Mike and I took a road trip to Cedar Point Park, the roller-coaster capital of the world, last weekend. Both of us are roller-coaster freaks and love finding the newest best rides around. We've been to various amusements parks but Cedar Point is sort of the mecca of parks due to its multitude of coasters (17) and other thrill rides. We've been there a couple of times but the last trip was in 2003 so we were due for another trip.
We shuffled off Pete to Scott/Sue's house and Max to Timo/Nancy's house so they could also have their own vacation being spoiled and pampered and drove off on thursday afternoon. It took us about 7 hours to get there, overall a very easy drive.
Originally we had doubts about going because Sandusky, OH was to have pretty awful weather (thunderstorms, lots of rain) during the entire time we were there. We thought we'd postpone but Mike couldn't quite stand the thought of going to work on friday and if the weather was bad, we could always stay until sunday when it was supposed to clear up so we decided to go anyways.
Friday dawned a bit cloudy but the weather reports stated the rain and thunderstorms weren't going to hit until late afternoon so we figured we'd head to the park. The park was a little more crowded than expected but apparently we hit a day when a fair number of ohio schools (middle and high schools) were taking field trips to the park (I don't think my school EVER had a fun field trip like that). The lines still weren't too bad but I definitely felt old.
Top Thrill Dragster was our first stop. It's a fantastic coaster that uses magnetic induction to go from 0 to 150 in 4 secs, then shoots you straight up 420 feet and back down. There's nothing quite as thrilling (except maybe jumping out of a plane) as being shot forward that fast with your cheeks flapping. The only thing more thrilling is the chance that you might not make it over the hill! There is a sign that states that sometimes the car will not clear the top of the hill but not to worry since it will come back to the station. I found a great video online that shows this happening. After our first thrill, we headed to various other coasters in the park.
My other favorite is the Millenium Force, a 310-ft steel coaster. It's first drop is 80 degrees with a top speed of 93 mph. I believe it is currently the 4th highest coaster in the world (Top Thrill Dragster is #2). Due to the height of its first hill, they use a special lift mechanism that takes you much faster than the typical chain and the seats are very open so it's a bit freaky looking around and down while getting ready for that first drop. I love this coaster because it's very smooth and the hills are fantastic. There aren't a lot of turns, twists, or loops but some great stomach-dropping hills.
Overall friday was a great day, we never saw any rain, the weather was warm, and most of the lines were no longer than 15-20 minutes (with the exception of the big rides which were no more than 45 min). We rode all the coasters we wanted and had a great time. Unfortunately since we thought it was going to rain we didn't apply any sunblock and got a bit toasted in the diffused sunlight.
Saturday morning the weather report showed the rains and thunderstorms that night had passed and the day was to be clear and cloudy with no showers in sight. We headed back to the park and it was PACKED! I guess those in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois felt like riding the coasters that day. It was a lot more families and packs of older people (our age and older) than on friday. Since we wanted to head home by saturday afternoon, we just hit our favorite rides: Top Thrill Dragster, Millenium Force, and Maverick (newest coaster, was closed on friday). The lines were much longer, our average weight was about 45 minutes. We called it a day after that and headed back home.
Cedar Point is definitely a fun place but better to go during the week than weekend, especially before school gets out. I think we've got enough thrill that it'll be a couple more years before we head back but we're definitely gonna check out the amusement parks on the East Coast for new thrill rides!