECOGNIZED COASTER CLUBS:

·ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) www.aceonline.org

·CoasterBuzz www.coasterbuzz.com

·CoasterCommunity www.coastercommunity.com

·Coaster Crew www.coastercrew.net

·Coaster Fusion Club www.coasterfusionclub.com

·Coaster Zombies www.coasterzombies.com

·DAFE (Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts) www.dafe.org

·European Coaster Club www.coasterclub.org

·FLCC (Florida Coaster Club) www.floridacoasterclub.com

·GOCC (Great Ohio Coaster Club) www.greatohiocc.org

·MACC (Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club) www.coasterdan.com/macc/

·NAPHA (National Amusement Park Historical Association) www.napha.org

·RCCGB (Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain) www.rccgb.co.uk

·Club TPR www.themeparkreview.com

·WNYCC (Western New York Coaster Club) www.wnycc.org

 

-By Britt McMillan

Off and Running Part 2

Posted in Blog.

This week we are Off and Running to the Cleveland MetroParks Chalet for some fun at the toboggan chutes. The two 1,000-foot refrigerated ice chutes operate with or without snow the day after Thanksgiving through mid-March, weather permitting. With a vertical drop of 70 feet, the chutes can give any roller coaster enthusiast plenty of exciting dips and thrills as you reach speeds up to 50 mph. Just like some of your favorite rides at Cedar Point, riders must be at least 42” tall to ride and are required to wear mittens or gloves, heavier ones are recommended. Also similar to Cedar Point, there can be a long line to wait in, so bring some friends and some patience. Also worth noting is they have recently installed a toboggan lift at the Chalet, so no more carrying the toboggans up all the stairs. So sit down, hang on and get ready for some fun.

The toboggan chutes are a favorite with the staff and our fans. Here are 3 of our fans enjoying the chutes this year. A big thanks to Brendan, Jenny and Matt for sharing the fun with us.

For more information on the tobogganing chutes, please visit: http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/toboggan-chutes.aspx

-Michelle Triplett

Off and Running Part 1

Posted in Blog.

We have taken you around Cedar Point with CP Rundown. We take you to other parks with On the Run. Now, we are going to take a look at some off-season fun in our new blog, Off and Running.

So what does the staff of CP Rundown do in the off season to help with the coaster withdrawal? We spend time playing Roller Coaster Tycoon and of course, we are keeping all our fans informed of what is going on at Cedar Point, but we have a few additional activates that help us fill the time. We are going to take a look at those activities over the next few weeks in this blog.

We are going to start with some outdoor fun. The staff gets together at least once during the off season to go snow tubing at Snow Trails in Mansfield. Snow Trails has the longest tubing lanes in Ohio, at 1,100 feet in total length, the first 500 feet of slope consist of a 100 ft. vertical drop. The last 600 feet are a mellow run out to slow you down to a stop after you racing speed from the decent. To get you to the top of the hill, you take the Conveyor Carpet Lift. It is not as fast as Millennium’s lift hill, but almost as smooth, plus it eliminates the need for stairs to climb the hill. At the top of the hill, you have the choice of 6 lanes. You can go down by yourself or link together with a group. If you decided to go down as a group you can either go in a line holding on to each other’s ankles or you can hold on to each other’s tube handle, forming a slight circle. Whichever way you decide, you are sure to have fun finding a cure for the roller coaster blues.

We have had many fun trips down the tubing hills at Snow Trails. A staff favorite was when we decided to recreate a great Top Thrill Dragster Rollback, tubing style… HANDS UP!!!!!!

More information on tubing at Snow Trails can be found at http://www.snowtrails.com/snow-tubing

-Michelle Triplett

Posted in Blog.

Engine House

Despite being around since 1870, there are few rides in Cedar Point’s 144 years of existence that have an enduring operating history. With one exception… as the park has changed, so has its railroads. Where else do the real work horses of yesteryear steam?

Railroading is nothing new to Cedar Point. The second-oldest continuously operated amusement park in the United States has a long standing railroad history. For many years a tram railway operated between the old government docks and the Hotel Breakers. Ships on the Great Lakes brought thousands of passengers to Cedar Point, where the little trains would then carry them the half mile from the dock, through the woods to the resort area.

By the early 1950’s the automobile had all but wiped out the Great Lakes passenger business. With the passing of the venerable old steamers, Cedar Point’s little tram railway no longer had a real purpose and was closed. It was replaced by a number of miniature railways which were operated in the midway area during the 50’s and early 60’s. When Mr. George Roose and Mr. Emile A. Legros assumed management of the park in 1959, improvements began almost immediately.

The C.P. & L.E. Railroad was the brain child of Mr. Roose. Recently acquired locomotives, Maud L. and Albert would open the new era. Finally, on May 25th, 1963, as a direct result of the work and determination of then CEO George Roose, the railroad opened for its first season! Albert completed the first day by hauling thousands of happy tourists. (Albert was retired in 1991 after 28 years of service at the park due to a cracked frame.) Union Depot on the Funway is the first station on the line. It serves as the main station for the Railroad, and is located in the center of the park next to the engine house and yard. The station was to be a reproduction of those of the post-Civil War era of railroading, complete with red brick platform, antique lights, and an old fashioned ticket office. When originally opened, tickets were sold in the front windows. Everything was to be exactly as it had been in the heyday of steam railroading.

G.A. Boeckling

The C.P. & L.E. Railroad has a rich locomotive history. Maude L. was the first engine purchased in 1961. She was traded to Disneyland in 1999. Leased in 1963, and purchased in 1964, Albert was the first working locomotive on the C.P. & L.E. Railroad, acclaimed by many to be the most beautiful 3 foot gauge engine in the country. Locomotive #22 was purchased in 1963, renamed Myron H. in 1981, in honor of Mike “Myron” Hetrick, a former railroad superintendent at the park. It was completely overhauled in 1990. 1963 saw the purchase of Jennie K., followed by Victoria L. in 1964. Locomotive #5 was purchased in 1968, and renamed Jack Foster in 1974, after Cedar Point’s first railroad superintendent, then in 1992, was completely rebuilt and renamed Judy K. after the wife of former CEO Richard “Dick” Kinzel who retired in 2012. The Ward Kimball was the last locomotive to be purchased to date, acquired in 1999, it has been renamed the G.A. Boeckling in honor of George Arthur Buckling (February 2, 1862 - July 24, 1931), a German businessman who served as the president of Cedar Point Pleasure Company, which later became Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. He is often credited for bringing Cedar Point out of the hole, at the turn of the 20th century, and making it a nationally recognized amusement park and resort destination. Cedar Point currently has five operating locomotives in their fleet.

The C.P. & L.E. Engine House and yard have changed many times over the years. The Engine House originally built in 1964, started as a two stall open end shelter for Maud L. and Albert. With Mr. Roose adding locomotives to the roster, additional sidings were added to the yard and the Engine House was enclosed and doubled in length in 1965.

The train would prove to be an especially important part of Cedar Point with the opening of Frontiertown in 1970 and the addition of a new railroad station located in the rear of the park. At that time, the railroad represented only one of two ways to actually reach the new area. That year, the C.P. & L.E. Railroad delivered a record-setting 4.5 million rides. Frontier Trail was built the following year, providing a walking link between Frontiertown and the rest of the park. Construction of the new walkway led to several adjustments of the railroad’s tracks.

Today, Cedar Point is extremely proud to say, “We are one of only 3 theme parks in the country to operate a coal-fired steam locomotive fleet.” The Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad is a 3 ft. narrow gauge railway that just celebrated its 50th Anniversary this past summer! (A narrow gauge railroad is a railway that has a track gauge narrower than the 4 ft. 8 ½ in. of the common standard gauge railways.) From tracks being moved to acquiring and rebuilding new locomotives, the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad has watched as other attractions have come and gone.

The C.P. & L.E. Railroad is not only a part of my family’s summer vacation history; it is one of my earliest and fondest memories of the park. Opened in 1963, when I was 4 years old, it has become a traditional favorite of both young and old alike, encompassing a 1.7 mile round trip ride lasting approximately 15 minutes with a very short wait time for boarding.

Historically, many narrow gauge railways were built as part of specific industrial enterprises and were primarily industrial railways rather than general carriers. Some common uses for these industrial narrow gauge railways were mining, logging, construction, tunneling, quarrying, and conveying agricultural products. Extensive narrow gauge networks were constructed in many parts of the world for these purposes. Narrow gauge railway systems also served the front-line trenches of both sides in World War I.

C.P.& L.E.

While many things have changed over the years, some things remain the same; the look, smell, feel, and sound of history, for instance. Unlike modern machines, the steam locomotive ¾ which underwent few fundamental changes in 125 years of development ¾ openly displays many of its parts, which in turn adds to its visual appeal. Who can deny the beauty of the C.P. & L.E. locomotives decorated in flashy blues, bright reds, buffed wood and polished brass?

Since entire books have been devoted to the subject of how a steam locomotive works, written by individuals far more knowledgeable than myself, I will not attempt to go into great detail here. (You’re welcome!) Basically, two essential ingredients necessary to make a steam engine work are “fire” and “water.” (Fire +Water = Steam). The C.P. & L.E. Railroad burns coal to create the fire. Coal and water are carried in the tender, a separate car, semi-permanently coupled to the locomotive. The fire is created in the firebox using coal; this in turn produces heat which transfers to the water to produce steam.

There are two basic areas of activity on a steam locomotive: the boiler where steam is made, and the engine (cylinders, rods, tubes and driving wheels) where steam is used. The essential action of any steam engine is that of steam under pressure entering a cylinder-piston assembly and pushing against the piston, causing it to move which results in the locomotive wheels turning.

Boiler

When the locomotive is first starting to move, the piston that drives the wheels is moving very slowly, but then as the locomotive starts rolling the piston gains speed. Steam is exhausted out into the air under a great deal of pressure, making the familiar “choo…..choo….choo…choo..choo.choo-choo-choo-choo” sound heard as it starts moving.

Operating a steam railroad is no easy task. If you don’t want to take my word for it, ask Superintendent Randy Catri, who has been a part of the C.P. & L.E. Railroad for 40 years! A lot of time and preparation is involved in getting a steam locomotive ready for use on a daily basis. While most simply accept the fact that rides will be operating when the park opens, few realize the time and effort that went into making that possible. There are many unsung heroes working at Cedar Point.

For the employees working on the C.P. & L.E. Railroad, the workday starts hours before the gates to the park open. It is a very physical, hot and dirty job that carries a lot of responsibility… which they love! The locomotive(s) need to be prepared each and every day. Cedar Point operates two locomotives when needed during busy periods. Much of this preparation work is carried out by the Engineer and the Fireman, who work closely as a team throughout the day.

Every morning, the fireman tops off the coal pile in the tender by filling 5 gallon buckets with coal, carrying each bucket from pile to tender, lifting and dumping each bucket into the tender. The fireman is also expected to keep the locomotive and cab area clean and polished. It is his responsibility to wash the engine, polish the brass and trim, and properly lubricate moving parts daily. Oh yeah, the locomotive is HOT while this work is being done!

Throughout the day the fireman is responsible for keeping a clean, properly trimmed hot fire in the firebox, filling the tender with water, maintaining proper water levels, blowing down the boiler, maintaining proper steam pressure, and lubricating parts as needed. He also has to help split wood, poke tubes, wash boilers, work on tracks, and perform various other tasks as needed.

Early morning engineer duties include cleaning out the previous day’s fire from the firebox, emptying the ash pan and lighting a new fire in order to raise the boiler pressure up to proper operating level. It normally takes at least an hour to reach operating temperature during which time the engineer will check for leaks, try the injectors, blow down the water glass, and so on. The engineer is responsible for ensuring that the engine is fit for operation before and during any movement of the locomotive.

The engineer also helps the fireman perform all the various duties necessary for safe operations. Both the engineer and the fireman must also keep an eye on the track ahead of them as well as the train behind them on their respective sides.

What’s that? You thought they just sat in the cab and waved?

Midway

I encourage you to stop and think about how and why the C.P. & L.E. Railroad still exists today. These vintage machines are still earning their keep amongst the sights and sounds of modern day amusements. Perhaps it's just a way for some to get back and forth, or a means by which to rest tired legs; but it's a living, breathing thing of beauty for most and has served over 116 million guests, over its 50 year history. I, for one, hope the tradition continues and that Cedar Point keeps this historical landmark running far into the future…toot toot!

By Douglas J. Ross

 

 

 

On-Ride Filming Spurs Controversy

Posted in Blog.

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Securing the camera

When you visit Cedar Point, and you are in line for a ride on the ride platform, you often hear announcements from the ride operators, saying “The use of cell phones and cameras are strictly prohibited on this ride and all rides here at Cedar Point.” You might think to yourself, “Well, why is this a big deal?” Most of the Cedar Fair parks, including Cedar Point, have a policy that prohibits guests from taking on-ride photos or videos on any of the rides. Here is the rundown on why Cedar Point takes this policy so seriously.

Annie Zelm, Marketing Programs Representative at Cedar Point, explained that Cedar Point’s policy is clear regarding on-ride photos or videos. The key objective of this policy is safety reasons. Keeping their guests safe is Cedar Point’s most important responsibility. This policy, which is posted outside the entrance to every ride, and is also stated clearly in the announcements on every ride platform, prohibits riders from bringing loose articles on the ride because of the hazard they pose to other guests if they are not secured. Cameras, cell phones, or other devices are all categorized as loose articles; therefore, they are not permitted on any ride at Cedar Point.

Unfortunately, some guests still manage to violate Cedar Point’s policy, and this is why you sometimes come across photos or videos on YouTube or elsewhere online that were taken from rides at Cedar Point without the park’s permission. While you may think, “Oh, I can easily pull my phone or camera out once we leave the station,” and some guests do manage to get off of the ride with having successfully taken on-ride photos and videos, keep in mind that Cedar Point’s ride operators are trained to watch for guests who may be holding loose articles. If the ride operators notice someone pulling a phone or camera from their pocket once the train leaves the station, they can stop the ride right on the lift hill, and they will walk up to you and ask you to put your camera away. Or, they may even take it away from you and hold on to it until the ride is over. This is an inconvenience for the staff, the other guests on the train, and the guests in the ride’s queue line because the ride is delayed, due to one guest who has to violate the park’s policy by trying to take on-ride photos and video. So, it would be best to comply with this simple policy.

The policy applies to everyone. The only time that Cedar Point permits on-ride photos or video is when their marketing staff is taking them or when they are working with the media. As a side note, no member of the media is permitted to take photos or video without making these arrangements with the park. The park has to take special precautions in these circumstances as well.

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© Cedar Point

If you are following Tony Clark, Digital Communications Manager at Cedar Point and also known as “The Communications Guy”, on Twitter (@TonyClarkCP), you may have seen behind-the-scenes photos of the park filming on-ride POVs for guests to enjoy via Cedar Point’s YouTube channel. In the behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter, you may have noticed that the park uses GoPro cameras to film the on-ride videos, and these cameras are secured to the trains. Now, if you own a GoPro camera, like me, you may think, “If Cedar Point uses a GoPro camera, then why can’t I use my GoPro on the rides? I have my own chest harness or other mounts that I can use to secure the camera.” Well, that is because even when the Cedar Point staff films on-ride videos for their guests to enjoy, they use camera mounts that have been inspected by their safety personnel. It is not possible for the park’s safety personnel to inspect guests’ cameras and mounts before they can use them on the rides. It is also not necessary, because the park staff already works hard to film HD on-ride POVs for their guests to enjoy. In addition, when the staff takes this on-ride footage, they do it before the park opens to ensure that no guests are in the area.

Cedar Point often invites coaster enthusiast club members to participate in early-morning photo shoots for major media outlets. Some of our CP Rundown staff members have attended these events in the past. The photo shoots are a good opportunity to see all the safety precautions that Cedar Point takes before they will ever allow a train to run with a camera, even if there’s no one in the car.

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© Cedar Point

I hope I've clearly explained Cedar Point’s policy regarding on-ride photos or videos, emphasizing that the park’s most important concern is the safety of their guests. I hope I have encouraged you to not be the one guest who has to try and sneak an on-ride photo or video. If you happen to not get stopped by a ride operator, you are risking the chance of endangering other guests and the ride because you could possibly drop the phone or camera during the ride. If a ride operator does catch you, the ride will probably be stopped, the ride operator will walk up to you, ask you to put your camera away, or they will take it from you and hold on to it until the ride is over, and you will delay the ride for not only yourself, but the other guests who are on your train and the guests who are in the queue line waiting to ride. So, let’s all be good ride warriors and follow Cedar Point’s policy regarding on-ride photos and video, and don’t take out your phone or camera to film video or take photos on the rides at Cedar Point.

By Jordan Smith

Gatekeeper Media Day

Posted in Blog.

So seeing as I’ve never been to a Media Day event, I thought it might be fun to let everyone know what these spectacular events are like from the view of a first timer.

 I started my day at 1am since I live in Michigan and it takes me over two hours to drive to the point. We arrived around 3:30am and had to wait in the parking lot a few minutes before we were allowed to get in line at the gate. When we finally lined up, we waited about 20 minutes before we walked into Guest Services and received our Gatekeeper lanyards, an event itinerary, a coupon for a free on-ride photo, and a coupon for a surprise souvenir to pick up when we left. The entire time we waited we were treated to the spectacular view of the testing Gatekeeper above. We immediately walked over to Gatekeeper to find tents, tables, and of course tons of media workers.

Everywhere you looked, people were being interviewed and taking pictures of the breathtaking new coaster. We waited about 20 minutes and then we were forced to make a difficult decision…RIGHT or LEFT? We decided to ride the right side first. When we got to the loading station we could see cameras mounted on the ride and multiple news crews filming people loading and unloading. I sat 5th row in the outside seat, and WOW was it amazing!                                                                                                    

When we got off Gatekeeper we were greeted by a beautiful display of complimentary breakfast snacks and drinks. I grabbed a water bottle and a muffin and immediately decided to get back in line for the ride. This time we chose the left side, which we both ended up agreeing was the best side. When we had had enough of waiting in line, we decided to walk around and take some pictures of the ride. As we walked back up to the front of the park we noticed Donut Time and the Midway Market were now open and serving breakfast. So we grabbed some free coffee and donuts before heading back on our walk.

At 9:15 the Grand Opening Ceremony began.  John Hildebrandt kicked it off, speaking to a crowd of hundreds of enthusiastic fans and reporters. The ceremony continued for about 20 minutes and when it ended we decided to explore the park. We walked around for about an hour, watching all the ride operators prepare themselves for the weekend. The funniest part was listening to them recite their spiels to a bunch of empty seats, especially when they said “Welcome back riders! How was your ride?”

As we made our way back around to the front we were treated to more free food at Coasters, consisting of cheeseburgers, fries and pop. When we finished our food we noticed Raptor was now open and running. We rode Raptor twice and then made our way back to Gatekeeper for a few more laps. When we had had enough on that ride we followed the crowd back to Millennium Force which was also now open for our enjoyment. We finished out our day riding Gatekeeper front row, which quickly became our favorite spot. The lines at this point were almost non-existent and if it wasn’t for the lack of sleep and long drive home we would have ridden it as many times as humanly possible. On our way out we redeemed our souvenir coupons and received a nice black Gatekeeper messenger bag. It was filled with loads of Cedar Point information, a nice surprise read for the ride home. Overall, I found my first Media Day experience to be AMAZING, and would like to thank Cedar Point for such a wonderful time!

By Britt McMillan

Tips for Opening Day!

Posted in Blog.

We are only a few more days away from Cedar Point’s opening day. With Gatekeeper and what looks like perfect weather, the park is going to be full of people. If you plan on attending opening day here are some tips to make the most out of your visit.

Tip #1 – Save the most popular coaster for last. Our best guess is that Gatekeeper will have the longest line on opening day. Unless you have a favorite ride that you must ride at night, this strategy will help you save time. If you get in line a few minutes before the park closes they will let you ride. If the wait is two hours long that is two hours you didn’t spend waiting in line when the park was open. This of course only works if you plan on staying late and don’t mind leaving the park around midnight.

Tip #2 – Bring snacks! Stuff your pockets with Laffy Taffy or bring a bag full of Blow Pops (my favorite) to snack on while you wait in those long lines. That Pink’s hot dog isn’t going to keep you full forever, and snacks will do the trick until you eat another meal. Plus eating always makes the time go by faster!

Tip #3 – Speaking of food, do not eat at normal eating times. If you can hold off, or if you can eat early, it will save you a lot of time. Pink’s, Happy Friar, and Midway Market will have huge lines when lunch and dinner times come. Your best bet is to eat at two for lunch and eight for dinner. You will not wait very long for your food, and you will be riding rides when everyone else is eating.

Tip #4 – Bring extra clothes. Always bring an extra set of clothes with you and leave them in the car, just in case. Weather at Cedar Point is unpredictable because of the lake. It could rain leaving you drenched and cold, or it could be smoldering hot leaving you sweaty and a change of clothes would be great halfway through the day. Also, it is not uncommon for those pesky seagulls to drop a present on people’s clothes, and a new shirt might come in handy.

Tip #5 – Tylenol is available in First Aid. Some rides might give headaches, or your feet could hurt after a long day of walking, and First Aid is located in Planet Snoopy to help your aches and pains. There is another First Aid located in Frontier Town. (Tylenol is available only to guests over the age of 18)

Tip #6 – Get to the park EARLY and know what you want to ride first. Gates open at 10:00 AM (9:00 AM for platinum pass holders). You’ll have a leg up on the crowds if you show up an hour early. Also, there are four different entrances to the park that you can use. Use the entrance that is closest to your first ride of the day.

Tip #7 – Buy discounted tickets. If you do not have a season pass, make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time. Discounted tickets are available on Cedar Point’s website, at many Meijer stores, and AAA. This will save you a lot of money. These are your 2013 Cedar Point opening day Pro-Tips. Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Leave it in the comments section.

Have a great opening day, -Zach Clapper 

Posted in Blog.

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The gravel crunches under your car as you drive around the corner finally visualizing what you drove so far to see. The sound of a carousel organ fills your ears as you park under the large wooden structure, gazing intently. The planks around your car start to shake and the noise you’ve been hearing faintly grows immensely. Suddenly you see it. The Cyclone goes whirring past your head. It’s beautiful.

Long before Gatekeeper was even thought about, this is what you would find in its place. The Cyclone, a large wooden coaster built in 1929, was said to be “scientifically built for speed.” Cyclone was famous for its steep drops and large banked turns. At times it was so dangerous you could lose teeth or succumb to a black eye. During the 1950’s, Cyclone was torn down, as the war had left the coaster in a crumbling state. The next coaster to take over the beach didn’t come until the 70’s. Jumbo Jet, a beautiful steel coaster, slowly spiraled up its lift and plummeted down hills, sending you around banked curves as high as seventy degrees. It was said to be the fastest coaster in the United States boasting speeds of up to 60mph. Jumbo Jet thrilled riders for many years, finally closing in 1978. If you missed your opportunity to ride this beauty, don’t fret. Jumbo Jet was sold to Dreamland in Minsk, Belarus and continues to give rides to this day.

The following year, WildCat, which already thrilled riders in the park, was rebuilt on Jumbo Jet’s former site after the park bought a new model. As many of you know, WildCat was a figure-8 style steel coaster featuring small four person cars. The coaster climbed to heights of 50ft and reached speeds of 40mph. WildCat remained in this place until it was moved in 1985 to accommodate a new ride, Avalanche Run.

Avalanche Run, an Intamin bobsled style coaster, hit speeds of up to 40mph, flying through its troughs after reaching its maximum height of 63ft. The ride never gained the popularity that the park had hoped for and in 1990 it was reopened as Disaster Transport. The coaster, which was now fully enclosed and dark, held over 150 props and took you on a mission to deliver cargo. Upon opening when all the audio-visual equipment still worked, the ride had animation that enticed the mind as you thought you were “losing control” on your way to the end. Again this ride never gained the popularity of the people, as the animated effects eventually ran into disrepair leading to its dismantling in 2012.

For now, we patiently watch Gatekeeper’s construction come to an end, and wait with anticipation to ride on May 11th. Will Gatekeeper succumb to the ominous aura of the rides before it? Or will it last for years and years to come? We will have to wait and see!

By Britt McMillan

Big People Need Coasters Too!

Posted in Blog.

Thirty-three. That number, according to the CDC, is the percentage of adults twenty years old and older that are overweight in the United States. That is over one third of the population.

Since Millennium Force opened in 2000, many Cedar Point guests have had trouble fitting on the park’s most popular ride. Millennium, built by Intamin, has been known for having seatbelts that are not the most accommodating. This unfortunate trend continued when Top Thrill Dragster opened in 2003. A majority of park guests can fit just fine, but what about those who are “guests of exceptional size?”

Annie Zelm, a park representative, released new information that will make larger park goers happy. Zelm reveals that Gatekeeper will have “Big Boy Seats.” A feature on newer B&M coasters, “Big Boy Seats” are seats on the trains that are designed to be more accommodating to larger riders. Zelm claims that only one train will have these seats. This feature is a first for Cedar Point.

B&M has other coasters with larger seats. Coasters like Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Oblivion at Alton Towers, and Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure all have these seats available. These seats are a great addition to Gatekeeper. I know plenty of larger people who have been scared away from the park because of being embarrassed when told they cannot ride.

These seats will stop that from happening, thus making the park friendlier for everyone.

-Zach Clapper

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